Revelation 16:1-21 Part 11

REVELATION 16:1-21 Part 11


1)    Then I heard a great sound from the tabernacle to the seven messengers. ‘Go and pour out the seven bowls of the wrath of God into the land.’

2)    And the first went forth and poured out from its bowl into the land; and an evil and malignant sore came to be on the men having the mark of the beast and adoring its image.

3)    And the second poured out from its bowl into the sea, and blood as of a corpse came to be; and every being that was alive in the sea rotted.

4)    And the third poured out from its bowl into the rivers and their water sources, and there blood came to be;

5)    and I heard the waters messenger saying ‘just are You, the IS and the WAS, the Holy One; for You did judge thus

6)    because they did pour out the blood of the righteous and the prophets.  Therefore you have given them blood to drink.  Worthy they are!

7)    Then I heard saying from the incense altar, ‘Yes!  Kurie the Almighty God; true and righteous Your judgments’.

8)    And the fourth poured out its bowl on the sun; and it was given it to burn men in fire;

9)    fierce heat!  And the men were burned, and they blasphemed the God having the power of these plagues and did not turn to give Him glory.

10) And the fifth poured out its bowl on the seat of the beast; and its kingdom became shrouded in darkness.  And they were gnawing their tongues from the misery,

11) and they blasphemed The God of the Heaven for their pains and their sores.  But they did not turn from their works.

12) And the sixth poured out its bowl on the great river, the Euphrates; and its water was dried up so that the approach of the kings from the sun’s rising would be prepared.

13) Then I saw three unclean spirits as frogs from the mouth of the dragon and from the mouth of the beast and from the mouth of the pseudoprophet.

14) These are demon spirits which are going forth unto the kings of the whole world doing signs to gather them into the great war of the Day of Almighty God:

15) ‘Lo!  I come as a thief.  Blessed the one watching and guarding his garments that he may not be walking about uncovered and they observe his shame.’

16) And it gathered them in a place called in Hebrew ‘Armageddon’.

17) And the seventh poured out its bowl upon the air.  And there was a great sound from the Holy Place of the throne saying ‘IT IS COME’.

18) And lightnings and sounds and thunders came, and there was great shaking such as there never was since men came to be on the land,

19) and the great city was made into three parts; and the cities of the  people fell.  And ‘Babylon the Great’ was recalled before God, to give it the cup of the wine of the fury of His wrath.

20) And every island fled; and no mountains were found.

21) And great hail as talant-weight comes down from the heaven on the men; and from the plague of the hail the men blasphemed God, for its plague is exceedingly great.


In this “great and awesome” sign that John is shown (which began at verse one of chapter fifteen), John now sees that YAHVEH will send the kings and princes of the nations a “working of error” that they should believe a lie!  As in the case of Ahab, He sent a “lying spirit” into the mouth of the prophets!

Here in the text (verses thirteen and fourteen), a lying spirit came out from the mouth of the dragon, and from the mouth of the beast, and from the mouth of the prophets of Israel (i.e. the pseudoprophet – the land beast of chapter fifteen), in order that the rulers of all the nations under caesar of Rome would be enticed to gather for the great war of the Day of YAHVEH!

Understand that that’s what is about to be; it is the day… OF YAHVEH!  It’s HIS day – prophesied throughout the Scripture!  The dragon (the serpent of old) is deceived by YAHVEH to do His bidding; the fourth beast of history (the Roman empire) has been called up by YAHVEH from the sea of humanity to do His bidding; the pseudoprophets of Israel (the land beast) are deceived into raising the image of the beast for all remaining in the land to adore and obey.  Together with the princes of the nations they conspire to “cut the cords” that bind them to YAHVEH and His Anointed One; and YAHVEH laughs and holds them in derision (Psalm two).

They all “gather”, as John sees it, for the great war of the Day of YAHVEH; and He dries up the great river Euphrates so they can cross!  It’s the sixth bowl of the full and final wrath of God!

As John looks on, the awesome sign that is shown to him has the lying spirit proceeding from the mouth of the dragon and the mouth of the beast and the mouth of the pseudoprophet  – as frogs! 

Like the words that Paul wrote to the Church at Thessalonica said, the Parousia of Jesus Christ was near; the nations were being prepared for the Day of YAHVEH; the full and final wrath of God was about to be poured out on the harlot nation.  And lying spirits would go out to the princes of the nations from the mouths of the dragon and the beast and the pseudoprophets of Israel.  They were to be sent out in order to gather them for the war of the DAY OF YAHVEH.  And they were sent out “as frogs”.

