He Now Is Not

Hello everyone and welcome back to Deeper Waters. We are continuing now our Trinitarian Commentary in the book of Revelation. There are just 6 chapters to go as we start chapter 17 tonight. It’s really incredible that we’ve come all this way. I hope you all have got a lot out of this study. I know I sure have. I had no idea it would be this huge project when I got started, but it has been and it’s been a blessing. Of course, I do ask for your prayers for my continued Christlikeness and I do believe that that is taking effect very well. I find my mode of thinking has changed to a better one. I also ask for your prayers in my financial situation. Finally, I ask for prayers in a related area of my life. For now, let us go to the text. It’s Revelation 17:8.

8The 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.

The beast in Revelation is the constant villain John has on the scene. Although he gets his power from satan, he is the one who is the main opponent of the saints. John wishes to contrast however the evil of the beast with the goodness of the Lamb.

In our Trinitarian study tonight, this will be a contrast verse. The beast is the representative of the powers of evil, but evil is always limited. There are times when it is essentially down for the count. Again, I leave it to my readers to work out the specific eschatological timeframes that they see in the book for themselves. We wish to talk instead about how Jesus relates to this.

In Revelation 1:8, we saw that God is described as the one who was, who is, and who is to come. We’ve said a number of times that Jesus is in the divine identity meaning the same could be said of him. Jesus is goodness by nature. There is never a time when good is not. There are times when evil is not. Evil is the privation of the good that ought to be there.

The reminder for the Christian in any day and age is first off a good one. It is first that evil will never be eternal. There will be times when evil is not on the scene. Now I am not saying we have a perfect world in this life, but there are times where we do experience some relief from suffering. Evil always comes back however. The Christian reminder is that God is always there when that evil shows up. He outlasts all evil and he will outlast all evil. What a message to the church that the greatest adversaries that we can face are on a leash.

Let us fear not evil, but overcome evil with good.

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