Emperor Image Worship
Next Previous Index Tellout Home

Emperor Image Worship (Revelation 13.13-14)

"And it (the second earth beast) performed great signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to the earth in full view of the people. Because of the signs it was given power to perform on behalf of the first beast, it deceived the inhabitants of the earth. It ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived." (Revelation 13.13-14) ✞

Reasons to Bow Down

Garden of Eden PictureThe reference here to "an image in honor of the beast" is thought to probably be to the serpent who seduced Eve in the Garden of Eden. The imperial priesthood could easily use seductive appeals to induce emperor image worship such as, "Look what Rome has done for you. Look at the peace and the prosperity you enjoy. Have you ever known a greater benefactor than the emperor? Surely in simple gratitude you can give him this formal and simple act of worship?" There are always excellent arguments why we should compromise with the world and worship other gods, but the fact remains that, when we do, Christ is betrayed once again.✞

Second Earth Beast

Bust of CaligulaThe "second earth beast" was given power so that those who did not offer worship were killed or imprisoned. That was, in fact, the law. If a Christian refused to make the act of worship to Caesar's image, he or she was liable to death. The death penalty was not always carried out but if a Christian did not obey and did not have the mark of the beast, he could not buy or sell in the market place or do any kind of business in the community. That is to say, if someone refused to perform emperor worship, even if his life was spared, he would be economically ruined. The world knows how to bring pressure to bear on those who will not accept its standards. A person may have to choose between material success and loyalty to Jesus Christ.✞

"Emperor Image Worship"
by Ron Meacock © 2017

^Top Page Next Previous