Here in the sign lying spirits “as frogs” were coming OUT of the mouths of the dragon and the beast and the pseudoprophets of Israel.  The word “mouth” is written three times here (in verse thirteen).  “Out of the mouth of the dragon”; “out of the mouth of the beast”; “out of the mouth of the false prophets of Israel”.

The “unclean thing”; the unclean thing is coming out of their mouths!  The lying spirits were “unclean”.  And just as the lying spirit (sent by YAVHEH) enticed the prophets of Israel to lie to Ahab in First Kings twenty one, the lying spirits here enticed the nations to gather for the great Day of YAHVEH.  And they were sent by YAHVEH “as frogs”.  In God’s perspective it refers back to His Own Law-word… or frogs were unclean beasts.

As Jesus once said to the pharisees, it’s not what goes into your mouths that makes you unclean, it’s what comes out of your mouths; for it’s what comes out of your mouths that identifies where the uncleanness is!  The dragon and the beast and the false prophets of Israel were unclean.  And that’s what came out of their mouths.  What came out of their mouths was an unclean beast that connects this sign directly to the Law of Moses.

The other obvious connection of course was the unclean beasts covering Egypt… for the same reason!  Pharaoh was “hardened”.  Although he pretended to relent and let the people go, he was hardened for YAHVEH’s purpose.  And great and mighty deeds of YAHVEH were manifest in the redemption of His people.  It brought Him glory!

In our text, the kings and princes of the nations of the world were hardened by the lying spirits as (unclean) frogs; and they gathered together against YAHVEH and against His Anointed.  And the glory of YAHVEH was manifest in His mighty acts as His armies fulfilled His every purpose.

Then comes verse fifteen.

It is “spoken” by God in John’s hearing; and that’s why it’s written here.  It’s spoken, right at this point because, from God’s perspective it has great significance with reference to what has just been written!  It is a reference directly to the prophetic Word.   And remember that our Lord refers to that prophecy in chapter twenty-four of Matthew as He answers His disciples questions concerning His “coming”, His PAROUSIA, and the end of the age.  It’s in Joel chapter two. 

1)    …It was to be

2)    a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness!  Like blackness there is spread upon the mountains a great and powerful people; their like has never been before, nor will be again after them through the years of all generations.

3)    Fire devours before them, and behind them a flame burns.  The land is like the garden of Eden before them, but behind them a desolate wilderness, and nothing escapes them….

9)    They leap upon the city, they run upon the walls, they climb up into the houses, they enter through the windows as a thief.


“I Am coming as a thief…” in the DAY OF YAHVEH… he day in which He pours out His (perfect seven) full and final wrath.  The DAY OF YAHVEH is very awesome (the prophet writes).  And the sign shown to John is a great and “awesome” sign.

Hear this from Jeremiah chapter two:


18) … what do you gain by going to Assyria to drink the waters of the Euphrates?

19) Your evil will chastise you, and your apostasy will reprove you.  Know and see that it is evil and bitter for you to forsake YAHVEH your God; the fear of Me is not in you declares YAHVEH God of hosts.

20) For long ago I broke your yoke and burst your bonds; but you said, 'I will not serve.'  Yes, on every high hill and under every green tree you bowed down like a whore.

21) Yet I planted you a choice vine, wholly of pure seed.  How then have you turned degenerate and become a wild vine?

22) Though you wash yourself with lye and use much soap, the stain of your guilt is still before me, declares YAHVEH God.

23) How can you say, 'I am not unclean, I have not gone after the Baals'?  Look at your way in the valley; know what you have done — a restless young camel running here and there,

24) a wild donkey used to the wilderness, sniffing the wind in her heat!  Who can restrain her lust?  None who seek her need weary themselves; they will find her in her month.

25) Keep your feet from going unshod and your throat from thirst.  But you said, 'It is hopeless, for I have loved foreigners, and I will go after them'

26) As a thief is shamed when caught, so the house of Israel shall be shamed:


“Blessed the one watching, and guarding his garments that he may   not be walking about uncovered and they observe his shame” (verse fifteen).


14) And this Gospel of the Kingdom shall be proclaimed in all the habitable world in a testimony to all the nations, and then shall come the end.

15) When therefore you shall see the abomination of desolation, the thing spoken through Daniel the prophet, stand in a holy place (let the one reading understand),

16) then let those in Judea escape into the mountains;

17) the one on the housetop, let him not come down to remove things from his house;

18) and the one in the field, let him not turn back to remove his garment.

19) But woe to those having in womb [with child] and those giving suck in those days.

20) But pray that your escape shall come neither during winter nor in Sabbath,

21) for then there will be great tribulation such as has not happened from origin of cosmos until the present, nor shall there ever be.


“Blessed the one watching….”  “Blessed the one who’s ready….”  Because of what YAHVEH said through the prophets; because of what Jesus said to His disciples, “blessed the one who is anticipating the great tribulation in the Day of YAHVEH … and has prepared… the one watching.”

“Woe to the one who continues on his course until the last hour, and is overcome like a thief in the night.  Should he have been watching, the thief wouldn’t have broken into his house” (Matthew 24).

These are “days of vengeance to fulfill all that is written”; so “stay watchful… in order that you may escape all these things that are going to take place…..” (Luke 21).


However… Israel, having been warned of the DAY OF YAHVEH for hundreds of years, would not be watchful – would not prepare, but continued to do what was shameful before the Lord of Hosts saying: “Yahveh does not see”; “Yahveh doesn’t care”.  “Yahveh won’t destroy His people”; “Zion is forever!”

So Israel continued in its shame.


15) Blessed the one … guarding his garments that he may not be walking about uncovered and they observe his shame’ (verse fifteen).


In the Day of YAHVEH, at the time His armies gather for the great Day, Israel’s “nakedness” – its “shame” will be observed by all.  And the justice of YAHVEH will redound to His glorious Person.  But those “guarding their garments” – those who are NOT naked and shameful – are blessed!


Let’s listen to the Word of God regarding Israel’s shame.

Having been birthed from the Chaldees (YAHVEH says through Isaiah in chapter forty seven), Israel has uncovered her nakedness to anyone and everyone:


1)    For you shall no more be called tender and delicate.

2)    Take the millstones and grind flour, put off your covering, strip off your robe, uncover your legs, swim in the rivers.

3)    Your nakedness shall be uncovered, and your shame shall be observed.  I will take vengeance, and I will spare no one.


YAHVEH, speaking through the prophet Jeremiah, says that He will lift Israel’s garments to show the shame of her nakedness to all, for she has practiced lewdness with all the foreign nations and adored their idols.  Listen at chapter thirteen:


23) Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard its spots?    Could you then do good that are accustomed to do evil?

24) Therefore will I scatter them as the chaff that passes away by the wind of the wilderness.

25) This is your lot (allotment), the portion measured unto you from Me, says YAHVEH: because you have forgotten Me and trusted in falsehood,

26) therefore will I also uncover your skirts over your face, and your shame shall appear.

27) I have seen your abominations and your adulteries, and your neighings, the lewdness of your whoredom on the hills… in the field.   O Jerusalem!   You will not be made clean!  How long shall it yet be?


All of the prophets decry the shame of Israel; but YAHVEH’s prophet Hosea was a personal, life-long, prophetic demonstration of Israel’s shame.  His personal demonstration of shame was YAHVEH’s prophecy to Israel!

This is a really tough one for some of our friends in the Christian community who don’t quite yet understand the persona and character of YAHVEH Lord of Hosts.  But permit me to set up the reading by giving you an overview of YAHVEH’s prophecy through the man – Hosea.

You remember that YAHVEH had covenanted with Abraham, and with his son Isaac, and with Isaac’s son Jacob, and Jacob’s twelve sons.  And Jacob’s twelve sons were the twelve tribes of Israel – rescued from Egyptian captivity and given the “promised land”.

God’s covenant with His chosen people is illustrated in His prophetic word in a number of different ways.

It’s not, for example, that YAHVEH has “sired” a son – not in the way that we know that sons are produced; but nonetheless, in the covenant relationship, Israel is called His “son” on a number of occasions in His Word as certain aspects of His covenant are addressed.

And it’s not that YAHVEH has a “wife” either – not in the way that we know that men and women are to marry and produce children; but nonetheless, in the covenant relationship, on a number of occasions in His Word YAHVEH addresses the covenant relationship with Israel in terms of a wife.  It’s for the purpose of addressing certain aspects of His covenant.

The fact that we who belong to Him are addressed as “brothers of Jesus Christ” and “sons of God”; and the Church is the “bride of Christ” are continuations of those prophetic descriptions of the covenant relationship introduced in the prophetic Word.

