The most aweful disasters ever to affect humanity will reveal the character of the wicked and the saints.
19 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.
The 7 last plagues will fall upon the wicked when the opportunity for salvation is past. They will be the most awful calamities ever to afflict man and reveal what is in the human heart.
TIMING OF THE PLAGUES - FUTURE
1. They are the “LAST plagues” so they occur at the end of time.
2. They occur AFTER the Mark of the Beast because the first plagues falls upon those who have the mark of the beast (v 1).
3. They occur AFTER the third angelʼs message (Rev 14:9-12) which warns against the Mark of the Beast.
4. The plagues fall when there is no man in the temple in heaven (Rev 15:8). The emptiness of the temple indicates that Jesus has ceased performing intercession. Mercy has ceased and probation has closed. All have decided for or against Christ and He knows no one will change their mind again (Rev 22:11).
5. The plagues will come AFTER the opportunity for salvation has passed for they are unmixed with mercy (Rev 14:10; cf.15:1). This cannot be applied to any past judgements because they have always been “mixed” with mercy.
6. They occur BEFORE the final deliverance of the saints in the same way the plagues on Egypt preceeded Israelʼs deliverance. (See Ps 91).
DURATION OF THE PLAGUES - INSIDE ONE YEAR
1. The plagues all fall in one generation as those who suffer the sores of the first plague are still alive under the fifth. (cf. Rev 16:1, 11). No such sequence of calamities has yet occurred on one generation in the past so these plagues must still be future.
2. They fall “...in one day, death, and mourning, and famine...” (Rev 18:8). This “day” cannot be a literal day for it would be impossible for “famine” to come in that length of time. In the Bible a day is used as a symbol for a year (Eze 4:6; Num 14:34). Applying this measurement the plagues will come “in (inside) one year.” The plagues will not all be of the same duration.
Note: While Babylonʼs plagues come in one day (inside one year) her final dissolution occurs in one hour (about two weeks using the day = year principle). See on Rev 18.
THE SUBJECTS OF THE PLAGUES - THE WICKED
1. They fall on those in spiritual Babylon. They are “her plagues.” Rev 18:4.
2. They fall on those who receive the Mark of the Beast.
3. The local plagues on Egypt typified the global plagues on spiritual Babylon which sits on the nations of the world (Rev 17:1, 15).
1Cor 10:1 states that Old Testament events occured as ensamples for the faithful who live at the end of the world. Egypt's plagues were ten in number. The last seven occurred after God said, “...put a division between my people and thy people [the Egyptians]...” The last seven only affected the Egyptians. So after people have decided who they will serve the last seven plagues will fall only on the wicked.
EXTENT OF THE PLAGUES
“The plagues upon Egypt when God was about to deliver Israel were similar in character to those more terrible and extensive judgments which are to fall upon the WORLD just before the final deliverance of Godʼs people.” E.G. White, Great Controversy, p627-628.
As the warning against the plagues is WORLDWIDE the plagues will be world wide (Rev 14:6-14; 7:1-4). The world would not be warned to escape the plagues if the world was not going to receive the plagues.
“These plagues are not universal, or the inhabitants of the earth would be wholly cut off.”
Websterʼs Dictionary states: “universal” means: “Extending to, including, or affecting, the whole number, quantity, or space, unlimited, general, all reaching, all pervading..”
Though the plagues will be worldwide they will not affect everyone without exception.
PURPOSE OF THE PLAGUES
Why would God inflict the wicked with these calamities AFTER the close of Probation when all cases have been decided? In the O.T. calamities were often to turn men to repentance. Coming AFTER the opportunity for salvation is passed the plagues can serve no such purpose. The purpose of the plagues is to:
1. reveal the true character of all (See v9, 11, 21). To men as well as angels the tares will be seen to be tares (Matt 13:24-30; 36- 43; 1Cor 4:9).
2. To the universe that under the severest trial the saints would rather die than sin and that those who reject God would, if permitted, slay the very elect. In one group the character of God will be rippened and in the other the character of Satan.
3. They are just punishments upon those who persecuted Godʼs people and rebelled against His law of love.
4. To bring the false ministers to worship the saints. (cf. Rev 3:9; Est 7:8).
APPROPRIATENESS OF THE PLAGUES
Plagues 1-5, 7 are similar to those which fell on Egypt, the 6th is symbolic and based on the fall of Babylon. The plagues are similar to the literal plagues which befell Egypt (Exo 9:8-11; Deut 28:27). Just as the plagues of Egypt struck at the various Godʼs of Egypt (Godʼs of the Nile, flies etc) and showed the futility of their false gods (Exo 7:17; 12:12; cf. PP 333, 758-760) so the seven last plagues while resulting in literal events, which strike at end-time ʻgods.ʼ See chart.
