All BlogsFree Grace InternationalFree Grace WomenFree Grace KidsLucas AnswersEnd Times Today

Gathering To War / End Times Today / EP. 28

May 16, 2021

JOHN'S BOOK.

QUESTIONS?

SHOW NOTES

Description: “Gathering to War”
What in the World Is God Doing?

Viewer Screen: What in the World Is God Doing?
In a recent article:
Viewer Screen: Does Israel Feel Compelled to Launch a Strike at Iran’s Nuclear Sites? And
if so, When? (Debkafile)
The article reported: “Israel may have to go it alone against a nuclear-armed Iran,” said senior
minister Tzachi Hanegbi on Feb. 2, because he can’t see the US taking such a military initiative.
The minister spoke before an Israel foreign affairs and security cabinet session to discuss the
Iranian nuclear issue for the first time since the Biden administration took office.
On Monday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken added his voice to the warnings issued by US
national security adviser Jake Sullivan and Israel’s top military chief Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi,
who both estimated that Tehran may be just weeks away from enough fissile material for making
a nuclear bomb.
This comes on the heels of this revelation:
Viewer Screen: Iran Activates Second Advanced Centrifuge Cascade: IAEA (Debkafile)
Iran is accelerating its production of fissile material, pushing full speed ahead on its nuclear
program. Thus:
Viewer Screen: With Iran Nuclear Deal Likely, Israel Puts All Options Back on the Table -
Amos Harel (Ha'aretz)
Maj.-Gen. (ret.) Yaakov Amidror, former head of Israel's National Security Council, recently
announced, “In a situation where the United States returns to the old nuclear agreement with
Iran, Israel will have no choice but to act militarily against Iran to prevent it from manufacturing
a nuclear weapon.”
Israel has to prepare for an aggressive attack against Iran; for its very existence depends on this
preparation. This is because Iran has announced its intention to eliminate the Jewish state. I have
been saying for years that I believe Israel will need to launch an attack on Iran in order to bring
down the current Iranian regime. If that were to occur, the way would open up to the Middle East
treaty with Israel—the very one that will launch the rapture and the seven-year Tribulation
period.

God is clearly at work in the Middle East to bring about the fulfillment of His prophetic word. In
fact, we may be closer to this fulfillment than we know. Keep looking up!
This is: “What in the World Is God Doing?”

What in the Word Is God Saying?
“Gathering to War”

Viewer Screen: “Gathering to War”
Since 3,600 BC, the world has known less than 300 years of peace! During this period there have
been more than 14,350 wars in which 3.65 billion people have been killed. The value of the
property destroyed is equal to a golden belt around the world nearly one hundred miles wide and
more than thirty-three feet thick.
In addition, since 650 BC, there have also been 1,660 arms races, only 16 of which have not
ended in war. The remainder ended in the economic collapse of the countries involved. Man
seems to have an endless capacity for conflict!
Yet, there is coming the conflict to end all conflicts one that will be far different than any war
that has ever occurred on the planet. This one will consist of all of the armies of the entire planet
gathering against the army of heaven.
The gathering will occur toward the end of the Tribulation period in preparation for war against
Jesus at his return.
However, before we look at that rebellious gathering, let’s answer two questions. First, what is
Satan’s motivation for gathering these armies against the Lord?
The scene in Luke 4:5–7 provides us a glimpse into the spiritual realm, where we see the
motivation of Satan to gather the kings and their armies for that great day:
Viewer Screen: “Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the
kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, ‘All this authority I will
give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish.
Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.’ ” (Lk 4:5-7).
In this temptation of Jesus, Satan claims to have the authority to appoint anyone he chooses to be
king of the world. Jesus not only does not dispute Satan’s claim to have this authority, but
elsewhere Jesus calls Satan the ruler of this world. This indicates that Satan’s claim that this
world is his kingdom is a legitimate claim.

