While the focus is really on the character of the second beast, it is good to know where he came from, and so I include verse 11. In verse eleven this second person comes out of the same region as the first, but there is something hidden and sinister about this one, he looks like a lamb. Now that in itself does not seem so bad, except that followers of Christ know the lamb to be the Messiah, and this is a beast. There is the added dimension in that he speaks like a dragon. Since we know the dragon to be Satan, then like Satan, this guy is a deceiver also. Watch as this story develops.
Revelation 13:11-18 ESV
(11) Then I saw another beast rising out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb and it spoke like a dragon.
(12) It exercises all the authority of the first beast in its presence, and makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose mortal wound was healed.
(13) It performs great signs, even making fire come down from heaven to earth in front of people,
(14) and by the signs that it is allowed to work in the presence of the beast it deceives those who dwell on earth, telling them to make an image for the beast that was wounded by the sword and yet lived.
(15) And it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might even speak and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain.
(16) Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead,
(17) so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name.
(18) This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666.
“Like all prophets in Islam, Jesus (Isa) is considered a Muslim (i.e., one who submits to the will of God), as he preached that his followers should adopt the “straight path” as commanded by God. Traditionally, Islam teaches the rejection of the Trinitarian Christian view that Jesus was God incarnate or the son of God. The Quran says that Jesus himself never claimed to be the Son of God, and it furthermore indicates that Jesus will deny having ever claimed divinity at the Last Judgment, and God will vindicate him. Islamic texts forbid the association of partners with God, emphasizing a strict notion of monotheism(tawhīd).”
“Numerous titles are given to Jesus in the Quran and in Islamic literature, the most common being al-Masīḥ (“the Messiah”). Jesus is also, at times, called “Seal of the Israelite Prophets”, because, in general Muslim belief, Jesus was the last prophet sent by God to guide the Children of Israel. Jesus is traditionally understood in Islam to have been a precursor to Muhammad, and is believed by Muslims to have foretold the latter’s coming;”
Revelation 13:12 It exercises all the authority of the first beast in its presence, and makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose mortal wound was healed.
“It exercises all the authority of the first beast in its presence,”
A quick review of what the first beast does (do not disassociate the beast from its mouthpiece. He – the mouth, carries all its weight and authority.)
It opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God, blaspheming his name and his dwelling, that is, those who dwell in heaven. Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation, and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain. (Revelation 13:6-8 ESV)
It too (this second beast) will utter blasphemies against God
Authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation.
And all who dwell on earth will worship it. This only applies to those whose names are not written in the book of life. You need to understand that the rapture of the church has taken place already, therefore these are those that God already knows will come to Him during this time. I know that causes some of you grief as you try to find some logic with which you can understand God’s plans. Just know that He is still showing mercy until the end.
So this second beast acts and sounds like the first in terms of authority and power, but with a deceptive twist. It is possible that we will not see one without the other, but the way they are laid out in Revelation it almost seems as though one steps out-of-the-way while the other takes over. Seeing as Satan and his deceptions are the main goal here, they, regardless of where we find them, will be working hard at taking people to hell with them.
What has been going on just prior to the arrival of the second beast?
Aside from the destruction going on – earthquakes beyond imagination; Tsunamis; Volcanoes; 100 pound hail; fire from heaven, and the violence of men continuing just as before, only worse. The rapture of the church should have initiated much of this, while almost immediately two prophets from God show up in the streets of Jerusalem.
And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.” These are the two olive trees and the two lamp stands that stand before the Lord of the earth. And if anyone would harm them, fire pours from their mouth and consumes their foes. If anyone would harm them, this is how he is doomed to be killed. They have the power to shut the sky, that no rain may fall during the days of their prophesying, and they have power over the waters to turn them into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague, as often as they desire. And when they have finished their testimony, the beast that rises from the bottomless pit will make war on them and conquer them and kill them, (Revelation 11:3-7 ESV)
they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth
1,260 days = three and one-half years. Do not get hung up in the clothing, as God is using the symbolism to get the attention of the Jews. This means a lot to them. For example: John the Baptist’s apparel. Many godly men throughout scripture, donned sackcloth as a sign of mourning or repentance. I can assure you that the symbolism is relevant.
“And if anyone would harm them, fire pours from their mouth and consumes their foes.”
