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End Times Today With John Claeys: Episode 19

January 19, 2020

Part 18 of 27
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Broadcast 19

Description: “The Beast from the Abyss”

What in the World Is God Doing?

WAIT FOR INTRO, MUSIC, AND VOICEOVER

VOICEOVER: Welcome to End Times Today with Author, Speaker, and Bible teacher: John Claeys. This episode is entitled, THE BEAST FROM THE ABYSS 

We’d like to remind you what’s available at End Times Today Dot Org. You can sign up for notifications concerning upcoming episodes, watch previous broadcasts, and even send in your own questions for John. 

In addition you can get copies of John’s books by going to End Times Today Dot Org. 

We’ll take a look at THE BEAST FROM THE ABYSS in just a moment, but first let’s see what’s happening in our the world right now. Here’s John Claeys

Viewer Screen:Kosovo, Serbia to formalize ties with Israel, open JLM embassy

by Tovah Lazaroff (Jerusalem Post)

The pace at which monumental stories are now occurring in connection with Israel is heart-pounding! For example, on September 6, the Jerusalem Post reported that Kosovo and Serbia will formalize ties with Israel. 

To date, only the U.S. and Guatemala have embassies in Jerusalem. However, both Kosovo and Serbia plan to move their embassies to Jerusalem. According to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu: “Kosovo will be the first Muslim-majority country to open an embassy in Jerusalem.  As I said during the last days, the circle of peace and recognition of Israel is expanding with more countries expected to join.” 

Debkafile followed up with this story: 

Viewer Screen: Serbia to establish embassy in Jerusalem. Kosovo may follow(Debkafile)

“Serbia agreed to locate its embassy in Jerusalem by July 2021 while Kosovo. agreed to establish diplomatic relations with Israel. Hailing another Trump diplomatic feat after the normalization accord with the UAE, PM Binyamin Netanyahu exclaimed: ‘The circle of peace and recognition of Israel is expanding,’ he said. ‘More countries are expected to join.

Earlier, President Trump had brokered a deal between Israel and the UAE, a Middle East Muslim nation, which will normalize relations between two countries that have been at enmity toward one another. 

Viewer Screen: The UAE-Israel Accord Is a Win for Every Muslim – Ed Husain (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)


Regarding the significance of that deal, Ed Husain wrote: “Now, with the visionary accord between the UAE and Israel, a new horizon is opening . . . by showing peace between peoples. We can now say: ‘A new way of co-existence is achievable. We are not pawns for the mullahs of Iran or the Muslim Brotherhood. Look at the UAE.’ ”  

I believe there is even greater significance than that as it is one more door opening toward the seven-year treaty with Israel that will initiate the Tribulation period. 

In addition to what we have just mentioned:

Viewer Screen: Bahrain agrees to normalize relations with Israel, Trump announces, By REUTERS, OMRI NAHMIAS   

This story reports: “Bahrain has joined the United Arab Emirates in striking an agreement to normalize relations with Israel, . . . a dramatic move . . .”

A new world is opening up, as God is moving in significant ways to attract those who had been avowed enemies of Israel to now be open to working with the Jewish nation. It appears God is, among other things, preparing the way for the end-times treaty with Israel. This means the rapture may occur sooner than we think. So, keep looking up.

This is: “What in the World Is God Doing?

FULL STOP. WAIT FOR MUSIC AND VOICEOVER

VOICEOVER: Thanks John! If you’ve got questions, about current events, you can send them to John by going to Endtimestoday.org. Now, let’s take a look at what in the Bible God is saying to us, as we take a look THE BEAST FROM THE ABYSS Here’s John to explain.

What in the Bible Is God Saying?

“The Beast from the Abyss”

Viewer Screen: “The Beast from the Abyss”

In 1883, the kind of wooden Indian that was seen in front of cigar stores was placed on the ballot for Justice of the Peace in Allentown, New Jersey. The candidate was registered under the fictitious name of Abner Robbins. When the ballots were counted, Abner won over incumbent Sam Davis by seven votes! 

A similar thing happened in 1938. The name Boston Curtis appeared on the ballot for Republican Committeeman from Wilton, Washington, but Boston Curtis was a mule! The town’s mayor sponsored the animal to demonstrate that people know very little about the candidates. He proved his point. The mule won! 

But neither of these anecdotes compares to the ultimate foolishness when men in the future will cast their ballots for the false candidate of all false candidates. This future candidate will be “elected” to be king over all the earth and the god of all of the world’s unbelieving inhabitants. 

Before we move ahead, let’s look back. 

