Disaster for Fighters Against God’s New Order
1. What will come to its end at Har–Magedon?
IN THE “war of the great day of God the Almighty” at Har–Magedon the Devil’s visible organization on earth will be destroyed. This will signify the violent end of the governmental organizations established by worldly men under the unsuspected supervision of Satan the Devil, (Revelation 13:1, 2; 16:14, 16; John 14:30) Just as might be expected, the rulers and the supporters of those human governments battle against God’s Messianic kingdom at Har–Magedon.
2. What will happen to those who operated and supported those organizations?
2 What about the political rulers and their backers and subjects who made those governmental organizations function? They must suffer destruction with their political organizations that they have operated in defiance of God’s Messianic kingdom as proclaimed by Jehovah’s Christian witnesses world wide. Their destruction is the thing signified by what the Revelation to John says about the outcome of the battle: “But the rest [that is, the kings of the earth and their armies] were killed off with the long sword of the one seated on the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth. And all the birds were filled from the fleshy parts of them.”—Revelation 19:21.
3. As shown at Revelation 19:17, 18, who are included among the dead ones on the battlefield at Har–Magedon, and what kind of destruction is it in their case?
3 The “birds that fly in midheaven” fill themselves from the decaying flesh of the slain kings, military commanders, strong men, horses, cavalrymen, freemen and slaves, great ones and small. (Revelation 19:17, 18) Their active support of the war against the King of kings is far worse than a mere failing to do something helpful toward Jesus Christ and his faithful disciples. If anything, these are all symbolic “goats” as portrayed in Jesus’ parable of the sheep and the goats. By the symbolic “long sword” that proceeds out of the mouth of the warring King of kings, they are ordered to depart into the “everlasting fire prepared for the Devil and his angels.” At the swordlike orders that proceed out of the King’s mouth, these “cursed” fighters against God and his Christ will “depart into everlasting cutting-off,” a wiping out of existence as an eternal punishment.—Matthew 25:31-46.
4. In view of what is known about the fiery Gehenna outside of ancient Jerusalem, why might a question be raised as to what is said about the disposal of carcasses at Har–Magedon?
4 That is why the apostle John did not see the carcasses of these goatlike slain ones buried in graves in hope of a resurrection for them from the dead. But why are all these dead bodies not “hurled into the fiery lake that burns with sulphur,” the lake that is mentioned in Revelation 19:20? We recall that in the Jerusalem of the days of Jesus and his apostles, the dead bodies of executed criminals who were considered as being so vile that they were not worthy of a resurrection were hurled over the southern walls of the city to land in the Valley of Hinnom, into “Gehenna,” to be consumed there in the incinerating fires mingled with sulphur. Or, if the bodies did not land directly in the sulphurous fires, they would lie exposed in the warm neighborhood to be consumed by the maggots that would breed and swarm and wriggle all over the bodies. Just as Jesus said: “And if your eye makes you stumble, throw it away; it is finer for you to enter one-eyed into the kingdom of God than with two eyes to be pitched into Gehenna, where their maggot does not die and the fire is not put out.”—Mark 9:43-48.
5. What is unusual about the fact that the “wild beast” and the “false prophet” are hurled into the lake of fire “while still alive,” and, evidently, what does this indicate?
5 Since the bodies of condemned criminals that were pitched into the fires of the Valley of Hinnom (or, into Gehenna) were dead bodies, it is remarkable that when the symbolic “wild beast” and the “false prophet” are hurled into the “fiery lake that burns with sulphur,” it occurs that, “while still alive, they both were hurled” there. (Revelation 19:20) Evidently this means that they come to an abrupt end. While still actively in operation, those political organizations are suddenly halted, disintegrated, dissolved, forever, with no vestiges, no remains of them around. They leave no carcasses of themselves on the battlefields for scavenger birds to feast upon, picking their bony skeletons clean.
6, 7. (a) As for persons who war against the Kingdom at Har–Magedon, how is their everlasting destruction pictured? (b) How does the Bible describe the means for disposing of the flesh of all the dead bodies?
