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. 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. Revelation 16:12-16.

Part I
by Brother Emerson A. Wilson

A Great Avenue
What about the television? It has piped more of these unclean spirits into people's homes than any one thing. I would like to use some quotes from a paper by Oswald Smith, pastor of The People's Church in Toronto, Ontario.

    "It seems to me that television is the greatest menace of our modern times, and how Christians are going to be able to make use of it, I do not know. Anyone who has seen it must be convinced of its danger. Television could be used for good. It has tremendous possibility, but I am afraid it is being used for evil almost exclusively, and it is doing more harm than Hollywood to demoralize the youth of our nation. It has been proven that the eye gate is much stronger than the ear gate. While there be good programs on television, there will be so many of the other kind that it is going to be most difficult to put on the one and blot out the other.
    "I shall never forget how shocked I was when I visited homes where television had been installed. They told me about the lovely church services that could be seen, the concerts and other programs that could be turned on. But no sooner were the parents out of the room than the children, boys and girls in their teens (and younger), hurried to the television set. When some of us returned to the room, we found them stretched out on the floor, fascinated by what they were watching. And what was it they were watching? A blood wrestling match, two men tearing each other to pieces trying to pluck out each other's eyes. As the children watched and listened to the cries and groans of the wrestlers, they could hardly contain themselves.
    "In another home at another time, It was a nightclub showing women, for the most part unclad, drinking, smoking, going through sensual dances, every action plainly visible and every entire scene revolting and demoralizing. Yes, they could have turned on another program, they could have looked at something else, but they turned on that in which they were the most interested and the scenes that most fascinated them.
    "For generations we refused to take our children to the nightclubs, the theaters, the wrestling matches, and boxing bouts. Now these very scenes are brought right in our homes and displayed before the children's eyes. It cost nothing to see them, except the loss of moral standards. In their early life, they can become acquainted with sin in its vilest form. No longer will the parents be able to protect them from the awful things that go on in the world.
    "If you want to know how serious it is, read Reader's Digest. The other day a Salvation Army officer warned parents to turn off their televisions between the hours of 4 and 7 p.m. These hours, which are devoted to shows for children, are filled with the most brutal crimes imaginable. And it is these scenes that inspire our teenagers to go out in gangs and commit violence. A polluted diet of crime, violence, brutality and sadism, sponsored by the cigarette companies, the breweries and distilleries, is now the daily menu of millions of boys and girls.
    "The theater with all its filth, that we Christians wouldn't think of patronizing, is now brought into our living rooms. Television may well be the final step in the complete collapse of the moral and spiritual life of our nation. And you are supporting this?
    "When you wouldn't let them make an inroad one way, they made it another way. I don't think television can be controlled; if it is in the home, it will be used. Children have been known to use knives on their parents when the parents insisted on turning it off. Your son will see what he wants to see, in spite of what you do. I've never had a set in my home, and if my children were still with me, I would never dream of having one. I think that is the only safe policy.
    "These are the last days, and we are going to the bottom. Soon we'll be on the lowest rung of the ladder and then judgment will fall. Alcoholism has doubled since television began. They picture liquor ads. Robbery with violence is increasing by leaps and bounds. Thirty killings a day have been shown on television in one city. In another city, forty-eight killings in one day were on the shows, according to Reader's Digest. What kind of a harvest can we expect? I do not know the answer, but I'm afraid, very much afraid.
    "I've always looked upon the movie world as the most demoralizing agency in existence. It alone has been responsible for the teenage gangs of today and the terrible things that children are doing in this generation. But now something much more dangerous is upon us. The atom bomb is bad, the hydrogen bomb is frightful, but television is going to be worse than either and far more destructive. It will completely wreck the rising generation, and before long, it will turn the United States and Canada into a Sodom and Gomorrah, infinitely worse than the Sodom and Gomorrah of the Old Testament."

People sometimes say, "Brother Wilson, you know, you're not educated. You don't know too much." Well, here is a man who has more education than half a dozen people put together. He sees the picture. How blind can we get, saints? II Corinthians 4:4 tells us, …the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. When God sends forth admonition to you, good, sound admonition, and you rise up in unbelief, just expect the god of this world to go to work on your mind and blind you so that you can freely say, "It doesn't bother me. I don't see anything wrong." You might be blind.

Lying Signs And Wonders
Let's read Revelation 16:14,15. 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… Brothers and Sisters, I want to tell you something: true and pure religion is the greatest blessing that ever touched the soul of man, but false religion is a curse. You would be better off iif you had none whatsoever than to be tied up in some of these false religions. All they do is torment you instead of bringing you peace and rest.

We see these spirits coming out of the mouths of the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet. They come out of the mouth of religionists, crying, "Peace, peace," where there is no peace. Crying, "Salvation, salvation," where there is no salvation. Paul warned us that this falling away would come when men would quit preaching the Gospel and just start using good words and fair speeches. …by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. Romans 16:18. We are there. These unclean spirits are working right in the realms of religion. They are just speaking good words, words that people want to hear, words that won't stir anybody: politically and socially-correct words. Fair speeches are taking the place of fire-and-brimstone preaching.

