This is the sixth post in a seven-part series. The rest of the series can be reached from this post.
At the battle of Armageddon, just when all hope seems lost for Israel, God comes in person to fight for His people. This is the literal Second Coming of Jesus, at the head of the armies of God to destroy the armies of the Anti-Christ.
And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”Revelation 19:11-16
Then the LORD will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle. In that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south.Zechariah 14:3-4
That destruction is so complete that Ezekiel says just the burials of all the dead will take seven months, and the remains of all the weapons will provide fuel so that no firewood is needed for seven years! (Ezekiel 39:9-16) Both Ezekiel and Revelation say that the carrion birds and animals will be summoned to their greatest feast ever: “I will give you as food to every kind of predatory bird and beast of the field.” (Ezekiel 39:4, Ezekiel 39:17-19, Revelation 19:17-18).
The Anti-Christ and his False Prophet are “thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone” (Revelation 19:20). Satan is not yet thrown in with them, however. Instead, he is sealed away in the Abyss until after the Millennium (Revelation 20:1-3).
I was surprised when I first started studying the Millennium in context. Without seriously thinking about it, I had assumed that Jesus’ coming to end Armageddon was the full end of the story. Not quite. The Millennium comes after Armageddon, but there will still be one more battle following it. All of the Tribulation horrors are finished; Jesus has come in power; He is reigning in Jerusalem on David’s throne as foretold in dozens of prophecies; the Anti-Christ and False Prophet are in the lake of fire, and Satan is bound in the Abyss…but there is still a little bit more to come before Heaven fully arrives on Earth.
For 1000 years, Jesus reigns from Jerusalem over a cleansed Earth (Revelation 20:4). The people of Israel live securely in their own land (Ezekiel 39:25-29). Satan and his influence are gone. Even life spans will be lengthened (Isaiah 65:20, 22). One would think that this situation would be universally appreciated. But human nature rears its ugly head once again.
After 1000 years of Christ’s peaceful, perfect reign, Satan is released from the Abyss…and promptly is able to recruit followers for a new attack on Jerusalem! Even knowing all the history and consequences of sin, there are still people who would rather defy God. This time, God does not bother with armies. He just destroys Satan’s entire army with fire, and dumps Satan into the lake of fire where he has belonged all along (Revelation 20:7-10).
Finally, the last traces of sin have been purged. History is completed; Eternity is ready to begin! 1