Things to Come, Lesson 32, The Seven Personages of Revelation, The Beast of the Earth, Chapter 13, Part VII
We continue our study today of the men described by God in His Word as Beasts.
They are brought into this great period known as the Tribulation by the one called the dragon, another beastly descriptive name of Satan, the Devil, the Serpent.
The first Beast is brought forth to rule the world in evil for in that day evil shall be called good.
He is introduced to the world as one who came back from the dead, a doer of miracles, one whom the world asks of, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?
His mouth is given to speak great things and blasphemies against God, against Godís name, against Godís tabernacle, and against them that dwell in heaven.
He makes a covenant with many which is written to bring peace to the world for seven years but with this peace he declares war with the saints in order to overcome any vestiges of God.
In reality it is a declaration of war against God Almighty for remember the dragon knows his time is short.
For the first beast is declared to be God and all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the lamb.
The first Beast, the Beast of the Sea is the man, but he is also the state.
He leads all political and civil works and he leads all military works.
But this Beast is not enough for Satan, so another Beast is brought forth to complete the triad which imitates the Trinity of God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Revelation 13:11-18, 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. 12And 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. 13And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, 14And 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. 15And 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. 16And 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: 17And 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. 18Here 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.
John saw the first beast and now he beholds another beast, not out of the sea, but out of the earth.
But we who believe do not look for a savior from either the sea or from the earth for those domains are temporal.
We who believe look for a city not made with the hands of men, but a city whose builder and maker is God.
But those of the earth, and those of the sea who operate without faith, can only look to those two realms for salvation, for they are a prepared generation, prepared for these two evil men who are sent by Satan.
It is very easy to see today how our generation is being prepared for the coming of these two Satanically inspired men for in our culture today truth is being rejected without trial, cast aside without thought or consideration in favor of what men proclaim.
Have you ever heard a reasoned argument to reject principles and ways of life that have been in civilized nations for centuries?
No, of course not, for these principles emanate from religious sources and religion is automatically rejected without consideration.
Now John tells us of the second beast by describing him as a lamb with two horns, but speaking as a dragon.
In Revelation 19:20 and 20:10 this beast is described as the false prophet.
Revelation 19:20, And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image.
And in Revelation 20:10, And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
This Beast of the Earth is a false prophet for he declares the first Beast to be God.
He is the Anti-John the Baptist for his message is to Prepare ye the way of the Anti-Christ and make his paths straight.
He is the Anti-Elijah for he is given power to call down fire from heaven.
There is no rivalry between the two beasts for they are completely in concert and mimic that which is true about the Godhead.
Jesus said of the Comforter, of the Holy Spirit that he would not speak of himself but would glorify Christ.
We see this repeated between the first and second beast for he causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast.
John in his gospel emphasized the oneness that was displayed in the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit for Jesus did nothing in his own authority but spoke only within the authority of the Father, and likewise this is true of the Holy Spirit.
Again, Satan the ultimate counterfeiter, mimics Godís administration.
So in this Beast, in this second man of Satan we are given to see the leader of a world wide religion for he points to the Beast of the Sea, the man and the state, as the only one worthy of worship.
So we see here a union of the state and religion, a union of government and religion, but a religion only acceptable to the state.
A union whereby there is total agreement concerning all things good and all things evil, all things moral and all things immoral.
This will be a time spoken of by Isaiah the true prophet in:
Isaiah 5:20, Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
Today we are seeing a war between the state and religion for principles established in religion for centuries are being declared evil and their opposites are being declared good.
If you know your history you will know that this war is nothing new for John knew of the battle of the Romans against the gospel.
We in our lifetimes have seen over and over examples of government overstepping its bounds against religion.
Millions have been slaughtered and imprisoned because the state sees them as enemies to secularism.
We have lived for over two centuries in our country where there has been a clear division between what was of Caesar and what was of God.
God is the author of government, but He as the author, has limits as to what government should do however government is never satisfied to live within Godís boundaries and wishes itself to become God over its citizens.
Thomas Jefferson once said, "The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground."
The government is interested in this prayer, not to God but to government: Give me this day our daily bread, not to be asked of God, but asked of the government.
This is no doubt Satanís work!
And Satan will be successful for a time and this war against long established principles will be lost, for the two beasts, the Anti-Christ and the false prophet will agree and all division between the state, culture and religion will be gone.
