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The Christian Counter

   


The Beasts of Revelation Exposed
What do They Represent?

[1] [2] [3] [4] [5]


Composite Beast Summary

In closing this section, I would like to make four points:

1.      If a person obeys the composite beast, he or she is really obeying the devil. (Revelation 13:4)

2.      The composite beast will be empowered for 42 months. (Revelation 13:5)

3.      The composite beast will be completely victorious and the saints will be completely conquered. (Revelation 13:7)

4.      Some Bible students claim the composite beast is the papacy. Others argue this beast is the devil himself. Others argue this beast is a neo-Roman nation that is yet to appear. The problem with all these answers is that they are partially true, but none of these meets the specifications that identify the composite beast. Yes, the composite beast includes the papacy, the empowerment of the devil and the political acquiescence of all nations!  This beast has no equal or parallel from times past. Humankind has never seen such a powerful and horrible monster. When it is established, it will crush and destroy anyone and everything that stands in its way, because the dragon is the power within it. Resistors will cry out for help saying, “Who can fight against this and hope to win?” (Revelation 13:4)

For these and other reasons beyond the scope of this study, I call this beast “the Dragon-like beast.” I cannot find a better way to describe the next world government. To say that this empire will be confused, internally contradictory, and do evil and violet things, is an understatement. It will be worse than Hitler’s Third Reich. In fact, God will use the formation of this beast to prove beyond question that there is a sharp and distinct line between truth and error. Those who have spiritual eyes and ears will clearly understand. Those people who are self-serving will not.

The Lamb-like Beast

We have discussed the Lamb, the dragon and the Dragon-like beast. Now, we come to the fourth and final beast called the Lamb-like beast. I have been scolded more than once for calling the two-horned beast in Revelation 13 “the Lamb-like” beast. Some people claim this “label” immediately favors my claim that he is the great antagonist of the Lamb. I encourage any Bible student to decide for himself or herself if the designation “Lamb-like beast” is correct even though it is not found in Revelation 13 (and neither is my designation “Dragon-like beast” found in Scripture). However, I insist on calling this beast “the Lamb-like beast” because it can be quickly determined that he is the star attraction of last-day events. He has no equal. The world will be delighted, entertained, led astray and into war against Jesus by this incredible creature. This beast will prove to be nothing less than the great Antichrist himself – Lucifer in the flesh.

Revelation 13:11 Then I saw another beast, coming out of the Earth. He had two horns like a lamb, but he spoke like a dragon.

Comments: First, notice the origin of the beast. He comes up out of the Earth – this stands in sharp contrast to the composite beast that rises from the sea. According to Revelation 17: 15, water represent peoples, multitudes, nations, languages, etc. Therefore, we can assume that the composite beast rises out of nations, multitudes and languages. In contrast, the Lamb-like beast does not rise from nations, multitudes, languages or peoples and this is a critical difference. Unlike the composite beast, the Lamb-like beast does not depend on the presence of people to exist! This beast just appear “out of nowhere” – rising from the Earth. In fact, this phrase is very descriptive, since his origin turns out to be the bottomless pit! The origin of the Lamb-like beast is a very crucial point. This is why: The Lamb-like beast rising up out of the Earth in Revelation 13:11 describes the same event as “the beast rising up out of the bottomless pit” in Revelation 17:8. If this is not the case, then Revelation becomes internally inconsistent. If the beast from the bottomless pit (or abyss) is not the Lamb-like beast, then the beast from the bottomless pit cannot be identified since the beast from the bottomless pit has specific identifiable characteristics that also belong to the Lamb-like beast. Therefore, only four beasts exist in Revelation. Notice that John provides the origin of each beast:

1.      The Lamb is seen in Heaven. (Revelation 5)

2.      The Dragon is also seen in Heaven, but cast into the Earth. (Revelation 12)

3.  The composite beast rises from the sea. (Revelation 13:1)

4.      The Lamb-like beast rises from the Earth. (Revelation 13:11)

 See if this flow of data makes sense to you:

1.      The beast that rises out of the Earth is the angel-king of the bottomless pit. (Revelation 17: 8; 9:11)

2.      The angel-king from the bottomless pit is the dragon who was cast into the Earth. (Revelation 12:7)

3.      The dragon has to be released from the Earth at some point in time because he will be put back into the bottomless pit right after the Second Coming.  (Revelation 20)

Before we examine a sequence of texts in Revelation, reconsider this point: The release of the angel-king from the bottomless pit in Revelation 9 is the same event as the release of the Lamb-like beast from the Earth in Revelation 13:11. Two descriptions of the same thing – an example of repetition and enlargement.

