A recent internet post attempted to make the argument that the image of the beast, that has been given breath, causes those who do not worship the image to be killed. My immediate reaction is that this is not right; I have never heard that the slaughter of Christ-followers is due to a direct command of the image of the beast.
If you have followed my posts for any length of time, then you know that I am willing to tell you that growing up in church I have heard many things that are wrong, but at least I am willing to tell you, and, at the same time make myself vulnerable to criticism.
In this rapidly changing world, we live in, the only way I can see an image come to life and order people to their death would be through artificial intelligence; you know, something along the lines of the Mr. Lincoln attraction at Disneyland (I say this as though most of know that the Disney engineers, built a metal frame, put a flexible skin on it that looks like images we have of President Lincoln and made it talk. It was, for a time, quite impressive.) Well, we are practically there, and the engineering is much more elaborate.
Keep in mind that if the governments are allowing you to see any aspect of advanced technology like this, then they are already years ahead of what you are seeing. I say this because, for years, we did not know there was a plane like the U2, flying at classified speeds until they had already replaced the U2 with the SR71 spy plane that could fly even faster. By the time we were aware that we had the SR71, it was on the verge of being replaced with spy satellites; at least that is what we were told. As far as the world is concerned, we, the masses, are out of the loop when it comes to the evil plans our rulers have made. Fortunately, God has shown us what they are doing in the dark.
One more thing before we jump into the passage at hand. If someone says to me, I have an image, my mind immediately thinks of a picture, perhaps even a sketch. Think about the practicality of making a sketch breath; it doesn’t really work does it. So it has to be something more elaborate than a mere picture. That kind of thinking moves us into the realm of a bust of a head. Madame Tussaud’s wax museum takes multiple measurements of the real person in order to make the wax image. The problem here is that the bust is of whom Allah, or perhaps the Mahdi, which Islam is expecting; then there is NOTHING on which to base this image, so the general public will be made to worship whatever they wish to make. Even Mr. Lincoln’s head started as a clay bust. And thus we have things like Revelation 13.
Revelation 13:15 NASB And it was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast so that the image of the beast would even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed.
Assuming I have nothing but verse 15 to decipher what is being said, then
I can see immediately that it is the second beast – the false prophet that gives the image breath.
I can also determine that someone or something else is giving the false prophet this power.
It is the breath that allows the image to speak.
Right here is where the difficulties begin.
Breath is the Greek word pneuma. This is the same word used for the spirit of God and/or the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 3:16 the pneuma descended upon Jesus; and, in John 16:13 pneuma is used in reference to the Spirit of truth, and in both instances are references to the Holy Spirit.)
The false prophet is NOT giving this image the spirit of the living God, but perhaps he is throwing some switch that gives the image a false soul, capable of making life-changing decisions about people. Since any empowerment it has seems to be from Satan, then it is a deception at best.
And, the verse tells me the breath was given for a purpose. That purpose is to speak, and, as the NASB states, it causes those who do not worship the image to be killed.
The passage in the NASB, with NO punctuation, does not promote an understanding which allows me to say, it is the now speaking image that kills, therefore, it could be the false prophet that is causing those that do not worship the image to die.
Whether the CEV is a reliable translation is debatable, even to me, but they added a period that plainly changes the meaning. Take note.
“It was allowed to put breath into the idol, so that it could speak. Everyone who refused to worship the idol of the beast was put to death.” (Revelation 13:15 CEV)
It is the second beast, which we know to be the false prophet that is implied to be the purveyor of death. Note the period in the sentence, this allows for a pause and a redirection of thought that tells us that everyone who refuses to worship the image was put to death. There is nothing here that tells us who is doing the killing.
The Moffatt translation is rather reliable and it maintains that “he,” the false prophet, is the one who is doing the killing.
“and to this statue of the Beast he was allowed to impart the breath of life, so that the statue of the Beast should actually speak. He has everyone put to death who will not worship the statue of the Beast,” (Revelation 13:15 Moffatt NT)
The Williams translation puts Revelation 13:15 this way.
“Permission has also been given him to impart life to the statue of the wild beast so that it can speak, and to have all who do not worship the statue of the wild beast killed.”
When it speaks of “him” it is talking about the false prophet who gives the statue the ability to speak; and, it is the false prophet who has the non-worshipers killed.
The problem is that most of us are still struggling with the possibility that artificial intelligence could play a role in this scenario. Many translations are very definite when they indicate that the image or idol is the one who is ordering the deaths of non-worshipers.
A good deal of information about the false prophet comes from Revelation 13 starting at verse 11.
What do we see here?
Revelation 13:11 NASB Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb and he spoke as a dragon.
There are two strong distinctions. For example, the harlot sits upon many waters.
Those waters are defined as people groups, nations, rulers, and empires. In Revelation 13:1 the first beast comes up out of the sea. There is an interesting parallel between the harlot and this first beast, as the harlot rides the beast.
And yet, the harlot has little to do with the second beast except that the second beast may play a role in the demise of the harlot, which has close ties to Israel.
The second beast comes up out of the earth.
I pondered this for a moment and I heard this in my spirit, this guy comes from Israel. As usual, the thought entered my head so quickly that I ignored it.
A few minutes have passed since I started this and I decided to look at Dr. McGee’s commentary. He says
“the earth is symbolic of Palestine, and it is naturally assumed that the second beast comes from Israel. He (the second beast) is a Messiah, and Israel would not accept him unless he had come from their land and was one of them.“
As of 2016, the Temple Institute had such a man. His name is Rabbi Baruch Kahane and he is trained to function as the high priest in the NEW temple. He is well thought of and has no pushy ambitions of being the high priest. The most recent information on him informs us that he does not want the job.
At some point in time (1240 days into this morass called God’s wrath,) a man like this will change teams and exhibit bizarre powers, just as the two witnesses had been doing.
Some examples of what the two witnesses have been doing.
“If anyone tries to harm them, fire comes from their mouths and devours their enemies. This is how anyone who wants to harm them must die. They have power to shut up the heavens so that it will not rain during the time they are prophesying; and they have power to turn the waters into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they want.”(Revelation 11:5-6 NIV)
Revelation 13:12 NASB He exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence. And he makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed.
We are told that the second beast exercises all the power of the first.
What witnesses do we have to go on?
“There was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies, and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him. And he opened his mouth in blasphemies against God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, that is, those who dwell in heaven. It was also given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them, and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him.” (Revelation 13:5-7 NASB)
So this person has an arrogant mouth;
He blasphemes God and the tabernacle;
He makes war with the saints and overcomes them;
And, he has authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation.
These are the same things that this second beast will do. Now that means that the second beast, the false prophet, will also make war with the saints and overcome them. It doesn’t matter what Islam thinks at this point, but they deem this man to be the enforcer of sharia law which is devoted to beheading infidels – those outside of Islam.
At this point, who is doing all the killing?
Well, it was the first beast but now it is the second.
This may be the time that Jesus was telling the disciples about when He said,
“For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again. “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.”
(Matthew 24:21-22 NIV)
“And he makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed.”
This is the same beast that we saw in Revelation 13:3. Here it tells us that it appeared to be killed.
Revelation 13:3 CJB One of the heads of the beast appeared to have received a fatal wound, but its fatal wound was healed, and the whole earth followed after the beast in amazement.
In a previous post, I elaborated on how the Ottoman empire, which was a Muslim empire was effectively put to death in 1924. Silenced, perhaps, as the Muslim Brotherhood emerged from the ruins; and, in 1979 we witnessed the Islamic revolution in Iran. So, this beast is quite alive.