13:15 THE IMAGE OF THE BEAST
What is the goal of the beast from the earth in this deception? It convinces “them that dwell on the earth by means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, to make an image to the beast which had the wound by a sword, and lived. And he had power to give life to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed” (Revelation 13:14,15). An image is a likeness or resemblance, so the image of the beast, which will be set up by the beast from the earth (the
First of all, the sea beast was a religious power, involved in worship. “They worshiped the beast...all who dwell on the earth will worship him”(Revelation 13:4,8). Likewise, the “image of the beast” is involved in worship—“[it] causes the earth and those who dwell therein to worship the first beast.” (Revelation 13:12). Although the
Secondly, the sea beast was an international political power— “authority was given him over every tribe, tongue and nation” (Revelation 13:7). At the height of its power in the Middle Ages the Roman Church ruled the world through its European subjects. The beast from the earth with its image also operates in the international political sphere—“he exercises all the authority of the first beast” (Revelation 13:12) and it has control of commerce—“No one could buy or sell except he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name” (Revelation 13:17). The
The sea beast used military might to impose its agenda on the world—“all the world marveled after the beast…saying, ‘Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?” (Revelation 13:4). The beast from the earth does not have its own agenda, but uses its superpower status and “causes [forces] the earth and those who dwell therein to worship the first beast whose deadly wound was healed” (Revelation 13:12). In other words, the
The sea beast was a blasphemous power—“there was given to him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies” (Revelation 13:5). Blasphemy involves ascribing to humans the attributes and prerogatives that belong to God only,<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]> mocking God’s word and power,<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]> and knowing God’s law but publicly breaking it.<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]> A prominent example is the blasphemous attempt to change God’s law described in Daniel 7 (See 13: The Beast’s Agenda). In making an image of the beast the United States will continue the blasphemous attempts to take God’s prerogatives and mock His word by legislating and enforcing changes in God’s law (this point will be explained further under 13:16: The Mark of the Beast).
The most prominent characteristic of the sea beast is its persecution of the saints “It was given to him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them” (Revelation 13:7). The war against the saints during the Middle Ages is the dominant feature of the 1,260 year prophecies of Daniel 7 and Revelation 12—“the same horn was making war against the saints and prevailing against them…then the saints [were] given into his hand for a time and times and half a time” (Daniel 7:21,25).<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]> Likewise, the image will be a persecuting power—“the image of the beast should both speak and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed” (Revelation 13:15). This prophecy shows that in the last days the
Revelation 17:1-6 shows that the sea beast is a church which controls a powerful political entity that persecutes God’s people. The image of the beast will also be a union of church and state. Since it is set up by the second beast “out of the earth,” the Image will be a persecuting union of church and state set up by the
Many American Christians today long to "take back our natioin for God," to create a Christian society. The Bookd of Revelation teaches that they will get their wish! But what they do not realize is that a society with legislated morality based on a national religion was the essence of the medieval Catholic Church and is the model of future Babylon. The United States will create an "image to the beast," in which Christian values and even worship will be imposed through government mandate. But the end result will be the mark of the beast, 666 and the death decree.
Continue to next section: 13:16,17 THE MARK OF THE BEAST
<![if !supportFootnotes]>  <![endif]> The Pharisees charged Jesus with blasphemy because he called himself the Son of God (John 10:30-33, 8:58,59, Matthew 26:64,65) and claimed to have the power to forgive sins (Mark 2:5-7).
<![if !supportFootnotes]>  <![endif]> On the cross the Pharisees mocked Christ’s claim that he would rebuild the temple (of His body) that they were tearing down in three days (Mark 15:29) and the irreverent thief mocked Him as being unable to save Himself (Luke 23:39). These insults were both termed blasphemy.
<![if !supportFootnotes]>  <![endif]> “You who make your boast in the law, do you dishonor God through breaking the law? For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you” (Romans 2:22,23).
<![if !supportFootnotes]>  <![endif]> See also Daniel 11:35, Revelation 12:13-17.