And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, (Rev. 14: 9)
(Rev. 13:11-12) – “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. And he 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 healed.”
The beast with lamb-like horns “spake as a dragon”. Lamb-like horns and dragon voice of the symbol point to a striking contradiction between the profession and the practice of the nation thus represented.
The prediction that it will speak “as a dragon”, and exercise “all the power of the first beast,” foretells a development of the spirit of intolerance and persecution that was manifested by the nations represented by the dragon and the leopard-like beast.
And the statement that the beast with two horns “causeth the earth and them that dwell therein to worship the first beast,” indicates that the authority of this nation is to be exercised in enforcing some observance which shall be an act of homage to the papacy.
What kinds of wonders does the second beast do?
(Rev. 13:13) – “And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,”
This reveals the agency by which the prince of evil will secure the allegiance of earth’s inhabitants. These miracles will deceive men into believing that the new organization, the image, has the blessing of God resting upon it.
The bringing down of fire from heaven may be an attempt to counterfeit the miracle on Mt. Carmel (1 Kings 18:17–39). As the ancient sign gave evidence of the power of the true God, so the beast will make it appear that God is supporting his program. These miracles will come through the agency of spiritism (see GC 588). Satan, claiming to be God, will seek to support his claim by means of undeniable miracles (see 2 Thess. 2:9, 10; 9T 16).
(Rev. 13:14) – “And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.”
The second beast is saying to the world “that they should make the image to the beast” That means that this beast power will promote the formation of “the image to the beast”
He (the image) will “speak” and “cause” or force by legislation everybody to receive the Mark of the Beast.
Click here to identify who the second beast is.
Who will the Second Beast (USA) give life to?
(Rev. 13:15) – “And he had power to give life unto 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.”
USA will have the power to give life to the image to the beast. The “speaking” of the nation is the action of its legislative and judicial authorities.
The first thing this newly formed image does is to “speak,” undoubtedly through its laws and regulations. This power will enforce the worship and obedience to “the image of the beast”. In its attempt to make all earth’s inhabitants give allegiance to the first beast, second beast will issue a decree threatening with death all who maintain their loyalty to God.
What is an image to the beast? “An image of something is a copy or an exact reproduction of that thing. The beast is the papacy, therefore, an “image to the beast” will be a reproduction of the Dark Ages papacy when it was at the height of its persecuting power, and in verse 12 it says that the USA will exercise “all the power of the first beast before him.
The “image to the beast” represents that form of apostate Protestantism which will be developed when the Protestant churches shall seek the aid of the civil power for the enforcement of their dogmas.
In order for the United States to form an image of the beast, the religious power must so control the civil government that the authority of the state will also be employed by the church to accomplish her own ends.
The image to the beast will happen when the Protestant churches of America receive the power from the USA government to enforce worship. It will become an image or a likeness of the (First Beast) or the papacy of the dark ages. The civil government will enforce worship of the fallen protestant churches of America. Although the freedom of worship is guaranteed by the Constitution, there are powers working to amend the Constitution to take away that right. And the Bible tells us that the right to worship according to your conscience will be taken away.
When the leading churches of the United States, uniting upon such points of doctrine as are held by them in common, shall influence the state to enforce their decrees and to sustain their institutions, then Protestant America will have formed an image of the Roman hierarchy, and the infliction of civil penalties upon dissenters will inevitably result.
(Rev. 17:1-2.) – “And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.”
Spiritual fornication will take place when the whore - (church) and the kings, - (state) join together. This will take place between Protestant churches of America and the government.
When the Protestant churches of America gain political power, they will make religious laws that the government of USA will enforce. People will be persecuted if they don’t comply.
What else will the image of the beast do?
(Rev. 13: 16, 17) – “And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”
The Image to the Beast will force the whole world to receive a mark in their right hand or in their forehead. The only way you will be able to buy or sell would be by receiving the mark of the beast. Anyone who rejects the mark of the beast will be forbidden to conduct business of any kind. They will not be also able to buy the necessities of life, such as food, clothes, etc.
What does the third angel’s message warn against?
(Rev. 14:9-11) – “And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.”
The Three Angel’s message ends with a fearful warning. It warns against the worship of the beast and his image.
What does the prophecy declare after this warning?
(Rev. 14:12) – “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.”
Since those who keep God’s Commandments are placed in contrast with those that worship the beast and his image and receive his mark, it follows that keeping of God’s Law, on the one hand, and its violation, on the other, will make the distinction between the worshippers of God and worshippers of the beast. The special characteristic of the beast, and therefore of his image, is the breaking of God’s commandments.
What will the state of the churches be just before the coming of the Lord?
(2Tim. 3:1-5) – “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”
The Bible declares that before the coming of the Lord there will exist a state of religious decline and deviation similar to that in the first centuries.
(1Tim. 4:1) – “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;”
When this state of ungodliness is reached, the same result will follow as in the first centuries.
How strongly will this worship and the Mark be urged?
(Rev. 13:15, 16) – “And he had power to give life unto 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. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:”
Yes, it will be urged very strongly. The Image of the Beast will “speak” through legislation, and cause people to obey through enforcement of those laws. If you don’t worship the way they want you to, and if you refuse to worship the Image of the Beast, and receive the Mark of the Beast, they will “cause” you to be killed!
We should pray for such a deep love for Him that we would rather die than knowingly breach God’s commandments.