Could the first beast in revelation13 referring to the economy?


#1

In revelation 13, the beast has 7 heads with 10 horns. Does that represent G7 summit? It has a mouth like a lion. Lion symbolizes mouth piece representing European Commission president. The leopard symbolizes G20 for its many spots. The feet of the bear represent strength of countries (the working forces) that drive the economy.
It was wounded. Does that mean economic collapse causing war?
The second beast (Antichrist) will revive it?
I would like to hear what you think.


#2

Meek90 – You should probably read the Book of Daniel. An angel explains the symbolism of the heads and horns, the feet, and so on. Then you can go back and read the relevant passages in Revelation and understand them.

Seriously, the Book of Daniel and the Book of Ezekiel are most of the commentary for Revelation. Read a few more prophets and the Gospels, and there’s no great mystery.


#3

Here is a better picture of the beast. Horns=head of government, Heads= G7, lion= European Commission president, body= European Union, feet=G20. All of these organizations just started a few decades ago. Revelation is revealing itself. The beast has 3 1/2 years to do what ever it likes. Does that mean we are going to die soon?


#4

Let me guess, some Dispensationalism in your background?

I’d suggest you read David Currie’s books on Revelation and the end of time.

Agree with @mintaka read the book of Daniel. You might also want to read Scott Hahn’s work on the book of Revelation.


#5

My understanding is that the heads means rulers like presidents, prime ministers, or kings
The horns refers to the means of communication ( nowadays tv, radio, internet, cinema, newsmedia etc.)
wherever ideas and propaganda are disseminated.
The first beast can represent a political system (or empire ) as well as a particular individual at the helm.
The second beast ( I believe ) represents a false or corrupt religious system . It can also mean the individual leader of that false system (the false prophet ). The two beasts ( false political and false religious system ) then support and enable each other.
Regarding the leopard, the bear and the lion . The leopard is a symbol of Germany, the bear, of Russia and the lion of Britain.
The beast that was wounded could represent the Ottoman empire which was repelled from Austria in 1926 and then seemed to go into decline. Now Turkish President Erdogan is seeking to restore the Caliphate and perhaps unite all Islam and be the new Caliph.


#6

In order to understand what the beast is, you need to match all the descriptions.

The seven heads need to rise from water, with one being mortally wounded and living.
You need to work out what a horn and a crown represent across Revelation.
You need to work out what the bear, the leopard and the lion represent in Revelation using Daniel.
It needs to be mortally wounded and live, to the wonderment of the world.
You need to work out what the dragon is and its relationship with the beast. Both have to be worshipped.
You have to work out what the blasphemies are.
You have to reconcile the 42 months.
You have to identify the “saints”
You have to work out what the Book of Life is and its connection to the foundation of the world, thus excluding the Lamb as a suspect.
You have to identify the second beast and its relationship to the dragon and the beast and how the lamb fits in. The second beast has to speak for the beast.
You have to identify the fire from heaven and how the second beast connects to it.
You have to reconcile the miracles with the two beasts.
The beast mortally wounded but who lives needs to have images made of him.
You need to show that anyone not worshipping the beast is killed.
You need to identify what the ‘mark’ in the hand and the head are and how they connect to the two beasts.
You need to connect the mark to trade.
You need to identify a single symbol that represents both the name and number of the name of the beast. (That is a huge clue.)
Finally you need to resolve the number of the beast.

Only when you do all that with the whole list satisfied internally, can you determine the identity of the beast.

To date, no suggested solution including Nero, Obama and the rest satisfies all the criteria.

There is a solution and I have it. However, because I am not a published Biblical scholar, there is no point in offering it up. My solution to the Seven Seals carried no weight, so solving the identity of the beast certainly won’t.


#7

Why are we lumping Nero in with Obama? Someone may not like his policies and decisions, but he is a decent human being. Same with Bush II, his policies were divisive, but I would not suggest he isn’t an honest man in his own right.


#8

Here is a way to look at it, part I:

The Five Ages of the Old Testament, 5 Beast Kings

STUDENT: That sounds awesome. But how do we get there? Where do we begin?

TEACHER: Well, it turns out that the Joyful Mysteries version entirely depends on the creation days and beast kings. So we will need to review those. We need a refresher.