Consider the sequence of scenes shown to John:

a.       In Revelation 12:7, John saw a war in Heaven between Michael and Lucifer (notice the contestants).

b.      In Revelation, 12:9 John saw the dragon and his angels cast into the Earth. (KJV)

c.       In Revelation 13:11 John saw a two-horned beast rising from the Earth that will deceive the whole world by means of the miracles, signs and wonders that it has power to do. This beast even calls fire down from the sky at will (to convince the inhabitants of Earth of his assumed divinity).

d.      In Revelation 9: 1-11 John saw “the angel king of the bottomless pit” released at the fifth trumpet to hurt man for an appointed amount of time.

e.       In Revelation 17: 8 a messenger from God informs John by saying, “the beast you saw once was [visible], now is not [visible], yet will come up out of the bottomless pit and go to his destruction. The wicked living on Earth at that time will be astonished when they see the beast because he once was [visible], not is not [visible], but yet he will come up out of the bottomless pit and go to his destruction.” (Paraphrase mine) The beast referred to here is the great red dragon that had been cast into the Earth.

f.        In Revelation 17:11 the messenger continues, “the beast who once was [visible], now is not [visible] will be the eighth king who is going to his destruction.”

So, how does all of this information fit together? Simply said, John saw Lucifer physically and visibly cast out of Heaven. Lucifer and his angel followers were thrown into a dungeon within the Earth. In John’s day, the world was believed to be flat and a bottomless pit was a hole that went all the way through the surface of the Earth. In ancient times, it was believed that the devil and his demons lived in a dungeon beneath the surface of the Earth and could only escape through caves, or a bottomless pit. God used the knowledge of John’s day to make a profound point: John saw Lucifer as a visible dragon at war in Heaven, but after he was cast into the Earth, Lucifer was no longer visible. Nevertheless, the devil has been hard at work – operating from his spiritual “dungeon.” However, at an appointed future time during the fifth trumpet, the devil will be allowed to escape his spiritual domain and appear in the flesh. When he does appear, the wicked billions on Earth will be astonished at his glory and power! The reason the righteous will not be impressed is because they know exactly who he is. One more point. When Jesus appears at the Second Coming, the physical body that Lucifer uses will be destroyed by fire. The destruction of this body is not to be confused with the destruction of Lucifer. When the devil personates Christ, his physical body will only be an apparition. (We have already noticed in this study that angels can pass through closed windows, doors and walls and still appear as physical beings.) Therefore, after Lucifer’s apparition is destroyed, an angel descends from Heaven and lays hold of the devil and puts him back into the dungeon (abyss) for 1,000 years. (Revelation 20)

Executive Summary on the Origin of the Beast

This review of all the data shows a simple harmony throughout Revelation if we take the Bible literally as it reads. The origin of the two-horned beast, rising out of the Earth in Revelation 13:11 is the same concept as the angel king and his demons (as many as locusts) being released from the bottomless pit in Revelation 9:1, which is the same concept as the beast that once was [visible] rising from the abyss! (Revelation 17:8) By restating this same concept in three different ways, a solid and truthful interpretation can be reached. This is good, for the more comprehensive the picture, the clearer the meaning. The Bible often follows the practice of repetition and enlargement. For example, the image’s chest of silver in Daniel 2 is the same thing as the bear in Daniel 7, which is the same thing as the ram in Daniel 8; namely, the Medo-Persian empire!

