—Ezekiel 39, Verse 5 3/85—Geography of the Battle of Armageddon! DO 2153 ET#35
1. PTL! HALLELUJAH! TYJ! AMEN, LORD, HAVE THY WAY, THY WILL BE DONE, YOU KNOW WHAT'S BEST! Give whatever You know they need, in Jesus' name. Amen! Pardon me if I yawn a bit. There used to be a little poem that I've forgotten now, something about "burning the candle at both ends doth make one very tired, but it doth give a glorious light!" Maria & I got inspired to work half the night because we had a good nap yesterday afternoon & we weren't sleepy, so we just worked!
2. WELL, ARE YOU READY? DO YOU KNOW WHAT WE'RE SUPPOSED TO STUDY OR CONTINUE STUDYING? (Fam: Ezekiel 39.) That's the exact passage we're studying right now‚ but why are we studying all these Chapters over again that we have studied so many times before? I've been through all these Chapters with you, some of them several times. I know I went through them in the BOF etc. etc. So does anybody have any idea why we're studying them again? (Fam: Because the Lord keeps giving us new things on them!) That's one good thing. That isn't the answer I was expecting‚ but maybe that's an even better one! We're restudying all these because the Lord keeps giving us new revelations & interpretations. So it's worth it for that if nothing else.
3. BUT WHAT INSPIRED THIS STUDY TO BEGIN WITH? (FAM: TO FIND OUT WHO THE A-ACS ARE!)—Right‚ & who are the A-ACs, children? (Children: The Anti–Antichrists!) That's a real jawbreaker, a tongue-twister! You can say that pretty fast though, Anti-Antichrist‚ Anti-Antichrist! It sounds like your Aunt, doesn't it?—Your Auntie Antichrist!—Ha! Well, I hope you never have him for your aunt, that's for sure! But you see, that funny little gimmick made it stick in your head & you haven't forgotten it! I say some of these crazy little things or these alphabet soups etc., but you remember them. I just couldn't figure out any other way to express that, because they're not the Saved, they're not all necessarily good people really, but they're the Anti-Antichrists. They're not the Antichrist's people either‚ they're against him.
THE OPEN FIELD!
4. SO, 5TH VERSE: "THOU SHALT FALL UPON THE OPEN FIELD." Do you get any special significance out of that?—I don't!—Ha! (Family laughs!) I told you I could answer any question you ask me, & most of my answers would be "I don't know!" It simply means what it says & that's all! The practical thing to do with Bible Prophecy & interpretation—it should not have to be interpretation if it can possibly just mean exactly what it says & just let it go at that! Don't try to read into it some unusual, undercover significance of some kind. Maybe it has, but if it has, I don't know it!
5. I DON'T KNOW WHAT THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE OPEN FIELD IS EXCEPT THAT IT'S AN OPEN FIELD LIKE A BATTLEFIELD. That's what they usually call places where they have battles, they've got to have fields & they've got to have open fields, pretty broad expanses to get a lot of soldiers on them to fight. It's not too easy to fight up in the mountains‚ climbing mountains & hills up & down, or back in the jungle. That's why armies have such a hard time catching the guerrillas. I'm not talking about those big baboons, I'm talking about a different kind of guerrilla & it's spelled different, it means a kind of a secret soldier‚ soldiers that hide out in the woods & up in the mountains.
6. BUT WHEN THEY'RE GOING TO HAVE A BIG BATTLE LIKE THIS WITH HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS, MAYBE EVEN MILLIONS INVOLVED, THEY'VE GOT TO HAVE SOME PRETTY BROAD PLACES TO FIGHT! And a number of famous generals & military tacticians have looked out over the Valley of Megiddo, even Napoleon himself, & said, "What a place for a battle!" General Pershing said something about it, Napoleon said something about it, they all said it was a marvellous strategic place for a battle. And it's a very strategic location too, because that valley ends at Haifa in Israel's only normal port. We need a big map of Israel, preferably a map of modern Israel. Where I'm sitting now I can't even see this map behind me. But anyhow, maybe you've got one in the back of your Bible.