STUDENT: Go for it!

TEACHER: Here is the wonder: day and night, the story of salvation history alternates like the days of creation: evening came and morning followed, the first day. Evening came and morning followed, the second day, and so forth. That is, spiritual darkness fell around God’s People, but God drew light from it, spiritual illumination. The sin came back, and God redeemed it. Evening came and morning followed, the first day…, the second day, and on and on.

STUDENT: As in? Be more specific!

TEACHER: You got it! In the beginning was the fall, and darkness fell over quickly with the age of Noah’s day, wickedness! But God entered in with great light: the Flood. Sinful humanity was baptized away and Creation started over with Noah.

Then, sin arose again with Babel, and God brought light, the confounding of tongues, followed by the big light, the calling of Abraham and the formation of the first People of God, the Hebrews.

Then, the third darkness arose with Egypt’s enslavement of the Hebrews, and it was followed by light, the Exodus and OT Kingdom, David.

Then, the fourth darkness arose, the progressive wickedness of the Jews as they approached the Babylonian exile, and it was followed, once again, by light, that same Exile that converted the hearts of the Jews back to God and ushered in the great renewal—the return of the Jews to the Holy Land and the rebuilding of the Temple.

Finally, the fifth darkness was Maccabees, where many Jews were martyred by the Antichrist figure, Antiochus IV Epiphanies, and the war that ensued. And a little while later, the greatest redemption of God in Person in human history, the coming of the Christ.

And it continues into the NT era, more or less. You get the picture.

STUDENT: I get the picture, but is there any support for this explicit historical analogy in Sacred Tradition?

TEACHER: Absolutely. St Augustine himself delineates these five ages of the Old Law in his On the Instruction of the Uncatechized . Let us look at the passage:


#9

cotinued…

Chapter 22.— Of the Six Ages of the World

39. Five ages of the world, accordingly, having been now completed (there has entered the sixth ). Of these ages the first is from the beginning of the human race, that is, from Adam, who was the first man that was made, down to Noah, who constructed the ark at the time of the flood. Then the second extends from that period on to Abraham, who was called the father indeed of all nations which should follow the example of his faith, but who at the same time in the way of natural descent from his own flesh was the father of the destined people of the Jews; which people, previous to the entrance of the Gentiles into the Christian faith, was the one people among all the nations of all lands that worshipped the one true God: from which people also Christ the Saviour was decreed to come according to the flesh. For these turning-points of those two ages occupy an eminent place in the ancient books. On the other hand, those of the other three ages are also declared in the Gospel, where the descent of the Lord Jesus Christ according to the flesh is likewise mentioned. For the third age extends from Abraham on to David the king; the fourth from David on to that captivity whereby the people of God passed over into Babylonia; and the fifth from that transmigration down to the advent of our Lord Jesus Christ. With His coming the sixth age has entered on its process; so that now the spiritual grace, which in previous times was known to a few patriarchs and prophets, may be made manifest to all nations; to the intent that no man should worship God but freely, fondly desiring of Him not the visible rewards of His services and the happiness of this present life, but that eternal life alone in which he is to enjoy God Himself: in order that in this sixth age the mind of man may be renewed after the image of God, even as on the sixth day man was made after the image of God.

STUDENT: It seems to provide what we are looking for. Can you apply it?

TEACHER: You bet. Simply notice that, first, St. Augustine provides five epochs for the OT, like our five sets of darkness and light traversed above. Similarly, if we look closer, the partitioning points of St. Augustine’s rendition are precisely the points of light in our discourse, leaving the greater history between his points of light as the darknesses of our discourse. Just follow it:

Firstly, let us show that each point of partitioning is light.

  • Adam: Original Justice is light.
  • Noah: the Flood is light.
  • Abraham: the confounding and formation of the Hebrew People are light.
  • David: the formation of the Holy Kingdom after the Exodus is light.
  • Captivity: the captivity, though great suffering for the Jewish People, is still light, since by it, God softened the hearts of His wayward People and brought them to repentance [the Restoration to Holy Land and rebuilding of the Temple fits here as well.]
  • The Christ: need we say more about the First Coming of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus!


