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Offline DanielConway

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The Two Beasts of Revelation 13 Identified
« on: Wed Nov 20, 2019 - 12:46:42 »
Hi.  Here is a paper I wrote a few years back that maps the first and second beasts of Revelation 13 onto the early pagan and later Christian Roman Empires respectively.  Pleas excuse the condition of the manuscript, it is a bit marked up.

<link removed as per forum rules>

« Last Edit: Mon Dec 09, 2019 - 09:36:24 by Alan »

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The Two Beasts of Revelation 13 Identified
« on: Wed Nov 20, 2019 - 12:46:42 »

Offline 3 Resurrections

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Re: The Two Beasts of Revelation 13 Identified
« Reply #1 on: Mon Dec 09, 2019 - 09:12:06 »
Hi DanielConway,

First of all, welcome to the forum as a new poster.  Lively discussions all around to give variety and good fellowship.

You have entered this post in the debate section, so I presume you are inviting some critique.  I read through the introduction pages of your link, and have some comments.  We are certainly capable of using scripture to identify who these two Beasts of Rev. 13 are.  It need not remain a mystery.

To confirm that the first Sea Beast kingdom is indeed linked with the Roman Empire, we compare Rev. 13:2 with Rev 2:13.  The key that identifies that Sea Beast as Roman in origin is that the Sea Beast was given the “Seat of the Dragon” (the same as “that old serpent, which is the Devil and Satan).  This “Seat of Satan” - his “throne” - was IN THE CITY OF PERGAMOS. 

We have a record of when that entire Pergamon empire with its capital city of Pergamos was given to the Roman Republic.  The last dying king of the Pergamon empire, Attalus III, had no heir to pass his kingdom to except his powerful ally, the Roman republic.  His will that was recorded in the Roman Senate bequeathed his entire Pergamon kingdom to Rome in the year 133 BC. 

Pergamos was heavily into idolatry, or the “worship of devils” as scripture would say, which is why Rev.2:13 said that Satan dwelled there in the city of Pergamos.  Satan’s  “throne” where the faithful Antipas was martyred was the 40 foot high altar to Zeus on top of a mountain peak in Pergamos.  This alter was dismantled and reassembled in Berlin’s Pergamon museum where it resides today.

Conclusion:  the Roman Empire was the then-present identity of the Sea Beast which had been given the “Seat of Satan” in the city of Pergamos where Satan dwelled in John’s days.

I would have to deny your deduction from your paper that the second Rev. 13 Beast kingdom coming from the earth was a later version of the Roman Empire, as I think I understand you to say.  Here is why that can’t be a possibility according to scripture.  That second Beast from the earth in Rev 13 “exercised all the power of the first Beast BEFORE IT”, meaning “in front of it“ or IN ITS VERY PRESENCE.   The Greek word used is “enopion”, referring to being in the actual eyesight of someone. This face-to-face operation of the Land Beast was done “IN THE SIGHT OF” the Sea Beast.  In other words, these two Beasts were contemporary at some point.

In real time, this is how that played out in the first century as John was writing.  The high priesthood with its two-horned power structure of the Sadducees and the Pharisees (the Land Beast coming from the land of Israel) cooperated with the Roman Sea Beast by enforcing the submission of their own people to their Roman overlords.  They did this, as Caiaphas said, to maintain “their place and their nation”, and to keep the constant flow of wealth pouring into the temple - and into their own pockets.  Jesus rightly called them “liars” in John 8, and told them they were of their father the Devil. In other words they deceptively “spoke like a Dragon”. 

In “calling down fire from heaven”, this was the role of the high priest - to maintain the constant fire burning on the altar that was originally kindled by God Himself with fire from heaven when the tabernacle was first set up.

The Land Beast performed these signs “IN THE SIGHT OF THE BEAST”, or in the Sea Beast’s very presence.   This was absolutely, literally true.  The temple with the Land Beast officiating from it was situated on Mount Zion’s location with the waters of the Gihon Spring channeled through it.  The Roman Sea Beast was located directly opposite the Temple, with the Roman troops living in the massive Fortress of Antonia (which we mistakenly call the “Temple Mount” today) overlooking the Temple grounds adjacent to it.

Conclusion: the second Land Beast of  Rev. 13 was the corrupt high priesthood composed of deceptively-speaking Sadducees and Pharisees. 

Offline DanielConway

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Re: The Two Beasts of Revelation 13 Identified
« Reply #2 on: Mon Dec 09, 2019 - 18:19:47 »
First, thank you for responding to my post.  If the numbers are correct there have been a lot of lookers but you are the first to say something.  OK, in defense of my identification of the the second beast of Revelation 13 as the later Roman Empire, lets explore the attitude of the later empire towards the pagan empire that preceded it.  Diocletian and Constantine both knew that their reconstituted empire was a palpably weaker break with the past.  They could no longer relay on the terror of Roman arms to keep the provinces from breaking away.  They compensated for this by extending Roman Citizenship and all the honors that accrued to it to the entire population.  The thing of it was, citizenship in the new empire didn't count for nearly as much as citizenship in the old empire did, so they had to rely on a worshipful nostalgia of the old empire as a sop.  Constantine might very well have said "you are living in the sight of your Imperial past", or something very much like it.  A subtle reading, I know, but not without merit when you consider the analogues employed by apocalyptic literature.
     I had originally intended to end my post with that but I will add a post script.  If you believe in scriptural consistency, then you must seriously entertain the idea that the second beast of Revelation 13 was a kingdom that followed pagan Rome.  That is how successively arising beasts are interpreted in Daniel.
« Last Edit: Mon Dec 09, 2019 - 18:35:14 by DanielConway »

Offline 3 Resurrections

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Re: The Two Beasts of Revelation 13 Identified
« Reply #3 on: Tue Dec 10, 2019 - 00:20:04 »
Hi again DanielConway,

There’s just one problem with trying to identify a Beast kingdom that followed AFTER the 4th kingdom of Daniel’s visions: THERE AREN’T ANY MORE AFTER THAT 4th ONE. 

