Revelation Chapter 17, Part 7
Now a second look at our subject from another perspective, one which when rightfully grasps seems just
as plausible as the first.
“The beast that thou saw WAS, and IS NOT; and IS ABOUT TO COME up out of the abyss…”
“All students of Revelation know the enormous complexities of Verses 8-13. These verses will remain
complex no matter what we do to simplify them. Nevertheless, it is important to try to identify the players
in this saga as clearly as possible, and the Revelator supplies enough clues to make certain conclusions
secure. By identifying the players, a great deal of the difficulty of interpretation is eliminated.”
Before going any further it is important here to remember that the Beast consist of four parts,
(1) THE RIDER: (the “Woman”) the apostate Roman Catholic Church, which has, indeed, by harlotry
controlled the direction of the beast.
(2) THE BODY of the beast: The People who either have nominally supported, or have by coercion
been functionally a part of the arrangement.
(3) THE HORNS: The supportive powers (nations) which, throughout the age, have fluctuated in
(4) THE HEADS: The forms of authority, which have acted as kinds of umbrella philosophies over this
The following I quote word for word from the Albany study because I could not possibly explain it any
better than it is already. Take it slowly and apply your God given ability to reason and you should be able
to comprehend what is said.
In Verse 8 we are introduced to a BEAST, which we were told we “saw” earlier.
Point # 1: The Beast here spoken of is NOT the ENTIRE 7-headed, 10-horned beast.
How do we know this? Because Verse 8 says that THIS “beast” (which we saw) IS NOT, (read
the Verse again carefully), while (at the same time in history) we learn from Verse 10 that the
WHOLE beast IS that is, it EXISTS at this same time WITH ONE HEAD (the 6th) which it
CLEARLY STATES “IS” (in existence).
THEREFORE: This beast IS (Verse 10) and IS NOT (Verse 8) AT THE SAME TIME!
This seems like double-talk, but it is not. The expansion of POINT #1 is this:
SOME FUNCTION (some characteristic, some form, some aberration, some historic identity or peculiarity)
of the beast USED TO EXIST, but does not (now) CURRENTLY exist -- EVEN THOUGH THE BEAST
AS A WHOLE DOES CURRENTLY EXIST. By currently, we mean at the time of the angel’s ministry,
(Thus you see the reason why in our first post we needed to establish who the particular angel or
messenger was who spoke to John.)
Verse 8 gives a further clue. When it says “The beast that you saw,” it clearly refers back to Verses 3-
5 -- the “wilderness” period (A.D. 539-1799). THEREFORE, whatever aberration of the beast we are
looking for should be found DURING THAT TIME.
NOTE: There WAS one particular and peculiar (and scripturally noted) instance during that
period (A.D. 539-1799) when the BODY of the beast had an UPRISING. During the French
Republic, the PEOPLE (the body of the beast) rose up against head, horns, and harlot rider. This is when
1/10th of the “city” fell. Apparently this beast (NOT a WHOLE beast, but only the people
constituting its body) will ONCE MORE appear for the destruction of the other 9/10ths of the
“city.” (Verses 8, 11-13, 16, 17, Consider Rev 11:7-13 CAREFULLY)
NOTE ALSO: The French Republic WAS NOT A HEAD! It DID NOT work with or under the Roman
Catholic Church (which all the heads do; thus she “rides” them.) It was contemporaneous with the yet-
existing Holy Roman Empire, which was the contemporary head. Napoleon’s overthrow of the Holy Roman
Empire (1806) created the NEXT head -- the Napoleonic Empire, which was the 5th head, which DID work
Point # 2: The PARTIAL beast (of Verses 8, 11-13, 16, 17) is THUS SAID to be “of the seven,”
but NOT ONE of the seven.” (We should not look for a definition of this [partial] beast prior to the first
head since Verse 11 says that it is “of the seven.”)
This aberration of the people’s rising up, (the BODY of the beast rising up) happened DURING THE
TIME of the WHOLE beast’s continuing to function with its head and horns. Thus this PARTIAL beast
WAS (but not for long) during the French Revolution.
It WAS during the “wilderness” period.
It WAS while the WHOLE beast continued to function in the other 9/10ths of the city.
But, in Brother Russell’s day, it was appropriately said that this beast “IS NOT” because the uprising of
the body was in the past. The prophecy shows, however, that this aberration (uprising of the
body, the people) will AGAIN manifest itself -- “it is about to come up and go into destruction.”
Point # 3: The PARTIAL beast is a “king,” but NOT a new head.
When we look at Verses 9 and 10, we are asked to apply wisdom -- to interpret the symbols the angel
gave us. We encounter an interesting and important SWITCH of symbols. First we are told that the
heads (forms of government) ARE mountains (kingdoms.) This is not too difficult to conceive of as
each of the seven heads, while in existence, was considered AN EMPIRE (kingdom.) The next statement
is the tricky one:
“And (THEY) are seven kings…”
Some translators word it:
“And (THERE) are seven kings…”
The fact is, the Greek does NOT have “they” or “there” both words are supplied by the
translators according to their understanding. As we can see, the choice MAKES A SIGNIFICANT
DIFFERENCE! Which is correct?
There is evidence in the context that the first example is the correct idea, i. e., the seven heads and/or
the seven mountains ARE seven kings. Because we KNOW the basic sequence of heads from history,
we KNOW that in Brother Russell’s day FIVE heads (and/or mountains) were in the past. It says the
SAME THING about the kings -- FIVE are past.
It seems MOST LOGICAL, then, to EQUATE heads, mountains, and kings. If we say the kings are
different from and in addition to the heads, we are faced with an interpretation seemingly beyond
possibility. But this leaves one big question:
WHY DOES THE SYMBOLOGY CHANGE FROM HEAD TO KING?
THE ANSWER: It changes because the beast ONLY HAS SEVEN HEADS -- never any more! But,
the Partial Beast (the one which was, but isn’t, but will be) WILL BE a king but NOT a new head.
This is why the symbology HAD TO CHANGE. Hence:
“The (partial) beast . . . is himself also an eighth (king), and is of (or related to the history of) the
seven (kings or heads)” which the beast had in the past.
What does this mean? WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A HEAD AND A KING? This is
CENTRAL to interpretation.
The harlot sits on the beast with seven heads. This means that all the heads are in collusion with
the harlot. BUT THIS EIGHTH KING does NOT work with the harlot. She does NOT sit on or
control this beast (body of people) any more than she controlled the French Republic. It is,
therefore, NOT an eighth head; it is an eighth king. It will rule, just as the French Republic did.
The change of symbology from the heads to kings was NECESSARY in order to make this point
This “wisdom” or understanding is what was implied by the angel when he stated, “Here is the mind
which has wisdom…” if you are able to grasp this thought, i.e. the difference between a “head”
and a “king” as used by the angel in the context, then do you possess the mind which hath
In the general sense we know the identity of the dragon and the beast; however it’s their “heads” and
“horns” which tend to give us the most trouble.
With this much established, it will now be easier to take a verse-by-verse look at the remainder of this
chapter. (N.A.N.O.R. Pages 134-136)
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