The Battle of Armageddon (Part II)
By: Jimmy Swaggart
“And I will smite your bow out of your left hand, and will cause your arrows to fall out of your right hand. (The Antichrist, called ‘Gog,’ will think he is fighting Israel only, when, in truth, he is fighting the Lord, a battle he cannot hope to win)” (Ezek. 39:3).
In this Third Verse, the emphasis is on the pronoun “I.” It is as if the Lord is saying, “This is enough,” with Him then unleashing all of His Mighty Power or, at least, enough Power to show the Antichrist and the world just Who the Lord is.
A COMPLETE VICTORY
“You shall fall upon the mountains of Israel, you, and all your bands, and the people that is with you: I will give you unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field to be devoured. (The idea is that the defeat of the Antichrist and his armies will be so severe that vultures and beasts will feed upon the multitudes of dead bodies littering the ‘mountains of Israel.’
“‘You shall fall,’ signifies not only the defeat of the ‘man of sin,’ but also the collapse of corrupt human society, which includes corrupt human government)” (Ezek. 39:4).
This will include most, if not all, of the world of that time.
The phrase, “You shall fall upon the mountains of Israel,” is a prediction that was given about 2,500 years ago, but, most assuredly, which will come to pass.
Man has ever attempted to rebuild the Garden of Eden but without the “Tree of Life,” symbolic of the Lord Jesus Christ. His efforts have been in vain because it is impossible to do such; however, the grandest effort of all will be in the near future when the Antichrist will make his debut for world dominion. It will be religious, economical, sociological, military, and governmental; hence, at this time, “. . . his number is six hundred three-score and six.” It is “. . . the number of a man,” denoting man’s supreme effort (Rev. 13:18), but it will not succeed as it cannot succeed.
To portray as to exactly how the Lord will fight this battle, let’s go back to the previous Chapter, Verse 18.
GOG TO BE DESTROYED AT ARMAGEDDON
“And it shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, says the Lord GOD, that My Fury shall come up in My Face. (Once again, this is the Battle of Armageddon. ‘My Fury shall come up in My Face,’ corresponds to the statement of Zechariah, ‘Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when He fought in the day of battle’ [Zech. 14:3])” (Ezek. 38:18).
This is anger at white-hot pitch, and anger from One Who is all-powerful; therefore, the world is going to see a magnitude of Judgment that it has never known before. The “man of sin” will rue the day that he took on “God’s People and God’s Land.”
THE FIRE OF MY WRATH
“For in My Jealousy and in the fire of My Wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel (the ‘great shaking in the land of Israel’ can only transpire in the Battle of Armageddon, and only by the Hand of the Lord)” (Ezek. 38:19).
The phrase of Verse 19, “For in My Jealousy and in the fire of My Wrath have I spoken,” is linked to His “Fury” and “Wrath.” These are His People and His Land. He is “jealous” over them as He is “jealous” over all who belong to Him, including the Church, and we speak of the true Church.
True enough, there will be a great shaking in Israel that, in effect, will be felt all over the world. The entirety of the world at that time will observe all of these happenings by television. We will say more about this momentarily.
“So that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the men who are upon the face of the Earth, shall shake at My Presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground. (This Verse pertains to the Second Coming, which will be the most cataclysmic event in human history)” (Ezek. 38:20).
The Second Coming will present a display of Power such as the world has never known before.
This tremendous conflict, and we continue to speak of the Second Coming, will affect plant life, animal life, plus all humans, and even the topography of the land. All of this will in no way be caused by the Antichrist, but instead, by the Power of God. Thusly, one can understand the magnitude of “My Fury that shall come up in My Face.”
Actually, the world has never seen, heard, or known of such Power being expended in such magnitude. No wonder the Lord said, “The heathen may know Me.” He was referring to much of the world seeing this spectacle over television, more than likely, as it transpires. It will be brought into their very homes all over the world.
Undoubtedly, there will be hundreds, if not thousands, of television cameras there, sponsored by the major networks of the world. It will be insisted on by the Antichrist in his pomp and pride as he desires to record, for the entirety of the world, the tremendous victory he is about to win, or so he thinks! However, there will be a Victory, the greatest the world has ever known, but it will not be his!
The tremendous television coverage, meant to impress the entirety of the world, will do just that but in the opposite direction. The world at that time, and we continue to speak of the Second Coming, will see a demonstration of the Power of God as it has never seen before. As well, the world undoubtedly will observe Christ with the Armies of Heaven coming back to Earth in a Glory that boggles the mind.
