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FROM THE CANDLESTICK TO THE THRONE
the sixth angel poured out his bowl upon the great river
As we approach the cataclysmic events set forth in the remaining verses of chapter sixteen of the Revelation I pray that we all can open wide the eyes of our spiritual understanding, for where we are in the spirit determines how we see the unfolding episodes of this book. A dear brother has spoken of this in a little tract he sent me some time ago and I find his words so beautifully instructive that I am compelled to share them with my readers.
He wrote: “When I was about six years old and started to school, I was told to learn my ABC’s. I was told that there were twenty-six of these letters to learn and that I was to learn them in rotation as they were written down. So I finally learned to say them in that order, and I learned to know each letter by itself or I could pick out a particular letter when they were scrambled. Then, one day the teacher gave me a piece of paper which had some writing on it, and asked what it said. I told her that it said ABC’s. So she asked me to read what I saw. I began to pronounce each letter in each word; but I had no idea what the letters spelled, nor could I tell her what the letters meant — yet I could tell her what each letter was in each word. I did not know what the words said, or meant. So she informed me that each word meant something else, besides ABC’s.
of course, I wanted to know what she was talking about, so I set my mind to
learn what these letters meant besides ABC’s.
Now, this is a pretty basic parable, but I think it should get my point
across. It seems to me that this is the
way most people have started out to learn the teachings of Jesus Christ! Most people, when they are taught to read the
“letter” of the word, suppose that the “letters” (ABC’s) are the complete
knowledge of the truth. And the whole
church system is still teaching only the letter. Now, as we said, it is right and good to
learn the letter or letters, but if that is all we ever learn, we will
it is necessary and good to know the letter or letters, but that is like
starting out to follow the word made flesh, but
Euphrates river bordered
a means of preparation for the battle at Armageddon the beloved John records, “And the sixth angel poured out his bowl upon the great river Euphrates; and the
water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be
prepared.” It is important to God’s
elect in this hour that the Spirit of God would grant a clear understanding of
what is here meant by the drying up of the great river Euphrates. The capital city of ancient Babylon was built
on either side of the Euphrates. The
river was also the source of water supplying a fortifying mote about the
city. Its waters, from ten to thirty
feet deep and from 900 to 3500 feet wide, made an obstruction that in ancient
times was passable only under the greatest difficulty. Imagine the fearful state of such a great and
secure city when the waters of its mighty defense are dried up! So because the Babylonians were the first to
build on the banks of the Euphrates, in the book of Revelation the Spirit of
God employs this term as a type of “the waters…where the whore (Mystery
Babylon) sitteth” (Rev. 17:2,15). The
ancient city of Babylon has not existed for long centuries, just as the word of
the Lord prophesied, but there is surely that in the earth today which is
characterized by the spirit and nature of the Babylon of old which sat upon,
and was fortified and defended by, the waters of the great Euphrates. There is especially a repetition today of the
conditions essentially characterizing ancient Babylon in its connection with
God’s people — for Israel was in BONDAGE IN BABYLON. Consequently, their captivity in Babylon, the
type, must find its parallel in Babylon of today, the antitype. Certainly great numbers of the Lord’s people
are today in captivity to the modern spiritual
What the pouring out of the sixth bowl discloses prophetically is the present (in God’s elect) and coming (in all the Lord’s people) destruction of MYSTERY BABYLON THE GREAT! What the apostle John records in chapter sixteen of the Revelation does not give the complete story of how this great religious Babylon is destroyed. There are further wonderful details revealed to him and recorded in chapters seventeen and eighteen. The plague of the seventh bowl brings the conclusion of the judgments upon religious Babylon, the carnal church systems of man, both within the Lord’s people and upon the external systems. Indeed, the events recorded in chapters seventeen and eighteen are the continuation of the plague of the seventh bowl! The fact that all seven plagues have as their great purpose the destruction of Mystery Babylon is plainly stated in the call for God’s people to “come out of her…that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of HER PLAGUES” (Rev. 18:4). Oh, yes, the plagues — all seven of them — are HERS! Can you not see the mystery? As John was set to wondering at the particulars of the continuing prophetic vision, so are we today as we see taking place in these eventful times the very things foretold to take place in connection with the pouring out of divine judgment upon that world empire of Babylonish religion. I am assured that in this very hour God’s chosen and separated elect is invited by the Spirit of God to come and actually behold these wondrous things, just the same as John was invited to see a preview of them in the spirit and by the spirit.