Does this not speak of authority and power? But what is God’s character? You have to go back to the garden to begin to realize what his character is, for when his man, Adam, commits high treason, God/Jesus calls out to him, just as he had always done. You or I might have blasted Adam with a lightning bolt, but God showed the man respect, almost as if he was ignoring what Adam had done. God, because his character is mercy, calls out to the man instead of just invading his life, in so doing he allows for the man’s free will.
“ They have the power to shut the sky, that no rain may fall during the days of their prophesying and they have power over the waters to turn them into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague, as often as they desire.”
This is really starting to sound like Rev 13:13 It performs great signs, even making fire come down from heaven to earth in front of people,
How is it that this second beast gains the freedom to do what he does?
Considering that the two witnesses breathe fire on any enemy that comes against them, how is it that this second beast gains the freedom to do what he does? It is only because God said their time is done, and he allows the two witnesses to be killed. (Note: no ordinary man has been able to touch them. What would make this second beast so powerful? Only Satan.)
Because they are taken out-of-the-way, and he (this second beast) is empowered by the dragon. Not paying attention, many will say, where does Satan get such power? This too goes back to the garden and what Adam did. Using deception, Satan works Eve over and she buys into it. Adam, sadly, was standing right there watching the entire process. Knowing full well the repercussions he bites into the fruit and in so doing hands everything over to Satan. All Power, Authority, and the Dominion man had over the earth was given away. Jesus, tempted by Satan after the forty day fast, did not dispute Satan’s claim that it was his to give, but merely rebuked him in his attempt.
And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.'” (Luke 4:5-8 ESV)
Back to the two witnesses for a moment.
Revelation 11:7-8 ESV And when they have finished their testimony, the beast that rises from the bottomless pit will make war on them and conquer them and kill them, (8) and their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city that symbolically is called Sodom and Egypt, where their Lord was crucified.
Not to worry though, watch what happens:
For three and a half days some from the peoples and tribes and languages and nations will gaze at their dead bodies and refuse to let them be placed in a tomb, and those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and make merry and exchange presents, because these two prophets had been a torment to those who dwell on the earth. But after the three and a half days a breath of life from God entered them, and they stood up on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them. Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here!” And they went up to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies watched them. (Revelation 11:9-12 ESV)
You might think that with such power, they could prevent the wanton slaughter of those that have come to the Lord, but it seems the realm of the two witnesses is primarily the Middle East. I would not attempt to make that a law though, because they are no more constrained in their spirits than God is, however they have been sent back as humans and are subject to gravity just as we are. They become just one more thing to frustrate the enemies plans on the earth.
Now that the two witnesses are out-of-the-way, it is unleashed.
It used the vast authority of the first beast in its presence. It forced the earth and all who live on it to worship the first beast, whose wound had healed. (Revelation 13:12 GNB)
This guy now forces the whole earth to pay homage to the first beast, whose wound was healed.
I can hear it now, I thought you said this guy was from the region of the Middle East! And well he might be, but does that stop you from having a neighbor from the Mid East where you live? Not at all. We live in global community. Why even I, stuck here as I am, have an influence in a variety of
nations through my writing.
I have, on several occasions, put forth that this first beast is either Islam or Allah. Consider: Within Islam does anyone worship Islam itself? No, they worship Allah. If Allah is a Satanically inspired and empowered demon then doesn’t it make sense to make yourself more marketable by having a spokesman – a mouth. So, this second beast, a man (also a spokesman), forces the whole earth to pay homage to the first beast. Who then are they paying homage – or worshiping if you choose?
Suppose Princip Erdogan, the President of Turkey, gets his way and is declared the Mahdi, then the world would be forced to worship him. Currently ISIL/ISIS is forcing people to worship who? Allah. Since whoever gains the position and authority of the 12th Imam, the missing Mahdi, will have the authority and power of Allah, the world may be forced to worship this guy. But until then we will work under the assumption that the world will be forced to worship Allah.
Question: Can any man force you to do anything? The truth is no! You can be threatened, tortured, even killed, but you do not have to cave. It is primarily our codependency that causes us to cave. With that in mind what have we been seeing in the “not so mainline news”? Followers of Islam beheading people. Why there have even been a few that caved and converted, only to be beheaded anyway because they were cowards.