Viewer Screen: The King of the North = Assyrian, Iraqi

Previously, we discovered that an Assyrian living in Iraq will be empowered by Satan to rise to significant power from a position of moderate authority. This king will conquer the Middle East then northern Africa. 

Viewer Screen: The King of the North: Conqueror of Middle East & North Africa

While in Egypt, this king of the North will be disturbed by news coming out of Jerusalem. As a result, he will move his powerful military machine northeast to deal with this troubling issue and will set up the tents of his palace in the Kidron Valley facing the Temple Mount. 

Viewer Screen: The King of the North: Encamped in Jerusalem

This is where Dan chapter 11 ends, and it is the last time the Bible mentions the King of the North. This King of the North seems to mysteriously disappear in Jerusalem, just outside of the Temple Mount, at the mid-point of the Tribulation period. However, the book of Revelation, which is the sister book to the book of Daniel, presents an individual who appears at the same time in the same exact area of the Jerusalem appearance of the King of the North. This one is called the beast. This also mysterious individual is first mentioned in Rev 11:7: 

Viewer Screen: “When they [God’s two prophets] finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit [place of the dead] will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them” (Rev 11:7).

The “they” in this verse refers to the two prophets of God who prophesy in Jerusalem for 1,260 days—the fist 3½ years of the Tribulation period. God uses these two to reach much of Israel with the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, especially 144,000 Jews whom the two prophets prepare to go worldwide with the gospel during the last half of the Tribulation period. 

These two prophets of God seem invincible. Here is what we read about them in Rev 11:5: 

Viewer Screen: “And if anyone wants to harm them, fire proceeds from their mouth and devours their enemies. And if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this manner” (Rev 11:5).

No one will touch them . . . until, “they finish their testimony.” Once again, we read:

Viewer Screen: “When they [God’s two prophets] finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit [the abyss, place of the dead] will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them” (Rev 11:7).

For 3½ years the two prophets will carry on their vital ministry, reaching Israel for Christ, prepping the 144,000 to reach the nations, and pouring out plagues upon the rebellious world. But when they finish their ministry, which is appointed by God to be exactly 1,260 days—not a day less nor a day more—God allows them to be killed—by “the beast” who “ascends out of the bottomless pit.”

Unfortunately, the NKJV, in this verse, chose to translate the Greek word abyssos as “the bottomless pit.” That hides the fact that it is the word translated elsewhere as “the abyss,” which is the place of the dead.

For example, it is used by the Apostle Paul in this way:

Viewer Screen: “ ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead)” (Rom 10:7).

Here Paul equates “the abyss” with the place of the dead. Thus, this beast comes up out of the place of the dead.

Before the ascension of Jesus into heaven, everyone who died went to the abyss, or hades—though believers were separated from unbelievers by a large gulf. At the ascension of Christ, believers went to heaven; so, after the ascension of Jesus into heaven, only unbelievers went into the abyss following death. Therefore, when we read that the beast ascends out of the abyss, we understand that the beast will come up from the place of the unbelieving dead to kill the two prophets. This means he will actually have died sometime prior to his assassination of God’s prophets in Jerusalem.

That the beast comes back from the dead is highlighted later in the book of Revelation, in 17:8:

Viewer Screen: “ ‘The beast that you saw was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit [the abyss] and go to perdition [destruction]. And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet is’ ” (Rev 17:8).

Note what I have underlined in this verse: “ ‘The beast . . . was, and is not, and will ascend out of the abyss.’ ” The Apostle John, who wrote Revelation, is telling us that the beast lived once before—prior to the time in which John was writing Revelation, which, I believe, was 68 AD. The beast “was”! Yet the beast was not alive at the time John wrote Revelation; he “was not”! However, John is also telling us that one day the beast will come back to life; he “will ascend out of the abyss”!

So we don’t miss this incredible statement, John repeats it in this verse: “ ‘. . . the beast that was, and is not, and yet is’ ”!

That is, though the beast “is not” alive on the earth now; yet, he is very much in the prophetic picture. 

We learn more extraordinary information about the beast as we continue in Rev 17, such as the city connected to him. Take note of v 9:

Viewer Screen:: “ ‘Here isthe mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains [hills] on which the woman sits’ ”  (Rev 17:9).

To identify this woman who rides the beast, we go to verse 18 of the same chapter:

Viewer Screen: “ ‘And the woman whom you saw is that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth’ ” (Rev 17:18).

She is “that great city which reigns [present tense] over the kings of the earth.” That “reigns” appears in the present tense indicates it was a city which powerfully controlled “kings of the earth” during the time John wrote Revelation. This could only refer to Rome.

