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The signs of the times (15) the River and the kings of the East the 6 th plague. Yoshinobu Namihira, MD, FACG 3000 halls ferry road Vicksburg MS 39180 Phone 601 638 9800 ; fax 601 638 9808 E mail: namihira@earthlink.net www.betterlivingclinic.com www.namihira.org. Sermon detail.

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The signs of the times (15) the River and the kings of the East the 6 th plague


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    1. The signs of the times (15)the River and the kings of the Eastthe 6th plague Yoshinobu Namihira, MD, FACG 3000 halls ferry road Vicksburg MS 39180 Phone 601 638 9800 ; fax 601 638 9808 E mail: namihira@earthlink.net www.betterlivingclinic.com www.namihira.org

    2. Sermon detail • Opening hymn: 507 moment by moment • Offering • Prayer • Scripture reading: Revelation 16:12-16 • Special music: the namihira’s • Sermon : the signs of the times (15) ,the river and the kings of the earth ,the 6th plague • Closing hymn: 632 until then

    3. The River and the Kings of the Sixth PlagueRevelation 16:12-16 16:12 aRiver dried upAnd 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. 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. 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. Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon. (Rev. 16:12-16).

    4. The Three-part Alliance • The Three-part Alliance In Revelation 16:12-14 three demonic spirits make pronouncements calling the kings of the whole world to the battle of Armageddon. Tracing this Satanic alliance and its roots through several chapters helps clarify it. The three imitate the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,

    5. The River and the Kings of the Sixth PlagueRevelation 16:12-16 16:12 aRiver dried upAnd 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. 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. 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. Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon. (Rev. 16:12-16).

    6. Some interpreters see the river name, "Euphrates," and try to factor its Middle East location into an Armageddon battle involving Arabs. While a partially literal interpretation would not be ruled out looking at the immediate context, this does not fit the larger picture. I'll share my understanding.

    7. Just in case you weren’t quite sure whether we were in the end times, now we learn that the Euphrates river is drying up. • I think it’s clear to many Christians that we are in the end-times, but is a vial being poured out by the sixth angel? • In Revelation 16:12, it is prophesied that the Euphrates will dry up in preparation for the Battle of Armageddon: “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.” • The Euphrates is drying up. Strangled by the water policies of Iraq’s neighbors, Turkey and Syria; a two-year drought; and years of misuse by Iraq and its farmers, the river is significantly smaller than it was just a few years ago. Some officials worry that it could soon be half of what it is now. • The shrinking of the Euphrates, a river so crucial to the birth of civilization that the Book of Revelation prophesied its drying up as a sign of the end times

    8. Cyrus the Great Cyrus the Great managed to unite the Persians into Powerful kingdom. He then began to build the word's largest empire

    9. The early years • After the Flood there was an era of great building projects that are recorded in Genesis 10. The grandson of Ham, a son of Noah, was named Nimrod and he established his kingdom in the land of Shinar. He asserted his authority and "began to be a mighty one in the earth" (Gen 10.8). It is clear that this man sought to impose his rule on others. It also was his ambition to centre worship in his kingdom and to that end the Tower of Babel was built, and there sorcery, astrology, and all the black arts would be practised. As there was only one language, such a place of international gathering would be welcomed. But God stepped into the situation and this godless worship was halted, their one language ceased, and national tongues took their place. This attempt to create a "religion" that dominated the earth is still the Adversary’s plan.

    10. Advanced mathematics • Babylon had a highly developed society. The system of writing was by means of cuneiform symbols that were written with a stylus on clay tablets. These were baked in the sun. In the realms of mathematics a very advanced system was in use which used base 60 rather than base 10 which is common today. They divided the day into 24 hours with each hour having 60 minutes, a system that has stood the test of centuries

    11. The empire of Babylon The Babylonian Empire stretched from the borders of India to the Great Sea, the Mediterranean. As has been noted, the Assyrian Empire fell before it and shortly after the death of King Josiah Judah became its possession. Egypt had also to acknowledge its power "for the king of Babylon had taken from the river of Egypt unto the river Euphrates all that pertained to the king of Egypt" (2 Kings 24.7).