7. NOW RUN YOUR EYE OR YOUR FINGER DOWN THAT COASTLINE UNTIL YOU GET TO KIND OF A NOTCH WITH A LITTLE HORN STICKING OUT, & ON THAT HORN STICKING OUT THERE IT SAYS MT. CARMEL. That's where Mt. Carmel is located, right on that notch. And Haifa, by the way, is right in the notch‚ it's the port city. In fact, it is Israel's only good port & best port. I'll grant you that Joppa down below was a fishing port‚ but it was just a very small fishing port & even to this day is not much of a port, because there's no protection, there's no bay. But you'll notice Haifa Bay right there beneath Mt. Carmel at the mouth of the River Kishon which flows out into that bay. And it was always Israel's best port from the very beginning, ever since God created the Earth or caused the land to rise out of the sea. It wasn't Israel yet, but anyhow, God prepared it all.
GEOGRAPHY & CENTURIES!
8. I'VE OFTEN MARVELLED AT GOD'S PREPARATION OF GEOGRAPHY! I don't believe anything God creates happens just by accident! I believe He designed the land & exactly fit the geography of the lands that He knew were going to come into being, & their peoples, & even their events.—Marvellous! I've seen the hand of God in geography so many times studying history & events etc., things that couldn't have happened if the geography hadn't been like that, peoples that couldn't have happened that way, or nations that couldn't have been created that way unless the geography had been like that.
9. THERE WOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN A NEW WORLD, AS THEY SAY TODAY ABOUT THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE‚ UNLESS GOD HAD DIVIDED THE EARTH IN THE DAYS OF PELEG (Gen.10:25), the East from the West, & pretty much reserved the Western Hemisphere for a later development of mankind, a place of refuge & escape for the downtrodden & oppressed‚ the depressed too. They were plenty depressed from all the persecution the Christians were getting in Europe in the early days of the Reformation etc. So the Western World acted as a marvellous escape, & it acted as a lot of other things too, but it had its purpose in time & in space. The Western World had a purpose designed by God that it would not be discovered by the developed, so-called civilised Western World until the 15th century.
10. I ALWAYS REMEMBER THE DATE WHEN COLUMBUS SUPPOSEDLY DISCOVERED AMERICA‚ REMEMBER THE LITTLE POEM? (CHILDREN: "IN 1492 COLUMBUS SAILED THE OCEAN BLUE!")—Very good! I don't know the rest of the poem, but that always stuck & I always remembered that date, at the end of the 15th century. You say, "Dad, how come? It was 1492, isn't that the 14th century?" Some of you adults still aren't straight on that, what do you want to bet? You think, "Aren't the 1400's in the 14th Century?"—No! Don't worry about it, David, I still get mixed up on it too, because it's still very confusing. I was confused clear up through high school. Let's take the year 1400, for example. 1400 means what?
11. I WAS DOING THIS WITH YOU CHILDREN ABOUT YOUR BIRTHDAYS THE OTHER DAY! Techi couldn't understand how come she was already in her 6th year. She said‚ "But I'm only five, Daddy! I haven't had my sixth birthday yet." I wonder if she's got it straight now? Techi, you've been five years old for almost a whole year, right? You had your birthday last March, & this is March again & only two days away from your 6th birthday. Now when you had your 5th birthday, how old were you? (Techi: Five.) Which means you had lived how many years? (Techi: Five.) Then the day after your 5th birthday‚ what year did you begin to live? (Techi: 6th!)—Exactly right!
12. RIGHT NOW WE'RE LIVING IN THE 1900'S, AND WHEN DID THESE 1900'S BEGIN?—With the year 1900, right? On January 1st, 1900. When the whistle blew at midnight, January 1st, 1900, that meant man had finished 1900 years since Christ etc.‚ and was beginning what hundreds, actually?—The 20th hundred year. On January 1st of this century, mankind had completed the last 1900 years and was starting then in the 1900's, which go from 1900 to 2000, therefore the 1900's are what century? (Fam: 20th.)—20th century!
13. YOU'VE BEEN FIVE & GOING ON SIX, AS THEY SAY, FOR ALMOST A WHOLE YEAR, & the day after tomorrow you will be six because you will have finished your 6th year. And on your 6th birthday we are actually celebrating that you have finished living six years & you are starting to live what year? (Techi: 7th.)—The 7th! So there's some confusion about the difference between hundreds & centuries. The 1400's are what century? (Fam: 15th century.) Because man has already lived the 1400 years & now they're starting the 15th century. So 1401 is the first year of the 15th century, 1402 right on to 1492 when Columbus discovered America—to get back where we started—is near the end of what century? (David: The 15th!) Very good, the 15th century.
