THIRD BOWL JUDGMENTS – CONTINUED
FURTHER EXAMINATION OF THE GREAT EUPHRATES RIVER
Previously we began to examine the Euphrates River and end-time events concerning this important river. We have looked at the characteristics of the river and saw that Scripture clearly states that the Euphrates River will be dried up. Today we begin with the reason for the drying up of the Euphrates. The reason is to allow a great armed confederation of nations to form and march against Israel and to exterminate the Jews.
Note: Revelation 14:20. Previously we had reviewed this verse and examined the Terror of Armageddon, the place where the wrath of God is to fall upon the earth. Note some significant facts:
FACT: The winepress of God’s judgment is trampled down “outside the city.” The city always refers to Jerusalem. No doubt you remember some facts we looked at. This is a reference to what the Bible and believers call…
- the great battle of Armageddon.
- the great day of the Lord.
- the final battle of human history.
- the judgment of God upon the ungodly and evil of this age.
- the end of Satan’s rule upon earth.
For further facts go back to our Study on Revelation 14:20. We will look at this again later as we dig into Revelation 19:17-21. Now back to the reason for the drying up of the Euphrates river, the previous intro to this study.
NOTE: The confederation formed is called The Kings of the East. Remember two things:
1. No matter how sophisticated weapons get, it takes a soldier to set foot on a land to conquer it.
2. A foot soldier is needed to conquer a nation when the conquerors want to preserve the land. Atomic weapons would only destroy the land and make it unusable for decades.
In the end times the nations or kings of the east will want to preserve Palestine for its land and its enormous wealth. Therefore, they will march against it with foot soldiers and weapons that will kill but preserve the land itself.
God will apparently help the advancement of the troops by seeing that the great Euphrates River is dried up when the march begins. The point is this: when the Antichrist and the confederation of nations under his power begin to march against Israel, the other nations of the world apparently become edgy and nervous. The reason may be…
- the fear of a military move to conquer the world by beginning in Palestine.
- the resources of the Middle East and the threat to those resources (such as oil).
- the insanity of the extermination a whole people and nation like the Jews.
“And the sixth angel poured out his vial [bowl] upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared” (Revelation 16:12; Ezekiel chapters 38-39).
“And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever” (Daniel 2:44).
“And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore” (Isaiah 2:4).
“But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth: with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked” (Isaiah 11:4).
“Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles; Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up: beat our plowshares into swords and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong. Assemble ourselves, and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together round about: thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, O LORD. Let the heathen be wakened, and come up the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about. Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great. Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision. The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining. 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 3:9-16).
“Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the LORD, until the day that I rise up to the prey: for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy” (Zephaniah 3:8).
“And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth” (Zechariah 9:10).
“And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem” (Zechariah 12:9; Zechariah 12:1-9).
This is the source or the spirit behind the confederation of nations. NOTE: This verse says that all the nations of the earth are going to be involved in the great battle of Armageddon.
- The Kings of the EAST: all the nations east of Palestine, apparently involving the Arabs, China, and all the other eastern nations. These will probably be headed up by the Antichrist.
- The Kings of the NORTH: ALL THE NATIONS NORTH OF Palestine including Russia.
- The Kings of the SOUTH: all nations south of Palestine including the nations of Africa.
- The Kings of the WEST: all the nations west of Palestine including a western alliance and involving some of the European nations and probably including America and other nations of the Americas and Canada.
Armies will gather from EVERY NATION with each taking sides to protect its own interest. As stated, the point of the conflict may be oil in the Middle East or the utter insanity of the Antichrist to exterminate a whole people like the Jews, or it may be some other interest that we know nothing about yet.
The point is to see is this: in the last days all nations of the world will converge upon the Middle East and be stationed within the borders of Palestine at Megiddo. Each of the nations will join forces with two or more sides. They will be there to protect their own national interests in the Middle East and Palestine.
NOTE what is behind the whole scene? evil spirits. Evil spirits are giving power to the mouth of the Antichrist and his False Prophet. This means the power to influence and deceive the leaders of other nations. The evil spirits will give the two leaders supernatural power to inspire their confederation to march and conquer Palestine.
All the other nations will march to protect their interest in the region (perhaps oil). The description of the evil spirits as frogs symbolizes the ability to leap and spread the deception from the Dragon (the Devil) to the Antichrist and to his False Prophet or executive officer and then to each of the nations. The picture is that of the demons working miracles. What kind of miracles? Scripture does not say, but the idea is that of….
- DECEPTIVE dreams of glory.
- GLORIOUS triumphs and visions of grandeur.
- SETTING PASSIONS AFLAME and of striking fear within the heart, and arousing bitterness and hate among nations.
