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Revelation 13:11-15 “The Beast From The Earth”

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SIH STSTA ICONTHE TEXT:

 

Rev 13:11-15 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.

 

THE INTRODUCTION:

In chapter 12, we saw a defeated Satan’s continuing opposition against the Lord and His people.  Throughout the ages, Satan has used the political kingdoms of this fallen world as tools in an attempt to abuse, persecute and even martyr the people of God.

We have looked at the POLITICAL powers of the world and how Satan has used them throughout history to afflict the people of God.  We saw this aspect of Satan’s kingdom in vs 1-10.

In the middle portion of chapter 13 (vs 11-15), we will learn more about the SPIRITUAL kingdoms of this world as they afflict the people of God.  Then, in the following portion of chapter 13, we will be introduced the “mark” (major characteristic) of those who join the beast in its stand against the people of God.

  1. The Beast of the Sea – The Political Kingdoms of This World (13:1-10)
  2. The Beast of the Earth – The False Religious Kingdoms of This World (13:11-15)
  3. The Mark of the Beast – The Number of Humanism (13:16-18)

 

 

THE EXPOSITORY STUDY:

Rev 13:11-15 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.

After John sees the beast of the sea (the political kingdoms of the world being used by Satan to afflict the people of God), his attention is turned to another beast.   This beast will be symbolic of the RELIGIOUS kingdoms of this world, ie the false religions of this world, that are used by Satan to oppose God, His truths, and His people.  He is called “the false prophet” in Revelation 16:13, 19:20, 20:10.

John gives us a very detailed description of this beast.  First of all it is described as “another” beast.  This word means “another of the same type” of beast.  In other words, it is another wild, dangerous, enemy of God and His people.

 

John continues with a description of the physical appearance of the beast…

 

Description References Symbolism
Comes Up Out Of The Earth Daniel 7:17 This beast finds its origin in the sinful fallen earth. False religions appeal to the carnal nature in men, who desire to fulfill the spiritual viod in their life, but refuse to submit to the true God.  In response, they create false gods and willingly submit to them.
2 Horns Like A Lamb Daniel 7:8, Matt 7:15 This beast appears as a lamb, counterfeiting Christ.  All false religions attempt to replace the True Lamb of God as the source of life, salvation and blessings.   Horns are pictures of power and weapons.  The false promises and teachings given by false religions are the source of their strength and weapons of warfare against the Lord and His people.
Speaks Like A Dragon John 8:44,2 Cor 11:3,2 Cor 11:13-15,2 Thess 2:9-11,Matt 24:24 This beast speaks as Satan speaks… with great lies. This beast’s ministry centers on lying to his followers, just as Satan is the Father of lies.  Satan uses the false religions of this world (their teachings and miracles) to lie, mislead and deceive the world.  In doing so, he is stealing away the worship that Christ alone deserves.

 

(Please notice that, just as the previous beast, this beast finds its origins in Daniel 7)

 

The first beast which represented the POLITICAL powers of the world is described as a horrifying beast.  This refers to the kingdoms of the world’s great military might, and powerful vicious leaders.

In comparison, the second beast, the RELIGIOUS powers of the world, is pictured as a gentle, kind lamb-like beast. It deceitfully shows itself to be harmless, but in reality, is incredibly harmful, misleading others to an eternity in the Lake of Fire.

 

(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.

This beast possesses the same (power) authority as the first beast…

  1. The political powers of the world were said to possess the authority to speak blasphemies against the Lord… so too, the false religions of this world.
  2. The political powers were said to have the authority to rule over every area of the world. Likewise, the false religions of the world appear in every nation, language and families found in this world.

The state religions of the world have been used throughout time to lead men to submission to the political powers of this world.  Throughout the history of the world, false religions have caused many wars to take place between political powers.  In an attempt to force men to worship a specified religion, the political powers of the world have forcibly dominated nations and opposing religious groups alike.  In every case, the end result was forced worship and submission to the invading political government and its state religion.

(Perhaps the greatest example of the political powers and religious powers of the world working in harmony against the cause of Christ can be seen at the arrest, trial and crucifixion of Christ.  In that case, we have the Jewish religious leaders worked in harmony with the Gentile Roman government to put Christ to death. (John 18:1-40 etc)) 

 

(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;

One of the greatest tools used by false religions to mislead mankind are “great wonders”, many various unexplainable feats.  These great wonders will be a consistent tool used by false religions until their ultimate defeat at the coming of Christ to the earth.

2Th 2:8-10 KJV – “And 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:  Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,  And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” 

 

The one “marvel” used to represent all the wonders that the false religions performed is that of calling fire down from heaven.  Throughout the OT times and also during the early NT times fire falling from heaven was consistently used as a sign of the true worship of Jehovah:

  1. 2 Kings 1:10-14 – Elijah 2.  Lev 10:2 – Jehovah               3.  Nums 11:1 – Jehovah
  2. Num 16:35 – Jehovah 5.  Judges 6:21 – Jehovah           6.  1 King 18:38 – Jehovah
  3. Exo 9:13-on – Jehovah 8.  Acts 2:7 – Local Church

(This helps us to understand that all the miracles that are performed by the false religions are counterfeits of the true miracles of God.  They are used to deceitfully misled men into believing the false religion is approved and authorized by God.)

