Beast from the Abyss

OVERVIEW - The first appearance of the “beast” was at its ascent from the “Abyss,” when it arrived to make “war” on the “two witnesses” – Revelation 11:7

Abyss - Photo by Juan Davila on Unsplash
The “
Abyss” appeared  first when the “fifth trumpet” sounded, a dark pit from which demonic hordes “ascended.” Several times in the book, satanic forces “ascend” from it to wage war against the “saints.” In the vision of the “two witnesses,” the “beast ascended” from the “Abyss” to “slay” the “witnesses,” but only after they “completed” their task - [Photo by Juan Davila on Unsplash].

The “two witnesses” are identified as “two lampstands.” Elsewhere, “lampstands” represent churches. If the book's symbolism is consistent, then the “two witnesses” symbolize churches – (Revelation 1:19-20).
  • (Revelation 11:4-7) – “These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands standing before the Lord of the earth. And if any man desires to hurt them, fire proceeds out of their mouth and devours their enemies; and if any man desires to hurt them, in this manner he must be killed... And when they have finished their testimony, the beast that ascends from the abyss will make war with them, and overcome them, and kill them.”
After the “two witnesses” finished their “testimony,” John saw the “beast ascending from the Abyss” to wage “war on them, and to slay them.” The clause echoes a passage from Daniel’s vision of the “four beasts ascending from the sea,” when the malevolent “little horn” grew out of the “fourth beast” and persecuted the “saints of the Most-High”:
  • (Daniel 7:21) – “I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them.”
The theme of something evil “ascending” from a dark place occurs several times in the book. Each time it translates the Greek verb anabainô. For example, in chapter 13, John saw the same “beast ascending from the sea.” At the end of the “thousand years,” Satan led the nations to “ascend over the earth” and attack the “camp of the saints” – (Revelation 9:1, 11:7, 13:1, 17:8, 20:8-9).

However, the “beast” did not “ascend from the Abyss” to slay the “two witnesses” until after they had completed their “testimony.” Thus, the “beast” was unable to overcome them until authorized to do so by an external power. Prior to its “ascent,” attempts were made by the “inhabitants of the earth” to kill the “two witnesses,” but each attempt failed - (“If anyone desires to hurt them, fire proceeds out of their mouth and devours their enemies”).

The same “beast” appeared again when John saw it “ascending from the sea.” The “sea” represents the same dark reality as the “Abyss.” As before, the “beast ascends” in order to prosecute the Dragon’s war against the “saints.” Both visions use the same language from Daniel - “The horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them” - (Daniel 7:21, Revelation 13:1-10).

Dark Sea - Photo by Thom Holmes on Unsplash
Dark Sea - Photo by Thom Holmes on Unsplash

To reiterate, the “
two witnesses” represent “lampstands” or churches. Just as the “beast” ascended from the “Abyss” to “wage war and kill” the “two witnesses,” so, likewise, it “ascended from the sea” to make war on the “saints”:
  • (Revelation 13:7) – “And it was given to it to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and there was given to it authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation.”
After the “beast from the Abyss” killed the “two witnesses,” the “peoples and tribes and tongues and nations” refused to bury their corpses, and the “inhabitants of the earth” rejoiced over their deaths. Similarly, when the “beast from the sea” killed the “saints,” it was granted authority over “every tribe and people and tongue and nation,” and the “inhabitants of the earth” rendered homage to it.

Thus, the “beast from the Abyss” and the “beast from the sea” are one and the same, and the “war” against the "two witnesses" represents the same reality as the “war” of the “beast from the sea” against the “saints.” In either case, the “beast” is unable to prosecute its war until authorized to do so - (“it was given to it…”).




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