Amil view of Mark of the Beast?

End Times
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Quilter2
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Amil view of Mark of the Beast?

Post by Quilter2 » Sat Jun 27, 2015 3:26 pm

What do Amils or Postmils believe is the mark?
Do they hold the papacy is the man of sin or something else?
Thanks,
Paula

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steve
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Re: Amil view of Mark of the Beast?

Post by steve » Sat Jun 27, 2015 3:53 pm

Amillennialists and postmillennialists do not all share the same opinion as to the identity of the "beast." Many of the older guys did view the beast as the papacy. Modern amils and postmils might have other opinions—depending on whether they are preterists (in which case, the beast is Nero or Rome), or they are idealists (in which case, the beast represents every government in history that has opposed the church).

As for the "mark", some preterists teach that Nero-worship was enforced by an emperor-cult, which literally administered marks to people on their hands and foreheads. I have not been able to discover any historical confirmation of this claim. My view (which is fairly common among amils) is that the hand and forehead represent one's works and thoughts, and that the "mark" on the hand or forehead is not literal, but alludes to the Roman practice of branding runaway slaves on these parts of their anatomy. These would be the most difficult parts of the body to cover with ordinary clothing, meaning that the owner's brand on the slave would be identifiable at first sight. To have the brand of the beast means that one's master is Satan, whereas having the name of God on the forehead (Rev.14:1) means that one is God's servant. By the works and thoughts of any individual, you can know the identity of his/her master—as clearly as if they had it branded upon their face or hand.

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Quilter2
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Re: Amil view of Mark of the Beast?

Post by Quilter2 » Sun Jul 05, 2015 10:45 pm

Thanks, Steve. I have been discussing this with our daughter. Her Bible college was dispensational. But the more she reads her Bible and we talk about things, the more dispensational unravels :D She asked me these questions. Our former pastor (Amil) was a little fuzzy on it. Our current church, I think the minister was raised premil, so I thought I would try your forum. BTW, nice picture.
I recently finished your book on three views of Hell. This has been a question in my mind for a longtime; I appreciate the thorough treatment of the subject and bought a couple of copies to share around.
Blessings,
Paula

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Quilter2
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Re: Amil view of Mark of the Beast?

Post by Quilter2 » Sat Jul 11, 2015 11:10 am

My daughter asked, what would you take "can't buy or sell without the mark" to mean?
Thanks
Paula

dwilkins
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Re: Amil view of Mark of the Beast?

Post by dwilkins » Sat Jul 11, 2015 11:59 am

Though I generally think that Amil is a better explanation than Premil, the definitive passage for the term creates some problems for easily explaining the mark of the beast and connected doctrines:

Rev 20:4 Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
Rev 20:5 The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection.
Rev 20:6 Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but

Here's one problem. According to verse 4, you cannot take part in the first resurrection (defined as coming to spiritual life at salvation) unless you've been martyred for refusing to take the mark. You have to spiritualize the mark and the events associated with it pretty hard to explain that in modern terms.

Doug

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steve
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Re: Amil view of Mark of the Beast?

Post by steve » Sat Jul 11, 2015 6:32 pm

To spiritualize the "first resurrection", as Jesus and Paul did (e.g., John 5:24 and Col.2:12) would seem necessary, since there is only one physical resurrection (John 5:28-29; Acts 24:15).

Likewise, to spiritualize "the mark of the beast" seems equally legitimate, if not absolutely necessary. The mark, or name, of the beast on the hand or forehead of the unbeliever (Rev.13:16-17) corresponds, by way of contrast, with the seal, or the name, of God on the foreheads of the believers (Revelation 7:3; 14:1). Since believers bear no physical mark on their foreheads, it is not likely that the unbelievers do either.

If the beast, as in my view, represents the concept of Satan's embodiment in church-persecuting state systems of all times, then the mark or brand of the beast is the evidence of one's being the servant of such a state system. The brand of God is on His servants—meaning the evidence of their belonging to Him. All people, I believe, are depicted as being the servants, either of God or of Satan's system. In real life, this evidence is not seen in actual tattoos on the face, but by thoughts (the head) and actions (the hand).

