Rev. 16:8, 9  "And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire. 9 And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory."

As we have previously shown, the sun is often used in the scriptures to signify two things: the law of God and Jesus as the righteous one.  The law shows forth the exceeding sinfulness of sin: Rom. 7:13 "Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful."  The natural sun is said to reach about 15million degrees Fahrenheit.  Similarly, the law of God scorches men with fire: Rom. 3:19 "Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. 20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin."  Song 1:6 "Look not upon me, because I am black, because the sun hath looked upon me." 

Fire is a symbol of the executed judgment of God.  The animal sacrifices were burned with fire as a sign of the executed wrathful judgment of God because of sin. 

There is a belief in the world today that if God will just pour out some judgments upon the world, then that will bring men to repent.  Much of what is said in pulpits in America today is designed to bring terror to the hearts of men in order to get them to repent.  We should remember Pharaoh.  When the judgments came upon Pharaoh and the land of Egypt, Pharaoh's heart just got harder.  He never repented nor did he give glory to God.  The natural man will not repent or give glory to God regardless of the manifest wrathful judgments of God. 

Instead of giving God the glory, we hear people say such things after some calamitous event, "I do not know why God would allow such things to happen."  Alternatively, after some personal hardship or affliction, we sometimes hear people say, "I don't know why God has allowed this to happen to me."  Such statements as these are blasphemous.  Cain blasphemously said: Gen. 4:13 "And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear. 14 Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me."  Oh how unfair Cain thought God was that after he had slain Abel that God would put Cain in a position of hardship and danger!  Unregenerate men blasphemously blame God for their state of being and refuse to repent of their evil deeds.

Rev. 16:10, 11 "And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain, 11 And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds."

As you will recall, the dragon gave the beast his seat, power, and great authority.  The word, seat, refers to the place of government, the system of government, and the people who govern.  Since the dragon gave the beast his seat, then it makes sense that the beast in its place of government, its system of government, and the people who govern are going to be corrupt like the dragon.  Thus, the angel poured out the vial of God's wrath upon the seat of the beast.  There is only one kingdom that is full of righteousness and that is the kingdom of heaven, which is full of righteousness, joy and peace in the Holy Ghost.

The beastly kingdom was full of darkness.  The beastly kingdoms of this world are full of spiritual darkness.  The Old Testament speaks of Egypt as being the land of darkness.  Paul tells us that as soldiers of Jesus Christ that we wrestle against "the rulers of the darkness of this world."  This beastly world governing system is called "the power of darkness" (Lk. 22:53; Col. 1:13).  When one loses his place in the kingdom of heaven, he is cast into the "outer darkness" of this world (Matt 8:12; 22:13; 25:30).  Before we come to the knowledge of the truth we are said to "sit in darkness" (Lk. 1:79).   Once we come to knowledge of truth then we come from "darkness unto light" (Acts 26:18).  The scriptures tell us to have no fellowship with the "unfruitful works of darkness" (Eph. 5:11).  Furthermore, the scriptures teach, 2 Cor. 6:14 "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?" 

Light and darkness are opposites.  The kingdom of heaven is a kingdom of light, whereas the beastly kingdoms are kingdoms of darkness.  Darkness is the absence of light.  There is no spiritual knowledge or understanding in the kingdoms of darkness.

"They gnawed their tongues for pain."  We read the following about the tongue in James chapter 3: 5 "Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. 7 For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: 8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison."  Rom. 3:13 tells us of the condition of man's tongue in his depraved natural state, "with their tongues they have used deceit."  How great trouble this little member of the body brings upon man.  No wonder the rich man who was in torment wanted Lazarus to "dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame."  The tongue brings great pain into the lives of all men, especially of those who have not been born of the Spirit, and are thus unable to bridle the tongue.  Because of the tongue, families are torn apart, marriages are destroyed, friendships are lost, hatred abounds, cruel acts are instigated, etc.

"And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds."  Rather than put the blame for their pains and sores on their own sinful nature and the sins of their flesh, men blame God for the pains and sores in their lives.  They accuse God of allowing such things to happen in their lives.  They blame God for their failed marriages.  They blame God for their broken relationships.  They blame God for the turmoil in their families.  They blame God for the torment of their failure to forgive.  They blame God for all that their wicked tongues cause.  This is a plague upon man and especially upon the unregenerate and ignorant.  One thing that they will not do in their condition is repent. 

Rev. 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."

Everywhere the Euphrates river appears in the scriptures it is used as a boundary. The Euphrates river appears twenty one times in the scriptures. The first time it appears is in Gen. chapter 2 and is one of the four rivers flowing out of Eden.

In Gen. Chapter 15 God made a covenant with Abram and gave to him by promise the following land: Gen. 15:18 "In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:"

In Deu. Chapter 1 Moses admonished the children of Israel to go in and possess the land that God had promised them: Deu. 1:7 "Turn you, and take your journey, and go to the mount of the Amorites, and unto all the places nigh thereunto, in the plain, in the hills, and in the vale, and in the south, and by the sea side, to the land of the Canaanites, and unto Lebanon, unto the great river, the river Euphrates."