LITERAL OR SYMBOLIC?
Following the principle that one takes the Bible in its most literal sense unless it makes no sense, the first four plagues are evidently literal. The effects of the plagues will be literal though symbols are employed in the description of some of the plagues.
The 6th clearly contains symbols. See comments there.
Under the second plague the “sea” becomes “as the blood of a dead [man]: and every living soul died in the sea.” The sea here cannot be symbolic because the sea as a symbol represents the vast mass of humanity, and if every living soul in the mass of humanity died under the second plague, upon whom would the following five plagues fall? All men do not die under the second plague because Jesus slays the beast and the false prophet at His return (See Rev 19). Therefore, as the sea described under the second plague
cannot be interpreted symbolically it must therefore be taken literally.
verse 1 Great voice from Temple
As Rev 15:6, 8 shows that the angels had already departed from the temple and no man, literally “no one” was able to enter into the temple” this must be Godʼs voice.
verse 1 Pour out the vials of Godʼs wrath upon the earth
This cannot be the symbolic “earth” because that represents a place of few people, whereas the plagues are not just to fall on the place of few people.
verse 2 FIRST Sores
Gr, helkos, “ulcer.” In the LXX, helkos is used for the boil that befell the Egyptians (Exo 9:9, 10), of a “botch” that could not be healed (Deut 28:28), and of the “boils” that befell Job (Job 2:7).
The miracle-working power now cooperating with apostate Christianity will prove unable to heal this affliction (See on v 14). Those who had followed the miracle working apostate christian world will begin to see the folly of their decision.
Upon the men which had the mark of the beast
Those who will not heed the third angelʼs message (Rev 14) will receive this first installment of the wrath of God. Speaking of the consequences of disobedience the Lord said in Deut 28:26-27 “And thy carcase shall be meat unto all fowls of the air...The LORD will smite thee with the botch of Egypt, and with the EMERODS, and with the scab, and with the itch, whereof thou canst not be healed.” Emerods are sore & burning haemorrhoids in the private parts.
1Sam 5:9 “...and he smote the men of the city, both small and great, and they had EMERODS in their SECRET PARTS.” The word emerods means “tumours, haemorrhoids,” and comes from a root word meaning “to burn.”
As one of the curses for disobedience, the Lord said in Deut 28:22 “The LORD shall smite thee with a consumption, and with a fever, and with an inflammation, and with an extreme burning...”
In 1Sam 5 the Philistines took the ark, the repository of Godʼs law, to their city Ashdod and placed it before the IMAGE of Dagon whom they worshipped. God caused Dagon to FALL on his face before the ark and broke off his HEAD and HANDs and smote the image worshipping Philistines with emerods (haemorrhoids). The Philistines then sent the ark from Ashdod to Gath and those of Gath suffered emerods. They then sent the ark to Ekron and those of Ekron, the third city, were also smitten with emerods.
In the soon coming conflict the worshippers of the IMAGE of the beast will try to force the people of God, the repositories of His law, to receive the mark of the beast, Ultimatelly the wicked, who received the beastʼs mark in their right HAND or foreHEAD, will FALL in worship before the saints feet and prior to this each of the three parts of global Babylon will be smitten with the grievous sores.
Literal fornication is an almost universal sin. Those who committed spiritual fornication with the whore will receive boils in their private parts. Those who had tried to rape the saints conscience and force their doctrine upon them will receive sores in their private parts. The sores will apparently strike the head and the private parts of the apostates: Isa 3:17 “Therefore the Lord will smite with a scab the crown of the HEAD of the daughters of Zion, and the LORD will discover their SECRET PARTS. This is “the pestilence [that] walketh in darkness...” Ps 91:6.
verse 3 SECOND Sea to Blood
This cannot be the symbolic sea (i.e. peoples nations, tongues) because every living creature in the nations will not die under the 2nd plague
verse 3 Every living soul died in the sea
The “souls” in the sea are the sea creatures. Gr. psuche, “soul” is used for animals life as well as human life. In Rev 8:9 it is translated “creature.”
The blood of a dead man
Naturalistic explanations such as Red algal blooms (gynnodinium) in the ocean would not explain the fresh water springs etc. turning to blood in the following plague.
