About the author:  I accepted Christ as a young man and studied with various Christian groups.  However, I never found my place in organized religion.  I assumed this was a failing on my part, avoided established fellowship, kept my beliefs to myself and, except for rare occasions, seldom discussed Christianity.  As a writer I find myself compelled to put words on paper concerning various subjects as a pressure valve if nothing else.   Daily events are triggering memories of past studies, and again, compulsion swells inside seeking relief.

Don't believe what I write, or anyone else for that matter.  Read it for yourself.  Be leery of any doctrine expressed by a person who cannot point out scripture, preferably multiple scriptures, to confirm it.  Unfortunately, modern religious teachings are too often no more accurate that mainstream news.

 

The Mark of Diversity                                                         1944 words

Bible Study

April 2022

Howard R Music                                            

 

 

 

 

 

At the beginning of the Wu-flu scare top tier federal official discussions of how to deal with the virus included digital currency (to hinder the spread through paper money transactions) and the use of digital tattoos (to identify the health status of individuals).  This set off alarm bells in some Christian individuals and communities as a precursor to the "mark of the beast" as predicted in Revelations 13, a decree from an end-time world dictator, without which no man could buy or sell.  Since numbered credit/debit cards can be lost or stolen, as can a digital tattoo, it is not unreasonable to assume that digital currency use could lead to implantable computer chips to be scanned by merchants, health officials, and authorities to insure they are dealing with the correct individual.

There is no question the technology exists.  It has been used on animals for many years and is getting a human foothold in Europe.  There are numerous YouTube videos of Swedish citizens being implanted with scannable chips to allow them access to restricted areas or exclusive nightclubs.

The significance of the mark has been debated for 2,000 years.  I have a 100-year-old Bible with a question/answer segment in the back.  The question of what the mark is could not be answered other than to refer back to the simple statement in Revelations 13, a mark without which no man could buy or sell, and upon receiving results in eternal condemnation.  The development of the computer chip as small as a grain of rice inserted just under the skin provided the answer as to how a digital currency could become standardized world-wide.

As I write this, digital currency use is being openly debated by Federal Reserve bankers and government officials; not if, but how to implement it.  Obviously, they sense that opposition to authorities having the ability to track individual movement, transactions, and socialization in real time is weakening.  Or they could be in panicmode, as the dollar is losing its status as the world's reserve currency and dropping like a ship's anchor but, that's another story. 

The federal Real ID Act, which mandated individual states adopt standardized security codes on individual drivers' licenses, without which a citizen could not board a commercial flight, took decades to implement and I'm not sure if all states have complied to this day.  In the 80s, President Reagan refused to endorse the legislation, stating, "it was the mark of the beast."  Those of his generation were apt to attend church as youngsters and educated in schools where Christian prayers were conducted and Biblical principals were taught.  At the very least Bibles and Christian literature were present for students to use.

Today, such policies are deemed a violation of church and state, at best considered outdated, thus, a high probability exists that many of our current elected officials have never been to a Bible study, have only attended a church service as a political function, and have no knowledge of Biblical prophecy or the mark.  Men such as these, with no spiritual anchor, prone to control, order, and gain, may even see the merits of standard global identification and finance.  Even if they possess a smattering of Biblical knowledge, fear of tanking their careers might inhibit opposition, or even speaking about it.

The point is, the 2,000-year-old prophecy is well known to Christians and older Americans, who at the very least were exposed to scriptures at an early age.  That it is being implemented incrementally at a global level, by those who may or may not be aware of the consequences, there is no doubt. 

But ... is this widely accepted reference to Biblical prophecy the only clue that we are indeed living in the end-times?

Not really.  There are many.

However, one of the most glaring, but least discussed or noticed of end-time Biblical prophecy, is the term diversity.

I'm not sure when it was first endowed with such reverence in our culture other than as a descriptive, as in a "diverse" flower arrangement, or "diverse" method of healing, or "diverse" school curriculum.  It was just a common word such as tree or road or sky.  Always there but without overt significance, yet, is now so elevated that virtually no political, religious, private business, or sports franchise decision can be made without it.

 

The first hint of diversity in end-time prophecy that I've noticed is in the Old Testament Book of Daniel.  Daniel was tasked with interpreting a dream that troubled King Nebuchadnezzar.

In Daniel 2:31 - he describes an image seen in the King's dream, an imposing statue of a man with a head of gold, breast and arms of silver, belly and thigh of brass, legs of iron, and feet made of a mixture of iron and clay.   Then in Daniel 2:34 - a stone cut out without hands smote the image upon his feet of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces, destroying the image.

In Daniel 2:38 - he interprets the dream.  The head of gold is Babylon the realm of King Nebuchadnezzar.  The silver, brass, iron, and the mixed iron and clay feet are distinct subsequent kingdoms.

Daniel 2:41 - iron and clay feet ... part strong, part broken.

Daniel 2:43 - They shall mingle with the seed of men, but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.

Daniel 2:44 - And in the days of these kings shall the God of Heaven set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed.

Notice the image, which represents the world's greatest kingdoms, is destroyed during the time of the last kingdom, the only one not made solely of precious or valuable metal, but is a mixture of lesser materials, and is pulverized by a stone cut without hands (Jesus).

 

It is common for human governments to be described as monstrous images or beasts in the Bible.  God's view of our governments or rulers is generally not flattering.  In fact, Daniel experienced his own prophetic vision or dream of animals.

Daniel 7:3 - And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse from one another.  Daniel 7:4 - The first was like a lion, and had eagle's wings ...  Daniel 7:5 - a second, like to a bear ...  Daniel 7:6 - ... and lo another, like a leopard ... with four wings of a fowl ... the beast also had four heads.  Daniel 7:7 ... and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible ... great iron teeth ... it devoured and brake in pieces ... and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns.  Daniel 7:8 - I considered the horns, and behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things.

Another vision was in Daniel 8:3 - ... and saw a ... ram before the river with two horns.  Daniel 8:5 - an he goat came from the west ... and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes.  Daniel 8:7 - And I saw him come close unto the ram ... and smote the ram, and brake his two horns.

This dream was interpreted to him by the angel Gabriel to explain who the world kingdoms were that followed Babylon.   Daniel 8:17 - ... for at the time of the end shall be this vision.  Daniel 8:20 - The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Medo and Persia (the second world power) the silver breast and arms of the image in Daniel 2, that defeated Babylon around 600 BC. 

Daniel 8:21 - And the rough goat is the King of Crecia, and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king.  The goat would be the third world power, the belly and thighs of brass from the image in Daniel 2.  The king represented by the great horn is Alexander the Great who conquered the Medo Persians in 334 BC and whose empire spread from Greece to north Africa to the border of India.  According to a Biblical encyclopedia I have, the Hebrews showed Alexander the Daniel prophecies concerning his kingdom and he did not sack Jerusalem.  I don't know enough about history to confirm this ... but it is interesting.

Daniel 8:8 - Therefore the he goat waxed very great: and when it was strong, the great horn was broken; and for it came up four notable ones ...  Daniel 8:9 - ... And out of one of them came forth a little horn.  Daniel 8:10 - ... and it waxed great even to the host of heaven ... I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; Daniel 8:22 - Until the ancient of days came and judgement was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.

You'll note this little horn was mentioned back in Daniel 7, visions of beasts.

The end-time prophecy of a multi-headed/multi-horned beast continues in The Revelation of St. John:  Rev. 17:3 - ... and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet-colored beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.  Rev. 17:12 - And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.  Rev. 17:13 - These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.  Rev. 17:14 - These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.

 

Rev. 17:10 - And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.

 I listed Rev. 17:10 last because it bridges the prophecies from Daniel to St. John's visions of the end-time kingdom of the Beast or Anti-Christ.  The one that "is" is undoubtedly the Roman Empire, which was in power when Revelation was written, and probably represented by the legs of iron on the image in Daniel 2.  The "one to come" would be the diverse kingdom of "iron and clay" the feet of the image from which the little horn will arise and attempt to enslave mankind with a world-wide mandated computerized "mark" without which no man can buy or sell.

The man-like image in Daniel 2 corresponds with the multi-headed beast in Rev. 17, in that both represent the great earthly kingdoms stretching across 2600-years of history.  It can be confusing, because unlike God, we mortals cannot see the past, present and future simultaneously.

The way I read it a diverse kingdom will arise out of the old Grecian Empire (it covered a lot of territory so good luck trying to figure out which one) from which a strong-man, the little horn, will take over, supported by a ten-nation coalition and reek world-wide havoc until he is stopped at the second coming of Christ.

Kind of blows a big hole in the "diversity is our strength" slogan.

This is by no means a complete study.  Note; the scriptures often explain themselves in other verses or chapters.  Read them yourself.  The answers are there.  If you find something I missed or in need of correction, let me know.

End

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