Revelation Chapter 17, Part 8
Let us now continue with our examination of Chapter 17 beginning once again with,
Verse 8 “The beast that you saw was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and
go to perdition. And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in
the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast that was, and is not,
and yet is.”
THE BEAST: -- that is its body, the people
THAT YOU SAW: -- in Verses 3-5. We “saw” it historically during the “wilderness period” of 539-1799.
WAS: -- that is to say this particular aberration of the beast only occurred during the French
Revolution, at that time the body of the beast (the people) rose up against its leaders (head, horns,
AND IS NOT: It (the body of the beast) “was not” during the days when this angel (the Seventh) was
alive in the flesh explaining Babylon’s fall to the saints.
Remember what we had learned from our previous post, this beast IS (Verse 10) and IS NOT (Verse
8) AT THE SAME TIME! (that is to say some characteristic, some form or aberration or peculiarity) of
the beast USED TO EXIST (during the French Revolution), but it does not (now) CURRENTLY exist
(during the time the Seventh Angel was still with us this side of the Vail, and even yet presently) -- EVEN
THOUGH THE BEAST AS A WHOLE DOES CURRENTLY EXIST.
IS ABOUT TO COME UP: -- to show itself again: another uprising or revolution of the people against
their rulers as was in the French Revolution when 1/10th of the city fell is about to take place, however
the 9/10ths of the future will be much more severe than was the first 1/10th.
OUT OF THE ABYSS: -- out of a condition in which power is not exercised.
AND GO TO DESTRUCTION (Anarchy): -- This will be history’s final revolution.
AN IMPORTANT NOTE: Was the contents of this verse not what Brother Russell taught? It was
distinctly his point that the French Revolution was a prototype of the final trouble which would destroy
Babylon. He said in the plainest of terms: The Trouble began in France. It now is abated. But it will come
back and do the final work. It WAS, IS NOT, AND WILL BE again. These difficult words have been a
clear part of the harvest message for over a century.
AND THOSE WHO DWELL ON THE EARTH: -- those with a vested interest in the current order of
things (this is not in reference to the masses of mankind, the sea-class, but rather to a specific element
which has, as stated a vested interest in things as they are, in maintaining the present order.)
WILL WONDER: What a wonderful contrast to Verses 6 and 7, the tables are now turned! Now the
saints are not the ones who will wonder; but rather the astonishment, the wonder will be on the part of
the establishment, the world.
WHOSE NAME HAS NOT BEEN WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF LIFE FROM THE FOUNDATION OF THE
WORLD: Only the spirit-begotten will comprehend what is happening. This phrase clearly excludes
“those who dwell on earth” from spirit-begettal.
WHEN THEY SEE THE BEAST: -- the partial beast; the uprising of the people (the body of the
beast). This will not be a pleasant experience for those trying to sustain the old order -- although they
will cooperate with this partial beast hoping to preserve their interests.
THAT HE WAS: People KNOW about the French Revolution, but they try to suppress its meaning from
their minds. It is just fine with them in their memories to consign this “beast” to history -- to the “WAS”
AND IS NOT: -- as the angel explains the matter, the beast is yet in his “NOT” condition.
AND WILL COME: The Greek is “AND IS PRESENT.” The thought is that “those who dwell on earth”
will wonder when the beast is again present -- in their midst.
Verse 9 “Here is the mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which
the woman sits.”
HERE IS THE MIND WHICH HAS WISDOM: The angel now invites the saints to reason.
He does NOT explain to us the meaning of the following verses. He merely LISTS SYMBOLIC
EQUIVALENTS. This was very much the thrust of Brother Russell’s work in regard to Revelation. He
constantly reasoned with us on the symbols but stated clearly that “someone else” would have to write
the “seventh volume” (the explanation of Revelation.) He thus indicated to us that we have the
tools. We must apply them.
THE SEVEN HEADS: The successive forms of umbrella government over the beast historically
ARE SEVEN MOUNTAINS: All seven forms were empires (kingdoms) this is the first of TWO
Heads = Mountains. (Later, Mountains = Kings or Heads = Kings is added to the equation.) These 3
words are very important. They are the FIRST lesson in correct interpretation. If we have tried
to NAME the heads and we have come up with a conclusion in which not all are kingdoms or
empires, this phrase is telling us we are wrong. Thus, if we have guessed that Papacy is a head,
we are wrong because Papacy is not a Mountain. Rome, of course, is known as the city on seven
hills. All seven of these empires are remnants of Rome.
ON WHICH THE WOMAN SITS: This is no passing phrase of minor import. It is placed here to
further the understanding of the previous phrase. Not only must we identify each head as an
empire (mountain), but whichever empires we choose, the Roman Catholic Church must have
“ridden” (sat upon) them. The harlot DID sit upon (control the direction of to some extent) all of
these heads. She will NOT do so on the coming “eighth” arrangement. It, therefore, cannot be
called a head upon which she sits. So, a CHANGE IN SYMBOL IS REQUIRED; and the VERY NEXT
phrase makes that change. It gives us our second EQUIVALENT to the heads:
Verse 10 “There are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come.
And when he comes, he must continue a short time.”
AND THEY ARE SEVEN KINGS: The switch is accomplished. The heads are now called kings so
that an EIGHTH can arise without being thought of as a new head. Kings here, of course, are not
individuals, but kingdoms -- although in most cases a strong individual (Justinian, Charlemagne, Otto the
Great, etc.,) can be equated with the founding of these empires.
FIVE HAVE FALLEN: (All of these reckonings are from the standpoint of the days of the seventh angel.
A correct interpretation of this chapter is impossible without realizing and accepting his part in this
narrative.) The fifth head, mountain, or king was the Napoleonic Empire. It was now gone.
ONE IS: The Victor Emanuel Dynasty was functioning -- the sixth head, mountain, or king.
THE OTHER HAS NOT YET COME: -- the Nazi-Fascist Empire.
AND WHEN HE COMES: -- after the angel’s “change” (After Pastor Russell died and passed beyond the
Vail in 1916)
HE (the seventh head or king, the Nazi-Fascist Empire) MUST REMAIN A LITTLE WHILE: -- late 1920’s
Verse 11 “The beast that was, and is not, is himself also the eighth, and is of the seven, and is
going to perdition.”
AND THE BEAST WHICH WAS AND IS NOT: -- that peculiar aberration in the beast’s history: the
uprising of the body of the beast to form the French Republic and thus destroy 1/10th of the city.
IS HIMSELF ALSO AN EIGHTH: -- NOT an eighth head, but an eighth KING. This (partial) beast
WILL RULE (therefore as a king), but not as a head -- not with the harlot riding it as she is said
to have done on all the former heads. There ARE NOT eight heads on the beast -- ONLY SEVEN!
AND IS OF THE SEVEN: -- is to be found in the history of the seven “legitimate” heads, but IS
NOT ONE of the seven heads. The wording would then be “and is one of the seven.” This is not
The angel is trying very hard to make clear that this eighth “thing” is not a reappearance of one
of the old heads. Had that been the thought, he would merely have said, “one of the seven will come
back to rule again.” The (that is to us) AWKWARD wording is the angel’s specific attempt to lead us
away from that wrong conclusion.
AND HE GOES TO DESTRUCTION: This eighth king (the reigning body of the beast -- another French
Revolution-type government) does not have a good prognosis! His rule will be a disaster. He will be
destroyed. There will NEVER AGAIN (after this) be an uprising of the people. Hallelujah!!!!!
(N.A.N.O.R. Pages 136-138)
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