Continuing our study of Revelation 17.
Revelation 17:11 ‘The beast who once was, and now is not, is an eighth king. He belongs to the seven and is going to his destruction.’
The seventh beast, the Islamic Empire, will come and go, but will be revived as an eighth end-time empire or caliphate. It will be led by the antichrist beast who will be the last in a long run of evil dictators. The others, the likes of Pharaoh, Antiochus Epiphanes and Nero all looked forward, in their own way, to the ultimate last antichrist beast who will outshine them all in the pure evil of his ambitions.
And so we live in tension, waiting for the emergence of this final end-time empire and its leader. It will break upon the world scene with evil ferocity and take many prisoners in its wake.
Daniel 7:7 ‘After that, in my vision at night I looked and there before me was a fourth beast – terrifying and frightening and very powerful. It had large iron teeth, it crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. It was different from all the former beasts and it had ten horns.’
But yet its demise will come soon enough.
Daniel 7:11a ‘I kept looking until the beast was slain and its body destroyed and thrown into the blazing fire.’
Empires and dictators have emerged throughout world history but all will fall and become dust in their time; only the kingdom of heaven will endure.
Daniel 2:44 ‘In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end but it will endure forever.