Jesus the Victorious King at Armageddon (Joel 3:1-2, 9-17)

For behold, in those days and at that time, when I bring back the captives of Judah and Jerusalem, 2 I will also gather all nations, And bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; 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 3:1-2)

Proclaim this among the nations: “Prepare for war! Wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near, let them come up. 10 Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruning hooks into spears; let the weak say, ‘I am strong.’” 11 Assemble and come, all you nations, and gather together all around. Cause Your mighty ones to go down there, O LORD. 12 “Let the nations be wakened, and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; for there I will sit to judge all the surrounding nations. 13 Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, go down; for the winepress is full, the vats overflow—for their wickedness is great.” 14 Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision. 15 The sun and moon will grow dark, and the stars will diminish their brightness. 16 The LORD also will roar from Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem; the heavens and earth will shake; but the LORD will be a shelter for His people, and the strength of the children of Israel. 17 “So you shall know that I am the LORD your God, dwelling in Zion My holy mountain. Then Jerusalem shall be holy, and no aliens shall ever pass through her again.” (Joel 3: 9-17)

Human History does not end with a Nuclear War

The drama of human history does not come to a close with the superpowers of the nations blowing each other up in a massive explosion, as has been the popular Hollywood theme of our day. Scripture makes it clear that natural history ends with a battle, but this battle is not between the East and the West, it is not about Communism verses capitalism, or about any other human against human conflict. The two sides of this great battle will be evil human beings against God Himself—and God will win. The Church will not be absent when this great struggle takes place; the Church will be here on the earth. Our anticipation will build as circumstances lead up to this battle. The knowledge of its approach will encourage us. In their fierce hatred, the Antichrist and his evil army will be desecrating the earth and persecuting Jewish people and Christians. As the circumstances leading up to the end-time battle intensify, believers will be crying out to God for His breakthrough in power to deliver His people and to judge the Antichrist’s empire who will be violently oppressing multitudes in many nations.

The end-time events will come to a crescendo, with revival breaking forth, persecution mounting, oppression deepening, economics failing, food becoming scarce to the point of famine, food being supernaturally provided for believers in the earth, the judgments of God breaking forth upon the unbelievers, and the wrath of Satan breaking out against the Church.

Jesus will stand in the sky as a fully human king who is fully God. No human king in history has ever stood in the sky. This day will mark an entirely new order of supernatural power—a Man will stand in the sky with His armies. The wicked people on the earth will look up and marvel, in a total quandary as to what to do about this supernatural set of events. In all of the might of the Antichrist’s evil army, they will have never confronted an army standing in the sky!

What strikes us most about this scene is that it is literal! When Jesus splits the sky with His appearing and liberates the captives, it won’t be instantaneous, but a process! It will take time. Many assume He will do away with the natural human dimensions in the end-time events

The battle of Armageddon, the great final battle around Jerusalem, will not be over in fifteen minutes. He will first appear in the sky. He will appear in the sky with all of His angels and then He will strike the evil nations in a progressive battle, causing the blood to flow far and wide. Isaiah described Jesus as the One coming up from Edom, traveling in the greatness of His strength, with garments stained red (Isa. 63:1-4). As this real, human King makes His way up from Edom, His garments will truly be red with the blood of His enemies. Though the supernatural activity of God will accelerate this battle, He will do it in context to natural human process.

This concept of literal events in a natural realm is important for us to understand! This is not hard for the Jewish mindset. They see the kingdom of God as a literal, Jewish, earthly, political reign. This is why they were bewildered when Jesus didn’t conquer the Romans and vindicate the Jews at His first coming! They were looking for a political human government. And they were partly right! It is what they were promised all through the prophets. Their error was in limiting God’s kingdom to the natural and to their nation, for it is also spiritual and international—the covenant was given to Abraham to bless all nations (Gen. 12:3).

Many Gentiles err on the other side in only understanding God’s kingdom as spiritual and international without seeing the literal, earthly millennial reign of Christ from Jerusalem. We must learn to bring these two paradigms together because both are necessary to understand what is coming when Jesus returns and rules the nations!

The government will be upon His shoulder … of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. (Isa. 9:6, 7).

