BibleRiches Mail #AG

Prophetic significance of crossing the Euphrates
Where is America in Bible Prophecy?

The crossing of the Euphrates River
[March 2003] A visitor asks- I heard tonight in the news cast how American soldiers are crossing the Euphrates River to get into Iraq.

Is this a part of prophecy? Will this war put America out of the circuit -- meaning, not part of the end-times 10 nations? Will this war put us in the hyperinflation mode?

What's the Biblical take on this?
Rich's reply
The passage you're referring to is found in Revelation 16.12, quoted in the panel alongside.
  Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, so that the way of the kings from the east might be prepared. Rev 16.12
The great river Euphrates is prominent throughout the Bible, beginning in the book of Genesis with creation.   The name of the third river [in the Garden of Eden] is Hiddekel; it is the one which goes toward the east of Assyria. The fourth river is the Euphrates. Gen 2.14
The city of Babylon is being rebuilt on its original site by Iraq. Revelation chapter 18 gives ample testimony that, in the future, Babylon will rise again, reemerging even beyond its former glory.

It will be a great city, the hub of planetary commerce and religion, the capital of the world, and the center of the Antichrist.
  ...the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her [Babylon's] luxury. Rev 18.3b

[Babylon's] merchants were the great men of the earth. By your sorcery all the nations were deceived. Rev 18.23b
We would therefore expect Babylon to be a prime habitat of Satan, and indeed it will be! The Bible specifically designates it at the end time as a dwelling place of demons and a prison of every unclean spirit.

This demon infested metropolis will be located guess where? The Euphrates River.
  And he cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, "Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird!" Rev 18.2
Near the end of the Great Tribulation, at the sounding of the 6th Trumpet Plague, 200 million demonic horsemen will be released to kill one-third of mankind.

We know they are demons because their leaders are four fallen angels. The description further confirms they are creatures from the demonic dimension. From where does the assault of this demonic hoard originate? The great river Euphrates.
  Then the sixth angel sounded. And I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, "Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates." So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released to kill a third of mankind.

Now the number of the army of the horsemen was two hundred million; I heard the number of them.
Rev 9.13-16
When the Antichrist and his False Prophet deceive all the nations into converging on Israel to blot out the Jews, the call to arms is actually spread across the planet with the assistance of demonic messengers (Rev 16.12-16).

Those messengers will seduce the nations through scores of deceptive signs and wonders gathering them to the Holy Land.

The focus of this satanic activity? The great river, the Euphrates.
  Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, so that the way of the kings from the east might be prepared. And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.

"Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame."

And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon.
Rev 16.12-16
The Euphrates river is located in the land of the ancient sister empires, Assyria and Babylon. It is from here that the Bible prophesies the rise of the Antichrist at the end of history.

Through a compelling array of evidence, we see the land of what is modern day Syria/Iraq as that part of the neo-Roman empire which will give birth to the Antichrist.

The Euphrates River is so prominent in Bible prophecy that its frequent mention in today's news strongly attests that we are indeed living in the last days.
Historical background
In 605 BC, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem, and besieged it (Dan1.1).

Jerusalem was conquered and Israel was taken captive for 70 years (Daniel 9.2).

After those 70 years, an amazing set of circumstances occurred. The Euphrates was dried up, Babylon was conquered from the east, and Israel was delivered.
  In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. Dan 1.1

... in the first year of his reign I, Daniel, understood by the books the number of the years specified by the word of the LORD through Jeremiah the prophet, that He would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.
Dan 9.2
Ancient Babylon sat on the river Euphrates (Jer 51.63, 64). A wall surrounded the city. The river Euphrates ran through Babylon, entering and exiting through two spiked gates whose bars reached down to the riverbed.

