Archive for May, 2011

He causeth all…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). I quoted these words from the King James Version of Revelation 13:16-17 for a reason. Some are preaching that the Bible says the mark will be “on” the hand, and not “in” the hand. They go on to teach that the mark must be a visible mark upon the skin for that reason.

The KJV obviously uses the word “in,” as do several of the earliest English translations. Even if the intended word is “on,” that wouldn’t necessarily mean that it couldn’t be under the skin or invisible to the eye. The Greek word “charagma,” that’s used here, conveys the idea of a mark that is etched, or scratched into something, so it could be taken either way. People could be terribly mislead if they think the “mark of the beast” must be the Arabic numerals 666 tattooed, or stamped upon the skin.

The book of Revelation was written in Greek, and the Greek numerals for 666 were used. Some manuscripts write it out as six hundred and sixty-six (hexakosioi hexekonta hex), but I don’t think that makes much difference. I don’t know why the church has been so secretive about some of this information, and I want to try to look into that a little later. There is always the possibility of instable persons reacting the wrong way to information, and that’s a concern. It was necessary however, for God to include information about the antichrist in the Bible as a warning.

Some Christians who have publicly mentioned these symbols, seem to hold a wrong interpretation about their use. Apparently they believe these scriptures have already been fulfilled by the Roman Caesars. There have been several people, including Hitler, who seem to have partially fulfilled these prophecies. Even though there are “many antichrists”, according to the Bible, yet there is only one who will qualify as “the” Antichrist. His rule will bring the age of man to a close.

The Greek symbols themselves have been used in a lot of ways. It’s almost as if mankind has been toying with them down through history. I’m not going to try to depict these symbols today. Instead, I’m going to try to do an overview in this post, and then work on more detail later. (Note: Wikipedia has a good article on the Greek alphabet) The symbols themselves represent both letters and numerals, and can therefore be considered a mark, a number, and a name at the same time. The letters are all consonants, but I’m sure vowels would have been supplied if they were needed to understand the passage.

The first symbol is the Greek letter Chi. Chi represents the number 600, and has the shape of an X. I’ve seen both uppercase and lowercase shapes used for the first two symbols, but I’m not sure if that’s totally correct. The Greek “X” does not have the same sound as the English X. Chi is most often pronounced as K according to Webster’s, since perfectly correct pronunciation is difficult for the English tongue. The X-shape itself, comes from a letter of the Phoenician alphabet called “Tau,” which means “mark.” So X actually means mark. The t-shape was also used at one time, and it continues to be called tau in the Greek alphabet.

Also according to Webster’s, the sound of our X is more directly related to the Greek letter Xi (ksi), which is the symbol for sixty. The uppercase Xi is represented by three horizontal lines with flares on the ends of each of them. The lowercase symbol could be mistaken for a capital letter E, written in cursive. Either form of Xi could be taken for an E.

The Greek symbol for 6 is an obsolete letter called stigma, and is similar to the shape of an S, but with a much smaller hook on the bottom. The Roman word for six is sex, and that is a place where someone could strike out on a tangent. I don’t know exactly how that came to be, but if you look at the reversed order of the Greek numerals for 666, you could read them as the word “sex,” if you didn’t know better. I think this is like a lot of other “coincidences” involving the mark. This sort of thing can serve as a diversionary tactic that causes us to grow accustomed to something.

The word “stigma” also means mark, and in medical terminology refers to a marker, or an indicator of a disease. I don’t think it’s only coincidence that microchips embedded in the human body are being used in the diagnosis of disease. The Biblical prophecy of the “Mark of the Beast” (Antichrist) is going to be fulfilled. It isn’t a question of if, but when. I can’t tell you who, when, or exactly how, but there’s plenty going on to let us know that it will happen.

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It is probably the most visible fulfillment of prophecy ever, and it’s happening now. You can’t see exactly how far off it is, but at this point, there’s no turning back. It’s like moving in a huge crowd of people. You have to take these short, fast little steps. The crowd moves you and if you were to fall, you would be trampled. Step by step, the world is setting the stage for the rule of the Antichrist.

