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    World Religion & Speculative Theology - Thread: The Mark of the Beast is Imminent?

    1. #21
      jsimms435 is offline Child of God
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      Quote Originally Posted by tango View Post
      I look at global economics and think we are closer now than we were 50 years ago, not least because technologies exist now that could potentially evolve into something leading to the mark. I use a slightly twisted sentence there because I don't want to suggest that this or that is going to be the mark, simply that conditions are aligning that could potentially lead to a global problem that in turn could be solved by a global leader, in ways that I don't see would have happened 50 years ago.

      One possible issue is climate change. Whether or not it is actually real and whether or not it is actually caused by human activity to any meaningful extent, concern about it is growing and as a global issue it can only be addressed with global efforts - as is often said there's little point one country taking draconian steps to cut emissions while another builds dozens of power stations. A long term response to climate change invites global management, at least to some extent. Hence conditions are more ripe now for a global leader than 50 years ago.

      Since most (I think all, but not 100% sure) global currencies are no longer backed by gold, economic mismanagement by most western governments over the last few decades result in growing unease among what was once considered the middle class. It's a common refrain that "the rich are getting richer" but when people see their wages stagnating while the cost of living rises relentlessly, people spend their lives in debt struggling to break free (and frequently die with substantial debts), all the time being told by the talking heads that the economy is booming, resentment grows. Sooner or later that resentment turns into a powder keg, which in turn becomes very unstable. Although the notional reason for outbreaks of violence may be anything from Donald Trump to police brutality to racism to whatever else, fundamentally when hope is systematically stripped from the majority of the population it's only a matter of time before things go south. Since this affects much if not all of the western world, there is another possibility for violence to erupt on a large enough scale that some form of supranational leadership ends up taking over to try and take control.

      Immigration and demographics are another key issue. Because of the growing cost of living compared to stagnating wages in the west, it's far from rare to see people not having children. Quite aside from the way this places further strain on programs like social security, it also contrasts starkly with immigrant populations (specifically the Islamic community) who are more prone to have more children. As demographics shift and groups previously considered minorities potentially become a majority, there is a higher chance of seeing groups hostile to Western religions becoming large enough in number to take legislative action against them. If (and this is heavy speculation) the mark of the beast relates in some way to the Mahdi expected by some sections of the Islamic community, a global growth in Muslims relative to other faiths is a clear way that a global caliphate could potentially be accomplished.

      Much of this is speculation, and much of it is likely to be some time out, but I wouldn't say there's nothing to be concerned about out there.
      If the conclusion I come to is that this is all coming soon then my reaction should then be to work on my relationship with God and growing closer to him because these are signs that he is coming soon

    2. #22
      tango's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by jsimms435 View Post
      If the conclusion I come to is that this is all coming soon then my reaction should then be to work on my relationship with God and growing closer to him because these are signs that he is coming soon
      That makes far more sense than trying to fight a prophecy, as if me writing letters of protest or refusing to invest in bitcoin could thwart the will of God.
      "Do what thou will shall be the whole of the law" - Aleister Crowley

      "If you love me, obey my commandments" - Jesus Christ

      The Bible comes as a complete package. If we want to pluck verses out of context so make them mean what we want them to mean, if we want to ignore the passages that are inconvenient to our outlook, we should be intellectually honest enough to throw our Bibles in the trash and admit we are following Crowley and not Christ.

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    4. #23
      TheThirdAngel144 is offline Participant Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by tango View Post
      Indeed, when a small business closes on Sunday because they have the crazy idea their staff might want to spend time with their families or - God forbid - go to church they risk losing the trade that then goes to competitors.

      I don't see the mark of the beast being anything to do with Sunday. I think the beast will want to do away with Christian worship completely, not fuss over whether or not stores are closed on a day named after a star.
      There is quite the difference between a choice to close your own personal business on Sunday, vs a government law forcing every business to close on Sunday. It is wrong to legislate religion.

    5. #24
      TheThirdAngel144 is offline Participant Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by jsimms435 View Post
      If the conclusion I come to is that this is all coming soon then my reaction should then be to work on my relationship with God and growing closer to him because these are signs that he is coming soon
      Of course we cannot stop God's will from happening. But the prophets of old warned people of impending doom, and if they repented, doom was averted. It's not that this calamity will be averted, but it can be pushed back, and pushed off, if the people of God do their job.

