Here are previous installments in the four-part article series, The Second Coming Does Not Begin with Armageddon:
Today, I am posting Part 4 below:
God’s Kingdom Occurs Before Armageddon
The third reason why the second coming does not start with the battle of Armageddon is because Jesus is shown to be physically on earth significant earlier than the battle begins at least before the bowl judgments. First, in the immediate context, Rev 19:19 states, “Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to do battle with the one who rode the horse and with his army” (Rev 19:19; cf. 16:12–16). This reveals that Jesus has already physically returned. It would make no sense for the armies of the nations to go through all that work to assemble to go to war if there was no opponent in the first place! They are camped out at Armageddon to go to war with Jesus who has recently established his kingdom headquarters in Jerusalem. When the seventh angel blew his trumpet, it was pronounced, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever” (Rev 11:15). Immediately after this pronouncement, “The nations were enraged” (Rev 11:18). The following two prophetic Psalms also anticipates this great battle after the reclamation of the Messiah’s kingdom in the earthly Zion. Notice that the battle occurs after Jesus begins to rule:
“Why do the nations rebel? Why are the countries devising plots that will fail? The kings of the earth form a united front; the rulers collaborate against the LORD and his anointed king. They say, ‘Let’s tear off the shackles they’ve put on us. Let’s free ourselves from their ropes.’ The one enthroned in heaven laughs in disgust; the Lord taunts them. Then he angrily speaks to them and terrifies them in his rage, saying, ‘I myself have installed my king on Zion, my holy hill.’ The king says, ‘I will announce the LORD’s decree. He said to me: “You are my son. This very day I have become your father. Ask me, and I will give you the nations as your inheritance, the ends of the earth as your personal property. You will break them with an iron scepter; you will smash them like a potter’s jar.”‘ So now, you kings, do what is wise; you rulers of the earth, submit to correction. Serve the LORD in fear. Repent in terror. Give sincere homage. Otherwise he will be angry, and you will die because of your behavior, when his anger quickly ignites. How blessed are all who take shelter in him!” (Ps 2:1–12)
“A psalm of David. Here is the LORD’s proclamation to my lord: ‘Sit down at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool.’ The LORD extends your dominion from Zion. Rule in the midst of your enemies. Your people willingly follow you when you go into battle. On the holy hills at sunrise the dew of your youth belongs to you. The LORD makes this promise on oath and will not revoke it: ‘You are an eternal priest after the pattern of Melchizedek.’ O Lord, at your right hand he strikes down kings in the day he unleashes his anger. He executes judgment against the nations. He fills the valleys with corpses; he shatters their heads over the vast battlefield. From the stream along the road he drinks; then he lifts up his head.” (Ps 110:1–7)
Feinberg claims that the second coming, which he locates at Armageddon, is followed with the establishment of the kingdom. He cites Matt 24:31 and 25:31–46 as evidence for his point, concluding, “So, the second advent is preparatory to the establishment of the millennial kingdom.” His interpretation is problematic on two fronts. First, the kingdom is neither established immediately at the rapture nor at the battle of Armageddon, because it is clearly established at the seventh trumpet: “Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven saying: ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever’” (Rev 11:15). Second, Matthew’s Olivet Discourse realizes a period of God’s wrath before the Sheep and Goats judgment (Matt 24:36–44). The kingdom therefore is established before Armageddon—in fact, the pronouncement of the seventh trumpet of Christ reclaiming this world as his physical kingdom provokes the armies of the world to marshal a the military campaign against Christ. Christ will not allow them to reach Jerusalem and thus he will preemptively strike them as they are gathered at Armageddon.
When compared to the narrative in the book of Revelation, the chronology indicates that when Christ’s parousia begins, (1) the elect are gathered, (2) the trumpets judgments execute as the first series of God’s wrath, (3) the seventh trumpet pronounces the establishment of Christ’s physical kingdom, (4) the final series of God’s wrath is realized through the bowl judgments, including the battle of Armageddon, and (5) the Sheep and Goats judgment takes place just before the millennium begins.
These kingdom passages signal that Christ is established in his new physical kingdom on earth before the final battle of Armageddon. The battle of Armageddon is certainly part of the unified complex-whole of the second coming of Christ, and for the reasons explained above, the second coming should not be construed as beginning with Armageddon.
 Feinberg, “Arguing for the Rapture,” 198.