And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. Revelation 13:11

And I beheld another beast 2342

There are two kinds of “beasts” mentioned in Revelation:

  1. chapters 4 and 6: Strong’s 2226ζῶον zōon [a live thing], that is, an animal: – beast.

  2. chapters 11 and onward: Strong’s 2342θηρίον thay-ree’-on [a dangerous animal: – (venomous, wild), from 2339 [(a wild animal, as game); hunting, that is, (figuratively) destruction:trap].

The two beasts of Revelation 13, representing the Church of Rome and the United States, have the same basic nature. They are wild, dangerous, and venomous. And both are associated with destruction, or a trap. We will see how these characteristics are featured when America speaks as a dragon. But however dark or destructive the disposition of a beast or kingdom may be, God’s purposes will prevail. We can praise God for His loving sovereignty.

Dan 5:21 …the most high God rules in the kingdom of men, and he appoints over it whomsoever he will.

When the Spirit of God is present, beasts (or kingdoms) can be rendered harmless, according to God’s purpose.

Gen 46:3 And he said, I am God, the God of thy father: fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great nation:

Act 28:4 And when the barbarians saw the venomous beast hang on his hand, they said among themselves, No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he hath escaped the sea, yet vengeance suffereth not to live. And he shook off the beast into the fire, and felt no harm.

Dan 6:22 My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me…

No hurt came to Daniel when he spent the night with hungry, ferocious lions. Later these same beasts showed their true nature when Daniel’s tormentors and their families were also cast into the den.

Dan 6:24 And the king commanded, and they brought those men which had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions, them, their children, and their wives; and the lions had the mastery of them, and brake all their bones in pieces or ever they came at the bottom of the den.

God uses whatever and whomever He will to accomplish His purposes. He has certainly used the United States in a marvelous way, much like He used Egypt for the growth of Israel as a nation. Although used by God, we should never forget the inherent nature of these beasts in Revelation 13—both held in check by the powerful agencies of heaven.

Rev 7:1,3 And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree…. till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.

Our only safety is in a personal acquaintance with, and humble obedience to, the mighty King of the universe, who is over all.

Job 5:17,18,21,22 Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty: For he maketh sore, and bindeth up: he woundeth, and his hands make whole…. Thou shalt be hid from the scourge of the tongue: neither shalt thou be afraid of destruction when it cometh. At destruction and famine thou shalt laugh: neither shalt thou be afraid of the beasts of the earth.

Job 22:21 Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee.

Pro 16:7 When a man’s ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.

coming up out of the earth 1093

The first beast rose out of the sea (Revelation 13:1). John the Revelator explains that seas represent multitudes of people, nations, tongues, etc.1 But the Bible adds other interesting characteristics about seas as well:

  • The seas are POLLUTED Mic 7:19 He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.

  • seas = the wicked Isa 57:20 But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.

  • The inhabitants of the seas (fish) = the UNCONVERTED Mat 4:19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.

Kingdoms rising out of the sea, then, would be kingdoms emerging from a mass of unconverted, worldly people, with little or no thought of God or His word. Self-centeredness and pride would dominate their rule, giving little thought to heavenly principles. Yet Christ proved Himself Lord also of the seas.

Mark 4:39, 41 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm…. And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?

A beast rising out of the earth1093 has an entirely different set of associations. In the original language earth refers not only to the solid part of the globe (in contrast to sea), but also to the ground itself or soil.

Strong’s G1093 γῆ gē ghay [rhymes with CLAY] Contracted from a primary word; soil; by extension a region, or the solid part or the whole of the terrene globe (including the occupants in each application): – country, earth (-ly), ground, land, world.

The characteristics of soil will earmark this second beast of Revelation 13.

  • Soil is solid, capable of supporting great weight. It was on an element of soil (rock2) that Christ would establish His church. We can expect, then, that a beast coming up out of the earth would have something to do with the nurturing and growth of God’s church.

  • It was from the earth that the Creator formed the burden-bearing beasts and finally man himself, made in God’s own image. Fish and birds, coming forth from the waters, were rarely used as burden-bearers. A nation coming up out of the earth has the potential for taking on great burdens or responsibilities, and consequently becoming a noble figure in the world.

