The Book of REVELATION
James J. Barker
THE SECOND BEAST: THE FALSE PROPHET
- Last Sunday evening we looked at the first beast (13:1),
also known as the "antichrist."
- Tonight we will look at the second beast (13:11), also
known as the "false prophet" (16:13; 19:20; 20:10).
- In contrast to
the first beast which will rise up out of the sea, the second beast is said to
come "up out of the earth" (13:11).
- The second
beast is similar in many ways to the first beast. The word “another” in verse 11
means “one like in kind.”
- Though they are
very similar, and will work closely together, it is apparent that the second
beast will be entirely subsidiary to the first.
- He will work
miracles on behalf of the first beast.
And he will cause men to make and to worship the first beast's image
- Henry Alford,
the English commentator, says the second beast will be "lost in the splendour
and importance" of the first beast.
THE IDENTITY OF THE SECOND BEAST (13:11,
- Like the first
beast, his country of origin and his nationality are not mentioned. He is
pictured as having two horns like a lamb and as speaking like a dragon (13:11),
which suggests he will be very religious but also very
- He will act
meek and gentle like a lamb, but his dragon-like words indicate he will be
energized by Satan, just like the first beast (13:2,
- His two horns
like a lamb indicate he will be a religious leader. Furthermore, later on he is
called the "false prophet" (16:13; 19:20; 20:10).
- As a helper and
accomplice to the first beast, he will exercise all the power of the first
beast; and using the powers of Satan and the strong arm of the one-world
government, he will force people to worship the first beast
- John Walvoord
says, "There is some evidence pointing to the conclusion that the second beast
is the head of the apostate church during the first half of Daniel’s seventieth
week. With the rise of the first beast to a place of worldwide dominion, the
apostate church is destroyed according to Revelation 17:16, and the worship of
the whole world is directed to the beast out of the sea. The second beast,
however, survives the destruction of the church which had been under his
control, and he assists the beast in making the transition. Facilitating this
change into the final form of apostate religion, the beast out of the earth
causes men to worship the first beast.
The identification of the second beast as the head of the apostate church
is indicated in many ways in the book of Revelation. It is obvious that he is
associated with the first beast in a religious way in that his miracles and
activities tend to cause men to worship the image of the first beast (cf.
13:13-17). It is also clear that he shares prominence and leadership with the
first beast throughout the great tribulation as they both are cast alive into
the lake of fire at its close (19:20)" (The Revelation of Jesus
- The miracles
performed by the false prophet are described as "great wonders," literally,
“great signs” (13:13; cf. 12:1, 3; 15:1; 16:14).
- The same Greek word is translated "sign" in II
Thessalonians 2:9, which describes the Satanic deceptions of the antichrist.
"Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and
signs and lying wonders."
- These prophecies emphasize that the antichrist and the
false prophet will deceive the multitudes through their Satanic signs and
- This is just one more reason why we should avoid the
delusions and deceptions of the "signs and wonders" churches. They are preparing people for the
antichrist, the false prophet, and the one-world harlot church, described in
Revelation 17 and 18.
- I mentioned last week that the devil does have power to
do miracles and that by their use he will deceive people into worshiping the
first beast, the antichrist (13:13, 14).
- By means of his Satanic power the second beast (the
false prophet) will perform miracles in the sight of the first beast (the
- And on the basis of his Satanic power, the false prophet
will force "them that dwell on the earth" to make an image of the first beast
- For the third time in chapter 13, the first beast is
described as having "had the wound by a sword and did live" (13:14b; cf. 13:3,
12). This indicates that this wound and subsequent healing are very
- Even more important is the "image of the beast," which
is mentioned ten times in the book of Revelation; four times in Revelation 13:14
and 15 (cf. 14:9, 11; 15:2; 16:2; 19:20; 20:4).
- The image of the beast, similar in some ways to the
image of King Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 3, will be the symbol of the beast's
power and majesty.
- The image of the beast will becomes the center of the
false worship during the coming tribulation.
- John Walvoord says, "The image is the center of the
false worship and the focal point of the final state of apostasy, the acme of
the idolatry which has been the false religion of so many
THE SECOND BEAST WILL FORCE PEOPLE TO WORSHIP THE
FIRST BEAST (13:15-17)
- The word
translated “life” in verse 15 is usually translated “spirit” or “breath.” Strong's Concordance says the
word means, "the spirit, i.e. the vital principal by which the body is
- Satan will
energize the antichrist and apparently his image also (13:15). It has been
debated whether these extraordinary powers given by Satan to the antichrist and
the false prophet include the power to "give life" (13:15), since this is a
prerogative of God alone.
- John Walvoord has provided a reasonable explanation.