Anyway, back to Hosea, there was only one tribe chosen, through which would come the “holy Seed” – the Anointed One; and that was the tribe of Judah.  All the other tribes were rejected; the Holy One of Israel would not come from any of them.

When Jesus was born of Mary (a descendant of David – of the tribe of Judah, as was Joseph), He would seek out and save an elect portion of all the tribes; and that remnant would be the fullness of the covenantal promise to save Israel.  And the Light of the glory of God would then be shined upon all the nations (as was promised to Abraham).

The man, Hosea, was chosen of God to prophesy all of this to Israel by taking a wife of whoredom – a prostitute.  The marriage was a prophecy against all of the tribes of Israel – except the tribe of Judah!  It was a prophecy regarding the shame of Israel’s whoredom with all the surrounding pagan nations and their idols and gods.

Israel’s lascivious idolatry was as a prostitute!  The ONE Who had taken her as His Own and had covenanted with her for every good thing was aggrieved continuously by Israel spreading her legs in fornication with every foreign lover as she took their idols and gods as her own.

Hosea’s marriage produced three children (even as his wife was continually unfaithful).  One was a son who was named Jezreel – indicating the blood that was poured out to idols by Israel.  The other two children were females – the first named Lo-ruhamah, meaning “no mercy”; the second daughter was named Lo-ammi, meaning “not My people”.

Hosea’s life as a prophet of YAHVEH was a miserable demonstration of Israel’s abominable unfaithfulness to God and His ultimate rejection of her and the coming death penalty for her whoredom.

I’m going to read a small portion of the text of Hosea regarding the shame of her nakedness as she pursued her idolatrous lovers.  The nation, you see, is perceived as a prostitute in its idolatry.   And the prophet was called of YAHVEH to suffer and endure her harlotry all his life, as YAHVEH endured Israel’s idolatry!

In this passage (chapter two) YAHVEH says that He will take away all the things He has provided her, and strip away her clothing so the shame of her harlotry is exposed for all to see.

Listen to it:


1)    Say to your brethren, Ammi; and to your sisters, Ruhamah.

2)    Contend with your mother, plead… for she is not my wife and neither am I her husband; and let her put away her whoredoms from her face and her adulteries from between her breasts

3)    lest I strip her naked, and set her as in the day that she was born, and make her as a wilderness, and set her like a dry land, and slay her with thirst.

4)    Yea, upon her children will I have no mercy; for they are children of whoredom;

5)    for their mother has played the harlot; she that conceived them has done shamefully; for she said, I will go after my lovers that give me my bread and my water, my wool and my flax (clothing), mine oil and my drink.

6)    Therefore, behold, I will hedge up thy way with thorns, and I will build a wall against her, that she shall not find her paths.

7)    And she shall follow after her lovers, but she shall not overtake them; and she shall seek them, but shall not find them.  Then shall she say, I will go and return to my first husband; for then was it better with me than now.

8)    For she did not know that I gave her the grain, and the new wine, and the oil, and multiplied unto her silver and gold, which they used for Baal.

9)    Therefore will I take back my grain in the time thereof, and my new wine in the season thereof, and will pluck away my wool and my flax (clothing) which should have covered her nakedness.

10) And now will I uncover her lewdness (shame) in the sight of her lovers, and none shall deliver her out of my hand.

11) I will also cause all her mirth to cease, her feasts, her new moons, and her sabbaths, and all her solemn assemblies.

12) And I will lay waste her vines and her fig-trees, whereof she hath said, These are my hire that my lovers have given me.  I will make them a forest, and the beasts of the field shall eat them.

13) And I will visit upon her the days of the Baalim, unto which she burned incense, when she decked herself with her earrings and her jewels, and went after her lovers, and forgot me, says YAHVEH.


You see, just like Hosea’s wife, Israel prostituted itself with pagans and their “baalim” (idols, false gods).  It was YAHVEH Who had given Israel a “paradise” with every good thing.  But it went after the foreigners (Gentiles) and their idols; and it had sold itself (prostituted itself), and then claimed that all of these good things came from them, completely forgetting that YAHVEH was the One Who gave them to Israel!

Therefore YAHVEH would take away its paradise and leave Israel “naked” in a wilderness so all the world could see her shame.

See, now, why verse fifteen is here in our text?  “Blessed the one watching, and guarding his garments, that he may not be walking about uncovered and they observe his shame.”

The verse appears here as an integral part of the sixth bowl of the wrath of God as His armies are “gathered” for the great Day of YAHVEH.  And the armies of the empire would observe Israel’s shame.

