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The Mark of the Beast

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by ShakeZula, Mar 7, 2010.

  1. Bennettresearch

    Bennettresearch Politically Incorrect

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    I have seen them very well. My delineation is in my thread Debunking the Antichrist Myth.
    Craig
     
  2. Danmac

    Danmac Well-Known Member

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    So you are a Christian that doesn't believe in the antichrist?

    1Jo 2:18 ¶ Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.
    1Jo 2:22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.
    1Jo 4:3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
    2Jo 1:7 ¶ For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.
    (KJV)
     
  3. JustWondering

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    That's part of why I am not a Christian anymore, the us versus them mentality Christianity promotes. "If you are not with us you are against us and you will burn in hell!". Ironic that a religion with followers that often claim it is about love and peace's God is so saddistic and violent.
     
  4. Bennettresearch

    Bennettresearch Politically Incorrect

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    Anyone home in there? I am debunking the myth about the Antichrist that you seem to want to support. Instead of jumping to conclusions why don't you actually read it? Then you can determine what I am actually saying instead of assuming.
     
  5. Bennettresearch

    Bennettresearch Politically Incorrect

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    You have a valid complaint. What I am trying to point out is that the supposed us, is the actual Antichrist as pointed out in chapter 13 of Revelation. Christians have been deceived and have been forced into a false doctrine.
     
  6. Bennettresearch

    Bennettresearch Politically Incorrect

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    Debunking the Antichrist Myth Part 1
    A Short Exposition on Revelation Chapter 13
    By Craig Bennett

    Special Note: To follow the different beasts in this chapter I have numbered them in parenthesis. There are four of them. Also, you will notice that I do not interpret the numerology literally. A lot of numerological references in prophecies are red herrings. They do not point to specific numbers so as to distract the non initiated. No citations are given because statements made in this exposition are considered as historical fact. Citations can be given to cover any objections on this point. Source: New American Standard Bible: Lockman Press.

    Rev 13:1 And he stood on the sand of the seashore. And I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names.

    { The beast (1) coming out of the sea. The word sea is used in biblical terms as representing the populace or peoples of the earth. The term horn in biblical terms is likened to a Bull’s horns. It is broadly used in the OT as one’s power to force another to do his will, or the power to conquer. One example is Psalms (22:21). We use the word head much the same as it is used biblically to represent a leader, from that of a household to what ever degree after that. There is a differentiation between leaders and rulers here. A diadem is a badge of royalty or a crown. Blasphemy is irreverence to God. The beast then has a hierarchy of leaders (heads) and rulers (horns) The horns are empowered as royalty and the heads are blasphemous to God. }

    Message: Rome’s disdain for Christianity is nothing new. John is identifying the heads of the beast as the Bishops of Rome. They are taking on the characteristics of Rome, beast (1) in asserting their authority over the Christian Religion. Revelation is predicting the future alliance of the Bishops to Rome.

    Rev 13:2 And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority.

    { The beast (1) is described as having the features of other beasts. This is quite simply saying that the beast has incorporated other beasts into its appearance and they are combined into one beast. This is no simple beast. The Dragon, or Leviathan, or Satan gives this beast its power, throne, and authority. }

    Message: Christianity will be adulterated by incorporating other religions and practices into it. The authority to do so will be backed by the power of Rome, which incorporated other cultures, mainly Greek, into it’s own culture. Hellenization was a main complaint from the Prophets. Here John is indicating the influence on Christianity from Roman sources. The rise in power of Clement I, and Ignatius of Antioch, who advocated a centralized church with its seat in Rome, are predicted here.

    Rev 13:3 And I saw one of his heads as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed. And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast;

    { One of the Heads, or a leader, performs a sign of healing. This causes this head to gain a following because people are amazed at this act. This is a primary key in John’s transitional use of the word beast. The word beast is simply a substitute for a person, or persons, so as not to name names. It has no meaning other than that. The word beast here does not refer to beast (1). As this head is later referred to as the first beast, it is now being referred to as a beast (2) and will no longer be referred to as a head. This is the first indication of the interchangeability of the term beast and how it can cause confusion when identifying the different beasts. }

    Message: A leader who is a Roman citizen will perform a great sign as being healed from a mortal wound. As this prophecy proceeds we will see that this is Paul who was healed after being blinded by his vision on the road to Damascus. This would become the basis for the following that Paul would receive in later years. Paul is the likely most cause of the writing of this prophecy as his letters were spreading throughout the empire.
     