These unclean spirits in religion advocate "free thought" and lest we forget, "broad-mindedness". We are instructed in Isaiah 55:7 to forget our thoughts: Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:6-9. I want you to know: OUR thoughts will NOT get us to Heaven. OUR thoughts will NOT give us a life of HOLINESS. We have to forsake our thoughts and come to God's thoughts.

These unclean spirits with leaden eyes and polished, bloated skin fill every corner of the land. And what are they filling it for? To gather. They are out in every corner of the land, and they are working everywhere they can. They are trying to gather their recruits into their three divisions of the great army of Satan. What are they warring against? God, the kingdom of God, the Word of God, God's true way, and God's true people.

It's quite easy to identify their people. According to the Apostle Paul, they are made up of the lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God, people who have a form of godliness but deny the power thereof. They work out of these very groups with open infidelity, in one shape or another, to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.

These spirits, like frogs, coming out of the mouths of the dragon, the beast and the false prophet are slippery, slimy, loathsome, unclean, antichrist doctrines with signs and wonders to back them up. According to Revelation 13:14, Protestantism did these signs and wonders in front of the beast. II Thessalonians 2:9 says they were lying wonders. They were not true miracles, but lying signs and wonders.

Matthew 24:24 gives us a picture of it: For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. What is a "false Christ"? Jesus Christ is THE way, THE truth and THE life, not "a way" or "a truth" or "a life". He is THE way, THE truth and THE life. A "false Christ" is anyone who comes with a false way. Instead of bringing the way of life, they come bringing the way of death.

You might ask, "What is the possibility of the elect not being deceived?" Mark 16:17 says, And these signs shall follow them that believe… The believers don't follow signs: the signs follow believers. Did you get that? Let's read it one more time: The believers don't follow signs. The signs follow the believers! The believers live by faith in God's eternal, unchanging Word, and if He sees fit to work a miracle, Hallelujah! If He sees fit to work a wonder, Thank God! But we are not following the signs and wonders: they follow us. Believers get clear ahead of the signs and wonders.

These doctrines that are coming out of the mouth are changing men's minds about truth. Men who once stood gallantly for truth have been so worked on by these unclean spirits and these false doctrines coming out of their mouths until they have changed their positions on different stands for truth. Many no longer feel it necessary to take a definite stand on the vital truths of God's Word.

Right Always Conquers
Revelation 16:14 says that these spirits "…go forth unto…the whole world, to gather them to the battle…" What are they battling against? Truth, righteousness, and holiness. The things that make up the kingdom of God. Armageddon is something that many people are looking for in the thought of a literal warfare out here somewhere (in the future) beyond the second coming of Christ, but Armageddon is a spiritual conflict! We read in Revelation 16:16, And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.

Literally, Armageddon, or the hill of Megiddo, was located on the southern slopes of Mount Carmel. That was the place of many conflicts between good and evil in the Old Testament. It was a place of showdown between God and false gods. Armageddon was a place where right overcame wrong, time and time and time again. In other words, it was a battleground where good and evil met for a final showdown.

This is exactly the picture John is giving us. These unclean spirits have gone out to get everybody they can. They are not trying to gather anyone to some geographical location. They are trying to move you so that your life and the influence of your life are against God, God's Way, and God's Church. While those spirits are doing that, we can read in Revelation 18:4 where the Holy Spirit is speaking to God's people who are in those places. He is gathering them out of those places to a place where their lives and influences go out for God and truth and right.

Let's consider Barak's victory over the Canaanites. It was fought at the hill of Megiddo, or Armageddon. Let's read Judges 4:1-9.

And the children of Israel again did evil in the sight of the Lord, when Ehud was dead. And the Lord sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, that reigned in Hazor; the captain of whose host was Sisera, which dwelt in Harosheth of the Gentiles. And the children of Israel cried unto the Lord: for he had nine hundred chariots of iron; and twenty years he mightily oppressed the children of Israel. And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time. And she dwelt under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in mount Ephraim: and the children of Israel came up to her for judgment. And she sent and called Barak the son of Abinoam out of Kedeshnaphtali, and said unto him, Hath not the Lord God of Israel commanded, saying, Go and draw toward mount Tabor, and take with thee ten thousand men of the children of Naphtali and of the children of Zebulun? And I will draw unto thee to the river Kishon Sisera, the captain of Jabin's army, with his chariots and his multitude; and I will deliver him into thine hand. And Barak said unto her, If thou wilt go with me, then I will go: but if thou wilt not go with me, then I will not go. And she said, I will surely go with thee: notwithstanding the journey that thou takest shall not be for thine honour; for the Lord shall sell Sisera into the hand of a woman. And Deborah arose, and went with Barak to Kedesh.

