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The Lamb-like Beast

 

Thus far, we have examined the identity of the three beasts: The Lamb is Jesus, the great red dragon is Lucifer, and the leopard-like beast is Babylon. John does not give a physical description of the fourth beast in Revelation other than this: “Then I saw another beast, coming out of the earth. He had two horns like [the] lamb, but he spoke like [the] dragon.” (Revelation 13:11, strikethroughs and insertions mine) Noticed how I crossed out the indefinite article “a” and inserted the definite article “the” in the previous sentence. I did this to direct your attention to an interesting point. A literal reading of the Greek text says: “It [the beast coming up out of the earth] had horns two like lamb and spoke as dragon.” Sometimes, in the Greek language, when a noun does not have an article, the noun is said to be anarthrous.  

 

The Greek language uses anarthrous nouns for emphasis. This grammatical technique is sometimes used to refer to a specific element or character that has been previously introduced. Since the Lamb and the dragon were previously introduced in Revelation’s story and since they do have articles in Revelation 13:11, their presence in Revelation 13 is emphasized through the use of anarthrous nouns. Well meaning English translators supplied the indefinite article “a” in both cases to make the sentence sound better, but they should have used definite articles since they were supplied.

 

John does not describe the second beast in Revelation 13:11. The only thing we know about its appearance is that it has two horns like a Lamb (who had seven horns – Revelation 5:6) and it speaks like the dragon (because it is the devil in sheep’s clothing).

 

Two Horns

 

The two horns on this beast indicate the devil will be two kings in one! He will rule over church and state. The seven heads represent the seven religious systems of the world and the ten horns represent the ten kings who the devil appoints during the sixth trumpet. The devil will pretend to be the king of kings and lord of lords, but we have to remember that Jesus has seven horns! Jesus is omnipotent. Even though Lucifer will appear to be invincible for a season, the Bible assures us that God will destroy Lucifer, his angels, and his government at the proper time. (Daniel 8:25, Revelation 19:19-21)

 

Lamb Likeness

 

I call the nondescript beast in Revelation 13:11 the “lamb-like beast” for two reasons. First, this beat speaks like a dragon. This is a strange specification because there is no record of the dragon speaking in the book of Revelation. However, we do know that the devil is deceitful. He is a liar and I think this is John’s reason for saying the lamb-like beast speaks like a dragon. Jesus said of Lucifer, ‘When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44) The devil will masquerade as God, but his words and actions will be lies that are carefully calculated to deceive billions of people. Just as Michael/Jesus, the archangel, put aside “His feathers” to become a man, so Lucifer will be permitted to put aside “his feathers” to become a man. Michael/Jesus came to save the world. (John 3:16) Lucifer will come to destroy the world. (Revelation 9:11)

 

The second and most obvious reason for calling this beast the “lamb-like beast” is that he will be an imposter of the Lamb. The lamb-like beast will deceive the whole world through his mighty miracles. (2 Thessalonians 2: 9,10; Revelation 13:14) In other words, this beast will deceive peoples of all religions into thinking that he is “God.” He will declare himself to be “God” and he will prove his assumed deity by calling fire down out of Heaven at will. (2 Thessalonians 2:4, Revelation 13:13) Since his success depends on clever deceptions, I think the title, “lamb-like,” is a perfect fit. 

 

The fifth trumpet only lasts five months. During this time, the devil has to quickly deceive the whole world into thinking that he is Almighty God. (Revelation 9:5) To win the confidence of the world leaders, the devil will support the laws of Babylon and the efforts of Babylon’s leaders to reduce immoral behavior. The devil will heal the sick, speak wonderful words of hope and comfort, and perform amazing signs and wonders. Working around the clock and constantly traveling around the world with his angels, Lucifer will conduct a glorious campaign that has no equal in Earth’s history. Billions of people who refused to accept the gospel of Christ will embrace the devil on the basis of his counterfeit miracles, signs, and wonders. The old adage, “seeing is believing,” will work very well for the devil. (Matthew 24:23)

 

When the five months are completed, a large majority of the wicked will believe that Lucifer is “God.” At this point, Lucifer will suddenly change character. His charade as a benevolent and loving god will disappear. He will turn into a stern-faced king overnight, worse than Pharaoh, and the leaders of Babylon will be dethroned overnight.