Having made that identity, let’s return to 17:9:

Viewer Screen: “ ‘Here isthe mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains [hills] on which the woman sits’ ”  (Rev 17:9).

The word translated “mountains” in this verse can also be translated “hills.” Rome was famously known as the city of seven hills. Thus, Rome is connected to the beast; but how so? Verses 10-11 of Rev 17 answer that question. Let’s begin with v 10:

Viewer Screen: “ ‘There are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come. And when he comes, he must continue a short time’ ” (Rev 17:10).

The word “also” can also be translated “and.” Either way, this is a continuation from the previous verse which means these “seven kings” are also connected to Rome. If Revelation was written in 68 AD (and I believe there is good evidence for that), then these kings refer to the first seven Roman emperors. Here is the list of the seven:

Viewer Screen: 

1. Augustus: 27 BC – 14 AD

2. Tiberius 14 – 37 AD

3. Caligula 37 – 41 AD

4. Claudius 41 – 54 AD

5. Nero 54 – 68 AD

6. Galba 68 – 69 AD

7. Otho January–April 69 AD

John tells us in v 10 that five of these emperors had died prior to the time he wrote Revelation. He also tells us that the sixth one, Galba, was reigning at the time of writing Revelation, which would fit our dating the book of Revelation as late 68 AD. Then John gives us some exact revelation when he writes:

Viewer Screen: “ ‘. . . the other has not yet come. And when he comes, he must continue a short time’ ” (Rev 17:10).

The seventh king “must continue a short time.”

Note the length of the reign of the seventh Roman Emperor:

Viewer Screen: Otho January–April 69 AD

Otho reigned in 69 AD from January 15 to April 16—a grand total of three months! I would say John nailed that revelation! Yes, that is what I consider reigning “a short time”! It should not surprise us that, once again, Scripture is perfectly accurate! 

As we turn to verse 11, we encounter jaw-dropping revelation: 

Viewer Screen: “ ‘And the beast that was, and is not, is himself also the eighth, and is of the seven, and is going to perdition’ ” (Rev 17:11).

Once again, we are told the beast “was, and is not.” Thus, he was alive at one time but was not alive on the earth while John wrote Revelation. However, we are given new, spine-chilling revelation: The beast was one of the first seven Roman Emperors!! He “is of the seven”! More specifically, since he has died, and since the sixth emperor was ruling at the time of writing Revelation, the beast had to be one of the first five Roman Emperors.

Yet he will also be another king—an “eighth.” He will rule again! Mind-blowing!!

But how is the beast connected to the King of the North? Let’s return to Rev 11:7:

Viewer Screen: “When they [God’s two prophets] finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit [place of the dead] will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them” (Rev 11:7).

When the beast comes back from the dead, he will kill God’s two prophets. Where are the prophets? They are in Jerusalem. So, when Satan sends the beast from the abyss, where does he go? To Jerusalem. When we last hear of the King of the North, where is he? He is in Jerusalem, across from the Temple Mount which is the likely place from which God’s two prophets prophesy. In fact, that is the last time the King of the North is mentioned in all of the Bible. He seemingly disappears into thin air after arriving in Jerusalem; or does he?

Instead of disappearing, the king of the North becomes the beast. To put this together, let’s go to Rev 13, beginning with verse 1: 

Viewer Screen: “Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name” (Rev 13:1). 

The “sea” seems to be a reference to the Mediterranean, which borders Israel to the west. This is clearly the use of “sea” in Dan 7, from which much of the imagery in Rev 13 stems. 

The rising of the beast from the sea seems to be a reference to the area of the old Roman Empire. 

The beast will begin as the king of the North, whose area of rule is east of the Mediterranean Sea. He will later become the beast who once ruled from Rome, which is west of the Mediterranean Sea. Thus, his identity is linked with the Mediterranean Sea, which refers to the beast’s connection with the Roman Empire and, particularly, with the city of Rome. 

The “seven heads” in 13:1 refer to the seven kings, or Roman Emperors we discussed. Then “ten horns” are introduced. The identity of these ten horns is revealed in Rev 17:12: 

Viewer Screen: “ ‘And the ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast’ ” (Rev 17:12). 

These “ten horns” are ten kings who will rule with the beast in the future. And since, as we will see, the beast will rule for only three and a half years, these ten kings will rule with the beast for a short time (“one hour”). By the way, these ten kings are mentioned in the book of Daniel, and I believe these ten leaders are those who confirm the seven-year treaty with Israel and then later—at the midpoint of the Tribulation period—break the treaty.

