Revelation 13:11-18: The Second Beast
- The beast’s prophet
- The beast’s number
The devil employs three enemies against the church, the two beasts and Babylon; persecution, deception and seduction. We have looked at the governmental powers given authority by the devil to rule and wage war against the saints bodies. Now we want to look at the beast of false religion who wages war against the saints minds. The identity of the second beast has been as much debated as the identity of the first. Some interesting theories have been put forward. The Historicist perspective tends to see the Papacy as the second beast. We see that the lamb with two horns speaks with a dragon’s voice. It is pointed out that the Popes of the past wore a pallium of lamb’s wool and held a mitre which had two points. This beast also performs false miracles even causing the image of the beast to come alive. Some have aligned these with the false official miracles of the Catholic Church.
‘”One day in the month of August, 1914, I went into the parish church of Limpias, by order of my friend D. Gregorio Bringas, to fix the electric light over the high altar. In order to be able to work more comfortably I put two large cases on the altar, and on them a ladder, the ends of which I leaned against the wall that serves as a background to the figure of the Crucified One.
“After I had worked for two hours, in order to rest myself a little I began to clean the figure so that it could be seen more clearly. My head was on a level with the Head of the Christ, and at a distance of only a couple of feet from it. It was a lovely day and through the window in the sanctuary a flood of light streamed into the church and lit up the whole altar. As I was gazing at the crucifix with the closest attention, I noticed with astonishment that Our Lord’s eyes were gradually closing, and for five minutes I saw them quite closed.
“Overwhelmed with fright at such an unexpected spectacle, I could still hardly quite believe what I saw, and was about to come down from the ladder. Notwithstanding, my bewilderment was so great that my strength suddenly failed me; I lost my balance, fainted, and fell from the ladder onto the edge of the altar itself and down the steps into the sanctuary.”‘
The pope wore a three tiered tiara with the words, Vicarius Filii Dei which means ‘vicar of the Son of God’ whose number equals 666. And the order to forbid buying and selling to the Waldenses was also given by the Pope.
Dispensational writers think that the false prophet will be a Jew who poses as a false messiah misleading the Jews and erecting an idol in a rebuilt temple, as the abomination of desolation predicted by Christ, Matt. 24:15. Some Preterist writers have thought that the beast is probably the Roman Governor of Judah or the Jewish teachers of the first century. We will be arguing the second beast, otherwise known as the false prophet in Revelation is the devil’s instrument to deceive the nations and sway allegiance to the first beast. This would have taken a specific form in the first century but has taken many different manifestations as well through the centuries. We will meet the enemy of false religion that we have to contend with in every age.