The Bible predicts a world where no one will be able to legally buy or sell without some sort of computer chip embedded in the forehead, or right hand. We don’t know how advanced the final system will actually be, but it will allow a wireless connection for the citizens of the world. The world in our day is working to make it happen.

The “mark” does not have to be visible. It probably won’t be. It makes sense that it would be in a standardized location on our body, to be easily located by a scanner. Eventually that location will be the forehead, or the right hand. The “mark” will serve as a personal ID, and will allow merchants and others to access funds or information about you as needed. I’m sure that those who receive the mark will be promised some degree of anonymity, but that will only depend upon who’s wanting to know something about you. The person at the top will have access to everything, and people will have no more freedom than he allows them.

In many places, livestock are already being chipped so that diseased animals can be traced. You can’t really argue that anything is wrong with that, and you seem forced to take that little step. For several years, pets have been receiving chips as an aid in tracing them if they’re lost. You can’t argue with that either. Computer chips are also used as a medical alert for people with particular medical problems. That will no doubt save lives. I’ve heard at least one Church leader advising Christians to buy stocks in these biochip companies. I don’t think that’s a good idea, even if it is a good financial investment, because it will eventually lead to the enslavement of the world.

I’m not giving any secrets away here. Anyone who has put a little thought into it will already be aware of the practical uses of such a system. If the leaders of the nations can monitor every transaction by every person, (even bartering) then they can control practically everything. Sooner or later, everyone will be required to have a scanner on their cellphone or computer to access the Internet. The chip in your hand or forehead will be read before you’ll be allowed access, and any related restrictions will be applied. In that way, the world government can monitor its citizens.

I think the Egyptian government of Mubarak would love to have had such a system in place prior to his recent overthrow. Khadafi must also regret the way the Libyan people were able to use the internet to organize against him. You’d better believe the leaders of the nations will soon exercise greater control over the Internet.

In a way the Internet may be considered one of the last bastions of freedom, but it will one day be used to control the peoples of the earth. There’s been some controversy recently over Apple and Google phones tracking their users. There’s a lot more going on than you or I know. I’ve recently had to try to cope with computer viruses, and malware that restricts your ability to search for information or help. Search queries are redirected to a site other than you request. Some “legitimate” businesses are resorting to use of these tactics. The object is to let you see only what they want you to see.  Sales-personnel could be using such tactics without the knowledge of management. Governments will be able to do a much more thorough job of blocking your access to information.

I don’t want anyone to be alarmed by this post, but I would like for everyone to understand where current trends are taking us. Don’t expect the “mark of the beast” to be the Arabic numerals 666 tattooed on your hand. The book of Revelation was written in Greek, and Greek numerals were used. That makes the situation a lot more complex. I pray to be able to post something about these numerals in “part 2” within the next week. There is a link at my home page of this blog to “Mistree.” I have a page there with some rough charts on the Greek letter-numerals if someone is interested.

Jesus is going to be the only way out of the mess the world is getting itself into. We need him to also guard our minds in these things. Please take note that I am not saying the biochip in use at the present time is the mark of the beast. I am pointing out the steps the world is taking toward the destiny foretold in the Bible.

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There is the saying, “If you can’t beat them, join them,” and that is always one of Satan’s back up plans. Sometimes the Devil will side with the dream team of the day, and find a way to steer it wrong. That’s what happened during the Protestant Reformation.

The reformers rightfully rejected many of the traditional doctrines and practices of the established church. As soon as the reformers gained some measure of authority however, they adopted the tactics of the religious system which they had broken away from. Some of them used censorship and persecution to hinder those who questioned them.

The reformers had sometimes endured persecution themselves, but in Luke 6:28 the Lord said, “Bless those who curse you, and pray for those who mistreat you.” If you do unto others as they do to you, you will both look the same when history looks back, and maybe you are the same. The abuse of power shows up in any party that is in control, whether it is Atheism, Secularism, Communism, or you name it. There is the saying that “Power corrupts,” but man is always corrupt. Power simply allows corruption to surface.

It’s possible to get most of your doctrines correct, and yet to forget that God is love. That’s how some so-called champions of grace, such as John Calvin, could show little grace toward those who tried to debate them. Their doctrines became heresy laws that civil authorities enforced mercilessly. While God was working to bring the church back in line with truth, Satan was redirecting the reformers, sending them off on witch hunts, chasing hares and heretics.

