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Bluefinger

The Apocalypse Explained

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Hello UM,

So I've done a great deal of studying the book of Revelation for about 20 years now and have finally come across, what I think, is a very logical, exegetical interpretation of what the book's symbols actually meant.

So please, ask me about anything in the book and I will give you what I have discovered. I will not go on a tangent about left behind stories and I will provide as much evidence as I can (and I've found plenty.)

Some topics for starters:

1. What are the seven seals?

2. Who are the two witnesses?

3. Who are the 144,000 sealed?

4. What does 666 mean?

5. What is the beast?

6. What are the seven trumpets?

7. When was the book written?

I hope some actually engage me in this and that the discussion is fruitful.

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I would like answers to questions 1 as well as 2,3,4,5,6 and 7.

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I would like answers to questions 1 as well as 2,3,4,5,6 and 7.

Haha. Thanks David,

But can I get one to focus on at a time?

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Excellent topic - thanks for starting the conversation! I'm interested in number 3. My understanding is that these will be a specific group. All male and all virgins. Do you see this as a literal interpretation? Will they go abroad on the planet evangelizing? Will their activities be concurrent with the 42 months of the two witnesses or will they follow them?

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Excellent topic - thanks for starting the conversation! I'm interested in number 3. My understanding is that these will be a specific group. All male and all virgins. Do you see this as a literal interpretation? Will they go abroad on the planet evangelizing? Will their activities be concurrent with the 42 months of the two witnesses or will they follow them?

Sure!

The 144,000, as Revelation 7 shows, are from the 12 tribes of Israel. (Interesting note, these are not the original 12 tribes. Dan and Ephraim are missing while Levi was only supposed to be a half tribe. Either these names put together spell out a specific description about them or something occurred in their history that excluded Dan and Ephraim from the covenant. I can't be sure.)

What I can say, though, is that this group's sealing is connected to the trumpets. The four angels hold back the four winds so that nothing is harmed until the 144,000 are sealed. This is the most important note about it: It comes before a great tribulation (but not THE great tribulation.)

Scripture is pretty vocal about this group. It is a very specific group. Without further ado, the 144,000 are those who first heard the Gospel and those who first believed them. They are, as Rev. 14:4 shows, the firstfruits redeemed from mankind. This is the group that was called out of Jerusalem before God passed judgment on the city. Now, there are several supporting passages about this group that I can post, but I want to explain my reasoning first.

Jesus preached to the Jews using parables, several times saying that the wicked generation that He was sent to would be destroyed at Jerusalem and scattered. Before that would happen though, Jesus would call out the elect and shorten the tribulation of the Jews so that the elect would not be consumed. These elect would then flee Judea and go to the Gentiles, where the Gospel of the kingdom would produce great amounts of fruit for the kingdom of God and would include the Gentiles in the Abrahamic Covenant. This can explain why there is such a great multitude of Gentiles mentioned in Revelation 7, right after the 144,000 Israelites are sealed.

Supporting Scripture: Mt. 20:23; Mt. 22:14; Jn 17:6; Mt. 24:15-18, 22; Mt. 28:19-20; Lk 16:16; Eph 1:12; Rom 11:5; Jam 1:18; Heb 12:23; Rom 8:23.

What can be easily deduced from Scripture is that the firstfruits, those chosen out of many by God, are those who first heard and believed. It was predestined of them to believe, so that God could redeem out of Israel those whom He would preserve from destruction. (Rom. 11:1-4) These had the mission of bring the Gospel to the Gentiles. If you follow Mt. 21:42-45, Jesus made it clear that the kingdom of God was going to be taken away from the Jews and given to the Gentiles. So God predestined and reserved a remnant so that His promises to Abraham would endure, just as God had reserved a remnant of 7,000 during the days of Elijah whom would not worship Baal. These would always worship God.

Now, 144,000 sounds like a lot, but it was really just a remnant of Jews in the entire Roman Empire. Flavius Josephus recorded that approximately 1.1 million Jews died in Jerusalem alone in 70 CE, when the Romans destroyed the city and the temple.

To finally justify my statement, Jesus gave several examples that an elect group would be called out: Mt. 24:15-28 clearly showed that Jerusalem's high priesthood was to be desecrated, showing itself to be a sign to the disciples to flee Judea. This occured after the war in Judea occured, when John of Gischala fled his city and brought his thugs to Jerusalem. Assuming that John and his crew were fighting for the Jewish cause, they didn't question their motives. The seditious lot overthrew the highpriesthood and did away with its traditions, placing a man in the position that had no clue what it was. A sign to them made it evident when the temple doors flung open on their own accord, as Josephus recorded.

