Thursday, February 15, 2018

Revelation 16:10-16 The Final Battle Against Christ


KEY TEXT: Revelation 16:10-16 The fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and its kingdom was plunged into darkness. People gnawed their tongues in anguish and cursed the God of heaven for their pain and sores. They did not repent of their deeds. The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, to prepare the way for the kings from the east. And I saw, coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs. For they are demonic spirits, performing signs, who go abroad to the kings of the whole world, to assemble them for battle on the great day of God the Almighty. ("Behold, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake, keeping his garments on, that he may not go about naked and be seen exposed!") And they assembled them at the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.

KEY THOT: Despite visible and terrible manifestations of divine wrath upon the beast and his kingdom, people on earth will remain unrepentant and will curse God instead for their pain and suffering. From the mouths of the Unholy Trinity--the dragon, the beast, the false prophets--will come three demonic spirits like frogs that would perform signs and stir the kings of the whole world for the final battle against God at a vast plain called Armageddon. The river Euphrates that serves as a boundary between the Roman Empire and the East peoples currently flows through Turkey, Syria and Iraq, three countries in the Middle-east engaged in internecine wars against ISIS and among the different tribal groups. Since 1990s, Turkey's building of 22 massive dams to create 19 hydro-electric power plants (completed in 2017) has greatly reduced the water flow into Syria and Iraq. There are times when there is little or no water flowing in the Euphrates in Syria and Iraq.

Whether Euphrates will dry up because of Turkey's relentless building of the dams for irrigation and power or by divine or demonic intervention, the net effect is a drying up of the Euphrates in the lower regions of the river over Syria and Iraq. Perhaps, when the final war begins at Armageddon, Turkey may be instrumental in cutting off the water flow by diverting waters away through their 22 dams to enable the "kings of the east" and their armies to cross into Israel for the final battle. This is no longer just an interesting theory but a potential threat that is causing alarm in Syria & Iraq: http://www.futuredirections.org.au/publication/water-shortage-crisis-escalating-in-the-tigris-euphrates-basin/.

Biblical prophecy is soon coming to pass as the scenario for the drying up of Euphrates river is now a reality. We are indeed very near the end and Jesus' warning must be taken seriously: "Behold, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake, keeping his garments on, that he may not go about naked and be seen exposed!" (v.15). The warning here is for believers to be spiritual alert ("stay awake") and to walk in the righteousness of Christ ("keeping his garments on").

It would be a mistake to be resting and relaxing in our spirit. While we may rest our bodies, we must keep our bodies and spirits undefiled in the fear of God as we prepare for His coming: "Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God." (2 Corinthians 7:1).

Abba-Father, Your kingdom is soon coming to fulfilment. Help us to stay awake and have keep our garments of righteousness on. Amen.

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