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 than him, 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.  Then he saith: I will return into my house from whence I came out. And coming he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished.  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.
What if this parable has a wonderful connection to the discourse on the seven-headed beast of apocalypse that appeared here in my writings at 365.com earlier? Sound crazy? Well, come along and see! First, we need to revisit the theology of the greater ages of sin in human history and of the beast as representation of those greater ages.
Let us look at the text in question of Apocalypse:
The beast, which thou sawest, was, and is not, and shall come up out of the bottomless pit, and go into destruction  And here is the understanding that hath wisdom. The seven heads … are seven kings:  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.
Now, 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!
Let us lay out the ages first, for recollection:
"Five have fallen":
I. The Fall and Noah's Day
IV. Intermediate Pre-exile Jewish Apostasy
VI. Pagan Rome
"The other has not yet come":
***VII. OUR CURRENT AGE, the Minor Apostasy***
"And the beast which was and is not, even he is the eighth":
VIII. The Great Apostasy [yet future, to follow Our Lady's Age of Peace where Her Heart Triumphs temporarily in human history]
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 RE-create Him in His image and likeness.
Hence, although greater subsequent phases of sin would still arise after the Flood [additional heads or kings of the beast, or additional "spirits" from our parable], 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. 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
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.
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]”, so let us now show and observe that each successive "spirit of the fall", or king of the beast, in our ages IS worse than all others before it! 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.
Now, let us move later on and examine some history of Judaism. After the Exodus and migration into the Holy Land, the Jews experienced two great darknesses: the culminating wickedness just prior to the Babylonian Exile, and then, after the Restoration, the apostasy of Maccabbean times.
I here intend to argue that the Jews who apostatized to the Greek godlessness in the times of Maccabees had greater culpability than the Jews who were apostate to the Old Law just before the Exile, as follows.
Note, the Jews who were wicked just before the Exile had not experienced the ultimate chastisement of Babylon. Admittedly, lesser chastisements had come upon the Hebrews up until that time for lesser degrees of wickedness. But none of these lesser chastisements could compare to being completely uprooted from the land, the temple destroyed and them carried away under pagan rule for some 70 years. This was the big one. Moreover, they had not, as of yet, experienced the sequel to such chastisement: not wrath and condemnation from God, but love and mercy and restoration. Indeed, the Jews who lived to be forgiven by God in the exile, and to be restored to the Holy Land, and to begin to rebuild what they had lost, this brought greater intimacy and love between God and His cherished People than before the Exile. So profound was that renewal, that, according to the New American Bible commentary on history, this solidification of Jewish renewal enabled them to resist forthcoming Hellenistic influences for quite some time, even almost until the crises of this aforementioned Maccabee time.
In light of these things, the Jews that would then go on to apostatize in the times of the Maccabees DID have these things behind them. They had the testimony of Scripture of their ancestors' great epic chastisement, and mass repentance, epic mercy from the Father, and restoration, and tears, and rebuilding, and strengthened love and fidelity. Hence, the Jewish apostates of Maccabees were more culpable than the wicked Jews before the exile!
Let us now graduate to the New Testament era, and we will see that the theological trajectory continues; THE SPIRITS OF THE AGES OF SIN BECOME MORE CULPABLE. Note, first, that the spotlight of human history after Christ no longer looks significantly upon the Jewish People but upon the Church, since the People of God flowered under Christ into Jew and Gentile alike in the Catholic Church:
Pagan Rome is LEAST Culpable of NT Ages
Pagan Rome is the 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. They have never known the way. But as the love and courage of the Christians as brave, kind and benevolent persons progressively manifested itself through the persecutions, the Empire began to be 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. Christianity converted most of Europe in the Middle Ages and most of the New World later. The European world and its derivatives have KNOWN God to a great degree, and have 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
But where are we now? What comes next: by EWTN scholarship (see their article, ewtn.com, Faith, Q and A, FAQ, Catholic Doctrine, End times/Millennium/Rapture), what is most likely on our immediate horizon is chastisement, and it will be so bad, as has been said by one scholar elsewhere, that people who don't know any better will think that the world is ending. In this chastisement, though they don't say it, it seems clear that what will take place is that God will abandon the world to be "exiled" into the consequences of their sins and errors against the Church: the apocalyptic materialistic power that man now possesses will amplify and accelerate the consequences of sin and error, again, apocalyptically, so that man will see the error of his ways. He will no longer be able to call darkness light and light darkness. No, the darkness will be unveiled for what it is. And when that happens, a second Constantine will erupt in history. ANOTHER moral miracle!
