Revelation 16:13 Then I saw three evil spirits that looked like frogs; they came out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet.

The three evil spirits coming forth from the dragon, the beast and the false prophet, indicates their total anti-God character. They emerge from the mouths of these three characters meaning that they will be representative of a total, evil onslaught against the church. Their doctrine of deceit and misinformation is as reprehensible as the plague of the frogs was to the general population at the time Israel’s captivity in Egypt.

Exodus 8:3, 4 The Nile will teem with frogs. They will come up into your palace and your bedroom and onto your bed, into the houses of your officials and on your people, and into your ovens and kneading troughs.  4The frogs will go up on you and your people and all your officials.

Psalm 78:45 He sent swarms of flies that devoured them, and frogs that devastated them.

Just as the frogs in Egypt were found everywhere, so the doctrine of Satan will infiltrate every walk of life.

It is important that we understand what form this attack against the church will take.

II Thessalonians 2:9, 10 The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, 10and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.

I Timothy 4:1, 2  The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.  2Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.

II Timothy 3:2-6 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God-5having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them. 6They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over weak-willed women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires.

II Peter 2:1  But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them--bringing swift destruction on themselves.  2Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. 3In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.

Revelation 16:14 They are spirits of demons performing miraculous signs, and they go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them for the battle on the great day of God Almighty.

Here we are shown that these spirits are of the same ilk as those that caused so much evil during Jesus’ time on earth.

Matthew 8:28, 29  When he arrived at the other side in the region of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men coming from the tombs met him. They were so violent that no one could pass that way. 29"What do you want with us, Son of God?" they shouted. "Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?"

They are three evil spirits masquerading as the Trinity, thus genuine instruments in the hands of Satan.  They work the politics of the day to unite world-leaders against the church, taking away liberties and privileges of believers to coerce them to rebel against God, like Adam and Eve did.

They are mustering their forces to wage war against God on his great day, believing that they might succeed.

Joel 2:11, 12, 31, 32 The LORD thunders at the head of his army; his forces are beyond number, and mighty are those who obey his command. The day of the LORD is great; it is dreadful. Who can endure it? 12'Even now,' declares the LORD, 'return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.' 31The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD. 32And everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as the LORD has said, among the survivors whom the LORD calls.

Revelation 6:17 For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?

Isaiah 13:6 Wail, for the day of the LORD is near; it will come like destruction from the Almighty.

Zephaniah 1:14 The great day of the LORD is near--near and coming quickly. Listen! The cry on the day of the LORD will be bitter, the shouting of the warrior there.

Romans 2:5  But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God's wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed.

Jude 1:6 And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own home--these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day.

Revelation 16:15  "Behold, I come like a thief! Blessed is he who stays awake and keeps his clothes with him, so that he may not go naked and be shamefully exposed."

Christ admonishes the believers to stay alert and on standby, expecting Him at any moment, never engaging in activities that might compromise their readiness to meet Him. Believers live in the resurrection of Christ and, whatever they do, their new citizenship influences the way they act; it is evident that they wait for Christ’s return.

Matthew 24:42-44  "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into.  44So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him." 

Romans 13:11  And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.

I Corinthians 16:13  Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.

I Thessalonians 5:6 So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled.

I Peter 4:7  The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray.

I Peter 5:8  Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

Keeping one’s clothes handy refers to the cloak of righteousness with which Christ clothes all believers. Wandering off into sin produces nakedness, or absence from the cloak of righteousness. 

Genesis 3:7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

II Corinthians 5:2- 5 Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling 3because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. 4For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.

It behooves us, then, to ‘keep our clothes with us’ while we wait on the return of the Lord.

Revelation 16:16  Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.

Satan succeeds to gather a huge army to wage war against God at Armageddon. 

Armageddon means literally the “hill or city of Megiddo.”

In this passage the scene of a the struggle of good and evil is suggested by that battle plain of Esdraelon, which was famous for two great victories, of Barak over the Canaanites, and of Gideon over the Midianites; and for two great disasters, the deaths of Saul and Josiah. Hence, in Revelation, a place of great slaughter; the scene of a terrible retribution upon the wicked. The Revised Standard Version translates the name as Har-Magedon, which is the hill (as Ar is the city) of Megiddo.

