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The Beast that was, Is not, Yet is! May 11, 2010

Posted by Henry in Eschatology & End Times.
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Some of the popular views that abound concerning the end times “beast” that John prophesies of in Rev 13 assert that this beast having seven heads and ten horns will arise from Muslim nations surrounding Israel and as such they assert that the antichrist will be of Muslim origin. However, the purpose of this post is not to speculate on the identity of the anti-christ himself but rather to look at what scripture reveals concerning the “identity” of the beast. Indeed I have already put forward a post on the Identity of the beast but in this study I will attempt to look at some considerations that were not previously looked at.

As aforementioned, the Apostle John saw a “beast” rising out of the sea having seven heads and ten horns. This beast arises some time towards the end of the age and will continue until Jesus Christ returns. The interesting thing about this beast however is that it isn’t new but rather existed before, then for a time it didn’t appear to exist and then came into existence again. This is what the angel told John when he explained the meaning of the beast in Rev 17:

8The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is. (Rev 17:8)

So if this beast existed before, which is denoted by the use of the past tense “was”, then there must be some evidence that points to its identity. Do the scriptures therefore give us any “clues” then as to the identity of this beast? Indeed it has. If we look at Rev 12 we shall learn beyond the shadow of a doubt exactly who or what this “beast that was” is.

3And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. 4And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. 5And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne. 6And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days. (Rev 12:3-6)

Here in this portion of scripture we see the same depiction of a beast with 7 heads and 10 horns except that this time it is depicted as a dragon but this is simply metaphorical. This is especially the case since we know that it was the dragon who gave the beast with the seven heads and ten horns his power, seat and authority (Rev 13:2). It goes without saying therefore that this beast of Rev 13 is the one and the same being depicted as a dragon in Rev 12:3-6, quoted above.  What we need to understand here though is that the woman in this scripture that was about to give birth, who the beast stood before to devour her child, is none other than Israel and the child in question was Jesus Christ, The Messiah, The Risen Saviour. So who then was this beast that was already in existence at the time of Christ’s birth and which sought to devour Him? The answer simply is Rome. In other words Rome was the ruling head of the beast and which sought to kill Jesus. If we recall from scripture, Matt 2:16, it was Herod the Roman surrogate King of Judea who issued the decree to kill all the male children from two years old and under. This was the dragon’s plan at work to devour the male Child and which is spoken of in Rev 12. It should be noted here that the beast is a world kingdom and at the time of Jesus’ birth Rome ruled most of the known world. This is therefore the beast that was and the future beast (world kingdom) will incorporate Rome as well. We know this because Rev 17:14 tells us:

11And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.

Here we see that the beast that was and is not is the eighth and is of the previous seven kings (or heads).

From what we have learn from the scriptures then, the beast cannot be led by Muslims nations although certain Muslim nations may very well be incorporated into it since we know that the beast is given authority over the whole world. But what should be clear is that the “beast that was” was led by Rome and must necessarily incorporate Rome when it arises to prominence again in the future.



1. Paul Bortolazzo - May 11, 2010

Hi Henry,
In his vision John sees another head. The eighth head will be the Beast and the ten nations empowering him (Rev. 17:12-13). He will come from the previous seven heads. This could mean he will be the leader of one of these seven nations. Or his nationality may be Egyptian, Assyrian, Iraqi, Iranian, Greek, Italian, or German. We shouldn’t be dogmatic over such interpretations. Trying to identify the Antichrist before he comes on the world scene has consequences. With prophecy experts making non-stop false predictions on TV, radio, and the internet, this only adds to the confusion within the body of Christ. Remember, our credibility as overcomers is very important. Let’s make it simple. After the Little Horn subdues three Muslim nations and brokers the false peace with Israel, we will know his nationality, the nation he is from, and the number of nations supporting his evil agenda. This is why the Lord exhorts us to watch (Mat. 24:33). May we never underestimate the spiritual warfare we will encounter when this covenant is confirmed. Exposing his satanic identity when the world is declaring him a miracle worker won’t be easy.

