(14) And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.
One of the great goals of the world’s false religions (beast from the earth) is to cause men to commit the sin of idolatry. What is the sin of idolatry… my simplified definition is “to love or worship any person, or thing, as God, other than Jehovah”. In our text, the false religion’s desire to lead men into idolatry is described as “saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast”.
When mankind follows the direction of this beast, and commits the sin of idolatry, we can learn two major truths about mankind’s spiritual condition…
- First of all, it proves they are now willfully rejecting the worship of Jehovah and accepting of false worship.
The making of idols for worship is specifically rejected by Jehovah and clearly taught in the ten commandments (Exo 20:4-6). For mankind to participate in the making of idols is to purposefully reject the clear commands of Jehovah. But also, in those days images were very commonly employed in false religious worship (2 Kings 3:2, Isa 40:19, Dan 3, Jud 17:3, Isa 40:19, Jer 10: 14 etc etc). Again, this leaves no room for ignorance on the part of mankind.
When mankind chooses to commit idolatry, they are willfully choosing to reject the true worship of Jehovah and participate in false worship that originates from Satan himself.
- Secondly, it proves they have readily accepted humanism (the exaltation of man as the supreme authority) as the ultimate truth.
If we stop and think about it… God is so great, He is the only One who is capable of giving us an image of Himself. He did that for us when He created man (Gen 1:26-27) and when He sent Christ to the earth (Col 1:14-17). NO MAN can begin to understand the greatness of Jehovah which is necessary to make an acceptable image of Jehovah. For mankind to create any supposed image of God is an act of blatant humanism. When men make an image of their “god” they are saying one of two things, either…
- They are saying… that man is equal to Jehovah because, with the works of his own hands, he can create a proper image of Jehovah;
- Or, they are saying that mankind has the ability to create their own gods and to worship as they see fit. This places man above the authority of Jehovah making him a god unto himself.
In either case, it is false worship and humanism at its worst.
Sadly, even Christians can, at times be guilty of idolatry in their lives. Anything, other than the Lord, that we put first in our lives has become an idol to us.
To test this in our own lives, we are to think of the things, or people, that are of most value to us. If, to remain faithful to the Lord, we had to turn from them, would we be willing to? This is a true test of idolatry in our lives and it take a very sincere, unbiased look at our lives to come to an honest answer.
May we all, through the gracious intervention of God, be able to sincerely submit to the teachings of our Lord, who said…
Mat 19:28-30 KJV –
“And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you,… And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.”
For an in depth look at these sections of the Revelation: