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The traditional view of previous centuries after the Reformation focused on the religious authority of the time and its political affiliations (corresponding to the first, sea, beast and the second, earth, beast) and thus the concept of the image was based, largely, on the apprehensions of the Reformers as to what was apparent at their place in history, understandably.

In our own times, after fundamental changes in world powers, in the way the world views religion, and in the way, now, in which global companies dominate communications (and thus, arguably, are influencing political decisions) influence political relationships and influence the populace and its ideology.

Has there been - within Reformed, Protestant, Trinitarianism - a revised, or one might say an up-dated, understanding of the image which the second beast presents to the world, in order to cause humanity to worship the first beast (and, thereby, to unwittingly worship the Entity behind the whole arrangement)?

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. 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]

I am asking about the image of the beast, not the beast itself.

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    The wide diversity of belief in the Protestant churches is regarded by many as decisive proof that no effort to secure a forced uniformity can ever be made in this domain. – Ken Graham Nov 6 '20 at 17:11
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    @KenGraham I have to disagree with that. Immediately consequent upon the reformation there was very general agreement about what the beast was and about what the image was. – Nigel J Nov 6 '20 at 18:30
  • If the United Methodist Church's movement is still based on the Commentary of John Wesley, then : biblehub.com/commentaries/wes/revelation/13.htm – חִידָה Nov 6 '20 at 19:36
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    @Anne In Protestantism, one is able to express an opinion and then peer review (and ministerial authority) should operate to bring an intelligent consensus. One of the alternatives is that superstitious dogma, asserted by an hierarchy, prevents intelligent response. – Nigel J Nov 7 '20 at 17:45
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    Ah, now I understand. According to Wikipedia "Ultron is a fictional supervillain appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. A self-aware and highly intelligent robot created by Hank Pym, the character is usually depicted as a dark reflection of his creator and harbors a strong grudge against him." Heaven preserve us from "artificial intelligence" of any sort, never mind Greek mythology or comic books. – Lesley Nov 11 '20 at 9:41

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