This beast from the earth is able to perform great signs, such as making fire come down from the sky to the earth. The major purpose of this beast is to direct all worship on the first beast of this vision, the beast from the sea. It seems likely that this beast from the earth appears at the time of the breaking of the covenant that the beast from the sea had with the “many.”
As we discussed last week, before this covenant was broken by the beast from the sea (the antichrist, the one whom Daniel spoke of as “the prince who is to come”), he allowed a certain amount of freedom in worship among the Jews. However, when the covenant is broken in the middle of Daniel’s week (Daniel 9:27), the beast reneges on his promise, and that freedom is revoked.