Today we live in a virtual age. An age of virtual reality. The image has become a substitute for the real thing itself. This has become acceptable, normal, maybe even preferable to many people. The real has been replaced by the imaginary or the fictional. The whole success involves the audience believing the image is real.
There is virtual farming, virtual fishing, virtual war, car racing, love, sex, money... Only 6 corporations (Comcast-NBCUniversal, Disney, CBS, Viacom, News Corporation and AT&T) control 90% of the media outlets in America, resulting in virtual news, somewhat akin to "reality TV". Movies have become a replacement for real living. Everything real can and has been replaced, substituted or represented by virtual make believe (fake) images.
Visiting with family and friends, attending meetings and even working are now virtual over Zoom or Skype or Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Friends and families sit in silence looking at their own device screens, even family time is now virtual. I admit to sending my wife DMs (computer direct messages) because she's in another room.
Real debt (credit) is virtual wealth
Real propaganda is virtual news
Real psychopaths are virtual politicians
Real lies are virtual truths
Fiction writers are virtual journalists
Real noise is called music
Chemicals are called food
Drugs and poisons are called medicine
Gambling is virtual investing
Gender is not biological its virtual (flexible)
Math is no longer real, its whatever one wants because the real is "racist"
How appropriate that the 2nd beast of Revelation 13 causes an IMAGE to be made, a virtual image in this age of virtual reality. The image is of the 1st beast. The first beast is a real representation. The image is NOT real at all, it is virtual, fictional.
And [the 2nd beast] 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 [1st] beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. Revelation 13:14-15
This image is so realistic that it is made to live and speak and act and be worshiped. But it is only an image of the 1st beast. An exact image, but not the real thing. It is a virtual beast. Unfortunately, the killing and worshiping are real.
Think of a holodeck or a hologram. Can this image be seen? In some form, I suspect. It is made to speak and live. If it can't be seen (really) it certainly will be seen virtually.
This image appears before the coming mark of the beast. It has not happened yet, so is still future.
And he [the 2nd beast that gives life to the image] causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Revelation 13:16-17
Can you think of anything more appropriate than to introduce a virtual beast that "exists" as an image for the first time in the world's history? In this virtual age? This is another example of the proof and power of the foreknowledge of prophecy.
In another study we will discover what this fictional (image) beast represents and how it operates and the who and when of the other two beasts. Meanwhile, consider this virtual beast and why it is described as an image, yet has the power to cause (real) death to those who don't (truly, in real life) worship this fiction.