#10

… continued:

Too, note general history between these lights are phases of darkness:

  • Between Adam and Noah: the fall and wickedness of Noah’s day.
  • Between Noah and Abraham: the great sin of Babel, blasphemous materialistic perversity.
  • Between Abraham and David: the Egyptian Enslavement.
  • Between David and Captivity: the great sin of the Jews prior to the Exile.
  • Between the Captivity and First Coming of Jesus: the darkness of the Maccabeean struggle, including OT Antichrist figure, Antiochus.

STUDENT: You got it! It fits pretty darn good!

TEACHER: It does! Moreover, the beast kings support the five here.

STUDENT: How so?

TEACHER: Well, it is self evident when the kings of sin are partitioned. Let us quote the text:

Apocalypse 17:

The beast, which thou sawest, was, and is not, and shall come up out of the bottomless pit, and go into destruction: …And here is the understanding that hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, upon which the woman sitteth, and they are seven kings : [10] Five are fallen, one is, and the other is not yet come: and when he is come, he must remain a short time.

See that, again, with St. Hippolytus testifying a possible meaning to the kings as ages of sin, the meaning of “five have fallen” is self-evident: St John is himself writing at the close of the age of the First Coming of Christ, which means he is just beyond the fifth light of human history and barely into the sixth night, making five ages of sin preceding him, as we saw with St. Augustine above.


#11

… continued

The Remaining 3 Beast Kings:

Apocalypse 17:

The beast, which thou sawest, was, and is not, and shall come up out of the bottomless pit, and go into destruction: …And here is the understanding that hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, upon which the woman sitteth, and they are seven kings : [10] Five are fallen, one is, and the other is not yet come: and when he is come, he must remain a short time.

The Age of the Church’s Labor against Sin and Heresy

STUDENT: Yes, that fits perfectly. I would like, however, to look into these possibly 3 ages remaining. That is, for the days of creation, as St. Augustine testified toward five ages for the OT, he designates the sixth to the Church. The seventh is in some sense a Sabbath, but there is no eighth, which is to say, there doesn’t seem to be an eighth darkness. Similarly, when we complete the beast king passage, it is not clear how to look at its eighth king either, like the eighth day of the resurrection of Our Christ. Toward that end, I must ask, whereas we have 5 ages in the OT, who many are there really in the NT, by our models? That is, is there just the sixth, or also a seventh? No eighth?

TEACHER: Excellent question! It will turn out that there really are eight total ages in history, that is, our five already in the OT, and then three in the New.

Toward that end, let us work out the ages of New now that we are here. Again, the pattern is sunset, sunrise, and so forth. Which is to say, darkness, light, darkness, light…

Therefore, the sixth age must be comprised of a primary New Testament age of darkness, followed by light.

STUDENT: Right, and it would seem that right after Jesus came, the great age of darkness that we are aiming at is pagan Rome and its vicious persecutions of Christians. Indeed, the pagans resisted conversion for a great time, some three centuries.

TEACHER: You are exactly correct! The one king that “is”, mentioned right after the five that have “fallen”, is clearly pagan Rome, and you accurately described its nature: an Empire that misunderstands Christians and lashes out against them, resisting conversion. Of course, this gave way to light: Constantine, and the conversion of the Empire.


#12

STUDENT: I agree! The Edict of Milan constitutes an incomprehensible transition of all human history. At this juncture, much of the world will be transformed from the darkness of paganism into the light of the Gospel. Here, however, the question remains: we speak of the light of the sixth day, and if, as you say, two more darknesses remain, what are they, and how can we really delineate them? By that I mean, the Church has faced innumerable obstacles since Rome was converted. At what point can we say that the light of the sixth day has set and it is darkness again, the seventh day, or beyond?

TEACHER: Excellent question. In short, what we will find is that the sun does not set again till our modern time, roughly the 20th century. The way to look at it is, “light” does not necessarily mean bright and unobscured. After all, imperfect days have rain, clouds, etc.

STUDENT: Ah, yes, so in other words, if there is still gray in the sky, or even twilight, it is still light.

TEACHER: Yep, you got it. Hence, as we move through Church history, we can say that as long there is still some light, if even natural, in her primary spiritual oppositions of any age, we are still in the sixth day.

