Hi Submitted1,Thank you for your comments. I agree that the mark could very well be an exploitation of national or even international "security" -- especially if real Christians are eventually targeted as "enemies" of the state. When I was a teenager, I was asked by our pastor to help with some computers that were being installed at our local church's school by a local IT company. The guy sent to install and network the computers wasn't a believer. During the installation process, we spoke about several topics -- including Bible prophecy. I mentioned the "mark of the beast" and how it could relate to advances in technology. At one point, I mentioned the possibility of a "mark" that is actually a chip or implanted code on the right hand or forehead that could replace paper money, credit cards, debit cards, driver's licenses, social security cards, etc. The computer tech replied, "Wow! That is a great idea! You will never have to worry about being mugged or losing your money or credit cards!" Governments are often looking for ways to improve national security. It is certainly possible that the Antichrist will exploit such goals by mingling this desire for national or international security with a "mark" of allegiance or "belonging" to a particular government.In this sense, the mark would be something of a reverse from the marks forced upon Jews by Nazis -- but with a similar purpose. Instead of odiously singling out those who are marked, it is possible that the Antichrist would single out those who don't willingly take that mark as the "enemies of society."
Paul was certainly prophetic when he wrote to the Thessalonians. He said in the final days they will be saying peace and safety. Then destruction will come upon them suddenly as a woman with labor pains. If the Islamic attacks continue to increase this is what people will be crying out for, peace and safety.This is what happened after 9/11. As a result of the terrorist attacks. Patriot Act one and two were passed. The result was supposedly more security for the homeland. But American citizens were giving up some of their freedom. Anyone who spoke out against the acts were labeled as friends of the terrorists.I can see how a political leader could emerge. The idea of a law abiding citizen having some type of a chip implanted on their right hand or forehead to show loyalty to the state. After all if you're a good law abiding citizen why would you resist such a thing. I'm sure the terrorist attacks will be used ultimately to enforce more control over those who are law-abiding. Under the guise of providing them security.Brothers simply my thoughts.
Interesting topic, like you I have read similar population projections. What I can say is that in some areas around Detroit and the Twin Cities there is a very predominant Muslim population. Just Like in Texas(Muslims tried anyway but thus far unsuccessful) what I see as happening in the USA is some communities where the rule of Law is sharia law. When I considered the problem of immigration in the US the best solution is really a simple one, immigration from South America/Central America/Mexico if properly Vetted would act as a counterbalance to the Muslim movement in America as long as it was very controlled. Quote"I do not know how specifically Islam will play into the end time events. But I do not believe that we can discount the rising tide of Islam and not say it will not have a significant place to play in the close out of redemptive history." I fully agree with you here.I always felt that when the American dream stops being the American dream than we would see the real nature of all the unchecked illegal immigrants that have come to this country.Probably to late by than. To some extent we are seeing it in the drug trade presently. I don't believe America will be a influencing factor in the Tribulation period as I believe it will have been laid waste in large portions of the landscape and maybe be like a third world nation that just seems to sit in the background pretty much ignored and forgotten.
David I do agree with your assessment. At this point I don't profess to have a solution to the immigration issue. I am aware of that Obama wants to bring in 10,000 Syrians into this country. And the FBI says they don't have the resources to vet them as quickly as Obama wants. I believe he wants to fast track them and get them in here in 4 months. I was just listening to the news that one of the attackers in Paris probably used a passport and pass himself off as a refugee from Syria. Hence the concern for the Syrians coming into this nation.There are several state governors who have said they will not accept Syrians. Probably because they cannot be vetted. I can't say I blame them. On the other hand the State Department has said that they will not grant refugee status to the Christians who have been victimized by ISIS. The Obama administration does not recognize Christiane being persecuted by ISIS as refugees. Yet these are the ones who would not be coming in as your jihadists. But would assimilate into American society. Work and pay taxes. But for some reason the president favors Muslims over Christiane. Sure does bring out the conspiratorial side of me. Ok don't want to violate the SI Guidelines:):).Anyway just a few thoughts.
It is amazing to me how most reasonable believers accept that much of Revelation is figurative language (the dragon, the Beast, the “Whore of Babylon” , the horns, the mark of Christ upon the elect, stars falling to the earth,etc) but then fall all over themselves to show how the mark must be a literal chip implant, tattoo etc. Being marked on hand or forehead denotes loyalty/devotion. Check out Exodus 13:9 and Deut 6:8.
