The Battle of Armageddon - Part 1
What It Is and What It Is Not
The Purpose of This Web Page
This web page about Armageddon actually consists of 2 parts. The first part is dedicated to discovering the underlying meaning of the symbols presented in Revelation 16:12-16, which is commonly referred to as the battle of Armageddon. The author will demonstrate that it can reasonably be shown that Armageddon is not a physical war at all with bombs, airplanes, tanks, machine guns, rockets, artillery, and other instruments of war, but rather play and counterplay by God and Satan with humans caught in the middle. It further serves as a warning of the approach of the second coming of Jesus to those who serve God at that time. Thus, to those who serve God, news of it will be seen with happiness, because they will know that their deliverance from the evil of this world is about to occur.
The second part is a discussion of the issue raised by Ezekiel 38 and 39. Some believe and teach that Ezekiel 38 and 39 are in fact the same battle as that of the hypothesized battle of Armageddon. Part 2 will reasonably demonstrate that the battle depicted in Ezekiel 38 and 39 is not connected with Armageddon at all, and in fact is a predicted battle that will never occur. Comparison is also made to Revelation 19 and 20.
The book of Revelation refers to what many believe is a final battle which is commonly called the battle of Armageddon. Many scenarios of this battle have major nations arrayed against Israel in a literal battle, into which God will intervene on behalf of Israel and defeat the opposing nations. Is that the right way to understand this battle? To begin investigating this, here are the relevant texts regarding Armageddon:
Revelation 16:12 - 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.
Rev 16:13 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.
Rev 16:14 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.
Rev 16:15 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 16:16 And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.
Scholars tell us that the Hebrew word Armageddon is a corruption of the word "Har-Mageddon", which possibly is a reference to the Hill of Megiddo. Megiddo is located on the southern edge of the plain of Esdraelon, which is in northern Israel, and overlooked an important pass into the hill country. This pass historically was very important because it was the route which most armies and traders took from Egypt to Babylon or other important areas north and east of Megiddo. Archeologists indicate that no less than 2 dozen powers have owned Megiddo at one point or another through history.
A number of important battles for Israel were fought there. Gideon and his small army defeated the Midianites there (Judges 7). King Saul was defeated by the Philistines (1 Samuel 31) in that area. King Josiah was killed in a battle with Pharaoh-Necho, who was on his way to fight further north and warned Josiah not to interfere (2 Chronicles 35:22-25). At least one source the author has run into indicates that King Ahab and his wife Jezebel lived in that area in the city of Jezreel, where she also died (2 Kings 9:30-37)
Elijah and Mount Carmel
What is interesting about Megiddo is that just above that plain lies a mountain called Mount Carmel. If you know your bible history, you may remember that it was upon this mountain that the bible prophet Elijah had a contest with the prophets of Baal. It was not a physical battle, but rather it was a spiritual battle for the hearts and minds of the citizens of Israel, who had previously been worshipping the pagan god Baal. God wanted Elijah to prove that they should worship God, rather than Baal. After the contest was over, then the prophets and priests of Baal were killed, but until then, there was no literal "battle".
In the story, which is found in your bible in 1 Kings 17 and 18, the Israelites had turned away from the worship of God to the worship of Baal. God told Elijah that as a result, there would be no rain in Israel for a time and he told Elijah to tell the king this and then hide himself. After a period of time, God told Elijah to go and find the king and instruct him to gather the people at Mount Carmel. The prophets of Baal were to attend also.
When all arrived at Mount Carmel, Elijah told the prophets of Baal to prepare a sacrifice upon an alter and then call upon their god to come and burn up the sacrifice as a sign he was a true god. They were not to put any fire to the sacrifice themselves. So, they did this and spent nearly the whole day dancing about the alter, shouting, and even cutting themselves in an attempt to get Baal to answer. Elijah even taunted them at one point over their activities, saying that maybe their god was asleep or off doing something, so perhaps they needed to should louder.
