Revelation Chapter 13
VERSE 15 “And there was given to him (the two-horn beast) to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast might even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed.” (NASB)
THERE WAS GIVEN TO HIM: Note this phrase carefully. We encountered it several times in the description of the Leopard Beast (the first beast). This phrase was consistently followed by a history of what happened once something was “given” to the beast. The same now happens here.
TO GIVE BREATH TO THE IMAGE OF THE BEAST: The image is the Protestant church federation (The various church organizations composing Protestantism, viz. Lutherans, Methodist, Baptist, etc., etc. united with the two-horned beast). The English beast has been instrumental in all efforts in this direction. This is clearly shown in history. The British-Empire was an immensely important factor in unifying the post-French-Revolution world -- most particularly the non-Roman Catholic world. Remember, this beast speaks “as a dragon” -- its civil influences are as important as its ecclesiastical ones.
It does not seem far-fetched to claim that the influences of the British Empire were an important factor in contributing to the movement toward the federation of Protestant denominations (the breath of life). England’s maritime economic pursuits unified the Protestant world in the 19th century.
At this point it is wise to note Brother Russell’s hesitancy at predicting how much more MIGHT happen in the future. He clearly leaves open the door to the thought that this MAY HAVE BEEN mostly fulfilled by the Church of England’s cooperation in Protestant federation.
IF more is to come, we will see it; IF more is not to come in this regard, we should not make our unfulfilled expectations embitter us.
It is of great value to note the similarity of this image to that found in Dan 3:1. The beast itself (Rev 13:18) is denoted by the number 666. Daniel’s image, almost certainly related to the Rev 13 image, is 60 cubits by 6 cubits. We are given only TWO DIMENSIONS. This seems to be saying that the Image of the Beast is only two-dimensional -- it has no depth. (Perhaps this is saying that it is never a real church-state union as was stated by Brother Shallieu in Part 191 of our study.) It is a hollow imitation of its great model (only an “image” of the beast). It becomes alive and functioning and, as the continuation of this verse shows, it exercises sufficient influence to be a problem.
THAT THE IMAGE MIGHT EVEN SPEAK: It gains enough power to become another mouth (to speak). It gains the ability through pronouncements to change attitudes to alter behaviors, to influence politics (Note that its mouth is never defined --never clearly delineated as are the mouths of the two great beasts.)
AND CAUSES AS MANY AS DO NOT WORSHIP THE IMAGE OF THE BEAST TO BE KILLED: Killing here, as elsewhere, seems to be actual or functional excommunication. The message is, “If you don’t go along with our federated standards, we don’t recognize you as Christians.” Generally, any church outside the realm of orthodoxy is considered either a false church or a cult.
We will take a look at this verse as explained in The Keys of Revelation in our next post.
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