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 Revelation Chapter 16 (Part 70) (Verse 12) (Armageddon Part 1)

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PostSubject: Revelation Chapter 16 (Part 70) (Verse 12) (Armageddon Part 1)   Fri May 18, 2018 10:12 pm

Revelation Chapter 16 (Part 70) (Verse 12) (Armageddon Part 1)

Verse 12 says, “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 of the East.”  God dries up the Euphrates to help out His enemies.  God helps them by taking away an obstacle so that He can lead them to where He wants them to go.  This event prepares the way for the well-known Battle of Armageddon.  Due to the many biblical references to the Battle of Armageddon, I will be doing a separate study within our series solely on this battle.  That study will look at the relevant passages outside of the book of Revelation.  I plan for this to be an extensive, but not exhaustive study of Armageddon.  

The Euphrates River stands in the way between God’s enemies and the place that He wants them to go so He dries it up so that they can walk across it on dry ground.  This isn’t all of the kings of the Earth, this is specifically the kings of the East: mainly China, but also likely Japan.  China today is strikingly against God.  It is illegal in China to have a Christian copy of the bible.  News articles have recently reported that China is considering having its own edited rendition of the Christian bible and allowing only that to be legal among its people.  For some reason they reject the Christian bible as is.  Approximately 80 percent of Chinese people in China follow Taoism or some Chinese folk lore.  Ten to 16% are Buddhists.  One to 2 percent are Muslim.  And 2 to 4 percent are Christian—that is, a regulated version of Christianity.  Pure Christians are persecuted in China.  Why isn’t the Muslim bible detained and censored?  And shall we mention abortion in China?  While Americans are committing evil by turning its back on the 1.5 million abortions a year committed in this country, China commits 13 million per year.  That’s a 767 percentage increase than what we are committing!  The bible teaches that demons underlie the institution of abortion.  China is surely a demonic nation.  

The Euphrates River has been around a long time.  Located in Western Asia, it goes from Eastern Turkey, through Syria and Iraq, to the Tigris in the Shatt al-Arab, and empties into the Persian Gulf.  It spans 1,740 miles.  It is the largest river in Western Asia.  This river has never dried up in history, but recent reports indicate that the river is drastically decreasing in size (compared to only a few years ago) near Iraq, Turkey and Syria due to a 2 year drought and misuse of the river by Iraq and its farmers and the Turkey and Syrian governments.  

The bible predicts the River drying up in other passages.  Isaiah 11:15 says, “The LORD will dry up the gulf of the Egyptian Sea; with a scorching wind He will sweep His hand over the Euphrates River.  He will break it up into seven streams so that men can cross over in sandals.”  The surrounding passage where this verse sits is describing the Millennium.  By the time of the Millennium, the Euphrates River would have already been dried up earlier during the Tribulation, near the onset of the Armageddon; but these Millennium people are later benefiting from being able to cross the Euphrates on dry ground barefoot (to get to Jerusalem more easily and also to settle in the empty homes of where the wicked once lived).  The next verse reads, “There will be a highway for the remnant of His people that is left from Assyria, as there was for Israel when they came up from Egypt.”  The verse prior to verse 15 describes how the Ammonites will be subject to God’s people during this time, proving this is a Millennial/post-Millennial passage.  This did not happen during the Tribulation.  During the Tribulation, God’s people were martyrs and/or oppressed, not rulers.  We see from this passage that the Euphrates River will dry up into seven streams that men will be able to walk through, and the rest of it will dry up completely.  

The Euphrates will not be the only great river that God will dry up.  Zechariah 10:11 says, “They [God’s people] will pass through the sea of trouble; the surging sea will be subdued and all the depths of the Nile will dry up...”  This verse says that God will dry up the Nile River.  The part about the “sea of trouble” might be related to Jesus’ words in Luke 21:25 where He says, “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars.  On the Earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea.”  If this is so, that would place this event of the Nile drying up occurring during the time that the 144,000 are still on the Earth, which of course, is during the first half of the Tribulation period.  You recall in Revelation 8:8 that after the second angel with the Trumpet Judgment sounds his trumpet, something like a huge mountain, all ablaze, was thrown into the sea, causing even a third of the ships to be destroyed.  It says in Zechariah 10:11 that God says that His people will safely pass through the sea of trouble and He will subdue the sea for His people, and at the same time He will dry up the Nile River.  

