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William Bradley wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • What is the first beast mentioned in Revelation chapter 13?

I'm a Seventh-Day Adventist. I'm not perfect and I'm here to learn. :-)

I look forward to your answer.

William

  { Can you explain to a Seventh-Day Adventist what is the first beast mentioned in Revelation 13? }

John replied:

Hi William,

The fact is this kind of question has no definitive answer. When we're dealing with apocalyptic literature much of it, if not most, falls into the category of speculation and theological opinion.

Suffice it to say that The Beast is symbolic of an agent of satan.

  • It could be a system.
  • It could be person.

Revelation is one of those books which reveals salvation history. It's not limited to particular periods but these characters, battles, and symbols:

  • repeat throughout history
  • are ongoing, and
  • yes, are also futuristic.

In Revelation we see an Un-Holy Trinity. The Anti-Christ, the False Prophet, and the Beast. Sometimes we see references to the great Dragon. They are all references to, or about satan, his minions, his systems, and his agents.

Some of these groups, especially sects like the one you belong to, really get into this stuff and treat prophecy strictly as as predictive so they keep looking to see who the anti-Christ, the False Prophet, or the Beast might be.

Well first of all, this is apocalyptic literature. Much of it is boiler plate language taken from Old Testament books like Daniel, Zachariah, and Ezekiel. John, particularly relies on Zachariah in his writings. Some of it is prophetic but prophecy isn't just a prediction. It seems like it is because it is spoken beforehand and then it happens but prophecy is also causative, not just predictive.

Prophecy is God speaking: So God said Let there be Light and there was Light!

He wasn't predicting Light. He was speaking it into existence. In the same way, the Prophet speaks God's Word and it happens because, as Isaiah tells us, God's Word does not return void, but goes forth and accomplishes that which it was sent forth to do. (Isaiah 55:11)

So when Prophet says or when Jesus said: this generation will not end before X, Y, and Z happen, it's not a prediction; it's a proclamation of God's Word that causes it to come to pass.

Apocalyptic Literature on the other hand, isn't necessarily prophesy in the that strict sense. Rather it is a revelation of a Mystery. Apocalypse literally means to pull away a veil.

When a Father lifts his daughter's bride veil, that is an apocalypse. The word Apocalypse comes from the wedding ceremony or rather nuptials and . . .

  • What does Revelation or the Apocalypse deal with?

The Wedding Supper of the Lamb!

There are all kinds of layers that we must consider when we approach anything in the Book of Revelation. It's not meant to be a step by step road map to the End Times as our Protestant brothers, like your sect, treat it.

John

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