Then I saw another beast rising out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb and it spoke like a dragon.
This aspect is another that gives people grief.
Some information that might help you understand. The Apostle John is not writing mysteries meant to be hidden from the church. They are hidden from those that chose not to ask what things mean, and they tend to remain hidden from those who do not understand that John’s target audience was Jewish converts. I will prove my point.
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.’ “And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: ‘The words of the first and the last, who died and came to life. “‘I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich) and the slander of those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. (Revelation 2:7-9 ESV)
The Spirit has him writing to churches. You do not need to have a conversation about Jews and their traditions unless they are an part of the equation, and in Smyrna they were. The IVPBBC states, “The strength of the Jewish community in Smyrna is well attested.”
Another example from James which will show us how widespread the Jewish converts were comes from James 2:2. It is cloaked thanks to the translators who seemed to push their motives upon us.
James 2:2 ESV For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in,
Translated for the gentile reader we see nothing wrong with the word assembly. People assemble themselves together frequently. However, when this was written by James he actually wrote the Greek word for synagogue. He did not do that inadvertently, thinking that in time it would be filled with Gentile believers. He too was writing to Jewish converts.
sunagōgē – soon-ag-o-gay’ – From (the reduplicated form of) G4863; an assemblage of persons;
Now, isn’t that something, Paul used the same word. If they are calling it a synagogue, then what do they expect to find there? Jewish converts, but not only that, converts that are integrating the richness of their newly found Messiah into the heritage that makes them special (and we ignore that.)
Who were the two Apostles that seemed to be called to the Gentiles? Peter – who seemed to end that mission shortly after going to the Centurions home, and Paul. Paul initially made all his forays into the synagogues, so it is safe to say that in the beginnings of the church the direct impact was on the Jewish community.
When hardcore traditionalists came around trying to demand that Gentile converts be circumcised and follow other Jewish traditions, Paul took his arguments straight to the council of elders in Jerusalem for a decision.
And after there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, “Brothers, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe. And God, who knows the heart, bore witness to them, by giving them the Holy Spirit just as he did to us, and he made no distinction between us and them, having cleansed their hearts by faith. (Acts 15:7-9 ESV)
Notice the terminology Peter uses as he distinguishes between the Jew and the gentile. Years later Peter is still referring to them (the gentiles) and us (the Jewish community).
There the decision was made to acknowledge freedom, but stay away from blood:
Acts 15:19-20 ESV Therefore my judgment is that we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who turn to God, (20) but should write to them to abstain from the things polluted by idols, and from sexual immorality, and from what has been strangled, and from blood.
The synagogue of Satan?
John MacArthur says this of the – synagogue of Satan. With the rejection of its Messiah, Judaism became as much a tool of Satan as emperor worship.
Think about this for a moment. You should be able to see how Judaism could become a tool of Satan. It was the thing (a zeal for the law) that motivated young Saul/Paul, to chase down converts, then beat, imprison, and in Stephen’s case – stone to death. When Paul had trouble on his missionary journeys, where did most of it come from? The Jews, but not just any Jew, for some of his converts were synagogue leaders. Look at this.
Act 14:2 But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers.
This is not the act of people who merely cannot understand. They are choosing not to buy into this Messiah thing Paul preached. How many of them were around when Jesus spoke of God as his Father? This statement would have blasphemous in their hearing, if it was not true, but it was. They chose to be unbelieving Jews, and therefore combative in their resistance to truth and change.
Since I have told you this, you now need to start thinking like a Jew – A Jew that has a reasonable comprehension of the Old Testament (something that would have been required of a Jew.)
Are you beginning to get the idea that our lack of studying the scriptures has done little more than hurt us. Now maybe we can understand what John was trying to convey.
One other thing.
(I need to state this up front, even though you will find it in the text again.) To the Jew prophecy is pattern.
