Armageddon War (Rev. 16:14-16)
Some preachers say that the Russia-Ukraine war is the same as “the Battle of Armageddon” in the Book of Revelation (Rev. 16:14-16).
According to the Historical Approach of interpreting the book of Revelation, the Commentators try to find fulfillment of the Revelation’s visions in historical events. In the past, they referred to many wars as the Battle of Armageddon. They miss the spiritual message and the symbolic language of the Book of Revelation by such interpretation.
The kings of the world (Rev. 16:14) symbolize the powers of darkness opposing God through the evil political and religious rulers. And with the deceived multitudes, these kings go to war against Almighty God.
The “battle” or “war” against God and His people is not physical or political but spiritual. It is the ongoing battle Satan has been waging since he led Adam and Eve astray in Paradise. Satan will continue to wage wars until God casts him into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:10). However, the Greek text features the definite article in the expression “the battle” or “the war” at three places that feature the battle of “the great day of the Lord,” the day of the cross (Rev. 16:14; 19:19; 20:8). Thus, it refers to the conflict on the cross.
The three evil spirits gather the kings of the whole world “for the war on the great day of God Almighty.” Apocalypse alludes to Psalm 2. These kings and rulers set themselves against God and His anointed Son, but the Lord treats them with scorn and derision (Ps. 2:1-5).
The Day of the Lord
In the Old and New Testaments, including the epistles of Paul and Peter, the term “the day of the Lord” means, in its unique sense, the last eschatological day. On the cross, we passed the judgment of this day in the body of the Lord Jesus Christ. Thus, the Apostles Peter, St. John, and their companions could understand that Psalm 2 is a prophecy of God’s great day in Christ on the cross (Acts 4:24-28).
Through the sprinkling of Christ’s blood on our consciences and in our hearts, Christ’s victory - on the “great day of the Lord” on the cross - becomes a living experience in our lives. The apostles could understand that God has made the victory of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross to be their victory over the kingdom of evil. Christ’s victory made them boldly preach the good news of the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 4:29-30).
The Lord Jesus Christ had taught His disciples that they should be like the owner of a house who stays awake to prevent a thief from breaking in at night (Matt. 24:42–43; Luke 12:39–40). And in the letter to the angel of the church in Sardis, the Lord Jesus Christ him that He will come like a thief (Rev. 3:3). Both Paul and Peter describe the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ as a thief at night (1 Thess. 5:2; 2 Pet. 3:10). Thus Christ’s and the apostles’ teachings alert the Christians of Christ’s sudden and unexpected return.
The unexpected time of Christ’s second coming requires vigilance and is associated with a beatitude for those who stay awake. Thus, in the parable of the sudden arrival of the thief, the Lord Jesus is blessed, the faithful and watchful servant (Luke 12:37,39).
“Blessed is he who watches” is an encouragement to stay spiritually awake. Moreover, it is an admonishment to hold on to the blessings of the Father in Christ’s death and resurrection. The Lord Jesus Christ grants this blessing as the third in a series of seven beatitudes (Rev. 1:3; 14:13; 16:15; 19:9; 20:6; 22:7,14).
Keeping the Clothes
The Lord Jesus Christ said, “Blessed is he who stays awake and keeps his clothes with him, so that he may not go naked and be shamefully exposed” (Rev. 16:15, NIV). The blessedness in this verse has nothing to do with nudism, but we should understand it figuratively. Instead, it alludes to being spiritually clothed with the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ through obedience to the Word of God (Eph. 6:11).
Walking naked - in the spiritual sense - brings shame to man and makes him worthy of God’s chastisement. Therefore, the Lord Jesus Christ advised the angel of Laodiceans to buy from Him white garments to clothe himself (Rev. 3:18).
The expression “Armageddon” occurs only here in the entire Bible. Therefore, scholars struggle to present a convincing explanation. Many commentators have offered numerous suggestions, but they have no absolute certainty about the exact meaning of “Armageddon.” All their approaches are, at best mere guesses.
“Armageddon” is the Hebrew equivalent of “Mount of Megiddo.” Scholars disagree about the exact location of this place. However, the most likely possibility is the valley between Mount Carmel and the city of Jezreel. This valley, known as the Valley of Jezreel and sometimes referred to as the Plain of Esdraelon, was the crossroads of two ancient trade routes and was a strategic military site. Armageddon is the Greek word for this area, which was the scene of many old battles.
Some interpreters see the word Armageddon is based on the Hebrew word “בְּהַר־מוֹעֵד,” translated in English as “the mountain of assembly,” which appears in Isa. 14:13. This mountain is symbolic of “Mount Zion” and related to “the City of Jerusalem.” It is considered where Christ would come from to defeat his enemies.
Armageddon depicts “the great battle of the Lord” on the cross and symbolizes God’s deliverance of His people from harm in the war against the kingdom of evil. At Armageddon, God poured out “the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His [God’s] wrath” (Rev. 16:19).
On the cross, the kingdom of evil has been defeated. God disarmed principalities and powers. He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in the Lord Jesus Christ (Col. 2:15).
Through the cross and the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, God the Father had demonstrated His mightiest power. He raised the Lord Jesus Christ, exalted Him, and gave Him the name above every name (Phil. 2:9-10).
Pouring the Sixth Cup presents Christ’s victory on the cross as our victory. The victorious overcome Satan and his kingdom through the blood of the Lamb (Rev. 12:11). Thus, Armageddon is no longer just a geographical location nor a place of historical battles. Instead, it is in the believer’s heart where the spiritual struggle takes place against the forces of darkness, and we obtain victory in the blood of the Lamb.
To order the book, “Revealing the Father through the Book of Revelation”: