The Angel of Pure Influence
Jun 30, 2016
Revelation 16:12 says,
12 And the sixth angel poured out his bowl upon the great river, the Euphrates; and its water was dried up, that the way might be prepared for the kings from the east.
The sixth angel is the Angel of Pure Influence. This is seen in the psalm that was sung while the sixth bowls of water and wine were being poured out at the altar in Jerusalem. There they sang Psalm 81:6-16, which speaks of Israel’s deliverance from Egypt. The psalm is thus applied to the greater deliverance from Mystery Babylon in our time.
The entire Psalm was sung every Thursday in the temple, commemorating the events of Exodus 17. In Exodus 17:5, 6, Moses struck the rock so that the people could obtain water to drink. Paul later said in 1 Corinthians 10:4,
4 and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ.
The Glory of God
Traditionally, this event took place on the 40th day of the Pentecost cycle, dating from the wave-sheaf offering. Since the wave-sheaf offering always fell on the first Sunday after Passover, the 40th day always fell on a Thursday. Hence, Psalm 81 was read every Thursday. But the 40th day was also the traditional day that Elijah ascended, and Acts 1:3 tells us that Jesus met with people during the 40 days from His resurrection and then ascended on the 40th day.
When Jesus ascended, He took with Him the glory of God that had been seen last on the Mount of Olives (Ezekiel 11:23). Jesus’ ascension then prepared the way for the return of God’s glory on the day of Pentecost, when He came to inhabit His people—the new temple. This established a precedent for a parallel event in our time, when the glory of God will fill the temple in a greater way (Revelation 15:8) at the feast of Tabernacles. This is prophesied later in connection with the fall of Babylon in Revelation 18:1, where another angel comes down from heaven, “and the earth was illumined with his glory.”
The sixth bowl prepares the way for the seventh. The wine is poured out in judgment upon Babylon, while the water is poured out so that the people may drink from the “spiritual rock” which is Christ. This spiritual drink is the water of the word, for Jesus said in John 15:3 that we are cleansed, or purified, by the word which He has spoken to us. Under the Old Covenant, people were cleansed by literal water; under the New Covenant, we are cleansed by the water of the word.
The Angel of Pure Influence is thus sent to counteract the “bad influence” of Mystery Babylon. The pure water of life coming from the throne of God in Revelation 22:1 is the antidote to the polluted water of Babylonian influence, culture, and values. So Psalm 81:8-10 says,
8 Hear, O My people, and I will admonish you; O Israel, if you would listen to Me! 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.
The passage focuses primarily on feeding Israel with the word of God. The psalmist laments the fact that “My people did not listen to My voice” (Psalm 81:11). Psalm 81:16 concludes the passage by saying,
16 But I would feed you with the finest of the wheat; and with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.
The spiritual rock, then, was said to feed Israel not only with water, but with wheat and with honey. These are all metaphors for the word of God in different ways. Water cleanses; wheat strengthens, and honey removes spiritual blindness, enlightening the eyes (1 Samuel 14:27 KJV). All of these aspects of the word are part of the job description of the Angel of Pure Influence.
Even as Israel of old was spiritually blind during its sojourn in the wilderness (Deuteronomy 29:4), so also has the Pentecostal church in the wilderness been blind. Neither Israel nor the church has lacked faith to come out of Egypt (Passover-level faith that justifies). Israel, however, refused to hear the word (Exodus 20:18-21) at Pentecost when the law was given, whereas the church was able to receive the word of Pentecost in the second chapter of Acts. This showed progress, but the church under Pentecost was not ready to receive the message of Tabernacles, which is the greatest anointing and revelation of the word. This remains for the overcomers at the end of the age.
It is apparent that the Angel of Pure Influence presides over the revelation accompanying this final outpouring of the Holy Spirit, which will overturn the evil influence of Babylonian culture that has warped the hearts and minds of the people in our time.
Amalek and Babylon
There are two events in Exodus 17. The first is the water coming out of the rock. The second, in Exodus 17:8-16, is the overthrow of Amalek, which in this case serves as a representative of Mystery Babylon. Just as Amalek’s name was to be blotted out (Exodus 17:14), so also Babylon was to be “thrown down with violence, and will not be found any longer” (Revelation 18:21). Amalek established the early pattern for Babylon in the context of the time between Passover and Pentecost. Babylon’s fall is greater, and it comes in the context of the feast of Tabernacles.
