A beast is often defined as an stuborn animal that refuses to be trained and by nature unruly because it will not conform to the needs of a higher authority. When all the descriptions are considered the beast can be described in a similar way that God spoke of the tongue, a part of the body that no man can tame.
Regarding the beast of the end times, man has been given an insight into the attributes of the beast that will come to establish himself as God in the sight of all men. Those who live by faith and not by sight will firmly resist him because they know their God. Those who live by sight and not by faith will see all the evidence that they need to be pursuaded that this beast is a god worthy of worship.
Those who live by faith honor an invisible God for without faith it is impossible to please God.
Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:6
Those who live by sight allow their eyes to guide their way of life. They will be deceived in the end times by the miraculous signs and wonders from the realm of spiritual darkness. These spiritual forces will cause fire to come out of the heavens to fall on the earth. It will be a spectacular display, a show of power for all men to observe and absorb that will make an indelible mark on the mind impossible to deny or forget.
Those who live by faith will understand that God forewarned anyone who would listen about the lawless one, the man of sin, that will perform signs and wonder to deceive everyone on the face of the earth. Yet the miracles performed by the lawless one will be a counterfeit of miracles that God has performed in the past and have been recorded in the sacred text
The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, 2 Thessalonians 2:9-10
Like counterfeit money the miracle will be a copy of the original miracle done by God to deceive mankind. Satanís miraculous miracles will be done in full view of men so everyone who sees would be convinced of his deity. His miracles are designed to produce the perception that only the highest form of deity could have performed such a feat.
And he performed great and miraculous signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to earth in full view of men. Revelation 13:13
Godly men will know that the counterfeit miracles of the man of sin, are only a copy of the original and remember the miracle Elijah performed on Mount Carmel. There on Mount Carmel Elijah asked all of Israel to decide who was God. At that time, Israel was led by Jezebel and Ahab who worshipped Baal and Israel was tossed between worshipping Baal or the Name of God. Elijah said let us test our God to see who responds to our prayers.
Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the Lord. The god who answers by fire ó he is God." 1 Kings 18:24
On Mount Carmel Elijah put the God of Israel to a test to prove to the people who God is. Saying, the god who answers by fire would be the God of Israel. The prophets of Baal prayed to their God from morning to the time of evening sacrifice, but nothing happened. When the time for evening sacrifices came, Elijah prayed a short prayer and God answered his prayer.
Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench. When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, "The Lord -he is God! The Lord -he is God!" 1 Kings 18:38-39
Why would the lawless one cause fire to fall from heaven to earth in full view of men? On mount Carmel the Israelites saw the fire fall from heaven on a sacrifice surrounded and saturated with water. The fire from God had consumed the altar, the sacrifice and the water that should have prevented the sacrifice from igniting. The Israelites saw what they considered what would be impossible, a feat that only God could do and they worshipped the living God crying out that the Lord Ė he is God. The goal from fire falling from heaven to earth in full view of men is to have men proclaim the lawless one as God.
Another example is when Ahaziah the king of Samaria summoned Elijah to give him counsel from the Lord, but not before he had consulted Baal-Zerrub to know if he would recover from a fall. God had spoken to Elijah and sent him to warn the messengers of Ahaziah that he was making a serious mistake by consulting the gods of Ekron.
Subsequently, the King ordered three of his captains each having a company of fifty men to bring Elijah to his bedside. The story goes as follows.
Elijah answered the captain, "If I am a man of God, may fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men!" Then fire fell from heaven and consumed the captain and his men. II Kings 1:10
The first summons failed, but Elijah knew he was a man of God. God wanted Israel to know that there was a God in Israel and a person that represented him open to being consulted. God wanted the news that the first company of men was incinerated at the word of his representative to be heard by the king.
"If I am a man of God," Elijah replied, "may fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men!" Then the fire of God fell from heaven and consumed him and his fifty men. II Kings 1:12
The second summons failed and king Ahaziah sent a third company of men to summon Elijah to his bedside. This time a Ahaziah sent a captain who feared God and heard the news that Elijah summoned fire from heaven.
