1 Thessalonians Chapter 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
Revelation Chapter 10:7 But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.
It just happens that Jesus comes in the clouds.
It just happens that Jesus comes at the last trumpet.
It just happens that Jesus comes with the voice of the archangel..
It just happens that Jesus raze the dead first.
It just happens that the two end time prophets are razed from the dead.
It just happens that the two end time prophets hear a voce saying come up hither.
It just happens that the two end time prophets are razed in the clouds
It just happens that the two end time prophets are razed at the sound of the last trumpet
Revelation Chapter 11:11 And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.12 And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.13 And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.14 The second woe is past; [and], behold, the third woe cometh quickly.15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become [the kingdoms] of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.
Corinthians Chapter 15:51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
Mark 13:26 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.
The two end time prophets are killed by the beast at the end of the great tribulation
The seventh trumpet begins (and is synonymous with) the Great Tribulation, a three and one half year period which ends at Christ's return and His victory at Armageddon (please see the link: "The Seventh Trumpet").
I agree with you completely that the resurrection occurs at Jesus' return, but that return is still 3 and 1/2 years off at the time of this symbolic appearance in Revelation 10:7. The "strong angel" is a type of Christ and the vision looks forward to the return of our Lord (see the link). The very fact that the second advent is symbolized here is a clear indication that it is not taking place at this point.
After all, there are also seven bowl judgments which take place later in the book. If the second advent were occurring here, when would they have time to take place? One of those judgments includes the invasion and destruction of Babylon and another the Armageddon campaign. It will take a good deal of time for all these events to play out. Revelation is, by an large, chronologically organized, so that the occurrence of the seventh trumpet in the middle of the book is quite apropos of its occurrence in the middle of the seven year Tribulation. The Great Persecution (see the link) also takes place after the deaths of Moses and Elijah – and, surely, antichrist is not going to be seated in the temple "representing himself as if he were God" while their ministry at the temple yet continues (2Thes.2:4).
Simply put, the seventh trumpet is not the same as the "last trumpet" (1Cor.15:52). The trumpet judgments are just that, judgments of warning to repent before the Great Tribulation, the second half of the seven years, begins. The "last trumpet", on the other hand, is the signal of the Tribulation's end. This is "the trump of God" in 1st Thessalonians 4:16 (but not the seventh in the series of seven warnings).
# In Daniel 7:25, the saints of the Most High (i.e., believers) are said to be handed over into the power of the little horn (i.e., antichrist and the Great Persecution) for "a time, times, and half a time", a biblical way of expressing the three and one half years of the Great Tribulation.
# In Daniel 9:27, "the people of the prince which is to come" (i.e., antichrist as the ruler of revived Rome) will make a treaty during the last "seven" and break it in the middle of the "seven", that is, during middle of the seven years at the outset of the Great Tribulation.
# In Daniel 12:7, the angel speaking with Daniel declares that it will be "a time, times, and half a time" before the persecutions stop and everything comes to an end, that is, the Great Tribulation will last three and one half years.
# In Revelation 11:2, the gentiles (i.e., the army of antichrist) will afflict Jerusalem for 42 months, that is, during the entire three and a half year period of the Great Tribulation (albeit under varying circumstances).
# In Revelation 12:6, the woman Israel is said to be protected for 1,260 days, that is, during the whole 42 months of the Great Tribulation (expressed in standard 30 day months).
# In Revelation 12:14, the woman Israel is said to be protected for a time, times, and half a time, that is, during this same period of the Great Tribulation's three and a half years.
# In Revelation 13:5, the unbridled reign of antichrist is said to last for 42 months, that is, for the duration of the Great Tribulation.
All of these descriptions require the same amount of time, three and a half years, following the seventh trumpet in order for the events of the Great Tribulation to transpire. All this follows Moses' and Elijah's ministry – a ministry of repentance – which is in precise accord with the warnings which the seven trumpets comprise. Before the Lord allows the terrible events of the Great Tribulation to unfold, the inhabitants of the earth will have been duly warned and will have had ample time for repentance.
Yours in Jesus Christ for whose return we so eagerly wait,
How many resurrections are there?
Is there is one in Revelation 11 when the two endtime prophets are razed from the dead?
No indeed! Resurrection is a permanent state, not a temporary one. Once raised, our bodies will be eternal and indestructible just like Jesus' body (1Jn.3:2); they will not be a part of this present world which is destined to be destroyed. Moses and Elijah are resuscitated in chapter 11 – just as they are in order to conduct their tribulational ministries (otherwise we would have two resurrections of them in Revelation). The resurrection occurs in three phases, as Paul tells us in 1st Corinthians 15:23-24: 1) Christ, 2) those who are His at His coming (the second advent resurrection of the entire Church, the Bride of Christ); 3) "the end", that is, the resurrection of the "friends of the Bride", the millennial believers, those saved over the course of our Lord's 1000 year reign.
For more on the specifics, please see these links:
Transmutation, Resuscitation, and Resurrection.
The Resurrection of the Lamb's Bride.
The Last Resurrection of the Saved and the Unsaved
In anticipation of that wonderful day!
As I study your material, I would like to submit a small addition to my most recent communication that I posted to you. As such, I would like to focus your attention on what you have described in your analysis to a questioner, of what you suggest to be the 'nature' of Angels, in your following brief summation regarding this particular subject: http://ichthys.com/mail-Nature-of-Angels.htm
"...Very good to hear from you again. Most conservative scholars (myself included) believe that the sar (often translated "prince") in that passage is not a human being but rather an angelic being, specifically, one of Satan's hierarchy. The devil apparently has always had his own "ambassadors" to all human kingly courts. Politics appears to be his specialty (what a surprise!). The unseen "fighting" these passages represent goes on around us all the time, and will continue to do so until the devil and his angels are incarcerated when our Lord returns."
Therefore, with respect to what you have suggested above regarding the bold text I have highlighted, describing and implying the 'sar' PRINCE of Persia, Prince of Grecia, etc., as ANGELIC BEINGS of Satan's governmental hierarchy, I simply encourage you to then consider this same in respect to the 8th Beast King of Rev. 17:8... They could most likely the same TYPE of Kings, in Satan's hierarchy.
Moreover, there had to be then an equal TYPE Prince of Babylon (the WAS/IS NOT King). However, the man AC is the futuristic 11th Little Horn that rises AFTER and AMONG the other 10 Horns (Dan. 7:8, 24). As such, it can easily be argued then that the former/future 8th Beast King is a completely different TYPE of King then is the 11th Little Horn King.
In summary, Dan. 8:24, reveals that the Little Horn man AC will be powerful but not by his 'own' might.
Daniel 8:24 (KJV)
24 And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people.
Whereas, the questionable Beast of Rev. 13:2 - gets his power from the Red Dragon Satan.
Revelation 13:2 (KJV)
2 And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.
Therefore, it can be reasonably extrapolated here that the Prince of Babylon (the former 8th King - metaphorically wounded/healed head - King/Kingdom) gets his Power and Kingdom from the Dragon Satan, who formally himself held the title of Prince/King of the 7 Heads and 10 Horn Kingdom, and the 11th Little Horn King man AC will get his power from the Prince of Babylon, hence the former/future 8th King who will ASCEND from the Abyss.
Something to chew on.
