As we continue studying Armageddon, it is tremendously important to keep this great rule of interpretation before us. The vast confusion on prophecy today stems from ignorance of this principle. Once more, the prophecies given by Isaiah, Jeremiah, Exekiel, etc., have a double application -- one to be fulfilled locally; the other to be fulfilled on a worldwise scale in the last days. And the church takes the place of the nation as God's true choosen people. With this background we are prepared to study the subject of Armageddon. That world-ending conflict is tied closely to the things we have just stated about spiritual Israel and a secondary application of prophecy. A most amazing parallel exists between what happened to ancient Israel and the events concerning spiritual israel in the book of Revelation. Ancient Israel Spiritual Israel JER 50:33,34 Persecuted by Babylon REV 17:6 DAN 3:13 Forced to worship image REV 13:15 DAN 3:30 Called "Babylon the Great" REV 17:5 JER 51:13,14 Babylon sits on many waters REV 17:1 ISA 44:27,28 Rescued -- dried Euphrates REV 16:12 JER 51:6-8 Called out of Babylon REV 18:4 ISA 45:1 Rescuer called the anointed DAN 9:25 ISA 41:2,25 Both rescuers from east MAT 24:27; REV 7:2 Notice that God's people had almost the same experience in the Old Testament and the New Testament. They were forced to worship an image and rescued by someone from the east who dried up the river Euphrates to set them free. Within this broad outline there are scores of other astonishing similarities between the two Israels -- one literal and the other spiritual. It is obvious that the church -- God's people of the last days -- will be persecuted and threatened with death just like ancient Israel. In the book of revelation they are delivered from spiritual babylon in connection with the battle of Armageddon. "And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouse of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. ... And he gathered them together in a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon." [ REV 16:12-16 ] These verses are filled with great meaning. They reveal that three powerful forces will be utilized by Satan in preparing the way for Armageddon. Those three -- the beast, dragon, and false prophet -- stir up the political powers of the earth to take part in that war. It is apparent hat those three are religious powers, at least in their claims, because they work miracles to impress the governments of the earth. Miracles are only operative within the realm of religion. These three symbols incorporate all the modern forms of counterfeit religion. Rejecting the authority of God's law and choosing the easy tradtions of pagan worship patterns, these combined ecclesiastical systems will weild a mighty influece in drawing all the world into the battle of Armageddon.
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