The first question you may ask is why a mountain was chosen to illustrate the meaning of Armageddon. The reason is because Armageddon actually means “mountain of sorrows.” In some translations of the Bible you will find the word Armageddon translated as Har-Magedon. The “Har” means hill or mountain. Megiddo was the valley in which King Josiah was the killed. See 2Chr. 35:22-24. Jeremiah and all Jerusalem lamented greatly for their fallen king. In this way Megiddo became known as a place of great sorrow. So the actual symbolic meaning of Har-Magedon is “mountain of sorrows.”
The general teaching in the religious world today is that Christ will come to this earth and fight a literal battle against the forces of Satan in the Valley of Megeddo. After Satan is defeated, he will then establish His throne in Jerusalem where He will reign for 1000 years. These ideas originate in the following passages in Revelation.
For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.
And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.
Let us examine these two passages in an attempt to more fully understand what is being illustrated by Armageddon. Notice that in verse 14 the spirits of devils go forth into the whole world to gather them to the battle of that “great day of God Almighty.” The first thing we must do is determine what is meant by that “great day.” Jude 1:6 says, “And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. The “great day of God Almighty” is the judgment day. It is the day when God will punish all those who have been disobedient to Him. This will be the final battle that God will fight against Satan. At that time, Satan and all his forces will be cast into the lake of fire where they will be punished with everlasting destruction. Heb 10:27 says, “But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.” Satan will go forth throughout this world until Christ comes again and he will be gathering his forces together. They will be defeated one last time at the “great day” of judgment.
Now that we have an understanding of what the battle of that great day is, we can determine the symbolic meaning of Armageddon. In Rev. 16:16, we are told that they will be gathered into a place called Armageddon. Since Armageddon means “mountain of sorrows,” we can see that the forces of Satan will be gathered into a place of immense suffering and agony. They will be cast into a place of fiery destruction, which is symbolically called “Armageddon.” This will be a place of tremendous sorrow. A mountain is a great mass and symbolizes something of great quantity. The quantity of sorrow and pain the followers of Satan will experience in hell is beyond expression. They will be gathered into a place called “Armageddon.”
We need to stop thinking of Armageddon as a battle. The battle will be the battle of that “great day” (Judgment). Those who are defeated in that battle will be cast into a place called Armageddon, which means “mountain of sorrows.”