"The intent of the passage seems to be that the image has the appearance of life
manifested in breathing, but actually it may be no more than a robot. The image
is further described as being able to speak, a faculty easily accomplished by
mechanical means. In ancient times religious ventriloquism was sometimes used to
give the impression of supernatural speech, a practice confirmed by
archaeological excavations in Corinth. In Acts 16:16 the slave girl possessed of
a demon was able to bring gain to her masters by soothsaying. She also
supernaturally recognized Paul and his companions as 'servants of the most high
God, which shew unto us the way of salvation' (Acts 16:17). Her power of speech
was under demonic control. Whether completely natural in its explanation, or
whether some supernatural power is used to create the impression of life, the
image apparently is quite convincing to the mass of humanity and helps to turn
them to a worship of the first beast as their god" (The Revelation of Jesus
13:15 says that those who will not worship the image of the beast will be
executed. A countless multitude will undoubtedly be martyred according to
- Revelation 20:4
says those who refuse to receive the mark of the beast will be
- A law will be
passed that all people, "both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond"
will have to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads (13:16,
- Having this
mark (an implant or microchip?) will be necessary in order to buy or sell. There
has been much speculation concerning the mark which will be affixed to
the right hand or to the forehead.
The present-day popularity of tattoos could be preparing people for the
mark of the beast.
- It has been
noted that the mark of the beast will be in mimicry of the seal of the Holy
Spirit on true believers (cf. Rev. 7:3-8).
- Ephesians 1:13
says, "Ye were sealed with that holy Spirit
- Ephesians 4:30 says, "And grieve not the holy Spirit of
God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of
- The mark itself seems to vary according to verse 17 as
in some cases being the name of the beast and in others the number of his name.
- Today, even secular writers have noted that the mark of
the beast is ready to be put into action.
I recently read an article entitled, "New Microchip Knows Your
Location To Within Centimeters" (http://www.infowars.com). The
article refers to Revelation 13.
- With cell phones, easy passes, computers, the GPS and
satellites, surveillance cameras, and other modern innovations, it will be
rather easy for the antichrist and the false prophet and their tyrannical police state to control
people and to punish dissidents.
THE NUMBER OF THE BEAST
- Verse 17 refers
to "the number of his name" and verse 18 tells us that the number of the beast
will be 666.
- There has been
endless speculation over the meaning of this number.
- The number is
introduced by the phrase “Here is wisdom,” and we are told it is "the number of
- In attempting
to solve the riddle of this verse, some have considered the phrase to represent
Caesar, others Nero or Caligula. This has been done by adding up the numeric
value of various names.
- One interesting theory starts out by giving the letter A
six points. Then B would be 12, and
C 18, etc. O would be 90, M would
be 78, P is 96, U 126, T 120, E 30, and R 108. Therefore COMPUTER =
- Most of the
various explanations are rather complicated. Letters in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek
had numerical equivalents.
- For example,
the first six Roman numerals are: I (1), V (5), X (10), L (50), C (100), and D
(500). (The seventh is M,
which is 1,000.) These first six numbers add up to 666. J. B. Smith thought this
indicated the antichrist could be a Roman. In his commentary on the book of
Revelation, Smith also says, “All the numerals from 1 to 36 total 666. Beast
in the evil sense occurs exactly 36 times (6x6) in Revelation" (cited by
- The antichrist
probably will be a Roman, based on Daniel 9:26, which says "the prince that
shall come" will be from the same people that destroyed the city of Jerusalem
and the temple in AD 70 (after the Messiah is "cut
- Regarding the
interpretation of 666, the simplest explanation is that the triple six is the
number of a man, each digit falling short of the perfect number seven. Six in
Scripture is man’s number. Man was to work six days and rest the seventh.
Walvoord says, "The image of Nebuchadnezzar was sixty cubits high and six cubits
broad. Whatever may be the deeper meaning of the number, it implies that this
title referring to the first beast, Satan’s masterpiece, limits him to man’s
level which is far short of the deity of Jesus Christ" (The Revelation of
Chapter 13, along with Daniel 7, Matthew 24, and II Thessalonians 2, is one of
the great prophetic chapters of Scripture.
- "It is the only
passage which presents in any detail the two principal evil characters of the
end of the age who form with Satan an unholy trinity" (Walvoord, The
Revelation of Jesus Christ).
- The general character of the tribulation period is
graphically portrayed in this chapter. It will be a time of absolute terror with
Satan, the antichrist, and the false prophet running
- "The ultimate in false religion will sweep the entire
world in a manifestation of evil never before seen on the earth" (Walvoord,
The Revelation of Jesus Christ). This is brought out in Revelation 17 and
- These prophecies demonstrate "beyond question that man
is not able to solve his own problems and only God can bring righteousness and
peace to the earth" (Walvoord, The Revelation of Jesus Christ).
- The present attempts at unifying all the religions and
governments of the world are setting the stage for the fulfillment of the
prophecies in the book of Revelation.
- Revelation 13 shows how the head of the revived Roman
Empire will ultimately become the ruler of the entire world.
- And he will be more than merely a malevolent dictator
- "Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is
called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of
God, shewing himself that he is God" (II Thess.
- The antichrist
will be energized by Satan. He will be Satan’s counterfeit messiah and
substitute for the Lord Jesus Christ.
- And he will be
aided and supported by this second beast called the false prophet.
- Many have pointed to the contrast of this Satanic
trinity with the heavenly Trinity, Satan corresponding to God the Father, the
antichrist corresponding to Christ, and the false prophet corresponding to the
Holy Spirit (cf. Rev. 16:13).