When someone operating in the role of a prophet declares something, all we can do is hold it in the back of our minds. Of course that all changes if the impact should be immediately seen. Later on another prophecy comes and validates, not only the first prophet, but the word itself. (There are parameters upon which to judge a prophecy, the biggest is – is it trying to lead us away from God to serve other gods.) The Jewish mind knew all of this. They are not impressed with the waving of hands and fancy words, and the Apostle John knew this as well. That is why in almost every case (some are harder to find than others) these are words that have been spoken over the Jews on a previous occasion.
We are focusing on Revelation 13:11-18.
Then I saw another beast rising out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb and it spoke like a dragon. 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 performs great signs, even making fire come down from heaven to earth in front of people, 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. 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. 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, 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. 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. (Revelation 13:11-18 ESV)
- Then I saw another beast rising out of the earth
Since our first beast rose out of the sea, and we know that the sea represents people, we can learn that the first beast comes out of an environment that is more wide-spread. This second beast, rising out of the earth, demonstrates that he is from a more localized area, but where?
- It had two horns like a lamb
If you are not a farmer, then you probably do not know that sheep have horns. We just went to the county fair. This year they had four sheep with horns and two of them were massive.
To the Jewish convert, the perception that this means deception is immediate. The
fact that it is like a lamb establishes that it is representing itself to some degree, as Jesus did, at first gentle and caring, but then at the three and a half-year mark of the seven-year period – watch out.
If we were Jewish converts what would be our immediate association? Perhaps Genesis 22:8 where Abraham said, “God will provide for himself the lamb ..” The idea of the slain lamb as a way of removing sin was scattered throughout the Torah and a common practice for the Jews. However, the impact of the slain lamb – in tradition – was a good thing, and we already recognize that there is a horrendous deception coming. We all also have the imagery seen earlier in Revelation and that explicitly Jesus, the Messiah standing there.
Revelation 5:6 ESV And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth.
A deception that no one would have seen coming.
Islam is looking for a Jesus as well. About two years I had no clue, I struggled to comprehend this just like everyone else, but the Holy Spirit saw fit to put Glenn Beck (he used to be on Fox news and now his own internet show) before my eyes. Glenn had the author Joel Richardson on the show and they were comparing Jesus to Islam’s Mahdi. To say the least I was shocked. Within minutes I ordered the book Joel had written called, The Islamic Antichrist. It changed everything for me. Now you can see how you have to humble yourself to learn on occasions.
According to their prophecies he will be a Jew of the lineage of Aaron and therefore allowed to be a priest. He will also declare himself to be a Muslim, bow to the Mahdi (the Antichrist), and do significant signs like: calling fire down from heaven, raising the dead, and causing it to rain again. All this will cause many to turn from God and follow this second beast. The deception will be great. He will also be the enforcer of Sharia. This coincides with the tribulation becoming greater. Considering what we have seen, how could tribulations become greater, only in the number of killings. Islam will proactively begin killing anyone who is not a Muslim.
- and it spoke like a dragon
Revelation 12:9 And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.
It speaks like Satan – the deceiver. Let this sink in. He presents himself as peaceful, almost like Jesus, but he speaks like Satan. Satan presents himself nothing like the garbage we see in movies. He is subtle and seductive – Eve found that out – that is until he goes into fury mode.
Revelation 13:6 ESV It opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God, blaspheming his name and his dwelling, that is, those who dwell in heaven.
Revelation 12:17 ESV Then the dragon became furious with the woman and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. And he stood on the sand of the sea.
I wanted you to see that Satan can and does become furious. The idea of making war on her offspring will be developed as we go.
- It exercises all the authority of the first beast in its presence.
This is a timing issue, and it is difficult to be precise. What does it mean to be precise when you are God, the creator of time? We know that there will be a seven-year period of destruction upon the earth, and the clock seems to start with the removal of the church from the earth (the rapture). There seems to be an immediate entrance of a “world” leader. Islam calls him the Mahdi, the 12th or hidden Imam, the leader of the global Islamic caliphate. We call him the Antichrist, or the first beast.
This entrance of the second beast – the one that has horns like a lamb – seems to be at the midpoint of the seven-year period. Why say that? Because there is rapid escalation of events at the mid-point and though we will go into more depth shortly, our false prophet who has operated quietly in the temple, suddenly gives himself over to this Mahdi, performs the signs, and steps up as the enforcer of this disgusting and bloody sharia law.