Satan knows that men love miracles and are easily deceived and all his power is given to this false prophet to do great wonders for the faithless inhabitants of the earth to see.
For even today we can see a humanity being prepared for that day, where inhabitants of the earth will march in lockstep to the constant beat of the drum of science and culture and therefore believe what they are deceived to believe and that is only what is revealed by the flesh.
And if this is what you believe you will be easily deceived by the false prophet for he will cater to the flesh by demonstrating supernatural, miraculous power.
But we should remember Peterís reminder that we have a more sure word of prophecy in that the display of miracles does not override the Word of God.
And how important it is to know the Word of God for if a teaching is not in accord with Godís word it is from a false prophet even if it is the calling down of fire from heaven.
Now John tells of the mission of this false prophet in Revelation 13:13-15,
And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, 14And 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. 15And 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.
So we are given a picture of a state, a world government, united with religion.
And as such, we of course see idolatry enter the picture.
There is nothing new under the sun for remember when Nebuchadnezzar established his state religion the first thing he did was to erect a golden image to whom all were required to fall down and worship.
Nebuchadnezzar ordered: And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.
And the false prophet: saying to them that dwell on the earth: that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.
Satan, satisfied, simply brought out the old lines he used in Danielís time and used those lines with the new cast of characters of the Tribulation.
In both times, Danielís time and the false prophetís time we see a desire for idolatry of the state.
Thousands of years ago at the beginning of the Age of the Gentiles men were ordered to bow the knee to idols, and worship those idols as if they were gods.
Satanís men compelled men under the pain of death, to submit to whatever the government decided was needed or their lives would be taken from them.
Again at the close of Gentile control, men will willingly bow the knee to this image of Antichrist erected by the false prophet for such power will be displayed that the whole world will say, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?
The second beast is a beast of the earth in contrast to the beast of the sea.
I believe the Bible uses the sea as a picture of the multitudes and if this is so the contrasting word "earth" means not of the multitudes but from a smaller group.
And I think that smaller group may be Israel who is always connected to the land.
The land of the Bible always refers to the Promised Land.
It is the place from which our Lord Jesus Christ came and will govern during the coming millennium.
So I believe it is reasonable to think that the Antichrist, the first beast is from the nations, the Gentiles and the second beast, the false prophet, is from the Jews.
The Antichrist being from the nations is also indicated by the words of Daniel in that he arises from the ten kingdoms which I believe are those Gentile kingdoms, surrounding the land of Israel, spoken of in Psalm 83.
We know from scripture that there is interaction between Israel and the temple and these two men.
We know that the temple sacrifice is corrupted in the midst of the week.
We know that peace is brought to many by the Antichrist and it makes sense to think of this coming about by agreement between a gentile and a Jew, both with miraculous powers.
Also notice that the second beast, the false prophet, is described as a lamb with two horns who speaks as a dragon.
Now Jesus Christ, in the Old Testament is called "The Prophet" and in the New Testament he is called the Lamb of God.
The second beast, the false prophet is pictured as a lamb but speaks as a dragon.
A lamb speaking not as a lamb, but as a dragon reveals a lamb of deceit; a false lamb.
God in choosing to call the second beast, prophet and lamb may be revealing to us that the second beast is to be seen as the long awaited Messiah, of course coming from Satan he would be a false Messiah.
This time of tribulation will be the greatest time of deception the world will ever know and that deception will include Satanís man being identified as God.
Paul wrote to the Thessalonians of this time when he wrote of the revelation of a man called the man of sin.
I think this can be applied to Satanís trinity for Satan, Antichrist, and the false prophet are totally in union with no division at all between them.
I Thessalonians 2:3-12, Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 4Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. 5Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? 6And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. 7For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. 8And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: 9Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
I believe we are seeing Godís delusion in play in our time as we witness the culture of the whole world turn its back on truth, long ago ceasing to love the truth.
We are seeing things take place today that are so demented and vile and so far from reason that the conclusion can be made that God is sending strong delusion for "Whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap."
And any nation, any family or any individual who sows to the flesh can only reap corruption.
If any man deceive himself, or allows himself to be deceived, God will water and feed that delusion and there will be no hope for the man who rejects truth.
Sow the wind and reap the whirlwind.
Sow one seed of deceit and reap a full harvest of deceit.
That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
The Sovereign of All, sets the standard and the standard is truth.
Anyone who chooses to believe not the truth is damned.
Nothing complicated here. Itís as simple as that!