ArmagedDONE! (Revelation 19 – 20)

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Sorry, I couldn’t resist!
That’s right – today we are going to witness the infamous War (not battle)  of Armageddon – and it has nothing to do with a giant asteroid about to destroy the earth and a group of oil riggers becoming astronauts. It has to do with God finally fulfilling most of the covenants and promises He made with man since the time of Adam and Eve. And it’s going to be a very bloody affair.
And just to be clear, absolutely nothing in that video was even remotely true. The thing that killed all life on the planet was a worldwide flood, not a meteor, and it didn’t take a thousand years for life to come back, AND it won’t happen again – at least not the same way.
Anyway, let’s pray and get into it.
Armageddon – the word – is introduced to us in the details of the sixth bowl judgment from chapter 16 of Revelation. After the Euphrates river is dried up, evil spirits convince the kings of the earth, including the Antichrist/Beast to gather in the place called Armageddon.
I shared with you that week that Armageddon in the English is a transliteration of the Hebrew – Har Megido – which means Mount Megiddo – which is located about 60 miles north of Jerusalem. There is a great valley or plain near that mountain that will likely be the staging ground for the armies of the Beast and his allies before launching their attack on Jerusalem.
There is a sequence of events that precede this that I’ve covered over the last few weeks in layers, so let me catch you up as to how we came to this point.
It all began with that covenant between the rising Antichrist and the Jews at the beginning of the tribulation to rebuild their temple and recommence sacrifices and offerings. I believe that will happen not long after the church is raptured away.
In Revelation 6, the Lamb who is Jesus starts opening the seven seals of the scroll he got From God the Father on the throne. The first seal brings the rise of the Antichrist to power as symbolized by the white horse. Then a red, black, and pale green horse follow symbolizing a time of war, followed by famine and economic collapse, and then death of a fourth of the population. The fifth seal shows us a scene in heaven, and then the sixth seal shows the earth a view of heaven as the sky rolls back while a great earthquake moves the mountains and islands around. The people of earth all see God and the Lamb and try to hide from him.
The seventh seal reveals the seven angels with trumpets. As each trumpet is blown, a third of the earth is burned up, a third of the ocean turns to blood, a third of the fresh water is poisoned, the sun moon and stars turn dark for a third of the time each day, and then there are five months of these demon locusts that can torture but not kill the people, followed by the release of an army of 200 million demon soldiers that kill another third of mankind. And yet after all of that, the people of earth continue to curse God.
Which brings us to the midpoint of tribulation.
Several things happen, but the main things are that Satan is thrown to the earth with no more access to heaven, the Antichrist the man is killed and resurrected as the Beast from the Abyss, he kills the two witnesses, then goes into the temple and claims to be God – the abomination that causes desolation – at this all the believing Jews escape Jerusalem and take up shelter in Bozrah to be protected by God for the remainder of the tribulation. Meanwhile the Beast and the False Prophet set up their government which includes worship of the Beast and the economy is tied to his worship though his mark. Then for 3.5 years the Beast and his followers rule the earth in relative peace while they attempt to exterminate all the Christians. This will be that time of distress that Jesus spoke of for his followers.
Then, at the end of that time, God will release the seven angels with his bowls of wrath. In rapid succession, everyone with the mark will develop festering sores all over their body, then all of the oceans will turn to blood, followed by all of the fresh water turning to blood. Then the sun will grow so hot it burns people followed by the Beast’s kingdom being covered in thick darkness that can be felt. Then the sixth bowl will dry up the river Euphrates and cue the kings of the east and the Beast to head west toward Armageddon for the final battles.
So far, all of that, for the most part, is spelled out in Revelation itself and parts of Daniel. But the remaining events of the war including the details of Christ returning are almost all found in the Old Testament prophets. Almost all of them talk of this, especially Isaiah and Jeremiah. And my goal today is to show you from those prophets how this war plays out.
Now, as in all things on the topic of end times – there are many different opinions out there on how this goes. And as I’ve done throughout this series, I am going to give you what makes the most sense to me and provide you with links where you can do some research on your own.
For the sequence of the Campaign of Armageddon, I actually agree pretty closely with the sequence by the well respected end-times commentator, Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum. Some of the details I see differently, but the general order I agree with. So, let’s talk about it. This picture represents the general sequence.
STEP 1
Step one we have already covered, the gathering of the Antichrist and his allies at the Valley of Megiddo. The Beast will think this is his own idea, but it is actually a trap set by God.
Joel 3
Proclaim this among the nations:
    Prepare for war!
Rouse the warriors!