    12. King Nebuchadnezzar • The authority of Nebuchadnezzar was supreme. His pride is seen in the great image of gold that he decreed should be set up on the plain of Dura and that all who were involved in the government of the Empire should gather before this image and, at the sound of music, bow down and worship it (Dan 3.3-7). The punishment for refusal to do this was death by being cast into a fiery furnace.

    13. The great image, revealed to the king in a dream foretold the history of the "Times of the Gentiles", the centuries in which the Gentiles nations would rule due to the failure of Israel to obey the terms of the covenant between the nation and Jehovah. • Nebuchadnezzar was the "head of gold" (Dan 2.38), a supreme monarch with authority that no other monarch, apart from the "King of kings" will ever exercise. • It was this king, however, who was humbled by being driven from the presence of men and made to eat grass as an animal for a period of seven years (Den 4.28-37). • On his recovery he was returned to his throne and declared, "I…praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase".

    14. The future Babylon • Babylon, therefore, reached the height of its power under Nebuchadnezzar, an era that lasted some 70 years. The events surrounded the capture of the city by the Persian monarch, Cyrus the Great, are recorded by Daniel (ch.6). Despite retaining some of its importance it declined in power and influence.

    15. Future Babylon • There will, however, be a future Babylon, called Babylon the Great. As it was the first dominant kingdom recorded in Scripture (Gen 10.10), it will again, during the time of tribulation that follows the rapture of believers to be with Christ (1 Thess 4.13-18), dominate world events as a great system of religion and commerce. It will fall again, the religious Babylon to the man of sin, and the commercial by an act of God (Rev 17-18). Then the cry will be, "Babylon the great is fallen…" (Rev 18.2).

    16. Lessons to be learned • God’s judgment on Israel • Babylon was used in the hands of God as the means of bring judgment on ungodly, rebellious Israel (2 Kings 25.1-30). It is true that the northern kingdom of Israel had fallen to Assyria, but Judah fell to Babylon. The King of Judah, Johoiakim, was taken to Babylon as a prisoner, and he remained in that state for thirty-seven years.

    17. Prior to the Babylonian invasion, the prophet Habakkuk had cried to the Lord regarding the sinful condition of Judah, and called on the Lord to intervene. • When the Lord revealed how He would chastise His people • Habakkuk was amazed that such a cruel, rapacious enemy would be used to bring this about. • The little book bearing the name of the prophet is worth reading to see the dealings of God with His prophet in these troubled days. God is sovereign and no one has the right to challenge Him

    18. God’s preserving grace • The prisoners taken to Babylon included four young men, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. • The purpose was to bring a group of the best of the captives and introduce them into the Babylonian way of life and religion, with a view to fitting them for life and service amongst the ruling elite. The first attempt was to have them eat the best of food, that which was set before the king. • However, this would have been offered to idols, or part of it could have been food that was not permitted in the Law. • Their request to eat food (water ,vegetables) suitable for them resulted in them being "fairer and fatter in flesh" (Dan 1.15) than other captives

    19. They refused to break the word of God in this matter and in the matter of a great image of the King that had been erected and before which they were commanded to bow in worship (Dan 3). • The lesson is that the Lord gave them the courage to obey His word even although they stood alone. • In other matters also Daniel and his friends stood firm and were preserved by the God of Israel. • What a lesson is this in showing that the Lord does not overlook those who refuse to sin against Him even when the world offers the most tempting of compromises.

    20. God’s prophetic plan • Now that the nation of Israel no longer ruled the land given to them by the Lord it could be argued that God’s purpose for a glorious future for the nation had been abandoned. The times of the Gentiles, when Gentile nations will dominate rule on earth, as has been noted, had been ushered in. • Nebuchadnezzar saw a vision which showed that Babylon was the first of these nations and that others would follow (Dan 2.31-35). From that vision we learn that Israel still has a glorious future and that, despite any outward appearances, • God is still firmly on the throne. • His purpose will not be thwarted! • Israel will no longer suffer for "In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men…shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you" (Zech 8.23).

