Beast from the Land - Page 1 (Lessons on Revelation)

by John Lowe
(Woodruff, S.C.)

Commentary on the Book of Revelation

By: Tom Lowe Date: 10/19/16

Lesson: IV.A.3: Beast from the Land (13:11-18)
Revelation 13:11-18 (KJV)
11 And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.
12 And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
13 And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,
14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.
15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.
16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.


Introduction

The first beast is a political power and a person, and his power will become worldwide. We come now to the second beast, the one who comes out of the earth and is a religious leader.
Commentary


11 And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.
Chapter 13 has two parts; the first part of the chapter (1-10) deals with the coming of Satan’s false prince; the remainder of the chapter (11-18) has to do with a second mysterious person conjured up by Satan to act as the propaganda chief for the beast. This person is called the false prophet. The first beast is possibly a Gentile, or at least he is partly Gentile, since he comes up from the sea. The second beast, the lamb like beast, is probably a Jew, since he comes up out of the earth, or, more accurately, out of “the land,” meaning the ancient land of Palestine where Christ was born and died. What is the difference between them? The sea represents the peoples of the world. The great mob of mankind today is like the surging and restless sea—that has always been true. The earth from which this second beast arises is symbolic of Palestine, and it is naturally assumed that the second beast comes from Israel. He is a messiah, and Israel would not accept him unless he had come from their land and was one of them.

Note: some believe that this second beast will be a nation or a government. But that theory is difficult to accept because the Greek says “another beast.” The way it is constructed denotes another of the same kind therefore, the most natural way to read this is that another man is on the scene performing critical works at the direction of the first beast. The great function of the second beast is to glorify the first beast. Thus Satan, the beast, and the false prophet form a satanic Trinity.

This second beast has a very deceptive appearance, and yet, he is easier to identify than was the first. After you establish who the first beast is it is not too much trouble to identify the second. John says, “And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.” The first beast has 10 horns; the second one has two horns. Territory is symbolized by the 10 horns of the first beast—“The ten horns of the beast are ten kings who have not yet risen to power. They will be appointed to their kingdoms for one brief moment to reign with the beast” (17:12; NLT); testimony is symbolized by the two horns of the second beast and, of course, it is false testimony. Jesus had warned of false teachers, “Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep, but are really wolves that will tear you apart” (Matthew 7:15, NLT). The two horns of the second beast suggest his imitation of Christ. The first beast

is opposed to Christ—he is Antichrist. The second beast imitates Christ. He also is Antichrist (considering anti, meaning “instead of”); he poses as Christ.

The second beast looks like a lamb and is therefore most deceptive in appearance. Nobody is afraid of a lamb. A lamb is gentle, harmless, and innocent and in Scripture, ceremonially clean. When the false prophet appears, he will, at first, seem to be all these things. Nobody will be frightened of him, for like a lamb, he will seem to be meek and lowly and will therefore be grossly underrated by mankind. The reason for the guise is that his role is to get people to worship the beast, and therefore he has to be a salesman. He must make all of the evil of the beast look good to humanity. Even though he will have two horns like a lamb, he will speak like a dragon—he will speak the words of Satan. He will appear harmless, but in reality his words will be deadly. But that is part of Satan’s plan.

If the second beast has the horns of a lamb, and he speaks like a dragon, the very voice of Satan is heard when he speaks. The mode of Satan’s language is the lie; he is the father of lies (John 8:44). The time has come when man must believe the lie, what Paul calls “the strong delusion” (2 Thessalonians 2:11). Attracted by the vitality of the beast, and assured by the seeming docility of the false prophet men will take at its face value the monstrous lie they are now to be told. In the satanic Trinity now formed, the beast is the anti-God (13:6); the false prophet is the aanti-Christ, and Satan is the anti-Spirit, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience (Ephesians 2:2).

Again, the Lord Jesus said in Matthew 24:24: “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” The false prophet is sort of a “John the Baptist” to the first beast. Some have identified him as King Saul or Judas, which is mere assumption and cannot be proved.


12 And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
The false prophet has a very spirited appeal. We are told that “he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.” The two work hand in glove. The false prophet becomes the chief executive officer of the new regime, but he works under the beast. He is the organizer and propaganda czar of a new religion centered in the beast, and he is the chief vicar of the new Caesar cult. The authority of the false prophet is derived from the beast. The first beast is the man of sin, the son of perdition in whom Satan invests his power (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12). The conspiracy is intended to channel worship to Satan through the person of the beast.

The role of the false prophet will be to make the new religion appealing and palatable to men. No doubt it will combine all the features of the religious systems of man, will appeal to man’s total personality, and will take full advantage of his carnal appetite. The dynamic appeal of the false prophet will lie in his skill in combining political expediency with religious passion, self interest with benevolent philanthropy, lofty sentiment with blatant sophistry, moral platitude with unbridled self-indulgence. His arguments will be subtle, convincing, and appealing. His oratory will be hypnotic, for he will be able to move the masses to tears or whip them into frenzy. He will control the communication media of the world and will skillfully organized mass publicity to promote his ends. He will be the master of every promotional device and public relations gimmick. He will manage the truth with guile beyond words, bending it, twisting it, and distorting it. Public opinion will be his to command. He will mold world thought and shape human opinion like so much potter’s clay. His deadly appeal will lie in the fact that what he says will sound so right, so sensible, so exactly what unregenerate men have always wanted to hear. All of this power is centered on one goal—to get every living being to worship the Antichrist rather than Jesus Christ.
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a Like the first beast, he is a real person, a man who is subordinate to and dependent upon the first beast, as the first beast is subordinate to and dependent upon Satan.

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