If we have considered the matter as we ought, we will surely have realized that not only are the plagues sent to destroy Babylon, but they are also for the deliverance, correction, purification, and perfection of God’s people held in captivity within the Babylonian system. This holy understanding will give much greater meaning to the fact that it is one of the seven angels which had poured out the seven last plagues of God’s passion, who afterward comes to John and shows him what God has made out of His precious people who formerly dwelt in Babylon. “And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, and I will show thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife. And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal” (Rev. 21:9-11).
Thus God’s wrath or His passion does not stand in conflict with His love, but it is paired most intimately with it in Godly harmony. His wrath He pours out upon the false teachings and treacherous systems which hold His people in error and bind them in captivity; however, His love He sheds upon His people which collectively He calls His own, His beloved, His bride! Once the Lord’s people are cleansed from their idols and defilement, they will be in a position to shine as His glorious light upon the nations and bring deliverance to a sin-sick and judgment-weary world, when “the knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth as the water covers the sea” (Isa. 11:9). What a detriment the carnal programs of the church systems and the false doctrines of condemnation, judgment, and eternal damnation have been to the cause of Christ!
Only when God’s people are cleansed from their carnality and shame can they ever hope to bring deliverance to the world! And that deliverance has to come. It will come through those who have given up their all, those who have lost everything to be joined only to their Lord, and who henceforth live only unto Him. This being accomplished, the pure river of the water of life must flow from the glorious city of God to bring life and healing to the nations. But before God’s people can have any part or lot in this great work, they must forsake all and follow the Lamb alone. No one can deliver men from the lies of the antichrist by continuing to embrace and declare those lies himself. This world worships her idols of false religion, materialism, and the flesh. To deliver this world the Lord’s people must first get rid of their own golden calves. Jesus must be LORD! And then, “the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day. And THE IDOLS SHALL HE UTTERLY ABOLISH” (Isa. 2:17-18). That very work is the great purpose of the seven angels with the seven last plagues! Aren’t you glad!
let us return to our thought about the drying up of the great river
Euphrates. Some take it to mean that
with the pouring out of this sixth bowl the actual river Euphrates shall be
literally dried up, so that nations and armies may pass through it. We must continually keep in mind that we are
touching on spiritual realities. And the absurdity of the literal interpretation of the vision is
found in the fact that if the nations wish to gather for a battle, any river on
earth would certainly not keep them from doing it, even if it is never dried
up! In this day of helicopters,
airplanes, rockets, and missiles a river serves absolutely no significance as a
barrier against invasion. And therefore,
the drying up of the river refers to the removal of all the obstacles and
powers that hold God’s people in bondage to SPIRITUAL BABYLON! Taken in context that is the subject
surrounding the vision under consideration.
It signifies that God is now ready to move to break the strength of
Stephen Jones expressed it so well when he wrote, “The sixth bowl prepares the way for the events of the seventh — the battle of Armageddon and the fall of Babylon. In that way, the two are closely linked, and the one becomes the direct cause of the other. While this may not be clear by reading Revelation 16, it is certainly very clear when we see the historical precedent on which this prophecy is based. That precedent is the fall of Babylon during the days of Daniel, when the kings of the east (King Cyrus of Persia and King Darius of Media) diverted the water from the river Euphrates to conquer Babylon. Thus, the drying up of the river Euphrates was the final prophetic act that led to the conquest of ancient Babylon. So also is this being repeated on a higher level in Revelation 16! One cannot truly understand the events of the sixth and seventh bowls in Revelation 16 without knowing some of the history of ancient Babylon and how it fell in the days of Daniel.”
