In Revelation chapter 12 we were introduced to the seven headed dragon that had ten horns. This dragon morphed into a beast in the beginning of Revelation 13, wearing different religious clothing but still having seven heads and ten horns.
These beast creatures all represent spiritual conditions of mankind: both the pagan form and the false Christian form.
And now later in Revelation 13 we see yet a third creature that is more different in outer form, but yet is still called a “beast”.
Is the second beast of Revelation related to the beast before it?
Although this second beast looks very different from the first beast, it still behaves very similar to the first beast before it. In addition, it actually speaks like the dragon that was before the beast!
“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.” ~ Revelation 13:11
The spiritual source of this second beast is the earth, because it did not come from God out of heaven.
“But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is , there is confusion and every evil work.” ~ James 3:14-16
So this second beast, from the earth, represents a religious form that is contentious and divisive, and creates much confusion.
If you followed our previous posts you would know that the dragon of Revelation 12 represents the pagan forces of the Roman kingdom that existed when Christ first established his church. The first beast after the dragon, received his authority from pagan Rome. This happened when the Roman Emperor Constantine helped establish the beginnings of the Roman Catholic Church by declaring the Roman kingdom to be Christian.
So this earthly second beast (full of bitter envying and strife) can represent no other than the divisive sects that formed after Roman Catholicism. As a group, these divisive sects have commonly been identified as Protestantism. (Note: not everyone who would be identified as a Protestant is part of this second beast. There are individuals associated with Protestantism who are sincere in their desire to fully obey Christ. But understand, God never led anyone to create another sect of Christianity.)
Does this second beast of Revelation represent false prophets?
This second beast kind of looks like a lamb (like true Christianity), but yet he speaks with the voice of the dragon/Satan. (The dragon was clearly identified spiritually as Satan in Revelation 12.)
Remember what Jesus specifically warned us:
“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” ~ Matthew 7:15-21
What is the fruit of this lamb like second beast?
“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.” ~ Revelation 13:12
So this second beast followed the first beast, and exercises all the power, or authority of the first beast, and causes people of the earth to worship the first beast “whose deadly wound was healed.”
Yet this second beast speaks more blatantly like dragon/Satan, because the first beast had “a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies”, but the first beast had only one identity, because it claimed to be the one Church. Paganism has many identities and many god’s. Through Protestantism, Satan again was introducing many confusing religious identities under the umbrella of “Christianity” – a religious form that patterns itself like paganism.
Now this is not to say everyone who came out of the Roman Catholic Church was bad. The Reformation happened because of many sincere Christians who took their stand too serve only Jesus Christ, and to obey the Word of God and the Spirit of God. But, very soon men began to take control and to form their different divided sects. And in doing so they would kill the effect and power of the Word of God and the Spirit of God. Consequently, spiritually they ended up creating the second beast that followed the first beast.
Hence in Revelation 13:12 we are told that this second beast “exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him.” And this was and is certainly true of the many Protestant denominations. They all establish some kind of man rule government, and they sanction what their doctrine is, regardless of what the a Word of God has to say about it. But because Protestantism is divided into so many divisions and doctrines, they speak more like the pagan dragon of many religions than they do like the Roman Catholic Church that is not divided, (and the Catholic Church does teach one main collection of blasphemous doctrine). Hence we are told Protestantism looks like a lamb, but speaks like the dragon.
But note the end of the fruit of the Protestant beast: “and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast…”
“Wait” one might say, “Protestantism did not teach people to worship the Roman Catholic beast.” Please let us understand why the Lord identifies these as beasts.
Why does Revelation use beasts to describe fallen “Christianity”?
The notion of spiritual beasts in the Bible represents people who are not operating under the control and authority of the Holy Spirit.
“But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves. Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core. These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots” ~ Jude 1:10-12
Beasts serve the interests of themselves. They lack any spiritual connection to God. Consequently their purpose and focus is themselves. Often a beast’s god is their own belly.
“For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.” ~ Philippians 3:18-19
So their Spirit is an earthly one (which is why this beast came up from the earth) too worship themselves, and the organizations and doctrines they create.
“Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.” ~ Romans 1:21-23
They spiritually identify with and worship earthly things, like earthly religious organizations. They prove this by how they readily reject complete obedience to the Bible so that they might worship their god/doctrine of their religion. Consequently they worship the beast. And the second beast is just another form of the first. The net effect is people serving and worshiping a religion, instead of obeying and worshiping God in Spirit and in truth.
