The Other Beast

Title: The Other Beast

Bible Book: Revelation 19 : 17-21

Author: Johnny L. Sanders

Subject: Lake of Fire; Satan Judged



I recently opened the Saturday edition of the Monroe, LA daily newspaper and, after checking the sport section, looked the Faith and Values Section - formerly the Religion Section. I will not go into the liberalism, or the “diversity” that frequently springs from the front page of this section, but it should be sufficient to say that either “Religion” or “Faith and Values” would be a more accurate title than “Christian.” And before you accuse me of being narrow of intolerant, let me assure you that I have gone through the area telephone directory and counted the number of churches in the area, and then I have looked for the listings of all the mosques, Hindu temples, and sweat boxes of the Native American shamans. Let me assure you of one more thing - there would be no demand for this paper if it were not for all the people who profess to be Christians in north east Louisiana who will not take a stand on moral and spiritual issues.

On the front page of the issue I mentioned, there was a large picture with a man standing before an elaborate chart. It was obvious that I was looking at an article about a fundamentalists, not some liberal this time. I read the caption and then looked again at the picture. That is when I realized that this chart was gigantic. It looked like it covered a whole wall. According to the article, this teacher and his class read everything then can find about what is happening in the world and plot it on their chart. The obvious emphasis is Eschatology, the study of last things. I appreciate their devotion, but I have never been a chart man myself.

I can never forget the man who began accusing me of heresy when I was young in the ministry. Of what heresy was I guilty? Apparently, it was because I dared to say, “I don’t know.” Well, there are still a lot of things I don’t know! The man who made the charges left the church when a few people opposed him. He returned two years later and when I visited him in his home he told me he had to change his mind about what was happening “over there” because some of those countries (in the Middle East) didn’t do what he expected them to do. Well, I cannot recall when many of them ever did what I expected them to do. I have spent years studying God’s Word and I am still forced to say I don’t know from time to time. When it comes to the Revelation, I must still say that I cannot answer all of your questions, but I really do not worry about what I don’t know. I know Who has the answers, I know Who is in charge, I know Who is in control, and I trust Him to do what He proposed to do.

With events moving as quickly as they are in this part of the Revelation, we must remind ourselves of the promise made in 1:3 that all who read, or hear this book read, will be blessed. It must have been a blessing to those first readers - in Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, Ladoicea, and throughout the region. They were going through intense persecution - tribulation, if you will - at that very time, and this prophecy, clothed in language that would be meaningless to the Roman authorities who were imposing the tribulation on the saints, but very encouraging to those believers who read it. It was a source of information and encouragement. They were being persecuted, but their Lord had not forgotten them, and He had not lost control.

As we look at our text today, I would like to remind you of what has just taken place. The final bowls of God’s wrath have been poured out upon the earth. God has exposed the notorious prostitute and the evil that is Babylon. The Lamb of God has destroyed Babylon the Great, leaving its political, social, religious, and commercial systems all devastated. Those who are a part of Babylon, the world over which the Anti-Christ reigns, mourns the fall of Babylon the Great. Chapter 19 begins with the words, “after this” - after all these things, there is a celebration in heaven over the fall of Babylon, and the vindication of all martyrs.

In 19:11-16, the heavens are opened and Jesus appears riding a white horse, the horse of conquest. He is followed by the saints, dressed, not for battle, but in white linen. They are returning to reign with Him. The Revelation informs us that He is faithful and true and that in righteousness He judges and makes war. The victory is His. He is so certain of the victory that He brings the saints with Him to reign with Him. The victory is never in question.


