Power To Give Life ... To The Image Of The Beast?
he title phrase, lifted from the book of Revelation, where we encounter the False Prophet who had "power," with which he was able to "give life" to the image of the beast, has generated some of the most fanciful interpretations imaginable. As usual, the vast majority of explanations are in error, for the simple reason that most expositors fail to grasp the actual identity of Revelation's second beast, the one who is specifically stated in the text to be the "False Prophet."
Thus, as in the case with most of the key identities described throughout the major prophetic books (such as Revelation, Daniel, Ezekiel, Isaiah, and others), if you misidentify the key character, there is simply no avenue with which to accurately identify his actions, or even his agenda. Worse yet, the issue of identitygoes well beyond the rather superficial idea of naming this "False Prophet," for by assigning his identity to a specific individual, the wannabe prophet will have already made a significant error.
To approach this from another perspective, before we can even begin to approach an understanding of just how any man can supposedly "give life" to an image, we should first establish if the party being described is even a man at all.
One of the primary failings of prophecy students everywhere is the tendency to anthropomorphize huge amounts of Scripture. This process, wherein the reader visualizes the descriptions in physical terms -– illogically assuming that what is plainly described as a "beast" must be a man –- is at the root of significant misunderstanding.
The issue is further compounded by the fact the False Prophet is associated with the creation of an "image" which is functioning in response to the existence of the first beast, the one whose "deadly wound" was healed. Since this "image" is at its most basic level a copy (an understanding derived from the underlying Greek word eikonos, where we get our word icon) of the first beast, if we get that beast's identity wrong, it is certain our understanding of the "image" will also be inaccurate.
Thus, a true understanding of how any "prophet" (false or otherwise) can "give life" to a representation of the beast entity is guaranteed to be elusive at best. However, trusting in the LORD that He has called the present writer to reveal the "deep things of God" (I Corinthians 2:10), which can only be imparted through the Spirit of God, we press on in the present exposition.
Having previously produced multiple examinations which have broadly characterized the first beast as a composite version of the political kingdoms of man, and the second beast as organized religion at its most rudimentary level, we have also recognized the multi-layered identifications in these remarkable texts also allow additional identifications within various layers found in the imagery provided.
For instance, a factually rich cognizance of the historic characteristics seen in the lion, bear, and leopard components make the political layer of the identity of the first beast irrefutable. Thus, the colonial era and forward British Commonwealth (lion), the Bolshevik-Collectivist economic shift seen in the Soviet Union (bear), and the Industrial-Fascist, Nazi war economy (leopard), all ultimately assimilated by America (the diverse fourth beast of Daniel), is difficult to refute, as America is, at least in this timeline, clearly the powerhouse of the world in which we live.
Simultaneously, the Single-Source Scapegoaters (see the online essay SSSSSS found at ChristianMediaResearch.com), who seek to limit the False Prophet's identity to the Papacy, the Jews, the Illuminati, or some other entity the Dragon Spirit drives them to oppose, are short-sighted at best, and dangerously deceived at worst.
Some corporate cults, such as Seventh Day Adventism, have reversed and obscured the roles by erroneously making the False Prophet into America, which is clearly a political power, thus completely nullifying the Scriptural intent of imagng a religious "False Prophet" as the second beast. These have so much historic animosity towards the Vatican, they're willing to twist the Scriptures to make the Papacy into the Antichrist, when Romanism is easily identified with the religious beast.
Recently, as Messianic and so called "Torah-Observant" groups (read Jewish Supremacists still blasphemously peddling the chosen people based on race myth) have attempted to shift the first beast's identity to Islam, with the False Prophet role allegedly fulfilled by the Islamic version of Jesus, whom the Moslems reference as Isa. This "Islamic Antichrist" scenario has the phony Jesus as the "False Prophet," convincing the Christians to follow Islam, but this is clearly an implausible scenario. There are other approaches which shift the various identities, but the point is, every religious system and institution has missed the truth, and it has direct bearing on how the "False Prophet" is able to "give life" to the image of the beast.
The problems in understanding these things are fundamental, in that the religious organizational structures not only cannot discern the truth of the identities of these entities, they further fail to perceive just how the Dragon's power functions. This is because those who are in the world (and this includes all the churches, cathedrals, mosques, synagogues, and temples) are unable to hear the truth, though it be told them. The prophet Isaiah described it:
"They that make a graven image are all of them vanity; and their delectable things shall not profit; and they are their own witnesses; they see not, nor know; that they may be ashamed" (Isaiah 44:9).