So when people worship the second beast, Protestant sects, they were also worshipping the Catholic beast, because in spite of these beasts ripping and tearing at one another (like beasts do) they both were of the same carnal spirit. And to prove they are of the same spirit, for some time now, they have been gathering together into one conglomerate beast through the ecumenical movement, the World Counsel of Churches, and the United Nations. (But more on this later.)
As stated before, the Protestant sects brought in some different traits beyond the first beast. The second beast, Protestantism, brought the spirits of devil’s more into the open. And this second beast works miracles that deceive people by these same spirits.
“And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, 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.” ~ Revelation 13:13-14
This second beast especially has the power to deceive. And his end objective: to make an image to the first beast so people would worship both the beast, and the image of the beast, and not God!
It is an abomination to God for man to bring God down to man’s level of understanding and being. This thinking is what leads to idolatry.
“And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.” ~ Romans 1:23
Note: The scriptures that follow Romans 1:23 speak of people being given over to the evils of sexual immorality. Today every country that has come under the strong influence of the beasts of Roman Catholicism and Protestant sects, has also become supportive of extreme sexual immorality. Why? Because that is part of the judgement upon people who at one time knew God (as a country) but now they worship the beast, and his image.
But why make an image to the beast? Why not just continue to worship the first beast only?
Because the kingdom reign of the first beast had ended. Roman Catholicism does not rule with the same power and authority that it used to – it has to work today in more undercover ways. So creating an image of the first beast is the spirit of Babylon’s method of trying to extend it’s life, even if it should be just an image. (Nope: Spiritual Babylon is the unfaithful whore spirit spoken of in Revelation 17.)
This is not the first time this has happened. Making an image to the beast is what essentially the King of Babylon (Nabuchradrezzer) did in the book of Daniel. After the king of Babylon heard the interpretation of his dream (Daniel chapter 2), he wanted to change the prophecy Daniel gave concerning the end of Babylon’s kingdom. He wanted to extend the existence of his kingdom.
Daniel had told the King that the great image in the King’s dream represented kingdoms, and that the image’s head of gold represented the first, temporary kingdom of Babylon. The rest of the body of the image, made of other metals, represented the kingdoms to come after Babylon.
The king of Babylon believed he could change what was prophesied. He thought he could extend the life of his kingdom, by creating his own image. So in Daniel chapter three he made an image all of gold so that the whole image represented his kingdom – only. He then made all people bow down to his image of his kingdom to worship it (just like the second beast of Revelation is trying to do). But there were those of God’s people who refused to bow to the King of Babylon’s image, and so he sought to kill them (just like the second beast of Revelation wants to do.)
So we should be able to see that the purpose of the “image of the beast” in Revelation 13 is an attempt to change the judgement of God against first beast, by making an image to that first beast, and having everyone bow to it, to worship its image.
How do I overcome the Revelation beast and his image?
A key purpose of the Revelation message is to wake people up spiritually so that they don’t worship the religious images made by man, but rather only worship God by obedience to his Word and his Holy Spirit.
Only by true salvation and a life consecrated to the Lord Jesus Christ, can one spiritually see this error. You must be in the true spirit of worship, to comprehend the false evil one.
“Until I went into the sanctuary of God [to worship the true God]; then understood I their end. Surely thou didst set them in slippery places: thou castedst them down into destruction. How are they brought into desolation, as in a moment! they are utterly consumed with terrors. As a dream when one awaketh; so , O Lord, when thou awakest, thou shalt despise their image. Thus my heart was grieved, and I was pricked in my reins. So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a beast before thee.” ~ Psalm 73:17-22
We must overcome reasoning like a beast, and the threats and power of this beast spirit, or else we will become part of the beast.
Who gave life to the image of the Revelation beast?
An image is dead until life is interjected into it. It was those principally that are part of Protestant sects that have started and given life to the World Council of Churches and the United Nations: both of a world-wide universal or catholic scope.
“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.” ~ Revelation 13:15
Again the purpose of the second beast: to kill the influence of those who will not worship the beast and his image. And then, to also kill them spiritually and physically if possible.
Ultimately, Satan wants everyone to be marked by this beast spirit. I’ll cover this mark of the beast in more detail in the next post.
Note: this diagram below shows where this seventh trumpet message is within the full Revelation message. The second beast spirit, with two horns like a lamb, is revealed as part of the 7th trumpet message. To better understand a high level view of Revelation, you can also see the “Roadmap of Revelation.”