Following the Apostle John's description of the antichrist, or the Beast, in Revelation 13:1-8, he concludes with the following statement: "If any man have an ear, let him hear" (13:9). Just as in Revelation chapters two and three (2:7, 11, 17, 29; 3:6, 13, 22), John is warning his readers to pay close attention. But there is a major difference; in chapters two and three, he includes the phrase "what the Spirit saith unto the churches." Here, in chapter thirteen, neither the Spirit nor the Church is mentioned. That is because the Church is called up to heaven in the Rapture (Rev. 4:1) prior to the Tribulation (Rev. 6 - 18), and does not return until the Second Coming of Christ (Rev. 19:14). There are at least three passages of Scripture that indicate the Church is with Christ upon His return; they are John 14:3, 2 Corinthians 5:8, and 1Thessalonians 4:17. Both the living believers and believers who have previously died, will be with Him.
After John's warning in verse nine, a new villain appears on the scene. He is also called a Beast, and like the first Beast, he resembles Jesus, in that he is described as a lamb (13:11). Unlike the first Beast who John observed coming up out of the sea (13:1), the second Beast rises from the earth (13:11). Many theologians see this as a reference to him coming out of the land, or more specifically, the Promise Land. They believe that he is therefore a Jew, possibly even the high priest of Israel. However, this "gentleman" does not appear during the first half of the Tribulation, but during the second half when the Jews have "run for their lives." It is unlikely that a Jew, having had his eyes opened to the identity of the antichrist, would become his "right-hand man." Then again, Judas was a Jew who "went over to the dark side."
The second Beast has the same power source as the first Beast (13:2, 12). It is his job to get mankind to worship the first Beast (13:12). This may be a good time to compare the counterfeit trinity with the true Trinity. In the Trinity, the Son's task is to point people to the Father; His prayer in John 17 is replete with references to His purpose. The Holy Spirit's task is to guide mankind toward faith in Jesus (Jn. 16:13-15).
In the Satanic trinity, the first Beast attempts to impersonate Jesus (hence the name antichrist). He is used of Satan to cause man to worship him as god (13:4). The second Beast is empowered by Satan to force mankind to worship the first Beast (13:12). Because the job of the second Beast is to work miracles in order to deceive men into worshiping the first Beast, he is also known as the false prophet (13:13-15; 16:12; 19:20). Verse thirteen describes his ability to cause fire to come down from heaven like Elijah did in 1 Kings 18:37-38. Because Elijah was to return to prepare for the Messiah (Mal. 3:23), these acts would appear as though the second Beast was the fulfillment of that prophecy.
More on the false prophet, his methods, and his end tomorrow, Lord willing.