Updated: Feb 7, 2022
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.
Chapter 16 – THE SEVEN LAST PLAGUES
The 7 ‘first’ plagues (the 7 Trumpets - Rev 9:20) fell on pagan Rome.
This led to her downfall & division into the nations of Europe.
However, Pagan Rome transitioned* to Papal Rome, a global power.
The 7 last plagues result in the final destruction of Rome in its Papal phase.
The 7 last plagues are said to be her plagues (Rev 18:4,8).
The 7 last plagues will also fall upon the wicked who follow & side with her.
Hence the call to come out of her my people & receive not of her plagues: Rev 18.
The plagues are poured out when the opportunity for salvation is past.
They will be the most awful calamities to ever hit the earth apart from Noah's flood.
*Pagan Rome, a local power transitioned to Papal Rome, a global power:
Daniel 2 – IRON legs (Rome) transitions to feet of IRON & clay (Papal Rome)
Daniel 7 – the 4th beast (Rome) transitions to the little horn (Papal Rome).
Daniel 8 – the little horn of Daniel 8, a symbol of both pagan and papal Rome.
Daniel 11 – Pagan Rome transitions to Papal Rome in Daniel 11:30-31.
TIMING OF THE PLAGUES - FUTURE EVENTS (from today 29/01/2022)
The plagues occur at the end of time before Christ returns.
*At Christ’s return all the wicked are destroyed.
The Plagues occur after the Mark of the beast is enforced - see next point (4).
The 1st plague falls on those who have received the mark of the beast (Rev 16:2).
The 3rd angel's message warns against receiving the mark of the beast.
Therefore, the plagues fall after the third angel’s message.
Hence, the plagues come after the first & second angel’s messages.
Messages which announced the hour of God’s judgment and the fall of Babylon.
Hence, they are unmixed with mercy (Rev 14:10; cf.15:1).
This cannot apply to past judgements as they have been “mixed” with mercy.
The plagues occur when there is no man in the temple in heaven (Rev 15:8).
The emptiness of (11) indicates Christ’s mediatory work has ceased (Rev 15:8, 22:11).
The plagues thus come after the opportunity for salvation has passed – Rev 22:11.
Therefore, the plagues occur AFTER probation has closed - all have decided.
Plagues fall AFTER the opportunity for salvation has passed for they are unmixed with mercy (Rev 14:10; cf.15:1).
They are “the 7 LAST plagues”, therefore, occur just prior to the coming of Christ.
Plagues all fall in one generation as 1st plague victims are still alive at 5th plague -v11.
The plagues precede the final deliverance of ‘Israel’ in the same way the plagues on Egypt preceded literal Israel’s deliverance. (See Psalm 91)
*See Luke 17:26-30; 2Thess 1:7-9; Rev 19:20-21; 1Thess 5:2-3.
DURATION OF THE PLAGUES - INSIDE ONE YEAR
The plagues fall in one generation for those who suffer the sores under the first plague (verse 2) are still alive under the fifth plague (verse 11).
The plagues fall “...in one day, death, and mourning, and famine...” (Rev 18:8). This “day” cannot be literal 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, Matt 18:22). Applying this measurement, the plagues will come “in (inside) one year.” The plagues will not all be of the same duration.
Note: While Babylon’s plagues come in one day (inside one year) her final dissolution occurs in one hour (about two weeks (15 days) using the day = year principle). See on Rev 18.
“...for in one hour is thy judgment come.” Rev 18:10.
“...For in one hour so great riches is come to nought.” Rev 18:17
“...for in one hour is she made desolate.” Rev 18:19.
The 10 horns give her their power for one hour and pass a universal death decree upon the saints. When the tables turn at the voice of God and the wicked realize they are lost Babylon is desolated in one hour.
THE SUBJECTS OF THE PLAGUES - THE WICKED
1. They fall on spiritual Babylon – those in error. They are “her plagues.” Rev 18:4,8.
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 symbolic waters or nations of the world (Rev 17:1, 15).
1Cor 10:1 states that Old Testament events occurred 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 seven last plagues will fall only on the wicked.
“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." Great Controversy, p627-628.
The faithful will be protected in that day – Psalm 91:
“He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth [shall be thy] shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; [nor] for the arrow [that] flieth by day; [Nor] for the pestilence [that] walketh in darkness; [nor] for the destruction [that] wasteth at noonday. 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 91:4-10
PURPOSE OF THE PLAGUES
Why would God inflict the wicked with these calamities AFTER the close of Probation? 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 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). It will be demonstrated 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 ripened and in the other the character of Satan fully manifest –cf Rev 13: Mark of the beast & death decree mandated by Satan’s henchmen. The plagues are just punishments upon those who persecuted Godʼs people and rebelled against His law of love.
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
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.
The seven last plagues have striking similarities to the seven trumpets - Rev 8,9,11. The seven trumpets are the seven ‘first’ plagues. The trumpets which are called plagues in Rev 9:20, fell on pagan Rome destroying her. The seven last plagues fall on papal Rome destroying the last kingdom of the Daniel 2 image in its entirety. No surprise the trumpets and plagues are similar. The seventh trumpet has been sounding since the commencement of the judgment (Rev 11:15-19) and will merge with the seventh plague, the seventh seal and those victorious in the seventh church.
1. And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.
“And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying…”
This is the voice of God given that the angels had already departed from the temple and no man, literally “no one” was able to enter into the temple.” (Rev 15:6,8)
“… pour out the vials…”
To afflict with the calamities of God’s wrath.
