Introduction: Last week we examined several great “billboards” in the
sky to determine what they meant. One billboard had this surly red
dragon of unusual size on it. We found out that he was a killer and,
worse, he has moved into our neighborhood! This week we find that he
has friends – that are just as undesirable. Let’s learn more by
jumping into our lesson, which is the first of two lessons about
these friends!

  1. The Dragon’s Beastly Brother

    1. Read Revelation 13:1. Have you ever noticed how brothers
      or sisters sometimes look very much alike? Who does this
      beast look like? (Compare Revelation 12:3. You would
      recognize these two anywhere! The Beast has seven heads,
      ten horns and seven crowns just like the dragon. This
      similarity is pretty hard to miss.)

      1. What do you think this similarity in appearance
        means? (Last week we decided that seven (the perfect
        or complete number) heads (the place where you think)
        meant perfectly evil.)

      2. Notice the Beast is a sea-creature. Is there any
        significance to him “coming out of the sea?” (In
        Daniel 7:2-3 we have all of these beasts coming out
        of the sea. Some believe this symbolizes people or
        political agitation in population centers (Jeremiah
        46:7-8; Isaiah 8:7). Others believe this means the
        Mediterranean, the “Great Sea” of the area (Joshua

    2. Read Revelation 13:2. How are the Dragon and the Beast
      related? (The Dragon, who we learned last week (Rev. 12:9)
      was Satan, confers power and authority on the Beast. The
      Dragon is the sponsor of the Beast.)

      1. Why would the Dragon, who is not a nice guy, give up
        his throne to someone else? (This must be the
        Dragon’s agent. Otherwise, this would make no sense.)

      2. We find that in some respects the Beast does not look
        like the Dragon. What is different about his looks?
        (He looks like a leopard, has feet like a bear, and a
        mouth like a lion.)

        1. If you saw an animal like that in the lost
          animal pound, would you take it home? What would
          you conclude? Would this be a suitable pet?
          (Bear claws are a very dangerous part of the
          bear. The lion’s mouth is a very dangerous part
          of the lion. A leopard is very fast. The total
          picture I get is a fast, dangerous animal –
          definitely one to be left at the pound.)

      3. Have you ever seen someone who looks like someone you
        know? Does this odd-looking beast remind you of
        something you have seen before in the Bible? (Look at
        Daniel 7:3-6.)

        1. What did those animals represent? (Read Daniel
          7:15-17. They represent the three “world”
          kingdoms we discussed in the second lesson of
          this series. These are Babylon, Medo-Persia, and
          Greece. That makes it seem that this Beast of
          Revelation 13:2 is a world power.)

        2. Notice that these “beast parts” are mentioned in
          Revelation in the reverse order that they are
          mentioned in Daniel. It is as if Revelation is
          looking back through history. Are we missing a
          beast from Daniel 7? (Yes, we are missing the
          Roman Empire.)

    3. Let’s review. The beast has a family resemblance to the
      Dragon (same horns, heads and crowns)and he also looks
      like a committee of beast parts from Daniel 7. What do you
      think this means, other than to tell us he is really ugly?
      (This paints a symbolic picture of this beast. He is
      evil, like Satan, and he is apparently a world power
      because he has the attributes of several of the world
      kingdoms of the past, and he operates with the authority
      of Satan.)

  2. Identifying the Beastly Brother

    1. Read Revelation 13:3-4. We have learned the beast is evil
      and it is a world power. What other characteristic do we
      learn about it? (It is resilient (“fatal” wound is healed)
      and it is religious in some sense (“worshiped the

    2. Read Revelation 13:5-7. What occupation does the beast
      have that is like the dragon? (Remember in Revelation
      12:17 we saw the dragon going after the righteous. In
      Revelation 13:7 we see this beast has the same occupation
      – making war on the saints.)

      1. Read Daniel 7:7-8, 20-21. Do you see a parallel
        between the activities of this “little horn” and the

    3. As you consider all of this, what clues do we have about
      the identity of this Beast? (When we studied the
      prophecies of Daniel earlier this quarter, we found the
      sequence of world kingdoms was Babylon, Persia, Greece and
      Rome. The implication here ( Revelation 13:2) is that this
      beast arises after the Greek Empire. What arose after the
      Greek Empire was Rome. Daniel 7:7-8, 23-25 identifies the
      “ten horns” for the beast that represents Rome and reveals
      that the “horn” power that follows Rome, oppressing the
      saints. In addition, the geography works for those who
      consider the “sea” ( Revelation 13:1) the Mediterranean.
      Both the Roman Empire and Papal Rome persecuted believers.
      Many commentators point to Papal Rome as filling this
      description both as a matter of time in history and the
      historical record of the persecution of the saints by the

      1. If “Papal Rome” is right, is this just a dusty old
        prophecy, of no use to anyone other than those who
        want to defame the Catholic Church?

    4. Read Revelation 13:7-8. What clues point to a different
      understanding of this beast? (Papal Rome never had
      authority over the entire world. (Although some may
      dispute this during the Middle Ages.) Verse 8 seems to
      point to the future, specifically the end of time. All
      inhabitants of the world do not worship Papal Rome now.
      Although the “teachers helps” in the lesson point to
      increased cooperation between Catholics and Protestants,
      any impulse by the Catholic hierarchy to cooperate with
      Protestants shows its lack of power to compel worship. Why
      try to cooperate when you can just command? In the United
      States, there is a strong anti-Catholic bias in the media.
      It would take an astonishing change in public opinion for
      any church, much less the Catholic Church, to compel
      people to worship it.)

        1. How does Revelation 13:5 fit into this
          discussion? (It says that this Beast only has
          authority for a limited period of time.)

        2. How, then, can the “end-time” people be forced
          to worship this Beast?

        3. Is it possible that we have more than one power
          that might be represented by this Beast?(While I
          certainly do not claim an expertise in this
          area, this seems the most likely answer to me.
          The Beast certainly was reflected in the Roman
          Empire with its murder of Jesus and the
          subsequent persecution of the saints. The
          terrible role of the Catholic church in
          persecuting and killing “unbelievers” centuries
          ago also potentially reflects “Beast”
          characteristics. However, it appears there is a
          Beast to come, which will not be very nice to
          those who love the Lord. As Christians, the
          important part of this to watch for is the
          common characteristics between the Dragon and
          the Beast. Both oppose God and attack His
          people. Any group that opposes God and attacks
          His people in the end times takes on the
          characteristic of the Beast. Be alert.)

  3. Our Response to the Beast Problem

    1. Read Revelation 13:9. What advice does Revelation give to
      the saints? (Pay attention!)

      1. What do you think the “pay attention” warning means
        as a practical matter? (The danger that I see is the
        same danger that the Jews faced when Jesus came.
        There were plenty of prophecies about Jesus coming,
        but the Jews had fixed ideas that caused them to be
        unwilling to examine any alternative explanation of
        the Scriptures. Those who were not constantly
        studying the Bible to match it with current events
        rejected Jesus. Just because someone else has told
        you a certain interpretation of prophecy, you are not
        safe in just taking their word for it. God requires
        every one of us to carefully study His Word so our
        (v.9) ears will be open and we will hear.)

    2. Read Revelation 13:10. When the surly red Dragon and his
      friend the Beast come after Christians, what should we do?
      (We are called upon to faithfully endure.)

    3. Friend, God calls on us to pay attention to these
      difficult to understand warnings in Revelation. Will you
      commit to studying God’s Word and keeping your eyes and
      ears wide open?

  4. Next Week: The Dragon Versus the Remnant – Part 2