A. We Need to Look at Those Who Follow the Beast.

In the first place, it is easy to identify many of those who have been deceived by the beast, the Anti-Christ, and the false prophet. The world over which the Anti-Christ reigns is portrayed at one point as Babylon, and whether we are looking at the political, military, religious, or commercial systems, the systems that make up the world of the Great Tribulation are wholly committed to Satan and his forces. At the same time, we do not have to look ahead to the Great Tribulation to see leaders or nations that are committed to evil. We do not have to go back to the barbarism of ancient Assyria, the might of pagan Rome, or the savagery of a Ghengis Kahn to see the devastation that is caused by an evil power. Within the past century, the world has witnessed indescribably evil, committed by evil powers. The world is well aware of the evil that was Nazi Germany, the Japan of World War II, and Communist regimes that sought to spread their godless treachery around the world. I had often read that Hitler killed 15 million people. I mentioned this to retired Three Star General Dutch Shoffner and he said, “I have 22 million.” Since he once commanded our entire army over there, I am going to take his word for it. I recently heard someone claim that Stalin killed thirty million of his own people. Back during the time when I made a intensive study of Communism, the estimates ran from 40 - 60 million who were killed by the Communists in the USSR and 30 million by the Chinese Communists. Today, we are very much aware of the fact that there is a war going on against terrorism. Sadly, the liberal anti-Christian media in America is giving Islam a pass. They are very quick to try to prove that Islam is a religion of peace, but anytime we hear of an attack like the nine/eleven (2001) attack in America, or the seven/seven (2005) attack in London, we may assume that one of the radical Islamic groups is behind it. Of course if everyone is as successful in pursuit of the terrorists as the British they may have to rethink their battle plan.

We do not have to go to the USSR, China, Cambodia, Viet Nam, or Iraq to prove how evil a nation or movement can become. Satan is both overt and covert in his operations. He may be bold, brash, violent and evil, or he may be quiet, subtle, deceptive, and seemingly fair, righteous, and wholesome.
I would like to share a couple of illustrations that show just how subtle and deceptive Satan can be - and is working in the world today. He is not waiting for the Great Tribulation to wage war against God. He is not waiting to wage war against the saints. You can also be sure that his method of operation will not change during the Great Tribulation. If you want to see a little preview of how Satan will wage war during that period, take a look at what he is doing right now. While his efforts will be intensified, they will not change in character.

Recently, my son John called to tell me he was out of court, so I picked him up at his office and we went to McAllister’s for lunch. As soon as we walked in, John spotted a long-time friend. Many of these attorneys who went through law school together have remained good friends. When John and his family moved into town they visited this friend’s church before deciding to join another church. His friend’s church was too liberal for him, but his friend, though a committed Christian did not seem to perceive the liberalism.

We sat at a table next to John’s friend and his wife and their small son so we could visit with them for a few minutes. His friend seemed pleased and anxious to tell me about the action his church had just taken. They had changed their constitution! He explained that, though Baptists have for two hundred years interpreted the passage about the qualifications for deacons to mean that one who has been divorced and remarried cannot serve as a deacon, but now many pastors are interpreting that passage differently. They say that the Bible is prohibiting the ordination of deacons who practice polygamy. They like that interpretation, so they amended their constitution to allow the church to ordain men who have been divorced and remarried as deacons. He either said that his pastor had been divorced, or that this was his interpretation. I assured him that I will stay with the Scripture. If there is ever any doubt, go back and see what Jesus taught about divorce. You can be sure that the Holy Spirit did not inspire Paul to write anything that contradicts what Jesus taught.

Now, why mention that in a message from Revelation? Do you remember those two beasts back in chapter 13? I stressed two things in that chapter. First, there was the interpretation. Then, I stressed that in that chapter we see Satan’s MO, his method of operation in dealing with mankind. The first beast was powerful, frightening, and obviously evil. He defies God and opposes His church openly, brutally, often violently. When he speaks something inside us says, “No! This cannot be true.” Then the second beast comes onto the scene and he has the appearance of a lamb. He disguises himself as a lamb to deceive people, even to make some believe his message is from the Lamb of God. He does this to show them how to compromise with the first beast and feel good about it. Satan, through the first beast, says that the Bible is not the word of God, it is the work of man. The second beast is then marched out by Satan to tell us that the Bible really is the Word of God, but that does not mean that it is inerrant - it is authoritative, but not inerrant. He enables believers, churches, and denominations to reinterpret, and redefine certain doctrines and to be proud of themselves for doing so. Satan is a master at showing us how we can compromise and feel good about it rather than feel that we have betrayed our Lord.