“… upon the earth.”
The earth upon which the plagues fall includes the earth, sea, fountains of waters, air etc. The “earth” upon which the plagues are poured must be the literal planet. It cannot be the symbolic “earth” because in prophecy that represents a place of few people, (Rev 13:11) and the plagues are not just to fall on the place of few people.
FIRST PLAGUE – A LITERAL PLAGUE
2. And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.
“… there fell a noisome and grievous sore…”
The Greek “Helkos” translated “sore” means a wound discharging pus, a sore or ulcer.
In the LXX, (Septuagint) “helkos” is used as follows:
For the boil that befell the Egyptians (Exo 9:9, 10)
A “botch” that could not be healed (Deut 28:28)
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 (Rev 13) will see the folly of their decision in the plagues.
“… upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.”
Those who had not heeded the third angel’s message (Rev 14) 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 hemorrhoids of the private parts.
In 1Sam 5 the Philistines took the ark, the repository of God’s 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 (hemorrhoids). 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 force the people of God, the repositories of His law, to receive the mark of the beast. Ultimately the wicked, who received the beast’s 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 of Rev 17 will receive boils in their private parts. Those who had tried to ‘rape’ the saints’ conscience and force their doctrines upon them will receive sores in their private parts. The sores will apparently strike the head and the private parts of the apostates:
Isaiah 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.
SECOND PLAGUE – A LITERAL PLAGUE
1. And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man; and every living soul died in the sea.
This is a literal plague. The sea is to be taken literally in this plague. It cannot be the prophetic symbolic ‘sea’ of peoples, nations and tongues – Rev 17:15 because every living soul in the nations will not die under the 2nd plague. If the ‘sea’ were to be interpreted symbolically as in Rev 17:15 and every living soul died in the prophetic sea then there would be no-one left for the other plagues to affect.
“… as the blood of a dead man; …”
The sea would become as the blood of a dead man. The appearance of the blood of a dead is like the colour of a man’s Liver. Imagine what it would look like. 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, appear that some other phenomena, perhaps miraculous will be involved.
“and every living soul died in the sea”
The “souls” in the sea are the sea creatures. The Gr. ‘psuche’, translated “soul” is used for animal life as well as human life. In Rev 8:9 it is translated “creature.” The sea creatures would all die in this plague. Imagine the stench with dead fish etc covering the ocean and beaches.
THIRD PLAGUE – A LITERAL PLAGUE
4. And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood.
One would think that the rivers and fountains of waters turning to blood would deprive man of drinking water but the Bible says that the righteous’ water and bread will be sure. (Isaiah 33:16) Psalm 91 vividly describes this time.
5. And I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus.
6. For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy.
“… the angel of the waters…”
Angel having jurisdiction over the waters. Other angels have jurisdiction over the winds and fire (Rev 7:1; 14:18)
“For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets,…”
How appropriate is this plague. “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.” GC 627.
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. See quote on v 9.
One who sheds blood and condemns the saints to death is represented in this plague 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. Hence, they get given blood to drink in this plague.
FOURTH PLAGUE – A LITERAL PLAGUE
7. And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments.
8. And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire.
“And I heard another out of the altar say…”
This is the altar of incense. No mention is made of an altar of burnt offering in heaven. See Rev 8:3; 9:13; 14:18
“And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun;…”
The first four plagues affect in order:
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 anymore; 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 Sabbath, Babylon enforced the observance of Sunday the first day of the week. Interesting that God allows the sun worshipper to be smitten by the sun and burn.
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.
5th. Involves the kingdom of the “beast” (v10) which is global (cf. Rev 13:3, 16-17).
6th. Involve the “kings of the earth” & the symbolic River Euphrates (Rev 16:14).
7th. Involves “the cities of the nations,” and “every island.” (Rev 16:19, 20).
“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 God's people. Says the Revelator, in describing these terrific scourges, ‘There fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshiped his image.’ The sea ‘became as the blood of a dead man, and every living soul died in the sea.’ And ‘the rivers and fountains of waters became blood.’ [Rev 16:2-6, 8, 9] Terrible as these inflictions are, God's 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 ‘to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat.’ [Rev 16:2-6, 8, 9] The prophets thus describe the condition of the earth at this fearful time: ‘The land mourneth;. . . because the harvest of the field is perished.’ ‘All the trees of the field are withered; because joy is withered away from the sons of men.’ ‘The seed is rotten under their clods, the garners are laid desolate.’ ‘How do the beasts groan! the herds of cattle are perplexed, because they have no pasture. . . . The rivers of waters are dried up, and the fire hath devoured the pastures of the wilderness.’ ‘The songs of the temple shall be howlings in that day, saith the Lord God; there shall be many dead bodies in every place; they shall cast them forth with silence.’ [Joel 1:10-12, 17-20; Amos 8:3.] THESE PLAGUES [the first four quoted] ARE NOT UNIVERSAL or the inhabitants of the earth would be wholly cut off. Yet they will be the most awful scourges that have ever been known to mortals. All the judgments upon men, prior to the close of probation, have been mingled with mercy. The pleading blood of Christ has shielded the sinner from receiving the full measure of his guilt; but in the final Judgment, wrath is poured out unmixed with mercy.” GC. 627-629.
Thinking to do God’s 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 heat. The next plague brings darkness.
