Bible Lessons on the Book of Revelation: The Christ Versus the Dragon and his Allies – Lesson XIV, Part 2

And I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like unto a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the authority of the first beast in his sight. And he maketh the earth and them that dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose death-stroke was healed. And he doeth great signs, that he should even make fire to come down out of heaven upon the earth in the sight of men. And he deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by reason of the signs which it was given him to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast who hath the stroke of the sword and lived. And it was given unto him to give breath to it, even to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as should not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free and the bond, that there be given them a mark on their right hand, or upon their forehead; and that no man should be able to buy or sell, save he that hath the mark, even the name of the beast or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. He that hath understanding, let him count the number of the beast; for it is the number of a man: and his number is Six hundred and sixty and six. Revelation 13:11–18

Read More Than Conquerors, pp. 179–182



This beast is not associated with violence or physical persecution. It symbolizes “the quiet realm of thought and ideas.” Yes, “quiet,” seemingly “harmless.” Just look at it: it has two little horns just like an innocent lamb. But watch out, it speaks like a dragon. It therefore symbolizes all false prophets in every age. They come to us disguised as sheep but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. Speech, let it be borne in mind, is the revelation of one’s inner mind. Elsewhere this beast out of the earth is simply called “the false prophet” (Rev. 16:13; 19:20).

B. ITS SIGNS, verses 12–15

Verse 12 makes clear the fact that this beast co-operates perfectly with the beast out of the sea. In other words, the world as center of persecution and the world as center of false religion and false science or philosophy a1ways help each other. That was true in John’s day and also today. A dictator generally allows only such books to be distributed among the masses as will advocate ideas that are in line with his policy. The false prophet, moreover, strives to add to his prestige by performing “signs,” so that people will stand in awe of him and of the other beast. It brings down fire from heaven, gives breath to an image (of the first beast) which he has ordered the people to make, causes that image to speak, etc. Just how much of tills description must be interpreted as pertaining to the symbol only and having a merely general application, and just how much of it was meant literally and thus immediately understood in John’s day we do not know. We do know, however, that both of these beasts represent realities that are not to be limited to anyone definite time or place. The two beasts are always around! Certainly even today that beast out of the earth is very much in evidence, and so are his signs by means of which he deceives the masses; such signs as:

1. spurious faith-healings,

2. bogus contacts with the spirit-world,

3. phony gifts of tongues,

4. sham, supernatural translations, and

5. boasted pseudo-inventions.

C. ITS MARK OR NUMBER, verses 16–18

In line with the interpretation just given I interpret this mark as being the God-opposing, Christ-rejecting, Church-persecuting, man-glorifying spirit of anti-christ, wherever and whenever it makes itself manifest. If you do not have that mark the world will oppose you and, more and more the nearer we approach Christ’s second coming, will persecute you most bitterly, making it impossible for you to do your business, etc. It is again entirely in harmony with this that we are told that the number of the beast is six hundred and sixty-six.

Now many are of the opinion that this number 666 is a kind of cryptogram. They happen to know that Greek letters have numerical values; for example, the first letter of the Greek alphabet has the numerical value “1,” the second letter “2,” the tenth letter “10,” the eleventh letter “20,” etc. So, they try to find a name whose individual letters, when their numerical values are added, will yield the number 666. Now this is very easy. In fact, a few hundred names of that character—all of which yield the sum 666—have been discovered. “NRON KSR” (referring to the emperor Nero) is one of these names; LATEINOS is another. The latter is generally chosen by those who like to think of the head of the Latin Church (that is, the pope) as being the Antichrist.

This method of arriving at a meaning must be considered futile. Let it be borne in mind that the boost out of the sea bas seven heads and therefore, as a later chapter will clearly show, represents worldly dominion directed against the Church in any age. appearing now under this “head,” then under “another.” Next, bear in mind that the beast out of the earth is always a contemporary of the first beast. Also, this beast out of the earth Or false prophet always, in any age, has this mark or this number. Now if all this is borne in mind it will be seen that to limit the number of the beast to any one definite person, like Nero or Titus or Domitian, or to this or that pope, will never do. Besides, all the other numbers in Revelation—such as 3, 4, 7, 10, 12, 144, 144,000—have a symbolical meaning. Such a symbolical meaning must therefore also be given to the number 666. What that symbolical meaning is I have clearly stated in More Than Conquerors.



1. Under B 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, above, of what “isms” was I thinking? Add others.

2. What is the best way to combat the beast out of the earth?

3. How can you tell whether a man or a movement represents true or false prophecy?

4. The first beast tries to kill the believer’s body; the second tries to poison his…?

5. Why are false prophets so effective, and what can we learn from them?

6. How does the number 6 compare with the number 7 in the book of Revelation?

7. What is the symbolical meaning of 666?