A Study of the
Book of Revelation
by Elder Vernon Johnson
leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword
must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the
The statement, "he that leadeth into captivity shall go into
captivity," can have several possible applications. There are
different types of captivity. There is the captivity of people overcome in war. There is
the captivity of those imprisoned for wrongdoing. There is the captivity of
slavery. There is the captivity of those bound to false teachings, false
practices, and false religious systems. The above scripture teaches this last
captivity. When the blind lead the blind, they both fall into a ditch.
Likewise, the deceived deceive others: II Tim. 3:13 "But evil men and
seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived."
Is. 5:13 "Therefore my
people are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge: and their
honourable men are famished, and their multitude dried up with thirst."
Paul had a hearts desire and a prayer for an ignorant people: Rom. 10:1
"Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be
saved. 2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not
according to knowledge. 3 For they being ignorant of God's righteousness,
and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted
themselves unto the righteousness of God. 4 For Christ is the end of the
law for righteousness to every one that believeth." These people had not
gone into captivity of their own volition, but false teachers led them into
captivity. The fact is that most who teach false doctrine and advocate false
practices and false worship are themselves deceived into a belief system
consisting of false doctrine, false practices, and false worship. The ones who
lead others into captivity of false teachings, false worship, and false doctrine
are themselves also led into the same captivity.
II Tim. 4:3 "For the time
will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts
shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they
shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables."
The heap of teachers are themselves taught fables and false doctrine, in order
that they might teach fables and false doctrine.
"He that killeth with the
sword must be killed with the sword." The word of God is called the sword
of the Spirit. When someone misuses the scriptures to pronounce destruction
upon others he is also pronouncing destruction upon himself. David killed
Goliath with his own sword. Notice the following example: Mk. 10:17 "And
when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him,
and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?
18 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but
one, that is, God. 19 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit
adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not,
Honour thy father and mother. 20 And he answered and said unto him,
Master, all these have I observed from my youth. 21 Then Jesus beholding
him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell
whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in
heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. 22 And he was sad at
that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions." I have
heard many say that the rich young man was bound for hell because he did not
sell all that he had in the way of material goods. Yet, I have not seen one of
those condemning the young man who had sold all of their natural goods and given
them all to the poor. Many of the preachers who preach this man into hell are
themselves quite rich in material goods! In destroying the rich young man they
"Here is the patience and
the faith of the saints." Both the secular beast and the religious beast
have exceedingly more natural resources, numbers of adherents, and political
persuasion and power than do the true worshippers of Christ. Yet the true
worshippers have the truth and their faith in the Lord and his deliverances.
God has delivered them from the captivity of false worship systems, false
doctrine, and false worship. They are not out trying to kill with the sword of
truth, but being led of the Spirit of God, they attempt to deliver others from
bondage and timely destructions.
"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."
The first beast, known as
the seven head, ten-horn beast, came up out of the sea. As we have shown
previously the sea typifies the "sea of humanity" or more particularly the
Gentiles. This secular first beast is a beast that arose out of the Gentiles.
It is a multinational beast patterned after the image of the dragon or Satan.
The second beast arose out of the earth. Thus, it arose from the nation of
Judah or Israel. It also is patterned after the doctrine and deeds of the
Nicolaitanes. The Nicolaitanes were a religious organization, which had a
hierarchal structure with the ministry reigning or ruling over the church
(so-called). Both beasts had similar hierarchal structures in the form of a
pyramid. The head(s) reigned over the body of nations. Everywhere in the
scriptures, that we see the pattern of the beast(s) it is multinational.
This second beast has a
religious character as opposed to the secular character of the first beast. It
had two horns like a lamb. The lamb was frequently used in the religious
ceremonies of the Old Testament and frequently represented God's children or the
"Lamb of God" which is the Lord Jesus Christ. The false prophet comes in sheep
clothing: Matt. 7:15 "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's
clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves."
This second beast is called
"The False Prophet" later on in the book of Revelations (Rev. 16:13; 19:10;
20:10). Subsequently, this second beast is an organization of the ministry of
Satan patterned after the Nicolaitane pattern. Therefore, there would be layers
of ministers with differing and greater authorities as they go up the pyramid.
