The Battle of Armageddon

Revelation

The Battle of Armageddon

March 10th, 1963 @ 8:15 AM

Revelation 19:11-21

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. 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. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 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. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. 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; 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. 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. 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. 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.
Print Sermon
Downloadable Media
  
Play Audio

Show References:
ON OFF

THE BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON

Dr. W. A. Criswell

Revelation 19:11-21

3-10-63       8:15 a.m.

 

 

On the radio you are sharing the services of the First Baptist Church in Dallas.  This is the pastor bringing the early morning message entitled The Battle of Armageddon.  In our preaching through the Bible, we have come to the Revelation; in our preaching through the Revelation, to chapter 19.  Last Sunday we left off at verse 10; and today we begin at verse 11 and expound this passage to the end of the chapter.  In your Bible therefore, turn to the last book, the Revelation, the Apocalypse, The "unveiling," the presentation of Jesus our Christ, and we shall read the text.  Revelation 19, beginning at verse 11:

 

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.

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.

And He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood:  and His name is called The Word of God.

And the armies which were in heaven followed Him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.

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.

And He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.

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;

 

Better translation, "to the great supper of God," an enormous supper, a carnivorous repast:

 

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.

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.

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.

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.

[Revelation 19:11-21]

 

What an awful, what a vast and indescribably unimaginable scene!

Now, we have come, in this passage, to the second coming of Christ, to the return of our Lord to the earth.  This book is called "the unveiling," the Apocalypse, the presentation of Jesus the Lord Christ; and everything in the book moves to this final and ultimate consummation that is reached in this passage and in this text.  The scene is one of war and carnage and bloodshed, indescribably so.  After the marriage of the Lamb in heaven, and after the great banquet supper celebrating that wonderful and celestial event for God’s children, immediately thereafter, immediately there is this scene of the bursting open of the gates of heaven, and the pouring forth of the victorious warrior Christ, followed by all of His people and the angelic hosts of glory.  And then this terrible war called Armageddon.

This battle has been mentioned several times in the Book of the Revelation; and we have been prepared for it by several very succinct and prophetic passages.  For example, in the eleventh chapter of the book, the last part of the chapter, beginning at verse [15]:

 

The seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdom of this world is become the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever.

And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their thrones, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God,

Saying, We give Thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, who art, and wast,because Thou hast taken to Thee Thy great power, and hast reigned.

– now look –

And the nations were angry, and Thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that Thou shouldest give reward unto Thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear Thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.

[Revelation 11:15-18]

 

The end, when the kingdom of this world is given to our Lord and His Christ, that end time which is described here in the blowing of the seventh trumpet, is in war and in carnage.  "And the nations were angry, and Thy wrath is come,that Thou shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth."  Now that is a prophecy of this battle of Armageddon.  Now, look again, in chapter 14, chapter 14, in verses 18 through 20.  Here again is a prophecy of this terrible war:

 

 

And another angel came out from the altar, who had power over fire; and cried with a loud voice to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.

And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.

And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.

 

[Revelation 14:18-20]

 

A furlong is an eighth of a mile; so when you divide eight into sixteen hundred, two hundred miles.  Two hundred miles of blood poured out in this great war.  This is a prophecy of Armageddon.  Now let’s turn to chapter 16, and look at verses 13 through 16.  Let’s start at verse 12:

 

And the sixth angel poured out his vial, his bowl of wrath, upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared;

– coming to this great battle of Armageddon –

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.

For they are the spirits of devils, demons, 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,

And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon, the hill, the mountain of Megiddo.

 

[Revelation 16:12-14, 16]

 

The Greek word for mountain is "har," and Megiddo is one of the towns on the south side of that great, vast Plain of Esdraelon.  It goes from the Mediterranean Sea down to the Jordan, clear across the northern part of Palestine, a great, vast, plain surrounded by mountains.  "And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Har Megiddo, Armageddon," here in this Greek translation.

Then finally, after these many prophecies in the Revelation, then finally that battle comes, that great war comes; and it is described here in this text.  Now, that ultimate and final battle of "the great day of God Almighty," you will find described and mentioned again and again and again in the Old Testament.  This is the ultimate and final conflict between an apostate and blaspheming world and the great God Almighty.  Now I haven’t time even to begin to even to refer to these passages in the Old Testament; but I’m going to read about three of them in order that you can see how that battle loomed in the minds of the prophets as well as in the prophetic revelation in the Apocalypse.  You will find that battle referred to so many times.

