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REVELATION OF ST. JOHN THE DIVINE - Chapter 16 - Verse 14

Verse 14. For they are the spirits of devils. On the meaning of the word used here, see Barnes on "Re 9:20".

It is used here, as it is in Re 9:20, in a bad sense as denoting evil spirits. Compare Barnes on "Mt 4:1-2,24".

 

Working miracles. Working what seemed to be miracles; that is, such wonders as to deceive the world with the belief that they were miracles. See Barnes on "Re 13:13-14, where the same power is ascribed to the "beast."

Which go forth unto the kings of the earth. Which particularly affect and influence kings and rulers. No class of men have been more under the influence of Pagan superstition, Mohammedan delusion, or the Papacy, than kings and princes. We are taught by this passage that this will continue to be so in the circumstances referred to.

And of the whole world. That is, so far that it might be represented as affecting the whole world—to wit, the Heathen, the Mohammedan, and the Papal portions of the earth. These still embrace so large a portion of the globe, that it might be said that what would affect those powers now would influence the whole world.

To gather them. Not literally to assemble them all in one place, but so to unite and combine them that it might be represented as an assembling of the hosts for battle.

To the battle of that great day of God Almighty. Not the day of judgment, but the day which would determine the ascendency of true religion in the world—the final conflict with those powers which had so long opposed the gospel. It is not necessary to suppose that there would be a literal "battle," in which God would be seen to contend with his foes; but there would be that which might be properly represented as a battle. That is, there would be a combined struggle against the truth, and in that God would appear by his Providence and Spirit on the side of the church, and would give it the victory. It accords with all that has occurred in the past, to suppose that there will be such a combined struggle before the church shall finally triumph in the world.

{d} "devils" 1 Ti 4:1 {e} "miracles" 2 Th 2:9 {f} "whole world" 1 Jo 5:19 {g} "battle" Re 19:19

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