  7. Bennettresearch

    Bennettresearch Politically Incorrect

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    Debunking the Antichrist Myth Part 2
    A Short Exposition on Revelation Chapter 13
    By Craig Bennett

    Rev 13:4 and they worshiped the dragon, because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?”

    { People are worshipping the Dragon who gave authority to the opening beast (1) of whom the beast (2) is a head. They worshiped the beast (2) saying who can compete with or fight this beast (2) which is backed by so much power? Paul was a Roman citizen and schooled as a Pharisee. His ability to write, along with his scribe, was a very powerful tool. John is semi literate, as the crudeness of his Greek indicates, so he was outmaneuvered by Paul. }

    Message: In spite of the surety of those who hold Paul in high authority, there is no scriptural evidence that Paul and the Apostle John were friends or held the same views about the doctrine of Jesus. Paul’s overwhelming promotional abilities were too much for the Apostles to handle. No one could counter Paul’s perspective on the doctrine of the church and his influence on the Bishops of Rome is indisputable.

    Rev 13:5 And there was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies; and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him.

    { This beast(2), the head, was arrogant. This beast was not speaking the word of God or Jesus. This beast had authority for a time. The number given here is not a literal number that can be used to identify any specific person. Prophets used this technique more to hide the message than to reveal it. }

    Message: There is no indication yet about which aspect of Paul’s preaching John takes issue with. It does say that Paul’s preaching was becoming the word and John doesn’t consider it to be coming from Jesus or God. John doesn’t consider Paul as representing Jesus. Paul was never ordained as an apostle, he appointed himself using his encounter on the road to Damascus as his authority to do so.

    Rev 13:6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemies against God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, that is, those who dwell in heaven.

    { Once more, this beast (2) is not speaking the word of God or representing God according to John. In speaking of those who dwell in heaven, it is a reference to His true followers or anyone who has kept God’s word. }

    Message: A continuation of the objection to the discrepancy of what Paul was preaching versus what Jesus preached. There is a very serious doctrinal issue here that the prophecy is indicating. John is indicating that Paul is more of a rival than a true promoter of Jesus.

    Rev 13:7 And it was given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them; and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him.

    { Saints can be defined here as anyone who has kept the word of God or Jesus. There is a line being drawn here as to just who was speaking the word of God and who was not. John is telling us that the true followers of Jesus were driven out and replaced with those who claimed authority over the Christian Church. Being empowered by the opening beast (1), meant that he had authority within its realm, which is referred to as having control over the whole world of that time and into the future. The question of future versus past may come up here. As the translators point out, there is no sharp definition between future and past tenses in the Greek language of this time. John also does not want to give away the message so he is most likely indicating Paul’s past actions here and is predicting the persecution of those at a later date who do not follow Paul. }

    Message: One has to place themselves within this time and realize what it meant for John to see the status that Paul had attained while having the memory of Paul being a persecutor and murderer of Christians. The Bishops of Rome were establishing the central authority over the Church and they were followers of Paul’s letters. Their intent to have authority over the Church in every country was evident. Of course all of this hadn’t happened quite yet, only indications of it. John is predicting the inevitability of this developing.

    (A) Rev 13:8 And all who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain. (New American Standard Bible.)

    (B) Rev 13:8 And all who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain from the foundation of the world. (King James Version of the Holy Bible.)

    { Everyone who follows the beast (2) will not be named in the Book of Life of the Lamb. This is differentiated from God’s book of life as described in Exodus (32:32-33) and Psalms (69:28). And so, the affairs of the churches are being kept track of by the Lamb who was violently killed, or one could say murdered, from the foundation of the world, not the foundation of heaven. This Bible has a different sequence in this verse than the KJV. The KJV places “from the foundation of the world” at the end of this verse which I think clarifies its meaning better. Of course the word Lamb represents an innocent victim. The translation of the word slain is consistent in different Bibles and is indicating murder. Those who are not true followers of Jesus will not be written into the book. }

    Message: Here is our first statement about doctrinal issues. It clearly says here that Jesus was murdered and it was not ordained by God. Jesus was an innocent victim of the establishment, the alliance between the Pharisees and Pilate. Like a lamb led to slaughter. This also tells us where John takes issue with Paul. Because of Paul, the spurious prophecy of Isaiah: Chapters 51-53, were used to rationalize the crucifixion as God giving His Son as a Human Sacrifice to cleanse us of our sins. I Corinthians (15:3). It is not hard to see why John would object to this. Human sacrifice, or even animal sacrifice is something that Jesus was adamantly opposed to. Matthew (12:7). It is not ordained by God.
     