II Cor. 11 tells us of the Satanic deception and his false prophets and
ministers: 13 "For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming
themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14 And no marvel; for Satan
himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no
great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of
righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works." In contrast,
God's true ministry is part of no organization above the local church and answer
directly to their one head, which is Christ. There is no mission board,
seminary, or headquarters over either the Lord's church or His ministry. There
is no hierarchy of ministers in the Lord's church. Peter confirms this pattern
in I Peter. Chapter 5: 1 "The elders which are among you I exhort, who am
also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of
the glory that shall be revealed: 2 Feed the flock of God which is among
you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for
filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; 3 Neither as being lords over God's
heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. 4 And when the chief Shepherd
shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away."
Peter identified himself as being on an equal level with the elders. In
addition, he taught that there is only one "Chief Shepherd." Thirdly, none is
to lord it over God's heritage.
This second beast spoke like
the dragon. It also was in the image of the Dragon and spoke blasphemy against
the Lord, His church, and his word. The spirit working in this second beast is
the spirit of Satan. The World Council of Churches is the closest thing to this
second beast today. It attempts to bring all religions under one so-called
umbrella. If it could get all religions and denominations to join with it, then
it could rule over all those groups and control what they teach or do not teach
and promote. Similarly, Catholicism and its ministry are also formed in a
hierarchal structure as the Nicolaitanes.
The second beast had two
horns. It joined Judaism and Paganism under one umbrella. The two greatest
religious organizations warring against the true Church of Jesus Christ in the
book of Acts was Judaism and Paganism. The Pharisees and Sadducees who made up
Judaism at that time were trying to eradicate the mention of the name Jesus and
to eliminate his disciples. Likewise, the Pagan religions felt threatened by
the Lord's church, as they believed it would ruin their sale of images and
religious artifacts. They might lose their livelihood! Christmas and Easter
holidays come from the joining of Judaism and Paganism. Both holidays have
strong elements of paganism as part of their observance.
Satan's purpose in guiding
the development of these two beasts is to make war with the remnant of the
woman's seed that keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus
Christ. Ultimately, the two beasts, the image of the first beast, and Mystery
Babylon are tools that Satan uses to accomplish his purpose as stated in the
five "I wills" recorded in Is. 14:13. "For thou hast said in thine
heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the
stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the
sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the
clouds; I will be like the most High."
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
"He exerciseth all the
power of the first beast before him." What power did the first beast have?
The answer is given us in v.5-7, "5 "And there was given unto him a mouth
speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue
forty and two months. 6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God,
to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. 7
And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them:
and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations." Thus
the second beast had the following power:
1. He had power
to blasphemy the name of God.
2. He had power
to blasphemy God's tabernacle, i.e., his true church.
3. He had power
to blasphemy those that dwell in heaven.
4. He had power
to continue forty-two months.
5. He had power
to make war with the saints.
6. He had power
to overcome the saints.
7. He had power
over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
The above shows us the
universal, multinational nature of the second beast. It also shows us that it
is opposed to God, his church, and them that keep the commandments of God and
have the testimony of Jesus Christ. It also shows us that we will have a
continual battle against this second beast or false prophet throughout time.
Since this second beast has vastly superior resources and political power a
fleshly battle cannot be fought by the true disciples of Christ and be
profitable. According to the book of II Corinthians God has given us mighty
spiritual weapons. II Cor. 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not
war after the flesh: 4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal,
but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 Casting
down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the
knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of
Christ; 6 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when
your obedience is fulfilled."
Furthermore, God has given
us an armor whereby we may stand against all of our enemies: Eph. 6:10
"Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the
wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but
against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of
this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Wherefore
take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the
evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your
loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16
Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all
the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and
the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18 Praying always with
all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all
perseverance and supplication for all saints."
"And causeth the earth
and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was
Thus the goals of the second beast matches the five "I wills" of
Satan set forth in Isaiah chapter 14. To worship the first beast is the same as
worshipping the dragon, for the dragon made it in his image. Consequently,
those who give praise and glory to the power and authority and accomplishments
of secular government and especially the universal multinational secular
government known as the seven head, ten-horned beast are ultimately worshipping
the seven head, ten-horned dragon.