TEXT: Matthew 24:29-31; Revelation 19:11-21
The students will be able to relate that at the Revelation of Christ, Jesus returns to earth with His saints following the Marriage Supper. At this time the armies of the Antichrist gather to fight against Christ and His saints at the Battle of Armageddon and are defeated.
In the Battle of Armageddon, armies from all nations will gather in Palestine to war against God. In their rage, they will especially ravage Jerusalem and destroy a great part of Israel’s population (Revelation 16:14-16; Zechariah 12:3). At this point, the heavens will open and Christ will be revealed with His army of saints. He alone will wreak vengeance and judgment upon His enemies. A 200-mile carnage will result, concentrated in a place called Armageddon. That battlefield, the plain of Esdraelon (Greek for Jezreel), was famous for two great victories: of Barak over the Canaanites, and of Gideon over the Midianites. It was also the scene of two great disasters, the deaths of Saul and Josiah. It signifies in Revelation a place of great slaughter, the scene of a terrible retribution upon the wicked. As the site of perhaps more bloody encounters than any other spot on earth, it is an appropriate place for the scene of the great conflict pictured in Revelation 16.
Something big is about to happen. Jesus Christ is coming for His Church. Once He has come and taken them to be with Him at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, the full fury of the Great Tribulation will break upon our world with the Antichrist as the world ruler. Then the climax of the Tribulation will take place when Christ returns with His saints at the time of the Battle of Armageddon.
- Jesus’ ascension into Heaven is recorded in Acts 1:9-11. In Zechariah 14:4-5 and Revelation 1:7 we read of the coming of Jesus Christ as King. Note here some similarities between Christ’s ascension and His return to govern the world.
Response: Similarities mentioned may be that Mt. Olivet is the location of both occurrences, saints were and will be present, and Christ departed and will appear in a cloud. Discuss with your class the probable feelings of those who witnessed and will witness either of these two dramatic events.
- After reading the text in Matthew 24:29-31 and Revelation 6:15-17, describe how the sinners will react to the Revelation of Christ.
Response: Help the students realize that all sinners will experience guilty feelings and will mourn because they were not ready to meet Christ. All sinners, rich or poor, moral or immoral, will hide themselves and will cry to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us . . .” Emphasize that those who have not prepared will be filled with the torment of guilt and fear of the final judgment to come.
- Using Revelation 1:13-16 and 19:11-16, describe the manner and appearance of Jesus Christ as He leads His heavenly army to meet Satan’s earthly army in the Battle of Armageddon.
Complete the following statements:
He is riding
His eyes are like
On His head are
His clothing was
His name is called
Out of His mouth goes
On His clothing was written
His feet were
His countenance was like
Response: He is riding — a white horse
His eyes are like — a flame of fire
On His head are — many crowns
His clothing was — dipped in blood
His name is called — The Word of God
Out of His mouth goes — a sharp two-edged sword
On His clothing was written — KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS
His feet were — like fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace
His countenance was like — the sun shining strongly
In summary, help your students compare the humble life of Jesus’ first time on earth, with the majesty and power which will accompany His Second Coming to earth.
- What does Revelation 19:19 predict?
Response: The verse predicts that the Beast (Antichrist) will gather together with the kings of the earth in preparation for a great battle.
- Where is this great battle to be fought? See Revelation 16:14,16.
Response: The battle will be fought at a place called Armageddon. This is believed to be Mount Megiddo, the valley of which is called Jezreel. It is mentioned several times in Scripture. Discuss with your students some of the other famous battles that have taken place at this location. Gideon vs. the Midianites (Judges 6:33); Josiah vs. Necho (2 Chronicles 35:20-24); Israel vs. the Canaanites (Judges 5:19). Conclude your discussion by bringing out that, as those Scriptures refer to the defeat of Israel’s enemies, it seems fitting that the victory of Christ and the armies of Heaven over the Antichrist and his armies should take place here.
- What characterized the armies which followed Christ from Heaven? See Revelation 19:8,14.
Response: They were clothed in fine linen, which is the “righteousness of saints.” Ask your students what the significance of the white linen is, leading them to the understanding that no sin will enter Heaven.
- During the battle, what happened to the Beast and the false prophet?
Response: They were cast alive into the lake of fire. A discussion should bring out the thought that the Beast and false prophet were actual personages, and not political entities, as some have suggested. The point should be made that this was, for them, the second death. They will never return from the lake of fire.
- What happened to the army of the Antichrist?
Response: They were killed with the sword from Christ’s mouth. Discuss with the class that all things are under God’s control. Those who serve Satan may think they can do as they please, but sooner or later the Law of God comes into force. “Be sure your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23).
- Who came with Christ when He came back from Heaven?
Response: The armies which were in Heaven. Using the answer to this question, discuss with your students the privileges and rewards of the raptured saints. Not only will they enjoy the Marriage Supper, they will return with Christ as the conquering army to rule and reign with Him for a thousand years.
- How can we qualify to be a part of Christ’s army when He comes back to earth to destroy the Antichrist and rule for a thousand years? See Revelation 3:5.
Response: We qualify by being an overcomer. Have the students look at Revelation 3:5 as a supplement to verse 14 of our text. They should see that the overcomer is one who has had his sins washed in the Blood of the Lamb and has been living a life free from sin. Wrap up the lesson by pointing your students toward the importance of preparing while there is still time.
Illustrate to your students different ways that can be used to catch everyone’s attention: A flash of bright light! A loud, booming noise! A sudden and prolonged hush! Loss of power so there is no light! God’s Word tells us that when Jesus returns to earth following the Marriage Supper, every eye shall see Him. He will be revealed and everyone will know Him. His appearing will be more dramatic than anything we can imagine.
Use a simple paper-doll figure to represent a “saint.” (Or draw an outline on poster board.) Add pieces of “fine raiment which is the righteousness of the saints.” Talk about what Christian qualities might be a part of this “fine raiment.” Ask your students to name a few of the qualities: Honesty, Faithfulness, Love, Faith, Goodness. Label each part of the raiment with words suggested by your students.
Bring pictures of other great wars, and statistics of how many were killed in each conflict. Compare this to the Battle of Armageddon.