The 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. Revelation 17:8 KJV
Welcome back to the final portion of the study of Revelation chapter 17.
In the scripture above, the angel explained the beast that will rise from the pit of hell will also go to destruction. The people that are on earth at the time, who are not followers of Christ because he tells him they are not written in the book of life, will see the beast. The beast in this instance is not an animal. John was seeing a vision but it is actually a metaphor. It is a word used as an analogy; a figure of speech.
In the Old Testament a “beast” was used in the dream Daniel had in chapter 7 but it was not an animal. It was explained as a “kingdom”. The dictionary defines a kingdom as a politically organized community having a monarchial form of government headed by a king or queen. There are still kingdoms present today on the earth but in todays society this is more related to a politically organized community.
Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. Daniel 7:23 KJV
And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth. Revelation 17:9 KJV
In this scripture the explanation of the seven head are seven mountains or areas the woman sits on or in other words areas she “influences”.
And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space. And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition. Revelation 17:10-11 KJV
The seven kings can represent seven world empires that existed throughout history:
- Pagan Rome
- Papal Rome
In John’s era five of these were fallen (Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia and Greece), the “one is” at the time was pagan Rome and the one “not yet come” would be papal Rome. But papal Rome has been in power for 16 -17 centuries which is not a short time.
However, it depends how you measure this in God’s time. One day is a thousand years in the presence of the Lord. So 17 centuries can be counted as a short time. But this interpretation or concept can fit as one similar to 70 AD. One that is considered a past prophecy.
And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. Revelation 17:12 KJV
These ten kings or leaders have not received a kingdom yet. But they will receive the power as leaders with the kingdom in charge for one hour. The hour can be a certain short time and not necessarily a literal one hour.
Another interpretation of the ten kings can be applied today as 10 regions of the earth. An order of the world organized as One, one mind, one government, one way of functioning.
These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast. These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful. Revelation 17:13-14 KJV
This organized one order will make war with the Lamb and he will overcome them because he is Lord of Lords. This “order” will not be fighting the Lamb himself but those that represent him, his chosen faithful ones.
And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues. Revelation 17:15 KJV
This scripture is self explanatory and explains what the “waters” represent. The waters represent peoples of all nations that speak different languages will all be under her influence.
And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. Revelation 17:16 KJV
The ten horns which will be part of this organized order will hate the influence this spirit has made and will turn against her. The bible says the enemy has blinded the eyes of them who do not believe. These people chose a path not to believe in the one true God. So as their hearts were hardened they chose to believe the lies and schemes of the harlot.
In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. 2 Corinthians 4:4 KJV
For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled. Revelation 17:17 KJV
In order for God to accomplish this task of deception she did people had to cooperate with her lies, dealings and schemes to hand over their kingdoms to the organized order, the beast. Their minds were blinded to what was happening. Just as Judas was part of the plan to betray Jesus, these leaders (horns) were part of the plan to deceive the entire world.
And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth. Revelation 17:18 KJV
“That great city,” would be Babylon, a godless city.