14. YOU CAN ALWAYS REMEMBER IT THIS WAY: THE CENTURY IS ONE CENTURY MORE THAN THE ACTUAL HUNDREDS THAT YOU'RE SPEAKING. The 1400's are the 15th century, the 1500's are the 16th century, etc. Do you get it?—Because the hundreds only says what century you've completed, & then with 1401 you're beginning the 15th century, 1402 you're continuing right through the 15th century until you get to 1499, & then when you get to 1500 you're beginning the 16th century. Now do you think you grown-ups have got that straight? (Maria: Do the children understand what a century is?) What is a century, David? (David: A hundred years.) Every hundred years of man's history is called a century. It comes from the Latin word "centum" which means 100. How do you say 100 in Spanish? (Fam: Cien.) That's close to "centum". Most of the Romance languages are built on Latin, such as Spanish, French, Italian etc.
15. SO ALL THAT TO FIGURE OUT WHEN COLUMBUS DISCOVERED AMERICA IN 1492 & WHY THE LORD RESERVED THAT PIECE OF GEOGRAPHY FOR THE FUTURE & didn't have it discovered by civilised man until then. Ancient Man was there but not Modern Man. It all has a purpose. So geography all has a purpose, including the geography of Israel.
16. NOW LOOK BACK AT YOUR MAP AGAIN. THAT'S WHERE THE ACTION'S GOING TO BE! Because that Valley of Megiddo is a long valley which is the entire Kishon Valley of the River Kishon‚ which extends clear down to the very heart of Israel & not too far even from Jerusalem, believe it or not. It has its origin in the Kishon tributaries in the mountains of Israel North of Jerusalem‚ & it has its mouth following down the river to that Haifa Bay.
17. HAIFA'S ALWAYS BEEN A FAIRLY GOOD HARBOUR THROUGHOUT THE HISTORY OF ISRAEL, THE BEST ON THE WHOLE COAST OF ISRAEL! The British came along & made it an even better harbour, they dredged it & put up a jetty or barricade to give it more protection for calm water when ships are anchored. They like to have it fairly calm so they can load & unload & storms won't damage the ships etc.‚ so now it's a very well-sheltered bay. Mama & I have seen it many times & it's a beautiful place. After seeing Haifa & the view of Haifa Bay, I didn't even care if I saw any of the rest of Israel, it was such a pretty place. We often rode up to the top of Mt. Carmel in that hill-climbing train. Mt. Carmel is nearly 2000 feet high‚ but you don't have to climb it any more like poor old Elijah did, & I think Elisha was up there too. (2Kg.2:25, 4:25) We know Elijah was there because what did he do up there? (Fam: He slaughtered the prophets of Baal.) How many? (David: 400.) Wasn't it 600? Well, it was hundreds anyhow. (1Kg.18:17–40)
18. I CAN'T EXPECT YOU TO REMEMBER ALL THOSE OLD DETAILS, IT DOESN'T MATTER ANY MORE! We're not going back in a study of the Old Testament & every little tiny detail & what it meant because it's old-hat, old-hash, long-gone & can't possibly affect our lives today, forget it!—Except as nice little stories to illustrate some spiritual point of how man obeyed or disobeyed God. They were illustrations! They were written as examples to us of what to do & not to do, & you get a lot of that out of stories, don't you? You like to read stories. Well, if you want to read them just for the value of stories & the moral lessons which they teach, fine. But otherwise it's long-gone history, past, & doesn't make much difference to us any more.
THE VALLEY OF MEGIDDO!
19. SO DO YOU SEE MT. CARMEL STICKING OUT THERE? It's the most pronounced promontory on the whole coast of Israel, & that mountain helps to shelter Haifa Bay, which makes it the best port of all Israel. Are ports important in war time? (Fam: Yes.) You bet they are! That port's been used for war ships many a time, as well as freight ships & passenger ships etc. When Maria & I came into Israel the first time‚ we came in there to Haifa on a lovely Greek passenger cruise ship & we sailed beautifully right into that harbour.—And was I glad to get there! I think Maria was even gladder because she's a little subject to seasickness. (Maria: I remember staggering down the street after we got off.) We had been on the sea for six days! It took six days to sail from Venice with stops in several ports along the way, including the port for Athens, we sailed through the beautiful Corinth Canal, stopped on Cyprus at Limassol‚ then finally sailed on to Haifa where we glided into this beautiful, beautiful blue bay! It's usually fairly calm & beautiful, protected on three sides, as you can see, by land & mountain, & with this lovely River Kishon flowing down into it.