Understand something, they will use the most horrid of tactics to get you to denounce your relationship with Christ. Considering that anyone outside of Islam is considered an infidel, the entire purpose is to force a conversion upon you regardless of what you worship. Did you ever think about that? There will be plenty of lukewarm Christians going into the time of wrath, but right next to them will be the atheist (who claims to not believe that there is a God), and you think Islam will waste their time discussing your theology or lack there of. They will put a bullet in your head if you don’t comply, and from what we have seen, they will put a bullet in your head anyway. Imagine the thought just before they kill you, this did not work out quite the way I had hoped.
It forced the earth and all who live on it to worship the first beast, whose wound had healed.
Where have we heard that before?
Revelation 13:1-3 ESV And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads, with ten diadems on its horns and blasphemous names on its heads. (2) And the beast that I saw was like a leopard; its feet were like a bear’s, and its mouth was like a lion’s mouth. And to it the dragon gave his power and his throne and great authority. (3) One of its heads seemed to have a mortal wound, but its mortal wound was healed, and the whole earth marveled as they followed the beast.
I talked about this in a earlier post, but to recap: There is nothing on earth that physically fulfills this beastly description, therefore it is symbolic of something. We are not in the dark about the identities of some of these as Daniel’s prophecies describe them.
During Daniel’s captivity King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream that disturbed him and he could remember it. After threatening the lives of all the wise men (Daniel was among them), Daniel sought the Lord and came up with the answer.
But as for me, this mystery has been revealed to me, not because of any wisdom that I have more than all the living, but in order that the interpretation may be made known to the king, and that you may know the thoughts of your mind. “You saw, O king, and behold, a great image. This image, mighty and of exceeding brightness, stood before you, and its appearance was frightening. The head of this image was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its middle and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. As you looked, a stone was cut out by no human hand, and it struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold, all together were broken in pieces, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, so that not a trace of them could be found. But the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth. “This was the dream. Now we will tell the king its interpretation. You, O king, the king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, and the might, and the glory, and into whose hand he has given, wherever they dwell, the children of man, the beasts of the field, and the birds of the heavens, making you rule over them all–you are the head of gold. Another kingdom inferior to you shall arise after you, and yet a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the earth. And there shall be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron, because iron breaks to pieces and shatters all things. And like iron that crushes, it shall break and crush all these. And as you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, it shall be a divided kingdom, but some of the firmness of iron shall be in it, just as you saw iron mixed with the soft clay. And as the toes of the feet were partly iron and partly clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly brittle. As you saw the iron mixed with soft clay, so they will mix with one another in marriage, but they will not hold together, just as iron does not mix with clay. And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever, just as you saw that a stone was cut from a mountain by no human hand, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold. A great God has made known to the king what shall be after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation sure.” (Daniel 2:30-45 ESV)
I highlighted in red the words that Daniel said to the king, “you are the head of gold.” So we know
without question, that the Babylonian Empire was the head of gold, the first empire in the list of descriptors. Historically we know that the Babylonian empire fell to the Medes and the Persians (Assyrians), and the empire that followed was the Grecian empire under Alexander. The Grecian empire, under Alexander’s reign went through several radical changes after his death, It was split between four generals, but two eventually rose up, overtook the others, and we were left with – The Seleucid empire in the north and the Ptolemaic in the south.
It is rather easy to conjecture that two legs are these last two empires, but what of the toes for there are ten, and it is plainly noted that there is a fault with them, potentially make them capable of causing the entire statue to fall. What of those?
Scripture does not tell us who the fourth empire is.
By presenting all this info again, I believe it establishes that we are looking at empires operating upon the same theme. Out of these empires one dominant empire sustains a wound that potentially ends the reign of terror, but many years later it comes back to life. What destructive empire or form of government has caused that much grief? The answer is the Caliphates: They started around 640 A.D. With the last, the Ottoman empire being taken down in 1924. The arrest of the Ottoman empire brought about a sigh of relief to the world. But scripture tells us that this second beast (a man) “makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose mortal wound was healed.” How is that possible, unless this beast that sustained the seemingly mortal wound was the Islamic Caliphate, and by extension, Allah?
I am assuming that you are not the type to bury your head in the sand. Since you are paying attention, then you know that things are moving faster than the news can keep up with them. That means only one thing, my Jesus, the Messiah I have come to love and long for, is coming soon.
You can be ready for Him by accepting Jesus life as yours. He has already forgiven your sins and longs for you to come running into His arms. Do it today, as I do not want you to have endure the wrath that is to come.