21: The Two Beasts (Rev 13:1-18)
The dragon has lost its place in
heaven. With great wrath, he goes down to the earth and the sea to persecute
the woman and her offspring. In chapter 13, John sees two beasts which have
great power over the inhabitants of the earth and ruthlessly persecute God’s
people. Together, the beasts challenge the authority of God. But, as we will
see in later chapters, their destiny is the final destruction.
“If anyone has an ear, let him
hear. He who leads into captivity shall go into captivity; he who kills with
the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of
the saints” (13:9,10).
Did You Know…?
1. Sea (13:1): “The beast… has already been described in 11:7
as rising from the ‘Abyss’ (cf. 17:8). Thus the sea may symbolize the Abyss,
the source of demonic powers that are opposed to God (cf
9:1; 20:1-3)… This view agrees with the OT images of the sea as the origin of
the satanic sea monsters—the dragon (Tannin), Leviathan (“Coiled One”), and Rahab (“Rager”) (Job 26:12-13; Pss 74:13-14; 87:4; 89:10; Isa
27:1; 51:9; cf. also Ezek 32:6-8).” 9/523-524
were the two beasts related to the dragon of chapter 12? How were they related
to each other?
did the beasts persecute and overcome the saints?
1. Record an earlier reference to this beast in Revelation.
What was the origin of this beast?
2. Describe the sea beast.
3a. Compare this beast with the four beasts in Daniel 7.
3b. What do the beasts in Daniel 7
represent? What do you think the sea beast in Revelation might represent?
4. What do the beast’s appearance
suggest about the nature of the beast?
5. Who worshiped the beast? Why did they worship him?
6. What were the activities of this beast?
7. How long will his blasphemy last? Does this coincide with
any time reference we have seen before?
8a. According to the description of the beast and its activities,
what does the word “blasphemy” mean?
8b. Looking at the world today, in what ways do you think the
beast blasphemes God and makes all nations worship itself and the dragon?
9. What is the significance of “names written in the Book of
Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world”?
10. How are verses 9 and 10 different from the previous verses and
why are they inserted here?
11. How do you prepare yourself to withstand the works of the
12. What clues suggest that this beast from the sea represents a
false prophet? (cf 16:13; 19:20; 20:10)
13a. What are the works of this beast?
14. Do you see such religious power at work today? Why does Satan
use religion as an instrument in the last days?
15a. Read 15:2 about the number and the name of the beast. Also
compare the name of the beast with the name of the Father in 14:1. The number
666 is the number of the name of the beast. What do these tell us about the
nature of the number 666? Is this number more than a numeric value?
15b. What does it mean that the number is
also the number of a man?
15c. If we interpret the number
symbolically, and if 7 is a number representing completeness, what would the
number 6 suggest? Why 666?
15d. What does it mean to receive the mark
or number of the beast? How can we keep ourselves from receiving the mark or