However, the Bible reveals that, at His return to the earth, Jesus will establish His kingdom upon
the earth. At that time, he will wrest this world from Satan’s grip.
Thus, the gathering of the armies of the world against Jesus will be Satan’s attempt to stop Jesus
from assuming His reign over the earth. After all, according to passages such as John 12:31;
14:30; 16:11; and 1 John 5:19, Satan currently rules the world and will do whatever possible to
hold onto this world as his kingdom.
Now, let’s answer a second question: How is it that Satan can believe that he can win against the
Lord? After all, Satan knows the Bible; in fact, he knows it well enough to have quoted it to
Jesus in an attempt to tempt Him to do evil. Because Satan knows the Bible this well, he knows
God’s plan for the future, as revealed in Scripture.
But, as 1 Tim 3:6 reveals, Satan’s condemning sin is pride. Pride blinds one to the truth and
gives him an inflated view of his abilities. It is what moved Satan to rebel against God in the first
place; and it is what causes him to refuse to believe that God will inevitably establish His
kingdom upon the earth. His blinding pride, coupled with a lofty ambition to be like God, will
move Satan to gather the nations to war. Due to his arrogance, even though he has seen God
fulfill His word over and over again, Satan still believes he can somehow thwart God’s future
kingdom plan. He still believes he can win!
While it is true that Satan’s blinding pride and lofty ambition will lead him to do whatever he can
to hold onto this world as his kingdom, he could accomplish nothing if God did not allow him to
do so. Not only will God allow him to gather the armies of the world together to war against
Jesus, He will even enable that to occur! Here is the way it will develop.
During the last half of the Tribulation period, God will pour out upon the earth a series of
judgments, that the book of Revelation calls the bowl judgments. When the sixth bowl is opened,
this is what is revealed in Revelation 16:12:
Viewer Screen: “Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its
water was dried up, so that the way of the kings from the east might be prepared” (Rev 16:12).
Verse 12 reveals that the Euphrates River will be dried up in order to provide for the kings from
the East and their armies to cross over it. Let’s look at a map of that area.
Viewer Screen: [See map below]

As you can see, the Euphrates (appearing in the middle of this map), which is about 1800 miles
long, begins in Turkey, flows across Syria, and then through Iraq to the Persian Gulf. It is
scarcely fordable at any time of the year and has always been a separation between people on the
east of it and people to the west of it. Historically, it has been a great hindrance to military
movements.
However, the drying up of the Euphrates will enable armies from other parts of the Middle East
to gather in the northern part of Israel, which is located to the south of the river. So, we can see
why Satan would want to take advantage of the drying of the Euphrates, so he can gather the
nations to war against Jesus at His return. However, by drying up the Euphrates, God will be
lowering the drawbridge, so to speak. He will be welcoming the nations to come together to
attempt to war against his Son. But when they do, God will bring judgment upon them. This will
be another case of Satan falling right into God’s trap.
Here is what verses 13-14 of Rev 16 portray:
Viewer Screen: “And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the
dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are
spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole
world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty” (Rev 16:13-14).
These verses describe three demons being sent out by Satan, the Beast, and the False Prophet.
They will go worldwide, performing miraculous signs, to deceive the kings of the earth and to
move them to send their armies “to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.”