Luke 21:10-19 gives armies surrounding Jerusalem as the disciples' sign to flee Judea. This occured, according to Josephus, when Cestius was initially sent to put down the revolt. When he got to Jerusalem, Cestius surrounded the city. The inhabitants opened up the gates to let him in, but he turned and fled for some reason. This was another sign for the elect to flee.

Jesus made it clear: Jerusalem was being destroyed because of their unrepentance that led them to reject their Messiah and kill his disciples. That explains the salt of the earth parable in Matthew 5:13. The righeous were the salt of the earth. If the earth lost its saltiness, like Jerusalem lost its righteous, then it was good for nothing but to be trampled underfoot. Consider also Luke 17:28-29. Abraham had prayed that God would spare Jerusalem if it had even 10 righteous people. God only found Lot and his family. So He sent angels to protect them and guide them out of the city. Once Lot and his family escaped, Sodom was utterly destroyed. Jesus was using this to explain what would happen to Jerusalem. The rightoeus would be called out so that God could pass judgment on the city. Therefore, the 144,000 sealed are those who are chosen to always follow Christ and not participate in the Jerusalem's destruction.

So there we have it. I think I have provided a good enough explanation as to who the 144,000 sealed are. They were called out of Jerusalem and Judea before Christ gathered all the Jews in the area to Jerusalem to pass judgment on the city. Lest anyone think I am antiSemitic, I want to clarify that I follow Romans 11:11, 25, which states that the Jews were only blinded so that the Gentiles would be accepted into God's promises (saving them) and that blindness was only temporary. When it is healed, All of Israel will be saved.

Edited by Bluefinger
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Who will the two witnessess be? Will it be Elijah and Moses?

Also, where in Revelations do we find ourselves now? I mean, have any of the trumphets been blown or seals broken? Then there's also the 4 horses. Have any of that taken place already?

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When will it happen? Or has it already happened?

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.....

Consider also Luke 17:28-29. Abraham had prayed that God would spare Jerusalem if it had even 10 righteous people. God only found Lot and his family. So He sent angels to protect them and guide them out of the city. Once Lot and his family escaped, Sodom was utterly destroyed. Jesus was using this to explain what would happen to Jerusalem. The rightoeus would be called out so that God could pass judgment on the city. Therefore, the 144,000 sealed are those who are chosen to always follow Christ and not participate in the Jerusalem's destruction.

Luke 17:28-29 > It wasn't Jerusalem to be spared if God could find 10 righteous people - it was Sodom.

One problem I have with the whole Bible story is how God distinguishes between righteous people and "non-righteous" people. Take your example of Lot, for instance. Sodom was destroyed because the people were sinners and had turned to homosexuality. What kind of man was Lot? Well, lets see... he offered his virgin daughters to the men of Sodom to rape them. He was a drunk. Had incest with his daughters and had "b_stard" children by them (excuse the language but illegitimate children were called that.) Oh yes, and the sons became the father of the Moabites and the Ammons. Evidently incest is better than homosexuality.

Edited by Time Traveler

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Sodom was destroyed because the people were sinners and had turned to homosexuality.

I thought the story was how they treated outsiders.
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I thought the story was how they treated outsiders.

Genesis 19:5 and they called to Lot and said to him, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may have relations with them."

You can interpret "relations" or "know them" (as in King James) as you wish, but Lot tells the men to take his daughters "who have not had relations" with man and do to them whatever you like" denoting sexual acts. Both words are the same Hebrew word "Yada" [3045] Strongs.

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Who will the two witnessess be? Will it be Elijah and Moses?

Good question Catz!

For your first question, I think my answer might come to you as a surprise.

The Two Witnesses are the Gentile Church. This can be a lengthy explanation so please bear with me. I will describe it how in the order it is written.

Rev. 11 starts out with measuring the temple. The obvious reason for this is because it is saying that the temple was going to be destroyed. Therefore, the new measurements had to be laid out, like what Ezekiel 40 did. The reason for this is because the Time of the Gentiles were beginning. To get that, you'd have to go back to chapter 10 and see verse 17, where John is commissioned to begin a new prophecy about many peoples, languages, nations, and kings; the Gentiles.

