The Second Beast
The second beast of Revelation 13 is introduced in the next verse. (Go back to the previous page for commentary on the first half of Revelation chapter 13.
"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." (Rev 13:11)
"Horns like a lamb" could relate to Jesus - the Lamb. This may be indicating a more Christ-like origin of this beast later changing in character or having an assumed Christ-like character. While many true prophets have spoken for God this power is especially the spokesman for Satan's deceptive purposes ("he spake as a dragon") and is thus termed "the false prophet" in Rev 16:13, 19:20 and 20:10. We now have the dragon, the first beast and the second beast that are working together to deceive mankind. The three are especially grouped together in:
"And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet." (Rev 16:13)
Some see in the lion with eagle's wings of Daniel 7:4 a symbol of the partnership of the modern nations of the United Kingdom (the lion) and the United States (the eagle). The wings being plucked off is understood to be a symbol of the demise of the United States. This sounds kind of like a deadly wound as well.
When this second beast of Revelation 13 comes out of the earth it is symbolized as having two horns like a lamb. It comes out of the earth which is often seen in contrast to the sea - a heavily-populated area - as a relatively sparsely populated area. Remember, from Revelation 12 that "the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood." This could be related to the relatively-sparsely populated New World (North America) providing sanctuary to those who fled from the persecution they were enduring in the Old World.
The United States matches that criteria and can be related to a beast that has two horns that actually look somewhat like those of a lamb. Note that, Biblically, a lamb can be either from sheep or goats:
"Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats:" (Exo 12:5)
The bison's natural range is the great plains of the United States and Canada. Is it possible that the two horns represent two nations - the United States and Canada who will some day in the future form a union? The bison is used in some Canadian symbols such as on the coat of arms of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. If John did see something that looked like a bison it could be that he did not name it because he had never seen one before.
"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. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men," (Rev 13:12-13)
The second beast of Revelation 13 causes people to worship the first beast and it seems that bringing fire down from heaven is part of the process. That would be a great wonder that would certainly get people's attention. Another Biblical account of fire coming down from heaven in the sight of men was that of Elijah on Mount Carmel. Elijah called upon God to give evidence that He was the true God:
"Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the LORD God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again. Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench." (1 Kings 18:37-38)
In that case, the previously-stated purpose of this true prophet of God was to provide clear evidence of who was the true God.
"And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the LORD: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken." (1 Kings 18:24)
The purpose of the false prophet in the Revelation 13 scenario is to give evidence that this false god is actually the true God. He uses the same sign as evidence and is permitted to do so.
However, we have been warned of this, even being told directly in this Revelation 13 that this will happen. It becomes a matter then of correctly understanding who this false prophet is and who is behind him. We also need to be careful of the signs and wonders that a false gospel based on sensationalism and miracles and emotions uses to promote a false gospel. A miracle-based religion working on the senses is not the same as truth from a Bible-based religion working on the mind and heart.
"And then shall that Wicked be revealed ... whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved." (2 Thess 2:8-10)
We are also told what the condition is for the much-sought-after outpouring of the Holy Spirit is:
"And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him." (Acts 5:32)
The true gospel is a gospel of the heart and its acceptance is manifest by a change in the life to a life of obedience.
It is the second beast of Revelation 13 that brings fire down from heaven in verse 13. That is done either by the power of Satan or it could be done in some technological way such as a star wars type of weapon.
Satan himself has brought fire down from heaven in the past:
"While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The fire of God is fallen from heaven, and hath burned up the sheep, and the servants, and consumed them; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee." (Job 1:16)
In this verse, the messenger calls it "the fire of God" but, of course, we know from earlier in the chapter that God had given Satan permission to afflict Job:
"And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD." (Job 1:12)
Go to the next page in this Revelation 13 study -
the image to the beast.