Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Chapter 4 - The Physical Marks or The Spiritual Marks of Faith?

Chapter 4 - The Physical Marks or The Spiritual Marks of Faith?

John, the writer of the Book of Revelation, did not foresee into the distant future and therefore did not predict the use of electronic chips on skin. Why? The main verses of contention are Revelation 13:16-17. Are these marks meant to be spiritual or physical marks? According to the writer, and within the context of his time, the proper conclusion would be that these marks are spiritual. The evidence for this conclusion is stated in Revelation 14:1 where the mark of the Lamb is stated. The supporting evidence that would show a contrast between the spiritual mark of the beast and the spiritual mark of God (Lamb) is Ezekiel 9:4-7. The passage from Ezekiel is expressing the conclusion that these marks, and especially the mark of the beast mentioned primarily in Revelation 13:16-17, is a spiritual mark rather than physical marks by computer chips or anything similar. Earlier verses like Deuteronomy 6:8 and Leviticus 21:5 are also contrasts between good "spiritual" marks and bad "spiritual" marks. These are the descriptions of a spiritual duality among the followers of the Ten Commandments which was stated in Jeremiah chapter twenty-four (24:1-10) when Jeremiah was given an allegorical description of the two differing figs describing the condition of the Jewish people or community before Babylonian captivity. The previous evidence is another example of the borrowing theme which John adopts within his book - The Book of Revelation. John, the writer of the Book of Revelation, borrows themes from the Book of Jeremiah and earlier books. Once again, the writer of the Book of Revelation was expecting a repeat of "prophecy" or history. In other words, another repeat of a seven decades captivity of the Jewish people by another foreign power. The verses stated in Jeremiah 25:12 and Jeremiah 29:28 is exactly what John was expecting or copying which was conveyed to his audience around A.D. 70. John was expressing that the people of the Lamb or Christians would return to Jerusalem after the conclusion of the seven decades Roman captivity.

For example, the cycle starts with the destruction of the Temple by the Romans and then a return of the people (this time being the Christian community rather than the Jewish people). The proposed "supernatural" cycle are the years of A.D. 70 to A.D. 140. This could be proven as a false "prophecy" or a false prediction by John. Nevertheless, despite the false prophecy or incorrect prediction by John we are still obligated to make sure that people are not marked physically with any computer chips or the sort which violates the natural rights of individuals. The previous observation will be proven to be part of the utilitarian creed expressed in the most influencial and latest document of history - The U.S. Constitution.

Another book by the title The Book of Jasher also details the misuse of economic and financial power without the employment of marks on skin. Therefore, the previous stated source presented is an example of the abuse of power without the use of physical marks. The previous example would emphasize the interpretation that the mention of marks by John are rather spiritual than physical. The Book of Jasher is mentioned twice in the Old Testament source - the Book of Joshua and the Book of 2nd Samuel. For instance, it is stated in Joshua 10:3 and 2nd Samuel 1:18. The source to be presented is located in the Book of Jasher chapter nineteen (Jasher 19:1-10).
11. And the cities of Sodom had four judges to four cities, and these were their names, Serak in the city of Sodom, Sharkad in Gomorrah, Zabnac in Admah, and Menon in Zeboyim.
22. And Eliezer Abraham's servant applied to them different names, and he converted Serak to Shakra, Sharkad to Shakrura, Zebnac to Kezobim, and Menon to Matzlodin.
33. And by desire of their four judges the people of Sodom and Gomorrah had beds erected in the streets of the cities, and if a man came to these places they laid hold of him and brought him to one of their beds, and by force made him to lie in them.
44. And as he lay down, three men would stand at his head and three at his feet, and measure him by the length of the bed, and if the man was less than the bed these six men would stretch him at each end, and when he cried out to them they would not answer him.
55. And if he was longer than the bed they would draw together the two sides of the bed at each end, until the man had reached the gates of death.
66. And if he continued to cry out to them, they would answer him, saying, Thus shall it be done to a man that cometh into our land.
77. And when men heard all these things that the people of the cities of Sodom did, they refrained from coming there.
88. And when a poor man came to their land they would give him silver and gold, and cause a proclamation in the whole city not to give him a morsel of bread to eat, and if the stranger should remain there some days, and die from hunger, not having been able to obtain a morsel of bread, then at his death all the people of the city would come and take their silver and gold which they had given to him.
99. And those that could recognize the silver or gold which they had given him took it back, and at his death they also stripped him of his garments, and they would fight about them, and he that prevailed over his neighbor took them.
110. They would after that carry him and bury him under some of the shrubs in the deserts; so they did all the days to any one that came to them and died in their land.
Verse eight through ten gives one of the many reasons why the "Angel of the Lord" destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. It was the abuse of the common poor which were employed as cheap labor. Therefore, John's Book of Revelation was a treatise against the abuse of power by the state of Rome against Christians, who by this time, were considered non-citizens or a minority of the state because of their belief in another religion or god. John's use of a material exchange was both literal and metaphorical but was stated to highlight the abuse of power by the state of Rome to deny material services to the nascent Christian community because of their faith. The abuse of power by the Roman authorities were not only physical but through economics by denying material transactions to Christians through the use of their gods. Paul had stated in 1st Corinthians chapter eight, the various problems the Christian community had in obtaining foods sacrificed to idols. The problems between Paul and John concerning this issue was addressed earlier but the subject of an ideological struggle is addressed by John. Furthermore, 1st Corinthians chapter eight states:


Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffed up, but charity edifieth.


And if any man think that he know anything, he know nothing yet as he ought to know.


But if any man love God, the same is known of him.


¶ As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one.


For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,)


but to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.


¶ Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled.


But meat commend us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse.


But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to them that are weak.