When the day was nearly done, nothing had happened. So, Elijah told them to stop. It was now his turn to prove that his God was the true God. He prepared a stone alter, placed a sacrifice upon it, had lots of water poured upon the sacrifice and the wood under the sacrifice, and allowed the remaining water to collect in a trench around the base of the alter. This done, he simply prayed to God and God answered by bringing fire down from heaven and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones, the dust, and even the water around it was in some way incinerated or at least evaporated. The bible does say that the flames licked up the water, so it might have been an evaporation process that made the water go away, but the heat must have been quite intense. The people were shocked and bowed down and shouted "The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he is the God. " Then the prophets of Baal were taken to a nearby stream and killed. The people turned back to the worship of the true God after that.
Why Did the Israelites Worship an Idol?
Now, some would say that is the end of the matter there. But there are questions that this event should lead one to ask. First, why were the people so enthralled with the worship of an idol? To us in modern times, it seems stupid right on the face of it to bow down to and worship an idol. Yet even today there are people doing that very thing, but in an entirely different way than was done in the time of ancient Israel. But still, there is that question: why did the Israelites worship an idol? To answer that requires that one investigate a little into the practices of the people in these worship ceremonies and what was the nature of the god they worshipped.
The 2003 computer version of the Encyclopedia Britannica indicates that Baal was a god of fertility, and "his title was Prince, Lord of the Earth. He was also called the Lord of Rain and Dew." In addition, he was perceived as the king of the gods. The god Dagon was believed to be the father of Baal. Asherah was a female god to whom Baal went when he wanted a fine palace built for himself. He asked Asherah to intercede on his behalf with El, her husband and head of the pantheon of gods, who consented to have the palace built for Baal.
Since Baal was a fertility god, you can well guess that archeologists will tell you that sex was involved in the rites of this god. The author's guess is that this is what made it so attractive to the people as that certainly is a very powerful motivation to most normal humans. Consequently, there were reasons why these people would turn to the worship of this and other similar gods. They enjoyed it! Quite simply, it was a lot of fun. They got instantly rewarded for engaging in the worship ceremonies of Baal, and in a very powerful way too.
Second, what is the nature of the contest that took place at Mount Carmel? Was it only about who was the true God? Was it only about the killing of the priests and prophets of Baal?
To the author, it appears that the nature of the contest was a spiritual battle, not a literal battle. The priests and prophets of the god Baal might dispute that idea, but in reality the people did not go to war against anyone. Only those loyal to the god Baal were killed. They probably had already made their choice not to acknowledge the true God, so that is one reason why Elijah had them killed. Another reason probably was to put an end to the practices associated with Baal worship among the Israelites. Many of the priests and prophets of Baal probably were prostitutes in the religious ceremonies, so in order to deprive the people of the source of temptation, these prostitutes were removed from among the Israelites. Perhaps banishment might have worked as well, but that is not what was on Elijah's mind at the time. Maybe he thought of that later, but we don't know that he did or didn't. Note one thing, only those who remained loyal to the false god were killed and that happened only after the people had made up their minds who was the true God.
This contest, at the heart of it, was about who the people would center their allegiance to, who and where their moral center would be focused, whose rules they would follow, how they would live and think. If they followed Baal, then it gave them license for sexual immorality, which would lead to a number of other social and health problems. If they followed God, it prohibited such activity and would avoid the consequences of Baal worship. But it was about more than just what they did. It was about who they really wanted to be like, the kind of people they would be and become in the future of their time. Thus, it was about more than who was the true God. It was about the truth of life. Only genuine truth can set them free, and that can only be found in the worship of the true God, not that of a false god.
What Was the Real Issue At Mount Carmel?
So, at the core of this contest on top of Mount Carmel was the battle for the hearts and minds of the citizens of Israel. Likewise, the fact that Revelation would allude to this mountain area for this final gathering against God would seem to suggest that rather than a physical battle between nations, it is in fact a spiritual battle between good and evil, between those who serve God the way he asks us to, and the way others want to serve God - their way only, not God's way.
Yet, in all this, it is true that the priests of Baal were killed at the end, so one could argue that some sort of battle did occur. So, how do we know that Armageddon is probably not a literal battle?
