Over the course of history, there have been countless wars. Before Christ Jehovah was directly involved in some wars. On one occasion God even caused the sun and moon to stand motionless in the sky for the length of a whole day while Joshua and the Israelites routed the Amorites. It truly was the longest day. On other occasions God caused storms and hailstones to annihilate Israel’s enemies.
Some Bible commentators refer to the Old Testament God as an angry and vengeful deity of war, while the New Testament God has mellowed out and is peaceful. After all, Jesus is the Prince of peace. Nothing could be farther from the truth though. In order to truly bring peace to this war-weary world first must come the war to end all wars, otherwise known as the battle of Armageddon.
The word “Armageddon” only appears in one place in the entire Bible—Revelation 16:16. What exactly is Armageddon? Needless to say, the word has been incorporated into the world’s lexicon to mean anything destructive, no matter how trivial. According to Revelation though, Armageddon is the result of demons luring the kings of the earth into a conflict with Almighty God.
It is natural to wonder why human rulers would be so stupid to engage heavenly forces in what will surely be a suicidal war. The 18th Psalm reveals the reason. The demons lure the kings into a scheme to eliminate Christians; specifically, a campaign to eradicate anointed Christians. It does not matter if humans do not recognize the chosen ones as belonging to God—His special property. The demons surely do. It was the demons who outed Jesus, so to speak; when in a synagogue a demon-possessed man spoke and said: “Did you come to destroy us? I know exactly who you are, the Holy One of God.”
The 12th chapter of Revelation reveals that after Satan and his angels are cast down from heaven—resulting in untold woe for the earth—the great dragon will focus his wrath upon “the remaining ones of her offspring, who observe the commandments of God and have the work of bearing witness concerning Jesus.” You may be certain that the demons know each and every man and woman who are Jehovah’s offspring.
To appreciate the context of the rather lengthy 18th Psalm consider the last verse first: “He performs great acts of salvation for his king; He displays loyal love to his anointed one, to David and his offspring forever.”
The superscription of the Psalm reveals that David was inspired to compose it because God protected him from all his enemies and the murderous rage of Saul. Even so, we know that Jesus is the greater David; whereas David was merely anointed from a flask of fragrant oil, Jesus was anointed by God’s holy spirit. And not only Jesus but after Christ ascended back to heaven others from among his followers were similarly anointed—becoming as it were “his offspring forever.”
On the day the Son of God was executed by soldiers of the Roman Empire Jehovah expressed Himself—his sadness and anger. As Jesus hung on the stake in agony the sun went dark even though it was early afternoon. When Jesus expired a great earthquake rocked Jerusalem. It was so powerful that corpses were ejected from the tombs.
Even so, Jehovah showed restraint. It was not time for God to vent his anger. Over the course of the Christian era, most of the offspring of the woman have already been chosen and finished their earthly course, as Jehovah’s Witnesses say. As noted in the verse quoted above though, there will be “remaining ones of her offspring” whom Satan will seek to devour.
Paul revealed a sacred secret (many actually) concerning the resurrection and the parousia. The inspired apostle disclosed that not all of the holy ones will sleep in death. The living who survive until the Lord of the whole earth comes alongside the remaining ones, which is what the parousia is, will not precede those who have died in union with Christ. Those dead in Christ will rise first. That is why those living are called “the remaining ones.” They remain after the dead in Christ are brought to life during the first resurrection. The remaining ones, however, will not sleep in death as did their predecessors. Instead, they will be instantaneously changed in the twinkling of an eye. Now the 18th Psalm:
“I have affection for you, O Jehovah, my strength. Jehovah is my crag and my stronghold and the One who rescues me. My God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and my horn of salvation, my secure refuge. I call on Jehovah, who is worthy of praise, and I will be saved from my enemies. The ropes of death encircled me; flash floods of worthless men terrified me.”
A literal flash flood is a devastating force of nature. That is why the Bible uses the phenomenon in a symbolic way. The flash flood of worthless men parallels what is stated in the 12th chapter of Revelation, where the “serpent spewed out water like a river from its mouth after the woman, to cause her to be drowned by the river.”