6 However, the everlasting destruction of persons warring against the Kingdom at Har–Magedon was pictured in another way. How? Well, with the dead bodies of these opposers and fighters against Jehovah’s universal sovereignty he purposed to make a gory feast for “all the birds that fly in midheaven.” (Revelation 19:17, 18) The bodies of the slain will not molder in honorable burial places. Unburied, their flesh will be picked away clean to the bone, beyond identifying the bare skeletons. Because of the multitude of the slain, it will be a huge feast for the scavengers. Directing his words to the King of kings, the Lord Jesus Christ who was foreshadowed by ancient King Melchizedek, King David said in Psalm 110:5, 6: “Jehovah himself at your right hand will certainly break kings to pieces on the day of his anger. He will execute judgment among the nations; he will cause a fullness of dead bodies.” Or: “smashing their skulls, he heaps the wide world with corpses.” (Je) Quite evidently there will be many more bodies strewn over the earth as a result of the war at Har–Magedon than there will be scavenger birds enough to dispose of them all in a reasonable time for human health reasons. So it is reasonable to expect that God will dispose of excess bodies by other means.
7 We remember that, in the corresponding prophecy of the attack of Prince Gog of the land of Magog and his hordes upon the restored remnant of Jehovah’s people, the “birds of every sort of wing” will be assisted by “all the wild beasts of the field” in disposing of the dead corpses of the defeated fighters against God. To these scavenger creatures, it is prophetically said: “‘And you must get satisfied at my table on horses and charioteers, mighty persons and all sorts of warriors,’ is the utterance of the Sovereign Lord Jehovah.” (Ezekiel 39:17-20) So, instead of having their bones eaten clean of all decaying flesh by the maggots at the Valley of Hinnom (or, at Gehenna), the carcasses of the slain enemies at Har–Magedon will, as it were, be eaten clear to the bone by nature’s sanitation force, the carrion-eating birds and wild beasts.
8-12. (a) In Ezekiel 39:11-20, what provision for the disposal of the bones of the onetime opposers of the Messianic kingdom is described? (b) What is indicated by the fact that this burying is said to go on for “seven months”?
8 What a well-deserved, contemptible end for all these opposers of Jehovah and his Messianic kingdom at Har–Magedon! But what about their bones that are left to bleach in the sun or to disintegrate as perishable, unclean, hideous relics of once-living opposers of the Sovereign Lord Jehovah? In Ezekiel 39:11-20 it is indicated with reference to the slain hordes of Gog of Magog that an odious place, of foul memory, is reserved for the bones of those executed by the Lord God Almighty at Har–Magedon. This is implied by His words:
9 “‘And it must occur in that day that I shall give to Gog a place there [a place of name (renown), Greek Septuagint; Latin Vulgate], a burial place in Israel, the valley of those passing through on the east of the sea [the Dead Sea], and it will be stopping up those passing through. And there they will have to bury Gog and all his crowd, and they will be certain to call it the Valley of Gog’s Crowd. And those of the house of Israel will have to bury them for the purpose of cleansing the land, for seven months. [This indicates a tremendous number of bones.] And all the people of the land will have to do the burying, and it will certainly become for them a matter of fame in the day that I glorify myself,’ is the utterance of the Sovereign Lord Jehovah.
10 “‘And there will be men for continual employment whom they will divide off, passing along through the land, burying, with those passing through, those left remaining on the surface of the earth, in order to cleanse it. To the end of seven months they will keep making search. And those passing through must pass along through the land, and should one actually see the bone of a man he must also build beside it a marker, until those who do the burying will have buried it in the Valley of Gog’s Crowd [or, Valley of Hamon-Gog]. And the name of the city will also be Hamonah [this name meaning “Crowd,” as Ha·mo·nahʹ is the feminine form of the Hebrew word Ha·monʹ in Eze 39 verses 11, 15]. And they will have to cleanse the land.’
