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The Sixth Bowl and Three Unclean Spirits

04 Feb
seven vials - 6a

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Presently we are finishing up on the study of the seven bowls of wrath of Revelation 16. In Revelation 16:13 John mentioned that he saw three unclean spirits come out from within the bodies of the Dragon,[1] the Beast and the False Prophet. How should we understand this? At least the Dragon and the Beast are metaphors for realities that extend over time and include not only different empires but different kings. What would it look like, for example, for a spirit to leap out of the Babylonian, the Persian, the Grecian and the Roman empires, all of whom, according to Scripture, are different from one another? Can a spirit be in more than one place at the same time? Could this same spirit be in different ages at the same time?

Certainly, Babylon no longer existed when Rome reigned supreme over the civilized world. While parts of the Persian and Grecian empires existed during the first century AD, Rome ruled all of the Grecian territories, and Persia had long since lost its great power and influence over the west. So, once more, what would it look like for a single spirit to leap out of each of these empires at the same time, even after they no longer reigned or even existed? Moreover, as an aside, if one really believed that the Dragon was the single, sentient, evil being we know as Satan, the Devil, under what circumstance would a demon (Revelation 16:14), or an unclean spirit, possess Satan, the Devil? There are many unanswerable questions involved here, if Scriptures, such as Revelation 16:13, are taken literally.

John describes the spirits as frogs, but he doesn’t say whether they **looked** like frogs or that they **acted** like frogs. Whatever the frogs represent, the Lord had absolute power over them, both to bring them and to destroy them, just as he did in Exodus 8:3, 9, when he brought innumerable frogs upon the nation of Egypt.

The text claims the spirits are demonic in character (Revelation 16:14). I believe the lesson to be learned here is that what occurred to the frogs in Egypt would also occur to the Jews in their war with Rome. Just as the Lord brought the frogs upon Egypt, he also caused the Jews to gather into their walled cities, first in Galilee and finally in Jerusalem. Moreover, just as the Lord had destroyed the frogs in Exodus 8:13, he would also destroy the Jews in their war with Rome in the first century AD, gathering the dead in heaps (Psalm 79:3; Jeremiah 7:32; 19:11 and compare Exodus 8:14), and they would be cast out into the streets, and none would bury them (Jeremiah 15:16). After the war it would take months to bury the dead. Passersby would put a stake into the ground or some sign to show they had found human remains, and those responsible for burying them would do so to cleanse the land (Ezekiel 39:11-16).

It seems that the whole purpose of these demonic spirits was to bring the kings of the earth together to battle against the Jewish state in what is called “the Great Day of God Almighty” (Revelation 16:14). It was to this end that the three spirits worked in the children of disobedience (cp. Ephesians 2:2). According to Revelation 16:15, all these things would occur as the Lord descended from heaven, as he promised he would, both to judge his enemies and to reward his disciples (Matthew 16:27-28; 24:29-31). Therefore, he warned his beloved to watch lest they corrupt themselves and lose their reward (Revelation 16:15; Matthew 24:36-51).

The text claims that the battle of “the Great Day of God Almighty” would occur in what is called Armageddon (Revelation 16:16), which most scholars say is the plane of Meggiddo. However, I would like to put out another point of view for consideration. The Greek word (G717) is comprised of two Hebrew words har (H2022), meaning a hill, and meggiddo (H4023), which is a place in Palestine. Strongs Greek Dictionary claims meggiddo (H4023) is derived from gadad (H1413), meaning rendezvous or a place for gathering. If this is the significance of the word Armageddon, then it could be a hill or a place of gathering anywhere in Palestine. In the context of this study in Revelation 16, it could be Mount Olivet, where the Roman general, Titus, gathered his armies together against the armies of Jerusalem below.

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[1] The fact that an evil spirit was in the “dragon” (Revelation 16:13) should show us that the “dragon” of Revelation 12 couldn’t possibly be the Satan that Christianity has falsely produced as the archenemy of God. That Satan, according to the doctrine was the leader of evil angels, and to say that the “leader” of evil angels was himself inhabited and controlled by an evil spirit is to contradict the doctrine itself. Thus, the doctrine is proved wrong by Scripture.

 
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Posted by on February 4, 2020 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation

 

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