If Amalek had won the battle in Moses’ day, the people would not have experienced Pentecost at Mount Sinai ten days later. If Babylon should win in our time, the people will not experience the fulness of the Spirit at the feast of Tabernacles. Thankfully, God has raised up the kings from the east to overthrow Babylon, as John tells us in Revelation 16:12.
Amalek was the son of Eliphaz, the son of Esau-Edom (Genesis 36:16). Hence, the prophecies concerning Edom apply also to Amalek. Eliphaz, whose name means “my god is fine gold,” shows how the love of money rules these people. It also provides us with Amalek’s motive in attacking Israel as they came out of Egypt. The Amalekites wanted to steal the wealth that Israel brought with them out of Egypt (Exodus 12:35).
The Kings from the East
Revelation 16:12 tells us that the sixth angel is called to pour out his bowl of wine upon the Euphrates River. This dries up the river and prepares the way for the kings from the east. This verse tells us that the fall of Babylon in Daniel’s time had established a prophetic pattern for the fall of Mystery Babylon in our time.
During the days of Daniel, the kings of the east (King Cyrus of Persia and King Darius of Media) dried up the River Euphrates by diverting the water from the River Euphrates that flowed through the city of Babylon. There were walls on either side of the river with huge gates to allow people in and out of the city. Normally, these gates were closed and locked during a siege and at night, but on the night the Medes and Persians took the city, the Babylonian priests left a gate open. They were angry with King Belshazzar for making their god (Marduk) equal with the other official gods of Babylon. This was how the city was taken during the palace party mentioned in Daniel 5:1.
Thus, the drying up of the River Euphrates was the final prophetic act that led to the conquest of Babylon. So this became the pattern for the fall of Mystery Babylon in Revelation 16. One cannot truly understand the events of the sixth and seventh bowls in Revelation 16 without knowing some of the history of ancient Babylon and how the city fell in Daniel 5.
In fact, because so many Bible teachers are ignorant of history, they interpret the kings of the east in a negative manner. Many interpret this verse to mean that China will send an army across the Mideast to destroy the Israeli state. But if that were so, then the Israeli state would have to be Babylon. Certainly, it is part of the Babylonian system today—and, in fact, it is the modern representative of Edom and Amalek, as I have shown elsewhere. But Babylon is much bigger than the Israeli state, for it is a worldwide political and economic system.
The main thing to understand is that the kings of the east are God’s agents raised up to overthrow Babylon—not to threaten God’s people, but to set them free. It was Cyrus who issued the edict in 534 B.C. allowing the Judeans to return to their old land and to reconstruct a temple in Jerusalem. A later edict in 458 B.C. by King Artaxerxes sent Nehemiah to rebuild Jerusalem, beginning the final 490-year countdown toward the Messiah’s death on the cross.
Cyrus is God’s “Messiah”
Isaiah 44:27 and Isaiah 45:1 says,
27 It is I who says to the depth of the sea, ‘Be dried up!’ And I will make your rivers dry. 28 It is I who says of Cyrus, ‘He is My shepherd! And he will perform all My desire.’ And he declares of Jerusalem, ‘She will be built,’ and of the temple, ‘Your foundation will be laid.’
1 Thus says the Lord to Cyrus [Heb. Koresh, “the Furnace-Fire” (i.e., The Sun)] His anointed [Heb. Messiach, “Messiah”], Whom I have taken by the right hand to subdue nations before him….
This passage makes it clear that King Cyrus of Persia was God’s “shepherd” and “His anointed” one (“Messiah”). That is, he is a type of Christ insofar as He was the conqueror of Babylon. His anointing from God authorized him “to subdue nations.” Though Cyrus was not a believer in Yahweh, he did what God called him to do, saying to Jerusalem, “She will be built,” and giving orders to lay the foundations of the second temple (Isaiah 44:28).
Isaiah 44:27 also says, “And I will make your rivers dry.” This was fulfilled when the River Euphrates was dried up in order to allow the invading army to capture Babylon.
This is part 124 of a series titled "Studies in the Book of Revelation." To view all parts, click the link below.
Dr. Stephen Jones