The same analogy is used in the 28th chapter of Isaiah. “Here I am laying as a foundation in Zion a tested stone, the precious cornerstone of a sure foundation. No one exercising faith will panic. And I will make justice the measuring line and righteousness the leveling tool. The hail will sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters will flood out the hiding place. Your covenant with Death will be dissolved, and your agreement with the Grave will not stand. When the raging flash flood passes through, you will be crushed by it. As often as it passes through, it will sweep you away; for it will pass through morning after morning, during the day and during the night. Only terror will make them understand what was heard.” — Isaiah 28:16-19
The demon-driven flash flood will accomplish God’s purpose. It will sweep away the Watchtower’s refuge of lies. As it stands, Jehovah’s Witnesses have been deluded into believing that the Devil was cast down in 1914 and the flood of persecution was realized back when eight members of the Bethel staff were arrested and briefly incarcerated. To this day millions of people believe that the Watchtower Society is a spiritual paradise and the ark of salvation. The delusion is so powerful—the lies so deeply entrenched as sacred doctrine—only terror will make them understand that Jehovah is the only true refuge. And, of course, the greater David, the tried and tested stone of Zion, will serve as Jehovah’s appointed Savior.
Just as when Joshua asked God to make the sun stand still in the sky the remaining ones will plead for God to save them from the flood of worthless men. And he will: “In my distress I called on Jehovah, to my God I kept crying for help. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry to him for help reached his ears.”
Describing what can only be Armageddon David sings: “Then the earth began to shake and rock; the foundations of the mountains trembled and shook back and forth because he had been angered. Smoke ascended from his nostrils, and a consuming fire came from his mouth; glowing coals blazed from him. He made the heavens bend as he descended, and thick gloom was beneath his feet. He rode on a cherub and came flying. He swooped down on the wings of a spirit. He then covered himself in darkness, all around him as a shelter, dark waters and thick clouds. From the brightness before him hail and fiery coals broke through the clouds. Then Jehovah began to thunder in the heavens; the Most High made his voice heard with hailstones and fiery coals.” (7-13)
In what way will God provide salvation? The song continues: “He reached down from on high; He took hold of me and pulled me from deep waters. He rescued me from my strong enemy, from those hating me, who were stronger than I was. They confronted me on the day of my disaster, but Jehovah was my support. He brought me out into a place of safety; He rescued me because he was pleased with me.”
Jehovah rescued his original anointed one from the enemy by resurrecting him from the dead. During the parousia, it will be as though God reaches down and plucks each one out of the raging flood. Their place of safety will be in the spirit realm, as their deaths will result in instantaneous salvation; even as verse 48 states: “You lift me high above those who attack me…” Heavenly beings are indeed high above mere earthlings.
As immortal spirits alongside Jesus, they will avenge their enemies. That is why the Psalmist goes on to sing: “He trains my hands for warfare; my arms can bend a bow of copper. You give me your shield of salvation, your right hand supports me, and your humility makes me great. You widen the path for my footsteps; my feet will not slip. I will pursue my enemies and overtake them; I will not return until they are wiped out. I will crush them so that they cannot rise up; they will fall under my feet. You will equip me with strength for the battle; you will make my foes collapse under me. You will make my enemies retreat from me, and I will put an end to those who hate me. They cry for help, but there is no one to save them; they even cry to Jehovah, but he does not answer them. I will pound them as fine as dust in the wind; I will throw them out like mud in the streets. You will rescue me from the faultfinding of the people. You will appoint me the head of nations.” (34-43)
David was a mighty warrior. He shed so much blood that God did not allow him to construct a temple for him. So, David wrote from personal experience to an extent. Obviously, though, David was not appointed as the head of nations. But the greater David was crowned as King of kings and those who are called and chosen and faithful will rule the nations with Jesus—smashing them with an iron rod like clay pottery. It is, then, in reference to the army of holy ones—all of the 144,001—who will crush the enemies of Jehovah worldwide. As the Psalm says they will be wiped out. That is what the war of Armageddon will bring about. The complete annihilation of Satan’s world.
What about those whom Jesus referred to as other sheep, or the sheep who do good to the brothers of Christ while they are in the flesh during the persecution? The Psalm continues: “You will appoint me the head of nations. A people whom I have not known will serve me. At a mere report they will obey me; foreigners will come cringing before me. Foreigners will lose courage; they will come trembling from their strongholds. Jehovah is alive! Praised be my Rock! Let the God of my salvation be exalted.” (43-46)