As we continue in Rev 13, the connection between the King of the North and the beast will become clear. Take note of verse 2:

Viewer Screen: “The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority” (Rev 13:2).

The dragon is identified in Rev 12 as Satan. Thus, just like the King of the North, the beast has an eerie relationship to the Devil. Then something surprising occurs:

Viewer Screen: “And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast” (Rev 13:3).

This verse reveals an attack on “one of his heads” to create an apparent mortal wound, but “his deadly wound was healed.” Earlier we observed that Rev 17:10 presents “head” as a metaphoric reference to a king. This verse indicates it is one of the beast’s “heads” or kings that is mortally wounded. If the King of the North has a direct connection to the beast, this could refer to him. 

By the way, this verse does not say this king is mortally wounded, but “as if” he were mortally wounded. Then “his deadly wound was healed.” The result is “all the world marveled and followed the beast.” This is what Satan promised the beast—that he would give him the glories of the world. This is how it begins: It appears he has been assassinated and resurrects. The whole world is amazed and follows him. 

We more about this apparent assassination in verse 14 of Rev 13 where the False Prophet (of whom we will learn more in a following broadcast) calls the world to:

Viewer Screen: “. . . to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived” (Rev 13:14). 

The king is attacked by a sword, but, even though the wound appears to be a mortal one, he “lived”! As a result, here is the response of the world:

Viewer Screen: “So they worshiped the dragon [Satan] who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, ‘Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?’ ” (Rev 13:4). 

The world not only follows the beast, the world worships him! He has become their god! In addition, they worship the beast’s god, Satan! 

When we were in Dan 11, we saw that the King of the North will promote Lucifer worship; that is, he strongly encourages others to worship Satan by building temples to his god. Clearly, like the King of the North, the beast also strongly encourages his followers to worship Satan. And Satan rewards the beast by giving him authority to rule. In fact, verse 7 announces: 

Viewer Screen: “And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation” (Rev 13:7). 

Note another clear comparison to the King of the North in verses 5 and 6:

Viewer Screen: “And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven” (Rev 13:5-6).

Does this sound familiar? This is exactly how the King of the North is described in Dan 11. 

For time’s sake, allow me to put together the scenario I believe will transpire: After the King of the North encamps in Jerusalem, across from the Temple Mount where God’s two prophets are completing their three-and-a-half-year ministry, someone attacks the King of the North with a sword. It appears he is mortally wounded. At that point, Satan sends the spirit of one of the first five Roman Emperors to inhabit the body of the King of the North. Satan heals the wound, and it appears that the body resurrects. As a result, the world marvels! This then begins the three-and-a-half-year rule of the beast. 

Time doesn’t permit us to go any farther now, but we will return to the beast. In fact, join us next time on End Tines Today when we take a ringside seat for “The Beast vs the Prophets of God.”

FULL STOP. WAIT FOR MUSIC AND VOICEOVER

VOICEOVER: Thank you John. Before we go let’s take a look at a question from a viewer just like you. You can send questions by going to endtimestoday.org.

Questions / Answers

Vennavie in Michigan writes.

Q: Is eternal security true in all dispensations? I heard a pastor on the internet who said you could lose your salvation during the great tribulation because it’s after the church age. What do you think? — Jennavie, Michigan  

A: Eternal security, the teaching that one cannot lose eternal life once it is received, is true for all time in all dispensations. Eternal life is eternal—always! When Jesus guaranteed that eternal life, which is received by simply believing Jesus for it, could not be lost, He did not qualify that statement. He did not say that eternal security is only true for the Church Age. Over and over again, Jesus guaranteed eternal life could not be lost (see John 4:13-14; 5:24; 6:35-40; 10:27-29; 11:25-26; etc. This truth is also reiterated by writers of the New Testament. No one is good enough to obtain eternal life, and no one is good enough to hang onto it. If eternal life could be lost, we would all lose it; only the perfect ones could hang onto it. Eternal life, from beginning to end, is guaranteed by Jesus who promised, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” What an incredible comfort! 

FULL STOP. WAIT FOR OUTRO VOICEOVER. 

VOICEOVER: Thanks so much to John, for the information in today’s fascinating program. Don’t forget, If you’d like to sign up for notifications, see recent episodes, get copies of John’s books, or even ask John a question you can do that and more at ENDTIMESTODAY.ORG. In addition if you are interested in becoming a financial pattern with this or any of the shows produced by Free Grace International, you can donate at endtimestoday.org. Thanks for watching and we will see you next time on End Times Today, With John Claeys. 

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