California megachurch pastor Greg Laurie, who is taking his congregation through a series of messages called, "Revelation: The Next Dimension," spoke about the mark of the beast, showing the world is already moving towards the fulfillment of the prophecy."We have never been closer to the end of the world than right now," said Laurie, pastor of Harvest Church in Riverside, in his message on Sunday.It is, however, important to know that the Bible also talks about a new beginning when there will be "no perversion, no terrorism, no war, no starvation
no problem of any kind." As Isaiah 11:9 says, the knowledge of the Lord will fill the earth. But "it is going to get worse before it gets better," the pastor warned.Revelation 13 talks about spiritually dark times, the tribulation period, he went on to say. "Satan's son" will emerge on the scene
"the man of perdition, the man of sin, the beast
best known as the antichrist
the most evil man who's ever lived
history's vilest embodiment of sin and rebellion."Referring to his previous message on the antichrist, Laurie reminded the audience that the antichrist's agenda will be to deify Satan. The antichrist will come to take the place of Jesus, and to kill all Christians. And the antichrist will have with him his "devilish worship leader, a religious guru," the false prophet, referred to as the "second beast" in Revelations.Laurie then quoted Revelation 13:15-18: "The second beast was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that the image could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. It also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name. This calls for wisdom. Let the person who has insight calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. That number is 666."read more: http://www.christianpost.com/news/greg-laurie-explains-significance-of-the-mark-of-the-beast-666-88720/
_________________SI Moderator - Greg Gordon
Laurie states, "Revelation 13 talks about spiritually dark times... the man of sin, the beast
best known as the antichrist
the most evil man who's ever lived
history's vilest embodiment of sin and rebellion."However, I only see the word antichrist four times in the new testament and none of them ever appear in the book of Revelation.Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour. (1 John 2:18)Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. (1 John 2:22)and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world. (1 John 4:3)For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist. (2 John 1:7)This Holy Spirit inspired Apostle speaks of a plurality of antichrists and a spirit of anthichrist. He also speaks of the first century as the "last hour" where many antichrists have appeared.How does Laurie go from John's multiple antichrists in the first century teaching to one super-villain nearly 2000 years later?
Matthew2323 wrote ///How does Laurie go from John's multiple antichrists in the first century teaching to one super-villain nearly 2000 years later?///I agree why the church is looking for a pretrib rapture or a super-villain to arise they might find themselves unpleasently suprised, It seems to me personaly that such things are speaking of movements, we should ask ourselves what movements or systems are responsable for the blood of the saints, and the blood of the martyrs of Jesus down through history.
I think Paul address that question in the second chapter of 2 Thessalonians when he talks about the mystery of iniquity that will be fully manisfested in the man of sin, the son of perdition. A sort of incarnation of Satan in the flesh.2 Thessalonians 2 (1) Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, (2) That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. (3) Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; (4) Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.(...)
There are so many theories about the mark of the beast but in reality what does it really mean from a practical standpoint? Whenever we hear of some 'chip' some Christians want to yell MARK OF THE BEAST! without understanding what is going on with the chip. How does the Mark of the Beast show that the world is moving toward Bible Prophecy?
Benjamin7, Paul's letters to the Thessalonians were written in the early 50s and he speaks of the "man of sin" who "sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God." Since this was written while the Temple was still standing, we should expect the 'man of sin' to be a first centruy figure.Could we correlate the 'man of sin' who was "shewing himself that he is God" with Jesus' statement about the abomination of desolation? If so, who fits that description?DEADn, Something to consider:"The first readers of Revelation were told to calculate the number of the Beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six (13:18). Since Revelation was written to a first-century audience, we should expect the first-century readers to be able to calculate the number with relative ease and understand the result... Notice that the number is six hundred and sixty-six, not three sixes."When Nero Caesars name is transliterated into Hebrew, which a first-century Jew would probably have done, he would have gotten Neron Kesar or simply nrwn qsr, since Hebrew has no letters to represent vowels... When we take the letters of Neros name and spell them in Hebrew, we get the following numeric values: n=50, r=200, w=6, n=50, q=100, s=60, r=200 = 666."See more: http://americanvision.org/1746/mark-of-beast-or/Btw, you almost have 666 post here at SI... :)
Hi Matthew,I don't get the Nero's calculated name reference. After all, Nero was dead for about thirty years when John had his revelation.
Nero's name properly spelled in Hebrew transliterated from the Latin--which is how his name would have been understood in the Roman world--does not equate to 666. The way you get Nero (really it's Nero's name plus his title of Caesar) to equal 666 is to transliterate his name into Greek and then transliterate the Greek name plus his title into Hebrew and then you have to misspell it by adding a Hebrew letter in order to achieve the calculation.Other problems with an early date (A.D. 62-64) are:Smyrna didn't have an active church until the early to mid 80's it didn't exist in A.D.64.The apostle John's ministry to the Ephesian and surrounding churches didn't begin until after the fall of Jerusalem when he fled to Ephesus.The condemnation and rebuking of many of the Churches in the initial chapters of Revelation become very awkward as they had just received the praise of the apostle Paul. Also related there is not even a hint of these issues in the Asian Churches in Paul's letters to them which would have been written very close to an early date for the Revelation.The early church fathers testimony is that John wrote the Revelation around A.D.95Nero's persecution of Christians was extremely local and never expanded beyond the city limits of Rome and only lasted for a very brief period. It's hard to imagine him being the great persecutor of the Church and of Israel.
_________________SI Moderator - Jeremy Hulsey
"We have never been closer to the end of the world than right now,"Indeed. but any "right now," as long as it is after yesterday's "right now" is closer to the end of the world.Paul and the other apostles used a lot of words like "shortly" and "soon" when writing to their 1st century audiences about "last days." By the way, these 1st centrury persons were real people undergoing real persecution. Were the apostles simply mistaken?TK
Chris,The theory that John wrote in the 90s is modern churchian myhtology and is about as valid as the Jesus Seminar's assertion that "John" was written in 120 AD. The internal evidence is what clues us in to an early dating.Jeremy,It is interesting to note that some manuscripts changed 666 to 616 because of the Latin variation.I'd be curious to know what sources you've studied for the historical assertions that you've made.If memory serves me correctly there was only one church father that thought of the later date for the Revelation and that, like anything, is even debated. However, even if every church father thought the book had been written in 95 AD the internal evidence disagrees.When John mentions the Temple and seeing people worship in it, how would this have made any sense to someone if it had first been written in 95? To what Temple was he referring? Was the Holy Spirit trying to confuse the first readers of the letter?Consider John's prologue:"The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John, who testified to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near."Clearly what follows is to be understood by those who first read the epistle. Notice that two expression of time: "must soon take place" and "the time is near." What in the context of the letter would lead a first centry believer to conclude that "soon" and "near" equate to 2000 years later and not something imminent?Even if one rejects the calculation of the number of the beast as being Caesar Nero, this still does not lead us to the conclusion that "the things which must soon take place" should be interpreted as multi-antichrists 2000 years later.Grace and peace,MatthewPS TMK - well spoken.