The Beast from the Earth

The Beast from the Earth counterfeits the Lamb. It is the mouthpiece of the Dragon and the propagandist for the Beast from the SeaIn Chapter 12 of Revelation, the “great voice in heaven” pronounced “Woe” on the “Inhabitants of the Earth and Sea because the Devil has descended to you, having great wrath.” Satan then launched his war against the “Seed of the Woman” by summoning his own “seed” to attack those “who have the Testimony of Jesus,” namely, 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 deep and dark place to attack the saints; first, from the “Abyss” (Revelation 11:4-7), then from the “Sea” (13:1), and now from the “EARTH,” the same place that is associated with the human opponents of the “Lamb,” the “Inhabitants of the EARTH.”

Beast from the earth - Photo by Wu Dae on Unsplash
[Photo by Wu Dae on Unsplash]

As before, the Greek participle translated as “
ascending” is in the present tense, indicating an ONGOING ACTION rather than a single event. That is, a process of ascending from the “Earth.”

  • (Revelation 13:11-15) – “And I saw another beast ascending from the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and began speaking as a dragon. And all the authority of the first beast he uses before him; and causes the inhabitants of the earth to render homage to the first beast, whose stroke of death was healed. And he does great signs so that even fire he causes to descend to the earth before men; and he deceives the inhabitants of the earth by the signs which it was given him to do before the beast, saying to the inhabitants of the earth that they should make an image for the beast who had the stroke of the sword, and yet lived. And it was given to it to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and should cause that as many as should not do homage to the image of the beast should be slain.”

The passage demonstrates why the second Beast’s arrival means “Woe” to the Earth’s “Inhabitants.” This creature deceives them so they give their allegiance to the first “Beast, the one from the Sea.” That decision means their names will NOT be “written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.”

The “Beast from the Earth” speaks with the voice of the “Dragon” and the authority of the first “Beast” (“He spoke as a dragon”). He is the mouthpiece of the “Beast from the Sea” and summons all men to give absolute allegiance to the latter.

Moreover, the “Beast from the Earth” is the “mouth speaking great things and slanders” that was given to the first “Beast” along with the authority to do so for “forty-two months,” the same period allotted to the “trampling of the Sanctuary by the nations,” the prophetic ministry of the “Two Witnesses,” the “nourishment” of the woman for “a thousand, twelve hundred and sixty days,” and the “Short Season” given to the “Dragon” to wreak havoc on the “Earth and the Sea” - (Revelation 11:1-3, 12:6-14, 13:5).

MOUTHPIECE AND COUNTERFEIT


This creature’s voice echoes the characteristics of the “Little Horn” in the Book of Daniel who was “speaking great things” against the saints. Though his “power was mighty,” it was “not by his own power.” Likewise, the “Beast from the Earth” speaks with the authority of the first Beast. He has “two horns like a lamb,” which means on some level he counterfeits the true “Lamb” – (Daniel 7:8, 8:23).

This Beast “causes the Inhabitants of the Earth to render homage to the first Beast.” This echoes the story of Nebuchadnezzar’s “golden image” that he “erected” in the “province of Babylon” and compelled all “peoples, nations and tongues” to bow before it - (Daniel 3:1-7).

The second “Beast” corresponds to the “herald” in the story in Chapter 3 of Daniel, the one who summoned all the peoples of the Empire to give allegiance to Nebuchadnezzar and his “image.” Just like his counterpart in that story, the “Beast from the Earth” threatens death to anyone who refuses to venerate the beastly image.

The “Beast from the Earth” has “two” horns and the authority to “cause fire to descend from heaven to the ground” to awe and deceive the “Inhabitants of the Earth.” This means he also imitates the “Two Witnesses” from whose mouth fire proceeded to “consume their enemies” - (Revelation 11:4-6).

The second Beast commanded the “Inhabitants of the Earth to make an image for the first Beast.” This creature does not erect the “image” himself. Instead, he convinces the “Inhabitants of the Earth” to do so, which makes them willing participants in this idolatrous endeavor.

The “Beast from the Earth” is also the one who gives life and purpose to the “image.” He provides the political ideology and propaganda used to coax the Earth’s inhabitants into giving their allegiance to the “Beast from the Sea” rather than to Jesus (“It was given to it to give breath to the image of the beast”).

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

The term translated as “killed” represents the Greek verb apoktein├┤, the same verb used when the “Beast from the AbyssKILLED the “Two Witnesses,” and to describe the “perseverance of the saints” - “If anyone is to be KILLED with sword, with sword he must be KILLED.” Hence, the “saints” who refuse to give allegiance to the “Beast” are “killed” by the “Beast from the Earth”- (Revelation 11:7-13, 13:10).

THE FIERY FURNACE


The source for the image of the “Lake of Fire” in Revelation is the action by Nebuchadnezzar against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego when they refused to render homage to his “great image,” though it is employed paradoxically. In Daniel, the men who cast the Jewish exiles into the fiery furnace were burned alive by its super-heated flames.

Storm - Photo by Justin Leniger on Unsplash
[Storm - Photo by Justin Leniger on Unsplash]

Likewise, the “
Beast from the Sea” and the “False Prophet” who attempt to destroy the “saints” are themselves “cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone” after the final “battle” with the “Rider on a White Horse” - (Daniel 3:1-6, Revelation 19:20).

The task of the second “Beast” is to cause the “Inhabitants of the Earth” to give allegiance to the first Beast and the “Dragon.” If the former represents the political power of the Empire, the “Beast from the Earth” is the face of the political ideology and the religious authority invoked to legitimize the idolatrous allegiance demanded by the “Beast from the Sea.”

Elsewhere in Revelation, the “Beast from the Earth” is called the “false prophet.” Just as the deceitful activity of “that prophetess, Jezebel” corresponds to the “Great Harlot, Babylon, who made the inhabitants of the Earth drunk with her fornication,” so the efforts of the “False Prophet” to deceive men parallel the proponents of the “doctrines of Balaam” and the “Nicolaitans” at Pergamos who taught many saints to “fornicate and eat meat offered to idols.” Thus, the deceptions of the “Beast from the Earth” are found in the Assemblies of Asia as well as among the “Inhabitants of the Earth.”

Furthermore, the “Beast from the Earth” imitates the “Two Witnesses” who are identified as “prophets.” This second Beast is in the truest sense a FALSE PROPHET. Whether he represents an actual person, organization, ideology, or something else remains to be seen. For now, the stress in the narrative is on his or its ability to deceive men so they swear allegiance to the first Beast – (Revelation 2:14, 2:20, 17:1-4).

In Chapter 13, the political and religious aspects of this satanic effort are prominent. In the end, the decision of each man and woman is between giving allegiance to the “Beast from the Sea,” and by proxy, to the “Dragon,” or “following the Lamb wherever he goes” even if doing so results in martyrdom.



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