Introduction: Two weeks ago we learned about the Big Red Dragon. Last
week we learned about his Beast buddy and this week we are introduced
to another one of the Dragon’s friends. Unfortunately, they all
moved into our neighborhood! Let’s jump into our lesson to learn
more about the last of this sorry trio of bad boys.

  1. Earth Beast Arrives

    1. Read Revelation 13:11. We have another beast that joins
      the “party.” This one comes out of the earth. As we saw
      last week, all of Daniel’s beasts came out of the sea. The
      Beast we studied last week also came out of the sea. What
      do you think it means that this beast comes out of the
      earth? (We know for sure that this Beast comes from a
      different place. Last week we learned “the sea” might mean
      either the Mediterranean or an area in which the
      population is in agitation. The older commentaries suggest
      “the earth” means a settled population.)

      1. Read Genesis 1:24 and 2:19. Did the land really bring
        these creatures into existence? (No, God made them
        out of the earth. Our lesson has this interesting
        suggestion that the reference to the Beast coming out
        of the earth may mean he is created by God.)

      2. Read 1 Corinthians 15:48. “Of the earth” is a
        reference to humans. Is it possible this Beast is
        really a man, and that is why it refers to this Beast
        “coming up out of the earth?”

    2. Let’s go back to Revelation 13:11 again. What else do we
      learn about the appearance and speaking characteristics of
      this second Beast, the “Earth Beast?” (He looks like a
      lamb, he speaks like a dragon. He is comparatively short
      on the number of horns –the Dragon and the first “Sea
      Beast” each had ten horns.)

      1. What comes to mind when you read “lamb” in the Bible?
        (You think about Jesus, the Lamb of God.)

      2. What do you think about when you read “dragon” in the
        Bible? (You think about Satan, the Dragon of
        Revelation 12 and 13.)

      3. What do you think the Bible means when it says this
        Earth Beast looks like a lamb but speaks like a
        dragon? (Perhaps it is someone or some group that
        appears to be God-like, but sounds like Satan.
        Perhaps it is a religious system that reflects evil.)

  2. Earth Beast Observed

    1. Read Revelation 13:12-13. Remember in Revelation 13:2 we
      found the Dragon gave the Sea Beast his authority and
      power. Now we find the Sea Beast lends his authority to
      the Earth Beast. Why is that? (Because the Earth Beast
      causes the “earth and its inhabitants [to] worship” the
      Sea Beast. The Earth Beast and the Sea Beast have a joint
      work as buddies of the Dragon.)

      1. What special ability does the Earth Beast possess?
        (He can do miracles, even causing fire to come down
        from heaven.)

        1. What miracle does this bring to mind? (This
          reminds me of 1 Kings 18. There, God proved that
          He was the true God ( 1 Kings 18:24) by sending
          down fire from heaven.)

        2. If this refers to the Mt. Carmel precedent, and
          the Earth Beast can replicate the miracle on Mt.
          Carmel, what does this mean for those who live
          during this time? (It means they must be close
          to God or they will be deceived. This Earth
          Beast uses “Bible quality” miracles to deceive

    2. Read Revelation 16:13 and 19:20. What is another name for
      the Earth Beast? (“False Prophet.” This unholy trio is
      identified as the Dragon, the Beast and the False Prophet.
      The False Prophet is the one who, according to Revelation
      19:20, performs the miracles that cause people to worship
      the image of the beast. At least three commentaries that I
      consulted identified the False Prophet as the Earth Beast.
      (The False Prophet “apparently [is] identified with the
      second beast [the Earth Beast] of Revelation 13:11-17.” 7
      SDA Bible Commentary 844. Accord, Jamieson, Fausett and
      Brown; Elwell, Evangelical Commentary on the Bible
      (commentary on Rev. 16:13).)

  3. Earth Beast Identified

    1. Let’s review what we have learned for a minute. We have
      this Earth Beast who is created by God, he is short on the
      number of available horns compared to his buddies, he is
      also known as the False Prophet, he resembles Jesus, but
      speaks like Satan, he performs great miracles apparently
      to confirm that he is the true prophet (or god). He does
      this to force false worship. Who do you think this Earth
      Beast represents?

      1. Our lesson identifies the Earth Beast as the United
        States. What have we studied here that supports that
        conclusion? (1. The reference to this Beast coming up
        from the earth can be understood to mean a sparsely
        populated area. The United States has a “gentle”
        (lamb-like) system of government. The lesson
        suggests the Earth Beast comes up after the end of
        the 42 months (Rev. 13:5) which is understood to be a
        1,200 year period that ends about 1798.)

        1. Can you think of any other reasons? (The United
          States has always considered itself to be a
          Christian nation (thus the “lamb” parallel). It
          speaks world-wide with its entertainment
          industry which largely provides “dragon-speak.”
          It is the only nation to detonate nuclear
          weapons in war (“fire from heaven”).)

        2. Can you think of any reasons the United States
          is not a good candidate for being identified as
          the Earth Beast? (The “False Prophet”
          identification does not make the Earth Beast a
          very good “fit” for the United States. It seems
          to point to a power that is symbolized by a man.
          Another problem is that neither in the “fire
          from heaven” nor in its public speech does the
          U.S. attempt to force worship of any specific
          religious system. Its influence on behalf of
          freedom of speech and worship is not “dragon
          speak.” On the other hand, it has great
          influence over the youth world-wide to encourage
          Satanism through some musical bands.)

