And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and
he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.
beast This new one directs worship to the first beast who, as we
recall, received his authority from the dragon. And where does the new
beast come from? This must be significant because no earlier beasts in
Revelation or Daniel arose from the earth.
Earth This term is understood in contrast to the sea of striving humanity, explained for da0702f and re1715. See note for v11a, below.
|.11b And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.||Two horns The horns of the sea beast were its power through the nations that arose at the fall of Rome. See note for v2. This new type of beast based its power on two lamb-like (peaceful) horns — free religion (not forced by the state) and free civil government (not obliged to support or be influenced by any religion). Previously church and state had been united each bound by the other.|
|.11c And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.||Spake as a dragon We are moving toward this today. The speaking of a nation is its laws and, perhaps, its aggression toward other nations. See the note for v11c.|
|.12 And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.|| Power
of the first beast In a similar way, the first beast had received
his power from the dragon v2.
Worship This is a religious power see note.
First beast ... healed We are looking at the time after the near death of the church which had dominated the world for more than a thousand years. See on re1303a.
|13 And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,||Verse 13 begins a new page. It and verse 14 are shown here for context.|
|.14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.|
Beast from the earth, not the sea
The "earth" would not have the strife of the masses of people. You might refer back to our discussion of the earth in chapter 12 where we saw it, in that time context, as the United States — the New World in the Western Hemisphere where people could escape the traditions, persecution, and and strife of the established world re1215f. I propose that we are looking at the same time here — the time of the emergence of the New World. Wait and see if the context confirms this idea. The two beast powers appear elsewhere in different terms. In chapter 16, for example, re1604c.
Let's remember the beautiful promise we just read in Isaiah, "The nations shall rush like the rushing of many waters: but God shall rebuke them, and they shall flee far off, and shall be chased as the chaff of the mountains before the wind." We can trust our Redeemer through all the calamities and strife. He is our God and He will save us! is2509.
Beasts from the
earth, a precedent
Normally plants, not beasts, come up out of the earth. The Greek verb translated "coming out" is anabaino and can mean "grow up" or "go up." For example, see mr0407, mr0432, mt1307. In the creation account, God said, "Let the earth bring forth [yatsa] the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so." (Gen. 1:24). Yatsa may describe plants growing from the earth is1101, de1422. The Hebrew word for "beast" in this verse is therion meaning "wild animal." The same word was used for the beast from the sea. The Genesis connection points to our earth beast as an act of creation and the context here identifies it as a political power. Did God ordain (create) a nation for a special place in His great plan of redemption? I believe He did.
Talking like a dragon
The new beast had two horns like a lamb. What would the two horns represent? Daniel writes about horns of an earlier time. "And the ten horns out of this kingdom [Rome] are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings." (Dan. 7:24)
Perhaps the beast from the earth is a divided nation ruled by two governments. As we think of it, however, the picture doesn't seem to fit. Also, in the story, the beast is acting, not the horns. Our verse in Daniel said ten horns were kings — political powers — but that a new horn that grew up from the beast's head was different. The next verse in Daniel tells us how. The new horn among the ten spoke words against the Most High so it was a religious power. Also remember that a beast uses its horns to enforce its will. So this new power from the earth has two distinct strengths. Could our beast from the earth be a nation with both political power and religious power? The world during the Middle Ages was ruled by political and religious powers but they were bonded together — the church controlling the state. The horns on the earth beast are separate, at least to begin with. You already know that I believe the beast from the earth to be the United States, but I don't expect you to accept that idea just because I say so. The whole picture has to fit together in the Bible account.
Important thoughts on relating the earth beast to the United States are on the verse 11 notes page.
