the battle of armageddon
"And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon." (Rev 16:12-16)
“And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” (Rev 17:5)
Babylon was built on the River Euphrates, which represents the People who built Babylon with their money and influence. The waters of this great river are a type of the people who, by their influence and money, support Papacy, from which Babylon the Great draws her revenues.
“...The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth are peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues.” (Rev 17:15)
These waters of that river signify revenues from all nations. Literal Babylon was built upon the river Euphrates. Its wealth, supplies and sustenance came largely from this source. It had immense walls and strong gates over the river.
The sixth plague is upon Great Babylon, the mother. While the other systems have other channels or rivers, the mother of harlots system is built upon the “great river.” This is not the generally accepted interpretation, which refers to the Muslims; and the Ottoman empire, which is included under the sixth trumpet as “the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates.” (Rev 9:14)
The river dried up, calling our attention to the typical Babylon when Cyrus’ army turned aside the river into a new channel, leaving the old channel dry and enabling him to march his army under the gates. While these events were occurring, the princes of Babylon, corresponding to the notables of Christendom, were holding high carnival, rejoicing in their security, boasting of the strength of their walls, the impregnability of their gates and the sureness of their waters. Mystic Babylon sits upon and is supported by many waters (peoples, nations), and its fall is predicted, through the turning aside of its supporters and sustainers, the people. The turning aside of the “waters” would represent the alienation of the people, and the alienation of the people would be indicated by their withholding of financial support.
The implication is a cessation of the revenues of Babylon, a decline in the contributions which heretofore have made her wealthy. The “drying up” will probably require many years for its accomplishment. That Servant points out, there will be a large falling off.
Waters also represent truth. The truth will be turned aside and no longer will flow through Babylon, that is “the voice of the Bridegroom and the voice of the Bride” shall no longer be heard in her. (Rev. 18:23)
As the typical Cyrus encouraged the Jews to return from Babylonian captivity, so the antitypical Lord, has already seen to Israel’s return to the land of Abraham. (Compare Jer. 50:38.)
Kings — The kings of Christ’s Kingdom, who are also priests, the Body of Christ, the Royal Priesthood of the east from the sun rising. They come, not to the sun rising, but from the sun rising. They come bringing light with them. The name Cyrus signifies “the sun.” In his name he reminds us of the prophecy of Christ; “The Sun of righteousness shall arise with healing in his beams.” (Mal. 4:2)
Three — The harmonious teaching in which these can all unite are the dogmas of “the divine right of kings,” “the authority of the clergy,” and the claim that mankind is bound to submit to these and be controlled by them. They are unclean spirits, impure and erroneous teaching. The spirit is a doctrine, an unclean doctrine, a false doctrine and each of these systems will utter the same things. The divine authority of the church, and the divine right of kings, aside from the church, will not be permitted to conflict. Satan will be forced to appear “as an angel of light” in order to perpetuate the delusions wherewith he has so long deceived the whole world by putting light for darkness, and darkness for light.
Like frogs, croaking from pulpits and platforms, and through the religious and secular press. The three most prominent characteristics of a frog are pomposity, an air of superior wisdom and knowledge, and a continual croaking. The spirit of all will be boastful; an air of superior knowledge and wisdom will be assumed; all will foretell dire results to follow any failure to obey their counsels. Indicating that when these systems give forth these unclean spirits it will be with boastfulness, an attempt to overawe with dignity and with continual allusions to disasters which must attend any change of present arrangements.
We are not to think that these frog spirits, or doctrines, are all bad, but rather that they are doctrines of bombast and pomposity - doctrines of demons. The various “sectaries” have built little mud dams along the stream of truth, claiming this secured all the truth, so that what should have been a well of life became a veritable frog pond. Out of the mouth of – frogs came the utterances of the combined power of church and state.