Now let’s take an instance here in the sixty-third chapter of Isaiah.  Isaiah chapter 63:  "Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in His apparel, traveling in the greatness of His strength?"  Then Isaiah the prophet looks and says to Him, "Wherefore art Thou red in Thine apparel, and Thy garments like him that treadeth in the wine fat?" treading the grapes, mashing the blood out of them.  Then He replies, "I have trodden the winepress alone,and their blood shall be sprinkled upon My garments, and I will stain all My raiment" [Isaiah 63:1-4].  He is dressed in red.  And when we read that passage in the Revelation in the text, as we’ll come to in a moment, if God will give me time to speak of these things, we think He is dressed in red because of Calvary.  Ah, there’s no such thought as that; that redness of His garments is the blood of His enemies.  "Their blood shall be sprinkled upon My garments, and I will stain all My raiment,And I will tread down the people in Mine anger, and make them drunk in My fury, and I will bring down their strength to the earth" [Isaiah 63:6], a prophecy of this battle of the great day of God Almighty.

You’ll find this battle described in Ezekiel 38 and 39.  You’ll find it referred to in Daniel 2, in Daniel 7, in Daniel 11, and in Daniel 9.  Now here is a passage in Joel, in the last chapter of Joel:

 

Proclaim ye this among the nations; Prepare war, wake up the mighty, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up:  let them beat their plowshares into swords, and their pruninghooks into spears:  let the weak say, I am strong.  Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye nations, and gather yourselves together round about:  thither cause Thy mighty ones to come down, O Lord.  Let the nations be wakened, and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat:  for there will I sit to judge all the nations.  Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe:  come, get you down; for the press is full, the blood of the winepress overflows; for their wickedness is great,The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining.  And the Lord shall roar out of Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake.

 

[Joel 3:9-13, 15-16]

 

That’s a prophecy of this great day of the battle of God Almighty.  Then I read just one more, just a brief word out of the fourteenth chapter of the Book of Zechariah:

 

Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst.  For I will gather all nations to battle,And His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives,and the great mountain shall cleave in two,And the Lord thy God shall come, and all the saints with Thee.

 

[Zechariah 14:1-2, 4-5]

 

Oh, there’s just so much of it in the Bible!

Now, let us observe one or two or three things about it before we follow this text as God will give us the rest of the time, as we follow this text closely in the nineteenth chapter of the Revelation.  The coming of our Lord is not preceded by a gentle, gradual growth into the kingdom of heaven.  The coming of our Lord is not in an hour, and a day of peace, and of gentleness, and of the diffusion of the Word of God, and the conversion of the nations.  But, the coming of our Lord is in a day of blood, and a day of war, and a day of darkness, and a day of battle.

Now another thing, that war – and by the way, in the sixteenth chapter of the Revelation, "And these spirits gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty," the Greek word is polemos, and polemos, polemical, polemos, the Greek word polemos is "war," and the Bible does not give us the idea that this end time which is finally ended by the intervention of God, by the appearance of Christ in heaven, this end time is not just one battle, one skirmish, but it is a war, a war.  And the Scriptures say it is there in Palestine.  And the Scriptures say, now three different places, they name it.  One is Bozrah, which was a great city in Edom, in Idumea, south, below the Dead Sea.  Then as you read, listen to the reading of the Scripture, in Joel, he named the Valley of Jehoshaphat [Joel 3:14]; that’s just right there at Jerusalem and goes down to the Jordan Valley.  Then in the Revelation it is called Armageddon, the battle of Armageddon; now that is that great area up there in the north of Galilee.  Then in the fourteenth chapter of the Revelation [verse 20], it said, "And the blood, and the blood up to the horses’ bridles was sixteen hundred furlongs, two hundred miles."