Now for a second illustration of the way Satan works today. Is there anyone in America who is not aware of the ACLU has waged against God in America for the last half a century? Is there anyone in America who does not know what the ACLU and an activist judge did to former Chief Justice Roy Moore of the Alabama Supreme Court? By the time the courts and the media finished with their coverage, even a lot of Christians were insisting that Judge Moore give up the fight - and I do mean Christian leaders in America. Thank God, James Dopson and other Christians leaders realized what was at stake. I have served for a number of years on the board of trustees for LifeWay Christian resources. I have was assigned to the Broadman and Holman Committee at the beginning and do not want to serve anywhere else, especially since we published the new Holman Christian Standard Bible and funded a new Bible Society. We recently published Chief Justice Moore’s new book, SO HELP ME GOD. This is a must read. It illustrates how Satan can wage war against God and have even Christians support his effort and label a committed Christian a fanatic. The Rev. Barry Lynn, for example, is horrified at the thought that an atheist may walk by a display of the Ten Commandments and have to look at them. His feelings might be hurt.

Chief Justice Moore was asked about a more recent Supreme Court ruling on a case in Texas and one in Kentucky. He ruled for the Texas display because it was some distance from where people normally walk and it was a part of a larger exhibit. The Court ruled against Kentucky because, though it is one of a number of documents on exhibit, it may appear religious. I have mentioned these rulings before. Judge Moore said that what the Supreme Court has said is that if you don’t believe it you can post it, but if you believe it you cannot post it.

The judge who ruled that the monument displaying the Ten Commandments and other historical documents in the Supreme Court building in Alabama was beveled and because it was beveled it reminded him of an open Bible, so it had to go. My dear friends, we can claim that liberals have taken over our judicial system, and that activist judges are writing law all we want to, but I am telling you right now that Satan has moved into many court rooms across this country. Oh, no, they don’t look like the first beast - they look like the second beast. They serve the same master and he is the prince of this world. I thank God for every judge who understands that he is in the judicial branch and not the legislative branch of government.

Now let me share yet another illustration. I turned on the news a few days before the latest HARRY POTTER book was released and heard the announcer say that the pope had made a statement to the effect that the HARRY POTTER books and movies could undermine the Catholic Church. I watched as the “fair and balanced” program interviewed both sides on the issue. First, there was the Roman Catholic lady who said that she would not see the movie or buy the book because she was a loyal Catholic and the Catholic church prohibits the practice of divination. She read the rule from some source. The young lady on the other side excitedly endorsed HARRY POTTER because he shows how someone who is facing a challenge can assess their gifts and use them to overcome obstacles. Members of the audience seemed anxious to have their children read the book and see the movie when it comes out. From what I understand, HARRY POTTER does open the door to the occult. If that is the case, it is clearly sinful and evil. The fact that many parents do not understand that does not change the fact. Countless thousands of people who think of themselves as Christians also delve into the occult through Tarot Cards, Ouija Boards, fortune tellers, astrology, and various forms of para-psychology. Now just in case you still say you cannot see what harm there can be in something like this, let me remind you that when Israel was a theocracy, those who participated in such activities were guilty of a horrible evil. Those found guilty were to be taken outside the gates of the city and stoned to death. The prince of this world must really be excited to see seven million HARRY POTTER books sold in twenty-four hours!

Now, what about the devout Catholic lady. Give her credit for her stand and her commitment to obey the dictates of her church. She is to be commended for her loyalty, but think how much better it would have been if she had said, “No, I will not buy the book because God’s Word forbids it” and then read from the Word of God. It is God’s Word that will not return unto Him void: “So My word that comes from My mouth will not return to Me empty, but it will accomplish what I please, and will prosper in what I send it to do” (Isaiah 55:11). When Jesus was tempted by the devil He quoted the Scripture. Believe me, I am not casting stones at our Catholic friends when many Baptists do not take a stand on anything.

