Mark of the Beast

Discussion in 'Abrahamic Religions' started by Amica, Jun 25, 2005.

  1. truthseeker

    truthseeker New Member

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    The spirit has always been more controlling of the flesh. The flesh is weak. Cut off the member and it is no longer controlling. The only way to cut off the spirit is death. And we have established that the spirit is immortal. There is your monarchy. What spirit will be the head of the monarchy? Revelation tells us that.

    smkolins made sense when he stated:
    smkolins also made sense when he stated:
    The flesh doesn't seem all that immortal to me. While you and I die, the flesh lives on through offspring. But that's just me thinking out loud.

    There is peace and contentment in God's will. As we understand through history and what we see in today's world, the expansion of government by land and ideology is a sign of discontentment. And it shields itself, since and before the Crusades, by the concept of intension of spreading Jesus' message.
     
  2. lunamoth

    lunamoth Episcopalian

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    Yes, I love this passage from Isaiah. Seems to me though that you are putting a rather fine literal point on the line about the increase of his government. It sounds to me like Isaiah is using the poetic language of praise, love and devotion to his Almighty God here, rather than predicting that the establishment of God's Kingdom will be a long slow process. Nevertheless, I agree that God's Kingdom is growing here on this earth.

    Still don't see what this has to do with ID cards. :confused:

    lunamoth
     
  3. lunamoth

    lunamoth Episcopalian

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    So, exactly how do you find this interesting? Do you think it implies that everyone who has ever questioned, criticized, challenged or rebelled against their government is damned? Were the American forefathers sinning when they demanded and fought for independence against England?

    lunamoth
     
  4. smkolins

    smkolins Bahá'í

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    If it were that emphatic perhaps, but certainly it is not? It pointedly speaks about "presumptiousness, self-willed" people who despise government.

    Let me give an example. I work in government - specifically in k12 computer tech support. One of the difficulties is when people who don't have or take responsability for making something work or fixing it when it breaks hand us something they want us to use because obviously there is something wrong or missing or whatever. Principles, parents, hot-rod highschoolers go off and make decisions and are given license, but no responsability.

    When a revolutionary wants to take up responsability, then they are part of the establishment, even if it's a new one. And responsability stomps all over the easy dreams of presumptiousness and self-willed life. Ask any parent about how much they had to change to deal with having children! But parents donate old barely working computers to schools all the time. If the school has almost nothing, that may be great but if the school has a real system most donations are a pain.

    Now the balancing issue is that a beaurcracy tends to purpetuate itself for no other reason.
     
  5. BlaznFattyz

    BlaznFattyz Active Member

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    some interesting stuff to read:
    1. The star was mentioned and condemned by the God of Israel in Amos 5:26 and it was called by Him, `the star of your god, Moloch' or otherwise called `Chiun'. Reference to Amos 5:26 and the Israelites having it in the wilderness was also made in Acts 7:43. Here it was called the Star of Remphan. All these names refer to the `god' Saturn.
    2. The foregoing verifies that it was therefore in existence long before the time of Solomon. He took this symbol upon himself when he went into idolatry, and it became known as the `Seal of Solomon' in Arabic magic and witchcraft.
    3. There was no usage of it in Jewish circles until the 17th century when the cabalist, Isaac Luria, introduced it in Germany.
    4. Mayer Amschel Bauer then used it in Germany to identify his address, consequently changing his family name to Rothschild, meaning `Red Shield', and depicting the red hexagram hanging on his door. He later incorporated it into his family coat of arms.
    5. The six-pointed star or hexagram became the insignia of Zionism.
    6. Hitler rose to power, using it as a badge of shame, forcing all Jews to wear it during the Nazi regime.
    7. It arrived at the Knesset of the newly formed State of Israel.
    8. It became the logo of the Jewish `Red Cross' called the Magen David Adom.
    9. It became the centerpiece on the flag of Israel.
    10. Surreptitiously, it has become the international symbol of the Jewish people and saturates the world as the Jewish Star.
    The hexagram, or six pointed star, certainly has three sixes. It contains a six, within a six, within a six: 666. (Count the sides of each triangle facing the clockwise direction, the sides facing the counter-clockwise direction, and the third six - the sides of the inner hexagon).