    Let all the fighting men draw near and attack.
10 Beat your plowshares into swords
    and your pruning hooks into spears.
Let the weakling say,
    “I am strong!”
11 Come quickly, all you nations from every side,
    and assemble there.
STEP 2
Step 2 is that while he is away from his home base of Babylon, it is destroyed. I covered that in detail last week. The city is destroyed in two phases. The first phase is when the Beast’s allies – the ten kings that are the ten horns on the seven headed beast – will attack and destroy Babylon the Harlot of chapter 17. They will kill everyone and burn it – but that will not be it’s total destruction.
Where we get those details are not from Revelation but from Jeremiah and Isaiah. Let’s look at Jeremiah’s account…
Jeremiah 50
“Flee out of Babylon;
    leave the land of the Babylonians,
    and be like the goats that lead the flock.
For I will stir up and bring against Babylon
    an alliance of great nations from the land of the north.
They will take up their positions against her,
    and from the north she will be captured.
Their arrows will be like skilled warriors
    who do not return empty-handed.
10 So Babylonia will be plundered;
    all who plunder her will have their fill,”
declares the Lord.
29 “Summon archers against Babylon,
    all those who draw the bow.
Encamp all around her;
    let no one escape.
Repay her for her deeds;
    do to her as she has done.
For she has defied the Lord,
    the Holy One of Israel.
30 Therefore, her young men will fall in the streets;
    all her soldiers will be silenced in that day,”
declares the Lord.
31 “See, I am against you, you arrogant one,”
    declares the Lord, the Lord Almighty,
“for your day has come,
    the time for you to be punished.
32 The arrogant one will stumble and fall
    and no one will help her up;
I will kindle a fire in her towns
    that will consume all who are around her.”
Jeremiah 51
1 This is what the Lord says:
“See, I will stir up the spirit of a destroyer
    against Babylon and the people of Leb Kamai.
2 I will send foreigners to Babylon
    to winnow her and to devastate her land;
they will oppose her on every side
    in the day of her disaster.
3 Let not the archer string his bow,
    nor let him put on his armor.
Do not spare her young men;
    completely destroy her army.
4 They will fall down slain in Babylon,
    fatally wounded in her streets.
5 For Israel and Judah have not been forsaken
    by their God, the Lord Almighty,
though their land is full of guilt
    before the Holy One of Israel.
The main thing you should gather from those is that it is God himself who has “stirred up the spirit of a destroyer against Babylon” – He is again using evil people bent on evil themselves to do His bidding and letting them think it was their idea.
Isaiah 13 – the whole chapter has a similar description but for the sake of time I’m going to let you read that on your own.
So, Babylon is destroyed first by an army that God sends to destroy them – which we learn from Revelation 17 is actually the same kings that were allied to the Beast this whole time.
STEP 3
Then God further destroys it and all of the other cities with a severe earthquake that flattens the mountains and 100lb balls of hail from the sky in the seventh bowl judgment.  Babylon gets the cup filled with the fury of God’s wrath and is no more.
STEP 4
Back in Armageddon, after dodging the hail stones and probably falling down from the earthquake, once it stops – the Beast gets word about Babylon’s destruction. We see it two places in Jeremiah.
Jeremiah 50
43 The king of Babylon has heard reports about them,
    and his hands hang limp.
Anguish has gripped him,
    pain like that of a woman in labor.
Jeremiah 51
31 One courier follows another
    and messenger follows messenger
to announce to the king of Babylon
    that his entire city is captured,
32 the river crossings seized,
    the marshes set on fire,
    and the soldiers terrified.”
STEP 5
At the news of her fall, and likely news of all the other cities collapsing too, the Beast and his allies have only one thing they can do to survive – take Jerusalem, the only standing city. And not only that, but remember that his goal – Satan’s goal through him – is to destroy the Jews before they call out to their Messiah in unison causing Christ to come back.
And so they advance. This part of the campaign is included in a part of the Daniel 11 prophecy we haven’t yet taken a close look at in this series because we just haven’t been there yet – so now we can.
I will start in the place we have covered before for context…this is the end of a long story that Daniel is being told by an angel. The first 35 verses of chapter 11 describe events during the few hundred years just before Christ arrived the first time. Starting in verse 35 it skips over the church age and jumps to talking about the Antichrist’s kingdom.
