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Revelation 16:13, 14 says,
13 And I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs; 14 for they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them together for the war of the great day of God, the Almighty.
Revelation 16 correlates prophetically with the 16th letter of the Hebrew alphabet, the ayin, which means “an eye.” It has to do with seeing, looking, or manifestation. In verses 1 and 7, John wrote “and I heard,” but in verse 13 this changes to “and I saw.” So verse 13 brings us to some sort of high point in this chapter that correlates with the ayin.
Psalm 81:6-16, which was sung as the sixth bowls were poured out in the temple, is instructive in regard to Rev. 16:13 and 14. Psalm 81:9, 10 says,
9 let there be no strange god among you, nor shall you worship any foreign god. 10 I, the Lord, am your God, who brought you up from the land of Egypt; open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.
When men are induced by the beast and the false prophet to worship the dragon, God says “let there be no strange god among you.” When John sees three unclean spirits, pictured as frogs, coming out of the mouth of these three evil entities, the antidote is to “open your mouth wide” so that the true God can fill it with His words that are inspired by the Holy Spirit. In Psalm 81:16 God says, “I would feed you with the finest of the wheat… and with honey from the rock.”
However, Psalm 81:11 says, “But My people did not listen to My voice.” Because Israel failed to listen to the voice of God, they came under divine judgment, and God put them under the authority of the beast (Psalm 81:12). Because most of them were ill equipped to resist the voice of the dragon, they succumbed to the temptation of greed—the root of all evil—and thus received the mark of the beast.
The dragon in Revelation 16 is no doubt the same as the red dragon in Rev. 12:9, where he is called “the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world.” He is the head of the evil triumvirate, for in Rev. 13:2 we read that the beast from the sea was given power and his throne, along with great authority, by the dragon himself.
Therefore, the beast from the sea, who is also the little horn, was authorized by the dragon to exercise authority in the earth. He who authorizes is greater than the one being authorized.
Likewise, in Rev. 13:11 the banking beast from the earth “spoke as a dragon” and was therefore some sort of spokesman, or “prophet” of the dragon. This banking beast, then, is the “false prophet” of Revelation 16:13. This is, perhaps, unexpected, since the beast from the sea is religious in nature, while the beast from the earth is secular and financial.
Nonetheless, it is the earth beast who “performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down out of heaven to the earth in the presence of men” (Rev. 13:13). We have already identified this particular sign as nuclear bombs dropped by jet bombers and also “hellfire” missiles widely used in modern warfare. These were developed by governments under the control of the money powers, the wealthy banking families.
When this unholy trinity is finally defeated, Rev. 19:20 says,
20 And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone.
Here the false prophet is identified directly with the earth beast. Therefore, the other beast that was seized is the sea beast. He is referred to as “the beast” because he is the main beast known as the little horn. “These two” are the first to be overthrown, as verse 20 tells us, and then soon afterward the dragon himself is bound by an angel with “a great chain” (Rev. 20:1-3).
So the triumvirate is the dragon (Satan), the beast (Vatican), and the false prophet (banking system). Out of the mouth of these come “unclean spirits like frogs,” persuasive words and policies that are designed to bring the kings of the world together to “Har-Magedon” (NASB), or “Armageddon” (KJV).
The unclean spirits are pictured figuratively as frogs. This makes a connection to the plague on Egypt in Exodus 8:5, 6,
5 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Stretch out your hand with your staff over the rivers, over the streams and over the pools, and make frogs come up on the land of Egypt.” 6 So Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt, and the frogs came up and covered the land of Egypt.
Even as the frogs came up from the Nile River in Egypt, so also in Revelation 16 the three frogs seem to come up from the River Euphrates after the sixth angel poured out his “plague” upon the river. For those studying the prophetic meaning of the ten plagues on Egypt, it should be helpful to know that frogs signify unclean spirits, false teachings, or destructive ideologies, which often lead to war. Deceptive propaganda stirs the passions of otherwise peaceful people, causing them to support wars which only increase the debt of the people and increase power of their hidden masters.
The unclean spirit of the beast is mostly the doctrine of hell and eternal torment. It causes even Christians to turn upon one another and to persecute so-called heretics, dissenters, and anyone who believes differently. For centuries (until 1869) the Church burned people at the stake. They justified their cruelty by claiming that God approved of eternal torment, so a few extra moments of inflicted torment was well within the bounds of divine justice.
Their religious doctrine justified cruelty, because they mistakenly believed that they worshiped a cruel God. Countless religious wars have been fought on account of this misperception, and each declaration of war by government decree was thought to justify cruelty, murder and unrighteous war.