  8. Bennettresearch

    Bennettresearch Politically Incorrect

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    Debunking the Antichrist Myth Part 3
    A Short Exposition on Revelation Chapter 13
    By Craig Bennett

    Rev 13:9 If anyone has an ear, let him hear.

    { Self explanatory. }

    Rev 13:10 If anyone is destined for captivity, to captivity he goes; if anyone kills with the sword, with the sword he must be killed. Here is the perseverance and the faith of the saints.

    { Like and kind retribution. A warning against being lead into captivity. Retribution for killing saints or innocent people holding the testimony of God or Jesus. Those killed being saints, which could be anyone, is implied by the perseverance of the saints. }

    Message: The prophecy here is going beyond the persecution of Christians by Romans. It is indicating that the established Christian Church would kill those who opposed it. A very accurate prediction of future events. Once more, the Saints are the true followers of Jesus keeping the word of God. This is a clear indictment of the future of the Christian Church and its eventual seat in Rome. The warning is not be held captive to this Church. Symbolically, John is stating a likeness here of that of the Babylonian captivity.

    Rev 13:11 And I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spoke as a dragon.

    { This next beast (3) is empowered (two horns) as if to be the Lamb, or as an imitator of the Lamb in Verse 8. This beast spoke as a dragon however. This beast represents himself like the Lamb but he actually represents the Dragon. Or more simply stated, a religious leader with great power who speaks like a dragon. }

    Message: This prophecy foresees the establishment of the Head Bishop of the Church. Later, the Pope. This Bishop is a subterfuge. Claiming holiness and representing Jesus while truly representing Rome and its own interests and power. To stay within the confines of this verse and to not go far afield, we can say that the doctrine of the Church would be adulterated because of the effect of centralizing in Rome.

    Rev 13:12 And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence. And he makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed.

    { The authority of the first beast (2) is claimed and exercised by this beast (3). This situation is circular. To have the authority of the first beast (2), he causes everyone to worship the first beast (2), whose wound was healed. The description of being in the presence of is not clearly defined. On the surface it seems to say these two beasts are in the company of each other but it also implies the passing on of authority or a claim to inherited authority. The presence can mean that it is the beast (2) who left a legacy for the beast (3) to draw from. Paul’s presence being represented by his letters added in the scriptures. }

    Message: John is bringing it together to show us the future as to how the establishment will select which books or letters will have authority, and gaining its power from this same authority. By selecting the letters of Paul and establishing him as an authority, the Bishop in turn claims this same authority as the representative of God and Jesus through the legacy it inherits. This is a crucial verse in so far as it establishes a pattern to read the remainder of the prophecy. We are following the different beasts and their actions. The beast (3) gains authority by having people worship the other beasts. This is also a key transition. Earlier referred to as a head of the beast, this is now the first beast. John adds a key phrase to establish this transition.

    Rev 13:13 And he performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down out of heaven to the earth in the presence of men.

    { This same beast (3) then performs a sign of his own that would be well known to everyone. Fire coming down from heaven is not meant to be interpreted literally. It is a metaphor to say that this beast (3) would perform a great sign that would have great impact as coming from God or Jesus. }

    Message: This verse demonstrates how prophecy should not be considered as a script that is cast in stone to be fulfilled exactly as written. The prediction is that the Head Bishop will perform this great sign but we have no historical example of this happening. It did happen however, just a little differently than predicted. Constantine, who arguably appointed himself as Head Bishop of the Council of Nicea, did perform this sign. His vision is well known and it is just as predicted. He is the key figure in the final alliance of the Church with Rome.

    Rev 13:14 And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who had the wound of the sword and has come to life.

    { This sign is considered to be a deception by John, as if to perform a similar or equally remarkable act of the first beast (2) in some way. Another beast (4) who was killed by a wound from a sword is introduced here. The great sign was represented as coming from this beast (3), and he commanded that an image of beast (4) be made. }

    Message: Historically, this prophecy accurately predicts that Constantine would perform a great sign and have crosses put on the shields of his soldiers to go into battle. Beast (4) is clearly Jesus. John transitions the Lamb into this beast “who had the wound of the sword and has come to life”. It is Constantine that initiated the cross as representing Christianity. The image of the beast (4) can be more accurately represented as being the crucifix, as differentiated from the mark of the beast later. This is a key issue based on Rev 13:8. The early Christians did not worship the cross. And so Constantine fulfilled this prediction by causing the Cross to be a symbol of Christianity, and causing the crucifix to be an image of worship. There is a doctrinal statement here about the resurrection. Being written in Greek, the Present and Past tenses are confusing. Based on the representation of John receiving this prophecy from a spiritual Jesus in Rev 1 (8-20), and not in person, would indicate that Revelation does not support bodily resurrection but a spiritual one. In any case, John is stating that the resurrection happened.
     