In the Old Testament, the evidence of Israel's loyalty to God was described in terms of binding the law to the hand and the forehead (Deut. e.g., Deut.6:8). This was not a reference to literal wearing of phylacteries, though the Jews, at some point, came to interpret it that way. It meant that their thought and actions should be bound and governed by the law that God gave them. The unbelievers' thoughts and actions are governed by their loyalty to Satan's system, as also the servants of God are distinguished by their thoughts and actions in obedience to Him. The so-called "mark" is a spiritual thing.

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Re: Amil view of Mark of the Beast?

Post by dwilkins » Sat Jul 11, 2015 9:56 pm

My comment about spiritualizing the mark wasn't aimed narrowly at the definition of the mark. I think that given the precedent in Ezekiel your definition of the mark itself is very credible. My point was aimed more at the function of the mark. According to Rev. 20, the only people who take part in the first resurrection are those who've been martyred for not taking the mark. So, if we make the mark a description of identity with either God or Satan, only those who've been martyred for being a member of God's people would be eligible for the first resurrection. Likewise, the Beast is said to have 42 months at the climax of the tribulation to demand that people take his mark, which is not described as existing outside of that time window. So, the resurrection from that persecution would seem to follow these 42 months. In my opinion this invalidates the John 5 interpretation of the first resurrection, and throws a serious wrench in the timeline of both Amil and Premil eschatology.

Doug

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TheEditor
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Re: Amil view of Mark of the Beast?

Post by TheEditor » Sat Jul 11, 2015 10:31 pm

Hi Doug,

"Yes, I saw the souls of those executed with the ax for the witness they bore to Jesus and for speaking about God, and those who had worshiped neither the wild beast nor its image and who had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand." (Revelation 20:4)

According to Rev. 20, the only people who take part in the first resurrection are those who've been martyred for not taking the mark.


What makes you think that? Why couldn't this be a short laundry list of those that are resurrected? What is it about this passage that says ONLY those that refused the "mark" are in this group? If this is a literal criteria for all comprising the "first resurrection" class, what about "the ax"? Would those hung with a rope be disqualified? Why couldn't this merely be a way of telling us the kind and quality of persons included in the "first resurrection"?

Regards,Brenden.
[color=#0000FF][b]"It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery."[/b][/color]

dwilkins
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Re: Amil view of Mark of the Beast?

Post by dwilkins » Sat Jul 11, 2015 10:51 pm

TheEditor wrote:Hi Doug,

"Yes, I saw the souls of those executed with the ax for the witness they bore to Jesus and for speaking about God, and those who had worshiped neither the wild beast nor its image and who had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand." (Revelation 20:4)

According to Rev. 20, the only people who take part in the first resurrection are those who've been martyred for not taking the mark.


What makes you think that? Why couldn't this be a short laundry list of those that are resurrected? What is it about this passage that says ONLY those that refused the "mark" are in this group? If this is a literal criteria for all comprising the "first resurrection" class, what about "the ax"? Would those hung with a rope be disqualified? Why couldn't this merely be a way of telling us the kind and quality of persons included in the "first resurrection"?

Regards,Brenden.
You'll notice that when I described it I loosened the group to those who were martyred instead of just those who'd had their heads chopped off. I think that's a reasonable extension of the idea. But, the point of the passage is that those who are resurrected are those who die in the persecution of the Beast that only lasts 42 months. There is no implication at all that it is designed to extend to the typical John 5 interpretation where it represents all people of all time who become believers.

Doug

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Re: Amil view of Mark of the Beast?

Post by TheEditor » Sat Jul 11, 2015 11:13 pm

Hi Doug,

So you believe that this is a literal raising to life of those that died at the hand of Nero or whomever, during a literal 42 months of tribulation on Jerusalem, and to no others?

Regards, Brenden.
[color=#0000FF][b]"It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery."[/b][/color]

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