It would therefore apper that some other phenomena, perhaps miraculous will be involved.
The sea is the primary highway of international trade. As the wicked used economic pressure to force the saints to receive the Mark of the Beast, so God turns the sea, the major route of economic trade, blood.
These plagues will enrage the wicked against the righteous and they will seek to rid the earth of the righteous thinking that then the plagues will stop. It will be reasoned that it is better that a few should die rather than whole nations suffer more calamities (cf. John 11:50). A decree will finally go forth against those who hallow the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, denouncing them as deserving of the severest punishment and giving the people liberty, after a certain time, to put them to death (cf. Est 3:13-14). As Haman got the king to appoint a day when the Jews were to be killed (cf. Est 3:13), so the corrupt church will persuade the nations of the world to set a day for the destruction of the commandment keepers (Rev 13:15).
verse 4 THIRD Fresh water to Blood
The bread & water of the righteous shall be sure. (Isa 33:16). Psalms 91 vividly describes this time.
verse 5 The angel of the waters
One having jurisdiction over the waters. Other angels have jurisdiction over the winds and fire (Rev 7:1; 14:18).
verse 6 Because they have shed the blood of saints and prophets
By condemning the people of God to death they truly incur the guilt of their blood, as
if it had been shed by their hands (cf. Matt 23:35; cf. Exo 7:19; Rev 17:6). In like manner Christ declared the Jews of His time guilty of all the blood of holy men which had been shed since the days of Abel; for they possessed the same spirit and were seeking to do the same work with these murderers of the prophets.” E.G. White, Great Controversy, p627.
Matt 23:34-35; 1 John 3:15 show that guilt attaches to motive no less than action.
The last generation of the wicked will pass a death decree to exterminate the saints (Rev 12:17; 13:15). As a consequence this plague will fall upon them.
One who sheds the saints blood and condemns the saints to death is represented as one who drinks blood. Speaking of the harlot church which slaughtered the saints during the Dark Ages, John wrote, “And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: “ Rev 17:6.
Here the wicked get to drink blood.
verse 7 And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous [are] thy judgments.
The altar of incense. No mention is made of the altar of burnt offering in heaven. See on Rev 8:3; 9:13; 14:18).
verse 8 FOURTH Sun scorches men with fire
The first four plagues affect in order
1. Earth, 2. Sea 3. Fountains of waters.
Rev 14:7 says, “Fear God...worship him that made heaven, and EARTH, and the SEA, and the FOUNTAINS OF WATERS: for the hour of His judgment is come.” This is a quotation from the FOURTH of the ten commandments, which commands the observance of the seventh day Sabbath. It is significant that under the fourth plague, the wicked, having rejected the Sabbath commandment in favour of SUN-day worship, will receive SUN-burn.
Even the saints will feel the heat but not to the extent of the wicked. “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” Ps 91:1. The Lord will be, “as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.” Isa 32:2 Speaking of the saints in heaven who passed through the plagues John writes, “They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.” Rev 7:16
According to the Greek the first three plagues are poured out “into” (eis) the earth, sea, and fountains of waters. The fourth, fifth & sixth plagues are poured out “upon” (epi) the sun, the beastʼs throne and the river Euphrates.
The seventh plague is poured out “into” (eis) the air Many texts say “upon” (epi) the air. What significance this has, if any, is not clear
In place of the fourth commandment to remember the seventh day Babylon enforced the observance of Sunday. God will give the sun worshipper sun burn. As the time set in the death decree draws near, the people, with shouts of triumph and jeering, prepare to rush upon their prey.
verse 9 And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory
Sevens in Revelation are broken into a first group of four followed by another group
of three. In harmony with this principle the first four plagues differ from the last three. The first four are literal. The last three contain symbols.
FIFTH PLAGUE. Involves the kingdom of the beast” (v 10) which is to be global (cf. Rev 13:3, 16-17).
SIXTH PLAGUE. Involves the “kings of the earth and of the whole world & the symbolic Euphrates, the peoples of the world.” (See on Rev 16:14).
SEVENTH PLAGUE. Involves “the cities of the nations,” and “every island.” (Rev 16:19, 20).
Thinking to do Godʼs service the wicked will be eager to execute the saints whom they believe are responsible for bringing these calamities upon the world.