And when you look at a map, from the south of Palestine to the north of Palestine is just about two hundred miles.  So this war – and it may have many phases, and according to some of those prophecies in the Old Testament, it’s going to have many phases – this war is going to cover that area, and it is going to be a violent clash of all of the nations of this earth.  The Bible will refer to the "kings of the north," that’s Russia; "the kings of the west," that’s this great European confederation to which the United States belongs.

This thing of NATO is not just an adventitious providence.  This is according to the Word of God.  And the United States belongs to that federation of Europe, and always will.  And "the kings of the east," for example, in the Revelation, in the ninth chapter, it speaks of an army from the east numbering two hundred million men who are pouring across the Euphrates River.  And then he refers to "the kings of the south," and that refers to all of Africa; Egypt, and on down to the end of that vast continent.  It is unimaginable, it is indescribable, this vast and final conflict that closes the history of this world.

Now let’s look at this text in the Book of the Revelation, and see how God describes this last great event that closes the history of apostate mankind.  "I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse"; then he describes the glorious coming of the Son of Christ, "His name is Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war.  His eyes were as a flame of fire," He searches out every dark recess; "on His head many crowns, many diadems."  You could preach a sermon on the diadems that rest on the glorious warrior Christ.  "And He had a name written that no man knew, but He Himself" [Revelation 19:11-12]; that refers to His essential deity, His incommunicable, un-understandable nature.  This is the Lord God Himself.

By the way, I repeat a thing that I’ve repeated so many times:  don’t you ever persuade yourself that when you get to heaven you’re going to see three Gods.  If you believe that you are a polytheist; you believe in three Gods.  That’s one of the most foolish of all of the ideas that some of our Christian people have, that you’re going to see three Gods when you get to heaven.  The only God there is, is God.  The only God you will ever see is Christ.  The only God you’ll ever feel is the Holy Spirit.  And the three are One.

We know God in experience as our Father, our Savior, and our Holy Comforter and Keeper.  That is an experiential delineation.  You just can’t say it in any other words.  What you’re trying to do is to take human language, syllables, words, and try to make them bear and to carry infinite conceptions; and language can’t do it.

The only thing that you can do is to approximate it; and the only approximation by which a man could understand or speak it – He has an incommunicable name.  He has an unknowable name.  You can’t enter into the nature of God, not a mortal mind.  So the best way we can say it is, that we know God as God our Father, God our Savior, and God the Holy Spirit and Comforter who lives in our hearts.  But when you get to glory, you’re not going to see three Gods; you’re going to see the great Lord God Christ.  And we’ll worship Him forever and ever.  Well, this is the great God that is intervening in human history.

"And He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood,Wherefore are Your garments red?" [Isaiah 63:2-3], as Isaiah saw Him come through the length and breadth of that land, "These are the garments that are splattered with the blood of My enemies,And His name is called The Word of God" [Revelation 19:13].  Now that’s the name we can know.  The only God we can ever understand or know is the revelation of God, the self revelation of God.  You will never know God by any other approach than the open heart that accepts the self revelation of the Almighty in the Bible.

You can study the stars forever and you might know God was powerful, but you’d never know His name.  You can look at a rainbow and say, "God must be someone that loves beauty;" and you can look on the inside of your heart and see the moral nature of your soul and say, "Well God must be one that is just and sensitive to unrighteousness;" but the only way you ever know God is in the self-revelation of the Lord.  You will never know Him any other way, never, never ever, ever!

If science were to probe five hundred million years, it’d be like that astronaut from Russia who sailed around the world about, oh, a few miles up there, and he came back and said, "There’s not any God, there’s not any angels, I was up there a few hundred miles."  Man, of all of the foolish idiocy that a human mind could contrive, that is the most idiotic:  "I’ve been up there a few miles and there’s not any God, there’s not any angels."  You don’t know God; you don’t know God except through God’s self-revelation.  "And His name is called The Word of God," the revelation of God, the reason of God, the manifestation of God, the incarnation of God, "And His name is called The Word of God," the name that we know.