To answer that question, we need to look at the evidence at hand. The first evidence is the story of Elijah at Mount Carmel. This was a contest that took place in the exact same area mentioned in Revelation 16, which would strongly suggest the event would be similar in nature. Remember also that Revelation often draws upon symbols taken from Israel and uses it to illustrate a truth that God is trying to get across. For example, at the beginning of Revelation, the 7 golden candlesticks are shown. This comes directly from the temple furnishings of the Old Testament, but here is used to create an understanding about something of spiritual significance and is, therefore, a symbol of something else. So it should be with the allusion to Armageddon. It is a symbol of something of spiritual significance, rather than being literal.
It seems reasonable that to make reference to a literal place in the book of Revelation, is to make reference to events that have occurred here which are symbolic of something yet to happen. One needs only go back into the Old Testament to find the answers to what that would be. Thus, it is likely not a reference to a literal event at Armageddon.
Further, the bible is full of stories about situations where the devil is warring against God through common events in everyday life, not just through war. God and Satan have had a controversy going on about good and evil ever since before life was created upon this earth. You can read a good example of that in Job 1-2. The point of the matter is that much of this battle is unseen by human eyes, yet it is very real. Much of it involves the battle for the human mind. Much also involves heaven itself.
The bible does indicate that near the end of this world's history, the power represented by the body of the scarlet beast of Revelation 17 will return and will wage war with the 10 horns against the people of God (see Revelation 17). But this is not a war of nation against nation, but rather persecution like was done when the beast first had power during the 1260 years time period. In addition, Revelation 16:14 says it is a battle against the great day of God, so it seems very likely that this is a battle against God himself, not nation against nation. Revelation 17:14 and 12:17 indicates that the war against the people of God is seen by God as a war against himself because it says he will overcome those who war against him (Rev 17:14). The final event of this is the second coming of Jesus, which will end all earthly kingdoms (see Daniel 2 - the rock that destroys the image is the second coming of Jesus). It is this event, the second coming, that is equivalent to the killing of the priests of Baal.
The second coming of Jesus is an event which follows the final decisions of everyone on earth. For those who have decided for God, there will be eternal life. For those who have decided against God and instead chosen to serve self or Satan, will come destruction by the brightness of his coming, just like a massive hot laser blast will burn and destroy or evaporate things in its path (see 2Th 2:8 "And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming."). So, just as it was after Mount Carmel when the priests and prophets of Baal were killed, the real battle occurs after the decisions are made.
And really, if you read the texts carefully in Revelation 16:12-16, you will note that the nations mentioned are merely gathered for battle at Armageddon during the 6th plague. Nothing is mentioned about an actual war at this point in the chapter. So, Armageddon is about making decisions, not a battle. The battle comes later.
Hence, Armageddon is not a battle against Jews into which God intervenes. Instead, when a battle does finally occur, God will fight on behalf of his people, wherever they occur. He will deliver them from this world quite literally.
But, you may rightfully ask, how can the author be sure these assertions about Armageddon are true? Continue reading and find out!
So, What Is the Explanation of Armageddon?
The Original Battle for Babylon
What of Revelation 16:12-16? How do we arrive at a correct interpretation of this? These verses describe a gathering of the kings of the earth and the whole world at Armageddon as part of the 6th plague. All of the plagues are represented by symbols, so it seems likely that this is not much different. The basic theme for this plague is that it is symbolic of preparing the way for the coming of Jesus. Here is how that can be understood from the symbols presented.
The drying up of the Euphrates River to prepare the way for the kings of the east is very likely a clear allusion to the battle for Babylon that took place when kings from the east (Medo-Persia) invaded the territory of Babylon. Eventually they were at the very gates of Babylon itself.
The city of Babylon was built in 2 parts, one part on each side of the Euphrates River. There were gates that were built over the river itself so that an invader could not simply go into the city by way of the river. In order to get into the city, an invader either had to breach the walls of the city, which was extremely difficult because it was double walled, or else get in through the gates over the river. As long as the river water was in the way and the gates were locked, they could not get into the city because metal bars that extended down into the water blocked entry into the city past the gates.