Everyone seems to know that the Antichrist will sign a peace treaty. We keep saying it will be with Israel, but scripture says, is that it will be with many. That may not include Israel. My guess is that none of us would have thought that Russia and China would be in Syria fighting against Isis. Russia believes that defending Bashar Assad is key to defeating Isis, while President Obama is set on removing the Syrian President from power. (There are many good theories on what this is all about, and most have to do with the Federal Reserve Bank.) So, while the Antichrist may be juggling aspects of his world-wide deception, this second beast steps up and handles the enforcement aspect for him.
- and makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose mortal wound was healed.
This Jew turned Muslim, temple priest turned desecrater, deceiver on a grand scale, makes all the earth worship the first beast.
I need you to consider the description of the beast once again.
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. 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. 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. (Revelation 13:1-3 ESV)
Multi-headed, with ten horns and seven heads, it looks like a leopard, a lion, and a bear. However bizarre this thing seems to be it is given a mouth; in other words – a spokesman – the Antichrist.
In the world of clues this is huge, “One of its heads seemed to have a mortal wound, but its mortal wound was healed,” First, there is no such animal; second, Daniel plainly defined the Babylonian empire as the first of these heads. Historically we know that the Medo-Persian empire was the second, and the Grecian empire was the third. Since we now know we are looking at empires and not a human as the head, what one empire fits this description better than any other? The answer is the Ottoman empire and the world thought they were finally killed off in 1924. Guess what, they came back to life in 1979 with the Iranian revolution.
Considering how peculiar this “beast” is, what image would you make for it? Perhaps you would focus on the “mouth”? This is not so clear is it. Whatever this guy decides, he will make an image of it and will demand that all the inhabitants of earth worship it.
I used think that it would be impossible to effectively force the world to worship a man, an image, and take some form of a mark. While I could see how Islam might have dominion over the Middle East, you would never be able to enforce this nonsense over a Modern nation. But what have we seen in the last couple of years? An Islamic invasion, first in the European nations, and now President Obama wants to take thousands of them in. Thousand of people that we now know are interlaced with veteran Jihad fighters, and that what they are doing is a form of Jihad/warfare. Combine that with a gradual infiltration of government (another form of Jihad) while they are making quiet inroads into establishing Sharia law as the law of the land. At that point they will give themselves free rein to slaughter outsiders – infidels.
- It performs great signs, even making fire come down from heaven to earth in front of people
What has been going on all this time? Let me point something out, that most do not catch.
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, 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. 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 11:3-12 ESV)
God sends his two witnesses. There is speculation on who they are, but really is that important that we know who they are? What is important is what they do, what they say, and when they get here. I happen to believe they show up right after the rapture and here is the significant reason – they stop the rain. Why is that a big deal, because this second beast, the false prophet, causes the rain to come back again. They also performs signs and the false prophet mimics those also. Remember that I said that prophesy to the Jew is pattern. Well, what happened immediately after Moses brought each plague upon Egypt? The sorcerers in Pharaoh’s court copied exactly what Moses and Aaron did. Pattern!
- and by the signs that it is allowed to work in the presence of the beast it deceives those who dwell on earth,
Look at what it prompted Jesus to say:
If this man is as Islam describes: A Jew; of the lineage of Aaron; a priest in the new temple; a man who is respected/revered, and then does all this stuff, working signs, causing it to rain; telling elite Jews that all along they have followed the wrong god, and that Allah is god, not Elohim. What will that do? It will cause many to be deceived.
Look at what it prompted Jesus to say:
Matthew 24:4-5 ESV And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. (5) For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray.
This part “the signs that it is allowed to work in the presence of the beast” actually puzzles me, for it implies that he has to have permission from the beast to do the damage that we see. Consider once again what Islam believes about this guy:
The Subordinate Of The Mahdi
Borrowed from the website:
“At this time, Jesus descends to meet the army of the Mahdi which will be preparing for battle. It will be just before the time of prayer.
