The dragon in Revelation is Satan, who controls two beasts—the antichrist who rises from the sea and the false prophet who rises from the earth. The antichrist is a political leader. The false prophet is a religious leader. Their origins from the sea and earth point to how they will attempt to create one system of power. These two beasts will unite a one-world government, religion, and economy.
Read Revelation 13:11-18. As you read, notice how the second beast, the false prophet, will coerce people into this one-world system.
– He requires people to worship the first beast. (verse 12)
– He orders the people to make a statue to worship. (verse 14)
– If you don’t worship the antichrist, then you can be executed. (verse 15)
– He requires people to take the mark of the beast to be involved in the commercial system (buying and selling goods).
This system of power is the opposite of freedom in Christ. Everything Satan does during this tribulation is a cheap rip-off of who God is and what Christ has done. There are many signs of Satan’s deception in Revelation 13.
– False Trinity with the dragon, antichrist, and false prophet.
– False power with the one-world system of government and religion.
– False resurrection of the first beast.
– False worship is forced upon people.
– False identity with the mark of the beast.
Satan, the serpent, did not deceive Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden with loud rhetoric and overbearing pronouncements. The words of the dragon are soft; they sound gracious and caring. He doesn’t breathe fire. Satan offers the soothing words of fake grace. Maybe you’re wondering, is Revelation overblown? How could so many people be deceived?
One-world religion, really? It’s already happening. I’m sure you’ve heard someone say, “All religions lead to the same place.” The beast whispers tolerance, acceptance, and affirmation. When you give up on Truth, you cede control to the powers of darkness. When you give up on Truth, you are easily trapped by Satan. When you give up on Truth, you cannot know that which is false, and you become easy prey. Stay focused on the Truth of Jesus! We’ll discuss how on Sunday. Onward, church!