The Image of the Beast: Revelation 13

The image of the beast is not well understood in the world of theology. To unlock the true meaning of the image of the beast we first have to identify the first beast in Revelation 13. The image of the beast is a copy or likeness of the first beast, the sea beast with seven heads and ten horns.
 
In the book of Daniel Nebuchadnezzar forces everyone to worship his image.
 
Daniel 3:1 “Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height was sixty cubits and its width six cubits. He set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon.”
 
Commentators often quote this verse and then tell us that the image of beast is an idol that people will worship in the future, just like Nebuchadnezzar’s image of gold. But this is entirely inaccurate because there is no indication that this image is an actual object or a statue of someone. In fact the the image of beast is described as both speaking and causing people to worship the first beast. Therefore the image of the beast must have a physical presence with authority to be able to influence the lives of people on earth. In other words it cannot be a statue.
 
 
The Sea Beast
 
In the book of Daniel the first beast was like a lion, the second like a bear, the third like a leapord and the fourth a dreadful terrible beast. The sea beast in Revelation contains elements of all the sea beasts which came before it.
 

Revelation 13:1-2 “Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name. Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority.”
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The sea beast from Revelation 13 with seven heads, ten horns and ten crowns on top of the horns.
 
The sea beast in general was like the leopard which represents the Greek or Macedonian Empire. After Rome was sacked by the Huns the Empire was administered by two different kingdoms. The Western Roman Empire or the Holy Roman Empire was centered around central Europe while another Roman kingdom was located in Turkey and was later referred to as the Byzantine Empire or the Eastern Roman Empire. The sea beast has feet like a bear which represents the sure footed nature of the Median/Persian Empire. The sea beast has a mouth like a lion which represents the Babylonian Empire. The Byzantine Empire for the better part was made up of Greek speaking citizens and maintained Greek customs this is why the sea beast is firstly described as being like a leopard.
 
The second beast from the earth is not likened to any other beast which came before it. The only identifiable characteristic is that it has two horns like lamb.

 
 
Two Little Horns Like a Lamb

“J. N. Andrews compared the two lamblike horns with the little horn of Daniel 7. He noted that the little horn represented the union of the oppressive papal church with the various oppressive European state governments. He argued that by contrast the two lamblike horns represented the nonoppressive Protestant denominations in America and the nonoppressive Republican government of the United States.”
{Maxwell, C. M. (1992). The Mark of the Beast. In F. B. Holbrook (Ed.), Symposium on Revelation: Exegetical and General Studies, Book 2 (Vol. 7, p. 102). Silver Spring, MD: Biblical Research Institute of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.}
 
Andrews is right the two horns on the head of the second beast are both little horns like the 'little horn' in Daniel 7 and Daniel 8.

 
A male lamb literally develops two little horns which grow larger with age. 
 
 
A Persecuting Union of Church and State
 
“An image is something that closely resembles something else. A statue worshiped by idolaters is a likeness, an image, of the god being worshiped. In [Revelation] 13:14–17 the “image of  the beast” is a replica or copy of the beast. The Old World leopard-bodied beast was a persecuting union of church and state, a religious system wedded to national government and empowered by it to oppress dissidents and heretics. In particular, it was outstanding in its opposition to the Sabbath and in its advocacy of Sunday. The image of the beast will therefore be a persecuting union of church and state, a religious system wedded to national government and empowered by it to oppress dissidents and heretics, especially those dissidents and heretics who keep the Sabbath and refuse to observe Sunday.”
{Maxwell, C. M. (1992). The Mark of the Beast. In F. B. Holbrook (Ed.), Symposium on Revelation: Exegetical and General Studies, Book 2 (Vol. 7, pp. 100–101). Silver Spring, MD: Biblical Research Institute of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.}

 
 
The Image followed Rome
 
Ellen White had a vision about the image of the beast but it was later deleted as SDA theology changed.
 