Even if we look at Daniel’s  statue of a man composed of the 4 various metals that were replicated by the corresponding 4 Beast kingdoms - the Chaldean, Medo- Persian, Greek and Roman kingdoms - even then there are no more kingdoms beyond the time of that 4th Roman one. 

The iron element of Daniel’s statue representing Rome was pictured in the vision as extending all the way from the legs down into the feet and toes of the image.  What we see with the miry clay blended with the iron in the feet of Daniel’s image is a duplicate of the cooperative second Beast of Rev. 13 coming out of the earth (the land of Israel) that labored to work on behalf of and in support (and in the sight of) the first Sea Beast of Rev. 13.  The clay never really blended with the iron very well, just as the nation of Israel’s high priesthood and her leaders did not cleave to Rome after the rebellion started in AD 66.

It is the kingdom of Christ - the stone cut without hands - that crushed all of the Satanic world’s power that had operated within all those 4 kingdoms and reduced them to dust that blew away on the wind back in the first century.  Satan had formerly boasted to Christ in Luke 4:5-6 that the kingdoms of the world were his, and the power and glory of them.  Once Christ had destroyed Satan, He confiscated all those kingdom powers forever.

We are presently living in the New Covenant age when that stone is growing into a great mountain that will fill the earth.  Don’t expect any more Beast Kingdoms to arise in the world, because scripture doesn’t present us with any more like them to come after Christ’s kingdom crushed the others.

Offline DanielConway

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Re: The Two Beasts of Revelation 13 Identified
« Reply #4 on: Tue Dec 10, 2019 - 08:30:46 »
I don't expect anymore beast kingdoms and I accept that we are living in a new covenant during which Christ's kingdom will grow until he returns, but what if the feet of iron mixed with clay was representative of the later empire?  Consider, the later kingdom was a brittle empire who's constituents never really blended despite the best efforts of the emperors to bring this about.  It was divided into Latin and Greek halves, and basically ended with the fall of Rome in AD 410.  The problem with identifying the feet of iron and clay as an mixture of Roman power and the Jewish priests supporting it is that the construct does not extend beyond the borders of then Israel, and to be consistent any segment of Daniel's statue must represent an international power that dominated the then known world.

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Re: The Two Beasts of Revelation 13 Identified
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Offline DanielConway

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Re: The Two Beasts of Revelation 13 Identified
« Reply #5 on: Tue Dec 10, 2019 - 09:29:26 »
I noticed that the moderator did not allow my outside link, possibly because it advertised a book with an offensive tittle near the link to my work.  Here is another link to my paper where it is posted on another christian site and should not contain anything offensive.   

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3.3 You will not be able to post external links (defined as URLs to links off this site) until you have a post count of 20.

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« Last Edit: Tue Dec 10, 2019 - 10:34:29 by Alan »

Offline 3 Resurrections

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Re: The Two Beasts of Revelation 13 Identified
« Reply #6 on: Tue Dec 10, 2019 - 12:04:30 »
Hey again DanielConway,

Don’t worry about your link not being allowed to be posted yet...just hang in there and prove that you aren’t a drive-by spammer by putting up a handful more of reasonable posts, and you can soon start showing the links you want us to see.

It’s good that you also can affirm that we are operating in the age of the New Covenant, but don’t you see?  If you can claim that this New Covenant age of Christ the Stone is now steadily growing in size, then to stay consistent with Daniel’s vision, this proves that the entire statue was ALREADY CRUSHED TO DUST back when the heavens and earth were both shaken back in the first century.   

This is proved by Hebrews 12:26, which said that God had “NOW” promised to that generation back then that He was going to shake the heavens and the earth and REMOVE anything that could be shaken, such as all the physical remaining elements of the Old Covenant age worship system, and the powers of Satan over the kingdoms of the world.

You see, there is a sticky problem that Daniel’s crushed image gives us.  ALL these kingdoms appear to be crushed SIMULTANEOUSLY by the SINGLE BLOW from Christ the stone cut without hands.  This limits our interpretation of what the one-time-event destruction of this image means.  Since each of these kingdoms in a physical sense were phased out of existence one after another over a period of many centuries, then we must look for another interpretation than simply the governing structure alone of the nations themselves being destroyed all at one time by Christ the stone. 

From Daniel and other OT texts, we know that there was a type of “spiritual wickedness in high places” of demonic forces operating within the kingdoms of the world, such as the demonic “prince of Persia” in Daniel 10 who had been resisting the angel sent to speak to Daniel.  These forces of SPIRITUAL WICKEDNESS that had been corrupting all the various kingdom nations - the kingdoms that Satan had boasted about to Christ in the wilderness - all of these demonic powers including Satan their leader were crushed to dust when that first-century shaking process was over.

Romans 16:20 was God’s promise to the saints of that day that “the God of all peace shall CRUSH Satan under your feet SHORTLY.”  This was the anticipated crushing of the powers of all those kingdoms in Daniel’s statue SIMULTANEOUSLY.  It is actually immaterial how long it took the government structure of the Roman Empire itself to be phased out in later centuries.  That’s not the important thing.  The important thing is that humanity has been relieved of the presence of any Satanic or demonic evil under the New Covenant age.

Even though all 4 empires of Daniel’s statue were world-dominating in the physical sense, in the SPIRITUAL SENSE, the Satanic realm also truly WAS an “international  power that dominated the then known world”, just as you said.  As I John 5:29 said to his readers back then, “We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.”  Thankfully, Christ the Stone has eliminated this threat for us under the New Covenant age.  What is left today to plague the world is the wickedness originating from men’s hearts - which is bad enough.

Offline DanielConway

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Re: The Two Beasts of Revelation 13 Identified
« Reply #7 on: Tue Dec 10, 2019 - 15:24:17 »
If Christ's victory was total and instantaneous, how do you explain 1st Corinthians 25-26 "For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. 26The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. "  This explicitly implies the growth of Christ's kingdom is gradual and culminates with a climactic event at the end of time that results in the end of death.  This time frame more than allows for the appearance of a reconstituted if weaker Roman Empire that collapses some time in the past.