The prophecy of the Two Witnesses is inserted between the sixth and seventh trumpet blasts. The sixth trumpet is the destruction of Jerusalem and its temple. (I can explain the trumpets in another thread. I just want to get through this one without getting off topic.) From Jerusalem's destruction, the kingdom of God was given over to the Gentiles. (See Mt. 21:42-45, Mt. 22:1-14, Lk. 21:24 for more detail.) So, the Two Witnesses are not Jews, like the 144,000 sealed before Jerusalem's destruction. They are Gentiles.

These Two Witnesses are commissioned AFTER Jerusalem is trampled underfoot by the Gentiles. So, post-70 CE. They are the two olive trees. This is taken from Zech. 4, which was written about the rebuilding of the second temple by Zerubabbel the governor and Joshua the High Priest. The lampstand in that chapter represented the second temple. The two olive trees had branches that extended out and poured oil into the lampstand, signifying that Joshua and Zerubabbel would rebuild and reconsecrate the temple. When Zechariah asked what the olive trees were, he was ignored by the angel. When he asked what the branches were, he was told that these are the two that stand before The Lord of hosts. That's our tip. The two olive trees are priests, like Joshua, and kings, like Zerubabbel. This is a repetitive theme in the book of Revelation to signify the saints. (See Rev. 1:6, 5:10, 20:6)

These are also two lampstands, which we already identified were temples. But we know that the temple was destroyed. So these two witnesses are the temples. These are what many today call The Church. (But so much more than that!) They are built upon the prophets and apostles, with Christ being the chief cornerstone, into a glorious temple (Eph. 2:19-22.)

Their prophecy is the witness of the Gospel to all nations. (Mt. 22:10) Their witness is like fire to wood, convicting of evil; like when the Christians stood up to the Romans at the Tribune, like what happened to Smyrna. (Rev. 2:10) They would receive words from the Spirit and those words would pierce the heart.

Now you asked about Moses and Elijah:

They are like Moses and Elijah. This can be hinted at by the plagues they cause, similar to those caused during Moses' and Eljiah's ministry. But more than that, their goal is the same. They keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus, like Philadelphia did. (Rev. 3:8) This is also a repetitive theme, as you can see. Revelation 12:17 shows it in plain language. The Gentile Church was to keep the teachings of Christ and hold to His testimony (Rev. 19:10.) Like Moses, the Church kept God's commands (the teachings of Christ, the New Law). And like Elijah, the Church preached to the pagans and unbelievers who the One True God was. Not only that, these live out the blessings of God (Deut. 28:1-14) so as to inspire the Jews to jealousy, by which they would throw off the curse of the Law. (Romans 11:11)

As Luke 21:24 and Romans 11:25 shows, the Times of the Gentiles would eventually come to an end, with Jerusalem receiving their Lord again. When that happens, the temple that was measured will have been rebuilt in Jerusalem, fulfilling what Paul looked forward to in Romans 11:25; All of Israel will be saved. The kingdom of God would finally produce fruit in Jerusalem and bless the name of the Lord. Christ's would then cleanse the Jews and Jerusalem of all unrighteousness, allowing the Holy Spirit to enter the people and make them God's temple. Then the Two Witnesses will have then finished their testimony.

Another interesting observation: The Two Witnesses are resurrected in Jerusalem and the city praises God after that point. Paul also notes that if the rejection of Israel mean salvation to all nations, then what would Israel's inclusion mean but resurrection of the dead? And so we have it. The Two Witnesses are the Gentiles, living out the promises of God in the kingdom of heaven. They do this in an age called The Times of the Gentiles and will continue to do so until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in (Rom. 11:25.) Then the eternal Gospel will have been preached to all nations. (Rev. 14:6)

I hope you found this research helpful!

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Also, where in Revelations do we find ourselves now? I mean, have any of the trumphets been blown or seals broken? Then there's also the 4 horses. Have any of that taken place already?

I think we are at the sixth vial of God's wrath right now. We are in the time of the Two Witnesses. The Church plagues the nations of the earth because they are so blessed and God is with them. America, for example, gets to do whatever it wants. Nobody else enjoys that freedom (except for Israel now.) Because of this, and past things such as crusades, inquisitions, etc.; there has been a growing resentment and animosity toward Christianity, just as shown in Rev. 11:10. People will celebrate the day that the Church collapses. We are nearing that day, I believe.

Concerning the trumpets and seals: Yes. The seven seals followed the Olivet Discourse of Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21. They were events leading to Jerusalem's destruction. Wars and rumors of wars (first seal), nations rising against nations (second seal), famines (third seal) and pestilences (fourth seal) in various places. Jesus' first listeners would be persecuted by the Jews and chased out of the synagogues. Because they treated God's servants so shamefully, God was angry and set the Romans to declare war on Judea (sixth seal.) When the seventh seal was opened, the vengeance of the saints began to pour out on the Jews and Jerusalem. That is what the trumpets are about.

