The Parable of the Swept House and the Unclean Spirits [and Application to the Beast]

Prerequisite: The Creation Days and the Beast Heads as Image of Whole Salvation History

In the Gospel parable of the unclean spirit who inhabits a house, the spirit is cast out and the house swept; then later, the spirit returns with seven others that are even worse and the house is worse than when it started.

Matthew 12: 43

And when an unclean spirit is gone out of a man he walketh through dry places seeking rest, and findeth none. [44] Then he saith: I will return into my house from whence I came out. And coming he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. [45] Then he goeth, and taketh with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is made worse than the first. So shall it be also to this wicked generation.

It may not seem like it, but there are profound parallels between this parable and the discourse on the seven-headed beast of apocalypse. Sound crazy? Come along and see! First, we need to revisit the theology of the greater ages of sin and of the beast as representation of those greater ages of darkness in human history.

Let us look at the text in question of Apocalypse:

Apocalypse 17:

The beast, which thou sawest, was, and is not, and shall come up out of the bottomless pit, and go into destruction [9] And here is the understanding that hath wisdom. The seven heads … are seven kings: [10] Five are fallen, one is, and the other is not yet come: and when he is come, he must remain a short time. And the beast which was, and is not: the same also is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into destruction.

How, would this relate to our parable? Well, the parallels are astounding. Just come along! In short, BOTH SCRIPTURES can be seen as a profound image of the fall when we see the beast and the unclean spirits as the fallen nature itself manifested throughout human history, from beginning to end, inclusive!

The Beast "Was":

In the beginning, before the Flood, the fall ruled the house of the world. No substantial redemptive action had, as of yet, been wrought by God. Hence, the fall was the prevailing force in human history at that time. The beast was!

The Beast "is Not":

But with the Flood, the world was cleansed of all wickedness, and the house was swept clean. The fall ceased to be the prevailing force of human history because God was beginning to RENEW man, to REcreate Him in His image and likeness. Hence, although greater subsequent phases of sin would still arise after the Flood, they are SECONDARY manifestations of the Fall (with the exception of the very last one, see below) because they are still in the process of being renewed at the progressive phases. Only at the end, when a supreme culpability and wickedness comes—one that, within human history, practically cannot be cured--namely, the great apostasy and Antichrist, will the fall be back to stay and, therefore, the prevailing force of human history again, as just before the Flood.

Seven Additional Spirits

Hence, as just mentioned, after the Flood, the fall would then go on to re-exert itself in SEVEN ADDITIONAL PUNCTUATED MANIFESTATIONS in human history. We are now, by all estimates, in the seventh overall, leaving only the eighth to come at the very end, the Great Apostasy and Antichrist.

  1. The Fall and Noah's Day
  2. Babel
  3. Egypt
  4. Intermediate Pre-exile Jewish Apostasy
  5. Maccabees
  6. Pagan Rome
  7. ***OUR CURRENT AGE, the Minor Apostasy***
  8. The Great Apostasy [yet future, to follow Our Lady's Age of Peace where Her Heart Triumphs temporarily in human history]

The Unclean Spirits Get Worse, the Ages of Sin, More Culpable

Further, as we remember Jesus saying that the seven additional spirits “are even worse [than the first]” each successive "spirit of the fall", or king of the beast, in our ages IS worse than all others! Why? BECAUSE OF THE CULPABILITY of the ones that embrace the darkness, as to make humanity falling farther and farther down to the ultimate sin at the end, the great apostasy.

Let us look deeper: In Noah's day, no substantial Divine Revelation or chastisement had ever taken place, saving the minor revelation of the Flood. Hence, though the world is wicked in Noah's day, the historical culpability of the human race is minimal. They do not even have the Old Law, the signs of the Exodus, much less the New Law of Christ.

Too, when Jews fell away and apostatized during Maccabees, they were more culpable than when the Jews were wicked just before the Exile in Babylon. That is, the Jews had a renewed love of God after the Exile that was stronger than when they had been so dreadfully wicked. Moreover, the prophets were vindicated by the Exile and Restoration. Therefore, with such GREATER profundity and heart-felt love BEHIND them, the Jews who apostatize in the times of Maccabees are WORSE, or MORE CULPABLE, than the ones before the exile.

When we graduate to the New Testament era, the theological trajectory continues; THE SPIRITS OF THE AGES OF SIN BECOME MORE CULPABLE:

Pagan Rome is LEAST Culpable of NT Ages

This is most easily seen in the New Testament darknesses. To start, note from the above list that the first darkness of NT history is pagan Rome. Here, sinful humanity, and the government, rejects Christianity and viciously persecutes it. However, we can note that the world, as of then, did not fully understand the Gospel. They misunderstood Christians. As the love and courage of the Christians as brave, kind and benevolent persons progressively manifested itself through the persecutions, persons were won over.

The Modern Apostasy is MORE Culpable

Today, however, the modern renewed rejection of the Gospel in the former Christendom is more culpable, since Christianity has been present in history substantially. The European world and its derivatives have KNOWN God to a great degree, and found Him lacking. So the modern apostasy is more personal, more irresponsible.