Some passages of the Old Testament where Megiddo is mentioned.

Judges 5:19 "Kings came, they fought; the kings of Canaan fought at Taanach by the waters of Megiddo, but they carried off no silver, no plunder.

II Kings 9:27  When Ahaziah king of Judah saw what had happened, he fled up the road to Beth Haggan. Jehu chased him, shouting, "Kill him too!" They wounded him in his chariot on the way up to Gur near Ibleam, but he escaped to Megiddo and died there.

II Kings 23:29  While Josiah was king, Pharaoh Neco king of Egypt went up to the Euphrates River to help the king of Assyria. King Josiah marched out to meet him in battle, but Neco faced him and killed him at Megiddo.

II Chronicles 35:22  Josiah, however, would not turn away from him, but disguised himself to engage him in battle. He would not listen to what Neco had said at God's command but went to fight him on the plain of Megiddo.

Zechariah 12:11 On that day the weeping in Jerusalem will be great, like the weeping of Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo.

The name, therefore, indicates to us that God will annihilate this army of Satan as He has annihilated all Satan’s henchmen in the past.

Revelation 16:17  The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and out of the temple came a loud voice from the throne, saying, "It is done!"

One may also translate ‘into’ the air with ‘upon’ or ‘among’ the air indicating that the air was contaminated by the contents of this bowl. It affected the breathing of all living things and made normal life extremely difficult. The voice from the throne indicates that it is the voice of God himself proclaiming ‘it is done’ announcing the end of this world; the end-time has arrived.

Jesus made a similar proclamation from the cross, ‘it is finished’ when He announced the end of the old era, and that the redemption of the elect has been completed.  Here, God announces the end of the era, which began when He created heaven and earth and that the consummation of the salvation of the elect is at hand. 

Daniel 12:13  "As for you, go your way till the end. You will rest, and then at the end of the days you will rise to receive your allotted inheritance."

John 19:30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, "It is finished." With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

Revelation 10:6 And he swore by him who lives for ever and ever, who created the heavens and all that is in them, the earth and all that is in it, and the sea and all that is in it, and said, "There will be no more delay."

Revelation 16:18 Then there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder and a severe earthquake. No earthquake like it has ever occurred since man has been on earth, so tremendous was the quake.

There were earthquakes on four previous occasions, as illustrated in the table below, but none of them matched the magnitude of this, final earthquake. This earthquake causes major destruction of the earth, preparing it for the final destruction that is to come. This is the final earthquake in the book of Revelation.

Rev 4:5






In the presence of the throne

Rev 6:12






Opening of the sixth seal

Rev 8:5






Censer of prayers hurled down to earth

Rev 11:19






Opening of the Ark of the Covenant

Rev 16:18






Pouring out of seventh bowl


Revelation 16:19 The great city split into three parts, and the cities of the nations collapsed. God remembered Babylon the Great and gave her the cup filled with the wine of the fury of his wrath.

Babylon, the symbol of the center of the world’s power is torn into three parts introducing the final destruction of Satan’s dominion.  All the nations that allied themselves with Babylon and her practices collapsed.  God now focuses on Babylon and gives her the cup filled with the wine of the fury of his wrath.

The prophets prophesied about her fall:

Isaiah 49:26 I will make your oppressors eat their own flesh; they will be drunk on their own blood, as with wine. Then all mankind will know that I, the LORD, am your Savior, your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.

Isaiah 51:17, 19, 20 Awake, awake! Rise up, O Jerusalem, you who have drunk from the hand of the LORD the cup of his wrath, you who have drained to its dregs the goblet that makes men stagger. 19These double calamities have come upon you--who can comfort you?--ruin and destruction, famine and sword--who can console you? 20Your sons have fainted; they lie at the head of every street, like antelope caught in a net. They are filled with the wrath of the LORD and the rebuke of your God.