The result of the evil spirits is the gathering together of ALL the armies of the world to the place in Palestine called Armageddon or the valley and mountain of Megiddo. This is the great valley that runs through the middle of Palestine from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River. It is about 200 miles long and ten miles wide.
“And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him” (Revelation 12:9).
“And I saw three unclean spirits like FROGS come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty” (Revelation 16:13-14).
FACT: That is the day of Armageddon. The day when all this will happen is called by Scripture “the great day of God, the Almighty.” This is the day the armies of the world will be destroyed, all the ungodly and evil of this world. It is the day when Jesus Christ WILL RETURN TO RULE AND REIGN OVER THE EARTH. When all the armies are gathered together for the battle then Jesus Christ WILL CONSUMMATE this age of grace. Time and history as we know it will be no more. Godliness and righteousness will be brought to earth by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.
This is the great warning of Christ to the people of the earth – watch and be prepared. Only those who have kept themselves unspotted from the worldliness of this earth and from following the Antichrist will escape the terrible judgment coming.
A person must be clothed in the white garment of the Lord’s righteousness. The person must trust and diligently seek the righteousness of Jesus Christ or else he will be found naked and stripped of the white garment of the Lord’s righteousness.
NOTE: Jesus Christ says He is returning to earth as a thief, totally unexpected. Just when He is coming back for the believers of the Tribulation period is not known — not by anyone. Therefore, ALL MUST WATCH AND BE PREPARED.
NOTE: The place of the great battle is called Armageddon or the great valley of Megiddo in Palestine. (check out Revelation 19:17-21 for more information).
“Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh” (Matthew 25:13).
“Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them” (Luke 12:37).
“Ye are the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober” (I Thessalonians 5:5-6).
“Behold I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown” (Revelation 3:11).
“Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame” (Revelation 16:15).
Now we come to the seventh bowl judgment (v. 17). It is poured out into the air or atmosphere. The very air man breathes is affected, it could be poisoned. To some extent the very breath of life is taken from some people.
NOTE THREE POINTS.
1. God’s thundering voice announces, “it is done.” The judgment upon ALL the ungodly and evil armies of the world is seen consummated; all the armies of the ungodly and evil nations are wiped out by the judgment of God.
2. Nature breaks loose in the most terrifying devastation and horror imaginable. The most awesome and spectacular display of the power and glory of God is launched. There will be violent storms and a world-wide catastrophic earthquake. Imagine an earthquake that will violently affect the whole world. The Amplified New Testament states it well:
“And there were flashes of lightning and loud rumblings and peals of thunder; and there was a massive earthquake—nothing like it has ever occurred since mankind originated on the earth, so severe and far-reaching was that earthquake” (Revelation 16:18).
a. The great city of Babylon will be shaken by the earthquake and divided into three parts Revelation 16:19.
b. There will be whole cities throughout the nations of the world that will collapse into utter ruin (v. 19).
c. The great world capital, Babylon, will be remembered by God, and He will especially pour upon her the cup and fierceness of His wrath (v. 19).
d. Much of the earth will literally break up; some islands and mountains will disappear (v. 20).
e. The storms will rain great hailstones out of heaven weighting up to one hundred pounds (v. 21).
3. This is the reaction of the ungodly and evil survivors of the world. They still blame and blaspheme God, and still DO NOT REPENT. We would expect repentance, but the ungodly and evil of the last days will be as hard and stubborn as the ungodly and evil are today.
“And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast [the Antichrist] rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy” (Revelation 13:1).
“And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and REPENTED NOT of their deeds” (Revelation 16:11).
Perhaps as you have been involved with today’s study you have been challenged to think about your future and heaven. If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, please read John 3:16 and Romans 10:9-13.
Think about this: One of the implications of God’s constant communication to all men through natural revelation is that one can know some things about God without a Bible.
FACT: Anyone can see God’s existence, power, majesty, sovereign ruling, personality, mental reasoning, and moral character through His creation. In addition, hints in nature reveal God’s anger in some way. However, none of these generally revealed truth that comes with a handbook explaining how they are to be worked out and applied in life. Also, none of them is sufficient to establish a personal relationship with the Creator. On the contrary, these truths demonstrate that man is without excuse before a God who demands much more (Romans 1:20).
FACT: God has gone beyond the natural revelation available for all men and made Himself known to specific people in specific circumstances many times in history. This special revelation has taken many forms. Here is but one: John 3:16 and Romans 10:9-13 which are directed to you through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. But are you listening?
Please remember that Christ told Nicodemus that “he must be born again (John 3:3)” and then gave him the answer in John 3:16). You too can be born again by accepting Jesus Christ as your personal Savior…..but will you do it. If you do you will receive God’s free gift of heaven:
“For by grace are ye saved through FAITH and that not of yourselves: it IS THE GIFT OF GOD: Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9).
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