Many Christians today will not recall the book published many years ago by Hal Lindsay, SATAN IS ALIVE AND WELL ON PLANET EARTH. Both the book and its author were ridiculed by liberal college and seminary professors, and pastors who had swallowed their claim that there is no personal devil. The man who taught my intensive in the Book of Revelation admitted to out class that he did not believe in a real personal devil. Satan was simply the personification of evil. While he was being denied in the classroom, he was, in the modern vernacular, getting traction on the streets of America. Anton LeVay was writing the Satanic Bible. Churches of Satan were spreading. Witches were denying his existence while drawing on his evil power, and changing their image as American children were entertained by the television program, BEWITCHED. Witches became Wicans, New Age religions became more popular than biblical Christianity. My wife told me about the article in our local Gannett paper, complete with big headlines and a picture, about a witch or pagan. She said that she believes that Jesus was a messiah. Isn’t that generous!? Demons recognized Jesus during His earthly ministry, so there is nothing new in this.

Prayer and the Bible were taken out of schools at a time when violence was escalating in the entertainment industry. The one four letter word Clarke Gable used in GONE WITH THE WIND was far too tame for Hollywood. Freedom of speech became a license to pollute the land with profanity and vulgarity. No longer was modesty a virtue. Indecent, immodest dress spread from the movie screen to the church camp. Girls who have been in church all their lives go to the beach or the swimming pool dressed, or shall we say undressed, in a manner that would cause the temple prostitutes in Corinth to blush.

Satan, the prince of this world, continues his spiritual warfare, doing everything he can to try to defeat God’s purpose for mankind. Abortion became the law of the land. America, with bleeding hearts, mourns over enemy soldiers killed by American troops in their effort to defeat terrorists. Liberals in education, the media, politics, and even in some churches indict America when a murderer is sentenced to die for his crimes. They condemn our military for their methods in dealing with prisoners. They insist that America is producing terrorists by our war against terrorism, but they will fight you tooth and nail for the right to continue to slaughter millions of unborn babies. We are approaching the 45 million mark and these people are scared to death that Roe v Wade will be reversed. All the clamor over approval of President Bush’s judicial appointments boil down to their fear that he will appoint Supreme Court justices who will overturn Roe v. Wade. Just as Congress was recessing for the summer, Senate Majority Leaders, Dr. Bill Frist, announced that he was going to vote to alter President Bush’s policy on stem cell research. Some call this a courageous stand while others say he just lost the conservative Christian vote if he runs for the office of president next time. Ultimately, those who favor embryonic stem cell research are voting to see embryos created to harvest cells - and let the embryos die.

Homosexual lobbyists have been very successful in getting America to embrace an unspeakable evil.
Arguments for homosexual rights have left God out of the picture. Any reference to the Bible is squelched as quickly as possible. Citizens have voted to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman, only to see federal judges declare the government of the people, by the people, and for the people unconstitutional. A tiny minority in America have imposed homosexuality, pornography, vile entertainment, and a whole plethora of evil things on the majority. Some churches are embracing the sins of the world, as though they are trying to convert what was once a Christian America into a modern day Sodom or Gommorah.

Recently (July 18, 2005), fifteen hundred naked people marched down a street in London and stretched out as close as they could get to each other on some parking lot so that a photographer who is famous for photographing nudes could take their picture. Yes, Satan really is alive and well on planet earth.

Now, let me stress one more point before going on to the next verses. There is absolutely no sin which people will commit during the Great Tribulation that is not being committed today. The wages of sin is death - during this time of tribulations, or during the Great Tribulation. You may not be able to do anything about the intensified rebellion of the Great Tribulation, but you can do something right now about the moral climate in which you live. You can pray, you can lead lost people to Jesus Christ, you can work to turn America back to God. And, you had better do it before it is too late!

