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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary
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Nave's Topical Bible - Animals; Dragon; Frogs; Good and Evil; Temple; Wicked (People); Scofield Reference Index - Antichrist; Resurrection; Thompson Chain Reference - Frogs; The Topic Concordance - Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ; Day of the Lord; Gathering; Israel/jews; Nations; War/weapons; Wrath; Torrey's Topical Textbook - Reptiles;
Verse Revelation 16:13. Three unclean spirits — Perhaps false teachers, called afterwards spirits of devils, which persuade the kings of the earth by lying miracles to come forth to the place of general slaughter, Revelation 16:14; Revelation 16:16,
Some good critics apply this to Vespasian, and his pretended miracles. See the account in Tacitus, lib. iv. c. 81.
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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Revelation 16:13". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/revelation-16.html. 1832.
Pouring out the seven bowls (16:1-21)
The bowl judgments are similar to the trumpet judgments, only much more severe. The judgments announced by the trumpets affected only one third of the various areas (see 8:7-12), but here the judgments are total and final. The first judgment brings disease on the earth, the second death in the sea, and the third death in the waters on the land (16:1-4). God acts justly by inflicting the persecutors with punishments suited to the evil they have done (5-6). The voice from the altar confirms that the judgments are God’s answer to the prayers of his persecuted people (7; cf. 6:9-10; 8:1-5; 9:13-14; 14:18).
When the angel pours out the fourth bowl there is unbearable heat, but instead of repenting, people curse God all the more (8-9). The fifth plague brings darkness and pain, but people still will not change. Earlier, in the series of trumpet judgments, people had refused to repent (see 9:20-21), but now they also curse God, indicating an increasing hardness against him (10-11).
With the outpouring of the sixth bowl, demonic spirits from the satanic trinity entice the rulers of the world to make war with one another. What results is not just a battle between nations, but the great day of battle for the Almighty himself when he destroys his enemies (12-14). Without warning God acts. The unexpectedness of his intervention is good reason for believers always to be prepared, so that they are not ashamed when he comes (15-16).
As with the seventh seal and the seventh trumpet, so with the seventh bowl there are flashes of lightning, peals of thunder and an earthquake (17-18; cf. 8:5; 11:19). Like the great city Babylon, the ungodly world has become so proud of its achievements and power that it has chosen to ignore God and build a civilization solely to suit itself. Therefore, like Babylon, it is destroyed in a terrible judgment from the all-powerful and all-holy God (19-21). (This judgment will be described in greater detail in Chapters 17 and 18.)
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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Revelation 16:13". "Brideway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bbc/revelation-16.html. 2005.
And I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits, as it were frogs:
Out of the mouth of the dragon ... the beast ... the false prophet ... Ah! Here are the "kings of the east" mentioned above. Their purpose in crossing the boundary will quickly appear.
Three unclean spirits, as it were frogs ... "Their evil influence is shown under the figure of frogs, because it was by producing frogs that the magicians deceived Pharaoh (Exodus 8:7). The next verse tells us more about these frogs. "To say that they come out of the mouth of the dragon, the beast and the false prophet is to say that their words are like plagues, unclean, empty futilities and allies of the powers of darkness." The dragon, the beast, and the false prophet were accurately identified by Summers as "the devil, godless government and false religion." Lange called these frogs "the modern nightingales who announce the new springtime of mankind." From the dirtiness and slimey nature of the frogs, we may conclude that they are the devil's propaganda agents, making a lot of noise like frogs, but being in themselves small, weak, dirty, and despicable.
 J. R. Dummelow. Commentary on the Holy Bible (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1937), p. 1086.
 William Barclay, op. cit., p. 130.
 Ray Summers, op. cit., p. 189.
 Lange as quoted by Lenski, op. cit., p. 477.
Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Revelation 16:13". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/revelation-16.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.
And I saw three unclean spirits - They assumed a visible form which would well represent their odiousness - that of frogs - but still they are spoken of as “spirits.” They were evil powers, or evil influences (Revelation 16:14, “spirits of devils”), and the language here is undoubtedly designed to represent some such power or influence which would, at that period, proceed from the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet.
Like frogs - βατράχοι batrachoi. This word does not occur in the New Testament except in the passage before us. It is properly translated frogs. The frog is here employed clearly as a symbol, and it is designed that certain qualities of the “spirits” here referred to should be designated by the symbol. For a full illustration of the meaning of the symbol, the reader may consult Bochart, Hieroz. P. II. lib. v. cap. 4. According to Bochart, the frog is characterized, as a symbol:
(1)For its rough, harsh, coarse voice;
(2)On this account, as a symbol of complaining or reproaching;
(3)As a symbol of empty loquacity;
(4)As a symbol of heretics and philosophers, as understood by Augustine;
(5)Because the frog has its origin in mud, and lives in mud, as a symbol of those who are born in sin, and live in pollution;
(6)Because the frog endures all changes of the season cold and heat, summer, winter, rain, frost - as a symbol of monks who practice self-denial;
(7)Because the frog though abstemious of food, yet lives in water and drinks often, as a symbol of drunkards;
(8)As a symbol of impudence;
(9)Because the frog swells his size, and distends his cheeks, as a symbol of pride.
See the authorities for these uses of the word in Bochart. How many or few of these ideas enter into the symbol here, it is not easy to decide. We may suppose, however, that the spirits referred to would be characterized by pride, arrogance, impudence, assumption of authority; perhaps impurity and vileness, for all these ideas enter into the meaning of the symbol. They are not here, probably, symbols of persons, but of influences or opinions which would be spread abroad, and which would characterize the age referred to. The reference is to what the “dragon,” the “beast,” and the “false prophet” would do at that time in opposing the truth, and in preparing the world for the great and final conflict.
Out of the mouth of the dragon - One of which seemed to issue from the mouth of the dragon. On the symbolic meaning of the word “dragon,” see the notes on Revelation 12:3. It, in general, represents Satan, the great enemy of the church; perhaps here Satan under the form of paganism or paganism, as in Revelation 12:3-4. The idea then is, that, at the time referred to, there would be some manifestation of the power of Satan in the pagan nations, which would be bold, arrogant, proud, loquacious, hostile to truth, and which would be well represented by the hoarse murmur of the frog.