Jeremiah 25:26 And all the kings of the north, near and far, one after the other--all the kingdoms on the face of the earth. And after all of them, the king of Sheshach will drink it too.

Revelation 16:20 Every island fled away and the mountains could not be found.

At the opening of the sixth seal the mountains and islands were removed from their places (Rev 6:14) but they were not destroyed. In this final outpouring of God’s wrath, John sees that the islands and mountains fled from their place, and could not be found.  It does not mean that they hid somewhere out of fear, but rather that they were flattened or submerged because of the massive earthquake and could not be seen.

Revelation 16:21 From the sky huge hailstones of about a hundred pounds each fell upon men. And they cursed God on account of the plague of hail, because the plague was so terrible.

These huge hailstones must have killed many people and in spite of this calamity, they cursed God because of it. Their persistence to rather curse God than repent proves that God’s judgment against them is justified; that their hatred towards God prevented them from listening to the prophets, psalms, and the words of the gospel.

We remember that the plague of hailstones struck wicked men on various occasions.

Exodus 9:24, 25 Hail fell and lightning flashed back and forth. It was the worst storm in all the land of Egypt since it had become a nation. 25Throughout Egypt hail struck everything in the fields--both men and animals; it beat down everything growing in the fields and stripped every tree.

Joshua 10:11 As they fled before Israel on the road down from Beth Horon to Azekah, the LORD hurled large hailstones down on them from the sky, and more of them died from the hailstones than were killed by the swords of the Israelites.

The following chapters describe the fall of God’s enemies, such as Babylon (17, 18) and the beast and false prophets (19); and then the dragon (20:1-10) after which the court of Christ and the final judgment will end the era in which we now live.

Revelation 17:1  One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, "Come, I will show you the punishment of the great prostitute, who sits on many waters.

One of the seven angels of the seven bowls commands John to accompany him to the great prostitute, Babylon, who sits on many waters.  The many waters referred to here symbolizes the nations of the earth over which she has dominion.  Old Testament prophecies tell us the same thing.

Jeremiah 51:11-14 Sharpen the arrows, take up the shields! The LORD has stirred up the kings of the Medes, because his purpose is to destroy Babylon. The LORD will take vengeance, vengeance for his temple. 12Lift up a banner against the walls of Babylon! Reinforce the guard, station the watchmen, prepare an ambush! The LORD will carry out his purpose, his decree against the people of Babylon.  13You who live by many waters and are rich in treasures, your end has come, the time for you to be cut off. 14The LORD Almighty has sworn by himself: I will surely fill you with men, as with a swarm of locusts, and they will shout in triumph over you.

Isaiah 57:3 But you--come here, you sons of a sorceress, you offspring of adulterers and prostitutes.

Nahum 3:4 All because of the wanton lust of a harlot, alluring, the mistress of sorceries, who enslaved nations by her prostitution and peoples by her witchcraft.

Revelation 17:2 With her the kings of the earth committed adultery and the inhabitants of the earth were intoxicated with the wine of her adulteries.

Satan deceived the world and it willingly joined her in her evil deeds against God, his church, and his creation.  John sees the nations as ‘intoxicated,’ out of control, and rudderless because of the wine of her adulteries.  Because Babylon is the temptress and the cause that the nations became more wicked, she will be more severely punished.

The symbolism in these images prophesies about the events we see today in our time; the evil nations of the world that resist the work of the church at every opportunity; their love for worldly pleasures rather than the word of God.

Jeremiah 51:7 Babylon was a gold cup in the LORD'S hand; she made the whole earth drunk. The nations drank her wine; therefore they have now gone mad.

Revelation 14:8  A second angel followed and said, "Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great, which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries."

Revelation 17:3  Then the angel carried me away in the Spirit into a desert. There I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was covered with blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns.