"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," Psalm 2 [verse 9].  "And He treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God" [Revelation 19:15].  There are the peoples and nations of the earth, and the Lord is treading the winepress; that is, He is judging an apostate and wicked world.  "And He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords."  When the magi came from the east, they said, "Where is He that is born King?" [Matthew 2:2].  And when the Roman procurator crucified Him and put Him on the cross, he wrote above Him the superscription, "This is Jesus the King" [Matthew 27:37].  Whether He is born in a manger, or whether He is dying on the cross, or whether He is coming in glory from heaven, Jesus our Lord God is always [the] King, "King of Kings, and Lord of Lords."  Well, our blessed Savior is somebody to adore, somebody to worship.  And we’re not idolaters; we’re not worshipping a creature, we’re worshipping the Lord God Himself when we worship Christ, bowing down before God who made heaven and earth.

Now let’s look at the people who follow Him.  Now look at verse [14]:  "And the armies which were in heaven followed Him upon," this is verse 14, "And the armies which were in heaven followed Him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean."  Have you heard me say several times, as we preach through this Revelation, that if you interpret it correctly, every little old detail will fit into it?  If you don’t interpret it correctly, by and by you just run into greatest impasses and impossible obstacles and blockades that you can imagine.  Now this is one of them, one of them:  they’re all God’s saints.

Remember what Jude says in verses 14 and 15?  "Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment in the earth." All right, here in the nineteenth chapter of the Book of the Revelation, "And the armies which followed Him in heaven," and there is described those saints that appear here in verses 7 and 8, and are described as being "clothed with fine white linen, which is the righteousnesses, the righteousnesses of the saints."  All right, now look, how’d they get up there?  How’d they get up there?  Well, there’s only one way that they could have come with the Lord, and that is, they’ve got to be up there with Him.

So when you interpret this book according to the rest of the Word of God, in chapter 4 it begins when he [John] is taken up into heaven as a sign, as a symbol, as typical of the rapture of God’s people to glory.  You can’t do any other thing.  When they come with the Lord from glory, they first have to up there with Him.  And that’s when they were up there with Him:  when the Lord comes secretly, clandestinely, unannouncedly, furtively, like the, "like a thief in the night" [1 Thessalonians 5:2; 2 Peter 3:10], he says, "to steal away His jewels."  The Lord is coming without any announcement, without any harbinger, without any one knowing.  It may be in the morning, it may be in a moment, it may be any day, any hour; the Lord comes first to take away His people.  That’s the reason they’re up there with Him.  Then in this violent and indescribable carnage that lies in a gainsaying and blaspheming world, then they come with the Lord in glory and in power.

Now, who are these enemies?  "And I saw the beast," the Antichrist, the man of sin, "and the kings of the earth, and their armies, and they were gathered together to make war against Him that sat on the throne, and against His army.  And the beast and the false prophet were taken" [Revelation 19:19-20].  Now this is one of the most impossible conceptions that mind could imagine.  And you could say, how in the earth is it, how in the earth is it that these vast millions and millions are gathered together over there in that Palestinian area for this vast conflict?

Well, that beast is a result of godless government; and that false prophet is an offspring of godless religion.  And in the thirteenth chapter of the Book of the Revelation, do you remember how the world came to look upon that beast?  "And they worshipped him, and they said, Who is like unto the beast? and who can make war against him? [Revelation 13:4].  We have an invulnerable and an invincible and immortal leader."  And then this false prophet who stands before him, he knows everything; he’s got the answer to everything, and he can make miracles come to pass just any time.  And the world is deceived.  That’s the reason I had you read the second chapter of the second Thessalonian letter, "And God shall send them a delusion that they should believe a lie" [2 Thessalonians 2:11].  Well, what is that delusion that gathers these people together?

 

And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs, come out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet; they are the spirits of demons, working miracles, and they go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world to gather them to the war of the great day of God Almighty.  And he gathered them together in a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.

 

[Revelation 16:13-14, 16]

 

Ordinarily a thing like that would never come to pass; but these nations are deceived.

Now I want to take a moment here to talk about war hysteria.  I have lived through two of them; and I want you to know it is the most indescribable thing that you can imagine, the whipping up, the whipping up of a militaristic spirit among a nation.  And you can’t go to war without it.  Before you fight, first you must have that psychological background that makes a nation go to war.  And that takes an infuriating spirit placed into the hearts of the people. 

