666 and RFID chips

theophilus

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This is from Alexander Pope’s poem An Essay in Criticism.

A little learning is a dangerous thing;
Drink deep or taste not the Pierian spring.
There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely sobers us again.
(In Greek mythology the Pierian spring was a fountain which was sacred to the Muses and imparted learning to anyone who drank from it.)

There are times when having just a little learning about what the Bible says can be a dangerous thing.

Most people have heard of the mark of the beast and they know that it is associated with the number 666 but don’t know anything else about it.  One result is that many people are afraid they will take the mark without meaning to and be eternally condemned as a result.  Here are two examples.

The first is from a news story by UPI.

    A Kentucky high school student athlete declined to participate in her team’s cross-country race after she was assigned the number 666, saying it would have gone against her religious beliefs.

    The number 666 is often associated with the biblical “mark of the beast.”
The second is a post on a Christian forum.

Hey guys so I’m 17 and after high school I would like to join the military (AIR FORCE!!!) but I’ve read online they might start RFIDing soldiers. I’m worried if I do enlist I will be forced to get the chip and if it turns out to be the mark of the beast…well I’m done for I guess. So can someone tell me about this? Are they really going to do this? If so is the RFID chip the actual mark of the beast? I would appreciate any help I can get guys.
Are their fears justified?  The best way to answer this question is to look at what the Bible actually says about the mark of the beast.  First the beast is introduced.

    And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads, with ten diadems on its horns and blasphemous names on its heads. And the beast that I saw was like a leopard; its feet were like a bear’s, and its mouth was like a lion’s mouth. And to it the dragon gave his power and his throne and great authority.

    One of its heads seemed to have a mortal wound, but its mortal wound was healed, and the whole earth marveled as they followed the beast. And they worshiped the dragon, for he had given his authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it?”
    Revelation 13:1-4 ESV
The beast will receive power and authority from the dragon, Satan, and will become an object of worship for the whole world.

    And the beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months. It opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God, blaspheming his name and his dwelling, that is, those who dwell in heaven. Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them.

    And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation, and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain. If anyone has an ear, let him hear:

    If anyone is to be taken captive,
    to captivity he goes;
    if anyone is to be slain with the sword,
    with the sword must he be slain.

    Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints.
    Revelation 13:5-10 ESV
Then a second beast is introduced.

    Then I saw another beast rising out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb and it spoke like a dragon. It exercises all the authority of the first beast in its presence, and makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose mortal wound was healed.

    It performs great signs, even making fire come down from heaven to earth in front of people, and by the signs that it is allowed to work in the presence of the beast it deceives those who dwell on earth, telling them to make an image for the beast that was wounded by the sword and yet lived.

    And it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might even speak and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain.
    Revelation 13:11-15 ESV
Finally everyone on the earth is required to take the mark.

    Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name.

    This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666.
    Revelation 13:16-18 ESV
The mark of the beast will be given at a time when the beast is ruling the earth and is already requiring that he be worshipped.  An order will be issued requiring everyone to take the mark.  There will be laws in effect that forbid anyone without the mark to buy or sell.  None of those conditions exist today so it isn’t possible for anyone to receive the mark now.

The number 666 will be associated in some way with the beast but now it is just a number like any other.  It is simply one more than 665 and one less than 667.  It might not even be the number of the beast.  There are some manuscripts of Revelation that have the number 616 instead.

It is possible that taking the mark may include implanting an RFID chip as a means of identification but if that is true the chip itself won’t be the mark; it will only be a tool used to implement it.  An RFID chip is simply a device that can be used for either good or evil purposes.  Perhaps the beast will use it for evil; that shouldn’t keep others from using it for good.

Sometimes having only a little knowledge can be dangerous; the way to remove this danger is to acquire more knowledge.  If you are afraid you might accidentally take the mark the best way to overcome your fear is to study Bible prophecy to learn more about what will happen in the future.

Here are two good sites that can help you understand prophecy:

http://compellingtruth.org/truth_End.html

http://raptureready.com/
 
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Timotheos

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And if you are not a futurist when it comes to Rev., you understand that it was simply a reference to the Nero redivivus myth because the Apocalypse was a polemic against the Roman Empire.
 

rsc2a

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Timotheos said:
And if you are not a futurist when it comes to Rev., you understand that it was simply a reference to the Nero redivivus myth because the Apocalypse was a polemic against the Roman Empire.
8)

(among other things)
 
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Marcus Constantine

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Timotheos said:
And if you are not a futurist when it comes to Rev., you understand that it was simply a reference to the Nero redivivus myth because the Apocalypse was a polemic against the Roman Empire.
I've heard folks say that Nero's name equals 666, but that doesn't seem to be the case.  As you probably know, this is a cryptogrammic riddle.  Each letter has an assigned digit and the sum of those numbers replaces a proper name.  In Greek, Nero’s name equals 1005.  According to some preterists, though, Nero’s name fits this gematria and equals 666.  This is done by adding one of Nero’s titles, Caesar, and then translating ‘Nero Caesar’ into Hebrew.  After which, the yod must be omitted in the Hebrew spelling of Caesar so that the numbers equal 666.  Dr. Kistemaker, an author and professor at Reformed Theological Seminary, questions the reality that the original hearers of Revelation would understand that “they had to transliterate a name from Latin via Greek to Hebrew (or Aramaic) to understand the number 666”.  This does seem unlikely and this understanding is not evidenced by any early writings.  Irenaeus makes several guesses at the identity of the Beast, but the names he uses are all in Greek.  Also, Nero’s name is not on his list, which damages the preterist conception of the Beast, since Irenaeus wrote during the second century, only about one hundred years removed from the time of Nero.  It's a very forced fit, like the preterist concept of the false prophet being Governor Gessius Florus.  There's no evidence for that either.                           
 
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