The Sixth Bowl and the Euphrates

02 Feb
seven vials - 6

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As we continue in our study of the Apocalypse’ seven bowl’s of wrath, we have come to the sixth bowl. The sixth angel poured out his bowl upon the Euphrates River. The Euphrates was one of the four rivers mentioned in Eden (Genesis 2:10), and they have been interpreted by some of the ancient leaders of the Church to represent the four Gospels.[1] In fact, Ezekiel 47:1-12 claims the Gospel is like a great river that issues out of the Messianic Temple (the Church). So, if the Euphrates River was dried up as John claims in Revelation 16:12, and if the ancient leaders of the Church were correct in their claim about the rivers in Eden, John is telling us, in the context of the wrath of God being poured out upon the Euphrates River, this points to the preaching of the Gospel drying up all over the world.

We need to ask, however, how was this was done, and why would the Gospel cease (viz. the Euphrates as a type of the Gospel going out to the world)? In the past drying up the waters represented a barrier of some kind, which once removed would unleash the armies of judgment (cp. Isaiah 11:14-15; Jeremiah 50:35-40; 51:33-36). On a literal note, the Euphrates, itself, couldn’t really hinder an enemy from attacking from the east, because Israel’s enemies often came from that direction, and the Euphrates didn’t hinder them. So, in the context of Revelation 16:12, neither the Euphrates nor any other body of water was literally dried up. What was dried up was what the Euphrates pointed to in metaphor!

It was the Gospel that was dried up or caused to cease, at least in its primary sense. Jesus promised that the Gospel would go out to the whole civilized world, but, once this was fulfilled, the end would come (Matthew 24:14). Jesus commissioned his disciples in Matthew 28:19-20 to preach all over the world what they saw and heard of him, and he would be with those he sent, until that was accomplished. Put another way, when the Lord’s Two Witnesses were slain (Revelation 11:7-13) this signaled the end. The commission was fulfilled, and the Lord came to judge his people. That is, when the Lord’s valid witness of two **or** more witnesses (Deuteronomy 19:5; Ruth 4:11) was ended, this prepared the way for judgment. In reality, however, the number of the Lord’s witnesses were seven! The Two Witnesses of Revelation 11:7-13 points to these seven witnesses who wrote the Scriptures of the New Covenant. So, when they (all seven: Matthew, Peter[2], Luke, John, Paul, James and Jude) were slain and the Lord’s commission was fulfilled (cp. Matthew 28:19-20), the end came (Matthew 24:14).

In the light of Lords valid witness or his “Two Witnesses” of Revelation 11[3] being slain, the Euphrates (the Gospel) was dried up, and the **way** was prepared for the kings of the East (Revelation 16:12). Nevertheless, how should we understand the phrase the kings of the East? I believe John had Malachi 4:2 in mind here. Just as the sun rises out of the east, the Sun of Righteousness would come to rescue his saints (Malachi 4:2). The kings of the East are the armies of the Lord,[4] and the Lord is “the Sun of Righteousness” (Malachi 4:2). In the Septuagint, the Messiah is called the Rising (Zechariah 3:8; 6:12). So, the kings **of** the East (i.e. of the Rising), are the armies of the Messiah (the Sun of Righteousness). Nevertheless, they came, not from the east, but out of the north (Isaiah 41:25), just as Rome did in the first century AD.


[1] See: Cyprian (Ep. 73, 10 “ad Jubaian”; Bede (“Expositions in Genesis 2”; Theodoret (“In Psalms 45”) and Ambrose (“De Paradisor” c.3).

[2] Mark’s Gospel is actually Peter’s Gospel. Mark wrote down what Peter preached to the believers at Rome, because they requested a copy. See my earlier studies: Who Wrote Mark’s Gospel; and To Whom Did Mark Write His Gospel.

[3] See my previous study: Who Are the Two Witnesses They are more than two. Two indicates a valid witness. Only one witness isn’t valid for revealing the truth. The witness must be at least two, but it could be more than two. Any number two or more would be a valid witness according to the Law.

[4] In Daniel’s Seventy Weeks Prophecy (Daniel 9:26) the Messiah is said to destroy the city (Jerusalem) and the Sanctuary (the Temple) by “the people (i.e. the armies) of the prince who would come (i.e. Vespasian / Titus). Titus, the son of the Emperor Vespasian came to Mount Olivet with his armies and surveyed Jerusalem and the Temple. In other words, Jesus had returned in the person of Titus in fulfillment of Acts 1:11.

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Posted by on February 2, 2020 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation


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