The great heat will force men to drink the bloody waters which appeared under the previous plague. The wicked will no doubt be praying for relief from the sunʼs incessant heat. The following plague brings darkness.
verse 10-11 FIFTH Darkness And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast and his king- dom was full of darkness
The beast in Rev 13 represents Papal Rome's civil power which rules from the city of Rome. (See on Rev 13). Therefore the darkness will begin over Rome. As “All the world wondered after the beast,” (Rev 13:3) so the darkness will spread from Rome, the seat of the beast, to envelop its worldwide kingdom.
John 3:19 “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” Those who rejected the spiritual light of Godʼs truth will be covered with literal darkness. As the wicked spread spiritual darkness they will receive literal darkness.
and they gnawed their tongues for pain
The pain is evidently because of their sores. See on v 11.
As darkness fell between Pharaoh and Israel at the Red Sea before the waters were “dried up” preparing a way of escape for Israel (Josh 24:7; Ps 106:9; Isa 51:10), so darkness will fall over the world (5th plague) before the Euphrates is “dried up” (6th plague).
As the darkness falls the angry multitudes will be suddenly arrested, their mocking cries die away. In horror they will realize that Babylon has deceived them and they are eternally lost.
verse 11 And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds
Blasphemy is claiming to be a Christian but not doing as real Christians do. To claim to be of the Lord while doing like the devil is taking the name of the Lord God in vain.
A transgression of the 3rd commandment (Exo 20:7. This text shows that some of those who received the sores under the first plague are still alive under this, the fifth plagues proving that the plagues come in one generation and do not immediately kill all those they afflict. cf. Matt 24:34 second application.
Zeph 1:15-18 “That day [is] a day of WRATH, a day of TROUBLE and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick DARKNESS, A day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers. And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the LORD: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung. Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORDʼS wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land.”
verse 12 SIXTH Euphrates dried up 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
In harmony with the previous plagues this is a punishment upon Babylon.
The river Euphrates was the northern boundry of Israel. Beyond it lay the territory of those who were not Godʼs people. God said to Joshua, “Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river EUPHRATES,” Josh 1:3-4. “in the north country by the river Euphrates.” Jer 46:10.
The literal city of Babylon sat on, or was built over, the waters of the literal Euphrates (Jer 51:12-13). The waters of the literal Euphrates sustained Babylonian life and protected the city as they flowed through the surrounding moat and canals.
As literal Babylon sat on the waters of the Euphrates so in the Revelation, spiritual Babylon sits upon the waters of the spiritual Euphrates, which are said to symbolize the nations of the world which support and protect her.
“The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.” Rev 17:15.
End-time global Babylon is sustained and protected by the nations of the world. The Euphrates clearly symbolizes the nations of the world.
The fall of literal Babylon typifies the fall of end-time Babylon
As king Cyrus came from the east, dried up the waters of the literal Euphrates (Jer 50:38; 51:36; Isa 44:27) and delivered Godʼs people, so Christ, the King of kings, will return from the east (Matt 24:27), with the “kings” who are presently in heaven (Rev 5:10), dry up the support of spiritual Babylon, and liberate His people.
The root word from which the word “Euphrates” comes, means, “to break forth.” When the snows melt in Armeia at the source of the Euphrates, the rushing waters break forth and overflow their banks.
The OT writers used the overflowing of the Euphrates to represent the invasion of Israel by her northern ememies, Assyria & Babylon:
“Thus saith the LORD; Behold, waters rise up out of the north, and shall be an OVERFLOWING FLOOD, and shall overflow the land, and all that is therein; the city, and them that dwell therein: then the men shall cry, and all the inhabitants of the land shall howl.” Jer 47:2
“Now therefore, behold, the Lord bringeth up upon them the waters of the river, strong and many, [even] the king of Assyria, and all his glory: and he shall COME UP OVER all his channels, and GO OVER ALL HIS BANKS: And he shall pass through Judah; he shall OVERFLOW AND GO OVER, he shall reach [even] to the neck; and the stretching out of his wings shall fill the breadth of thy land, O Immanuel.” Isa 8:7-8
In the book of Joshua the river Euphrates is specifically referred to as “the Flood.”
“And Joshua said unto all the people, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Your fathers dwelt on the other side of THE FLOOD in old time, [even] Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor: and they served other gods. And I took your father Abraham from the other side of THE FLOOD, and led him throughout all the land of Canaan, and multiplied his seed, and gave him Isaac.” Josh 24:2-3.
“...put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of THE FLOOD, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that [were] on the other side of THE FLOOD, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Josh 24:14-15.
