There seems to be confusion in the prophetic community about the true mission of the kings of the East, and this short article will attempt to offer a Scripturally sound interpretation for these kings and their objective at the end of the Tribulation.
Within this article are several other past articles that the reader should absolutely familiarize themselves with. With those articles as a foundation, this article will make the most amount of sense.
Do the Kings of the East Field a 200-Million-Man Army?
In short, the answer is no. In fact, I would be taken aback if there will be more than 200-million combined forces of the armies of the world at the end of the Tribulation.
Consider the end of the Tribulation conditions as given in Isaiah 24:
“Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left“ (Isaiah 24:6). (emphasis mine)
In Do the Kings of the East Field a 200-Million-Man Army? we attempt to clearly and concisely point out the numerous problems with this popular interpretation and scenario. A brief summary for a few of the points we make in this article would be as follows:
- The only similarity between the sixth trumpet and the sixth vial is the great river Euphrates.
- The entities in the sixth trumpet judgment are clearly a fallen angel/demonic horde.
- The 200-million number is associated with these fallen angel/demonic horde, figuratively described as “horsemen.” If these were real “horsemen,” there would need to be 200-million horses. There aren’t even 30 million horses in the world today, let alone after the devastating effects of the Tribulation. Again, these aren’t human or human-inspired agents – they are a fallen angel/demonic troop, just like the entities in the fifth trumpet judgment.
- Why are we trying to combine the sixth trumpet judgment and the sixth vial judgment with each other? The fact is, these are two entirely different judgments, at entirely different times, separated by up to three and one-half plus years.
Again, if you haven’t read this article, I highly recommend that you do.
Are the Kings of the East Coming to Battle Against a Human Agent?
There are no indicators, whatsoever, that the kings of the East have any intention of going to battle against any earthly foe.
While it is clear that they are heading to the land of Israel, there would be no Israelis present in the Holy Land as Antichrist will have killed many, with a remnant that followed Christ’s command to flee into the mountains at the Abomination of Desolation at the midway point of the Tribulation.
There is also zero Scriptural support that the kings of the East are coming to Israel to battle Antichrist and his forces.
What is the Significance of the Kings of the East?
In order to find out the answer to this question, we have to, as always, consider context. Let’s look at this passage of Scripture.
“And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared” (Revelation 16:12).
The significance of the kings of the East, in context, is that a dried-up Euphrates prepares their way to the Holy Land. This would include any nation east to northeast of the Euphrates River.
But why are they headed to Israel, and who has sent for them?
“And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty” (Revelation 16:13-14).
There is a reason why these frog-like spirits emanating from the mouths of Satan, Antichrist, and the False Prophet are needed to communicate with the “kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty,” and this answer can be found in my article The Mark of the Beasts and expanded even more in The Parable of the Fig Tree.
Suffice it to say, the kings of the East are on their way – at the instigating of these spirits coming out of Satan, Antichrist, and the False Prophet – in an attempt to defeat the soon-coming King of kings and Lord of lords. (In reality, though, it’s really the Lord who is gathering the nations together and using these evil spirits in order to accomplish His will as His Son prepares to return to earth, destroy His enemies, and inaugurate His glorious Millennial Kingdom.)
This is the only reason the kings of the East are coming. They are not there for anything other than uniting forces with what remains of the world’s nations who are still under allegiance to Satan and the Antichrist. There is absolutely no hint, whatsoever, that they are going to the Holy Land for any other reason than the Lord’s Second Coming.
If one suggests that the kings of the East were coming to fight with the other nations that have gathered in Israel – which is implied nowhere in Scripture – then, by them destroying each other, there would be virtually no enemies for Christ to defeat at His Second Coming.
If another were to suggest that they may be fighting for control of Jerusalem, well, the Antichrist will already have control of Jerusalem ever since he committed the Abomination of Desolation in the third Temple’s Holy of Holies in the middle of the Tribulation. And ever since then, and very likely earlier, the kings of the earth have pledged unrepentant loyalty to Antichrist and his economic and worship Mark of The Beast system. They are all united in purpose and intent.
