The kings of the east
Jul 01, 2016
When Revelation 16:12 speaks of the kings of the east drying up the Euphrates River, many interpret this in a negative way, as if this is a threat to God’s people. But, in fact, this is the final stage of preparation by which God overthrows Babylon. The ancient kings of the east were Cyrus and Darius, who ruled the Medes and Persians, to whom God had given the city (Daniel 5:28). The modern “kings” of this prophetic pattern are China and Russia, who have formed an alliance to overthrow “Babylon” that currently rules from its bases of power in the West.
Like Cyrus and Darius, the modern kings probably have little or no awareness of their role in prophecy. Yet those who understand the divine plan see their rise and have no fear of them, knowing that God is using them to set His people free from their Babylonian captivity. By contrast, most evangelical Christians are being taught to fear China and Russia. Perhaps in Daniel’s day too there were Judahites who were alarmed when the Medes and Persians laid siege to their great city, Babylon. For this reason, it is important to know the divine plan, and we today must understand the meaning of Revelation 16:12.
Diverting the River Euphrates
Cyrus came to power in 550 B.C., as the rising of “The Sun.” Next, he overthrew the thrones of Media and Lydia (546 B.C.). Next, his army diverted the river Euphrates in order to enter the city of Babylon through the river (537 B.C.) Last, this led to the conquest of Babylon, the city that was ruled spiritually by “the prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2). Hence, the seventh bowl of wine was poured “upon the air” (Revelation 16:17).
Queen Nitocris was the mother of the biblical Belshazzar (Daniel 5:1). On the night Babylon fell, when the hand wrote on the palace wall, it was this queen who remembered Daniel and pulled him out of retirement to interpret the dream (Daniel 5:10-12).
Babylon had been built on both sides of the Euphrates River, but for security reasons, walls had to be built which divided and separated the two halves of the city. People had to use boats to ferry the people across the river. Queen Nitocris saw the obvious problem and wanted to build a bridge over the Euphrates to connect the two halves of Babylon. So first she had her workmen dig a huge basin 47 miles in circumference just north of the city. At the same time, she prepared large stones for the bridge. When all was ready, a canal was dug upstream from the river to the basin, and the water was diverted. This allowed them to set the stones in the dry river bed to build the bridge over the Euphrates.
Babylon itself was a city foursquare with each side nearly 14 miles in length and a total circumference of 56 miles. The wall itself was 85 feet thick and 300 feet high. The ancient Greek historian, Herodotus, known as the “Father of History,” tells us in Book 1 of The Histories,
“On the top of the wall they constructed, along each edge, a row of one-roomed buildings facing inwards with enough space between for a four-horse chariot to pass. There are a hundred gates in the circuit of the wall, all of bronze and bronze uprights and lintels.”
When Cyrus and Darius came to conquer Babylon, they met with little success at first. Herodotus tells us,
“The siege dragged on, no progress was made, and Cyrus was beginning to despair of success. Then somebody suggested or he himself thought up the following plan: he stationed part of his force at the point where the Euphrates flows into the city and another contingent at the opposite end where it flows out, with orders to both to force an entrance along the river-bed as soon as they saw that the water was shallow enough. Then, taking with him all his non-combatant troops, he withdrew to the spot where Nitocris had excavated the lake (which was then a marsh) and in this way [reopening the canal] so greatly reduced the depth of water in the actual bed of the river that it became fordable, and the Persian army, which had been left at Babylon for the purpose, entered the river, now only deep enough to reach about the middle of a man’s thigh, and, making their way along it, got into the town. . .
The Babylonians themselves say that owing to the great size of the city the outskirts were captured without the people in the centre knowing anything about it; there was a festival going on, and they continued to dance and enjoy themselves, until they learned the news the hard way. That, then, is the story of the first capture of Babylon.”
But the fall of Babylon itself is the subject of the seventh bowl, so for now, we must confine our remarks to the sixth bowl upon the Euphrates—the prelude to the fall of Babylon.
The Meaning of Euphrates
The Euphrates was the life blood of Babylon. Along with the Tigris River, the water was the only reason that Babylon and other cities could be built in the desert of Mesopotamia, “the land between two rivers.” The name Euphrates means “fruitfulness.” It comes from the same root word as found in the Hebrew name Ephraim, “double fruitfulness.”
Modern Babylon, of course, is no longer a single city, but a worldwide economic and political system. As such, it no longer requires the Euphrates River as its life blood. Modern Babylon’s “Euphrates” is its banking system. The river banks of the Euphrates are now the banks that hold money that is also called “liquidity.”
For this reason, the final form of the beast system is the beast arising from the earth (Revelation 13:11), which is described in financial and economic terms. Likewise, when Babylon falls, Revelation 18:11-15 pictures “the merchants of the earth” weeping over the loss of world trade. And in Revelation 18:14 God speaks to the merchants, saying, “the fruit you long for has gone from you.” These merchants weep because Babylon had made them rich, and the fall of their city has caused them to lose this wealth. Revelation 18:17 tells us, “in one hour such great wealth has been laid waste!”
So when Cyrus dried up the river, he established a prophetic pattern that is fulfilled today by attacks upon the financial markets and world trade. This became apparent more than twenty years ago at the start of our Jubilee Prayer Campaign (November 21-29, 1993).