Let me give you the background. The great kingdom or empire of Nebuchadnezzar (Babylon) was made up of smaller kingdoms that he had conquered. As long as he lived his kingdom was strong; but as soon as he died, it began to fall apart. His son became king in his place, but was soon slain; and one king followed another quickly for some years. The last king was named Nabonidus. He made his son Belshazzar king with himself, and left Belshazzar to rule in the capital city of Babylon, while he was caring for the more distant parts of the kingdom. At that strategic point a new nation was rising to power. Far to the east were the kingdoms of Media and Persia. These two peoples had become one, and were at war with Babylon, under their great leader Cyrus. While Belshazzar was ruling in the city of Babylon, Cyrus and his Persian soldiers approached the outside of the city, around the tremendous walls, and began trying to take the city. These walls were so great and high and wide that the Persian soldiers could not break through them nor scale their heights.
On that very night King Belshazzar was holding in the palace a great feast in honor of his god. On the tables were the golden cups and vessels that Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the temple of the Lord at the time when he conquered the city of Jerusalem. Around the tables were the king, his many wives, and a thousand of his princes and nobles. They did not know that their city was soon to be taken and that their enemies were at the very gates of the city. While they were all drinking wine together, suddenly a strange thing was seen. On the wall appeared a great hand writing letters and words in a language no one could read. Every eye was drawn to the spot, and all saw the fingers moving on the wall and the letters written. The king was filled with fear. His face turned pale and his knees shook. He called for the wise men of Babylon, who were with him in the palace, to tell what the writing meant. He said, “Whoever can read the words on the wall shall be dressed in a purple robe and shall have a chain of gold around his neck, and he shall rank next to King Belshazzar as the third ruler in the kingdom.”
But not one of the wise men could read it. At last the queen of Babylon said to Belshazzar, “O king, may you live forever! There is one man who can read this writing, a man in whom is the spirit of the holy gods, a man whom Nebuchadnezzar, your father, made master of all the wise men. His name is Daniel. Send for him, and he will tell you what these words are and what they mean.” Daniel was now an old man; and since the time when Nebuchadnezzar died, he had been no longer in his high place as ruler and chief adviser of the king. They sent for Daniel, and he came. The king said to him, “Are you that Daniel that was brought many years ago by my father to this city? I have heard of you, that the spirit of the holy gods is upon you and that you possess wisdom and knowledge. If you can read this writing upon the wall and tell me what it means, I will give you a purple robe and a gold chain and a place next to myself as the third ruler in the kingdom.”
Daniel answered the king. “You may keep your rewards yourself and may give your gifts to whom you please, for I do not want them; but I will read to you the writing. O king, the Most High God gave to Nebuchadnezzar this kingdom and great power and glory. But when Nebuchadnezzar became proud and boasted of his greatness, then the Lord took from him his crown and his throne and let him live among the beasts of the field until he knew that the Most High God rules over the kingdoms of men. O Belshazzar, you knew all this, yet you have not been humble in heart. You have risen up against the Lord, you have taken the sacred vessels of His house, and have drunk wine in them in honor of your own gods of wood and stone; but you have not praised the Lord God who has given to you your kingdom and your power. For this reason the Most High God has sent this hand to write these words upon the wall. This is the writing — MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN. And this is the meaning: Numbered, Numbered, Weighed, Divided.
“MENE: God has counted the years of your kingdom and has brought it to an end.
“TEKEL: You have been weighed in the balances and have been found wanting.
“UPHARSIN: Your kingdom is divided and taken from you, and given to the Medes and Persians.”
Belshazzar could scarcely believe what he heard; but he commanded that the
promised reward be given to Daniel. And
almost while he was speaking, his end came.
For even as Daniel was speaking, King Cyrus had devised a plan to
capture the city of
the Old Testament the Euphrates river was known as “the great river” (Gen.