FIFTH PLAGUE – A LITERAL PLAGUE
10. And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain,
“And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; …”
The beast is the beast of Revelation 13:1-10. The dragon gave it its seat, power and great authority. (Rev 13:2) The beast represents Papal Rome which rules from the city of Rome. Therefore, the darkness will begin over Rome.
This is a literal darkness. The precedent is found in the Old Testament. Prior to their deliverance a literal darkness came between Pharoah and Israel at the Red Sea. As darkness fell between Pharaoh and Israel at the Red Sea before the waters of the Red sea 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 (5thplague) before the Euphrates is “dried up” (6th plague). As this supernatural 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.
Note the TYPE in the Exodus from Egypt to the promised land and the ANTI-TYPE in the End-time exodus to the promised land.
Plagues fell on Egypt
Plagues fall on the world
God's people go into the wilderness
God's people flee into the wilderness
Pharaoh's army pursue God's people
Babylon's army pursue the saints
Red sea helps pharaoh (traps saints)
Wicked help Babylon (surround saints)
Darkness falls on the Egyptians (Josh 24:7)
Darkness falls on beast & army - 5th Plague
Red sea dries up
Euphrates dries up - 6th Plague
Israel delievered at the Red Sea
God's people delivered by Christ
Pharaoh destroyed by the Red Sea
Babylon destroyed by ex-supporters
Israel sings the Song of Deliverance
Saints sing the song of Moses & the Lamb
This is similar to the experience at the cross when DARKNESS covered the earth (Matt 27:45, Mark 15:33, Luke 23:44).
Church condemns Christ to death
Church condemns the saints to death
State condemns Christ to death
State condemns the saints to death
Christ suffers on the cross
Saints suffer under death decree - Rev 13
Darkness toward end of suffering
Darkness toward end of suffering.
Darkness distracts the wicked
Darkness distracts the wicked.
Cries for Christ's death dries up
Wicked's intent to slay saints dries up - 6th plague
Great Earthquake - 7th plague
Graves open - special resurrection.
Again we see darkness comes just prior to deliverance. Christ died, and because He died we are delivered. Thus, darkness appears to precede deliverance.
Spreading from Rome, the seat of the beast, the darkness will envelop the world for the kingdom of the beast will at this time be worldwide. “All the world wondered after the beast.” Rev 13:3
John 3:19 states: “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 reject the light of God’s word / truth will be covered with literal darkness.
Note the following:
“When the protection of human laws shall be withdrawn from those who honor the law of God, there will be, in different lands, a simultaneous movement for their destruction. As the time appointed in the decree draws near, the people will conspire to root out the hated sect. It will be determined to strike in one night a decisive blow, which shall utterly silence the voice of dissent and reproof.
The people of God--some in prison cells, some hidden in solitary retreats in the forests and the mountains--still plead for divine protection, while in every quarter companies of armed men, urged on by hosts of evil angels, are preparing for the work of death. It is now, in the hour of utmost extremity, that the God of Israel will interpose for the deliverance of His chosen... 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 and seems 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 God's covenant and long to be shielded from its overpowering brightness.” Great Controversy p. 634-636
“… and they gnawed their tongues for pain,..
The pain is because of their sores - see verse 11,
11. And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.
This text shows that some of those who received the sores under the first plague are still alive under this, the fifth plague, proving that the plagues come in one generation and do not immediately kill all those they afflict.
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.”
SIXTH PLAGUE – SYMBOLIC LANGUAGE (EUPHRATES)
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.
There is a principle in Bible prophecy that the literal & local in the Old Testament typify the spiritual & global in the End-time:
Literal local Babylon of Nebuchadnezzar transitions to Spiritual Babylon in Rev 17
Literal local Israel of the OT transitions to spiritual Israel - true Christian church.
Literal local Jezebel of the OT transitions to spiritual Jezebel of Rev 2:20
Literal local Euphrates transitions to the spiritual Euphrates of Rev 9:14 & 16:12.
Literal local sanctuary transitions to the heavenly sanctuary for all mankind.
Literal local 7 churches transitions to the spiritual 7 churches of Revelation 2&3
The literal Euphrates river supported literal Babylon and in keeping with the transition from literal to spiritual, the Euphrates here in the sixth plague represents the supporters of spiritual Babylon, seas or waters being symbolic of peoples, nations, and tongues (Rev 17:15).
King Cyrus came from the east (Jer 50:38; 51:36; Isa 44:27)
Cyrus dried up the literal Euphrates (Jer 50:38; 51:36; Isa 44:27)
The Euphrates river supported literal Babylon. It was its lifeblood.
Cyrus conquered literal Babylon by drying up the Euphrates.
Cyrus delivered Godʼs people.
Cyrus is a type of Christ.
Christ, the King of kings, will return from the east (Matt 24:27)
Christ will come with the “kings” who are presently in heaven (Rev 5:10)
Hence “the Kings of the East” – plural.
Waters (Rev 17:15) of the spiritual Euphrates supports spiritual Babylon (Rev 17:15)
The support of the spiritual river Euphrates for spiritual Babylon will dry up.
Christ will liberate His people.
“And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, …”
In the original language the root word from which “Euphrates” is derived means, “to break forth, rushing.” This word is used because when the snow melts in the Armenian highlands at the source of the Euphrates, the waters overflow their banks.
The OT writers employed the overflowing of the Euphrates to represent the invasion of Israel by her northern enemies, 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
*Remember literal Babylon was the King of the North – Jer 6:22, Ezekiel 26:7,8. No surprise that “…WATERS rise up out of the NORTH,* and shall be an overflowing flood,…” symbolically describing the literal King of the North attacking Israel. Will send that study on the King of the North as found in Daniel chapter 2, yes, chapter 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 referred to as “the Flood.”
