BEAST OF THE EARTH, PART 1
I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb
and spoke like a dragon. And he exercises all the authority of the first beast
in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the
first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. He performs great signs, so that he
even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. And he
deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do
in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image
to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived. Revelation 13:11Ė14
great red dragonís first attempt at building a church ultimately failed. The
beast of the sea is killed by the sword. Ephesians 6:17 informs us that the
sword is ďthe sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.Ē The Holy
Spirit is the Spirit of truth and as Godís word was translated into national
languages and ministers became convinced of the truth of gospel salvation, that
sword of truth put to end the absolute reign of the beast of the sea over both
the visible and spiritual aspects of the church.
Catholic Church replaced Jesus with a man, the Pope, as the head of the church.
The Protestant reformers cried out against Papalism and the pagan ritualism of
the Roman Church. The great red dragon realized he had to move quickly to be
able to hold his Christ-less influence in the name of Christian religion. He now
organizes his second church, the fourth system of religion in our study. He
comes up with Protestantism.
said that, we have to recognize that the Protestant Reformation was really the
moving of God in the church world restoring the true teaching of gospel
salvation. The reformers, men such a Luther, Zwingli, and Calvin in spite of
their personal imperfections were men God used to break down the power of the
beast of the sea over the spiritual lives of people. The Protestant Creeds
developed by the churches that left Rome contained much true light on gospel
salvation that had been lost to the church through the centuries of Catholic
domination. But notice that the beast in verse 11 comes up out of the earth.
Remember that the earth represents the unregenerate, so this foundation is not
the rock upon which Christ built His church.
notice that this beast has two horns like a lamb. Some teachers refer to this
beast as a lamb-like beast, but nowhere in the following verses is it ever
called a lamb. This beast has two horns LIKE a lamb.
is the lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world and the Protestant
reformers gladly acknowledged that truth. They knew the church cannot take away
sin, only Christ can do that. So the Reformation turned people away from the
spiritual darkness of the Roman Church and pointed them to Christ as the only
Savior from sin.
beast has two horns like a lamb. The horns associated with this beast represent
true salvation. In 2 Samuel 22:3 David praises God for deliverance from his
enemies, ďThe God of my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn
of my salvation, My stronghold and my refuge; My Savior, You save me from
violence.Ē The two horns of the beast of the earth represent the two great
truths of salvation brought to light by the reformers.
first horn is justification by faith.
is an act of Godís free grace, wherein He pardons all our sins, and accepts us
as righteous in His sight, only for the righteousness of Christ imputed to us,
and received by faith alone.
There are two aspects in justification: pardon and imputed righteousness. First,
pardon is possible through the atonement in Christ as He paid the spiritual debt
of sin and satisfies divine justice and allows God to forgive repented sins.
Second, as a penitent has no personal righteousness, through the new birth and
the indwelling of the Holy Spirit the righteousness of Christ is imparted to
are eight elements involved in justification.
It is an act and not a process. It is something that happens at a
moment in time and is complete; it is not something that happens over a period
It is an act of Godís free grace; it is something God does for
us that we do not deserve.
It is a forensic act; it is a legal standing before God where He
declares us to be righteous and no longer sinners.
It is an objective act as it is based on the imputed righteousness
It is a once-and-for-all act. It does not have to be repeated and
cannot be reversed.
It is complete in all the lives of the justified. No one is more
justified or less justified than any other believer. All saved people have the
same basis for their acceptance with God, which is the righteousness of Christ.
It leads to eternal life with God.
It is received only by faith and not by any works.
second horn is sanctification.
people have the impression that sanctification was not brought to light until
the Wesleyan revival in the 18th century but that is not true. Sanctification
was a key teaching in the Reformation. Sanctification is the work of Godís
free grace, whereby we are renewed in the whole man after the image of God, and
are enabled more and more to die to sin, and live in righteousness.
are six elements in sanctification as compared to justification.
While justification is a relative change in a personís state,
sanctification is a real change of the whole person.
Justification comes before sanctification because imputed
righteousness comes before imparted and inherent holiness.
While justification is Christís righteousness imputed to the
believer in sanctification the inherent righteousness of Christ is imparted.
Justification is a legal act in which the sinner is declared
righteous where sanctification is a moral act that changes the qualities of the
Justification is a complete work when experienced whereas
sanctification is a progressive work of spiritual and moral growth.
In justification we receive a title to heaven and in
sanctification we are made fit for heaven and have the capacity for enjoying it.
Speaks Like a Dragon
beast of the earth has the essential teachings of salvation but it is not really
the church built by Jesus. It spoke like a dragon: it is a Christ-less religion.
beast of the sea, Roman Catholicism, replaced Jesus with the Pope as the head of
the church. In removing Jesus from the leadership of the church, this church is
a Christ-less religion even though they love to display Jesus hanging on the
cross and they routinely eat Christ in the Mass.
does the Reformation sound like the beast? The reformers all preached Christ and
Christ did a mighty work through them.
Protestant creeds all acknowledge Christ as the head of the church.
in the Reformation, there was a strong desire for the various Protestant
movements to unite as one church but national prejudices defeated that attempt.
the Protestant churches established themselves as national churches, separate
and apart from each other. There were councils and meetings among the various
groups within Protestantism that discussed their differing views on certain
doctrines and practices attempting to come to unity, but these meetings failed.
he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes
the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly
wound was healed. Verse 12
great red dragon was successful in that through the beast of the earth he
effectively divided Jesus. While sound doctrine of salvation was brought to
light, the beast of the earth follows the red dragon by adopting much in the way
of organization and rituals of the Roman Church. As national churches, citizens
of a country were automatically considered members of the national church. They
were catechized and confirmed into their churches whether or not they had
actually experienced the new birth.
performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the
earth in the sight of men. And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those
signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who
dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword
and lived. Verses 13Ė14
great fire is the proclamation of Biblical salvation under the light of the
Reformation. Great signs were performed in that people could actually read the
Bible and be taught the fundamental truths of salvation. Because of this
multitudes were born again and enabled to live for God. These real conversions
were used by the beast of the earth to deceive those who dwell on the earth.
Remember that this beast comes up out of the earth, the unregenerate. Even with
people actually being saved from sin, the fact that the Protestant churches were
national churches effectively replicated the nature of the Catholic church in
their ranks. Unregenerate people were natural members of the national churches
and were made members without necessarily experiencing the new birth.
deception of the beast of the earth is that while it had reclaimed gospel truth
on salvation, it divided Jesus so that Christ was not allowed to be the head of
the visible church. The deception was even worse in that in spite of the truth
it taught, it confirmed unregenerate people into the church as members.
time the divided condition of Protestantism and its absorbing the unregenerate
into its ranks lead to some deplorable and tragic events that were all done in
the name of Christ.