Discussions of Book of Mormon issues and evidences, plus other topics related to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Friday, July 02, 2004

Mark of the Beast: Could This Be It?

Many Christians have speculated about the meaning of "the mark of the beast" and 666 in Revelation 13:16-18. Many have suggested that human implants of microchips or barcode-like tattoos could be the way a Satanic big brother tracks people in the last days, according to prophecy. The technology is there to make it happen in the future, I admit. But after reviewing recent legislation from the European Union that goes into effect tomorrow, July 3, 2004, perhaps the mark of the beast is already upon us.


Anonymous said...

The blog seems to be broken again - I'm checking with tech support.

Anonymous said...

I have to disagree with you on this one, Jeff. There has been a tendency among fundamentalist Christians, especially those who focus on "end times" prophecy, to take a literalist approach to Revelation. This practice has unfortunately trickled over into Mormonism.
Revelation is a highly allegorical book, one that makes broad use of Old Testament and other ancient symbology. This is difficult for a modern, Western reader to follow -- we prefer to "tell it like it is."
The "mark of the beast" of Revelation 13 is received in a person's right hand or forehead (13:16). But note that only 3 verses later we learn that the 144,000 of the Lamb have the Father's name written in THEIR foreheads (14:1; cf. 3:21; 22:4). So what we have here is a competition of sorts: Satan's followers have his mark, while Jesus' followers have the Father's.
The mark is a seal by which one can discern ownership. The Book of Mormon urges us to be "steadfast and immovable, always abounding in good works, that Christ, the Lord God Omnipotent, may seal you his" (Mosiah 5:15), and warns us that "if ye have procrastinated the day of your repentance even until death, behold, ye have become subjected to the spirit of the devil, and he doth seal you his" (Alma 34:35).
If the "mark of the beast" is some literal device -- an implanted chip, a barcode, whatever -- then, according to Revelation, there must be a similar device that followers of Christ receive. It seems much more likely that John's use of marks is allegorical.
My 2 cents. -- Mike Parker

Anonymous said...

I have no problem believing that Revelations is being very literal on this point. Biometrics are the wave of the future in any society where people want to be able to protect their money from identity theft. And what do we use for biometrics? Fingerprints, facial recognition and retinal scans. Fingerprints are in hands, and eyes are in foreheads. The "mark" is already in place; maybe all we'll be asked to do to "receive" it in order to buy and sell will be to have our biometric data entered into the right databases. And maybe entrance into those databases will be predicated upon not belonging to "hate" groups (ever wonder how believing homosexuality is immoral suddenly got equated with hating a minority group?). Just some thoughts...although I wouldn't be surprised if they become reality some day.

Anonymous said...

The last poster wrote:
>>>I have no problem believing that Revelations is being very literal on this point.<<<
Please note that the title of the book is "Revelation", singular, as in "The Revelation of St. John the Divine." (This is one of the most common errors made by LDS and non-LDS alike.)
>>>The "mark" is already in place; maybe all we'll be asked to do to "receive" it in order to buy and sell will be to have our biometric data entered into the right databases.<<<
And, as I indicated in my previous post, Revelation also indicates in a least 3 places that the Lord's faithful will ALSO receive a mark. If your belief is correct, and the followers of Satan receive some sort of biometric or other mark, please indicate what physical mark the Lord intends the faithful to receive. Does the Lord have his own database of his followers? And does it run on Oracle, DB2, or SQL Server?
Perhaps now you see how silly all of this is. The Lord is concerned about the (spiritual) nature of our hearts. Nothing else matters. Revelation, in context, supports this.
--Mike Parker

Anonymous said...

The mark of the beast clearly has a literal interpretation. If you read Revalation 13:16,17 you read that the beast causes or forces everyone to recieve the mark of the beast so that no man can buy, sell, or trade without it. How is this economic system set up by the beast going to be able to tell if you have the mark if it is some kind of metaphysical or spiritual condition? In addition, how will the beast cause you to recieve this mark if it is based on anything other than a tangible and real mark. Will the beast have a "spiritual condition" reading machine that will determine if you can buy or sell? That makes no sense. Does this mean that the 144,000 will literally have the Father's name written on their foreheads? No, but there is no indication that John implies his whole book to be allegorical or literal. It includes both styles of writing.
In the Book of Mormon we find that the amlicites marked their foreheads with red, which they did unknowingly to fulfill prophecy. So we see that God has decreed literal marks on individuals who have chosen to rebel against him. It is highly likely that John saw people taking part of this last days satanic kingdom by literally taking a microchip implant in order for them to buy or sell. It also may sound allegorical since John is writing about technology that is very foreign to him.

Anonymous said...