Jesus challenged the paradigms of His Jewish disciples when He said, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and the end of the earth” (Acts. 1:8). The power they would receive would be supernatural, of the Holy Spirit, and not just the natural, physical strength of armies. The Jews had no dealings with Samaritans, and the resurrected Christ was sending them to these “defiled” Gentile neighbors! (Jn. 4:9). This was a stumbling block to their minds! He was also sending them to the uncharted territory of the ends of the earth. They believed the earth would come to them (which it will—Isa. 2:2; Mic. 4:1-2) more than they understood their responsibility to go to all the earth.

All Nations Gathered for Judgment

I will also gather all nations, and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; and I will enter into judgment with them there on account of My people, My heritage Israel… (Joel 3:2)

Behold, the day of the LORD is coming, and your spoil will be divided in your midst. 2 For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem; The city shall be taken, the houses rifled, and the women ravished. Half of the city shall go into captivity, but the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city. (Zech. 14:1- 2)

The Lord will gather the armies of all the nations to one place. The “all nations” of this passage is not speaking of every single human being of every nation—it is not a gathering of the whole population of the earth to be destroyed at Armageddon. Zechariah 14:16 tells us that some of the nations will be left. Rather, the Lord is speaking about the governments of the earth—the military captains, leaders, and personnel representing of all the nations. Still, this will be no small number; millions will be gathered to Israel and the surrounding area of the Middle East. Some of these will come to the Valley of Jehoshaphat, just outside of Jerusalem.

God will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem; the city shall be taken, the houses rifled, and the women ravished. Half of the city shall go into captivity, but the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city. (Zech. 14:1, 2)

At that time, Israel will have no military budget, no infrastructure, and no weapons of warfare. Israel will have fallen into the trap of the Antichrist, making a covenant of peace with him (Dan. 9:27). In the beginning of this peace treaty, they will dwell in safety, though it is a false peace (Ezek. 38-39). Yet when he turns on them, they will be defenseless.

Jesus will set His feet upon the Mount of Olives! A multitude of Jewish people will be trapped up against a mountain and surrounded on all sides, and there will seemingly be no route of escape. When He sets His foot on the Mount of Olives, the mountain will split in two creating a new valley so that His people might escape from their persecutors. (Zech. 14:4-5).

Satan will also work to gather the nations to Israel. He will send out his demons to work false miracles that cause the kings of the earth to be allured in the deception to unite against God.

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. 14 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)

Both Jesus and the Antichrist will be at work in gathering the nations to Jerusalem. Yet God’s sovereignty always overrides the devil’s schemes. Throughout history, Satan continually plays the role of “God’s devil,” in that whatever he does, God brings about good from it (Rom. 8:28). In other words, Satan’s schemes continually fall into the greater purpose of God’s ultimate plan.

Another factor that will bring the nations together in war against God will be their envy, bitterness, and greed—wanting to take the spoil from the land of Israel and steal the wealth of the Jewish people whom they wish to exterminate.

Thus says the Lord GOD, “I will do according to your anger and according to the envy which you showed in your hatred against them; and I will make Myself known among them when I judge you.” (Ezek. 35:11)

Summary: three things will work together to cause the great gathering of the nations in the Valley of Jehoshaphat. Men will come under the compulsion of human greed. Hoping to conquer the earth, the devil will work miracles to draw the kings there. And Jesus, superseding the others, will be drawing these evil and wicked leaders in the Antichrist’s empire that He might deal with them and kill them all before the eyes of the whole earth. He will lure them into a divine trap and gather them together so that He might display His mighty power with such an impact that it will stay in the memory of the nations for the next thousand years.

Nothing He will do will be unnecessary or too severe. He will use the least severe means to bring the greatest number of people to Him at the deepest level of love. The Lord will have given them every chance to repent. Yet these ungodly Antichrist nations will be in a wicked state of rage against Jesus and His people. In their rebellion their hearts will be utterly hardened, completely unresponsive to the grace of God. They will hate God with perfect hatred (Rev. 11:18). The Lord will stir them with an invitation, “Well, come then.”