This scene takes John into a desert, which is a sign of God’s judgment over Babylon and the desolation that it brings.  Isaiah prophesied about Babylon as follows:

Isaiah 13:19-22 Babylon, the jewel of kingdoms, the glory of the Babylonians' pride, will be overthrown by God like Sodom and Gomorrah. 20She will never be inhabited or lived in through all generations; no Arab will pitch his tent there, no shepherd will rest his flocks there. 21But desert creatures will lie there, jackals will fill her houses; there the owls will dwell, and there the wild goats will leap about. 22 Hyenas will howl in her strongholds, jackals in her luxurious palaces. Her time is at hand, and her days will not be prolonged.

Isaiah 21:1, 2  An oracle concerning the Desert by the Sea: Like whirlwinds sweeping through the southland, an invader comes from the desert, from a land of terror. 2A dire vision has been shown to me: The traitor betrays, the looter takes loot. Elam, attack! Media, lay siege! I will bring to an end all the groaning she caused.

Earlier, we saw that a woman symbolized the bride of the Lamb; then in 12:1 a woman symbolized the earthly church who gave birth to the promised Messiah; and here a woman represents the deceiver, the wicked, anti-God world.

The beast she is sitting on reminds us of the beast in 13:1, but here this woman is sitting on the beast as a sovereign, a ruler.  The beast’s appearance is the same as that of the beast that came forth from the sea, the antichrist, having ten horns and seven heads.

Revelation 17:4 The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, and was glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls. She held a golden cup in her hand, filled with abominable things and the filth of her adulteries.

She is dressed like a queen, with glittering gold so that all can see her and know that she has dominion of all those who bear the mark of the beast.  She held a golden cup, outwardly precious and desirable but in reality the cup is filled with abominable things and filth.

Jeremiah 51:7 Babylon was a gold cup in the LORD'S hand; she made the whole earth drunk. The nations drank her wine; therefore they have now gone mad.

Matthew 23:25  "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence."


The symbolism of her name on her forehead is not lost because just as Roman prostitutes wore their names on their foreheads, so this woman has her name written on her forehead.  The word ‘Mystery’ is part of her name because her name should not be taken literally; the meaning is obscured from the obvious. 

Babylon is the symbol of God’s enemies but in comparison to the woman sitting on the beast, Babylon pales in comparison. She is the mother of all evil; the one who misled Babylon. From her all deception and wickedness comes forth.

It is not an accident that evil is portrayed as a woman, just as the church is portrayed as a woman, the bride of the Lamb, to mislead those who are not looking to Christ as their sole guide and counselor.  This woman is dressed up like a regent, one who commands obedience, with glitter and gold, masquerading as the church, hoping to deceive the elect.  The reprobate, embodied in the carnal world, flock to her and bow down to her, prostituting with her as John puts it in his vision, which means nothing to her. Her victory would be to trip up one of the elect.

Isaiah 3:9 The look on their faces testifies against them; they parade their sin like Sodom; they do not hide it. Woe to them! They have brought disaster upon themselves.

Jeremiah 51:47, 48 For the time will surely come when I will punish the idols of Babylon; her whole land will be disgraced and her slain will all lie fallen within her. 48Then heaven and earth and all that is in them will shout for joy over Babylon, for out of the north destroyers will attack her," declares the LORD.

Philippians 3:19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things.

Revelation 17:6 I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of those who bore testimony to Jesus. When I saw her, I was greatly astonished.

Not only did she deceive many, she also gleefully caused the death of many saints, spilling the blood of those who bore testimony to Jesus. Her power to be able to deceive and kill intoxicated her to the point where she appeared drunk.

Even John was greatly astonished when he saw her, which is testimony to the magnitude of the deception to which she was capable. John did not yet comprehend the measure of her evil when he first saw her.

Revelation 17:7 Then the angel said to me: "Why are you astonished? I will explain to you the mystery of the woman and of the beast she rides, which has the seven heads and ten horns.

The angel became aware that John was greatly astonished and asked him why was he astonished.  He, then, continued to explain to John the mystery of the woman and the beast.

Revelation 17:8 The beast, which you saw, once was, now is not, and will come up out of the Abyss and go to his destruction. The inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the creation of the world will be astonished when they see the beast, because he once was, now is not, and yet will come.