The following texts (Josh 24:2,3) are not referring to Noah’s flood.
Terah, Abraham and Joshua lived after Noah’s flood.
Abraham was from Ur of the Chaldees (Babylon)
The word translated FLOOD in Josh 24:2,3 is “nahar”
“nahar” means river or stream.
Ur of the Chaldees was near the Euphrates.
Hence, “Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood” means they dwelt on the other side of the river, the river Euphrates near Ur of the Chaldees.
“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 word “flood,” which points us to the Euphrates river, has been used to represent the persecutors of God’s people throughout Daniel & Revelation despite different words being translated flood in the following verses.
“...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 swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.” Rev 12:15-16
The Euphrates is, therefore, seen to represent the enemies of God’s people who are none other than the supporters of Babylon.
The Euphrates of Rev 16:12 represents the supporters of Spiritual Babylon
LOCAL Babylon in the Old Testament sat upon, or was built over, the river Euphrates. The waters of the river sustained and irrigated the city and without the river Babylon would have ceased to exist. In Rev 17 the Lord symbolizes Babylon as a great whore sitting upon many waters. Babylon here has transitioned from the local and literal Babylon of King Nebuchadnezzar to the global and spiritual Babylon known as Papal Rome, the harlot woman with the name “Mystery, Babylon the Great, The Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the Earth”. Rev 17:5
As literal Babylon was supported by the literal Euphrates river which was dried up by Cyrus before she fell so spiritual Babylon is supported by the waters (Rev 17:15) of the spiritual Euphrates. This support will be dried up before the fall of Babylon when her supporters will abandon her.
The fall of literal Babylon typifies the fall of end-time spiritual Babylon - Papal Rome & her Protestant harlot daughters. See elsewhere in this website for the identity of Babylon.
LOCAL BABYLON OF DANIEL
SPIRITUAL BABYLON OF REVELATION
That Great City
That Great City - Rev 17:18
Babylon supported by the waters of the literal Euphrates.
Babylon sits on many waters (Rev 17:15) - supported by the spiritual Euphrates.
The Euphrates river was literal & local
Euphrates symbolic of supporters - Rev 17
The Euphrates sustained local Babylon
Euphrates sustains spiritual Babylon
The Euphrates was dried up before literal Babylon fell
Spiritual Euphrates dried up before spiritual Babylon falls.
Euphrates dried up by King Cyrus who came from the East.
'Euphrates dried up by the Kings of the East.
Cyrus conquered local Babylon
Christ will conquer spiritual Babylon.
Cyrus liberated God's people.
Christ will liberate God's people
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 and seems 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.” Great Controversy, p. 635-636.
When the supporters of Babylon see that the commandment keeping saints are the chosen of God they will 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.
“When the voice of God turns the captivity of His people, there is a terrible awakening of those who have lost all in the great conflict of life... The world see the very class whom they have mocked and derided, and desired to exterminate, pass unharmed through pestilence, tempest, and earthquake. He who is to the transgressors of His law a devouring fire, is to His people a safe pavilion” GC 654.
Billions of Babylon’s supporters who were convinced by their leaders that the saints must be annihilated will be confronted with this shattering evidence that the small remnant whom they were intending to destroy are protected by God.
The supporters of spiritual Babylon realize that those they despised and hated are the remnant of God and they themselves are lost. All support for the system of Babylon which has led them to this horrendous point is dried up and the wicked turn to those who deceived them. Speaking of this time Jeremiah states:
“Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD...Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the LORD.” Jer 23:1-2
When the wicked realize that they have forfeited heaven what a recompense will be meted out to the false shepherds:
“Because with lies ye have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad; and strengthened the hands of the wicked, that he should not return from his wicked way, by promising him life:” Eze 13:22. Reminds one of the Eve in the Garden – thou shalt surely not die. Sin & live.
“The minister who has sacrificed truth to gain the favor of men now discerns the character and influence of his teachings....Every emotion of the soul, every line written, every word uttered, every act that led men to rest in a refuge of falsehood, has been scattering seed; and now, in the wretched, lost souls around him, he beholds the harvest.” GC 654-655
The tables are turned. The false shepherds who led their followers to surround the saints to destroy them now find themselves surrounded by the mobs. What a terrible time this will be! Under such devastating exposure the unfaithful clergy, in aweful remorse confess their deception and admit that those they persecuted were the true church of God. Like Haman who fell at Esther’s feet (Est 7:8) when he realized his fate, the corrupt clergy fall at the saint’s feet:
“Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.” Rev 3:9
“No language can express the longing which the disobedient and disloyal feel for that which they have lost forever--eternal life. Men whom the world has worshiped for their talents and eloquence now see these things in their true light. They realize what they have forfeited by transgression, and they fall at the feet of those whose fidelity they have despised and derided, and confess that God has loved them.” GC 655
Jer 25:34-35 “Howl, ye shepherds, and cry; and wallow yourselves [in the ashes], ye principal of the flock: for the days of your slaughter and of your dispersions are accomplished; and ye shall fall like a pleasant vessel. And the shepherds shall have no way to flee, nor the principal of the flock to escape.”