To get around this problem, the Medo-Persian king went upstream on the Euphrates River, and had his army dig canals from the river to a nearby low lying area. One night he simply had the water diverted through those canals, and this reduced the water level so that the army was easily able to walk under the bars and right into Babylon and capture it. The Babylonian empire disappeared overnight that way.
This is not simply a fanciful explanation of Armageddon. Revelation has at its core the struggle between good and evil, and the fact that ultimately good will triumph. The symbols of good in Revelation are the pure woman, the lamb, and the New Jerusalem. The symbols of evil in Revelation are the corrupt woman and Babylon. Babylon is given considerable prominence in the story of the evil side. So, these are two very opposite sides. Consequently, it is not unreasonable that God would have drawn from history to illustrate what is to come. He would know that if you have read the bible and know the history with it, you would be able to correctly ascertain the true meaning of the symbols presented in Revelation.
What Is Babylon in Revelation?
Revelation 16:12-16 is trying to paint a picture of similar events just before and at the second coming of Jesus. God is symbolized by the kings of the east in this word picture (because it is he who is going to invade Babylon), and Babylon is defined in Rev 17:5 "And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. " A woman in Revelation represents a church. Here a corrupt woman is shown, so one can logically conclude that this woman represents a corrupt church. History shows this to be the Catholic Church because it allowed the pagan religion from Babylon (and probably some originating from Rome itself) to walk right into the Christian Church and and take over. For more information about this, see the web page Is Babylon a Symbol for Rome and the second section of the 666 number history page titled "Why Are Babylon and the Number 666 Spoken Against in Revelation?"
Now, one word of caution. This web page is not intended to be promoting hatred of Catholics. There are many fine Christian people in the Catholic Church, many of whom will be in heaven. But, as a system, God condemns it because it has mixed in elements of paganism with the worship of the true God, something that God declares we should not do (Eze 22:26 "Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they showed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my Sabbaths, and I am profaned among them. "). God loves Catholics just as much as anyone else, and desires the we love them just as he does. But, he is calling them to come out of that pagan system so that they will not suffer the plagues he is about to give out to that system (Rev 18:4 "And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. "). To save them for eternity, he is making this call to them because the day is coming when remaining in that system will result in eternal ruin.
It is sort of like having your house on fire and you don't know about it because you are asleep. A neighbor might happen by and start banging on your door to awaken you to your danger. Hopefully you awaken and come out of your house before the smoke from the fire kills you, which it surely will if you remain inside.
Near the end of this world's history, this definition of Babylon will include those Protestant Churches which apostatize and allow paganism to enter them. The original definition of Babylon given in Revelation 17:5 indicates as much because it says the woman is the mother of harlots (her daughters). The Catholic Church is the only church in the world that claims it is the mother church, so that makes it plain that the Protestant Churches that came out of Catholicism are the harlots spoken of in Revelation 17:5. Of course, they do not become harlots except by choice, and just as the original church became a harlot by involving itself with the state (you can know this is so because of this in reference to the woman: Rev 17:2 "With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication" - of course this would be symbolic, not literal, and since the woman represents a church and kings represent the state, this is a prediction of mixing church and state), so the Protestant Churches will become harlots by getting involved with the state just like their "mother" before them.
The Catholic Church became Babylon by allowing the Babylonian Religion (paganism) to walk right into the church and take over, and a similar process occurring in the Protestant Churches will bring them into Babylon as well.
So, Babylon at this time consists of a mix of church and paganism (spiritism), which currently is found in the Catholic Church. As a result, currently Babylon consists of 2 parts - the Catholic Church and spiritism. In the future, that will change and will include those Protestant Churches that do the same, or those which join with the Catholic Church. At that time, Babylon will consist of 3 parts - the Catholic Church, the Protestant Churches, and spiritualism.
One other issue that must be addressed along with this is the fact that the state is a part of this union. Because the woman and her daughters will be harlots by the time this 3 part union is formed, and as shown above, the symbolism of harlotry for these women refers to a mixing of church and state, it is to be understood that this will be a nearly universal union of all the major powers of the world which together make up Babylon at the end of time of this world. It is very important that this be understood because one could fail to recognize the event when it happens unless the full identity is known.