Only one aspect of God’s motive for calling the nations to war is made known here, it will be a time of retribution on the nations for scattering the people of Israel, with whom God made a covenant. God will fight for the covenant He made with Israel until the end—and He will prevail. It is a testimony of His mercy! He promises to remember His covenant with the ones who have rebelled most against Him throughout history. He is zealous for them (Zech. 2:8; 8:2).

The Zeal of the Jealous King

The battle of Armageddon, referred to here as a military conflict in the Valley of Jehoshaphat, is a subject covered thoroughly in the Word of God. The Lord has given us significant emphasis and detail in Scripture on this so that His people would be confident about the end of the story.

Through this battle He will not only save unbelieving Israel and Gentiles; He will also vindicate and deliver all the believers. This battle portrays Jesus’ zeal and His commitment to His people. He will not sit back in passivity, but will take action and go to war on behalf of His own.

It will be a real battle.

What God does in that day will make an impact on how He governs the earth for the next 1,000 years. The people of the millennial nations will remember Jesus’ great power, wisdom, zealous love, and unrelenting justice that were demonstrated in the Armageddon Campaign. They will know how serious He is about His government. Then all of the nations will know that He is God!

These events will make a great social and emotional impact upon the earth when He kills untold millions in the Antichrist’s empire, along with their wicked leaders.

The Lord … shall execute kings in the day of His wrath. 6 He shall judge among the nations, He shall fill the places with dead bodies, He shall execute the heads of many countries.
(Ps. 110:5-6)

He shall judge between the nations, and rebuke many people; they shall beat their swords into plowshares … nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore. (Isa. 2:4)

The memory of this event will impact the social, emotional, legal, and economic decisions in the earth for the next 1,000 years (Rev. 20). The memory will live on and the power of it will affect generation after generation. They will tell their offspring and their descendants the story of this zealous King who killed the leaders in the Antichrist’s empire!

We need to get to know the Jesus who is portrayed in the Armageddon Campaign; slaying reprobate oppressors is not contrary to His personality of love and tenderness as He delivers those oppressed by Him. This is what Jesus’ love is capable of. When we learn how far love goes to deliver the persecuted and oppressed, there is gratitude in our hearts.

David described the safety of drawing close to the Lord in intimacy and awe in the end times.

Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. 12 Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish in the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him. (Ps. 2:11-12)

We must become deeply acquainted with both His burning love and His fierce zeal to remove everything that hinders love. We see these two manifestations of His heart throughout the Bible! What He did in becoming human and being crushed by the wrath of God on the cross is His ultimate statement of zealous love (Eph. 2:7).

Understanding the Armageddon Campaign

The Battle of Armageddon is typically understood as an isolated battle that occurs in Jerusalem just before Christ returns. In actuality, it is not an isolated battle—it is the final fight in a whole campaign½yearsofbattles. It will be a military campaign lasting the entire last 3 before the second coming. Thus, this conflict in the Valley of Jehoshaphat when Jesus slays His enemies is the last of the series of battles in what is often termed the Armageddon Campaign.

The Antichrist will conduct numerous battles around the world (Rev. 6:1-6), the greatest of which½ will be the 3 -year Armageddon Campaign, ending with the final battle in the Valley of Jehoshaphat—the Battle of Jerusalem (Rev. 16:14, 16). During this campaign, the Antichrist, with his ten-nation confederation and with the support of the kings of the earth, will gather to Armageddon. The Antichrist’s armies will have armed forces stationed in the northern plains of Esdraelon, or the Hill of Megiddo, as well as throughout the entire land of Israel, with troops deployed from the area of Armageddon. This great conflict will extend from the plains of the north, down through Jerusalem, out into the Valley of Jehoshaphat, and southward to Edom.