11 “And as regards you [Ezekiel], O son of man, this is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah has said, ‘Say to the birds of every sort of wing and to all the wild beasts of the field: “Collect yourselves together and come. Gather yourselves together all around to my sacrifice, which I am sacrificing for you, a great sacrifice on the mountains of Israel. And you will certainly eat flesh and drink blood. The flesh of mighty ones you will eat, and the blood of the chieftains of the earth you will drink, rams, young male sheep, and he-goats, young bulls, the fatlings of Bashan all of them. And you will be certain to eat fat to satisfaction and to drink blood to drunkenness, from my sacrifice that I will sacrifice for you.”’
12 “‘And you must get satisfied at my table on horses and charioteers, mighty persons and all sorts of warriors,’ is the utterance of the Sovereign Lord Jehovah.”—See marginal reading.
GLORY VERSUS EVERLASTING SHAME
13, 14. (a) What names, reflecting a reproachful memory, are associated with the place of burial of Gog’s human hordes? (b) In Isaiah 66:23, 24, how is the lasting contempt that will be felt for those opposers of Jehovah’s worship described?
13 Thus Jehovah God, as Commander-in-Chief, by means of his acting Field Marshal, Jesus Christ, will gain undying glory for himself, whereas the symbolic Gog and his earthly hordes will earn everlasting shame for themselves. As it were, the scrambled mass of bones of Gog’s human hordes will be given a mass burial, without identifiable individual graves. The “Valley of Hamon-Gog” will be a reproachful name to serve as an inglorious memorial of them. This will also be true of the name Hamonah, which might be the name of any citylike marker that is established to memorialize the historical associations of the place. With regard to the lasting contempt that is in store for these transgressors who oppose Jehovah’s worship, Isaiah’s prophecy speaks of the survivors who worship Jehovah and says:
14 “‘And it will certainly occur that from new moon to new moon [or, from month to month] and from sabbath to sabbath [or, from week to week] all flesh will come in to bow down before me,’ Jehovah has said. ‘And they will actually go forth and look upon the carcasses of the men that were transgressing against me; for the very worms upon them will not die and their fire itself will not be extinguished, and they must become something repulsive to all flesh.’”—Isaiah 66:23, 24.
15, 16. (a) What does destruction as an expression of divine judgment at Har–Magedon mean for all those who experience it? (b) In Malachi’s prophecy, how is this further emphasized?
15 All things considered, it is evident that, in waging the “war of the great day of God the Almighty” at Har–Magedon, Jehovah is not going through just a military exercise, merely fighting a sham battle for training purposes, for mere display and not for permanent effects upon those who fight against Him. No, but Jehovah’s military action signifies an “everlasting cutting-off” for all those on earth upon whom He thus executes divine judgment for the vindication of his universal sovereignty. How he views those whom he exterminates at Har–Magedon, he further emphasizes in Malachi’s prophecy:
16 “‘For, look! the day is coming that is burning like the furnace, and all the presumptuous ones and all those doing wickedness must become as stubble. And the day that is coming will certainly devour them,’ Jehovah of armies has said, ‘so that it will not leave to them either root or bough [as a complete extermination]. And to you who are in fear of my name the sun of righteousness will certainly shine forth, with healing in its wings; and you [survivors] will actually go forth and paw the ground like fattened calves. And you people will certainly tread down the wicked ones, for they will become as powder under the soles of your feet in the day on which I am acting,’ Jehovah of armies has said.”—Malachi 4:1-3.
17. Following the violent end of Satan’s entire visible organization, what will happen to him and his demon angels?
17 The surviving worshipers of the Most High God will rejoice that the way has then been cleared for the full establishment of God’s righteous new order. Man’s old order will not give way peacefully and submissively to God’s new order. By the coming “great tribulation” it will be forced to make way for God’s promised new order. This is because the “ruler of this world,” “the god of this system of things,” namely, Satan the Devil, who is the modern-day Prince Gog of the land of Magog, is opposed to God’s new order. But his unrelenting opposition will fail. Just as the prophetic Gog of Magog met defeat and could not prevent Jehovah God from carrying out his declared purpose to “send fire upon Magog,” so Satan the Devil will see his entire visible organization destroyed in the “great tribulation,” and immediately afterward his invisible location at the vicinity of the earth will be desolated. He and his legions of demon angels will be bound as with chains and hurled into an abyss remote from earth’s neighborhood.—John 16:11; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Ezekiel 39:1-6; Revelation 20:1-3.
