10 DVDs - $80.00
“… one of the greatest movies ever produced.
I think it’s one of the most important videos I ever saw in my life …”
-- Elizabeth Border, Radio Host, The Divided Kingdom
THE EUPHRATES RIVER IS DRYING UP
This story is incredible. Last month, the New York Times reported that the great Euphrates River, which is said to have existed since the very beginning of the creation (Genesis 2:14) is drying up. The Euphrates is the only one of the four rivers mentioned in Genesis chapter 2 that still exists by name today, most likely because it is mentioned in the book of Revelation; a fact that did not escape New York Times writer, Campbell Robertson. The article says:
“The shrinking of the Euphrates, a river so crucial to the birth of civilization that the Book of Revelation prophesied its drying up as a sign of the end times, has decimated farms along its banks, has left fishermen impoverished and has depleted riverside towns as farmers flee to the cities looking for work.”
To read the whole article, click here.
The passage in Revelation that the article refers to is found in chapter sixteen, where the vials of the wrath of God are poured out upon the earth. We read:
“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.” (Rev. 16:12)
The Euphrates is dried up so the kings of the east can march on Jerusalem for the battle of Armageddon. But who are the kings of the east? In recent decades, China has been thought to represent these kings; but Iran would also certainly qualify. It is worth noting that the 11th century ruler of ancient Iran (and all of Persia), whose name was Tughril Beg was given the specific title “King of the East” in 1055 A.D.
Even though countries like Iraq and Afghanistan are considered the “Middle East,” they could still be considered part of the east, since the biblical reference is most likely in relation to Israel. China, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Pakistan are all “east” of the Euphrates River, and would need to cross it if they were going to march on the city of Jerusalem. In light of Psalm 83, which details the Arab confederacy against Israel (“that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance” – Ps. 83:4), it would make sense that an Arab/Muslim army (along with China) would also cross the Euphrates.
It is interesting that China and Iran have had a relationship for decades. China has been gaining in economic strength, seeking to become a superpower. With their industrial revolution and newfound wealth, they have also been providing arms to Iran. So much so, that it has for years been suspected that China will help Iran gain nuclear capability; and on this possibility hangs the impending threat of World War III.
To read an article on China and Iran, click here.
Combined, Iran and China could certain qualify as “the kings of the east,” and the purpose of their crossing the Euphrates would be to make their way to Israel, to lay siege to the city of Jerusalem, along with all the nations of the earth (Zechariah 14:1-2). But before they reach the city, it seems that they will be rallied at an ancient spot to the north.
“And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.” (Revelation 16:16)
The Sixth Vial
But now the real question remains: has the sixth vial of Revelation chapter 16 been poured out? Is this the reason the Euphrates River has dried up? Well, not necessarily. But it’s a story that’s certainly worth watching. The problem is that this prophecy happens in a particular sequence; the sixth vial being just one in a chain of previous calamities.
If we accept that each of the seven vials of Revelation 16 are poured out in sequence, then it seems clear that the previous five vials have not yet materialized. The first vial results in a “grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast” (v. 2); the second vial makes the sea “as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea” (v. 3); the third vial makes the “the rivers and fountains of waters” as blood; the fourth vial is poured upon the sun, “And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God” (v. 9); while the fifth vial is poured “upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness” (v. 10).
It seems hard to believe that these previous events have in any way happened, especially the sea and the rivers going red with blood. So, why is the Euphrates drying up? Is God trying to get our attention?
Prophecy and the Hands of Men
Historically, the Euphrates has been dried up by the manipulations of men at key points. Cyrus the Great diverted the waters of the Euphrates “so that the water level dropped to the height of the middle of a man’s thigh” according to the ancient historian, Herodotus (Source: “The Rise of Babylon” by Charles Dyer). Of course, Cyrus did this so he could invade ancient Babylon in fulfillment of earlier prophecies which God had given. In Isaiah, God says:
“… I am the Lord that maketh all things … That saith to the deep, Be dry, and I will dry up thy rivers: That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure … to open before him the two leaved gates …” (Isaiah 44:24,27-28; 45:1)
The above passage is said to be a reference to how Cyrus diverted the Euphrates so that it would “Be dry” and his men could open “the two leaved gates” which are a reference to the famous gates of the ancient city of Babylon. It was through this clever tactic that Cyrus and his men were able to take the city.