That battle is what many have termed the “battle of Armageddon.” They get that term from verse
16 of Revelation 16, where we see this description:
Viewer Screen: “And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon”
(Rev 16:16).
However, the battle of Armageddon is a misconception. Though Armageddon has become
known as the place where the final battle of the world takes place, Scripture does not announce
that it is the place of a great battle. The battle will actually take place near the Mount of Olives,
just outside Jerusalem.
Instead, verse 16 refers to Armageddon as the place where the armies of the earth will gather.
Neither verse 16 nor anywhere else in the Bible refers to the battle of Armageddon.
Though most Bible versions present Armageddon as the area where the armies of the earth will
gather, that is most likely not even the place of gathering. “Armageddon” means “the hills of
Megiddo.” However, the hills would not be a good strategic location for the gathering of a
massive number of troops, particularly if the assembly is for the purpose of preparation and
organization for a battle to be held elsewhere. It would be more likely that such a large gathering
would take place in a vast plain. In fact, I believe, based on manuscript evidence, that the
original text of Revelation read “Megiddo,” instead of Armageddon.
Megiddo overlooked the Valley of Megiddo, also known as the Jezreel Valley. Thus, to gather at
Megiddo would mean to assemble in the valley, at the base of the ancient city, between Megiddo
and Nazareth.
Nazareth, Jesus’ boyhood home, sits upon a large hill overlooking the Valley of Megiddo. This
means that, every day, while growing up, Jesus viewed the area where future armies would
gather against Him. He could see the area where Satan would gather the armies of the world to
war against Him upon His return to the earth.
Now let’s return to Rev 16:14:
Viewer Screen: For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the
earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty”
(Rev 16:14).
Notice that the demons will gather the armies of the world “to the battle of that great day of God
Almighty.” The “great day of God Almighty” is the day Jesus returns to the earth. On that day
God will display His almighty power through the Lord Jesus. It will be that day when this battle
takes place—the showdown between Satan and his armies and the Lord Jesus Christ and His
army.
Thus, Satan will deceive the kings of the earth to send their armies to assemble at the Valley of
Megiddo. This will be the beginning of their preparation to do battle with the Lord at His return
to the Mount of Olives. This battle will be the culmination of the Tribulation period.

Psalm 2 describes this gathering for us:
Viewer Screen: “Why do the nations rage, and the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the
earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against His
Anointed [Messiah, or Christ], saying, ‘Let us break their bonds in pieces and cast away their
cords from us’ ” (Psa 2:1-3).
Earlier, we saw Satan’s motivation for gathering the nations against the Lord, but here we see
that the motivation of the leaders of the nations is to cast off the bonds of the Lord from them.
They want to be free! Though Satan has his own motivation for this rebellion, he whispers in the
ears of these leaders that the Lord is confining them; and they deserve to be free of His
constraints!
Notice what occurs in these verses from Psa 2. The kings of the earth will gather their people
against the Lord and his Anointed one. The word anointed is the Hebrew word Messiah and the
Greek word Christ. Since there has never been a time in which the kings of the earth have
gathered together against Christ, then, obviously, this fulfillment will occur in the future. In fact,
the initiation of this rebellion is described in Rev 16:12–16 with the culmination presented at the
return of Jesus in Rev 19:11–21. There we see Christ do battle with the kings of the earth and
their armies who have gathered to make war with Him (19:19).
The scene opens in this way:
Viewer Screen: “Now I saw heaven [the sky] opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat
on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes
were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. . . . He was clothed with a robe
dipped in blood, and His name is called the Word of God” (Rev 19:11-13).
Instead of riding the donkey colt from atop the Mount of Olives toward Jerusalem, Jesus is here
portrayed returning gallantly and gloriously to the Mount of Olives on a white horse. But He
returns in vengeance toward His enemies. That vengeance is pictured as judging and making
war. In addition, “His eyes were a flame of fire,” portraying judgment; and His robe is “dipped in
blood,” indicating the blood from the slaughter of His enemies. Furthermore, verses 15-16
reveal:
Viewer Screen: “Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the
nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of
the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God” (Rev 19:15).
He strikes the nations when He returns, treading them as treading a winepress; but his winepress
is that “of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God”! Upon that day, God will no longer
tolerate the rebellion of His enemies against Him and His Christ.
Then, to present with ultra-clarity the identity, power, and authority of this One returning on a
white horse, verse 16 proclaims:

Viewer Screen: “And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS
AND LORD OF LORDS” (Rev 19:16).
Then, in Rev 19:19, we see the portrayal of the Psa 2 rebellion:
Viewer Screen: “And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together
to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army” (Rev 19:19).
The gathering of the kings of the earth against the Lord Jesus Christ, as presented in Psa 2, did
not occur when Jesus was upon the earth the first time. This, of course, means that the psalm
portrays the rebellion of the kings of the earth against the Lord at his second coming to the earth.
As we have seen in Rev 16, Satan will gather the armies together at the Valley of Megiddo.
However, as we have mentioned, this is not where the armies will wage war, as Joel 3 reveals.
However, before we observe Joel 3, we need to see that this chapter clearly portrays the period
immediately before and attending the return of Jesus to the earth as we see in this next slide:
Viewer Screen:
Joel 3:1-12: The Gathering of the Armies of the World for Jesus’ Return (Rev 16:12-14, 16);
Joel 3:13-14: The Slaughter of Jesus’ Enemies at Jesus’ Return (Rev 19:11-15);
Joel 3:15-16: The Dramatic Cosmic Events at Jesus’ Return (Mt 29:29-31; Rev 6:12-17).
As we mentioned, the Valley of Megiddo will only be the initial gathering place of the armies of
the world, for they will head down into the Valley of Jehoshaphat from there, as Joel 3:2
discloses:
Viewer Screen: “ ‘I will also gather all nations, and bring them down to the Valley of
Jehoshaphat [Kidron Valley]; and I will enter into judgment with them there on account of My
people, My heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations’ ” (Joel 3:2).
The Valley of Jehoshaphat is another name for the Kidron Valley—the valley that separates the
Mount of Olives from the Temple Mount. This gathering described in Joel is part of the same
gathering that begins in the Valley of Megiddo but then streams South down the Kidron Valley.
Though the Valley of Megiddo is a vast plain, it cannot contain the armies of the entire world.
But Scripture does not claim that all the armies arrive at, or are located in, the valley at the same
time. It seems that the armies begin to converge on the valley, but while waiting on other armies
to arrive, those that have reached that area first will begin to move on down the Valley of
Jehoshaphat.
As the massive number of troops from these armies pours down into the Kidron Valley, the
valley will not be large enough to contain the multitude. As a result, this flood of troops will
wash into the city and surrounding region, including the Mount of Olives.

But, when the world is the darkest, and the way appears to be hopeless, there is “A Cry in the
Dark,” which changes everything. Join us here next time on End Times Today when we hear “A
Cry in the Dark.”

Questions / Answers

Q: Jesus said in Matthew 7:13-14 (NLT): 13 “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the
narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that
way. 14 But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.
But in John 5:24 Jesus says (NLT): “I tell you the truth, those who listen to my message and
believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but
they have already passed from death into life."
I'm confused. Matthew 7:13-14 & 19:24 says it's hard to get into God's Kingdom, but John 5:24
says it's easy just "believe in God who sent me".
Could you help me to understand them? ---Terri, Marshall, TX
A: The translation of Matthew 7:14 is an unfortunate one, as it has “difficult” for the
Greek word . But that is not the primary meaning of that word. It is a word that
means “compressed.” In other words, it is restating the concept of “narrow” in order to
drive home a point. The point is that the way to the kingdom is extremely narrow; in fact,
there is only one way—through Jesus Christ. As Jesus states in John 14:6, “I am the way,
the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” That is the idea of
Matthew 7:13-14. It is not a difficult path to enter the kingdom; it is a narrow one.
The point Jesus is making in Matthew 19:24 is not that it is hard to enter the kingdom. His
point is that it is impossible to do so by one’s efforts—no matter how valiant they may seem
to be. The statement that initiated Jesus’ response is the rich Jewish man’s question, which
was this: “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?” Notice
that he thought he could do something to obtain eternal life. Jesus makes the point that
there is nothing anyone can do to obtain eternal life, and He makes this point by showing it
is impossible for anyone to gain it by one’s efforts. The only way one can receive eternal life
is by God’s provision of Jesus, and one can only receive it by believing Jesus for it.
John 5:24 does not actually tell us to believe in God to receive eternal life; instead, Jesus
promises that if we believe what Jesus guarantees—eternal life to whoever believes Him for
it—that person has eternal life and will never experience the judgment unbelievers will
experience. The second part of this verse should be translated as “believe God,” not
“believe in God.” The point Jesus is making here is that the Father agrees with the message
of the Son, which is that eternal life is received by simply believing Jesus for it.

Subscribe
Free Grace content right in your inbox!
Subscribe
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram