Let’s read verses 11-15: “Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. And he EXERCISES ALL THE AUTHORITY OF THE FIRST BEAST IN HIS PRESENCE, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which HE WAS GRANTED TO DO IN THE SIGHT OF THE BEAST, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived. HE WAS GRANTED POWER TO GIVE BREATH TO THE IMAGE OF THE BEAST, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed” (NKJV).

It’s important to see that there are TWO BEASTS in this chapter. The FIRST BEAST (verses 1-10) represents the Revived Roman Empire and its POLITICAL LEADER. Let’s read verses 3-4, “And I saw one of the heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the BEAST. So they WORSHIPED THE DRAGON WHO GAVE AUTHORITY TO THE BEAST; and they WORSHIPED THE BEAST, saying, ‘Who is like the BEAST? Who is able to make war with HIM?” We learn here that the world will worship the DRAGON, who is Satan (see Revelation 20:2), and the BEAST, the Leader of the Roman Empire. But before they do, they witness what they believe is a true “death and resurrection” of the Beast. He did not actually die, for it says, “AS IF IT HAD BEEN mortally wounded.” I believe Satan will deceive the world (by staging this fake death by the sword and then his supposed resurrection) into believing they have just seen a man die and then rise from the dead. This will cause the world to MARVEL and then to WORSHIP the Beast.

In verses 11-15 we have the SECOND BEAST, who is a RELIGIOUS LEADER living in Israel (for he comes “out of the earth” which speaks of the “land of Israel”). He is in alliance with the First Beast and he is also given “authority from Satan.” This authority from Satan will be demonstrated in “performing great signs,” including “making fire to come down from heaven on the earth.” But his greatest sign involves making an image of the First Beast and then “giving breath to the image of the beast” and causing it to speak. I believe this is the “abomination of desolation” that will stand in the holy temple in Jerusalem (see Matthew 24:15 with Daniel 9:27 & 12:11). Will this image be a statue made of stone, wood or some other material? God has chosen not to tell us, but we know that the word “image” means “likeness, representation,” so the image will “look LIKE the Beast that it REPRESENTS.”  Will it actually breathe and speak, implying it has been given real LIFE? Some, who believe Satan will literally raise the beast to life after a real mortal wound, will also give life to this image. I don’t believe Satan has the power to give life. We never read of him raising the dead anywhere else in Scripture and I don’t believe God gives him permission give life to this image. God has only given that power to His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, as we see in John 5:21, “For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will.” See also John 5:28-29. Yet this image will “breathe and speak” (unlike any idol that was ever worshiped before…see Psalm 115:4-7).

Will Satan himself “speak through the idol” as he did through the serpent in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:1-4 with 2nd Corinthians 11:3)? Or will it be a highly sophisticated ROBOT with the ability to breathe and speak through mechanical means? (You can Google “Lifelike Animatronic Abraham Lincoln” to see what man has achieved already with this kind of technology.)  We simply don’t know, but we do know that it will be so convincing to the world at large that they will “worship the image” and “the Beast” who is represented by the image.  (DO)  (524.1)