“I saw that the priests who are leading on their flock to death are soon to be arrested in their dreadful career. The plagues of God are coming, but it will not be sufficient for the false shepherds to be tormented with one or two of these plagues. God's hand at that time will be stretched out still in wrath and justice and will not be brought to Himself again until His purposes are fully accomplished, and the hireling priests are led to worship at the feet of the saints, and to acknowledge that God has loved them because they held fast the truth and kept God's commandments..” EW 124
The confessions of the clergy will push their deceived followers over the edge and they react with frightful violence...
“Loud, wailing cries were heard in every direction, "It was you who kept me from receiving the truth which would have saved me from this awful hour." The people turned upon their ministers with bitter hate and reproached them, saying, "You have not warned us. You told us that all the world was to be converted, and cried, Peace, peace, to quiet every fear that was aroused. You have not told us of this hour; and those who warned us of it you declared to be fanatics and evil men, who would ruin us." But I saw that the ministers did not escape the wrath of God. Their suffering was tenfold greater than that of their people.” EW 282
“The people see that they have been deluded. They accuse one another of having led them to destruction; but all unite in heaping their bitterest condemnation upon the ministers. Unfaithful pastors have prophesied smooth things; they have led their hearers to make void the law of God and to persecute those who would keep it holy. Now, in their despair, these teachers confess before the world their work of deception. The multitudes are filled with fury. "We are lost!" they cry, "and you are the cause of our ruin;" and they turn upon the false shepherds. The very ones that once admired them most will pronounce the most dreadful curses upon them. The very hands that once crowned them with laurels will be raised for their destruction. The swords which were to slay God's people are now employed to destroy their enemies. Everywhere there is strife and bloodshed.” GC 655-656
This is the drying up of the Euphrates and its terrible result. The wicked world-wide withdrawing their support from the corrupt religious leadership and system of Babylon.
“The false watchmen are the first to fall. There are none to pity or to spare. Men, women, maidens, and little children perish together.” GC 656
In its final moments spiritual Babylon surrounds the saints to slay them but comes to its end and none shall help it. “And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.” Dan 11:45 (Will send you the study on Daniel 11)
Having slaughtered the corrupt clergy the people set upon each other:
“And it shall come to pass in that day, [that] a great tumult from the LORD shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour.” Zech 14:13
“After the saints had been delivered by the voice of God, the wicked multitude turned their rage upon one another. The earth seemed to be deluged with blood, and dead bodies were from one end of it to the other.” Early Writings p. 290
When Christ finally arrives He will slay the remnant:
“And the remnant were slain...” Rev 19:21
“…. that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.”
THE KINGS OF THE EAST
The Kings of the East are Christ, the King of Kings and the Elders presently in heaven described in these words in Rev 5:6-10
5:6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.
5:7 And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.
5:8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.
5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
5:10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
As seen previously, the scenario of harps, singing a new song, redeemed and made kings & priests is one of deliverance. The elders are therefore part of Christs entourage with the angels and described as “the Kings of the East”.
In the last great conflict there will only be two sides:
The wicked and the righteous.
Those who keep the commandments of God and those who don’t.
Those who are steadfast & loyal to the Sabbath and those who aren’t.
The kings of the east vs “the kings of the earth and of the whole world” (Rev 16:14).
The kings of the east are set in CONTRA-DISTINCTION to “the kings of the earth..."
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” – “a ROYAL priesthood” (Rev 1:6; 5:10, 1Peter 2:9) 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).
He will come with the kings who are presently with Him in heaven. cf. Rev 5:10.
Godʼs glory comes from the east (Eze 43:2).
The sealing message comes from the East (Rev 7).
The Word of the Lord is found in the East and North – Amos 8:12
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.
Referring to Christ’s return we read, “Soon our eyes were drawn to the east, for a small black cloud had appeared, about half as large as a man's hand, which we all knew was the sign of the Son of man. We all in solemn silence gazed on the cloud as it drew nearer and became lighter, glorious, and still more glorious, till it was a great white cloud.” Early Writings p. 15
By drying up the support of spiritual Babylon Christ prepares the way for His return
By withdrawing their support from Babylon the wicked essentially confess to their sin in having supported Babylon. This admission prepares the way for their destruction. The wheat and the tares will be fully developed then Christ can return to reap the wheat and burn the tares.
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). As the waters of the Red Sea destroyed Pharaoh so the waters (nations, tongues peoples- Rev 17:15) of the spiritual ‘Euphrates’ will destroy spiritual Babylon (Papal Rome & her harlot daughters). This betrayal of Babylon by her supporters is described in Rev 17.
Psalm 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.”
At the SUPERNATURAL DARKNESS of the fifth plague the wicked will realize they are forever lost. All will heap their hatred upon the ministers and priests who had led them into error resulting in the drying up of the support of spiritual Babylon. Christ will return from the east, conquer spiritual Babylon and liberate Spiritual Israel – His true commandment keeping church. This was typified by King Cyrus who came from the east, dried up the literal Euphrates, conquered literal Babylon & liberated literal Israel.
“… might be prepared”
PREPARED FOR THE HARVEST
Christ will destroy Babylon at His Second Advent and in preparation for this the wicked will condemn Babylon themselves as her support dries up. By turning on Babylon even the wicked will demonstrate that Christ’s judgment is just. The wheat and the tares will be fully developed then Jesus can return and destroy the one and reap the harvest of the other (Matt 13:24-30; Rev 14:14-20]
Verses 13 to 16 are parenthetical and describe things which are presently happening. The Battle of Armageddon takes in verses 13 to 16 with the seventh plague commencing in verse 17.