The unclean spirit of the false prophet—that is the Babylonian banking system—teaches that war is justified by economic considerations, based on the love of money. Hence, when Saddam Hussein decided to allow oil sales to be paid in euros, rather than in US dollars, the Babylonian leaders declared war on him. Government propaganda mobilized the people to support the war on the grounds that Saddam Hussein was a bad man, but it had no problem supporting him prior to the time that he committed his unpardonable sin by accepting other currencies in payment of oil.
The unclean spirit of the dragon—Satan—seems to stand above the other two and is more general. If we look at the motive of the red dragon in Revelation 12, it is designed to prevent Christ from taking His rightful place as King of the earth. So the dragon attempted to devour the Christ-child as soon as He was born (Rev. 12:4). Secondly, when that failed, he declared war on the “woman” (church) and on her seed—the saints who form the body of Christ (Rev. 12:17).
The dragon, then, spreads hatred against Christ, the church, and the overcomers in the attempt to raise up religious persecution against his great rival, Jesus Christ. The dragon’s desire is to remain “the ruler of this world” (John 12:31).
The serpent, or dragon, received this authority at the beginning by divine decree on account of Adam’s sin. God appeared to lose that which He owned by right of creation. But Adam could only lose what had been given him—and no more. Adam had been given authority, but not sovereignty. His authority over the earth made him a steward, not an owner. Therefore, the “sale” of the earth could not be permanent. The law says that the land could not be sold permanently (Lev. 25:23). Laws of redemption and Jubilee limit sales of God’s property to 49 years. In the end, God will reclaim all that He has lost.
The laws of creation were written and established by God alone. These laws will always work for His benefit in the long run. The law will never demand or even allow God to lose anything. You might say that He “stacked the deck” in His own favor. He wrote the rules of engagement so that any loss He suffered would be temporary.
Biblical history is primarily the story of mankind during the time of redemption leading to the final Jubilee, when all inheritance is restored to the original owners. And so the overthrow of the unholy triumvirate at the end of the first “work week” of history (i.e., 6,000 years) comes with the fall of Babylon, followed by the Sabbath Millennium, where the earth is given a rest from its labor.
The next work week at the start of the eighth millennium, begins with the Great White Throne judgment, wherein all past generations of mankind are raised from the dead and placed under the “fiery law” (Deut. 33:2 KJV) in order that they might learn righteousness (Isaiah 26:9).
The bottom line, however, is that the three unclean spirits appear to be unrighteous motivational ideologies or teachings by which a triumvirate of demonic power attempts to withstand Christ in His second coming. The basic motive is hatred.
This hatred finds its expression in secondary motives through the beast and the false prophet. The beast, which is the little horn, is the church of Rome. It expresses the dragon’s hatred of Christ by its doctrine of eternal torment and by its policy of killing “infidels” and torturing “heretics,” along with general acts of unkindness toward those who do not submit fully to the religious hierarchy. This runs contrary to both love and justice that are rooted in His very nature.
The way that Israel expressed their hatred of Christ was by rejecting His direct rule and desiring a man to rule over them. When the people demanded a king, God told the prophet in 1 Sam. 8:7, “they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them.” Following their example, the Jewish leaders in the New Testament said in their hearts, “We do not want this man to reign over us” (Luke 19:14).
All three “frogs” are rooted in hatred for Jesus Christ, not wanting Him to claim His rightful place as King of the earth. The main difference is that while the leaders are quite aware of their hatred of Christ, most of the average people who are influenced by their leaders are unaware of it. Lacking spiritual discernment, they blindly support their leaders in their war against Jesus Christ.
The deeper truth, however, is that the sixth angel has poured out his bowl of wine upon the Euphrates, causing these “frogs” to swarm the land at the end of the age. In the book of Exodus, the frogs were brought out of the Nile when Aaron held up his staff according to divine command. God is the first cause and has full control over the outcome. Hence, the “frogs” can never defeat Jesus Christ.
The triumvirate of these unclean spirits is blinded by hatred and limited in its understanding. Do they really think that they might actually win this battle? No, for Rev. 12:12 says that when the dragon was cast down to the earth, he has “great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time.” Likewise, when Jesus cast out the demons in the country of the Gadarenes, we read in Matt. 8:29,
29 And behold, they cried out, saying, “What do we have to do with You, Son of God? Have You come here to torment [imprison] us before the time?”
They know that they cannot win, and yet they fight to prolong their freedom to rule the earth and to influence mankind to do evil. But in the end, their “frogs” can only bring the world to the great turning point of history, where they will be defeated—as they already know.