15:18; Josh. 1:4). As we have seen, it
flowed through historical Babylon and was the life-blood of the city. Even now in modern times rivers are still the
life-force to many of the great cities of the world. Spiritually speaking, religious people who
serve God out of human zeal, carnal understanding, and soulical power have one
river flowing through them, their spiritual head-waters and life-flow — the
question follows — How will this
Ah, even as the prophets of God are speaking in our day, just as Daniel spoke to King Belshazzar in the Babylon of old, the river of man is being diverted — the river that is being dried up is the flow of “ministry” that is coming out of the mouth of the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet. The “anointing” of Babylon is drying up, their programs and methods are not working anymore, and God is causing a great emptiness within them and is bringing them to the end of themselves. When the river Euphrates that has nourished the Babylon church system dries up, the way will be made for the kings of the east. But this time it’s not just a horde pouring into the land to devastate and conquer it, but now something is coming into the land to purge, purify, renew, and transform it! Oh, yes!
is even now in the process of “drying up the waters” of the great Euphrates,
the river of modern Babylon. God is
calling out of Babylon “His people” that have so long been held captive within
her walls, within her static creeds, her paganized doctrines, her empty forms,
her cold rituals, her lifeless ceremonies, her man-made laws and commandments,
her carnal programs, her un-spiritual methods, and her un-scriptural
institutions. The Spirit of God shall
accomplish such a thorough job of calling His people out “unto Himself,” unto a
pure and undefiled walk in the Spirit, under the absolute headship of Jesus
Christ, that John is able to write, “Rejoice
over her (
God removes all this from the midst of
THE KINGS OF THE EAST
the sixth angel poured out his bowl upon the great river
the very instructive and deeply significant illustrations given by the Holy
Spirit in the visions of John we have the beautiful presentation of the
is still wondering what the four angels holding the four winds can mean when he
sees the four mighty sentinels all at once turn their eyes to the east. And behold, another messenger comes ascending
out of the east as the morning sun comes, announcing God’s new day. He comes clothed
with light as with a garment; the widespread earth shines bright under his
glory; and his voice is as the sound of many waters. The ascending messenger holds in his hand the
seal of the living God! And, addressing himself to the four mighty
sentinels, he speaks to them with a voice that they hear above all the
commotions that arise from the earth, and the
There can be no doubt that the seal in the forehead of God’s bondslaves is the mind of Christ. I have pointed out previously in this series that no man is qualified to judge the world, rule the world, or restore the world until he has been sealed in his forehead with the mind of Christ. Only the glorious mind of Christ brings the balance between mercy and judgment! It was, then, of this Christ-mind that David prophesied when he said, “Surely His salvation is nigh…mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other” (Ps. 85:9-10). Mercy and truth are met together — praise God, what a summit meeting! These words are pregnant with meaning. When one contemplates the impossibility of such a union, it is an overwhelming thought that mercy and truth are met together. Truth is harsh, demanding, unrelenting; mercy is lenient, forgiving, lax. Truth condemns and devours; mercy covers and exonerates. Only when one has intermingled the ministries of priest, king, and judge are these incompatible forces MET TOGETHER!
Partakers with Christ in this heavenly calling, when one actually becomes an ANOINTED JUDGE, he shares in that omniscient mind that discerns the true nature of all things, and therefore judges righteously. Partakers with Christ in this heavenly calling, when one actually becomes an ANOINTED KING, he shares in that dominion, that power that is in the Spirit and by the Spirit. Partakers with Christ in this heavenly calling, when one actually becomes an ANOINTED PRIEST, he shares that unlimited outflow of mercy, compassion, and unconditional love that is derived from the heart of our great High Priest. Only one possessed of this three-fold mind of Christ is qualified to control the four winds of judgment that blow upon the earth, the sea, and the trees! Only the sons of God sealed in their foreheads with the mind of Christ will be able to judge the world in righteousness, rule the world with a rod of iron, and at the same time reconcile all things to God! All others would, if given a chance, pour out unbridled vengeance, wrath, and damnation upon the rebellious. And in connection with our present meditation upon the “kings of the east” who come to judge Babylon, only the sons of God sealed in their foreheads with the mind of Christ can separate between the system of Babylon and the people held captive within that system, to consume and destroy the system while at the same time bringing deliverance, purging, purification, blessing, and glory upon the Lord’s people within the system! What a marvelous thing!