When these double doors were shut and all other entrances were closed, Babylon was considered impregnable.
  [God commanded Jeremiah...] Now it shall be, when you have finished reading this book, that you shall tie a stone to it and throw it out into the Euphrates. Then you shall say, "Thus Babylon shall sink and not rise from the catastrophe that I will bring upon her. And they shall be weary." Jer 51.63-64
Ancient Babylon was most proud -- a golden cup that made all the earth drunk of her wine.   The most proud shall stumble and fall, And no one will raise him up; I will kindle a fire in his cities, And it will devour all around him." Jer 50.32

Babylon was a golden cup in the LORD'S hand, that made all the earth drunk. The nations drank her wine; therefore the nations are deranged.
Jer 51.7
Yet Babylon was to fall suddenly and be destroyed (Jeremiah 51.8). Then God would call Israel, saying, "My people, go out of the midst of her." Jeremiah 51.45.   Babylon has suddenly fallen and been destroyed. Wail for her! Take balm for her pain; perhaps she may be healed. Jer 51.8

[God said...] My people, go out of the midst of her! And let everyone deliver himself from the fierce anger of the LORD. Jer 51.45
In 538 BC, on the night of ancient Babylon's fall, her king and subjects were drunk with wine (Daniel chapter 5). So were the guards, and they forgot to fully close the double doors.

Over 100 years earlier, God had ordained concerning Babylon and the Euphrates, "I will dry up your rivers."

The Lord also spoke about Cyrus, who conquered Babylon, saying that He would " before him the two-leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut."
  God says to the deep, "Be dry! And I will dry up your rivers" Isa 44.27

So says the LORD to His anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have made strong in order to humble nations before him. And I will loosen the loins of kings, to open before him the two-leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut. I will go before you, and make hills level. I will break in pieces the bronze gates, and cut the iron bars in two.
Isa 45.1-2
God called Cyrus "my shepherd" and "His anointed" (Isaiah 44.28; 45.1).

Thus Cyrus was a type of Jesus Christ. Moreover, Cyrus came "from the east" Isaiah 46.11!
  [God...] says of Cyrus, He is My shepherd Isa 44.28a

So says the LORD to His anointed, to Cyrus
Isa 45.1

Calling a bird of prey from the east, The man who executes My counsel, from a far country.
Isa 46.11a
In the British Museum in London lies the famous Cyrus Cylinder. It describes how Cyrus, a general of Darius, conquered Babylon. Cyrus's army dug trenches upstream alongside the Euphrates. By diverting the water, the river gradually went down as it ran through the city of Babylon. No one noticed. At night, at the height of Belshazzar's drunken feast, the water became low enough for Cyrus's army to quietly slip under the double doors, which had been left open. Quickly they overran the doomed city, killed the king (Daniel 5.30), and conquered Babylon. Then Cyrus issued a decree to let Israel go (Ezra chapter 1).    
1- Current Events, 2003
This is precisely what we see now in the land of Turkey. Just as Cyrus and his army were able to dry up the Euphrates, so also can modern-day Turkey. When the time comes, the drying of the Euphrates River may be a result of a supernatural act of God, much like He did with the Red Sea when the sons of Israel passed through. OR it may be the result of what Turkey is prepared to do.

Turkey in the recent years has been constructing a dam project called Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP). Once it is fully operational, the GAP project will have 21 dams, 17 hydro-electric plants and a network of tunnels and canals to irrigate 14.2 million acres of land, producing an annual $6 billion of food surplus. GAP is expected to increase by five the per capita income in the region.
2- The largest and newest reservoir was created by construction of the Ataturk Dam. This dam was named for Kemal Ataturk, the Turkish leader who enjoyed tremendous success ruling and helping modernize Turkey during the first half of the 20th century. These dams were constructed to (1) help with flood control, (2) provide water for irrigation, and, (3) provide hydroelectric power to this region of Turkey.

Turkey has a history of strong earthquakes that could potentially destroy Ataturk dam. The Turks claim the dam was designed to withstand quakes of up to eight on the Richter scale.

The Ataturk Dam is the largest structure ever built in Turkey for irrigation and hydropower generation. It is located on the Euphrates river and constitutes the key unit in the Southeastern Anatolia Project.
3- Current Events, 2003 [continued]
The Ataturk Dam ranks as the ninth-largest rock filled dam in the world.

