Participants in the Battle of Armageddon
“And He gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon” (Rev. 16:16).
WE WILL DEAL WITH Israel first.
There is no evidence that anyone in the world at that time, even America, will stand up for Israel. In other words, they will more than likely be facing the most powerful army the world has ever known, and they will do so alone. There is no indication in the Bible, of which I am aware, that speaks of any nation in the world helping Israel at that time. It will be somewhat like the situation was at the outset of World War II. Ships loaded with tens of thousands of Jewish refugees sailed from Europe and tried to find harbor in New York City. President Roosevelt would not allow them to disembark. His reason: it might antagonize Herr Hitler. Some of the same ships went down to South America but, again, to no avail. They concluded their journey by going back to Europe, with most of those Jews gassed to death in the concentration camps. Among other things, no doubt, Hitler reasoned that no one cared if Jews lived or died, so he could take his freedom in slaughtering as many as he could find, and that’s exactly what he did.
That’s at least one of the reasons that America, plus most other nations of the world, had a guilty conscience after World War II. America knew that she could have exerted some pressure on Hitler, which would have lessened the blow, but the upshot was, nothing was done.
In the coming great tribulation, likewise, the greater majority, if not all the nations of the world, will have no desire to antagonize the Man of Sin. The evidence is that even those who will consider themselves to be neutral will not lift a hand to help Israel so as not to bring the wrath of the Antichrist upon their heads. It must be remembered that at that particular time, at least, for the first few days, it will look as though the Antichrist is going to accomplish what Haman, Herod, and Hitler did not do. It will look as though he is going to annihilate every Jew, which means a wholesale massacre. So, Israel will fight alone.
And yet, despite being outnumbered, possibly hundreds to one, the great Prophet Zechariah did say the following:
“In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the LORD before them” (Zech. 12:8).
THE ANOINTING OF POWER
The idea of all of this is, even though the army of Israel will, no doubt, be outnumbered greatly by the army of the Antichrist, still, the Lord will make the Israeli soldiers as David of old, meaning that one will have the strength of 10 men or more. And then, the tribe of Judah will have the unexcelled power of God. But still, even though this supernatural ability given to the Jewish soldiers by the Lord will help greatly, that alone will not see them through because of the overwhelming superiority of the army of the Antichrist.
However, as one might say, as that which the Lord will do will be so very, very helpful, still, it is not the main entrée. The main entrée will be the second coming of the Lord, which we will deal with later.
THE ARMY OF THE ANTICHRIST
While the Bible gives us a few clues regarding that of which this army will be made, I’m sure it is only scratching the surface. No doubt, every nation conquered by the Antichrist will be forced to supply as many soldiers as the Man of Sin says are needed.
The Bible does give us a clue about at least some of those who will be with the Man of Sin.
The first one is Persia. This, of course, is Iran. Many people do not know that Iran is not Arab, but rather Persian. Its history goes back some 2,500 years. The Iranians now, as is obvious, are rabid haters of Israel, swearing her destruction time and time again. In fact, Israel, at this present time, is on the horns of a dilemma. They have the power to take out Iran, but it would entail the slaughter of tens of thousands of Iranians, which the world would not sanction. At the same time, America, sadly and regrettably, is not doing anything about the proliferation of atomic power regarding Iran, which is working feverishly to develop its own atomic arsenal. Strangely enough, the surrounding Arab nations wish that Israel would do something simply because Iran hates them almost as much as they hate Israel. So, Israel is attempting to slow down, if not halt, the atomic development in Iran by taking out, in various different ways, her top scientists, etc. Israel is fastly finding herself with precious few friends. That’s the reason that when the Antichrist makes his debut, claiming to be able to solve the problem between Israel and the Muslims, and, in fact, will do so, this will be the greatest thing in the eyes of the world that has happened in the last several decades.
Israel also listed the following countries:
Ethiopia: This is a small country located on the eastern side of the middle part of the continent of Africa. About all they could contribute to the army of the Antichrist would be soldiers, but yet, of little consequence.
Libya: this little country is in northern Africa and, as well, can supply precious little in the form of military help.
If it is to be noticed, when the Bible mentions weapons of war, it mentions that which is indicative of that particular time, such as the sword, bucklers and shields. However, that doesn’t mean that this battle will be fought with weapons of antiquity. Far from it! In fact, the Antichrist, no doubt, will have the finest weaponry in the world. And yet, it is doubtful that he will have atomic bombs.