  9. Bennettresearch

    Bennettresearch Politically Incorrect

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    Debunking the Antichrist Myth Part 4
    A Short Exposition on Revelation Chapter 13
    By Craig Bennett

    Rev 13:15 And there was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast might even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed.

    { The beast (3) makes the image of the beast (4) to become an idol of worship like those in pagan temples. Anyone who did not worship this idol would be killed. The implication of an element of paganism is very evident in this verse. The idols in pagan temples breathed fire, etc.. }

    Message: Here is the establishment of the crucifix as an idol of worship. It clearly has Pagan roots and is considered to be an abomination. The introduction of idolatry into Christianity is accurately predicted. The same fate would befall people as those who refused to worship the Roman idols, only it would be the Christian Church that would be committing these murders.

    Rev 13:16 And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand, or on their forehead,

    { This beast (3) gives everyone a mark either on their right hand or forehead as an identification of worshipers. It is important to note that only the mark is referred to here. }

    Message: This is the most broadly misinterpreted verse, along with Rev 13:17. It is the prelude to the famous “Mark of the Beast”. Where interpreters have missed it is that the mark is to represent beast (4) and not beast (3). The same technique as in Rev 13:12 of claiming authority by causing the worship of someone else. First Paul, then Jesus. Therefore, the mark is to represent Jesus, beast (4), and not beast (3). This is an accurate prediction as it has been a practice of the Church to mark the cross on worshiper’s foreheads during certain ceremonies. The Church also uses the Cross and the Crucifix as symbols of Christianity.

    (A) Rev 13:17 and he provides that no one should be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name. (New American Standard Bible.)

    (B) Rev 13:17 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. (King James Version)

    { No one could have a life without this identification which would be a mark, name, or number of the beast (4). The ASV does not differentiate the mark from the number or name as the KJV does. I think this is a relevant point here. Since the act of beast (3) is to cause worship of the beast (2) and an image of the beast (4), it follows that the mark, number, or name would be of the beast (4). As this beast (3) is empowering himself by causing the worship of the other beasts, this mark, name, or number would not be of him. The differentiation of the mark from the name and number is implied by two different references. }

    Message: Christian worshipers would have some kind of identification given to them. Without it they would become outcasts or worse. As there has been no historical act of tattooing or branding, this prophecy predicts the symbolic wearing of a cross to identify oneself as being a Christian. Their key to being able to have a life within society. Therefore, the beast (3) would cause all Christians to wear the Mark of the Beast (4), the Cross. There is no historic wearing of Jesus’ name or number. John is priming us for the identity of the number of the beast (4).

    Rev 13:18 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. *

    { A calculation of the number of the beast (4), who is a man, is urged. This verse is the number referred to previously which is not the mark, name, or number of beast (3), who is empowered by causing the worship of the other two beasts, (2) and (4). This is clearly the number of beast (4), “."who had the wound of the sword and has come to life”. The number 666 is referring to Jesus, it is not the number of the Antichrist. }

    Message: This is the one time that I will consider a numerological reference. The number 6 in numerology represents man. The message in this verse also states that this is the number of a man. And so, by keeping track of the different beasts we know that this is Jesus whose number is 666 or possibly 616. It is also saying that Jesus was a man and not God, a very important doctrinal statement. The number 666 is actually not an evil number, it is the number of Jesus who beast (3) would possibly cause people to wear. This did not happen obviously.

    Summary: According to the Myth, Jesus must be the Antichrist. Of course this is not true. If one has the wrong perspective they produce an idiosyncratic interpretation of a prophecy they do not understand. John is telling us that Jesus predicted the actions of the coming Church and they are incredibly accurate. As to whether this was written by the Apostle John, it could have existed in it’s original form for some time before it appeared in its present form. There is much evidence that parts of the prophecy were the additions of those editing it. Read Rev 1 (1-7). This is a blatant addition to this prophecy and there is evidence that John was warning us about this practice by the scribes. Rev 22:18. There are as many as 5 different writers of Revelation according to scholars.

    [*Note: the footnote in this bible says that some manuscripts read; 616]
     
  10. David69

    David69 Angel Of The North

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    Jesus and the so called beast is 999*** the so called beast is the messiah. The Angel!
     
  11. Duck

    Duck Well-Known Member

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    ZARDOZ! What a completely and utterly B movie classic!
     
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