Beast from the Abyss

The “Abyss” was introduced when the “fifth trumpet” sounded and demonic hordes “ascended” from it. It is referred to next after the “Two Witnesses” complete their “testimony.” On cue, the “Beast ascends from the Abyss” to attack and slay them, but only after they finish their prophetic mission.

The pattern of satanic forces “ascending” from the “Abyss” and waging war against the “saints” repeats in Revelation. And the “saints” are identified as those who have the “testimony” and “faith” of Jesus.

What distinguishes them from the “inhabitants of the earth” is their faithfulness to follow the “Lamb wherever he does.” Members of the latter group are branded with the “mark of the Beast,” but those of the former have the name of the “Lamb… inscribed on their foreheads.”

ASCENT OF THE BEAST


  • (Revelation 11:7) – “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 “Witnesses” complete their “testimony,” John sees the “Beast ascend from the Abyss” to wage “WAR ON THEM, AND TO SLAY THEM.” This clause echoes Daniel’s vision of the “four beasts from the sea” when the malevolent “little horn” of the “fourth beast” 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.”

In Revelation, each time something evil is said to “ASCEND” from a dark place, the English term translates the Greek verb anabain├┤, and this is NOT coincidental. For example, in chapter 13, John describes the same “Beast ascending from the Sea.” And at the end of the “thousand years,” Satan is released from the “Abyss” and leads 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).

NOT UNTIL THE APPOINTED TIME


But the “Beast” cannot kill the “Witnesses” UNTIL they FINISH their “testimony.” Thus, the “Beast” is unable to overcome them until it is authorized to do so by an external power. Just as the word of the “Two Witnesses” unleashes the trumpet “plagues” on the “inhabitants of the earth,” so the “Beast” cannot slay them until they complete their prophetic “testimony.”

The Greek term rendered “finish” or tele┼Ź links the passage to several verses that describe events reaching their intended conclusion. For example:

  • (Revelation 17:17) – “For God put in their hearts to fulfill his will, and to agree and give their kingdom to the Beast, until the words of God are FINISHED.”
  • (Revelation 20:3) – “And cast him into the Abyss and shut him up…until the thousand years should BE FINISHED, then he must be loosed a little season… And when the thousand years ARE FINISHED Satan shall be loosed out of his prison.”

Thus, the “second woe” or “sixth trumpet” does not end or the “third woe” begin until the “Two Witnesses” complete their mission and become martyrs, just as John was told when he received the “little scroll”:

  • (Revelation 10:6-7– “And he swore by him that lives forever… that there shall be delay no longerbut in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, then is FINISHED the mystery of God, according to the good tidings which he declared to his servants the prophets.”

None of the preceding remarks mean that the “Two Witnesses” do not suffer persecution, only that they cannot be killed before the appointed time. As the passage states, previous attempts were made by the “inhabitants of the earth” to kill them, but they all failed (“If anyone desires to hurt them, fire proceeds out of their mouth and devours their enemies”).

CHURCHES PERSECUTED


And again, the “Two Witnesses” represent churches. This understanding is confirmed in the next vision when the same “Beast” ascends from the “sea” to “wage war and overcome the saints”:

  • 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” - (Daniel 7:21, Revelation 13:7).

After the “Beast” kills the “Witnesses,” the “peoples and tribes and tongues and nations” refuse to bury their corpse, and the “inhabitants of the earth” rejoice over their deaths.

Likewise, after the “Beast from the sea” kills the “saints,” it is granted authority over “every tribe and people and tongue and nation,” and all the “inhabitants of the earth” render homage to it - (Revelation 13:8).

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” by 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…”).

Both the “Abyss” and the “Sea” represent the same dark reality from which Satan’s forces “ascend” to attack the people of the “Lamb.”

But first, the “Two Witnesses” must be killed for their “testimony.” Despite the great “plagues” inflicted on the “inhabitants of the earth,” they do not heed the “testimony” of the “Witnesses.” Instead, the “Beast ascends from the Abyss” and kills them.

However, the “slain Lamb” will turn their death into victory, and the “testimony” of the martyred “Witnesses” will be vindicated when the “seventh trumpet” is heard.


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