STUDENT: Good, so what would we say the major oppositions have been since pagan Rome?

TEACHER: Well, that is a good question. I would say that the key is to look at the bigger picture of the ages and not get distracted. When we do that, a definitive pattern emerges: the devil is taking pot shots at the lesser evident sources of Catholic truth and moving down to the most evident sources. In that way, truth peels off little by little, like knocking off layers of a pyramid.

STUDENT: What do you mean by that? Please give an example or two.

TEACHER: Peter is toward the top. Peter is the supreme earthly source of truth for Christians. Peter possesses the fullness of truth in his office, which is infallible given the right conditions. At the very bottom is Reason. Reason is a base source of truth, the lowest. Pretty much all you can get from Reason, sort of, is base monotheism and some sense of natural law. There is no Revelation in Reason, whereas the Pope has supreme Revelation guidance on earth. On the other hand, whereas Reason is lowest in trtuh, it has the highest degree of evidence to support it as being legitimate.


#13

STUDENT: I see what you are saying. Every man has reason. No one will really be able to say to God they didn’t have a brain at death, sparing challenged individuals. Every man knows he can reason to truth. And I am going to anticipate your treatment of Peter. Peter is the superem earthly source of truth for us now, but to dig up the evidence for his authority is the most difficult from the ECFs. Any man on the street, if asked how to get to know Jesus, would probably say, read the Bible. The Bible is indeed the most evident source of truth for Christians, since all forms of Christianity have the Bible, more or less. But to dig up even Apostolic Succession is harder than Scripture, since the Fathers quote Scripture galore but testify to Apostolic Succession much less. Then, for Peter, the quotes are even a fraction of the general Apostolic Succession quotes. So, I see what you are saying. As you go down the pyramid of sources, the truth gets less, but the evidence for reliability gets more, and up the pyramid, vice versa. That being said, what are these sources and how they are stacked?

TEACHER: They are stacked as follows: again, as you pointed out, at the top, truth is greater, but evidence is weaker. As you go down, truth decreases but evidence for legitimacy increases:

  1. Trinity and Incarnation
  2. Supreme Apostolic Successor [the Pope]
  3. General Apostolic Succession [the Bishops] and Sacred Tradition [the Oral Word of God]
  4. Scripture [the Written Word of God]
  5. Reason [unaided Natural Philosophy]


#14

STUDENT: You are absolutely right, for as I journey through history and think of the primary doctrinal attacks on the Church, they simply DO go right down the line, as follows:

  1. After Pagan Rome, the majority of the primary heresies afflicting the Church until the Schism were mainly attacking God in His special nature as Triune and Incarnate: Arianism, Monophysitism, Monothelyte heresy, Nestorianism. Too, Islam culminated these: it totally denied the Trinity and Incarnation and, if that were not enough, it went on to suggest a Revelation beyond Jesus, the Quran, which Arianism, while also denying the Trinity and Incarnation, did not. Too, even iconoclasm is an affront to God, since, it involves the interpretation of the First Commandment which is to have no other gods before Him, sacred images. Yes, it definitely fits.
  2. Then, the next great attack was clearly the Great Schism, which assaulted Peter, just down underneath God.
  3. As for the next great attack, really, in the Middle Ages, Albigensianism or the Catharsist heresy are minor. Clearly, the next great disturbance is the moral fall of the clergy in the late Middle Ages, paving the way for the big one, the Protestant Rebelllion, and lo and behold, the ultimate thing that all Protestants have in common is in contesting the General Bishops and Sacred Tradition, which are just beneath Peter, the Supreme Apostolic Successor.
  4. By golly, it just keeps going: the Protestants confounding of the Scriptures only served to make humanity doubt the veracity of Scripture, which gave rise to a general climate of solo-ratio, the natural digression from the Protestants’ counterpart rallying-cry, sola-scriptura.
  5. Finally, in the 20th century, even Reason dives, and we have total apostasy, as in atheism [which is irrational since it denies God, who can be known from Reason alone, Vatican I] in the East and relativism [which is irrational since it denies objective truth] and materialism in the West.

It all fits!

TEACHER: Yes, it does, like I said. Too, note that in all but the last, there is some light, even if only natural.