Actually, outside of these Scriptures, there is no way for one to describe the magnitude of this Power because it is a Power far beyond the capabilities of man to even comprehend or understand.
It may be argued that atomic energy falls into the same category; however, as powerful as that is, it is localized, whereas this will cover the entirety of the land of Israel and, no doubt, many other areas as well!
Some may argue that all the disturbance in the heavens that will take place at the Second Coming, which Jesus addressed in Matthew, Chapter 24, will knock out all television reception. While that certainly could be, there is every evidence, however, that the Lord will protect the television coverage, for the Scripture says, concerning this event, and in the Words of the Lord:
“And then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in Heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the Earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of Heaven with Power and great Glory” (Mat. 24:30).
If it is to be noticed, this Passage says, “All the tribes of the Earth shall mourn, and shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of Heaven with Power and great Glory.”
“And I will call for a sword against him throughout all My Mountains, says the Lord GOD: every man’s sword shall be against his brother” (Ezek. 38:21). The evidence here is that during this Battle, the Lord will cause the enemy to begin to fight among themselves.
For instance, when Jonathan was fighting the Philistines, the Scripture says, “The Earth quaked,” and, “they went on beating down one another,” meaning that the Philistines, for some reason, turned on each other (I Sam. 14:15-16). This will happen, as well, at the Battle of Armageddon.
THE ARTILLERY OF THE LORD
“And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people who are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone. (This Verse proclaims the fact that the Lord will use the elements, over which neither the Antichrist nor any other man has any control)” (Ezek. 38:22).
This refers to destructive force of such magnitude that it will cause tremendous bloodshed. In fact, the bloodshed will be so great in the Battle of Armageddon, and we speak of blood being shed by the forces of the Antichrist, that the Scripture says that it will flow to the horse’s bridles, at least, for a certain distance. It will, no doubt, be mixed with water (Rev. 14:20).
The terminology of Verse 22 proclaims that which the Prophet Zechariah meant by the Lord doing battle as in the days of old. As He had done so many times in the past, He will do so again at this momentous occasion, as well, and, no doubt, in a far greater way.
For instance, when Sisera, the Canaanite General, was defeated by Debra and Barak, the Scripture says, concerning his 900 chariots of iron, “. . . the Earth trembled, and the heavens dropped, the clouds also dropped water.” It also said, “The stars in their courses fought against Sisera” (Judg. 5:4, 20-21).
The Lord will employ the same tactics as these but on a magnified scale. He will use the elements as His Artillery and, to be sure, it will most definitely be effective.
Think about thousands, if not millions, of hailstones falling from the heavens, with many of these stones weighing a hundred pounds or more. Think of the damage they will do. Think about meteorites slashing into the army of the Antichrist and magnify all of that on a scale that’s beyond our comprehension. One will then get, at least, somewhat of an idea as to what is going to take place at that time.
THEY SHALL KNOW THAT I AM THE LORD
“Thus will I magnify Myself, and sanctify Myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the LORD. (‘Thus will I magnify Myself,’ has reference to anger held in check for a long time and then exploding with a fury that defies description)” (Ezek. 38:23).
The Lord magnifying Himself proclaims this being done by the supernatural destruction of the Antichrist and even all the mighty armies, which are with him. This will be destruction and death never before equaled.
The words, “magnify Myself,” and, “sanctify Myself,” have terrifying consequences if used in the negative.
We have already alluded to this, but it refers to anger exploding after being held in check for a long period of time. It pertains to the honoring of the Name of the Lord, especially, after the Antichrist has blasphemed him for a period of some seven years.
The phrase, “I will be known in the eyes of many nations,” refers to this, which will be done as described, and which, no doubt, and as previously stated, will be portrayed all over the world by television as it is happening.
Therefore, not only will the Antichrist be defeated, but, due to these actions by the Lord, the entirety of the world will instantly know and recognize His Power, Glory, and Majesty. The Scripture says that He will come back, “King of kings, and Lord of lords.”
I HAVE SPOKEN IT
“You shall fall upon the open field: for I have spoken it, says the Lord GOD. (‘Open field,’ refers to the time of the defeat of the Antichrist. It will be in the very midst of the Battle, with the Antichrist bearing down on Jerusalem, thinking that victory is within his grasp.)
“And I will send a fire on Magog, and among them who dwell carelessly in the isles: and they shall know that I am the LORD. (‘Send a fire on Magog,’ simply means that the Lord will Personally use the elements of the heavens to destroy the vast Gentile armies following the Antichrist.
