More On the Second Beast of Revelation 13:11-18
There have been all kinds of interpretations of who or what the second beast of Revelation 13 might be. Some say its a man, and others say its a government or a system.
While Daniel 2 and Daniel 7 support the interpretation that the first beast of Revelation 13 is government, an empire and its accompanying ideology and theology, the texts in Revelation 13 do not necessarily support the idea that the second beast is also a political type of governing body.
“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. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, 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.” Revelation 13: 11-14
This second beast looks like a lamb, that is, like a Christian. But he has two horns, which is an indication something is not right about his Christianity. Satan’s dominion is always divided; it often has two different entities. And the second beast speaks like a dragon. This is a giveaway that he is not following the Lord of glory, but is following the dragon. In speaking like a dragon, the second beast makes use of a deceptive way of communicating. For example, the second beast, speaking like a dragon, will use the dialectic way of interacting in a dialogue; he will often side step the main issue that another has stated and come against that issue from the side, in order to gradually compromise the issue. In using the dialectic, the “facilitator” offers rewards to his potential victim as good feelings from group acceptance and being in feeling relationships, instead of offering the truth. The Lord, on the other hand, speaks with the didactic, “It is written.” Christ’s love is that of the truth and his love does not entangle one in false doctrines as does the dialectic of the enemy. Satan avoids the use of the didactic, though he sometimes has quoted scripture in a deceptive manner, because the devil cannot win without using some sort of deceptive way of communicating – usually through his human minions.
Look at what Christ reveals in Matthew 24: 11 “And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.” Again, as in Revelation 13: 14, where the second beast is said to deceive people, Christ warns in Matthew 24: 11 that the false prophets will deceive many. And many have already been deceived by the false prophets.
The False Prophet interpretation of the second beast is supported by Matthew 24: 11. “The False Prophet” sounds like one man, but it is like saying he is a type, a kind of person, a mentality, an apostate, so that many men – and some women – are false prophets. These false prophets have been at work for decades and they have leavened just about all of the churches (Luke 13: 21, “It is like leaven, which a woman hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.” The whole has been leavened. But this process of leading the churches into false doctrines is not future; it is not something that is to occur only during the period of the tribulation. So following II Thessalonians 2: 3 the falling away is happening now, and has to a great extent already happened. Those who are fully in the theologies that cause this leavening and the falling away will not see this.
Since the False Prophet has leavened the churches and the falling away from the Gospel which was once delivered to the saints has taken place, we can say that on a secondary level the church itself is the second beast of Revelation 13: 11-18.
This is why Revelation 18: 4, “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins…” is now relevant, but was not relevant say a hundred and fifty years ago. For example, John Gill who lived from 1697 to 1771
says of Revelation 18: 4 that “…be not partakers of her sins: by conniving at them, or committing the same; and all such are partakers of them, and have fellowship with these unfruitful works of darkness, that are in the communion of that church; and those that dwell at Rome are in great danger of being so, and cannot well avoid it.” To Gill a Protestant, Revelation 18: 4 applied to the Roman Catholic Church which was at that time in considerable apostasy, but the Protestant church was not in so great a falling away from what Jude is talking about in Jude 1:3, the “faith which was once delivered to the saints.”