The term Armageddon appears only once in the entire Bible (Rev. 16:16). It is the place God chose to gather the nations for the war of the great Day of God Almighty. In Hebrew it is called, “Har-Magedon” and these two adjoined Hebrew words can be translated, “hill-country of Megiddo.” Megiddo actually means “mountain of gathering” and comes from a Hebrew root word [Gaw-dahd] which means “an assembling of troops.” Megiddo was an Old Testament city in northern Israel, sixty miles north of Jerusalem. It is located within a famous valley, a vast open plain that extends out toward the east, called the Valley of Jezreel. Today Megiddo is a fertile valley known as “Israel’s breadbasket” because of its continual harvest. The Valley of Jezreel, where Megiddo is located, is approximately 15 miles wide at its widest point and 20 miles long.

Megiddo itself served as a military stronghold where many strategic battles in Bible history were fought. There, Deborah defeated Sisera (Judg. 4-5), Gideon defeated the Midianites (Jug. 6), Saul died at the hand of the Philistines (1 Sam. 31), Joshua defeated the Canaanite king of Megiddo when entering the Promise Land (Joshua 12), and Josiah was killed by the Egyptians (2 Chr. 35:22-24; 2 Kgs. 23:29). This same valley will host the great Battle of Armageddon. Though the plain of Megiddo is too small to host millions of soldiers from the armies of the earth long-term, it is large enough to act as the gathering place to dispatch armies throughout the land.

The Gentile Nations Prepare for War Against God!

Proclaim this among the nations: “Prepare for war! wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near, let them come up. 10 Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruning hooks into spears; let the weak say, ‘I am strong.’” (Joel 3:9-10)

God’s answer to the nations’ abuse and defilement of His land and His people is the cry, “Prepare for war!” This is the voice of the Holy Spirit stirring up the nations to fight. He cries, in effect, “Rally your strongest and best! Tell all of the soldiers to get out their uniforms and re-enlist! Let even the weak ones be emboldened in their pride.” Once again, in this strange paradox, the nations of the earth will be summoned to war by God, Satan, and their own sin. Demons will be deceiving them and falsely prophesying, “Go to war and there will be great victory and spoil!” The Lord will be enlisting and calling, “Go to war!” And their own sin and lustful nature will compel them to this war. It is a mysterious thing when the forces of evil and the forces of righteousness move world history in the same direction, yet for different reasons.

The Holy Spirit summons men to beat their plowshares into swords and their pruning hooks into spears. With this command, God will provoke pride in the human heart. The nations will convert their agricultural factories into military machines. This command is the opposite of what Isaiah prophesied would occur after the war is over: “They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation will not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore” (Isa. 2:4).

By summoning the nations to prepare for war, the Lord will stir them up in their arrogance. These wicked nations believe that they have power over God. Instead of crushing their pride, He will fuel it to let it come to fruition. He will hand them over to their own desires and bring them into the battle against Him that their wicked, false confidence has pressed for. Figuratively speaking, the Lord will get behind them and push them forward into the fullness of what their pride wants (2 Thes. 2:11). As this bolstered confidence swells, they will come by the droves, mesmerized under the spell of their conceit, and certain of a triumph over God that only fools would believe attainable.

David described these proud armies of the Antichrist in the end times.

Why do the nations rage, and the people plot a vain thing? 2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, 3 “Let us break their bonds in pieces and cast away their cords from us.” (Ps. 2:1–3)

These kings will gather together and scheme: “We will destroy Jesus, the Anointed One, and His people! We will come against Him! We will cast off God’s cords of holiness! We do not want His Word or His ways! We do not want His restraints!” As they arise to this battle, their determination will be to kill all of the Christians and exterminate the Jewish race.

Let the Nations be Wakened

Assemble and come, all you nations, and gather together all around. Cause Your mighty ones to go down there, O LORD. 12 “Let the nations be wakened, and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; for there I will sit to judge all the surrounding nations.” (Joel 3: 11- 12)

He convenes all the nations to this battle, not wanting one guilty nation to be absent (Joel 3:1). He calls to them, in essence, “Prepare for war! Come and dare to gather against Me! Try to wipe out My people and My land!”

The Lord continues with the command, “Let the nations be wakened and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat” (Joel 3:12). With fearsome zeal, God will stir up the nations of the earth. He will not force them to come, yet He will create a setting in which the unholy boldness of their sinful hearts is aroused. He wants this arrogance to swell to its fullest and the sin that is within these nations to become ripe for judgment. He wants nothing kept in reservation or left dormant in that hour, but man’s wickedness will be brought fully into the Light. All of the wicked strength of these armies will not cause the Lord of Hosts to flinch. When the Lord summons the nations to fight against Him, untold millions will respond! Millions will gather to the nation of Israel and throughout the Middle East to crush Israel.