The “FLOOD,” a term referring to the river Euphrates, has been used to represent the persecutors of Godʼs people throughout Daniel & Revelation:
“...the end thereof [shall be] with a FLOOD, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined...” Dan 9:26.
“And with the arms of a FLOOD shall they be overflown from before him, and shall be broken...” Dan 11:22.
“And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a FLOOD after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swal- lowed up the FLOOD which the dragon cast out of his mouth.” Rev 12:15-16.
The waters of the Euphrates, or the “Flood” symbolize the supporters of end-time Babylon who will rise up like a flood against Godʼs people. The drying up of the waters of the Euphrates refers to the drying up of end-time Babylonʼs supporters as there abandon all support for Papal Rome.
The event which leads to Babylonʼs support drying up in the 6th plague is the supernatural darkness of the 5th plague. Revelation speaks of the wicked condemning the saints to death (Rev 13). As the time appointed arrives the wicked rise up to slay the saints. At this time God will deliver His people:
“With shouts of triumph, jeering, and imprecation, throngs of evil men are about to rush upon their prey, when, lo, a DENSE BLACKNESS, deeper than the DARKNESS of the night, falls upon the earth. Then a rainbow, shining with the glory from the throne of God, spans the heavens andnseems to encircle each praying company. The angry multitudes are suddenly arrested. Their mocking cries die away. The objects of their murderous rage are forgotten. With fearful forebodings they gaze upon the symbol of Godʼs covenant and long to be shielded from its overpowering brightness.” E.G. White, Great Controversy, p635-636.
When the supporters of Babylon see that the commandment keeping saints are the chosen of God they will also realize that the ministers of Babylon have deceived them. The people will then turn on the false shepherds and everywhere there will be strife and bloodshed. See Rev 17:16.
verse 12 that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared
THE KINGS OF THE EAST
In the last great conflict there will only be two sides: the kings of the east in conflict with “the kings of the earth and of the whole world” (Rev 16:14).
As the kings of the east are set in CONTRADISTINCTION to “the kings of the earth and of the WHOLE world,” the “kings of the East” are “not of the world.” (John 15:9). The church is not of the world. The Church is the light of the world and rises from the east. Arise shine he says to His church.
As the kings of the earth follow the beast (Rev 17:12-13); so the saints, who are also “kings” (Rev 1:6; 5:10) follow Christ the “King of kings.”
In what way does the drying up of the Euphrates, Babylonʼs supporters, prepare the way for Christ and the saints?
The phrase “WAY may be PREPARED” is associated with Christ.
“PREPARE ye the WAY of the LORD.” Isa. 40:3. “PREPARE ye the WAY of the Lord.” Matt 3:3; 11:10; Mk 1:2, 3; Luke 3:4; 7:27.
The East is associated with God or things from God:
Christ said that He would return from the East (Matt 24:27).
Godʼs glory comes from the east (Eze 43:2).
The sealing message came from the East (Rev 7). Referring to Christ we read, “Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring [or “SUNRISING” margin from on high hath visited us.” Luke 1:78.
By drying up the support of spiritual Babylon Christ prepares the way for His return 1. By withdrawing their support from spiritual Babylon, the wicked essentially confess
to their sin in having supported Babylon.
This admission prepares the way for their destruction. 2. The wheat and the tares will be fully developed then Jesus can return and destroy the one and reap the other (Matt 13:24-30; Rev 14:14-20.
By drying up the Euphrates Christ prepares a way of escape for His people In another sense as the Red Sea was “dried up” (Ps 106:9) to prepare a way of escape for Israel so the Euphrates will be “dried up” to prepare a way of the escape for the church (Ps 77:18-20; Isa 43:16-17), here called the kings of the east.
As the waters of the Red Sea destroyed Pharaoh so the waters of the Euphrates will destroy spiritual Babylon. This betrayal of Babylon by her supporters is described in Rev 17.
Ps 11 describes the Exodus. Ps 11:19 “Thy WAY [is] in the sea, and thy path in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not known.”
verses 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. 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.
As is the pattern in Revelation there is an interlude between the 6th and 7th. Verses 13-16 are parenthetical.
Between the 6th and 7th seals (Rev 6:12- 17 and Rev 8:1) the sealing of the 144,000 is described (Rev 7). This is PRESENTLY happening.
Between the 6 & 7th trumpets (Rev 9:13-21 and Rev 11:15) the rise of Godʼs end-time Movement and the French Revolution are described (Rev 10, 11). This Movement is PRESENTLY prophesying (Rev 10:11).
