The Righteous Perish
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When Armageddon Comes

January 6, 2009 Radio

Middle East Peace seems to be a contradiction in terms.

If in, what? 4000 years of history? there has never been anything resembling peace in that part of the world, why should anyone expect peace to break out now?


          The thing that puzzles me about the middle east is why no one in the western world is willing to recognize the truth about that region.


          It was bad enough before Mohammed had his visions in the caves of Arabia. But since the advent of Islam, there is only one peace that can ever exist.


                      A peace where the whole world in subjection to Islam and Sharia law.

And since the rest of the world has seen how little Islam has done to better the lives of its people, they have no incentive to knuckle under to the Islamic vision.


          Christians and Jews will never be able to retain their identity before God in an Islamic world.

I fear I see nothing but war stretching off into the indefinite future.

Even Jesus saw it so.


On a day when his disciples were oohing and ahing over the Temple and its buildings, Jesus sobered them up with a sharp statement.


(Matthew 24:2 NIV) "Do you see all these things?" he asked. "I tell you the truth, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down."

I remember well my first visit to Jerusalem.


The dominant impression I had was “Why on earth did anyone want to fight over this city.

And I wonder if so much blood has ever been shed over any comparable piece of real estate


          Because it has gone on for so long, and so often.

So I stood on the mount of Olives, where Jesus followed up with his prophecies for the future and marveled at the place.


          I was standing on the hill where Jesus spoke further about what Jerusalem could expect.

(Matthew 24:3-8 KJV) And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the age? {4} And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. {5} For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. {6} And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. {7} For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. {8} All these are [only the beginning].


          I marvel over that, because so many people think that these are signs of the end.

          But Jesus said, the end is not yet.

Nevertheless, I expect you have heard of something called Armageddon.

It is a word that has entered our language. It means: “the site or time of a final and conclusive battle between the forces of good and evil, or the battle taking place at Armageddon.”


          I have been there and stood on the hill of Meggido and looked out across the valley. The place called “Armageddon.


          And, Just like with Jerusalem, I wondered, “Why here?” What for? There are no natural resources to fight over. Not even a strategic location.


          So I looked in the Bible to see what I could find.

(Revelation 16:12-14 KJV) And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. {13} And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. {14} For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.


          Here is a trivia question for you. It isn’t called the battle of armageddon. It is called: the battle of that great day of God Almighty.

16 And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.

17 And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.

18 And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.


          And having read it all, I still stood looking out over that great valley and wondered, “Why here? What for? And what for?

The answer, I think, is very close to the reason why the Jews are such a persecuted people, and why the battles are a constant in the Middle east.


          It is the presence of the Jews there that accounts for it.


          And why the Jews? Because historically, they are the one ethnic people who still identify themselves by their God.


          And the hatred for that God that exists in the world is irrational and unquenchable.

Jesus spoke of it on that last night with his disciples:

(John 15:18-25 KJV) If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. {19} If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. {20} Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. {21} But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me. {22} If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin. {23} He that hateth me hateth my Father also. {24} If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father. {25} But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.


          This is what you need to understand about anti-semitism.


          It is rooted in a hatred of God.


          You would think the Jews and Moslems worship the same God, and that hatred of God would not be a factor. But you would be wrong. They do not worship the same God.

You can see it in the hatred of Moslems for Jews which is deep and wide— and permanent.


          So there will be no peace in the Middle East. Not now. Not ever in this age.


          And the wars will go on until Armageddon: “the site or time of a final and conclusive battle between the forces of good and evil.”

Why Armageddon?


          In history, the reason was topographic. Invasion into Israel, even from nations coming from the southeast, entered the land from the north.


                      Why? The vast desert to the east. So they went north up the Euphrates and then west to this area where they assembled for the coming assault.

There was an ancient prophecy of a type of the battle of Armageddon.


          It was delivered by Isaiah at the time of the Assyrian invasion which, necessarily, came from the north.


          The Assyrians were the dominant power. They had already invaded once and carried off Samaria and the 10 northern tribes. Now they were coming back to chastise Israel.

(Isaiah 10 KJV) {5} O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation. {6} I will send him against an hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets.


          The Assyrian himself merely served as an instrument to chastise, but he Got a little to big in his own eyes.

{7} Howbeit he meaneth not so, neither doth his heart think so; but it is in his heart to destroy and cut off nations not a few.


          Then he rattles off many of his conquests, concluding that Jerusalem is no better.

