The Mystery of the Beast

In this article we will take a close look at the beast on which the woman is sitting. And so this name of this article is “The Mystery of the Beast”.

The Woman and the City (Revelation 17:1-14, Matthew 5:14)

Revelation 17:1
And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters:

Revelation 17:2
With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.

Revelation 17:3
So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet colored beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.

Revelation 17:4
And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:

Revelation 17:5
And upon her forehead was a name written, Mystery, Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth.

Revelation 17:6
And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.

Revelation 17:7
And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.

Revelation 17:8
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.

Revealtion 17:9
And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.

Revealtion 17:10
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.

Revelation 17:11
And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.

Revelation 17:12
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 17:13
These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.

Revelation 17:14
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.

Here God shows us the symbol of an adulterous woman who is a harlot.

It means that this woman has broken the sacred pledge to her husband.

And since this woman is also a harlot, she has broken the pledge of faith and truth toward God; she is living a life in absence of God.

We found this woman in the wilderness is the same woman whom God has left in the wilderness in chapter 12 of Revelation. There in chapter 12 she was the faithful church, protected and nourished by God in the wilderness of this world. And so she was for many centuries.

But here in chapter 17 of Revelation we see this same woman as the apostate church, unfaithful to Christ, for she is now worshipping other gods.

What has changed?

Well, here in chapter 17 we see the visible church during the Final Triulation Period. That is what changed. Now her name is no longer the Bride of Christ, but God changed her name to Babylon. At the same time God shows us the symbol of a city called Babylon. We know that the church is also represented in the Bible as a city, for the Lord Jesus said in Matthew 5:14:
“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.”

When Christ walked on earth Christ was the Light of the world. But when Christ went to heaven He delegated His work of evangelization to His saints.

That is why He said, “Ye are the light of the world”.

And then He added that we, the church, are like a city full of lights that is set on a hill. But during the Final Tribulation Period that light of the Gospel is snuffed out, and then the church has become a city that is called Babylon that is no longer a bright light in the world. Instead of a blessed city where salvation is found, she has become a menacing city that brings destruction and that drags people into Hell. Such is the character of the woman who sits upon the scarlet colored beast.

Let us now also consider:



The Character of the Beast (Revelation 11:7, Revelation 12:7-9, Revelation 20:1-3, Revelation 13:1, Revelation 13:3, Revelation 13:7, Revelation 17:8, Genesis 3:15)

We have seen this beast before in Revelation 11:7. This beast is Antichrist, who is the embodiment of Satan and his demons in human flesh. For the symbolism to match, God portrays him here as a single person, but in actuality he is present in many persons. This beast has the same shape and color as the dragon of Revelation 12, since Antichrist is the image of Satan, just like Christ is the image of the Heavenly Father.

Here in Revelation 11:7 we read:

Revelation 11:7
And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.

When the two witnesses, representing the saints, the true church, the Bride of Christ, have finished their testimony, Antichrist shall make war against them and silence them, for this signals that the Final Tribulation Period has descended upon the world. The beast shall come up out of the Bottomless Pit.

Where is the Bottomless Pit?

Revelation 12:7
And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,

Revelation 12:8
And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.

Revelation 12:9
And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

This spiritual battle took place right after the Lord Jesus ascended into heaven bodily, 40 days after He rose from the grave. Satan was cast out of heaven and he was cast out into the earth. Now let’s turn to Revelation 20:1. This battle and its result is repeated in Revelation 20:1-3,

Revelation 20:1
And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.

Revealtion 20:2
And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,

Revelation 20:3
And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

After the cross, or more precisely after Christ ascended into heaven, Satan was cast out of heaven and Satan was cast into the Bottomless Pit. This earth is that Bottomless Pit. It is out of this Bottomless Pit that the beast ascended, for when the 1000 years are fulfilled Satan must be loosed a little season.

In Revelation 13:1 we see here the beast rise out of the Bottomless Pit:

Revelation 13:1
And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.

The beast rises up out of the sea of wicked mankind, for we read In Isaiah 57:20,

Isaiah 57:20
The wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.

And is this not the focus of the Bottomless Pit?

Not a material pit, but the Pit of unsaved mankind is in view.

This vision signals the beginning of the Final Tribulation Period.

And look upon his ten horns; the ten horns are now crowned.

This means that the beast is going to be very successful in the Final Tribulation Period.

And is this not indeed what we see in verse 3?

Revelation 13:3
And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.

All the world wondered after the beast. At the cross Satan was dealt a death-blow. The Seed of the woman crushed the head of the serpent, as promised in Genesis 3:15. And this is symbolized by one of the heads of the beast being wounded to death. But during the Final Tribulation Period it seems that Satan is alive and well. It seems that his deadly wound was healed. We should remember who released him. Christ was the one who cast him in the Bottomless Pit, and Christ is the one who releases Satan from the Bottomless Pit, for the purpose of bringing judgment on the church, who has gone apostate.