Like a Lamb

Revelation 13:11 (Continued) ‘Then I saw another beast, coming out of the earth. He had two horns like a lamb, but he spoke like a dragon.” Did you notice that nothing was said about the physical appearance of this beast except he had two horns like the lamb and speaks like the dragon. Notice my bold print on the words, “the.” I did this to direct your attention to this point: the Bible says “like a lamb” instead of “like the lamb” and the same is true concerning the dragon. I am sure Bible translators do their best to give us a true and faithful interpretation of each verse. However, it is possible for a translation detail to be overlooked that needs some explanation. In this case, the anarthrous nouns “lamb” and “dragon” need a bit of explanation.

Using anarthrous nouns is customary in the Greek language. An anarthrous noun is a noun without a article, such as “a” or “the.” An anarthrous noun points back to a character that has already been introduced into a story. In the Greek, a literal translation of this sentence would read: “and it had horns, two like lamb, and spoke like dragon.” Notice that the nouns “lamb” and dragon” do not have articles – they are anarthrous. English translators added the article “a” to make the sentence read correctly in English. However, they should have used the article “the” because the lamb and the dragon were previously introduced in the story of Revelation. In other words, this beast had two horns like the lamb that had seven horns and this beast also spoke like the dragon because it is the dragon in sheep’s clothing!

What do the two horns represent? The devil will be two kings in one! He will be King over the ten horns (political kings) and Lord over the seven heads (religions). The obvious parallel here is the devil’s mockery directed as Jesus alone who has been granted the title “King of kings and Lord of lords” by the Father. Jesus was found worthy to lay claim to this title. (Revelation 5) He is humankind’s High Priest by virtue of that appointment by the Father. He is also humankind’s Sovereign King by appointment of the Father. The irony here is that the Lamb-like beast steals this unique title belonging to Jesus before Jesus appears in the clouds. This shows how exceedingly dark and grossly ignorant the minds of sinners are, actually to believe the devil is God! Since the wicked do not recognize the value of character, God allows the devil to awe them with signs and miracles and lead them into complete rebellion. On the other hand, the religious understand something about the purity and holiness of God, so God allows them to see the signs, miracles and wonders are worthless if righteousness and love is not the basis of character. God is in the character business and this is why Jesus had to be found worthy before the Father would grant Him everything that Heaven has to offer.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if governmental leaders were found to be “character-worthy” of their high office?

Revelation 13:12 He exercised all the authority of the first beast on his behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed.

Comments: This verse confuses many people at first. They ask, “If this beast is the devil personating Christ as you say, then (a) why does the Lamb-like beast have and exercise the same authority as the first beast, and (b) if he is personating God, why does he make the people worship the composite beast instead of worshiping himself?” These are good questions and deserve good answers.

When the devil is allowed physically to appear as the Lamb-like beast, he knows that God has predetermined that his time is very short – just five months to establish his total dominion before the sixth trumpet begins.  (Revelation 9: 5,10,15) Therefore, to get immediate attention and as many followers as possible, he will do two things: First, appear before billions of suffering people performing counterfeit signs, miracles and wonders. (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12) This will awe the people everywhere and convince many that indeed, God is among men. Many will exclaim, “Hope has come at last with healing in its wings!” (Malachi 4:2) Second, the devil will, in the assumed voice of God, command the people to obey their religious leaders. This will, of course, highly flatter the religious leaders to have “God on their side” and sound reasonable to those who have refused to love the truth. However, this is an important point in Revelation 13:12: The devil will have and exercise the same high-level authority as the “crisis government.” In other words, the Lamb-like beast does not derive authority from the “crisis government” or any nation. This is consistent with the nature of his origin – this beast just rises from the Earth having two horns. The devil “just appears” out of nowhere having authority equal to the “crisis government.” This is a profound point. The devil has carefully calculated every move necessary to win the favor of the world’s “crisis government” (the composite beast). After gaining a majority, he will begin to oppose and change small issues that the “crisis government” has made law and eventually, he will rise above the seven heads in authority as the eighth and greatest king. His use of opposition will demonstrate his superiority. Notice the words of Paul: “He [the man of sin] will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped…” (2 Thessalonians 2:4 – emphasis mine) He will exercise as much authority as the first beast for his own benefit. After all, what would you expect of God?

