ARMAGEDDON – Revelation 16


And they gathered them together into the place which is called in Hebrew Har-Magedon.

Revelation 16:16 ASV

Note that there is no “battle” of any kind mentioned here.

Not a word is said about the Lord God’s army.

Why should Almighty God need an army?

There is no such place as Har-Magedon. The name is symbolic. It signifies a conflict, not carnal, but a spiritual conflict.

The name is unquestionably purely mystical, an imaginary name.

John means the place of the final struggle between the powers of evil and the kingdom of God. And where is any such place if it is not in the hearts of people?

The entire unscriptural concept of the so-called “Battle of Armageddon” as some kind of a super-colossal showdown on some earthly battlefield is totally illogical, and contrary to the whole teaching of Christ.

Even writers who generally maintain their spiritual understanding of this prophecy have a tendency to “go literal” here.

Why?

Could it ever be supposed that the Almighty God will fight a literal battle on earth? Remember who God is. He needs no army.

Everywhere in the New Testament, the element of victory through judgment is an inescapable aspect of Christ’s total work.

The warfare to be described in Revelation 19:11, must be understood as that which is taking place between the hosts of Christ and Satan throughout the period of the world’s existence.

Respect for the general opinions on this by many sincere people suggests that we list some of the places which have been suggested as the site of this battle:

The battle is to take place in Rome. All the armies and leaders are gathered in Palestine.

It is every battle when need is greatest, and the Lord suddenly reveals his power, as when Sennacherib was slain.

It will be on the greatest natural battlefield in the world, in the valley of Jehoshaphat to the north of Palestine among the hills of Megiddo.

It is difficult to understand how such a literal earthly battle could decide either the victory or the defeat of righteousness.

Even if such a battle were to take place, how could the place of a literal battle make any difference?

Some might like to know just where it is to take place in order to be able to sell tickets!

No actual place of this name is known, and the term is surely symbolical.

If one expects this to be a literal, material battle, he must expect Satan’s army to be headed by a committee of three frogs! Both figures are symbolical; neither is literal.

This battle is between the truth in Christ and the evil propaganda of Satan, and the truth of Christ will win.

There is no waving of banners, no prancing of horses’ hoofs; the warfare is spiritual, so there is in sight no camp, no foe.

It is a conflict that arises out of various opinions and diverse principles. It is a war of principles and of morals.

“Har-Magedon” is the way this word appears in our ASV; and it seems to be associated with the plain of Esdraelon in Israel.

There Israel achieved some of her greatest victories and suffered some serious defeats.

It may not, therefore, be associated with either victory or defeat. Perhaps it suggests “the place of decision.” That place, of course, is in the hearts of men, of every man, of all people.

Mark 16:16
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