articles of chapter 8

Image of God and Image of the Beast

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. Old things have disappeared, and—look!—all things have become new! (2 Cor 5:17).

2 Cor 3:18 As all of us reflect the glory of the Lord with unveiled faces, we are being transformed into the same image with ever-increasing glory by the Lord’s Spirit.
Rom 8:29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
1 Cor 15:49 And as we bore the image of the earthy man, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man.
2 Cor 4:4 In their case, the god of this world has blinded the minds of those who do not believe to keep them from seeing the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God. 1 Jhn 3:2 … We know that when the Christ is revealed, we will be like him

If man is not the image of God he is the image of the beast.

A statue cannot be the image of the beast spoken in the Bible because they would require an unlimited number so that all people could bow to them. Man has an image of himself. The children of God and the followers of Jesus are “images of God” and “new creations”. The believer and the person who does the will of God will change and become the image of his creator and glory.

If the image of the beast is understood figuratively, it means the person lives according to the way of this world, as Paul has pointed out. Such people are, in the best case, be baptized as Christians, but spiritual truth does not interest them. They should buy “eyesalve” like all members of the Laodicean church who are indifferent – not cold or hot. By acquiring ’eyesalve’ that Jesus advised man receives spiritual wisdom and understanding, and they will see the truth. Otherwise, these people are “in the flesh,” and cannot please God:

Rom 8:5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.
6 To set our minds on the flesh leads to death, but to set our minds on the Spirit leads to life and peace.
7 That is why the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile toward God. For it refuses to submit to the authority of God’s law because it is powerless to do so.
8 And those being in the flesh are not able to please God.
9 You, however, are not of the flesh but under the control of the Spirit, since God’s Spirit lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to him.
2 Cor 3:5 By ourselves we are not qualified to claim that anything comes from us. Rather, our credentials come from God,

To the image of the beast will be given breath so that the image would speak and those who do not worship the image will lose their lives. Rev 13:15 The second beast was allowed to give breath to the image of the [first] beast so that the image of the beast could talk and put to death those who would not worship the image of the beast.

– I am inclined in my interpretations of the image of the beast to figurative explanation. Bowing the image of the beast and taking the beast’s mark would thus mean spiritual death. Spiritual death can in practical life mean that a person submits to the will of the rulers, even though he does not accept their political-religious command. That interpretation I have reached also by thinking about what in practice could follow from negligence to bow the image of the beast. Instead of literal killing, the punishment could be at the slightest separation from the church, followed by shunning of other members of the church. When a person is separated from the church and when no one even speaks to him, the life of such a person is like that of a dead person. In this way, people are forced to stay with the end-time apostate church when people should actually leave it. Bearing in mind that the whole world is subjected to the devil by the beast (the dragon), the self-preservation of the beast is enough for Satan. Satan is not interested in bowing, but from getting people rid of God’s connection, from the promised eternal life prize to the perdition with Satan. Satan will do anything that people would not buy Jesus’ eye cream.

 

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