But let’s not forget the rest of the prophetic Word!  YAHVEH had promised to save Israel.  The Anointed One of God would come from the tribe of Judah; and YAHVEH would have mercy on His people!

Listen to Isaiah at chapter forty-five:


16) They shall be ashamed, and also confounded, all of them: they shall go to confusion together that are makers of idols.

17) But Israel shall be saved by YAHVEH with an everlasting salvation: you shall not be ashamed nor confounded into the ages!

18) For thus says YAHVEH Who created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; He established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited.  I am YAHVEH; and there is none else.

19) I have not spoken in secret… in a dark place of the earth: I said not to the seed of Jacob, seek Me in vain: I YAHVEH speak righteousness, I declare things that are right.

20) Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, you that are escaped of the nations!  They have no knowledge who set up the wood of their graven image and pray unto a god that cannot save.

21) Tell it, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: Who is it that has declared this from the beginning?  Who has told it from that time?  Didn’t I - YAHVEH?  And there is no other God beside Me; a just God, and a Saviour; there is none beside Me.

22) Look unto Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.

23) I have sworn by Myself.  The word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness and it shall not return, that unto Me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.

24) Surely shall one say, in YAHVEH have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come; and all that are incited against Him shall be ashamed!

25) In YAHVEH shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glorify Him.


And from Isaiah sixty five:


9)    And I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an Inheritor of My mountains; and My chosen shall inherit it, and My servants shall dwell there.

10) ….

11) But you who forsake YAHVEH, that forget My holy mountain, that prepare a table for fortune, and that fill up mingled wine unto destiny;

12) I will destine you to the sword, and you shall all bow down to the slaughter; because when I called, you did not answer; when I spoke, you did not hear; but you did that which was evil in My sight, and chose that wherein I delighted not.

13) Therefore thus says YAHVEH, Behold, My servants shall eat, but you shall be hungry; behold, My servants shall drink, but you shall be thirsty; behold, My servants shall rejoice, but you shall be put to shame.

14) Behold, My servants shall sing for joy of heart, but you shall cry for sorrow of heart, and shall wail for vexation of spirit.

15) And you shall leave your name for a curse unto My chosen ones; and YAHVEH will slay you; then He will call His servants by another name….


And finally let me take you to the crucifixion of our Lord, in Whom is the fullness of all that is written.  He was numbered with the transgressors and suffered the shame of nakedness as the soldiers stripped Him – uncovered Him - and cast lots for His garments.

He was “one from whom men hide their faces”.  He suffered the shame – that those who He came to seek and to save wouldn’t be “uncovered… and they observe their shame”.


3)    He was despised, and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and as one from whom men hide their face he was despised; and we esteemed him not.

4)    Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

5)    But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.


My righteous servant shall justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

And thus He did.  And we see all of them (all the ones justified) through what is shown to John in the text of The Revelation of Jesus Christ.  And they are fully dressed in white robes and standing with Him on the new Mount Zion.

They have “guarded their garments”; and no one is to look upon their nakedness and observe their shame; for there was One Who took the shame of their transgressions upon Himself.

The bright and morning Star has arisen!  And from the sun’s rising His armies would cross the dried-up river Euphrates in the great Day of YAHVEH.

Lying spirits have been sent out to the kings and princes of the Roman empire, and legions would arrive to find that the sixth bowl of the full and final wrath of YAHVEH had been poured out on the great river.

And the messenger of the sixth bowl of wrath “gathered them in a place called ‘Armageddon’ in Hebrew”.  The word “Armageddon” literally translated, is mount megiddo; but there never was a “mount” megiddo, for Megiddo is a great plain!  There is no mountain there.

But the word is derived from a word that means “assembly”.  So what we have here is “play on words” in Hebrew – referring all readers to the very first “assembly” of Israel at Mount Sinai.

But here the “assembly” – the “gathering” of the armies – is the princes and kings of the earth “assembled” in the plain of Megiddo against Israel!  Notice that there is no war at Armageddon.  It is the place of “assembly”, the place of the “gathering” of the legions of the Roman Empire! 

As John is shown here in the sign, they are about to cross the mighty (but dried-up) Euphrates River and assemble for the Day of YAHVEH.

And the ones who conspired with Rome to pour out the blood of God’s Anointed will, themselves, receive the death penalty at the hands of those with whom they conspired.  And once again the dragon and the beast and the pseudoprophet are deceived into doing whatsoever God wills for them.

God’s “irony” is indeed wonderful; is it not?