Rev 16 12-16 The Sixth Vial CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
What we find in this text following the pouring out of the sixth vial is the Battle of Armageddon. The sixth vial is poured out, the Euphrates is dried up, armies cross over to attack Israel, and the Lord Jesus returns to fight and defeat them. There is so much in this passage and there are so many cross references that we are going to study this passage alone as the entire lesson. As with the other vials, looking at this passage verse by verse will be the best way to study it.
v.12 – the sixth vial – the sixth angel pours out his vial upon the Euphrates River – this causes the waters to dry up so that the kings of the east can cross over in their march toward Israel – this sudden drying of the river bed will demonstrate to the world that the drying of the Red Sea and the Jordan River were not religious fairy tales [Exodus 14:21-22; Joshua 3:17] – countries that would have to attack from the east of the Euphrates are countries like Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, and China – Russia, Turkey and European countries could attack from the north
v.13 – three unclean spirits – these unclean spirits come out of the mouths of the dragon, the beast and the false prophet – John saw them appear like frogs which tells us something about their nature and their message – first, frogs are definitely unclean [scaleless Leviticus 11:10-12 and abominable Leviticus 11:41-43] so they are associated with these “unclean” spirits – second, since they come out of the “mouths” of the dragon, the beast and the false prophet, then we know that these three will use what they “say” to gather the nations together [Psalms 83:4, 1 Kings 22:21-23] – third, frogs were associated with false goddesses of Rome and Egypt supposedly granting fertility and regeneration and with several false gods of Egypt connected with water, infinity, invisibility and darkness; so undoubtedly the message of the frogs will be very positive while in fact it is very destructive [Psalms 55:20-21] – fourth, frogs were the last plague that the magicians could duplicate with their “miracles” [v.14 with Exodus 8:7, a feat that was intended to deceive Pharaoh, 2 Timothy 3:8] showing the inferiority of these three to the Lord God; fifth, as frogs they foreshadow the eventual destruction of these three in the same way that the Egyptians were destroyed by the Lord when they opposed the Lord’s people [Pharaoh drowned in the Sea and these get thrown in a lake, Revelation 19:20, 20:10.
v.14 – spirits of devils – the unclean spirits are spirits of devils [see Matthew 8:16] – spirits are beings without bodies and so they influence men by inhabiting their bodies [Matthew 12:43-45] – these spirits go to the kings over the entire world and when they inhabit them, they gather them to the battle – one thing these spirits do to convince people to follow the men in whom they reside is that they perform miracles [2 Thessalonians 2:9] – as a side note, the miracle workers among the charismatics today are principally demon possessed – the world’s attraction to their miracles is simply a move by the devil to get the world ready for these unclean spirits when they come
v.14 – the battle of that great day of God Almighty – that great day is the Second Coming of Jesus Christ – there are many prophecies in the Bible concerning this day and the battle that Jesus fights and wins when he comes – we will cross reference a few of them [Revelation 19:11-21; Joel 2:1-11; Ezek 32:18-32; Malachi 4:1-3; Zechariah 14:1-3; Isaiah 24:16-23; Zechariah 12:9] – interestingly, you see that the spirits of devils are the ones leading the kings into battle but it is the Lord who is determined to get them there [Zeph 3:8; Joel 3:2] – in other words the Lord uses the unclean spirits to accomplish his will
v.15 – I come as a thief – thieves come at night, they don’t announce their coming, and they come when you least expect them – so it will be with the coming of the Lord [I Thessalonians 5:2-4; Matthew 24:42-44] – even the Tribulation saints will have to be watching for his coming so that they don’t wind up naked for failing to keep their garments [James 5:1-3, Jude 21-23, Revelation 3:3-5] – what they will get if they keep their salvation and keep themselves from the world is garments of salvation [Isaiah 61:9-11]
v.16 – Armageddon – Armageddon is a “place” not an event, to correct the world’s media hype and Hollywood’s drama – Armageddon means “mountain of Megiddo” – this place is connected with the valley of Jehoshaphat [Joel 3:2, 12] – here the Lord will destroy the nations of the earth gathered to fight against Jerusalem and the blood will flow to the depths of the horse’s bridles for 200 miles [Revelation 14:20]