And out of the mouth of the beast - The papacy, as above explained, Revelation 13:0. That is, there would be some putting forth of arrogant pretensions; some loud denunciation or complaining; some manifestation of pride and self-consequence, which would be well represented by the croaking of the frog. We have seen above (notes on Revelation 16:5-6), that although the fifth vial was poured upon “the seat of the beast,” the effect was not to crush and overthrow that power entirely. The papacy would still survive, and would be finally destroyed under the outpouring of the seventh vial, Revelation 16:17-21. In the passage before us we have a representation of it as still living; as having apparently recovered its strength; and as being as hostile as ever to the truth, and able to enter into a combination, secret or avowed, with the “dragon” and the “false prophet,” to oppose the reign of truth upon the earth.
And out of the mouth of the false prophet - The word rendered “false prophet” - ψευδοπροφήτου pseudoprophētou - does not before occur in the Book of Revelation, though the use of the article would seem to imply that some well-known power or influence was referred to by this. Compare the notes on Revelation 10:3. The word occurs in other places in the New Testament, Matthew 7:15; Matthew 24:11, Matthew 24:24; Mark 13:22; Luke 6:26; Acts 13:6; 2Pe 2:1; 1 John 4:1; and twice elsewhere in the Book of Revelation, with the same reference as here, Revelation 19:20; Revelation 20:10. In both these latter places it is connected with the “beast:” “And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet”; “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are.” It would seem, then, to refer to some power that was similar to that of the beast, and that was to share the same fate in the overthrow of the enemies of the gospel. As to the application of this, there is no opinion so probable as that it alludes to the Muhammedan power - not strictly the Turkish power, for that was to be “dried up,” or to diminish; but to the Muhammedan power as such, that was still to continue for a while in its vigor, and that was yet to exert a formidable influence against the gospel, and probably in some combination, in fact, if not in form, with paganism stud the papacy. The reasons for this opinion are:
(a)That this was referred to, in the former part of the book, as one of the formidable powers that would arise, and that would materially affect the destiny of the world - and it may be presumed that it would be again referred to in the account of the final consummation, see Revelation 9:1-11;
(b)The name “false prophet” would, better than any other, describe that power, and would naturally suggest it in future times - for to no one that has ever appeared in our world could the name be so properly applied as to Muhammed; and,
(c)What is said will be found to agree with the facts in regard to that power, as, in connection with the papacy and with paganism, constituting the sum of the obstruction to the spread of the gospel around the world.
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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Revelation 16:13". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/revelation-16.html. 1870.
In the fifteenth chapter of the book of Revelation, we had sort of the introduction to chapter sixteen, as we saw the seven angels in heaven who are given the seven final plagues which complete the judgment of God upon the earth. And these seven angels came out of the temple and they were clothed in pure white linen. And one of the cherubim gave to the angels these vials of wrath to pour out upon the earth. And the temple of God was filled with the smoke from the glory of God and it was closed now to man. No man was able to enter in during the time that these seven plagues are being poured out upon the earth.
I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the eaRuth ( Revelation 16:1 ).
And so that awesome command is now given from the temple of God, and these angels are dispatched with the seven final plagues, with which God will smite the earth prior to the sending of His Son to take dominion and control and to rule over the earth.
And the first angel went forth, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the man which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image ( Revelation 16:2 ).
It would seem that God now makes a distinction that this noisome, which literally is a running sore, an ulcer type of a sore that doesn't heal, much like one gets from radiation burns, that God makes a distinction between who that are faithful to Him and those who have worshipped the beast and taken his mark. For the fact that it comes upon those, which have the mark and those that worship his image, does seem that God is now making a difference.
We remember when God poured out His plagues upon the Egyptians that God made a difference at that time, and that the judgments fell upon the Egyptians, but God protected the Israelites from those judgments. Though there was darkness over all the land of Egypt, there was light in the camp of Israel. And God made provisions to protect His people. He had them put the blood upon the lentils and the doorposts of their house so that they would not be grieved with the loss of the firstborn, as were the Egyptians when the Lord past through Egypt that night and killed the firstborn of the whole land. God was making the difference between those that were His and those that are not His.
And such is the case as this first angel pours out his vial and men break out with these horrible sores.
And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea ( Revelation 16:3 );
Notice that the first angel touches the earth and the second now touches the sea.
and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea ( Revelation 16:3 ).
Just how God is to accomplish this is a matter of speculation. And as we study some of the natural phenomena of the past, we realize that there are many ways by which these things could happen.
Immanuel Velikovsky's book, "Worlds In Collision", a book whereby his premise that he seeks to prove is that the planet Venus was introduced into our solar system within the last ten thousand years, within the period of recorded history. And according to his premise, the plagues that came upon Egypt were a result of a near miss with the planet Venus, as it was coming in an erratic orbit into the solar system. And it passed close by the earth, and that the earth was moved from its orbit that it had at that time.
You see, they used to predicate time on a three hundred and sixty-day year, and then suddenly we started moving from three hundred and sixty-five and a quarter, for we realized that that is how much time it takes for us to make our orbit around the sun. But it is his premise that this three hundred and sixty-day year was a correct year. Of course, if you figured on a three hundred and sixty-day year within five years, all of your seasons would be totally fouled up. In every twenty years or so, you would be completely off in your seasons. So, the three hundred and sixty-day year must have been an accurate calculation. But the three hundred and sixty-five and a quarter, he does believe that the earth used to rotate in the opposite direction of the present rotation.
There are a lot of interesting things that he presents in that book which challenges your thinking, but he does feel that the near miss caused a tremendous amount of debris to be brought into our atmosphere. And that as it disintegrated into our atmosphere, as the meteorites do, they turned into a red dust that fell over all the earth. And as it fell into the waters, it turned them to a bloody red, as the waters of Egypt were turned to a bloody red and made undrinkable.
Interesting premise. It is also interesting that one of the concerns that the scientists have today is that of a large asteroid, perhaps getting caught in its orbit within the earth's gravitational pull and being drawn to the earth, and the tremendous devastation that would come if we were to have a collision with an asteroid that was, say, five miles or more in diameter. And presently they are watching an asteroid whose orbit is bringing it, as far as the astronomical calculations go, it is going to bring it into a fairly close orbit. It is about a seventy-five mile wide asteroid, which would do tremendous devastation to the earth, should we collide with such an asteroid.