It should be obvious that if the sacred writers had used the names of modern weapons, Bible scholars for many centuries would have been deeply puzzled, not understanding at all what the names of the weapons would have meant. So, the weapons of that time were rightly listed. However, make no mistake about it, the weapons that will be used in the coming great tribulation will be the very finest available.
Gomer: There is some small evidence that these people came from the Ukraine, which was a part of the Soviet Union when communism was in power. It now has its own sovereignty. Some have claimed that Gomer referred to Germany; however, there is really no proof of that.
Togarmah: some think these people may have come from what is now Iraq, but again, that is only speculative.
AT THE TIME OF THE BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON, WHAT PART WILL MUSLIMS PLAY?
We have already alluded to the following but allow me to elaborate. While, no doubt, great promises will be made to the Muslims at the beginning of the great tribulation, the hour will come that the Man of Sin will set himself up as God. This will be at about the midpoint of the seven-year period. So, the promises he will have made to the Muslims at the outset, that is, if he, in fact, does make promises, will, no doubt, be completely ignored.
From the way Daniel describes the Antichrist, he cannot tolerate and, in fact, will not tolerate any competing religion of any kind. He will claim to be God, so that doesn’t leave any room for competing religions such as Islam, etc.
However, the age-old hatred of the Muslims against Israel will most definitely not change. So, even though he will not do for the Muslims what possibly he will promise to do, still, his hatred for Israel will be paramount. Quite possibly, they will take whatever they can get that, hopefully, will destroy the ancient people.
It is my personal thought that this man will, in fact, take over the entirety of the Middle East with all of its oil, which will shut out the Muslims. I also believe that he will do away with the worshipping spot of Mecca. At a point in time, realizing what he is doing, they will then, no doubt, try to salvage any place for themselves that they can get. At any rate, during that time, the religion of Islam, plus all other religions, will be no more, at least, in the countries where he has control. So, after he finishes the countries “out of the east and out of the north,” which, as stated, could very well be Russia and China, he will then turn his attention to Israel. They will be the only people on the face of the earth of that time, of which we have any knowledge, who will oppose the Antichrist.
The Man of Sin will turn on Israel at the midpoint of the great tribulation, with Israel then fleeing to Petra, which is in Jordan. He will hear these evil tidings out of the east and out of the north and will leave Israel and will set about to take care of this pressing problem. With the Antichrist having moved his vast army, Israel will begin to filter back into Jerusalem, at least all of its men, and many of its young ladies as well. They will then begin to rearm themselves and will have about three years to do so. So, at the time of the battle of Armageddon, Israel, with her meager forces, will face this juggernaut alone.
WHERE WILL AMERICA BE DURING THIS TIME?
One must understand that with the rapture (resurrection) of the church, that which made America great - and I speak of the hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of born-again believers - will no longer be here. While, no doubt, hundreds of thousands will give their hearts to Christ immediately after the rapture, still, America will not be the place that we now know. The spirit of the antichrist is already at work in America and, in fact, in the entirety of the world; however, I think it is at work in America greater than anywhere else.
The reason I feel this is because the United States is still the center for world evangelism, and, of course, Satan will go to any length to stop that. I personally believe that for the time being, the Lord is going to hold everything in check so that this great Message of the Cross will not only cover this great nation but, also, every other nation in the world. To be sure, the Lord places great stock in His Word going to the world and, especially, the Message of the Cross.
While there is no evidence that the Antichrist will take over America during the great tribulation, still, there is no evidence, either, that America will oppose him. In fact, every evidence is that our nation will applaud him, at least, at the beginning, because of his being able to broker a peace treaty between Israel and the Muslims, something that the brightest minds in America have never been able to accomplish.
There will be many nations that will throw in with the Antichrist, thereby, giving him their full support, but only because they have no choice. Every evidence is that, at the outset, he will take over the entirety of the Middle East, with the exception of Jordan and much of Western Europe.
WHAT ABOUT THE TEN-NATION CONFEDERATION?
The Word of God has quite a bit to say about this ten-nation confederation, which goes all the way back to the dream given to Nebuchadnezzar, the golden head, so to speak, of the Babylonian Empire. This was done some 2,500 years ago.