Now I want to illustrate it: when I was a boy, when I was a boy, I can so well remember World War [1].  And I cannot describe to you the unspeakable Hun – did you ever, any of you old enough to remember that word "Hun," H-u-n, Hun – the unspeakable Hun, and ah, the description that is made of those things over there under Kaiser Bill [Wilhelm] and the unspeakable Hun.  Well, I guess he was unspeakable, and I guess all those things Kaiser Bill did were just like the American people were told.  But do you know who those people are?  Those people now are our greatest and finest friends; they are the people of Germany, whom we are counting on to help resist the horrible encroachment of Soviet Communism.  Well they are the same folks; they are the same folks.  That is what war hysteria does to us.

Now let’s take these Japs for example: why, all of us are praying day and night for Japan, "O Lord, save Japan."  And we are sending men over there for Japan, and we are trying to reach those people over there for Japan.  But I’m looking into people here in this audience who have literally slain uncounted numbers of Japanese people.  I can call your name; I could have you stand up.  That’s war; and those things are almost indescribable.  And that’s what happens here:  the whole earth is filled with an indescribable war mania and war psychology.  And here is the thing that ensues:  these millions and millions and millions who are deluded are gathered together by these evil spirits to the great judgment day of the Lord God Almighty.

Now this last and brief word:  the absolute, ultimate triumph of the Son of God –   an angel stands in the sun, stationed in the sun, and he calls the fowls of the whole earth to come to gather there to Palestine, to eat the great supper of God [Revelation 19:17].  Now it’s a strange thing, in Revelation 18:2, here in verse 17, here in verse 21, those three places, that’s the only place you’ll find that word peteinon, referring to birds, to fowls of the air.  They must be vultures, they must be carnivorous birds.  John doesn’t see that battle; just like he doesn’t see the marriage of the Lamb.  John doesn’t see that battle.  All he sees is the angel standing in the sun, and he hears that awful and impossible announcement to the birds of the earth to come and feast on the kings, and the great men, and the mighty men of this earth – the carnage, the waste, the blood, the horror of it – all in that great and ultimate battle of Armageddon.

And in it, and in it, in the fury of that battle, when men are fighting against men, and they are fighting against Israel, and they are fighting against one another, and they are fighting against God, in that awful battle, the Lord comes in the glory of His power [Revelation 19:11-13].  "Why do the heathen rage?" said Psalm 2, "and the people imagine a vain thing?  The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord, and against His anointed."

Now what is the Hebrew word "anointed"?  "Messiah."  What is the Greek translation of "Messiah"?  "Christ."  "The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord, and against His Christ, saying, Let us break their bands asunder"; we do not want God, and we are not interested in the church, and we are not interested in Christ, "He that sitteth in heaven shall laugh:  the Lord shall have them in derision,Yet have I set My King upon My holy hill of Zion" [Psalm 2:1-6].  It is an irrefutable, invincible, immortal, eternal, unmovable decree of God that Christ shall reign over this whole earth.  "Then shall He break them with a rod of iron; and He shall dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel."  Then the appeal:  "O be wise, ye kings:  be instructed, ye judges of the earth.  Serve the Lord with fear all of ye people, and rejoice with trembling.  Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and ye perish from the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little.  Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him" [Psalm 2:9-12].

It is no light thing to refuse God.  It is no light thing to reject Christ.  There lies an inevitable and ultimate judgment.  "The beast and the false prophet were cast into the lake burning with fire" [Revelation 19:20].  And a thousand years later, in chapter 20, the next chapter, they’re still alive and in that lake of fire [Revelation 20:10].  And there are all those cast who spurn the mercies of God.  There was a reason why Christ came into this world; there was a reason why Christ suffered and died on the cross:  that we might be saved, that we might be spared from the awful day of the judgment of Almighty God.

O Lord, that when that time comes and that judgment falls and the end of this world draws near, O God, remember me, that I might be saved.  And O Lord, remember the people to whom I might have opportunity to preach, that they might be saved, that they might be forgiven, that their robes might be washed white in the blood of the Lamb.  O God, spare thy people.

It’s no light thing when you serve the Lord.  It’s no little thing when you worship Christ, no small task we assume when we join this church.  Lord, Lord, if we live, we live in Thee.  And if we are saved, we are saved in Thee.  And if we are spared, Lord, it’s by Thy mercy and Thy tenderness and Thy forgiving grace.  O God, remember us, remember us.