Regarding your suggestion that the "seven kings" of Daniel and Revelation are angels, I would have to demur (however, see the second paragraph below). In the history of the world, angelic involvement in human affairs has been overwhelmingly of an unseen. These kings, by contrast, will be the visible rulers of the seven Roman provinces / power centers during the Tribulation. For angels to take on this role would be unprecedented in every way. The sariym in Daniel represent Satan's agents working behind the scenes, not out in the open as the actual rulers: there was no visible, single "prince of Greece" at this time; the individual in Daniel is a demon "ambassador" charged with influencing Greek affairs. After all, when the devil and his minions wish to put their hands to things more directly, they seem unable to do so without human or semi-human intermediaries. That is why they use demon possession instead of appearing to us personally. That is why, in my opinion, Satan will give his "power and authority" to his son, antichrist, rather than assuming power as the ruler of the world directly during the Great Tribulation.
It is most likely true, however, that the seven kings (in fact all ten kings and most especially the beast) are Nephilim, that is, half-angelic progeny of the devil and his most trusted lieutenants. The engendering of half-human, half-angelic offspring by the evil one and his minions is something that has not (apparently) happened since the days of Genesis chapter six. The reason for that is the swift divine retribution that fell upon those demons who "kept not their first estate". Those involved in that earlier attempt to corrupt irremediably the entire human race were confined to the darkness of the Abyss, an awful fate for these quondam creatures of light. For the Tribulation, however, the devil will "pull out all the stops", and I think it is fair to argue that the thing that makes all of these 10 rulers and the beast so exceptional, aiding them in their rapid ascension to unheard of power in such a short time, will be the extraordinary qualities they have as half-angelic beings – even though they are from God's point of view horrific "hybrids" in the true etymological sense of that word. This will be especially true of antichrist who will be "the devil's seed" (Gen.3:15).
You can find out more about these things at the following links:
Bible Basics 2A: Angelology
Coming Tribulation 3B: Antichrist and his Kingdom
As to the concluding portion of your email, I do not see a necessary connection. I find the pictures of the horns / kings in Daniel and Revelation completely consistent with each other (please see the links: "Horns and Heads in Revelation and Daniel" and in CT 3B "The Ten Horns of the Beast"). Indeed, they are both a part of the deliberate picture God is giving us of things to come, so that John's vision is, prophetically speaking, one and the same with Daniel's. Revived Rome will consist of two elements, the realm of the seven kings which will come into the camp of antichrist, ruler of Babylon, early on in the Tribulation, and an alliance of three kings (under another "ruler") which will oppose him (unsuccessfully) during the Tribulation's first half. These are the three horns which are uprooted before the little horn of Daniel chapter seven. Just as the little horn is an eighth (and an eleventh), so it is with antichrist whom the little horn represents. He is "an eighth" as the outsider who dominates the seven. What is unique in the picture given to us in Revelation chapter seventeen is the additional information John received about the beast also being "one of the seven", a detail which ties antichrist inextricably to revived Rome (since the other six are the Julio-Claudian emperors). See the link: CT 3B.
Yours in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,
Dear Dr. Luginbill,
I hope you are fine and not in your boat paddling upstream with all the rain you are having. I have a few questions for you.
1) The Muslims are looking for their Mahdi to come, will this be their Messiah and the Christians anti-Christ? If we recognize him as the anti-Christ will there be another who comes to establish the 7 year peace accord that many will falsely think is the true Messiah and lead many into the apostasy that scripture talks about?
Daniel 9:27 "Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; but in the middle of the week he shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall one who makes desolate, even until the consummation, which is determined, is poured out on the desolate"
2Thes 2:3 "Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition"
2) If the third temple needs to be rebuilt on the location where the Muslim Dome of the Rock sits, how do you see this happening? Will the war of Gog and Magog have anything to do with the destruction of their holy site so the temple can be rebuilt or will the man of peace have anything to do with establishing some type of agreement between the Muslims and Jews?
3) Scripture talks about the end times having a one world government, monetary system and religion. Do you see Islam being that one world religion or a godless society? Or do you see scripture saying something else?
Thanks for your help.
Great to hear from you. No, I live in an area called "the Highlands", so named because it was the city refuge during the "great flood". If I start paddling, better look for an ark.
Yes, this is my view, namely, that the actual antichrist, along with the religious-political movement of the beast and his followers will attempt to deflect attention from his true identity by wrongly calling the leader of the three-horn southern alliance "Antichrist". This will prove very deceptive even "for the elect" (if possible), especially since so many Bible-believing Christians are 1) very patriotic (as antichrist will seem to be), 2) very pro-Israel (as antichrist will seem to be), and very confused about what scripture actually says about the end times (a fact antichrist will exploit to the maximum). Under such circumstances, the existence of a seemingly "clear" Antichrist in the Middle East will seem to support the actual antichrist's claims to be "the Christ", the Messiah who delivers Israel (from this Muslim threat). In fact, of course, anyone with a basic knowledge of biblical eschatology should understand that claiming to be "Christ" is a sine qua non and fundamental litmus test for discovering the actual antichrist – since when our Lord returns in glory there will be no need of claims or questions. This is claim (i.e., to be the Messiah) is one I do not expect the Mahdi to make (whatever he will call himself).
It will be antichrist, the ruler of Babylon and the commander of the seven-horn confederacy (which defeats the Mahdi) who will make the treaty referred to in Daniel 9:27. This will all happen at the Tribulation's mid-point, following the second and final defeat of the southern alliance (all these matters are discussed in much detail at the link: CT 3B "Antichrist and his Kingdom")
Gog and Magog are prophetic representations of the beast and his hordes. Ezekiel chapters 38-39 refer to the Armageddon campaign and the millennial aftermath (see the previous link).
As to the rebuilding of the temple, it is certainly true that the temple will need to be rebuilt for all prophecy to be fulfilled. In my view, it will be rebuilt in its essential, simple form by Moses and Elijah during the early days of the Tribulation. The ins and outs of the process are not discussed by scripture. Doing anything about the temple now seems impossible (see the link: "When will the Temple be Rebuilt?"), but we live in a time where the impossible happens all the time and is considered "old news" two weeks later (such is the pace of change). The Tribulation will see an intensification of this trend (both because of the removal of Holy Spirit restraint and because Satan will be "pulling out all the stops" in this last attempt to defeat the Plan of God; see the links). Also, Moses and Elijah will be endowed with tremendous, miraculous powers so that opposing them before their time to depart will be impossible (Rev.11:5). Remember, antichrist, at the pinnacle of his power, will have to "make war" on them in order to remove them as an impediment to his reign in the temple (Rev.11); even then, his "victory" is only possible because God allows it in order to bring this phase of history to His ordained end (see the link: "The Beast's War on the Two Witnesses").
It is certainly possible that the rebuilding of the temple will provide the impetus for bringing the Mahdi to power, inasmuch as the focus of the southern alliance's activity will be the destruction of Israel and the Jewish people. By pretending to be her champion, antichrist will be able to enlist many gullible parties into his ranks, both Jewish and Christian. The treaty signed with Israel by antichrist "for one week in the middle of the week" is the last legal "enabling act", so to speak, that formalizes antichrist's world rule, followed soon thereafter by his session in the temple, the erection of the "abomination that causes desolation", and the commencement of the Great Persecution (all discussed at the link in CT 3B).
As to the future of Islam, in my reading of these matters, Muslims, like adherents of all other religions, will be forced to convert to antichrist's religion at this point (taking the mark of the beast). As I have opined before, that will be less of an issue for most people than it will be for Christians since the beast and his false prophet will construct an elaborate system of syncretic religion whereby antichrist, now at the peak of power beyond any other human being and having demonstrated "his divinity" in many ways, not the least of which will be a pseudo-resurrection following an assassination attempt, will be seen as the "fulfillment figure" for all the world's religions. For the most part, only believers in Jesus Christ will resist the potent combination of persuasive deeds and events on the one hand and unprecedented coercion on the other.