“I saw all that ‘would not receive the mark of the Beast, and of his Image, in their foreheads or in their hands,’ could not buy or sell. I saw that the number (666) of the Image Beast was made up; and that it was the beast that changed the Sabbath, and the Image Beast had followed on after, and kept the Pope's, and not God's Sabbath. And all we were required to do, was to give up God's Sabbath, and keep the Pope's and then we should have the mark of the Beast, and of his Image.”
{Ellen White, vision first printed April 7, 1847}
 
Ellen seems to believe as I do that the 'image of the beast' is an image of Rome and the Roman Catholic Church and it followed on after the Roman empire had declined. The image of the beast observes Sunday keeping.
 
“An image to the beast then must be another church clothed with civil power and authority to put the saints of God to death.”
{J. N. Andrews, May, 1851}
 
J. N. Andrews believed the 'image of the beast' was a literal image of the Roman Catholic Church as well correctly identifying it as another church.
 
 
Defining the Image
 
In the New Testament the Greek word ‘eikon’ is used in reference to - an image of Caesar (Luke 20:24), an image of man (1Corinthians 15:49), an image of God (Colossians 1:15), an image of Christ (2Corinthians 3:18) or the image of the beast (Revelation 13:14). The word ‘image’ in the New Testament is associated with a likeness of something or a copy, not an actual object that people worship.
 
“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.”
{The Image of the beast, End Time Prophecy,, http://www.end-times-prophecy.org, 2014}

 
The sea beast represents the whole Roman Empire not just the Papacy. The image of the beast should be seen as just that, an image of the Roman Empire. The second beast makes this copy or likeness of the Roman Empire. The concept goes as far back as Genesis.
 
Genesis 1:27 “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created them.”
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 




The Roman Empire                                                                                                    The Second Beast, the Image of the Roman Empire
 
 
The British Empire and the Church of England
 
Under the title    The Second Beast Revealed    I indentified the second beast in Revelation as the British Empire.
 
The British Empire is the image of the beast, complete with its own image of the Roman religion, the Church of England, now better known as the Anglican church. No other orthodox or protestant country can lay claim to being the image of the Roman Empire and the Roman Catholic Church better than the British Empire.
 
The British Empire started out similar to Rome being rather small in size and stature, but although having similar humble beginnings it ended up being just like the Roman empire. It too dominated the known world of its day and only began to decline due to its heavy losses and involvement during World War II. The British Empire had simliar architecture as Rome and many identifiable characteristics like; uniting church and state, christian persecutions, enforced Sunday worship and even slavery.
 
Under the kingship of Henry the eighth Britain became a union of church and state with the king claiming the title head of the true church, just like Rome and the Papacy.1 Under the protection of Cromwell commerce and trade in England was restricted on Sundays and blue laws were introduced.2 Most forms of work were banned. Women caught doing unnecessary work on the Holy Day could be put in the stocks. Simply going for a Sunday walk (unless it was to church) could lead to a hefty fine.3 Christians who kept the true Sabbath were persecuted in the reign of Henry 4 and in the reign of Mary.5 Sunday laws were observed as a long practise due to the influence of the Roman Catholic church and its doctrines, but even after breaking from Rome Britian enforced Sunday laws in the reign of Henry the Eighth, Mary I and Elizabeth I.
 
The Church of England became an exact copy of the Roman Catholic Church, less its idolatry. But even in the reign of Elizabeth I she allowed certain images and idols to remain in the church and even in her own private quarters.6
 
The second beast is the British Empire it is a copy or likeness of the Roman Empire. The British Empire even developed its own image of the Roman Catholic Church, the Church of England, which forced everyone in their empire to worship the first beast who's mortal wound was healed.
 
 
References
1. Supreme head of the Church of England, Wikipedia, 2015
2. Oliver Cromwell, http://www.history.com/topics/british-history/oliver-cromwell, 2015
3. C N Trueman "Life In England Under Oliver Cromwell" www.historylearningsite.co.uk, 2015
4. Reformation reversed, English Reformation, Wikipedia 2015
5. Reunion with Rome, History of the Church of England, Wikipedia, 2015
6. Controversial Letters on the Idolatry of the Church of Rome, Between Clemens Alexandrinus and the Rev. W. Eames, A.M. Dublin, A. and W. Watson Chapel-Street and R.M. Tims, Grafton-Street, MDCCCXXV11. https://books.google.com.au, 2015}
  
seven heads and ten horns
seven headed beast Revelation 13
seven headed beast Revelation 13