Offline 3 Resurrections

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Re: The Two Beasts of Revelation 13 Identified
« Reply #8 on: Thu Dec 12, 2019 - 00:29:46 »
Hi DanielConway,

Sorry for the delay getting back to you...I had holiday workroom deadlines.   Plus I am in the process of digging a crawl-way space with a mattock and shovel for a room addition, and I don’t mind telling you that I am exhausted.

You asked how I explain “For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.  The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.”

Actually, this verse does not mention the “destruction” of death; it mentions the ANNULMENT or the ABOLISHING (katargeo) of death, which is slightly different than being destroyed.  To annul or abolish is to render something ineffective.  Remember, we do have that one verse in II Timothy 1:10 that says “but is NOW made manifest by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who HATH ABOLISHED DEATH,” (past tense) “and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.”  So in one sense, Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection accomplished the annulment of death already, as Paul said.

In real time, though, as you have said, the final annulment of death will take place at the close of human history.  At the final  judgment, before death is no more an occurrence, God will first use death to judge the wicked with it when they perish, both body and soul; and in this process, God’s universe will be purified from the existence of any wicked beings in it.

However, this end-of-human-history occasion is NOT the same as the “Lake of Fire” event, because that has already taken place in AD 70 in the city of Jerusalem, which was experiencing its “SECOND death” at that time.  (This was almost an exact duplicate of its first death under the Babylonian invasion in 586 BC.).  Satan and every unclean spirit was imprisoned in the city of Jerusalem then (as Rev. 18:2 and Isaiah 24:21-22 says), when God destroyed them all in His “furnace of fire” which is in Jerusalem, according to Isaiah 31:9.

Once God destroyed the Satanic realm totally and turned their leader Satan literally into ashes (Ez. 28:18-19), Satan’s kingdoms of this world passed to Christ, just as Rev. 11:15 predicted.  The fulfillment of that prophecy was “AT HAND” in the days John was writing, (Rev.1:3, and 22:10), so this is a long-finished event. “Rule thou in the midst of thine enemies”, God directed His Son in Ps. 110:2, and He is doing just that to this day, with that unbroken iron rod that symbolizes His forever-existing kingdom.

And since any children of God are “in Him”, we, too, as overcomers are promised a share in shepherding the nations with that rod of iron along with Christ, as Rev. 2:26 told us.

Ever since the full establishment of this New Covenant age, it has become immaterial how many nations rise and fall; the kingdom of Christ that we are in supersedes any of them.




 

Offline DanielConway

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Re: The Two Beasts of Revelation 13 Identified
« Reply #9 on: Thu Dec 12, 2019 - 08:04:40 »
I really take issue with your construct on Satan's fate having culminated with his destruction in Jerusalem in AD 70.  Any objective (and I mean objective) reading of Revelation 20 places the casting of Satan into the lake of fire at the end of the thousand year reign of Christ, which we are currently in.  You cannot push the thousand year reign to a period prior to the destruction of Jerusalem without denying the plain meaning of the text, whether you quote the text in English, Greek or Hebrew.  This is the principle issue I have with the AD 70 preterists.  They cannot escape the plain import of the Millenium without doing serious injustice to the chronology of the apocalypse.

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Re: The Two Beasts of Revelation 13 Identified
« Reply #10 on: Thu Dec 12, 2019 - 10:51:55 »
Hey again, DanielConway,

May I say I really appreciate the civil tone you use, even when voicing your firm objections to the type of Preterist views I am presenting.  Not all posters use the same restraint when opposing this position.  They remind me somewhat of Saul /Paul’s behavior before his Damascus road conversion.  “ ...and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities.”

We both agree that it’s plainly stated that Satan was cast into the Lake of Fire sometime AFTER the millennium is concluded.  We also probably agree that Satan is released for a “short time” and a “little season” AFTER the millennium expires, and before his destruction in that Lake of Fire (as Rev. 20:3 stipulates for us).

Now, just when was that “short time” and “little season” to take place?  Revelation 12:12 tells us point blank.  “For the Devil *IS* COME DOWN UNTO YOU” (*present* tense for John’s readers of the first century), “having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.”  That’s a PRESENT TENSE “SHORT TIME” for the devil to operate as a “roaring lion” during those first-century days, before he would be destroyed.  Guess what?  That means that the millennium HAD to have expired BEFORE John wrote those words, according to the chronology laid out in Rev. 20 for the fate of the Devil and his activities before then. 

I believe this millennium was a LITERAL thousand-year time period of physical temple worship launched by King Solomon before it expired with the advent of Christ’s SPIRITUAL TEMPLE made of “living stones”.  In real time, this millennium started with Solomon laying the FOUNDATION STONE for the temple in 967/ 968 BC, until Christ became the TRUE FOUNDATION STONE of the True Temple with His resurrection in AD 33.  That’s a LITERAL thousand years total, that ENDS with the “First Resurrection” of Christ and that relatively small “remnant of the dead”, which was the Matt. 27:52-53 group of 144,000 “First-fruits”.

As to how long we define the duration of “a short time” and “a LITTLE SEASON”, all we need to do is compare just how long scripture considers a comparatively “LONG SEASON” to be.  The FORTY-YEARS of wilderness wanderings for Israel was called a “LONG SEASON” in Joshua 24:7.  “And ye dwelt in the wilderness a long season”.  Compare this with Joshua 5:6.  “For the children of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness...”.  By this comparison, we can tell that the Devil’s “LITTLE SEASON” by scripture’s definition should have lasted sometime less than forty years.  By my deductions, Satan was loosed to deceive the nations on a massive scale from Christ’s resurrection and ascension in AD 33 until the Devil was imprisoned in Jerusalem (Rev.18:2) when the war began in AD 66.  That’s about 33 years total for the Devil to make his last “Hail Mary pass”, so to speak, at deceiving the nations.   

