Study Guide: Revelation 13:11-18 - The False Prophet
Then I saw another beast rising out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb and it spoke like a dragon. It exercises all the authority of the first beast in its presence, and makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose mortal wound was healed. It performs great signs, even making fire come down from heaven to earth in front of people, and by the signs that it is allowed to work in the presence of the beast it deceives those who dwell on earth, telling them to make an image for the beast that was wounded by the sword and yet lived. And it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might even speak and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain. Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name. This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666.
While Satan uses deception and persecution to incite worship for himself, Christians are called to remain faithful to worship the one true God.
Satan (the dragon) uses another beast to promote worship of the first beast from Rev. 13:1-10. Elsewhere (16:13; 19:20; 20:10), this beast is referred to as the “false prophet.” It imitates the Holy Spirit and resembles the Lamb, yet it’s words reveal its true allegiance lies with the dragon. This beast deceptively promotes worship for the first beast by causing an image to be created in its likeness. Christians who remain faithful to the one true God and do not forfeit their allegiance will be persecuted.
- In what ways does the second beast appear to imitate the Holy Spirit?
- What role do people play in this passage? What does this teach us about the nature of humans?
- What does the beast (“false prophet”) do? What does this tell you about Satan’s desires and schemes?
- The word “image” is mentioned four times in verses 15-16. Read Daniel 3:1-18; Romans 1:21-23; and Colossians 1:15. How would you describe the correlation between images and worship in the Bible?
- In our day, much confusion surrounds the topic of signs and wonders. Why is the presence of signs not enough to prove the validity of a teaching? How can we test them?
- In what ways might Satan be deceptively tempting you to worship images instead of God?
- Take some time and consider if you are willing to endure opposition and even persecution for your allegiance to God. Consider what this might cost you. Then, read and pray through Matthew 5:11-12; Romans 8:16-18; and 2 Corinthians 4:16-18.
Pray that God would provide you and Christians all over the world with wisdom to identify Satan’s lies and strength to worship God alone even in the midst of opposition.
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