  • Clay, another expression of soil, can take on a huge amount of water, sometimes as much as eighteen times its own volume, and also has strong neutralizing properties to toxins. These qualities suggests that a kingdom coming up out of the earth might also become a haven for many fleeing the toxic load of the (sea-originated) nations around it.

Rev 12:15-16 And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.

Though the earth has these positive characteristics, the beast that rises out of it is, like the first beast rising out of the sea, described as wild, dangerous, and venomous. And John depicts these two beasts operating together in the final days. Though they maintain their separate characteristics, they find strength in working together. One is churchcraft and the other is statecraft. This equates to the feet and toes Daniel saw in his vision of the Great Image in Daniel 2.

Dan 2:43 And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.

The mingling of churchcraft and statecraft is represented by the iron and the clay. This union is weakening all the power of the churches. This investing the church with the power of the state will bring evil results. MS 63, 1899

So which is which? We know that iron is a symbol of Rome. And out of Rome came the little horn that had the eyes of a man and a mouth speaking great things (Daniel 7:7-8). As we follow this kingdom we see the development of a powerful church system that tries to gain control of the whole world. But this would not be a church after God’s image. It comes up out of the sea. So, the iron must represent churchcraft. We can safely identify the first wild beast of Revelation 13 with this power.

The second beast that comes up out of the earth is connected with statecraft, or the clay in Nebuchadnezzar’s image. Clay is also associated with people, but in a different sense. Clay illustrates the weakness of man and his dependence on a higher power. The “dust” from which the first man was made (Genesis 2:7) actually means powdered or gray; hence clay, earth, mud. Clay finds its greatest purpose when in the hands of the heavenly Potter.

Isa 64:8 But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.

The hand of God is evident in the beginnings of the United States, as in no other kingdom. Its openly stated dependence on God, its open harbors – willing to give people hope who were weary of heavy handed governments and churches–, its “big brother” protective attitude among the nations, its laws respecting religious beliefs. No wonder it has quickly risen to leadership position.

Yet, when a nation turns away from God’s Spirit, as water leaves the clay, it no longer remains moldable. It becomes brittle and easily broken. As this beast turns from God’s strength it begins to sense its weakness and vulnerability. And, this time consistent with its darker nature, seeks a spiritual power like itself (churchcraft) to regain its former strength and influence among the nations.

Dan 2:41 And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay.

Rev 13:12-14 And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, and deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the [first] beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.

Because this second beast continues to separate from divine principles even it’s spurious power will eventually be “broken”.

The people of the United States have been a favored people; but when they restrict religious liberty, surrender Protestantism, and give countenance to popery, the measure of their guilt will be full, and “national apostasy” will be registered in the books of heaven. The result of this apostasy will be national ruin. Maranatha 216.1


There is another power associated with clay in Old Testament history. We know it as Egypt, where the Israelites were incarcerated as slaves.

Exo 1:14 And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in morter2563 [mire or clay], and in brick3843 [from the whiteness of the clay], and in all manner of service in the field: all their service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigour [to break apart, fracture—cruelty].

The relationship of the United States with Egypt is indeed intentional. Revelation speaks of plagues, of singing the victory song of Moses, and entering the Promised Land soon after. Also consider these parallels between Egypt and the United States:

  1. In spite of the fact that Egypt was a heathen nation, she was used many times as a place of refuge for God’s people. No other kingdom in Bible times has this strong Scriptural association of being a haven of safety. Notice these examples-

      • Abram (Gen. 12:10)

      • Jacob’s family (Gen. 42:1-2)

      • Hadad (1Kings 11:17)

      • Jeroboam (1Kings 11:40)

      • Urijah (Jer. 26:21)

      • Joseph and Mary with Jesus (Matthew 2:13)