Revelation 13:7
And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
The beast is very successful over the whole world.

Let us compare this with Revelation 17:8.

Revelation 17:8
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.

Except for the remnant chosen by grace whose names were written in the Book of Life, all the rest of mankind shall wonder after the beast and worship him. Let us now consider another aspect of Satan



The Infernal Trinity (Revelation 13:11, Matthew 13:8, Acts 7:3, Ephesians 1:10, Ephesians 3:15, Colossians 1:20, Hebrews 11:9, Revelation 1:5, Acts 20:28-31)

The first beast that came up out of the sea is Antichrist, made in the image of the dragon himself. But then there came up a second beast.

Have you ever asked yourselves why a second beast was necessary to help the first beast?

Revelation 13:11
And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.

In other words, this lamb spoke as if he were Satan himself!

This beast came up out of the earth, instead of out of the sea of wicked mankind. But let us have a closer look at this word “earth”.

It is a Greek word, Strong’s Concordance number (1093), which has been translated “earth”, or “land”, or “ground”, and that is what it means most of the time. But in some cases this word does not mean the entire earth, but only that fraction of the earth that represents “the Kingdom of God on this earth”.

Let me read to you some examples of this meaning in the Scriptures.

Matthew 13:8
But other (seed) fell into good ground (1093) and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixty-fold, some thirty-fold. (The good ground refers to those people in the Kingdom of God.)



Acts 7:3
And said unto him (Abraham), Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and come into the land (1093) which I shall shew thee. (The land of Canaan is a picture of the Kingdom of God).



Ephesians 1:10
That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; (1093) even in him:

Christ will gather together not all things which are on the earth, but only those things that belong to the Kingdom of God. All other things have been defiled and will be burnt when this earth is destroyed.

Ephesians 3:15
Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth (1093) is named,

Not everyone on earth belongs to the family of Christ; only those who belong to His elect people.



Colossians 1:20
And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, (1093) or things in heaven.

Christ did not make peace or reconcile all things to Himself; only those things which He intended to save for His eternal Kingdom. All other things have been defiled and will be burnt at His coming.

Hebrews 11:9
By faith he (Abraham) sojourned in the land (1093) of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:

“The land of promise” is symbolic for the Kingdom of God that was promised to all the saints.

Revelation 1:5
And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth (1093).

The Lord Jesus Christ is not the Prince of all the heathen kings of the earth. We are those “kings”. Christ is the Prince of all the saints, who are called “kings and priests unto God and His Father”.

Let us now focus on the second beast of Revelation 13:11.
“And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth”.

Where does this beast come out of?

O yes, he still comes out of the Bottomless Pit, but instead of coming out of the wicked masses of mankind, this second beast comes out of the wicked who are a part of the Kingdom of God on this earth, especially the educated in the church.

Let us look at an example that God gives us. In Acts 20:28 the Apostle Paul was returning to Jerusalem from his 3rd missionary journey. He intended not to spend time at Ephesus, but instead called the Ephesian Elders to meet him at Miletus, the harbor city where his ship was. There at Miletus he preached to the Ephesian Elders, and he said in Acts 20:28-31…

Acts 20:28
Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

Acts 20:29
For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.

Acts 20:30
Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.

Acts 20:31
Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.

The Apostle Paul looked the Ephesian Elders straight in the eye, and said,
“Also out of you shall some arise to bring false doctrines into the church, and shall draw away many from Christ and make them followers of you. For three years long I have warned you of this, and I know that after I have departed this shall come to pass”.

How did the Apostle know this?

God has revealed it to Him. And likewise God has revealed to us here in Revelation 13 and Revelation 17 that the second beast, the false prophet, shall arise out of the elite from the churches. They shall work hand in hand with all those coming out of the masses of unsaved man to convince mankind that the gospels they are bringing are the best God has to offer, and that it now depends on you, the people of the congregation, to make the decision.

Satan, the father of lies, will work together with his servants who are characterized as the false prophet, to deceive and to snare people into gospels that are abominations to God. And when we speak of the beast in Revelation 17, it is implied that we speak of the first and the second beast together as they both are indwelt by Satan and his demons.



The Beast that Was, and Is Not, and Shall Come (Revelation 17:8)

Three times do we read this formula in the passage before us. Two times in verse 8. Look at it now,

Revelation 17:8
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.

What is God saying with these words?

Immediately we realize God’s intent to tell us that Satan is a great imitator. The Lord Jesus Christ said of Himself in chapter 1 that He is the only One “which is, and which was, and which is to come” indicating that He is from everlasting past, He was dead, but now He lives, and He is coming again. The beast, Antichrist, “was, and is not, and shall ascend out of the Bottomless Pit”.