That is, just as the Jews REPENTED in the exile and were RESTORED to the Holy Land, so the Gentiles will REPENT in the chastisement and be RESTORED to the SPIRITUAL Holy Land, the Catholic Church (the EWTN article mentions the reunion of Christians after the minor tribulation).
Moreover, just as the JEWS rebuilt the PHYSICAL Temple of God, so the GENTLES shall rebuild the SPIRITUAL Temple of God, CATHOLIC CHRISTENDOM. Our Lady will Triumph. There will be peace. The doctrines of our Christ that had been so contested against His Holy Catholic Church will be vindicated. Man will have learned the hard, apocalyptic way, of his need for the Catholic Church in its ENTIRETY.
AND!!! The FULL FRUITS of the GOSPEL will be felt in history. SCIENCE AND FAITH FULLY RECONCILED. SPIRITUAL AND MATERIAL PROSPERITY for a great age. God will truly give to humanity a SABBATH-LIKE rest from tribulation for a great time.
AND SO! What if, after all this, the world FALLS AWAY AGAIN, like today?! What can we say about THAT culpability? IT WILL TRULY BE THE ULTIMATE SPIT in God's face!
The modern world? Yes, Christians are divided, religion is a wreck, scandal of merciless inquisitors, wicked, slothful bishops, pedophile priests, crooked TV evangelists… The modern world has a PARTIAL excuse for not believing.
BUT THE FINAL WORLD? AFTER God shows them the apocalyptic horrors of their errors? And, were that not enough, AFTER God gives them PEACE, the TRUE FRUITS of Jesus' Gospel when the world BELIEVES as one and LOVES as one?! NO EXCUSE.
Hence, just as the Jews in the time of the OLD Testament Antichrist Antiochus, the Maccabees, were MORE culpable for apostasy than the Jews BEFORE the chastisement of Babylon and later renewal, so the GENTILES in the time of the NEW Testament Antichrist, the Great Apostasy, will be SUPREMELY more culpable than the Gentiles NOW, before the minor tribulation that is imminent to our time and the succeeding beautiful age of peace and love!
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, as we just saw, 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, returning to the parable of the unclean spirits, that the initial unclean spirit of our parable REVISITS the house with the other seven ["Then he goeth, and taketh with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there "] 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, the first "spirit" and "beast king" 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 THE AGES OF ALL SIN? No faith, no repentance? Man REJECTING God’s truth and DOING as he pleases?
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!
Addendum: Blaspheming the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit
This is my idea, what do you think? I think we can say that of these three ages of darkness for the New Testament, each darkness progressively blasphemes a Person of the Trinity.
Pagan Rome, Blaspheming the Father
I think it is safe to say that the primary reason Christians were killed in the first three centuries of Rome is because they were seen as threats to the sovereignty of the state. They would not "pinch incense to Caesar", to say that "Caesar is above Jesus [or the Father]". They would refuse to say that Caesar, while a legitimate ruler of the Empire, was NOT God almighty. Only the Father is God Almighty. Hence, in a certain sense, Caesar is BLASPHEMING the FATHER!
The Modern Minor Apostasy Blasphemes the Son
The modern partial apostate world is disillusioned with Jesus. Jesus has 102 voices in the modern world, 102 groups that speak on behalf of him: One group says there is Peter, General Brothers, and the Book. The second group says there is no Peter, but yes there are General Brothers and the Book. And the other 100 groups [100 primary denominational categories, see the handbook of Christian Denominations] say there is no Peter, nor Brothers, just the Book, but they each have their own way to look at the Book, and no two interpretations of the Book are fully reconcilable.
The world says,
"If Jesus wanted to get a message across, why are there 102 versions of his message, no two of which fully agree? Therefore, we say, the MESSAGE of Jesus is BOGUS. Let us go back to the way things were before these fanatical hypocrites "converted the world", that is, let us go back to sin and worldliness (Pagan Rome, NO faith, NO repentance: no faith: atheism, agnosticism, relativism, pantheism, new age; no morals: take God's name in vain, don't rest on Sabbath, disrespect authority, abortion, drugs, gossip, bullying, fornication, promiscuity, sexual slavery, pornography, same sex, greed, materialism, fraud, … )."