As Paul rejected false gospels we must reject them. The only distinguishing mark of a genuine Christian is the manifestation of the life and character of Jesus Christ in their life. The mark of a true Christian is not the mark of outward circumcision, but a circumcision of the heart and a sealing of the Holy Spirit. A Christian has no mark of racial superiority, exclusive religious group they belong to or nationalistic heritage. They are not marked by outward religious appearance or practices. The Christian has no need of these marks which are not becoming of a child of God, partaker of grace and an ambassador of Jesus Christ. On the other hand, the mark of religious Babylon, the Great whore is on many people. This is the mark of the Beast and this distinguishing mark reflects the character and nature of Satan as it is a mark that is known by external appearance, a form of godliness, division, exclusivity, pride and boastfulness, love of money and a competitive accumulation of disciples as it competes with other religious structures and perpetuates disunity. People have been used as pawns and trophies by the religious system for millenia as they "desire to make a good showing in the flesh" (Gal 6:12). Paul fought this false gospel in Galatia and noted that "they desire to have you circumcised (marked) that they may boast in your flesh". The Judaizers were not seeking the best interests of the Galatian Christians, but they were only looking for self-serving bragging rights and salvaging their religious system. If you are looking for a mark, don't look for it from the world. Look to religious Babylon. Look to the religionists. Paul knew what the mark of the beast of religion looked like. And he knows what the mark of Jesus Christ is, too. And he fought those who attempted to mark the true disciples with the corrupt mark of religious bondage through false gospels, causing them to fall from grace. (Gal 6:17 From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus) Outward conformity is important to religion. Religion is about morals and belief systems and their followers are identified by what they do with their "hands" regarding their "moral" activity and by what belief systems they give their thoughts (heads) to. Religion is also about men, personalities (other than the Person of Jesus Christ). Religion has branded and stamped (marked) their followers and marks everything they think and do. Those who do not conform are ostracized economically and socially. Christians that have fallen from grace and are walking by sight and not faith are no longer looking for a City whose builder and maker is God, but are looking for a physical city (religious structure) as they have been marked by religious Babylon.Funny, how we are a spiritual people, inheriting a spiritual kingdom, serving a spiritual King, fighting spiritual battles, but religious Babylon is all about the physical and does not want people to glimpse the spiritual.
Hi TMK,I'm not sure if you're referring to what I wrote. However, I do think that I made it clear that a physical mark is a POSSIBILITY. I would never declare that it is a physical mark, chip or anything like it. At the same time, I wouldn't declare it to be little more than an idea or acceptance of a false religious system either.When it comes to eschatology, I think that most of us aren't quite as privileged as John. He saw those things clearly as he traveled through the "glass darkly" into the vantage point of eternity. We aren't quite so privileged. We are trapped in our mortal bodies and eyes -- spiritual and physical. Unless we are blessed with first-hand spiritual revelation, all that we can do is make "spiritual" guesses. That is not to say that we cannot rely upon spiritual wisdom. The Scriptures clearly state about the mark: "Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six" (Revelation 13:18 NASB). Of course, I have heard plenty of people use their "wisdom" to conclude that the number of the beast equated to Henry Kissinger, Ronald Wilson Reagan, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, the Ayatollah and plenty of other figures from recent history. When it comes to figurative and literal rhetoric, I think that a vision can include both types of rhetoric. The Scriptures say that the Lord our God is a sun and shield -- but it isn't literal. Jesus is the Lamb of God -- but not a physical lamb (even if John saw a lamb in his revelation). Revelation chapter 13 can have figurative rhetoric completing literal things in the same way that communion can include literally eating and drinking the elements without literally eating and drinking the body of Christ. Does that make sense? I think that it is very possible that the mark is literal -- whether a symbol on the hand or forehead or even some sort of modern technology. At the same time, it is also very possible that this is not the case. Either way, we avoid confusion by keeping our eyes and hearts focused upon Christ (but not yet literally on this side of the glass darkly though).
Brothers to hold to the notion that the mark is physical does not take away from a spiritual understanding of the book of Revelation. When John writes that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark would certainly imply something physical. Yet as our brother Chris said we see through a glass darkly. We certainly do not have the vantage point that John had. But one thing we can be sure of. Jesus reigns. And Jesus will win. That we can be sure of.Brothers simply my thoughts.Blaine
Chris-I was not referring to you specifically but more in general. I always appreciate your posts. My post comes off as a bit brash and for that I apologize.