The kings of the East and the armies of the world are gathered together to battle the Lord and Him only.
“And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon” (Revelation 16:16).
We have dealt with “Armageddon” in various articles, but The Valley of Jehoshaphat and ‘Armageddon’ is a must-read in understanding where this last stand of the enemies of God will take place as Christ comes back to earth at His Second Coming. (This article will link you to another very important article on the Hebrew word itself and what “Armageddon” means when broken down in the Hebrew tongue.)
Needless to say, the valley – or hill or mountain – of Megiddo is never mentioned in Scripture as the place of Christ’s return — Jerusalem is. Specifically, the Valley of Jehoshaphat, but Christ’s campaign will be initiated in Bozrah in ancient Edom.
(For more information on this subject, please read A Study of Zechariah 14:1-11.)
From Revelation 16:17-21, we read about the seventh vial and the earthquake of all earthquakes. It is soon after this earthquake, and its destructive aftermath, that the Second Coming of Christ ensues.
These frog-like spirits of devils went to “the kings of the earth [including the kings of the East] and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty,” and then:
“[John] saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him [Jesus] that sat on the horse, and against his army.
“And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
“And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh” (Revelation 19:19-21). (emphasis mine)
Notice that John “saw the beast [Antichrist], and the kings of the earth [including the kings of the East], and their armies, gathered together to make war” against Christ and “His army.”
Therefore, in context and without dispute, the only reason the kings of the East are crossing a dried-up Euphrates is to join Antichrist and what’s left of the world’s armies in their futile attempt to destroy Christ at His Second Coming. What’s left of the world’s people, great and small, who have taken Antichrist’s Mark of The Beast – and this would include those from the East – will all unite with the world’s depleted forces in their doomed campaign.
God Will Gather the Nations at The Second Coming of Christ
As noted above, even though the frog-like spirits of devils will compel “the kings of the earth [including the kings of the East] and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty,” it is actually God – by His divine will – that is the real power behind this gathering.
Let’s take a look at some of the numerous passages of Scripture indicating that God will ultimately be the one gathering the nations to Jerusalem and surrounding areas as Christ comes back to earth after the end of the seven-year Tribulation.
“Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles; Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up: Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong. Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together round about: thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, O Lord” (Joel 3:9-11).
“Come near, ye nations, to hear; and hearken, ye people: let the earth hear, and all that is therein; the world, and all things that come forth of it. For the indignation of the Lord is upon all nations, and his fury upon all their armies: he hath utterly destroyed them, he hath delivered them to the slaughter. Their slain also shall be cast out, and their stink shall come up out of their carcases, and the mountains shall be melted with their blood” (Isaiah 34:1-3).
We see in the Holy Scriptures that the LORD is going to gather the nations so that He shall “pour upon them [His] indignation, even all of [His] fierce anger.”
“Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the Lord, until the day that I rise up to the prey: for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy” (Zephaniah 3:8).
In the end, at Christ’s Second Coming, we will be with Him and at His side as He singlehandedly destroys His enemies:
“I have commanded my sanctified ones, I have also called my mighty ones for mine anger, even them that rejoice in my highness. The noise of a multitude in the mountains, like as of a great people; a tumultuous noise of the kingdoms of nations gathered together: the Lord of hosts mustereth the host of the battle. They come from a far country, from the end of heaven, even the Lord, and the weapons of his indignation, to destroy the whole land. Howl ye; for the day of the Lord is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty” (Isaiah 13:3-6).
John saw it as such:
“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
“His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
“And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
“And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, King Of Kings, And Lord Of Lords” (Revelation 19:11-16).
What a day that will be!
Love, grace, mercy, and shalom in Messiah Yeshua, and Maranatha!
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