It is the dragon or civil government especially that which once constituted civil Rome. Practically all Bible exegetes agree that this dragon represents purely civil power. Political parties all declare that if any change should come, the direct cause of the drying will be the relationship existing between Papacy and the nations of earth. When tendencies produce a closer affiliation of religion and state, it will cause the people to throw off the yoke of the church as well as the state, since both will be in league against their cherished ideas of liberty and equality. And out of the mouth of the civil power, the Catholic Church and the Federation of Protestant Churches will go forth with the same teachings.
These classes influence and encourage each other with this impure doctrine of Satan. Were it not for this harmony, each of these classes would have felt the weakness of their claims, but in their union they find strength and hope for retaining their hold upon the people. The beast — Papacy. The same beast is mentioned in Rev. 13:2, where it is described as resembling a spotted leopard. It refers to the Papal system as a whole, on which the woman sat. The Catholic Church says, “Do not look behind! Do not question anything about the Church!” The Beast and Prophet are symbols of false systems which will be cast into a great consuming trouble in the close of this Gospel age. The false prophet is the religious element.
Another name for the system elsewhere called “the Image of the Beast,” a very exact representation of the Beast, which we understand to mean the Protestant Churches. Protestantism says, “We are great, we are wise, we know a great deal. Keep quiet! No one will then know that you know nothing.”
To prevent individual Bible study which seemed to them a loss of power, religious leaders planned a union of Protestants in a system called the Evangelical Alliance. Then and there they made an Image of the Beast.
Another representation of the Image, the vitalized product of the Evangelical Alliance, has taken the form of Church Federation. A new symbol takes the place of both the “two-horned beast” and “the Image of the Beast,” and represents all systems teaching error— “orthodox” as well as many considered heterodox.
It is the spirits of devils, Doctrines of devils, the devil’s theory relative to present evil governments. The spirit of revolution and anarchism in the world is generating a boiling, seething, condition of affairs. Working miracles and working signs. They will give evidences and seemingly plausible reasons for the rights of civil leaders and clergy.
Spiritualism has not yet reached the climax of its power. Its powers are to increase wonderfully.
Unto the kings, not only kings but princes, generals, also the financial kings and merchant princes, and the great among religious teachers. To gather them, the croaking of the frog spirits, or doctrines, will gather the kings and princes, financial, political, religious and industrial into one great army. Ecclesiastical kings and princes will be gathered in solid phalanx—Protestant and Catholic. Political kings, financial kings and merchant princes will join the same side.
The nations of the earth are already gathered together; associated by the modern methods of communication—wireless telephones, radio, computers, the world-wide-web and the United Nations. The gathering of the armies is plainly visible from the standpoint of God’s Word. They do not realize, however, that they are coming to Armageddon. To the battle — the general conflict between priest and people, rulers and ruled, capital and labor. Organized capital on the one hand and organized labor on the other are the two forces arrayed against each other in deadly conflict. The Armageddon forces have been mustering for both sides of the conflict.
In proportion as men are aiding error and wrong, they have been battling against the New Ruler; and in proportion as their tongues, pens and hands were used to support the right and truth on any subject, they have been fighting on the Lord’s side. It will end with the complete overthrow of earth’s present rulers. The battle has already commenced. The lines of battle are becoming more distinctly marked.
Prophecy requires a wealthy and prosperous Israel before the Armageddon crisis and we see it now. “Jacob’s trouble” in the Holy Land will come at the very close of Armageddon. This battle is the seventh plague, and is a result of the six plagues which precede it. To war, the conflict between right and wrong. The Millennium is preceded by the most terrible judgments on the nations; but in consequence of these judgments, the people are turned to a pure worship. It is typified by Gideon’s battle.
God Almighty — The omnipotent God.
“Behold I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.” (Rev 16:15)
The position of this declaration of the 15th verse is thrown in disconnectedly and it is significant. It teaches that our Lord will be present before the impure teaching begins to gather them to their destruction. I come – At the time when this evil doctrine will apparently be uniting all upon the side of law and order, our Lord will be present, but secretly and unknown except to the watching ones. He comes more than once. At the first advent “Behold, thy king cometh.” At his second advent: “The Bridegroom came” and he comes when he “returns from the wedding.” He comes for his saints, and he comes with his saints.
