Armageddon--A “War” Between Truth and Falsehood, and Why It Has that Strange Name

What comes out of mouths? In particular, what comes out of God’s mouth and what comes out of satanic mouths? These questions are the key to understanding the meaning of Revelation’s Armageddon prophecy.

Let’s look at the story of Armageddon in Revelation. There are two parts to the story:

  1. 1. In Rev. 16:13-16, “unclean spirits” come out of the mouths of three antichrist figures--the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet--calling the world to battle at Armageddon. This is the only mention of the name Armageddon in the whole Bible..
  2. 2. Later in the story in Rev. 19:11-21, the main “battle” happens. The Word of God (Christ) appears in heaven, with a two-edged sword coming out of His mouth. The beast and the false prophet are captured, and all the earth’s armies are killed by the two-edged sword. The birds that “fly in the midst of heaven” feast on the flesh of kings, captains, horses, and of all people.

I invite you to consider several points about this story:

First, the contrast between what comes out of the mouths of the satanic characters, calling the world to war, and what comes out of the mouth of the Word of God to destroy all the armies of earth is quite clear. What is the significance of this contrast? What does it mean?

Second, the two-edged sword coming out of God’s mouth is an utterly preposterous symbol for military might to prevail militarily on the battlefield. If it meant military power, the sword would be in the right hand, not coming out of the mouth. Who ever heard of a war hero going into battle carrying his weapon in his mouth? It’s a ridiculous idea. Also, if it meant military might, it would be carried by some other aspect of God than the Word, perhaps the Power of God or the Wrath of God but not the Word of God. What are we to make of this strange “weapon” in the mouth of the Word?

Third, Revelation contains many, many Biblical allusions, references to passages elsewhere in the Bible. If you use an annotated Bible which shows such allusions, you will find that Revelation has far more allusions to other parts of the Bible than any other book of the Bible does. One generally unnoticed allusion in the Armageddon story is the allusion to what comes out of God’s mouth. I’ll explain that next.

Let’s return now to the questions that I asked at the beginning of this article: What comes out of mouths? In particular, what comes out of God’s mouth? And what comes out of satanic mouths? Proverbs 2:6 answers the second question: “For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.”

Wisdom, knowledge, and understanding come out of God’s mouth. More succinctly, truth is what comes out of God’s mouth. Of course, the most common metaphorical usage of a two-edged sword is the expression, “Truth is a two-edged sword.” The two-edged sword that comes out of the mouth of the Word of God is not some bizarre and preposterous military weapon; rather, it is God’s truth showing us wisdom, knowledge, and understanding.

Of course, the counterpoint to God’s truth coming out of God’s mouth is the unclean spirits from satanic mouths that call the world to war. According to Revelation, the call to war is satanic.

The main theme of the Armageddon story is the battle between God’s truth and satanic falsehood and deception. When God’s truth eventually triumphs, war will end. There is no such thing as “a war to end war.” The only thing that ends war is God’s truth. War cannot end war; only ending war ends war. War can’t set us free from the scourge of war; the truth, God’s truth, sets us free.

With this new understanding of the Armageddon prophecy in Revelation, we can now make sense of the strange name “Armageddon.”

There is no place in physical reality named Armageddon. The name means, depending on the translator, something like “the mountain above Megiddo,” “the heights above Megiddo,” or simply “above Megiddo.” Megiddo was a city in ancient Israel where several historically important battles were fought. However, there are no mountains or heights above Megiddo, so the name seems quite odd.

Here is the significance of the name Armageddon: This “battle” of Armageddon, where God's truth triumphs over war and armies, occurs on a higher level -- the intellectual, moral, and spiritual levels -- than the physical level of Megiddo's battlefields. It happens on a higher level than Megiddo, “above Megiddo.”

To read more about the three antichrist figures which call the world to war--the dragon antichrist, the beast antichrist, and the false prophet antichrist--as well as about Revelation’s other antichrist figures, please see my article, “Why are there so many beasts and antichrists in Revelation?

Now about those flesh-eating birds that “fly in the midst of heaven”: Well, I can’t tell you everything here for free when I want you to buy my book. But here are two hints: 1. They eat the flesh of all people, great and small, free and slave, not just of soldiers and warriors. 2. There is another unnoticed Biblical allusion in the story of these birds.

One final point about this Armageddon story: Despite the outlandish symbolism of Christ carrying a sword in His mouth to go to battle and despite the weirdness of the Prince of Peace waging a gigantic cataclysmic war, the symbolic story actually makes sense. The contrast of what comes out of God’s mouth and what comes out of satanic mouths makes the whole story make sense. It actually makes sense! What if all of Revelation made as much sense? I suggest to you that it does. Oh, one more thing--Revelation isn’t a doomsday story. Just as Armageddon turns out not to be a cataclysmic war, so the rest of Revelation is not about doomsday either. Please read more of these articles, read the free excerpt, or read the whole book to see more sense in Revelation’s strange tale of symbolic destruction and pain.


From Fear To Love: Transforming Revelation

by David Brubaker


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