{12} Wherefore it shall come to pass, that when the Lord hath performed his whole work upon mount Zion and on Jerusalem, I will punish the fruit of the stout heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks. {13} For he saith, By the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my wisdom; for I am prudent: and I have removed the bounds of the people, and have robbed their treasures, and I have put down the inhabitants like a valiant man: {14} And my hand hath found as a nest the riches of the people: and as one gathereth eggs that are left, have I gathered all the earth; and there was none that moved the wing, or opened the mouth, or peeped.


          But then God speaks in reply:

{15} Shall the ax boast itself against him that heweth therewith? or shall the saw magnify itself against him that shaketh it? as if the rod should shake itself against them that lift it up, or as if the staff should lift up itself, as if it were no wood. {16} Therefore shall the Lord, the Lord of hosts, send among his fat ones leanness; and under his glory he shall kindle a burning like the burning of a fire. {17} And the light of Israel shall be for a fire, and his Holy One for a flame: and it shall burn and devour his thorns and his briers in one day; {18} And shall consume the glory of his forest, and of his fruitful field, both soul and body: and they shall be as when a standardbearer fainteth. {19} And the rest of the trees of his forest shall be few, that a child may write them. {20} And it shall come to pass in that day, that the remnant of Israel, and such as are escaped of the house of Jacob, shall no more again stay upon him that smote them; but shall stay upon the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, in truth. {21} The remnant shall return, even the remnant of Jacob, unto the mighty God. {22} For though thy people Israel be as the sand of the sea, yet a remnant of them shall return: the consumption decreed shall overflow with righteousness. {23} For the Lord GOD of hosts shall make a consumption, even determined, in the midst of all the land. {24} Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD of hosts, O my people that dwellest in Zion, be not afraid of the Assyrian: he shall smite thee with a rod, and shall lift up his staff against thee, after the manner of Egypt. {25} For yet a very little while, and the indignation shall cease, and mine anger in their destruction.

{26} And the LORD of hosts shall stir up a scourge for him according to the slaughter of Midian at the rock of Oreb: and as his rod was upon the sea, so shall he lift it up after the manner of Egypt. {27} And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing.


          There follows a list of towns, so I decided to find them on the map as best I could.


          I found an odd thing: They start in the north near megiddo and sit roughly along a line from a place in the north and stagger down toward Jerusalem

{28} He is come to Aiath, he is passed to Migron; at Michmash he hath laid up his carriages: {29} They are gone over the passage: they have taken up their lodging at Geba; Ramah is afraid; Gibeah of Saul is fled. {30} Lift up thy voice, O daughter of Gallim: cause it to be heard unto Laish, O poor Anathoth. {31} Madmenah is removed; the inhabitants of Gebim gather themselves to flee. {32} As yet shall he remain at Nob that day: he shall shake his hand against the mount of the daughter of Zion, the hill of Jerusalem.


          He assembles his army in Armageddon and marches south to within sight of Jerusalem.

{33} Behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts, shall lop the bough with terror: and the high ones of stature shall be hewn down, and the haughty shall be humbled. {34} And he shall cut down the thickets of the forest with iron, and Lebanon shall fall by a mighty one.


          It is like you took a pair of long handled pruning shears and hacked off a branch, letting it fall to the ground.


          But didn’t this happen in history? Yes it did.


          What does it have to do with Armageddon?

Perhaps more than one might think. Because the prophecy doesn’t end there:

(Isaiah 11:1-9 KJV) And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: {2} And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;

This is widely understood to be a prophecy of the Messianic Kingdom.

{3} And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: {4} But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. {5} And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins. {6} The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. {7} And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. {8} And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den. {9} They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.


          You wouldn’t think so, but the invasion described here is a type of what is to come in the last days.


          And the beginning of the end starts in: Armageddon.


          According to Revelation, what happens after that?

(Revelation 16:15-21 KJV) Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. {16} And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon. {17} And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done. {18} And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. {19} And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. {20} And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. {21} And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.


          But then, the book leaves the issue hanging in mid air.


          And departs into a description of the judgment of Babylon the Great.

(Revelation 18:1-2 KJV) And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. {2} And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.


          Babylon, of course, sat in the middle of Iraq.

          Some thought the last Iraq war might have culminated in a fulfillment of this prophecy.

          But not yet.

(Revelation 18:9-11 KJV) And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning, {10} Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come. {11} And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more:

(Revelation 18:21 KJV) And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.

(Revelation 19:11-21 KJV) And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. {12} His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. {13} And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. {14} And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. {15} And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. {16} And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. {17} And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; {18} That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great. {19} And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. {20} And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. {21} And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.

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