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.
. .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. . .And he gathered them together into a place called
in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon." Rev.16:12-16
or not, many are distressing or at least musing about "Armageddon."
Why? When? What is it anyway?
in 1912 former President Teddy Roosevelt, seeing the growing
tensions of international anarchy among European nations before
World War I, popularized the term "Armageddon." "With
unflinching heart and undimmed eyes, we stand at Armageddon
and we battle for the Lord" (The Boston Globe) Even further
back history, in ancient Israel, the Valley of Megiddo was the
battleground of many famous battles. (Thus the name Armageddon.)
But with the Apocalyptic setting of a beast, dragon and frogs,
John the Revelator sees the whole world ominously gathering
to this place called Armageddon for a final "battle."
John portrayed it as imminent. When is it? Is it soon?
is often not noticed is that John also states the purpose of
Armageddon: "that the way of the kings of the east might
be prepared." Who are these kings? What about the Euphrates
River and "unclean spirits, like frogs" coming out
of the mouths of a dragon, beast and false prophet? So strange...What
does it all mean?
Book of Revelation speaks in symbolic language. "The Revelation...signified
[Gk., sema, a sign, VINE'S EXPOSITORY] by his angel to his servant
John" (Ch. 1:1). Whether an animal or a celestial body
or a city, the language is symbolic in this special Book. "Babylon,"
an ancient city long in ruins, is mentioned several times in
this last Book of the Bible. Interestingly, it was a splendid
City of walls hundreds of feet high and wide, supported by the
River Euphrates. Babylon—with a system of pagan worship,
festivals, ceremonies, priesthood, complete with "Mysteries"—was
the chief seat of idolatry in the ancient world.
Prophet Jeremiah referred to the city standing in his day: "Babylon
has been a golden cup in the LORD's hand, that made all the
earth drunken...of her wine...we would have healed Babylon,
but she is not healed; forsake her...for her judgment reacheth
to heaven" (Jer. 51:6-9). Similarly, the Revelator speaks
of symbolic Babylon as "Mystery, Babylon the Great, the
mother of harlots and abominations...a great city...sitting
on "seven mountains" (Rev. 17:5,18,9). Yes, Rome is
called "the seven hilled city" by both poets and historians.
Just as ancient Babylon was the seat of Paganism, so too papal
Rome is its counterpart. It was not possible for Mystic "Babylon
the Great" to be "healed" in the Reformation.
In fact, for 300 years Protestants identified the great papal
system as Antichrist. But for the most part, many of the Protestant
daughter churches gradually became much like their mother. They
associated themselves with human civil government.
true Christians are advised to flee the nominal apostate churches.
"Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen...Come out of her,
my people, that you be not partakers of her sins, and that you
receive not of her plagues" (Rev. 18:2,4).
Fall of Babylon
Babylon's downfall came in an unusual way. While King Belshazzar
was feasting in his palace, a strange handwriting appeared on
the wall (Dan. 5:1-31). Daniel interpreted it to mean his kingdom's
days were numbered. Meanwhile, Cyrus had diverted the flow of
the River Euphrates which came into the city so that it dried
up! His army entered through the iron gates of the dry riverbed.
The Prophet Isaiah had predicted this very conquest! "Thus
saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I
have holden, to subdue nations before him...to open before him
the two leaved gates...I will go before thee...I will break
in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of
iron...I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me"
used Cyrus, whose name means "sun" (YOUNG'S CONCORDANCE),
as a picture of Christ who will conquer mystic Babylon at the
end of this Age. With him will be "the righteous"
who will "shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their
Father" (Matt. 13:43). These are "the kings of the
east" (Rev. 16:12) who will bless all the families of the
earth after Armageddon. . . .
the "waters" of the Euphrates also support nominal
Christendom. The "waters" are the people! How so?