To use violence as a means of establishing “doctrine” is heresy in itself. Satan was right then laying the groundwork for persecution of true Christians, and today’s rebellion against Christ. The world associates the deeds of those who call themselves Christians with Christianity, and that’s an easy mistake to make.

According to 1st Corinthians 13:1-3, it’s possible to accept, or even to establish, correct doctrines, and yet to be wrong. To paraphrase verse 2; “If I have all knowledge, and if I have faith to move mountains, and do not have love, I am nothing.” God needs mountains moved, but he doesn’t need them bulldozed over the people in the valleys. He wants to persuade all people of the truth, not beat them over the head with it. You may shut someone up by force, but that is not going to win their heart. Love doesn’t violate God’s principles, but the lack of it can even turn the truth into a hateful lie.

You can argue that history often gets things confused, and that’s true. You can say that men like John Calvin were victims of their times as all people are, but that still doesn’t excuse them, and they don’t belong on pedestals. That is a sort of idolatry that continues in the modern church.

In the study of human history, it can be difficult to tell the good guys from the bad guys. That is because it is human history, and there is some good in the worst of us, and some evil in the best of us. The only exception to that rule is Jesus Christ. Though he became one of us, yet he was without sin (Hebrews 4:15). It would be well for the church to remember that there isn’t a single one of us that Jesus didn’t have to die for. He was dragged into our mess because he loved us. He “who knew no sin” became “sin for us…” (2nd Corinthians 5:21). We became Christians because we accepted those things. The church that forgets where it came from will also lose its sense of direction.

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We had a bit of a scare last week with the tornados that hit the south. My wife had been on the telephone with her mom, and promised to call back when I made it home from work. I didn’t have any trouble, but the phone line went down at her mom’s. I’m not usually as prone to worry as my wife is, and I got on her nerves a little trying to downplay the storm situation. Then we starting hearing bits of news about a tornado.

My wife called a friend, who lives closer than we do, but there were trees down and he couldn’t get through. We sat up trying to decide whether I should try to drive up another way. We prayed off and on about it of course. My wife would say that she didn’t have any peace about her mother, and I would say that you wouldn’t necessarily feel at peace, even if there were nothing to worry about.

Someway or another, my wife got someone on the telephone at a store near her mother’s. That’s when I began to get uneasy. The store had been destroyed, and people were injured. The person my wife talked with thought the damage was widespread, and that people had been killed. My wife called the State Police, several hospitals, and I don’t know who else. She worried so, that I worried about her.

Yes, I know that it can be wrong to worry, but I think the line between concern, and worry can sometimes be too fine to define. Many times in life, we find that we must try, and try again, to leave things in the hands of the Lord. Her mom was safe, but it was about nine hours before we found out. I had told my wife that her mom would probably be sitting in a closet with a flashlight worrying about us, and that’s what she had been doing.

The tornado had been close enough for her to hear, and then she listened to sirens and helicopters the rest of the night. Under circumstances like that, you may not feel “peace”, and most people pray a lot. Sometimes when you realize there’s nothing else that you can do, God will lay his hand on your shoulder.

We lost a night’s sleep, but scattered across the south, a lot of people lost everything they had. Some lost loved ones, or their own lives. I believe that God is with us in the storms, whether we “feel” it or not. I think the “peace of God,” and many other things about Christianity, are different from what we expect. I like the Larry Norman song, “Strong Love and Strange Peace.” It’s an old song now, but I think the peace of God is a strange peace, and very hard to define.

There is a peace in knowing that we have a secure promise, and we can take shelter in that promise. I’ve watched birds play on the winds of an approaching storm. It’s obvious that they love flying at twice their normal speed, and sometimes being blown backwards. I’ve thought before that I would love to be that way, but when the winds get bad enough, the birds fly off to find shelter.

I don’t think we should ever get to the point that we don’t care, and if you care, you can be hurt. I think the peace of God is a kind of inner understanding that God is with us. We often need to take another look at God’s own cross in order to grasp that.

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