Thanks, and what exactly does this mean about being marked on foreheads and hands, what sort of mark?-
Revelation 14:9/10- "A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: ďIf anyone worships the beast and its image and receives its mark on their forehead or on their hand, they, too, will drink the wine of Godís fury.."
I wrote a follow up piece on this immediately after my first response on 666. The mark on the foreheads and hands comes from the Old Testament, about how God told the Jews to follow the Law to the 'T.'
"And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a [b]sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes." (Deuteronomy 6:6-8 ESV)[/i]
So, basically, the beast would institute a law that its followers would take that demonstrated their faithfulness to it. Those that took the mark were rejecting the salvation of Christ. And like the Jews that rejected them and were subjected to the curse of the law, which includes the plagues of Egypt (Duet. 28:15-68,) so these Gentiles that took the mark would also be cursed.
Interesting. The Jews followed the Torah so that they would enjoy God's blessings only to find themselves excluded. The Gentiles followed their own religious law so that they would have eternal life in heaven. Ironically, these are the ones subjected to the 'second death.' Like what Babylon (Rome) is told:
""The fruit for which your soul longed has gone from you, and all your delicacies and your splendors are lost to you, never to be found again!" (Revelation 18:14 ESV)
I think that this still all relates to the kingdom of God. In Matthew 21:43, the Jews were told by Jesus that the kingdom of God would be taken from them and given to nations producing fruit for the Gospel. The times of the Jews ended in 70 CE and the times of the Gentiles began. At the height of its power, the Roman Church would become prideful and power-hungry, seeking to accrue much wealth for itself. Those that challenged its authority were put to death. Those that submitted to its authority also submitted themselves to a life of bondage to the canon law. At one point, the Church of Rome even permitted a priest to preach salvation for the purchase of indulgences; an act that sparked revolution in the Church. Their sermon was not that the poor would find equality in justice in God's kingdom, as Jesus taught, but rather that God is angry at their sin and ready to damn them to eternity if they do not pay for the indulgence and let the Church of Rome remiss their sins.
So, when we speak of evil in the Church, we tend to always revert back to the Middle Ages, with crusades and inquisitions. This, I think is the greatest indication of what the mark was and who bore it. I will say it plainly now: The mark of the beast was Roman Catholicism. It was a state-sponsored religion that cared more for monasticism than it did for social equality. Social inequality eventually caught up with it when the French revolutionaries overthrew its power and chopped the heads off of the priests at the guillotine.
However, just like when Jesus came, one can be a Catholic without submitting to the false religion of justification by works (or by indulgences), just like one can be accepted into the Abrahamic Covenant without having to get circumcised. Jesus freed us from bondage to the Law. We should not be placing ourselves back under it.
And if any are curious. The Roman Church gained primacy after the Great Schism of 1054. The schism between Rome and Constantinople occurred because Rome was criticizing Constantinople on its use of leavened bread during the Eucharist, an accusation akin to justification by the Mosaic Law.
Edited by Bluefinger, 14 January 2013 - 05:07 AM.