So the king sent a third captain with his fifty men. This third captain went up and fell on his knees before Elijah. "Man of God," he begged, "please have respect for my life and the lives of these fifty men, your servants! II Kings 1:13
God permitted Elijah to go to the bedside of Ahaziah even though God had not changed his mind. Elijah repeated these words to Ahaziah, Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are going off to consult Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron?
Because you have done this, you will never leave the bed you are lying on. You will certainly die!" II Kings 1:16
It is apparent that God sent fire from heaven to certify his presence and the authority of his prophet. However, it is also possible for Satan to send fire to place blame on God. Listen to what the servant of Job said.
"The fire of God fell from the sky and burned up the sheep and the servants, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!" Job 1:16
Even though the servant of Job pointed his finger at God being responsible for the fire that destroyed Jobís sheep, Job did not blame God. Satan was able to deceive Jobís servant, his wife and his friends, but Job knew and trusted God. Job remained true to God even though Satan thought man would give everything he had to live.
The people who do not know God, whose names are not written down in the Lambís Book of Life will fall prey to the deception of Satan, saying who but God can send fire to the earth? Letís remember that God raised people from the dead. He caused the earth to swallow those who rebelled against Moses, he rescued Daniel from the lion's mouth and would not allow the fiery furnace to singe the hair of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.
After the second beast ordered those who were deceived to set up an image in honor of the first beast he performed another miracle. He gave the statue breath to this image, it came to life and began to speak. The materials used to make the statue resembling the first beast is unknown but most would consider the image made of precious stone and metal. Still, under normal circumstances the image would not be able to speak, hear or see because the combination of materials used to make the statue would not have capabilities of speech.
However, when we think of images brought to life we should consider Adam and Eve who were made from the dust of the earth and compared to living stones made to honor God. God made man in the exact image of the God that he wanted man to worship. When God breathed the breath of life into the image he formed, God also animated man giving him the ability to live through the decisions they made.
Still, God has a sense of humor when it comes to beasts that were not designed to speak like men. God chose a Donkey, a beast of burden to rebuke Balaam.
But he was rebuked for his wrongdoing by a donkey-- a beast without speech-- who spoke with a man's voice and restrained the prophet's madness. 2 Pet 2:16
Satan will provide dramatic evidence, to those who live by sight alone. The show of power will be designed to stimulate the thought of a false god. Through these two counterfeit miracles Satan will be building his case through visual aids proving that he alone is god.
After meditating on this image the thought that Satan was creating a physical object representing god for man to worship came to mind. Unlike the God of creation seeking worship of free will, when the image of the first beast spoke it was a death sentence to anyone who refused to worship him. The image did not care if you were a person of stature, a laborer or a homeless person, his demand for worship included everyone without exception.
Jesus described the devil with these words to relate the truth to the Pharisees.
You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:44
Jesus said this about Satan also.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10
The Devilís true colors will be revealed and the tyrannical leadership of Satan will force everyone into physical servitude to a god that will eventually destroy or kill all of his people.
Don't let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshipped, so that he sets himself up in God's temple, proclaiming himself to be God. 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4
God has reserved a remnant of his people from bending the knee to Baal in the past and will reserve a remnant in the present time through grace.
I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal." So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. Romans 11:4-6-5
No one can imagine how many men and women will perish under the rule of Satan. However during the end times, God will hand the saints as he did Job over to the devil and will allow him to defeat the saints.
As I watched, this horn was waging war against the saints and defeating them, until the Ancient of Days came and pronounced judgment in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came when they possessed the kingdom. Daniel 7:21-22
Satan has to be terrified of the day that the glorious splendor of Jesus Christ will pierce the sky. Satan knows the eternal sentence that God has pronounced on him and that day is imminent. Until that day, Satan is determined to destroy the earth and the people who will eventually possess it forever and ever. This calls for the saints to patiently endure his wrath and stand on Godís promise.
If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. Matthew 24:22