What kind of battle would the Prince of Peace fight?
The battle of Armageddon is the battle to end all battles where the forces of evil will be destroyed forever. According to biblical prophecy, God will destroy in that battle the armies of the Beast and the False Prophet (Revelation 16:13-16). Then the kingdoms of this world will become: “the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever” (Revelation 11:15).
Many Christians believe this battle will take place in the plains of Megiddo in the Middle East. Accordingly, bible scholars have been dissecting, scrutinizing and analysing every development in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict for signs of this epic battle.
However, Jesus says: “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:20-21).
Prince of Peace
What kind of battle would the “Prince of Peace” fight? (Isaiah 9:6). Certainly not one with bombs and bullets! When they came to arrest Jesus, Peter drew his sword and cut off the ear of the High Priest’s servant. But Jesus rebuked him, saying: “all who take the sword will perish by the sword” (Matthew 26:52).
That means there can be no “sword fights” in the battle of Armageddon. When Jesus is shown ready for battle, the sword is not in his hand but only symbolically in his mouth (Revelation 19:15). God proclaims that men: “shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more” (Isaiah 2:4). He also promises: “Violence shall no longer be heard in your land, neither wasting nor destruction within your borders” (Isaiah 60:18).
Jesus cannot lead armies into bloody battles between nations when it is written: “He shall speak peace to the nations” (Zechariah 9:10). “He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; He burns the chariot in the fire” (Psalm 46:9).
The battle within
The kingdom of God is a spiritual kingdom; therefore the battle of Armageddon must be a spiritual battle. The battle envisaged by John in Revelation is a battle of the soul. It is between the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of light; between the flesh and the spirit; between falsehood and truth; between sin and righteousness; between death and life.
We must prevail in this battle within ourselves in order to receive “the crown of life” (Revelation 2:10). We have been fore-warned. Jesus says: “The kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force” (Matthew 11:12). Jesus himself fought these battles while still in the world; he overcame by laying down his life. He says: “To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with me on my throne, as I also overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne” (Revelation 3:21).
The Lord’s armies
The Lord’s armies “signified” in Revelation have no physical weapons. Instead, John says of Christ; “in righteousness he makes war” (Revelation 19:11). God’s enemies are “killed” not by the sword, but by the word of his mouth (Hosea 6:5). Isaiah says: “He shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked” (Isaiah 11:4).
God does not destroy his own children: he destroys the works of the devil in them (1 John 3:8). The “Sun of Righteousness” arises not with killing but with healing (Malachi 4:2). Jesus is not out to acquire choice real estate, either of cities or of nations. The earth itself is the Lord’s (Psalm 24:1). But Jesus is the shepherd and bishop of our souls (1 Peter 2:25). Therefore the battlefield is not the Middle East or anywhere else on earth, but the hearts and minds of men.
It is within the inner-recesses of the soul that we are to hear the hoofs of Jesus’ white horse charging into battle. It is a battle for redemption. The Lord himself is our adversary, marching to conquer all the territories of our lives and to subdue all our iniquities (Micah 7:19).
This is the kingdom dynamic: “The LORD kills and makes alive; He brings down to the grave and brings up” (1 Samuel 2:6). “He wounds, but His hands make whole” (Job 5:18). “He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up. After two days He will revive us; on the third day He will raise us up, that we may live in His sight” (Hosea 6:1-2).
In the battle of Armageddon, we are never victorious until we are defeated. But once defeated, we are impregnable.