 

These false wonders are done in the eyes of men in an effort to mislead them, but also done in the sight of the beast being approved, authorized, and used by the political powers of the world.

Keep in mind, despite of all these “great wonders”, they are still false religions that will face the judgment of God in the future…

Mat 7:22-23 KJV – “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?   And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

 

 

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.

Following the deception of their followers, the false religions then instruct them to create idols of false worship and present them to the powers that be.  This is a very important point that should not be overlooked:

  1. It proves they are now accepting of false worship – The creation of idols and images are always associated with false worship and relying on the works of man to please God. Images were very commonly employed in false religious worship (Ex 20:4, 2 Kings 3:2, Isa 40:19, Dan 3, Jud 17:3, Isa 40:19, Jer 10: 14 etc etc)  This is blasphemy at its worst.
  1. It proves they have readily accepted humanism (man is the supreme authority) as the ultimate truth – God is the only One who is capable of creating an image of Himself. He did that for us when He created man (Gen 1:26-27).  To create any other supposed image of God is an act of blatant humanism.  It is believing that man, with the works of his own hands, can create an image of Almighty God; or, it is saying that mankind has the ability to create their own gods and to worship it as they see fit.  In either case, it is false worship and humanism at its worst.

 

Note: This is saying that their acts of idolatry and humanism were created to be presented to the beast of the sea.  This was to prove that the beast of the earth has accomplished its task…

It is saying to the political powers, I have successfully misled your citizens to no longer worship the true God.  They are now worshipping their own creation.  They now are reliant upon themselves and their own abilities to develop and worship as they please.  Now they are yours for the taking.  Their knowledge of God and possibility of coming to the worship of the true God is no longer standing in your way.  You can now be the ultimate authority in their life to do as you please.

 

(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.

Please remember:

  1. The image of the beast represents the ACTS of false worship of mankind and the humanistic PRACTICES followed by mankind.
  2. The giving of life to the image is speaking of continued deceit being used to mislead those watching to partake of this false worship and humanism.

Keeping this in mind, “giving life unto the image” is speaking of Satan’s continuing attempts to make false worship and humanism appealing to mankind.  Basically, it is speaking of the continuous changing of false worship and humanism so that it appeals to the masses:

  1. One example of this is the ancient religions of the far-east now being repackaged as “the New Age” religions. Nothing in the New Age movement is new, it is simply presented in a new way to lost mankind.
  2. Another example would be repackaging of humanism as “the power of positive thinking” and “situational ethics” etc etc.
  3. Another example would be the practices and festivals of heathen worship incorporated into the “holy days” of the Catholic Church.

 

When our text says “that the image of the beast should both speak”, it is describing two basic principles…

  1. These acts of false worship, gradually, over time have gained a voice of their own, becoming a source of enlistment to these false religions. Many acts of false worship can be used to entice others to join the false religions from which they originate.  It no longer matters what the doctrinal stand of a false religion might be, now simply seeing their practices and wonders, many people ignorantly choose to follow them. There are many lost who believe that the acts of worship (many times the wonders that are performed) prove that a false religion is of God.  Based upon this, they will participate in this false worship without ever comparing their teachings with God’s Word.
  1. Also, these acts of worship speak for themselves by becoming “proofs” of a person’s participation in a given religion. Judgment is now made based upon their participation in these acts of worship… “Do you observe the holy days?”  “Do you speak in tongues?”  “Do you speak to the dead?” etc etc.  All of this is done in an effort to judge true from false worshippers and is used by Satan to bring persecution upon those who do not participate in the false and humanistic worship that he strives to promote.

It is in these two senses that the acts of worship now speak as clearly as the false religions that they represent. The existence of the “experience” (or act of worship) attracts and justifies the participants of that religion.

 

CHRIST REVEALED:

When we look at the “ministry” of the false religions of the world, we can clearly see their results worked among men.  They seal a man’s spiritual death, leading them down the path of destruction through deceit.

In comparison, our Lord describes Himself as “The way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).   What a blessing it is to know the Lord that we serve is the way that gives us access to His Heavenly Father.    He supplies to us the absolute truth of the very Word of God.  He is the One that is the source of eternal life to those who trust in Him.

Joh 14:5-7 KJV

“Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?   Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.   If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.”

 

 

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION (SUMMARY)

When we see the deceitful workings of the false religions of the world, and the power behind those religions (Satan), we come to understand their great danger to mankind.   May we all come away from this teaching with two determined attitudes.

First of all, may we all learn to diligently guard ourselves against doctrinal impurity and participation in the ungodly practices of these false religions.

Secondly, may we also learn to appreciate our Lord, “the way, the truth and the life”, who has so graciously delivered from error, supplied to us the truths of His Word, and continues to lead us in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.  What a wonderful Lord we serve and how much He deserves our entire commitment to Him and His will for our lives.

 

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1 Comment

  1. SLIMJIM says:

    Thank you for this study

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