In Revelation 16, the last conflict is described in terms which remind us of the historical defeat of Babylon. As the drying up of the Euphrates had formerly led to the confrontation between Babylon and the kings of the East, so Armageddon is the confrontation between MYSTERY BABYLON and forces God has raised up to destroy the false church.
Isaiah 46:9-11, 'Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, "My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure: Calling a ravenous bird from the EAST, the man that executeth My counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it".'
There is a Philippine denomination called 'Iglesia ni Christo' who teach that this 'ravenous bird from the east' is their founder. And if you dispute with them, and they will provoke you to do so, you are likely to receive some free lessons in martial arts from their pastor or one of his body guards. I notice that a number of their churches have opened in Sydney. In this Scripture, God is saying He alone knows all things. No one else can declare the end from the beginning. This 'righteous man from the east' (Isaiah 41:2) is Cyrus of the Medes and Persians who somewhat predated the Iglesia ni Christo, and whom God raised up to capture Babylon.
Let's read the prophecy of Jeremiah 50:35-38 concerning the manner of Babylon's defeat, 'A sword is upon the Chaldeans, saith the LORD, and upon the inhabitants of Babylon, and upon her princes, and upon her wise men. A sword is upon the prophets and they shall become fools: panic shall seize her mightiest warriors. War shall devour their horses and their chariots, and all the MINGLED people (foreigners) that are in the MIDST of her shall become as women: (spiritually mingled people are in Rome's midst); her treasures shall be plundered (as will Rome). A DROUGHT is upon her waters; and they shall be DRIED UP: for it is the land of graven images, and they are mad upon their idols.' (Isn't that a picture of Rome today?)
As a prelude to Babylon's doom, the waters of the Euphrates were dried up when the army of Cyrus under Darius diverted their flow. And they marched along the river bed and under the walls to defeat the city in the climax of Belshazzar's impious feast.
That was in natural Babylon. Rome eventually succeeded to world dominion. Euphrates was the eastern frontier of her empire, beyond which lay the Parthian menace. The Parthian Empire stretched from the Euphrates to India and the Oxus (Amu-Darya) river in what was Soviet Central Asia. For centuries it was the rival of Rome, and more than once proved her match on the battlefield. Parthia once made Judea a vassal state and became part of the Persian Empire of Cyrus and Darius. They submitted to Alexander without resistance and came under the rule of the Selucid kings of Syria but eventually gained their independence.
An invasion from the EAST was something greatly feared in Israel's past as almost all of her devastatorsóAssyrians, Babylonians and Persiansóhad come from beyond the Euphrates, and in the present for John who lived under Imperial Rome. The religion of the people of the region of old Parthia today is predominantly Muslim.
Imperial Rome became Papal Rome and in Revelation 9:14 and 16:12, Jesus used Euphrates to symbolize the boundary of Papal Rome's influence. Her defence is what little fear and superstition she retains of the Gospel Message, without which she is has claim to nothing, much less dominion over heaven, earth and purgatory. But psychology lingers long.
In the world, psychology counts for more than fundamentals. And in religion, people base their eternal destiny upon what they can see with their eyes and what they want to believe, rather than what they understand by faith. Brother Branham said 'America's spending tax money that will not be collected for forty years. We've spent our gold reserve. We're broke. We don't have any money; and we're only living off a past reputation. This nation is living off past reputation of what the forefathers WERE, and that's the reason we think we'll be saved. God never respected Israel on what they HAD been; but on what they WERE. And the church is living off a past reputation it got back yonder under the ministry of the Lion Age. "We are the 'Church,' we are the 'Mother Church'." And Methodist is living off their reputation. Baptist is living off their reputation, and Pentecost is living off of theirs, "Glory to God!" A long time ago when the saints used to dance in the Spirit and "The Lord did this and that." See, all PAST REPUTATION.
