All Scripture quotes in this chapter are from the King James Version unless otherwise noted.
Many Christians have heard of the word "Armageddon", and yet they don't know exactly what it means. Some groups believe it will be a world wide nuclear holocaust while others groups believe it will be a severe natural disaster (meteor impact, pandemic, etc.). Some believe it is the second coming of Christ, and yet others believe it will be a war involving Heaven and Earth. The word "Armageddon" is used only one singular time in the Bible:
And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.
Some versions use the alternative term "Har-Magedon" (ASV NASB, NRSV, etc.), and others use the alternative term “Megiddo” (WEB). According to the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, the word Armageddon is defined, in part, as follows:
HAR-MA-GED'-ON (Harmagedon from Hebrew har meghiddo, "Mount of Megiddo"; the King James Version Armageddon):
This name is found only in Revelation 16:16. It is described as the rallying-place of the kings of the whole world who, led by the unclean spirits issuing from the mouth of the dragon, the beast and the false prophet, assemble here for "the war of the great day of God, the Almighty." Various explanations have been suggested; but, as Nestle says (HDB, s.v), "Upon the whole, to find an allusion here to Megiddo is still the most probable explanation." In the history of Israel it had been the scene of never-to-be-forgotten battles. Here took place the fatal struggle between Josiah and Pharaoh-necoh (2 Kings 23:29; 2 Chronicles 35:22). Long before, the hosts of Israel had won glory here, in the splendid victory over Sisera and his host (Judges 5:19). These low hills around Megiddo, with their outlook over the plain of Esdraelon, have witnessed perhaps a greater number of bloody encounters than have ever stained a like area of the world's surface. There was, therefore, a peculiar appropriateness in the choice of this as the arena of the last mighty struggle between the powers of good and evil... It will be remembered that this is apocalypse. Har-Magedon may stand for the battlefield without indicating any particular locality...
In short, “Armageddon”, a.k.a. “Har-Magedon” references a real battle ground that was well known throughout Bible history.
DESCRIPTION OF EVENTS
Beginning with Revelation Chapter 16:13
(vs. 13) And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come 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. (15) “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.
Let's take a look at this passage:
Since vs. 14 speaks of these "kings" as being assembled to the "battle of the great day of God", and vs. 16 says they're gathered to a place called Armageddon, it stands to reason that Armageddon is the battleground on which the universal revolution is fought; the battle between the human Earthly governments and Heaven's spiritual government. Because the word “Armageddon” is a reference to a real geographical battle field, many believe this universal revolution will be literally fought there. Others, however, believe that this reference is simply allegorical, and that the actual place for this universal revolution will actually be a global event.
A few pages later the book of Revelation continues the description of this battle of Armageddon with words that confirm this battle as being a war between God's government and all human governments:
Revelation 19:11-16, 19-21
(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. (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...
(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 worshiped 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.
These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.
WHITE HORSE RIDER
The one seated on the white horse mentioned in the former passage is Jesus Christ. We know this because the rider is identified as “The Word”, the same name that identifies Jesus Christ elsewhere in Scripture (John 1:1-3, 14,). This is further supported in the latter passage by the fact that this White Horse Rider is also identified as “The Lamb”, which is another identifying name for Jesus Christ elsewhere in Scripture (John 1:29, 35-36, 1 Corinthians 5:7, )
PUTTING IT TOGETHER
Essentially, the Scriptures are saying that Armageddon is the location (whether literal or allegorical) for a revolution of universal proportions: God's Kingdom overthrows all human governments and becomes the sole government, reigning in love and kindness forever. God's disposal of all human government and the establishment of His own government is a theme that ties the entire Bible together. This isn't mere opinion, as it is supported in Scriptures, such as Isaiah 11:4-9, Daniel 2:44, Zephaniah 3:8-9 and Revelation 21:1-5 (All WEB quotes):
(3) His delight will be in the fear of Yahweh. He will not judge by the sight of his eyes, neither decide by the hearing of his ears; (4) but with righteousness he will judge the poor, and decide with equity for the humble of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; and with the breath of his lips he will kill the wicked. (5) Righteousness will be the belt of his waist, and faithfulness the belt of his waist. (6) The wolf will live with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the young goat; The calf, the young lion, and the fattened calf together; and a little child will lead them. (7) The cow and the bear will graze. Their young ones will lie down together. The lion will eat straw like the ox. (8) The nursing child will play near a cobra’s hole, and the weaned child will put his hand on the viper’s den. (9) They will not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth will be full of the knowledge of Yahweh, as the waters cover the sea.
In the days of those kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed, nor shall its sovereignty be left to another people; but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.
(8)“Therefore wait for me,” says Yahweh, “until the day that I rise up to the prey, for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour on them my indignation, even all my fierce anger, for all the earth will be devoured with the fire of my jealousy. (9) For then I will purify the lips of the peoples, that they may all call on the name of Yahweh, to serve him shoulder to shoulder. (10) From beyond the rivers of Cush, my worshipers, even the daughter of my dispersed people, will bring my offering. (11) In that day you will not be disappointed for all your doings, in which you have transgressed against me; for then I will take away out of the midst of you your proudly exulting ones, and you will no more be haughty in my holy mountain. (12) But I will leave in the midst of you an afflicted and poor people, and they will take refuge in the name of Yahweh. (13) The remnant of Israel will not do iniquity, nor speak lies, neither will a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth, for they will feed and lie down, and no one will make them afraid.”
(1) I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth have passed away, and the sea is no more. (2) I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared like a bride adorned for her husband. (3) I heard a loud voice out of heaven saying, “Behold, God’s dwelling is with people, and he will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. (4) He will wipe away from them every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; neither will there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain, any more. The first things have passed away.” (5) He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” He said, “Write, for these words of God are faithful and true.”
Although Armageddon is mentioned only one time in Scripture it remains a significant piece of information for all true believers. The Battle of Armageddon will crush all of the satanically influenced governments in the world and replace them with God's perfect and peaceful government.
Amen; come Lord Jesus.