Daniel 11
36 “The king will do as he pleases. He will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will say unheard-of things against the God of gods. He will be successful until the time of wrath is completed, for what has been determined must take place. 37 He will show no regard for the gods of his ancestors or for the one desired by women, nor will he regard any god, but will exalt himself above them all. 38 Instead of them, he will honor a god of fortresses; a god unknown to his ancestors he will honor with gold and silver, with precious stones and costly gifts. 39 He will attack the mightiest fortresses with the help of a foreign god and will greatly honor those who acknowledge him. He will make them rulers over many people and will distribute the land at a price.
That’s the part I’ve covered before about how the Antichrist would rise through intrigue and be in league with Satan (the foreign god) and ultimately exalt himself above all gods.
The angel continues covering a few events in his career..
40 “At the time of the end the king of the South will engage him in battle, and the king of the North will storm out against him with chariots and cavalry and a great fleet of ships. He will invade many countries and sweep through them like a flood.
This is likely describing the events that result in the Antichrist subduing three of the ten kings that ultimately become his subjects. Perhaps this is the war that the red horse of the second seal judgment represents in which the Antichrist prevails – invading many countries and sweeping though them like a flood.
It continues…
 41 He will also invade the Beautiful Land. Many countries will fall, but Edom, Moab and the leaders of Ammon will be delivered from his hand. 42 He will extend his power over many countries; Egypt will not escape. 43 He will gain control of the treasures of gold and silver and all the riches of Egypt, with the Libyans and Cushites in submission.
Further talk of his success at world domination – but he is prevented from conquering Edom, Moab, and Ammon – which are all ancient names associated with the area northeast of present day Jordan and include Bozrah and Petra – the places I’ve said before are where the Jews flee to at the midpoint for protection.
And now the angel’s story skips to where we are in our story…
44 But reports from the east and the north will alarm him, and he will set out in a great rage to destroy and annihilate many. 45 He will pitch his royal tents between the seas at the beautiful holy mountain. Yet he will come to his end, and no one will help him.
The reports from the east and the north are likely the report about Babylon and the other cities falling, and now he sets out to destroy “many” – which in other Daniel prophecies refers to the Jews. It says he pitches his tent between the seas at the beautiful holy mountain – that’s where both Armageddon and Jerusalem are located. Between the Mediterranean Sea and the Sea of Galilee. And the holy mountain is Mount Zion – in Jerusalem.
And so, the Beast and his armies will advance on both Jerusalem proper AND the area of Bozrah where the remnant of Israel have been in protective custody all this time. Remember, he’s trying to prevent Christ from coming back by killing them all off.
The battle is described in a few places, like Zechariah.
Zechariah 12
1 A prophecy: The word of the Lord concerning Israel.
The Lord, who stretches out the heavens, who lays the foundation of the earth, and who forms the human spirit within a person, declares: “I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling. Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem. On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves. On that day I will strike every horse with panic and its rider with madness,” declares the Lord. “I will keep a watchful eye over Judah, but I will blind all the horses of the nations. Then the clans of Judah will say in their hearts, ‘The people of Jerusalem are strong, because the Lord Almighty is their God.’
“On that day I will make the clans of Judah like a firepot in a woodpile, like a flaming torch among sheaves. They will consume all the surrounding peoples right and left, but Jerusalem will remain intact in her place.
“The Lord will save the dwellings of Judah first, so that the honor of the house of David and of Jerusalem’s inhabitants may not be greater than that of Judah. On that day the Lord will shield those who live in Jerusalem, so that the feeblestamong them will be like David, and the house of David will be like God, like the angel of the Lord going before them. On that day I will set out to destroy all the nations that attack Jerusalem.
At first, it will seem like Jerusalem cannot be taken, but then two chapters later (and this does appear to be chronological) they are starting to fall…
Zechariah 14
A day of the Lord is coming, Jerusalem, when your possessions will be plundered and divided up within your very walls.
I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it; the city will be captured, the houses ransacked, and the women raped. Half of the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be taken from the city.
So, Jerusalem starts out strong but they are eventually captured and bad things ensue…
Meanwhile, part of the Beast’s armies are also attacking down in Bozrah but having no success because God is continuing to protect his remnant.

Speaking of Bozrah, now’s probably a good time to finally show you how we come to that being the place where the Remnant flee to at the midpoint of tribulation after the Antichrist breaks the covenant with them and sets up the abomination that causes desolation.
It comes from a couple of places…one is Isaiah 33.
Isaiah 33
Look, their brave men cry aloud in the streets;
    the envoys of peace weep bitterly.
The highways are deserted,
    no travelers are on the roads.
The treaty is broken,
    its witnesses are despised,
    no one is respected.
