Share This Episode
Connect with Skip Heitzig Skip Heitzig Logo

The Battle of Armageddon - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
February 16, 2024 5:00 am

The Battle of Armageddon - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 1244 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.


February 16, 2024 5:00 am

Pastor Skip begins a message looking into the battle that will end all battles – Armageddon.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
The Rich Eisen Show
Rich Eisen
A New Beginning
Greg Laurie
Sekulow Radio Show
Jay Sekulow & Jordan Sekulow
Encouraging Word
Don Wilton

So Armageddon has been and is on the minds of many leaders, but did you know something very interesting? You could look in a concordance from Genesis to Revelation. You will never once find the phrase, battle of Armageddon.

That phrase is not in the Bible. The concept is, in Revelation 16, we're introduced to a war, the great battle of God Almighty. Today on Connect with Skip Heiteck, Pastor Skip begins a message looking into the battle that will end all battles, Armageddon.

But first, here's a resource to help you gain a better understanding of the current state and the future of Israel. How have conflicts and wars in the Middle East set the stage for a future apocalypse? That's the question Ron Rhodes takes head on in his new book.

Listen to this. What do you see coming in the next five or six years that might do injury to the church? And without hesitation, I said, I really feel like we're going to see an explosion of subjectivism, experientialism, and mysticism, along with occultism and some paganism. How conflicts and wars in the Middle East have set the stage for the end times. This new book by Ron Rhodes addresses issues such as understanding Islam, rebuilding the temple, and the annihilation campaign from the Antichrist.

Here's Ron Rhodes commenting on Middle East events. Did you know that in Revelation 2 and 3, we read about the church 19 times, and then in the discussion on the tribulation in chapters 4 through 18, you don't see the church a single time. It is gone. In 1 Thessalonians 1 verse 10, we are told that the church is to be delivered from the wrath to come. That word delivered literally means snatched, snatched away from.

We are to be snatched away from the wrath to come, which is a reference to the tribulation period. With your gift of $50 or more to connect with Skip Heitzig, you'll receive a copy of this new book from Ron Rhodes. Your gift will support the production and expansion of the Connect with Skip broadcast. Call 1-800-922-1888 or go online to connectwithskip.com with your donation, and we'll thank you with a copy of Ron Rhodes' new book, How Conflicts and Wars in the Middle East Have Set the Stage for the End Times.

That's 1-800-922-1888 or connectwithskip.com. Okay, let's turn to Revelation 16 and get started with today's message. Everyone has heard the term Armageddon. It's sort of like the term Antichrist or the number 666. It's become a household term.

Not everybody knows what that means, however. For a lot of people, they go, oh yeah, Armageddon. That's that movie.

1998. Bruce Willis, right? Armageddon. Well, that has nothing to do with the biblical story of Armageddon. That was a story about an asteroid careening toward the earth, and we had to deploy a nuclear device to take care of it. But I have noticed through the years, leaders, politicians, statesmen, military generals even, will invoke the name Armageddon.

And whenever they do, people's ears perk up because they have a hunch that that is speaking about the end. After World War II, General Douglas MacArthur stood on the deck of the USS Missouri and received the Japanese surrender at the end of that war. He made a statement on the deck of that vote. He repeated it to the Congress of the United States after the war's end, and he said this, and I quote, we have had our last chance. If we will not devise some greater and more equitable system, Armageddon will be at our door.

Armageddon will be at our door. And then he said something that is amazing. He said the problem basically is theological.

It must be of the Spirit if we are to save the flesh. Amazing statement of this general. Then some years later, we had a President, Ronald Reagan, who kept a diary. And one day he was entering something in his diary. He was thinking about the Middle East in particular and how that Israel is one little nation surrounded by enemies on every side. And he said, and I quote, sometimes I wonder if we are destined to witness Armageddon.