#15

So you were right; after the sun rises with Constantine, it does not set fully till our modern time.

The Seventh Night: Private Revelation Completes Our History from Here

This, then, is the seventh night, right?

TEACHER: Yes, right. So now, our only options are, the end of the world, or another sunrise followed by an eighth darkness.

STUDENT: Yes, this is a crucial juncture. After all, Public Revelation speaks of an apostasy at the end, so, like, uh, what does that mean for us now? Is this it? Cuz, on the one hand, Europe and her children have this great darkness of apostasy and secular messianism. On the other hand, the Church doesn’t seem to be saying we are at the end. She is trying to have hope. Then, there are the Private Revelations, and I am not sure where they fit in either. So what do we do with this?

TEACHER: This is a crucial point in our discourse indeed. Here, EWTN rescues us with years of painstaking probing into the fully approved Private Revelations concerning the latter times of Church history. Here is what they have for us:

As Cardinal Ratzinger recently pointed out (in the context of the message of Fátima), we are not at the end of the world. In fact, the Second Coming (understood as the physical return of Christ) cannot occur until the full number of the Gentiles are converted, followed by “all Israel.”

Approved Catholic mystics (Venerables, Blessed and Saints, approved apparitions) throw considerable light on this order, by prophesying a minor apostasy and tribulation toward the end of the world, after which will occur the reunion of Christians. Only later will the entire world fall away from Christ (the great apostasy) and the personal Antichrist arise and the Tribulation of the End occur.

Although this is not Catholic doctrine, arising as it does from private revelation, it conforms to what is occurring in our time, especially in light of Our Lady of Fátima’s promise of an “Era of Peace.” This “Triumph of the Immaculate Heart” (other saints have spoken of a social reign of Jesus Christ when Jesus will reign in the hearts of men) would seem to occur prior to the rise of the Antichrist. The optimism of the Pope for the “New Evangelization” and a “Civilization of Love” in the Third Millennium of Christianity fits here, as well. This would place us, therefore, in the period just before the events spoken of in the Catechism, that is, on the verge of the evangelization of the entire world. Other interpretations are possible, but none seem to fit the facts as well, especially when approved mystics are studied, instead of merely alleged ones.

http://ewtn.com/expert/answers/endtimes.htm


#16

There you have it. The majority of fully approved Private Revelations suggest, as the most likely scenario, an intermediate, minor apostasy toward the end, together with a conditional threat of a minor tribulation, after which occurs a glorious reunion of Christendom and a period of wonderful peace. All this must precede the final phase of human history, the great apostasy of Public Revelation and its associated Antichrist, great persecution, conversion of the Jews, and incomprehensible Tribulation, within which, at an unknown “hour,” the Christ returns to end human history, judge and raise all humanity, and form the New Creation that shall never end—all these final events, of course, being things we know from Public Revelation.


#17

Private Revelation Fulfilled in the Scriptures: The Days of Creation and the Beast

STUDENT: Ok, but all this depends on Private Revelation, which no Catholic is required to believe. Plus, you mentioned that the chastisement is conditional. What does that mean, and is this age of Catholic peace also conditional?

TEACHER: Good questions. Firstly, admittedly, no portion of Private Revelation is ever necessary to be believed in. However, I would say, how could so many plain witnesses be wrong? Secondly, we will see that this Private Revelation scenario most fully agrees with the theology of the days of creation and beast kings and our yet to be explored Joyful Mysteries. As for conditionality, that the chastisement is conditional means, if humanity preemptively repents of their godlessness in the minor apostasy, it will enter the age of spiritual peace without chastisement and through their inner conversion. On the other hand, if the world persists too long in resistance to God’s grace, the chastisement will come, and then they will repent and enter the age of peace. Yet, here is the wonderful thing: the age of peace, as it called, is NOT conditional. It comes infallibly, with or without preemptive conversion, with or without chastisement. It is the world that must choose whether to enter peace the easy way [preemptive conversion] or the hard way [the minor tribulation and then conversion].

Yet, as it stands, the scenario above, once again, perfectly matches the analogies we have and will have, that is, the days of creation, the beast kings, and the forthcoming Joyful Mysteries analogy. It would behoove us, then, to simply show in the raw sense that this perfect correlation exists before delving into deeper reasons.