However, they are not fully culpable, as they will be at the end. Why? Because the last 1700 years has been nothing but bloodshed, hatred and confounding of ideas in religion. Christianity has NOT been one, nor have Christians LOVED one another: Islamics kill Catholics, Catholics kill Islamics. Catholics gouge out an eye of the Eastern Christians. Catholics burn heretics at the stake. Protestants kill Catholics and Catholics kill Protestants and Protestants kill OTHER types of Protestants. And their ideas of what Jesus meant to say are as numerous as there are Christians. Hence, the modern world is understandably scandalized, and so not fully culpable for the Gospel historically, not YET.

The Final Apostasy is UTTERLY Culpable

HOWEVER, at the end of the world, the Gentiles will have reached full culpability, since before that time, and after ours, God will have vindicated His Church and Her Teaching in the chastisement, showing humanity the terrible, even apocalyptic, consequences of not listening to Her. And were that not enough, He will even give to humanity that fullness of spiritual temporal peace for a great age, the Age of the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart, so that the full fruits of truly following His Gospel will show humanity God’s Infinite love and wisdom, Hence, when the great apostasy comes, man will be utterly culpable; they will not be able to say they didn’t know any better, nor that they have not seen the beautiful fruits of the Gospel lived and experienced nearly globally.

The Beast “Will be Again”

Note, then, as the parable indicates, the latter condition of the house is worse than it was before, which is absolutely true when we compare the world of Noah, utterly wicked but LEAST culpable, destroyed by WATER, and the world at the end, the great apostasy, utterly wicked but COMPLETELY culpable, and to be destroyed by FIRE.

Hence, to revisit our discussions of the “beast was and is not and will be again,” whereas the beast’s heads, or spirits, after the first and before the last took a BACK SEAT to the Redemption of the world, meaning that, for those ages of sin--two through seven, inclusive--the phases were STILL REDEEMABLE by a great action of God in human history, even if by grace, the EIGHTH is NOT so.

For, above, we saw that at the great apostasy, nothing further can be done by God to redeem humanity. Why? Because, again, FIRST, God showed the world the apocalyptic consequences of not listening to His Church, and, SECONDLY, He GAVE them a wonderful period of love and peace, VINDICATING His Church’s teachings and graces, so that they would never be able to say they did not see the true wonderful fruits of faith and love. Hence, the apostasy following the Age of Peace is UNFORGIVABLE, and, if not more, MAN CAN NO LONGER BE CONVERTED, since, IF THEY WILL NOT BELIEVE AFTER ALL THAT, NOTHING WILL MAKE THEM BELIEVE. Hence, the FALL IS BACK, as IT WAS IN NOAH’S DAY!

In this view, if we look at the Fall of Adam and Eve as the FIRST DEATH of humanity, then this final rebellion at the end is effectively a SECOND DEATH, from which there is no resurrection SPIRITUALLY!

Hence, that the initial unclean spirit of our parable REVISITS the house with the other seven can suggest that this SAME initial spirit--REMAKING his presence to the “home”—is himself RETURNING THE PREVALENCE OF THE FALL TO THE HOUSE, that is, the WORLD! He is RETURNING a fall that is LIKE NOAH’S DAY, A PREVAILING FORCE OF HUMAN HISTORY, YET, NO LONGER REDEEMABLE, as was the case in Noah’s day.

Hence, the beast “was and is not, and will be again!”, and “And the beast which was, and is not: the same also is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into destruction.”

The Beast is “of the Seven”, He Returns with “Seven Other Spirits” The Fallen Nature Itself

Finally, that the beast is “of the seven” can image, mystically, that the fallen nature, manifest from the beginning is the THEOLOGICAL SPIRIT OF DARKNESS PRESENT IN THEM ALL! And how? Because the fall in Noah’s day manifests darkness in a simple but absolutely powerful way!

In Noah’s day, man, about to be BAPTIZED, has no regard for the BAPTISMAL DISPOSITION: that is, he has neither FAITH, nor REPENTANCE. God said there would be a Flood, and they have scoffed and mocked Noah. And whereas the natural law is plain to see for the human who is rational, they have turned aside even from natural light and given themselves over to wickedness.

Is this not the spirit of all ages of sin? No faith, no repentance? Man REJECTING God’s truth and DOING as he pleases? And when man no longer lives for God in this way, do they not live rather for THIS world instead of the NEXT? Do they not reject SPOUSAL COVENANT with God and rather turn to superficial FORNCATION with the world, or materialism, as at Babel?

Hence, the spirit of the first beast, the first spirit, contains the lies and dispositions of ANY of the others, so that he is OF the seven!

Let us pray, then, that Our Lady’s destruction of this great SEVENTH spirit of darkness in human history, this MINOR SECULAR APOSTASY, might be vanquished by God’s grace and usher in the fullness of the Gentiles, where nearly all human hearts will allow the grace of Jesus to rest in them and put to death sin and wickedness in the world for a great time, a seventh light, an imperfect Sabbath, even as Jesus put to death sin and wickedness in His death on the Cross, enabling His Body to rest toward the earth!