Why not Worship the Devil?

Now the question, “Why does the devil make the people worship the composite beast – instead of himself?” Answer: If the devil initially required one group of people to worship him as God, this would separate and alienate him from the other religions of the world. In other words, if the devil required the Moslems to worship his person as Allah, then Catholics, Protestants and Jews would regard this being as a Moslem God. The devil knows two things: (a) by forcing people to worship the composite beast, they are actually worshiping him (Revelation 13:4) since he is the author of false religion, and (b) by compelling diverse bodies of people to obey their respective religious leaders, he will initially fulfill the expectations of people who already think they worshiping God. Therefore, the devil will insist that everyone living in Moslem countries worship according to the laws of the “crisis government” for that nation. People living in Catholic countries will be commanded by the devil to worship according to the authorities for that country, etc. This is a temporary move by the devil to lead a diverse world toward the establishment of his one world church/government. In the end, however, people end up worshiping the Lamb-like beast. The establishment of the mark of the “beast” proves this point.

When the devil physically appears (during the fifth trumpet), Moslems, Jews, Catholics, Protestants, etc. will be worshiping according to the laws established in their respective countries. By commanding the nations to obey their religious leaders, the religious leaders from all nations will be pleased that “God” is supporting them and in turn, the devil will later extract their support for his cunning “one world-church” plan. Ultimately, when the devil has gained enough control to establish his “one world-church,” the options he gives to every world inhabitant are not good – obey and live, disobey and die. (Revelation 13:15) But to reach this point in his plan, religious leaders of all faiths must first “join themselves” and support the devil before he will unfold his plan for a new world church. After all, with God on Earth, there will be no reason to continue plurality of religion.  To make this idea as palatable as possible, the devil will take certain elements from each religion to create the new one; thus, the new religion is called “an image” or clone of the composite beast. By using a clone, everyone will find something in the new religion that was borrowed from their old system. This new religion or church is also the whore that rides on the seven heads described in Revelation 17. For a short time, the new one-world religion will rule over the people of Earth.

There will be many distinguishing differences between the people of God and the followers of the devil. However, two character traits will fully separate the righteous from the wicked. First, the righteous will “obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.”  (Revelation 12:17) The Ten Commandments are beyond impeachment. They stand forever because the One who established them lives forever! The fourth commandment, requiring man to honor and keep the seventh day holy will stand in direct contrast to the day of worship that Satan declares holy. Perhaps the devil will direct his one-world church to worship on Sunday, since Catholic and Protestant populations represent a very large segment of people in terms of numbers. (In other words, Sunday observance could be one of those tenants of doctrine carried over into the devil’s new church.) No one can biblically verify just what day the devil will set forth as holy, but we can be sure it will not be the seventh day. Remember, the devil is empowered by God to lead the world astray and the sharper the contrast, the clearer the issues are between truth and falsehood. (Revelation 13:14) Second, the people of God will be holding to the testimony of Jesus. The testimony of Jesus is described as the spirit of prophecy that He will give the 144,000. (Revelation 19:10; 10:7) The wicked, on the other hand, will be following the testimony of their “false prophet,” the devil. The Lamb-like beast is also called, ‘the false prophet,” because he lies to the people in the face of the clearest evidences of truth. (John 8:44) The devil will be the chief spokesman for his new world order and as such, earns the title, “false prophet.”

One last point. The Bible says the devil will make the people “…worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed.” (Revelation 13:12) Why is the first beast identified as the one whose fatal wound had been healed? This question comes up often and the simple answer is – to avoid any confusion. John refers to a distinguishing feature associated with the first beast, so there is no mistaking the identity of the beast. This keeps the actions of these two beasts separate and distinct. For example, if five men were standing in a line-up and you wished clearly to indicate which man you were pointing to, you might say, “The man without any hair on his head.” That would eliminate any doubt if the other men had hair!

[1] [2] [3] [4] [5]


   
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