Some of the objectives of
Christian circles today which seem so godly and so good I believe are deceptions
of Satan. Obviously not all that looks good is bad. Some truly good things
are happening, too. We just need to have a "thus saith the Lord" for absolutely
every idea we accept ac1710f,
We have a big lesson to learn from our present chapter and the next. In the sweep of future events, we see threats for not accepting the mark of the beast re1315ff and God's wrath poured out without mixture on those who do worship the beast and have his mark re1409ff. And we see Christ's coming to reap the grain and to stomp on the grapes re1414ff. We are obviously seeing the very final events of prophecy turning into history. No future time to get ready is in the picture from the Bible. See on mt2445.
Now, please listen. What we see in these passages is that the great revival stimulating the masses at the end of time, will be a mighty wind. But the worship offered by the majority will be a false worship! All the world will wonder after the beast thinking that they are following the true Lamb.
I have jumped ahead into territory we have not yet explored. The prophecies will be clearer as we look at them in detail. We usually look at trees. We also need to see the forest. Jesus has promised us "If any man will do his [the Father's] will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself." (John 7:17). In submission to the will of our God, we will have opportunity, with our own Bible and on our knees, to know what is truth jn0832. May we each listen for the voice of Christ (not to just what some guy who who writes about the Bible claims). Satan is even now preparing for the final battle with the remnant of the woman's seed re1217. I want to stand with the true Lamb of God and I know you do, too.
The earth beast at our doorstep
"And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed." (Rev. 13:11, 12)
The beast from the earth exercises all the power of the first beast. We looked at this delegation of power and authority as we compared the trio of the dragon, the beast from the sea, and the beast from the earth to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Satan, as the dragon at the apex of the false trinity aspired to be like God. He is the ultimate object of the false worship. is1412-15.
Next notice, in our verse
in Revelation, that the earth beast causes people to worship. This
means it is religious. As I understand this prophecy, the United States
will become a combined political and religious power. Until recently this
has seemed nearly impossible. My country has been the world champion of
religious liberty upholding the separation of church and state. It is a
temptation to interpret minor events in the world to fit a certain interpretation
of prophecy. What I'm about to describe is a very major shift — a movement
we practically take for granted.
We have witnessed a Protestant movement, known commonly as "the religious right," take over the Republican party acting at every level from school boards up, working to get chosen politicians in office. The Christian movement works to "bring America back to God." Christians feel duty bound to vote only for candidates thus recommended. We have seen major groups call for unity, essentially tossing out distinctive denominational doctrines. Only a few popular religious ideas and causes are championed. The group I have in mind, by the way, has many excellent objectives and thousands of sincere followers.
We have forgotten that this same kind of political rally behind a majority religious group, forcing out all dissenting groups by religious persecution, brought the papacy into power and kept it there during the middle ages. Doesn't our verse say that the earth beast would exercise all the power of the first beast? Please don't misunderstand. This is a sensitive issue. America does need to come back to God. Homosexuality and many other societal behaviors are indeed condemned by the Bible. We need repentance. And religious persecution has not yet been seen significantly in the US. The problem will arise when laws turn from protecting individual freedom to forcing religious issues on others. The tendency is to label the push in this direction "religious freedom" when it is only freedom for certain religious practices at the expense of those who are convicted otherwise. Then the earth beast will speak (in legislation) with the voice of the dragon.
A massive movement
I write with a certain hesitation. Speaking against minority groups or against unpopular evils is easy. I have spoken against a very popular movement. I do so in Christian love. I do not believe that most people involved have any idea of the natural end to which they are headed. Satan comes as an angel of light. As we said earlier, all the world will wonder after the beast (be awed by him). According to Revelation, the end-time religious movement of the masses will be a false one.
Let's pray for each other that God will give us spiritual discernment. I don't expect you to accept my ideas unless you are convinced that they are what God is telling us in His book. So try to look beyond me and go, on your knees, to the source of all wisdom. "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him." (James 1:5) Ask God for the eye ointment promised to Laodicea (Rev. 3:18). Claim the promise of Jesus, "If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself." (John 7:17) The Spirit of the Lord may bring conviction later if not now.
Until next time, let's stay close to our Lord and Saviour and continue to seek to understand His will and His word.