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Revelation 17:10 Exception Statement

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Revelation 17:10 Exception Statement - How To Understand It

The exception for the heads of Revelation 17 works like this.  From Daniel 7 and 8, we know that the heads must be concurrent with one another.  Both heads and horns that occur there are always concurrent with one another.  The Precedence Principle tells us that the same rules would apply in Revelation up to the point where an exception occurs.  In Revelation 17:10 it says  "And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space."  Note here that nothing is said about whether the first five are sequential or concurrent.  So, it is clear from the Precedence Principle that the Concurrency Principle from Daniel 7 and 8 should apply at least to the first five.  Remember that we should not read something into it that is not there, so we cannot say by direct statement or by strong implication directed towards the first five heads that they are sequential as nothing in the text would say that.  But, it does go on to say that there is one in existance, and one more yet to come.  Now, one could very clearly infer from this that kings six and seven are sequential.  It is not so clear that kings five and six are sequential, though it does appear so.  Now, what does this mean?

Remember that heads are defined as the seven papal names that have occurred since 1798.  From Daniel we can know that heads can represent names (see Daniel 2:38 which says "...Thou art this head of gold." which put a name to a head, and there are other texts that indicate something similar in Daniel 7 and 8).  From 1798 to the present day, different popes have come and gone, each with different names.  What is interesting is that if you look back into history, you will see that from the perspective of Pope Paul VI, there were 5 names that had died out of those since 1798.  His was then in existance, and there was one more yet to come.  Now, if you were able t go back in time to the year 1798 and be able to look forward in time knowing what we know now of papal history, you would see that there were six names that continued forward from before 1798.  Only one did not exist at that time and would not until the John Paul series came along.  In other words, six of the papal names had members from before 1798, while only one did not.  So, one could say that six of these names began before 1798, so after 1798, they would continue to exist or potentially exist until the last member of each name line died out.  Thus it is that these names existed together until the last surviving member of each name line died.  At the point where the last surviving member of each name line died, that head fell, never to rise again in history.

To clarify a little terminology, what is called here a name line is really nothing more than an open membership list to one of the most exclusive clubs in the world - that of popes with the same name for those occurring after 1798.  The membership list remains open with the potential to add more popes until God declares that it is now closed, or in other words, he says there will be no more individuals added to that list.  At that point, the bible says that head has "fallen."

Now that this information is properly understood, one can see that heads 1-6 were actually concurrent with one another from 1798 onward until each of them died out one by one.  The Pope Paul series was the last of the six lines to die out.  Then, the seventh head arose and he had never been before and would remain the shortest time of them all.  History bears it out that this is exactly what has happened.  So, heads 6 and 7 are sequential but heads 1-6 are concurrent with one another, not as individuals, but rather as name lines that existed or potentially existed until the last member of each name line died out.  A chart might help you understand this point.

Some would suggest that one could say they are all sequential because as the names died out, that would produce a sequential list, which is true.  But, God does not show us things that way or intend for us to look at it that way.  God showed Daniel things of the future, all of which appeared as if it were an accomplished fact simply waiting to happen, and almost as if it was already present.  Perhaps to God it is "present", but it is not to us.  The fact is that God showed Daniel the events from his time forward.  It appears that God wants us to look at things that way as well. 

The Greek kingdoms that resulted from the breakup of Greece fell into the hands of Rome one by one, not all at once, so one could say that they too were sequential in that they fell sequentially.  Yet it is their concurrent existance at the beginning of the breakup of Greece (once the dust settled between the generals of Alexander the Great) that God demonstrates by using 4 heads upon the leopard beast of Daniel 7.  He could have showed 4 heads falling sequentially to indicate they were sequential, but he did not.  That was not his point.  His point was that they begin together and exist concurrently until each of them fell one by one.  This forward view of the history of Greece and other kingdoms is embodied in the Forward View Principle, which says that we are to view things from the perspective of the beginning rather than the end of a beast.

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