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Applying the principle of the harmony of interpretation and Christian experience in connection with the Revelator's description of Armageddon (Rev. 16:12-16), we learn that, as a description of a military battle between nations in Palestine, it has no message for the Christian in his conflict with the powers of evil. When interpreted as the finale of the great controversy between Christ and Satan, it immediately becomes of great interest and usefulness to the Christian who is now engaged in warfare with the forces of evil. The very first promise given was one in which the Lord promised man that He would be with him in the conflict with the forces of evil. (See Gen. 3:15.) In God's Word, throughout the centuries we can trace the development of that "war" or "controversy." We are admonished to "endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ" (2 Tim. 2:3), and to "war a good warfare" (1 Tim. 1:18). By the word "war" or "battle" the Revelator describes the great controversy between Christ and Satan from the time they warred in heaven until the consummation of all things at the end of the millennium. (See Rev. 12:7, 17; 13:7; 16:14, 16; 17:14; 19:19; 20:8.) The purpose for which the Bible was written was to make the child of God wise regarding the spiritual "war," and to give him strength to "fight the good fight of faith" (1 Tim. 6:12). When the Lord's prophets describe the spiritual conflict which wages between those serving in the Lord's army and those on the side of the Lord's enemy, they liken the Christian to a soldier, with his armor on, fighting with a spiritual sword - the Word of God. (See Ephes. 6:11-17.) This conflict is as real as any war between nations, is more continuous and more extensive than any material struggle between nations, and requires from the Christian as much patience, perseverance, and ceaseless struggle as in any international conflict. The knowledge of this Bible teaching has prompted hymn writers to write such hymns as: "Onward. Christian soldiers, marching as to war." Under such names as "Armageddon," and "The Final Conflict," hymnologists have given the Christian church hymns which express the inspired interpretation of the "war" imagery of the Apocalypse. These godly hymn writers have expressed the interpretation held by the most spiritual and devoted men and women of God. The Christian church has lost its power for the battle against evil in proportion to its loss of the spiritual vision accorded by the true interpretation of these "war" pictures of the Revelation. Satan's design is to weaken the church by spreading abroad false interpretations, which cause people to fail to see their own personal and vital connection with the battle between the forces of good and evil: that they are either on the Lord's side in His army, or on the side of the Lord's enemy. By teaching that these prophecies deal with some material war among nations away off in Palestine, people are blinded to the solemn truth that these "war" pictures of the Revelation were given by our Lord to show that by our acceptance or rejection of Him and His truth, we either stand with Him or against Him.

If "Armageddon" concerned merely a future Palestinian military war, it could have no present or future spiritual value to the Christian, for it would belong entirely to the future; but as the conclusion of the spiritual conflict; it has a definite message for those now engaged in that warfare. If "the kings from the sunrising" refer to military powers who come into the prophetic limelight only at the time of the sixth plague, the prophecy could have no message for anyone until the time of the sixth plague, and even at that time such information would help no one! But when "the Kings from the sunrising" are interpreted as the heavenly armies led by our Lord Jesus Christ coming to deliver His people and to destroy their Babylonian enemies, the prophecy is immediately lifted to the plane of being a present blessing to believers in the Lord. A prophecy of future military events would be limited to the time referred to, and would mean just that, and no more, being totally independent of Christian experience; but, as the writer has shown in a larger publication, prophecies concerning future events in the great conflict between the forces of good and evil have a present blessing for those engaged in that conflict. The Leader of the forces of good, and the leader of the forces of evil, and the principles involved are the same down through all stages of the spiritual conflict, and, as shown in my previous publication referred to, a prophetic description of its final stages, in principle, is applicable to other parts of the conflict. After the 1,000 years mentioned in Rev. 20, the wicked seek to overthrow the saints; but they have sought to do that down through all the centuries of the conflict. The Lord reigning within the New Jerusalem thwarts the purpose of the wicked and destroys the enemies of His people; but the Lord has always reigned within the midst of His people and always caused them to triumph - even in the face of adversity.

Christian experience is in harmony with the interpretation that "the Kings from the sun-rising" refers to the coming of the heavenly armies led by our Lord. Having fully explained all the angles of this prophecy in other publications, we must refer the reader to them for detailed consideration. Here, where we are necessarily restricted by space, we confine our remarks to that which particularly concerns Christian experience and Christ as "the sun-rising."