Hence at the end, the 3 part union will consist of spiritism, Catholicism, and Protestantism. The state will be mixed in with the Christian Religions along with these 3 powers that form Babylon at the end. As in the past, when the powers of church were involved with the state, persecution of some group followed by means of the power of the church being exerted through the agency of the state on the church's behalf.
Who Are the Three Unclean Spirits That Look Like Frogs?
To identify the visible manifestation of the three unclean spirits that look like frogs (in other words, how will you know them when you see them?), consider the places from which the three spirits come from: the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet. These could be considered to represent spiritualism, the papacy, and Protestantism. Here is how to understand that this is so:
We know who the dragon is because Revelation 12 tells us it is the devil. The dragon promotes spiritualism because the foundation of that is that life continues forever, that there really is no such thing as death, and as a result, one really does not need to worry about sin and death. You can live as you please. However, the bible teaches that there will be a termination point for the soul that sins, so life will not continue forever (Eze 18:20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die.) God himself declares that fact, so you can be sure it is true. Some would question that the dragon promotes this idea, but read the story of the fall of man in Genesis again, and you will discover it there when the devil, making use of a serpent through which to speak, tells Eve that she would not die because of sin, but would instead enter into a higher realm by doing evil. Of course, the result is here for all to see and it isn't a pretty picture.
The beast, as the papacy, has been established on other pages on this site, so that should not be a problem. Since the Papacy is part of the Catholic Church, and the woman is identified as being Babylon by the bible, and by understanding the symbolism one can see that the Catholic Church is part of what the woman is. Hence, this means the beast is part of Babylon.
The false prophet is Protestantism, but is a little more complicated to understand. Consider these verses to help in identification:
Rev 13:11 And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.
Rev 13:12 And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
Rev 13:13 And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,
Rev 13:14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.
Now the verses from Revelation 13 establish that the 2-horned beast from the earth deceives people by means of the miracles it performs It has been shown elsewhere on this site that the earth beast is the United States in Prophecy. Throughout it's history, the United States has been largely a Protestant nation, so since these spirits in Revelation 16 are spirits, we are dealing with spiritual powers. Throughout its history since our current constitution was created, this country has been governed by two main forces: the two ideas of republicanism and Protestantism (which you could generalize if you want to to state and church, but as separate powers). The nation itself is not likely the false prophet, but rather the spiritual power within it is what the false prophet represents. Prophets, after all, are symbolic of a spiritual power, not a nation. Since Protestantism is one of the two powers that has historically governed this country and Protestantism is a spiritual power rather than a civil power, it is logical that the Protestant Religions could be a candidate for being the false prophet. But, you need to read more to determine if this is indeed so.
Rev 19:20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshiped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
This verse in Revelation 19, establishes that the false prophet is the power that works miracles by which he is able to deceive people. He is said to deceive those who have received the mark of the beast or worship his image. We know that the earth beast creates the image beast and it forces all to receive the mark of the beast or die. So, the deception is evidently intended to lead them to worship the beast or it's image. There is no other power identified with deception, the mark of the beast or it's image, so the false prophet must somehow be connected with the earth beast. Given the nature of this country, it is logical to conclude that Protestantism is what this false prophet is all about.
Consider that in the Old Testament, the prophet Elijah brought fire down from heaven several different times. In 1 Kings, chapter 18, we have the story of fire being brought down from heaven to burn up a sacrifice. This was done in the presence of most of the people of Israel in order to prove that God is a true, and living God and that the false gods they had been worshipping were not living entities at all. In 2 Kings 1, we have another story where the king summoned Elijah to appear before him. When the men he sent acted disrespectfully towards him, he called fire down from Heaven and they were burned up. This happened twice in a row, and the third group asked him in a respectful manner to come with them, which he did without having them destroyed. I'm sure Elijah didn't enjoy this, but God permitted it to teach that we are to respect his prophets. Nevertheless, the ultimate effect was to teach that God is real and behind the work of his prophets.
