The following is from our January 1983 issue of Newswatch Magazine entitled: Is the Anti-Christ in the World Today?:
There is a section of scripture that has baffled theologians and laymen alike for centuries. In most cases of Bible prophesy it is difficult to understand that prophetic setting until it is nearly upon us. That obscure passage is found in Revelation 13:14b-15: “…; [false prophet] saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an IMAGE to the beast [final world dictator], which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the IMAGE of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast SHOULD BE KILLED.”
Speculations have been many as to WHAT this image of the beast would ultimately be. One Concept held to this day is that the Roman government was copied by the religious institution found in Rome – the Catholic Church. The thought states the church government was patterned exactly like the state government, the beast system. However, there is a problem that is readily recognizable! The “mark” of the beast and the “image” of the beast will be extant ONLY during the very last social system that fights Jesus Christ at His return. Christ will actually take the Beast and false Prophet alive and cast them into the Lake of Fire at His Second Advent. This same theory has the number 666 associated with the Pope of Rome and call him the Antichrist. Revelation 13:18 states very clearly that we are to count the number of the BEAST, and the false Prophet will cause all to worship the FIRST beast [v.12]. [V.14] clearly identifies that the IMAGE of the beast will be in honor of the world dictator, NOT the false Prophet.
A second theory states that another union of ten nations will take place in another part of the world. This second union of ten nations will exactly duplicate the revived Empire in Europe. According to the theory, the Organization of American States could be a fulfillment of prophesy, or a combination of nations in South America. This theory, I believe, can be quickly discounted because the false Prophet will say “to them that dwell on the earth, that they [people of the earth] should make an image to the beast [v.14].” Notice that the false Prophet has deceived the inhabitants of the earth by miracles (v.13-14). Afterwards, orders the inhabitants of the earth to make an image to the BEAST, dictator, not a geographical area such as South America, Africa, or Asia. The New International Version of verse 14 reads: “Because of the signs he [false Prophet] was given to do on behalf of the first beast [dictator], he deceived the inhabitants of the earth. He ORDERED THEM [inhabitants of the earth that had been deceived] to set up an
We want to at least be familiar with various theories so not to be caught unawares and by surprise if prophesy does not come to pass the way we might have believed.
The Greek word for image in Revelation 13:14-15 is ‘eikon,’ pronounced i-Kone’. Its meaning is: a likeness; in a literal sense statue, profile; or figuratively representation, resemblance. The Greek word eikon is derived from the Greek word ‘iko’ through the idea of faintness as a copy; to resemble: be like.
The Random House College Dictionary, 1973, defines image as:
1) a physical likeness or representation of a person, animal or thing, photographed, painted, sculptured, or otherwise produced.
2) An optical counterpart or appearance of an object, such as is produced by reflection from a mirror. The definition goes on to say “form; appearance; semblance; counterpart; copy.”
Webster’s New International Edition, Unabridged, definition of image is:
An imitation, representation or similitude of any person, or thing, sculptured, drawn, painted, or otherwise made perceptible to the sight; a visible presentation, a reproduction; a likeness —-
3) A thing actually or seemingly reproducing another; a copy or counterpart; —
7) “Something that represents, or is regarded as representing, another thing; a symbol; a representation.
Webster’s Dictionary also uses such terms as “an imitation in solid form; the optical counterpart; a picture, a reflection, an illusory form or a mental conception.”