Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Ten Reasons (2) Government that Died

The key to identifying the political empire called the Beast is that it seems to have died, but then comes back to life again. When it comes back to life, the entire world follows the Beast.

One of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a fatal wound, but the fatal wound had been healed. The whole world was astonished and followed the beast (Rev 13:3).
One of the heads of the beast had been killed, but it came back to life, which caused great amazement throughout the world.

This Beast uses a form of human government that existed before John's time, but came to such a violent end that it seemed impossible that it would rise again. John saw a form of human government that seemed to be finished forever, coming into existence again. This is confirmed in a later vision.

The beast, which you saw, once was, now is not, and will come up out of the Abyss and go to his destruction. The inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the creation of the world will be astonished when they see the beast, because he once was, now is not, and yet will come (Rev 17:8).
The Beast once existed, in John's time it did not exist, but in the future, it will come back into existence. People will be amazed when this type of government returns, because it seemed to have been obliterated.

John records the time when this government came to an end.

They are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; but when he does come, he must remain for a little while. The beast who once was, and now is not, is an eighth king. He belongs to the seven and is going to his destruction (Rev 17:9,10).
The seven kings (or heads) are the seven forms of human government that ruled over Rome. Five did not exist during John's lifetime but had held power in previous times. The sixth form of government was ruling at the time when John received his vision. It is easy to identify, because the Roman Empire dominated the world throughout John's lifetime. The sixth head is the Roman empire.

The Beast has a form of government that did not exist during John lifetime, but had existed previously. Therefore, the key to identifying the Beast is identifying the form of human government that came to a violent end when the emperors came to power. The major form of human government that existed prior to the Roman Empire was the Roman Republic. It began in 500 BC and lasted for nearly five centuries. The Republic was led by consuls elected for a year. An elected Senate was responsible for passing laws and appointing government officials. Not everyone had the right to vote, but the Roman Republic was based on the principle of democracy, which had been developed in Greece, but had died there much earlier.

The republic was an important form of government for several centuries, but by the time that John received his vision, the Republic appeared to be gone forever, having been fatally wounded by several Roman emperors. It came to a violent end about thirty years before Jesus was born, when Julius Caesar and his successor Augustus turned their armies against Rome and destroyed the Republic. By the time of Jesus, the Empire was fully entrenched in power.

John’s vision warns that the Republic would come back to life as an eighth king. The Beast with the "fatal wound had been healed' and the "beast who was wounded by the sword and lived" is a democratic republic. It is the fifth king that died just before the Kingdom of God was established.

The democratic republic came back to life ten centuries later when the leaders of the democratic movement in the United States looked back to the example of the Greek and Roman Republics. The government buildings in Washington used Greek and Roman designs. The eighth king is the restored democratic republic that was developed in the United States and copied in other parts of the world.

People of the modern world have enormous faith in the democratic government. Most people have more faith in the state than Christians have in God. They say that democracy is the best form of government, so very few people are interested in being governed by God. Democracy is the ultimate rebellion, because it consists of an entire society refusing to accept God's government.

No comments: