The Battle Of Armageddon - Part I
“And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.” Revelation 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, 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, and 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.
Likewise, in the coming great tribulation, 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.
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. It will look as though he is going to annihilate every Jew, which means a wholesale massacre. So, Israel will fight alone.
Despite being outnumbered by 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 ten or more men. The tribe of Judah will have the unexcelled power of God. But 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.
That which the Lord will do will be so very helpful, but it is not the main entrée. The main entrée will be the second coming of the Lord.
The Army Of The Antichrist
While the Bible gives us a few clues regarding what this army will be made of, I’m sure it only scratches the surface. Every nation conquered by the Antichrist will no doubt be forced to supply as many soldiers as the Man of Sin says are needed.
The Bible does give us a clue about some of those who will be with the Man of Sin.
The first one is Persia. This, of course, is Iran. Many people don’t know that Iran isn’t Arab but Persian. Its history goes back some twenty-five hundred years. The Iranians are now rabid haters of Israel; they swear 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.
Israel is attempting to slow down if not halt the atomic development in Iran. Israel is quickly finding herself with precious few friends. That’s why when the Antichrist makes his debut and claims ability to solve the problem between Israel and the Muslims—and he will do so—it 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 of little consequence.
• Libya. This little country is in northern Africa and can supply precious little in the form of military help.
• 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, but 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.
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. But 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. But make no mistake about it, the weapons that will be used in the coming great tribulation will be the very finest available.
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 great promises will no doubt be made to the Muslims at the beginning of the great tribulation, the hour will come when 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 (if he does in fact make promises) will be completely ignored.
From the way Daniel describes the Antichrist, he cannot tolerate and 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.
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 he will possibly promise to do, still, his hatred for Israel will be paramount. Quite possibly, they will take whatever they can get in the hope that it will destroy the ancient people.
It is my personal thought that this man will 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 try to salvage any place for themselves that they can get.
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 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.
This article is reprinted from the March 2015 issue of The Evangelist to complement FWC Wednesday night Bible studies on the book of Revelation.