(13.11) 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.
1. Look at the word “another.” Remember that there are two entirely different Greek words that are translated by our single English word “another.” One Greek word, alloV, tends to mean another of the same kind, while the other Greek word, eteroV, typically means another of a different kind. Our word “heterosexual,” referring to people who like to marry people who are not like they are, begins with this Greek word eteroV. The word we have here tells us that what we are dealing with is a second beast which is of the same type and nature as the first beast, alloV.
2. Notice that this beast comes up out of the earth. There are two ways in which this symbolism can be understood, since this man could not, literally, come up out of dirt. If the earth is symbolic of the nation of Israel in the land of Palestine, then this second beast is either Jewish or comes from the region of Palestine. But if the word “earth” stands for order, in contrast to the turmoil of the sea, then this man has risen to his high position through promotions up through the ranks of some organization, some complex bureaucracy. Many are of the opinion that the great organization the second beast rises up through is the Roman Catholic Church. A possibility.
3. This second beast does have authority, as his two horns symbolize, and as our next verse tells us, but he likes to be seen as a man of peace and serenity. This is the lamb. But notice that the shabby imitation of meekness is betrayed by his speech. The Bible says that he will speak as a dragon. This does not necessarily mean that he will roar, because the dragon is capable of flattering lies. This just tells us that what the second beast tries to portray is a far sight different than what he actually is. Unfortunately, he will succeed in fooling all but the elect; all but God’s people.
4. To fix the distinction between these two evil men in your mind, consider them both relative to the Lord Jesus Christ. The first beast, the antichrist, is opposed to the Lord Jesus Christ. The second beast, on the other hand, imitates Christ, with his pretense of being a lamb. The first beast will likely be anti-religious, while the second beast will make use of unsaved man’s religious tendencies to accomplish Satan’s wicked ends.
(13.12) 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.
1. Here we see that the first and second beast work in harmony and unison. There are several things about this union that we should notice as being unusual.
2. It should strike us as unusual that these two wicked men can be united and not bicker and fight amongst each other. When is generally the only time and circumstances in which the wicked can unite in anything? That is right. When opposing God. The Herodians, the Pharisees, the Sadducees, and the Romans were united, in the end, in their opposition to the Lord Jesus Christ. Here, the antichrist and the false prophet (as this second beast is referred to) unite to oppose God. Pride alone usually prevents the wicked from submitting to one another at any other time.
3. Notice that the second beast exercises his power before the first beast, and that he exercises all the power of the first beast. I believe the antichrist will use this one out in the limelight as a means of building up the mystique that will surround him. This aura will make the antichrist seem far more powerful and mysterious than he really is.
4. The goal to be reached? To cause the earth and them that dwell therein to worship the first beast. Again the earth dwellers are mentioned. What a sharp contrast John makes between those whose homes are here on earth, whose affections are here on earth, and those whose hearts are fixed upon Jesus Christ, and who want to be with Him.
5. As well, notice that those who pretend to be resistant to such influences, convincing themselves that when the tribulation comes they will be somehow immune to the deceptive practices of the antichrist and the false prophet, will nevertheless be persuaded to worship the beast. How so? The second beast will exercise “all the power of the first beast before him.” The result of this application of supernatural persuasive power will be the worship of the first beast by the entire unsaved population on earth at that time.
6. But it will not be Satanic power only that will persuade the lost to worship the beast. Second Thessalonians 2.1-12 shows us that God also plays a part in this supernatural delusion:
1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
4 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.
5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
7. So you see, it will not only be the result of Satan’s persuasive power that the unconverted will be deceived into worshiping him. It will also be the result of God judging the unconverted by sending them a strong delusion. My friend, it is good to come to Christ now, and not presume that you will be able to later.
8. The reference to the deadly wound of the first beast being healed, probably serving to convince people that he deserves to be worshipped, probably means that the wound referred to back in verse 3 is a real physical wound. So, it may be that the antichrist will be attacked by some crazed assassin, either appearing to murder him or almost killing him. But he recovers in miraculous fashion. Remember when John Hinkley tried to kill President Reagan, and almost succeeded? What an outpouring of concern and adoration that won for President Reagan, and how it silenced his political opponents for a time. Imagine what will happen if something similar happens to the antichrist and he succeeds in pinning the blame on some crazed Christian fundamentalist.
(13.13) And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men
1. There might be a reason why the second beast calls fire down from heaven. Remember the two witnesses of God who are on earth at this time? I rather think that one of those men will likely be Elijah, the prophet of fire from heaven, who called fire down from heaven onto Mount Carmel.
2. Remember Revelation 11.5? “And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.” How else can the second beast, the false prophet, deal with these two witnesses and this fire that protects them, but by duplicating that fiery miracle with some type of counterfeit and by preaching a far different message than they preach?
3. If I remember the situation in Jerusalem just prior to the sacking of the city by the Babylonians, the prophet Jeremiah preached repentance and he preached it loud and hard. The false prophets, on the other hand, talked really nice and spent most of their time predicting a future prosperity, which we remember never came. That same type of contrast will be seen during the tribulation, with most people believing the lies as they usually do.
4. So, when given a choice of whom to follow, unregenerate man will always follow the nice talking, nice-smelling fraud and will hate the man of God. Amen? Has not that been the story of history? It sure has been.
(13.14) 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.
1. “And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth” Here is our phrase again, “them that dwell on the earth.” Of course they will be deceived. They are the ones whose roots are here, who have all their hopes and aspirations tied up here, who give no thought to eternity, and who have no stake in the hereafter.
2. Turn to Matthew 24.24 and read with me:
For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
3. Jesus predicted more than one false prophet. This means there are probably false prophets on the scene today. Why can some see these false prophets and some cannot? I am not positively sure I have all the answers to that question.
4. But this false prophet has brought people full circle. Man starts out by rejecting God. Then he will come to the place where he denies the existence of God as He has revealed Himself. Then he will turn to idolatry. That is the way Paul describes it in Romans chapter 1. And we see the end of the cycle here in Revelation 13.14.
5. A great idol is constructed. An image of the superman is erected, the antichrist. And mankind, those who dwell on the earth, will worship the image of this beast “which had the wound by a sword, and did live.” Folks, if my count is correct, this is the third time mention is made of the antichrist being wounded. This might suggest that the attempt on his life and his astounding recovery plays a very large part in his rise to power and his influence over the people.
6. We recently had a presidential election. One of the candidates tried to make a very big deal about his wounds, so he could translate those life-threatening scratches into electoral votes. It did not work for Jean French Kerry because of our beloved swift boat veterans rallying to tell the truth. But the principle still applies. With the vast throngs of people, being wounded in the line of duty, especially when the wound happens in the public eye and is on the public consciousness, tends to have a dramatic effect. So, I expect the antichrist will experience such things in his dramatic rise to prominence and ultimate control over the unsaved people of this world.
 Bauer, pages 46-47 and 399.