B. Now, Let Us Look at The Invitation, 19:17-18.

“Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out in a loud voice, saying to all the birds flying in mid-heaven, “Come, gather together for the great supper of God, so that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of commanders, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of their riders, and the flesh of everyone, both free and slave, small and great.”

As I stated at the beginning of this message, things are beginning to move quickly in this part of Revelation. The seven years we know as the Great Tribulation have drawn to dramatic close, the final seven bowls of God’s judgment have been poured out on the earth. The Lamb of God has appeared riding a campaign horse, wearing the victory crown. The victory has already been won - it was won when Jesus, on the cross, declared, “It is finished.” The victory was sealed on that Sunday morning when Jesus was raised from the dead. His victory is never in question as he appears with the saints. The saints will witness the culmination of the victory of the Lamb over Babylon, over the beast (the Anti-Christ), the false prophet, and Satan himself. They will reign with him in His millennial kingdom. Chapter 19 celebrates the victory.

These verses continue the revelation of the war waged by the Lamb of God, who destroys His enemies with the sword of His mouth (19:15). The sword of His mouth is symbolic of the power of the word of Christ to destroy the armies of the world. The armies of this world are no match for the armies of heaven.

The magnitude of the victory of the Lamb of God is amplified by the dramatic invitation extended in these verses. The invitation is announced by an angel standing in the sun - in clear sight of the whole world. The invitation, powerfully satirical, dramatic, and shocking is extended, not to human beings, but to the fowls of the air. I think we might grasp the shocking nature of this invitation - and the force of the victory of the Lamb of God over the armies of the world if we substitute for the word fowls, the world buzzards.

The angel in the sun announces the shocking invitation: “Come, gather together for the great supper of God, so that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of commanders, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of their riders, and the flesh of everyone, both free and slave, small and great.” God has His angel to invite all the “birds flying in mid-heaven” to partake of the great feast He will prepare for them. The outcome of the battle is never in doubt, as birds of prey are summoned in this verse to a great supper. The background for this invitation if found in Ezekiel:

“Son of man, this is what the Lord God says: Tell every kind of bird and all the wild animals: Assemble and come! Gather from all around to My sacrificial feast that I am slaughtering for you, a great feast on the mountains of Israel; you will eat flesh and drink blood. You will eat the flesh of mighty men and drink the blood of the earth’s princes: rams, lambs, male goats, and bulls, all of them fatlings of Bashan. You will eat fat until you are satisfied and drink blood until you are drunk, at My sacrificial feast that I have prepared for you. At My table you will eat your fill of horses and riders, of mighty men and all the warriors.” This is the declaration of the Lord God” (Ezekiel 39:17-20).

The return of Christ and the final battle against the forces of evil in earth at the time culminate in the invitation to the birds (buzzards) and beasts to feast on the decaying carcasses that litter the earth. This is called “the great supper of God.” Contrast this grizzly supper with the wedding feast of the Lamb. My dear friend, I thank God I have accepted the invitation to share in that glorious feast of my Lord. Those who are alive when Jesus comes to wage war with the sword of his mouth will not be guests at this grizzly supper, they will be the supper! If this invitation is already scheduled in God’s plan, He is still in control.


A. All the Forces of Evil Wage War Against the Returning Christ, 19:19).

“Then I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies gathered together to wage war against the rider on the horse and against His army.”

The battle scene is set. On one side, there is Jesus and His armies. On the other side we see that nations that have set themselves against God. They are now joined by the beast, the kings of the earth, and the armies they gather against the rider on the horse and His army. The battle is referred to in 16:14 as “the battle of the great day of God Almighty.” In this passage, the battle field is set but there is no description of the battle itself. The victory of Jesus was guaranteed from the outset and while there is no description of the battle, the outcome testifies of the victory.