As I say, most of this is covered in CT 3B, but here some links that deal with other aspects of the issues above:
Characteristics of antichrist's false religion, CT 4
False piety of antichrist's false religion, CT 4
The False prophet's administration of antichrist's false religion, CT 4
The tribulational false religion of antichrist I, CT 3A
The tribulational false religion of antichrist II, CT 4
The Two Witnesses, CT 3A
Yours in our dear Lord Jesus, Marana, Tha!
Dear Dr. Luginbill,
Thank you for your reply. I was under the impression that since so many of the political leaders around the world are pushing for the new world order and the one world monetary system that the formation of a one world religion would also be formed. Maybe on the order of what pastors like Rick Warren are pushing and the World Council of Churches. Some universal form of religion that would be acceptable to many and would make everyone happy and make nice with each other. So what scripture is saying is that not until the beginning of the tribulation does this one world church system and the anti-Christ set up his worship of himself?
Another question: If the Lord is the fulfillment of the seven feast of the Lord and He has fulfilled the first 4 why would we not observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, Passover, First Fruits and Sukkoth or Pentecost? As gentiles are we not grafted into Israel? Since Easter is a pagan celebration and should not be observed by Christians should we not, like the apostles, keep those observances honoring our Lord and the symbols they now represent? If not, how do we remember this sacrifice?
One other question. Jesus said "If you love me you will keep my commandments". Why don't we keep the Sabbath based on the lunar calendar and not the Gregorian/solar calendar with Saturday being the Sabbath? This has puzzled me. I realize Jesus is the Lord of the Sabbath but how does that translate to the Lord of everyday and not specifically keeping the 4th commandment? (Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy; sanctified, set apart).
Oops, one more! Scripture says many false Christs and false prophets will come but none of those will be the true Messiah, correct? It will not be the true Messiah until we see Him coming in the clouds as the lighting comes from the east to the west, at the last trumpet and not until then will our Lord return, right? So anything short of that day, do not believe it! I guess that is enough trivia to ask you. Thanks as always for taking the time to answer.
Blessings and peace,
I think you have a point that what has been happening will be an important preface to what happens once the Tribulation begins. Scripture is concerned with the Tribulation and with antichrist in particular when it comes to this issue of the tribulational false religion (and all the studies linked in the prior email approach the issue from that biblical point of view). As I often have occasion to point out, there are no prophecies about the course of events during the Church Age (apart from the trends in the Church itself, covered in Revelation chapters 2 and 3; see the link). Beyond any question, the beast will find all of these incipient forms of false religion and internationalism useful fodder for furthering his designs.
We gentiles are indeed grafted into Israel, true Israel, that is. Of course no one is supposed to be observing the festivals now, Jewish Christians included. Passover has most definitely been fulfilled – it is one of the clearest representations of Christ's sacrifice in the whole Torah. The fall cycle of festivals has not been fulfilled in its eschatological aspects (see the link: The Jewish Ceremonial Calendar), but all these festivals involve sacrifice as well, and that part is most definitely a shadow of the cross. Until the Millennium, animal sacrifice has been invalidated – and forbidden (as the book of Hebrews makes clear; see especially Heb.6:6 and 10:29). And of course this last point shows the impossibility of carrying out any of the festivals now in an acceptable manner – because the temple no longer exists (nor a functioning priesthood, etc.). The Law is precise. It cannot be partially carried out (Jas.2:10). That is part of the whole point – to show any reasonable person that he/she can never be saved by their own devices (cf. Gal.3:19). Trying to re-institute the festivals in a less than acceptable way is to be doubly worthy of censure. Please see the link: "Should Christians celebrate Jewish festivals?" Jesus told us, when speaking of the communion ceremony, "Do this in remembrance of Me". Communion is the only legitimate Christian ritual of remembrance of Him. The festivals and sacrifices say, in effect, He hasn't yet died for us (and you can't have any of the festivals without the sacrifices). This is "crucifying the Son of God afresh" (Heb.6:6).
On the Sabbath, here is what I say in my brief explanation of the ten commandments in SR 5:
4. Keep the Sabbath: guarding the sanctity of the day of rest; trusting God, not ourselves, for provision in this life (cf. Ezek.20:12; 20:20). n.b.: this is the only commandment not repeated in the New Testament. As the book of Hebrews emphatically assures us, specific day observance has been replaced with the reality of continual rest in and reliance on God (in the same way that animal sacrifice has been replaced by the reality of Christ's sacrifice: Heb.4:1-11; cf. Rom.14:5-8; Col.2:16-17). Since the cross, we are to rest in God at all times, not just on one particular day.
I have written quite a bit about this (see the links below). This is a commonly misunderstood issue. The question is not "Saturday or Sunday"; we are now to sanctify Jesus in our hearts everyday (rather than only once a week). The Sabbath was a special time set aside to "put God first"; since the cross, the resurrection and the gift of the Spirit, we are to put Jesus first at all times. The Church Age is not a diminution of the Sabbath -- it is a dramatic expansion of it into every aspect of our lives. Reducing the mandate to walk with Jesus at all times to a one day affair is a critical mistake. Here are the links wherein the details of the above may be found:
The Dangers of Messianic Legalism I
The Dangers of Messianic Legalism II
The Dangers of Messianic Legalism III
Should Christians honor Sunday as the new Sabbath?
Remember the Sabbath to keep it holy.
True Orthodoxy and False Creeds
Finally, you are absolutely correct about the ultimate litmus test for the true Messiah. If we "hear about Him", it's not Him. If we are still here when He returns, we will be "caught up in clouds to meet the Lord in the air" as we experience the living resurrection at Jesus' return (1Thes.4:14-17). So our mind-set has to be "whoever this may be, it is not the Lord", because we will not ever have to worry about even weighing the issue: when He really does come, we will be resurrected without any thinking about it at all.
In anticipation of that glorious day of Christ!
I pray before you respond to my Subject line that all of your schooling did not hide that subject Bible fact. And it is hoped likewise regarding the fact that the antichrist is the Roman Catholic system, not a person. Keep your eyes on Yeshua, who never changed the day of worship, nor the many Bible markers He left for the identity of the antichrist. Constantine's edict of 321 AD was the first to change the day of worship, then the Council of Trent a few years later. But I DO appreciate some of your Bible-consistent positions on the Meshiach, which is a search from where I found your website. We love you. Shalom.
Since you are not asking a question, in keeping with my policy to avoid unnecessary argumentation I will limit my response to what you probably already know. First, it is my position that scripture is extremely clear on the point of the beast being an actual human being (as discussed at some length in the email posting to which you seem to refer: Antichrist: Alive and Well and Living on Planet Earth? – see the link to question #2. Second, I am pleased to have my brothers and sisters in Christ worship Jesus every day, not just on Sunday, or Saturday, or Friday. That is, in my considered opinion, the mandate given to the Church following the gift of the Spirit, namely, the fulfillment of the Law – in respect to the fourth commandment in particular as we now are enjoined to a full-time moment by moment, step by step Sabbath rest in the Lord (see the link: "The Sabbath Rest in Hebrews 4:9").
I most certainly agree that nothing human beings have done or do in the energy of their own flesh has any meaningful affect whatsoever on God's opinion of these things. It matters little to me what Constantine or the Council of Trent or any other emperor or pope or ecclesiastical authority or group or church may choose to do. What matters is the Word of God, and all my positions are based upon what I honestly believe it says and means. I am always happen to defend these positions when asked to do so, for it ought to be the first duty of every Christian to get to the bottom of the entire truth of the scriptures as quickly and as accurately as possible, and we all need to have the flexibility to admit that if we cannot defend what we believe from the scripture to the satisfaction of our consciences informed by the Spirit, then we had better "re-think".