Between the 6th & 7th plagues the gathering of the forces to Armageddon is described (Rev 16:13-16). In harmony with the other interludes this is PRESENTLY happening.
The three unclean spirits like frogs come from the mouth of the counterfeits of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit: 1. Dragon (Paganism)
2. Beast (Papalism) 3. False prophet (Apostate Protestantism (cf. Rev 13:13-14; 19;20).
As the Lordʼs three angels (symbolizing Godʼs speaking through His faithful people) are PRESENTLY gathering people to Christʼs side (Rev 14:6-12), so the three unclean spirits like frogs (symbolizing Satan speaking through his people) are PRESENTLY gathering the wicked to Satanʼs side. (Rev 16:13-16).
Why like Frogs?
Every mentioning of frogs in the Bible is in connection with the plagues of Egypt except here in Rev 16. Significantly Ps 105:30 says “Their land brought forth frogs in abundance, in the chambers of their KINGS.”
The frogs of Rev 16 are specifically said to go “unto the KINGS of the earth and of the whole world.” Rev 16:14. Their purpose is to gather them to the battle of Armageddon.
Many species of frogs are amphibians - creatures of the WATER and EARTH. The devils go forth to the symbolic waters which represent many peoples (Rev 17:15), and the earth, which by way of contrast represents the place of few peoples. i.e. “they go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the WHOLE WORLD.” It is interesting that the frog uses its TONGUE to capture its prey:
“TONGUE- In most vertebrates, an organ, capable of various muscular movements, located on the floor of the mouth. In some animals (e.g., frogs) it is elongated and adapted to capturing insect prey.” Enc. Britannica, CD99, art. Tongue.
Through the tongue of deceivers & false prophets multitudes will deceived to join Satanʼs side.
verse 14 THE BATTLE OF THAT GREAT DAY OF GOD ALMIGHTY
The three angels and the three unclean spirits go to all the world to gather them to the battle of Armageddon.
verse 15 Come as a thief
At a time unexpected (Matt 24:43). Though unexpected by the wicked Christʼs coming will be visible (Matt 24:29-30; Rev 6:14-16; Heb 9:28), audible (Ps 50:3) and glorious (Matt 26:64).
“For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.” 1Thess 5:2-4.
verse 15 Keeping oneʼs garments
As God clothed Adam & Eve with skins so He clothes His people with the robe of His righteousness. Garments represent character (Isa 61:10; Job 29:14; Zec 3:4). Blessed are those who keep their garments of righteousness. The fact that this counsel is given in the context of Armageddon shows that Armageddon is a battle over sin and righteousness. Satans final attempt to use the apostates of the world as a tool to pressure the faithful into sin. Evidently many Christians are going to loose their garments of righteousness. These apostates wil side with Satan and pass laws condemning to death those who persist in keeping all of Godʼs commandments.
verse 16 And he gathered them together
Satan or possibly the spirits.
verse 17 into a place called ARMAGEDDON In the Hebrew tongue
Directs us the look at it in Hebrew history.
There are several different ideas as to what Armageddon is but the primary views today are:
(1) A war in the Middle East between nations - Russians from the North, Africans from the South Europeans and Americans from the West and 200,000,000 Asians swarming in from the East.
(2) A Spiritual battle between Godʼs followers and Satanʼs followers.
Armageddon NOT a literal place
(a) The RSV translates the name as Har- Magedon, i.e. the mountain of Megiddo. 'Har' is usually translated “mountain.” Megiddo means “place of crowds.”
Har Megiddo is thus the “Mountain of crowds.
(a) There is no place on earth called “Ar- mageddon,” nor ever has been according to any existing historical records. There is a small town called “Megiddo” on a rise overlooking the valley of Esdraelon which in Zech 12:11 is called “the plain of Megiddo.” The plain is quite fertile though a little swampy. It is roughly triangular, 18 to 20 miles on each side, approximatelly 300 square kilometers (200 square miles) in area. It has seen some significant battles in Bible times but it is not large enough to deploy “the kings of the whole world” including over 200,000,000 troops from the East.
(b) As the three angels of Rev 14 gather people in spirit, doctrine, purpose and unity, but NOT TO A LITERAL PLACE, so the three unclean spirits gather the wicked in spirit, doctrine, purpose, and unity but NOT TO A LITERAL PLACE.
In the first book of the Bible we see God asked Adam and Eve, “Where are you?” God was not referring to their physical location but their spiritual state. They were in sin.
