THE BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON
The battle of Armageddon begins with complete siege of the fortress Jerusalem. The armies represent all the nations of the world (Zech. 12:2-3; 14:2; Zeph. 3:8). The kings of the east march their armies to the siege (Rev. 16:12). The southern confederacy furnishes its quota of soldiers. The northern federation of nations joins likewise in furnishing men for the campaign. And the Roman confederation is present in power with all the other nations organized under the direction of the Antichrist (Rev. 17:14; 19:19). These armies are gathered for one purpose, namely, to destroy Israel and her Messiah (Ps. 83:3-5; Zech. 12:3; Ps. 2:1-3; Rev. 17:14; 19:19).
The battle of Armageddon results in the wholesale destruction of Israel. The city of Jerusalem is captured, but there is no surrender on the part of the Jews (Zech. 14:2). The wealth of the city is confiscated, and the houses are left in ruins. The women are subjected to horrors of sexual infamy and reduced to shame. Half the people are carried away into captivity. But the remaining half continue to resist the invasion of the Gentile legions, contesting every inch, street by street, building by building, foot by foot. With a tenacity characteristic of Jews, and in this case strengthened by hope for the coming of the Messiah, they endure as seeing Him who is visible.
The battle of Armageddon is the scene of supernatural invasion from outer space. The source of this invasion is heaven (Rev. 19:11-14; 2 Thess. 1:7; Joel 3:11, 15-16; Zech. 9:14-16). It opens and Christ rides forth on a white charger. The armies of heaven accompany Him. There is the glorified Church (Rev. 19:14) and the angelic hosts (Matt. 24:31). Accompanying this invasion there are uncanny manifestations in the heaven. The sun becomes dark, the moon gives forth no light, and there is meteorite display (Matt. 24:29); then the whole heavens from one horizon to another, is lightened with the brilliance of the coming of the Son of man (Matt. 24:27; 2 Thess. 2:8). As His feet come to rest upon the Mount of Olives, an earthquake divides it in two (Zech. 14:4).
The battle of Armageddon is marked by divine operation against the nations. The battle arrangement is significant. The general, the Lord Jesus Christ, leads the way into battle, and the armies of Church saints accompany Him (Rev, 19:11, 14). So far as it is possible to see, Christ does all the fighting, and the angels are present to clean up (Matt. 13:39, 41; Rev. 19:17-18). The battle technique is vested in the attributes of Christ (Rev. 19:11-13, 16). And the weapons of offense are the essential qualities of Christ (Rev. 19:12-13, 15). The chief weapon is the sword which issues from His mouth. This is His almighty word, and with it He consumes the Antichrist (2 Thess. 2:8), and destroys the armies of the nations (Rev. 19:21).
The battle of Armageddon results in wholesale carnage among the legions of the Beast. The brilliance of Christ's appearing will produce a trembling and demoralization in the soldiers (Zech. 12:2; 14:13). The result of this demoralization and trembling will be desertion from the Antichrist and the rendering of him in‑operative (2 Thess. 2:8). This tremendous light from heaven will produce astonishment and blindness in animals and madness in men (Zech. 12:4). A plague will sweep through the armies from this light and men will rot right where they stand (Zech. 14:12, 15). The blood of animals and men will form a lake 200 miles long and bridle deep (Rev. 14:19-20). The stench of this rotting mass of flesh and blood will fill the entire region (Isa. 34:1-3). The mangled forms of men and the rotting flesh of men and beasts provide a feast for the carrion birds (Rev. 19:17-18, 21). The beast and the false prophet are then cast alive into the lake of fire forever (Rev. 19:20).
The battle of Armageddon at Christ's coming provides needed encouragement for the people of Israel. In the hour of desperation, Israel then brought to her knees, will cry out for the coming of her Messiah (Matt. 23:37-39). The Lord, sensitive to the cry of His people, hears and rushes from the heavens to her defense (Zech. 14:3; 9:14-16). As the defense of Jerusalem proceeds, Israel takes new hope, and determines to resist the siege to the very end. Though fallen, forlorn, and feeble, the individual Jew becomes like David of old when he fought the giant (Zech. 12:8), and the house of David stands as surrounded by the angel of the Lord (Ps. 34:7; Isa. 63:9). In this hour they witness the complete destruction of the enemy at the hands of their own Messiah.
The battle of Armageddon issues in the complete salvation of the nation of Israel. There is poured out upon them the spirit of grace and supplication (Zech. 12:9-10a). This brings about their recognition of Christ, and they fall into deep mourning as they realize their own guilt in relation to him (Zech. 12:10b; 13:6). Then they break out into prolonged confession of sin, long before prophesied by Isaiah (Isa. 53). "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the Lord hath laid upon him the iniquity of us all". This brings about their regeneration when a whole nation is born at once (Isa. 66:8).