He will be present unseen, doing a work of which the world for a time will be unaware. His arrival, therefore, must be in a quiet manner, unobserved, and entirely unknown to the world – As A Thief. Such endorsements for truth as miracle-working power, so necessary in the Jewish harvest to the confirmation of truth, would be out of harmony with the thief-like presence and mission of the Lord here. This coming as a thief extends over the whole period from his coming until the judgments on Babylon are complete.
Blessed Is he – Any one of the Church who complies with the conditions. The other class [Great Company] is recommended, even under the sixth plague, to watch and keep their garments, lest they walk naked. That watcheth – Those believers who are taking heed to the sure word of prophecy, as to a light in a dark place, shall, because of its light, not be in darkness that that day should overtake them as a thief. And keepeth – The danger of losing it is implied in this statement, made after six of the seven last plagues are poured out. No man is absolutely above danger of falling until he is immortal. His garments – The robe signifies that share of Christ’s merit which has been freely appropriated to us by him with the Father’s consent. Since our sins were laid upon Jesus, and we by faith accept him as our Redeemer, his righteousness has been laid upon us. His righteousness is our glorious dress. He – The Lord of hosts himself mustereth the hosts of the battle. God will be represented by the great Messiah. He will be on the side of the masses. “At that time shall Michael stand up [That is assume authority.].”(Dan. 12:1)
Gathered them together — The turmoil of speech and the conflict between classes are hurrying us toward the vortex of the great Armageddon. Warring political factions, militant suffragettes, socialists, nihilists, anarchists, labor organizations, capitalistic combinations, the ecclesiastical system, all in opposition to each and all; are rushing headlong to Armageddon.
Armageddon – Symbolizing the great controversy between truth and error, right and wrong, God and mammon. Armageddon means mount of destruction; and this describes what will be the result of their doctrine. This signifies the Hill of Megiddo, which occupied a very marked position on the southern edge of the Plain of Esdraelon, and commanded an important pass into the hill country.
Megiddo was the great battle-ground of Israel. Many famous Old Testament battles were fought there: Gideon vs. Midian, King Saul vs. the Philistines, King Josiah vs. Pharaoh Necho; and there Ahab and Jezebel lived, Jezebel meeting a horrible death there.
It is pure speculation to attempt to say just when it will begin. We are not to expect any gathering of the people literally to the Hill of Megiddo. The Scriptures abound with allusions to Armageddon. Our Lord calls it “great tribulation.” (Matt. 24:21); Daniel describes it as “a time of trouble.” (Dan. 12:1)
GOD’S FOOTSTOOL MADE GLORIOUS.
“Thus saith the LORD, Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool.” “I will make the place [footstool] of my feet glorious.” “His [God’s] feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives.”― Isa. 66:1; 60:13; Zech. 14:4; Matt. 5:35; Acts 7:49.
God’s footstool has been far from glorious for the past six thousand years: sin, pain, crying, mental and physical suffering and death have made it one vast charnel house.
Now, conservatively estimated, at least twenty billions of humanity wait for the time to come when the curse of divine justice shall be lifted; and the light of divine favor, shining in the face of Jesus Christ our Lord, shall rise as the Sun of righteousness ―
“Chase away sin’s dismal shadows,
Light the gloom with healing ray.”
To this end God has made abundant provision. The ransom for Adam and all who suffered loss through him as his children, buys the whole world, and secures for each one of our race an opportunity of a trial for everlasting life under favorable conditions. It does more; it buys back Adam’s Paradise home (lost by his transgression), and his dominion as earth’s king, representative of God, his Creator and Father.