(b) There is no place on earth called “Ar- mageddon,” nor ever has been as far as is known. The word comes from “har” (mountain) and “Megiddon” (crowd). Armageddon is thus symbolic and means “the mountain of the congregation.”
(c) The widely held literal views is of a military battle involving 200 million (Rev 9:16) human soldiers from the East and the kings of the earth. However warfare today is no longer decided by the number of men involved. Moreover, the plain of Megiddo is too small for so many troops to maneuver in. It is also ridiculous to think that a river must be dried up to let a modern army cross. The River Tigris is not mentioned but it is nearly as big as the Euphrates
and would also need crossing. For these reasons Armageddon is not going to be a literal battle in the middle East.
Armageddon will be the last battle between Christ, the King of kings and His followers, and Satan, the king of the bottomless pit, and his followers.
(a) Rev 12:17 describes the final conflict when the dragon goes to make WAR upon those who keep all of Godʼs commandments.
(b) Rev 13:15 describes how the beast will make WAR with the saints who refuse to accept the mark of the beast.
(c) Rev 17:13-14 describes how the 10 horns make WAR with Christ. This will be accomplished by the wicked attacking Christʼs people for “as ye have done [it] unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done [it] unto me.” Matt 25:40.
(d) Rev 19:19 describes how the beast and the wicked WAR against Christ.
Armageddon will be the last battle between Christ, the King of kings and His followers, and Satan, the king of the bottomless pit, and his followers.
TYPES OF ARMAGEDDON
Armageddon was typified in several Old testament events:
(a) “By the waters of Megiddo,” (Jud 5:19, 20) Godʼs enemies were swept away by a river just as the river Euphrates, a symbol of Babylonʼs supporters (Rev 17:15) will turn against her. “There was not a man left.” (Jud 4:16).
(b) Jezebelʼs prophets of Baal opposed Elijah on Mount Carmel, which overlooks the plain of Megiddo (1Kings 18). As all the priests of Baal were slain so all those who oppose the end-time saints will be slain.
(c) The plain of Megiddo is also called the valley of Jezreel, where a trinity of evil, like the dragon, beast and false prophet, were poised to attack Godʼs people but ended up slaying each other, “the Lord set every manʼs sword against his fellow.” Jud 7:22.
All these events, which were near the plain of Megiddo, typify the battle of Armageddon. The wicked intending to slay the saints, will end up slaying each other (Rev 17:16-17).
verse 17 SEVENTH Hail, Earthquake, lightning etc.
This is literal and figurative. Babylonʼs temporary union for “one hour” (Rev 17:12) will fragment. The Euphrates dried up under the previous plague. The wicked, realizing that they have lost eternal life, turn on Babylon and desolate her in “one hour.” (See Rev 18:10, 17, 19).
The punishment for sabbath breaking was stoning (Num 15:32-35). God stones the remnant of Sunday-keeping Sabbath- breakers with great hail, everyone who chose to observe the mark of the beast in place of His sabbath.
The hailstones, possibly from space, weigh between 45-91kg depending on the talent in question.
It is done
Christ cried “It is done,” as He died on the cross in the place of guilty sinners. At the time those who refused His sacrifice perish these words will again be heard again. The sealed saints are protected throughout the plagues as Noah and His family were protected throughout the horrors of the Flood. See Ps 91.
18* And there were voices [“Above the terrific roar of thunder, voices, mysterious and awful, declare the doom of the wicked. The words are not comprehended by all; but they are distinctly understood by the false teachers. Those who a little before were so reckless, so boastful and defiant, so exultant in their cruelty to Godʼs commandment-keeping people, are now ovrwhelmed with consternation and shuddering fear.” GC 637-638], and thunders, and lightnings [cf. Exo 9:23]; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, [and] so great [both literal and figurativelly].
19* And the great city [Spiritual Babylon] was divided into three parts [BABYLON'S BREAK UP At the realization they have been deceived spiritual Babylon will fragment into three parts
1. Paganism (spiritualism),
2. Papalism, (camouflaged paganism)
3. Apostate Protestantism, (camouflaged paganism) and these groups will turn upon their religious leaders.
The threfold union to be formed before the very end is described in the following words:
“By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation [the United States] will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When PROTESTANTISM shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand
of the ROMAN POWER, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with SPIRITUALISM, when, under the influence of this tTHREEFOLD UNION, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvellous working of Satan and that the end is near.
