Some Involvements of the Armageddon Conflict
By Al Stoner
"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. 16:15-16).
("Behold, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake, keeping his garments on, that he may not go about naked and be seen exposed!", ESV) . And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon” (Rev. 16:15-16). This is the only place in all of Scripture where this word "Armageddon" appears. Commentators are right in saying that this battle shall be the greatest and the most decisive one for the people of God. But they are completely wrong in drawing attention to nations such as Russia and China as being the arch-enemies of the saints of the Most High God. How could this possibly be the case, for this is "the battle of that great day of God Almighty" (Rev. 16:14)? "The nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance" (Isa. 40:15).
The Mountain of Megiddo. The Revelation is not drawing attention to a geographical location, except symbolically. Allusions are obviously being made to mountain of Megiddo (cf. Judges 5:19; II Kings 9:27; 23:29-30) as the place of significantly fierce battles in Israel's history, and the place where kings were slain, two of which were Ahaziah (II Kgs. 9:27) and Josiah (II Kgs. 23:29). It was here where the LORD discomfited Sisera's army of nine hundred chariots of iron, plus his other fighting men, before Barak with his ten thousand men, as recorded in Judges 4. Also, in the mind of the Jew there was the grievous memory of a time in Israel's history referred to "as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon" (Zech. 12:11). And, as Paul would say, "Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come" (I Cor. 10:11).
Upon consideration of this word in the Revelation, it becomes evident that the nature of this decisive conflict, alluded to here, is not at all the same as the battles mentioned in Judges, the Kings, and the Chronicles. The conflict of which we speak must be spiritually discerned. While none of the sons of men are exempt from the dire consequences of this battle of the ages, only those in Christ Jesus are equipped of God to comprehend the nature of this conflict, and with understanding to engage in the warfare, and win it, to the praise and glory of God! Thus the exhortations given in Scripture: "Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called" (I Tim. 6:12). "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places" (Eph. 6:12).
Armageddon is not a flesh and blood battle, such as is presently taking place in the Mideast and elsewhere. It is a moral conflict involving men's souls. It is an interpretation of what life is all about in this arena of sin and salvation, into which the lot of all men has been cast. It is the battle for the prize of eternal life! The victors of this conflict are not those who have the best man power and artillery, but rather those who watch and keep their garments (see Rev. 16:15; also Mk. 13:34-37; Mt. 22:11-14). In this battle, that which is dreaded is not injuries or mortal wounds incurred from weapons and artillery which have been devised by men. Rather the great dread in this war is spiritual nakedness and shame. Those who are warring a good warfare in this conflict are those who are watching, and keeping their garments.
We are speaking here of "the garments of salvation" (Isa. 61:10). These are garments which have been purchased at great cost for believing men by the Lord Jesus Christ. It was "through the shedding of His blood" (Eph. 1:7, CJB) and by the "one act of righteousness" (Rom. 5:18, ASV), which He did in our behalf, when He offered Himself up for us all. The garments have been marvelously furnished, but now believing men are exhorted to watch, and to keep them, yea, to keep them at all cost. This is done by fighting the good fight of faith. This is the crux of the trial of our faith. So long as men keep them, they remain clothed, so that God no longer sees their sins and iniquities. These have been effectually put away by His only begotten Son. This conflict is largely unseen, but nevertheless it is real and perceptible to all who are living by faith in God through the Lord Jesus Christ.
It must be recalled that “we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand” (Eph. 6:12-13; see also I Tim. 6:12). And truly this is an evil day in which we have been called to stand. In the words of the Revelation (chp. 20:7), Satan has been "loosed out of his prison" for a time appointed of God, as can be seen by the marked increases in the expressions of wickedness in recent times. One nationally known news commentator recently remarked: "Our world is falling apart."
Let us not be falsely alarmed and disarmed, then, by predictions of a coming conflict in the land of Israel! The conflict is now upon us who are fighting the good fight of faith! And it is becoming increasingly fiercer as we approach the end of the age. The old serpent has picked up the pace, "having great wrath, as he knows that he has but a short time" (Rev. 12:12). Let us fight so that we may win!