Home >> Articles >> Eschatology - Prophecy
Battle that Wasn't?
Q. Why do you say Armageddon is "the battle that wasn't" if everyone says it's so awful? What makes it so bad?
To help our readers this question comes from a comment concerning the difference between a battle described in Ezekiel 38 abd the famous battle of Armageddon.
Armageddon Fails its Original Intent
Ice and LaHaye make the point that the Armageddon battle does not occur according to its original intent. The original intent is to "gather the armies of the world to execute the Antichrist's 'final solution' to the 'Jewish problem'" (LaHaye and Ice 2001, 63).
According to Walvoord, the world ruler comes at a time when all of the divine judgments described in Revelation 6-18 are unleashed the world. These are horrendous, catastrophic events. During this period "major segments of the world will begin to rebel against this world leader. Eventually they will converge in the Middle East to fight it out for international power" (2007, 173).
At least, this is what it will look like to world citizens. But, behind-the-scenes Satan and his demons will actually energize the last battle on earth. It is Satan and the demons who will gather armies for battle - not against world forces - but against the Lord!
In other words, the world thinks they are fighting for power against the world dictator. But, the spiritual truth is that Satan is assembling all of the world's armies to fight against Jesus Christ. This is because Satan will know that Christ is returning soon to defeat him.
"Abomination of Desolation"
According to prophecy, once this world dictator sets foot in a rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem and arrogantly declares himself to be God, all hell breaks loose on earth! Literally. Jesus warns us of this in Matthew 24:15-29. This event is called "the abomination that causes desolation" (Matt. 24:15). It is the event that defines the Great Tribulation - the last 3 1/2 years before Christ returns.
Satan knows that Christ is coming back to fight him. Therefore, he has assembled the world's armies in a desperate, hateful attempt to fight Jesus Christ to the end. "The armies of the world will be used as Satan's pawns for this final hour of victory…The crescendo of wars and destruction will increase until the entire world is on the brink of oblivion" (Walvoord 2007, 177).
Petra the Fall-Out Shelter
Those who know the times and heed Christ's warnings will flee Jerusalem to the safety of Petra in the mountains once they witness the Antichrist in the Temple declaring himself to be God (Matt. 24:16-20, Rev. 12:15-17).
If you can, look at photos of Petra. You will see gigantic, elaborate and ornate dwellings carved into the canyon rock. These are ideal to hide safely from nuclear war and radiation. Petra is a natural fall-out shelter.
During that time the world dictator demands that all people receive the "mark of the beast" (Rev. 13:16-18). This is probably a computer chip - a bio chip - inserted into the skin of the right hand or forehead - similar to the current Digital Angel identification chip placed in farm animals.
The trumpet and bowl judgments listed in chapter 8 onward in Revelation begin. 1/3 of rivers and springs become contaminated. The sun, moon, and stars become darkened (Rev. 8:12, Matt. 24:29). The 200 million man Chinese/oriental army kills 1/3 of the human race and marches into Israel to the plains of Megiddo.
There is monstrous hail, asteroids and/or comet strikes, nuclear exchanges, terrible pandemics, boils and painful sores, terrible heat from the sun - the ultimate global warming (which probably causes the Euphrates River to dry up), and something akin to a polar shift.
Walvoord notes that "Zechariah gives additional insight into the events related to the Battle of Armageddon. On the very day of the second coming of Christ, there will be house-to-house fighting in Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:2, 13). The prophet also describes the dramatic geological upheaval that will occur when Christ finally sets foot on the Mount of Olives" (2007, 181).
As we currently watch Palestinians fighting against each other in Gaza, this prophecy rings true, doesn't it?
Electromagnetic Polar Shift?
In addition to the unbelievable violence, wars and catastrophic weather events, it appears that there will be instability in the cosmos, too.
Listen to what Isaiah says in 24:19:
"The earth is completely devastated. The earth is split open. The earth is violently shaken. The earth staggers like a drunkard and sways like a hut" (HCSB).
This sounds like a magnetic polar shift, doesn't it?
Will Planet Earth Survive?
Jesus warns, "Unless those days were limited, no one would survive" (Matt. 24:22).
This is why Christ returns to the Mount of Olives (where he left 2000 years ago) and slays the armies gathered against Him. Military forces from Megiddo to Petra will be destroyed. Read Revelation 19:11-16 and Isaiah 34:1-6 and 63:1-6 for biblical descriptions of this event.
This is why the battle of Armageddon is so bad - it is a combination of horrid cataclysms and deadly battles so awful no one would survive unless Jesus Christ Himself returns to save the planet from utter annihilation.
Mark Hitchock. 2006. Iran The Coming Crisis. Sisters, OR: Multnomah.
Tim LaHaye and Thomas Ice. 2001. Charting the End Times. Eugene, OR: Harvest House.
John Walvoord. Ed. by Mark Hitchcock. 2007. Armageddon, Oil and Terror. Carol Stream, ILL: Tyndale.
© RemnantReport.com. All Rights Reserved.