Through the two great errors, the immortality of the soul and Sunday sacredness, Satan will bring the people under his deceptions. While the former lays the foundation of spiritualism, the latter creates a bond of sympathy with Rome. The PROTESTANTS of the United States will be foremost in stretching their hands across the gulf to grasp the hand of SPIRITUALISM; they will reach over the abyss to clasp hands with the ROMAN POWER; and under the influence of this THREE-FOLD UNION, this country will follow in the steps of Rome in trampling on the rights of conscience. . . . PAPISTS, PROTESTANTS, and WORLDLINGS will alike accept the form of godliness without the power, and they will see in this union a grand movement for the conversion of the world and the ushering in of the long-expected millennium. When our nation [the United States] shall so abjure the principles of its government as to enact a Sunday law, Protestantism will in this act join hands with popery; it will be nothing else than giving life to the tyranny which has long been eagerly watching its opportunity to spring again into active despotism.” Maranatha, p190],
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.
20* And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found [An incomprehensibly great global earthquake].
21* And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven [GREAT HAIL “Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet; and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding-place.” Isa.28:17. (See also Isa.30:30) God asked Job if he had seen the treasures of the hail, which God has “reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war.” Job 38:22, 23.
It is known today that comets are giant snowballs (ice). Perhaps the hail is presently somewhere out in the darkness of space destined to collide with earth on the day God has appointed], [every stone] about the weight of a talent [between 45- 91kg depending on the talent in question.
SABBATH BREAKERS STONED TO DEATH
Many of the wicked Sabbath breakers are here stoned to death. The punishment for Sabbath breakers was stoning (Num 15:32-35)]: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great. [What a day of calamity is coming “A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; [but] it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked. Because thou hast made the LORD, [which is] my refuge, [even] the most High, thy habitation; There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.” Ps 91” 7-10].
WHAT CAN WE LEARN?
The fact that God has so long held off the plagues shows how terrible they will be. “The Lord...is longsuffering to us-ward not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 2Pet 3:9.
APPENDIX How do the trumpets & plagues relate?
The trumpets are very similar to the seven last plagues, though not identical:
(a) Several trumpets affect 1/3 parts, whereas the similar plagues are not limited
(b) The 4th trumpet darkened the sun, but in the 4th plague the sun burn men.
(c) Seven “last” plagues whereas the trumpet are simply “plagues” (Rev 9:20).
(d) The plagues come in one prophetic day (Rev 18:8) whereas the trumpets contain a period of five months (Rev 9:5, 10).
(e) The trumpets appear in the historical section of Revelation whereas the plagues appear in the future. (See chart on page 6).
(f) The trumpets were limited in extent prefigured the worldwide plagues. See Rev 8-9.
From the beginning the worst enemies of the faithful have been other professed believers:
(a) Cain vs Abel
(b) Apostate Israel vs true prophets
(c) Apostate Jewish priesthood vs Jesus (d) Apostate Jews vs Christians
(e) Apostate Catholics vs commandment keepers.
(f) In the final battle: The apostate followers of God vs the faithful.
COMMENTS ON REVELATION 16
“When Christ ceases his intercession in the sanctuary, the unmingled wrath threatened against those who worship the beast and his image and receive his mark, [Rev 14:9, 10] will be poured out. The plagues upon Egypt when God was about to deliver Israel, were similar in character to those more terrible and extensive judgments which are to fall upon the world just before the final deliverance of Godʼs people. Says the Revelator, in describing these terrific scourges, ʻThere fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshiped his image.ʼ The sea ʻbecame as the blood of a dead man, and every living soul died in the sea.ʼ And ʻthe rivers and fountains of waters became blood.ʼ [Rev 16:2-6, 8,9]
Terrible as these inflictions are, Godʼs justice stands fully vindicated. The angel of God declares, “Thou art righteous, O Lord, . . . because thou hast judged thus. For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy. [Rev 16:2-6, 8, 9] By condemning the people of God to death they have as truly incurred the guilt of their blood, as if it had been shed by their hands. In like manner Christ declared the Jews of his time guilty of all the blood of holy men which had been shed since the days of Abel; for they possessed the same spirit, and were seeking to do the same work, with these murderers of the prophets. In the plague that follows, power is given to the sun ʻto scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat.ʼ [Rev 16:2-6, 8, 9]
The prophets thus describe the condition of the earth at this fearful time: ʻThe land mourneth;. . . because the harvest of the field is perished.ʼ ʻAll the trees of the field are withered; because joy is withered away from the sons of men.ʼ ʻThe seed is rotten under their clods, the