Now, of this angel it does not say, “…descending from the east,” but it says, “…ascending from the east.” In the natural, it is the sun, the source of light and day, which ascends out of the east. Some translations say, “ascending from the sun rising.” This is a true translation. Ezekiel beheld the glory of God coming from the east. “Afterwards he brought me to the gate, even the gate that looketh toward the east: and, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east: and His voice was like the voice of many waters: and the earth shined with His glory” (Eze. 43:1-2). Can you not see the mystery? Is this not a similar description to the angel ascending from the east in the Revelation? This is the Lord Himself arising in His elect! The star which heralded His nativity when the firstborn Son of God came into the earth came from the east! The wise men came from the east to worship the infant Jesus. They were eminent in the science of astrology, which was considered the greatest science of that day. The east, therefore, was looked to for wise men. The Lord Jesus Himself is called, “the bright and morning star.” The morning star is seen in the east. His glorious appearing is referred to as the “bright shining which shines from the east even unto the west.” This “angel” ascends from the sun-rising, the quarter from whence proceeds the light of day which gilds the loftiest mountain-tops and penetrates into the darkest recesses of the valleys.
the Hebrews the term “east” had a much more extensive signification than with
us, to whom its only distinction is that it is the point of the sun’s
rising. But beyond this, it was to the
kings of the east are the kings of “the rising of the sun,” or the arising of
spiritual illumination, power, and glory.
Thank God that we live in the time when the defenses of religious
see then that the sons of God, as the overcoming body of Christ, are arising in
splendor and glory over the earth. They
speak with the voice as the sound of many waters! God wants His sons to rise, and we are
beginning to rise as in and by the Spirit we ascend from one glory to another
in Him in this great day! Yet we also
know by the Spirit that our ministry to the earth-realm cannot
us then consider that the drying up of the waters of the
— before this work of the preparation of the road, there is something else that
has to happen, something has to “dry up.”
The river Euphrates is the stream, the flow, the current, the
SONS OF GOD CAN
only that — the drying up of the
the hour comes for the final overthrow of that great city, the mystical
the commander of the
great soul-gripping truth is just this.
Cyrus was ordained of God as the type of Christ our Elder Brother, our
Forerunner, the Captain of our salvation, the Head of the Christ-body, the King
of kings and Lord of lords, the glorious One riding the white horse followed by
the armies that are in heaven! Just as
Cyrus and his armies diverted the waters of the great river
me tell you something. THIS RIVER
only has the spirit of
Lordship of Christ who is the truth must
march through our land, drying up the entire
Let us return for a moment to the thought that to the Hebrews the primary direction in spiritual things was the east. It is an enlightening study just to look up the word east in the concordance and follow through all the passages in the Bible that speak of the east. No doubt we could spend the next five years just writing about that! What happens when you face east? Eventually you will behold the rising of the sun, the dawn of the morning, the glory of the new day! That is the supreme idea that the east represents. I am reminded of the young man in ancient days who wondered where the sun went after it set. One night he sat up all night pondering this, trying to figure out where the sun was — and finally it dawned on him. And that, my beloved, is the revelation and the truth of the east!
times we experience the setting of the sun in our experience. At one time the Lord arose in our lives and
revealed a glory of Himself and blessed and anointed us, but when it had
accomplished its purpose and He was through with the revelation and activity of
that “day” the sun set. Every day has a
morning and an evening, a beginning and an end.
Every revival and move of God in
the history of God’s dealings has been
like that. And every time God
gets ready to bring in a new age and put a new revelation and order into place
the sun sets on the old. What was once
illumination, blessing, and glory becomes darkness, bondage, and death! That is how the walls of
To be continued… J. PRESTON EBY
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