Seven Bowls 9.6: Evil, Dark Armageddon

5th Bowl Judgment - darkness in the kingdom of the Beast
The fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom was plunged into darkness. Men gnawed their tongues in agony and cursed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, but they refused to repent of what they had done.
This judgment brings to mind the ninth plague sent on Egypt in Exodus chapter 7:17, (darkness) to persuade Pharaoh to free the Hebrew slaves.
In the book of Zechariah, we are introduced to the two witnesses that turn up in Revelation chapter 11, after the sixth trumpet has sounded.
I have suggested that these witnesses may be the books of Moses and the Prophets. They are removed from the earth and taken up into heaven after a period of 1260 days or 3.5 years. I suggest that the Law and the Prophets are in the world for the first half of the last week of Daniel. 

That would be the week before the Messiah (or if you are a “Christian” second coming of Jesus) comes to rescue the people of Israel from the Great Tribulation and set up his millennium kingdom on earth).

Daniel 9:27 He (the ruler who will come - we'll call him the anti-Christ) will confirm a covenant with many for one `seven.' In the middle of the `seven' he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing [of the temple] he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him. "
So for the second half of the last week of Daniel, the world does not enjoy the light emanating from the words of God, as spoken to Moses and the Prophets. In other words, it is cast into darkness. Of course the servants of God will not only have his seal on their foreheads, but his words in their hearts, so they will continue to walk in light.
So it may be that
1 the killing of the two witnesses
2 the 'putting an end to sacrifice and offering and the desecration of the temple' (mentioned in Daniel 9:27) and
3 the breaking of the covenant (mentioned in Daniel 9:27)
which all happen in the middle of the last week are the same thing.
It is probably worth noting here that the narrative from this point on will concern itself with Babylon. 
Chapters 17 and 18 of Revelation will talk about the fall of Babylon. 
Chapter 17 will use Babylon as a metaphor for organised religion. 
Chapter 18 will use Babylon as a metaphor for commerce. 
These are two aspects of the same thing - a world empire that will be in power at the time of these events. So the Kingdom of the Beast will be Babylon, or the current world order at the time these events take place.
6th Bowl Judgment - River Euphrates dried up
Revelation 16:12-16 The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up to prepare the way for the kings from the East.
Then I saw three evil spirits that looked like frogs; they came out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet. They are spirits of demons performing miraculous signs, and they go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them for the battle on the great day of God Almighty.
"Behold, I come like a thief! Blessed is he who stays awake and keeps his clothes with him, so that he may not go naked and be shamefully exposed."
Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.
The Kings from the east!

Who are the Kings from the East?

Why is the River Euphrates dried up?
What the hell are the unholy trinity of spirits 

Why are they gathering the kings of the world to Armageddon?
Could it be Jesus and his kingdom of priest returning to free Jerusalem?
If you google the words “blue letter bible” or “Jamieson, Fausset and Brown”, you will be able to read a very old (we are talking centuries) commentary on Revelation chapter 16. 

The writers of that commentary have come up with a rather intriguing interpretation of the sixth bowl judgment. 

It is suggested that the kings from the east refers to the second coming of Jesus. The somewhat shaky justification for this notion comes from the statement by Jesus in Matthew 24:27 -
For as lightning comes from the east and shines and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man
Note verse 15 of the description of the sixth bowl.
"Behold, I come like a thief! Blessed is he who stays awake and keeps his clothes with him, so that he may not go naked and be shamefully exposed."
It is similar to something else Jesus said in the passage

Matthew 24:42-44 Watch therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. (43) But know this, that if the householder had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have watched and would not have let his house be broken into. (44) Therefore you also must be ready; for the Son of man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
Additional justification is found in Ezekiel 43:1-3, which describes the vision glory of God filling the new temple in Zion
Afterward he brought me to the gate, the gate facing east. And behold, the glory of the god Of Israel came from the east; and the sound of his coming was like the sound of many waters; and the earth shone with his glory. And the vision I saw was like the vision which I had seen when he came to destroy the city…

Supporting authority for this notion is culled from Isaiah 40:1-5
Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she has received from the LORD's hand double for all her sins.
A voice cries: "In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain.
And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken."
The fulfilment of this prophecy was ascribed to Jesus (in his first appearance on earth) in Mathew 3:3 and Luke 1:76), but it seems to fit better his second appearance, as conquering Messiah.
However, note that the sixth bowl judgment refers to preparing a way for the Kings of the East. Why it should refer to Kings plural, rather than one triumphant Messiah, is troubling.
The interpretation provided by Messrs Jamieson, Fausset and Brown is that, he is accompanied by those members of the faithful remnant of Israel who have already died and ascended to heaven. 