There are several thousand asteroids in the solar system, most of them around the planet Jupiter. There is that asteroid belt there. And they have calculated the orbits of many of these asteroids. Some two thousand of them have an orbit that at some time is apt to interact with the earth. So, the chances of asteroids hitting the earth are three in a million every year.
There have been in the past asteroids that have collided with the earth. The crater that is out there near Windslow, Arizona that is three miles in diameter, they feel that that was probably an asteroid. And they also feel that an asteroid of that size impacting the earth is enough to tilt the earth or push the earth. In other words, if it hit at the right angle, it would flip the earth.
And there is a lot of speculation now that the physicists who believe that an asteroid, such as the one that hit in the desert in Arizona there, would have been capable of pushing the earth. So that suddenly, say we were living here in this pleasant Southern California climate, but if the asteroid would hit the earth at the right angle, it could suddenly push us under the Arctic mass of air in just a minute's time. We would be under this arctic air and everything in a moment would be flash frozen. Instead of sitting in this balmy weather of fifty degrees or so, which it will go down to tonight, we would suddenly be in fifty-degree below zero weather and everything would just be frozen.
And they believe that's perhaps what has happened in the past and that explains the Mammoths that are frozen in Siberia, who evidently at the time that this catastrophe took place were munching on tropical vegetation. For they in cutting their stomachs open, they found tropical vegetation in their digestive tracks, but suddenly they were frozen in place. And they feel that perhaps an asteroid hit and pushed the earth so that it twisted and an area that was once tropical was suddenly pushed under the mass of Arctic air and frozen in place. So, the change was not a gradual change, but sudden and catastrophic.
And so by what means, God is going to bring to pass these judgments is left to speculation, what kind of phenomena, whether it be an asteroid or what, is something that we do not know. Of course, our scientists are so concerned about this that our government and Russia are spending millions of dollars in the research of this program. They are putting up a new telescope on Kit Mountain near Tucson, and its purpose will be just to track the asteroids and to alert the world of the dangers. And there is talk of if it becomes an eminent danger of a particular asteroid coming into our gravitational field, that we would send perhaps a space shuttle on out to the asteroid and try to divert its orbit.
Or they have talked about blowing the thing up with an Atom bomb, but on further study of that they realized that we would be colliding with a lot of debris and that didn't seem to be too pleasant a thought. So, it is a major scientific project right now, the protecting of the earth from the possibility of impacting with asteroids that exist out here in our solar system, thousands of them. There are over two thousand that are already charted to, at some point, interact with us here on the planet earth. Who knows?
Next year we ought to have an interesting experience as Halley's Comet returns and unfortunately this time around we probably won't be able to see it, as far as seeing the tail as it makes its orbit. They predict now that the orbit will be made outside the sun, or before it gets to the sun, and as it moves away will probably not be visible to the earth. The tail of the comet is caused by the gravitational pull of the sun as it begins to move away. A lot of the debris. It has this million-mile tail of junk, just junk flying through the sky. We will be coming into orbit with that junk that is in the tail of Halley's, Comet and we'll have some interesting meteorite showers. After next year, though, we may not see the actual comet tail, and all. We will probably have some spectacular displays of what are commonly called falling stars, but are debris from space that come into our atmosphere.
There are some eighteen thousand meteorites that come into our atmosphere every minute and are burned as they come into our atmosphere. Small particles of space junk God has designed to dissolve, for the most part, as they heat up through friction as they come speeding into the denser atmosphere around the earth. And they, of course, disintegrate or burn out most of the time before they hit the earth. Some of them hit the earth and you have probably seen some of the meteorites that have fallen and hit the earth.
But God is going to bring these judgments. By what natural phenomena, we do not know. It could be that God will bring to pass something that man has not yet seen up to this point, but you can be sure it is going to happen. And whatever causes the seas to turn red like blood? We have even seen here, during those years where we have what is known as the red tide, the plankton as it multiplies it gives the water a reddish hue. This is the result of the plankton taking the oxygen out of the water and it is quite deadly to the fish, as the oxygen within the water is depleted by the red tide. It makes for spectacular viewing.
Whenever there is a red tide, I love to go to the beach at night and watch the surf, because it looks like neon tubes. When the surf breaks the plankton, which has a lot of phosphorous in it, and as the waves roll, the phosphorous lights up and it looks like neon tubes lighting up in the ocean. It is spectacular to watch, but horrible to swim in. The surfing is bad in a red tide. The water tastes horrible if you happen to swallow it and your eyes really burn if you get water in them with that red tide, but oh, how beautiful at night.
So, it could be a massive red tide depleting the water of the oxygen and causing those souls within the sea to die.
And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and the fountains of waters; and they became as blood ( Revelation 16:4 ).
So, not only will the ocean be turned as blood, but now also the rivers and fountains of water, also. The similar thing happened in Egypt, as you recall, and the water became undrinkable. So, when this happens on a worldwide scale, imagine what this is going to do to man when suddenly all your fresh water supplies are polluted. They are about half polluted now. In this particular plague, the water supplies being polluted is going to be devastating for man.
And as the waters are turned to blood and made undrinkable,
I heard the angel of the waters say ( Revelation 16:5 ),
Now, later on we are going to have an angel standing in the sun. Here is an angel that God has put over the charge of the fresh waters.
Interesting, these angels. They are going to be interesting persons to meet. I am sort of anxious to meet the angel that God is given charge to watch over me. The Bible says that "He will give His angels charge over thee to keep thee in all thy ways, to bear thee up at any time, lest you dash your foot against a stone"( Psalms 91:11-12 ). So, it is going to be interesting to meet the angel that has been watching out over me. I want to know what happened to him on a few occasions. He was sleeping on the job or something. But that is all right. I forgive him. I want him to know before I get there that I don't hold anything against him. But it will be fun to meet him.
Now, here is an angel that God has put in charge of the waters. And the angel of the waters declares,
Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus ( Revelation 16:5 ).
It is just sort of right on God. What a perfect judgment! One thing about God is that His judgments are right. And here is the declaration of the righteousness of God's judgment and all the way through this whole period of judgment we find the voices that are declaring the righteousness of God's judgment.
