The Unclean Spirits
Revelation 16:13, 14
And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast…

Following the steps hitherto taken, we come to a symbol of great repulsiveness - a symbol doubtless intended to represent evil in its repulsive form. Again we premise we see no individual persons or individual systems in this figure. "The descriptions here, as well as in the parallel passage, point to the last, the most reckless antichristian and blasphemous manifestations of the beast and the false prophet, when impregnated to the fall with the spirit of Satan, and acting as his agents in the final effort he makes against the kingdom of God" (Fairbairn, 'Prophecy,' p. 423). "By likening the spirits to frogs some respect is had, according to the just remark of Bossuet, to one of the plagues of Egypt. The point of comparison is the uncleanness, the loathsomeness, which is expressly noticed." Our attention is called to spirits and powers of evil who are directly under the control of the evil one, and subject to his inspiration ("the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas, ... then entered Satan unto him") - "the spirits of devils." These "go forth unto the kings of the whole world, to gather them together unto the war of the great day of God, the Almighty." The servant of sin obeys the behests of sin. He whose heart is open to Satan will find Satan walking in sooner or later. With the great battle we have not now to do. We see how the Church has to maintain her wrestling against "the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places." This vision seems to represent an especial malignity and effort of evil in this "war of the great day of God." We can hardly forbear seeing some final intensifying of the Satanic power, some temporary prevalence of evil. But the admonition of the Lord sounds with especial force upon our ear, and must be removed from its merely parenthetical position. "Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments." In order to this let the Church be roused to behold the evilness of the enemy and the greatness of the danger.

I. THE UNCLEAN SPIRITS ARE "SPIRITS OF DEVILS." The devil stands as the representative and head of all that is unlike God, and that is antagonistic to his Name and kingdom - "the adversary."

II. THE SPIRITS ARE SPECIALLY DISTINGUISHED AS "UNCLEAN SPIRITS." All unholiness is uncleanness. They prompt to all disobedience and worldly lust and foulness of life, all unbelief and evilness of conduct.

III. THEY STIMULATE AND INSPIRE "THE KINGS OF THE EARTH" - the subtle ruling powers, passions, habits, and other forms of evil which hold sway and dominion over men. The king is the symbol, not of weakness, but of power and authority and government; fit emblem of whatever domineers over the life of man.

IV. THEY STAND IN DIRECT ANTAGONISM TO GOD. This is the utmost evilness conceivable. To be led astray by temptation, to fall by unwatchfulness, to yield to evil, is bad enough, and entails just and merited punishment; but the utmost vileness is that which places itself in direct and active opposition to the Holy One. "He that opposeth God and exalteth himself against all that is called God."


(1) take heed: watching;

(2) keep free from the contamination Of sin in every guise: "keepeth his garments."

(3) For the danger is great;

(4) and the great Master cometh at an hour when we think not: "Behold, I come as a thief in the night."

(5) He that so watcheth is verily "blessed." - R.G.

Parallel Verses
KJV: 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.

WEB: I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits, something like frogs;

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