Hence we read, “Thou, O Tower of the flock [Christ], the stronghold of the daughter of Zion, unto thee shall it come, even the first dominion.” (Micah 4:8) Paul also, speaks of the “redemption of the purchased possession.” (Eph. 1:14) Our Lord in one of his parables referred to this also, showing that he purchases not only mankind, the treasure, but also the field, the world, the earth from under the curse: and that all who join with him, as members of the Kingdom class, share in that purchase of the field and the treasure. (Matt. 13:44)
The entire work of the Millennium will consist in ordering and making glorious God’s footstool. Paradise, when lost through sin, was but a garden in a corner of the earth; but inasmuch as the race of Adam has multiplied to fill the earth, in accordance with the divine intention (Gen. 1: 28) and since they all have been redeemed, it will be necessary to provide a Paradise large enough to accommodate all. This will imply that the entire earth shall become as the Garden of Eden for fruitfulness and beauty and perfection. And all this is promised as the grand future consummation of the Divine lan. (Acts 3:20, 21; Rev. 2:7; 2 Cor. 12: 4)
But the richest jewel of the Lord’s glorified footstool in the close of the Millennium will be mankind, in whose perfection, liberty, and likeness to God, in moral and intellectual graces, will be reflected the very image of Divinity.
Most gloriously will the perfect man reflect honor upon his Maker and his wondrous plan for his creation, redemption and restitution. And with that wonderful plan will always be intimately identified first the Lord Jesus, GOD’S “Word,” and second the Bride, the Lamb’s wife and joint-heir in disbursing the blessings secured by the ransom.
This beautifying and glorifying of the Lord’s “footstool” will not be completed until our Lord Jesus, as the Father’s honored agent, “shall have put down all [conflicting] rule, and all authority and power. For he must reign until he hath put all enemies under his feet,” before he delivers up the Kingdom at the close of the Millennium. (1 Cor. 15:24-28)
The period of the reign of Sin and Death is described as the time when God “remembered not his footstool in the day of his anger.” (Lam. 2:1) But following the start of the Millennium, the people are prophetically called upon to “Exalt the Lord our God and worship at his footstool, for he is worthy.” (Ps. 99:5.) And this thought, that the establishment of the New Jerusalem, the Church of God glorified, as the new government in the earth, will mean the beginning of the restoration of divine favor to GOD’S footstool, is clearly set forth through the Prophet Zechariah (14:4, 5)
The lord God’s FEET ON THE MOUNT OF OLIVES
This prophecy is generally misunderstood, and applied to the feet of our Lord Jesus, at his Second Advent. Indeed, those who thus err generally go farther and assert that it will be the feet of flesh, pierced with the nails of Calvary. They fail to realize that our Lord gave his human nature, complete and forever, as our ransom; and that he was raised from the dead, by the Father’s power, a glorious spirit being, the express image of the Father’s person. A glance at Zech. 14:3,4 shows that the Prophet speaks of the return of God’s feet; for the verse (referring to the trouble by which the Kingdom will be established) is: “Then shall GOD go forth and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle [anciently for Israel]. And his feet will stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be divided in its center, from east to west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove northward and half southward.”
As soon as any see the fact that the feet mentioned are GOD’S feet, they will not dispute that this language is symbolic. It refers to the Lord’s re-establishment of his dominion in the earth, that has long been comparatively abandoned to the “god of this world” Satan. Except as the Lord was represented first by the typical Tabernacle, secondly by the Temple at Jerusalem, and lastly by the present tabernacle condition of the Church of Christ, during this Gospel Age. Surely, no one will err and get the thought that GOD literally rests his feet upon this earth as a “footstool.”
And if the placing and resting of GOD’S feet is symbolic, and signifies the return of divine favor and dominion to earth, so, we may be sure, other features connected in the same prophecy are symbolic. The Mount of Olives, its peculiar division, its valley, the flight of the people, the waters of life from Jerusalem (Compare v. 8 with Ezek. 47: 1-9), etc., are all symbolic statements – pictures of grand spiritual truths.
