THE TWO BEASTS -PART II
Leslie M. John
(From Revelation 13:11-18)
THE RISING OF THE SECOND BEAST: FALSE PROPHET
“I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things” (Daniel 7:8)
Daniel saw in his vision the same pattern that Nebuchadnezzar saw in his vision. The four kingdoms that follow one after another giving way finally to the last government by a human being, who would have power for a limited duration, and who speaks great words of blaspheme. However, the final victory is of our Lord Jesus Christ, who establishes literal Kingdom of God.
“I looked then because of the sound of the great words that the horn was speaking. And as I looked, the beast was killed, and its body destroyed and given over to be burned with fire. As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, but their lives were prolonged for a season and a time” (Daniel 7:11-12 ESV)
Jesus warned His disciples to be careful of many who shall come in His name saying “I am Christ; and shall deceive many”.
“And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many” (Matthew 24:4-5)
John in his vision saw the first beast coming out of sea and the second beast coming out of the earth. The second beast represents false prophet, who exalts the first beast (‘man of sin’), and commends him to people to worship of the first beast, which suffered a fatal wound and yet survived.
The ultimate goal of Antichrist and the false prophet is to bring glory to Satan and to cause people to worship the dragon, also called Satan the old serpent, which deceived Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. False prophet’s main work is to gather people into Satan’s fold and identify them as belonging to Satan. This is intolerable sin in the sight of the LORD, and the destiny of those who do such heinous act will be “lake of fire”.
“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. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone” (Revelation 19:20)
Repeated mention of the wound the first beast suffered, and the healing of it, shows that there is much significance attached to it. The healing is seen as a miracle and an act of act of god. The presence of the wound gives credence to Antichrist that he is god, thus exalting Satan above all. The second beast helps in bringing glory to the first beast, which in turn brings glory to Satan. The healed wound becomes an authentic sign for it to deceive people and to cause people to worship the first beast.
The second beast has two horns like a lamb and comes out of the earth and speaks like a dragon. The two horns would be to show that he is a political leader and a religious leader as well. He does great miracles in the presence of the first beast. It causes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose mortal wound was healed.
The second beast performs great signs and wonders such as those performed by the two witnesses. The two witnesses had the power to bring fire from their mouth and consumed anyone who attempted to hurt them. Similar are the powers that the second beast wields.
It is interesting to note that Satan is a good imitator and his agents did miracles similar to the ones that Moses did. However, the magicians of Satan could not do all the miracles that Moses and Aaron, the servants of God, did nor could they prevail before them. Moses threw the rod in his hands and it turned serpent. The magicians threw the rods in their hands and they too turned serpents, but the rod which became serpent from Moses’ hand swallowed the serpents that Magicians brought forth.
The second beast takes undue advantage of partial knowledge of people and makes them to worship the first beast. Every man has an innate longing to worship something; may be God; or man; or an inanimate object; and when he refuses to understand the value of the free gift of salvation the true God has given, he tends to worship a man or inanimate object.
It is so sad that even though the truth is revealed to man, yet he prefers to worship a man who comes as god instead of worshipping the God who created heavens and the earth. To such persons who refuse the truth, God rewards them a strong delusion that they may believe a lie as truth and embrace falsehood and live by it. They see miracles from men as the real ones from the true God and are misled.
“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient” (Romans 1:28)
John saw that the second beast caused people to worship the first beast and whoever did not worship the first beast was slain. The second beast was allowed even to give breath to the image of the first beast and make it to speak. That is how Antichrist exalts himself as god and forces people to worship him. False prophet causes rich and poor, free and slave, small and great to be marked on the right hand or the forehead his number which is 666 and those that did not have that number could not sell or buy any merchandize.
The number 666 referred to here is not something that we find on bar-codes and microchips, but it is the number of man; basically saying that Antichrist is a man and not a god. In scriptures man’s number is identified as 6; man is imperfect and is created on the sixth day.
Bible prohibits tattooing or making any marks or cuts on the body. If anyone gets the mark 666 on his/her body it is a clear identification that he/she belongs to Satan. Because he/she identifies that he belongs to Satan, there is no salvation for him/her, and he/she is lost forever. Never either in this age or in the age to come anyone should get this identification of Antichrist’s number, 666.
“You shall not make any cuts on your body for the dead or tattoo yourselves: I am the LORD” (Leviticus 19:28 ESV)
Bible tells all of us to have wisdom and understand that the number of the beast is 666 and it is man’s number. The scripture is for us to understand clearly that the man who exalts proclaiming that he is god, and sits in temple and cause sacrifices and oblations to cease is a mere man. Antichrist, false prophet and Satan will finally be cast into “lake of fire” (cf. Daniel 9:27; Matt. 24: 4-5; 2 Thess. 2:3-11;Rev.13:1-18).
“Here 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” (Revelation 13:18)
“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” (Revelation 20:10)
Many of us, who have received salvation free of cost, take it for granted that we received salvation because of our merit without realizing the price that was paid for our salvation. The price was paid by Lord Jesus Christ and the price was not silver or gold, but His blood. We are saved by grace through faith; not by our good works. There is going to be “great tribulation such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor shall ever be”
“For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be”. (Matthew 24:21)
Antichrist will kill those who do not worship him; people will not be able to buy merchandize without his number, which is 666, on the right hand or the forehead. There is only one hope and it is now here. Confess your sins to Jesus and accept Jesus Christ as the Lord of your life and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead.
“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins” (Romans 3:23-25 ESV)