Centuries later, there are said to be at least seven dams along the Euphrates that are controlled by Turkey and Syria. If you read the New York Times article, it seems clear that the water levels in parts of the Euphrates are being controlled by these two countries. According to the article, the river is “Strangled by the policies of Iraq’s neighbors.” All that to say, if God used men to dry up the Euphrates for Cyrus the Great, in fulfillment of prophecy, He could certainly use them again to dry it up for the kings of the east.
While the current drying of the river may not lead to Armageddon right now, the story gives us pause to consider how this prophecy may be ultimately fulfilled. When the vial of God is poured out, will the Euphrates be dried up by Turkey and Syria as part of a joint effort with China and Iran to march on Jerusalem? The Lord knows, and time will tell.
Prophecy: The Witness of Christ
“O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken …” (Luke 24:25)
“But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled. Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord: and he shall send Jesus Christ which before was preached unto you …” (Acts 3:18-20)
Even as God fulfilled those prophecies that foretold of the first coming of Christ; even so, He is now fulfilling those prophecies that foretell of His return. Nevertheless, there are many scoffers in the world who mock the Bible, supposing that the prophecies of Revelation are too long overdue. But the scripture tells us that:
“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness …” (2 Peter 3:9)
In other words, God fulfills His promises according to His will, not the will of man. But why does it seem like such a long time since these prophecies were first told? The scripture says:
“Beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” (2Peter 3:8)
Time is not the same to God as it is to us. Even more importantly, the scripture gives us the critical reason for what seems like a delay. We are told it is because God: “is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2Peter 3:9)
The God who created us does not want any of us to die as a result of our sin and rebellion against Him, which is the penalty we deserve. As such, O man, you should not mock the tarrying of God. Your soul might be the one He is patiently waiting for.
To God Be the Glory
This is truly an exciting time upon the earth, and a glorious time to be a Christian. Already, in our generation, so much has happened. God, after two thousand years, brought the Jews back into the Promised Land in 1948 (Ezekiel 36:22-24); made the city of Jerusalem a cup of trembling (Zechariah 12:2) so that the whole world believes World War III may start any minute because of it; permitted an Arab confederacy against Israel (Psalm 83:1-8), whose desire is to wipe them off the map; permitted false Christs and false prophets to appear, working “signs and wonders” to deceive many (Matthew 24:24); suffered nuclear weapons to be developed so that “all flesh” is for the first time threatened with complete destruction (Matthew 24:22); and has compelled the kings of the earth to create a kingdom for the beast that is destined to “devour the whole earth” (Daniel 7:23) so that “the words of God shall be fulfilled” in due time (Rev. 17:17). Praise and glory to God, and all who love Him should consider how great things He has done!
With our attention on events in the Middle East, and on China, and other things pertaining to the great River Euphrates, we ought to look that much more inwardly and consider our own walk of faith.
If all of God’s prophecies concerning world events are coming true, then surely all His promises of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ are also true:
“To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.”
But we must also consider, that with these things, the Lord’s prophetic warnings about how sinners will go “into Hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: where their worm dieth not” (Mark 9:43-44) will also be fulfilled. The Bible says we should behold the goodness and severity of God. Jesus said:
“God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3:17-18)
If one carefully studies this coming New World Order, it is plain that it is the attempt of great minds to bring forth paradise on earth; literally, to establish a Utopian world system that will be as perfect as any man could make it. But the reality is that the best of man’s efforts will result in tragedy. Why? Because of man’s wicked and deceitful heart which has been completely corrupted by sin.
“For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man …” (Matthew 15:19-20)
Because of man’s bondage to sin, from which he of himself cannot get free, our world will ultimately worship “the Man of Sin” who will seem to have the solution for world peace, but will destroy many thereby (Daniel 8:25).
Our Redemption Draweth Nigh
As one writer put it, nearly everywhere we turn, the Lord has surrounded us with signs that the end of all things is at hand, and the return of our Lord Jesus Christ is near. It is important that we as Christians take these prophetic events as an opportunity to witness to others, for “the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Rev. 19:10).
The Lord usually prepares us for prophetic events shortly before they happen. Just as John the Baptist came beforehand, witnessing that the Messiah would soon appear; so it may be that the current drying of the Euphrates is to draw our attention toward those things which “must shortly come to pass” (Rev. 1:1).
A Christian Film Ministry