Treaty broken is the clue…He goes on to talk of rather unpleasant things, then he makes note of a group of people who are different than the ones getting punished…
15 Those who walk righteously
    and speak what is right,
who reject gain from extortion
    and keep their hands from accepting bribes,
who stop their ears against plots of murder
    and shut their eyes against contemplating evil—
16 they are the ones who will dwell on the heights,
    whose refuge will be the mountain fortress.
Their bread will be supplied,
    and water will not fail them.
That sounds a lot like “a place prepared for her by God, that she might be taken care of,” like we see in the vision of Revelation 12 of the Woman and the Dragon. It mentions bread and water being supplied – maybe similar to the manna from heaven God provided for the Israelites for 40 years after escaping Egypt. And it mentions being in a “mountain fortress”. Petra would qualify as that, but really so could other mountain areas.
It’s really another place in Scripture that pinpoints the location better.
This one is in Micah, a little known minor prophet who was a contemporary of Isaiah. His little book is where the prediction that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem comes from. He also talks a lot of the final judgment and Millennial Kingdom.
The passage we are about to read is a prophecy about the Jewish remnant that will be saved.
Micah 2
12 “I will surely gather all of you, Jacob;
    I will surely bring together the remnant of Israel.
I will bring them together like sheep in a pen,
    like a flock in its pasture;
    the place will throng with people.
How this points to Petra is in the Hebrew word behind the English for sheepfold. It’s the Hebrew word Bozrah – which, along with being the word for a sheep pen, is the ancient name of the Region to the southeast of Jerusalem, the region that Petra is located in north of the gulf of Aqaba. I got a chance to visit there when I was on Deployment years ago. Pretty amazing place.
An ancient sheepfold had a narrow entrance so that the shepherd could count his sheep. Once inside the fold, the sheep had more room to move around. Petra is shaped like a giant sheepfold, located in a basin within Mount Seir, and is totally surrounded by mountains and cliffs. The only way in and out of the city is through a narrow passageway that extends for about a mile and can only be negotiated by foot or by horseback. This makes the city easy to defend, with its surrounding high cliffs – hence the “mountain fortress” of Isaiah 33
So, that is where we get the notion that the place the Remnant is protected for the second half of tribulation is in Petra in Bozrah, which is also in the same region that Daniel 11 says the Antichrist is unable to conquer.

Back the the war, and now Bozrah is starting to be overrun by the Beast and His armies.
No doubt hope is starting to be lost, but don’t fret – this is all part of the plan.
In Jeremiah 49, there is a prophecy that begins..
Jeremiah 49
13 I swear by myself,” declares the Lord, “that Bozrah will become a ruin and a curse, an object of horror and reproach; and all its towns will be in ruins forever.”
Basically, what is happening, is that after years of protecting both Jerusalem and his Remnant in Bozrah – God is now allowing them to be overrun – for a very good reason.
Remember that this whole thing – the whole tribulation, including this war –  is all part of God keeping his covenant promise to punish Israel for their disobedience of the Mosaic covenant.
But these afflictions are not only for punishment, they have a double purpose in that they are bringing them to a place where they will finally take advantage of the salvation loophole that God built into the terms and conditions of the covenant.
Back in the days of the Exodus and the original giving of the Law, after spelling out the terms of blessings for obedience and the curses for disobedience, God inserts this loophole at the very end of the contract…
Leviticus 26
40 But if they will confess their sins and the sins of their ancestors—their unfaithfulness and their hostility toward me, 41 which made me hostile toward them so that I sent them into the land of their enemies—then when their uncircumcised hearts are humbled and they pay for their sin, 42 I will remember my covenant with Jacob and my covenant with Isaac and my covenant with Abraham, and I will remember the land.
In other words, when ALL of Israel finally confesses their sins AND the sins of their ancestors and their hearts are humbled – God will remember and fulfill the promises he made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob concerning Israel receiving the promised land.
And here at the end of the tribulation is when that is going to happen. But not until they are nearly wiped out…
In speaking about the remnant in Zechariah 13 – which is between the chapter where Jerusalem is standing strong and the chapter where they start to fall, God says this…
Zechariah 13
In the whole land,” declares the Lord,
    “two-thirds will be struck down and perish;
    yet one-third will be left in it.
This third I will put into the fire;
    I will refine them like silver
    and test them like gold.
They will call on my name
    and I will answer them;
I will say, ‘They are my people,’
    and they will say, ‘The Lord is our God.’”
This whole thing is God whittling down His people and then putting them through the fire to purify them so that they will say, “The Lord is our God” – but the “Lord” they need to admit is their God is none other than the Messiah they rejected, Jesus Christ. That is the sin of their ancestors they must confess and repent of.