Satan's mark is indeed physical, meaning it manifests for all to see (Matt 7:15-20). Likewise the "mark of Christ" manifests for all to see. Most all of Satan's counterfeits are physical in manifestation, though you need spiritual discernment to tell them apart from the "marks" of God. Most people seem to be deceived because they are always looking for something in the physical and Satan knows this and will give them what they seek. Satan seeks to duplicate all the spiritual things of God as he desires all people to worship ("abide in") him. All these counterfeits are geared to turning men away from Christ and walking by faith and towards him or his "ambassadors" and walking by sight. The purpose of the Church is to manifest the Kingdom of God, not a worldly kingdom. Satan's counterfeit is to manifest a worldly kingdom. His counterfeits of the spiritual are indeed physical. The only relevance that the world knows is that which it can see and when the Church seeks to be relevant to the world, it has lost it's power and accepted the counterfeits of Satan. Little by little as the "frog in the water", the Church will accept the counterfeits of Satan in order to be relevant to the world and avoid persecution. Notice that Satan does not counterfeit the world, he counterfeits the things of God, for he still desires all men to worship him. False Messiah (Matt 24:24)False Spirit (1 John 4:1)False Apostles (Matt 24:24)False Brethren (Gal 2:4, 2 Cor 11:26)False Teachers (2 Pet 2:1)False Mediator (Jesus: the Better Divine-Human High Priest Hebrews - 4:14 5:10, 7:20-28, 8:6)False Doctrine (Eph 4:14)False Gospel (Gal 1:8)False Salvation (Gal 3:10-11)False Savior (Jesus: the Better Man for Mankind Hebrews 2:5-18)False Church (Romans 16:17-18)False Access to God (Jesus: The Better Way of Access to God Hebrews 10:19-39)False Gifts (2 Tim 3:13)False Builders of the Church (1 Cor 3:10-11)False Head of the Church (Christ is the true Head - Eph 4:15)False Endurance and Faithfulness (Jesus: The Better Example of Faithful Endurance Hebrews 12:1-13)False Works (Act 15:24, 28)False Mark (of Christ) (Jude 1:4)False New Birth (baptism unto salvation)False Love (disingenuous) (1 Pet 1:22, 3 Jn 1:9-10)False Joy (laughing revivals) (Acts 13:52, Eph 5:18))False Giving (Acts 5:3, 2 Cor 9:7) False Worship (Rom 1:25, Rev 19:20, Rev 7:11)False Rest (Jesus: the Better Rest of God Hebrews 4:1-13)False Signs and Wonders (Mark 13:22, 2Th 2:9)False Righteousness (James 1:22)False Holiness (Jesus: The Better Example of Holiness and Worship Hebrews 12:14-29)False Character (Matt 7:15-20)False Suffering (Jesus: The Better Example of Suffering and Bearing Reproach Hebrews 13:1-25)False Prophecy (Jer 14:14, 2 Pet 1:20)False Country (Jesus: The Better Country Hebrews 11:6)False City (Gal 4:26, Rev 21:2,10)False Angels (Gal 1:8)False Hope of Promises (Jesus: the Better Hope of Inheriting the Promises of God Hebrews 5:11 - 6:20)False Hope (Jesus: The Better Hope of Man Hebrews 7:19)False Ground of Faithfulness (Jesus: the Better Ground of Faithfulness Hebrews 3:1-19)False Promises (Jesus: The Minister of Better Promises Hebrews 8:6, 11:1-40)False Covenant (Jesus the Better Testament Hebrews 7:22)False Revelation (Jesus: the Better Revelation of God Hebrews 1:1-4)False Sacrifice (Jesus: The Better Sacrifice for Forgiveness Hebrews 9:23)(There are many more. Please feel free to add to this list.)Jesus gave the key mark as to how one would be able to distinguish true Christians from false ones. He said, “Ye shall know them by their fruits.” (Matt 7:16,20; John 7:24). They will manifest the character and nature of Christ.The false mark will manifest the character and nature of Satan. Because Satan is obsessed with counterfeiting the things of God, I believe we should not deviate on the "mark of Satan" and look to the world for the counterfeit "mark of Christ". I believe Hagee, LaHaye and Lindsay have "missed the mark". Satan gives us what we want to see. David Wilkerson wrote a book on that. And you might want to listen to Milton Green's "The Mark of Satan and the Mark of Christ". It is on Sermonindex.(Blood Covenant) The Mark of God or The Mark of the Beast - 1https://ia600801.us.archive.org/30/items/SERMONINDEX_SID12168/SID12168.mp3