Following the sixth plague there is an interlude between it and the seventh plague. This is not an unusual arrangement in Revelation as noted below:
Between the 6th and 7th SEALS there is an interlude.
The 6th seal is seen in Revelation chapter 6
Whereas the 7th seal commences in Revelation chapter 8
Between these events is the sealing of Revelation chapter 7
Chapter 7 is in response to the question who shall be able to stand? – Rev 6:17
The sealing of the 144,000is presently happening.
Between the 6th and 7th TRUMPETS there is an interlude.
The 6th trumpet is sounded in Revelation chapter 9
The 7th trumpet blows in Revelation chapter 11
Between these events is the rise of the Advent Movement in Revelation 10.
This movement was to blow the 7th trumpet heralding in the Judgment - 1844.
The Advent movement was to “prophesy again” which is presently happening.
7 LAST PLAGUES
Between the 6th and 7th PLAGUES there is an interlude.
The 6th plague is poured out in Revelation chapter 16 verse 12.
The 7th plague is also poured out in Revelation chapter 16 verse 17.
Between these plagues are described things which are presently happening.
The three frogs are presently gathering men to the final battle.
These events will culminate in the Battle of Armageddon.
Note the following:
“The Spirit of God is gradually withdrawing from the world. Satan IS also mustering his forces of evil, going forth "unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world," to gather them under his banner, to be trained for "the battle of that great day of God Almighty" [Rev. 16:14].” Last Day Events p. 249. The S.D.A. Bible Commentary 7:983 (1890). Emphasis on the word “IS”, supplied – i.e. present tense, presently happening.
THE BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON – Revelation 16:13-16
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.
“And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs …”
The three unclean spirits like frogs come from the mouth of the counterfeits of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit:
1. The Dragon (Paganism)
2. The Beast (Papalism)
3. The False prophet (Apostate Protestantism (cf. Rev 13:13-14, 19:20).
As the Lordʼs three angels (symbolizing God 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 mention 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 tongues of deceivers & false prophets multitudes will be deceived to join Satanʼs side – note, he is the great deceiver & accuser of the brethren (Rev 12:9,10)
The three frogs will lead men to receive the MARK OF THE BEAST. The Three angels lead men to receive the SEAL OF GOD. This is presently happening.
“… out of the mouth of the dragon…”
“The dragon is that old serpent, the devil and satan” (Rev 12:9) The mouth is the instrument of speech. These three frogs, coming as they do from the mouth, represent the policies & false teachings of the trinity of evil:
1. The Dragon - Paganism (spiritualism)
2. The Beast - Papalism
3. The False prophet - Apostate Protestantism (beast’s harlot daughters of Rev 17)
“while the dragon, primarily, represents Satan, it is, in a secondary sense, a symbol of pagan Rome” GC 438.
“Through the great powers controlled by paganism and the papacy, symbolized by the DRAGON and the leopard-like BEAST Satan for many centuries destroyed God's faithful witnesses.” 4SP 276. The dragon (Satan) gave Papal Rome its power, seat and great authority – Rev 13:2
“Paganism had given place to the papacy. The DRAGON had given to the BEAST ‘his power, and his seat, and great authority.’ Rev 13:2.” GC 54. See on Rev 12
“… and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.”
The false prophet “spake as a dragon”. See study on Revelation 13:11-17 & 19:20-21
“And Satan unites with Protestants and Papists, acting in consort with them as the god of this world, dictating to men as if they were the subjects of his kingdom, to be handled and governed and controlled as he pleases.” Mar 191
Paganism (spiritualism), Papalism and Apostaste Protestantism make up the three parts of global spiritual Babylon. At the time of Christ’s return their temporary unity will collapse and they will break into three (See Rev 16:19).
Revelation 19:20 describes the fate of the Beast (Papal Rome) and the False prophet (Apostate Protestantism) at Christ’s Second Coming. Rev 20 describes the fate of the Dragon - the Devil.
The Dragon is primarily Satan (Rev 12:9) but is also used in Rev 12 in a secondary way to represent Pagan Rome. For this reason the Dragon is used as a term for paganism in general when associated with the beast (Papalism) and the false prophet (Apostate Protestantism).
In speaking of the destruction of these three powers in Rev 19-20 the primary definition of the Dragon is used i.e. Satan. The Pagans, followers of the dragon, beast & false prophet who are destroyed at Christ’s advent are called “the remnant” in Rev 19:21.
“For they [the frogs] are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world,…”
The three angels and the three frogs or unclean spirits go to all the world to gather them to the battle of Armageddon.
God’s last MESSAGES to the world are given by THREE angels (See Rev 14:6-14).
Satan’s counterfeit MESSAGES are given by THREE frogs - like fallen angels.
The 3 angels messages come from the MOUTHS of God’s people – Rev 14: 6-12
The 3 frogs messages come from the MOUTHS - dragon, beast & false prophet.
The three angels bear God’s message to the whole world.
The three frogs bear Satan’s message to “the whole world.”
The messages of the frog-like devils is contrary to the three angel’s messages.
The spirits of devils will perform miracles to deceive (cf. Matt 24:24; Rev 13:13)
Through lying deceivers & false prophets multitudes will turn to Satan.
The three angels are the true call in contrast to the three frogs.
Both groups call people to Armageddon.
The three angels rally men to Christ’s side.
The three frogs rally men to Satan’s side.
“… to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.”