Throughout the Scriptures Christ is said to be the "Day-spring," or "Sun-rising." (See Luke 1:78, margin; Mal. 4:2, etc.) He is declared to be "the Light of the world." (See John 9:5; 1:5,9; 3:19; 8:12; 12:35,46; Ephes. 5:14; 2 Pet. 1:19; Rev. 2:28; 22:16, etc.) These oft-repeated, explicit statements should guide Christ-loving Bible students when interpreting Rev. 16:12. In the Revelation (5:5) Jesus, the Son of David, is declared to be "the Lion of the tribe of Judah." As the tribe and standard of Judah were "on the east side toward the rising of the sun" (Num. 2:1-3), we know that the Revelator's reference to "the Lion of the tribe of Judah" keeps before us the connection of the east with Jesus, as "the Lion of the tribe of Judah" Who leads His people across the sands of the desert to the promised land. In the Scriptures the lion is employed as the symbol of strength to destroy one's enemies, and when Jesus comes the second time He is pictured as Israel's "strong Redeemer" (Jer. 50:34) coming from the east-"from the rising of the sun"-like Cyrus (whose name meant "the sun") to liberate Israel from the bondage of Babylon. (Jer. 50:33; Isa. 41:2, 25; 45:1, 13; 46:11.)

The same Greek word for "east" ("anatole") is employed in Rev. 7:2 (where a message from Christ is pictured as coming from the "east"), and Rev. 16:12. The same word, "anatole," is also employed in Luke 1:78, where Jesus is definitely termed "the Dayspring," or "Sunrising." Zacharias declared, "The Dayspring" (margin, "Sunrising") from on high hath visited us, to give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace."

Jesus is the Source of spiritual light, comfort and growth of the soul as the sun is the source of literal light, warmth and growth of all things on this world. Without the light of the sun ~l earthly life would perish; without the light of Jesus all spiritual life would perish. This truth is well expressed in the words of the hymn written by John Wesley, "Christ, Whose Glory," and in such hymns as "Sun of My Soul," "Jesus, the Light of the World," etc.

Christ is said to be "the light of men," "that light," "the true light" (John 1:4, 7, 8). John declares that "God is light" (1 John 1:5). James states that God is "the Father of lights" (James 1:17). The Psalmist says: "The Lord God is a sun" (Ps. 84:11). Isaiah assures us that "the Lord shall be thine everlasting light, and thy God thy glory" (Isa. 60:20, 21). "The Lord is my light" (Ps. 27:1). "The light dwelleth with Him" (Dan. 2:22). Jesus came to be "a light to lighten the Gentiles" (Luke 2:32). "Christ shall give thee light" (Ephes. 5:14). "Come, let us walk in the light of the Lord" (Isa. 2:5). "And in Thy light we shall see light" (Ps. 36:9) "The saints in light" (Col. 1:12). "The light of the gospel" (2 Cor. 4:4). "His marvellous light" (1 Pet. 2:9). The gospel church is likened to "a woman clothed with the sun" (Rev. 12:1). "The law is light" (Prov. 6:23). "Thy word is a lamp, and a light unto my path" (Ps. 119:105). "The entrance of Thy words giveth light" (Ps. 119:130). "The path of the just is as the shining light" (Prov. 4:18). These are a few of scores of such expressions to be found throughout the Word of God. Christ's kingdom is depicted in the Scriptures as the kingdom of light (Luke 16:8, etc.), and Satan's kingdom as the kingdom of darkness (Ephes. 6:12; Col. 1:13, etc.).

It should be emphasized that the light from Jesus, "the Light of the world," "the Sun of righteousness," comes to believers as the sun rising in the eastern skies, scattering the darkness and giving light to those who previously were in darkness. "His going forth is prepared as the morning" (Hos. 6:3). "Then shall thy light break forth as the morning" (Isa. 58:8). "Until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts" (2 Pet. 1:19). "But unto you . . shall the Sun of righteousness arise" (Mal. 4:2). "I am . . . the bright and morning star" (Rev. 22:16).

The blessings of the light of the gospel are spoken of as coming from the east. "Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising" (Isa. 60:1-3). Upon a world of spiritual darkness the light of the gospel message is shining. Coming from "the Sun of righteousness"; coming like the rising of the sun (Rev. 7:1-3), its glory is now being shed with increasing power throughout the earth. Soon "the earth" will be "lightened with His glory" (Rev. 18:1). Thus the Scriptures refer to the spiritual light of the gospel coming "from the east" or "from the sunrising," and also refer to the literal glory of Christ coming "from the east" or "from the sun-rising" (Matt. 24:27; Rev. 16:12, etc.).