Now God helped them to overcome all the host of Sisera, but Sisera, the captain, jumped off his chariot and fled away on foot into a friendly camp to the tent of Jael, the wife of a Kenite. We read in verses 19-21:

And he said unto her, Give me, I pray thee, a little water to drink; for I am thirsty. And she opened a bottle of milk, and gave him drink, and covered him. Again he said unto her, Stand in the door of the tent, and it shall be, when any man doth come and inquire of thee, and say, Is there any man here? that thou shalt say, No. Then Jael Heber's wife took a nail of the tent, and took an hammer in her hand, and went softly unto him, and smote the nail into his temples, and fastened it into the ground: for he was fast asleep and weary. So he died.

It was Deborah, a woman, who led this great victory. Now according to the Revelation, we have another woman who has been in the wilderness, but Thank God, she has come out. By the strength of God and through the strategy of God, if we will listen to Him, The Church will be able to take these things and with the hammer of truth, nail them down to the earth.

When these unclean spirits come knocking on your door, they are going to say just as Sisera did, "Give me something to drink. Hide me; cover me. If anybody asks if I am in your life, tell them 'no'; lie about it." Friends, you have to make up your minds, because they are going to be around to your house. We are in a battle, and we have the devil on the run. Every time you run him out of one place, he is going to try to get in somewhere else. He is going to try to get into our hearts and lives.

When the unclean spirit, the enemy of God, comes around, what are you going to do? Feed him? Lie for him? Or kill him? If you will listen to God, you will take the hammer of truth and nail him to the ground! The devil cannot get in or work in your life unless you give place to him. If you are a Christian, you are fortified by real salvation. The devil cannot get into your life, tent, home, etc., unless you let him in.

You know, your home is a place. Your bedroom is a place. Your dinner table is a place. Your place of employment is a place. Your church is a place. Many people give vent to these spirits right while they are sitting under the message of the Word of God. There is only ONE way to treat those spirits: they must be nailed to the ground. In other words, you must prove them to be earthly, sensual, and devilish, and have NOTHING to do with them.

The Showdown
Armageddon is not a material battle; Armageddon is the final struggle of right or wrong principles. It is only through the mind that God can reach your heart, and it is only through the mind that the devil can reach your heart. Many a battle is fought right in the mind as the devil tries to take over your heart and life. Armageddon is a spiritual conflict because both sides are being gathered by spirits: three unclean spirits are going out to gather a people to stand against God's Way, and the Holy Spirit has gone out to gather a people to stand for God in Mount Zion. Mount Zion is no geographical location, but a high spiritual position.

We also know Armageddon is a spiritual warfare because the armor is spiritual. I don't know what to think of these preachers who think that Paul had a people get the armor on in 60 A.D. and they say that the battle hasn't started yet. They say that he must have been a fool to have people sitting around for years with the armor on, and the battle wasn't going to start until after the second coming of Christ. No, they were in the heat of the battle. That is why he told them to get the armor on right then. Every part of the armor of God is a spiritual armor. It is not your armor: it is God's armor. Thank God, we can wear the same armor that protected Jesus Christ when He walked here on earth.

Someone might ask, "How do you think the battle is going to come out?" Revelation 20 gies us a picture of the dragon, through the help of the false prophet and the beast, gathering a people together to surround the camp of the saints and cut us off from the world. As soon as they surround us, fire will come down out of Heaven and bring the end.

II Peter 3:9 and 10 tells of Christ's second coming: The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

Friends, we are coming to a final showdown. You know what God is saying to us: "Be a Christian or be a sinner, but know you cannot be both." That is exactly what He said in Revelation 3:15 and 16: …I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. The plagues, therefore, are falling because God wants His people turned loose to serve Him.

Armageddon is a spiritual battle just as it was in the literal, a place where a showdown came. We can picture in our minds old Elijah, who met the 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of the groves. It was ONE preacher standing against 850, but before the day was over, God let the world see who was God's people and who wasn't. Now this is exactly where we are being brought to: we are being brought to a place of showdown. The devil gets mad. He would rather go along like people have gone along for years: covered up, with nobody seeing what is going on inside, but God is turning the thing inside out.

Friends, it is time for The Church of God to rise up! By that I mean more than just changing your mind. RISE UP and make the commitment to God that is needed. God will give you the grace you need to stand and to start bringing the atmosphere and standard of your home back to His standard. Serve notice on the devil. He may have been a boarder for a while, but he is going to have to take up his board somewhere else. God will give you strength.

John saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet. They are spirits of devils, unclean, anti-holiness spirits. They are against truth, against right, against purity, and against cleanliness.

How do you stand today? Do you need to do as Pharaoh and have somebody pray with you so that the Lord will take away the frogs? The Lord will rid you of these spirits so that you can enjoy peace and satisfaction and be able to live a life free from pestilence. God WILL set you free! God will take them out of your life and put them back in Babylon where they belong.

 


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