Ironically enough, this potentate couldn’t even remember what the dream was, much less, its interpretation. Of course, the Lord orchestrated all of this. Daniel would recall the dream and, as well, give him the interpretation. As we shall see, the dream and its interpretation portray to us all the empires that would persecute Israel from the time of the Babylonians even unto the future, which means it has not yet come to pass. In fact, all of the empires have come and gone, with the exception of the ten-nation confederation, which is right around the corner, so to speak.
Concerning this ten-nation confederation, the Word of God says:
“And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaks in pieces and subdues all things: and as iron that breaks all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise. (This ‘fourth kingdom’ is the Roman Empire and is represented by the ‘legs of iron.’ It would be the strongest of all!)
“And whereas you saw the feet and toes, part of the potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as you saw the iron mixed with miry clay. (All that we have previously studied represents empires that have come and gone; however, the ‘feet’ and ‘toes’ of this statue of iron and clay represent that which is yet to come.)
“And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. (This verse represents the ten-nation confederation, with the ‘toes of the feet’ symbolic of this confederation, which will greatly oppose Israel in the very near future.)
“And whereas you saw iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. (Their confederation will not succeed because of the ‘miry clay,’ which expresses that some of the ten-nation confederation are weak. As stated, this will take place in the near future)” (Dan. 2:40-43).
THE ROMAN EMPIRE AND THE TEN-NATION KINGDOM
“After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and broke in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it; and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns. (This beast represents the Roman Empire, which was the strongest and most powerful of all. It lasted for nearly 1,000 years. The phrase, “And it had ten horns,” speaks of that which was a part of this beast, and for a particular reason. But it had nothing to do with the conquests of the original Roman Empire. These “ten horns” portray 10 kingdoms, which will arise in the latter days, in fact, in the very near future. These 10 nations will persecute Israel)” (Dan. 7:7).
Even though we have already given the following information, for clarification, please allow the repetition, inasmuch as it involves the ten-nation confederation.
THE LITTLE HORN
“I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things. (At first, Daniel did not understand the horns. Even though the Roman Empire has come and gone, still, the “ten horns” have not yet risen to power; however, the breakup of the former Soviet Union is the beginning of the fulfillment of this passage. If one is to notice, the ten horns were a part of the nondescript beast, which has to do with the territory which the old Roman Empire controlled. “There came up among them another little horn,” means this one came up after the ten horns were fully grown. The “little horn” is the Antichrist. Three of the horns will be plucked by the little horn, meaning that he will defeat these countries in battle, with the others then submitting to him. This will take place in the first half of the great tribulation)” (Dan. 7:8).
The three horns, i.e., three nations that will be defeated by the Antichrist, are Egypt, Turkey, and Greece. We know these are the countries addressed because of the location of Alexander the Great’s empire and the way it was broken up and taken over by his four generals.
KING OF THE SOUTH
Daniel said, “And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over” (Dan. 11:40).
The phrase, “Shall the king of the south push at him,” refers to Egypt attacking the Antichrist. In fact, Egypt will head up the ten-nation confederation, corresponding with the “ten horns” of Daniel 7:7, which will greatly oppose Israel. We know that the “king of the south” refers to Egypt because this is who is referred to at the beginning of Chapter 11 of Daniel, which speaks of the breakup of the Grecian Empire with the death of Alexander the Great.
It seems that Greece and Turkey will join with Egypt in attempting to stop the “king of the north,” who will be the Antichrist. We know that these are the two countries referred to (Greece and Turkey) from Daniel 8:9. As is obvious, they will not at all be successful and will quickly be defeated by the Man of Sin, with the other six countries throwing in their lot with him without further conflict. In other words, they will realize that opposing him is futile.
With the Antichrist getting control over the three countries mentioned in the first three and a half years of Daniel’s seventieth week, and the other six giving their power to him upon seeing further resistance as useless, this makes him the conqueror of all the old Roman Empire territory. Therefore, his base of operations at the midway point of the great tribulation will be substantial, to say the least!
Regarding the 10 countries fulfilling the “ten horns” of Daniel 7:7, the Antichrist will already be the ruler over Syria, and with him defeating three, that leaves only six. These will give their power to him, giving him control of all 10.
Who the six countries are, we aren’t told, but, for certain, they will be with him when he turns on Israel.