The Sixth Angel Poured Out His Bowl and I Saw Three Evil Spirits That Looked Like Frogs

16: 12-16

   DIG: What will the evils spirits do to gather men for the Campaign of Armageddon? How will the just purposes of God and the evil purposes of Satan finally meet in this coming Campaign?

   REFLECT: What are the frogs that are battling with you? How is the battle going? How is the book of Revelation making you feel? What has surprised you about God or about this book? How would you explain the necessity of these plagues to someone who does not believe in God?

    The sixth and seventh bowl judgments are not in chronological order. They are like two bookends that describe the first and last stages of the Campaign of Armageddon. To see a summary of that Campaign, and where the Euphrates River drying up fits into that context (see Ex – Stage One: The Gathering of the Armies of the Antichrist).

    Like the other worldwide blackouts in the end times, we do not know how long they last. But eventually the fourth blackout subsides and the sixth angel will pour out his bowl on the great river Euphrates. It has been an integral part of the world affairs since creation. It was one of four rivers that irrigated the garden of Eden (Genesis 2:14). The Euphrates was supposed to have provided the northern and eastern boundaries of the land God promised to Abraham’s descendants (Genesis 15:18; Joshua 1:4). The Israelites simply called it the River or the Great River. The Greek name, Euphrates, meant sweet water. But near the end of the Great Tribulation, those waters, long embittered by judgment, will dry up.

    And its water will dry up to prepare the way for the kings from the East (16:12). The great river Euphrates is one of the great rivers in the world. But because the plagues are accumulative, the Euphrates will still be filled with blood and dead fish. The three-and-a-half year drought of the first half of the Great Tribulation will surely decrease the flow of water even before the rivers of the world became blood from the third bowl of judgment (16:4). This drying-up process will be for the purpose of making it easier for the antichrist to assemble his forces and will start the Campaign of Armageddon. In the Old Covenant, the action of the LORD is frequently associated with the drying up of waters, as seen in the Sea of Reeds (Exodus 14:21), the Jordan (Joshua 3:16), and several times in prophecy (Isaiah 11:15-16, 44:27 and 51:10; Jeremiah 51:36; Zechariah 10:11).371

    These are not two hundred million Chinese, but demons (see Db – The Sixth Trumpet: The Four Angels Who Had Been Kept Ready, Were Released to Kill a Third of Mankind). The two hundred million (9:16) and the kings of the east belong to two different judgments which must be kept distinct and cannot be combined. Everywhere else in the Bible, the east always refers to Mesopotamia (Assyria and Babylonia). Because the antichrist’s capitol will be in Babylon (17:18), it attests to the fact that the kings who will be coming from the east are Mesopotamian kings. They had apparently been itching to move westward and join in the battle. Little did they know, that their eagerness to gather in the Valley of Jezreel with the antichrist will not be of their own choosing, but rather the result of demonic deception. The beast will give a decree. He will order his allies to gather their armies together. This final campaign against Jesus and the Jews is certainly the work of the counterfeit trinity. The summons will be reinforced by demonic activity to make sure that the nations will indeed cooperate in assembling their armies. These are the seven kings that have been kept under the authority of the antichrist since the middle of the Great Tribulation (see Dk – Three Kings Killed and Seven Submit).

    Then they saw three evil spirits, the dragon, the beast and the false prophet, that looked like frogs. Frogs were unclean animals (Leviticus 11:10 and 41), but these where not literal frogs as in the plague in Egypt (see my commentary on Exodus Bl – Stretch Out Your Hand and Make Frogs Come Up on the Land of Egypt). They came out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet (16:13). John identified them as spirits of demons performing miraculous signs. That those demons will have such great powers of deception is not surprising. Jesus predicted that false christ’s and false prophets . . . will show signs and wonders, in order to lead astray, if possible, the elect (Mark 13:22; Second Thessalonians 2:9-10 NASB). Certainly those demons will have great powers of deception. Therefore, they will have little difficulty in deceiving the kings of the whole world, and to gather them for the battle with ADONAI, God of heaven’s angelic armies, on that great final day of the Campaign of Armageddon (16:14).372 While the LORD is never the author of evil, He will allow wicked people to destroy themselves by their own evil acts (Romans 1:20-32).