I am certainly happy to revisit and discuss either of these teachings if you wish (or anything else related to the Bible). For now, I will leave you with a heart-felt thank you for your personal search for the truth and also for your kind and encouraging words about this ministry.
In our dear Lord Jesus Christ who is the very truth itself,
How can the sons of God (Gen 6:4) have sexual relations and be fallen angels (Luke 20:34-36)?
Scripture records many things which, because of their supernatural nature, often seem "impossible" to the world. Sometimes these are good, divine actions such as Jesus or the apostles raising the dead or restoring sight to the blind, the animals coming to Noah, the fish swallowing Jonah; sometimes these are bad, satanic actions such as demon possession or the empowerment of false miracles. In all such cases, we may not understand the "how" of it, but, if the Bible says it, then we have to accept the fact of it (that is, if we are truly Bible-believing Christians).
So while it would be wrong for me to speculate unduly about the mechanics how this could possibly happen, I know that demons (the "sons of God" referred to in Genesis chapter six) can do and have done things which we might otherwise not believe possible without the testimony of scripture. For example, they made fire fall out of heaven so as to destroy Job's flocks of sheep and shepherds (Job 1:16). Were it not for the fact that this is in the Bible, we might not think that fallen angels would have the power to do this, or at least that they might not ever be allowed to use their power in this way. But there it is. In truth, there is much we do not know about the true nature of angels, or their history, or their powers (fallen or elect). We only know the (relatively) small amount of information scripture gives us (and most of what I have been able to glean about these matters may be found at the following link: BB 2A: Angelology). The real question is, what happened in Genesis six according to scripture? And on that score, we have plenty of information which is irrefutable – at least if we accept the testimony of scripture.
First, it is very clear from biblical usage that "the sons of God" are angels (Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7; Ps.29:1 [cf. Ps.103:20; 148:2]; and Ps.89:6).
Secondly, any intellectually honest assessment of the context of Genesis six shows clearly that there is cohabitation involved here which produces offspring which are both of a highly unusual origin and capabilities, and are also completely abominable to God (and only the offspring of demons fit this unique combination of circumstances):
1) In Gen.6:1-2, human beings are already procreating, but only after the population expands do these "sons of God" notice the "daughters of men" and "take wives".
2) The mention of the coming termination of the "Spirit's striving" in the next verse places this action by the "sons of God" into a completely negative light.
3) The offspring are "special" and distinct from the rest of humanity in Gen.6:4, and the term used for them "nephilim" is clearly negative here (it means "fallen ones"), and is also negative in the only other place it occurs in scripture (Num.13:33);
4) God's assessment of the earthly situation that comes about as a result of this activity makes clear that this development was horrendous and completely against His will, so much so that humanity now needs to be destroyed (Gen.6:5-7 – except for Noah and his genetically unpolluted family, "perfect in their generation", i.e., without any trace of demonic infiltration: Gen.6:9).
Thirdly, we have three passages in the New Testament which explain what happens in Genesis six as the work of fallen angels:
It was also by means of the Spirit that [Christ] visited the [angelic] spirits in prison (i.e., in the Abyss), and proclaimed [His victory]. [These are the angels who] were disobedient in the days of Noah at the time when God patiently waited (i.e., delayed judgment) while the ark was being built.
1st Peter 3:19-20a
For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but plunged them into Tartarus with its gloomy pits (i.e., the Abyss), preserving them for the [day of] judgment, and did not spare the antediluvian world, but kept safe Noah as a proclaimer of righteousness and the seven with him when He brought the flood upon the ungodly inhabitants of the world, and condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction, reducing them to ashes and making them an example to those bent on similar ungodly behavior, and rescued righteous Lot who was tormented by the depraved lifestyle of those lawless men – for through the things he saw and heard just by dwelling among them this righteous man was damaging his righteous way of life day by day on account of their lawless deeds. For the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment – especially those who in their lust pursue the polluting of the flesh and so despise [God's] divine authority.
2nd Peter 2:4-10a
Although you know all these things, I want to remind you that though the Lord saved [all] His people from the land of Egypt at the first, in the end He destroyed those who proved unfaithful, and the angels who did not keep to their own realm but deserted their proper habitation He has imprisoned with everlasting chains in the gloom below (i.e., in the Abyss) in anticipation of the judgment of that great day, just as He did with Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighboring cities, for they all prostituted themselves in the same manner as these [angels] did, having pursued sexual relations [lit. "flesh"] that were inappropriate for them (i.e., outside of the natural order). [And so it is that] they have been appointed an example, and incurred the penalty of eternal fire.
To the world, all this may seem "illogical", but we are not of the world. It is never a legitimate argument to apply the logic of the world to "prove" that what scripture says clearly is not what it clearly means. At many times, we may have questions about what a particular passage may mean precisely, and it may take study and help and a long time and much effort to get to the truth, but the truth will only be found by resorting to what the scriptures actually do say and really do mean.
The above is a very brief synopsis of what is covered at Ichthys in much greater detail at the following links:
The Nephilim (in SR 5)
The Nature of Angels
Doubts about the Nephilim
Giants and Nephilim
Dinosaurs, the Nephilim and Noah
Antichrist and the Nephilim
The Paternal Origin of Antichrist (Satan's Seed)
Incidentally, this last point, the fact that scripture teaches that antichrist's father is Satan (Gen.3:15: "I shall place hostility between you and the woman, that is, between your seed and her Seed" – i.e., between anti-Christ and the truth Christ), not only shows that this sort hybrid 'creature' is possible, but also makes it theologically necessary as well for the nephilim to be half angel along the beast. That is because Christ most certainly did die for all true human beings, but did not die for antichrist – because the beast, along with the nephilim, is not a genuine human being.
Please feel free to write me back about any of this.
In our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
Thank you for answering me. I was not speaking of my logic or even the world's logic. I am speaking of the words in the Bible. When you say (down in this e mail) "truth will only be found by resorting to what scriptures actually say and really mean".......I heartily agree. But just because (in Job) it states that Satan (an angel) comes WITH the "sons of God" does not mean he IS a son of God. The scripture in Luke 20:34-36 states that those of us who go to be with the Lord when we die....cannot marry because we will be EQUAL with the angels AND will BE "sons of God".... Why would He add " be sons of God" if angels are sons of God....wouldn't that be redundant? and we will be a TYPE of "son of God" that cannot marry or have sexual relations......so if Satan is an angel and angels (according to Jesus) cannot marry....these Genesis 6 "sons of God" cannot be angels....just because Satan came with them in the book of Job.....and they are not the same "sons of God" that we will be. I don't know what or who they are, but they were able to interact with humans even marry them....and if they came in (in Job) with Satan...it is not likely they were "good guys". To actually marry someone the entity would have to live with them on the earth....or take them back where the entity came from...and this interacting with humans was an abomination to God because it obviously perverted the humans and made them extremely evil.
Thank you for taking time with this.
You are most welcome. I certainly did not mean to give offense. In all such matters, I know that when Christians have questions that are "gnawing at them", sometimes one passage or issue tends to get more attention than it should. The first thing I would wish to do is redirect you to the three New Testament passages which are very clear in their interpretation of these events. Indeed, it seems to me impossible to read them in any other way than in the way I have interpreted them for you. When Peter says "God did not spare angels when they sinned" (2Pet.2:4), and connects this directly with the days of Noah (v.5), I think we have our answer loud and clear. Note too, that they these individuals who do the sinning are called "angels", for that is what they are, fallen angels, to be precise. And just as the Bible in this passage can call fallen angels "angels" even though they are not "good angels (and we might have otherwise assumed that only "good angels" could be called "angels"), so in Genesis six it calls fallen angels "the sons of God" even though we might have otherwise assumed that only "good angels" could be called "the sons of God". I have heard some try to argue that "the sons of God" in Job are not angels, but that is clearly untenable to maintain against the context fairly read, even in an English translation. If all we had was 2nd Peter, we could rest on the matter even so. But, as mentioned, both Jude ("the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains"; Jude 1:6 KJV) and 1st Peter ("the spirits in prison . . . who were disobedient" in the days of Noah; 1Pet.3:9-10) explain events in the same exact way: the perpetrators of the illicit acts are angels, fallen angels to be precise, who are incarcerated for their violation as a result.