God’s Answer to Prayer
The first major sign, taken from the story of Nebuchadnezzar’s downfall in Daniel 4, was given to us precisely twelve months later (Daniel 4:29, 30, 31, 32) on November 29, 1994.
This was the day that Washington was “de-Foley-ated.” In the elections in 1994, the Speaker of the House, Tom Foley of Washington state was defeated by George Nethercutt (“a lower cut”). We saw immediately that Daniel 4 was being fulfilled in our time. The great “tree” of Babylon was being defoliated and cut down (Daniel 4:14). Nebuchadnezzar himself was given twelve months in which to repent, but instead his heart was lifted up in pride, bragging about his great accomplishments (Daniel 4:29). That was the point where his prophetic dream began to be fulfilled, and he was cast off the throne for “seven times” (Daniel 4:16, 32).
Understanding this historical precedent, we watched what God would do on November 29, 1994, and when Tom Foley was defeated by George Nethercutt, we knew that the tree was being chopped down. A few weeks after the election, the GATT treaty (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) was passed by the House, and Tom Foley then gave a final speech bragging about their accomplishments and resigned as Speaker of the House. This was November 29, 1994, precisely twelve months after the Jubilee Prayer Campaign. The overcomers had taken Babylon to the divine court and won their case against Babylon, but the city was given one year in which to redeem itself according to the provision of the law in Leviticus 25:30.
The point is that the GATT treaty was the precursor to the World Trade Organization, which has become the main Babylonian Trade Club. The GATT treaty admitted China to this Trade Club, and this was the start of the greatest transfer of wealth from West to East in the history of the world. China then began to rise very quickly, and its new wealth soon allowed it to challenge the hegemony of the US government.
When the GATT treaty was passed in 1994, we knew that this was God’s answer to the Jubilee Prayer Campaign, a decree from the throne that Babylon would be overthrown by the kings of the east. Some politicians and economists now see how “free trade” has facilitated the rise of China and the demise of the western nations, and they are alarmed. (Donald Trump is among them.) But almost none of them understand the divine plan in this. Hence, they are sounding the alarm and promoting fear of China and Russia, without knowing that God has raised up the modern kings of the east to set His people free. God is overthrowing Babylon by diverting its source of fruitfulness (money in the banks).
Pouring out the Sixth Bowl in 2005
We were led to pour out the sixth bowls of water and wine into the Colorado River at Fruita, Colorado on September 26, 2005. We did this immediately after holding a Tabernacles conference in Denver, Colorado. God did not require us to go to Iraq to pour out the wine in the Euphrates River. For spiritual purposes, the town of Fruita suited the purpose, since the meaning of the name was the same as Euphrates, and the town is known for its orchards and fruit.
As I poured out the wine into the river, I spoke the word attributed by Isaiah to King Cyrus, “Be dry” (Isaiah 44:27 KJV). As usual, we expected to see the results of this decree begin to unfold in the coming year. One notable event took place the following June (2006).
God is Able Prayer Campaign (June 15-18, 2006)
The essence of this prayer campaign was stated in part of our prayer at that time: “Father, because many have said You are not able to bring this people into the Promised Land (Numbers 14:16), I ask that you fulfill your vow (Numbers 14:21), where You swore to Moses, “As I live, all the earth will be filled with the glory of the Lord.” This was connected to the bowl of water that we had poured out earlier in Fruita.
On the last day of this prayer campaign (June 18, 2006), my wife and I drove through Waterloo, Iowa on the way home from Springfield, Illinois, where we had picked up two grandchildren who would stay with us for two weeks. It happened that our three-day prayer campaign fell on the anniversary of the famous Battle of Waterloo (June 15-18, 1815), which was a major turning point in the history of Europe. June 18, 1815 marked the end of Napoleon’s career, for he was defeated by British general, Wellington, at Waterloo.
So we found ourselves driving through Waterloo, Iowa on the last day of God is Able prayer campaign on the anniversary of Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo. We were led to declare victory over Apollyon (Napoleon is Neo-Apollyon).
We always watch for “echoes” that often occur ten years later, according to the Hezekiah Factor. Hence, June 15-18, 2016 was a time to watch, and this coincided with the 15-year Hezekiah Extension from June 19, 2001, when we held another prayer campaign known as We Accept Your New Covenant Marriage Proposal. The date of that prayer campaign was prophetically adjusted to June 23, though we did not know why at the time.
The bottom line is that June 23, 2016 was the Brexit vote, where Great Britain voted to leave ("divorce") the European Union. This European Union was first conceived by Napoleon, who attempted to accomplish this “union” by military force. After his defeat in 1815, the “Holy Alliance” met to redraw the map of Europe, and they also began to plan for a European Union based on peaceful means. This finally became a reality in 1958.
However, the Brexit now threatens the very existence of the EU itself, and our prayer campaign ten years earlier suggests that another “Waterloo” has taken place. It seems to mark the end of the “Holy Alliance” after 201 years (1815-2016).
Since the EU’s logo is an unfinished picture of the Tower of Babel, we can see that this Tower of Babel was first conceived in 1815 in conjunction with the rise of the beast from the earth in Revelation 13:11. But June 23, 2006 seems to mark the beginning of the end, when God has begun to scatter the people by confounding their tongues (Genesis 11:7-9).
This is part 125 of a series titled "Studies in the Book of Revelation." To view all parts, click the link below.
Dr. Stephen Jones