STUDENT: Sounds good. Go ahead and proceed.

TEACHER: Good, let us look at the first one, the days of creation. We already saw that the sixth night was pagan Rome, and that we are now, with the modern minor apostasy, in the seventh night. Well, the scenario lays out that the next great phase of history is a light, the age of peace, following a preemptive conversion in the world or a chastisement and conversion. Bingo! This is the seventh light! Note, too, it has the semblance of a Sabbath, like the seventh-day Sabbath of the Genesis allegory: the near whole of humanity will be voluntarily Catholic and living the Gospel in their hearts. The Church will, temporarily, cease having to labor against sin and heresy. She will rest. Again, this perfectly mirrors the seventh day of allegory which is a metaphorical Sabbath in the same days of creation.

Finally, the next phase, again by the scenario, is the great apostasy, where the world will grow lax and forget the lessons she learned. This is the night, the eighth night. And lo and behold, the remaining phase after this is nothing short of the end of time, the eternal light of the Second Coming and New Creation. This eighth light is an eternal, most perfect Sabbath, where the just shall forever behold God and one another in love and peace, never to suffer again. Too, remember, they shall rise at the Judgment, just as the Christ rose on the eighth day.


#18

STUDENT: Awesome! You are right. it fits perfectly!

TEACHER: Yes! Moving on, similarly, the beast kings of Apocalypse 17 bear it. In fact, the beast kings are just our nights of the days of creation. And since the mystery of the kings suggests an eighth that arises again, all fits as well.

“And the beast you saw was, and is not, and will be again…. And the beast that was and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goes into perdition.”

The connotation of the eighth bringing one back to the first is most appropriate: here, the comparison is between kings one and eight, and days one and eight.

Day one is like day eight. Day one is Noah’s day, where the whole world is wicked. Similarly, in day eight, the world is also nearly fully wicked, the great apostasy. Similarly, in day one, the world is destroyed by water and made anew, the beginning of the redemption of the world. In day eight, the world is destroyed by fire and utterly made new in the unending New Creation.

Likewise, the beast kings bear the sense: the eighth phase of sin brings with it the image of a former king. Here, common sense says, use the first king. This does work best and is most profound, as follows; in the first king, the whole world was, again, wicked in Noah’s day. Effectively, we can argue that in this same beginning phase of history, the fall “was”, or “reigned” in human history. It was prevalent, since before the Flood, God had not yet exercised any substantial Redemptive action in history. Then, with the Flood, God slew this first king and ushered in the greater phase of humanity’s redemption. The beast “is not.” Subsequent nights of sin follow, but because God is redeeming humanity during the intermediate phases of sin, redemption still holds sway, that is, again, “the beast is not.”

However, when we reach king eight, the great apostasy, humanity’s culpability has reached its peak. How? Well, if the chastisement comes in our times, it will show the world the incomprehensible horrors that befall humanity when they do not listen to God and His Church. They will not be able to tell God they didn’t know these consequences. Moreover, God will have given them peace, faith and science reconciled, so that they will know that whereas science without faith spells doom, faith with science is the fullness of peace and love on earth.

For this reason, when humanity goes back to apostasy after the age of peace, they have no excuse. If they will not believe after all this, nothing will make them believe. That is, they cannot tell God they did not know the consequences of rejection of God and His Church. Moreover, they cannot tell God they had not seen the true fruits of His religion when embraced with docility. Hence, since God can no longer draw a greater spiritual good for humanity (saving the Jews, who convert en-mass at this time), the Fall is back and once again “reigns,” casting out the Holy Spirit of Redemption—getting Augustine’s restrainer out the way. And that means, “the beast [is] again.” And so our theology is perfect.

STUDENT: I am amazed! You are absolutely right! Thank you so much for these wonderful insights.


