By Irvin Baxter
The Battle of Armageddon will take place in Israel, in the prophesied Valley of Megiddo. It will occur after the Great Tribulation Period, at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, when He returns to set up His Kingdom on earth. There are several Bible passages which refer to the same event, but which do not use the term “Armageddon,” including the Supper of the Great God (Revelation 19:17), the Valley of Jehoshaphat (Joel 3:2), the Valley of Decision (Joel 3: 13-14), and the Battle of that Great Day of God Almighty (Revelation 16:14).
Revelation chapters 14, 16, 17 and 19 describe Armageddon as a place of great slaughter where troops will be gathered, assembled and pressed together. At Armageddon Christ will come in all of His wrath and glory with His army following Him on white horses. Jesus is pictured here as a man of war, judging in righteousness with the sword of His mouth. Jesus will deliver Israel from destruction by the Antichrist. Nations will be punished for their sins. Those who have received the Mark of the Beast will be judged. And Jesus will take authority over the earth and remove the kingdom and reign of the Antichrist.
Nine specific prophecies in the Bible will occur within the final seven years prior to the Battle of Armageddon. By examining these prophecies, we can get a sense of how close we are to Armageddon.
1. The final seven years will begin when the Antichrist and the International Community give their support to Israel’s right to exist in the land promised to Abraham by God. This is called the Confirmation of the Covenant (Daniel 9:27 & Genesis 15:18). Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has informed President Obama that he will accept Secretary of State Kerry’s framework agreement for peace. Negotiations were started on July 29, 2013, with a goal of reaching an agreement within nine months. President Obama has said, “The timeframe that we had set up for completing these negotiations is coming near and some tough decisions are going to have to be made.”
2. A war will begin from the vicinity of the Euphrates River (Revelation 9:13-16). The Euphrates River starts in Turkey and passes through Syria and Iraq. Then it converges with the Tigris River, which borders Iran, and empties into the Persian Gulf. 4,486 American soldiers were killed during the Iraq War. The “Arab Spring,” occurring in North Africa (Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia, all around to Syria) is toppling governments and keeping the Middle East in constant upheaval. The presence of radical Shia and Sunni Muslims, plus Al Qaeda and Hezbollah throughout this region assures that hostilities will continue to increase.
3. The West Bank (Judea) in Israel will become a place of great tribulation (Matthew 24:15-21). Ever since the United Nations recognized a Palestinian state within pre-1967 borders, Israel has been considered an occupying power by the world community. The creation of a Palestinian state will leave about 100,000 to 200,000 Jews living in land transferred to Palestinian control. However, many of the West Bank Jews say they are not leaving their homes. Former Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has said, “We will allow Israeli Jews to live in Palestine as Palestinian citizens under Palestinian law and sovereignty. We will treat our Jewish minority and grant them rights and demand from them obligations exactly as Israel does for its Palestinian minority.”
4. The Temple Mount in Jerusalem will be placed under a sharing arrangement between Jew and Gentile (Revelation 11:1-2. A law was introduced in the Israeli Knesset on November 1, 2013, to place the Temple Mount under a sharing arrangement so that both Jews and Muslims can worship there.
5. The Jewish temple will be built on the Temple Mount (Revelation 11:1-2 & 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4). Israel has been subsidizing nonprofit organizations that advocate the building of the Third Temple, and Israel Minister of Housing and Construction Uri Ariel has expressed his wish to see the future construction of a “Third Temple” in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on the Temple Mount. Meanwhile, the Temple Institute has created authentic vessels and garments for use in the Third Temple, made according to the exact requirements and specifications of Biblical law.
6. The Temple Mount will be placed under the supervision of the world community, and the leader of the world community, which will at that time be the Antichrist, will stand on the Temple Mount claiming to be God (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4). Currently, Jordan administrates the Temple Mount holy places through the Waqf (Islamic trust). This arrangement enjoys an international consensus, according to the Jordanian foreign minister. However, as the Israeli Knesset debates the future sovereignty of the Temple Mount, MK Moshe Feiglin and other Israeli lawmakers have increasingly lamented the lack of religious freedom for Jews and Christians there. Non-Muslims are forbidden to pray or carry Bibles when visiting the compound for fear of provoking Muslim unrest. If the United Nations is the infrastructure on which the Antichrist will build his one-world government, the UN may soon take control of the Temple Mount, and the leader of the world government will feel justified in claiming ultimate authority there.
7. A world government will dominate the world for three and one-half years prior to Armageddon (Daniel 7:23 & Revelation 13:7). The nations of the world are increasingly recognizing the authority of international law. We now have the World Bank, the World Trade Organization, the World Health Organization and the World Court just to name a few. We have a World Court to adjudicate the international laws of the emerging world government.
8. Each person on earth will be required to have a mark or a number in order to buy or sell (Revelation 13:16-18). On May 11, 2005, President Bush signed the Real ID Act. Enforcement will be carried out in four stages, beginning in April, 2014. REAL ID mandates that Americans produce federally approved identification cards (compliant driver’s licenses or state-issued ID cards) upon demand. It compels every citizen to share personal information and unique biometric identifiers in a nationwide database. Even after several deadline extensions, many states continue to object to its costs, and civil rights groups oppose it as an invasion of privacy. Nevertheless, REAL ID is a precursor to the global identification system which will be used to track and control everyone. Without proper identification, subjects of the Antichrist’s New World Order will not be able to hold a job, open a bank account, or receive healthcare or food.
9. The world community, led by Russia and Iran, will invade the nation of Israel. (Zechariah 14:2-3 & Ezekiel 38 & 39) Iran (Persia) and Russia (Meshech—root word for Moscovi or Moscow) are now in alliance. Iran is the leading advocate of “wiping Israel off the map.”