The Two-horned Beast
AT Daniel 8:20 an angel of God told Daniel that the two-horned ram that he saw represented the dual kingdom of Medo-Persia. By this explanation God throws light on what is represented by the wild beast that the apostle John saw after having seen the dragon and the wild beast that ascended out of the sea: “And I saw another wild beast ascending out of the earth, and it had two horns like a lamb, but it began speaking as a dragon. And it exercises all the authority of the first wild beast in its sight. And it makes the earth and those who dwell in it worship the first wild beast, whose death-stroke got healed. And it performs great signs . . . And it misleads those who dwell on the earth, because of the signs that were granted it to perform in the sight of the wild beast.”—Rev. 13:11-14.
What could this wild beast picture? Looming up prominently in front of the wild beast or Satan’s visible organization have been Great Britain and the United States. While both are separate nations, to all intents and purposes they have functioned as a dual world power, their language, their heritage, their principles and policies being the same, and they have been working together ever since their differences were settled in the War of 1812. Thus history records that since the promulgation of the Monroe Doctrine in 1823 they have been collaborating in world affairs; striking examples of which they furnished in World Wars I and II.
Of all the world powers to dominate this globe, from Egypt onward, this Anglo-American dual world power has been the greatest. It has spread out farther than any other, and by its succeeding the Holy Roman Empire as the dominating world power it became the seventh world power of Bible prophecy and history. Its having horns of a lamb are in keeping with the boast of Britain and America that they have fought only defensive wars and not wars of conquest. Certain it is that it was not by military conquests, such as those of Alexander the Great and Napoleon, that Great Britain first became a world power, it being joined by the United States in the early nineteenth century to form the Anglo-American world power. It has gained its ends by the lamblike methods, as it were, of diplomacy, commerce and religion. Though posing as a lamb, it has, nevertheless, had the voice of a dragon, a powerful voice, a voice like that of the dragon, Satan the Devil.
By reason of its being the world power this two-horned beast has exercised all the authority of the first wild beast, dominating the rest of the world. Due to its prominent position in Satan’s world the effect of its aims and methods has been to cause the nations of the world to give their devotion to Satan’s organization instead of to God and his kingdom.
It is linked with the dragon and the wild beast at Revelation 16:13, where it is termed the “false prophet.” That this false prophet is indeed the same as the two-horned beast is clear from both the physical facts and the reference to it at Revelation 19:20, where the “false prophet” is depicted as having done the things mentioned as being done by the two-horned beast in Re chapter 13. “The wild beast was caught, and along with it the false prophet that performed in front of it the signs with which he misled those who received the mark of the wild beast.” It is fitly termed a false prophet, for it has served as a spokesman for the wild beast, Satan’s visible organization, and that with the voice of a dragon. It will have the same destiny as that of the wild sea beast, for, “while still alive, they both were hurled into the fiery lake that burns with sulphur.” This lake of fire is elsewhere shown to be the second death, that is, eternal annihilation or destruction.—Rev. 19:20; 20:14.