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The beast that was and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition. Rev 17:11
Two fateful years, 1989 and 1992, cast a flood of light on one of the darkest corners of the Apocalypse. The mysterious beast that “was and is not” had baffled the greatest minds in Christendom ever since the book of Revelation was written. But this mystery was sealed until the events it foretold came to pass.
The approach of the appointed hour was first signaled in January of 1989 when a curious blue flag was unfurled in France. It had twelve golden stars in a circle. In a few months this flag would be borne aloft by throngs marching down the Champs-Elysee. The occasion was the bi-centennial celebration of Bastille Day, July 14, 1789.
The French had little cause to celebrate the French Revolution. But this international event had a deeper significance to the leaders of the governments of Europe assembled in Paris. While they paid respect to the great revolution of 1789 all eyes were on 1992 and the even greater revolution in progress. The twelve nations of Europe were preparing to unite.
The real fireworks began four months later when the Berlin Wall suddenly fell and the red flag with the hammer and sickle was taken down. It was appropriate that Communism should end amid the celebrations of the French Revolution because Communism emerged from this revolution, the earthquake of Revelation 11. It is the beast that ascended from the pit. (Rev. 11:7)
In Revelation 17:8 we see that the beast that “was, and is not” also ascended from the pit. Therefore we know that the beast that “was, and is not” is the pit beast. In the next three verses, heads, mountains, kings and beasts are used interchangeably just as was done in Daniel 2 and 7 for ten toes, ten horns and ten kings.
With this insight, verse 10 reveals the pit beast was the last of the seven beasts to appear. It was to continue for a short time and cease. In verse 11, this seventh beast having ended quietly mysteriously revives to become an eighth… the eighth of seven beasts.
The number eight is used in scripture to signify resurrection. For example, Jesus was resurrected the eighth day and there were eight resurrections in the bible. Further, when eight is used in conjunction with seven it signifies the beginning of a new era or a new order of things. Noah was the eighth person to step out of the ark into a new world.*
It is providential then that this eighth beast emerged in 1992 as “the New World Order”. In one of the greatest illusions of all time, the short lived (70 years) Communist pit beast quietly ended in Moscow only to be resurrected in Washington. And long before America was discovered John saw that the eighth beast would be in the wilderness! (Rev 17:3)
In 1992, a Jesuit was elected President. His wife was a Communist. But few took notice for the media proclaimed Communism dead. In verse 8, we see that the mysterious transformation of the seventh beast into the eighth beast caused all the world to wonder….all except those whose names are written in the book of Life. It is impossible to deceive the elect. (Matt 24:24)
These verses in Revelation 17 were written for this last generation. They could not be understood before the Berlin wall fell and few understand them today. But, in the end the wise will heed their fateful warning… the beast that was, and is not, yet is.
* Number in Scripture, E.W. Bullinger , Kregal Publishers, 1967, page.200
The Eighth Beast
The Old Jerusalem is not the New Jerusalem
The Berlin Wall
The Beast with no Crowns
The Blasphemous Beast