    21. th The Hanging Garden of Babylon

    22. Cyrus the great

    23. Babylon : Mede-Persia

    24. Babylon taken • Babylon is not named but we see it in the symbolism and verse 19 apparently confirms the identification. You may remember that Babylon and its fall are very significant in the symbolism of Revelation. The description of the sixth plague draws meaning from the same imagery of the enemy relationship between Jerusalem and Babylon. • The Euphrates ran through the city providing a water supply in time of siege

    25. Babylon The Euphrates The water Supply Vital for survival

    26. The Euphrates water was diverted By digging the channel The river bed is dry The cyrus’ army marched into the City of Babylon under the city gate without Resistance !

    27. The fall of Babylon • The fall of Babylon had been predicted by the Hebrew prophets, . In BC 539, the Persian army of Cyrus came toward the city but a sacred horse drowned and he didn't attack. This approach was the prophetic signal for believers in the true God to leave the city (Jer. 51:45). Cyrus had his army dig channels so the river could flow around the city. Then, in 538, with water flowing in the special channels, Persian armies marched under the walls in the river bed and entered the city through the open gates between city and river just as God had said it would happen. Isa. 44:27; Jer. 50:35, 38. They had chosen the night of Belshazzar's wild and profane party,

    28. The fall of Babylon • They had chosen the night of Belshazzar's wild and profane party,

    29. King Belshazzar • Daniel 5:1[ Belshazzar’s Feast ] Belshazzar the king made a great feast for a thousand of his lords, and drank wine in the presence of the thousand.Daniel 5:1-3 (in Context) Daniel 5 (Whole Chapter) • Daniel 5:2While he tasted the wine, Belshazzar gave the command to bring the gold and silver vessels which his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the temple which had been in Jerusalem, that the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines might drink from them.Daniel 5:1-3 (in Context) Daniel 5 (Whole Chapter) • Daniel 5:9Then King Belshazzar was greatly troubled, his countenance was changed, and his lords were astonished.Daniel 5:8-10 (in Context) Daniel 5 (Whole Chapter) • Daniel 5:22“But you his son, Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart, although you knew all this.Daniel 5:21-23 (in Context) Daniel 5 (Whole Chapter) • Daniel 5:29Then Belshazzar gave the command, and they clothed Daniel with purple and put a chain of gold around his neck, and made a proclamation concerning him that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom.Daniel 5:28-30 (in Context) Daniel 5 (Whole Chapter) • Daniel 5:30[ Belshazzar’s Fall ] That very night Belshazzar, king of the Chaldeans, was slain.Daniel 5:29-31 (in Context) Daniel 5 (Whole Chapter)

    30. MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN Dan 5 • 17 Then Daniel answered, and said before the king, “Let your gifts be for yourself, and give your rewards to another; yet I will read the writing to the king, and make known to him the interpretation. 18 O king, the Most High God gave Nebuchadnezzar your father a kingdom and majesty, glory and honor. 19 And because of the majesty that He gave him, all peoples, nations, and languages trembled and feared before him. Whomever he wished, he executed; whomever he wished, he kept alive; whomever he wished, he set up; and whomever he wished, he put down. 20 But when his heart was lifted up, and his spirit was hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him. 21 Then he was driven from the sons of men, his heart was made like the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild donkeys. They fed him with grass like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till he knew that the Most High God rules in the kingdom of men, and appoints over it whomever He chooses. • 22 “But you his son, Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart, although you knew all this. 23 And you have lifted yourself up against the Lord of heaven. They have brought the vessels of His house before you, and you and your lords, your wives and your concubines, have drunk wine from them. And you have praised the gods of silver and gold, bronze and iron, wood and stone, which do not see or hear or know; and the God who holds your breath in His hand and owns all your ways, you have not glorified. 24 Then the fingers[c] of the hand were sent from Him, and this writing was written. • 25 “And this is the inscription that was written: • MENE,[d] MENE, TEKEL,[e] UPHARSIN.[f] • 26 This is the interpretation of each word.MENE: God has numbered your kingdom, and finished it; 27 TEKEL: You have been weighed in the balances, and found wanting; 28 PERES: Your kingdom has been divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.”[g]29 Then Belshazzar gave the command, and they clothed Daniel with purple and put a chain of gold around his neck, and made a proclamation concerning him that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom. • Belshazzar’s Fall • 30 That very night Belshazzar, king of the Chaldeans, was slain. 31 And Darius the Mede received the kingdom, being about sixty-two years old.