He used that again on June 7th of 1981. Again, Reagan wrote in his diary, got word of Israeli bombing of Iraq nuclear reactor. I swear I believe Armageddon is near. Then last year, when Vladimir Putin attacked Ukraine, the current President said, we have not faced the prospect of Armageddon since Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis. I don't think there is any such thing as an ability to easily use a tactical nuclear weapon and not end up with Armageddon. So Armageddon has been and is on the minds of many leaders. Many leaders.

But did you know something very interesting? You could look in a concordance from Genesis to Revelation. You will never once find the phrase Battle of Armageddon.

That phrase is not in the Bible. The concept is in Revelation 16, we are introduced to a war, the great battle of God Almighty. And then we are given the name Armageddon in Revelation 16, look at it, verse 16. And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon.

Now let me give you a few preliminary facts. The phrase the Battle of Armageddon is somewhat of a misnomer. First, it's not a single battle. It seems that there are several battles or campaigns, and the culminating one, the final climactic one, will be the battle that we call the Battle of Armageddon. Preliminary fact number two, the battle doesn't take place in Armageddon.

I showed you a picture of the valley. That's not where the battle is fought. That's just where they gather, and from there they march somewhere else. We discover they're going to march toward Jerusalem. And then the third preliminary fact, it's not really a battle. It's a total wipeout.

They might think they're entering into a battle and that there are going to be casualties on both sides, but there will not be. It will end when Jesus returns. He comes back to the earth. We come with Him. He will put an end to that war. He will judge the nations, separate the sheep from the goats, and establish His kingdom. So what I'd like to do in looking at Revelation chapter 16, I'm going to give you several other verses that we're going to put up on the screen.

Last night I made everybody turn to them, but that I discovered would take too long. So we'll put some of these other ancillary verses up to compare. But I want to show you five facets that every Christian should know about the Battle of Armageddon.

First of all, the place. The place Armageddon. It's verse 16. They gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew Armageddon. Armageddon is a word that comes from two words in Hebrew. Har, which means mountain, and Megiddon, or Megiddo, which is a little town, a city that was in ancient times. The hill, or the mountain of Megiddo. By the way, the word Megiddo means gathering place, or the place of crowds.

So it could be translated the mount of the assembly. Armageddon, or Megiddo, is 60 miles north of Jerusalem. It's on a hill, a mound, and there are 25 different civilizations, one built upon another, and we always travel there when we take our tours to Israel. That ancient remains of the city, that mound, is in the valley of Jezreel, also known as the valley of Esdraelon, also known as the valley of Armageddon. That ancient town was one of the most important cities in the ancient world because it was in a little mountain pass that controlled the traffic on a very important ancient road known as the Via Maris. The Via Maris means the way of the sea. It connected Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Asia Minor, and they all converged there.

So whoever was in control of that passageway controlled the flow of traffic and goods around the world. And because of that, because of the strategic location of that ancient city, lots of battles were fought right there. In fact, if we're doing our math correctly, guess how many battles in history that we know of, major battles, have been fought in that valley?

About 200. About 200 major battles in antiquity have already been fought in the valley of Armageddon. It was in that valley that Deborah and Barak defeated Sisera, that's Judges chapter 4. It was in that valley that Gideon mustered his 300 men against the Midianites, Judges chapter 7. It was in that valley that Pharaoh Neko killed King Josiah when Josiah decided to attack him in that valley, that's 2 Kings 23.

It was later on in that valley that the Crusaders fought against the Muslim Saracens. It was in that valley where General Allenby fought a battle in World War I. And by the way, Napoleon Bonaparte came and saw the valley of Armageddon to do battle. And when he saw it, he said, the valley of Armageddon is the most natural battleground in the world. But what I want you to notice in verse 16 is Megiddo and this valley is only a staging area. They gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon. The valley of Megiddo, or Armageddon, or Jezreel, is only about 15 miles wide and 35 miles long.

So if you're going to get nations of the world and their armies, or the armies of these nations together, you're going to need a little bit bigger place. So it seems that the initial stage begins in Megiddo and the march, but that there are nations that come in north and south and east into that land, and it spreads throughout the land of Israel. In fact, in Revelation chapter 14, verse 20, we may get an indication of how large this is. It says, the winepress was trampled outside the city, that's the city of Jerusalem, and blood came out of the winepress up to the horses' bridles for 1,600 furlongs.