“‘And among them who dwell carelessly in the isles,’ pertains to other nations of the world, which, in their minds, are neutral and are simply turning a blind eye to this wholesale slaughter against Israel by the Antichrist)” (Ezek. 39:5-6).
THE PROPHET ZECHARIAH
Zechariah, who prophesied about 500 years before Christ, had the following to say as it regarded the Battle of Armageddon:
“Behold, the Day of the LORD comes, and your spoil shall be divided in the midst of you. (‘Behold, the Day of the LORD comes,’ presents this day as beginning with the Second Coming and lasting until the end of the Millennium. At that time, the end of the Millennium, the ‘Day of God’ begins and will continue through eternity [I Cor. 15:24-28; Eph. 1:10; II Pet. 3:10-13].
“‘And your spoil shall be divided in the midst of you,’ concerns the Antichrist coming against Israel [Ezek. 38:11-12].)
“For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. (The first phrase refers to the mobilization of the nations to Armageddon [Ezek., Chpts. 38-39; Joel, Chpt. 3; Rev. 16:13-16; 19:11-21]. ‘And the city shall be taken,’ actually means that the Antichrist will prepare to take Jerusalem, with actually half of it being taken. The phrase, ‘And the houses rifled, and the women ravished,’ expresses extreme cruelty practiced by the army of the Antichrist.
“‘And half of the city shall go forth into captivity,’ means that half of Jerusalem will fall to the advances of the Antichrist, with the other half fighting furiously to save themselves, but with futility, other than the Coming of the Lord. Actually, the phrasing of the sentence structure portrays Israel fighting with a ferocity that knows no bounds, but yet not able to stand against the powerful onslaught of the combined armies of the man of sin.
“‘And the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city,’ refers to the army of Israel already cut to pieces but determined to defend the city, even house to house, and, if necessary, to die to the last man.)”
THEN SHALL THE LORD GO FORTH . . .
“Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when He fought in the day of battle. (‘Then’ is the key word!
• “‘Then’: when Israel will begin to cry to God for Deliverance, knowing that He is their only hope.
• “‘Then’: when half of Jerusalem has fallen, and it looks like the other half is about to fall.
• “‘Then’: when it looks like every Jew will be annihilated, with two-thirds already killed.
• “‘Then’: when it looks like the Promises of God made to the Patriarchs and Prophets of old will fall down.
• “‘Then’: when it looks like the Antichrist will win this conflict, which will make Satan the lord of the Earth and, actually, the Universe.
“‘Then shall the LORD go forth,’ refers to the Second Coming, which will be the most cataclysmic event that the world has ever known. ‘And fight against those nations,’ pertains to the nations under the banner of the Antichrist, which have set out to destroy Israel, and actually with annihilation in mind.
“‘As when He fought in the day of battle,’ probably refers to the time when the Lord led the Children of Israel out of Egypt by way of the Red Sea [Ex. 14:14; 15:3]. This was Israel’s first battle when Jehovah Messiah ‘went forth’ and fought for them. Israel then passed through a valley between mountains of water; in this, their last battle, they will escape through a valley between mountains of rock, which will be caused by the Second Coming of the Lord)” (Zech. 14:1-3).
We have already alluded to this, but please allow me to elaborate. It is positive that every major television network in the world will be represented at the Battle of Armageddon. The Antichrist, the egomaniac that he will be, will want the entirety of the world to see his great victory as he annihilates Israel. No doubt, he has plans, which have already been formulated, for the greatest gala event the world has ever known, his enthronement as the king of kings and lord of lords. To be sure, it will look like he is going to pull it off.
News reports will come in from the battlefield on a constant basis, with television coverage of his advance going into billions of homes around the world. Steadily, his gigantic army crowds Jerusalem, with news reports going out constantly that victory is near. In fact, half of the city will fall (Zech. 14:2).
It will look like it’s all over, and the Antichrist will do what Haman, Herod, and Hitler could not do. It will look like Satan is just about ready to administer the final blow, and these ancient people, Israel, are about to die, and to a man. At that time, the following could very well happen.
There will be a strange phenomenon in the heavens. Jesus Himself said:
“For as the lightning comes out of the east, and shines even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be.”
He then said:
“Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from Heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
“And then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in Heaven . . .” (Mat. 24:27, 29-30).
IS IT JESUS CHRIST?
The television cameras record the screaming of jets, the powerful explosions of the artillery, and the screams of thousands who are giving their lives as the Jews fight from block to block, from house to house, even from room to room. To be sure, it looks like it is all over for these ancient people. Television is recording it all. The Antichrist wants to make certain that everybody sees his great victory.