18. Why will there certainly be occasion for spiritual feasting and rejoicing after the destruction of man’s old order controlled by Satan?
18 The destruction of man’s Satan-controlled old order will provide an occasion for spiritual feasting on the part of the surviving remnant of spiritual Israelites and the “great crowd” lined up with them on the side of Jehovah’s universal sovereignty. Why should they not rejoice then? At the coming fiery destruction of Babylon the Great the holy angels of heaven will shout “Hallelujah!” and a voice out of the heavenly throne will issue the command: “Be praising our God, all you his slaves, who fear him, the small ones and the great.” (Revelation 19:1-5) Much more reason will there be for the surviving worshipers of Jehovah God on earth to rejoice and cry out “Hallelujah!” when he gloriously completes the destruction of man’s old order in the “war of the great day of God the Almighty” at Har–Magedon. The greatest event of universal history will then have been accomplished, the vindication of Jehovah’s universal sovereignty and the sanctification of his sacred name.—Ezekiel 38:23; 39:6, 7.
19, 20. Even as the birds are invited to feast upon the carcasses of those slain at Har–Magedon, what does Psalm 46 describe on which the human survivors will surely feast?
19 In the Revelation picture of that war at Har–Magedon, “all the birds that fly in midheaven” obeyed the command of God’s radiant angel and gathered expectantly at the battlefield of Har–Magedon. They were promised a feast there, and they certainly got it. They feasted upon the carcasses of those slain by Jehovah’s appointed King of kings and his heavenly armies: “And all the birds were filled from the fleshy part so them.” (Revelation 19:17-21) No less so will the war-surviving remnant of spiritual Israel and the “great crowd” feast spiritually to complete satisfaction upon the God-honoring outcome of the “war of the great day of God the Almighty.” Just as it is said to the survivors:
20 “Come, you people, behold the activities of Jehovah, how he has set astonishing events on the earth. He is making wars to cease to the extremity of the earth. The bow he breaks apart and does cut the spear in pieces; the wagons he burns in the fire. ‘Give in, you people, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.’”—Psalm 46:8-10.
21-23. (a) What victory will have been gained by the human survivors of Har–Magedon? (b) As described in Revelation 15:2-4, in the singing of what words will those survivors unite their voices?
21 In profound awe at the marvelous activities of the Almighty Sovereign of the universe at Har–Magedon, the surviving remnant of spiritual Israelites will sing to Him. By the time of his glorious victory in the war of all wars this faithful remnant will have come off completely victorious over the symbolic “wild beast” numbered 666 and over its idolatrous “image.” At that triumphant time those two political organizations that were prominent parts of man’s old order will be sunk in eternal death, plunged into the death-dealing “fiery lake that burns with sulphur.” (Revelation 19:20; 17:8, 14) The post-Har–Magedon singing of this victorious remnant, reinforced by the singing of the “great crowd” of fellow worshipers at God’s spiritual temple, was so spectacular a prospect for our near future, that the apostle John was given a preview of that grand musical event. Happily for us today he penned an inspired description of it, saying:
22 “And I saw what seemed to be a glassy sea [a large glassy laver at God’s spiritual temple] mingled with fire, and those who come off victorious from the wild beast and from its image and from the number of its name  standing by the glassy sea, having harps of God. And they are singing the song of Moses the slave of God and the song of the Lamb [Jesus Christ], saying:
23 “‘Great and wonderful are your works, Jehovah God, the Almighty. Righteous and true are your ways, King of eternity. Who will not really fear you, Jehovah, and glorify your name, because you alone are loyal? For all the nations will come and worship before you, because your righteous decrees have been made manifest.’”—Revelation 15:2-4.