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    7. #25
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      Quote Originally Posted by TheThirdAngel144 View Post
      There is quite the difference between a choice to close your own personal business on Sunday, vs a government law forcing every business to close on Sunday. It is wrong to legislate religion.
      Hmm. I see the opposite in Holland. Stores were always closed on sunday because of christian laws. Now ppl are forced to work on sunday. Nice for me to go get groceries if I'm too lazy to get em on friday, but quite antisocial for the ppl who have to work.

    8. #26
      Stravinsk's Avatar
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      I finally got around to watching the video now that there's a proper link.

      While I wouldn't put it past the RCC to assert some authority in the West by working with governments to institute Sunday laws, the idea that it is imminent isn't even close to being justified just because various groups are pushing for it in some way or another. That is the main push of the video, "Sunday laws are just around the corner, because look at group X,Y and Z who are in favor of them!" As a sort of weak nod to Revelation, it's just thrown in that all countries around the world will just adopt them also. With a lot less citing of groups for these latter regions.

      I like some Adventist teaching, but this is cherry picking Revelation and trying to force an interpretation that is just not happening, not in the West, and certainly not in other parts of the world like the Muslim world or Hindu or elsewhere where Christianity is not the popular religion.

      Besides all of this...I feel my points in my first post on this thread still stand.

      God has to single out a single generation for this test, leaving all others out *by the going theory
      Any practical implementation *by the going theory is going to leave out isolated groups or individuals all over the world (so as to nullify applying to "all men" as Revelation states)

      *The going theory as for "buying and selling" being some sort of credit/debit and/or electronic trade mechanism that will have to, according to Revelation, be applied to "all men" (usually thought of as being in the future and of course just for the generation in which it happens, making God favor all previous ones). If one wants to get technical, any trade that involves buying or selling need not include any kind of currency at all, electronic, paper, gold/silver etc. If I have a bag of corn and want to trade it for a bag of wheat, and the wheat holder agrees, well, I've just "bought" the wheat with my corn, and he has just "sold" it.

      Viola. No super smart computers, electronics, even electricity or just simply paper money need be involved. If that can happen, this nullifies the strong and exclusive language of Revelation IF the 'mark' is some sort of physical mechanism to facilitate trade or some sort of public acknowledgement of other gods, a physical idol etc.


      For those who may be unaware, the similarity between the 4th beast of Daniel 7 and the Beast of Revelation means this beast power has been around for a very long time.

    9. #27
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      Quote Originally Posted by TheThirdAngel144 View Post
      There is quite the difference between a choice to close your own personal business on Sunday, vs a government law forcing every business to close on Sunday. It is wrong to legislate religion.
      Of course it is, but the trend at the moment is ever-more pressure on stores to open on Sunday rather than any government pressure to close. If anything protections put in place when Sunday trading laws were relaxed are being eroded. It's quite a bold move for a retail business to close their doors on Sunday these days.
      "Do what thou will shall be the whole of the law" - Aleister Crowley

      "If you love me, obey my commandments" - Jesus Christ

      The Bible comes as a complete package. If we want to pluck verses out of context so make them mean what we want them to mean, if we want to ignore the passages that are inconvenient to our outlook, we should be intellectually honest enough to throw our Bibles in the trash and admit we are following Crowley and not Christ.

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    11. #28
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      Quote Originally Posted by Stravinsk View Post
      I finally got around to watching the video now that there's a proper link.

      While I wouldn't put it past the RCC to assert some authority in the West by working with governments to institute Sunday laws, the idea that it is imminent isn't even close to being justified just because various groups are pushing for it in some way or another. That is the main push of the video, "Sunday laws are just around the corner, because look at group X,Y and Z who are in favor of them!" As a sort of weak nod to Revelation, it's just thrown in that all countries around the world will just adopt them also. With a lot less citing of groups for these latter regions.

      I like some Adventist teaching, but this is cherry picking Revelation and trying to force an interpretation that is just not happening, not in the West, and certainly not in other parts of the world like the Muslim world or Hindu or elsewhere where Christianity is not the popular religion.

      Besides all of this...I feel my points in my first post on this thread still stand.

