“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. 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.”
Last month, I wrote that we would continue our study on the false prophet by discussing the three frogs. We must review some of the events of the Great Tribulation to appreciate the purpose, meaning, and timing of the three evil spirits that John describes.
The Birth of the Composite Beast
Given the growth of hatred in our world, I believe a nuclear exchange will occur and the whole world will erupt in war and chaos in a single day. Shortly after this war begins, Jesus will enter the fray with a display of awesome authority and power. There will be deafening peals of thunder, huge sheets of lightning, rumblings from deep within the earth, and a global earthquake which will destroy the many infrastructures on which we depend.
Shortly after the earthquake, Jesus will send a meteoric firestorm and two great asteroid impacts which will cause unimaginable death and destruction. He will also cause volcanos to erupt, and the resulting soot and ash will cause darkness to occur on Earth. Twenty-five percent of the world’s population will die during these judgments (Revelation 6:8) and the survivors will fearfully anticipate more judgments from God.
Man’s response to God’s judgments is represented in Revelation 13:1 as a beast. After world leaders see God’s wrath, they will unite in a desperate effort to appease the anger of Almighty God. Leaders from the world’s seven religious systems and its 219 sovereign nations will do whatever it takes to appease God.
The political leaders of the world will look to their religious experts for direction on what must be done to appease God so that His wrath will end. The religious leaders of the world will confer among themselves and they will recommend the establishment of a global authority that addresses God’s wrath. The irony behind this response will be twofold. First, the religious leaders of the world do not understand God’s plans because they do not properly understand apocalyptic prophecy. This will be demonstrated by their directives to the nations. Their directions will be contrary to God’s will! Second, the Bible states that God will not continue sending horrific judgments after the fourth judgment, but the religious leaders will not know this. Instead, they will boast that their efforts are succeeding because God’s judgments have ceased. And of course, billions of ignorant people will believe their claim.
Who Speaks for God?
Are there many Gods on Earth or is there one God called by different names? When the judgments of God begin, the religions of the world will conclude there is only one Almighty God, but “Which religion knows Him best?” Mankind has argued about the nature and will of God ever since Cain killed Abel. Today, there is endless hatred and religious gridlock because no one religion can prove that it understands God better than another. To overcome this problem, Jesus has a simple solution and it will not include the services of a religious body! Jesus will select 144,000 people just before the Great Tribulation begins. During the Great Tribulation, Jesus Himself will speak through the lips of His chosen people. Therefore, everyone on Earth will hear “the testimony of Jesus” and they will hear the dictates of the beast (Babylon). Everyone will find himself in a valley of decision.
Great Tribulation is a Testing Time
The Bible indicates a painful separation will occur during the Great Tribulation. The demands of Jesus and the demands of Babylon will be in opposition. Those who put their faith in Jesus and obey His commands will have to disobey the laws of Babylon and be unjustly persecuted. On the other hand, the Creator of Heaven and Earth will destroy those who defy His demands at His Second Coming. Therefore, the Great Tribulation will be a time of testing to see who we will obey. (Revelation 13:18)
As the Great Tribulation progresses, circumstances will force people to make a choice. A third group of people will form who opposes the demands of Jesus and Babylon. God has a big surprise for this group. According to the apostle Paul, the devil will be permitted to physically appear and masquerade as Almighty God. He will perform amazing signs and wonders that are so great that if possible, the saints would be deceived. The prophet John indicates the devil will eliminate the third group by torturing them into submission. (Revelation 9:4-6) Jesus allows the devil to do this so that all who have rejected His demands will be forced to recognize there are higher beings than humans. If people will not voluntarily humble themselves and obey the Creator of Heaven and Earth, there will be no alternative than to obey “the prince of this world.” Paul explains why the devil physically appears: “. . . .They [the wicked] perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.” (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12, insertion mine)
God Will Challenge Mankind
From God’s point of view, the sinful nature is cursed with two properties that are difficult to overcome. Arrogance is the bloom of haughtiness and ignorance is the absence of truth. When the sinful nature is challenged, hostility is often the result. During the Great Tribulation, God will challenge the arrogance and ignorance of mankind. He will speak through His prophets and through the Holy Spirit. Of course, the devil will speak through his authorities (the leaders of Babylon) and this will produce a great contest for souls between Christ and Satan. Everyone will have to decide whether to put their faith in Jesus, obey His demands, and receive the seal of God or obey the laws of Babylon and receive the mark of the beast. After the devil physically appears, the wicked will find acquiescing to the devil’s demands will be expedient because the penalty for defiance will be torture and/or death.