And how that comes about is partly through God literally bringing them to the brink of extinction as the Antichrist armies have breached the defenses of Jerusalem and Bozrah and are ravaging the people. It will seem that all hope is lost. But then at the precise time predicted by Daniel 9 and the 70 sevens, God will initiate what we call the National Regeneration of Israel, which is spoken of in many places, but none more descriptive than the parts of Zechariah I’ve been skipping over so far today.
Back to chapter 12, just after the description of how Jerusalem is standing strong it says this…
Zechariah 12
10 “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.
In other words, God will take away the partial hardening that Paul talked about in Romans 11 and “pour out on them a spirit of grace and supplication.”
Meaning he will unlock their hearts to see the truth. Then, “they will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child.” This is what John quotes in the beginning of his vision in chapter 1 of Revelation..
Revelation 1
“Look, he is coming with the clouds,”
    and “every eye will see him,
even those who pierced him”;
    and all peoples on earth “will mourn because of him.”
So shall it be! Amen.
This is the moment when the remnant of Israel, the 1/3 brought through the fire, will finally see Jesus as their Messiah and they will mourn bitterly that their ancestors had treated him so, and they will repent of their rejection of Him up until this point.
Now, Jesus can finally come back!
But first he has to get married.
Back to where we left off last week in Revelation 19 after all the groups are reacting to the fall of Babylon, something very important happens in heaven.
Revelation 19
Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting:
“Hallelujah!
    For our Lord God Almighty reigns.
Let us rejoice and be glad
    and give him glory!
For the wedding of the Lamb has come,
    and his bride has made herself ready.
Fine linen, bright and clean,
    was given her to wear.”
(Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.)
Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God.”
10 At this I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “Don’t do that! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers and sisters who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For it is the Spirit of prophecy who bears testimony to Jesus.”

Before Jesus can come back to earth, he has to get married to his bride the church because he’s bringing us with him, but I don’t think this will delay his arrival at all.
I explained way back in November when I covered the rapture how this picture of the church being the bride is better understood if you understand the Jewish wedding practices of the day.  I will recap it quickly.
The marriage process began when the father of the groom decided it was time for his son to get married, though sometimes this process began when the bride and groom were still children and arranged for when they grew of age. He would choose a bride for his son from among his own tribe and send his servant to the father of the bride to arrange it and come to a price. Once the price was agreed to, the bride and groom were now betrothed or as we would say, engaged – even if they hadn’t even met.
So the servant goes back to the father of the groom to tell him the good news and the father tells the son to prepare a place for him and his bride – meaning build yourself an addition onto the house. (That’s where the “many rooms in my father’s house” thing Jesus said comes from.)
As that is going on, the bride is getting herself ready for the wedding day – which, consequently can happen at any time (like in Jesus’ parable of the virgins waiting for the groom who is going to come at an hour unknown but soon!). It is actually up to the father of the groom to decide when the son is done preparing and it’s time to get married. And once he’s decided, he tells his son, “Go get her!” So, the son rushes over to the brides house, scoops her up and takes her back to the place he just built to present her to his family and they spend a week in the first parts of the celebrations with just the grooms family. (This is a picture of the rapture.)
Then, once they are done at the groom’s house, they return to the house of the bride’s family for a celebration with invited guests.
As a picture of Christ and his bride, the rapture of the church is the initial swooping up and going back his Father’s house. And now that the week is done, it’s time to go back to the bride’s house for the celebration. Hence, what is happening here in heaven is the bride and groom (Jesus & His Church) are getting ready to go…in this case, back to the earth…where Jesus has some more house cleaning to do before they can settle down. The Wedding Guests will join them later.
And now for the moment all creation has been eagerly waiting for….
Revelation 19
11 I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. 12 His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. 13 He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. 14 The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written:
KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS
17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun, who cried in a loud voice to all the birds flying in midair, “Come, gather together for the great supper of God, 18 so that you may eat the flesh of kings, generals, and the mighty, of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, great and small.”
19 Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to wage war against the rider on the horse and his army. 20 But the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who had performed the signs on its behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped its image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. 21 The rest were killed with the sword coming out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh.
Like I said, when he comes back the second time, he won’t be handing out hugs.
A pretty gruesome scene, let’s break it down and we’ll be going back to the OT a bit to flesh it out some more as this is more of a summary of His return.
Revelation 19
11 I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. 12 His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. 13 He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God.
The white horse is a symbol of victory. Faithful and True – that’s Jesus. Eyes like blazing fire – just like John saw him in chapter 1 – he sees down to the depths of your inmost being. He has many crowns of royalty, and a name that no one knows but himself. So, don’t try to guess it. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood – which we will see why in a minute. And his name is the Word of God – just as John calls him in his gospel.
