Armageddon (Final Battle)
12The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, to prepare the way for the kings from the east. 13And I saw, coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs. 14For they are demonic spirits, performing signs, who go abroad to the kings of the whole world, to assemble them for battle on the great day of God the Almighty. 15(“Behold, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake, keeping his garments on, that he may not go about naked and be seen exposed!”) 16And they assembled them at the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.
In the finality of God’s wrath poured out upon the earth the unholy trinity mounts up one last charge to destroy God’s Church. It is just as terrifying and horrible as it sounds. The Red Dragon (from chapter 12) and the two beasts (from chapter 13) are now back in the picture although the Beast of the Earth – the religious beast – is now called the “false prophet”. Of course they attempt to garner the support of the kings of the earth to try and turn as many people as possible away from God. It is time for the final great battle. The figurative place for the gathering of this evil force is Armageddon, or the Valley of Megiddo. This was the location of several battles in the Old Testament and in the history of the region during the 1st Century. Har Megiddo has come to be known as Armageddon.
I have to confess, the description of the three unclean spirits (like frogs) coming from the mouth of the false prophet is revolting. One immediately thinks of the plague of frogs that God sent upon the Egyptians when the Pharaoh refuses to let God’s people go. But what we are to see is that this attack is born in the heart of Satan. He is director and author of this pain. This demonic force has power and terror is their game. Then, in the midst of this preparation for battle the Lord Jesus Himself speaks. His words are reminiscent of the words He spoke to His disciples just before His Passion. Even then He told them that His return would come unexpectedly and without warning, just a thief would come into your house at night. A thief certainly isn’t going to call ahead.
36“But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. 37For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 38For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, 39and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 40Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one left. 41Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one left. 42Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. 43But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. 44Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
What we as believers take from this are two important details: 1) Jesus is going to come back! 2) We don’t know when that will be so we need to be constantly and vigilantly ready for His return. Being ever prepared for His return is a given. But for me the Gospel becomes clear in this passage because we have the certain promise that HE IS RETURNING! Even in the thick of the battle, we are assured that the victorious Christ is returning. No matter how bleak things look, Jesus is returning to get us. Armageddon looks and sounds horrible but the final outcome has already been determined. That truth has to reside in the back of our brains at all times even though our eyes see difficult things.