He was alive and very active in Old Testament days. He was there when Cain and Abel walked on the earth, and you can say that Cain was the first embodiment of Satan in human flesh. We can clearly see that Antichrist’s world power was present before the flood of Noah’s days, for only 8 people were saved in the ark. We can clearly see that Antichrist’s world power was present prior to the when the Lord Jesus was crucified, for there were only a handful of believers in the land of Judea and Galilee, but the rest of the Roman Empire was spiritually in total darkness, and on the way to Hell. So we understand that the beast was. But then came the cross, and Pentecost, and persecutions, and the travels of the Apostle Paul, all of which were instrumental in spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ far and wide, and Satan was unable to stop the spread of the Gospel.

That is why the Apostle John wrote, “The beast that thou sawest was, and is not”. At the time John wrote these words Satan was a defeated foe, and his Antichrist was on the run. Amazingly within a couple hundred years the Roman army brought the Gospel all the way north to the British Isles, where it took a solid foothold. No cruel Inquisition was able to stop the furtherance of the Gospel. But then we read that the beast “shall ascend out of the Bottomless Pit”.

He shall reign again on a world-wide scale as he did before Christ was crucified. He shall be as powerful again as he was before. And we can see why that is. Satan presently rules because mankind has taken a disinterest in knowing what God said in the Bible. Mankind is busy listening to what their pastors are saying, and what the TV evangelists are saying, and what the radio preachers are saying, and what the beautiful pamphlets and flyers are saying. The multimedia are bombarding us with their misinformation, and we have no time to check out their conclusions with a personal reading of the Bible.

Besides, if we intend to read the Bible the first question is “Which Bible?”

There are so many Bible versions that we are inclined to give each of those versions an equal value. And this is where Satan begins his attack. First he attacks the credibility of the Word of God. Already in the Garden of Eden Satan said, “Yea, hath God said, this and this? You must be kidding. Ye shall not surely die”. And that is why today we can see that we are in or very close indeed to the Final Tribulation Period, because almost all of mankind has a disinterest in the actual words that God spoke and that are recorded in the Bible. We are rapidly approaching the state where all “they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.”

Only those whose names have been written in the Book of life from the foundation of the world shall resist the current trend of living a life apart from the only true God.

Do we realize why the deception is so intense?

We must realize that Satan is a great imitator. God has a city, the New Jerusalem; Satan has a city, called Babylon. God’s anointed is Christ, Satan’s anointed is Antichrist. The triune God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; Satan’s infernal trinity is the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet. Christ has as His Bride the body of believers; Antichrist carries his woman, the harlot Babylon. Christ is called a man; Antichrist is called a man. Christ has His church where He is worshipped, Antichrist has his counterfeit church where he is worshipped. And they also go by the name “church”, and they have their elders, and deacons, and their benevolence projects and their missionary efforts, and so on.

Christ has an army of ambassadors; Antichrist has his army of ambassadors. Christ has a Kingdom which He promises to all that follow Him; Antichrist has a kingdom and tangible benefits in the here an now, which he promises to everyone who will follow him. And so, the beast entices people to live it up now, rather than wait for an uncertain future later.

Can you see that unless someone has received faith from God, they will not believe the true Gospel and they will not follow a God who is sovereign and does not give extra rewards for good works done in the here and now?

Let us now consider a further description of the beast in Revelation 17:9-12.

Seven Heads – Seven Mountains – Seven Kings

Revelation 17:9
And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.

Revelation 17:10
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.

Revelation 17:11
And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.

Revelation 17:12
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.

“The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sitteth”.

Obviously it is not the woman Babylon, but the city Babylon that is built on seven mountains.

Is it possible that this description refers to Rome, which is built on seven hills?

No, that is not possible. Rome is not built on seven mountains, but on seven hills that are molehills rather than mountains. Besides, we must let the context speak, and the context says in the next verse: “There are seven kings.” The Greek text could just as well be translated: “These are seven kings”. In other words, these mountains refer to seven kingdoms, of which there are seven kings. It is quite common in the Scriptures that a mountain is a symbol for a kingdom. Allow me to read to you four examples where a mountain represents a kingdom:

Psalm 30:7
LORD, by thy favour thou hast made my mountain to stand strong: thou didst hide thy face, and I was troubled.

(David says: Lord, by thy grace thou hast made my kingdom to stand strong.)

Jeremiah 51:25
Behold, I am against thee, O destroying mountain, saith the LORD, which destroyest all the earth: and I will stretch out mine hand upon thee, and roll thee down from the rocks, and will make thee a burnt mountain.

(God pronounces His curse on Babylon, the destroying kingdom.)