My family would rather not have chips placed into our bodies, we don't even want to be a recipient of a paper cut either. We realize one reason for the fear of these chips being implanted is the idea of it being a mark of a beast, but that is not the case. There are many key elements that direct a person to who and what the beast and its mark is. One element is an image is made that people bow down to and worship and another is it has a name. Bio-chips, social security numbers, government brandings, and other concoctions do not fit. If you take the number 666 and write it in the Hebrew numbering system using letters you come up with vstr, or vav samech tav resh. Vav is a prefix while the root str means secret or hidden. If you then look up the symbols of the letters they are nail, prop, cross, and head, and mean nail, prop, mark or sign, and head or leader. If you put these together it is the crucifix, the image of the beast. If you then take the name of the image, jesus, and add it up it comes to 616. The True Messiah/Christ warned that if another came in his own name he would be accepted, and he said many will come saying they are the Messiah/Christ. He gave us the tools to figure out who this deceiver would be and pointed out the deceiver would sit in the temple of God making himself out to be God and the whole world would be deceived. No one is supposed to bow down to idols or serve them. This is what marks an individual. Do not bow down to them (mark on your forehead) and do not serve them (mark on your hand).

Anonymous said...

666 simply means "the number of a man". 7 is the number representing perfection. Humans are less than perfect, so the number is represented by 6.

Very interesting comments here. Thanks for sharing.


Anonymous said...

I think the members will have to rely on our cannery to get food and if we all join in we can do this, our numbers are growing, remember the united order ,why do you think he set up cannery's, we will have to sustain ourselves ,i believe we can do this ,he knows we can ,were strong, he saved the strongest for last.

H4x0rAgainstCollectivism said...

I have a question which might be uncomfortable for many to even think about, but which might affect their eternal welfare if they don't prepare for it mentally and spiritually:

If, when the time comes, the then-president of the church doesn't tell you to reject the chip, will you reject it?

Even more uncomfortable: If he says that it's OK to accept it, will you accept it?

We've been warned, by at least Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, that a great test is coming for this people.

All I can say is, you had better be in the habit of hearing, recognizing, and following the promptings of the Holy Ghost (and not the promptings or your own reasoning or of the devil) by that day, or you'll likely make the wrong choice. The wheat and the tares are growing together, of necessity and according to God's perfectly wise purposes, but their separation is coming soon, to a desert state near you.

"I am more afraid that this people have so much confidence in their leaders that they will not inquire for themselves of God whether they are led by him. I am fearful they settle down in a state of blind self-security, trusting their eternal destiny in the hands of their leaders with a reckless confidence that in itself would thwart the purposes of God in their salvation, and weaken that influence they could give to their leaders, did they know for themselves, by the revelations of Jesus, that they are led in the right way. Let every man and woman know, by the whispering of the Spirit of God to themselves, whether their leaders are walking in the path the Lord dictates, or not." -- Discourses of Brigham Young, p.135

Why, with the wonderful heritage of this doctrine which Brigham Young tried to pass down to us, are we so prone to worship our fallible fellow men, rather than the God who made them? If a particular decision/doctrine which they teach is of God, the Spirit can confirm it to us, if we seek such. Then the opposite must also be true (but which everyone seems afraid to mention, and which I admit I probably wouldn't mention on here without being somewhat of an "anonymous coward"): If a particular decision/doctrine which they teach is NOT of God, the Spirit can ALSO tell us such.

Remember that fear (like the fear of suddenly having no money) is a huge motivator for getting one to lie to himself (and thereby possibly reject promptings from the Holy Ghost).

I'm sorry, but it's high time we honestly and frankly think about this. Let's not repeat history again (Uthman ibn Affan, Council of Nicaea, pharisees-sadducees, ad nauseum).

Seatimer said...

I believe that in the last days one shall have an exceptionally difficult time interpreting exactly what are one's feelings and what the Holy Spirit is trying to tell through the bias, the rhetoric, and the "current passion of the moment" that happens to be. For H4x0rAgainstCollectivism, it is the implanted chip, for those today it is whether to receive the Covid vaccine or not, and yesterday it was whether the "then-President of the Church" (as H4x0rAgainstCollectivism happens to call him in his comment above) whether that President doesn't happen to support whatever political hot-potato is currently then captivating everyone's attention.

It soon becomes obvious that it is easy for us to be deluded, even when we think we know what is right. Therefore an easy, easy, easy litmus test is this: are you following the recommendations, advice and suggestions of "the then-President of the Church?" He's not going to lead you astray, especially against whatever H4x0rAgainstCollectivism happens to insinuate. Yes, find your own inspiration. That is good, but if it goes against the counsel of the "then-President of the Church," you'd better be 100% certain (no, not even 99.9% but 100 percent FULL certain) or otherwise you already know you're in the wrong.

I'd rather trust he whom the Lord has chosen to lead his Church than some anonymous joe-blow's "gut" feeling.