Likewise, when the earth beast calls fire down from heaven, this will be reminiscent of the episodes in the Old Testament where fire was called down from heaven by Elijah. It may be that this is symbolic of something else, but it appears it is literal. And if it is literal, you can imagine that it will cause quite a stir, for it will constitute "proof" that God is behind the work of this power that is trying to get people to disobey God. But, of course, it turns out that it is a deception, for Satan is behind the miracles, and not God.
So, this establishes the visible identity of the beast, the false prophet, and the dragon. Clearly all three belong to Babylon. So, in Revelation 16:19, when the city is said to split into 3 parts, it is clear that these three powers have parted ways at this point in time.
What Does It Mean to Dry Up the Euphrates River Water?
Consider Rev 17:15, which says "And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues." and Rev 17:5 "And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. " and Rev 17:18 "And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth." and finally Rev 17:1 "And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will show unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters:". Considering these four texts together tells us that the woman is Babylon which sits on many waters. One could consider that the original Babylon sat on many waters, because the Euphrates River ran right through the middle of it. Knowing that Babylon is a symbol of the Roman Church (and at the end will include others), we can consider that the woman is symbolic of spiritual Babylon that sits on or is supported by the people (waters).
Drying up the waters means the waters are removed. This would be equivalent to removal of the support of the people for Babylon. This must be so because the woman "sitteth upon many waters" and without waters to sit upon, then she must be sitting on dry land. Hence, no support (symbolically by waters) because there are no people under her. There won't be waters to sit in or on for Babylon once the 6th plague has occurred.
Spiritual Babylon of today is sitting on waters just like the original Babylon sat on or straddled the waters of the Euphrates River. There are over a billion people in the Catholic Church and when the Protestant Churches join themselves with Catholicism through alliances or ecumenical treaties, there will be a lot more. The drying of the Euphrates River as part of the 6th plague is just like the original invasion of Babylon by the Medes and Persians under Cyrus the Great in which the waters of the river were drained to nearby lowlands, which in turn allowed the army of Cyrus the Great to get into the city under the gates of Babylon which were over the river. So, the drying of the waters is symbolic preparation for an invasion of Babylon by God.
The Jews were held captive in Babylon for 70 years, beginning in 605 BC. The Medes and Persians conquered Babylon in 539 BC, and in the year 536 BC (some suggest 538-537 BC), Cyrus II (the Great) granted freedom to the Jews and allowed them to return home. So, his coming was an invasion of liberation to God's people. It was death to the army and king of Babylon. Likewise, it will be this way when Jesus returns again. He will free his people from captivity to sin and death and deliver them to a new life, an eternal life with him forever.
So, why is it that the kings of the earth and of the whole world are gathered at Armageddon? What does this have to do with events after the support has been removed from Babylon? Since it is very likely a reference to the events with the prophet Elijah that occurred at Mount Carmel in which the recognition of a fact and a resulting decision occurred, it seems that something like that is occurring at Armageddon. But what facts are the people recognizing and what decisions are the people making there? And, why are the evil spirits that looked like frogs going out to the whole world to gather them together at Armageddon? What is the connection between these evil spirits of devils and the facts the people are recognizing and the decisions they are making as a result of these facts?
Going back to the original story of Mount Carmel and Elijah versus the prophets and priests of Baal, several things become evident. First, at Mount Carmel it was God calling the people together through the prophet Elijah that brought about the events of the day. In the original event, God was able to bring the people to choose to serve him. At Armageddon, it appears that it is the work of the evil spirits to bring the people to choose to serve Satan, sort of a mirror image of the original Mount Carmel events. This seems very probable given that it is the evil spirits that are gathering the people together for the very purpose of a battle against God. Note that the "frogs" go about working miracles. This, from devils, can only be for the purpose of deception. What does that imply about the facts and decisions the people are making?