    The number seven, not the number six is God's perfect number. The symbol given to God's chosen race, as far back as Exodus is the Menorah, or seven branched candle-stick.

    so why is a 6 pointed star used on the flag and not a menorah, or a burning bush to symbolize God's chosen people?
     
  6. InLove

    InLove at peace

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    Is it so hard to understand that the star I see is the star of Bethlehem? Is it so hard to see that I relate it to the star of David? There is nothing having to do with either of these that I can see as evil. Maybe you want me to, and I am not opposed to listening for a while. And I am a good listener. Are you?

    InPeace,
    InLove
     
  7. InLove

    InLove at peace

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    Hi, Peace to All Here--

    OOPs! I did it again. Sorry. You were having an intelligent discussion, and it should continue. I really need to stay away from subjects like this.

    Please do continue--(think I belong in the lounge):)

    InPeace, (really)
    InLove
     
  8. lunamoth

    lunamoth Episcopalian

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    You belong here just fine, InLove. :)
    lunamoth
     
  9. smkolins

    smkolins Bahá'í

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    Which even the mustard seed analogy refers to as well - growing, and starting remarkly small.

    I agree about the poetic language, yet that doesn't mean vague. Poets can be very exact, even concrete about the seriousness of the word choice, and of course in this case we're not just reading poetry here.

    Certainly I picked out a tiny section - to me the section speaks of a vision, over time, and across peoples and places and how things become.
     
  10. smkolins

    smkolins Bahá'í

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    I wonder if anyone has compiled all the derivations of 666 that people have come up with. I wonder if there can be any end to the complexities discovered and assembled.
     
  11. smkolins

    smkolins Bahá'í

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    To hint at the possibilities I found this compilation of derivations of 666 - check from about the middle of the page down. Specifically it starts at note 6....
     
  12. lunamoth

    lunamoth Episcopalian

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    But new scholarship plus the discovery of a new very early fragment of scroll indicates that the number is 616, not 666.

    lunamoth
     
  13. smkolins

    smkolins Bahá'í

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    Always an adventure awaiting....

    However this seems an elusive twist...
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Number_of_the_Beast_(numerology) (I read several web pages about the topic and this one seems to me to be the most specific about the details.)

    "While most manuscripts of the Bible read six-hundred-sixty-six or 666 for the Number of the Beast in Revelation 13:18, some early manuscripts contain 616 instead. Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus (5th century) and Papyrus 115 (3rd or 4th century). Irenaeus knew about the reading 616, but according to Metzger, Bruce M. (1971). A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament. New York: United Bible Societies. ISBN 3-438-06010-8., p. 751, Irenaeus "says that 666 'is found in all good and ancient copies,' and is 'attested by those who had themselves seen John face to face.'" The minuscule manuscript 2344 (11th century) identifies the Number of the Beast as 665.
    In May 2005 it was reported that scholars at Oxford University using advanced imaging techniques had been able to read previously illegible portions of an early (third century) version of the Book of Revelation, part of its Oxyrhynchus collection of papyri. The fragment gives the Number of the Beast as 616...."

    So while intreaging as part of the history of the Bible it seems unconvincing that it's 616 -

    btw, further down the page are still more derivations of 666

    "Computer-related
    The octal number 666 is widely used in setting up authorizations in the Unix Operating System. It offers limited access (read and write) as opposed to the all privilege granted by number 777 (read write and execute). This matches the Revelation ('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. ') in that this could be a way to allow or disallow people to buy anything (the Mark of the Beast as a personal body mark easily readable by automated cashiers in a cashless society).
    There are many speculations of that Microsoft and Bill Gates are evil (eg [8]). Bill Gates, evaluated in ASCII, sums up to 663, that added with 3 (his complete name is William Henry Gates III) becomes 666. Counting the space as one, Windows 95 sums up to 666 too.
    The sixth letter of the Hebrew alphabet is "waw" (or "vav"). This is the closest approximation of the English letter "w". Thus the ubiquitous acronym "www" could be the Number of the Beast. Also, the number 6 in Roman numerals is represented as VI. 666= VIVIVI which has been suggested that visions from the past, mistook it for WWW.
    As of January 14, 2005, the IP address of the Python programming language web site, www.python.org, is 194.109.137.226. If you add up the 4 octets, you get 666. [9]
    The internet access provider firm Demon Internet http://www.demon.net/ has many telephone numbers (voice, and computer dialup) that contain 666, and sometimes sequences of three copies of other digits.
    Another speculation is that computer=666. If we encode the English alphabet where every letter is a multiple of 6: a=6, b=12, c=18, ..., z=156 then we have "computer" = 666 = (3*6)+(15*6)+(13*6)+(16*6)+(21*6)+(20*6)+(5*6)+(18*6). Since "beasts" such as oxen, horses and donkeys were used as machines in ancient times, one can infer “beast” in modern times meaning "machine" or "computer". Since computers were developed by English speaking people it is plausible that the numerical decoding should be via English, such that one interprets “leading the development” as “riding the head of the beast”."
     
