There is a beast lurking in the wings of history—not an animal, but a man with the heart of a beast. He has many aliases: the man of sin, the son of perdition (see 2 Thessalonians 2:3), and antichrist. (See 1 John 2:18-22.)
The Beast Comes During Social Agitation
The Apostle John wrote in the Book of Revelation, “Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea” (Revelation 13:1a).
What does the sea represent? “[The angel] said to me, ‘The waters which you saw…are peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues’” (Revelation 17:15; words in brackets added). No wonder, for “the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt” (Isaiah 57:20). Out of this seething sea of humanity, the Antichrist will come.
The Beast Is Satanic
“I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name. …The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority” (Revelation 13:1b-2b).
Satan is described in Revelation 12: “Behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads” (Revelation 12:3b, see also v. 9). Now the beast is described in the same way because the beast is the son of Satan.
The world that rejected God’s Lamb will receive the devil’s beast. (See John 5:43.)
The Beast Is Appealing
“Beast” speaks of his heart and mind; outwardly, he will be suave, charming, intelligent. “And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14).
He will imitate the resurrection: “And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast. So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, ‘Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?’” (Revelation 13:3-4)
The Beast Has Sinister Ambitions
The beast will:
“So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast…” (Revelation 13:4a). Satan has always wanted to be worshiped. (Read Isaiah 14:12-15.)
Defy Jesus Christ
“And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies” (Revelation 13:5a). He is the antichrist, meaning “against Christ” and “instead of Christ.”
Destroy the Christians
“It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them…” (Revelation 13:7a).
“…And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation” (Revelation 13:7b)
“All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8).
The Beast Comes with a False Prophet
“Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth…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” (Revelation 13:11a,12).
Satan imitates God. The second beast, the false prophet, will be to the first beast what the Holy Spirit is to Jesus Christ. This sinister minister of propaganda will have three chief methods to cause worship of the beast: fire (Revelation 13:13), the image of the beast (v. 14-15), and the mark of the beast (v. 16-18).
One thing we know: Jesus Christ is coming, and you had better be ready. You will have eternal existence, but without a second birth you will never have eternal life.