14 The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean.
That army is his church – us. The clothing gives it away, and don’t forget that at this point the only people who have new bodies are the raptured church. The OT and Tribulation saints have not been resurrected yet – hence why they are the wedding guests and are going to sit this part out.
15 Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written:
KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS
Like in other visions, the sword is coming out of his mouth (which this artist put in his hand and also made everyone white, both erroneous, but I still thought it was the best one I found). The sword out of his mouth is none other than the Word of God that will be the weapon used for slaughtering the Beast’s armies.
The iron scepter refers back to Psalm 2 and the original promise God the Father made to God the Son about giving Him an earthly kingdom – a promise that is about to be fulfilled. It’s worth revisiting. This time I will read the whole thing so you can see how it is all a prophecy of what we are witnessing now.
Psalm 2
1 Why do the nations conspire
    and the peoples plot in vain?
2 The kings of the earth rise up
    and the rulers band together
    against the Lord and against his anointed, saying,
3 “Let us break their chains
    and throw off their shackles.”
4 The One enthroned in heaven laughs;
    the Lord scoffs at them.
5 He rebukes them in his anger
    and terrifies them in his wrath, saying,
6 “I have installed my king
    on Zion, my holy mountain.”
7 I will proclaim the Lord’s decree:
He said to me, “You are my son;
    today I have become your father.
8 Ask me,
    and I will make the nations your inheritance,
    the ends of the earth your possession.
9 You will break them with a rod of iron;
    you will dash them to pieces like pottery.”
10 Therefore, you kings, be wise;
    be warned, you rulers of the earth.
11 Serve the Lord with fear
    and celebrate his rule with trembling.
12 Kiss his son, or he will be angry
    and your way will lead to your destruction,
for his wrath can flare up in a moment.
    Blessed are all who take refuge in him.
Psalm 2 is really what all of creation is all about…
Back to John’s description in Revelation, “He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty.” – Which is none other than the winepress we saw in the grape harvest vision of chapter 14 where the blood flowed out four feet high and 200 miles long. That is exactly what is about to happen, but it’s not grapes that are being trampled, but the condemned people who have chosen the wrong side.
Because Jesus is not coming back as a lowly carpenter turned teacher.
He’s coming back in his full glory as the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.
Then John goes into the gruesome results of the slaughter, but before I get to that we need to see more details from the OT.
Contrary to what many who never study this stuff believe, Jesus will not make his landing in Jerusalem or on the mount of Olives. In Acts 1, after he rose into the clouds, some angels said to the disciples staring up at the sky..”Why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:11) From which many have erroneously inferred that Jesus would come back in the clouds to that same spot. But that’s not what the angel said. He just said he will come back in the same WAY he went – and he does, in the clouds. But his landing spot is actually where His remnant are about to be killed, in Bozrah.
We get that from a couple of places.
One from the same place we learn about Bozrah (the sheep pen)
Micah 2
12 “I will surely gather all of you, Jacob;
    I will surely bring together the remnant of Israel.
I will bring them together like sheep in a pen,
    like a flock in its pasture;
    the place will throng with people.
13 The One who breaks open the way will go up before them;
    they will break through the gate and go out.
Their King will pass through before them,
    the Lord at their head.”
The Remnant is gathered like sheep in their pen, and Jesus is the One who breaks open the way and then leads them out, slaughtering his enemies as he goes.
A little later, up in Jerusalem, Isaiah prophetically sees Jesus advancing toward him…
Isaiah 63
1 Who is this coming from Edom,
    from Bozrah, with his garments stained crimson?
Who is this, robed in splendor,
    striding forward in the greatness of his strength?
“It is I, proclaiming victory,
    mighty to save.”
2 Why are your garments red,
    like those of one treading the winepress?
3 “I have trodden the winepress alone;
    from the nations no one was with me.
I trampled them in my anger
    and trod them down in my wrath;
their blood spattered my garments,
    and I stained all my clothing.
4 It was for me the day of vengeance;
    the year for me to redeem had come.
5 I looked, but there was no one to help,
    I was appalled that no one gave support;
so my own arm achieved salvation for me,
    and my own wrath sustained me.
6 I trampled the nations in my anger;
    in my wrath I made them drunk
    and poured their blood on the ground.”
Now his clothing is more than dipped in blood. The distance from Bozrah to Jerusalem is about 200 miles – 200 miles that Jesus travels quickly as he personally executes the Beast’s armies all on his own.
