Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Beast and Its Image

The following presents a very interesting interpretation of the following scripture:

Rev. 14:9-11 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

John is using 3 symbols here. The first is the beast, the second is the image of the beast, and the third in the mark of the Beast. Now John warns us that the true believers are not to worship the beast or its image. Now we know from Daniel that the 7-headed, 10-horned beast is Rome. In the last days it would represent the Catholic Church. In Daniel 7, Daniel comments that Rome at the time of Christ would fight against the Saints, wear them out, and prevail against them. Also, that the Roman Empire would seek to pervert the doctrine by changing the times and laws of the gospel. We see this happen after Emperor Constantine makes Catholicism the official religion of the Roman Empire.

Dan 7 :21, 25 I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; . . . And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.

So, the Beast is Rome and the Catholic Church today. But what does the image represent? The image is the Protestantism and Evangelicalism. Protestant churches broke off from the Catholic Church because many recognized that the teachings of the church did not fit what the Bible taught. Unfortunately, the Protestant Reformation which produced the many Protestant Denominations and Non-Denominations didn't fall far from the tree. And John likens these churches to an image of the original.

Lastly we have the mark of the Beast which both those who worship the Beast (Catholic Church) or its image (Protestantism and Evangelicalism) take upon themselves. Thinking about what Catholicism and Protestantism have in common, only one doctrine comes to mind. That common aspect is their belief in the Trinity Doctrine and the Nicene Creed which stems from the First Ecumenical Council of the Catholic Church. According to this article, belief in the Trinity Doctrine is the Mark of the Beast.

What is wrong with the Trinity Doctrine and the Nicene Creed? The Nicene Creed only has one word and concept that is not from the Bible. That word is "Homousios" and it means that Heavenly Father, the Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are of one undivided substance. And that little addition causes all sorts of problems when it comes to a proper understanding of the true nature of God, the relationship of the Father and the Son, and man's relationship to God.

When it comes to the Nicene Creed and the Trinity Doctine, I only take exception with the word "Homousios" meaning the Father and Son are One undivided substance. The LDS understanding is very close to the Trinity Doctrine. But remember a little leaven, leaveneth the whole lump. Latter-Day Saints proclaim the divinity of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is God. According to the LDS Godhead: God is 3 Persons, 3 Personages, and 1 God. The Following scriptures illustrate how the Bible teaches that God the Father and God the Son are One God in purpose but 2 distinct personages as Joseph Smith saw in the First Vision.

John 14: 28 Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.

Jesus Christ who is God and who is with the Father says the Father is greater then Himself.

Acts 7: 55-56 But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.

Stephen sees Jesus Christ standing on the right hand of the Father.

Gen. 1: 26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

God the Father and the Son converse about the creation of man.

Gen. 3: 22 And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:

God the Father and the Son note that man has come to know good as they do suggesting that God is speaking to an intelligent being who is numerically distinct from Himself according to Justin Martyr to Trypho.

Matt. 26: 39 And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.

Jesus Christ expresses that his will is distinct, separate but unified with the Father

Matt. 5: 48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

The Father is perfect and complete alone. The separation of Jesus Christ from the Father does not diminish the Father.

Matt. 3: 17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

At the Baptism of Jesus Christ, the heavens open and the voice of Heavenly Father is heard separate from the Son.

John 17: 11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.

Christ prays to the Father that His Apostles may be one and unified in purpose as He is one and unified with the Father.


SilverRain said...

"Now we know from Daniel that the 7-headed, 10-horned beast is Rome."

Could you expound on that? I don't see that in Daniel 7.

The rest of your ideas are based on this core presumption, so I can't really address the rest of what you've written until I understand where you are coming from with this.

Gregory Greene said...

Interesting view on the Mark of the Beast. Here's mine: a free e-book named Walkabout: The History of a Brief Century.

BRoz said...

Daniel 2 talks about an Image with a head of gold, shoulders of silver, belly of bronze, legs of iron, and feet of iron mixed with clay. Daniel specifically says that the King of Babylon is the head and that the rest of the idol represent subsequent kingdoms or empires.