You go, how much is that? 200 miles. What makes it interesting is if you were to measure Israel from top to bottom, it's about 200 miles, and it would seem that the land of Israel is going to be at one time swarmed with several battle scenarios to take place, climaxing in the battle of Armageddon. Now, there's a couple of passages—we're just going to throw them up on the screen—that bear looking at because of this battle. One is in Zechariah chapter 14.

By the way, I didn't tell you this. Zechariah, the Old Testament book of Zechariah, chapter 12, 13, and 14 are all dealing with the battle of Armageddon. There are several other passages that allude to it, or talk about it, or predict it. We don't have time to get into it.

I'm just really skimming the surface, believe it or not. But in Zechariah chapter 14, verse 2, the Lord says, For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem. The city shall be taken, the houses rifled, the women ravished.

Half of the city shall go into captivity, but the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations as He fights in the day of battle. And in that day, His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall split in two from east to west, making a very large valley.

Half of the mountain shall be moved toward the north, and half toward the south. That's the second coming. That's when Jesus comes back to the earth. The other passage in the Old Testament is the book of Joel, chapter 3.

We're going to put that up on the screen as well. Joel, chapter 3, verse 12, Let the nations be awakened and come to the valley of Jehoshaphat. That is not the valley of Armageddon. The valley of Jehoshaphat is the Kidron Valley just outside of the old city of Jerusalem in between Jerusalem and the Mount of Olives.

That's the valley of Jehoshaphat. It's pretty extensive, but it seems that the nations of the earth are gathering together against Jerusalem. For I will sit and judge, Joel, chapter 3, verse 12. For there I will sit to judge all the surrounding nations. Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, go down, for the wine press is full.

The vats overflow, for their wickedness is great. Multitudes in the valley of decision, for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision. The sun and the moon will grow dark.

The stars will diminish their brightness. The Lord will also roar from Zion and utter His voice from Jerusalem. The heavens and the earth will shake, but the Lord will be a shelter for His people and the strength of the children of Israel. All of those texts are dealing with the same event from different perspectives, but it is this final climactic gathering as they march toward Jerusalem. So that's the place.

It stages in the valley of Armageddon. It encompasses the land of Israel, and the focal point is Jerusalem. The second aspect after the place is the purpose.

Why are people doing this? Why are they gathering together? Well, let's begin in verse 12, which is where the paragraph begins. Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates.

Its water was dried up so that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. And I saw and I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon. Who's the dragon? Satan. Out of the mouth of the beast.

Who's that? Antichrist. And out of the mouth of the false prophet. That's the false prophet.

The third guy, we talked about him last week. For they are spirits of demons performing signs which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world to gather them to the battle of that great day of God almighty. Then look at verse 15. If you have a red letter edition, what color is verse 15?

It's red. You know why? It's because Jesus, in the midst of all this, is speaking. And Jesus says, Behold, I am coming as a thief.

Blessed is he who watches and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame. All right, we can tell just by a superficial reading that we are dealing with two forces at work. One demonic and the other divine. That is, on one hand Satan is working through the Antichrist. On the other hand, God is at work and sovereign.

So think of it this way. On earth, Antichrist or Satan is ruling, but God is overruling. God is also at work in the purpose of this battle of Armageddon. So what would these purposes be? What would Satan's purpose be in this conflict?

Pretty simple. Satan wants to stop Israel from inheriting the kingdom that God had promised to them over and over and over again through the prophets, through the Old Testament, and into the New Testament. And so he persecutes Israel so that they can't receive the kingdom God said they would have. Now his first attempt at persecution of Israel during this time has already happened by this time. It's called the battle of Gog and Magog.