Most of the symbolism is replaced by reality and direct parallels are drawn between what John sees and what it means. The angel explains carefully what this means. This explanation is the key to unlocking previous visions.

The beast ‘once was, now is not, and will come…’ is a brief history of the beast and it reminds us of language used in terms of God and Jesus.

Revelation 1:4  John, To the seven churches in the province of Asia: Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne.

Revelation 4:8 Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under his wings. Day and night they never stop saying: "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come."

Revelation 11:17 Saying: "We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign."

Revelation 16:5 Then I heard the angel in charge of the waters say: "You are just in these judgments, you who are and who were, the Holy One, because you have so judged."

The beast wants to be equal to God and it is, therefore, no accident that he has styled his works in this way. We must remember that everything Satan does or performs has only one objective, which is to overcome God and his kingdom. This particular deception might play itself out as follows: “God is the One who is, and who was, and who is to come.” “So am I,” replies Satan.

II Thessalonians 2:3, 4 Don't let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction.  4He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God's temple, proclaiming himself to be God.

Satan ‘once was’ but is now defeated.

Revelation 16:10  The fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom was plunged into darkness. Men gnawed their tongues in agony…

After his defeat, ‘now he is not’ meaning he is temporarily not present but lurking in the abyss from where he will come up.

He will come out of the abyss …

Revelation 9:1  The fifth angel sounded his trumpet, and I saw a star that had fallen from the sky to the earth. The star was given the key to the shaft of the Abyss.

Revelation 11:7  Now when they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up from the Abyss will attack them, and overpower and kill them.

And to his destruction…

Revelation 19:20 But the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped his image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur.

Revelation 20:10 And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

Revelation 17:8 The beast, which you saw, once was, now is not, and will come up out of the Abyss and go to his destruction. The inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the creation of the world will be astonished when they see the beast, because he once was, now is not, and yet will come.

Here we see who will be astonished when they see the beast, not as John was astonished, but unable to understand or accept the truth about the deception. John was astonished but recognized the truth when the angel identified the deception underlying the obvious.  The ones whose names have not been written in the book of life, which was recorded before creation, will be astonished and attracted to the beast. As we have seen, they despised the truth when they heard it preached to them; they despised God’s eternal power and divine nature; they despised Jesus when they were told that there is no other way. They persisted in their wickedness and foolishness despite all the testimony and proof.  They even persisted in their foolishness after suffering affliction out of God’s cup of wrath.

Romans 1:17-21 For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith." 18The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.  21For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.



Here we have the mystery of this vision explained. The apostle wonders at the sight of this woman: the angel undertakes to open this vision to him, it being the key of the former visions; and he tells the apostle what was meant by the beast on which the woman sat; but it is so explained as still to need further explanation. 1. This beast was, and is not, and yet is; that is, it was a seat of idolatry and persecution; and is not, that is, not in the ancient form, which was pagan; and yet it is, it is truly the seat of idolatry and tyranny, though of another sort and form. It ascends out of the bottomless pit (idolatry and cruelty are the issue and product of hell), and it shall return thither and go into perdition. 2. This beast has seven heads, which have a double signification. (1.) Seven mountains—the seven hills on which Rome stands; and (2.) Seven kings—seven sorts of government. Rome was governed by kings, consuls, tribunes, decemviri, dictators, emperors who were pagan, and emperors who were Christian. Five of these were extinct when this prophecy was written; one was then in being, that is, the pagan emperor; and the other, that is, the Christian emperor, was yet to come, v. 10. This beast, the papacy, makes an eighth governor, and sets up idolatry again. 3. This beast had ten horns; which are said to be ten kings which have as yet received no kingdoms; as yet, that is, as some, shall not rise up till the Roman empire be broken in pieces; or, as others, shall not rise up till near the end of antichrist’s reign, and so shall reign but as it were one hour with her, but shall for that time be very unanimous and very zealous in that interest, and entirely devoted to it, divesting themselves of their prerogatives and revenues (things so dear to princes), out of an unaccountable fondness for the papacy.