The Battle Of Armageddon
The Second Coming Of Christ
By Sherry Shriner
Apostle John saw in vision the sixth bowl poured upon the earth he described the
drying up of the great river Euphrates so that the way of the kings of the East
might be prepared (Rev. 16:12). He further describes three unclean spirits
like frogs (demons) come out of the mouth of the dragon (Satan) and out of the
beast (Antichrist) and out of the mouth of the False Prophet (Rev. 16:13).
In other words, these two beasts backed by Satan will work together in coalition
with demons to go out and prepare the world's armies to gather them together in
Israel to fight against the Second Coming of Christ (Rev. 16:14).
Knowing that his time is running out, Satan will have the Antichrist issue a worldwide call for arms to stage a resistance front against the oncoming Kings of the East. These nations who respond will think they are fighting to contain the Antichrist's worldwide rule when in reality Satan will be assembling them to fight against the return of Jesus Christ, Yahushua, with tens of thousands of His angels and saints.
Who are these nations that will descend upon the Middle East for the last conquest of world power? The bulk of the revived Roman Empire's armies will be there and perhaps Mexico along with smaller combined forces from Latin America and Africa. We don't know what countries and nations will specifically play a part besides the Antichrist's forces, Israel, and the Orient. What we do know is that it will be a worldwide effort to stage a resistance front against the converging 200 million man army of the kings of the East.
This last great war will not be limited to the Middle East. The Apostle John said that all the cities of the nations would be destroyed (that haven't been by this time). When the Orient begins its march for the land of Israel they will destroy a third of the earth's population with their nuclear war chest. The apostle could be describing bombs, intercontinental missiles or what modern day scientists predict - a shifting of the earth on its axis sometime in our future. With the frequency of nuclear war exchanges throughout the Tribulation Period destroying the atmosphere's ozone layer and knocking planets out of alignment, it is very possible that the earth could itself be thrust off its axis causing unreparable damage.
The Prophet Isaiah described the last days as a time of cosmic catastrophic events. He said, "For the indignation of the Lord is upon all nations, and his fury upon all their armies: he hath utterly destroyed them, he hath delivered them to the slaughter. Their slain also shall be cast out, and their stink shall come up out of their carcasses, and the mountains shall be melted with their blood. And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree" (Is. 34:2-4).
He describes the earth shifted on its axis, "the earth is utterly broken down, the earth is clean dissolved, the earth is moved exceedingly. The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again" (Is. 24:19-20). He said the Lord would make a man more precious (rare) than fine gold and that He would shake the heavens, causing the earth to remove out of its normal place in the atmosphere. Isaiah said, "And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the Lord and for the glory of His majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth" (Is. 13:9-13, 2:19).
Jesus told the Prophet Joel "I will gather all nations and I will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat...let the heathen be wakened and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: For there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about. Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision. The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining (Joel 3:2,12,14,15).
This valley of Jehoshaphat refers to the same modern day Kidron Valley. This valley is 14 miles wide and 20 miles long. However the war itself will spread out for 200 miles north and south. It will extend to the east and the Mediterranean Sea will border the west.
In Revelation 19:17-19 the apostle gives an international call to the birds. John said, "I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; That ye may eat the flesh of Kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men.." In other words, there will be a line of dead bodies 200 miles long with the scavengers of the air greedily eating and devouring their flesh (Rev. 14:20; Matt. 24:21).
The Second Coming of Christ
When all the world's armies are assembled in the valley that surrounds Mount Megiddo they will be staging a resistance front against the advancing armies of the Chinese. It will be the world's worst nightmare - nuclear holocaust at its worst. A full-out nuclear bombardment between the armies of the Antichrist's and the Kings of the East.
It is during this nuclear confrontation that a strange sight from the sky will catch their attention. The Antichrist's armies will begin their defense in the Jezreel Valley in which the hill of Megiddo is located. Many ancient wars have been fought in this valley and the hill of Megiddo has been a command and control post for many a king and general of the past with their battle strategists. Translated in Greek, Megiddo means Armageddon. At the height of their nuclear assault on the advancing armies something strange will happen.
Jesus predicted the suddenness of His return. He said, "For just as lightening comes from the east, and flashes even to the west, so shall the coming of the Son of Man be" (Matt. 24:27). And again He said, "...and then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth shall mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory" (Matt. 24:30).
What are these clouds? They are the saints returning with Jesus wearing white robes. In Hebrews 12:1 believers are referred to as "a cloud of witnesses." The clouds then would be all of the Church Age believers returning in immortal glorified bodies with Jesus in the air. This will also include the resurrected Old Testament saints (Rev. 19:14). As the Prophet Zechariah predicted, "...and the Lord my God, shall come, and all the saints with thee" (Zech. 14:5).