Daniel 2:35
Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.

(The stone that smote the image became a great kingdom that filled the whole earth.)

Zechariah 4:7
Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it.

In Zechariah 4:7 God speaks about the great kingdom of Medo-Persia that opposed the rebuilding of the temple. God assured Zerubbabel that this great kingdom shall not impede the rebuilding of the temple.

Returning now to Revelation 17:10 we must realize that God is using symbolic language throughout this entire chapter. Therefore it does not fit if we think of 5 historical great kingdoms that might represent these five kingdoms that have fallen away. The “one that is” could refer to the Roman Empire, but then we have to guess who the five fallen kingdoms were, and that does not bring us any closer to the message of the Gospel in this verse. Obviously the last of the seven refers to the kingdom of Antichrist which will be worldwide in scope and in power during the Final Tribulation Period. The number seven indicates perfection.

The seven kingdoms simply mean that the woman, the harlot Babylon, shall occupy the perfect number of kingdoms throughout history as Babylon, the city. Throughout time there are always apostates from the church of God. But at the end of time the number of apostates will cover the whole earth. Then the mysterious words of Revelation 17:11,

Revelation 17:11
And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.

Let’s turn to the prophecy of Daniel – Daniel 7:7 Daniel had a vision wherein he saw a beast with 10 horns. This beast represented the kingdom of Antichrist during the Final Tribulatio Period. Out of this beast came forth a little horn, which is Antichrist, and which removed three of the ten horns.

Daniel 7:7
After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.

Daniel 7:8
I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.

This little horn is Antichrist, who made war with the saints and prevailed against them. He plucked up three of the ten horns, and so there were seven left. That makes the little horn number eight. Therefore both in Daniel 7:8 and in Revelation 17:11 God identified the rule of Antichrist during the Final Tribualtion Period as the eighth king. But God assured us in Revelation 17:11 that after the Final Tribualtion Period the beast will be cast into Hell.

In Revelation 17:12 we read about ten horns which represent ten kings.

Revelation 17:12
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.

Like everything else in this chapter these ten kings must also be taken symbolically.

We have seen in Revelation 13:1 that the ten horns of this beast were crowned, which indicates that the 10 horns symbolize the superior rule of Antichrist during the Final Tribulation Period. Ten is the number indicating completeness. And thus the ten kings indicate that the kingship of Antichrist during the Final Tribulation Period is complete over the whole earth. This then is the mystery of the beast that carries the woman, the harlot named Babylon. We wonder if any thing could have been done to prevent such abomination to develop.

Have we perhaps contributed to this abominable situation?

Let us consider the question:

How We Might Have Helped the Beast?

The Lord Jesus spoke of the conditions during the Final Tribualtion Period in Matthew 24, and He warned us of grievous things to come. His first and foremost warning was:
“Take heed that no man deceive you”.

And then He said in Matthew 24:10-12…

Matthew 24:10
And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.

Matthew 24:11
And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.

Matthew 24:12
And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

Why is it that many shall betray one another and hate one another?

It is through covetousness and the love of money that the hearts of many will grow cold. Many false prophets shall arise and preach false gospels, for the love of money and fame shall drive them to do this, and they shall deceive many. And because many remain unsaved under the hearing of these false gospels, the hearts of many will grow cold. And because many hearts are cold they will listen to their preachers with cold orthodoxy.

What is cold orthodoxy?

Think of the Pharisees in Jesus’ days. The Pharisees had a high opinion of themselves, but a very low opinion of the common people. They compared themselves by the moral standards of people around them, rather than consider how God would look upon them. They did not consider their own sinfulness, and that is why they were cold hearted theologians. They would look at all kinds of things that could give them the glory, but they forgot to give God glory for the provision of the forgiveness of sins. That is how the love of many shall wax cold.

Another reason why the hearts of many will grow cold is because people do not consider the Bible as the Word of God, as the words that God spoke and that were recorded for our benefit, so that many might be saved from a slippery slide into Hell. God said in:

2 Peter 1:20
Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

2 Peter 1:21
For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

No Scripture is of any private interpretation. No one can say, “This is what it means to me”, for the next verse says that God spoke these words into being, and thus we must ask God how we should interpret certain verses, and not rely on the interpretation some pastor or teacher gives. It means that we must develop a holy respect for every word that we find in the Bible, and that we must develop a fervent desire to know what God has said. It means that we can no longer have a lukewarm attitude toward the Word of God, and toward the worship of him when we are gathered together.

We can no longer be lukewarm in our love for one another. And most definitely we cannot be lukewarm toward God. He said,

Revelation 3:16
So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

In the past we might have been lax in witnessing how the Word of God completely circumscribes the God whom we worship.

Pray to God that He will forgive us this sin.

AMEN.

By Alfred J. Chompff

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