While the Euphrates sits well beyond Israel, it can be viewed as an eastern border; whereas, the Nile also sits well outside of Israel, but can be imagined as a western border.  In fact, the Nile and the Euphrates was God’s original borders for Israel and will be established (for the first time) during the Millennium.  Genesis 15:18 says, “On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram and said, ‘To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt [that is, the Nile] to the great river, the Euphrates.’”  The Red Sea sits between both rivers.  The Nile empties into the Mediterranean Sea to the north.  The Nile is 4,258 miles long.  From the Mediterranean Sea, the Nile cuts through all of Egypt and through Sudan where it branches into two: 1.) The Blue Nile River goes from Sudan to eastward to Ethiopia.  2.) The White Nile River continues southward through South Sudan, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Regarding the Nile River during the Tribulation day: Isaiah 19:5-10 is a prophecy of Egypt, which says, “The waters of the river [that is the Nile] will dry up, and the riverbed will be parched and dry.  The canals will stink; the streams of Egypt will dwindle and dry up.  The reeds and rushes will wither, also the plants along the Nile, at the mouth of the river.  Every sown field along the Nile will become parched, will blow away and be no more.  The fishermen will groan and lament, all who cast hooks into the Nile; those who throw nets on the water will pine away.  Those who work with combed flax will despair, the weavers of fine linen will lose hope.  The workers in cloth will be dejected, and all the wage earners will be sick at heart.”  This is not the Armageddon here, but it does occur during the Tribulation.  It is possible this occurs alongside the Armageddon when Armageddon was first alluded to in Revelation chapter 9, but because it references saved people, it would have to occur before Revelation chapter 14 where the saved get raptured off of the Earth.  We looked at part of this chapter in Isaiah much earlier in our series.  The rest of the chapter describes how many Egyptians will get saved during the Tribulation period.  The passage concludes saying that Israel, Egypt, and Assyria will be the big 3 nations that will produce saved converts during the Tribulation.  It appears that drying up the Nile River will be God’s way of getting the attention of the Egyptian people, bringing them to their knees to make them repent and submit to the true God.  

Armageddon is referenced in three separate passages in the book of Revelation.  The 3 passages are Revelation 9:13-21, 16:12-21, and 19:11-21.  Armageddon does not play out in a single day.  The battle is initiated in Revelation 9.  And then Revelation returns to the progress of the battle in chapter 16, and the events are culminated and finalized in chapter 19.  The entire book of Revelation is in chronological order, and this battle is no different.  The intermissions between the chapters are simply a chronological continuation of events not related to the Armageddon.  In Revelation 9 at the 6th trumpet, God sets in motion the preconditions necessary for the battle.  Revelation 9:14 says, “It [the voice from the horns of the golden altar] said to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, ‘Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.’  And the four angels who had been kept ready for this very hour and day and month and year were released to kill a third of mankind.  The number of the mounted troops was two hundred million.  I heard their number.”  We recently saw in chapter 16 that God is going to dry up the Euphrates so that this army (the kings of the East) will cross over on dry ground.  God gathers them in chapter 9 before drying up the river in chapter 16.  This great river therefore, gets dried up within a 3 and a half year time span.  You recall just before God dries up the river, Revelation 16:8 says, “The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and the sun was given power to scorch people with fire.”  This power from the sun is what likely dries up the river.  In Revelation 9:14 when the 4 demons are initially released, the Euphrates River still exists and it is referred to as a “great river.”  But when we get to Revelation 16, the Euphrates gets dried up—it is no longer a “great river.”  

I would like to finish reviewing chapter 9, so that we can understand how this battle started.  At the beginning of Armageddon a third of mankind will be killed at the hand of the kings of the East.  At the end of Armageddon in chapter 19, the rest of the unsaved on Earth will be killed.  We saw in 9:14 that 4 demons were released that were bound as prisoners at the Euphrates River.  These demons were released early on back in chapter in order to have time to persuade and galvanize the cast of people who will be involved in the Armageddon.  God often times uses demons to sway wicked people into doing His will.  Revelation 9:16 says, “The number of mounted troops was two hundred million.  I heard their number.”  This is a literal number that John hears.  Nearly every bible commentator recognizes that only China is capable of producing 200 million foot soldiers.  This is not the number of civilians: this is the number of military soldiers.  China is only one of many participants of Armageddon.  We will see in Revelation 16:14 that this battle involves all of the kings of the whole world.  God is gathering all nations together so that He will deal with them as one.  

Verses 17-19 describe modern warfare using the language of biblical days.  From verse 17 it says, “The horses and riders I saw in my vision looked like this: Their breastplates were fiery red, dark blue, and yellow as sulfur.  The heads of the horses resembled the heads of lions, and out of their mouths came fire, smoke and sulfur.”  “Horses” referred to the people’s means of transportation, and since we know that this is the army of China of the modern era, we know that “horses” is referring to tanks, military helicopters and planes.  It says that fire, smoke and sulfur is coming out of the heads of the lions.  These are of course ballistic missiles, nukes and bombs.  Verse 18 says, “A third of mankind was killed by the three plagues of fire, smoke, and sulfur that came out of their mouths.”  The army of China will do much damage to the population of the rest of the Earth, but we will see that although China seems to be successful here, they themselves will become decimated.  

I want to close for now with Revelation 9:20-21, which I’ll quote here: “The rest of mankind that were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshipping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood—idols that cannot see or hear or walk.  Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality, or their thefts.”  Instead of turning to God, these people turn to their idols.  In Revelation 18, God is going to take away even their idols.  

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Revelation Chapter 16 (Part 70) (Verse 12) (Armageddon Part 1)
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