    2. Seiss’ Apocalypse contains a summary of many commentaries
      and it concludes that about half identify the Earth Beast
      with Papal Rome.

      1. What reasons do you see this interpretation as being
        right? (The idea is that in the middle ages Papal
        Rome forced worship by killing dissenters. It is
        symbolized by a man. “False Prophet” could fit for
        doctrines not supported by the Bible.)

      2. What reasons do you see this interpretation as being
        wrong? (It is hard to see how Papal Rome fits the
        “fire from heaven” analogy. The “two horns” is also
        not a good fit.)

    3. Barnes’ Notes on Revelation 13 also identifies the Earth
      Beast as Papal Rome. However, Barnes sees the Earth Beast
      and the False Prophet as being different. He has a very
      interesting commentary on Revelation 16:13 which suggests
      the False Prophet is Islam, the followers of Muhammad.
      Since we have found that the False Prophet is also the
      Earth Beast, how do you see Islam as fitting the
      description of the Earth Beast?

      1. What reasons support the identification of the Earth
        Beast as Islam? (There is a very interesting fit
        here. Consider these parallels:

        1. Remember we discussed that coming out of the
          earth (Rev. 13:11) could mean this beast was
          created by God. Was Islam created by God? (Read
          Genesis 16:11-12, 17:2 0 and 21:17-18. Ishmael is
          considered to be the father of the Arab nations
          – the nations which today are largely Moslem.
          God promised Hagar (Ishmael’s mother) that God
          would “make [Ishmael] into a great nation.”
          Thus, God “created” this man and his “great

        2. Remember we found the Earth Beast has two horns.
          Horns have generally meant kingdoms or powers.
          Is there a “two horn” analogy with Islam? (Islam
          has two main divisions (sects)- the Sunni and
          Shi’te Moslems.)

        3. The Earth Beast looks like a lamb. We decided
          that the lamb is an illusion to Jesus. Is
          anything Muslim “lamb-like?” (Islam teaches that
          following the words of Muhammad is the way to
          the heaven. Thus, we have a salvation parallel.)

        4. The Earth Beast looks like a lamb, but speaks
          like a dragon. Has Islam a “dragon” voice?
          (Needless to say, Islam has a violent past and

        5. We found that the Earth Beast was also
          identified as the False Prophet. How does this
          fit Islam? (Almost all Muslims believe “There is
          no God but Allah and Muhammad is His prophet.”
          Since Christians believe that Muhammad is a
          false prophet, and since this is a major
          religious influence in the world, this fits the
          “False Prophet” description perfectly.)

        6. If Pagan or Papal Rome is the Sea Beast, how is
          there a link between Islam and the Roman Empire
          or the historic Catholic Church? Does it seem
          reasonable that Islam would make the world
          worship the Sea Beast? (On the surface, this is
          not a good fit. However, both religious systems
          rely on works for salvation. The great desire of
          Satan, the Dragon, is to make man reject Jesus
          as the source of salvation and make man believe
          he can be saved by his own efforts. Thus, Islam
          reinforces the “works” approach of Catholicism.)

        7. Finally, is there any evidence that Islam caused
          “fire to come down from heaven in full view of
          men?” (How about the September 11 attack on the
          World Trade Towers? Bet the entire world saw
          that. Was prophecy fulfilled there?)

    4. Which of these theories do you think is correct? Should we
      adopt a “wait and see” attitude? (We should, of course,
      always be alert. However, I am troubled that we may miss
      the “big picture.” God tells us that Satan and his two
      buddies are roaming the earth to deceive us. Our Bible is
      not the “North American version.” Unless Islam is a true
      religion, I do not know how Revelation could miss
      mentioning this “1,000 pound gorilla” as part of the

  4. Earth Beast in Action

    1. Read Revelation 13:14-17. What is the work of the Earth
      Beast in these verses? (He deceives those who live on the
      earth. He helps create “an image” to the Sea Beast. He
      then helps to force worship of the “image.”)

      1. What is the issue in this “false worship”

      2. What is the issue in the “true worship” controversy?
        (Read Revelation 12:17. God’s followers obey God’s
        commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.)

      3. Assume for the sake of discussion that Papal Rome is
        the Sea Beast. Read Daniel 7:24-25. What does this
        suggest the Sea Beast will try to change? (Set times
        and laws.)

        1. If the Earth Beast is trying to force the world
          to worship the “image” of the Sea Beast, and
          this worship involves changing times and laws,
          what does this suggest will be the big issue
          about worship? (It suggests changing the day of
          the worship of God.)

          1. Has Islam changed the day of the worship
            of God? (Yes. Islam commands that Friday
            is to be the day of worship.)

          2. Does this paint a picture in your mind of
            two Beast buddies that are working to
            confuse the world about the true worship
            of God – a worship that is at odds with
            the Fourth Commandment?

    2. Read Revelation 13:18. What response is required of us?
      (God calls on us to show wisdom.)

    3. Friend, our study this week feels like speculation in many
      ways. Our obligation is to continue to study and keep our
      eyes and ears open so that we can recognize when these
      prophecies are fulfilled.

  5. Next Week: The Three Angels’ Messages: Revelation 14:1-12.