THE BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON
The messages of these evil spirits are presently going to all the world to unite all against the truth of God and His messengers. Under Satanic influence and deception Satan is presently using literature, radio, television etc. to rally all the world to the Battle of Armageddon.
Last Day Events, p249 [bracketed comment supplied for emphasis]
“The Spirit of God is gradually withdrawing from the world. Satan IS [presently] also mustering his forces of evil, going forth "unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world," to gather them under his banner, to be trained for "the battle of that great day of God Almighty" [Rev. 16:14].”
The Three Angel’s Messages are NOW rallying men to God’s side. The Three Frog’s Messages are NOW rallying men to Satan’s side.
For statements referring to the gathering presently happening see: PK 373-6; EW 74-75; 6T 133; 7T172; 9T 51.
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.
Behold, I come as a thief.
“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.
Christʼs second coming will be as a thief.
It will be unexpected by the wicked / unrighteous. cf Parable of Matt 24:42-51
It will visible (Matt 24:29-30; Rev 6:14-16; Heb 9:28)
It will be audible (Ps 50:3)
It will be glorious (Matt 26:64).
Sudden destruction will come upon the unrighteous or wicked.
They shall not escape the destruction – probation has closed long ago for all.
But God’s people, the righteous, are not in darkness.
God’s people will “WATCH” (prepare spiritually) and be ready – Matt 24:42-44
We are told the sealing is not a visible mark “… but a settling into the truth both intellectually and spiritually so they cannot be moved…”. LDE 219.4.
“Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his 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).
In other words, Blessed are those who watch and keep their garments of righteousness.
When the character of Christ shall be perfectly reproduced in his people, then he will come to claim them as his own. COL p. 69.1
The fact that this counsel of watching and keeping one’s garments is given in the context of Armageddon shows that Armageddon is a battle over sin and righteousness and is Satan’s final attempt to use the apostates of the world as a tool to pressure the faithful into sin.
Evidently many Christians will loose their garments of righteousness. These apostates will side with Satan and pass laws condemning to death (Rev 13:15) those who persist in keeping all of Godʼs commandments.
“… lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.”
Adam & Eve sinned in the garden and as a consequence saw their nakedness and were ashamed to appear before God. They attempted to conceal their nakedness with the fig leave garments.
Note the sequence of events in the Garden.
The Serpent beguiles Eve and she sins.
Eve seduces Adam and he sins.
After sinning, they noticed they were NAKED.
They were ashamed to appear before God NAKED.
They sewed fig leaves together to cover their NAKEDNESS – man’s work.
Their sin made them hide from God when He came calling.
God in His love & mercy made them coats of skins – Gen 3:21, Rev 13:8
God covers them with the skin of a slain lamb – God’s work.
Naked means “in sin” cf Gen 3:7 without the robe of Christ’s righteousness
Hence to walk naked is to continue in sin & not be clothed with Christ’s garment.
16. And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.
“He” is Satan or possibly “they,” the spirits under Satan’s leadership. “They” is the translation of: “The Syriac Testament”, Sawyer's translation, Wesley's version of the New Testament, Whiting's translation; Albert Barnes, Mr. Wakefield translation of the New Testament.
“… gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon”
The Kings of the East and of the whole world are to be gathered together to Armageddon. It appears that the Holy spirit intended us to study Armageddon in the context of Hebrew history (Hebrew tongue).
There are several different views as to what Armageddon is but the primary views today are:
(1) A global battle ending in total annihilation.
(2) A literal battle in the Middle East between nations - Russians from the North, Africans from the South, Europeans and Americans from the West and 200,000,000 Chinese swarming in from the East.
(3) A Spiritual battle between Godʼs followers and Satanʼs followers.
Armageddon is 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” or congregation.
(b) There is no place on earth called “Armageddon,” 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, approximately 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.
(c) 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 asking Adam and Eve, “Where art thou?” God was not referring to their physical location but their spiritual state as He knew where they were physically hiding. They were in sin.
(d) There is no place on earth called “Armageddon,” 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.”
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. War will rage in the last days (Matt 24 & SOP) but not an Armageddon type literal war.
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 truth and error. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Eph 6:12
John no doubt saw armies gathered to a place but this is evidently figurative of men being gathered into a “condition,” or frame of mind - a union to annihilate the people of God.
The gathering is not to a literal location on earth but to the “Mount of the Congregation. The Mount of the congregation is Mount Zion to which God gathers His congregation. The Mount of the Congregation is the church. The picture is of the wicked uniting in purpose to the mount of the Congregation to annihilate the saints.
As the plagues are worldwide events then Armageddon would be a worldwide event.
Satan will rally the nations of the world to come up and destroy Mount ZION - the church. The saints world-wide will be surround by the wicked (cf. Dan 11:45; Matt 24:15) but Michael will stand up & deliver His people. (Dan 12:1-2).
