The Weekend Word
The Second Beast
- Who is this 2nd beast? Rev 16:13 calls him the false prophet.
- He apes or mimics the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit bears witness of Jesus Christ through signs and wonders. We see this in Acts and Romans. This beast is the mouthpiece of the first beast and he too performs miracles. We will see this more in v.14.
- Just as the Holy Spirit calls people to salvation in Jesus through the preaching of the gospel and through worship of Jesus by receiving his forgiveness through that faith – this beast is hell bent to create universal worship of the red dragon.
- He is a false preacher, he is a false priest and he is many. Today the beast dominates the Christian airwaves, the bookstores and even the fairly new bandwidth.
- The appearance is that he is on our side – but as is usual appearance does not meet the facts.
- He is a wolf in sheep’s clothing – Jesus warned about false teachers, preachers, false prophets – this is it … even today.
11 Then I saw another beast rising out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb and it spoke like a dragon.
- “out of the earth.” Remember in Rev 12:6 the earth was our friend, so immediately after we see the deception – here this beast must be our friend – our “helper” – the impersonation of the lamb is devilishly deceptive.
- This beast has only 1 head and 2 horns – see Dan 8:2-4.
- So far what we have read in this book, have the lambs been good guys or bad guys? It has always been the Jesus guy.
- This one looks like a lamb but speaks like the devil – the classic wolf in sheep’s clothing. He looks very godly but is singing the praises of the devil.
- Where the first beast is the dragon’s tool to destroy the individual Christian through political and civil institutions, this beast is a religious beast – an ecclesiastical beast – a beast that rises in the name of the church.
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.
- Note that this beast has the same authority as the first beast but he acts as the public relations man for the first beast in his attempt to direct the world and the church to worship in this case the government and its institutions.
- Does this sound familiar as church and state unite or attempt to unite? The pope and the Holy Roman Empire? Jerry Falwell and the Moral Majority influencing the Reagan administration and others?
13 It performs great signs, even making fire come down from heaven to earth in front of people,
- Think Mt Carmel – Elijah and Baal.
- He performs great signs, probably even throws in enough Jesus good stuff – but not to bring salvation but to lead away from Jesus and point to the beast – Jesus spoke of this in Matt 24.
- Whereas Jesus the lamb created and redeemed a people for God to be a holy nation – Rev 7; Rev 11 and 1 Peter 2 – now the beast from the earth who looks like a lamb, plans for “church” for Satan that is made from those who dwell on the earth – the inhabitants of the earth – the unbelievers Rev 13:8.
- The beast will achieve his goal by; (1) performing miracles – (2) establishing the first beast as a figure to be worshiped – (3) creating what amounts to a membership list with each member having his or her badge of membership. (we will see this later as the mark of the beast.)
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.
- It is odd that much of the earth’s population is deceived by the signs and wonders. We see this all the time oday in many American and foreign pentecostal type churches.
- The planned end result of any of this deception is to sanctify the political beast and encourage some sort of cultic worship.
- Miracles are ambiguous – they tell you nothing of their origin – they speak nothing of the genuiness of the prophet or the preacher’s credentials. The miracle worker could be from God or the devil himself.
- Pharaoh’s magicians were able to perform miracles. Jesus, the miracle worker himself warned what would happen in the last days – false prophets, false messiah’s would perform marvelous miracles – Mark 13:22; Matt 24:24; Paul in 2 Thess 2:9.
- Here is the thing about the presence of false prophets – and they abound today just as they have in the past and they will continue until the return of Jesus – do not look at what is being done, but listen to what is being said – especially about Jesus – Deut 13 – Matt 7 – 1 John 4.
- Test the spirits – and you do this by listening to what they say about Jesus. Think of what you hear in church – what kind of Christ is being confessed.
- Right off the bat you confess your sin and the pastor turns and says ‘Christ died for you and by his authority I forgive you all of your sin – in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.’
- What kind of Christ is being confessed when the pastor gets in the pulpit and says that Christ died for you, Christ rose for you, Christ ascended to the right hand of the Father, and heaven is yours?
- What kind of Christ is being confessed when you go up to the altar and kneel at the communion rail and hear the very words of Jesus – this is my body given for you – my blood shed for you for the forgiveness of your
- What kind of Christ is that? The Christ of scripture. This is how you know you are in Christ’s church. What was his command? You go and preach repentance and forgiveness of sin. You baptize in my triune name and you give out my very body and blood.
- This is the church at work and satan does not like that one bit so he wants to get you off track. Something else will come up to replace that forgiveness bit – watch out – listen up in your church to assure that you are not hearing from that second beast.
- This is why some churches grow – and grow fast. The people come out singing the praises of the sermon – “oh, that was such a good sermon!” “Oh, did the pastor say you were forgiven?” – “well no, but it was a real live sermon.” This is nothing but a sermon of death – putting all of the activities back on you.
- Listen up to who is running the verbs. Is it Jesus for you, or is it you for Jesus?