Significantly, the bulk of the New Testament gives a constant warning against the saints being deceived; the Devil was working overtime during that period after Christ’s ascension, because he knew his time was limited.

« Last Edit: Thu Dec 12, 2019 - 11:06:45 by 3 Resurrections »

Offline DanielConway

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Re: The Two Beasts of Revelation 13 Identified
« Reply #11 on: Thu Dec 12, 2019 - 12:26:25 »
You are performing textual contortions.  Had the reference to the devil coming down to you been a reference to Satan's arising out of his prison the text surely would have read "the devil has come up to  you".  Furthermore, the text clearly states that the beast and the false prophet are cast into the pit before the beginning of the millenium.  Even if I accept your assertion that the beast and the false prophet correspond to the Roman Empire and Imperial worship, which I do not, but lets say for the sake of arguement that I do, It is impossible by your own construct to project the millenium back beyond their fall.  Either the millenium is literal and it ended somewhere around 1500 AD (which some Roman Catholics believe  given their dim view of the Reformation) or the thousand years is figurative for a very long time and we are still in the midst of it (Yes, the dispensationalist view is out there, but we both reject that).  Additionally, the text states that Christ and his saints shall reign during this period. I accept that God is always soverien, but how does Christ and his saint's reign begin before his earthly reign and resurrection? Take a moment and think, the great dividing line in the history of creation is Christ's incarnation, crucifixion and resurrection, not a relatively trivial event like the construction of Soloman's temple.

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Re: The Two Beasts of Revelation 13 Identified
« Reply #12 on: Thu Dec 12, 2019 - 15:34:05 »
Your quote: “The great dividing line in the history of creation is Christ’s incarnation, crucifixion, and resurrection, not a relatively trivial event like the construction of Solomon’s temple.”

ABSOLUTELY. 

And THAT statement is what I have based my entire paradigm around.  Rev. 20’s millennium of physical temple worship was only a type - by comparison a “trivial” type - compared to the later glorious  anti-type fulfillment of Christ being the “chief cornerstone” of the True Temple set up at His resurrection.

The “First Resurrection” of Christ the First-fruits, (and that Rev. 20 “remnant of the dead” composed of the First-fruits saints raised with Him) was truly the crucial, pivotal point of all prophecy.  Everything prophetic in scripture either looked FORWARD to that single event or BACKWARD to that event in AD 33.

As for the fine distinction you are placing between “the Devil is come DOWN unto you” as opposed to him supposedly coming UP out of the abyss, I am relying on scripture’s revealing that Satan was cast DOWN out of heaven to the earth after Christ’s ascension, to harass the inhabitants of the earth and the sea for a short time.   

Christ Himself foretold this at the Last Supper in John 12:31. “NOW is the judgment of this world; NOW shall the prince of this world be cast out.”  Cast out of heaven with his devils down to the earth, that is, just as the flashback of Rev. 12:9 rehearsed what had already happened at Christ’s resurrection- day ascension to the Father.

You are presuming that the “bottomless pit” is an actual physical location that Satan can arise upward out of it.  Actually, the “bottomless pit” or the “abyss” is more or less a CONDITION - not a LOCATION per se.  Christ Himself was in that “abyss” in Romans 10:7, meaning that His physical body was in a non-functioning condition while in the grave for 3 days and nights.

The “abyss” that Satan was cast into for a literal thousand years was that his deceptive powers could not function as they had done before.  His deception was seriously curtailed by that “chain” during that period of physical temple worship.  That’s because the nations were given the huge increase of revelatory ministry of the prophets during that time.  Plus the visual demonstration of Solomon’s temple and the peace of his kingdom that highlighted the worship of God for all the nations around them to see.  (King David’s prophecy about Solomon in Ps. 72 (LXX) highlights the beginning of the millennium when Solomon would “...bring low the false accuser...”, the same “accuser of the brethren” being Satan, that is.

You might agree that Christ’s reign was never said to be limited to a thousand years.  The time limit was on SATAN’S ability to deceive, not on Christ’s ability to reign.  As scripture has it, “Thy THRONE is established OF OLD; thou art from everlasting.”

You have stated that the Beast and False prophet are cast alive into the Lake of Fire BEFORE the millennium.  That idea presumes that Rev. 20 MUST follow consecutively after the events of Rev. 19.  It doesn’t.  It’s a pattern of recapitulation writing technique that John employed all throughout his book.  The  different versions of judgments listed within Revelation each cover roughly the same time period, only from multiple different angles.  Rev. 19 tells of the final conflict from the 2 BEASTS’ perspective.  Rev. 20 does this from SATAN’S side of the story, but with both renditions of the story ending in the same fiery climax.

You asked just how the saints could reign with Christ before His (earthly) reign and resurrection.  Actually, to “reign with Christ” never requires a physical throne on earth for either us or Him.  Remember the Psalms,  “Say among the heathen that The LORD REIGNETH”, which was then a PRESENT TENSE reign for the Lord, even back in the Old Testament days.  The Old Testament saints by their faithful standing as children of God were “reigning in life” just as surely as the New Testament saints were AFTER Christ’s resurrection was an accomplished part of history.

Here’s how Romans 5:17 illustrates the kind of “reign” that Rev. 20:4 was talking about.  “For if by one man’s offense death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall REIGN IN LIFE BY ONE, JESUS CHRIST.”  How could anyone say that the faithful Abraham and those like him did not share in this kind of “reign in life” with Christ”? 

All that Rev. 20:4 is saying is that the faithful saints there spoken of had “reigned with Christ” in their natural lifetime, and each of them had done so at some point in time during that millennium of physical temple worship period when Satan’s deception over the nations was limited. 