2. Henry - May 11, 2010

Hi Paul,
Indeed we should not be dogmatic about the interpretations concerning the anti-christ as this results in a great deal of confusion in the body of Christ. My purpose is not about confusion but discernment. So concerning the “man” I refrain from adding to the speculation but instead I rather focussed attention on the world kingdom which is a composite beast (feet of a bear, body of leopard, mouth of lion) and which the anti-christ will stand at it’s head. Let me clarify therefore that when I pointed to Rome as the head of the beast at the time of Christ I did not mean to imply that the antichrist will be a Roman, I am merely pointing to the fact that Rome is part of the composite beast and indeed is part of the fourth kingdom upon earth as per Dan 7.

Indeed many will flock to the anti-christ and recognise him as the messiah without the ability to discern. This is why it is important to understand what the scripture says concerning these end time matters.

3. Paul Bortolazzo - May 11, 2010

I agree with you Henry.

4. Don McAllister - May 12, 2010

Hello Henry,

I agree with your interpretation about the “Woman” being Israel, for that is indisputable. The Sciptures also make very clear that the dragon (Satan) and the beast who comes up out of the Abyss are two different demonic beings. The phrase “The beast who once was, now is not and yet will come” is in reference to John’s time frame as the angel was revealing this information to him. The beast who once was, infers that he was once out and about in the world prior to the angel giving John this information. The reference to the beast as “Now is not” infers that as he is telling John this, the beast is currently in the Abyss and at this writing, still is. “And yet will” come, infers that, as some point in the future he will come back out of the Abyss and Revelation reveals when that time is:

“They had as king over them the angel of the Abyss, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek Apollyon.” (Rev.9:11)

The Abyss is opened at the 5th trumpet where those demonic beings are released and commanded to torment men for five months with the stings of a scorpions. From this point on, the Abyss remains open until the return of Christ, where that mighty angel (Ibid Michael) casts Satan into, where it is then locked back up until the end of the thousand years and Satan released. Here at the 5th trumpet is when the angel of the Abyss comes out and kills the two witnesses, which would mean that he comes out around the middle of the seven year period, because of the fact that the two witnesses time of prophecy is for 1,260 days (3 1/2 years) and Scripture states that they cannot be killed before their time of prophecy is completed.

Please consider the following:

Also, in regards to the “Male Child,” a closer look at Scripture reveals that Jesus does not fit the criteria as being the male child. Reason being is that, it is said that, the woman (Israel) is about to give birth and the dragon (Satan) is standing in front of the woman ready to devour her child the moment it is born, but he is unable to devour the male child because he is “Snatched up” to God and his throne before Satan can accomplish this. The words “Snatched up” are translated from the word “Harpazo,” which is the same word used in regards to those who are still alive and are “Caught up” at the time the resurrection of the church takes place. This male child is “Snatched up” alive to God’s throne, which is how they escape Satan. Jesus did not escape Satan, for he was crucified and then resurrected. So, in keeping with the Scripture, Jesus would have been devoured, being crucified. The only thing that will keep the male child from being devoured, will be him being caught up by God, where as Jesus, though he escaped as an infant from Herod, did not escape being crucified. Remember, Satan is waiting to devour (Kill) the male child the “Moment” it is born. Jesus lived 33 years and was crucified according to God’s divine plan.

So, who is the “Male Child?” For one, the “Male Child” is Male. He is also given birth to by the woman who is Israel.
In Rev. 7, we have 12,000 from each of the 12 tribes of Israel equaling 144,000, being sealed and in Rev.14:4 regarding these 144,000 we read the followng:

“These are those who did not defile themselves with “Women, for they kept themselves pure.”

