Frank-- do you take every piece of imagery in Revelation literally? If not, why not? And if you dont, how do you make the distinction? Is the whore of Babylon on the scarlet beast a literal woman on a literal scarlet beast? If so where will the scarlet beast come from?
ToddI was told that every bit of imagery in Revelation represents a real thing or person or place. The imagery is a picture of a solid reality.Taken in context with other passages, reading the latest Hal Lindsey book and you will have a complete understanding of the book of Revelation so few do (besides myself)
The world, as well as the church world find these things to be very entertaining and fascinating. Just look at the magazines,the books,and of course the movies! It makes for quite a thrilling tale, not to mention the money it makes. But don't believe the hype! Believe the Bible, in the context of the text, not isolated from the rest.
Todd:A microchipped mark can be inprinted on the surface of the skin also.Prototypes exist of variant technologies that allow surface marking of the human body. This mark more importantly is a sign of allegiance to anti-christ. Taking his mark is a proclamation that you are his, and he is your god. It's much more than just identification, it's you rejecting the Lord God forever and making 666 your god. With eternal consequences. That's what I believe.
//17 so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name.//It appears that in the time of the Antichrist one will have to have the mark to buy or to sell or to conduct any type of commercial activity. Thus one will need the mark of the beast the function in the economy of that time.We are already saying that to a degree in this economy that we live in. For example you need a social security number to open up a bank account or to get employment. Without a social security number when cannot do the bank account or gain legitimate employment.Also it's almost a necessity that one have a checking account if one is working in legitimate work. For example the staffing agency I work for requires that its employees have direct deposit to either a checking account or do a debit card which must be issued by a bank or financial vendor.So already conditions are being set for those whose names are not written in the Book of Life to take the mark. I wonder though how many professing Christians will capitulate. I wonder how many will take the mark because of fear that they won't go hungry or starve.For those believers they will have to pray that God will give them strength and to trust God that he will provide for them in the time of the mark. That is assuming you do not believe in a pre-trip rapture.Again these are simply my thoughts.-bbs-
This is me just processing out loud, drawing no conclusions. I know what I believe.It interests me though that the Greek for "mark" in Rev. 13 and 14 is kharagma. It means an etching, stamping. When I read that definition, it seems almost forcible. Now, I know that from the perspective of the receiver of the mark it is not necessarily "forced" as if against one's will. Those who "receive" the mark (lambano) are described by the same word as Jesus used in John 14 ("I will receive you unto myself"). So, it is not forced in the sense of overriding one's will. Still, from the perspective of the one who "causes" people to receive the mark, it is a forceful act. Cattle branding comes to mind, although I know that is not the same thing.The reason kharagma interests me is the contrast with charisma/kharisma. The grace and gifting of God that comes by the Holy Spirit into the inner man. The means of His work is transformation. Romans 12:1-3 (metamorfoo). The work of marking -- etching and stamping -- on the other hand is artificial, external to the object. (Compare kharagma to its root word, kharax). We should take stock now. Am I already numb to the marking and etching of this age, and is my own change no more than a sculpted artifice? Am I a fine piece of work by a masterful craftsman who is truly a deceiver? Am I, too, thus deceived? Or, am I being transformed by the renewing of my mind by the Holy Ghost?