We are also in between the sixth and seventh trumpet. That is, from the destruction of Jerusalem until the Gospel is received in Jerusalem.

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Luke 17:28-29 > It wasn't Jerusalem to be spared if God could find 10 righteous people - it was Sodom.

Yes. Sodom. I'm glad you understood what I meant and thank you for pointing out the typo.

One problem I have with the whole Bible story is how God distinguishes between righteous people and "non-righteous" people. Take your example of Lot, for instance. Sodom was destroyed because the people were sinners and had turned to homosexuality. What kind of man was Lot? Well, lets see... he offered his virgin daughters to the men of Sodom to rape them. He was a drunk. Had incest with his daughters and had "b_stard" children by them (excuse the language but illegitimate children were called that.) Oh yes, and the sons became the father of the Moabites and the Ammons. Evidently incest is better than homosexuality.

Well, I think you misunderstood some parts of the story. He didn't have incest with his daughters. His daughters made him drunk and tricked him. Likely, they took advantage of his grieving and got him stupid-drunk. About him offering his daughters: Yeah. No bueno. I suppose the author was trying to point out that the city had no concern for the daughters but rather wanted to show their strength to the angels. Kinda like prison. A lot of guys there don't rape men because they are gay. They do it as a show of power.

The real reason that Sodom was destroyed was because of the overflowing injustice in the city. Sodom was prideful, had plenty of provisions and lived at ease, yet did not help the poor and the needy (Ezk. 16:49.) The story of Noah seemed to say the same thing. The people's minds were on evil at all times. They used their power to oppress the poor rather than help them. So Ezekiel made the communication that Jerusalem had become like Sodom (and worse.)

So when Jesus used the parable of Lot in Sodom to describe His disciples in Jerusalem, He wasn't calling them righteous. Far from it. Jesus' teachings emphasized justice to the poor because the powerful in Jerusalem gave them hardly any provision. The apostles took His teachings and repeated them everywhere they went. When Jerusalem was destroyed, its wickedness was laid out for all to see, as Josephus recorded.

Edited by Bluefinger

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Genesis 19:5 and they called to Lot and said to him, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may have relations with them."

You can interpret "relations" or "know them" (as in King James) as you wish, but Lot tells the men to take his daughters "who have not had relations" with man and do to them whatever you like" denoting sexual acts. Both words are the same Hebrew word "Yada" [3045] Strongs.

Raping guests perhaps isn't the best way to treat them.
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What does 666 "the number of the beast" mean?

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Good question Catz!

For your first question, I think my answer might come to you as a surprise.

The Two Witnesses are the Gentile Church. This can be a lengthy explanation so please bear with me. I will describe it how in the order it is written.

Rev. 11 starts out with measuring the temple. The obvious reason for this is because it is saying that the temple was going to be destroyed. Therefore, the new measurements had to be laid out, like what Ezekiel 40 did. The reason for this is because the Time of the Gentiles were beginning. To get that, you'd have to go back to chapter 10 and see verse 17, where John is commissioned to begin a new prophecy about many peoples, languages, nations, and kings; the Gentiles.

The prophecy of the Two Witnesses is inserted between the sixth and seventh trumpet blasts. The sixth trumpet is the destruction of Jerusalem and its temple. (I can explain the trumpets in another thread. I just want to get through this one without getting off topic.) From Jerusalem's destruction, the kingdom of God was given over to the Gentiles. (See Mt. 21:42-45, Mt. 22:1-14, Lk. 21:24 for more detail.) So, the Two Witnesses are not Jews, like the 144,000 sealed before Jerusalem's destruction. They are Gentiles.

These Two Witnesses are commissioned AFTER Jerusalem is trampled underfoot by the Gentiles. So, post-70 CE. They are the two olive trees. This is taken from Zech. 4, which was written about the rebuilding of the second temple by Zerubabbel the governor and Joshua the High Priest. The lampstand in that chapter represented the second temple. The two olive trees had branches that extended out and poured oil into the lampstand, signifying that Joshua and Zerubabbel would rebuild and reconsecrate the temple. When Zechariah asked what the olive trees were, he was ignored by the angel. When he asked what the branches were, he was told that these are the two that stand before The Lord of hosts. That's our tip. The two olive trees are priests, like Joshua, and kings, like Zerubabbel. This is a repetitive theme in the book of Revelation to signify the saints. (See Rev. 1:6, 5:10, 20:6)

These are also two lampstands, which we already identified were temples. But we know that the temple was destroyed. So these two witnesses are the temples. These are what many today call The Church. (But so much more than that!) They are built upon the prophets and apostles, with Christ being the chief cornerstone, into a glorious temple (Eph. 2:19-22.)