So while we can have questions about specifics, the underlying truth that this incident was brought on by fallen angels having illicit relations with human women seems to me to be beyond debate, at least if we go by scripture. Luke 20:36 is often brought up as an objection (along with the companion passages in Matthew and Mark), and this point too, as with "the sons of God", is discussed in the links provided previously. The main thing to note is that Jesus' point of comparison is marriage. In the resurrection, there will be no marriage. And there was no divinely approved or recognized marriage in Genesis chapter six verse two either, obviously, because this action on the part of these fallen angels is described as "keeping not their first estate" (or "did not keep to their own realm"). Furthermore, while the English translations of that verse, "took wives" makes it sound like marriage, the Hebrew actually says "took for themselves women". And while it is true that this phraseology is commonly used for marriage in Biblical Hebrew, it does not necessitate marriage, merely cohabitation. In any case, since it was not and could not be sanctioned by God, our resurrection status of "no marriage" is not applicable in any way to what transpired in the actions of certain fallen angels violating God's natural order in Genesis chapter six.
I agree with most of what you say in your last paragraph, and it seems to me that we are probably close on these matters. I do understand that this is a difficult issue to interpret, to grasp, and, for many, to accept. I commend you for your desire to "get to the truth", and I stand ready to answer whatever other questions you may have about this. As I say, these things are treated in detail in the links provided in my previous email. Nevertheless, please do feel free to write me back about any of this. This is a more important subject than is often realized because of the fact that antichrist is prophesied to be one of these hybrids (Gen.3:15; and it is probable that his ten lieutenants will likewise be nephilim). Failing to grasp this point (or being otherwise unable to accept it) will create a vulnerability for believers who are overly impressed when the beast does things that no other human being could possibly do. That will indeed be because is no true human being (he is the offspring of the devil) – but it will most definitely not mean that he is the Messiah (thought that is precisely what he will claim).
In Jesus our dear Lord and Savior,
I have been reading through some of your articles at Ichthys.com, and I am very impressed by your work. As such, I came across your postings on the article, Antichrist: Alive and Well and Living on Planet Earth? It appears that you had answered several feedback concerns from responders with respect to this publication.
If I could briefly ask you a clarifying question concerning your last response to question #16 of the cited page - http://ichthys.com/mail-Antichrist-Alive-and-Well.htm that peaked my interest, from both the summations of you and an unknown responder, it would be most sincerely appreciated. Therefore, with your kind permission I will keep the focus of my concern constrained to the question of where John was proverbially standing in reference to Time in relation to his Beast vision - was it actually the future or his day?
You state the below, as support for your supposition regarding the 'Time Diminson' for which John saw the 8th Beast - whereas you actually suggest it to be in the 'future' tense.
"...so the fact that John sees a beast with seven heads upon whose back rides the whore, Babylon the great, incontrovertibly ties this vision to the future. This "mystery Babylon" (Rev.17:5) did not exist in John's day. Since she is future, and since her punishment is future, and since this vision explains her future role and punishment, the vision itself must ipso facto be future as well."
By all logical reasoning, you seemingly make the weak assumption here that the Whore, Mystery Babylon the Great, incontrovertibly ties this vision of the Beast to the future, whereas we all know that Mystery Babylon with respect to Rev. 17: 9, is the Great City that sits upon ALL seven Mountains of the Scarlet Beast, and the Mountains/Kings of this Beast are to be analytically determined as to their individual identifications. While then what you suggest regarding the identities of these 7 questionable Mountains may in and of themselves actually be true, based on the very outcome of where John was literally positioned in time when he saw the vision of the 8th Beast, there may also be another equally viable alternative, that would prove the Babylonian Whore to be any thing other than incontrovertible to the 'future'. It cannot go then without attention that not only was this 8th King Beast to be a futuristic 8th Beast, he WAS also a past Beast as well, to then be determined. Although, if we would agreeably subscribe to your conclusion that this mysterious Great City is in fact the U.S. City of New York, then of course the Whore did not exist at the time of John's day...but who said all of the Scriptural evidence points to New York anyways? Moreover, you likewise make the determination that the 8th Beast must be in the future, because it is shown to John by One of the 7 Angels (which actual one of the 7 is not identified) who will actually distribute and be involved in the pouring out of the last Bowl Judgments of God upon the earth, of which the Great City Mystery Babylon is a receiver.
"In Revelation 17:1, one of the angels responsible for that judgment says he will show John "the punishment of the great whore". Babylon's punishment is part of the seventh bowl judgment (Rev.16:19)...
Although, a closer look at Scripture reveals that this notion by itself offers little supporting factual evidence but is more of the genre of circumstantial evidence. Rev. 17:1, 3 reveals that one of the seven Bowl Judgment Angels CAME to John and took him in the spirit to an undisclosed 'Wilderness' location. However, there is absolutely no mention nor inference whatsoever that John was taken to another Time Dimension, by this compelling spirit, to be shown the vision of the Beast, but rather was simply taken to another unidentified location. As such, we see this same type of being 'taken to a Wilderness' language in Mat. 4:1, where Jesus Himself was, "...led by the Spirit into the Wilderness," (same greek Wilderness word - erEmon) and was subsequently shown and participated in three spiritual events by Satan, but Jesus Himself is never revealed to have been transported into a new Time Dimension - He just simply changed from one location to another.
Therefore, an example of this argument would be an individual who is scheduled for a later surgery that will be performed by a team of 7 physicians. Prior to the surgery, one of the 7 team physicians, who will actually be involved in the surgical procedure, comes several days earlier, and gets the patient to take him/her to a special room to show them a video of the coming surgery. Now therefore, we must ask, when viewing the video, is the patient actually transported in time into a new dimension that is the literal and actual day of the surgical event itself? Of course not... No more than Jesus was literally transported by Satan to the actual moment of time of the Kingdoms of All the earth, that He experienced while viewing from the exceptionally high mountain. It was a vision.
Following John's vision he was told then by the guiding Angel that he would be instructed as to what he had experienced - past tense.
It is therefore a quantifiable leap to assert that simply because one of the 7 Bowl Judgment Angels, who is a player in the actual fulfillment of the final judgment consequences of the Great Whore, and the one who actually shows John the vision - in the undisclosed Wilderness location, has literally taken John to the futuristic Time Dimension of the 8th Beast itself... Even to the reference point where you suggest the futuristic 8th Beast IS NOT as the 'present tense' of John.
To this end then, what you have stated in your thesis regarding Mystery Babylon and the 8th Beast being incontrovertibly tied to the 'future' is more personal speculation than fact, and therefore, it would appear that more of the burden of proof is on the one who chooses to change the default point of reference of John's Day, to a new present tense point of reference consisting of the Future.
Your kind consideration will be most appreciated.
Good to make your acquaintance. Thank you for your email. The posting you ask about is quite extensive and many arguments are advanced for the proposition that John's vision of mystery Babylon is future, not just the paragraph you quote.