Revelation identifies the woman as "Babylon the Great"
as sitting on the waters. The symbolic "waters" are
even decoded for us: "The waters which thou sawest where
the harlot sitteth are peoples, and multitudes and nations and
tongues" (Rev. 17:5, 15).
While on one hand fundamentalist churches are growing in membership,
the older historic mainline church attendance and donations
have been somewhat drying up. In spite of this paradox, this
alarming situation has encouraged those churches to try to work
together. Thus the ecumenical movement. However, in cooperation
with civil governments (the "dragon") the churches
(the "beast" and the "false prophet") will
begin to eventually croak their unified message. Who are they...and
what are they saying that would bring the nations to Armageddon?
"spirit" is a doctrine. Apostle John says to "try
the spirits whether they are of God" (1 John 4:1). True
Christians are to not believe everything they hear taught. They
are to test everything by the Word of God. These false teachings
are described as "unclean spirits like frogs." They
would seem small, innocent—but puffed up, arrogant, continual.
will the "frogs" croak? Because the people's support
will be drying up for the Great City of Christendom, their confederation
will croak, "Status quo!" They want try to gather
for survival. Ironically, they will be gathering for Armageddon—the
destruction of the political and religous systems of this old
short-lived triple alliance will result in an "earthquake"
(Rev. 16:18-21). While literally a violent disruption of the
earth, this earthquake is symbolic of society in upheaval. The
people themselves will revolt against these imposed restraints
and split this union: "the great city was divided into
effect of this "earthquake" will reach a climax in
the Holy Land when the nations come against Israel. "There
shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel...the earth shall
shake at my presence" (Ezek. 38:1-23). Then, "every
man's sword shall be against his brother"—anarchy
(vs. 21). Then anarchy will spread worldwide completing Armageddon.
Armageddon ending in anarchy will have a final, blessed purpose:
"Thus will I magnify myself and sanctity myself and I will
be known in the eyes of many nations and they shall know that
I am the LORD" (Ezek. 38:23).
the Prophet Zephaniah (3:8,9 NAS) tells us what follows the
gathering then the "fire" of anarchy: "Indeed,
my decision is to gather nations, to assemble kingdoms, to pour
out on them My indignation, all my burning anger; for all the
earth will be devoured by the fire of My zeal. For then [afterwards]
I will give the peoples purified lips that all of them may call
on the name of the LORD to serve Him shoulder to shoulder."
Instead of brother against brother, people—who did not
know the Lord before—will be serving God "shoulder
to shoulder" in harmony!
Armageddon, those who will have come against Jerusalem to destroy
God's people will instead come to worship (Zech. 14:1-3, 16).
They will also come to learn of God's ways. "In the last
days the mountain of the house of the LORD will be established...all
the nations will stream to it. And many peoples will come and
say, 'Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD to the
house of the God of Jacob; that He may teach us concerning His
ways" (Isa. 2:1-4). Instead of man's "armed peace,"
God's peace will be established permanently. Resources for armaments
will be devoted to peaceful purposes: "They will hammer
their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruninghooks.
Nation will not lift up sword against nation, and never again
will they learn war."
those who died in Armageddon will be brought forth from the
dead—as well as those who ever died in preceding generations.
The handicapped physically, mentally or morally will be healed.
After Armageddon will be the time for the "healing of the
nations," the peoples of earth (Rev. 22:1-3).
the "kings of the east," those faithful Christians
who suffered with Christ, will reign with Christ (Rom. 8:17).
For what purpose? —to bless all the families of the earth!
The "New Jerusalem" will be the spiritual counterpart
of the Jerusalem on earth. Both will work together, "For
the law will go forth from Zion, and the word of the LORD from
Jerusalem." With Satan bound, no longer able "deceive
the nations," most of earth's billions will chose God and
righteousness. And as they reach personal perfection, each one
will be a "king" bringing tribute to the Lord—to
the New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:24).
We recommend that you read the online Christian
Classic, The Divine Plan of the Ages.