The Image of the Beast
Ask people today what the image of the beast will be and many will tell you it will be a literal image like a statue which the beast system will try and force us to bow down to and worship. Like the Nebuchadnezzar's golden statue in Daniel. They apply the same reasoning to the image as they do to the mark of the beast, saying the mark is also a literal, physical mark like a microchip. But this cannot be so for a couple of reasons...
1. Satan works with all deceivableness (2 Thess. 2) in these last days and a literal mark like a microchip or a literal image like a statue is no deception whatsoever.
2. Once you find out who the first beast is, you will know what the 'image' to that beast will be, and it will not be a statue or anything of that kind.
So who is the first beast of Revelation 13? If you take a look at THIS ANTICHRIST PAGE, you will see that the first beast is none other than the Papacy. And what is the main feature about the Papacy? It is a union of church and state. And that very unholy union has caused the enforcement of religious laws and the persecution of MILLIONS of God's people throughout history.
So the IMAGE of the Papal beast will be a 'Church and State Union' which will 'speak' and enforce 'religious laws' upon the people - the mark of the beast! And which nation will bring about the image of the beast? The second beast of Revelation 13 which is AMERICA!
We have already given a clue as to what the image is above. If the Papal Church of Rome is the first beast in Revelation 13, then the image is naturally going to be the image of the Papal Church. Let's find out exactly what it is.
Revelation 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.'
We need to build up a little background first before getting to the image of the beast. In the 14th century the great protestant reformation started by a man named John Wycliffe, who wrote the first English Bible for the common people to be able to read the Word of God themselves. And then the reformation got into full swing in 1517 when Martin Luther nailed his 95 Thesis to a Roman Catholic Church in Wittenberg, Germany. Throughout the years to follow, the Protestant reformation continued and strengthened with Calvin, Knox, Wesley, Cranmer, Zwingli and many others.
Now the reason for the Protestant reformation was because the Roman Catholic Church had blinded the world with her false doctrines, traditions and pagan practices. And had ENFORCED her dogmas upon the world for 1260 years. But God still had a remnant people throughout this time and then God led certain men like Wycliffe, Tyndale and Luther to expose the great error in Roman Catholic doctrines. These great men of faith proclaimed that we need to base our beliefs solely upon the Word of God, rather than upon the traditions of men - this became known as 'sola scriptura'
Now as Satan witnessed many people leaving the Catholic Church in favor of the reformation, he became enraged and through the Papal Church he brought about the inquisitions through which countless numbers of Christians were tortured and slaughtered in the most cruel way. But this only added fuel to the fire and the reformation actually grew out of this persecution. So the leaders of the Roman Church decided to commission Catholic Jesuit priests to re-interpret Bible prophecy in order to take the focus off the Roman Catholic Church as antichrist, which the reformers revealed.
Please note, history records that the Roman Catholic Church has tortured and killed at least 50 million people.
Now a huge blow came to the Roman Catholic Church, when in 1798 General Berthier marched his French army into Rome and took the pope captive, where he later died. "In 1798 General Berthier made his entrance into Rome, abolished the papal government, and established a secular one" (Encyclopedia Britannica 1941 edition). This put an end to the Papal rule which spanned from 538 - 1798, a total of 1260 years. This "deadly wound" to the first beast was prophesied in Revelation 13. But the same chapter also prophesied the "healing" of the deadly wound.
Revelation 13:3 ...'And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.'
That deadly wound began it's healing in 1929 when Mussolini signed an agreement with the Vatican giving them once again CIVIL POWER! And since then, the Papal Church of Rome has been growing in strength, by making agreements and securing the support of the nations of the world. In 2011, the Vatican had "diplomatic relations" with 178 of the 192 UN world states, and that number is growing all the time. So before long, the Roman Catholic Church will have the support of the whole world!
The majority of Protestant churches didn't make a complete break from the Roman Catholic Church, because they held on to some of her doctrines. For instance, the majority of Protestant churches still hold onto the error taught by Rome that Sunday is the Sabbath day. And we now even have many of the Protestant churches fully reuniting with the Papal Church through this ecumenical movement. Just look at the following news quote from 1999.
"Now as the Augsburg accord suggests, the value of separate denominations is under question. The Lutheran - Catholic concord is ""one of the most important ecumenical moments of the century", said the Rev. Joseph Komonchak ... This document appears to be saying that the doctrine that Luther thought was central to the reformation, and which led him to undertake it, is not one on which there are serious enough differences between Catholics and Lutherans to justify the division of the church ...
... Today, the heirs of that acrimony and fracture, the leaders of the modern Lutheran and Roman Catholic Churches, signed a document that officially settles the central argument about the nature of faith that Luther provoked. The agreement declares, in effect, that it was all a misunderstanding ...
... The agreement is significant beyond the dispute over doctrine that it resolves. It has deep implications for future relations among Catholics and Protestants, said theologians and church leaders. Many said the accord gives added promise to the ideal of their denominations champion - of full communion, or merger, between the churches". (The Washington Post, Nov 1. 1999)
There's a powerful Bible prophecy fulfilling statement if I ever saw one! Let's just think about this for a moment. The church leaders are now trying to say that tens of millions of TRUE Christians who obeyed the Word of God over Roman Catholic Church tradition, and who died for that true faith they found, was a MISUNDERSTANDING!!?? Let me tell you what it was. It was Satan using the Roman Catholic Church to persecute anyone who believed in the True Word of God and wanted to live by it. There was NO misunderstanding on the part of the Christian martyrs who would rather die than bow down to Roman Catholic heresy. You will also notice in the above quote that this union between the Lutheran Church and the Catholic Church has paved the way for the other Protestant Churches to unite with them, and it is only a matter of time before there is a full union. THIS will then pave the way for the image of the beast to be fully setup and ready to "speak".