The beast of Revelation is a creature that receives power and authority from Satan to rule over the world. Nations worship the beast and receive its mark on the forehead or hand. The beast of Revelation is usually associated with Antichrist.
In the vision of Revelation 13 , John saw a beast coming out of the sea. The beast had:
- Ten horns with ten crowns
- Seven heads with seven blasphemy names
- Leopard appearance
- Bear feet
- Lion’s mouth
The dragon (Satan) gave the beast authority and power to rule the world. One of the beast’s heads had been mortally wounded but had been healed. People marveled at this miracle and worshiped the beast and the dragon ( Revelation 13: 3-4 ). The beast had the power to fight and overcome the saints.
See here: who is the antichrist?
The second beast
Another beast came out of the land, with two horns like a lamb and which spoke like a dragon. This beast also had great authority and performed miracles in the name of the first beast. She led the people in idolatry to the first beast and even made an image speak! ( Revelation 13: 14-15 )
The second beast forced everyone to receive a mark on their right hand or forehead. No one could buy or sell without that mark: the beast’s name or number – 666.
See also: what does 666 mean?
Who is the beast of the Apocalypse? What represents?
Both the first and the second beast are servants of Satan, who come to deceive the world . The first beast wants worship that belongs only to Jesus. Like Jesus, the beast was mortally wounded but returned to life. The second beast is a false prophet, who encourages this idolatry.
Nobody knows who the beasts of the Apocalypse are. There are many theories about who it might be, but the Bible does not provide an answer. We also cannot say whether they have already arisen or are going to arise. This is a mystery that has not yet been revealed.
However, we have some clues that help us better understand who the beasts are:
The description of the first beast
The first beast has characteristics of another vision in Daniel 7 about four animals :
- a lion (probably representing the Babylonian empire)
- a bear (Medo-Persian empire)
- a leopard (Greek empire)
- a ferocious animal with ten horns (possibly the Roman empire)
This could mean that the first beast is linked to these four empires or just to the Roman empire. Or perhaps it is an empire or ruler with characteristics similar to those empires.
The number of the beast
The Bible says that the number of the beast is the number of a man ( Revelation 13:18 ). So the second beast is probably not an empire or an organization. He is a person with great political, economic and religious influence.
We don’t know who the two beasts of Revelation are, but that vision teaches us an important lesson. Whoever loves Jesus will be persecuted. There is a lot of pressure to compromise the faith to avoid many difficulties in life but we need to be faithful until death. God rewards those who do not give up on following Him. In the end, God will destroy every deceiver ( Revelation 19:20 ).