Their prophecy is the witness of the Gospel to all nations. (Mt. 22:10) Their witness is like fire to wood, convicting of evil; like when the Christians stood up to the Romans at the Tribune, like what happened to Smyrna. (Rev. 2:10) They would receive words from the Spirit and those words would pierce the heart.

Now you asked about Moses and Elijah:

They are like Moses and Elijah. This can be hinted at by the plagues they cause, similar to those caused during Moses' and Eljiah's ministry. But more than that, their goal is the same. They keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus, like Philadelphia did. (Rev. 3:8) This is also a repetitive theme, as you can see. Revelation 12:17 shows it in plain language. The Gentile Church was to keep the teachings of Christ and hold to His testimony (Rev. 19:10.) Like Moses, the Church kept God's commands (the teachings of Christ, the New Law). And like Elijah, the Church preached to the pagans and unbelievers who the One True God was. Not only that, these live out the blessings of God (Deut. 28:1-14) so as to inspire the Jews to jealousy, by which they would throw off the curse of the Law. (Romans 11:11)

As Luke 21:24 and Romans 11:25 shows, the Times of the Gentiles would eventually come to an end, with Jerusalem receiving their Lord again. When that happens, the temple that was measured will have been rebuilt in Jerusalem, fulfilling what Paul looked forward to in Romans 11:25; All of Israel will be saved. The kingdom of God would finally produce fruit in Jerusalem and bless the name of the Lord. Christ's would then cleanse the Jews and Jerusalem of all unrighteousness, allowing the Holy Spirit to enter the people and make them God's temple. Then the Two Witnesses will have then finished their testimony.

Another interesting observation: The Two Witnesses are resurrected in Jerusalem and the city praises God after that point. Paul also notes that if the rejection of Israel mean salvation to all nations, then what would Israel's inclusion mean but resurrection of the dead? And so we have it. The Two Witnesses are the Gentiles, living out the promises of God in the kingdom of heaven. They do this in an age called The Times of the Gentiles and will continue to do so until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in (Rom. 11:25.) Then the eternal Gospel will have been preached to all nations. (Rev. 14:6)

I hope you found this research helpful!

Very interesting posts. Naturally, you are going to get comments from people like me. Just a thought --- which is the direction I go. May not be right; but this is my logic.

Anything short of the glory of God is sin. Flesh is sin. Flesh is corruptible and has no light in it. All must die for all have come short of the glory of God. Enoch and Elijah have not died. The two witnesses will die. Flesh and blood can not inhabit heaven forever for it is short of the glory of God. Therefore, the two witnesses will very likely be Enoch and Elijah.

God bless Bluefinger

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About the 144,000 preachers: Stick with me and I'll get to the 144,000.

The Bible says God does everything twice in the Bible for our strong consolation. That is why there are so many foreshadows before it's fulfillment. A foreshadow is a shadow that falls forward when the light is behind an object. But a shadow is not an exact duplicate. It is so similar as to be recognized.

Example: Abraham, the father, went to sacrifice his son on the alter. God stopped him in the niche of time. But when we see God the Father in Heaven sacraficed His son, Jesus Christ, we know this is truly what God did for a similar sacrifice is pictured in Abraham and Isaac. The devil cannot say or do anything twice. In that way we can test every doctrine. If you can't find it twice in the Bible, it's a lie from the devil. The old Testament is full of foreshadows.

Now, go back to the book of Revelation. In Chapter 7, the 144,000 are clearly Jewish. Now go to Chapter 14, (7 being God's favorite number of complete units and 14 being double 7). Nothing in Chapter 14 indicates these are Jews. I believe they are Gentiles.

Just something to think about.

God bless us all is my prayer.

Edited by Copen

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I'm much more interested in the apocalypse described by Jesus Christ himself as opposed to the random nonsensual dribble expressed by John, the writer of Revelation. After all, Jesus Christ was the only perfect being that's ever existed and the son of God himself. Where as John was most likely a regular imperfect senile old man that probably just dozed off one day and had a bad dream. I'm much more willing to take Christ's advise, considering it isn't written in stupid 'codes' and 'metaphors' but is actually expressed straightforward, and especially since we're supposed to be his disciples as opposed to John or any other mortal man.

