Rev 16:12. Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its waters was dried up, so that the way of the kings from the east might be prepared.
Looking at the traditional Adventist interpretation of the drying up of the river Euphrates: the waters on which Babylon sits on and when it dries up, means the finances to the city of Babylon have dried up, hence there is no longer any support to the city and therefore Babylon collapses.
The term Kings from the East is generally defined as Christ´s Second Coming.
Questions to the above interpretation.
Does the River Euphrates mean many waters on which Babylon sits on?
Does the drying up of the river Euphrates mean drying up of financial support?
What is the Biblical meaning of Kings from the East?
Does the River Euphrates mean many waters on which Babylon sits on?
The text used to support this view, is taken from Rev. 17:15.The waters which you saw, were the harlot sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues. This text is referring to Rev 17:1. Come I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters.
What do many waters mean in the book of Revelation?
Rev 1:15. His voice as the sound of many waters. (Refers to the voice of Christ in heaven).
Rev 14:2. And I heard a voice from heaven, like the voice of many waters, and like the voice of loud thunder. And I heard the sound of harpists playing their harps. (Refers to the 144,000 voices in heaven singing a new song verse 3).
Rev 17:1. Come I will show the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters.
Rev 17:15. The waters which you saw, where the harlot sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations and tongues. (These people are related to one voice of praise and worship to the fallen church worldwide, which is opposite to the voices of the 144,000 who keep the Ten Commandments of God and the faith of Jesus Christ Rev 14:12).
Rev 19:6. And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunder, saying, Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns.
Many waters are related to the voice of Christ up in heaven and the 144,000 up in heaven. Many waters are also related to the 144,000 singing a new song and the voice of the great multitude praising God in heaven. They also keep the Ten Commandments of God and the true faith of Jesus Christ. These commandments include the Sabbath day which is on a Saturday.
As regards to the harlot sitting on many waters, this represents the worldwide fallen church singing and praising God through false worship and teachings they have received from the scarlet beast. These teachings represent the wine of her fornication in Rev 17:2.3. These teachings are opposite to the Ten Commandments of God and the true faith in Jesus Christ. i.e. the sabbath day which is on a Sunday.
As for rivers meaning populated parts of the earth is just speculation and reading into the text what is not there. Rivers in prophecy refer to life giving waters like the river of life but certainly not many peoples.
Does the drying up of the river Euphrates mean the drying up of financial support?
There is no Biblical text to support this view.
Now we shall analysis of the text Rev 16:12-16.
Rev 16:12 Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, so that the way of the kings from the east might be prepared.
Where is the river Euphrates?
It lies on the border between Gods people the Israelites, and their enemies. The border lies on the river flowing from the north and east of Israel. The enemies of Israel who lived on the other side of the border where Fx. Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persian etc.
What does it mean when the river Euphrates dries up?
It means that when the water has disappeared, there is no border between Israel and their enemies. Hence, their enemies have direct access to attacking Israel.
What does the term mean “kings from the east?”
I have read many different commentaries and different interpretations of this text. Most are speculative also from the Adventist traditional approach. The traditional approach states that the kings from the east refer to Christ at his Second Coming from the east. Math 24:27 “For as the lightening comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.” But this interpretation gives a problem with the grammar in Rev 16:12-16. The word kings is written in the plural and not singular. That means there is more than one king. Some theologians have tried to get around the text by saying that the Second Coming involves the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit making three kings. In addition, Christ is coming from the east and he will meet his people who are the priesthood of all believers and kings with him. Rev 5:10. Again, these interpretations do not agree with the context of the passage and the rest of the Bible.
Kings from the east is an indirect expression used in the Old Testament. It was an expression used for the enemies of Israel, who lived just over the river Jordan or the other side of the river Euphrates, who came from the east of Israel. Fx. the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Assyrians and Babylonians. When the river Euphrates and river Jordan dried up in parts, mainly in the summer, then the enemies of Israel marched over the river, which was now dry ground and this made it easier for the enemy to attack the Israelites. The enemy, were referred to as the Kings (Jos 11:2) of the Cannanites, Amorite, Hitite, Perizite, Jebusite, Hivite (Jos 11:3). When all these kings had met together, they came and camped together at the waters of Merom to fight against Israel. Jos 11:4. So they went out, they and all their armies with them, as many people as the sand that is on the seashore in multitude. Jos 11:6. But the Lord said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid because of them, for tomorrow about this time I will deliver all of them slain before Israel. So it is God who does the fighting for his people in this text.
Jos 12:1 These are the kings of the land whom the children of Israel defeated, and whose land they possessed on the other side of the Jordan toward the rising of the sun (the east, anatolé in Greek, means from the rising of the sun), from the River Arnon to Mount Hermon, and all the eastern Jordan plain.
Jos 12:2 One king was Sihon king of the Amorites.
Jos 12:4 Another king was Og king of Bashan.
Furthermore, the east or rising of the sun refers to Northern Arabia, Syria, and Mesopotamia. This was the area where the Magi or Wise men came from, before visiting the child Jesus with their gifts in Bethlehem. Mat 2:1. Thus, Haran was in the land of the people of the east Gen 29:1.4. The king of Moab later brought Balaam from Aram (that is Syria), out of the mountains of the east (Num 23:7. 22:5). Isaiah spoke of Cyrus, the Persian, as the righteous man from the east (Isa 41:2).