Now in this moment that remains, while we sing our song of appeal, somebody you, give his heart to Jesus; somebody you, put his life with us in the fellowship of the church, as the Spirit of Christ shall open the door and say the word, come and stand by me, "Pastor, I give you my hand today; I give my heart to the Lord," while we stand and while we sing.

THE BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON

Dr. W. A. Criswell

Revelation 19:11-21

3-10-63

 

I.          Introduction

A.  Battle of Armageddon the scene in which Christ appears, intervening in human history

1.  The marriage of the Lamb and the marriage supper which attends it are immediately followed by the bursting open of the gates of heaven(Revelation 19:6-9)

2.  The Lord appears with His hosts and saints and He intervenes in the battle of Armageddon(Revelation 19:11-14, Jude 14-15)

3.  Does not happen quietly, gradually, but catastrophically, the whole earth bathed in the judgment of Almighty God

B.  The scene in chapter 19 has been prophesied all through the Book

1.  Described several times in Revelation (Revelation 9:16, 11:15-18, 14:18-20, 16:12-16)

2.  References to this battle in the Old Testament(Isaiah 63:1-6, Ezekiel 38, 39, Daniel 2, 7, 9, 11, Joel 3:9-17, Zechariah 14:1-5)

C.  Summary

1.  Armies of the earth are assembled in Palestine(Revelation 16:14)

2.  Great assembly will be at Megiddo(Revelation 16:16)

3.  Polemos, "war" – not just one isolated skirmish; whole world involved

 

II.         The victorious warrior Christ(Revelation 19:11-16)

A.  Eyes like fire, piercing into darkest recesses of every human soul

B.  On His head many crowns

C.  An unknowable, incommunicable name – refers to His essential deity

1.  There is one great Lord God – we know Him as our Father, our Savior and as the Holy Spirit(Revelation 1:7)

D.  He is clothed in a vesture dipped in the blood of His enemies(Revelation 19:12-15)

E.  The name by which we know Him – the Word of God(John 1:1, 14, Revelation 19:13)

F.  Out of His mouth is a sharp sword (Revelation 19:15)

1.  He doesn’t need to strike – He speaks and the thing is done(John 18:4-6)

G.  He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords(Revelation 19:15-16)

1.  The magi came looking for one born a King(Matthew 2:2)

2.  Pilate wrote a superscription above His cross calling Him King (John 19:15)

 

III.        The hosts which follow Him(Revelation 19:14)

A.  These are the righteous, clothed in white, which is the righteousness of the saints(Revelation 19:8)

B.  How did they get up there?

1.  Every detail fits when interpretation is correct

2.  They were raptured in the fourth chapter; now here coming with the Lord having already been with Him

 

IV.       The armies He encounters(Revelation 19:19-20)

A.  Led by the beast (Revelation 13:3-4)

B.  By the side of the beast is the false prophet (Revelation 13:11)

C.  Brought together by the spirits of demons(Revelation 16:13-16, 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12)

D.  The offspring of godless government and godless religion

 

V.        The completeness of His triumph (Revelation 19:17-21)

A.  An angel standing in the sun

1.  One angel defeated thousands of Assyrians under Sennacherib (2 Kings 19:20-35, Psalm 2:4)

B.  The conflict short and decisive – the beast is taken up and thrown into the lake of fire(Revelation 19:20, 20:10)

1.  No extenuating circumstances, no mitigating details

a. The serpent in Eden – no questions asked him like there were of the man and woman; only execution of a curse(Genesis 3:8-15)

C.  John does not see the battle or the marriage of the Lamb – only sees the results – the angel standing in the sun calling for the fowls and birds to come (Revelation 19:17)

1.  Ornen used three places – refers to vultures(Revelation 18:2, 19:17, 21)

2.  These great men who thought they were bigger than God are now carrion for the vultures(Revelation 19:18)

D.  Psalm 2 a picture of our text

1.  Apostates gather together against the Anointed One(Psalm 2:2, 4)

2.  God’s irrefutable, unchangeable purpose(Psalm 2:5-6, 9)

3.  Appeal – serve the Lord with fear, rejoice with trembling(Psalm 2:10-12)