For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol's temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols;


and through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?


But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ.


Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world stand, lest I make my brother to offend.
In the Book of Revelation; John expresses his opposition to the Roman government's regulation and ideological imposition in the Roman marketplace by attacking a previous Roman emperor - Nero. John presented the denial of material exchange through a metaphysical or "spiritual" mark. John was also expressing a more aggressive position against the Roman government which came much later after Paul's martyrdom and execution by Nero. Eventhough, the Roman emperor Nero is symbolized as "666" the attack is addressed towards the 'spirit of Nero' represented through Vespasian. Revelation 13:16-17


And he cause all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:


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.
Revelation 2:14 is a revision against Paul's opinion located in 1st Corinthians Chapter eight. The verse is also evidence of the problem within the early Christian community and friction against the government of Rome. A government which incorporates their various beliefs of gods into the marketplace and especially in the area of foods. Therefore, preventing those who are loyal to the principles stated by John, within the Book of Revelation, to acquire materials. The denial of material exchange, the Roman enforcement of ideological purity in the marketplace, and the reaction of a minority to express disfavor through a metaphorical symbolic expression by the supposed divine words of Messiah Jesus himself was an early form of dialectical non-violent revolution. Revelation 2:14 -


But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Ba'laam, who taught Balak to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.
The most striking and obvious conclusion is that the Book of Revelation was meant for Roman times and not some distant future time or era. The problem again is whether Paul or John is presenting the words of Jesus himself or offering opinions on an issue relating to the consumption of foods sacrificed to idols? The only obvious conclusion is that the Book of Revelation is meant for the immediate audience of A.D. 70 to A.D. 140 which dealt with relevant subjects stated within the Book of Revelation. The issue of food sacrificed to idols is no longer an issue and this is the main evidence against the relevancy of the Book of Revelation. The other subject explained later is the contradictions of Paul's Dispensationalism and John's Millennialism. These two differing interpretation, and of course false predictions, were followed closely by the Jewish believers of messiah Jesus because of the importance of the Temple.
Therefore, it is very clear and obvious that John was addressing his attacks against some of the Jewish believers of Messiah Jesus. He does this in Revelation 2:9


¶ I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.
The reason for Revelation 13:16-17 is to address the weapons of denial concerning material exchange and service which resulted in the limited options to attain food and other resources through the marketplace controlled by the Roman government. The denial of material service was self-imposed by the early Christian leadership through the subject concerning the consumption of foods sacrificed to idols. Ezekiel chapter nine, which was stated earlier, the marks are identified to be “spiritual” or metaphysical marks rather than physical marks of faith. The supporting evidence is also located within the Book of Revelation (Revelation 9:4 and Revelation 22:4). Even one of the Gods were mentioned by John himself in the Book of Revelation (Revelation 9:11). This god is Abaddon or Apollyon and it shows the prevailing use of gods within the Roman controlled marketplace to buy and sell foods. My observation is that John mentioned this god to show the abuse of power by the Roman authorities. The overwhelming evidence only would properly conclude that the creatures with the breastplates are the nominal Christians or the hypocrites of the faith who have decided to participate in the system. In Other words, John is saying through the Book of Revelation, other Jewish followers or rather Jewish-Christians are these creatures with false knowledge (the reason for the Breastplates). The reason for this is known because he attacks other Jewish-Christians and even addressed the church (congregation) at Ephesus in Revelation chapter two, the very congregation which Paul also addressed through the Book of Ephesians. John and Paul even share similar words and phrases through both of these books. However, both have differing opinions concerning foods sacrificed to idols and whether to consume them. Paul mentions indirectly that John and himself split up (2nd Corinthians 12:1-7) because of the disagreement of Foods sacrificed to Roman idols (1st Corinthians chapter eight).
Therefore, the marks and seals of faith mentioned in the Book of Revelation are spiritual marks. The marks are then transferred to the creatures with the breastplates located in Revelation chapter nine. There is a theme within the Book of Revelation which entails the showing of obedience to receive and maintain the seals of the Lord Messiah Jesus. One of these tests is to avoid eating foods which were dedicated or sacrificed to idols and anyone who disobeyed would have received a mark of the beast of Revelation chapter thirteen. Therefore, there is a clear distinction between the marks of the beast and the seal of God or the "marks of Armageddon". This was the main message of John to the churches or congregation during his time. Also, it would present to the reader that the message was intended for Roman times only because of the mention of foods sacrificed or dedicated to idols.
The modern misinterpretation of the verses in question above only forces the proposition of an argument: The impossibility to enforce marks on skin to control commerce.
In the modern setting, this would be the imposition of scientific capitalism coined by a Princeton University professor by the name of Daniel Cloud. The imposition of idols in the marketplace may have also enriched a few corporations or merchants (Revelation 18:15). John, the writer of the Book of Revelation, is explicitly describing a corrupt system of government which only has strengthen a few corporations through selective servicing and the imposition of "slave" labor or cheap labor (Revelation 18:13). The corruption of the Roman government lead to corrupt practices until it was resolved by natural means through the hands of Emperor Constantine in the Edict of Milan in which he co-sponsored. If it was Emperor Constantine which ended the regulation concerning the enforcement of Roman pagan idols in the marketplace then where is Jesus himself? In other words; why did Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah of the Christian community, did not physically return before the Edict of Milan by Emperor Constantine (Revelation 19:11).
The control of a few corporations or "merchants" to control the Roman government is a symptom of political corruption. John was presenting a supernatural solution to a natural phenomenon which was solved during the rule of Constantine years after A.D. 70. The "marks of skin" were surely symbolic and not literal. The previous inference only formulates the theory: "The Roman Material Theory" which describes the political corruption of a state through the employment of "slave" or cheap labor.

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