The Apostle John speaks of the apparel of the saints as they return with Christ: "And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses" (Rev. 19:14). He explains the white linen robes: "And it was given to her (the saints) to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints" (Rev. 19:8).
After an instant image of Jesus flashes across the sky the armies will see Jesus and His saints descending from heaven in a heavenly parade too glorious to imagine. But they will not fear the Lord and lay down their weapons, instead, they will see that Jesus' destination is to the Mount of Olives and move over to the Valley of Jehoshaphat in a combined effort to where the Mount of Olives is located.
It is in this valley that Jesus will destroy the remaining armies and set His feet on the mount where they so long ago left from when He was here as a suffering Messiah (Zech. 14). When His feet touch the mount a great earthquake will result splitting the mount from east to west causing a great gap as one half of the mount moves north and the other south.
It is at this time that the surviving remnant in Israel will understand the prophecy that this valley caused by the earthquake between the mount has been created for them, they will flee and run into it for protection from the terrible judgment that is about to be poured out on the surrounding armies described in Zechariah 14:4,5,11,12: His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains...And this shall be the plague wherewith the Lord will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth."
This is exactly what would happen if someone was caught in the middle of a thermonuclear blast or exposed to an unprecedented chemical warfare blast. In their attempts to destroy Yahushua and His saints these armies will destroy themselves.
This last global conflict describes a great thermonuclear and/or chemical war. It is a nuclear war that will cause the sun to lose its shining and a chemical war that could along with a nuclear blast, describe the other effects. Of course a thermonuclear blast itself could melt the skin off the soldiers in the surrounding armies and cause their eyes to sink back in their heads. For most of these armies, the last thing they will see on this earth is Yahushua and His saints.
As Armageddon begins Israel will certainly defend itself against the threat of total annihilation by the Orient and empty its own nuclear arsenal on its approaching enemies with the combined might of the Antichrist's armies. Yahushua said in Matthew 24:22 that unless He intervened all flesh would be destroyed (in the entire world). This suggests that a nuclear exchange of deadly proportions is already underway when He comes in glory and power with His saints to rescue Israel from total destruction. He will let these armies empty their artillery on each other where many will die as a result. The whole world will see Yahushua and His heavenly armies descend from heaven, for many, it will be a time of panic and fear.
International Panic And Fear
Jesus said, "Immediately after the Tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened; and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heaven shall be shaken" (Matt. 24:29). The debris from nuclear blasts will cause great smoke clouds to fill the atmosphere preventing any light from the sun or moon from entering to earth. The blasts will cause the "stars" or asteroids, meteors, and/or comets to fall to the earth that were travelling in orbit in space. Great floods will occur as a result and unreparable damage to the earth. The Bible says, "There will be strange things happening to the sun, the moon, and the stars. On earth whole countries will be in despair, afraid of the roar of the sea and raging tides. People will faint from fear as they wait for what is coming over the whole earth, for the powers in space will be driven from their courses (knocked out of orbit). The results of Armageddon and the Second Coming of Christ will not just be felt and seen in the Middle East, it will affect the entire world.
The Smoke Of Torment
At the height of nuclear war, after mass destruction has already been caused that threatens the survival of every living person and thing left on earth, Yahushua will come with His saints to stop the armies gathered in the Middle East in the land of Palestine from totally annihilating the world.
The Apostle John describes the capture of the Antichrist and False Prophet after Jesus has completed His dissension to earth with His saints and angelic hosts. "And the beast was taken, and with him the False Prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh (Rev. 19:20,21).
When Jesus returns, the Antichrist and False Prophet are cast into the lake of fire. Those who have not been killed by nuclear radiation and other ill effects will be killed by a command from God and the birds of the air will gather to feast on the remaining bodies.
The apostle also describes the demise of Satan: "And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years. And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled (Rev. 20:1-3).
Notice how easily Jesus overcomes and defeats Satan. This "mighty and powerful" devil that millions in the New Age and other cults hailed as their leader, the one that hundreds of millions worshipped as their God, is taken captive by an angel, singular not plural, not even an angel of the highest rank such as Michael the Archangel and great warrior, but a lesser angel. He is taken, bound, and cast into the bottomless pit for a thousand years during the Millennial Reign of Christ.
