Who are the Beasts?
Revelation 13 describes two beasts. It’s easy to want to name them immediately and be done with it. Different groups trying to identify the beasts have come up with various options. Some have called the Sea Beast the Roman Empire, Emperor Nero, the Roman Catholic Church, or political/social evil in general. The Beast from the earth has been labeled as paganism, a future anti-christ, the pope, a false jewish messiah, the United States, false religion and secular philosophy. Who’s right or wrong? What if they’re all correct!
Who is Like the Beast?
Revelation is a book that is important for every generation. If you came out of the Protestant reformation in Europe, it would be easy to label the Roman Catholic Church as the beast, and this would not be incorrect. But watch out! Your own religion may have become beast-like over time. It is even possible you or I could act like a beast!
Let’s explore what these beasts are like and make sure we don’t follow their example.
Characteristics of the Two Beasts
Beast out of the sea (Rev. 13:1-8)
- Seven heads – can be more than one particular power or thing
- Ten horns – powerful
- Ten crowns – has authority
- Name of blasphemy – tries to take the place of God
- Dragon gives him his power – follows Satan
- Wounded and then healed – loses power but then gains it again
- Receives worship that belongs only to God
- Blasphemes God, his name and his tabernacle, and those that follow God
Beast out of the earth (Rev. 13:11-15)
- Horns like a lamb, speaks like a dragon – looks good but the inside is rotten
- Teaches people to worship the first beast – false teacher
- Deceives people by doing miracles – tries to take the place of God
- Tells people to make an image to the beast and worship it – promotes false religion
While many interpretations of the beasts by different groups may be correct, we can probably expect history to repeat itself. There will continue to be political and religious powers uniting to oppose God and his people in the future, just as there were in the past. Any group or individual that uses the dragon’s methods of deception and force is a beast-like tool of the devil. They can even do this in the name of Jesus. Now that’s blasphemy.
In the same way any church, religious group or “christian” political power that uses deception and force to worship man’s way instead of God’s way is a type of earth beast. They will claim to have the truth and follow God. Only the Holy Spirit from Heaven can reveal the truth of the Bible (John 16:13). Test everything you hear or read with God’s Word and pray for the Holy Spirit to open your eyes (1 Thess. 5:19-24). Claim God’s promises, follow his ways and you’ll be okay (John 10:27-28).
Are You a Beast?
It’s easy to want to label these Beasts and know exactly who they are. Then we think we are okay. We think we know who they are and that we won’t worship them!
But we must also look at ourselves.
- Do we decide for ourselves what’s right or wrong or do we look to God and his Word?
- Do we try to control our own lives instead of letting Jesus have full control of us?
- Do we try to force others to see things our way?
- Do we look good on the outside but inside we are selfish and rotten?
Jesus Has Good News for You
Don’t worry if you have beastly tendencies. That’s why Jesus came and died for you – to save you from your sins. Repent and he will wash away all your sins and make you a new creation – and it won’t be a beast! Now that’s good news!
Jesus created man and woman in his image in the Garden of Eden. Ever since sin entered this world humans have been trying to create God in their image. Jesus wants to live in you so you will reflect his image and not the image of the beast. Ask him to come into your heart today!
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