  1. Egypt was used to nurture God’s people, to make them “a great nation”.

The assurance, “Fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great nation,” was significant. The promise had been given to Abraham of a posterity numberless as the stars, but as yet the chosen people had increased but slowly. And the land of Canaan now offered no field for the development of such a nation as had been foretold. It was in the possession of powerful heathen tribes that were not to be dispossessed until “the fourth generation.” If the descendants of Israel were here to become a numerous people, they must either drive out the inhabitants of the land or disperse themselves among them. The former, according to the divine arrangement, they could not do; and should they mingle with the Canaanites, they would be in danger of being seduced into idolatry. Egypt, however, offered the conditions necessary to the fulfillment of the divine purpose. A section of country well-watered and fertile was open to them there, affording every advantage for their speedy increase. And the antipathy they must encounter in Egypt on account of their occupation–for every shepherd was “an abomination unto the Egyptians”–would enable them to remain a distinct and separate people and would thus serve to shut them out from participation in the idolatry of Egypt. PP 232

  1. Though pagan at heart, Egypt initially showed religious toleration. Had not Joseph’s God shown favor to them?

  1. Egypt’s turncoat nature. Eventually Egypt turned against God’s people. What was once a place of safety and a haven for national greatness became a slave encampment. The picture is striking. We see a small group of people, seventy in number, accepted with smiles and open arms. They were highly respected even though their occupation was not appreciated, and given the most fertile land the country had to offer. Then we see that same group of people, now numbered in the millions, treated as slaves, with absolutely no respect given them. All smiles are gone. Something changed!

  1. Using diplomacy for enslavement (Exodus 1:7-10) “Let us deal wisely with them.” Diplomacy has been a common characteristic of leaders. What makes Egypt’s “diplomacy” different is her purpose for using it. Egypt’s intent was not just to provide “national security”, but to control for national benefit. Initially, she would do this through craft and cunning (called “wisdom” in Exodus and Revelation3)—or statecraft. Egyptian leaders thought it prudent to approach the Israelites subtly, in a way that would not alarm or upset them. Weren’t the Israelites a powerful people, perhaps able to overcome them? Once the Egyptians were sure the Israelite’s ability to retaliate was diffused, they put teeth into their control of God’s people.

  1. Egypt’s fascination with and dependence on spiritualism. Some historians even claim the pharaoh of Exodus 1 to be the BLACK PHARAOH of history, the “king” of magic and the occult. No other kingdom mentioned in Daniel 2 demonstrated this close association with the occult in its government. And during the confrontation with Moses, it was the magicians that held sway over pharaoh.

  1. Egypt’s association is not with any metal but with clay, from which the bricks were made. Clay is a form of soil, earth. Clay is treated differently than metals in Daniel 2. It is not typical to the other kingdoms, yet it spars with one of them in the feet and toes.

The parallels of Egypt to the second beast in Revelation 13 are clear in the prophetic portrayal of the United States. Initially this great nation arises out of the earth, becomes a haven for God’s persecuted people, provides them a fertile environment where they can become a strong people, then, like Egypt, turns against their God and tries to control them through carefully chosen words and acts (statecraft). This beast will eventually be in open connection with spiritualism and a counterfeit religion. This union will add credibility and force to its dictates. When the Spirit of God is removed, the second beast, as did Egypt, will be instrumental in trying to enslave those obedient to God, or destroy them.

Rev 13:15-17 And he had power to give life unto 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. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

and he had two horns like a lamb

This beast was NOT a lamb, but a wild and dangerous creature. Yet it had two “lamblike” horns—not “ramlike horns”. The horns were those of youth, not an adult. Horns equate with power and the lamb is a representation of Christ or Christianity. This is either a reference to the beast’s formative years that would have Christian governing4 principles, or that its duration would be considered “short” in the time-lapse of kingdoms, that it would terminate in its “youth”. Preference is to the former, but these “lamblike” qualities wouldn’t last forever.

and he spake as a dragon1404

G1404 δράκων drakōn drak’-own Probably from an alternate form of δέρκομαι derkomai (to look); a fabulous kind of serpent (perhaps as supposed to fascinate): – dragon.

This venomous beast is NOT a dragon either, though he speaks like one. He is simply a beast. But why is he speaking like a dragon? Could it be that the dragon is speaking THROUGH him?

When we identify how a dragon speaks we will understand what is coming out of the beast’s mouth, and thus what his —or the dragon’s— intents are! John actually identifies who and what the dragon is in the previous chapter (12). Notice also what this creature does.

Rev 12:9 And the great dragon was cast out [of heaven], that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

The dragon is the Devil, Satan, sometimes called “that old serpent”. Is there any record in the Bible that tells us about a (fascinating) serpent speaking?

