The Image of the Beast
Can we glean some insight into Revelation 13 from Daniel 3? Let’s see.
In Revelation 13 we are told the False Prophet will lead the construction of an image of the first Beast so it can be worshipped (Revelation 13:14). He also gives life to the image of the first Beast (Revelation 13:15).
- It will speak
- It will discern/perceive/recognize non-worshippers of the image and have them killed
This is either literal or symbolic (if these are the only 2 options).
Here’s an example from Daniel 3 of how the image of the Beast can have “life,” “speak,” and “cause all those who did not worship the image of the beast to be killed.”
King Neb made an image to be worshipped in Daniel 3 (since he was ok with it, this means worshipping the image was the same as worshipping King Neb, hence the Antichrist will be ok with it also). Everyone who did not worship the image was to be put to death.
Heralds spoke a proclamation to all peoples telling them exactly this. When they heard the music, they were to worship the image or be killed (by fire in this case).
When it came to the attention of some that certain people, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, would not worship the image, people reported them causing the authorities (King Neb) to sentence them to death (the Fourth Man in the Fire saved them).
So, here we have enforcers of this law making sure the people obey and putting them to death if they don’t, as in speaking the law to enforce it and causing the deaths of individuals if they don’t obey.
Is the image coming to “life” in Revelation 13 a metaphor for this scenario? I would expect the Antichrist to have his own enforcers/henchman to make people obey. Sharia already does this.
By the way, these things being described are not unlike the practice of the Islamic call to worship or the Christian ringing of church bells as a call to worship. There is a precedent here to be considered. This is one reason why I do not support the idea of some sort of sentient AI as the image of the Beast. That is an extreme interpretation that just doesn’t fit.
:: We can even say the mere presence of the image was causing those who did not worship it to be put to death simply because of the fact that it was there. Now if this image were giving off some sort of call to worship, we might even say it could speak. I like this explanation even better. ::
I will say that the way the image of the Beast is described in Revelation 13 seems it would be more than just a metaphor for something else (which I lean toward). It’s pretty specific in its description. However, I thought this was worth thinking about.
The truth is, we might know these things better as the time approaches, but we certainly won’t know for sure until it’s here. Speculating might be frivolous, but if we can identify a biblical precedent through our speculation which will help us to rule out the more outlandish interpretations like we did above, then, in my opinion, it’s worth it.
The Mark of the Beast
Also, we can see in this video how the Islamic State Caliphate (Sharia) enforced the buying and selling of goods by those who confessed Islam. This is something the False Prophet also does in Revelation 13 by creating an economy in which everyone who does not confess allegiance to the Beast and receive the Mark does not buy or sell.
The Mark is more than a mark on the skin, though I do believe people will actually be marked (again, the precedent of marks and seals throughout the Bible and throughout history is revealing, but that is the subject for another study). It represents a giving of the heart over to this Great Harlot religion (even now Islamic jihadists wear the Shahada on their foreheads and arms). This scenario in this video is a precursor in that if any of the people in it were to be found not worshipping Allah (practicing Islam), they would surely not be allowed to buy or sell. That’s the purpose of these Islamic enforcers. The video is 9:25 long and is age-restricted so follow the link to YouTube to watch it.
Why the Mark of the Beast Is Not Merely a Physical Mark
One response to “The Image and the Mark: Some Quick Thoughts // Daniel 3 & Revelation 13”
Very interesting. Who were the original antichrists? The Roman Caesars. Then Rome itself could be seen as the Beast. Now, Roman citizenship itself was not the Mark of the Beast, because Paul himself had this honour and used it to successfully appeal to Caesar, and make his case and also preach the gospel to Caesar’s household.
What then might constitute the Mark of the Beast? A microchip in the wrist? Some kind of social security number or barcode? A supercomputer in Belgium??! Eating waffles for breakfast?! No, I’m not convinced of any of these things, frivolity aside.
If Hitler and Stalin were later representations of antichrist, and their respective regimes a Beast, what then would be the Mark of the Beast then? Something tangible, a Nazi wristband, a member of the party, or something much less tangible but more evil ultimately??
But… what exactly??