Armageddon - It Is Done - Revelation 16
Armageddon - It Is Done Revelation 16
The saints in the first century were under extreme attack by the Roman Emperor. They had been promised that if they remained faithful through this THEY would gain the victory even over Rome. As we turn to chapter 16 we see the angels of God holding the seven bowls of wrath and we are told ‘for with them the wrath of God is finished’. That is, it is not finished against all evil but against the persecuting element of Rome. We are told specifically that the pouring out of the bowls of wrath were God bringing judgments ‘for they have shed the blood of saints and prophets’. God is able to defeat all these ‘beasts’ and Satan himself for God is the Almighty (vs.7) and his judgments are true and just!
These plagues resemble the plagues against Egypt in many respects and yet they are changed to accommodate the wrath of God against Rome.
Even in the midst of such outpouring of God’s wrath, there was the glimmer of hope if only they would repent. It states twice (vs. 9, 11) that they refused to repent and give glory to God.
They are then assembled ‘at the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon (vs. 16). If you have listened to TV preachers, read the current ‘prophecy books’, and watched the movies purporting to explain this ‘great battle’, you will be disappointed in what the Bible actually says. They are gathered and the last bowl is poured out and a “loud voice came out of the temple, from the throne, saying, “It is done!”” (vs. 17). That’s it. There is no battle. There is only the judgment of God upon them. There is no war, there is just the pouring out of God’s wrath and ‘it is done’.
Such was the end of the first century persecuting element against the church. Babylon (i.e., Rome) lost in this battle against God’s people. The church had been faithful and just as God promised, they overcame even this great enemy.
This is NOT the last enemy that God’s people would face however. Satan doesn’t give up. After being given a ‘close up picture’ of the destruction of the great city, Satan will gather an even greater army of people against the church. This will comprise an army gathered from the four corners of the earth (20:8). They number of them like the ‘sand of the sea’. They gather and ‘surround’ the ‘camp of the saints’. Same story, same end. This time “fire came down from heaven and devoured them’( vs. 20:9). Satan loses. God’s people overcome.
These ‘pictures’ are not about how the world will end but about the fact that God is the ruler over all. There is no real war against God in the materialistic sense, but there is a war over who people will worship and serve. Serve God and you overcome. Serve Satan and his ‘helpers’ and you lose. Choose your side and choose your destiny.