Revelation 17:8 

 The beast, which you saw, once was, now is not, and yet will come up out of the Abyss and go to its destruction. The inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the creation of the world will be astonished when they see the beast, because it once was, now is not, and yet will come.

Observation – What does it say?

Apocalyptic literature, I wouldn’t say that I am comfortable with it just yet but I am getting familiar with it.  Bizarre visions, epic spectacles and cataclysmic events assault the apostle John.   Once a loudmouthed fisherman, he is now an imprisoned bishop of the fledgling New Testament Church.  Appearing, “greatly astonished” the angel host explains the mystery of the women and the attending creatures. Two words came to mind as I read verse 8.  The first is implied and the second is plainly stated.

Understanding – What does it mean?


noun    a thing intended to simulate or copy something else, “an imitation diamond”

Synonyms: copy, replica, reproduction, artificial, simulated, manufactured, mock, sham, fake, faux, knock off, phony, counterfeit, take off …


noun    the action or process of causing so much damage to something that it no longer exists or cannot be repaired    the action or process of killing or being killed.

Synonyms: annihilation, obliteration, elimination, eradication, liquidation …

Throughout the Bible the supreme sovereignty of God is summed up in three attributes: all powerful, all knowing and all present.  The Beast of verse 8 is none of these.  While the Lamb of God “Was and Is and Is to come” the Beast “once was, now is not, and yet will come … to its destruction.”  The Beast is an imitation whose end is destruction.  He is not the opposite of God, not even close.  In fact he is as close as the east is to the west.  Still the battle is to play itself out as it is written. 

The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. 36 When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!”  John 1:35   

Life Application

Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Worthy is the Lamb who was slain.  Worthy is the Lamb to receive glory and praise. Some may trust in horses, some may trust in chariots, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.  The battle belongs to you Lord.  You rule and reign triumphant.   I have been entrusted with the Gospel; the very power of God unto salvation.   It is the pearl of great price and I am not to hide it away like some earthly treasure.  Nor am I to leave it at home as I go about my day.  Blessed be the name of the Lord.  Amen

– Warren Vivian


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