There will be a fallen one-world system at the end of the age. This fallen world system is called Babylon (See Babylon in Revelation) and there are three main players in that system: The Beast from the Sea, The Beast from the Earth, and The Great Harlot.
We cover the Beast from the Sea in a three-part article:
And you can read all about the Great Harlot’s title, influence, character, status, and demise in The Great Harlot.
In this article, we discuss the Beast from the Earth which involves a leader, a mark, and an image. We mainly cover the leader in this article.
What is the Beast From the Earth?
Beasts in the book of Daniel symbolize kings/kingdoms (empires). When it says ‘four great beasts were coming up from the sea’ (Dan. 7:3), it is referring to the four kingdoms of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome that arose. The ‘Beast from the Earth’ in Revelation 13 also means a kingdom – the final world kingdom – and specifically, one aspect of rule in the final world kingdom. Another aspect of rule is the Beast from the Sea and its leader, the world ruler – the Antichrist. We will see what this means as we continue.
Why Does This Beast Come ‘From the Earth’?
We previously pointed out that the Beast from the Sea is ‘from the sea’ in that it will most likely arise in an unknown, sudden, mysterious, and/or often deadly manner. The Beast from the Earth is ‘from the earth’ in that it will come across as more relatable and somewhat familiar. This is especially seen through its leader, the False Prophet.
Who is the False Prophet?
The leader of the Beast from the Earth will be a particular man with a specific name and distinct characteristics.
And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire, which burns with brimstone. Revelation 19:20 NASB
This leader will be called the False Prophet, and he will be demonically energized and authoritative. He will actually work together with the dragon (Devil) and the beast (Antichrist) as seen in Revelation 16:13 and 20:10. We might view these three as the “unholy trinity.”
For a detailed description of the False Prophet’s character and doings, we go to Revelation 13:11-18.
11 Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spoke as a dragon. 12 He exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence. And he makes the earth and those who live on it worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed. 13 He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down out of the sky to the earth in the presence of people. 14 And he deceives those who live on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who live on the earth to make an image to the beast who had the wound of the sword and has come to life. 15 And it was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast would even speak and cause all who do not worship the image of the beast to be killed. 16 And he causes all, the small and the great, the rich and the poor, and the free and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, 17 and he decrees that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name. 18 Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six. Revelation 13:11-18 NASB
The False Prophet has “two horns like a lamb” meaning his persona (mask) is mild and gentle, yet he will be extremely forthright and ultimately deadly. He will work in conjunction with the Antichrist and persuade the world to allegiance to the Antichrist.
The False Prophet will be extremely convincing and successful in his pursuits because of the signs he performs. Scripture does not specify the exact nature of these signs. They could be great technological feats that the world (for the most part) does not have knowledge of yet. They could be some fabrication of what appears to be supernatural. They could be actual demonic power, permitted by God, to carry out judgments upon man’s rebellion. We are not sure. Because God does not give us specifics, we should not concern ourselves with it as such. What we should understand is that the signs are seductive (vs 14) and demonic (just like the Beast from the Sea, vs 12), and while Satan will use them for his deception, God uses them for His ultimate purposes. (For further study see Job 1 & 2, 2 Timothy 3:8,9, and Exodus 7:11,22; 8:7. Also see, What is the difference between miracles and magic? by Got Questions)
The False Prophet will also create a very persuasive image of the beast (vs 15) for the purpose of worship. He will kill those who do not worship the image of the beast (Antichrist). He will also provide an identifying mark for people who cannot buy or sell without it. More on the mark and the image in an article to come.
We do know not the exact timing of these things, but any saint alive during them has a clear call to steadfastness found in Revelation 13:10, “If anyone is destined for captivity, to captivity he goes; if anyone kills with the sword, with the sword he must be killed. Here is the perseverance and the faith of the saints.”
For More on the Book of Revelation & End Times
Is Revelation in Chronological Order?
Five Reasons Why Revelation is Hard to Understand
When was the Book of Revelation Written?
The Beast from the Sea Part 1: Seven Heads
The Beast from the Sea Part 2: Ten Horns
The Beast from the Earth Part 1: The False Prophet
End Time Events: A Brief Overview
War on Israel – Ezekiel 38
The Church’s New Agenda
Will Christians Know Who the Antichrist Will Be?