In Revelation 13, we are told of an image that the people will build and worship and a mark they will receive. While I believe God had a certain “image” He was referring to, what this image is, for the most part so far, has been an interpretive belief dependent upon the individual. Many things may work but they MUST remain within the relationship of who the first and second beast are. The first and second beast is not interpretive; and the Bible all but names them.

We understand that an image is not necessarily something that is tangible, as say a statue. To give breath to something is to give life to it. So this will be an image that will be alive in the fact that it will move and grow and call out to the inhabitants of earth: it’s formed by the second beast and grows to all those who dwell on the earth. If they do not go along with the second beast’s image, they may suffer death.

The formation of America came through the fleeing from the first beast. The first beast had gained all power and wealth and was subduing the people.

I’ve said for quite a while, “The American Dream is owning everything you see and owing on everything you have”; yet this was not what was established in the beginning. The dream was simply - freedom. Freedom from tyranny, persecution, taxes, control of religion, and the ability to be one’s own self: to build, grow, design, discover, and trade without control.

Through the generations the American Dream has become one in which we look to a democratic government to work for us and help us obtain; it’s become one of power, money, and things in pursuit to “keep up with the Jones’”. We were warned over and over about not being able to serve both God and money.

The second beast has built the American Dream to become a movement in which most of the world worships. If they don’t follow our ideas, we think we need to move in and “assist” them into understanding those ideas: in the process many die.

When one understands the structure of the Chiasm of Revelation, they understand that Revelation points to man receiving one of two marks: the mark of the beast or the mark of God. Moving back in the chiastic structure, we see that the mark we receive is dependent upon whether we worship the image, in that service, obedience, and desire for it; or we worship God, in the service, obedience, and desire for Him. This choice, in the center of this chiastic structure, is sandwiched by the Law of God; not necessarily the Ten Commandments but the Covenant, for the Covenant is called the Law also.

The Covenant is the “contract” per say: it tells us His promises and the conditions in which the promises are made, those conditions are our side of the Covenant.

If we are unwilling to serve God, in keeping our side of the Covenant with Him, and rather serve the image, we receive the mark of the image (or beast). The system has been slowly set up, and is getting stronger, to which one will not be able to have a job: this is the inability to buy and sell.

In the movie Courageous, “Javier” was given a chance of a promotion. In the testing phase of this promotion, he was asked to lie on a shipping manifest. Knowing that refusal could cost him his job, “Javier” refused anyway; because it would dishonor God.

Let me give you a prime example of how this works in real life: it’s a prime example because it’s happening to me right now. It may even be happening in your life and you not realize it yet.

Most know I drive truck. The government just past a new law for drivers in regulating their hours of operation. I keep the Sabbath as the Lord blessed it and do not work from Friday nightfall to Saturday nightfall: this is still part of the Law written in our hearts and minds, part of the Covenant. With the new laws, I can either break the Sabbath (serving money) or loose money (serving God). Yet it does not stop there. There have been several laws in effect, for the truck driver, that makes it impossible for them to operate without lying on their log book. As “straight” as I try to run the log, I still end up lying or I cost a lot of people money. So, I find myself in this choice: be obedient to God and quit because if I don’t I’m forsaking God or being obedient to the system / image built and forgetting about the Covenant conditions.

The image is built by the people, thus may not always be legislation passed by government but rather rules applied by business. In an effort to be competitive, most business have forsaken the Law of God for success; and they force their employees to do the same. Try to find a job that does not require the working of Saturday; it’s almost impossible and you will not make much when you do. If we want a big home, nice car, lots of things and toys, we will have to forsake God to do so. If we keep with the obedience to God, we will live meekly and humbly. But, which do we love the things or God?
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