The Euphrates

Arno Froese

“And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men” (Revelation 9:13-15). 

The Euphrates
The river Euphrates is already mentioned in Genesis 2:14: “…the fourth river is Euphrates.” And, for the last time, in 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.”

200 Million Demons
I venture to take a different path from the popular interpretation that this speaks of an invasion of Israel by communist China sometime in the latter days. I believe this is an out of this world invasion by demons. What is the reason for coming to the conclusion that this is demonic activity? Here the army is described as “two hundred thousand thousand,” which some scholars interpret to be 200 million Chinese. But what does it say? “Thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone” (Revelation 9:17). First of all, warfare is no longer fought with horses. Horses do not have heads like lions; nor do fire, smoke, and brimstone come out of their mouths. Thus, this vision John receives is to be understood as things that are literally out of this world. That means: demonic forces.

A more specific identification in relation to the river Euphrates, is contained in the words of Revelation 16:13: “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.” We are dealing here with none other than physical, spiritual realities. The question arises: is this yet to come? Our answer is, this is timeless; that means past, present, and future must be combined.

Since the beginning of man, when he fell into sin through deception, peace was taken away from earth; since that time, man has not experienced peace. Contrary to all the declarations of the nations of the world, that “we are peaceful; we want freedom; we are the righteous people,” the simple truth is it’s hollow. Tens of thousands of wars and conflicts were fought throughout history, where millions upon millions of people lost their lives. In conclusion, man has never experienced peace, and will not experience peace until the Prince of peace comes.

Again how do we know these are demons? Verse 14 gives us an answer: “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.” Note “spirits of devils,” properly translated demons. Also note “working miracles.” What is the purpose of these miracles? Unity! “The kings of the earth and of the whole world”: that’s globalism, an imitation of the true Church, which is perfectly global; we are all one in Jesus Christ our Lord. He is the Head; we are the body. Jesus, in His High-Priestly Prayer, prays for His Church: “I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine” (John 17:9). This is confirmed in verse 16: “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.”

Manmade Unity
So, why is the god of this world, the devil, trying to bring about such a unified world? Answer: “…to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty” (Revelation 16:14b). Here we have clear proof that this is an unearthly battle, because no army in the world can use their military hardware or intelligence to fight the Lord God Almighty. We are dealing here with forces out of this world. Nevertheless, these forces make use of fallen humanity. This happened 6,000 years ago, is happening today, and the final confrontation will yet take place. That’s when light meets darkness; when Jesus Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords, comes to make an end of all the world powers.

The Evil Nations
With that, we come to a very difficult point. The general interpretation is always “the others,” of course not us. It’s the Nazis, the socialists, the communists, and lately, the Muslims, etc. But that’s not what the Bible says: it makes it crystal clear that the whole world will participate in jubilantly welcoming Satan’s masterpiece: the Antichrist.

Back to Euphrates
What is happening in the invisible world is just as real as what’s happening in our world which we can observe, particularly now through the Internet, television, and news media. The devil has been busy since the garden of Eden to deceive all of mankind, with the aim to fulfill what is written in 2 Thessalonians 2:4: “Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” Also, we must understand that the devil does not need to deceive mankind, because man is already deceived; he is totally lost. This is not something that is going to happen in the future. The annals of history prove the point: man has been evil from the very beginning, and he will continue to be evil until the final day of judgment.

Only One Way Out
In the meantime, however, there is an escape, and that is through Jesus Christ our Lord. When we come to Him in humility and repentance, He will accept us and make us new persons in Christ; old things will pass away, and He makes all things new. However, we must emphasize here, not in the flesh; we are still creatures subject to sin, subsequently prone to sickness, which will finally end in death. For again, Scripture says: “flesh and blood shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”

Jacob’s Trouble
How does this relate to Israel? That is the great tragedy, because Israel collectively will also be deceived. Jesus said: “I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive” (John 5:43).

In the meantime, the world is galloping toward unity, in spite of some setbacks. But all impediments, all stumbling stones will be taken out of the way in due time. This has been in process, particularly during the last century. Only a hundred years ago, it was virtually impossible that the nations could get along with one another. One war followed the next, climaxing into the First and Second World Wars. But, from that point on, a spirit of peace has begun to build upon the foundation of commerce—a new age world.

A recent report by the Jerusalem Post was headlined, “China Open to ‘Active Role’ in Advancing Mideast Peace Process”:

China is willing to play an active role in pushing forward the frozen peace process between Israel and the Palestinians, official Palestinian news agency Wafa reported.

The report cited remarks made by Chinese special envoy to the Middle East, Gong Xiaosheng, during a meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah.

During the convening, Abbas reportedly briefed Gong on recent developments, notedly regarding the PA leader’s visit to Washington in April, his trip to Russia in early May and his meeting with US President Donald Trump in Bethlehem.

Along with bilateral diplomatic relations, the Chinese envoy expressed his country’s readiness to bolster economic ties with the Palestinians. Abbas hailed the comments and the Palestinian Authority’s “special” relations with the East Asian nation.

China is one of Israel’s top trading partners, but the two governments are often at odds on regional issues.

Beijing has strong ties with Tehran and recognizes Palestine as a state.

In mid-March, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited China for three days to mark 25 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries., 30 May 2017

Communist China (kings of the east) is slowly but surely asserting itself as the rich uncle, with pockets full of money, ready to invest anywhere, anytime and for any reason.

Israel has remarkably good relations with communist China, which continues to grow rather astonishingly. But the end result is still the same: China, as all other nations in the world, insists on a so-called two-state option. That means, the Promised Land should be divided between Arab Palestinians and Israeli Jews. That, however, is the point where the world is being deceived by the three unclean spirits, working miracles throughout the whole world.

For Israel, a dark period is yet to come; it’s called “Jacob’s Trouble.” The prophet Jeremiah, over 2,600 years ago, writes: “Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it” (Jeremiah 30:7). Note Israel’s hope expressed with the last 7 words: “…he shall be saved out of it.”

Midnight Call - 08/2017 

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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