Then Zechariah picks up the scene as Jesus arrives in Jerusalem. This is immediately after the description of Jerusalem beginning to fall to the Beast’s armies.
Zechariah 14
On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south. You will flee by my mountain valley, for it will extend to Azel. You will flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones with him.
So, Jesus climbs up the Mount of Olives and it splits in two allowing those still in Jerusalem to escape the attacks of the Beast’s armies.
Back to Revelation, and John picks up the scene…
Revelation 19
17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun, who cried in a loud voice to all the birds flying in midair, “Come, gather together for the great supper of God, 18 so that you may eat the flesh of kings, generals, and the mighty, of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, great and small.”
I believe this to be a literal event that happens just before Christ slaughters the remaining armies of the Beast. Can you imagine being one of them and seeing and hearing something like that and know he is talking about you?
19 Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to wage war against the rider on the horse and his army. 20 But the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who had performed the signs on its behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped its image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur.
The Beast and False Prophet get the special treatment. Elsewhere in Daniel and in 2 Thessalonians we are told that at least the Beast is killed by Christ. Daniel, in his vision of the boastful little horn in chapter 7 says “I watched till the beast was slain, and its body destroyed and given to the burning flame.” (Daniel 7:11) And Paul says in 2 Thessalonians 2:8 that “the lawless one” after being revealed will be “consumed by the breath of the Lord’s mouth and destroyed with the brightness of His coming.”
Some suggest this means that Jesus kills them, then resurrects them into indestructible bodies, then throws them into the lake of fire where they will burn forever. Sounds plausible, since that is what is going to happen to everyone else who is a nonbeliever at the Great White Throne judgment at the end of the millennium. We’ll talk about that after Easter and the Sonrise Festival.
Then John ends chapter 19 with…
21 The rest were killed with the sword coming out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh.
How exactly that works, we can’t know, but perhaps it’s like what Zechariah describes a few verses after the Mount of Olives bit…
Zechariah 14
12 This is the plague with which the Lord will strike all the nations that fought against Jerusalem: Their flesh will rot while they are still standing on their feet, their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongues will rot in their mouths.
Some have attributed this effect to a nuclear blast, but I would argue that this is the effect of the Sword that is the Word of God coming out of Jesus’ mouth. Basically, he doesn’t have to hack and slash – he just speaks and the people effectively melt before him.
Which reminds me of something rather ominous that Jesus said during his first visit to earth.
John 12
47 “If anyone hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge that person. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. 48 There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; the very words I have spoken will condemn them at the last day. 49 For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken. 50 I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.”
Again, there is great power in the Word of God. The very words that Jesus spoke will condemn those who reject Him. And apparently at the end of the war of Armageddon, his words have the power of a nuclear blast. Not a war you want to be on the losing end of.

And thus ends the final war of the Tribulation. King Jesus is victorious!! The Beast and his False Prophet have been thrown into the lake of fire. And all of his worshipers have been killed, their souls now awaiting their final judgment in hades or hell.
And as for their ringleader…
Revelation 20
1 And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time.
It is likely it is at this time that all the rest of the fallen angels – demons – are confined to the smoldering ruin that once was Babylon.
Now the war is truly over!
All enemies dealt with!
It’s ArmagedDONE!
(cue the celebration music)
But let’s not celebrate too much just yet, because just like any war…once it’s done…it’s time to clean up the mess.
In fact, now that the fighting is done, it’s time to set up the thousand year kingdom of Christ ruling on earth, which is apparently going to require enough work that it takes 75 days to complete.

Now, I was going to do a whole separate talk on this topic, but since I skipped a week two weeks ago and the fact that I don’t want to be talking about some of the nastier elements of this period when we come back from Easter and Sonrise, bear with me just a few more minutes as this stuff is important.

Between the end of the Tribulation – marked by the events I described today –  and the start of the Millennium – marked by the new order of things being fully set up, there appears to be a 75 day interval.
Where that comes from is one of the last lines of the book of Daniel. This is in chapter 12 where Daniel is told to seal up the scroll about the very end times, and the big angel swears by heaven and declares there will be a time, times, and half a time until all these things are accomplished. That was our connection to the similar vision of the giant angel and the little scroll in Revelation 10 that told us we were at the midpoint.
In Daniel 12, after Daniel was confused by what he saw, the angel said something rather interesting:
Daniel 12
11 “From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the abomination that causes desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days. 12 Blessed is the one who waits for and reaches the end of the 1,335 days.