In Psalm 45 the sons of Korah wrote about this final conflict of the evil end-time campaign, crying out to the Messiah, “Gird Your sword upon Your thigh and ride in victory.” This Psalm portrays the glory and the terror of that day when Jesus goes forth as a great warrior king.

Gird Your sword upon Your thigh, O Mighty One, with Your glory and Your majesty. 4 And in Your majesty ride prosperously because of truth, humility, and righteousness; and Your right hand shall teach You awesome things. 5 Your arrows are sharp in the heart of the King’s enemies; the peoples fall under You. 6 Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom. 7 You love righteousness and hate wickedness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness more than Your companions. (Ps. 45:3-7)

We cannot understand the Battle of Armageddon without knowing that the mighty One who makes war with His enemies is anointed with the oil of gladness more than any other man in history! The warrior king at Armageddon is motivated by glad love. Even as He endured the wrath of God on the cross for the joy set before Him (Heb. 12:2), so He will dispense His wrath on the wicked for the joy of an earth that is free of wickedness and a Bride that lives with Him in undefiled love. Oh, He is more beautiful than the sons of men! He loves righteousness, hates that which destroys love, and possesses a fiery zeal for truth! He is not only confident of His victory;

Our warrior king loves truth and meekness. He does not ride in pompous strength but in truth. He uses this power for the sake of meekness and truth. He came as a meek Lamb and for 2,000 years has endured the restraint of His Father’s perfect timing. Jesus fights on behalf of truth, humility, and righteousness.

Intercession is made for the release of angels in the Armageddon campaign.

“Cause Your mighty ones [angels] to go down there, O Lord!” (Joel 3:11)

Joel utters the prayer that will be offered in that time, that the Lord would send out His mighty angels to this great battlefield. It as though Joel, right in the middle of recording the word of the Lord, put his pen down and entered in with this prophetic prayer, “God send the angels! Break in!”

Numerous other times throughout the book, Joel has lifted his own voice to God in prayer (Joel 1:19; 2:17). Here he prays for the angels of God to enter this immense drama!

There the Lord will Sit and Judge

Let the nations be wakened, and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; for there I will sit to judge all the surrounding nations. 13 Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, go down; for the winepress is full, the vats overflow– for their wickedness is great. (Joel 3:12-13)

Now I saw heaven 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. 12 His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. 13 He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. 15 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. 16 And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. 17 Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, “Come and gather together for the supper of the great God, 18 that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and great.” 19 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. 20 Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. 21 And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh. (Rev. 19:11-21)

It will be in the final days of this age in history that the nations will respond to the summoning of God, the deception of Satan, and the pride of their own hearts to gather against God and Israel. In this area, the Lord will sit as Judge and He will condemn all the nations that surround Israel.

Joel recorded the intercession of angels who cried out, “Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe!”

Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, go down; for the winepress is full, the vats overflow—for their wickedness is great. (Joel 3:13)

The apostle John also depicts this end-time scene:

I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and on the cloud sat One like the Son of Man, having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle. 15 And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, “Thrust in Your sickle and reap, for the time has come for You to reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.” 16 So He who sat on the cloud thrust in His sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped. (Rev. 14:14-16)

The angels cry out in intercession for Jesus to act against the evil that has fully matured on the earth! They are praying for Jesus to judge the Antichrist’s empire.

In the book of Revelation, an angel cries out, “Put in Your sickle.” John records this Battle of Armageddon, this treading of the winepress, in Revelation 19.

Another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. 18 And another angel came out from the altar, who had power over fire, and he cried with a loud cry to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, “Thrust in your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, for her grapes are fully ripe.” 19 So the angel thrust his sickle into the earth and gathered the vine of the earth, and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. (Rev. 14:17-19)

Jesus will tread the winepress Himself with the fierceness and wrath of God (Rev. 19:12-15).

