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Christianity Under Fire

The Mark of the Beast: Is it Literal?
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"If the Plain Sense Makes Sense, Seek No Other Sense, to Replace it, lest you end up with nonsense."
 
This means that a verse can have more than one meaning but the plain sense should never be abandoned, if it makes sense.

 
 
 Physical  (not figurative)
 
Literal, Spiritual and /or Figurative
 
Mark
                                                        
16 He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, 17 so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name. 18 This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man's number. His number is 666.
 
(Revelation 13:16-18)
 
 
Sign
 
(Exodus 13:9)
 
"This observance will be for you like a sign on your hand and a reminder on your forehead that the law of the Lord is to be on your lips. For the Lord brought you out of Egypt with his mighty hand."
 
Notice the words, 'like a sign'
 
This is similar to Christ speaking parables (stories using the familiar to explain the unfamiliar)
 
"1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, who took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. 2 And five of them were foolish, and five were wise. 3 For the foolish, when they took their lamps, took no oil with them: ..."
 
He wasn't trying to get them to believe the familiar.  He was trying to explain the unfamiliar.
Earthy and Satanic Mark 
 
The 'Mark' is the literal and physical marking on the Right hand or forehead that will come after willingly worshipping the Beast...
 
Karagma: A Scratch or etching, i.e. stamp...sculptured figure, (statue):-graven, mark.
 
 
The word for 'sign' in Exodus 13:9 is Oat or Owth
"Oat is translated as seimeion (shmeion) in the Septuagint, meaning 'a sign, a mark, token,' or quite possibly also 'in reasoning, a sign or proof' (LS).[6] The Revelation account, describing the 'mark of the beast,'employs the term charagma (caragma),' a mark that is engraved, etched, branded, cut, imprinted, mark, stamp" (BDAG).[7] The mark of the beast is clearly something that is physical, as opposed to something primarily ideological such as the Sabbath."
 
 
The Septuagint is the Greek Translation of the OT.
 
Sometimes people resist the literal interpretation of 'Mark' so that they can promote their unsubstantiated theory about Breaking the Sabbath being the Mark in the end.
Visible:
 
The punishment for having the mark is also visible, unless one really wants to go out on a figurative limb and declare this symbolic as well.
 
"And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image."
(Revelation 16:2)
 
 
The Hebrew  Word 'Owth' is also used in Genesis which says, "But the Lord said to him, "Not so; if anyone kills Cain, he will suffer vengeance seven times over." Then the Lord put a mark (owth) on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him." (Genesis 4:15)
 
Obviously, this mark/owth/sign here is literal and physical enough to warn everyone that sees him to not to kill him.
 
Still, the Greek word for 'Mark' in Revelation is not synonomous with the Hebrew OT word 'Sign'/Owth/'Mark' in the OT
 
 
 
In the N.T. , the only time this Greek word is used is in reference to the 'Mark of the Beast'
 
All other NT references to 'Mark' elsewhere are a different Greek Word and a different meaning.
 
This word seems to be limited to the book of Revelation, so other Greek or Hebrew words cannot really define this word.
 
9 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, 10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: 11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. 12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

(Revelation 14)

2 And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. (Revelation 15)

20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. (Revelation 19)

4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (Revelation 20)

 

 
 
The Servants that are sealed are not marked. Two different Greek Words.  (Revelation 7)
 
'Sealed' can be literal or figurative, depending on the context.
 
The Seven 'seals' are not the same Greek word as Karagma- 'Mark' either. (Revelation 5:1)
 
"Sealed' with the Holy Spirit of promise" (Ephesians 1:13;4:30), is not same Greek Word as 'Mark' so cannot be compared to the word.
 
So one cannot use these Greek words as a reason to not take the 'Mark' (Karagma) literally.
 
 

From the Preterist website Jerusalem Community it says:

"The same language of a mark spoken of in John's Revelation should bring to mind a previous reference to a 'mark' found in (Ezekiel 9:3-6). In this context, Jerusalem was also about to be besieged and destroyed by the Babylonians. The Lord commanded an angel to place 'a mark on the foreheads' of those that lamented the wickedness of the city. This angel is described as having 'a writer's inkhorn at his side' (9:3), with which he was to mark the righteous.

It is clear from the context that this was not to be taken literally, as if an angel needed to carry a pen around with him and an inkhorn in which to dip it. This was a figurative symbolic way of showing that there was a specific class of people within the doomed city that were being set apart for preservation (9:6)."

http://www.newjerusalemcommunity.net/?c=54&a=1347

It is clear when actually reading this passage in Ezekiel that this mark is probably physical.

First, the person doing the marking is described as, 'the man clothed in fine linen'.

Second, this mark was visible to the ones doing the executions.

But still this reference to a mark is Old Testament Hebrew and is not the same word as the one used in Revelation.

The Hebrew word for 'Mark' in Ezekiel is the only time it is translated 'Mark' in the KJV and the Greek word for 'mark' in Revelation is used only to refer to the 'Mark of the Beast.'

 
 
 
 
More Later
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More Later
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BJ Maxwell 07/14/2006