It is interesting that though through heaven there comes the continual testimony of the righteousness of God's judgment. This is the thing that many people are concerned about and worried about is will God be fair. Would it be fair for God to condemn forever a man who never had the opportunity of knowing Jesus Christ? Would it be fair for God to condemn forever a baby who died without ever having knowing or heard or making a decision et cetera, et cetera? Whatever God does will be absolutely fair. God will not be unfair. He will not be unjust. You don't have to worry about that.
Here, as God turns the fresh water into blood, the angel says "righteous God". That is right on.
For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and now you've given them blood to drink; they deserve it ( Revelation 16:6 ).
They have shed so much blood. What a righteous judgment. They like blood so much, give it to them to drink.
And I heard another angel out of the altar say, Amen, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments ( Revelation 16:7 ).
So, the affirmation during the period of judgment of the righteousness of God's judgments.
Abraham, when the Lord announced to him that He was going to destroy the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham said, "Shall not the Lord of the earth be just?" Shouldn't God be fair? "What if there are fifty righteous people in that city. Would you destroy the righteous with the wicked? Shouldn't God be fair?" The Lord said, "If there are fifty righteous, we will spare the city." "What if there are forty righteous?" "Forty righteous, we will spare the city." "What if there are thirty?" "For thirty, I will spare the city." "What if there are twenty? What if there are ten?" The Lord said, "If there are ten righteous persons, we will spare it for the ten"( Genesis 18:22-32 ). The angels got to the city of Sodom and found one righteous man. So what did they do? They lead him out and they said, "Hurry get out of here. We can't destroy this thing until you are out."
God is righteous. God is fair. The judgments of God are righteous and true. You can count on that.
And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat, and they blasphemed the name of God ( Revelation 16:8-9 ),
A lot of times we have the concept that if God would only send his judgment that people would turn from their wickedness. That is generally not the case. When God sends His judgment, the righteous, who have turned from their righteousness, turn back to God. And we do read in the Old Testament where the judgments of God caused the righteous to turn to the Lord. But the judgments of God so often just harden the heart of the impenitent. And such is the case during the great judgment period. Rather than turning these people to the Lord, they blaspheme God. These preachers who think their sermons on hell, fire, judgment, brimstone and all are going to turn people to the Lord are really not that versed in the scripture.
For the scripture says, "Know ye not that it is the goodness of God that bringeth a man to repentance"( Romans 2:4 ). That is the thing that really gets me. I know what I deserve. You don't have to tell me. But to tell me that God loves me and is willing to forgive me, willing to pardon me, willing to make me His child and to share His eternal kingdom with me, that is the thing that gets me. He causes me to turn my heart and life to God and to change. The goodness of God leads a man to repentance.
So, as God's judgments fall, and as the sun is now scorching men. Now again how this is accomplished is a matter of speculation. We know that the sun shall be darkened before the day of the Lord comes. The moon turns as blood and the sun into darkness. It could be before the sun goes into darkness; it could be that the sun goes into a super nova condition. This is a phenomena that we have observed in the universe, as stars that go into this super nova condition where they heat up for a few days and increase in their intensity and light as they are sort of burning out and then they just seem to die out.
The death of the stars is a super nova condition. It is sort of like a light bulb when the glass is broken suddenly. It will go very bright because the oxygen is now hitting those filaments. But because of the extreme brightness and the oxygen hitting the filaments, the filaments gets so hot that they burn in two and the thing goes out. With the stars it is a different principal. We don't know what causes a super nova yet. They become extremely brilliant and then apparently have burned out or something, but it is a super nova condition. It could be the sun will come into a super nova condition. Imagine what that would do to the people on the earth, if the sun became as a super nova. We do know that there is going to be a dimming effect. And the sun will shine for a third part and so forth during that part of the tribulation. So, this could be a super nova.
It could be that what is happening during these seven last plagues, this could be that there is a major nuclear holocaust upon the earth. That Russia and the United States and everybody else lets go all of their nuclear weapons. And we know one of the effects of the nuclear weapons being detonated in our atmosphere is the destruction of the ozone blanket which has already been depleted by all of the fluorocarbon gases that were used to pressurize the different shaving creams, and so forth, that we used to have in pressurized cans. And these fluorocarbon gases went up into the stratosphere combined with the ozone gases, which is a very unstable gas at best, and as they combine with the ozone, broke it down, and so the prohibition against the fluorocarbons in pressurized cans.
We know also that the atom bombs have the same effect on this ozone blanket, which is a protective blanket, which does shield us from much of the ultraviolet rays of the sun. And that seems to be the purpose for God putting the ozone blanket there to protect the earth from the sun's ultraviolet rays, for the exposure to these ultraviolet rays causes running sores. It causes noisome pestilences, really, if you are exposed to ultraviolet rays. It creates burns, skin cancer. So, maybe what we have here is a nuclear holocaust and these are the effects that would happen as a result of a nuclear holocaust.
God knows what man's folly will bring to past, as far as natural calamities. It is interesting that God predicted in Isaiah nineteen, the building of the Aswan Dam. Not only did He predict the building of the Aswan Dam, but He also said all of the ecological damage that would result from the building of that dam, the destruction of the fishing industry, the loss of farm land and crops and so forth, and the ecological problems that would result from the building of the Aswan Dam; He said that the counselors were fools because they did not take into the account the ecological damage.
Actually, there has been talk of blowing up the dam to cure the ecological damage that they have created by the building of the dam. They have, of course, lost the fishing industry completely. That used to be a great fishing industry around the mouth of the Mediterranean, because all of the debris brought by the Nile River fed the fish. With the dam now, all of these nutrients and all are not brought along the Nile River anymore into the Mediterranean.
As a result of the dam, they do not have any longer the silt build up, so you are getting the salt water intrusion into all of that rich delta farm land that used to exist there at the mouth of the Nile where it came into the Mediterranean. Because you see, tons of sand would be brought by the Nile River every year into the Mediterranean and it formed this beautiful delta of farmland and all, but that is not happening anymore; in fact, you are starting to get salt-water intrusion. And they have lost more agriculture acreage than they have gained by their ability now to irrigate with the water, but they have lost more acreage than they have gained. And they have lost the richest kind of acreage.