Know the Meaning By Understanding the Symbols
The angel in the 6th plague pours out his vial upon the Euphrates River. The vials poured out upon the Euphrates River are symbolic of God's wrath (Revelation 16:1 - And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.") Consider this for a minute, please. The wrath of God is symbolically being poured out upon the waters that Babylon sits on, which means that God's wrath is being directed against the people who support Babylon. The bible does not tell us what form this wrath of God will take, but it has got to have devastating results for them. Otherwise, it would not have such a marked outcome as to cause these people to withdraw their support from Babylon.
The wrath of God being poured out upon the supporters of Babylon will give them new facts to deal with and a decision to make, based on the experience they have just received. It should be obvious to the reader that as a result of the pouring out of the wrath of God upon the people who support Babylon, they then recognize they have been deceived and are now lost. They must in some way recognize that God is truly displeased with what they have been doing. This recognition must occur or they would not withdraw their support for Babylon. Once this recognition occurs, they then turn upon those who have deceived them and kill them. How do I know they kill those who have deceived them? Rev 17:16 says "And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. " This event occurs just before the end of the world, so must occur about the same time as the 6th and 7th plagues, most likely the 7th as that is when Babylon splits into 3 constituent parts. The 10 horns are the Protestant Churches that will gain prominence just before the end. You can be sure they will not be alone in causing this destruction of the woman.
Note that it is after the vial for the 6th plague is poured out onto the Euphrates River that the 3 "frogs" are seen going out to the whole world to gather it to Armageddon. Why does this happen? What is the purpose of this activity by evil spirits? Consider this: God has just given a plague upon those who support Babylon. This displeases Satan because he wants Babylon supported. After all, he is gearing up for the final battle against God, and he wants all the support he can get. So, the devil tries to counter the thinking of the people by working miracles to convince the people not to turn against Babylon. He knows they are wavering in their support of his plan, so tries to do something about it. Thus, these are the facts upon which people must make a decision - they evidently realize that they have been deceived and so withdraw their support of Babylon, and meanwhile, Satan is trying to counter that by attempting to convince them that he (disguised as an angel of light, and likely representing himself as God) is the one deserving their affection and allegiance. What will they decide?
Another question is this: How will you know when the 3 spirits are going about gathering support for Babylon? The answer to that question lies with the identity of the 3 parts of Babylon as discussed above - Catholicism, Protestantism, and spiritualism. When you see the support for Babylon go away, and then you see strong efforts by the 3 powers discussed above attempting to shore up that support, including the use of miracles to rebuild support for Babylon, then you will know you are seeing the 3 "frogs" going about to gather people to Armageddon.
The people do destroy the woman ultimately, but it also appears Satan still wins the day temporarily by deception created through the miracles his agents work. But it does not last because by the time of the 7th plague, the great city splits into 3 parts, which would suggest they are divided among themselves and cannot remain together. So the wrath of God being poured out upon the waters (people supporting Babylon) has the desired effect. It initially removes support for Babylon, and later on it results in Babylon itself splitting into it's 3 component parts. Surely Satan will be most displeased.
Revelation 17:16 indicates that the 10 horns will turn on the woman (Babylon) and will burn her with fire. Revelation 18 describes what happens to Babylon (the woman). What is interesting is that the second coming occurs close after that event. Revelation 19 describes the second coming and destruction of all human life on earth, except for those who meet the Lord in the air at his coming and return to heaven with him for the duration of the millennium. Read over these texts for evidence of this:
1Th 4:17 "Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord."
John 14:3 "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also."
Rev 20:5 "But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. "
Rev 20:7-9 "And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them."
The devil and his angels remain alive but locked down to this world during the millennium (See Revelation 20:.1-3, 5).
The Conclusion of the Matter
The final conclusion is that Armageddon is not at all about a war against the modern day nation of Israel, but instead is a message directed at two groups of people: (1) for those who have chosen sin as their way of life, it is a clear message of God's displeasure with their support of Babylon, and (2) for those who have chosen to follow God, it is a message that the deliverance of the people of God from this world is about to happen. The people who follow God will recognize this message when they see those who have turned from God and who are working to destroy those who serve God, receive the wrath of God and then turn upon those who have deceived them and led them to final ruin. Satan will try miracles to counter the recognition of their true condition by those who serve him, and this too will send a message to those who serve God.
