Satan said, “I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north” (Isaiah 14:13). The expression “mount of the congregation” refers to the holy mount of God’s dwelling place. And the psalmist ties God’s dwelling place to Zion, “Sing praises to the Lord, who dwells in Zion!” (Psalm 9:11). And he adds, “Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King” (Psalm 48:2).
Originally, Zion was the appointed spot where the temple was located, in the north part of Jerusalem. Later, it was known as a symbol of the city of Jerusalem. God is described as drawing or gathering His people to Zion where they can be safe with Him. “Blow the trumpet in Zion, … call a solemn assembly: Gather the people, sanctify the congregation” (Joel 2:15, 16). “For in mount Zion … shall be deliverance” (Joel 2:32).
After the literal nation of Israel rejected Jesus and crucified Him, the term Zion became the designation for the church or spiritual Israel. Thus, in the New Testament, it no longer identifies an earthly location, but the church that God dwells in. In Revelation 14:1, the redeemed are pictured as having been delivered from the beast power (of Revelation 13) and are safe in mount Zion: “And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.”
But while God programs a gathering of His people to Himself in Zion, Satan also has a gathering plan. It is a gathering of his forces for Armageddon. “For they are the spirits of devils … 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” (Revelation 16:14, 16).
Satan’s gathering is to counteract God’s gathering of His saints to mount Zion. Joel speaks about Satan’s gathering in Armageddon: “Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together round about … Let the heathen … come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat … The Lord also shall roar out of Zion … but the Lord will be the hope of his people” (Joel 3:11, 12, 16).
The word Armageddon is rooted in the Hebrew term “har moed,” which means “mount of the congregation” which is the same term (har moed) that was used by Satan when he said, “I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation.” This ties Armageddon to the original threat of Satan to capture and destroy the congregation of God—in mount Zion. But the good news is that God will prevail in the final battle of Armageddon over Satan and will deliver His saints to live forever in peace (1 Corinthians 15:57).
In His service,