REVELATION 13Revelation of Jesus | Revelation of John
13:11 A LAMB OR A DRAGON?
“He had two horns like a lamb and he spoke like a dragon” (Revelation 13:11). In both Daniel and Revelation horns represent power and authority, although not always in exactly the same form. In Daniel 7 the “dreadful” beast (the pagan Roman Empire) had ten horns, which represented barbarian tribes that took over the empire (vs.7,8,19,20). A “little horn” came up in their midst, which represented the oppressive Roman Catholic Church of the Middle Ages (vs. 8,20-25). In Daniel 8 a ram had two horns, which represented “the kings of Media and Persia” (v. 20). The “large horn” on a shaggy goat represented “the first king” of Greece, Alexander the Great (v. 21). Four horns came up in its place, representing the divisions of the Greek Empire (v. 8), but “out of one of them” came “a little horn which grew exceedingly great,” representing the progression from pagan to papal Roman authority (vs. 9-12). In Revelation 17 the scarlet beast has ten horns, which are identified as “ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet” (v. 12). In these examples horns represent empires, kingdoms, kings and oppressive churches. In other words, horns represent the power centers of those political and religious entities that oppress God’s people.
The “beast coming up out of the earth” (the future oppressive United States of America) has “two horns like a lamb,” in other words, the horns appear to be innocent and harmless. As we saw above, horns can represent kings and political churches. The “king” of the United States is the democratically elected president, and the “national church” is a fractured multitude of mostly Protestant denominations that are constitutionally forbidden to wield political power by the separation of church and state. These certainly seem as harmless as a lamb. However, this prophecy shows that these two horns (democratically elected political leadership and the independent, diverse “Church of America”), despite their harmless appearance, will become the power and authority of a system with a Satanic heart that “[speaks] like a dragon.”
In chapter 12, the story of the dragon, there was a description of how the dragon speaks—he is “the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night” (Revelation 12:10). The beast with the lamb-like horns is a nation, and nations speak through their legislative or lawmaking bodies. Thus the prophecy predicts that at a legislative level the United States will bring accusations against God’s true people. And it is not hard to guess the subject of these accusations since this beast is causing (forcing) “the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast whose deadly wound was healed.” (Revelation 13:12). We have already seen that the agenda of the first (sea) beast is “to change times and law.” In the following sections we will see that the beast from the earth, the United States, will try to force the world to obey the altered “times and law” that were established by the medieval papal church, and will accuse and persecute those Christians who refuse.