Those two numbers are interesting because we’ve seen how everywhere else, the second half is described as 3.5 years, 42 months, or 1260 days. Yet here, the angel mentions 1290 days (30 days more) and 1335 days (another 45 for a total of 75). There is no other mention of this time span anywhere else, so we don’t really know why it is specifically 75 days -though I find it interesting that it happens to be exactly 3.5 months, which matches the overall pattern of half of seven.
Anyway, we may not know why the length of time, but we do know several things that must take place during that time in order to transition from the decimated and blood soaked earth at the end of the war to the blissful place we find in the descriptions of the Millennial Kingdom.
Specifically..
  • All the dead bodies from the war of Armageddon need to be cleaned up – Rev 19 tells us the birds help with that.
  • The decimated earth needs to be regenerated (oceans and rivers back into water, sun and stars back to normal,  etc)  – something Jesus will do himself. After all, the world was originally created through Him, so he shouldn’t have a problem fixing it.
  • The city of Jerusalem will get some remodeling. It will end up being the highest elevation on the earth as the capital seat of the King Jesus’ government.
  • The desolated temple must be restored/cleansed of the abomination the Beast/Antichrist set up in it, because it will be used extensively during the MK.
So, those are the scenery adjustments. There will also be plenty to do in the human resources department –
  • Resurrection of the righteous dead – OT and Trib Saints so they can rule in the MK.
  • Judgment of those who survived the tribulation – the sheep and the goats as Jesus described them in Matthew 25.
But we will talk about that stuff when we come back from our three week break for Easter and Sonrise.

And that, my friends, is the end of the end of the world as we know it!
Feel free to celebrate!
Now, I WILL be finishing Revelation and talking about the Millennial Kingdom and beyond in the four weeks after our break, but today ends the long and arduous journey we have been on as a church discussing the intricacies of the End of the World.
It’s over!
The tribulation is over and Jesus has returned to set up his rightful rule that we all get to be a part of, and it’s going to be wonderful!

And so what’s the application ending today?  What can we learn from the culmination of seven years of pain and hardship that the world will experience in its last days?
And what can we learn as a church from seven months of talking about it, which has been a long and sometimes painful ordeal?
The answer, I believe, is the same for us as it will be for Israel.
Quite simply, God uses adversity, hardship, trials, difficulties, and pain to bring us to the place where we finally allow Him to humble us so we will cry out to Him for our salvation, so we will cry out to Him to do what only He can do. To admit that we don’t have it all figured out and that we are not in control.
He is going to do that for Israel in the future, and it will almost kill them, but the end result will be eternal happiness in the presence of the Lord in His kingdom.
And I believe He has been doing that for us as a body of believers these past several months.  Now, we haven’t had our heads chopped off or locust demons attacking us, and so far the ocean is still water and the sun is doing its normal thing – and despite what some suggest, the Antichrist is not ruling our nation or the world.
Most of our problems and heartaches are first-world problems, but they are problems and heartaches none the less. I hate the mentality that just because it is hotter somewhere else that it’s not hot right here.
And so, for the last seven months things have been hard for us as a church, and I know that many of us have experienced personal challenges and outright trials and tribulations as well. It’s been tough. It’s been hard, and even painful at times. And just because Christians are losing their heads in other countries, don’t think that God does not care about our concerns over funding and volunteers and wanting a building. Or your personal cares about whatever difficulties you are going through that are stealing your joy. He cares deeply, as a parent – a perfect parent – cares for their child.
And like a good parent, He cares less about our comfort than He does about our character.
And because we as human beings are born with a sin nature that makes every inclination of our hearts only evil all the time, it takes a good deal of pain and adversity – otherwise known as discipline and training – to shape our character into what He needs it to be for His service in the short term here and now AND for the long term Millennial Kingdom and beyond.
And the most important character you and I and WE can have as Christ Followers is HUMILITY. The recognition and acceptance that we are completely unable to do anything without Him.
And how that humility manifests itself in an individual and in a church body is when we stop trying to figure things out on our own and stop trying to do everything on our own, and we drop to our knees, throw up our hands, and cry out to God for His deliverance and provision!
That’s why He puts Israel through the fire in the end, and that’s why He allows adversity in our lives. And the good news is that when we finally do yield to Him, He is there to lift us up, and I believe that is exactly what God has done with us as a church these last seven months and why He has inspired me, and the rest of our staff to lead this charge of praying like never before, because I believe God is about to do something in our midst like never before that He would not and could not do if we stayed too proud to ask Him for it.
And so He has been humbling us, and my prayer is that it has worked!!
So, with that said – Let’s Pray!