Either way, the main thing is that spending so much time deciefering the apocalypse instead of trying to save people's lives is in my opinion a very poor assessment of priorities.

Just read the quote in my sig, that should sum up my number one priority. When the apocalypse happens it happens, doesn't matter to me really since no matter what or when it does finally happen, I know I'll be ready.

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I'm much more interested in the apocalypse described by Jesus Christ himself as opposed to the random nonsensual dribble expressed by John, the writer of Revelation. After all, Jesus Christ was the only perfect being that's ever existed and the son of God himself. Where as John was most likely a regular imperfect senile old man that probably just dozed off one day and had a bad dream. I'm much more willing to take Christ's advise, considering it isn't written in stupid 'codes' and 'metaphors' but is actually expressed straightforward, and especially since we're supposed to be his disciples as opposed to John or any other mortal man.

Either way, the main thing is that spending so much time deciefering the apocalypse instead of trying to save people's lives is in my opinion a very poor assessment of priorities.

Just read the quote in my sig, that should sum up my number one priority. When the apocalypse happens it happens, doesn't matter to me really since no matter what or when it does finally happen, I know I'll be ready.

Hello. I don't know if you read my responses, but the book of Revelation is very much in line with what Jesus taught in the narratives, especially the parables. Since Revelation uses symbols, it makes sense to turn to the parables for more information.

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What does 666 "the number of the beast" mean?

666 as the mark of the beast represents the Roman Catholic Canon Law. 666, as a number of a man, counts out Nero's name. To find the Gematra for his name, vist this site:

http://www.agapebiblestudy.com/charts/gemetria%20and%20the%20number%20of%20the%20beast%20666.htm

Nero thought himself to be the embodiment of the spirit of the Roman Empire. Therefore, Nero was Rome. When Jesus came, He kept calling Himself the kingdom of God. Same thing. The Roman Empire recognized this and deemed the Christians to be political enemies.

But it's likely that Nero had already been persecuting the Christians when Revelation was written. Furthermore, Revelation 13 regards a kingdom that would rise during the Times of the Gentiles (see my other posts for more info.) Seeing that the Roman Empire was already around, the beast for which the mark is given was yet to come when John received the Revelation. So why Nero's name?

I think that Nero was primarily used to represent the Roman Empire. His noteriety would make a huge impact on Christians throughout the ages. 666, I believe, was more specifically pointing toward Solomon. During Solomon's reign Israel was at the height of its power. During one year, Solomon's income was 666 talents. (1 Kings 10:14) God had blessed Israel with great peace, immeasurable success, and fame that caught the admiration of foreigners. His palace surpassed the temple in glory. That shows you what he thought of his position as king. During the height of his reign, Solomon apostasied to other gods, among other sins. This failure led to the division and weakening of his kingdom. Israel never enjoyed that much success after that.

Another intersting fact about Solomon: He was commissioned to build God's temple. If you recall Rev. 11, the Two Witnesses, the Gentile Church, were called to build the temple. To them was given the kingdom of God (Mt. 21:43.) The Church was a temple (Eph. 3:19-22.) So 666 is something that represents the height of the beast's reign. Interestingly, the Church of Rome had reached its height of power in the 13th and 14th centuries.

So, there is one more puzzle piece. What does 666 mean?

When the Church of Rome secured its primacy, shortly after the Investiture Controversy was put to an end, Pope Innocent III instituted the [i[canon law[/i], which would govern every aspect of the Christian's life. This canon law was the court and legal system by which Catholics would conduct themselves and be judged by. Inquisitions were set up to ensure the law was being followed. Those who broke the commands were either thrown in prison, subjected to antilabor laws, or killed. Those that followed the canon law would seek to justify themselves by it, to redeem their way out of purgatory (a false doctrine.) Those who recanted of heresy were watched by secret police on a constant basis to ensure they weren't backsliding. This law changed the face of Christianity because the religion no longer became one of grace and forgiveness, but one of law and penalty. It was the Roman Way, after all. This canon law would even reach to the Americas during the height of the Spanish Empire. The Inquisition would also become an actual office of the Church.

So, basically, the Church of Rome would reach the height of its power only to change Christianity's laws and persecute those that followed Jesus' commands. The reason why I keep using the Church of Rome is because it's leader, the pope, was its king since the 9th century. At the height of the Church's power, it declared the pope to be the vicar of Christ, ruling on earth while The Lord was in heaven. That contradicts Matthew 28:18 though. Jesus always had power. So this claim attempted to subvert the authority of Christ. The Pharisees tried the same when Jesus first came too.

