Battle lines are drawn
"And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty." (Rev. 16:13, 14)
I'm rather particular about what goes into my mouth, and I expect you are, too. Would you like to hold a frog in your mouth and then open up to let the creature leap out? With this repulsive scene of the unclean spirits in mind, let's turn back to the preceding verse to see what is going on. "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." (16:12).
Jesus has already
conquered the world
"These things I [Jesus] have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)
What did He mean? He said this before His victory in Gethsemane and before the cross. How could He have already overcome? Earlier in this final talk with His disciples, he had told them he would go away to His Father but come again. Then He added, ". . . for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me." (John 14:30). Satan had tempted Him and would tempt Him to the end, but our Lord would not sin. His victory can be ours! Because nothing evil was found in Jesus, He has the authority in the eyes of the universe to take our guilt and to give us His righteousness without setting aside the divine standard of righteousness that identifies sin. In the sanctuary system, only a perfect lamb could be a sacrifice to represent the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29).
"Your lamb [for the Passover when leaving Egypt] shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats. . . . And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it." (Ex. 12:5, 7). Jesus was a perfect lamb. Praise His holy name! Because He achieved victory over the temptations of the world and died without sin, He is justified in attaining the victory over the kings of the world in the physical struggle between good and evil when He comes in glory to take us to heaven.
His way is the way of love
and peace. By His grace, you and I can stay on His side in this battle.
Coalition of evil forces
And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. (Rev. 16:13, 14)
The false trinity
We saw how Satan has prepared the three religious forces after the pattern of the divine three-member team, re13tr. These three forces, dragon, beast, and false prophet are seen in chapters 12 and 13. The evil forces decree death and prohibition to buy and sell for those who refuse to worship beast and image. God responds in chapter 14 by warning that those who accept the false worship, also receive His unmixed wrath. We are seeing this poured out in chapters 15 and 16.
Who is the false
We know the beast (1301c) and the dragon (the devil or Satan, 12:9) but who is the false prophet? The third in the series in chapters 12 and 13 is the beast from the earth. Is he also the false prophet? Yes, because he pretends to be the prophet Elijah and does miracles, 1313b, 1616.
Power comes from
the mouths of the false trinity
Keep in mind that the spirits work miracles to get the kings to fight. They are the driving force of the three-part coalition. What is the spirits' counterpart in God's power? We don't see it so clearly in this passage. Let's look in chapter 19 where we find more of the story. There, Christ rides the white horse.
| And I
saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was
called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
. . . And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses,
clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp
sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them
with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and
wrath of Almighty God. . . .
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. And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years. (Rev. 19:11 - 12:2) re1911.
All three enemies will be
captured as we see from the passage just quoted. We'll learn more about
How does Christ win the battle? In comparison to spirits of devils, He will use the sword of His mouth. ". . . the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:" (ep0617; cf. 0101f). The sword is from His mouth because it represents His words (John 16:13, 14). The spirits of devils which come from the three mouths of God's enemies are thus contrasted to the word of God and of Christ, communicated by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:21). Words, in both cases, speak to the minds and hearts of humans. Those who choose Satan's words of deception instead of the way of peace shown us in the Scriptures, will also hear the words of the sword of the Rider of the white horse. In parallel imagery, those who drink the wine or false doctrine of Babylon, 1813, will also be made to drink the cup of God's wrath which is the seven last plagues, 1409c.
The battle is not fought to see who is stronger, Christ or Satan, although that may be part of it. The battle is to clarify in the minds of the whole universe that God is right in cleansing the earth of sin and those who cling to it. (See the first chapters of Job.). This is a slow process and will end only when every knee bows to acknowledge the sovereignty of God (Rev. 4:13; ph0210).
Frogs were pests in the second plague on Egypt. Let's read the account: "And the LORD spake unto Moses, Go unto Pharaoh, and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Let my people go, that they may serve me. And if thou refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite all thy borders with frogs: And the river shall bring forth frogs abundantly, which shall go up and come into thine house, and into thy bedchamber, and upon thy bed, and into the house of thy servants, and upon thy people, and into thine ovens, and into thy kneadingtroughs:" (Ex. 8:1-3)
And so it happened. Then Pharaoh's occult priests copied the plague. "And the magicians did so with their enchantments, and brought up frogs upon the land of Egypt. (verse 7). They were able to mimic only the first two plagues, p-er2. An Egyptian goddess, Heqa, was represented as having a frog head. The plague showed that no god was blessing the people and that the Hebrew God was powerful.
In our passage, dragon, beast, and false prophet are able to perform real miracles, too. They produce evil spirits which go out to direct the military might of the world.
Frogs link the end-time plagues to the Egyptian plagues in another interesting way. Both scenes start with a river, the Nile in Egypt and the Euphrates in Babylon. From the Nile, frogs came out on the land and went even into the bread dough! God uses the Euphrates, in a different way. He dries it up to make way for the kings of the East who help deliver God's people. Frogs come out of the mouths of the God's three enemies. In both frog scenes, the occult or supernatural is at work.
The next plague is the creation of lice or gnats. The Egyptians exclaimed, "this is the finger of God." They could not imitate the plague. So the frog plague was the last one the Egyptians were able to counterfeit. Likewise the united deceptive thrust of dragon, beast and false prophet will be the final deception. God will work through it to separate the sheep from the goats mt2531ff. This last deception is also pictured by Paul 2th0211.
The frogs bear the deceptive messages of the three members of the worldwide end-time coalition, the false trinity. They are "spirits of devils" or "demons." They may be seen as the counterfeit of the three angels of chapter 14. 1406b
Do the spirits of devils go to two groups?
"For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty." (Rev. 16:14)
Yes, they go to two groups if we see the kings (political leaders) as distinct from everyone else. "Whole world" is translated from the Greek, oikoumene, which may mean the whole inhabited world or the inhabitants of the whole world. Compare 1ti0401. The righteous, of course, will have responded to the call of the three angels and will not be gathered into the rebellion with the rest.
|Chapter||Appearances in the chapter||Dragon||Beast||False Prophet|
||Attacks of the dragon||4 Against the child (by paganism)||13 Against the woman (by the papacy)||17 Against the remnant (by fallen Protestantism)|
||Image to the beast 15||2 Dragon provides power||1 Beast from the sea||12 Beast from the earth|
||Demand options 17||Accept number of beast's name||Accept beast's name||Accept beast's mark|
||Victory of the saints 2||Over the number of the beast's name||Over the beast||Over the image|
||Unclean spirits and fallen city 13, 19||From the mouth of the dragon||From the mouth of the beast||From the mouth of the false prophet|
||Character of evil woman 5||Abominations of the earth||Babylon the great||Harlot daughters|
||The ends 19, 20||20:1-3 Dragon chained in pit, and into lake of fire||19:20 Beast into lake of fire||19:20 False prophet into lake of fire|