Monday, January 07, 2008

The Beast Empire—The Mystery Beast That Will Come: Part 6

Thus far I’ve covered the basics for my beliefs of the six heads, the ten horns and some related issues with the future beast empire. Some of my conclusions have been based on facts that I have no doubts about, but a few things were certainly debatable and are open-ended due to the difficulty factor of some of the passages within question.

I’m the type that likes facts, and I don’t always enjoy issues within verses that I believe are too vague to be dogmatic about. But still, these verse and issues need to be evaluated. I bring this up because of the topic I’m writing of now, and will continue to write of for at least one or two more posts—the beast that was, is not and will come, and the seventh and eighth kings of Revelation 17. There are so many conclusions concerning these kings and this mystery beast that will come, and I admit that I am not completely satisfied with all of my conclusions, but no matter what position I try to consider it seems that I always end up concluding that my belief seems like the most viable one (don’t we all?). I refuse to speak dogmatically about this topic, but I will do my best to present my case the best I know how to as I hold the opinion that we will just have to wait and see to know for sure.

And for the record, if anyone desires to come forward claiming that they have the contents of Revelation 17 nailed down to factual conclusions with no “ifs,” “ands” or “buts,” I would like to stress that I believe that anyone that speaks dogmatically about every detail in chapter 17 is at the very least, foolish, and quite possibly even stupid beyond recovery! That being said, blogs and web sites are a perfect place for every kind of individual under the sun to express their every opinion, and it is certainly your right to be dogmatic if you desire, but I think wisdom advises against it.

Revelation 17:7-8
And the angel said to me, "Why do you wonder? I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns. 8 The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to come up out of the abyss and go to destruction and those who dwell on the earth, whose name has not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, will wonder when they see the beast, that he was and is not and will come."

It seems quite obvious, at first, that the beast that “was and is not and will come” must be the same beast spoken of in the previous verse that carried the woman. At first glance it flows perfectly. After all, the angel in verse seven said that he was going to tell John the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, and then continues in verse eight by saying, “The beast that you saw.” But it also, for more than one reason, seems to me that something else is going on here.

The beast spoken of in verse seven is a scarlet beast, full of blasphemous names, having seven heads and ten horns (Rev. 17:3). As I’ve attempted to show in previous posts this beast’s heads represent beast empires, or the kings of those empires, while the ten horns represent kings that will be present when the future eighth king reigns. How can this beast that is a combination, or a collage, of all of these entities, be the beast that “was, and is not?” This scarlet beast is not an individual king, an individual empire, spirit, or even the individual himself (Satan). How can a beast that is made up of seven kings of seven empires, and of ten more kings (including the final, and eighth) be spoken of as something that “was, and is not, and is about to come?” It no longer flows smoothly as it first seems to as it’s simply read from verse seven to verse eight.

Furthermore, we know that Rome is in existence at the time of this vision, and considering the fact that Rome is one of the heads of this scarlet beast it seems unlikely that it could also be included in an entire scarlet beast that “was, and is not.” Rome is (or the king of Rome “is” v. 10) , while the beast of verse eight “is not,” therefore, again, it seems that the entirety of the scarlet beast is not in view here.

I believe the vision makes a beast shift in verse eight and begins speaking of an individual beast. Some will say that this interpretation is very awkward, and I understand this, but as I’ve considered this for many years I do not think that it is awkward.

What if, instead of simply continuing to speak of the entirety of the scarlet beast, the angel begins explaining the scarlet beast by speaking of one aspect of the entire beast system by focusing in on only one of it’s many beastish parts? After all, the explanation to John continues in this manner by explaining one aspect at a time. The angel explains what the seven heads are, what the ten horns are, that there is an eighth king and that the ten kings will be in cahoots with the eighth. All of these revelations are small aspects of the entire scarlet beast that, when combined, make up the scarlet beast in all its “glory.”

Therefore, in verse seven, when the angel says, “I will tell you the mystery…of the beast,” and then continues in verse eight by speaking of “the beast you saw,” it no longer has to be the same entire scarlet beast he just mentioned because the focus shifts to begin speaking of individual parts of the scarlet beast so that John would gain the full picture once the explanation was complete. I will come back to this textual beast shift later.

I think that the “beast that you [John] saw (v. 8)” is referring to the beast that John previously saw in his vision that we have recorded for us in chapter thirteen. The beast. The Antichrist. He will wage war against the saints and will overcome them and he will demand worship from the world (Rev. 13:7-8) until his inevitable destruction by the Son, our redeemer.

Click here to continue to the next part of this study.

And if you are just showing up here and would like to begin at the beginning of this Beast Empire study, click here for part one.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dave,

Interesting about your theory concerning the "beast that was" representing the beast of Rev. 13.

We're sort of on the same track in our thought process, except I think the scarlet-colored beast and great red dragon in Rev. 12 represent the same entity, since the "time lapse" between Rev. 12:5 (Christ's death in 33 A.D.) and Rev. 12:6 (Day 1260 of 70th Week) could account for why the scarlet-colored beast is referred to as the beast that "was" (Rev. 12:1-5), "is not," and "yet is" (Rev. 12:6-17).

I'm curious about your opinion of the "woman" that sits on the scarlet-colored beast. She's a crucial figure it seems. Or maybe that's included in the next part?

Looking forward to the next part.

-Mike S.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

I think the scarlet-coloured beast is the Beast of Rev 13.

PWTribune said...

Sorry guys. I've been out of town for 4 days and am way behind on more than one thing. I'll get back here as soon as I can.

Dave

PWTribune said...

I think you two MAY be misunderstanding me. I'm not saying that the beast that will come is the the entirety of the beast in Rev 13 ie the lion, the leopard, the 7 heads, etc. I'm saying that the beast spoken of AFTER the entire beast is an INDIVIDUAL beast. THE beast. The Antichrist. I think that there's a shift in the text that informs us that the beast being spoken of is no longer the entire beast system, but the individual beast man. Hopefully as I continue posting on this topic it will become clearer to you.

Dave

mlrdwelch said...

Dave,

I agree with you, in fact I thought this was just understood that we went from and entire picture of the beast into a personal picture of the anitchrist who comes out of the overall best.

Mike,

The dragon is always Satan, not to be confused with the 1st beast who Satan raises up to do his bidding.