Editorial – Description of the Beast

The third angels’ message determines the destiny of every person in the world who is alive when Jesus returns. If rejected, it will result in a person’s receiving the seven last plagues (see Revelation 16:2) and finally being destroyed (see Revelation 19:20, 21). The third angels’ message is a warning against worshipping the beast (Revelation 13:1–10) or his image or receiving his mark. Before a person can understand the third angel’s message, he must understand who and what the beast is. Following is a description from Scripture of the beast power.

  1. A beast in Bible prophecy represents a kingdom or nation or power (Daniel 7:17, 23).
  2. This beast received his power, throne, and great authority from the dragon (Revelation 13:2). The dragon primarily represents the devil (Revelation 12:9). Secondarily, the dragon represents the pagan Roman empire because it was the pagan Roman empire that attempted to kill Jesus at his birth (see Revelation 12:3–5 and Matthew 2).
  3. The beast received a deadly wound, at which time it looked as if it would cease to exist.
  4. The deadly wound was healed. It recovered from this deadly wound and became worldwide in its authority again.
  5. This beast is a worldwide power—“all the world marveled and followed the beast” (Revelation 13:3).
  6. This beast is also a religion, because the whole world will worship this power (verses 4 and 8).
  7. This beast would blaspheme God, His name, His sanctuary and those who dwell in heaven (verse 6).
  8. This religion would be a persecuting religion, as it would make war with the saints and overcome them (verse 7).
  9. This beast would gain authority over every tribe, language and nation. In other words, this is a religion that would apparently conquer and control all other religions, all languages and peoples (ibid).
  10. his beast would eventually go into captivity—that happened at the time that this beast received the deadly wound (verse 10).
  11. The beast would eventually be killed by the sword (ibid.) This will happen in the future.
  12. This beast had a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies. According to the Bible, blasphemy is described as a man assuming power to forgive sins (Mark 2:7) and as a man making himself God (John 10:33).
  13. This beast arose from the sea. Compare Revelation 13:1 with Revelation 17:15.
  14. This beast had certain characteristics in common with all the beasts in the vision of Daniel 7. Compare the vision of Daniel 7 with Revelation 13:2.
  15. The number of this beast is the number of a man and his number is 666.