Gen 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtil [cunning, crafty, prudent] than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

He is doing the same thing from the tree that he did in heaven (Rev. 12:9). What, then, does a dragon do when he speaks? He DECEIVES. If this wild, dangerous beast comes up out of the earth and speaks like a dragon, it tells us he is in league with the dragon, or that the dragon is using him. So what is coming out of his mouth? DECEPTION. In other words, he is saying one thing but doing something else, something behind the scenes, underhanded, dangerous.

The purpose is two-fold

Before Eve listened to the serpent at the Tree of Knowledge, she was free and happy in the Lord. After she listened and talked with the serpent and acted on his suggestions, she (and later her husband) was trapped, enslaved (to sin), and infected with doubts about God.

Look how United State’s counterpart, Egypt, played the serpent.

Exo 1:9-10 And he said unto his people, Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we: Come on, let us deal wisely [subtly] with them; lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when there falleth out any war, they join also unto our enemies, and fight against us, and so get them up out of the land.

What was the result?

Exo 1:14 And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in mortar, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field: all their service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigor.

The Egyptian leaders used deceit to [1] separate a people from the worship of their God5 and [2] to gain control of them, and use them for their own selfish purposes (to build many cities out of brick), as Satan did with Adam and Eve. So it will be with the venomous beast that rises out of the earth. Its lamblike characteristics will heighten its deceptive powers. And those citizens who follow blindly will one day find their freedoms gone. They will be trapped and enslaved. There is much evidence that the leaders of our nation are already speaking as a dragon and enslaving its own people!6

This beast, however, goes a step further. It unites its powers with the first beast (Rome) to form a devious and controlling church/state coalition to run the whole world. It is the nature of the dragon (Satan), who is behind both, to slander God’s name and enslave His followers.

Revelation 13 ends with a warning—a warning in verse 18 we should consider seriously.

Here is wisdom [higher or lower, worldly or spiritual]. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast…

1Co 1:19-21 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

The association in Revelation 13:18 is with 1Kings 10, where is recorded God’s kingdom operating at its best on this earth. It was a kingdom of peace, headed by a man renown for his wisdom, and skilled in all manner of commerce and arts [consider this chart comparing the two scripture references]. Also within this chapter is the only other time the number 666 is used in the Bible—indicating the amount of gold brought into the kingdom in a year (verse 14) as a result of union with God. Obviously, Satan is using this as his model, though he has his version of each part.

The dragon speaks of peace.

Jer 6:14 They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.

The dragon has his man renown for his wisdom.

Rev 13:18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man

The dragon’s kingdom excels in arts and commerce.

Rev 18:3 For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.

And as Solomon’s great wealth and success (typified by the annual weight of gold—666 talents) was dependent on his obedience to Jehovah, so sharing in the dragon’s wealth (typified by the same number) is dependent on obedience to his commands.

Rev 13:16-17 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

There is one more thing to consider about this last verse of the chapter–which beast the number 666 is assigned to. I grew up being told it was beast 1, or the pope. But when looking at the chapter I saw how it spoke about the two beasts. The first beast was addressed in the first ten verses. Then the chapter ends with the second beast (verses 11-18). I could see no indication that John would jump from describing beast 2 back to beast 1. And then I found this statement from E.G. White (emphasis mine):

I saw all that “would not receive the mark of the Beast, and of his Image, in their foreheads or in their hands,” could not buy or sell. [Revelation 13:15-17.] I saw that the number (666) of the Image Beast was made up; [Revelation 13:18.] and that it was the Beast that changed the Sabbath, and the Image Beast had followed on after, and kept the Pope’s, and not God’s Sabbath. And all we were required to do, was to give up God’s Sabbath, and keep the Pope’s, and then we should have the mark of the Beast, and of his image. {Word To The Little Flock, p 19}

How this plays out I am not sure yet. But I do know every detail God had written down is for our edification, to strengthen us and equip us for the times ahead. To think the number 666 is describing some aspect of beast 1 is diverting us so we will miss an important characteristic in defining the image beast. When the time is right God will open up His mysteries to us so we won’t be caught off guard, if we keep the Bible our word of counsel.  