#19

The Beast Kings, in More Compact Sense

The Beast Heads as the Ages

Now to expand the implications of the greater ages to the imagery of the beast. As expected, the beast becomes of a symbol, in its supreme sense, of the fallen nature itself, which is manifested in the eight darknesses of the days of creation. Further, just as, in apocalypse 13, a head of the beast that was “mortally wounded” is “healed”, it shows time and again what we see in the days of Creation: the sun rises, the sun sets: spiritual darkness, or the fallen nature, manifests itself in a major way in salvation history, then it falls and gives way to a redemptive stage, which is to say, God “mortally wounds” the ages of sin with great acts of Redemption.

To move on, there is a Scripture in Apocalypse 17 where an angel gives a mysterious meaning to the heads of the beast. Let us now look into this, and discover that every component of the angel’s explanation of the seven heads in Apocalypse 17:9-11 bears profound meaning for the ages we have analyzed throughout the discourses. Let us start with the text itself:

Rev. 17:7-11

7 And the angel said to me: Why dost thou wonder? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast which carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns. 8 The beast, which thou sawest, was, and is not, and shall come up out of the bottomless pit, and go into destruction: and the inhabitants on the earth (whose names are not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world) shall wonder, seeing the beast that was, and is not. 9 And here is the understanding that hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, upon which the woman sitteth, and they are seven kings: 10 Five are fallen, one is, and the other is not yet come: and when he is come, he must remain a short time. And the beast which was, and is not: the same also is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into destruction.

The Beast Was and Is Not, and Will be Again

The first question is the mystical meaning of the idea that the “beast was, and is not, and will be again [in the eighth].” Profound meaning can be assuaged as follows. The text implies that at some point in the past, the beast “was”, that at St. John’s time, he “is not”, and, presumably in the eighth “king”, he “will be again”.

The connotation is essentially this, from a deeper analysis: that in the beginning, the fall “reigned” [“was”] in human history, but that, beginning with the Flood, God’s first act of Redemption of humanity, the fallen nature “ceased to be the prevailing force in human history”, which is to say, the beast was “not.” Which is to say, beginning with the Flood, God dealt the first lethal blow to the fallen nature. For, before the Flood, God had not, as of yet, intervened to redeem humanity in any significant sense, which lends itself to the notion that the fallen nature, having never felt the blow of any Redemptive act of God, clearly held sway over the majority of man in Noah’s day [just prior to the Flood]. Hence, in the first great darkness, the beast “was”.


#20

But once God intervened in the first Redemptive Action, the Flood, the Redemption of humanity, the progressive stages that draw greater spiritual goods from the manifestations of the fallen nature, was underway and, as it were, caused the fallen nature to take a secondary role in the course of salvation history, so that, precisely because God is in the process of Redeeming the human race, the beast “is not”.

How much more so was this true in St. John’s day, in that the fullness of Redemption had come: the Christ. Hence, all the more does the fallen nature take a back seat to the spread of the Gospel. Hence, especially in St. John’s day, “the beast is not.”

Although, that the fallen nature is both wounded and secondary to God’s redemptive process, it does not abrogate the fact that the fallen nature still manifests itself in the punctuated stages of resistance along the way , so that kings still rise and fall after the first, who was, again, “primary.” These secondary kings are then the intervening ones between one and eight.

However, there inevitably comes the “final fall” that cannot be cured spiritually in a practical sense, namely, the eighth, the great apostasy. This would essentially be the beast that “is again”, meaning, in the times of the great apostasy, humanity is practically incurably turned away from God , so that the fallen nature once again reigns in human history. The corollary to this assertion is that in the time of the final apostasy, a further spiritual good can no longer be drawn from this stage of darkness in such a manner that a greater share of the Redemption can be had. The only spiritual good that shall come in this is the conversion of the Jews, to the detriment of the loss of the Gentile faith.

Hence, just as the fallen nature reigned in the beginning of human history (the Fall and wickedness of Noah’s day) [the beast “was”], so the darkness reigns again at the close of human history, where all but a remnant of humanity are in rebellion against God [the beast “will be again”].

The profound difference, however, is that the fallen nature is curable historically in the first case, whereas not so in the latter. We have seen this implied, for example, in the text of Hebrews 6, where it is argued that once a person has [fully] tasted of the fruits of God’s love and redemption, a subsequent apostasy is practically incurable. There is also the practicality that after the sabbath like rest of the light of the seventh age, nothing remains to be given unto humanity by God.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.