And so God knows the damage that will take place. And it could be that the Lord here is describing the damage that will result from a massive nuclear holocaust.
Men were scorched with the great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory. And the fifth angel poured out his vial on the throne of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain ( Revelation 16:9-10 ),
So even as God brought darkness upon Egypt, so God brings darkness upon the kingdom of the beast. And again, this could indicate a super nova condition of the sun where it becomes extremely bright for a few days and then becomes dark.
And blasphemed the God of heaven ( Revelation 16:11 )
Man continuing to blaspheme God.
because of their pain and their sores, and they repented not of their deeds. So the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof were dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared ( Revelation 16:11-12 ).
So, God is going to gather together the nations into the area of Israel from the valley of Maggedo to Edom. And so God dries up now the river Euphrates to prepare the way for the kings of the east, China and all of her vast hordes of people, India, Pakistan, Japan moving in from the east.
And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs [demons] that 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 ( Revelation 16:13 ).
Interesting thing here. Those who have seem to have had an out of body experience, where their spirits have left their bodies, and they were presumed dead, and had this conscious out-of-body state in which they looked back into the room and saw the activities that were going on in the room, but they were out of their body observing it; it is interesting that for the most part, these that have had these out-of-body type experiences are aware that as their spirit left their body, it left their body through their mouth.
It is interesting when you go back through the Old Testament and you read that God breathed into man and he became a living spirit, and those that have these out-of-body experiences will usually testify of their awareness that their spirit left through their mouth; and when their spirit came back, it came back in through their mouths. It is most common among those that have had these experiences to express it as the spirit going forth out of their mouth.
Now, the interesting thing is that these demonic spirits go forth out of the mouths. It is also interesting that when Jesus cast out many of the demons, there were the loud screamings from the mouths of the individuals as the demons departed. I don't think it would do any good to keep your mouth shut. It is just an interesting observation. That out of the mouth of the antichrist and his false prophet and out of Satan, out of their mouths go these spirits like frogs, demonic spirits.
For they are spirits of devils, [we are told] 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 ( Revelation 16:14 ).
And so by these demonic forces, the kings of the earth will be gathered together unto the area of Armageddon where they are going to seek to make war against Jesus Christ at His return, seek to thwart God's rule over the earth.
It is interesting how that men in high places of government today are many of them are controlled by demonic spirits. I don't think that you can really explain their actions apart from demonic spirits. The things that Hitler did and those that were in authority with Hitler cannot be explained except by demonic forces taking over their minds. They could not do the inhuman things that they did to man apart from control by demonic forces. And it is very common knowledge that Hitler was directed and guided by men who were masters in what was known and called white magic. The masters of the spiritist type of movements actually guiding and controlling Hitler. That is really the only explanation for the horrible atrocities that these men were able of committing against fellow man.
And as we look at what is happening in the world today we see that actions can only be explained many times by demonic forces. The going in and slaughtering of people is unthinkable to us in our right minds. How could you do it? How could you order such a thing? But the fact that they are controlled by these demonic forces is the answer.
Now, Jesus said,
Behold, I come as a thief. [He is talking about His return, the Second Coming.] Blessed is he that watches and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame. And He gathered them together in a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon ( Revelation 16:15-16 ).
So, the Lord declaring His coming, coming soon as a thief. Watch and keep your garments. John says, "Lest we be ashamed at Him at His coming"( 1 John 2:28 ).
The seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is finished ( Revelation 16:17 ).
This is it, the final plague of this Great Tribulation period, the final judgment of God upon the earth. It is over now. Now the time has come for Jesus to return in glory and establish God's kingdom.
And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent [sixty to ninety pounds]: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great ( Revelation 16:18-21 ).
This describes a tremendous cataclysmic upheaval upon the earth, probably a polar-axis shift. And again a collision with an asteroid could be a possible culprit.
We do know that in times past there have been tremendous geographical changes where, for whatever reason, in the polar-axis shift, the waters are changed, the ocean floors are changed. And suddenly great canyons open up and water comes pouring in and the weight of the water breaking the earth's crust and causing other thrust areas to be pushed up into the air. New mountains are formed and new mountain ranges form.
In his book, "Earth's in upheaval", Immanuel Velikovsky, again brings many interesting phenomena from around the earth that show tremendous cataclysmic changes in the historic period of man that have created tremendous thrust, mountain ranges and so forth. There is an interesting thing that he brings out about Lake Titicaca down in Peru high up there in the Andes, and how that there is a tilt and all on that thing that happened sometime during the period of man's history upon the earth. "Earth's in Upheaval" is a fascinating book also by this man filled with interesting research. Though I don't necessarily go along with the conclusions that he has drawn, I find that the research that he has done is fascinating indeed. And I enjoy reading his books because of the tremendous research that was done.
Thunders, lightnings and a great earthquake; this is not a localized event. Now, we have earthquakes around here. We are existing on a couple of fault lines. There is the Newport fault line. And we are close enough to the San Andres fault line that whenever there is any shift there, we get the effects of it here. But these are local earthquakes. The epicenter is ten miles off Newport Beach or epicenter is down in Imperial Valley, and they can pick out the epicenter in localized earthquakes. But this is not a localized earthquake. This is a worldwide shaking. The earth itself is just going to shake.
Now, Isaiah the prophet also describes this same earthquake in the twenty-fourth chapter of Isaiah beginning with verse seventeen. He said, "Fear, and the pit, and the snare, or the trap, are upon thee, inhabitants of the earth." Three things: fear, snare and the trap. "And it shall come to pass, that he who flees from the noise of the fear shall fall into the pit; and he that comes up out of the midst of the pit shall be taken in the trap: for the windows from on high are open and the foundations of the earth do shake." This is not just the movement of the plates in a local area, but the whole foundations of the earth are going to shake.
"The earth is utterly broken down, the earth is clean dissolved, the earth is moved exceedingly. The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall and not rise again. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall punish the host of the high ones that are on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth. And they shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison, but after many days, a thousand years, they shall be visited," and shall stand, of course, before the Lord for the Great White Throne Judgment. But here Isaiah describes this condition.