    Satan, knowing that the Second Coming of Messiah is near, will gather the military might of the world into the Valley of Jezreel to resist the coming of the Son of Man who will return to the Mount of Olives (Zechariah 14:4). While the nations may be deceived in entering into the war in hope of gaining political power, the satanic purpose is to fight the armies of heaven at the Second Coming (19:14).373

    The train of thought is now interrupted by a parenthetical comment that contains a message of comfort and hope. Jesus will say: Behold, I come like a thief! He will come quickly and unexpectedly. Even though the hearts of all those on the earth at that time will be completely reprobate like Pharaoh of Egypt, His statement here will be one last attempt for any unbeliever to accept Him and escape the judgment to come, not wanting anyone to perish (Second Peter 3:9a). Yeshua will say: Blessed is he who stays awake and keeps his clothes of righteousness with him, so that he may not go naked and be shamefully exposed (16:15). This is the third of seven blessings in the book of Revelation (1:3, 14:13, 16:15, 19:9, 20:6, 22:7, 22:14). That person will be completely blameless (Hebrews 7:26). No one will be able to stand before Messiah at the great white throne judgment and when sentenced to an eternity in hell, shake a fist at Him and say, “You aren’t fair, I never had a chance.”

    Then after Yeshua warns unbelievers to accept His last offer of grace before it is to late, John returns to the events of the sixth bowl judgment. They gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Har Megiddo [Megiddo in Hebrew] (16:16). Megiddo was a strategic city located at the western end of the Valley of Jezreel, guarding the famous Megiddo Pass into Israel’s largest valley (Judges 5:19; Second Kings 23:29-30; Second Chronicles 35:22; Zechariah 12:11). It guarded a major pass on the ancient Via Maris or Way of the Sea, connecting Egypt and Syria. One can see the entire Valley of Jezreel from the mountain upon which the city Megiddo once stood. It had seen many battles and much mourning. Armageddon is a combination of two Hebrew words that mean the Mountain of Megiddo. So what is known as the Valley of Armageddon is actually the biblical Valley of Jezreel. The term Armageddon is never applied to the valley itself, but only to the mountain at the western end. Here, in the large valley of Lower Galilee, the armies of the world will gather for the purpose of destroying all the Jews still living at that time.

    It should be noted that the passage says nothing of a battle in this valley, for no fighting will take place there. The Valley of Jezreel, guarded by the Mountain of Megiddo, will merely serve as the gathering place for the armies of the antichrist. Armageddon will play the same role that England played in the closing stages of World War II. The allied forces gathered their armies together in England, but the battle took place on the beaches of Normandy, France. The armies of the antichrist will gather in the Valley of Armageddon, but the Campaign of Armageddon will actually start at Bozrah, continue up the Valley of Jehoshaphat and finish as Jesus’ feet stand on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:3-4a). This will cause Jerusalem to split into three divisions (see Ex – The Eight Stage Campaign of Armageddon: Stage 8, The Victory Ascent Upon the Mount of Olives).

    This passage is viewed from man’s perspective, which is merely a military gathering called together by the antichrist. But the LORD’s perspective is quite different. ADONAI will proclaim this among the nations: Prepare for war! Stir up the warriors! Let all the fighting men approach and attack. Hammer your plow-blades into swords and your pruning-knives into spears. Let the weak say, “I am strong.” Hurry, come, you surrounding nations, gather yourselves together! Bring your warriors down to the Valley of Jezreel (Joel 3:6-9 CJB). God mocks them. The nations are mockingly encouraged to prepare for war. For those who are weak, let them think they are actually strong. Because while Satan, the antichrist and the false prophet gather the nations for the purpose of destroying the Jews, ADONAI has His own, very different, purpose for permitting the gathering to take place.

    This taunting of the gathering of the nations is also portrayed in Psalm 2:1-6 CJB. Why are the nations in an uproar, the peoples grumbling in vain? The earth's kings are taking positions, leaders conspiring together, against ADONAI and His anointed. They cry, "Let's break their fetters! Let's throw off their chains!" He who sits in heaven laughs; the Lord looks at them in derision. Then in His anger He rebukes them, terrifies them in his fury. "I myself have installed My king on Zion, My holy mountain."

    From ADONAI’s viewpoint the gathering of the nations is presented as a gathering against Himself and His anointed Messiah. By seeking to destroy the Jews, the apple of His eye, Satan is also seeking to break God’s control of the world. How foolish! Then ADONAI is pictured as sitting in the heavens laughing, because He will soon have the Gentile nations in confusion. It is the LORD who will set His own king on Zion, and Satan, the antichrist and the false prophet will not be able to stop Him. Although the nations will assemble to kill all the Jews left in the world, they will inadvertently accomplish the very purpose of God. The gathering of the armies of the Gentile nations in the Valley of Jezreel will be the first stage of the Campaign of Armageddon.374

 

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