Muslims will still be preparing themselves for the battle drawing up the ranks. Certainly, the time of prayer shall come and then Jesus, son of Mary would descend.
Based on the relevant Hadith, Islamic scholars seem to be in universal agreement that the Mahdi will ask Jesus to lead the prayers. Jesus will then refuse this request and will defer instead to the Mahdi to lead the prayer.
The Messenger of Allah said: A section of my people will not cease fighting for the truth and will prevail until the Day of resurrection. He said: Jesus son of Mary would then descend and their [Muslims’] commander [the Mahdi] would invite him to come and lead them in prayer, but he would say: No, some amongst you are commanders over some.
The important element here that needs to be stressed is that Jesus will then pray behind the Mahdi as a direct statement regarding Jesus’ inferiority of rank to the Mahdi.
Jesus Christ will decline the offer and invitation of Imam Mahdi to come and lead the Muslims in prayer, and say his prayer behind Imam Mahdi. Jesus (peace be upon him) will come and will perform the obligatory prayers behind the Mahdi and follow him. (Jesus) will be following the Mahdi, the master of the time, and that is why he will be offering his prayers behind him.
Jesus The Faithful Muslim
After Jesus returns, in keeping with his identity as a faithful Muslim, he will perform the ritual pilgrimage to Mecca called hajj: The Prophet said: Verily Isa ibn Maryam shall descend as an equitable judge and fair ruler. He shall tread his path on the way to hajj (pilgrimage) and come to my grave to greet me, and I shall certainly answer him!
Jesus Will Institute Islamic Law
While the Mahdi, as the Caliph (vice-regent) and Imam (leader) of the Muslims is clearly seen as being a superior to Jesus, Jesus is still said to be a leader of the Muslim Community. According to the Islamic traditions, Jesus’ primary purpose will be to oversee the institution and the enforcement of the Islamic Shariah law all over the world.”
So Islam believes that their version of Jesus will be subservient to Islam’s Mahdi. This is clearly NOT THE SON OF GOD. Do you also begin to get a grasp of why God calls this time a time of wrath, fury, anger, and destruction.
- 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.
“It”, this second beast, the false prophet, is allowed to give breath – life – to an image. An image of something we cannot legitimately define as yet.
If you have never been to Disneyland, Walt’s engineers used audio-animatronics and built a very good replica of Abraham Lincoln. When you walked in this big puppet would be sitting with his eyes closed, as though he was resting. Within seconds he would open his eyes, stand to his feet, greet you, then begin to give the Gettysburg address, with all the corresponding motions you might expect.
I do not know what this image will look like, perhaps it will be a hologram of the Mahdi himself, so that people believe that the Mahdi is giving them commands. Regardless, the outcome will be deadly for those that refuse to comply with the demands that this image will be making.
- 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, 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.
If you think about how Islam deals with infidels they are not that high-tech, are they?
This idea that outsiders cannot work freely in an Islamic controlled land, is not a new concept. Look at what the Qur’an says:
Qur’an (9:29) – “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.”
Jews, forced into the ghettos of Poland, were given marks and they were not allowed to do anything without the yellow star that said Juden on them. Few realize that there were many colors used to denigrate people groups under the direction of the Nazis.
A puzzling aspect of this prophetic word is the reference to this 666 indicator and how it is the number of a man. For a moment I thought Walid Shoebat sounded good, as he described how it looked like the Arabic symbols meaning, there is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is his messenger. I am not sure, and I am not willing to play with Gematria. So if there is one thing in Revelation that throws me for a loop, it is this 666 stuff. We already know it is a man; I am confident that it will be someone fulfilling the role of the Mahdi; they will head the restored Islamic caliphate, but who it is anybody guess. For a few minutes I thought Princip Erdogan of Turkey was going to take the lead in this role. We should not rule him out.
The passage reads:
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.
Contextually, John had just finished speaking about the image of the beast being set up, but as I said, we have too many options to define this as yet.
Your best bet is to stay ready, on God’s side. Start by having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. You do that by turning your life over to Him and asking Him to come be the center of your life. Then work on trimming off the bad fruit you have grown. Jesus Christ knows how to do that.