Now again from a scientific kind of an observation, this does sound much like a polar-axis shift as the earth wobbles to and fro like a drunken man and then is moved like a cottage. They believe that these polar-axis shifts take place about every five thousand years. It is a phenomenon that is well known to science. What we call the North Pole today has not always been the North Pole of the earth. The earth has shifted on its axis in the past. This polar axis shift does create tremendous cataclysmic upheavals around the earth, as we have told you about the different change of the ocean floors. They have found fossils high up in the Himalayas, which indicates that it was once covered by water. You go up to the south rim of the Grand Canyon and there at seven thousand feet you see the fossils of shells, mollusks and so forth, there in the strata which indicates that that was at one time an ocean floor. That was at one time below sea level, because the water covered the thing.
So, there have been these cataclysmic changes. It is going to happen again. The earth is going to go into what they call, "the wobble." The earth does wobble all the time. I think you know that. There is what they call the wobble affect and it cycles every seven years. It seems to peek out and then it sort of levels off for awhile, and has just a slight wobble, but then it begins to build up and every seven years the thing peeks out on this wobble. They feel that sometimes the wobble gets so erratic, that the thing like a top flips over. When this does that, then there is this tremendous cataclysmic change, islands fleeing away.
I said many times that Hawaii probably will not be here in the kingdom. So, if He gave me Hawaii to reign, it could be ten thousand feet under the water. So, I am not too strong on insisting that I get Hawaii during the kingdom as my sphere of reign.
Inasmuch as the whole earth will be restored into the endemic type of condition, it will probably be just as beautiful and lush and tropical in Alaska as it would be in Hawaii. So no matter where you are, it will be gloriously beautiful. "The whole earth filled with His glory." Out in the middle of the Sahara Desert there will be glorious streams and rivers and waterfalls and forests and all for the desert shall blossom as a rose and there will be rivers in dry places and all as God restores the earth.
So, I am for any place that He wants to put me. It is going to be beautiful to be here in that day when the Lord is reigning and righteousness covers the earth. And we see the earth as God intended it to be for man when He placed man upon it and told him to dress and to keep, be fruitful and to multiply.
But the judgments of God are coming before this great day of the Lord. "
Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Revelation 16:13". "Chuck Smith Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/csc/revelation-16.html. 2014.
8. The sixth bowl 16:12-16
The final three bowl judgments all have political consequences.
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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 16:13". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/revelation-16.html. 2012.
Revelation 16:13-16 give further comments on the sixth bowl judgment. They are not an interlude between the sixth and seventh bowls (except Revelation 16:15). They reveal that rulers from all over the earth will join the kings of the East in a final great conflict.
The dragon, beast, and false prophet will evidently join in making a proclamation that will mobilize the armies of the world to converge on Palestine. Something proceeding from the mouth suggests a proclamation. This is the first mention of "the false prophet," but he is clearly the beast out of the earth (cf. Revelation 13:11-17). He deceives the people. What he urges them to do for their advantage results in their destruction eventually.
The three unclean spirits that proceed from their mouths, the agents of this diabolical trio, are demons (fallen angels, Revelation 16:14; cf. Matthew 10:1; Mark 1:23-24; Mark 3:11; Mark 5:2; Mark 5:13; Acts 5:16; Acts 8:7). They resemble frogs in that they are unclean and loathsome (cf. Leviticus 11:10-11; Leviticus 11:41). The second Egyptian plague involved frogs (Exodus 8:5), but these demons are only "like" frogs.
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 16:13". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/revelation-16.html. 2012.
And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs,.... Rome, the seat of antichrist, being destroyed, and the kingdom of the beast darkened, and brought into great contempt, Mahometanism greatly declining, the Gospel succeeding everywhere, the Jews being converted, and resettled in their own land, the devil bestirs himself more than ordinary; and dispatches his, and the emissaries of antichrist, to the kings of the whole earth, that can any ways be engaged on their side, and against the saints; and these are no other than the creatures of antichrist, such as cardinals, priests, and particularly Jesuits, as their original from the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet, show. Mr. Daubuz thinks these "three" are the "monks", the "religious knights", and "secular clergy": and these are called "spirits"; not because they are what are called familiar spirits, or devils themselves, for they are the spirits of devils, as in the next verse; but either because they pretend to be spiritual men, ecclesiastics, men in spiritual offices, and indeed are spiritual wickednesses in high places; or because of their agility, swiftness, and expeditiousness in going to and fro, Satan like, to do mischief: and they are said to be "unclean"; as the evil spirits and devils are, being so by nature, and delighting in uncleanness, and giving themselves up to work it with greediness: and they are "like frogs"; the allusion is to the plague of frogs in Egypt, Exodus 8:5 and these antichristian emissaries are fitly compared to them, for their impurity, and pleasure they take in it, as frogs do in dirt and filth; and for their being talkative, impudent, and troublesome, like the noisy croaking frogs; so "rhetoricians" are by Cicero a compared to frogs; and as the frogs of Egypt got into the king's bedchamber, Exodus 8:3 so these get into the private retirements of princes, into their cabinet councils, and stir them up to war and bloodshed: and as for the number, "three", this is only used to express a sufficient number of them, or to make the account square with the dragon, beast, and false prophet, from whom they proceed; and besides, this is omitted in the king's manuscript. Now John saw these, in a visionary way,
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; by the dragon is meant the devil, Revelation 12:9 not as acting in Rome Pagan, which has been long ago destroyed, rather as in the Pagan parts of the world, and as in the Turkish empire, now ruined; who, seeing his cause declining everywhere, bestirs himself to support and revive it, though this issues in the binding of him for a thousand years,
Revelation 20:2. By the beast is meant the first beast, in Revelation 13:1 and so the Ethiopic version renders it; the antichristian civil state, now sadly shattered and weakened, by the pouring out of the fifth vial: and by "the false prophet" is meant, not Mahomet, or the supporters of his religion, but the second beast in Revelation 13:11 or the antichristian ecclesiastic state, as appears from the description of this prophet in Revelation 19:20 compared with that: so then these spirits manifestly appear to be the emissaries of antichrist, under a diabolical influence; his creatures, that are made, and sent forth by him, have their commissions and orders from him, to act for him in every shape, to support his interest, civil and religious, by lies, murders, and false doctrine; a further account is given of them in the next verse.
a Ad Atticum, l. 15. Ep. 16.
