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316. The Mark of the Beast or the Mark of Christ?

The Mark of the Beast or the Mark of Christ?

IT’S WORTH CONSIDERING
Identifying the Mark of the Beast has been a hot topic for many years. The idea is presented in Revelation 14:9-10:

If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or upon his hand, he also will drink of the wrath of God…

Verse 19:20 confirms the ultimate doom of those with the mark, while 13:16 tells us it’s the right hand. The point is that once a person received the mark, he is doomed. No repenting. No last minute change of heart. People understand that the mark is a serious thing. They also understand that today’s technology opens up numerous ways such a mark could become possible. Theories abound as to just what the mark will be. We’ve all heard about embedded chips, encoded stamps, modified barcodes and a host of other possibilities. Some believe it’s something worn, not embedded or stamped. They see Islam as the beast and the arm badges and headbands worn by some Muslims as the mark. They claim that the Islamic symbols, mottos, and creeds written on these articles of clothing fulfill the blasphemous nature of the Mark of the Beast.

Recently, a new entry has come on the scene. Two major companies, Skinput and Dattoo, are working on a concept that turns your skin into a computer keyboard with the use of a small armband. Check out the photo. Considering what is possible these days, I don’t think anyone would doubt their ultimate success. The question, of course, is whether this is what the words of Revelation were pointing to.

AS I SEE IT
Google “Mark of the Beast” and you’ll find all sorts of “interesting” explanations. Some seem possible. Some are, in my opinion, downright loony. Some people have devoted much of their lives to prophecy and are convinced they have unlocked all the mysteries of Revelation, including the Mark of the Beast and the identity of the Antichrist and False Prophet. I recently was a guest on a “Christian” internet station focusing on prophecy. The host contacted me and wanted to do an interview on the spot. I soon discovered that he was one of those with all the answers. When I disagreed with him, things turned ugly. He told me I was woefully unprepared and should listen to his program regularly so I could learn the truth. Things went downhill in a hurry. It wasn’t one of my favorite interviews.

Imagine that the host, whom I’ll call Stan (since that was his name), represents the epitome of those whose goal in life has been “prophetic knowledge.” Let’s carry the analogy to the extreme by imagining that he was actually right in many of his prophetic conclusions. (This takes a lot of imagining.) Now lets take a look at a powerful verse that puts things in perspective:

And if I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing ( 1 Corinthians 13:2).

God is not interested in what we know (or think we know). He is interested in the condition of our heart. Are we a channel through which His love for us flows to others? Love covers a multitude of sins, and our display of it reveals whether we represent the Spirit of Christ or the spirit of the Beast and those who will receive his mark. The bottom line: identifying the “mark” is nothing compared to having the “mark of Christ,” which is love for the brethren.

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ON THE LIGHTER SIDE
What’s the difference between how we should deal with Bird Flu and Swine Flu? Bird Flu requires immediate tweetment. For Swine Flu you need oinkment.

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