We note the word vanity, in a Scriptural context is associated with foolishness, but in modern parlance is all about self. This is where the power of the Dragon originates.
A primary key is in recognizing the first beast, commonly called the Antichrist, is not in collusion with the False Prophet, he is in collision with the False Prophet, because they are rivals, as opposed to co-conspirators. Each seeks their own will, and this is how the power of the Dragon is released.
Few stop to question just why the Spirit which empowers the "False Prophet" causes those who dwell on the earth to make the image, instead of simply "creating" this "image" himself. It is because the Dragon power cannot animate the image unless it is brought into existence by the people. Thus, the explanation actually turns on how this "power" to "give life" functions.
Because the Devil functions through the power of self, it may be said his "power" is a form of Anti-Energy. He is Spiritually fueled through the processes associated with death, whereas the LORD is lifepersonified. This "death" produced by the Dragon is based on following the desire of self, rather than the will of the LORD.
In probing how this "self" power functions, we read how Satan pronounced the famous "I will" sequence, yet somehow it doesn't quite sink in. In that notorious passage, he asserts self above all else, six times:
"I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt MY throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High" (Isaiah 14:13).
Satan gains power when this infernal Spiritual circuit "causes" others to do the same. This is how the Antichrist and False Prophet beasts "receive" their power from the Dragon:
"And the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority" (Revelation 13:2).
When the collective hold of unclean Spirits, which is described as the "False Prophet," asserts its own agenda, it brings about conflict with the self directed cluster of unclean Spirits referenced as the "Antichrist" beast. The collision of self propelled will creates a Spiritual maelstrom, and the Devil's power grows through that other-worldly inferno.
This may be seen in literally thousands of interactions which are occurring at every moment in our modern world. For example, a significant Satan energizing Spiritual storm is presently underway in America as the US Catholic Bishops (one aspect of the "False Prophet" beast) are asserting their doctrinal agenda concerning reproductive rights in direct opposition to the Obamacare doctrine, which seeks to place temporal authority over American's bodies in the hands of the federal government (one aspect of the "Antichrist" beast).
The conflict not only empowers the Devil, it "causes" both factions to become more deeply entangled in Satan's grip, for they are moving in his dark power as they continue their respective agendas. It's useful to think of it as Spiritual quicksand, for the more they struggle, the deeper into the demonic they will sink.
To continue that analogy, the only power which can rescue anyone mired in either faction is the lifeline which comes from above, and that is JESUS CHRIST Himself.
The supernatural physics involved in this are discernible only using the lamp of the LORD's Word. However, as the "fireworks" in the realm of forever physics continue to be ignited, we occasionally gain a glimpse into the explosive power in the material world. Many may remember the photographs of one of the 911 buildings on fire, in which numerous people claimed they saw a demonic, laughing face in the massive flames. Admittedly a fantastic claim, such things have been periodically seen throughout the age.
Earlier, we connected the second commandment in the Mosaic law, to this subject. There, the LORD decrees that those who dwell on the Earth are forbidden to make any graven "image," or any "likeness" of God, or the things of heaven. The forming of the Image of the Beast clearly violates this most basic of principles, and Revelation shows that it is through the process of deceiving those who dwell on the Earth that this religious power "causes" the earth dwellers to make an "Image" of the beast.
In a New Testament context, that "image" is not engraved, nor is it painted in the modern pixels which animate the media of television, or any other physical formation. The "image" is the so called "church" itself, and in the process of creating a collective instrumentality of how the earth dwellers project the existence of, and their adoration of God, they are actually making a religious copy of the Antichrist beast. They are also worshiping the Dragon.
"…and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God [the assembled Image of the Beast], shewing himself that he is God" (II Thessalonians 2:3,4).
In our next installment, we will probe even deeper into how the nefarious evil which is obtained by the "False Prophet" from the Dragon, is able to impart that same energy (read "life") into the Image of the Beast, once "he" has deceived those who dwell on the earth into creating that image.
-- James Lloyd
The astonishing truth seen in the present work is detailed in the Christian Media book THE FALSE PROPHET & THE IMAGE OF THE BEAST. This prophetic work is exclusively found in the online catalog at ChristianMediaNetwork.com.