The olive is a meaningful symbol: in olden times it was the source of artificial light, its oil being generally used for this purpose (Ex. 27:20). Indeed, in the Hebrew the olive tree was called shemen or oil tree. Olive oil was also used as the basis of many of the precious ointments of olden time – such as that used in anointing the priests and kings, typing the Holy Spirit upon the antitypical “royal priesthood.” (Ex. 30:25) And from time immemorial the olive branch has been used as a symbol of peace. (Gen. 8:11; Neh. 8:15)
If then the olive will be the symbol of light, peace and divine blessing through the holy spirit, and if mountain be considered as elsewhere the symbol for a Kingdom, the significant hue of the term Mount of Olives is easily seen to be the Kingdom of Light, Peace and Divine Blessing. And the standing or establishment or fixing of GOD’S “feet” upon it, signifies that the divine favor and law will be reestablished in the earth by and through the holy Kingdom.
This application of the term Mount of Olives is in full accord with Paul’s statement (Rom. 11:17,24) in which he compares Fleshly Israel with the original cultivated olive tree, and Gentile converts to wild olive branches grafted in where the natural branches had been broken off. (Compare Jer. 11:16,17) He explains that the root of the tree is in the promise of God, the Abrahamic promise, that the seed of Abraham should finally bless all the families of the earth, etc. This same root or promise will bear two kinds of branches, the engrafted wild olive branches, and the re-engrafted natural branches: when Israel shall have his blindness turned away, and shall look with the eye of faith on the Savior crucified and pierced eighteen centuries ago, a sacrifice for sin. We remember also that fleshly Israel was God’s typical Kingdom or mountain for a long time, and that spiritual Israel of this age is called to be the real Kingdom of God. As Jesus said, “Fear not, Little Flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom.” (Luke 12:32)
Further, from these two Kingdoms (even before THE LORD’S glory rests on them to make them his channels of blessings to all mankind) has proceeded all “the light of the world” during all the darkness of the past. These are the representatives of the Old and the New Testaments, the two parts of the oath-bound Covenant. Are not these related to the Lord’s two witnesses and to the two olive trees of Zech. 4:3,11,12, distinctly mentioned also in Rev. 11:4 – in that these two parts of the mountain symbolize the outcome of that covenant, the results of the witnessing – the Kingdom in its heavenly and its earthly phases?
Here we see, then, that the two halves of the Mount of Olives mean the two parts of the Kingdom of God, distinctly separated according to a divine order or arrangement. The separation indicates no opposition between the two parts of the Kingdom. It is, on the contrary, for the purpose of making the “Valley of Blessing” between – to which all who desire divine aid may flee and find succor under the blessed protection of both the heavenly and the earthly phases of the Kingdom.
The Prophet David (Psa. 84) seems to have been given a view of this great “Valley of Blessings,” close to The Lord God’s “feet,” when he sings first of the saints of the Gospel Age and then of those blessed in the next age, saying: “…no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.”
The Eighty-fifth Psalm also pictures the return of divine clemency and blessing under the Millennial Kingdom, the Olive Mountain (Kingdom) of two parts.
The removal of one part of the mountain to the north and the other to the south is significant. The North is the direction of the Pleiades, the celestial center of the universe, the supposed seat of divine empire. This would seem to indicate the “change” of the Gospel Church at this time, from human to spirit conditions as it partakes of the divine nature. The removal of the other half of the mountain would seem to signify the complete restitution, to perfect human conditions, of those Ancient Worthies accounted worthy to constitute the earthly representatives of God’s Kingdom.
The valley thus produced would be one full of light – free from shadows: for the sun would stream through it from east to west. This speaks pictorially of the Sun of Righteousness and its full light of divine truth and blessing scattering the shadows of sin, ignorance, superstition and death, and healing and restoring the willingly obedient of men who will flee to this valley of blessings, the valley of mercy. The valley of mercy, between and under the care of the spiritual and human phases of the Kingdom of Light and Peace (the standing of GOD’S feet) will surely be a “Valley of Blessings” to all who enter it with broken and contrite hearts.