In Exodus 19:3-6, God promised the Children of Israel that if they complied with the conditions of the covenant (Moses Law) which was about to be proclaimed, He would make them (among other things) a kingdom of priests. There is another reference to the kingdom and priest in Revelation 1:6
To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father--to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen
This idea of Jesus returning with his kings to rescue Jerusalem from her invaders can be gleaned from the continuation of the vision in Isaiah 41,

Isaiah 41:1 Listen to me in silence, O coastlands; let the peoples renew their strength; let them approach, then let them speak; let us together draw near for judgment.
 Who stirred up one from the east whom victory meets at every step? He gives up nations before him, so that he tramples kings under foot; he makes them like dust with his sword, like driven stubble with his bow.
 He pursues them and passes on safely, by paths his feet have not trod.
 Who has performed and done this, calling the generations from the beginning? I, the LORD, the first, and with the last; I am He.
 The coastlands have seen and are afraid, the ends of the earth tremble; they have drawn near and come. Every one helps his neighbour, and says to his brother, "Take courage!" The craftsman encourages the goldsmith, and he who smooths with the hammer him who strikes the anvil, saying of the soldering, "It is good"; and they fasten it with nails so that it cannot be moved...
 But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, the offspring of Abraham, my friend; you whom I took from the ends of the earth, and called from its farthest corners, saying to you, "You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off"; fear not, for I am with you, be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand. Behold, all who are incensed against you shall be put to shame and confounded; those who strive against you shall be as nothing and shall perish. You shall seek those who contend with you, but you shall not find them; those who war against you shall be as nothing at all...

For I, the LORD your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, "Fear not, I will help you." Fear not, you worm Jacob, you men of Israel! I will help you, says the LORD; your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.
So why are the waters of the Euphrates River dried up?
If Jesus is returning like lightning, why does he need to have the rivers dried up, the mountains levelled and the valleys raised?
There are a lot of references to an earthquake at the culmination of the Great Tribulation, changing the terrain of Jerusalem in particular and Israel in general. 

It is possible that its effects could be manifest further afield. For example, Isaiah 11:15-16
And the LORD will utterly destroy the tongue of the sea of Egypt; and will wave his hand over the River with his scorching wind, and smite it into seven channels that men may cross dryshod.
And there will be a highway from Assyria for the remnant which is left of his people, as there was for Israel when they came up from the land of Egypt.
And again in Zechariah 10:7-11
Then E'phraim (Israel) shall become like a mighty warrior, and their hearts shall be glad as with wine. Their children shall see it and rejoice, their hearts shall exult in the LORD.
"I will signal for them and gather them in, for I have redeemed them, and they shall be as many as of old.
Though I scattered them among the nations, yet in far countries they shall remember me, and with their children they shall live and return.
I will bring them home from the land of Egypt, and gather them from Assyria; and I will bring them to the land of Gilead and to Lebanon, till there is no room for them.
They shall pass through the sea of Egypt, and the waves of the sea shall be smitten, and all the depths of the Nile dried up. The pride of Assyria shall be laid low, and the scepter of Egypt shall depart.
However Messrs Jamieson, Fausset and Brown prefer the notion that, in this particular reference, the language is figurative. It is a metaphor for the attack, which will be launched on the kingdoms of the earth after Jerusalem has been liberated. In Isaiah 10 the particular kingdom is Assyria
10: 12 When the Lord has finished all his work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem he will punish the arrogant boasting of the king of Assyria and his haughty pride.
10 16-17 Therefore the Lord, the LORD of hosts, will send wasting sickness among his stout warriors, and under his glory a burning will be kindled, like the burning of fire. The light of Israel will become a fire, and his Holy One a flame; and it will burn and devour his thorns and briers in one day.
10: 20 In that day the remnant of Israel and the survivors of the house of Jacob will no more lean upon him that smote them, but will lean upon the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, in truth.
21 A remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob, to the mighty God. For though your people Israel be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will return. Destruction is decreed, overflowing with righteousness.
23 For the Lord, the LORD of hosts, will make a full end, as decreed, in the midst of all the earth.
24 Therefore thus says the Lord, the LORD of hosts: "O my people, who dwell in Zion, be not afraid of the Assyrians when they smite with the rod and lift up their staff against you as the Egyptians did.
25 For in a very little while my indignation will come to an end, and my anger will be directed to their destruction. And the LORD of hosts will wield against them a scourge, as when he smote Mid'ian at the rock of Oreb; and his rod will be over the sea, and he will lift it as he did in Egypt.

