Three Frog Spirits
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62. Three Frog Spirits
Revelation 16.12-21

"The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river The Euphrates, and its water dried up to prepare the way for the eastern kings. Then I saw three impure spirits looking like frogs. They came from the mouths of the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet. They are demonic spirits performing signs that go out to the whole world's kings to gather them for the battle on God Almighty's great day. 'Look, I come like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake and remains clothed rather than goes naked and be shamefully exposed.' Then they gathered the kings together to the place called Armageddon in Hebrew. The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and out of the temple throne came a loud voice, saying, 'It is done!' Then there came lightning flashes, rumblings, thunder peals, and a severe earthquake. No earthquake like it has ever occurred since humanity has been on earth, so tremendous was the quake. The great city split into three, and the nations' cities collapsed. God remembered Babylon the Great and gave her the cup filled with furious wrathful wine. Every island fled away, and the mountains could not be found. From the sky, huge hailstones, weighing about a hundred pounds each, fell on people. And they cursed God on the hail plague's account because it was so terrible." (Revelation 16.12-21)✞

False Prophets

Green FrogThree frog spirits emerge from the mouths of the dragon, beast, and false prophet. John of Patmos describes them as "impure spirits." In Greek, there is a play on words here. The "three frog spirits" come from the evil forces' mouths. The mouth is the speech organ and one of the most potent good or evil forces. What we say and how we say it is tremendously important and can hurt or encourage other people.

Unholy Trinity

Unholy TrinityThe Greek word "spirit" as in "three frog spirits" is "pneuma," which means "breath." We recognize this in the phrase "pneumatic" as a "tire filled with air." The equivalent Latin word is "spiritus" or "spirare," as God's breath or spirit moves over the waters at the creation. The Hebrew word is "ruach," which, when spoken, sounds like breathed-out air. Saying an evil spirit comes from a person's mouth is the same as saying that a person communicates with malicious intent. H. B. Swete (1835-1917), the English Biblical scholar, wrote that the dragon, beast, and false prophet all "breathed forth evil influences like three frogs, an unholy trinity."

Frog Plague

Egypt PlaguesThe three frog spirits are often associated with plagues. One of Moses' ten plagues in Egypt was a frog plague. Psalm 78.45 reads, "God sent flies' swarms that devoured them, and frogs that devastated them." Frogs are impure creatures, and eating them is strictly prohibited according to Jewish Law. Although not mentioned by name, unclean water things imply frogs are not permitted as they are without scales. Leviticus 11.10 reads, "But all sea or stream creatures without fins and scales — whether among all the swarming things or other water creatures — you are to regard as unclean."

Meaningless Croaks

Lily Pads FrogsCroaking frogs are also especially disliked for their annoying and continuous noise. The frog sound is like meaningless speech. In Ontario, Canada, we have several types of frogs. There are the "peepers" with a high-pitched squeak and "bullfrogs" with a deep rich croak. To say that three frog spirits "came out of the mouth of the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet" implies that their garbled words are unintelligible, impure, and harmful!

Prophet's Speech

A false prophet's speech deceives people by cunning words and attempts to draw Christ's followers away from the faith. "God warned people to expect" the false prophet in the Old and New Testaments. However impressive they may be at performing miraculous signs, even listening to a false prophet is forbidden. Deuteronomy 13.1-5 decrees that the punishment for listening to them is death. "If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces a sign or wonder, and if it takes place, and the prophet says, 'Let us follow other gods (gods you have not known) 'and let us worship them,' you must not listen to that prophet or dreamer's words. The Lord, your God, is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and soul. You must follow the Lord your God and revere him. Keep his commands, obey, serve, and hold fast to him. That prophet or dreamer must die for inciting rebellion against the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt and redeemed you from slavery. That prophet or dreamer tried to turn you from the way the Lord your God commanded you to follow. You must purge the evil from among you."