Here's what I think will take place: I believe the time will come when we're forced to face the issue. Instead of us changing the currency . . . What would that do to the Philip Morris? What would that do to the whiskey company? What would that do to the steel industry? What would that do to all the commerce? . . . It would break them! They'd be broke! But if we can BORROW that money . . . See how smart Satan is? Then the nation sells out to the church and then church and state is united again . . .' (Seals 504:Q28).
The church's one defence is behind the Word of God, the rivers of living Water which is the Holy Spirit. Remember Babylon means Gate of God. It is an impersonation of the New Jerusalem with the water of Life flowing from it. And as the drying up of the great river Euphrates removed all restraint upon the kings of the east when Media and Persia captured Babylon, Rome's apostasy and rejection of the Word dried up the moat of the Holy Spirit, exposing her to the kings of the earth and their armies, who seek to attack the Papal Roman Empire.
Revelation 16:12, 'And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the EAST might be prepared'.
The sixth vial dried up what little Holy Spirit there might have been in Rome's traditions and dogma. God gave her a thousand years of Dark Ares to repent and she repented not. All she has left is political deception and intrigue. Revelation 16:13-14, 'And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon (Rome), and out of the mouth of the beast (the Protestant image of Revelation 13:11-18), and out of the mouth of the false prophet (the Pope). For they are the spirits of demons, working miracles, which go forth unto the rulers of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty'. You see, Rome's power is not truly Spiritual, it is political. She makes alliances with the seed of men (Daniel 2:43).
Rome will work miracles in bringing all the denominations together under her, and uniting church and state again through the NWO. We learn in Daniel 2, the ten toes of the image of Nebuchadnezzar's dream are the European states to which Imperial Rome divided. They will agree to give their power to Rome. According to Daniel 7 and Revelation 17:12 - 17, 'The ten horns which you saw are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast. These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful. And he saith unto me, "The waters which you saw, where the whore sits, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues. And the ten horns which you saw on the beast, these shall HATE the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. For God has put in their hearts to fulfil His will, and to agree, and give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled".'
The object of the kings of the East is the destruction of MYSTERY BABYLONóRome. Only AFTER that takes place do the kings of the earth assemble for Armageddon.
Yes, there will come a time after the beast breaks his covenant with Israel and forces self-worship, that his allies will have had enough and will hate the whore and will destroy Rome with atomic fire. Rome is lewd, and naked of the Holy Spirit. Jesus warns the Bible believer in these days, just before the end, 'Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame', (like the sleeping followers of Rome who don't trim their lamps (Matthew 25).
This is not simply a battle of God (I Samuel 17:47; II Chronicles 20:15). It is the absolute and decisive battle wherein the coming of the Kingdom is at stake. Revelation 16:16, 'And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.' Revelation 19:19-21, 'And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh'.
Now we understand from Scripture that this drying up of the river Euphrates has a twofold significance. From the Gentile perspective it is the apostatising of Rome and her harlot daughters, in union, prior to their destruction in the lake of Fire. But there is also the Israelite perspective to be considered because 'if they abide not still in unbelief, God is able to graft them back in to the olive tree' because the blindness of the elect Israelites is taken away after the fullness of the Gentiles comes in (Romans 11).
Isaiah 11:11-12: 'And it shall come to pass in THAT day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the SECOND time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. And He shall set up the six pointed Star of David flag among the nations for them to rally to, and He shall gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth'.
The FIRST recovery of Israel was from Egypt. This SECOND has been happening naturally since Israel was declared a state in 1948. A mixed multitude of 'Jews' is being gathered to the Promised Land for the preaching of the Seven Trumpet Messages by Israel's two prophets in Daniel's seventieth week, to separate elect believers from the make believers and the unbelievers.
Whence does he say they principally gather? From Assyria (Iraq), from Lower Egypt, Pathros (Upper Egypt), Ethiopia, Persia (Iran), Babylonia, Hamath (Upper Syria), and from countries bordering the Mediterranean. It is noteworthy that Isaiah does not mention the Japhetic nations of Poland, Russia, Germany, etc. No doubt God is gathering a remnant of the Tribes from Europe. But NOT, according to the Bible, significant numbers! The huge influx of Jews from Eastern Europe to Palestine are NOT recognized by Isaiah. The majority of Israel remained in the Middle East where they live to this day, converts to Islam thirteen hundred years ago. Most of the so-called 'Jews' in the USA and Europe are a different racial group altogether. They are Ashenazim, and not Israelites.
