The Great Battle of Armageddon
Everyone has heard of some version of the Battle of Armageddon. This mysterious battle is repeatedly depicted in a wide range of media presentations and broadly written about in the religious and cultural literature of our day and previous generations. In the Church of GOD culture, we have heard many sermons and read many articles about this subject – each with a basic theme that this battle will occur at the end time just prior to the second coming of Christ.
Typically, these presentations use the biblical rendering of a 200-million-man army, on horseback, gathering in the plane of Megiddo. There they are crushed causing a pool of blood rising to the bridles of the horses which then flows into the valley of Kidron. More often(particularly in media presentations) the biblical rendering is seen as a metaphor for a more modern day battle.
This idea of the Battle of Armageddon is an amalgam of several scriptural passages: For Instance, Let's review these passages from the bible:
The Coming Day of the Lord ----
Zechariah 14:1--21 "V1 Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. V2 For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. V3 Then shall the LORD go forth, (Notice he is already present) and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. V4 And HIS feet shall stand (not land) in that day upon the mount of Olives which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. V5 And ye shall flee into the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: ye, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee, V6 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark: V7 But it shall be as one day which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night; but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light V8 And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; (Clearly shows a millennial time frame) half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in: in summer and in winter shall it be. V9 And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD. and his name one. V10 All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem: and it shall be lifted up, and inhabited in her place, from Benjamin's gate unto the place of the first gate, unto the corner gate, and from the tower of Hananeel unto the King's winepresses. V11 And men shall dwell in it, and there shall be nor more utter destruction; but Jerusalem shall be safely in habited. V12 And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; There 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. . . "
The Day of the Lord ----
Joel 2:1--10 :V1 Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the in habitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand; V2 A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong: there has not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations. V3 A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness: yea, and nothing shall escape them, V4 The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses : and as horsemen, do shall they run, V5 Like the noise of chariots on the tops of mountains shall they leap, like the noise of a flame of fire that devoureth the stubble, as a strong people set in battle array, V6 Before their face the people shall be much pained: all faces shall gather blackness, V7 they shall run like mighty men; they shall climb the wall like men of war; and they shall march everyone on his ways, and they shall not break their ranks: V8 Neither shall one thrust another; they shall walk everyone in his path and when they fall upon the sword, they shall not be wounded. V9 They shall run to and fro in the city they shall run upon the wall they shall climb upon the houses, they shall enter in all the windows like a thief. V10 The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining. V11 And the LORD shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?"
The Lamb is already on His throne ----
Revelation 6:16 "And (they) said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb:" (Notice the Lamb has taken HIS throne and is sitting on it -- showing he has already returned)
The End of The Thousand Years ----
Revelation 20:3 "And (the angel) 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: and after that he must be loosed a little season."
The Sixth Angel ---- Revelation 9:13—21 Describes the details of this great army of horsemen 200 million strong!
Notice V16 "And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them. . ."
The Seventh Bowl ---- Describes the wrath of the Lamb upon this final great rebellion.
Revelation 16:16—21 "V16 And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon. V17 And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, it is done.
----- If we go back to the commonly held literal teaching "A 200-million-man army, on horseback, gathering in the plane of Megiddo. There they are crushed causing a pool of blood rising to the bridles of the horses which then flows into the valley of Kedron"
----- We need to realize and consider:
- No army in today’s world would mass in a single place – our weapons today could easily defeat such an army positioned like that. They would easily be wiped out by today’s armaments with very little effort. No General would do that – they are very good at doing war.
- Next: There is no army that fights on horseback – so the literal meaning of that idea is mute.
- For blood to be up to the bridles of even a small horse – say three feet height – it would take multiple Billions of bodies bleeding out at 5 pints per human body in the area (1600 furlongs = 1,056,000 feet or about 200 miles)
The Great Winepress ----
Revelation 14:18—20 ". . . even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs."
- I’m not exactly sure where the idea of the blood flowing into the valley of Kidron comes from. But, Kidron is just south of Jerusalem which is in the mountains. So, for the blood to flow there, it would have to go up hill and over a mountain range as the plane of Megiddo is close to sea level North of Jerusalem which is about 1900 feet above sea level. Physically not possible.
The Defeat of Satan ----
Rev 20:7--10 "And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, . . . and compassed the camp of the saints. . . . devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone. . "
~~~~~~~ Let me suggest another More Plausible explanation for this event which squares perfectly with the scriptural passages.
Most of the ideas placing this battle at the time of Christs Return and using very literal interpretations of the prophecies simply are not possible. Anyone can “mix” literal and metaphorical ideas but that’s just “fudging the facts to fit a premise”. Either its literal or it’s not. The very fact that --- in this case --- it is not literally possible is the GREATEST CLUE of what is really going on in this prophecy.
So, how does that prophecy happen if it is literally not possible? Well, I believe we have simply placed the battle at the wrong time. Zechariah & Joel describes it as in the " Day of the Lord" But the day spoken of there is more accurately translated as "age" as a day can be 1,000 years as Peter explains when speaking of The Day of the Lord. (That day is different than the actual 24-hour day of HIS return).
At the very end of this age of the Lord, (The Millennium) Satan is released and foments this great rebellion. At that time mankind will have long forgotten how to wage war and there will be no implements of war or trained generals to lead the event. It will be an agrarian society and there may very well be plenty of horses for use in this great battle. They come against Jerusalem which then is called "The Camp of the Saints". Scripture shows that HE "goes forth" as HE is already present. He Goes forth up to the Mt. of Olives, HE then STANDS (not "lands as has been taught incorrectly and actually has become a "Mandela" expression) it clearly says STANDS as He causes the Mt of olives to split apart creating a great valley for those in Jerusalem to escape. This drastically alters the geography that allows the blood from the coming battle to FLOW into the valley of Kidron which, under current conditions, is literally not possible.
Christ summons His armies both Earthly and Heavenly and they crush the rebellion once and for all in this great final battle. The valley created by this splitting is where the blood collects and any horses in the area have blood up to their bridles as they pass thru that new valley where it collects.
How do we know this time frame? Joel 2:3 tells us clearly that the Earth " looks like " EDEN at this time. There are only 2 times that is the case. When EDEN existed and when the Earth is restored to its natural beauty near the end of the millennium. We sing this in church -"Such as Eden was shall become a wilderness that's desolate."
This understanding makes better sense and perfectly aligns with scripture.