The great dragon will collect all his forces, to make one desperate struggle before all be lost. God warns of this great trial, to engage his people to prepare for it. These will be times of great temptation; therefore Christ, by his apostle, calls on his professed servants to expect his sudden coming, and to watch that they might not be put to shame, as apostates or hypocrites.
(Rev 16:13 KJV) 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.
And when this work of God appears, and is about to be accomplished, no wonder if it occasion another consequence, which is, the last effort of the great dragon; he is resolved to have another push for it, that, if possible, he may retrieve the ruinous posture of his affairs in the world.
(Rev 16:13 KJV) And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs,....
Rome, the seat of antichrist, being destroyed, and the kingdom of the beast darkened, and brought into great contempt, Mahometanism greatly declining, the Gospel succeeding everywhere, the Jews being converted, and resettled in their own land, the devil bestirs himself more than ordinary; and dispatches his, and the emissaries of antichrist, to the kings of the whole earth, that can any ways be engaged on their side, and against the saints; and these are no other than the creatures of antichrist, such as cardinals, priests, and particularly Jesuits, as their original from the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet, show.
Charles Daubuz (1673–1717), thought these "three" were the "monks", the "religious knights", and "secular clergy": and these are called "spirits"; not because they are what are called familiar spirits, or devils themselves, for they are the spirits of devils, as in the next verse; but either because they pretend to be spiritual men, ecclesiastics, men in spiritual offices, and indeed are spiritual wickednesses in high places; or because of their agility, swiftness, and expeditiousness in going to and fro, Satan like, to do mischief: and they are said to be "unclean"; as the evil spirits and devils are, being so by nature, and delighting in uncleanness, and giving themselves up to work it with greediness: and they are "like frogs"; the allusion is to the plague of frogs in Egypt,
(Exo 8:5 KJV) 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.
and these antichristian emissaries are fitly compared to them, for their impurity, and pleasure they take in it, as frogs do in dirt and filth; and for their being talkative, impudent, and troublesome, like the noisy croaking frogs; so "rhetoricians" are by Cicero compared to frogs; and as the frogs of Egypt got into the king's bedchamber, Exo_8:3
(Exo 8:3 KJV) 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:
so these get into the private retirements of princes, into their cabinet councils, and stir them up to war and bloodshed: and as for the number, "three", this is only used to express a sufficient number of them, or to make the account square with the dragon, beast, and false prophet, from whom they proceed; and besides, this is omitted in the king's manuscript.
He is now rallying his forces, recollecting all his spirits, to make one desperate sally before all be lost. This is occasioned by the pouring out of the sixth vial. Here observe, the instruments he makes use of to engage the powers of the earth in his cause and quarrel: Three unclean spirits like frogs come forth, one out of the mouth of the dragon, another out of the mouth of the beast, and a third out of the mouth of the false prophet. Now John saw these, in a visionary way,
(Rev 16:13 KJV) 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;
by the dragon is meant the devil,
(Rev 12:9 KJV) And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
not as acting in Rome Pagan, which has been long ago destroyed, rather as in the Pagan parts of the world, and as in the Islamic empire, now ruined; who, seeing his cause declining everywhere, bestirs himself to support and revive it, though this issues in the binding of him for a thousand years,
(Rev 20:2 KJV) And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
By the beast is meant the first beast,
(Rev 13:1 KJV) And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.
and so the Ethiopic version renders it; the antichristian civil state, now sadly shattered and weakened, by the pouring out of the fifth vial: and by "the false prophet" is meant, not Mahomet, or the supporters of his religion, but the second beast,
(Rev 13:11 KJV) And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.
or the antichristian ecclesiastic state, as appears from the description of this prophet
(Rev 19:20 KJV) 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.
compared with that: so then these spirits manifestly appear to be the emissaries of antichrist, under a diabolical influence; his creatures, that are made, and sent forth by him, have their commissions and orders from him, to act for him in every shape, to support his interest, civil and religious, by lies, murders, and false doctrine; a further account is given of them in the next verse.
Rev 16:14 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.
Hell, the secular power of antichrist, and the ecclesiastical power, would combine to send their several instruments, furnished with hellish malice, with worldly policy, and with religious falsehood and deceit; and these would muster up the devil's forces for a decisive battle.
Rev 16:14 For they are the spirits of devils,....
They are of their father the devil; they are acted and influenced by him, he works effectually in them, and leads them captive at his will; they do his lusts, and are murderers and liars, and false teachers, like him:
Rev 16:14 working miracles;
lying ones, to deceive men; this clearly points out who are meant, namely, the followers of antichrist, who, as they spread the doctrines of devils, endeavor to confirm them by signs and lying wonders:
Rev 16:14 which go forth unto the kings of the earth:
those who have committed fornication with the Romish antichrist, such of them as will remain:
Rev 16:14 and of the whole world;
as many Pagan princes as they can come at, and engage by any ways and means in their interest; they will go forth to them like the lying spirit to Ahab's prophets,
(1Ki 22:22 KJV) And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and do so.
The means these instruments would use to engage the powers of earth in this war.
Rev 16:14 to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty;
that is, they will persuade them to gather together, to fight against the saints, the Gentile Christians in the several parts of the world, and the Jewish Christians, now settled in their own land; and this will be the battle of the Lord, who is God Almighty, and it will be fighting against him; and therefore the attempt must be vain and fruitless, and issue in the ruin of those who are gathered to it, who will be deceived and drawn into it by these diabolical spirits: and this is called "the battle of that great day of God"; not of the day of judgment, for it will be before that time; but of that day of vengeance upon all the remains of his and his church's enemies, both Pagan, Papal, and Mahometan, who will for this purpose be gathered together; "which", as the Ethiopic version renders it, "God has appointed".
They would work pretended miracles, the old stratagem of him whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power, and signs, and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness,
(2Th 2:9 KJV) Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
(2Th 2:10 KJV) And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
Some think that a little before the fall of antichrist the popish pretence of power to work miracles will be revived and will very much amuse and deceive the world.
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