Revelation 13:15

Revelation 13:15

He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast
The power given to the False Prophet here is perhaps the apex of what God has ever allowed in the hands of the enemy: the power to give life. This power is intrinsic to the Creator, and He is intimately involved with the creation of each creature.1 The False Prophet gives breath (pneuma) to that which is initially inanimate, as “God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being” (Gen. Gen. 2:7). Unlike all previous lifeless idols which have been the work of men’s hands, the image of the beast is given life. This is probably the capstone of the lying wonders which the False Prophet performs—the grand finale of his deception.

Those who worship the Beast and his image and take his mark are warned by an angel concerning the seriousness of what they are about to do (Rev. Rev. 14:9+). This unique global warning indicates the irreversible nature of taking the mark. Taking the mark is akin to the unpardonable sin of Jesus’ day—there is no possibility of redemption once the mark is taken (Rev. Rev. 14:9-11+). In stark contrast to the people of faith, they are eternally insecure. This is a unique situation to the time of the end. For what sin is there today from which the blood of Christ cannot redeem? Could not even the likes of a Hitler be saved if he had truly and sincerely repented prior to death? We answer a resounding “yes!” because we understand the priceless value of the blood of the Lamb which provides redemption for all sin (Rev. Rev. 5:9+). For if Christ’s blood cannot atone for some specific sin, then there are two requirements for salvation, not one: receiving Christ by faith and avoiding this specific sin. May it never be!

Here, as at Christ’s First Coming, we have a unique situation where there is a specific act, which once participated in, moves the individual beyond all possibility of redemption . The act is the equivalent of eternal, permanent rejection of the Lamb. So blasphemous and foreordained are these that they are never afforded entry into the Book of Life, not even to be written and subsequently blotted out (Rev. Rev. 13:8+; Rev. 17:8+). Like those who commit the unpardonable sin, taking the mark is the equivalent of permanently rejecting Christ. See Beast Worshipers are Unique.

Those who have victory over the Beast, his image, the mark, and the number of his name are seen in heaven prior to the pouring forth of the bowl judgments (Rev. Rev. 15:2+ cf. Rev. Rev. 16:2+). Therefore, this command to take the mark must occur prior to the bowl judgments. Those who refuse to worship the Beast or his image and refuse his mark are “beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God” (Rev. Rev. 20:4+). These live and reign with Christ in the Millennial Kingdom. When the third bowl judgment is poured forth, the remainder of the rivers and springs become blood. An angel explains this righteous judgment of God: “For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and you have given them blood to drink. For it is their just due” (Rev. Rev. 16:6+).

The image which requires worship is typified by Nebuchadnezzar’s statue. Those who refused to bow down before it were cast into a furnace (Dan. Dan. 3:5). As the three young Hebrew men were preserved through the fire, so too will be those saints who live at the time of the end (Rev. Rev. 7:14+; Rev. 15:2+; Rev. 20:4+).


1 Concerning God’s involvement with the inception and development of life: Ex. Ex. 21:22-23; Jdg. Jdg. 13:5; Job Job 10:11; Job 31:15; Ps. Ps. 22:9-10; Ps. 119:73; Ps. 139:13; Ecc. Ecc. 11:5; Isa. Isa. 44:2, Isa. 44:24; Isa. 49:5; Jer. Jer. 1:5. This is one of numerous reasons why abortion is morally equivalent to murder (Ex. Ex. 21:22-23). It is the interrupting by sinful man of that which God has established.

2 Here again we see the parallel between the False Prophet and the Holy Spirit: both refusing to draw attention to themselves, but dedicated to pointing to whom they serve.

3 Robert L. Thomas, Revelation 8-22 (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1995), Rev. 13:15.

4 Henry Morris, The Revelation Record (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 1983), Rev. 13:15.

5 Ice, “An Interpretation of Matthew 24-25—Part XIII,” in Thomas Ice, ed., Pre-Trib Perspectives, vol. 8 no. 1 (Dallas, TX: Pre-Trib Research Center, May 2003), 6.

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