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Re: The Two Beasts of Revelation 13 Identified
« Reply #13 on: Thu Dec 12, 2019 - 16:13:16 »
You are still stretching the period of Christ's and his saints reign backwards in time to a period beginning before his resurrection.  You cannot have it both ways.  Either the resurrection was the event about which all history revolves as you aver and his reign begins with it or there is an event prior to it, the founding of Solomon's temple in your construct, of equal importance that marks the beginning of a reign prior to his incarnation.  Don't you see the inconsistency of this position?  Solomon was a type of Christ to be sure, but there were a multitude of Christ types in the old testament, why the unjustified special emphasis on his temple?  Christ's ministry was a singular event that initiated a manifestation of God's reign on earth in a hitherto unheard of manner and power, Abraham's status as the father of the faithful notwithstanding.  Praise God! This reign will overpower whatever Satanic forces are arrayed against it.  I suspect you have heard or seen Satanic forces posited as an explanation for unfortunate events in an unjustified manner, and you are right to be skeptical of claims to that effect.  Don't use these false claims of supernatural interference as justification to write him entirely out of the script yet.  God has assigned him his role and he will continue in that role until the Great White Throne Judgement.
« Last Edit: Thu Dec 12, 2019 - 16:36:57 by DanielConway »

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Re: The Two Beasts of Revelation 13 Identified
« Reply #14 on: Thu Dec 12, 2019 - 18:02:32 »
Hi DanielConway,

I’m probably not expressing myself clearly enough.  Sorry for any confusion here, but I am NOT saying Christ BEGAN His sovereign rule over the universe back in Solomon’s day.  As you have expressed it already to some degree in a previous comment, the reign of the Trinity over the creation began at, well, creation’s  beginning.  As Psalms 146:10 says, “The Lord shall reign FOREVER, even thy God O Zion, UNTO ALL GENERATIONS.”  No generations excepted.  So in one sense, there has never been and will never be a time when the Triune God is not reigning over the earth.   

The millennium was NOT a time constraint with a beginning and ending point for Christ’s sovereign rule, but was a time limitation on SATAN’s activities alone.  That  particular period of a thousand years of human history was a time when God’s servants were given relief from the FULL level of oppression by the Satanic realm.   Not that Satan had disappeared from the scene completely yet, but his deception was definitely more subdued than in previous ages when God had suffered all nations to walk in their own ignorant ways (Acts 14:16, and 17:30).

All during Christ’s earthly ministry, He was giving visible proof that the “strong man” (Satan) had already been bound long ago, and was still having spoils taken from his “house” by demons being cast out of Israel’s citizens.  That period of Satan being bound ended with Christ’s resurrection and ascension, when a totally enraged Satan lost any access to heaven as the “accuser of the brethren”, and was cast down to the earth with his angels to wreak havoc for a “short time” before his final destruction in AD 70.

You ask why I give special emphasis to the symbolic type of the temple as representing Christ.  Why, that is because GOD gives that special emphasis, all through scripture.  The comparisons are legion.  How about the foundation stone that Zerubbabel laid down for the post-exilic temple structure?  It had SEVEN EYES in it, just as the Lamb / Christ in Rev. 5:6 had seven eyes.  Christ called His body the temple, which, if the Jews destroyed it, He would raise it (His body) in three days.   Etc., etc.

The millennial period of physical temple worship from 967 /968 BC until AD 33 was always supposed to be a pattern type that pointed forward in time to Christ the True Temple and the beginning of His HIGH-PRIESTLY reign upon His throne (the mercy-seat in heaven’s temple).  To reign as “king” upon that mercy-seat throne in heaven was for Christ to become the ultimate, deathless high priest ruler over all nations.

The easiest way to describe it is this: The millennium ENDED when Christ ASCENDED and the Devil DESCENDED.

« Last Edit: Sat Dec 14, 2019 - 22:39:44 by 3 Resurrections »

Offline DanielConway

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Re: The Two Beasts of Revelation 13 Identified
« Reply #15 on: Thu Dec 12, 2019 - 21:18:32 »
OK.  I will accept for the sake of argument that you take the position that the millenium is not a special period of Christ's reign distinct from the universal sense in which God reigns over all time, although Revelation 20 clearly states that it is, but rather a period of time in which Satan is bound and limited.  How then to you account for the fact that the worst of Israel's apostasies occurred during the period you claim that he was bound?  In fact the rebellion and the division of the kingdom occurred right after Solomon's reign.  The whole situation goes from bad to worse during this period, with only a few short lived spasms of pseudo repentance to break the monotony.  If this is not a sign of Satan running unchecked in the world then I don't know what is.  Now look at the new testament post resurrection.  What do we have?  Mass conversions at the preaching of the apostles, uneducated men with only the most meager rhetorical skills.  The conversion of Saul of Tarsis, the chief of sinners, who goes on to become the most effective preacher of salvation by Grace in the history of the church.  Point after point of the rapid advance of the kingdom of God is elucidated throughout the text of the new testament, all occuring before AD 70.  This occurs during a period when Satan is supposedly free from prison and actively opposing the church in the fullness of his strength?  Think man!  It doesn't add up.  You just can't build an entire eschatology around one limited reading of the Olivet discourse.

Offline Amo

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Re: The Two Beasts of Revelation 13 Identified
« Reply #16 on: Fri Dec 13, 2019 - 09:42:47 »
Rev 1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: 2 Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. 3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

The book of Revelation was given specifically to the new covenant Church by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ Himself. In chapter 13 it most definitely does introduce two new biblical beasts of prophecy, with a high probability of a third, confirmed as such in later chapters. The beast which arises out of the sea is directly connected to the four beasts of the book of Daniel having parts of each of those beasts within itself.

Rev 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. 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.

The first beast of this new covenant era is immediately tied directly to the four beasts of the old covenant era by reference to the same in its make-up. This is an obvious intentional link denoting the continuation of the successive beast powers of biblical prophecy throughout this earths history, and transitioning from the old to the new covenant.

Missing this, is missing everything, which is the exact point of all good deception. That is, to bypass the truth altogether. The thousand years is after the first resurrection when Christ returns. Spiritualizing this truth is also part of bypassing the same. It allows for placing all the beast related prophecies in the past, bypassing their new covenant fulfillment and therefore relevance. So be it.