Describing an article in Look Magazine, Brother Branham said, 'And I seen them bringing those Jews in . . . coming down from Egypt, coming down from all over the world . . . Iran, Iraq. "There's twelve tribes of Gad, twelve tribes of Aser, twelve tribes of Reuben . . ." And where were they all standing? On Mount Sinai. Jewsóback in the homeland. There they were. They were the ones that WASN'T this Wall Street crooked bunch. No, sir! It was the REAL Jews'.
Isaiah 11:15-16: 'And the Lord shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea, (the eastern tongue or Gulf of Aquaba, where Moses crossed), and with his mighty wind shall he shake his hand over the river, and shall smite it into seven streams that can easily be crossed. And there shall be an highway for the remnant of His people which shall be left, from Assyria; like it was when Israel came up out of the land of Egypt'.
This redemption is likened to the exodus where God made a highway through the Sea. Now He'll remove all obstacles that might prevent the remnant from returning to the Land by 'smiting' the barrier in Israel's northern border as once He parted the Red Sea. Euphrates symbolizes a border and defence which could not be crossed. As in Revelation 9:14 and 16:12 it is representative of the Holy Spirit given in seven portions through the Seven Church Ages but gathered together in its completeness in Christ in the dispensation of the fullness of times (Ephesians 1:10). The denominations know nothing of this and the Lord has sent a mighty wind which has them divided into the seven streams (or Church Ages) they impersonate. Though they will unite under Rome in a World Council of Churches iron and clay cannot mix; their diverse teachings will present no barrier keeping the 144,000 from the faith. That's the symbolism of Euphrates from the perspective of Israel's elect.
The beast shall defeat and occupy Egypt and her Muslim allies, Libya and Ethiopia in concert with Russia, who invade Israel after an earthquake destroys the Mosque of Omar on the Temple mount (Daniel 11:40-43; Zechariah 14). MYSTERY BABYLON secures Israel by defeating the king of the South and his Muslim followers. Thereafter the influence of the beast is such, Rome controls Israel. 'But tidings out of the East and out of the North shall trouble him. . .' (Daniel 11:44).
At this point in time, the beast has his operational headquarters in Jerusalem, a place holy to Jew, Christian and Muslim alike. The kings of the East therefore, are east from here, over Euphrates. Euphrates runs across the north east section of Lebanon, Syria and Iraq to the Persian Gulf.
In Bible times, the king of the North was Syria but in Daniel 11 it is the beast, MYSTERY BABYLON, and finally, Russia. Old Babylon was captured by the Medes from the north and the Persians from the east. Eventually the king of the North, Russia, will destroy Rome. To the east today is Iraq, Iran and Pakistan, Muslins who account Rome and Christianity as infidels and encourage their destruction.
The purpose of our little exercise this-evening was to demonstrate the fulfilled prophecies of natural Israel, Egypt, Syria, Babylon, Medo-Persia and Rome prove God is the only one who can declare the end before the beginning. These prophecies are now historical fact and their accuracy cannot be denied. But they are also set forth as types of future events which will be declared spiritually. With the fulfilled shadow as our guide we can have an indication of the outcome of future unfulfilled Scripture. We have discovered the significance of the Old Testament symbol of Euphrates in the New. And we have identified who will play the part of the kings of the East, North and South.
But why should we choose to understand such matters? In order that we might experience that rest which passes all understanding. It is the 'unknown' that causes uncertainty and plants fear in man's heart. If we know who holds the future, and are advised on 'things to come,' and are living above the reproach of the Word, then we have the evidence of the Holy Spirit. That in itself is a comfort and a consolation greater than the assurance of any man. bb960619.htm
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