When Jesus came, He made hints that He would fulfill the Law of Moses, which actually restricted men from entering God's kingdom. Jesus called it a strongman. See Mark 3:27. It was by the Law that Satan accused the brethren. In Christ we overcome. But the Roman Church returned to justification by a law. And if by a law, then those who fail to keep the law are cursed (Deut. 28:15-68 .) Jesus took the curse on Himself so that we wouldn't have to (Galations 3:13.) That is why the same harsh criticism that Jesus gave to the Pharisees and teachers of the Law is given to those who take the mark of the beast.

So basically, 666 is a false Christianity. I could come up with more Scriptures if you'd like. It's getting late so I should get some shuteye.

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Yes. Sodom. I'm glad you understood what I meant and thank you for pointing out the typo.

Well, I think you misunderstood some parts of the story. He didn't have incest with his daughters. His daughters made him drunk and tricked him. Likely, they took advantage of his grieving and got him stupid-drunk. About him offering his daughters: Yeah. No bueno. I suppose the author was trying to point out that the city had no concern for the daughters but rather wanted to show their strength to the angels. Kinda like prison. A lot of guys there don't rape men because they are gay. They do it as a show of power.

Sex between a father and daughter is still incest regardless who initiates it. I know the story reads like "poor Lot ( :innocent: ) look what his daughters did to him! It's all their fault you know - taking advantage of him like that!" Apparently Lot had zero self control when it came to wine and less than that in regard to the "other".

Sadly it's the same old story from the garden of Eden - "the woman you gave me - she made me do it!" Lucky for man God did create woman, otherwise man would have had to be accountable for his own actions. :whistle:

The real reason that Sodom was destroyed was because of the overflowing injustice in the city. Sodom was prideful, had plenty of provisions and lived at ease, yet did not help the poor and the needy (Ezk. 16:49.) The story of Noah seemed to say the same thing. The people's minds were on evil at all times. They used their power to oppress the poor rather than help them. So Ezekiel made the communication that Jerusalem had become like Sodom (and worse.)

Where was Sodom any worse, really, than the history of mankind in general since the beginning of time? I think your statement, "The people's minds were on evil at all times." can pretty much describe any era of history.

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Sex between a father and daughter is still incest regardless who initiates it. I know the story reads like "poor Lot ( :innocent: ) look what his daughters did to him! It's all their fault you know - taking advantage of him like that!" Apparently Lot had zero self control when it came to wine and less than that in regard to the "other".

Sadly it's the same old story from the garden of Eden - "the woman you gave me - she made me do it!" Lucky for man God did create woman, otherwise man would have had to be accountable for his own actions. :whistle:

Well, I understand that its incest. When two people knowingly consent to an inter-family relationship, we often call that incest. These are just one of those weird, sick scenarios.

As far as exegesis, it seems like the writer was trying to make a point about something the Israelites did. Noah was spared from the flood, got drunk, and his son publicly shamed him. The tribes of Israel were spared when the parted seas came down on the Egyptians and almost immediately went to worshiping a golden calf. Lot was spared destruction only to be tricked into having children with his daughters. All throughout judges, God delivers the Israelites only for them to be seduced into worshiping local gods. God delivered the Jews out of Babylon only to have their high priest murdered by his brother (according to Josephus.) The Jews were gained autonomy from the Greeks at the hand of the Asmoneans only to have a civil war and lose their land to the Romans. This unrepentant spit in God's face was a constant theme throughout Israel's history. Likely, this was what stirred Jesus to have such harsh words as to call His listeners a 'wicked generation.'

Where was Sodom any worse, really, than the history of mankind in general since the beginning of time? I think your statement, "The people's minds were on evil at all times." can pretty much describe any era of history.

I think that the author was trying to communicate something about Israel. The authors were all Israelites writing fellow Israelites about their obedience to God. Therefore, their scope is rarely worldwide, but rather focused on the people of Israel and their bloodline. Hence why it goes into so little detail about Kittim throughout the Bible.

God gave the Promised Land to Israel not because of who Israel was but because the land was full of wicked people. So, when God kicks the Israelites out and utterly destroys Jerusalem (reminiscent of the flood and Sodom), it is because the land was full of wicked people.

On another note, most of these stories have a repetitious theme: God can't stand tyrants. Giants oppressed people before the floods came. The Sodomites oppressed foreigners out of a show of strength. The Egyptians enslaved the Jews and forced them to stay in bondage. The Israelites robbed their workers of their wages and never returned their property to them, forcing them to sell themselves in slavery. Etc.