The newest project under way that the Turkey government has started is the Birecik dam. On November 18, 1996, Prime Minister Tansu Ciller signed a major financing agreement for the construction of what will be the fourth largest dam and hydro-electric power station on the Euphrates River. At the time this agreement was signed it was said that it would be expected to be completed in 66 months. The plant will be built near the southeastern city of Sanliurfa.

Turkey is quickly gaining the ability to shut down the flow of the Euphrates. Because of this, Syria and Iraq have stepped up political pressure over Water rights in the region.
4- Conclusion
I do not think that Rev 16.12 refers to the U.S. since it mentions the kings of the East. I would take this to refer to China. The Republic of China is not part of our coalition at this point. When they do march, it will most likely be without our approval.

From the examples we have in the O.T. of the Euphrates River being dried up for Cyrus to invade Babylon, it was by means of a surprise. The present air attack on Iraq and subsequent foot invasion will not be by surprise.

Keep your eyes focused on the Middle East. It will greatly encourage your walk with the Lord as prophetic events come into alignment for their ultimate fulfillment.

Much Blessings, Rich 

Where is America in Bible Prophecy?

a- "Where is America in Bible prophecy?" This has been a question that is often asked.

I’m an American and proud to be one. I have looked long and hard to find anywhere in the Bible references that suggest America will play a major role in the end times.

What have I found? Well, before I tell you what things I have found, let me show you what others have taught.

Isaiah 18?
Some point to Isaiah 18, which speaks of a people "tall and smooth" who are "feared far and wide” (v. 2). The passage says these people are "a powerful nation whose land the rivers divide" that will one day bring gifts to the Messiah when He reigns from Mount Zion.

Those who hold this view point to the fact that the United States is divided by the Mississippi River.
b- Concerning the power and influence of America's power, they say we are the people "feared far and wide" of whom Isaiah was speaking.

But this view only works if you ignore the first verse of Chapter 18. It clearly identifies the powerful nation divided by a river as Cush, or Ethiopia. At the time of Isaiah, Ethiopia was part of the Egyptian empire and the river referred to is the Nile, not the Mississippi.

Ezekiel 38?
Another view says that America is identified by the prophet Ezekiel in Ezekiel 38:13. “Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish with all its villages will say to you, 'Have you come to capture spoil? Have you assembled your company to seize plunder, to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to capture great spoil?'”
c- Ezekiel speaks of the "merchants of Tarshish who launch a diplomatic protest at the time of the Gog-Magog (from the North, possibly Russia) invasion of Israel.

Some point to the fact that Tarshish was the westernmost trading and seafaring nation of the ancient world. From there, Tarshish becomes Britain. After all, Britain is the westernmost point on the Continent. And the symbol of Britain is a lion. Consequently, "all the young lions thereof" become the former British colonies, like Australia, Canada and, of course, the United States. Therefore, the merchants of Tarshish and all the young lions must be referring to America.

But this doesn't work, either. First, nobody can pinpoint with any degree of accuracy the location of Tarshish. The only thing we are sure of is that it is NOT Britain. The most recent archeological evidence puts ancient Tarshish in Spain.
Revelation 12?
Another popular passage used to identify America is found in Revelation 12:13-17.

Here it is taught that America is helping Israel to flee from the wrath of the Beast. This passage states that during the Tribulation, God will provide a means of escape for the Jewish remnant in Israel. It says they will be carried into the wilderness on the "wings of a great eagle." Those interpreting this verse makes it possible to have the United States supplying a military airlift of Israelis to safety -- on the "wings of an eagle." What is needed here is to identify WHO has the wings of an eagle.

In Deuteronomy 32:11, God is identified as the bearer of Israel on eagle's wings. It is the Lord -- NOT the U.S. of A. -- who leads Israel to safety.
  When the dragon saw that he was cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who bore the man child. And two wings of a great eagle were given to the woman, so that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the serpent's face. And the serpent cast out of his mouth water like a flood after the woman, so that he might cause her to be carried away by the river. And the earth helped the woman. And the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the river which the dragon cast out of his mouth. And the dragon was enraged over the woman, and went to make war with the rest of her seed, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. Rev 12.13-17

As an eagle stirs up her nest, flutters over her young, spreads abroad her wings, takes them and bears them on her wing, the LORD alone led him, and there was no strange god with him. Deu 32.11-12
a- Revelation 18?
Probably the most widely accepted rationale for seeing America in Bible prophecy uses Revelation Chapter 18 to show that the United States is really "Babylon the Great, Mother of Harlots."