Rev 12:17 “And the dragon was wroth with the woman [the true church], and went to make war [the Battle of Armageddon] with the remnant of her seed [the last members of the true church], which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”
“A terrible conflict is before us. We are nearing the battle of the great day of God Almighty. That which has been held in control is to be let loose. The angel of mercy is folding her wings, preparing to step down from the throne, and leave the world to the control of Satan. The principalities and powers of earth are in bitter revolt against the God of heaven. They are filled with hatred against those who serve him, and soon, very soon, will be fought the last great battle between good and evil. The earth is to be the battlefield --the scene of the final contest and the final victory. Here, where for so long Satan has led men against God, rebellion is to be forever suppressed.” Review & Herald 13 May 1902
“We need to study the pouring out of the seventh vial. The powers of evil will not yield up the conflict without a struggle. But Providence has a part to act in the battle of Armageddon. When the earth is lighted with the glory of the angel of Revelation eighteen, the religious elements, good and evil, will awake from slumber, and the armies of the living God will take the field (MS 175, 1899).” 7BC 983
“Two great opposing powers are revealed in the last great battle. On one side stands the Creator of heaven and earth. All on His side bear His signet. They are obedient to His commands. On the other side stands the prince of darkness, with those who have chosen apostasy and rebellion (RH May 7, 1901).” 7BC 982-983
THE SEVENTH PLAGUE – Literal & figurative.
17. And 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 done.
“And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air;”
This is a global event as AIR is global so the seventh plague poured out into the air will be a global event.
“… and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, …”
God’s voice will deliver the saints. “The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem, and the heavens and the earth shall shake; but the Lord will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.” Joel 3:16. (See also Jer 25:30; Heb.12:26)
“… saying, It is done.”
Christ cried “It is done,” as He died on the cross in the place of guilty sinners. At the time when those who refused His sacrifice perish, these words will be heard again. The sealed saints are protected throughout the seven last plagues as Noah and His family were protected throughout the horrors of the Flood. See Psalm 91.
18.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.
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 Great City is Babylon. The unity of Babylon is broken up and the fruits of Satan’s ways are manifest to all. God will not come until this has occurred. cf. Rev 17:17. Babylon is a composite three part system of pagan idolatry and not just Papal Rome (The Beast) but includes Apostate Protestantism (the false prophet) and Spiritualism (the Dragon)
“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 THREEFOLD 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 THREEFOLD UNION, this country will follow in the steps of Rome in trampling on the rights of conscience. . . . Papists, Protestants, and worldling 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.” E.G. White, Maranatha, p190.
*Who said, “thou shalt surely not die”? – immortality of the soul. Why it was the Dragon that old serpent, called the devil and satan. Hence the Dragon is not only symbolic of the devil but of Spiritualism as well.
DESTRUCTION ON ITS WAY
20. And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.
Verse 18 says, “a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.” This is an amazingly incomprehensible earthquake where the islands and mountains are not found.
21. And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.
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 hailshall 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 He has “reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war.” Job 38:22, 23.
I do not like speculating but now here’s a thought about great the hail and its just a thought. It is known today that comets are giant snowballs of ice and rocky debri. Look up comets on Google. Perhaps the hail is presently somewhere out in the darkness of space as God told Job destined to collide with earth on the day God has appointed during the great time of trouble. Every hail about the weight of a talent or 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 destruction 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.
Note the similarity between the Seven Trumpets and the Seven Last Plagues.
THE 7 TRUMPETS - 7 FIRST PLAGUES
THE 7 LAST PLAGUES
1. Fell upon the earth - Rev 16:2
2. Fell upon the sea - Rev 8:8
2. Fell upon the sea - Rev 16:3
3. Fell upon the fresh waters - Rev 8:10
3. Fell upon the fresh waters - Rev 16:4
4. Sun darkened - Rev 9:2
4. Sun burns - Rev 16:8
5. Sun & Air darkened - Rev 9:2
Darkness - Rev 16:10
6. Fell upon the Euphrates - Rev 9:14
Euphrates dried up - Rev 16:12
7. Lightnings, thunders etc - Rev 11:15-19
Lightnings, thunders etc - Rev 16:18
The 7 trumpets are also known as plagues – Rev 9:20
One could call them the 7 first plagues according to Rev 9:20
Hence the phrase “seven last plagues” makes sense.
The 7 trumpets fall on pagan Rome destroying her.
But pagan Rome transitioned to Papal Rome in Daniel 2,7,8,11
The seven last plagues fall on Papal Rome, destroying her.
The similarity between the two makes sense. It is the same system of PAGANISM.
The seven trumpets have literal words with symbolic meaning.
The 7 last plagues have literal words with literal meaning except for the 6th plague – the drying up of the “Euphrates”.
WHERE ARE WE IN THE TIMELINE OF THE PROPHECIES?
We live in the time of the feet of Iron & Clay of Daniel 2 – Papal Rome
We live in the time of the Little Horn of Daniel 7 – Papal Rome
We live in the time of the Little Horn of Daniel 8 – Papal Rome
We live in the time of the King of the North of Daniel 11 – Papal Rome.
We live in “the time of the end” which began in 1798 – Dan 7:25, 11:35,40
We live in the time of the judgment – the Day of Atonement – Dan 8:14
We live in the time of the 7th Church of Rev 3:14 - Laodicean condition
We live in the time of the sixth seal between the 13th & 14th verses of Rev chapter 6.
We live in the time of the sounding of the 7th Trumpet – Rev 10:7, 11:15-19
We live in the time of the 6th King of Revelation 17.
There is not much time left, not much remaining prophecy to fulfil:
-The fall of the 6th King of Revelation 17 - Atheism embedded in Communism
-The healing of the Deadly Wound of the First Beast (Papal Rome) of Rev 13:1-10
-The Mark of the Beast (the Mark of Papal Rome). - legislation & enforcement of Sunday laws
-The Latter Rain and loud cry.
-The death decree, the passage of which tells us that probation HAS closed.
-Satan’s personation of Christ. Matt 24
-Deliverance & The Second Coming.
May God bless you as you study into these things.