And then, thinking that the Antichrist is about to introduce a new type of weapon, thousands of television cameras will, no doubt, point toward the heavens because there, something is happening. Thousands of newscasters will be trying to explain this great phenomenon to all the people of the world, probably stating that this, which the Antichrist is now introducing, will surely mean “finish” for Israel.
But then, the terminology will change. It is quite possible that the newscasters and their attempts to explain this phenomenon to the world, even as all of it draws closer, will begin to exclaim, “Is it possible?” “Can it be?” Then they will possibly say:
“Ladies and gentlemen, see for yourselves. There are millions of white horses, with every one containing a rider, with a startling Glory like we’ve never seen.” But then, they will say, “There is One leading them, and with a Glory such as has never been witnessed before. And yes, He has a banner stretched around His Body with the name written, ‘KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS!’”
“Could it be?”, hundreds of announcers will say, “Is it Jesus Christ?”
And then, the Scripture says:
“Behold, He comes with clouds (clouds of Saints); and every eye shall see Him, and they also which pierced Him . . .” (Rev. 1:7).
The phrase, “Every eye shall see Him,” could refer to those in Israel and, especially, in the vicinity of Jerusalem. However, due to modern communications, it probably has reference, and, no doubt does, to most of the world, which could only be carried out by television, to which we have alluded.
THE SECOND COMING OF THE LORD
When Jesus came the first time, He came as a lowly human being, raised in the home of peasant parents, which Isaiah prophesied:
“. . . And when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him” (Isa. 53:2).
In fact, at the conclusion of His Life and Ministry, He was spit upon, laughed at, caricatured, beaten, ostracized, ridiculed, lampooned, and put on a Cross. However, when He comes back the second time, it will be totally different than the first time. He will then come back in such a Glory as the world has never known before, and as the Scripture has said, “Crowned King of kings and Lord of lords.” In other words, the Second Coming will be the most cataclysmic event by far that the world has ever known. There has been nothing in history that could even remotely compare with this of which the Bible proclaims.
When it is considered that every Saint of God who has ever lived will come back with Christ, all with glorified bodies, such staggers the imagination.
Millions ask the question, “Will this really happen?” The answer is simple.
If He came the first time, and He most definitely did, then for certain, He will come the Second Time (Rev., Chpt. 19).
THE HEATHEN SHALL KNOW THAT I AM THE LORD
“So will I make My Holy Name known in the midst of My People Israel; and I will not let them pollute My Holy Name anymore: and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel. (This Verse captures all the Promises made by the Lord to the Patriarchs and Prophets of old!)” (Ezek. 39:7).
There has been no Moving or Operation of the Holy Spirit in Israel or among Jews for nearly 2,000 years. This certainly does not mean that individual Jews have not been Saved because some have come to Christ down through the centuries. However, this was all on an individual basis and had little to do with the great Promises given to the Patriarchs and Prophets of old.
In that coming day, while many things will play a part in all that happens, still, it is the “Second Coming” that will open the eyes of Israel and, in fact, the entirety of the world.
The seven years of the Great Tribulation will see the Name of the Lord polluted, blasphemed, and lampooned all over the world as never before. In fact, the Antichrist will actually, in a sense, declare war on the Lord Jesus Christ and do so by slaughtering everyone who names His Name. He will, no doubt, confiscate every Bible where he has any power at all, demanding total allegiance to himself, plus hatred for Christ.
The Scripture says about him:
“And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies. . . .” It also says, “And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His Name, and His Tabernacle, and them who dwell in Heaven” (Rev. 13:5-6).
However, at the Second Coming of the Lord, the “pollution” will end once and for all!
The last phrase of Verse 7 says, “And the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel.” This will proclaim, once and for all, that Jesus Christ is Lord, and everyone will understand that fact.
These very Prophecies in Ezekiel, plus the other Prophets, are little believed by the world. Even much of the church no longer believes that Israel has any part in the great Plan of God; however, this Passage, plus many others, tells us differently!
At the Second Coming of the Lord, to which these Passages refer, so dramatic will be the Lord’s Rescue of Israel that the world will have absolutely no doubt as to Who Israel’s Saviour is, and neither will Israel!
THIS IS THE DAY WHEREOF I HAVE SPOKEN
“Behold, it is come, and it is done, says the Lord GOD; this is the day whereof I have spoken. (Verse 8 pertains to the coming Great Tribulation, and more especially to these events at the very conclusion of that particular time, but, more than all, it pertains to the Battle of Armageddon [Zech. 14:7])” (Ezek. 39:8).