The unholy trinity spew out spirits gathering the armies of the world to Armageddon
Remember the Dragon, his beast and the beast’s evangelist (the one that looks a bit like a lamb)?
Spirits like frogs come out of their mouths and call the kings of the earth to do battle with God. They marshal their forces at Armageddon.
Revelation 16:13 Then I saw three evil spirits that looked like frogs; they came out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet.
Why frogs?

When Moses was unleashing the first three of God's ten plagues on Egypt, to force Pharaoh to release his Hebrew slaves, the magicians employed at the court of Pharaoh matched him plague for plague

Exodus 7:20-22 Moses and Aaron did as the LORD commanded; in the sight of Pharaoh and in the sight of his servants, he lifted up the rod and struck the water that was in the Nile, and all the water that was in the Nile turned to blood. And the fish in the Nile died; and the Nile became foul, so that the Egyptians could not drink water from the Nile; and there was blood throughout all the land of Egypt. But the magicians of Egypt did the same by their secret arts; so Pharaoh's heart remained hardened, and he would not listen to them; as the LORD had said.
Exodus 8:6-7 So Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt; and the frogs came up and covered the land of Egypt. But the magicians did the same by their secret arts, and brought frogs upon the land of Egypt.
Exodus 8:16-18 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Say to Aaron, 'Stretch out your rod and strike the dust of the earth, that it may become gnats throughout all the land of Egypt.'" And they did so; Aaron stretched out his hand with his rod, and struck the dust of the earth, and there came gnats on man and beast; all the dust of the earth became gnats throughout all the land of Egypt. The magicians tried by their secret arts to bring forth gnats, but they could not. So there were gnats on man and beast.
Perhaps the frog is seen as something within the purview of the magic arts - of evil
Armageddon and the earthquake
Revelation 15:17-21 The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and out of the temple came a loud voice from the throne, saying, "It is done!"
Then there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder and a severe earthquake. No earthquake like it has ever occurred since man has been on earth, so tremendous was the quake.
The great city split into three parts, and the cities of the nations collapsed. God remembered Babylon the Great and gave her the cup filled with the wine of the fury of his wrath.
Every island fled away and the mountains could not be found.
From the sky huge hailstones of about a hundred pounds each fell upon men. And they cursed God on account of the plague of hail, because the plague was so terrible. 
7th Bowl Judgment - lightning, thunder, earthquake
A poetic description of the aftermath of the destruction of Babylon - Revelation 17 & 18
The wedding feast of the Lamb - Revelation 19

Armageddon and the earthquake
It seems that what defeats the armies of the earth is an earthquake. It splits the Great City into 3 parts.
End times bible teachers seem to be of the opinion that the Great City is Babylon. This may be because the next two chapters of Revelation go on to describe Babylon in its fallen state.
I would like to suggest it is Jerusalem. Certainly that is the description applied to Jerusalem when the death of the 2 witnesses is discussed in Revelation 11:8... Their bodies will lie in the street of the great city, which is figuratively called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified.
Note, the verse 19 says that
•	the Great City is split into 3 parts
•	the cities of the nations collapsed
God remembered Babylon the Great and gave her the cup willed with the wine of the fury of his wrath


Angel poured his bowl on the Beast’s great throne
Lights went out and men did curse and groan

Angel poured his bowl on Eden’s Gate
Evil went forth with words of bitter hate

Angel poured his bowl out in the air
Down in Armageddon they all gathered there
Voice cried out in heaven, “It all is done”
Earth quaked at the arrival of the chosen one

Evil Darkness then Armageddon