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Gill, John. "Commentary on Revelation 16:13". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/revelation-16.html. 1999.
|The Seven Vials.||A. D. 95.|
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. 13 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. 14 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. 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. 16 And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.
The sixth angel poured out his vial; and observe,
I. Where it fell--upon the great river Euphrates. Some take it literally, for the place where the Turkish power and empire began; and they think this is a prophecy of the destruction of the Turkish monarchy and of idolatry, which they suppose will be effected about the same time with that of the papacy, as another antichrist, and that thereby a way shall be made for the conveniency of the Jews, those princes of the east. Others take it for the river Tiber; for, as Rome is mystical Babylon, Tiber is mystical Euphrates. And when Rome shall be destroyed her river and merchandise must suffer with her.
II. What did this vial produce? 1. The drying up of the river, which furnished the city with wealth, provisions, and all sorts of accommodations. 2. A way is hereby prepared for the kings of the east. The idolatry of the church of Rome had been a great hindrance both to the conversion of the Jews, who have been long cured of their inclination to idols, and of the Gentiles, who are hardened in their idolatry by seeing that which so much symbolizes with it among those called Christians. It is therefore very probable that the downfall of popery, removing these obstructions, will open a way for both the Jews and other eastern nations to come into the church of Christ. And, if we suppose that Mahomedism shall fall at the same time, there will be still a more open communication between the western and eastern nations, which may facilitate the conversion of the Jews, and of the fulness of the Gentiles. And when this work of God appears, and is about to be accomplished, no wonder if it occasion another consequence, which is, 3. The last effort of the great dragon; he is resolved to have another push for it, that, if possible, he may retrieve the ruinous posture of his affairs in the world. He is now rallying his forces, recollecting all his spirits, to make one desperate sally before all be lost. This is occasioned by the pouring out of the sixth vial. Here observe, (1.) The instruments he makes use of to engage the powers of the earth in his cause and quarrel: Three unclean spirits like frogs come forth, one out of the mouth of the dragon, another out of the mouth of the beast, and a third out of the mouth of the false prophet. Hell, the secular power of antichrist, and the ecclesiastical power, would combine to send their several instruments, furnished with hellish malice, with worldly policy, and with religious falsehood and deceit; and these would muster up the devil's forces for a decisive battle. (2.) The means these instruments would use to engage the powers of earth in this war. They would work pretended miracles, the old stratagem of him whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power, and signs, and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness,2 Thessalonians 2:9; 2 Thessalonians 2:10. Some think that a little before the fall of antichrist the popish pretence of power to work miracles will be revived and will very much amuse and deceive the world. (3.) The field of battle--a place called Armageddon; that is, say some, the mount of Megiddo, near to which, by a stream issuing thence, Barak overcame Sisera, and all the kings in alliance with him, Judges 5:19. And in the valley of Megiddo Josiah was slain. This place had been famous for two events of a very different nature, the former very happy for the church of God, the latter very unhappy; but it shall now be the field of the last battle in which the church shall be engaged, and she shall be victorious. This battle required time to prepare for it, and therefore the further account of it is suspended till we come to the nineteenth chapter, Revelation 16:19; Revelation 16:20. (4.) The warning which God gives of this great and decisive trial, to engage his people to prepare for it, Revelation 16:15; Revelation 16:15. It would be sudden and unexpected, and therefore Christians should be clothed, and armed, and ready for it, that they might not be surprised and ashamed. When God's cause comes to be tried, and his battles to be fought, all his people shall be ready to stand up for his interest and be faithful and valiant in his service.
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Henry, Matthew. "Complete Commentary on Revelation 16:13". "Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mhm/revelation-16.html. 1706.
III. STUDY NOTES--Revelation 16:1-21
THE SEVEN BOWLS are closely similar to the 7 seals and the 7 trumpets in that they affect the same things. But the destruction that followed the seals and the trumpets was limited to one third for they were given as warnings pleading with men to repent. The destruction that follows the pouring of the 7 bowls is complete on the enemies of God. These are "the last plagues, for in them the wrath of God is ended." (15:1).
1. THE FIRST BOWL 16:2 IS POURED ON THE EARTH
As boils plagued Egypt (Exodus 9:8-11), so the moral and spiritual disease which has been an INNER corruption and decay in those who have worshipped and bore the mark of the beast now find that inner putrefaction breaking OUT on the surface of life. The quality of the inner life is bound to reach the surface at last.
2. THE SECOND BOWL 16:3 IS POURED ON THE SEA
This and the next bowl reminds us of the turning of the waters of the Nile into blood. (Exodus 7:17-21). If "the sea" is taken to mean nations as stated in 17:15, then this means that materialism, worldliness, kills all that is wholesome in the life of the people. It corrupts national life.
3. THE THIRD BOWL 16:4-7 PLAGUE IN THE RIVERS
There is "blood in the rivers and the fountains of water." The rivers that feed the sea are polluted--that is, all the powers and influences which are the springs of national life are corrupted. When the press, T.V. and radio, education, propaganda, literature become so polluted as to poison national life we will she this third bowl. Verse 6. This is just what men deserve. The prophets referred to are probably prophets of the church (see 1 Corinthians 12:28; Ephesians 4:11). Verse 7. The Christian martyrs are depicted as being under the altar (6:9). They praise God for His judgments.
4. THE FOURTH BOWL 16:8, 9 PLAGUE FROM THE SUN
Men are scorched by the sun. The sun has power to BLESS with life, giving heat to promote life. But the sun also has the power to BLAST. In this fourth bowl the life-giving heat becomes torturing heat. Men whose burning passions had brought moral undoing burn with a fire that brings agony. It is true that Jesus is "The Sun of Righteousness," and that those who reject His blessing will find their own pride scorched and burnt.
5. THE FIFTH BOWL 16:10, 11 PLAGUE ON THE BEAST’S KINGDOM
The center and throne of worldly power is smitten with darkness like that on Egypt (Exodus 10:21-23). The kingdom of evil is "the kingdom of darkness," whilst God’s kingdom is "The Kingdom of light." (see 1 John 1:6; 1 John 2:11 ; Colossians 1:12-13 --"You have been translated out of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light of His Son"). This fifth bowl brings darkness over earthly wickedness. None of the activities of life can go on. Yet, "they did not repent." To live at all man must have seas, fountains, sunshine and health. When these all turn against you life has become hopeless. In Revelation 16:10-11. All is darkness.