So the modern world clearly BLASPHEMES JESUS, the SON!
The Great Apostasy will BLASPHEME the SPIRIT! UNFORGIVABLE SIN!
Now we know that coming soon to a theatre of world-life near you, the world is going to find out that it needs the Catholic Church completely. The MATERIALISTIC POWER and GRANDEUR will be used to APOCALYPTICALLY AMPLIFY the consequences of darkness and sin! The world after this will NEVER be able to tell God that they didn't know WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU HAVE GREAT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY WITHOUT TRUTH AND MORALS! They will NEVER be able to tell God that SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY WITHOUT GOD can hold humanity together and keep peace and prosperity! NEVER! THEY WILL HAVE BEEN SHOWN, APOCALYPTICALLY, that THAT is a LIE FROM HELL! Humanity, after an apocalyptic bunn whipping, will have learned its errors, and will have seen that materialistic power and knowledge, when absent from God, and, God forbid, WITH errors and darkness, BECOMES AN INSTRUMENT FOR THE DESTRUCTION OF THE HUMAN RACE!
Hence, WHEN the world DOES live in peace and prosperity for a long time AFTER that, they will know that it is ONLY because the HOLY SPIRIT (!!!) will have finally SANCTIFIED the world. The Holy Spirit will have descended like a dove and rested in men's hearts. Mary, the Immaculate Spouse of the Spirit, will dwell there, too, for Her Heart will Reign for a certain era of Peace, as she has promised us.
Now, yes, scientific and material power and knowledge will rest peacefully beside the Spirit, even ENHANCE the happiness of that age of peace. But it will be JUST THAT: an ENHANCEMENT, NOT the prima-causa! Only by the GRACE of God, MEDIATED by the SPIRIT--the sacraments, the 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit at confirmation, the fruits of the Spirit, the virtues, theological and cardinal, the charisms, AND the truths of God, His Mysteries--only by these can LASTING peace and prosperity persist.
So when the world falls away again, what shall we say? If they fall away AFTER the age of peace, what is left? And when, after the great apostasy moves in first phases right after the age of peace, and tribulation and wars come back again since long ago in the minor apostasy and tribulation, how shall the Antichrist ,who shall claim to summon up peace at this time, explain that there was peace for so long until that time?
ALAS! He cannot attribute it to the Spirit, for He is a man of perdition, who comes to deny, in the final time in history, that man needs God at all! But so if he cannot give the glory to God, what else can he do except give the glory to the WORLD!
Hence, I CONJECTURE, that Antichrist shall attribute the peace of the age of peace to the mere WORLDLY powers of science and technology that had worked alongside the Spirit.
Meaning what? Well, what is science and technology and prosperity in a material sense except the POWERS OF THIS WORLD.
So he will be saying that the POWERS OF THIS WORLD are what kept PEACE.
Now, PEACE, what is that? Is that not the BINDING of war and strife? And who is the ultimate cause of war and strife except the DRAGON? Hence, in fact, we know that I have suggested that a way to look at the age of peace is as that scene in Apocalypse 20 where the DRAGON is BOUND!
And who is the dragon except the PRINCE of this world?
Hence, the antichrist, in saying that "war and strife were bound by the power of science and prosperity", will be saying, effectively, that the PRINCE of this world was BOUND by the POWER of this world!
And where in the Gospels have we seen men say that "Demons are cast out [or, certainly, bound] by the PRINCE of demons!"
And what did the Incarnate One, the Word made Flesh, say to those Pharisaical hypocrites except that such claims were "BLASPHEMING the HOLY SPIRIT" and that they WOULD NEVER BE FORGIVEN, NEITHER IN THIS AGE, NOR THE AGE TO COME!
Too, what can we say except that Antichrist will be attributing to the mere world what was ONLY the Spirit, and THAT will be the SUPREME Blaspheme! And how can God forgive THAT HISTORICALLY!
Hence, why the world will need to end then! But allelulia, Jesus Christ, Our Savior and King, who died for us in infinite pain that we might live, HAS OVERCOME THE WORLD!
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!