The winepress is full and the vats are overflowing because the wickedness of the nations is great.

Jesus will come to trample this wickedness. He uses the graphic metaphor of treading upon grapes to portray the blood of the nations that will flow far and wide! The winepress of sin will be full and because the nations overflow in sin, they will overflow in blood as God comes to judge them.

Who is this who comes from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah, this One who is glorious in His apparel [Jesus], traveling in the greatness of His strength?— “I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save.” 2 Why is Your apparel red, and Your garments like one who treads in the winepress? 3 “I have trodden the winepress alone, and from the peoples no one was with Me. For I have trodden them in My anger, and trampled them in My fury; their blood is sprinkled upon My garments [in the context of the Battle of Armageddon], and I have stained all My robes. 4 For the day of vengeance is in My heart, and the year of My redeemed has come. 5 I looked, but there was no one to help, and I wondered that there was no one to uphold; therefore My own arm brought salvation for Me; and My own fury, it sustained Me. 6 I have trodden down the peoples in My anger, made them drunk in My fury, and brought down their strength to the earth.” (Isa. 63:1-6)

Then the LORD will go forth and fight against those nations, as He fights in the day of battle. 4 And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two… (Zech. 14:3-4)

The Valley of Decision

Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision. (Joel 3:14)

The valley of decision is not only a geographic valley, but it is the valley that the human heart lives in right now. Even now, people are moving in one direction or the other. Every person on the face of the earth is calculating their life vision, passions, strengths, and influence. They are anticipating their way ahead in life and moving either toward the Lamb of God or away from Him. And the pace is about to dramatically pick up.

There will be no neutral ground in that day. The whole earth will be in this valley of decision. If people refuse the Antichrist, he will seek to kill them. Yet if they refuse Jesus, they will come God’s judgment us (Rev. 14:6-13). No one will be able to claim neutrality.

The secret compromises that we live in today will become easier and easier tomorrow. On the other hand, the secret abandonment to God that is costing us today will give rise to greater abandonment tomorrow.

The King Shall Reign in Justice

The sun and moon will grow dark, and the stars will diminish their brightness. 16 The LORD will roar from Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem; the heavens and earth will shake; but the LORD will be a shelter for His people, and the strength of the children of Israel. 17 “So you shall know that I am the LORD your God, dwelling in Zion My holy mountain. Then Jerusalem shall be holy, and no aliens [foreign armies in military conflict] shall ever pass through her again.” (Joel 3:15-17)

In that hour, this mighty Lion will become a shelter for His people! As He breaks through the clouds and sets His feet upon the Mount of Olives, He will protect those who are in danger. He will act as Deliverer and Savior to the captives being oppressed by the Antichrist.

The Lord will not only use the sword in His mouth to execute His judgments, but He will exercise all of His resources in creation, including the sun, the moon, the stars, and the earth itself. All of created order will obey the command of Jesus, the Second Person of the Trinity! He is the One who spoke creation into being, and now He will use it as part of His resources in judgment! As millions of soldiers are gathered together against Israel, loaded down with the most sophisticated weapons and military arsenal, the God of “Genesis 1” will present His weapons. He knows how to employ the sun and the moon for His own purposes!

Suddenly, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah will roar from Zion, from literal Jerusalem! (Joel 3:16). He will stand in the holy city and utter His voice with a deafening, earth-shattering roar!

From His throne in Jerusalem, Jesus shall reign—He is fully God and fully Man. A Man will be King over all the earth, in time and space, and the Father will give Him the inheritance of the nations. “And the Lord shall be King over all the earth. In that day it shall be—the Lord is one, and His name one” (Zech. 14:9). For a thousand years He will continue to transform every part of society. He will put an end to all authority and power that resists Him (1 Cor. 15:25).


What a gift God has given us in showing us the end of the story. So often in our short-sightedness we get weighed down with the cares of life. But the Lord is zealous for our hearts. Even now He is deeply involved in our lives, orchestrating our circumstances in order for us to enter into the fullness of His plans for us—plans that are so marvelous we can hardly fathom them (1 Cor. 2:9).

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