Christian experience harmonizes with the interpretation that applies (Rev. 16:12) in connection with Christ and His glorious work of redemption. Light is actually a ray of power and energy. Gospel light is a vibrant power poured out by "the Sun of righteousness" upon those who seek for it. Light is energy-giving and strengthens the innermost soul. It penetrates the soul and the mind, and these react on the physical and will make it well and happy. Light from "the Sun of righteousness" descends upon honest hearts and uplifts, exalts, refines and purifies. Light is the giver of all things worth while. All evil flies before it like bats before the dawn. All things of menace to mankind thrive in the dark. All things of Light glory in the Light. Light glorifies the colors of the earth and uplifts humanity in its appreciation of the beautiful. Light is being used in its many forms in hospitals to-day to rejuvenate people and heal the sick. The gospel light is shining and is healing sin-sick souls. Rev. 16:12 teaches that the Light-giver is coming back with the hosts of light to destroy the kingdom of darkness. As the rising of the sun is a daily experience, so the believer in Jesus knows that the "healing" rays of "the Sun of righteousness" (Mal. 4:2) rise daily upon him, dispelling the darkness. Every day his life harmonizes with the true interpretation of Rev. 16:12. By interpreting Rev. 16:12-16 in relation to a future military war, the moral purpose of this prophecy is lost sight of and Satan is gratified.

The Revelator's reference to the drying up of the river Euphrates (Rev. 16:12) when applied militarily in regard to the future is meaningless to Christians living to-day; but when applied, as it should be, in connection with the conflict between the forces of good and evil, it has a spiritual message for each Christian to-day. Babylon was built upon the Euphrates, the waters of which were predicted to dry up. (Jer. 50:38; 51:36; Isa. 44:27.) This provides the Revelator with the expression which he uses in Rev. 16:12. John obtained his imagery regarding spiritual Babylon from Isaiah's forecasts of the destruction of literal Babylon by Cyrus, who is a type of Christ. The translators believed that the Revelator used the drying up of the river Euphrates in the taking of ancient Babylon to obtain his imagery for the overthrow of spiritual Babylon for, in the margin of Rev. 16:12, they have placed Jer. 50:38; 51:36, which prophesied the drying up of the river Euphrates. And that they regarded the reference to "the kings of the east" as referring back to the overthrow of ancient Babylon by Cyrus is evident by the fact that they placed Isa. 41:2, 25, which predicted the coming of one "from the east," "from the rising of the sun," in the margin of Rev. 16:12. In Isa. 44:24-28; 45:1, Cyrus is set forth as a type of the Messiah. Cyrus overthrowing the literal, ancient Babylon after the drying of the Euphrates, is a type of Christ overthrowing spiritual Babylon after drying up the flooding, persecuting waters of modern Babylon by the manifestations of His "fury" (Ezek. 38:18), which arrest the attempt of murderous Babylonian "multitudes" (Rev. 17:1, 15) to slay the people of God.

It is clear that the prophecies of Isaiah relating to the coming of the Almighty Saviour of Israel to bring in "everlasting salvation" and "the world without end" are linked up with Cyrus, the Lord's "Anointed" ("Messiah"), who destroyed literal Babylon. (See Isaiah, chapters 41-48.)

The name "Cyrus" means "the sun," and Cyrus in his work of destroying Babylon and delivering Israel, typifies Jesus "the Sun of righteousness" (Mal. 4:2). The references to Cyrus coming "from the east," "from the rising of the sun," are a play upon the meaning of his name. There is also a spiritual play upon the designation of Jesus as "the Sun of righteousness" who arises "with healing in His wings." Jesus is the true "Sunrising": "The Sunrising from on high" came "to give light to them that are in darkness" (Luke 1:78, margin; Isa. 9:2; 42:6, 7). Obviously the things Isaiah wrote concerning Cyrus (Isa. 45:1, 3, 13; 46:11, etc.) typify the greater redemption to be wrought out by the greater Cyrus, the greater "Shepherd-King," God's "Anointed" or "Messiah," the Deliverer of spiritual Israel.

After having introduced Cyrus in Isa. 41, verses 1-7 of chapter 42, etc., outline the work of God's "servant" - the coming Messiah - Who would "bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house" (Isa. 42:7). As Cyrus, the Lord's "anointed" (Isa. 45:1), set Israel free (Isa. 45:13), 50 the greater Cyrus, the Lord's "Anointed" (Isa. 61:1), would "proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound" (Isa. 61:1). Thus the Messiah's work of redemption is described in connection with the prophecy concerning the work of Cyrus in liberating Israel from their Babylonian captivity. But one does not need to wait until the sixth plague for the Lord to intervene and dry up the waters of the Euphrates and bring deliverance to those in Babylonian captivity. Today our Lord will bring deliverance from the bondage of sin; today, He will set His people free (Luke 4:18-21) and dry up the waters that threaten to engulf them (See Isa. 43:2;59:19; 8:7;28:1,2; 2 Sam. 22:5; Ps. 69:1,2, 14, 15.)

To further illustrate the principle that a true interpretation of the prophecies - particularly those picturing earth's final events - will always be a "revelation of Jesus Christ" as the Saviour of His people, and the Destroyer of their enemies, and that it will also have a bearing upon present Christian experience, we will touch briefly upon the book of Daniel.

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