So, we look at history we see that Babylon is the gold, Persia the silver, Greece is the bronze, and Rome is the iron legs. The feet of iron and clay is today. Western government are based on Roman style of governement except we are held together loosly by treaties and alliances which we continually break (the clay).

Again in Dan 7 we see the same thing described but using different symbols. Babaylon is described as a lion and eagle. Persia is described as a Bear. Greece is described as a 4-headed Leopard. This is because after the death of Alexander the great the Greek empire split into 4.

And then Daniel describes the most terrible of all beasts with 10-horns and teeth of iron. Remember iron is associated with Rome. This is the Roman Empire and it was so big it actually comprised all the other kingdoms combined. Vespasian was the 10th Roman Emperor and was the Emperor at the time the temple in Jerusalem was destroyed. Vespasian's son Titus was the general who actually destroyed the temple who succeeded his father. Titus is the little horn.

John is referring to this same thing when he speaks of his beast. Except John describes his beast as having 7 heads. Remember that Rome was as great and terrible as all the other kingdoms. So, it you add up all the heads of the other beasts you get 7 (1+1+4+1). And then you have the 10 horns and the little horn.

Daniel specifically says that the Roman Empire would "wear out the Saints" and "seek to change the times and laws". And we see fulfillment of this as the Catholic Church became the official religion of the Roman Empire and the gospel of Christ was perverted.

In the last days when John is saying beware of the Beast, its image, and the mark of the Beast; John is referring to all false religion. Both the Beast itself and its image and images should be avoided.

SilverRain said...

I think that one possible interpretation, but it seems rather a leap to equate Rome with the Catholic Church, particularly with the Catholic Church as it stands today.

I think the evil, if anywhere, would be in those who deliberately use religion to further political ends, not with a Church of people trying to worship the best way they know.

BRoz said...

Don't misunderstand. I think all Christian people are good and are trying to serve God and their fellow man. Even the Pope is a very good person standing for what he believes is good and right.

The writer who wrote about this (check out the link) was referring to the institution of false religion. And not just one religion but all religions that fail to teach their people the true nature of God.

People are good. I am not bashing on any person or group here.

BRoz said...

That said when it comes to Dan 7 saying that the Roman Empire would "wear out the saints" and "and think to change times and laws:"

It's nice to be all PC, but Daniel seems to bashing something. And Peter continues that and warns us that there are going to be a whole bunch of people in the Last Days worshiping the Beast, its image, and having its mark. And it aint a microchip under you skin.

And John didn't sound nice or PC when the described the consequences associated with this subject. So, I think its worth it to think about what John and Daniel are talking about.

Anonymous said...

RE: BRoz: "...all Christian people are good and are trying to serve God and their fellow man".

Yet according to your theory, these people, because of their religious denominations, are worshipping the beast or its image.

So, then, are we to logically infer that all of the (non-LDS) good Christians (along with the bad ones) are going to be tormented forever? (Rev. 14:9-11 “...If ANY man worship the beast and his image … he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone ... And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever ... who worship the beast and his image…”).

BRoz said...

tormented forever is John's words. If John is being harsh then blame him. But John is not talking about Hell. All good people go to heaven. But John is talking about the regret of missiong out on the greater blessings that some will miss out on had they not been blinded by the craftiness of men and priestcraft (religion for money).

Anonymous said...

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints and I testify that we DO NOT believe that the Godhead are one in body, that is a terrible lie that all who accuse us of such is guilty of.

We have always taught that The Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost are all three separate beings, but one in united purpose (that is they think the same, they all desire the same things and they all work together as a united order etc).

We do not believe in the Nicene or Athansian creed friend, and we definitely aren't protestants.

If you don't believe me I can prove to you from our own scriptures that we do not believe in such a thing as a bodily trinity.

My name is Goldie if you want identification, and I leave you with this scripture that you should remember the next time you accuse a religion or anyone else falsely.

"Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor"

Anonymous said...

A better fit for the beast is RADICAL Islam. False prophet is Mohammed, and the harlot riding the beast will be the Roman Catholic church.

Think about it. Islam hates Jews and Americans. They believe that Christ was just a man, they hate Christians.

They believe that Mohammad will come again and not Christ.

The Catholic church (pope) has already pandered to Muslims and kissed the Quran which means 666.

Just some food for thought.