      God has to single out a single generation for this test, leaving all others out *by the going theory
      Any practical implementation *by the going theory is going to leave out isolated groups or individuals all over the world (so as to nullify applying to "all men" as Revelation states)

      *The going theory as for "buying and selling" being some sort of credit/debit and/or electronic trade mechanism that will have to, according to Revelation, be applied to "all men" (usually thought of as being in the future and of course just for the generation in which it happens, making God favor all previous ones). If one wants to get technical, any trade that involves buying or selling need not include any kind of currency at all, electronic, paper, gold/silver etc. If I have a bag of corn and want to trade it for a bag of wheat, and the wheat holder agrees, well, I've just "bought" the wheat with my corn, and he has just "sold" it.

      Viola. No super smart computers, electronics, even electricity or just simply paper money need be involved. If that can happen, this nullifies the strong and exclusive language of Revelation IF the 'mark' is some sort of physical mechanism to facilitate trade or some sort of public acknowledgement of other gods, a physical idol etc.


      For those who may be unaware, the similarity between the 4th beast of Daniel 7 and the Beast of Revelation means this beast power has been around for a very long time.
      You make many good points in this post - much of what is claimed to be "imminent" is little more than speculation. I suppose it sells papers, or subscriptions, or whatever else is on offer.

      On the other hand I don't see the requirement of a mark to buy or sell as necessarily including the requirement of a mark to trade or barter. If you trade your corn for my beans we have exchanged goods of equal value rather than specifically bought or sold - indeed a key purpose of the concept of money is as a store of value so that if your goods that I need don't coincide with my goods that you need we can exchange some form of token of mutually agreed value in the event that one of us defaults, or one of us decides to trade for something else. Barter only works in the presence of substantial trust, or a convenient alignment of requirements - if I trade my October crop for your October crop it works, but if I want to trade my spring crop for your autumn crop there needs to be a lot of trust, or the exchange of some form of security so I can be confident of actually getting your autumn crop (or, indeed, that I can get something else should your crop fail)

      Given the ongoing economic management in the western world, paired with pressure for other nations to adopt our enlightened standards, I still think that the mark will relate to economic servitude at some point. Reading the section of the seals in Revelation (don't have a Bible on hand to look it up right now) when one of the horsemen is released and famine follows, barter only works if you have something to barter. If you are barely getting by, and a day's work gets you just enough to feed yourself for a day, you can't barter with the surplus because there is no surplus and even if you did scrape a bit together you couldn't sell it without the mark and couldn't barter it unless someone else had something to trade, which they probably wouldn't because they'd be in the same boat as you.

      There's inevitably a lot of speculation going into it and, given the required levels of speculation, I think it's hugely unhelpful to act as if it's right around the corner because we can't possibly know. I don't think it's necessarily unhelpful to be aware of developments that could potentially lead into the events described in Revelation.
      "Do what thou will shall be the whole of the law" - Aleister Crowley

      "If you love me, obey my commandments" - Jesus Christ

      The Bible comes as a complete package. If we want to pluck verses out of context so make them mean what we want them to mean, if we want to ignore the passages that are inconvenient to our outlook, we should be intellectually honest enough to throw our Bibles in the trash and admit we are following Crowley and not Christ.

    12. #29
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      Quote Originally Posted by TheThirdAngel144 View Post
      Of course we cannot stop God's will from happening. But the prophets of old warned people of impending doom, and if they repented, doom was averted. It's not that this calamity will be averted, but it can be pushed back, and pushed off, if the people of God do their job.
      You think we can stall the events of Revelation? The book quite clearly says that despite all the torments people did not repent of their wicked ways and, unlike the warnings given by the prophets of old, it contains nothing to suggest that the events can be stalled or slowed if people repent.
      "Do what thou will shall be the whole of the law" - Aleister Crowley

      "If you love me, obey my commandments" - Jesus Christ

      The Bible comes as a complete package. If we want to pluck verses out of context so make them mean what we want them to mean, if we want to ignore the passages that are inconvenient to our outlook, we should be intellectually honest enough to throw our Bibles in the trash and admit we are following Crowley and not Christ.

    13. #30
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      Quote Originally Posted by tango View Post
      You think we can stall the events of Revelation? The book quite clearly says that despite all the torments people did not repent of their wicked ways and, unlike the warnings given by the prophets of old, it contains nothing to suggest that the events can be stalled or slowed if people repent.
      We're still in the grace period. Its not the last 7 years yet and even then there's an uncountable multitude that gets saved. If My people repent and seek My Face I will heal their land.

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