At the sixth trumpet, the devil will set up a counterfeit theocracy. He will say words to this effect: “Now that God lives among men, there is no room for religious or political diversity. Let there be one Lord, one faith, and one baptism. The world will become the kingdom of God and its king will be Almighty God.” Billions of wicked people will join with the devil to build up and establish the kingdom of God. These people will do everything the devil requires. They will worship him as Almighty God and when Lucifer demands that all of God’s saints should be killed, they will not hesitate. “This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God’s commandments and remain faithful to Jesus.” (Revelation 14:12)
The Seven Bowls (Plagues)
Because the three evil spirits that look like three frogs appear during the seven bowls (the seven last plagues), a few words about the seven bowls are necessary. The seven bowls only begin after all people on Earth have made their decision. Because Jesus and Lucifer both promise death for defiance, the people of Earth will be separated by their choices. Those who choose to obey Jesus receive the seal of God. (Many of the saints will perish as martyrs.) Those who choose to obey Lucifer receive the mark of the beast. Thus, two distinct and separate groups of people (sheep and goats) will exist on Earth when the time comes for the seven bowls.
“I saw in heaven another great and marvelous sign: seven angels with the seven last plagues – last, because with them God’s wrath is completed.” (Revelation 15:1) The seven bowls represent seven horrible judgments which God forces the wicked to “drink, swallow, and experience.” The wicked are guilty of defying God. They heard the testimony of Jesus with their own ears, they heard the voice of the Holy Spirit, they saw the signs and wonders which affirmed the ministry of the 144,000, and yet they chose to disobey the demands of the King of Heaven and Earth. Moreover, many of the wicked participated in the torture, persecution, and death of God’s saints. These people chose to obey Lucifer and they willingly received his mark (a tattoo on their right hand) because they hated righteousness and loved evil. Therefore, Jesus will punish the wicked for their actions.
The first four bowls are horrific. God sends ugly and painful boils on everyone having the mark of the beast. (Revelation 16:2) The wicked will suffer agonizing pain. Next, all sea life is terminated, and since global famine will be pandemic, the absence of sea food will be devastating. After this, all drinking water turns to blood and finally, the Sun will scorch the Earth with intense heat. The devil, who claims to be Almighty God on Earth, will be powerless to prevent these plagues. His followers will cry out for deliverance. He will blame these plagues on the saints who are practicing “voodoo and witchcraft.” During the third bowl, the devil will set up a universal death decree for the saints. This decree will be meaningless and none of God’s children will perish. (Daniel 12:1) During the fifth bowl, Jesus will bring Lucifer’s charade and government to an end. God will cause the eyes and flesh of Lucifer’s captains and staff to rot while they are standing on their feet. (Compare Zechariah 14:12,13 with Revelation 16:10,11.) Lucifer’s empire will implode and the remaining wicked, who are not a part of Lucifer’s government, will have a great awakening. They will cry out, “Oh no! The 144,000 were right. We were deceived! This glorious being we trusted is the devil because no God would destroy his own people and government in a single day!”
The Three Frogs
This moment of truth, this punishing reality, will leave the wicked in a state of hopeless gloom. Each wicked person will suddenly understand his dire situation. He deliberately defied the God of Heaven in order to save himself from death and now, there will be no escape from death. The devil also knows that his deception is over, so he will send three of his most powerful demons to the ten kings of the Earth. God represented these demons to John as frogs because frogs catch their prey with their tongues. These lying demons will perform a series of impressive miracles before each king saying: “Join with Lucifer and his mighty angels because Jesus Christ will soon appear. Working together we can destroy Jesus, so gather up your armies and weapons and be prepared for the final battle, the battle of Armageddon. Otherwise, He will kill you and your armies will surely perish.”
“Then I saw the [composite] beast and the kings of the Earth and their armies gathered together to make war against [Jesus] the rider on the horse and his army. But the [composite] beast was captured, and with him the false prophet [Lucifer, the lamb-like beast] who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. With these signs he [the devil] 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. The rest of them [all of the wicked who were not soldiers] were killed with the sword that came out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh.” (Revelation 19:19-21, insertions mine)
During the sixth bowl, the kings of Earth will realize that Lucifer is the devil, but they will still listen to his demons. Unaided by the influence of the Holy Spirit because they committed the unpardonable sin, they will join with the devil and attempt to destroy Jesus when He appears. This is a fact: The sinful nature would rather destroy God than surrender to His authority. “The sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.” (Romans 8:7,8) For those who have ears to hear, it should now be clear why God’s “sudden death law” is both righteous and perpetual throughout eternity.