B. The Beast and False Prophet Are Thrown into the Lake of Fire, 19:20-21).

“But the beast was taken prisoner, and along with him the false prophet, who had performed signs on his authority, by which he deceived those who accepted the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. Both of them were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur. The rest were killed with the sword that came from the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh.”

The battle is not described, but it will be quick and decisive. The results are never in doubt except for those who are blinded by the prince of darkness. The armies of the world would will be defeated and then the beast is captured along with the false prophet and both of them will be thrown into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur.

People may debate the abode of the wicked, those who die without the Lord, but if there is one thing we can be sure of it is that God is in control and He knows exactly what He is doing. You don’t have to understand all of this prophecy in order to be reassured by it. Continue to read the Revelation and ask God to give you the insight He wants you to have. Be sure you get your Eschatology, the study of last things, from the One who knows how it will play out. Follow Him, but be careful not to run ahead of Him.
What we learn from the Bible is that lost people who die without the Lord go to hell (hades, Luke 16:23). The Bible Knowledge Commentary teaches that:

“The fiery lake, a different place, was prepared for the devil and his angels (Matt. 25:41), and will not be occupied by human beings until later (Rev. 20:14-15). The armies themselves will be killed by Christ’s sword (19:21; cf. 1:16; 2:12, 16; 19:15). The number of dead will be so great that the vultures will have more than they can eat. The defeat of the earth’s wicked will then be complete, and will be finalized as later judgments search out the unsaved in other parts of the earth and also kill them (cf. Matt. 25:31-45). The same inspired Word of God which so wonderfully describes the grace of God and the salvation which is available to all who believe is equally plain about the judgment of all who reject the grace of God. The tendency of liberal interpreters of the Bible to emphasize passages dealing with the love of God and to ignore passages dealing with His righteous judgment is completely unjustified. The passages on judgment are just as inspired and accurate as those which develop the doctrines of grace and salvation. The Bible is clear that judgment awaits the wicked, and the second coming of Christ is the occasion for a worldwide judgment unparalleled in Scripture since the time of Noah’s flood.”

Though the Revelation is clothed in mysterious language (apocalyptic imagery), the message was given to John, not to frighten or discourage us, but to illuminate our minds, inspire our hearts, and equip us both to live for our Lord today and to prepare for what He is going to do in the future.

I frankly believe that Satan is on a rampage, and has been for a century and a half. There have always been evil forces, but it seems that they are intensifying at this very moment. Who would have imagined that when Karl Marx presented his new philosophy for world government to a small group in a dark, smoke filled room in Brussels in 1847, that Communism would become such a horrendous tool for Satan’s war against God? And, when the Soviet Union was at its military zenith, who could have imagined that it would be supplanted in the world by an even greater evil - and I am speaking of Islam. Peaceful Muslims are to be preferred to Islamic terrorists, but if you doubt the murderous intent of the Muslim, see what happens when another Muslim becomes a Christian. If Islam is a religion of peace, let the peaceful Muslims take a stand against the terrorists. After a major attack some cleric will declare that this is not the way Islam works. However, they had better word it right or they will become the target of some Islamic killer. My old friend, Anis Shorrosh, is an Arab Christian who, because of his success in debating Muslim clerics, is a target. In fact, he tells me that eleven attempts have been made on his life. His son committed suicide a number of years ago, possible because of the pressure of living under the threat ever day of his life.


I believe God’s eternal clock is running down for this world. I believe we are moving toward the Rapture of the church - but I also believe some people need to pay more attention to the rupture of the church and worry less about the Rapture of the church. It is possible to create a rapture over the rapture! I am not trying to look over God’s shoulder at His eschatological calendar, but I believe the time is drawing near. This should not discourage any believer. In fact, we should be saying with John, “Amen! Even so, come Lord Jesus.”

What should be our response to this message, and to the Revelation as a whole? Trust God, believe in Jesus, witness for Him, follow the Holy Spirit. Prayerfully read God’ Word and obey Him. And remember the advice given so long ago: “You’ve only one life to live. It will soon be past. Only what’s done for Christ will last.”

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