I am not sure I am following your counter-argument clearly. It would help me if you would share with me what or whom you think mystery Babylon is. The reason I say this is that John is very clearly engaged in the act of prophecy here, and prophecy, by its very definition, involves "things to come" (from the Latin pro-fator to say something ahead of time). Prophesy is prediction, divinely inspired here. When Joseph is given the dream of the sheaves bowing down before him, for example, this refers to the future submission of his brothers to him when he is the de facto ruler of Egypt many years hence. So it is with all divinely inspired visions and prophecy. By all rights, therefore, this vision of John's ought to be future too – and so it is. What, after all, would be the point of John getting special information about some historical situation that was already an obvious fact and of which he was already well aware (whatever that might have been)? More than that, what would be the point of having that recorded for us in scripture (other than for historical curiosity)? With the exception of the introductory first chapter, all of the book of Revelation relates to the future. There have been many who have exegeted and interpreted the book over the years, but I believe I am correct in saying that, with the sole exception of a group of secular scholars who do not believe in the book's divine inspiration and who see it as an allegory of present events (i.e., in John's day), everyone else has at least seen the book as a future prophecy (in spite of many other differences in interpretation).
As I say, I am not entirely clear as to the specifics of your objection, and it would be more profitable for both of us in terms of time and effort if you would share with me your precise identification of mystery Babylon which makes the notion of it being future a sticking point.
In Jesus our Lord,
Thank you for your kindness in taking the time to respond to my concern. Since our time is valuable, please permit me to dive right into the weeds here...I do completely agree with you that prophecy by its very definition expounds 'things to come'...your point is well taken.
However, to suggest that the VIEWER of the said prophecy is always transported into the actual and literal 'Time Dimension' and domain of that prophecy is unsupportable and speculative. Therefore, a vision in the spirit does not 'mandate' by any reasonable and logical conclusion, that a relocation to the future actual 'present tense' time dimension involving that vision is sustained.
For example, when one views a television program regarding the future events of the End Times. The viewer is by no means literally transported into the present tense domain of those said portrayed End Time events - cognitively yes by external visual awareness, but literal internal participation - no. Thus, it is what it is - a vision.
Moreover, as stated before, in Rev. 17:3, John was carried in the spirit, by the revealing Angel into the (non definite article THE Wilderness), hence a generic spiritual wilderness. Of course this is in and of itself quite apropos if one is to be shown the future Beast of Destruction. The viewing environment should correspond with the object of attention - wouldn't you agree... Should the Angel have taken John then to Paradise or the Garden of Eden, most likely not? However, there is no support for your assumption suggested here that John's wilderness experience was to literally catapult him spiritually into the actual time dimension and domain of the 8th Beast itself. Thus, as a Bible scholar I think you would readily agree, there is a noticeable and definable difference between seeing the future as an external observer, i.e. Jesus viewing all of the Kingdoms of the World on the high mountain, and that of being in the present tense of the future as an internal active participant of that vision.
Likewise, there is also a measurable degree of speculation in the assumption, that simply because one of the 7 Bowl Judgment Angels was actually the one who showed John the Beast in the wilderness, he is by default and reason of association, then assumed without contest, to be revealing this in his present tense time of his future assignment - the pouring out of the 7 Bowl Judgments. However, those 7 Bowl Judgment Angels all exist in Heaven even as we now speak. Therefore, the above preponderance implies that one adopt the questionable reasoning, that if any of these Angels were to ever speak in revelation of God's Plan to man today, it could only be if the individual to whom they speak is transported to the literal Time Dimension and domain for which they will perform their duties - the pouring out of the last 7 plagues of God upon wicked mankind and the Beast Kingdom.
This is like suggesting that a baseball player who is designated to play ONLY in the 9th inning of the game and being inclusive of 7 collective players (this only goes to show you my infinite wisdom of the game of baseball), in a celebrated up and coming game, comes to speak at a luncheon about events that will transpire during the 9th inning of the well published game - and when he speaks, all of the listeners are immediately and spiritually translated to the literal present tense of the future day of the said game, at the exact time dimension and domain of the ninth inning itself, simply because the one speaking to them is one of the 7 designated players who futuristically will be playing in the 9th inning of the coming game. The logic by reason of association implied here, is glaringly flawed in relation to the hypothesis, and thus becomes dysfunctional and thereby falls apart.
Thus, what you suggest in your brief dissertation on this matter is then premised more to the weaker genre of evidence, i. e., In My Opinion, than the stronger proposition of here is corroborating Scriptural documentation. Although, your supposition does no violence to prophetic interpretation, because this is not a court of jurisprudence, and as we all students of prophecy are well aware, it is not practical to even suggest that the Book of Revelations can be understood without the methodology and instrument of speculation.
Once again thank you for your attentive participation.
I think I now see the issue. I certainly do not hold or believe that John was "transported into the actual and literal 'Time Dimension' and domain of that [future] prophecy". That certainly would be "unsupportable and speculative". However, I have never said this nor suggested it.
John was given a vision of the future, and that is that.
I hope this clears up things up, but please do feel free to write me back if you have other questions.
In the Name of the One who died in our place, our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
With your kind patience and permission, I will happily attempt to briefly clarify my understanding of your advanced argument concerning the actual 'Present Tense' point of reference respective of John's Beast Vision.
The correct determination and placement of John's 'present tense' position, with respect to Rev. 17:8, is nothing less than critical in the final analytical analysis and understanding, of both the identities of Mystery Babylon and the Scarlet Beast that carries her.
As such, I will only address and focus your attention on my concern relevant to John's 'present tense' point of reference as it relates to the actual Vision itself, and not to the Angel's subsequent interpretation of the Vision. Thus, the Beast that WAS and IS NOT and SHALL ASCEND...
Going forward, in determining the valid present tense point of reference, we must note that as a given grammatical rule - whereby the present tense is established, whether it be in the Past, the Immediate Present, or the Future, the presence of the viewer/speaker/etc. is/are incontrovertibly 'tied' to that said point of present tense reference as well.
Therefore, if one finds themselves in a spiritual 'past tense', that point then becomes their anchored 'present tense'. Likewise, if one finds themselves in a spiritual 'future tense', then that point of reference becomes their anchored 'present tense'. Thus, the two go hand in hand, incontrovertibly linked.
To this end, you state as your answer to the unidentified questioner, in Response #13 on the aforementioned article - the following...regarding the actual Time Dimension of the Rev. 17:8 Beast - the 'present tense' (IS NOT) Beast.
"...Whereas the vision, as I have said, has a future anchor (because all it entails is future, whereas the Julio-Claudian line had not yet been expunged at John's writing)..."
Thus, by its very grammatical definition as described above, the viewer/speaker/etc., in this particular instance, John and the revealing Angel, were also by grammatical default of your established point of reference, each anchored in the same future (IS NOT) present tense as the Vision and Beast itself.
For example, if today I am in the present tense of Monday, but I am taken in the spirit into the future tense of Friday, then my presence in the future Friday is now my 'newly' established present tense. Moreover, my former Monday present tense has by default now become my past, and all the other days of Tuesday thru Thursday are equally now in my past as well...Friday then has become my newly established present tense - point of reference.
This is precisely what you are suggesting above. In order for the Angel to have spoken to John regarding the Beast in the IS NOT grammatical vocabulary of the newly anchored FUTURE present tense, of the Vision - "...the Beast that thou sawest WAS and IS NOT..." then both he and John had to equally be anchored in that said FUTURE present tense of the Beast and Vision also. Otherwise, the Time Dimension present tense point of reference (IS NOT), would have been completely non-locatable and therefore meaningless - being grammatically anchored and linked to nothing.