Revelation 18:2 opens with the angelic declaration that "Babylon the Great is fallen." Verse 3 describes Babylon the great: "all the nations of the earth have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornications with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies." This doesn’t seem to be much at first, until you really think about it.

America has sunk to moral depths scarcely imaginable a generation ago. We kill babies in the womb when they are socially inconvenient. The conventional family is all but extinct. Morals are situational, if they are relevant at all.
b- We choose as entertainment stories about adultery, fornication, violence and virtually every form of evil. We are the world's leading exporters of filth and pornography, not to mention being the world's largest arms dealer and exporter of destruction and mayhem. Politically, we recently emerged from 8 years of the most shameful and immoral leadership the United States has ever been subjected to.

The description goes on, referencing the fact she "sits as a queen and no widow." One could argue the U.S. sits as a queen and no widow, as America has seen no war on her shores in living memory. Since the Apostle John also refers to the fact that "ships and sailors and as many as trade by sea" will see the city burning, this view makes New York City Babylon the Great. The original Babylon still stands, in Iraq, but nowhere near the sea. And, just outside New York City is the city of Babylon, N.Y.! Now you see why I say this is one of the most compelling passages that is used to show America in Bible prophecy.
c- However, we must see biblical prophecy not from the viewpoint of North America, but from the Bible's viewpoint, which is always centered in the land of Israel.

John's vision of the apocalypse is from the perspective of Israel, during the time of Jacob's trouble, not America's. But the most conclusive reason is given in Revelation 17:18. John says Mystery Babylon is really a woman -- that great harlot who will reign over the cities from earth. But John wrote that the great city was clearly Rome, and that is the city that will reign over the earth in the last days.
a- Rich's OPINION
So... what role will America play in the last days? Okay, here it is. Are you ready? I DON’T KNOW! From what I can gather from the Bible, America doesn’t play any role. WHY?

I am going to offer three POSSIBLE reasons. Now you must know that these are nothing more than my studied opinion, based on my understanding of Biblical prophecy.

Possibility #1- America is morally decimated following the rapture of the church. George Barna says that according to his latest poll, about 50 percent of those living in the U.S. claim to be Christians. This is probably too high. If we were to knock this down a little, to 40 percent or even 30 percent, it would still be a lot. That would mean that when the rapture takes place, 30-40 percent of all Americans will be gone! This includes Christians in the military, politics, education, engineers, scientists, and management. -->
b- America will be so demoralized by the sudden disappearance of all these key people leaving holes in society that when the other nations make their move, America will still be licking its wounds. Perhaps it will be because of this that America will lose its powerful influence in the world.

Possibility #2- Perhaps America will be set up for a major defeat by a major trap. Here’s an example: Thousands of American troops are marching toward Baghdad as I write this. We’re dealing with a country that is known for its terrorists ties. What do terrorists do? They kill innocent people even at the expense of killing themselves. So, what if all the our ground forces march into Baghdad, surround Saddam Hussein and his Republic Guard, and then without any warning, he presses a button and a nuclear blast occurs and vaporizes everyone there? Our country would be morally and emotionally demoralized. It would take years to heal from such an event.
c- Possibility #3- At the time of the invasion by other countries onto Israel in the last days, we may have a president who is an extreme pacifist ["peace at ANY price"].

As other countries make their move, we offer no resistance, and show no force. We might merely watch CNN, and see it all happen from the comfort of our living rooms.
d- Conclusion
It is mind-boggling that America *appears* to play no major role in the last days. There is little doubt that we are the most powerful country on this planet. Yet, we will idly sit back and watch.

Of the three POSSIBLE reasons mentioned above, it is reason number one that appears to be the most plausible one to me.


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