6. THE SIXTH BOWL 16:12-16 PLAGUE WHERE THE WORLD IS IN CONFLICT WITH GOD
"The sixth angel poured his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, to prepare the way for the kings from the East." There are many interpretations of this bowl. We are free of course to differ. We state one possible interpretation. "THE GREAT RIVER EUPHRATES" was the boundary separating the people of God from Babylon. (Genesis 15:18) IT STANDS FOR THE BOUNDARY SEPARATING GOD’S KINGDOM FROM THE WORLD. This sixth judgment causes the river Euphrates to dry up as God caused the Red Sea to dry up (Exodus 14:21), and the river Jordan (Joshua 3:17) so that God’s people who are in Babylon can come out of her (18:4). If we look at the verse in this way, "The kings of the East" may be the remnant of God’s people in Babylon (the city of confusion, godlessness and worldliness), and are distinguished from "the kings of the earth" in verse 14. Another view is that these kings of the East are the worldly kings who make war on God’s kingdom (17:14). Both may be referred to here. This verse is quite certainly a reference to a famous event in history. When Cyrus the Persian conquered Babylon he did so by drying up the river Euphrates which actually flows right through Babylon. When Cyrus came to Babylon her defences seemed so strong that her capture seemed impossible, but by a feat of engineering Cyrus temporarily changed the course of the river upstream into a lake. The channel of the river through Babylon became a dry road through which the invaders marched. This is referred to in Jeremiah 51:36. If we look at this verse in this light we can see it as a threat of God’s judgment on all worldliness. Babylon will be defeated. The drying up of the Euphrates becomes a picture of the deliverance of God’s people in the world and also a picture of the defeat of worldliness. Verse 13. THE THREE FOUL SPIRITS which come out of the mouths of the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet could be described as the PRIDE of Satan, the HOSTILITY of worldly power, and the FALSE THINKING of the false prophet. These are described as "like frogs." What an appropriate picture! The croaking frog--a picture of the unclean, empty-headed, continuous, monotonous and plague-bringing propaganda of the world. What a picture of the world’s criticism of the church! Verse 14. These frog like demonic spirits gather "the kings of the whole world, to assemble them for battle on the great day of God the Almighty" "And they assembled them at the place which is called in Hebrew Armageddon." (verse 16). It is important to note that this baffle and warfare is Spiritual. This is the conflict of the kings of the world against God. (Psalms 2:2; Revelation 17:14; Revelation 20:7-10). ARMAGEDDON. Armageddon is the mountain of Megiddo. It is in the plain of Esdraelon in Galilee, the high tableland surrounded by hills which was the great battlefield in Jewish history. The fortunes of kingdoms had been decided there. There Barak defeated Sisera (Judges 5:19-21), there Ahaziah and Josiah were slain (2 Kings 9:27; 2 Kings 23:29-30), there, there had often been great mourning (Zechariah 12:11). Some limit the meaning of the word "Armageddon" to this place, but we are not forced to limit this huge conflict to this small place. This small place would not hold even a small modern army. This small battle-ground is raised in meaning. IT BECOMES A SYMBOL OF DECISIVE CONFLICT. "Armageddon" is a type, not a locality. John uses the place "Armageddon" to symbolise GREAT DECISIVE CONFLICT in much the same way as we use the word "WATERLOO" to signify decisive defeat. It is well to remember that "Armageddon" signifies DECISIVE CONFLICT WHICH IS SPIRITUAL (NOT PHYSICAL).--It describes the overthrow of spiritual evil by Almighty God--not material battles with guns and bombs; human battles and bloodshed never settle matters regarding right and wrong. "Armageddon" is the REAL battle between God and evil, and it is going on now. It is not the picture of material armies on a material battlefield. We thank God that at Calvary evil met its Waterloo. There remains much "mopping up" to be done. We know that the final conflict will be terrible for the forces of evil as described by John in this passage.
7. THE SEVENTH BOWL 16:17-21 PLAGUE IN THE AIR--THE SHAKING OF THE WORLD
Verse 17. "The AIR" is regarded as the domain of Satan (Ephesians 2:2) God said "It is done"--The end of sin and suffering is at hand for the last of the plagues is come. Verse 18. The whole of nature becomes at war with sinful man in "A GREAT EARTHQUAKE." Verse 19. In this great earthquake "BABYLON"--the symbol of worldliness and godlessness is split into three. It lost its power of cohesion. There is no uniting power in evil. The effects of the earthquake are wide-spread, cities fall, islands and mountains disappear. There is only one kingdom which cannot be shaken--the Kingdom of God (see (Hebrews 12:26-29). Christians have realized this truth time and time again when the proud kingdoms of this world have been shaken--as in the fall of Rome, the collapse of the feudal system, the agrarian revolution, the industrial revolution, the French revolution, the Communist revolution, the fall of governments and civilisations. There is only one kingdom which cannot be shaken--The Kingdom of God. "Change and decay in all around I see; O Thou, who changest not, abide with me." The kingdoms of the world go by, in purple and in gold. They rise and flourish, and they die, and all their tale is told. One Kingdom only is divine, one banner triumphs still Its King--a servant, and its sign--a Cross upon a hill.
IV. MEDITATION--; Revelation 16:1-21
The seven bowls of judgment are symbolic pictures to tell us this truth--that if man sins against God, then the whole universe becomes man’s enemy. While the seven bowls describe evil as being destroyed everywhere Christians need to heed THE-WARNING GIVEN BY GOD HIMSELF IN VERSE 15.
"Lo I am coming like a thief! blessed is he who is awake, keeping his garments, that he may not go naked . . ."
1. We must WATCH
--Lest we become indifferent
--Lest we become merely nominal church members
--Lest we fall away from Christ.
We must watch for every opportunity to serve Christ--for every opportunity to serve our fellow men.
2. We must KEEP ON THE GARMENTS WHICH CHRIST GAVE US
--The garment of Salvation
--The garment of Righteousness
--The garment of Praise
--The garment of True humility
1 Peter 5:5
--else others will see our shame, for our own righteousness is only as filthy rags.
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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
the Week of Proper 12 / Ordinary 17