Offline DanielConway

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Re: The Two Beasts of Revelation 13 Identified
« Reply #17 on: Fri Dec 13, 2019 - 09:54:37 »
I don't quite catch what your trying to say Amo.  Maybe the moderator will let me post a link to my paper now so you can read how I map the two beasts onto the early and later Roman empires, which were literal and prophetic from John's perspective, but came to an end around AD 410 with the sack of Rome, the fulfillment of the prophesied destruction of Babylon the Great.  Of course, that assertion is going to open up a line of fire from the Jerusalem as Babylon crowd.

Offline 3 Resurrections

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Re: The Two Beasts of Revelation 13 Identified
« Reply #18 on: Sat Dec 14, 2019 - 13:55:13 »
Hi again DanielConway,

See there, you are well on your way to getting that 20 posts requirement.  I’m curious as to how much writing you do besides the paper you wish to post here?  And if eschatology is a theme you have particularly chosen as a focus of your study, and if so, then what has pushed you towards that?

For myself, I was raised from childhood in Christian schools as typically pre-mil disp., and was fascinated even in elementary school by Larkin’s book of charts.  Until 7 years ago, I had never even heard the term “Preterist”.  Each of the various Preterist camps seems to have some of their views that need revision, so I don’t sit squarely in any kind of classification.  Just like Wycliffes_Shillelagh on this website, I really “ain’t got no home”.

You mentioned that I shouldn’t base my entire eschatology around one limited reading of the Olivet Discourse.  Perhaps other Preterists you have encountered do this, but I rarely focus on the Olivet Discourse to prove my points.  Why should I do that when the entirety of scripture is available to use for proof?

I seem to still be phrasing myself in unclear fashion regarding the different phases of Christs’s reign, so I’ll try to go back and edit my last post a bit to help clarify.  I agree; as you are noting, Rev. 20 DOES have a “special period of Christ’s reign distinct from the universal sense in which God reigns over all time” but that “special period” of Christ’s reign WAS the period of time when Satan was bound and limited.  That literal thousand years of his chained level of activity was followed immediately afterward by the next changed phase of Christ’s reign - the crown of the heavenly HIGH PRIESTHOOD ROLE being given to Him at His resurrection-day ascension. 

You have also asked how my position on the millennium dating from 967 /968 BC - AD 33 can be justified if the record of the Israelites falling into apostasy was such a frequent problem for the nation after Solomon’s reign.  In saying this, you are mistaking the main purpose for the millennium.  The stated purpose of the millennium was never intended to produce massive public conversions and broad-scale revival world- wide at the time.   Its purpose was to produce conditions where Satan could “deceive the nations no longer” until that thousand years expired with the First Resurrection of Christ.

Just because a person is not deceived does NOT necessarily mean that they become a converted child of God by knowing the truth.  Isn’t Adam a prime example of that?  Scripture says he was NOT deceived, but in spite of that, Adam still chose to sin.  Even the devils knew the truth - even trembled because of it - but that changed nothing with how they reacted to that truth.  So a lack of deception does not necessarily equal a converted condition of the one hearing the truth.  Even after exposure to truth, they may still act in an unrighteousness manner, but they at least cannot claim ignorance as an excuse anymore.

God used the literal thousand millennium years from 968/967 BC to AD 33 to expose the nations of the world to the knowledge of the God of Israel on an unprecedented scale that had never happened in the ages before then.  The glory and the peace of Solomon’s kingdom and his temple built for the God of Israel were world famous, as testified by the Queen of Sheba.  Even in spite of Solomon’s hedonism, every single one of those foreign wife alliances and concubines introduced their individual nation and it’s ambassador to the knowledge of Israel’s God in the process of their coming into Solomon’s household.

Do you remember the international decrees  of both Nebuchadnezzar and Darius that extolled the God of Heaven?  These were sent into every single nation under their domain.  High and low heard their empire’s ruler praising the God of Israel.  The point was not that this necessarily resulted in the conversion of all who heard these decrees, but IGNORANCE of Israel’s God was further limited in the process.  Deception by Satan keeping them in ignorance was chained by these means.

Even the split of Solomon’s kingdom and the consequence of both Israel and Judah going into captivity for their idolatry and disobedience - even this served only to spread the knowledge of Jehovah into every nation where they were dispersed and held captive.  Remember the nameless little maid in Naaman the leper’s household?  Even she gave her little testimony, “Would God my lord were with the prophet in Samaria!  For he would recover  him of his leprosy.”  A converted Naaman then became a witness in the king of Syria’s court, a testament to Jehovah’s miraculous power.

Remember Cyrus, head of the Medes and Persians empire?  He also sent out an international decree regarding the captive Jews in every part of his domain, granting them release to go home to build another temple to the Lord God of heaven.  Cyrus openly credited Israel’s God with granting him his position, so that he could bless God’s people by restoring their nation in Jerusalem.

During one of the most wretched periods of Israel’s history under Arab and Jezebel, the prophet Elijah despaired by thinking that he was the only one left who had remained faithful to God.  Not so, God told him.  Seven thousand had not bowed the knee to Baal.  God’s work is often done best “under the radar”, so to speak. 

I could keep giving an exhaustive list of every instance in scripture when the name of Israel’s God was broadcast throughout the world by His prophets’ ministries and their written words, but you get the idea, I hope.  After all, “The entrance of thy words giveth light”, we are told.  Every time a prophet opened his mouth and said “Thus saith the LORD...”, the forces of darkness under Satan were beaten back further.

Again, the stated terms of the millennium’s purpose was not massive conversions, but massive exposure to the knowledge of Israel’s God, which limited the ignorance of God’s existence and His power.