This is the time to WATCH AND PRAY, to draw close to God! We have serious things just ahead of us. And we have people to help and warn and preparations yet to make.

QUESTION: I can see the parallel between the U.S. and Egypt, but fail to see its real significance in understanding Bible prophecy.  (retired SDA pastor)

ANSWER: The books of Daniel and Revelation are counterparts. Both books speak of similar events, but in different detail. Revelation speaks of a very significant power arising out of the earth (ground, land) at the end of time. In Daniel’s image we would be looking at the feet (to establish the timing). What do we see there that could suggest some “earthly” power having an influence with the kingdom of iron to control the souls of man? What kingdom was associated with clay in the Old Testament (before Daniel’s day)? Egypt. Does Revelation say anything that might suggest that the characteristics of Egypt would still have an influence on worldly policy at the close of time, as do the “metal kingdoms”? Yes.

Rev 11:8 And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.

So we see that though Egypt’s reign has long been supplanted, it’s influence on the souls of men is still present, just like in Nebuchadnezzar’s image. All the “metal” kingdoms remained intact until the rock cut out without hands smashes into the feet. In fact, the image in Daniel 2 is more about the various moral characteristics the different kingdoms portray as enemies of God’s kingdom, than the political or historical characteristics alone. This is attested to in Breaking The Giant Code, a study on 5 giants David could not fight alone. These giants are described in ways to identify with those 5 kingdoms in Daniel 2

The fact that the clay in the feet of Nebuchadnezzar’s image provided a weakening power that would keep the ten nations from joining again, we cannot deny. This has been made clear from Daniel’s commentary (2:42-43). But that the feet can also portray another possibility we cannot completely rule out, of Rome mixing with another kingdom (associated not with one of the four metal kingdoms Daniel would later depict as rising out of the sea, but rather a kingdom associated with the earth), though keeping separate from it, and both ruling the world at the end.

The purpose of the clay in the image, in Daniel’s mind, goes beyond the weakening effect in the toes of the feet. We can see this because Daniel mentions the five elements three different times in Daniel 2, and each time he respects the position of each kingdom represented by metals (whether going forward or backward), but the clay holds three different positions.

(Clay is last, associated with iron) Dan 2:32-33 This image’s head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, his legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay.

(Clay is second from last, associated with brass) Dan 2:35 Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors;

(Clay is third from last, associated with silver) Dan 2:45 Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold;

There is a possible 4th position for the clay, associating it with gold, according to King Nebuchadnezzar’s testimony in Daniel 4. This gives us the idea that the clay was actually associated with the whole image—clay being used as a weakening power, or as man (who came from the dust, clay, earth), who must be dependent on the Potter to make anything (or any kingdom) worth while. To see exactly how this characteristic played out in the affairs of state, we only have to look at the contest between God’s man for the hour, Moses, and the Pharaoh of Egypt, given over completely to self-worship.

The study above was to establish that America in prophecy is the prophetic equivalent of Egypt in the past, and will eventually fulfill the characteristics described in Revelation 11:8. This underscores that Daniel did not overlook the major role the United States would play at the close of time, but did, indeed, characterize it as the kingdom of clay (Egypt) which John associated with Sodom’s attraction to perversions, the Jews’ self-deception in crucifying God’s Son, and the Beast’s hatred of those standing up for God’s kingdom— the culmination of the Great Controversy in a nutshell.

 Certainly significant to understand the fulfillment of prophecy in these last days!

1 Revelation 17:15

2 Mat 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

3 Exodus 1: 10; Revelation 13:18

4 The 2 horns did not have crowns, indicating they were not expressing kingly powers. Also, Christ advocated rendering what belonged to Caesar and what belonged to God, in other words separation of church and state –Matthew 22:21)

5 Exo 5:8 CEV but they must make the same number of bricks as before. They are lazy, or else they would not beg me to let them go and sacrifice to their God.

6 Personal privacy is being stripped from us in order to “protect us from terrorists.” Lobbyists supporting genetically modified foods influence government leaders to pass laws to keep its people ignorant of these harmful GMO foods.

7 Consider the comparison between Revelation 18 (Babylon) and 1Kings 10 (Israel) included with this study.