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According to Wikipedia the "Mark of the beast" is something that may be translated "to vote" or "to decide". On the other hand, I've come to think of the mark of the beast as something that is obsessively thought of, or compulsory done.

I'm trying to understand the commonly accepted way of evaluating things with regard to Revelations.

Taking Facebook for example (not to bash it specifically),

  • Does the ubiquity of Facebook, especially now they use virtual coins for doing business, is there any relevance in revelations?

  • Could the Peterist view of a mark on the hand (or mind of all) be applied to Facebook? Could the literal translation of "Face" book have any connection?

  • How can I look at it from a gematria perspective?

Are there additional or more valued perspectives that should be evaluated?

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closed as off-topic by Flimzy, fredsbend, bruised reed, David Stratton Jan 6 at 14:45

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Hmmm just got a downvote. I'm doing my best to ask a question here. Advice is appreciated... –  makerofthings7 Mar 3 '12 at 22:37
Not my downvote, but I have to say: that association seems very bizarre and arbitrary. If you object to Facebook (as many do, for many reasons, many of those reasons perfectly valid), then fine - but I'm not sure they are quite guilty of acts of Biblical infamy. –  Marc Gravell Mar 3 '12 at 22:48
Thanks @MarcGravell , I'm just looking to follow the train of thought (for or against) on how to evaluate things in this context. Perhaps I could rephrase the question. Does the analysis / thinking of influences in life in this context have a formal name? –  makerofthings7 Mar 3 '12 at 23:01

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

There are multiple schools of thought on how to interpret Revelation, but one that should be kept in mind when "assessing" it, is that one fully valid interpretation of Revelation is that it has NOTHING to do with our future at all. It is an apocalyptic book to be sure, but there is a pretty wide amount of scholarship that says that Revalation should primarily be interpreted simply as an invective against Rome, and has nothing to do with the end times.

The number 666, for example, could simply be a veiled reference to Nero- This article on gematria for example, shows that it was long known that Nero fits the description very well.

Additionally, a reading that says this book is about the then present struggle against The persecutions of Rome also fits the first rule of Hermeneutics well- a text cannot mean what it could not mean to the original readers.

Remember that by the time Revelation was written (probably late in the 1st century), Paul had been beheaded, Peter had been crucified upside down. The Jewish kingdom had been dispersed, and all Christians were already being martyred in the Colluseum. Christians needed to know that this was temporary. Things were going to get worse, but they needed to know that God wins.

As to the "mark," it is obvious from Scripture that anyone who takes the mark will be pledging themselves to the beast in a radical way. No one puts a mark on their hand or their forehead without wanting to make a clear statement. If it really is the mark of the beast, there is a conscious decision that will let you know.

Paul is clear that we are to be vigilant, and that we should be watchful, but he also cautions us against falling for "the stories of old women" and unsound doctrine. Revelation is weird book, but we don't have to make it any weirder by adding fanciful ideas to what it means.

At a a basic level, we know, from Revelation, that in the end, God wins. That alone is enough for me to concern myself with. Whether or not my credit card is going to be the instrument of the devil is Not the point. Whether or not I'm going to take heart from the fact that I know God is going to win is.

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Thank you Affable; my concern is that "I'm on the right side" ... and also not leading others astray. But I assume this leads me to a different question that may already be answered here somewhere. –  makerofthings7 Mar 4 '12 at 1:30
@MakerofThings7 if you'd like to email me offline, I might be of some assistance (or I might not). Either way, if you have concerns, that's what the body of Christ is for. Talk to your pastor, or if you'd prefer someone who doesn't know you, you can email me. Either way, there is no generic answer to your question, and you should talk to someone about your concerns rather than ask in a secular, wild west kind of place. –  Affable Geek Mar 4 '12 at 13:22

I'm not sure that I correctly understand your question, so forgive me if I'm off on a tangent here.

There is, of course, plenty of debate about the meaning of Revelation. The section on the mark of the beast at least seems to have a plain, literal interpretation: At some time people will be required to have some mark put on their hands or foreheads to be allowed to buy or sell. It can be readily understood as a literal, specific prophecy. I don't know of any historical event that fulfills this prophecy, so if it is literal, it is not yet fulfilled. Or it could be that it is not intended literally. Perhaps it is a general condemnation of people who submit to ungodly things for some practical benefit, or a general prophecy that people will sometimes renounce their faith under social pressure or persecution.

All that said, I don't see any connection to Facebook. I am not aware of Facebook pressuring anyone to renounce their faith or abandon their beliefs. No one is forced to have the Facebook icon put on their hands or foreheads. While there is plenty of material on Facebook that is immoral and a fair amount that is anti-Christian, there's no force or pressure involved. You may criticize Facebook on any number of grounds, but I just don't see any connection to the mark of the beast.

PS I think you meant "Preterist" and not "Peterist". The Preterist view of prophecy is that most or all prophecies about the Great Tribulation, etc, are already fulfilled, primarily with the fall of Jerusalem. From the Latin "praeter" meaning beyond or past. "Peterist" would mean "having to do with Peter". I'm not aware of a Peterist view of prophecy.

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