When we apply words of the Apocalypse to this concept we would, speaking of “Being”, speak of the “One who is, who was and who is to come” (1:4, 1:8 and 4:8) – the same who, when he began “to reign” apocalyptically, is found to be the “One who is and who was” (11:17 and 16:15), as his future, as one might say, is fully identical with the process which has now begun.
The Beast carrying the woman, with its seven heads and ten horns (17:7, see 13:1), on the contrary “was and is not, and is about to ….”. It does not really exist, and has only a limited future. Once the forces of adversary are engaged in the apocalyptic process, we see that they are increasingly being thwarted and “put in their place”:
4. In the realm of manifestations, after they had begun to trouble human beings on earth (9:1ff, 11:7);
3. Through their activity, while they are making haste to enslave human beings within their realms (Ch 12/13, 15/16);
2. Because in the sphere of revelation, they are not “present” at all and can only fall short (Ch 17/18);
1. Whereas to their being, they will ultimately be relegated to the Lake of Fire (Ch 20).
This is what “apocalypse” is about. Everything else has to do with indications that something is going to happen, in the way John the Baptist proclaimed that “the kingdom of God, the kingdom of the heavens has come near”, while he called for a “change of heart and mind” – calls taken up by Jesus himself.
Such phenomena we might call “apocalyptic stirrings”, and far too often among people they generate fears that “apocalypse” is already at hand.