Sunday, March 7, 2010

Revelation 16:12-15

Verse 12 "And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared."

As the sun has gone nova, and the earth has gotten seven times hotter, the Euphrates River being dried up is not a problem that requires a special miracle. (Probably most of the rivers have dried up under the circumstances.) Again, it appears that God is letting things take their natural course. The drying up of this river allows the kings of the east to have a path to the Valley of Megiddo, which is where the battle of Armageddon is going to take place. As to who these kings of the east are, it could refer to the Babylonian empire league countries of the beast's (some of which are east of Israel) that will march against Jerusalem. It could also include other countries such as Russia, and the Eastern European countries. The fact that they march across the Euphrates in particular would seem to support that idea that it is the Babylonian league, since it flows through Turkey, Syria, and Iraq.

As a word about these kings of the east, for whatever reason it appears that many, many prophecy teachers want to make these kings and their armies the 200 million of the sixth trumpet judgment. The entire reason for this erroneous interpretation has to do with the very flaw that I spoke of earlier. Taking something that is mentioned more than once and assuming it is referring to the same thing both times. The Euphrates River is mentioned in conjunction with both of these events, so without any consideration of anything else they have lumped the two different events together as one. Clearly they have nothing to do with each other. In the first case, the four angels that are bound there are let loose. That is the only significance of the Euphrates in that respect. It is the location of their imprisonment. In this second case, the river is dried up to let human armies march across for the Battle of Armageddon. The first is a devilish supernatural group. The second is human. The first is part of the trumpet judgments of Satan's wrath. The second is a bowl judgment of God's wrath.

Verse 13-14 "And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. 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."

Three evil spirits are sent forth from the unholy trinity to gather up all the leaders of the world to march against God, Christ, and the temple in Jerusalem, as that is now God and Christ's throne on earth. It is possible that they are different spirits and not the inhabiting spirits. This at least would be the case for Satan, as he is not inhabited by an unclean spirit. He is the unclean spirit. For a spirit to come out of him would imply that he is sending it forth. Depending on who the beast and false prophet are (they may be possessed humans, they may be nephilim - more on that later) the same may be true of the beast and false prophet. These spirits are described as looking like frogs. This is probably a fair description of what they look like. We know that Satan is most likely reptilian (he is the snake, the dragon, and the serpent - all reptilian) and there are stories in the Sumerian, Mayan, Hopi, Australian Aborigine, and other cultures that there exist beings who have the form of reptiles or similar creatures. These spirits apparently will perform miracles to get the leaders of the world to follow them. People seem to be easily deceived when the laws of physics are broken. They tend to believe that anyone who can do that can be trusted to defeat a formidable foe, which is how they see Christ, only as a formidable foe. They do not accept that He is the God of the Universe and someone who cannot be beaten. They do not understand that Satan is merely a creation of God who has no hope of winning. Satan does not accept his status, so why would people who are as rebellious as he is accept it? They will believe his lies, just as people always have down through the ages, that they can be their own gods and rid themselves of God. Consequently they will follow him to Armageddon.

Verse 15 "Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame."

This warning has been seen before. As the Second Coming and rapture has already occurred, it would seem as if the placement of this warning here is a little late. In fact, this warning is to those left after that rapture, that Christ will return yet again. We have been programmed to think of Christ's coming as one major event that happens and then everything is over. In fact, it would appear from the Scriptures that Christ's coming is a series of events and appearances. First there is the appearance on Mount Zion with the 144,000. Then from Isaiah we see that he makes His way from Bozrah to Jerusalem. Then there is the reaping from the clouds. Later we will see that He stands on the Mount of Olives to split it so that the remnant of Israel can escape, then He will descend upon Aramgeddon on a white horse with an army of Christians behind him. This warning is to those "left behind" who will make it into the millennium. They are told to be looking for Christ's next appearance. By this time they will have seen Him when He has appeared to rapture the saints and will most likely be studying the New Testament like crazy to know what to expect next. Naturally most of Revelation will be historical from their standpoint by the time they read it, but there will still be the bowl judgments to go. They need to watch for Christ's next appearing, so He gives them a warning just as He has given us lots of warnings. He lets them know that they will not know exactly when His return will be, (sound familiar?) so they had better be ready at any moment. Note that just as we will know the season but not the day nor hour, they will know that it must occursometime within the thirty days, if they have studied Daniel, but they do not know exactly which day or hour, just as we will not know which day or hour the rapture will occur.

I found an interesting note online from an Adam Clarke at Not having the Jewish commentaries and other writings, I lack certain knowledge of temple traditions, but I found this one interesting. "Here is a plain allusion to the office of him who was called the prefect or overseer, of the mountain of the temple. His custom was to go his rounds during the watches of the night; and if he found any of the Levites sleeping on his watch, he had authority to beat him with a stick, and burn his vestments. See Middoth, fol. 34,1, and Tamid. fol. 27,2; 28,1. Such a person being found on his return home naked, it was at once known that he had been found asleep at his post, had been beaten, and his clothes burnt; thus his shame was seen - he was reproached for his infidelity and irreligion." Here it can be seen that having knowledge of Jewish traditions and rules (which the writers of the N.T. would have had) certainly brings more understanding to certain verses. This custom explains why the reader is told to watch and keep his garments, lest he be caught naked and be shamed. It is punishment for not doing what you are supposed to be doing - watching.

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