Wolves in Sheep's Clothing

Wolf in Sheep's ClothingThe Sanhedrin's duty in the Jerusalem Temple was to deal with these false prophets and punish them when they arose. Mark 13.22 warns the Christian Church, "for false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform deceptive signs and wonders, if possible, to deceive even the elect." H. B. Swete said "false prophets" covered "magic vendors, religious impostors, fanatics, deceivers or deceived persons who falsely interpret God's mind. True religion has no worse enemies and Satan no better allies." The false prophets who come like wolves in sheep's clothing try to introduce other gods' worship. "A wolf is no less a wolf because he's dressed in sheepskin, and the devil is no less the devil because he's dressed as an angel." They try to make Christians compromise with the world and try to seduce others from Almighty God's exclusive worship. A person falsely claiming a divine inspiration gift is always a false prophet.✞

Kings' Battle

ArmageddonGog and Magog fight with God at the Megiddo kings' battle at Armageddon in the Esdraelon Plain between Egypt and Damascus. A world's end confrontation between God and evil forces is an old idea. Psalm 2.2 says, "The earth's kings rise, and the rulers band together against the Lord and his anointed." The battle's prophesied location is at Armageddon, a range of hills connected with Megiddo. Megiddo itself is not a mountain but a "tell" created by generations of people living on the same spot.

Megiddo Kings' Battle

Before the days of garbage removal or recycling, people dumped their rubbish outside, and over time the ground level built up. If a fire or earthquake destroyed a house, they rebuilt it on the rubble. An excellent example is Jericho, where the modern tourist can look down upon the city wall tower! Megiddo is in the Esdraelon Plain, part of Egypt's great highway to Damascus. From ancient to Napoleon's time, Megiddo was one of the world's great battlegrounds. It was where Barak and Deborah overthrew Sisera's chariots in Judges 5.19, "Kings came, they fought, the kings of Canaan fought. At Taanach, by the Megiddo waters, they took no silver plunder." Ahaziah died there by Jehu's arrows in 2 Kings 9.27. Judah's good King Josiah in 2 Kings 23.29-30 died in the Megiddo battle with Pharaoh Necho the Second in BC 609. It was a tragedy for the Jewish mind and one which they have never forgotten. It was "a battleground," says H. B. Swete, "familiar to any Hebrew history student." When Ezekiel describes the last struggle with Gog and Magog in Ezekiel 38.8-39.17, he says that the final victory will be in Israel's mountains. John of Patmos speaks of this last Revelation struggle as the "Megiddo kings' battle."

Polluted Air

MegiddoJohn of Patmos tells of the Armageddon kings' great battles and the hail plague that rained down upon them. Huge hailstones, each weighing a hundred pounds, fell on the people. The seventh bowl poured out upon the air, or as H. B. Swete said, "the air that all breathe." Polluted air threatens human beings' very life at its source. Nature can be at war with humans. There comes "lightning, rumblings, thunder peals, and a severe earthquake." The first century was notable for earthquakes, but John of Patmos says that, whatever horror the world has known from past tremors, this earthquake far surpasses them. Great Babylon meaning Rome, was split into three parts. Rome thought that she could do as she liked with impunity, but now her sin is remembered, and her fate is upon her. God's mills may grind slowly, but in the end, there is no escape for crimes committed. The earthquake sank islands and leveled mountains. Here is another recurring feature of God's wrath.

Devastating Hail

A devastating hail was part of Egypt's plagues in Exodus 9.22-26. "Then the Lord told Moses, 'Stretch out your hand skyward so that hail will fall all over Egypt — on people and animals and everything growing in Egypt's fields.' When Moses stretched out his staff skyward, the Lord sent thunder and hail, and lightning flashed down to the ground. So the Lord rained hail on Egypt's land; hail fell, and lightning flashed back and forth. It was Egypt's worst storm since it had become a nation. Throughout Egypt, the hail struck everything in the fields — both people and animals; it beat down everything growing and stripped every tree. The only place it did not hail was Goshen's land, where the Israelites were." Again we see Israel's people spared while the peoples all around suffered. In Israel's battle with the five Amorite kings at Beth-horon, in Joshua 10.11, a great hail came upon Israel's enemies so that more died by the hailstones than the sword. Isaiah 28.2 explained, "See, the Lord has one who is powerful and strong. Like a hailstorm and a destructive wind, like a driving rain and a flooding downpour, he will throw it forcefully to the ground." He spoke of the hail tempest and the destroying storm which God in his judgment sent. Ezekiel 38.22 says, "I will execute judgment on him with plague and bloodshed; I will pour down rain torrents, hailstones and burning sulfur on him and his troops and the many nations with him." The prophets speak of God punishing nations with pestilence, plagues, and bloodshed and sending an overflowing rain, great hailstones, fire, and brimstone.

"Three Frog Spirits"
by Ron Meacock © 2021

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