That then being the case, how do you Scripturally support John and the Angel, NOT being anchored in the present tense of John's day (the time of the Roman Empire), and simply seeing/viewing a vision of the Future, (i.e. watching TV, Jesus viewing ALL of the Kingdoms of the World in a moments time atop a high mountain, etc.), and never actually leaving their anchored and established present tense reference of John's day? But rather being transported to a 'future' present tense point of reference, in the Time Dimension of the IS NOT Beast, and thereby rendering their former present tense (John's Day), as their now newly established past.
This is what you have stated, and it is from this cited premise that you build your interpretation...is this analysis correct?
In summary, I readily invite you to please freely explore and challenge my suggested conclusive analysis of your stated supposition regarding this critical 'Present Tense Placement' concern.
I think I can clarify this for you pretty simply. The vision relates to the future; John is in the present (in his day). Whatever relates to John relates to the present; whatever relates to the vision relates to the future. Since it is the beast who is being described, not John, the point of reference is future, not present. For that reason, the "was" means "was" from the standpoint of the appearance of the beast in the future. That is the natural way any contemporary Greek reader would take it, and also squares with biblical prophetic usage.
Hope this helps clear up the confusion.
Yours in Jesus,
Thank you for responding. Your point regarding the Beast being in the FUTURE is unquestionably both recognized and accepted. However, here is what you suggest below qualifying the 'Time Tense' point of reference for the future Beast - the Beast's day.
"...whatever relates to the vision relates to the future. Since it is the beast which is being described, not John, the point of reference is future, not present. For that reason, the "was" means "was" in regard to the appearance of the beast in the future."
Therefore, in your above statement what you are implying is that the PRESENT TENSE point of reference as it relates to the Beast is not that of John's day, but rather a newly established 'present tense' (IS NOT) in the FUTURE time dimension of the Beast's day. Likewise, you infer that the WAS tense is also in this same future time dimension as the Beast's day.
To this end, in relation to the Beast and its subsequent description, you suggest and support TWO completely different PRESENT TENSE points of reference. One for the present tense ONE IS of John's day, and the other the newly established future present tense, the IS NOT, of the Beast's day.
Be that as it may...please allow me to ask this simple question by illustration. If you would come and pick me up and take me up into a high mountain (i.e. Wilderness) and I would there peer from that mountain in a spiritual vision out into the FUTURE, and see a specific Object in that future, when the Object had vanished away and the vision was over, and you the SPEAKER, would then begin to inform me that the, "Object that I had just seen, had existed in the past (WAS), however, it did not exist now at the present time (IS NOT)", where would the PRESENT TENSE of you the speaker be as you explain this vision to me - in the future with the Object (the Beast's day) or in the present tense day where we are standing on the mountain (John's day)?
In light of the above simple example - WHY then would you suggest that both the VIEWER and the SPEAKER of the vision regarding the future Beast, be in the Future PRESENT TENSE time dimension of the Beast's day and not in the PRESENT TENSE time dimension of John's day. As stated, wherever the Present Tense is established, it is there that the SPEAKER will be also...this is the rules of grammer. One cannot grammatically speak in relation to a 'present tense' and they themselves not be in that present tense as well.
Where is/are the supporting Scripture(s) that encourages this 'present tense' time transition of the viewer and speaker into the future, from the simple vision viewing of a future event - while the viewer and the speaker never leave their present tense location of the day of that vision...i.e. watching a END TIME event on TV.
Once again thank you for your kind patience and please feel free to ask any questions of concern.
Yes, this is indeed what I am saying, namely what you describe in your paragraph after quoting my last response, namely, that the "was/is/will-be" are all anchored in the future since they relate to the vision which is of the future. That seems reasonable enough to me (and has to generations of commentators). Whether or not it was confusing to John or would be to someone else who experienced it first hand (hypothetically), is largely a moot point if this is in fact what it means and if this is in fact how we are supposed to interpret it (as I firmly believe; see below).
Anchoring the tenses to the vision of the future may seem to you a bit confusing, but consider the following. John is being told that the beast/Rome-become-revived-Rome will be a marvel because it (and its counterpart, antichrist) will go through a period when they seem to be deceased, but will then revive. That is the feature of the vision and corresponding historical reality which will cause amazement in the unbelieving world (both in regard to Rome which has come back and in regard to antichrist who will seem to have been resurrected). Now if the angel had anchored the tenses in John's time, what he would have had to say in order to get this across would have been arguably much more confusing. For in that case he would have had to say "the beast is, will not be, and will be". The actual wording of Revelation also has the power and impact of using all three relative times, past, present and future, a divinely inspired device which makes the shock of these twin unexpected occurrences all the more vivid.
Since we agree that all these things happen in the future, understanding the relationship of the tenses in a different way than I have described them would change the meaning of the vision dramatically. For in that case, the beast (both the personal beast and the imperial beast) would have had to have existed before John's day ("was"), and would have to be in a non-existent state during John's day ("is not"). The first point would rule out antichrist who certainly did not exist before the first century and who will not and cannot be revealed until the Restrainer moves out of the way: 2Thes.2:6-7 (i.e., "was" cannot in that case apply to him); the second point would rule out Rome-become-revived-Rome, since the Roman empire did exist and was at its height when John was given this vision (i.e., "is not" cannot in that case apply to it). As the beast is clearly both (i.e., antichrist and his kingdom, revived Rome), this cannot be the meaning we are supposed to draw from the use of the three prime tenses here (so the "present anchor" must be discarded).
I know of no serious exegete of scriptures who would exclude both antichrist and the prophesied seven-horn confederacy he comes to rule from the meaning of the word "beast" in Revelation. And if the word "beast" does not have that meaning here, it cannot have it anywhere else in the book (an eventuality which would befuddle any defensible interpretation of the book).
So despite potential confusion, the wording does indeed work, and to my way of thinking it makes much more sense and is less confusing than the unworkable alternative.
Hope this helps to clarify.
Yours in our dear Lord Jesus,
Thank you for taking the time to respond to my concern. PLEASE be patient with me for just a smidgen longer. To briefly reiterate, as we both have agreed, you suggest that with respect to Rev. 17:8 and the WAS - IS NOT, time tenses of the Beast, that John and the Angel are viewing and speaking from the newly established 'present tense' (IS NOT) of the Beast's day, and not from the present tense of John's day.
That being said, please allow me to make a brief observation regarding ONLY your advanced argument on this particular part of the explanation of the Vision, and NOT on the subsequent description of the Beast itself, that was immediately given to John by the Angel, following his, "The Beast that you sawest, WAS and IS NOT, and SHALL ascend from the Abyss..." statement.
When John saw the Beast in your suggested FUTURE Present Tense, after his vision of the Beast had ended, the Angel informed John that the Beast that he had just experienced, did NOT even EXIST in this future present tense (IS NOT) at that particular time, but had existed at some point in the past (WAS), and would ascend from the abyss at some point in the future - your stated future beyond John's present tense of the Beast's day he had actully experienced. Therefore, while John was then in the suggested future Beast's day, he was not actually in the literal day of the Beast itself, when the Beast would literally exist on earth. Thus, John was in the Beast's day somewhere in a future present tense (IS NOT), before the actual literal day of the Beast.
To this end, as Rev. 17:3 reveals John had been taken by the Angel in the spirit into a 'Wilderness' - a desert/desolate/solitary place. John therefore was in a spiritual place/location where he had absolutely no mentioned geographical surroundings, identifiable landmarks, ANYTHING, etc., whereby he could establish a fixed anchored position as to just where in this furture present tense of the IS NOT Beast Time Dimension, he actually was...he was simply somewhere in a future present tense, without any surronging or supporting relationship to justify and tell him actually where he was in time...he was just SOMEWHERE in future.