What does the text Rev 16:12-14 mean for us today?
It means there will come a time in the future when the border between believers in Christ and non-believers will be removed. There will be a worldwide law condemning Christians to death who believe in the Bible and Bible only. The enemies of Christ thereafter will have access to destroying and exterminating all Christians who obey the ten commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. Rev 12:17. When the border of security and protection is removed from true Christians, then the wicked will go in for the attack, and the last world war Armageddon will take place. This will happen just before the Second Coming of Christ literally, from the heavens, and every eye will see him. Rev 1:7.
What else happens at that time according to Rev 16:13?
Rev 16:13. And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the dragon, out of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet.
OK! We are talking about Bible prophecy here in the text.
Who does the Dragon represent in Bible prophecy?
Rev 12:9 So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
Who does sea the beast represent in Bible prophecy?
Rev 13:1-10. Rev 17:1-8. 2 Thess 2:1-12. Dan 7:7.8.19-25. Dan 8:9-12. Dan 11:16-45. The Roman Catholic organization and system of worship.
Who does the false prophet represent in Bible prophecy?
Rev 19:20. Rev 13:11-13. First and foremost the Protestant church in the USA, which has stopped protesting against the Roman Catholic Church; it also refers to all the Protestant churches all over the world who follow in the footsteps of the Protestant Church in the USA.
Rev 19:20 Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image.
The false prophet who worked signs and deceived those who received the mark of the beast, is confirmed in Rev 13:14 And he (Protestants in the USA) deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast.
“Through two great errors, the immortality of the soul and Sunday sacredness, Satan will bring the people under his deceptions. While the former lays the foundation of spiritualism, the latter creates a bond of sympathy with Rome. The Protestants of the United States will be foremost in stretching their hands across the gulf to grasp the hand of spiritualism; they will reach over the abyss to clasp hands with the Roman power; and under the influence of this threefold union, this country will follow in the steps of Rome trampling on the rights of conscience.” ((1))
“It is true that spiritualism is now changing its form and, veiling some of its more objectionable features, is assuming a Christian guise – – -. Even in its present form, so far from being more worthy of toleration than formerly, it is really more dangerous, because a more subtle, deception. While it formerly denounced Christ and the Bible, it now professes to accept both. But the Bible is interpreted in a manner that is pleasing to the unrenewed heart, while its solemn and vital truths are made of no effect. Love is dwelt upon as the chief attribute of God, but it is degraded to a weak sentimentalism, making little distinction between good and evil. God’s justice, His denunciation of sin, the requirements of His holy law, are all kept out of sight. The people are taught to regard the Decalogue as a dead letter.” ((2))
Many of these signs of modern day spiritualism are revealed in the Charismatic movement in many churches all over the world. Wikipedia states that Charismatic Christian beliefs are not defined by a particular doctrine. They believe in miracles, signs and wonders. They also believe in the gift of prophecy, healing, super natural occurrences and the speaking of tongues.
This speaking of tongues is not the Biblical speaking of tongues, which were only languages. The Charismatic speaking in tongues is a gibberish utterance from the mouth, followed by many times with a rolling on the floor. These speaking in tongues is not Biblical and we find no indication that the disciples practiced this kind of phenomena.
Rev 16:14 For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God almighty.
It is the spirits of demons working through the Charismatic movement, who gather the Roman Catholic Church and Protestants throughout the whole world, together. On top of that, these demons are working extra hard, because they go out to all the kings of the earth to convince them, that those who keep the Ten Commandments of God and the Faith of Jesus Christ, are the enemies of God and therefore should be destroyed.
Notice “Kings” is in the plural just as kings from the East (rising of the sun) is in the plural in Rev 16:12. When the river Euphrates is dried up; the border of security and protection of Gods people on earth is removed by civil authorities; then the kings of the earth together with all the wicked go in for the attack against Gods people at the war of Armageddon.
Should Gods people who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus be afraid?
What did God say to Joshua when the kings from the east, the enemies of Gods people were preparing for an attack on the Israelites?
Jos 11:4-6. So they went out, they and all their armies with them, as many people as the sand that is on the seashore in multitude, with many horses and chariots. When all these kings had met together, they came and camped together at the waters of Merom to fight against Israel. But the Lord said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid because of them, for tomorrow about this time I will deliver all of them slain before Israel”.
So it is God who does the fighting for his people in this text. It is the God of the whole universe, who wins the war of Armageddon.
This Armageddon war happens when the sea beast in Rev 13:1-10 unites with the beast from the earth Rev 13:11-18, having two horns like a lamb, will speak like a dragon and act like a dragon. The dragon represents Satan in the book of Revelation. The sea beast represents the Roman Catholic Church system and the beast from the earth represents Protestants in the USA. This is all in the future.
- Ellen G. White, Confrontation (Grantham, Lincolnshire: The Stanborough Press, 1978), 588.
- Ibid., 557. 558.