DanielConway, when you emphasize the heightened level of conversions after Pentecost, what you are doing is proving that Christ’s prediction was coming true at that time.  He said that the gospel of Christ’s kingdom would be preached in all the world just before the end came.  Paul testified of this world-wide broadcasting of the gospel in Col. 1:6, 23 and elsewhere, a fulfillment back in his day of the gospel’s evangelistic coverage.  That abundant surge of spiritual conversions by the power of the indwelling Spirit was deliberately brought about by God in order to counter the upsurge in Satan’s ramped-up activity during his “short time” of again deceiving the nations.  Why else would putting on that “whole armor of God” have been necessary, if Satan was not loosed and active in those days?  To my mind, it all does indeed “add up” to say that Satan’s “short time” of release before his destruction was the brief period from the First Resurrection in AD 33 until his imprisonment in Jerusalem in AD 66.



Offline DanielConway

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Re: The Two Beasts of Revelation 13 Identified
« Reply #19 on: Sat Dec 14, 2019 - 19:18:28 »
I don't see the distinction between a bound Satan who can no longer deceive the nations but still keeps God's people in apostasy and an unbound Satan who presumably is able to manifest in a slightly more overt presence that also keeps people in spiritual darkness.  My post conceded the presence of spasms of pseudo repentance in this period as you note, but none of them ever amounted to the establishment of a Godly kingdom that would draw the nations to a holy Jerusalem for instruction, as God said he intended for Israel.  (I forget the exact scriptural citation for this, it is somewhere in the prophets).  As for the advancement of the kingdom of God during the new testament being "merely" a fulfillment of prophesy, that is like saying that Christ's incarnation and ministry is just a fulfillment of prophesy.  They are both phenomenal manifestations of God's power and purpose.  Just contrast the effect of Godly preaching even by Christ himself prior to the crucifixion and the effect of preaching by the apostles after Christ's resurrection and ascension.  Even with the anointing of the holy spirit Christ did not get the kind of mass conversions that the apostles did.  Same message, same spirit, different outcomes.  What was the difference?  A bound Satan who could no longer block the effect of the gospel and the holy spirit on the hearts of men.
     As for my interest in eschatology, that happened later in life.  I too was raised in a dispensationalist church, eschatological turkey with all the trimmings.  But I was a prodigal, I dropped out of church life around 17 and did not come back until I was about 30.  In the mean time I read an abridged copy of Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.  When I got curious about the Bible again, I re-read Revelation in light of this and concluded it was a spiritual metaphor for the conflict between the early church and the Roman Empire.  Starting with that I built an eschatology that is part Amillenialist and part Historicist.

Offline robycop3

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Re: The Two Beasts of Revelation 13 Identified
« Reply #20 on: Sun Dec 15, 2019 - 10:41:45 »
  When Satan is exiled to "the abyss", he won't be able to contact the earth at all. After he's released, he will quickly foment a rebellion against Jesus.

Offline DanielConway

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Re: The Two Beasts of Revelation 13 Identified
« Reply #21 on: Sun Dec 15, 2019 - 11:24:36 »
Robycop3, your positions would carry a lot more weight if you gave some scriptural or historical underpinnings for them.  As it stands they are merely unsubstantiated assertions.

Offline lea

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Re: The Two Beasts of Revelation 13 Identified
« Reply #22 on: Sun Dec 15, 2019 - 11:42:07 »
by Amo,
Quote
The thousand years is after the first resurrection when Christ returns. Spiritualizing this truth is also part of bypassing the same. It allows for placing all the beast related prophecies in the past, bypassing their new covenant fulfillment and therefore relevance. So be it.
I do not believe the "thousand years" is literal, Amo. I think it is "prophetic" language. In 2Pet.3:8-10, (NASV) when the Jewish scoffers taunted Peter about the Lord not returning after some 30 + years since He left, Peter said:8 But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. 9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.
A New Heaven and Earth

10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and [a]its works will be burned
up.

I believe the "thousand years" in Rev.20 marked the period when the apostles and disciples spread the gospel. St. Paul said the gospel had been preached to all the world (known world at that time)Col.1:23.
So before Paul finished his race, the gospel was spread. This affirms the time when Satan was bound from deceiving the nations from receiving the gospel.
Rom.11:25,  (NASB)

25 For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery—so that you will not be wise in your own estimation—that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in;

So Paul was attesting to Israel regarding the true Israel of God. Jew and Gentile in Christ.
And Paul affirmed that the remnant of Israel and the Gentiles had believed the gospel before the end of his ministry. Thus all Israel would be saved from judgment.

But not to veer off the topic too far, I agree with 3Resurrections about the second beast in Rev.13 being the Jewish leadership,
Quote
The high priesthood with its two-horned power structure of the Sadducees and the Pharisees (the Land Beast coming from the land of Israel)
"
« Last Edit: Sun Dec 15, 2019 - 11:45:40 by lea »

Offline DanielConway

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Re: The Two Beasts of Revelation 13 Identified
« Reply #23 on: Sun Dec 15, 2019 - 12:00:04 »
lea

     No offense intended, but I think scaling the thousand years of the milennium down to the 40 years of the Apostolic era highly questionable.  As you  state, the thousand years is intended to be a metaphor for a very long time.  But lets accept it for the sake of argument.  Does this imply that Satan is currently released from his prison?  Or if the period of Satan's liberty has come and gone, when do we get the judgement and the new heavens and the new earth?

Offline lea

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Re: The Two Beasts of Revelation 13 Identified
« Reply #24 on: Sun Dec 15, 2019 - 13:35:35 »
Hello DanielConway,

Sure. Satan's liberty came and went. The new heaven and earth is the new covenant. God called Israel "heaven and earth" at Sinai. That old covenant passed away in the first century AD. (Rev.21)
That's why Peter claimed in 2Pet.3: The Day of the Lord
…12as you anticipate and hasten the coming of the day of God, when the heavens will be destroyed by fire and the elements will melt in the heat. 13But in keeping with God’s promise, we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.

The elements of the old covenant passed away in Rev21. All of the predictions (prophecies in Revelation) were to happen "soon." So, the corporal judgment is (was) included in Revelation as was Satan being thrown in to the Lake of Fire.
I hope that sheds some light on your question!
The believers are made "righteous" in Christ ever since.