Thus, would you agree with me that at this above specified point in time, where John was in the wilderness - without any further description to John by the Angel regarding the Vision, Rev. 17:9-11, that the WAS (past) and IS NOT (future present tense) time tenses, were ABSOLUTELY 'meaningless' to John, "The Beast that you sawest, WAS and IS NOT, and SHALL ascend from the Abyss...?" As stated, John had NOTHING in this future wilderness experience, whereby he could fix and establish his future PRESENT TENSE position, or for that matter, the stated WAS past tense either.
Therefore, would you also equally agree with me then, that the WAS and IS NOT time tenses of your suggested future tense Vision, that were truely at this point in time meaningless to John, absent any further description - that it was the very subsequent description of the literal SAME said Beast of Rev. 17:8 (the WAS/IS NOT/SHALL ASCEND) by the Angel to John, that would actually reveal just where John's WAS and IS NOT (present tense) were to be positioned and established in time?
In summary, John simply would have asked the question we all would have logically asked - OK Angel you have told me that this future Beast did NOT EXIST in the future present tense (IS NOT) I was shown, but he DID EXIST (WAS) at some point in the past...could you please be so kind as to tell me where the anchored future PRESENT TENSE (IS NOT) I was shown in the Vision actually is? Likewise Angel, where is the cited WAS positioned in time as well, because I was certainly not shown where these time positions were to actually be established in the Vision? At this point Angel this is all I know, "The Beast that you sawest, WAS and IS NOT, and SHALL ascend from the Abyss...?" Therefore Angel, just where in time is the WAS and IS NOT I was shown in the Vision?
Then the Angel begins to explain the Beast...
The 8th Beast King (the SAME Beast of Rev. 17:8) is in the SAME CONTINUED SEQUENCE of 7 Kings that are revealed to John by the Angel, with all of their EXISTENCES being referenced and anchored to the Time Dimension Present Tense of John's day. (Rev.17:10-11).
Your understanding of what I am saying as related in your first paragraph is correct. The vision of the beast in chapter 17 occurs after the commencement of the Great Tribulation and before the fall of Babylon and the Second Advent. As such, it is meant to sum up prophetically all the main characteristics of the reign of antichrist and his kingdom. Both antichrist (in his pseudo-death and resurrection) and his kingdom (in its millennium-plus long hiatus) came "not to be"; this was true of the imperial beast up until the early days of the Tribulation, and true of antichrist for a short period right after the Tribulation's mid-point. The point of the "is not" is the remarkable change of status each beast enjoys, and that is what excites the awe and wonder of the unbelieving world. So this is hardly "meaningless" to John. The beast has not only been introduced to him already (chapter 13) but is also clearly the same as Daniel's famous fourth beast. John would have known very well also about antichrist (he writes about him in both first and second John), and would have been in no doubt therefore about the relationship of this beast both to the eschatological evil ruler of the world and his to his future kingdom. The purpose of the use of "was/is not/will be" is to showcase the demise and "resurrection" of the evil ruler and his evil kingdom. That is, as far as I can see, moreover, the only reason why the angel says this in this way.
As to the phrasing "eighth", the actual Greek text of Revelation 17:11 reads as follows:
And [as to] the beast which was and is not, this is the eighth [king] and he is [also] one of the seven, and he is going to [his] destruction.
The meaning (in Rev.17:11) is all about the about the personal beast, not his kingdom, and in this regard there are two important pieces of information given to us here: 1) antichrist is the eighth, meaning that in some respect he is an addition to the college of seven rulers, and 2) antichrist is "one of the seven", meaning that in some respect he is a natural part of a college of seven. In regard to the former (i.e., as "eighth"), he is connected to the rulers of new Rome, but is outside in an important way: there are only seven rulers but he is an eighth (i.e., he rules over them as Babylon rules over revived Rome). The little horn that came up after the ten horns on Daniel's beast and displaced three horns is the same as the eighth here: the eighth represents antichrist as the ruler of Babylon not originally from new Rome and only of new Rome by way of his domination of it. In regard to the latter (i.e., as "one of the seven"), antichrist is number seven in a sequence. We know that this is the sequential part of the prophecy because "five have fallen, one still exists". This sequence refers to the Julio-Claudian emperors whose power has been unique in world history. Nero, number six (Julius Caesar, not Augustus, was the first) was still alive when John wrote. The beast will be the seventh in respect of this sequence of personal rulers who are unique in their power and position. This information not only demonstrates the astounding level of power antichrist will (briefly) enjoy, but also connects him incontrovertibly to Rome (and revived Rome).
There is much more on the last paragraph at the following links:
Antichrist and Babylon
Antichrist's National Origin (in CT 3B)
Things to Come II: Genesis Rapture, Daniel's Weeks, Seven Kings
The Seven Kings
Yours in Jesus our dear Lord,
Thank you for taking the time to respond. As I study your most recent and appreciated response, would you please be so kind as to explain your translation of the highlighted greek word 'eis' G1519, and your implied subsequent personal pronoun (his) in relation to Rev. 17:8?
"...And [as to] the beast which was and is not, this is the eighth [king] and he is [also] one of the seven, and he is going to [his] destruction."
My question involves, does the 8th King Beast go 'TO' his LOCATION of 'destruction' - i.e. his demise, or does he go 'INTO' his VOCATION of 'destruction' - i.e. he is the destroyer?
Likewise, here is something to consider...when we view Rev. 12:3, 9, we see a very similar symbolic 7 Head 10 Horned Red Dragon Beast, as that of Rev. 17:3. While the overall construct and configuration of this described Red Dragon Beast is by non verbal implication, no less a Kingdom, i.e. heads/horns, the main 'focus' however of the said identification of the Dragon, is not on the Kingdom aspect of the Red Dragon, but on the Beast itself - the Red Dragon, which is clearly identified as the Devil, the angel Satan. Hence, a 'singular' demonic spirit TYPE of Beast.
Therefore, in Rev. 17:3 as stated, we have a repeat of this very same 'TYPE' of symbolic 7 Head 10 Horned Beast - while I suggest they are not by any means one and the same Beast, they are nonetheless, of the same type of singular Beast. Thus, it can easily be extrapolated then that if Rev. 17:3, 9 is a singular Beast (Satan), then also is the 8th King as well a singular Beast. Moreover, we must also not overlook the Scriptural fact that this futuristic 8th King Beast will ASCEND from the Abyss, which should be considered just as the Scripture states - a literal Abyss and not a figurative/metaphoric Abyss.
Thus, a figurative Abyss is simply one's own personal interpretative opinion, but by no means is it mandated, nor actually supported for that matter, by the Scriptural context itself.
To this end, then what TYPE of Beast is this future risen, Abyss 8th King to actually be?
This in and of itself can shed a whole new light on the questionable WAS/IS NOT (past-present tense) argument in relation to John's day vs. the Beast's day.
This passage is just as simple in the Greek as it is in English. It means that the beast will be destroyed. Consider:
I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld [even] till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame.
Daniel 7:11 KJV
As this passage demonstrates by associating the little horn and the beast, this destruction will of course be true both of antichrist (the little horn) and his kingdom. Both will come to an end when Jesus returns. Antichrist will be thrown alive into the lake of fire (Rev.19:20); his kingdom will be immediately replaced by the Messiah's kingdom:
While you were watching, a rock was cut out, but not by human hands. It struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and smashed them. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were broken to pieces at the same time and became like chaff on a threshing floor in the summer. The wind swept them away without leaving a trace. But the rock that struck the statue became a huge mountain and filled the whole earth.
Daniel 2:34-35 NIV
In anticipation of those wondrous things to come!