After the death of Moses, God confirmed to Joshua the boundary of the children of Israel: Josh 1:1 "Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' minister, saying, 2 Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel. 3 Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses. 4 From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast."

In 2nd Samuel David went to recover the boundary of the children of Israel that Syria had previously taken: 2 Sam. 8:3 "David smote also Hadadezer, the son of Rehob, king of Zobah, as he went to recover his border at the river Euphrates."

In summary, Euphrates is described as one of the boundaries of the children of Israel and its use in the scriptures is associated with the fact that it is a boundary.

The drying up of the waters of the Euphrates indicates that the land was open to an invasion by foreign forces. Since Euphrates was a great river it was not easily crossed and served as a barrier to invading forces. With the drying up of the waters that barrier was removed. Similarly, Adam was given a boundary in the Garden of Eden. God had told him that of every tree of the garden he was free to eat, "but of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat thereof, for in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."

When Adam ate of the tree, he violated the boundary that God had given him and the invading force of sin entered into his body and subsequently into all men resulting in death to him and all men. "That the way of the kings of the east might be prepared." East is a direction and is associated in the scriptures with sin. Because of sin God "placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life."

After Cain slew Abel, he went out from the presence of the Lord: Gen. 4:16 "And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden."

In rebellion against God, the children of men went out to build the tower of Babel: Gen. 11:2 "And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there."

When Abram built an altar to worship God, he was located as follows: Gen. 12:8 "And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the LORD, and called upon the name of the LORD." Bethel means house of God. Hai means heap. Thus, Abram had the house of God to the west of him and the junk heap of sin to the east of him!

In summary, the direction of east is associated with sin in the scriptures. Kings have a dominion in which they reign. Rom. 6:12 "Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof." As an example, Cain had sin reigning over him: Gen. 4:7 "If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him."

The term "kings of the east" therefore, has reference to the reign of sin in the lives of men.

The children of Israel with Gideon as their leader did battle with the children of the east: Jud. 6:33 "Then all the Midianites and the Amalekites and the children of the east were gathered together, and went over, and pitched in the valley of Jezreel. 34 But the spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon, and he blew a trumpet; and Abiezer was gathered after him." Gideon and the children of Israel destroyed the great host that was gathered. Jesus Christ is the destroyer of our enemies. The "way" of the kings of the east is just the opposite of Christ as the "way." The "way" of destruction is the way of sin: Matt. 7:13 "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat."

Rev. 16:13, 14  "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. 14 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."

The evil trinity consists of the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet. They are enemies of those who are the remnant of the woman's seed that keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. Out of the mouth of these three come three unclean spirits like frogs. Frogs was one of the plagues upon the land of Egypt: Ex. 8:2 "And if thou refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite all thy borders with frogs: 3 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: 4 And the frogs shall come up both on thee, and upon thy people, and upon all thy servants. 5 And the LORD spake unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Stretch forth thine hand with thy rod over the streams, over the rivers, and over the ponds, and cause frogs to come up upon the land of Egypt. 6 And Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt; and the frogs came up, and covered the land of Egypt."

The frogs were pervasive. They came into the houses, into the bedchambers, into the beds, into the houses of the servants, into the ovens and the kneading troughs. The frogs not only came into the above, but they also came UPON Pharaoh, the people and the servants. All of the Egyptians were plagued with the frogs. The frogs were also unclean, thus polluting everything that they came into and upon.

Three unclean spirits came out of the mouths of the unholy trinity. The spirit of the dragon is identified in Eph. 2:2: "Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience." This spirit is the evil spirit of Satan within the flesh nature of man that works in us to fulfill the desires of the flesh and the mind. The second evil spirit comes out of the mouth of the beast. This is the spirit of politics. The spirit of politics seeks to consume and destroy its enemy. One only has to observe the political parties of this country to see the evil of the spirit of politics. The third evil spirit is the spirit of the false prophet. This spirit is a proselyte spirit seeking to convert all that it can to the false messages of the false prophet. In this manner, it seeks to destroy the truth by replacing the truth with a counterfeit gospel and word. The false prophet seeks to set forth a false Christ for the people to worship.

These unclean spirits were "working miracles." The prophets of Egypt emulated the first three plagues that God sent upon Egypt. I submit that what they did were truly counterfeits and not true miracles. The Lord tells us of some that made claims of miraculous things: Matt. 7:21 "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." They claimed to prophesy in Christ name. They claimed to cast out devils in Christ name. They claimed to do many wonderful works in Christ name. Truly, those would be miracles if their claims were true.

Today, many claim to be able to cause men to be born spiritually. They claim that they can save men from their sins through their works system. They claim that they can make one be an heir of heaven through their works system. These would all be miraculous things if true. However, alas, they are all false claims. Furthermore, they have convinced great multitudes that they are true. In the eyes of the multitude, these are miracle workers. The Lord, however, says that they are workers of iniquities. "Which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world." The use of both the term, "earth," and the term, "whole world," seems to be including both the rulers of Israel (earth) and the rulers of the Gentiles (whole world): Acts 4:26 "The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. 27 For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together."  

"To gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty." The "great day of God Almighty" indicates the great day of God's judgment. As we will see in a later section this is the great day of God's judgment that Jesus accomplished on the cross.