 

Lucifer will appoint ten kings to impose and enforce his harsh laws on the world. Loving every minute of his despotic plot, the devil will torture the wicked with outrageous religious laws, and he will kill a third of mankind (Revelation 9:15) and his ten puppet kings will use military force to ensure that rebellion is not tolerated.

 

The Origin of the Lamb-like Beast

 

John was given two different views of the devil’s appearing. The first view is described in Revelation 9 and the second is described in Revelation 13. In Revelation 9, the devil and his angels imitate the Second Coming. In Revelation 13, the lamb-like beast rises out of the ground as a miracle working world leader.

 

John wrote, “The I saw another beast, coming out of the earth…” (Revelation 13:11) There is no geographical difference between the devil being released from the Abyss and the devil coming up out of the earth because the Abyss was a hole in the earth. In John’s day, the Abyss or the bottomless pit (KJV) was thought to be a bottomless hole that went through the basin of the earth. If John has said that he saw the lamb-like beast coming up from the Abyss in Revelation 13:11, this would have linked up with the release of Lucifer, the angel king, from the Abyss in Revelation 9:1-11 and made the identity of the lamb-like beast much easier to determine. Nevertheless, here is a fascinating point: John mentions “the beast of the Abyss” twice in Revelation (Revelation 11:7 and 17:8), but the only beast that can come out of the Abyss is the lamb-like beast because there are only four beasts in the book of Revelation and only one is cast into the earth! Here are three reasons (and there may be more) why God obscured the fact that the lamb-like beast is the beast of the Abyss:

 

1.   When we compare the origins of the two beasts in Revelation 13, we find that the leopard-like beast (Babylon) will rise up out of the sea whereas the lamb-like beast will rise up out of the earth. During the vision of the Two Witnesses, John saw Jesus plant one foot on the sea and the other on the earth. (Revelation 10:2) This stance reveals Jesus’ sovereign authority over the sea (the origin of Babylon), as well as the land (the origin of the lamb-like beast). Consider Christ’s authority: He limits Babylon’s power to forty-two months (Revelation 13:5) and the devil is only released from the Abyss (a hole in the earth) when Jesus permits. (Revelation 9:1,2; 13:11) Ultimately, God still is in control.

 

Even though John wrote the book of Revelation about thirty years after Paul’s death, the apostle Paul also knew the devil would be allowed to physically appear before mankind. Paul also knew that Jesus would determine the timing of the devil’s appearing, not the devil. Consider Paul’s words to the church at Thessalonica: “Don’t you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things? And now you know what is holding him [the devil, the man of lawlessness] back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. For the secret [hidden] power of lawlessness [an invisible devil] is already at work; but the one [Jesus] who now holds it back [the appearing of the devil] will continue to do so till he [Jesus] is taken out of the way [who presently intercedes between the law of God and a rebellious world].” (2 Thessalonians 2:5-7, italics and insertions mine)

 

2.   A second statement about origins is necessary. The leopard-like beast comes out of the sea and the lamb-like beast comes out of a hole in the ground. The contrast between origins could not be clearer. The leopard-like beast rises up out of the sea and the sea represents nations, peoples, and languages. (Revelation 17:15) In other words, Babylon rises up from within the nations of Earth whereas the lamb-like beast comes out of a hole in the ground. The lamb-like beast does not derive his power and authority from nations, peoples, and languages. Moreover, the origin of the lamb-like beast aligns with Daniel 8 where the devil’s appearing is described as coming out of one of the four winds or “out of thin air.” “Out of one of them [the four winds] came another horn [this horn represents Lucifer, the stern-faced king], which started small [not widely known or in a position to overtake the world at first] but grew in power to the south and to the east and toward the Beautiful Land [west. In other words, this king is a king that comes out of the north].” (Daniel 8:9, insertions mine)          

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