The Prophet Isaiah described the destiny and future home of the Antichrist and False Prophet and God tells us where it will be located. It will be located in the land of Idumea which is today modern Jordan. Idumea is the Greek word for Edom. This is the land formally occupied by ancient Edom, the descendants of Esau (Gen. 25:30).
In Isaiah 63 God tells us what He will do with the land of Jordan after the battles of Armageddon and Jehoshaphat are over. He said that He will cause the streams of the land to pour forth pitch. The soil of the land will become covered by brimstone or possibly lava as a result from erupting volcanoes that have been set off as a result of bomb blasts and earthquakes and the fires from Hell beneath the earth shall burst through and the entire land of Jordan will become a land of burning pitch. Isaiah says Hell is enlarging itself (5:14). It enlarges its appetite and can open its mouth without limit. So many will die in the Tribulation Period as a result of God's judgments that Hell must enlarge without limits to accommodate the souls of men and women.
In Isaiah 14:9 we are told that Hell is moving towards the surface of the earth. Some interpreters suggest that during the reign of the Antichrist that hell will break through the surface of the earth and meet him at his coming as indicated in this passage which reads: "Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming: it stirreth up the dead for thee, even all the chief ones of the earth; it hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations." If this is a literal interpretation, then at some point of the Antichrist's reign, perhaps caused by the nuclear war in the Middle East when the Russians invaded it and then were destroyed, hell will break through the surface of the earth and then already be in existence and ready for the Antichrist and False Prophet who are cast into it after the Second Coming of Christ. When it does break through, there will be located on this earth what the Bible calls a lake of fire. This lake of fire will be a huge place that will accommodate at what some interpreters estimate some 39 billion people since the creation of man who rejected Christ. It will contain all those who refused Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
This lake of fire is also verified in Matthew 13:49,50: "So shall it be at the end of the age (after Armageddon) the angels shall come forth and separate the wicked from among the righteous, and shall cast them into the furnace of fire; there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth."
This lake is also reserved for all those who received the mark of the beast. John tells us that they will be tormented with fire and brimstone forever and ever: "And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up forever and ever" (Rev. 14:11). This smoke will be eternally visible as it rises from the lake of fire. God explains in Isaiah 66:22-24 that when He creates a new earth and establishes His Millennial Reign that the smoke of their torment will be visible. He said, "They (the people of the new earth) will go out and look upon the dead (separated) bodies of those who rebelled against me (in the lake of fire) and their worm (existence) will not die, nor will their fire be quenched, and they will be loathsome to all mankind."
There is no such thing as nonexistence. When a person dies his or her soul which makes them who they are will go to either heaven or hell. Death simply means "separation from God." If you die and go to Hell, you are separated from God, your soul will still be very much alive, you will be able to feel, think, smell, taste, etc..Your senses will be intact. God describes Hell as a place of torment, of pain and suffering, very much alive, the souls who end up there will feel the torment of its fire and not be able to "nonexist." For eternity, those who rejected God will feel the fire of Hell scorch and torment them. They will not be given a second chance to repent and accept Christ's salvation. At the end of Christ's one thousand year Millennial Reign the Great White Throne Judgment will occur where every unsaved person in the history of mankind will be judged for their deeds and then cast into this lake of fire to join the Antichrist and False Prophet.
But at this time in prophecy, after the two beasts are cast into the lake of fire Jesus will stand at the Mount of Olives and judge the surviving nations (Matt. 25:31-33) and all the saints will assist Him: There is much debate on whether it will be an individual judgment or a judgment of the nations as a whole. Either way, those remaining will have their punishment or survival determined on how they treated the Jews and the 144,000 evangelists (Matt. 25:31-46) during the Tribulation Period. Many surviving nations (or individuals) will be cast into the lake of fire, while others will be granted to enter the Kingdom Age of 1000 years.
These 144,000 messengers of God must be protected and cared for during the Tribulation Period. The persecution of Christians will be great during this time and these evangelists who are traveling all over the world will need places to stay, food, clothes, etc...and those who help and care for these evangelists will in no doubt be risking their own lives. Some nations will be kinder to them than others. These evangelists will be marked men because they are preaching the message of salvation. They will be hunted down, imprisoned, and will have no way to survive without the help of others. They will have to depend on their converts to provide their basic needs and to hide them from the bounty hunters since there will probably be a price on their heads. Only the true believers will risk their lives to help them and according to the Book of Revelation many thousands, perhaps millions, will be killed for their faith in the one true God.
With the final end of Armageddon and the destruction of the Tribulation Period Jesus will establish His Kingdom Age of 1000 years or simply known as - The Millennial Reign of Christ.