Beast from the Earth

The “great voice in heaven” pronounced “woe” on the “Inhabitants of the Earth and the Sea because the Devil has descended to you, having great wrath.” The “Dragon” then began his war against the “Seed of the Woman” by summoning his own “seed,” the “Beast from the Sea” and the “Beast from the Earth.”

The description of the Second Beast continues the theme of wickedness “ascending” from a dark place, the “Abyss” and the “Sea,” only now, from the “EARTH.” As before, the Greek participle translated as “ascending” is in the present tense, indicating an ongoing action, a process of ascending from the “Earth” - (Revelation 13:11-15).

Earth - Photo by NASA on Unsplash
[Earth - Photo by NASA on Unsplash]

The passage demonstrates why the Second Beast’s arrival meant “
woe” to the Earth’s “Inhabitants.” This creature deceived them into giving their allegiance to the “Beast from the Sea,” ensuring that their names would not be “written in the Book of Life.”

The Second Beast spoke with the voice of Satan and the authority of the First Beast (“He spoke as a dragon”). He was the mouthpiece of the “Beast from the Sea” and summoned all men to render homage to it. He also was the “mouth speaking great things and slanders” that was given to the First Beast - (Revelation 11:1-3, 12:6-14, 13:5).

This Second Beast spoke with another’s authority. His voice echoed the characteristics of the “Little Horn” in the Book of Daniel who “spoke great things.” Though his “power was mighty,” it was “not by his power.” The Second Beast also had “two horns like a lamb” since, on some level, he mimicked the “Lamb” – (Daniel 7:8, 8:23).

He “caused the Inhabitants of the Earth to render homage to the First Beast.” This alludes to the story of Nebuchadnezzar’s great “golden image.” The King compelled all “peoples, nations and tongues” to pay homage to his image - (Daniel 3:1-7).

The Second Beast corresponds to the “herald” in the story from Daniel who summoned all the peoples of the Babylonian Empire to render homage to Nebuchadnezzar’s “image.” As in Daniel, the “Beast from the Earth” threatened a fiery death to all men who refused to bow before the image.

The “Beast from the Earth” had “two” horns and the authority to “cause fire to descend from heaven to the earth,” which he used to deceive the “Inhabitants of the Earth.” Thus, he imitated the “Lamb” and the “Two Witnesses” from whose mouth fire “consumed their enemies.”

The “Two Witnesses stood in the sight of (enopion) the Lord of the Earth”; likewise, the “Beast from the Earth” exercised all the authority of the First Beast “in the sight (enopion) of it.” The “Two Witnesses” inflicted punishment on their opponents much like the plagues inflicted on Egypt by Moses - (Revelation 11:4-6).

In the Book of Exodus, the Egyptian sorcerers imitated the “sign” performed by Aaron when he cast down his rod and turned it into a snake (“They cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents”). So, likewise, the “Beast from the Earth” performed “signs” like those of the “Two Witnesses” - (Exodus 7:9-12, Revelation 11:6).

IDOLATRY


The Second Beast summoned the “Inhabitants of the Earth that they should make an image of the Beast.” He did not erect the “image” but convinced the “Inhabitants of the Earth” to do so, making them participants in this idolatry. He also gave life and purpose to the “image,” thereby providing the political rationale for giving allegiance to the “Beast from the Sea” rather than Jesus (“It was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast”).

However, “as many as should not render homage to the image should be killed.” This reflects the action of Nebuchadnezzar when he threatened to cast all who refused to bow to his “great image” into “the burning fiery furnace.”

The English term “Killed” translates the Greek verb apokteinô, the same term used when the “Beast from the Abyss” KILLED the “Two Witnesses,” and to describe the perseverance of the saints - “If anyone is to be KILLED with the sword, with the sword he must be KILLED.” Thus, “saints” who refused to give allegiance to the First Beast were “killed” for refusing to do so - (Revelation 11:7-13, 13:10).

The source of the “Lake of Fire” is the story of Nebuchadnezzar’s attempt to execute Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego when they refused to bow to his “great image,” though it is employed paradoxically in Revelation. In Daniel, the men who cast the three exiles into the fiery furnace were burned alive by its super-heated flames.

Likewise, the “Beast from the Sea” and the “False Prophet” who attempted to destroy the “saints” were instead “cast alive into the Lake of Fire burning with brimstone” - (Daniel 3:1-6, Revelation 19:20).

The Second Beast caused the “Inhabitants of the Earth” to give allegiance to the First Beast. If the First Beast represented the political power of the World Empire, the “Beast from the Earth” was the face of its ideology and idolatrous religion.

Elsewhere, the “Beast from the Earth” is called the “FALSE PROPHET.” Just as the deceitful activity of “that prophetess, Jezebel” corresponded to the “Great Harlot, Babylon, who made the Inhabitants of the Earth drunk with her fornication,” so, the attempts by the “False Prophet” to deceive humanity paralleled the proponents of the “Doctrines of Balaam” and the “Nicolaitans” in Pergamos who taught many to “fornicate and eat meat offered to idols.”

The deceptions of the “Beast from the Earth” are found in the Church, as well as among the “Inhabitants of the Earth.” Moreover, he imitates the “Two Witnesses” who were identified as “prophets,” and so, he is a false prophet.

Whether the “false prophet” represents an individual, organization, ideology, or something else remains to be seen. For now, the stress is on his ability to deceive men, so they swear fealty to the First Beast – (Revelation 2:14, 2:20, 17:1-4).

The political and religious aspects of this satanic effort are prominent. The decision of each man or woman is between giving allegiance to the “Beast from the Sea” or “following the Lamb wherever he goes,” even if the latter choice means economic deprivation or worse.



RELATED POSTS:
  • The Ascending Beast - (To identify the Antichrist, we must understand what the relevant scriptures say about him, his methods, and his agenda)
  • Economic Warfare - (The False Prophet employs economic pressure to coerce men into rendering homage to the Beast from the Sea)
  • The Beast from the Sea - (The Dragon began his attack against the Seed of the Woman by summoning his seed, the Beast from the Sea – Revelation 13:1-5)

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