Extracts and comments from Revelation Chp. 13:11,12,14 &15
And I saw (a)another (b)beast coming up out of the earth; and he had (c)two horns like a lamb, and he was (d)speaking as a dragon.
(a) "Another"; the Greek word (allos), means "another of the same kind", (Comp. App. 124-1).
(b) "Beast"; (i.e. "wild beast", but distinguished from that of V.1).
(c) The fact of similarity to a "lamb", shows inescapable similarity to the "Lamb of God", and is intended as such. The two horns speak of testimony (App. 10) or difference. When two testimonies agree, it is conclusive. Horns in Scripture always speak of kingships, or power (relative to earth). So here two horns agree, (testimony), conveyed by "a lamb", (spiritual or religious figure).
(d) "Speaking as a dragon"; in Scripture, only Satan. So, after the first beast (political), arises and is established, this second "beast", (religious) arises which is empowered by Satan, and whose task is to bring about worship from the people (V.15), and therefore remove worship and allegiance from the"One True God", Jehovah Zebaoth! This beast is led by the false prophet of Chp. 16:13, 19:20 and 20:10.
And he exercised all the (a)power of the first beast before him, and caused the earth and them that dwell therein to (b)worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
(a) Here the 2nd "beast", shows itself to be similar to the first (V.11), with the same power, but with a different emphasis.
(b) The emphasis is "worship"! The politics of the first beast brought about the attention and focus of the peoples, which is now to be turned further into "worship", (vicariously of Satan) which as stated previously is the motive force and objective of Satan from earlier Ages.
And he doeth (a)great wonders including making (a)fire descend from heaven onto the earth in the sight of men,
And (b)deceived them dwelling on the earth by means of those wonders, which it was given him to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an (c)image to the beast, which had the wound of a sword, and did live.
(a) "Great wonders"; nothing impresses mankind more than demonstrations of power, especially when they lean to the mystery and charisma that only Satan can generate (i.e. towards darkness). When Elijah contended with the priests of Baal, (1Kings 18), bringing fire down from heaven in the contest, defeating the Baal priests, slaying them and winning the day for, and by Jehovah, he was not a popular man (1Kings 19). When our Lord did the required miracles (signs) (Isa. 29:18), (Isa. 35:5-6), (Matt. 11:4-5) and (Rom. 15:8), they were derided by the Pharisees and priesthood, and rejected by them, because they adhered to the 'Wisdom Writings' of their teachers, (see: Jewish Scriptures:), instead of the 'Bibical Torah', given by Jehovah to Moses! This was derided by John the Baptist, Jesus and Apostle Paul! Here this beast (false prophet), (2 Thess. 2:9) and (Rev. 16:13) does "great wonders", and is accepted, instantly.
(b) Deceit is Satan's main method (Rev. 20:3), and (Rev. 20:8), and with humans it started in the Garden of Eden with Eve.
(c) "Image"; Almighty God expressly forbade Israel to make any image for worship (Lev. 26:1), in that command, God states that He is their God (Jehovah.) In John's Gospel (4:23-24), the mind of the Father is revealed, requiring only "worship in spirit and in truth". Stating clearly that He is "Spirit", and requiring only sincere from the heart worship, as opposed to ritual and ceremony. The Enemy therefore, through the second beast requires the opposite, i.e. image, ritual and ceremony, (reminiscent of the Roman Church), so as to maximise idolatry and worship of Satan.
And (a)it was given to him to give (b)life unto the image of the beast, in order that the image of the beast should (b)speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast be (b)killed.
(a) "It was given him"; this phrase occurs also in Vs. 5 and 7. The Greek (didomo) for "given", (Str. no. 1325), has a wide definition, among which are; "to give, bestow, to bring forth, to deliver up, to grant, to minister, to have power, etc." The A.V. renders it, "he had power"; the Interlinear, "it was given to it"; the Companion Bible corrects the A.V. text to, "it was given him"; J.N. Darby "it was given to it"; the Revised Standard, "it was allowed". The obvious question is who is giving this power to the 2nd beast (like a lamb), which of course can only be answered, by the great Enemy Satan (2 Thess. 2:9-10).
However, we know from God's Word that all life is of Him (Job 1:21), (Job 33:4), (Ecc. 12:7), (Isa. 37:16), (Isa. 40:13), (Isa. 44:6), (Jer. 10:12) and (Heb. 3:4), so that the ultimate source of the power is Almighty God, as He allows Satan to do his worst for a very specific reason, shown in Rev. 20:11-12. Part of Jehovah's reasons are discussed in Chapter 12:V4, V.5 and V12, and elsewhere.
(b) This religious figure is "given", the power to put "life" into the image, causing it to speak, and be worshipped. The degree of power that will then reside with this 2nd beast is expressed in the ultimate earthly sanction; physical death. For that to be possible, a very high level of physical and mental control will be established on earth (see note at the beginning of Chapter 9) over the population.