And, the invasion from outer space is set and sure. The people of God will be delivered by God himself. That is what Armageddon is all about. No big battle with all nations against the small nation of Israel. No, instead it is preparation for and a message to the people of God of the approach of the greatest invasion the world has ever seen, and it will come from outer space. Which side will you be on? Hopefully the winning side.
Other Related Issues
There are those who contend that since the spirits gather the world to Armageddon, that a final battle will eventually occur and it should be counted as part of this event. That is false reasoning. It is true that there is the statement that they are gathered to Armageddon against that great day of God Almighty. But, that is true of everything in the great controversy between good and evil. Everything the devil has done since the death of Jesus has been with that in mind. He knows that his kingdom has an end coming, and he also knows that he will have to suffer the consequences of sins the righteous commit. He wants to minimize his time spent in hell until death takes over, so he is trying to the maximum to be sure nobody goes to heaven. Plus, he sees that as hurting God, something he desperately wants.
You may have doubts that Satan will have to pay for your sins when Jesus has already paid for them, but this is taught through symbolism in the bible in the Old Testament Sanctuary services of the Day of Atonement. When the priest finished the ceremonies, he symbolically transferred the sins of the people that had been forgiven to a scapegoat, that was led out to the wilderness and left to die there. This is a symbol of what happens at the end when Satan must pay for what he has done. He will receive the sins of those who have been forgiven and he will have to pay for them, in addition to paying for his own sins. So, he is one very self-interested fellow about this. He does not want you to know about or understand this as that raises the possibility that you will choose to take advantage of what Jesus is offering you and he will end up suffering longer in hell. See Leviticus 16 for this story about the scapegoat. The scapegoat symbolizes Satan in that story. The sacrificial goat represents Jesus.
Now, some have argued that there must be a battle connected with Armageddon because at the 7th plague, Babylon splits into 3 parts. But note that it said with the 6th plague that they are gathered together against that great day of God Almighty, not against the great day of invaders of Israel or humans battling humans. The great city (Babylon) splitting apart is very likely due to disagreement among the 3 parts of Babylon because of the 6th plague having the effect of eroding support for Babylon This may even involve a war, but it does not say that so we probably should not read into it more than is actually said. Further, that would be a battle of humans against humans, which does not qualify for the great day of God Almighty, which is a battle of evil versus good, God against Satan and his followers. Armageddon is two things: (1) Satan trying to salvage damage done to his own cause by the wrath of God coming upon the people who support Babylon, and (2) Satan trying to get people to support him in his war against God, which probably involves steeling their resolve in rebellion against God, though they probably do not know they are doing that.
It is not a battle of humans against other humans. No actual battle is mentioned in either the 6th or the 7th plague. Thus, it is false reasoning to say it is a battle, for it is not. There are three battles mentioned after Revelation 16. The first is the war mentioned in Revelation 17, which commences sometime during the reign of the 8th king of Revelation 17 and will very likely coincide with the 7 last plagues of Revelation 16. Hence, it is not the same as the battle of Armageddon. There is nothing to make it coincide exactly with either or both the 6th and 7th plagues.The war mentioned in Revelation 17 is really a continuation of the war against the saints of God that the beast has engaged in since Roman times, so it is not a conventional war or battle.
The next battle mentioned is that found in Revelation 19, which occurs when Jesus comes again, which is when he invades planet earth to destroy those who serve Satan, and take home with him those who have chosen to serve God. This battle and the one that occurs after the millennium is what Satan would be preparing people for. These two battles are depicted as battles in Revelation 19 and 20 and winning these is the ultimate goal of Satan. All preparation is geared towards that goal. Hence these 2 battles are what constitute the great day of God Almighty since these are days of execution of judgment by God against evil, especially the one after the millennium. So, this is what the preparation by Satan is all about - winning these 2 battles, especially the last one.
Part 2 is designed to investigate the possibility that Ezekiel 38 and 39 are the same as the hypothesized battle of Armageddon. The author would like to invite you to read part 2 and learn more about this interesting topic.