We must recall further, that while it is said to Israel only, “Ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains,” yet as a name Israel meant “The people blessed of the Lord,” “The people of God,” “The Lord’s people.” (2 Chron. 7:14.) While, as we have seen, the first or spiritual blessing of the Kingdom shall come to spiritual Israel, and the second or earthly blessing shall begin with Israel according to the flesh, yet it will not stop there. For whosoever will may become an Israelite: by exercising the faith and obedience of Abraham, all mankind may become Israelites indeed, “the people of God.” Hence the Prophet Isaiah declares that when Israel is called back to divine favor, at the establishment of the Kingdom, it will include “Every one that is called by my [MY GOD’S] name: for I have created him for my glory; I have formed him, yea, I have made him. [The name Israel will then apply to all who are God’s people.]” (Isa. 43:7; Rom. 9:26,33; 10:13)
“And [thus] will THE LORD MY GOD come in, and all the holy ones shall [thus] be [united] with him.” (Zech. 14:5.) When God’s time shall have come, when the lease of power to the Gentiles shall have run out, when the sacrificing of the Day of Atonement [the Gospel Age] shall have ended, when the High Priest shall have finished atoning, not only for his “body,” the Church, but also for his “house,” and for “all people,” and he shall come forth to bless all the people, then The Creator’s sentence of death shall be lifted from the earth. His footstool abode will again be recognized, and its beautifying in righteousness, truth and the holy spirit of love shall begin and progress, until, in the end of the Millennium, all the willingly righteous shall have reached perfection, reunited with THE LORD, and all the unwilling shall have been destroyed. (Acts 3:23; Rev. 20:9)
Carrying the picture further, the Prophet declares, respecting that day in which gradually the earth shall be made glorious as The Heavenly Father’s footstool:
“It shall come to pass in that day that the light shall not be bright nor the darkness thick; but the day shall be the one foreknown to the Lord – neither full day nor night: but it shall come to pass that at its close [evening] it shall be [clear] light.” (Zech. 14:6,7)
Some confounded the “day” here described with the “day of Vengeance” which is “a day of clouds and thick darkness with no light in it” (Joel
2:2; Zeph. 1:15) and the translators have, seemingly, generally tried to harmonize the translations. But not so; the day here referred to by Zechariah as only partially bright is the Millennial day, though in it the Sun of Righteousness will arise and shine, to scatter earth’s miasma of sin, superstition and death.
Yet it will be only partially bright, because it will throughout be dealing with generation after generation of the fallen race as brought from the tomb, “... many shall be last and the last shall be first,” and in various stages of restitution toward perfection. But how refreshing it is to be assured that in that day of the reestablishment of GOD’S feet upon his footstool, there shall be no more “thick darkness.” That at the close of the Millennial Day, instead of growing darker, the world will only have reached the high noon of its “light of the knowledge of The Creator”; and that its sun shall never set.
The reference to the rivers of living waters flowing from Jerusalem, during this Millennial Day of the re-establishment of GOD’S feet upon his footstool: (Zech. 14:8,9) We are reminded of the corresponding testimony of Ezekiel (47:1-12) and of John’s Revelation (22:1,2). Under this same symbol of living waters proceeding from the throne of the Millennial Kingdom, we are shown the restitution blessings of “waters of life,” to which whosoever will may come and drink freely, and fruitful trees of life whose leaves will heal repentant peoples of earth of all imperfections.
Ah yes! “In that day the Lord shall be King over the earth”; his Kingdom shall have come as his faithful have long prayed; and by the end of that day his will shall be done on earth even as it is done in heaven. God’s footstool shall then be glorious indeed; as it is written:
“As truly as I live, the whole earth shall be filled with the glory of The LORD.” (Num. 14:21; Isa. 11:9; Hab. 2:14)