Even though these times are yet future, the very near future, and even though these words were uttered some 2,500 years ago, the Holy Spirit would say, “It is done.”
The events leading up to this time, which, in effect, is the very time in which we are now living, are proclaimed in the Scriptures as being a time of spiritual declension.
Perhaps one could say that economically and numerically, the American church has never been stronger; however, in the spiritual sense, it is at its lowest ebb since the Reformation. Churches are being filled with people clamoring to hear a “social message.” In fact, the most popular of all is the self-improvement message, as if the old man can be improved. The tragedy is, none of this is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but rather a Band-Aid that is being placed over the cancer of sin, with the end result being, as always, acute destruction. The real problem with mankind, as it has always been the real problem, is “sin.” However, the modern church acts as if sin does not exist, with the subject little being broached, except in a nebulous way. All the while, the bondages of darkness are taking their deadly toll, with this Band-Aid of the social gospel not only not helping the people, but rather severely harming them.
THE ONLY ANSWER IS THE CROSS OF CHRIST
As stated, man’s problem is sin, whether he is redeemed or otherwise. The only solution for sin, and we mean the only solution, is the Cross of Christ.
Tragedy of tragedies, the Cross is being preached not at all, with some few remote exceptions. Satan does everything within his power to cover up or to sidetrack the true solution. The sad fact is, he, by and large, succeeds with much of the church.
THE SONLIFE BROADCASTING NETWORK
The real reason that THE SONLIFE BROADCASTING NETWORK is being spread all over the world, and at a pace heretofore unheard of, is because of the Message that we preach and teach, THE MESSAGE OF THE CROSS.
If it is to be noticed, the Message that was proclaimed by the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul, just before the destruction of Jerusalem by the Roman army, was the Message of the Cross. In fact, this is the Gospel. It’s not merely a part of the Gospel or something added to the Gospel. It is, pure and simple, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In fact, the Apostle Paul defined what the Gospel is by saying:
“Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the Gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the Cross of Christ should be made of none effect” (I Cor. 1:17).
Paul was one of the most educated men to write in the Sacred Text, and yet, when addressing the church at Corinth, he also said:
“For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him Crucified” (I Cor. 2:2).
The reason the Holy Spirit said this through him is simply because the only answer for sin, as stated, is the Cross of Christ, and, please believe me, sin is the problem. The only thing that will set the captive free is the Message of “Jesus Christ and Him Crucified,” which must be taken to heart and believed.
Is the modern church preaching the Cross?
We must understand that the Cross brings home the full seriousness of sin, declares the powerlessness of fallen humanity to achieve Salvation, and exposes human delusions of self-righteousness. Nothing else will do that!
In the 1970’s, the Pentecostal and Charismatic arms of the Church began to embrace humanistic psychology. In fact, the old-line churches had long since embraced it. We must understand, humanistic psychology is far more than a mere few hours of psychological counseling. It embodies a complete way of life and a complete belief system, all of which is totally opposite of the Word of God. In other words, humanistic psychology is antagonistic toward the Word of God in every capacity. The Cross of Christ and humanistic psychology cannot coexist. One or the other must go. Tragically and sadly, the Cross of Christ has been thrown aside, in other words, abandoned, in the modern church in favor of humanistic psychology. God help us, especially considering that there is no help whatsoever from that source, only destruction. The Cross of Christ is God’s Way, and that Way does not need any help. Humanistic psychology is Satan’s way, which is the solution for a world that has forgotten God days without number. It is understandable as to how the unredeemed would embrace such, but not understandable at all as it regards the church.
Peter wrote, “According as His Divine Power has given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him Who has called us to Glory and Virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and Precious Promises: that by these you might be partakers of the Divine Nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (II Pet. 1:3-4). Now, either Peter is correct, or Freud is correct. You cannot have both! As Joshua said a long time ago, “As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”
I personally believe that “the Message of the Cross,” which we preach and teach, is the Message that the Holy Spirit is presently giving to the church and the world. It’s going to be given so powerfully that the church will either have to reject it or accept it. It cannot be ignored! It is the Holy Spirit Who will do that. Let me quote again what the Lord said through the Prophet Ezekiel some 2,500 years ago:
“Behold, it is come, and it is done, says the Lord GOD; this is the day whereof I have spoken” (Ezek. 39:8).
To be continued next month.
(This message was derived from the book by Jimmy Swaggart, “Armageddon”.)