Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Beasts, Images, and Marks

Rev. 7: 3 and Rev. 9: 4 talk about God's "sealing in the forehead" not to be confused with Satan's counterfeit "mark of the beast"Daniel and John both talk about Beasts.

Daniel 7 talks about 4 Beasts or Empires: Babylon, Persia, Greece (4 heads), and Rome (ten horns). The 10 horns represent 10 Emperors to Vespasian. The little horn is Titus who destroyed the temple and crucified thousands of Jews around the walls of Jerusalem. John in Revelation talks about the same Beast but combines them into one with 7 heads (add up the heads) and the same 10 horns. John is telling the same story of the Great Apostasy. John and Daniel both warn that the Beast (Roman Empire) would both "overcome the Saints" and "prevail against them" Also, Daniel points out that the Roman Empire would "change the times and laws" of the gospel. We see this with the creation of the Catholic church of the Roman Empire and the Ecumenical Creeds. The gates of Hell do prevail against the Saints because they cease to be built upon revelation and Peter's keys and authority.

John in Revelation (Rev. 19: 20, Rev. 15: 2, Rev. 14: 9-11, Rev. 13: 14-15) talks more about this beast. John never uses the word Antichrist in Revelation but says the beast would be given a "mouth" to blaspheme God and His tabernacle (body and temple), and His people. This beast is the same as the 4-headed beast which personifies the Roman Catholic Church. But it doesn't just represent that. Because John says that this Beast makes a copy or an image of itself. And that if a person worshipped the Beast and its image, and receive its mark, they would burn. So, what is the image of the Catholic Church; an offshoot that is just as corrupt as the original? The image is Protestantism. So, in a specific sense, If the Beast is Roman Catholicism and the Image is Protestantism, then what it the mark? The mark is the only doctrine that Catholicism and Protestantism have in common. And that common doctrine is acceptance of the Nicene Creed which teaches that the Father and Son are one undivided substance or "homousious" and that the Father has no body, and that in some mysterious, incomprehensible way they are 3 persons yet 1 being. Remember that the "spirit of Antichrist" were those who denied the physical resurrection of Christ. Also, this is just one of many ways evil people mark themselves.

So, what about the Antichrist or this "mouth" that blasphemes God and its number of 666. 666 is a key to understanding what the Antichrist really is all about. The only place in scripture you find the number 666 is associated with King Solomon. Therefore King Solomon is a type of the Antichrist. What happened to King Solomon? What happened was that King Solomon was that not only did he practice polygamy, but that he took wives from outside the Jewish faith. Because these wives practiced pagan religion, he wanted to please these pagan wives, and began to adopt aspects of their pagan religions, and build temples and idols to their gods. Solomon became very rich and in the year the Queen of Sheba visited he received 666 talents of gold which he used to adorn his own palace and not the temple.

Considering this story, it is apparent that Aaron also becomes a type of the Antichrist. While Moses us up in the mountain communing with God, Aaron and the people claim that Moses "delayeth his coming." The people became idle and wrestless, and gave Aaron all their gold so that he would make a golden calf and false god to worship and fall into perverse sexual sin. This parallels Paul's warning about many in his day and in the Last Days who would practice what is called priestcraft, or preaching false religion for money. Paul calls preistcraft "gainsaying" for "filthy lucre." (Titus 1: 7, 11).

In a general sense the idea of the Beast, Image, and Mark would represent any false and apostate religion and religious ideology. John gives us the pattern for how apostate and false religions operate and what their message is. John in Revelations 13:6 what the Antichrist would say. John says he would "open his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven."I think it interesting that John says the "mouth" of the beast would blaspheme the tabernacle or temple of God. This is an interesting concept because Christ equates several things with His body such as His church organization, and the temple itself.

There are many Evangelical, Nicene Creed Christians who have been taught an extreme "Jesus is all I need" doctrine that excludes the literal restoration of Gods temple, the literal physicality of God, and the proper organization of Christ's Church with Apostles and prophets, priesthood, water baptism, ordinances. Their rejection of the physicality of God becomes a metaphor for their rejection for the physical, tangible things of God's church. All I need is Christ they say. There is no more need for ordinances, or ritual, or priesthood, or church hierarchy. Everything is spiritual like God is. But they forget that Christ made a point by redeeming his body, and that while God is spirit, the physical and the spiritual together constitute perfection, and one cannot properly worship God in spirit and in truth unless He learns to worship God in body and spirit, by the letter and the spirit of the law, and with faith and works together.

1 comment:

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