Offline 3 Resurrections

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Re: The Two Beasts of Revelation 13 Identified
« Reply #25 on: Sun Dec 15, 2019 - 20:09:35 »
Hi DanielConway,

Thanks for the bit of biography - always helps to connect a background with a screen name.  I myself am married to a Historicist who regards my views as doctrinal “perversion”, so we simply agree to disagree.  To keep the peace, I dropped my own membership at the church where we were married back in the 70’s so as not to make them uncomfortable with our obvious disunity on this and several other subjects. 

The comment just above by lea is one I would agree with also about the New Heavens and New Earth that we are in now, ever since the elements of the Old Covenant passed away. 

From my youth, I was taught that the NHNE was the equivalent of the final, eternal state for the righteous.  Not so, according to Isaiah 65:17-25’s description of conditions for the NHNE.  The righteous are still physically dying under this NHNE; there is still the birth of offspring going on (a definite clue that this is not the eternal state); there is planting and harvesting going on, the presence of sinners, building houses, profitable labor occurring, and prayers directed to God - which prayers would not be necessary if we were actually in the final eternal state of being face-to-face with our God in heaven above.  So heaven and the NHNE are two things distinct from each other.

The “time of the dead, that they should be judged” back in AD 70 already ushered in this NHNE back then.  What we have been waiting for since then is the next judgment of the dead at the close of the New Covenant age in our future at the final “harvest”.

In one of your last comments to me, you have posited that Satan could not have been loosed during the years following Christ’s ascension, because evangelism and conversions were so abundant.  They were abundant because the believers were told that “greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.”  (Speaking of Satan, who had been cast down from heaven into the world for a short time.)  Evangelism and conversions were abundant because Christ promised that they would perform even greater works than He did Himself while on earth. 

Here is a short list of verses that illustrate to me that Satan had been loosed from his chain after Christ’s ascension in AD 33, who used his last, brief opportunity to deceive as many as he could. 

#1)  John 12:31 - “Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.” 

Christ said this just 5 days before His death, in anticipation of the soon-coming war in heaven between Michael and his angels and the Devil and his angels while Christ was in the grave.  It was after this time when Satan and his angels were cast out, and forever lost any access to heaven as the accuser of the brethren.

#2)  John 14:30 - “Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.” 

Spoken at the Last Supper, in anticipation of Satan soon coming down to earth for his short time after being cast out of heaven.

#3)  Luke 22:53 - “When I was daily in the temple, ye stretched forth no hands against me:” (because Satan’s influence was still bound by a limit at that point), “but this is your hour, and the power of darkness.” 

Satan’s full power of darkness was going to be released into the earth after Christ’s death and resurrection. 

#4)  Matthew 12:43-45 - “When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and finding none.  Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and
garnished.  Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first.  Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.”   

Even though Christ had cast out many devils and unclean spirits while Satan was still bound during His ministry, that wicked generation ended up rejecting Christ.  As a consequence, oppression by unclean spirits would be released in seven-fold more numbers of increased wickedness than before when Christ was among them.  That generation’s last state as a nation before their AD 70 destruction was to have every unclean spirit of the demonic realm descend upon them (the 7-fold number representing a complete amount).

#5)  I John 4:4 - “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.” 

Though Satan’s influence in the world (not in the “abyss”) was great at that time, God’s Holy Spirit operating in His saints was even greater still.

#6)  I John 5:18-19 - “We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.  And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.” (or “in the wicked one”).

Here, a loosed Satan had no ability to touch the righteous, but the rest of the whole world was under his sway at that period.

#7)  II Timothy 2:25-26 - “In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.” 

Here, a loosed Devil was able to lay deceptive snares and capture victims at his own whim.

#8)  I Peter 5:8-9 - “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.” 

Satan’s oppression of the brethren in the world at that time was to be resisted by remaining faithful, so that he could not devour them with his deception.  He was unbound and freely walking about at that time, looking for victims.

#9)  Ephesians 6:11-13 - “Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” 

This whole armor of God was necessary in order to be protected from the “fiery darts of the wicked” coming from the foe, Satan, who was waging active, unrestrained battle in the world during that short time.

#10)  Revelation 12:12 - “Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them.  Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea!  for the Devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.”

This was a present-tense case of Satan having already come down to earth before John was writing Revelation, with full knowledge that he only had a brief time to exercise his deception in the world before his destruction in Jerusalem’s Lake of Fire.  Because of this knowledge, he began persecuting the infant church almost immediately after Christ’s ascension in AD 33, starting with the very day of Stephen’s martyrdom, by driving the believers out of Jerusalem under Saul’s /Paul’s “flood” of persecuting the new believers.  With Saul’s /Paul’s conversion, that “flood” was “swallowed up”, and the enraged Devil who had lost one of his greatest tools against the early church went out to make open warfare with the righteous “remnant”.  Definitely not a chain on the Devil at this point.

Sorry for the lengthy list here, DanielConway, (especially since it’s not your original topic), but they all seem to indicate a consistent theme of Satan’s release during those first-century years when Satan’s “little season” and “short time” after the millennium’s end was taking place.

Offline robycop3

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Re: The Two Beasts of Revelation 13 Identified
« Reply #26 on: Thu Dec 19, 2019 - 06:48:40 »
  No, Satan has NOT been confined & released yet, nor has "the millenium" yet occurred. This millenium will be with Jesus present on earth, ruling it with a rod of iron, as he said, for 1K years, while Satan is banished.

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Re: The Two Beasts of Revelation 13 Identified
« Reply #27 on: Thu Dec 19, 2019 - 06:53:07 »
  The beast from the sea will be of Roman descent, but, as there are descendants of the old Romans all over the world, he could come from anywhere. I believe the beast from the earth will be an Israeli, or, if not an Israeli, a pope or some other high RCC official, as the RCC is the harlot trying to ride(control) the beast (antichrist's empire) in Rev. 17.

 

     
anything