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Interesting topic but you seem to have missed out what may be the most important question in the Book of Revelations -

Chapter 1 verse 20

'Here is the secret meaning of the 7 stars........................'

We are being asked to find out what the 'secret meaning' is or it would not have been mentioned and the number 7 is then used

throughout the book.......... what is the 'secret meaning'

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This is concerning the mark of the beast:

I called the mark of the beast the canon law because it is quoted from the Old Testament concerning the Law of Moses:

""Now this is the commandment, the statutes and the rules that the Lord your God commanded me to teach you, that you may do them in the land to which you are going over, to possess it, 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 sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. (Deuteronomy 6:1, 6-8 ESV)

If you notice, the Jews wrap the Law around their hands and have phylacteries on their foreheads to show the laws they memorized. But the mark of the beast isn't about the Jews. Its about the Gentiles. So those who worshiped the beast followed its ecclesiastic law. The only such law I am aware of is the canon law. It says that those who refused to worship the image of the beast (the Roman Church) would be put to death. The Spanish Empire forced all people by threat to follow the Roman Church. Hence the huge Catholic population in the Americas, especially South America. During the Spanish Inquisition, people were tried according to the canon law. If any recanted of their former beliefs, they lived the rest of their life in fear. Those that did follow the Roman Church were often deceived by the Roman Church into doing unChristlike deeds such as paying for absolution for sins already atoned for and crusading, even against other Christians. The spread of Christ's name by bloodshed is not very Christ-like.

The darkest time in Church history comes from this institution. People have trust issues with the Church, because of the Roman Church. Whenever Christians make a defense, atheists resort to accusing them of child molestation, crusades, inquisition, and much more. Those that reformed only admitted that they were offspring of this institution. At this point, any stick is good enough to beat the Church with. If the beast spilled the blood of the saints and the Roman Church spoke for the beast, then the Church is guilty of bloodshed.

And so we have it. The mark of the beast is doing the works of the beast. It bears the name of Christ but does the deeds of the beast. It disobeys the Gospel, turning the work of Christ into a petty sacrifice, a mere atonement for sins only once. It limits the sanctifying power of the Spirit. It burdens the people with fear. I could explain more about the beast, but that's a different topic and I will only delve into it if someone wants me to.

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Interesting topic but you seem to have missed out what may be the most important question in the Book of Revelations -

Chapter 1 verse 20

'Here is the secret meaning of the 7 stars........................'

We are being asked to find out what the 'secret meaning' is or it would not have been mentioned and the number 7 is then used

throughout the book.......... what is the 'secret meaning'

This seems to be the last piece that I'm still working on. Every reader is at default to believe that the seven churches were seven literal churches when Revelation was written.

Yet, the introduction of Jesus in chapter 1:13-18 sounds almost exactly like the description of one like the son of man that Daniel described in Daniel 10:5-14. Both Daniel and John collapsed when they saw this person. Such behavior would characterize someone standing in the presence of the most holy God. What Daniel was told in Dan. 10:14 was that the message he was receiving concerned his people (Jews) and his city (Jerusalem) in the end times, which is detailed in Dan. 11 and 12. Of course, what he meant was the end of the Times of the Jews, which occurred in 70 CE. So Daniel was given an account of Jewish history from his time until Jerusalem was destroyed. Now look at Rev. 1:19. It says:

"Write therefore the things that you have seen, those that are and those that are to take place after this." (Revelation 1:19 ESV)

It seems to me that the mystery of the seven churches is that they make up major events in Church history, to which Christ's words would be given in the letters, just as Daniel was given a history of what would happen to the Jews until Jerusalem was destroyed and its people scattered. But I have not come up with a satisfactory interpretation to support that yet, so I must maintain that they were seven literal churches only.

What I am looking at right now is the possibility that these seven churches were actually places that the Christians in Judea fled to when the Romans declared war on Judea. That would explain why there is no mention of four of those seven churches in Acts or any of the epistles. They were along main roads, so its obvious that those that fled stuck to the highway, which was secured by the Romans. Considering that the Jews despised the followers of Jesus, the disciples had no problem getting past the Romans. They weren't even considered Jews by their own brethren!

That would mean that the book of Revelation was written either shortly before or during the war against Judea. We would then have to take into account the historical background behind the prophecies and work that time in history into the sequence of events that were foretold.

Edited by Bluefinger

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