The Book of Revelation presents a false trinity: the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet. Revelation 12:3 introduces the dragon. “Then another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems.” Revelation 12:9 identifies this dragon “as the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world.”
Revelation 13:1 introduces the beast under the watchful eye of the dragon. “And the dragon stood on the sand of the seashore. Then I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names.” The beast bears the image of the dragon “having ten horns and seven heads.” Beasts are often symbols for rulers, kingdoms, and governmental power.
Daniel 7:3 presents a similar picture. “And four great beasts were coming up from the sea, different from one another.” The sea in both Daniel and Revelation appears to be the surging population of the fallen world. Rulers and government power arise from the sea of the nations. Daniel 7:17 gives further interpretation. ”These great beasts, which are four in number, are four kings who will arise from the earth.” These kings represent kingdoms and governmental power (Daniel 7:23).
Earthly government power in Revelation is full of wisdom and power derived from Satan. “The dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority” (Revelation 13:2). This beast is also messianic in character. “I saw one of his heads as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed” (Revelation 13:3). Men and women therefore venerate earthly government power. “The whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast; they worshiped the dragon because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, ‘Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?’” (Revelation 13:3-4).
The cohort of the beast is the false prophet as Revelation 16:13 confirms. Revelation 13:11 portrays him as a beast. “Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb and he spoke as a dragon.” The false prophet is lamb-like in appearance. He seems quiet, gentle, harmless and helpful. Yet he is as dangerous as the dragon. His teachings lead men and women, young people, and children away from Christ.
In my opinion he is the power found in anti-Christian economic, educational, scientific, and cultural enterprises intended by God for building a Christian society. Secular education opposes God, denying any need to acknowledge Him in the classroom. Secular science is atheistic at base. It sees no need for God nor does it desire God. Secular art propagates atheism and supports amoral and aberrant behavior. An economy permeated with such anti-Christian thinking seeks to build a name for itself rather than for God (Genesis 11:4).
The false prophet “exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence. And he makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed” (Revelation 13:12). Ungodly and anti-Christian governmental power (the beast), derives its authority from the dragon (Satan), and delegates authority to economic, educational, scientific, and cultural institutions (the false prophet).
Beware of this evil triumvirate and its messianic claims. Big government is not the solution to our fallen human condition. Jesus Christ is.