The verse above infers that these 144,000 that come out of Israel are all “Males” ergo, the “Male Child” is a collective phrase representing the 144,000, that is, the 144,000 are the male child. These 144,000 are the first fruits dedicated to God out of Israel. The phrase “Gave birth to” is referring to that group of 144,000 that come to the knowledge that Jesus is their Messiah, that is, Israel gives birth to them and they are snatched up to God and his throne.

Yours in Christ

5. Henry - May 12, 2010

Hello Don,

I think you really ought to re-examine your theology because yours is a classic example of faulty theology and I do not say this lightly to cause offence.

The first thing to note is that the angel which ascends out of the bottomless pit in Rev 9 is NOT the same as the beast of Rev 13 which has the seven heads and ten horns nor is he the second beast which is the false prophet. The beast of Rev 13 which rises out of the sea occurs before the rapture takes place whilst the angel which comes out of the bottomless pit occurs some time after the rapture had already taken place. The beast having the seven heads and ten horns torments and kill the saints whilst the angel of the bottomless pit, Abaddon or Apollyon, torments only those men who did not have the seal of God in their foreheads (Rev 9:4).

The second point is that I find it strange that you should appropriate the distinction given to Jesus Christ to the 144,000 men of the 12 tribes of Israel. The scripture says:

5 And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.

Is it written anywhere in scripture that the 144,000 will rule all nations with a rod of iron? Who then does the scriptures speak of by this distinction? Perhaps we may find the answer in Rev 19:

15And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

Here it is written in plain scriptures concerning the One who will rule all nations with a rod of iron, and it is Jesus Christ. This is He who is being referred to as the Male child in Rev 12, and of that there can be no doubt. It also goes without saying that the text refers to the “male child” in the singular and not plural. Since it is clear that the Male child is Jesus then the beast which represented satan at the time of His birth was the Roman Empire which rule over Judea at that time. It was Rome therefore through Herod who stood in front of the woman to devour the child as he was born. But even though Jesus was crucified this does not constitute Him being devoured because it was through His death that He was glorified and given the victory over death and hell. To be devoured would mean that He would be destroyed and therefore not able to fulfill what God had purposed.

I implore you therefore Don to please re-examine your theology concerning these matters in light of what I have presented.

6. paul bortolazzo - May 12, 2010

“Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days.” (Rev. 12:6)

What is this event? The woman (Israel) flees to a refuge prepared by God to escape the persecution of Satan (Rev. 12:6-7, 13). The Devil will not be able to touch her for 1260 days; the second half of the 70th week (Rev. 12:6, 14).

Who is involved? The twelve stars on the woman’s head represent 144,000 men from the twelve tribes of Israel (Rev. 12:1; 7:4; 14:1). When the Deliverer returns to earth at the end of the 70th week, He will save the first fruits redeemed from Israel (144,000) (Rom. 11:25-27, Is. 63:1-2, Dan. 9:24, Rev. 10:1-7; 14:1-4).

Where will it happen? The woman (144,000) will flee to the wilderness in Edom (Jordan) prepared by God (Rev. 12:6, 14, Is. 63:1-3). This is where the Messiah will physically return at the end of the 70th week of Daniel (Dan. 9:24-27, Rev. 10:1-7, Rom. 11:25-27).

When will it happen? The woman will be protected the entire second half (1260 days) of the 70th week (2520 days) (Rev. 12:6, Dan. 9:24-27). When the times of the Gentiles ends (end of the 70th week) the 144,000 will be redeemed by the Messiah (Luke 21:24, Rev. 10:1-7; 14:1-4).

Why will it happen? God made an eternal covenant with Abraham (Gen. 12:1-7, Rom. 11:25-27). During the five days between the Day of Atonement and the Feast of Tabernacles, the Messiah will fulfill the mystery of God, the salvation of Israel (Rev. 10:7). When the believing remnant of Israel see the Lord they will say, “The Lord is my God.” (Zech. 13:9) And Jesus will say, “This is My people.”

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