The Dragon, Sea Beast, and Beast of the Earth
Those who are familiar with their Bible will recognize the entities in the title of this article as subjects in the book of Revelation. This book seems to fascinate the masses. It is colorful, figurative, and full of images that can excite and terrify the mind. The mind of God penned through the apostle John provides a look at mankind under trial by the forces of evil and the mighty hand of God. Ultimately, the book of Revelation could be summed up in one of a variety of words: “Hope”, “Comfort”, “Assurance”, or “Victory”. It is a torch and a balm for the Christian.
God provides an eternal rest for all those faithful to Him. The one opposing God is the Dragon. We know him as Satan or the Devil. His major tools to destroy the beloved creation of God (mankind) are the sea beast and the land beast. The sea beast is representative of corrupt nations or governments and their power to destroy and oppress. The land beast is the false teacher, false religion, or false prophet. Through these forces, Satan has persecuted, deceived, and devoured man and woman alike through the darkness of sin.
The reality of life is that God rules over all. His authority is universal over everything in existence. He has given the same authority to His son, Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:18). The actions undertaken by Satan occur only because God allows them to occur. As seen in the Book of Job, God sets the parameters within which Satan can operate. Within these boundaries, Satan can afflict and tempt mankind. Yet, Satan does not control man. Man does not have to yield to Satan (James 4:7). Man does not have to yield to a government leaving its authorized position (Romans 13:1-4; Acts 5:29). Man can rebuff false religion as well (2 Timothy 4:2, Ephesians 6:16, Revelation 2:2, I John 4:1). But why would God allow such things? First the issue may be one of endurance, growth, and faith building (2 Timothy 4:5, James 1:12, I Peter 1:7). Man is proven through the journey of life. Second, the issue may be one of punishment (I Peter 2:13-14, Romans 1:24-32, Genesis 18, 19, Jeremiah 25:8-9). God has long used his creation to discipline. The third reality of the suffering and pain upon the earth is that from the beginning, God allows man to choose his path (Genesis 3). However, every path man chooses will have consequences, each to his own benefit or loss. Man not only chooses his behaviors, but those behaviors impact others accordingly.
It may seem at times that the beastly wickedness of corrupt government and false religion has consumed all things, Satan moving his pawns as puppets on a string. Yet, still there remains a remnant of God’s people undeterred, strong, and faithful. The government may pass laws condemning scripture, prohibiting worship, punishing godliness, but despite their threats and power, God will bring their treachery to an end (Romans 12:19, 2 Thessalonians 1:8). False religions go about teaching evil as good and good as evil (Isaiah 5:20), but “Woe” upon them for the Lord knows their deeds (Luke 8:17). Those who teach beyond what has been shared by Christ and His apostles and prophets will be accursed (Galatians 1:6-10, Jude, Revelation 22:18-19). Hold fast in the face of these trials (I Corinthians 10:13). Hold fast in the face of the enemy (Psalm 23:4). Stand fast in the truth of the Word of God (2 Thessalonians 2:15). There is a victory coming (I Corinthians 15:57). There is a crown of life awaiting (Revelation 2:10). There is an eternal home in heaven (2 Corinthians 5:1). In Heaven the Dragon, the Sea Beast, nor the Beast of the Earth shall every darken a corner (Revelation 20:10). This is the hope given in Revelation and this is the faithful truth of God’s Word.