THE BEAST’S AGENDA—TO CHANGE GOD’S LAW
The fact that the sea beast is the same as the little horn makes it possible to learn its agenda— it “shall intend to change times and law” (Daniel 7:25). Obviously this does not refer to human or political laws since all governments change their laws continually. This power makes an attempt to change God’s law, and specifically the first four of the Ten Commandments that have to do with man’s relationship with God.
The first commandment, “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3) forbids the worship of anything except the true God who “made heaven and earth, the sea and all that is in them” (v.11). But in verse 3 we learn that “All the world marveled after the beast. And they worshiped the dragon which gave power to the beast, and they worshiped the beast” (Revelation 13:3,4). This worship is not based on love for God, but rather it is based on power, fear and threats: “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?…He…causes [makes, forces] the earth and those who dwell therein it to worship” (vs. 4, 12).
The second commandment forbids the creation and worship of any image. But the second beast of Revelation 13 deceives and forces “them that dwell on the earth, to make an image to the beast, which had the wound by the sword and lived [the sea beast]. And he had power to give life to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed”(Revelation 13:14,15).
The third commandment states that “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain” (Exodus 20:7). The sea beast, in blatant defiance, “opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, and His tabernacle and those that dwell in heaven” (Revelation 13:6).
The “little horn" (the sea beast) “shall intend to change times and law.” The law that has to do with time is the fourth, the Sabbath commandment. We will see later in this chapter that the fourth commandment is a particular target of the beast because it identifies God’s authority as Creator and Redeemer.
Since the sea beast is the agent of Satan, it is not surprising that it attacks God’s law. The law of God exposes and condemns Satan’s ambition to set himself in the place of God. For this reason the apostle Paul calls the antichrist “the lawless one:” “The lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders” (2 Thessalonians 2:8,9). The Greek word for lawless is anomos, “as having no law, not subject to law.” The lawlessness of the sea beast is a reflection of Satan's ambition to destroy the law of God: “whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness…He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning” (1 John 3:4,8).