Dragons & Beasts

The Sneaky Beast

The First Beast Enters the Scene

“And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.” Revelation 13:1-2

At first gland this beast that comes up out of the sea appears to be a very scary looking monster. Who could miss him when he appeared! But after examining some Bible clues I hope you’ll realize how sneaky he is. That’s why he’s described as a leopard. What beautiful animals they are. At the same time they are stealthy hunters, quietly stalking their unexpected prey. But don’t worry. God has given us this wonderful book of Revelation so that we don’t need to be deceived by deceptive tricks.

Is There Any Like God?

Let’s break down the animal descriptions of this beast and see what we find.

Describes the Beast out of the Sea

(Rev. 13:2, 4)

Describes God

(Hosea 13:7-10)

like a leopard like a leopard
mouth of a lion like a lion
feet of a bear like a bear
Dragon gives him his throne I will be your King
Who is like the beast? Is there any other (God)?

Who is like God? (Exod. 15:11)

Wait a minute! It looks like the devil is up to his old tricks – trying to take the place of God.

An Impostor in the House

Do you know what an impostor is? This is the Webster’s dictionary definition.

Impostor: a person who practices deception under an assumed character, identity, or name.

Satan was a beautiful angel in Heaven. His original name was Lucifer. But he let pride into his heart and decided he wanted to be like God. Ever since he has been trying to take the place of God. He wants to look like God and wants to be worshipped like God. Except he is not God and never will be. He is a liar and impostor. The Bible says the following about him.

How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Isaiah 14:12-14

What We Can Learn

What can we learn from this information? First, this beast from the sea actually tries to look good and even holy. It does not look mean and scary and evil, at least at first. It uses deception to trick people into believing it is like God. People even worship it as if it is God.

What is a Beast in Bible Prophecy?

What do these beasts symbolize? Fortunately the Bible makes this pretty easy to figure out. The prophet Daniel saw some scary beasts in a vision as well. Some of them very similar to these beasts in Revelation 13. The angel told Daniel exactly what these beasts symbolized.

“These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth.” Daniel 7:17

“The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.” Daniel 7:23

Beasts are kings or kingdoms
Beasts in Bible prophecy are simply kings or kingdoms. We might call them political powers these days since not all nations have kings. In addition the first beast out of the sea has the name of blasphemy on his heads. Blasphemy means making yourself like God or putting yourself in the place of God (John 10:33, Rev. 13:6). Well that fits what we’ve discovered so far. This beast is a religious and political power. Revelation is like a mysterious treasure hunt. I’m excited to find out more about this sneaky beast so it doesn’t trick me. I’m so glad Jesus gave John the message from heaven to warn us of Satan’s deceptive ways. What a loving God!