We talked about that weeks ago. That's that alliance between Russia, Iran, and Turkey, and other nations that will converge on Israel to wipe it out. They will be wiped out, not Israel but the enemies, and so it is an utter failure. But Satan doubles down, works through the Antichrist, and manages this, the battle of Armageddon. So that's Satan's purpose. But there are God's purposes at work. And what would God's purpose be in all this?

Well, there's two of them. Number one, to prepare Israel to receive their Messiah. Zechariah puts it this way, they will look on me whom they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for his only son. There will be an awakening during this time that Jesus is the promised Messiah. And so as Paul writes in Romans, all Israel shall be saved. That's purpose number one, to get them ready to receive their Messiah.

Purpose number two is God is going to use this to pour out his wrath on this beast, this Antichrist, and his cohorts, a Christ-rejecting world. Up until this time, Antichrist seems pretty invincible. He has a loud mouth. He speaks pompous words. He sort of chooses on God. He claims that he is God. He's very successful in garnering power of world governments. And during this time, the world asks a question as they brag about the Antichrist. You remember the question in Revelation 13 verse 4. They say, who is like the beast, and who is able to make war with him?

Look at this guy. He's our hero. Who can go toe-to-toe with him? Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him? That's when Jesus will answer and say, over here, I'm your huckleberry. You want to go to war?

I'll take you on. And he will pour out his wrath on the Antichrist and his kingdom. So we have the place.

We have the purpose. Here's a third aspect, the placement of this battle. When does this battle take place? Well, it takes place in the tribulation period. But where in the tribulation?

Here's the answer at the very end of it. At the very end of the tribulation, right before Jesus comes back to the earth. If you look at verse 12, it says, the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates. His water was dried up so that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. This is the sixth of seven bowl judgments.

Okay, now do you remember? We talked about the flow of the book of Revelation. Revelation has a series of three different judgments.

The first are the seals that are broken. Like a scroll, you break the seal and you make an announcement of judgment. And so with each broken seal came another round of God's judgments. After the seal judgments come trumpets that are blown, seven trumpet judgments. Making the announcement that more judgment, more wrath is coming down on the earth. The final round, the very last round, are bowls of wrath being poured out upon the earth. There are seven of them. This is bowl number six.

There's only one more bowl and that's a great earthquake that brings topographical changes in Israel that readies them for the kingdom age. So we're dealing with the very end of the tribulation period, just before Jesus returns. That's Skip Heitig with a message from the series, The End is Near. Find a full message as well as books, booklets, and full teaching series at connectwithskip.com. Now here's Skip to share how you can connect you and many others with the truth of God's word with a gift to keep these messages going out around the world through Connect with Skip Heitig. Prayer and study of God's word are vital keys to help believers grow in their relationship with God. And this ministry exists to connect people around the world to God's word so they can experience closeness with God and take their prayer life to new heights. We invite you to join us in that important work today.

Through your support, you can help others discover the treasure of scripture and keep these teachings that you love available to you wherever you listen. And with your generous gift, you'll help make these messages available on more stations in more major cities in the USA. So please jump in with a generous gift today. Here's how you can give now. Visit connectwithskip.com slash donate to give a gift. That's connectwithskip.com slash donate or call 800-922-1888.

800-922-1888. Thank you for your generosity. And before you go, remember that you can find a treasure trove of resources to help you go deep into God's word at connectwithskip.com. Check it out today and connect with more life changing truth from scripture.

That's connectwithskip.com. Join us next week for more verse by verse teaching about the end times. Let me give you a quick snapshot of the tribulation period. When the seven-year tribulation period begins, it begins pretty peacefully. The antichrist comes on the scene. The world will have experienced great upheaval. Jesus said, distress of nations with perplexity. They won't see a way out of their problems. The antichrist will emerge as the problem solver, the man of peace.

He'll probably even get a Nobel peace prize. Make a connection. Make a connection at the foot of the cross. Cast all burdens on His word. Make a connection. A connection. Connect with Skip Hyten is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never changing truth in ever-changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-16 05:05:11 / 2024-02-16 05:13:58 / 9

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime