One week ago, on Saturday, September 21, 2013, yet another article appeared in our local newspaper addressing the question of whether or not the conflict in Syria is a fulfillment of biblical prophecy and thus indicative of the end of the age and the Battle of Armageddon. I won’t bother you with the answers supplied. I only want to draw attention once again to what I believe is widespread misunderstanding of what Armageddon is all about.
The place to begin is for you to read Revelation 19:17-21 and 20:7-10. As one examines the similarity between between these texts it would appear that John is providing us with parallel accounts of the same conflict (Armageddon) rather than presenting two entirely different battles separated by 1,000 years of human history (as the premillennialist contends). This deserves some attention.
Amillennialists, such as myself, believe there are three texts in Revelation that describe what has come to be famously known as Armageddon, the final battle when Jesus Christ returns to this earth accompanied by the armies of heaven to defeat and destroy his enemies. They are Revelation 16:12-16; 19:17-21; and 20:7-10. Although each has a different focus, they are complementary portrayals of the second coming of Christ. They differ primarily because chapter 19 is concerned with the war as it relates to the participation and fate of the beast, his followers, and the false prophet, whereas chapter 20 is concerned primarily with the role of Satan. Also, it stands to reason that having given a detailed and vivid description of the war in chapters 16 and 19, John would find it unnecessary to repeat such detail in chapter 20.
In Revelation 16 the enemies are “the kings of the whole world” (16:14). In Revelation 19 they are “kings” and “captains” and “mighty men,” indeed they are “all men, both free and slave, both small and great” (19:18). In Revelation 20 they a