20. BUT THE MOUTH OF THAT RIVER IS THE MOUTH OF THE VALLEY OF MEGIDDO, & ALL THAT TO SAY THIS, THAT IS THE BEGINNING OF THE VALLEY OF MEGIDDO! That's the mouth of the Valley of Megiddo & it stretches Southeastward, & if you'll follow that river down you'll notice there's a city called Jezreel there in the valley. It's also called the Valley of Jezreel. It's got several different names: Valley of Jehoshaphat, Valley of Jezreel‚ the Valley of the Kishon & the Valley of Megiddo.
21. NOW WHERE IT GETS THE NAME MEGIDDO IS FROM THAT BIG ROUND DOME-SHAPED MOUNTAIN THAT'S RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF IT, because Ar-mageddon means Height of Megiddo, meaning that round dome-shaped promontory that sticks up right out of the valley floor for apparently no reason whatsoever, except it's probably going to play a very major part in the Battle of Armageddon! It has been used as a look-out point & as a gun emplacement for big cannons in every war that's been fought there! You say, "Well‚ what difference do those things make today?" Well, you'll find soldiers & armies & officers still using mountains & hills & heights for protection & look-outs & to have the advantage of shooting down on people instead of up. The guy who's on the hill always has the advantage, even in modern warfare. You notice in some of those battles they fought in Beirut, the guys up in the Chouf Mountains had the advantage over the guys in the valley because they were always shooting down at them. Trying to lob a big shell that weighs maybe 100 pounds clear up onto a mountain is a lot harder than just shooting it down from a mountain! So that Height of Megiddo will probably play some important part in the Battle of Armageddon.
22. SO THAT RIVER LEADS ALL THE WAY DOWN & FINALLY INTO THAT RANGE OF MOUNTAINS THAT RUNS THE FULL RANGE OF ISRAEL. All the way from the desert below, clear up on into Lebanon etc. there's a range of mountains that runs North & South paralleling the Jordan River. Oh yes, it's also called the Plain of Esdraelon. You'll notice it has several different names on several different maps depending on what period of history, & it's important to know all those names because they're all mentioned at some time in Bible Prophecy regarding the Battle of Armageddon. So it's a very important battle!
23. NOW WE'RE GETTING DOWN TO YOU, BECAUSE ONE OF THESE DAYS YOU'RE GOING TO COME DOWN IN THAT VALLEY, OR TO THE VALLEY OR NEAR THE VALLEY OR ABOVE THE VALLEY‚ TO FIGHT & WIN THAT BATTLE & FINISH IT OFF! So that little valley has a whole lot to do with your future. So there you are! See the River Kishon running in the bottom of it? It's called the Plain of Esdraelon, the Plain of Jezreel, the Plain of Megiddo‚ it's got a whole lot of names, but that valley runs Northwest to Haifa & Southeast toward Jerusalem, & ships could come in to that harbour. They've got a big international airport there too. The biggest is at Jerusalem, but one of the big airports is at Haifa‚ so it's all set up for a nice big war.
24. WELL, BACK TO EZEKIEL 39‚ & AS I SAID ABOUT VERSE 5, I CAN'T REALLY GET ANYTHING OUT OF THAT!—HA! I CAN'T GET ANY MEANING OUT OF AN OPEN FIELD! Well, you see, when the Lord gets to moving me I can get something out of almost nothing, like the Lord does! All that to explain to you what the open field was & what it's like! It's a battlefield, & the battlefield is the Valley of Megiddo where the Ar-mageddon is & where the Battle of Armageddon will be fought! Now, have you got it straight? That's the geography & the topography of the Battle of Armageddon!
25. ALL RIGHT, WHAT PRAYER DO YOU THINK WE'RE GOING TO PRAY? I hear Mary Dear's even starting to pray that prayer. We've called it so many names now you don't know what to call it, do you? You can call it the Lord's Prayer, it is the Lord's Prayer, the Kingdom Prayer, it is the Kingdom Prayer, the Our Father, that's another name for it‚ but it's all the same prayer, & we're going to pray all the same too! Amen! PTL! Hallelujah! TYJ! As we pray His prayer together: (Prays the Lord's Prayer) Lord, do bless & keep us safely this day & help us to accomplish lots for Thee & Thine & to have a good day & learn lots of good things & do good things for others & to be good, in Jesus' name! Thank You Lord for all Thy blessings! Make us a blessing!—In Jesus' name, amen!