  14. lunamoth

    lunamoth Episcopalian

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    This is the article I saw at beliefnet:

    616

    lunamoth
     
  15. smkolins

    smkolins Bahá'í

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    Ah - so I see. The article I referenced mentions much the same detail.

    Simply the fact that it is the oldest reference doesn't seem too convincing to me - if it had come out of nowhere perhaps but since there isn't an original Bible to consult, and I'm sure there were dozens or hundreds of Christian Bibles through the first few hundred years it doesn't surprise me there would be some variation among them as there was little centralized control of the scripture.

    But inparticular since "616" was a known issue even in the early hundreds AD and Irenaeus knew about it and felt clear enough to state a position I am comfortable with his statement until more evidence arises.

    Imagine a first scripture surfacing and it had a typo saying "Sesus is Lord" and was a record thrown away because of the mistake but turned out to be the one that survived thousands of years....
     
  16. lunamoth

    lunamoth Episcopalian

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    Hi Steven,

    I understand that many people use numerology as a way to deepen their faith in the Scriptures and even as a "thin place" where one can be closer to God. In my opinion, though, when we move from mystical to literal understanding we also are in danger of moving from sacred understanding to superstition. I see where above you have argued that 666 refers not to a person but to the number of years to the arising of the Umyyad Dynasty, which you correlate with the end of true Islam. I agree that as an issue of faith this is an apporpriate interpretation for a Baha'i. Actually, I think all interpretation of scripture, including prophecy is more an issue of faith, rather than fact. Not being a student of numerology, I found this part of the Wiki article interesting:

    So, it apprears that by playing around with different codes 666 or 616 could be made to mean just about anything one wants it to mean. Likewise with saying that it refers to a number of years. All one needs to do is carefully (or creatively) pick two dates 666 years apart that coincide with big events in religous history. Sure, this can only be stretched to a point, but nonetheless it remains unconvincing to the previously unconvinced.

    Here is the part of the article that talks about 616:

    So, 666 or 616, I actually do not think that it is important that we know which number is more "original." (for the record I opened my Bible to check a reference just after writing this sentence and my fingers did not get scorched). I believe that the Bible is God-inspired and God-protected, but I also believe that the living God still reveals Himself to us, and that may sometimes be through archeology and Bible scholarship. Does that mean I think that this prophecy is unimportant or irrevalent? No! I think, as is a common interpretation, that this number, the number of a man, is referring in some code to a person who was an enemy of Christians at the time of the writing of Revelation. It represents the archetype of the enemy of Christ. I think that different figures fitting that archetype have and will continue to arise in the world, and I am open to the idea that there may be a specific manifestation of the archteype of the AntiChrist at the endtime, but I don't think that trying to figure out who this might be should be a focus of our attention. Indeed, it is a distraction and could even be disasterous should we create a sefl-fulfilling prophecy by our conspiracy theories and false expectations. So really, perhpas you and I are not so very far apart in our thinking.

    I think that prophecy is meant to comfort, exhort and warn, rather than predict the future. Once one has faith in a particular interpretation then it often follows that all the specific details can be viewed to fit the prophecy. However, it's not terribly convincing to those who believe differently, unless one preys upon superstitions and fear. For example, you are probably aware that the number 616 figures predominately in Baha'i Scripture as the number associated with the forerunner of the Baha'i Faith, the Bab.

