Some times I need to ramble to discover my thoughts. It’s filling white space with random, un-edited, and un-analyzed thoughts in order to connect various points. In this way things make sense, or not. . .
So, here we are toward the end of Rosh Hashanah, which began at sundown last Sunday, September 13, 2015, and concludes with Yom Kippur, which begins sundown on Tuesday. This is time for observant Jews to repent, make amends, and do good deeds to show their worthiness to be inscribed for a good year next year.
In addition to the obligations of which I feel responsible, I’ve been thinking about what exactly is the Image of the Beast. Here follows my notes, my ramblings:
The First Beast is given his power by Satan. The Second Beast has all the authority of the First Beast and he compels all people to worship the First Beast, uses signs, and deceives people into making an image of the First Beast and take upon them a Mark. He also gives a spirit to the image of the First Beast that speaks and causes death to those that won’t worship him. None are allowed to buy, sell, or trade without the Mark.
The Image. It is seen as a statue, to some, that will talk to people and kill those that don’t obey the laws of the First Beast, which is a form of worship.
One commentary (Jamieson, Faust, and Brown, pub. 1878) speaks of the First Beast as the combined world powers: “Hence, the world powers seeking their own glory, and not God’s, are represented as beasts; and Nebuchadnezzar, when in self- deification he forgot that “the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men,” was driven among the beasts. In Da 7:4- 7 there are four beasts:here the one beast expresses the sum- total of the God- opposed world power viewed in its universal development, not restricted to one manifestation alone, as Rome. This first beast expresses the world power attacking the Church more from without; the second, which is a revival of, and minister to, the first, is the world power as the false prophet corrupting and destroying the Church from within.”
In reading Jamieson, et al, commentary, the healing of the wound of First Beast coincides with the rise of Second Beast. This beast is perhaps from within the church, but has the Worldly wisdom to back it up. It supports First Beast. This according to the commentators only occurs in the Last Days before the return of the King, the Lord.
“The first beast is physical and political; the second a spiritual power, the power of knowledge, ideas (the favorite term in the French school of politics), and scientific cultivation. Both alike are beasts, from below, not from above; faithful allies, worldly Antichristian wisdom standing in the service of the worldly Antichristian power:the dragon is both lion and serpent:might and cunning are his armory. The dragon gives his external power to the first beast (Re 13:2), his spirit to the second, so that it speaks as a dragon (Re 13:11). The second, arising out of the earth, is in Re 11:7; 17:8, said to ascend out of the bottomless pit:its very culture and world wisdom only intensify its infernal character, the pretense to superior knowledge and rationalistic philosophy (as in the primeval temptation, Ge 3:5, 7, “their EYES [as here] were opened”) veiling the deification of nature, self, and man. Hence spring Idealism, Materialism, Deism, Pantheism, Atheism. Antichrist shall be the culmination. The Papacy’s claim to the double power, secular and spiritual, is a sample and type of the twofold beast, that out of the sea, and that out of the earth, or bottomless pit. Antichrist will be the climax, and final form. PRIMASIUS OF ADRUMENTUM, in the sixth century, says, “He feigns to be a lamb that he may assail the Lamb– the body of Christ.”
It seems to me that Matthew Henry’s Commentary (pub. 1706) agrees in some respects with Jamieson et al on First Beast as a dominating power and Second Beast a spiritual power supporting the political power base. Interestingly, Matthew Henry writes of the wounds as the dying of the pagan idolatry and the new First Beast puts forth a re-branding of the pagan as popish idolatry that is the “same in substance, only in a new dress, but which as effectually answers the devil’s design.”
In some ways this sounds very much like the Roman Empire that persecuted Christians, then became the Roman Catholic Church, which has always re-branded pagan doctrines as its own “Christian” doctrines, that is these days doing the same thing with the New Age movement and adopting the “Green Agenda,” which is all the rage of the current political leadership of the United States and Europe.
Still remains in my mind is what exactly does it mean: Second Beast “telling those who live on the earth to make an image of the beast who had the sword wound and yet lived. He was permitted to give a spirit to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast could both speak and cause whoever would not worship the image of the beast to be killed.”
What would this image look like, what would it be. It is an image of a power structure that has complete political, and obviously military, power over the people of Earth. It gains abilities to communicate to Earth’s inhabitants and kill them if they don’t go along. Could it be an implant that guides the people who accept it? Are the conspiracy theorists right that there will be an RFID chip involved? But it would go much further than simply being a tracking device, for it would be capable of two-way communications, and it would be lethal. There are RFID UHF devices capable of two-way communications up to around 100m. I haven’t determined if the RFID can communicate locally, however. Mostly the RFIDs are for tracking inventory, making payments (as with credit cards), and are used in some way within wireless devices. The latter point is interesting. I occurs to me that there could be a smart chip that monitors certain sensor inputs and responds accordingly. For instance, how about an RFID for a medical purpose that monitors blood pressure, and triggering a transmit when sensing elevated BP. The received signal could then activate an alarm, locally, or be retransmitted to a 911 operator. That’s perhaps the Mark of Beast One, but not the image.
Of Second Beast, Rev. Henry wrote: “It exercised all the power of the former beast. It pursues the same design, to draw men from worshipping the true God, and to subject the souls of men to the will and control of men. The second beast has carried on its designs, by methods whereby men should be deceived to worship the former beast, in the new shape, or likeness made for it. By lying wonders, pretended miracles. And by severe censures. Also by allowing none to enjoy natural or civil rights, who will not worship that beast which is the image of the pagan beast. It is made a qualification for buying and selling, as well as for places of profit and trust, that they oblige themselves to use all their interest, power, and endeavor, to forward the dominion of the beast, which is meant by receiving his mark. To make an image to the beast, whose deadly wound was healed, would be to give form and power to his worship, or to require obedience to his commands. To worship the image of the beast, implies being subject to those things which stamp the character of the picture, and render it the image of the beast. The number of the beast is given, so as to show the infinite wisdom of God, and to exercise the wisdom of men.”
Hum. So the business dictionary defines corporate image as: “Mental picture that springs up at the mention of a firm’s name. It is a composite psychological impression that continually changes with the firm’s circumstances, media coverage, performance, pronouncements, etc. Similar to a firm’s reputation or goodwill, it is the public perception of the firm rather than a reflection of its actual state or position. Unlike corporate identity, it is fluid and can change overnight from positive to negative to neutral. Large firms use various corporate advertising techniques to enhance their image in order to improve their desirability as a supplier, employer, customer, borrower, etc. The image of Apple computer, for example, as a successful business has dimmed and brightened several times in the last 30 years. But its identity (conveyed by its name and multicolored bitten-off-apple logo) as an innovative and pathbreaking firm has survived almost intact during the same period.”
In the Church realm, how do people “see” the churches in America? Those that are acceptable, by the Twenty-First Century standard seeming must accept homosexuality and abortions as acceptable in society, among other things. But more, the church must be supportive of the agenda of those in political power. Hence, we find that church support the “Green Agenda.” As does the Pope support this through his speeches about Global Warming/Climate Change. We are to believe, too, the lie. Thus, we worship First Beast, as pressured by Second Beast. As Rev. Henry wrote: “To worship the image of the beast, implies being subject to those things which stamp the character of the picture, and render it the image of the beast.”