    As a Baha'i I read quite a bit (not extensively, but a bit) about Bible prophecy and the Baha'i Faith as it was emphasized as part of the campaign to teach Christians. I actually always was impressed with how Baha'u'llah ended up in the Holy Land through no apparent doing of His own, and some other events recorded in Baha'i histroy (Dawn Breakers, God Passes By). However, I must say that my blood ran cold when I read the above passage from the Most Holy Book. Admittedly, I read it at a time when my faith in Baha'u'llah's claim had already begun to crumble, but that's another story. In the end, the only thing I could do was write this off as coincidence and my fear as superstition.

    In summation, interpretting numbers in the Bible and trying to find literal interpretations of prophecy can be distracting at best, dangerous at worst. No doubt Satan is involved in all the energy misdirected into trying to decipher Bible code.

    peace,
    lunamoth
     
  17. smkolins

    smkolins Bahá'í

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    I agree it is easy to get lost in possibilities. I don't personally spend much time on prophetic interpritation of such obscure issues today. But others things these issues are alive and well and sought to contribute to the discussion in a novel way.

    If you check the very first post of mine in this thread I said:
    "I know of Baha'i references that make all this more or less ancient history, especially about early Islam and the way it split. Recall that Baha'is do not view the religions as simply independent/unrelated. Islam was the natural successor to Christianity in that day, but Islam suffered a cataclysm which today lives on as the Sunni/Shi split. Thus these prophecies in Christianity are actually about early Islam - a direction regretably the west is not likely to look at. At the core of the split is the story of the Ummayyad clan and Ali, the Commander of the Faithful, and his succession of sons. The metaphorical beasts are, in Baha'i sources, the Ummayyad clan leaders several of whom became Caliphs and implimented Islam in deplorable ways which ultimately became the basis of the Shi split.

    As an example of the issue I offer these calculations. It is widely known Jesus was not born at 0AD - more likely just before 4BC. If He was born 5 BC then 661 AD is 666 - yes, the number of the beast - AD. This is the year Islam suffered irreperable schism in a civil war that is supposed to be impossible."

    For the sake of completeness I note I also later noted Islams contributions to the progress of civilization, not wishing to begin a round of bashing Islam, albeit I was then accused more or less of believing Islam to be evil. <sigh>.

    Interesting that the Return of Jesus and the appearance of the anti-Christ are about the same time - as differentiated from the appearance of the Beast(s). That 616 might signalize His return and 666 the Beast....

    In fact, isn't it interesting that live and evil are backwards - and that an arabic word saying evil to english eyes is infact live if one were to note the writing direction of arabic....
     
  18. lunamoth

    lunamoth Episcopalian

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    Interesting, I'd never thought of it that way. I've never seen 616 referring to the return of Christ except in the Baha'i writings.

    I think I know what you re referring to here. Actually, I never noticed that until it was pointed out to me and it is one of the things I wish I could "unsee." I've always thought of the calligraphy of the Most Great Name as very beautiful. But, it's one of those cultural things. The swastica is also a profound religious symbol, but now it is associated with Nazis. And the five pointed star is considered sacred by some religions but symbolic of evil in others. Even the naked cross vs. the cross with Christ crucificed is debated by some. In some churches any symbols are considered idolatry. Perhaps numerology is also a cultural thing. I really don't know much about it.

    peace,
    lunamoth
     
  19. smkolins

    smkolins Bahá'í

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    All cases of reversals too, noting even the use of the swastika shape among the Hopi - again reversed from the Nazi form.
     
  20. BlaznFattyz

    BlaznFattyz Active Member

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    of course there are many many variations of the mark... but the more stuff we through out there and the closer we get to end times, the more stuff starts making sense and falling into place. just a theory now, but consider this possibility...

    Jesus raptures the christian church, arab nations surround israel and Jesus strikes the nation of islam down for good. now that 2 main religions are out of the picture this is now a nation of israel (that constantly abandons their god) and the european union headed by Rome and the Pope, all which makes way for the possibility of the AntiChrist. Another possiblity is that the major religion is now catholicism an it worships the madonna after several miracles are done through her image. during sometime, like it happened already with Hitler, Jews are made to wear a mark, which is their star, or they cannot buy anything and the madonna or popes image is put into the temple of jerusalem.
     

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