Cashless society

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StephenMartyr

Puritan Board Freshman
I hope everyone here doesn't mind my questions. I have quite a lot as I go through Reformed teaching! I'll talk slow ;)

I'm just beginning a new book I got by Gerstner called Wrongly Dividing the Word of Truth. In the first chapter he says:

"One area of innovation is in the interpretation of the book of Revelation. Dispensationalism uniformly follows the futurist interpretation. Everything from Revelation chapter 4 through the end of the book is yet to be fulfilled. While classic millenarians have seen the prophecies of Revelation fulfilled in various historical men and movements, dispensationalists regard the Beast, Antichrist, seals and trumpets, and so forth as yet to be manifested." (pgs 11 and 12)

I'm not a dispensationalist (ask questions on what I think -- helps me out too :)) but I have to wonder. If everything has been done already and suddenly something comes up, do those signs conclude dispensationalism has some things right? If a cashless society comes up (it seems close) that would be a "future" event for that group.

This post isn't so much a want to discuss dispensationalism as much as how would a well-seasoned covenant theologian discuss this? If money quits and we have to get a chip or something, how does that fit in covenant theology that seems to say that Revelation 4 on already happened?
 

jwright82

Puritan Board Graduate
I don't think money will ever stop. Even if we go to chips something will hold the value of money. Bitcoins or whatever but it will be something.
 

Jack K

Puritan Board Doctor
If everything has been done already and suddenly something comes up, do those signs conclude dispensationalism has some things right? If a cashless society comes up (it seems close) that would be a "future" event for that group.

A major fault with the popular way of thinking is that all sorts of things are taken to be signs when, in fact, Scripture does not call them signs or in some cases predict them at all. A cashless society is a good example. Where in Revelation do you get the claim that a cashless society is an end-times sign? From Revelation 13:17, perhaps? That verse mentions buying and selling, but it doesn't actually say anything about a cashless society.

People have used that verse to sound the alarm that UPC codes, or credit cards, or ID checks, or store loyalty programs are THE sign of the beast and evidence that the end is near. Often, the first question we should be asking is, "Are you sure this is actually mentioned in the Bible?"

All that verse says is that those who resist the beast and his mark will be excluded from buying and selling—regular participation in the economy. This has happened to Christian believers in various places for centuries, and it will continue to happen. Might it happen in a bigger way than ever, sometime in our near future? Perhaps. Might a cashless society make such persecution easier? Maybe. But claims that technological innovation surely means Revelation 13 is coming to pass in our generation should be discarded as alarmist speculation. The Bible doesn't say that.
 

arapahoepark

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Asking how they would know if that are in the years of tribulation?
Most would say they are raptured. For the ones who become Christian during the tribulation,they would then know once a billion people disappeared.
Some of the newer ones tend to be prewrath, but come with the same exegetical, theological, historical problems. I think a lot would say that the antichrist/beast will be revealed sometime prior. Its not cut and dry.
It largely depends on what's in the news for all dispensationalists as well as futurists.

As for cashless period....I am not sure where you are coming from? Asking if its end times? Most here as covenant theologians probably wouldn't. The end happens when Christ comes. There is a lot of variation but, little speculation.
Cashless? Is it a bad thing? It is if it is not backed by anything, but this is more of an economic issue; sometimes political. A lot of reasons that come about for cashless is so that there cannot be bank runs or to keep track of the money so people don't launder. It CAN be bad, but isn't inherently so as I outlined above. But thats not what seems to be happening.
Is it a tool for the one world antichrist? I am a preterist, so no. Globalists yes. Antichrist as traditionally defined. Highly doubtful but I am open to correction.
 
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StephenMartyr

Puritan Board Freshman
A major fault with the popular way of thinking is that all sorts of things are taken to be signs when, in fact, Scripture does not call them signs or in some cases predict them at all. A cashless society is a good example. Where in Revelation do you get the claim that a cashless society is an end-times sign? From Revelation 13:17, perhaps? That verse mentions buying and selling, but it doesn't actually say anything about a cashless society.

People have used that verse to sound the alarm that UPC codes, or credit cards, or ID checks, or store loyalty programs are THE sign of the beast and evidence that the end is near. Often, the first question we should be asking is, "Are you sure this is actually mentioned in the Bible?"

All that verse says is that those who resist the beast and his mark will be excluded from buying and selling—regular participation in the economy. This has happened to Christian believers in various places for centuries, and it will continue to happen. Might it happen in a bigger way than ever, sometime in our near future? Perhaps. Might a cashless society make such persecution easier? Maybe. But claims that technological innovation surely means Revelation 13 is coming to pass in our generation should be discarded as alarmist speculation. The Bible doesn't say that.

You certainly don't hear this in churches! :)

But to answer your question in the first paragraph, yeah Revelation 13:17. And the verse before. As I've been told, that would indicate that no money is used. A device is then used instead of paper money. Don't have the "chip" or whatever it is? Can't buy anything. You're basically homeless now.

This is the teaching I've grown up with :(
 

RPEphesian

Puritan Board Junior
You certainly don't hear this in churches! :)

But to answer your question in the first paragraph, yeah Revelation 13:17. And the verse before. As I've been told, that would indicate that no money is used. A device is then used instead of paper money. Don't have the "chip" or whatever it is? Can't buy anything. You're basically homeless now.

This is the teaching I've grown up with :(

As one who had to get pried off of this stuff too after believing dispie eschatology for 20 years, I feel ya. It'll feel great though once it's gone, and Revelation will actually profit you :)

I still got those bad dispie sci-fi movies in my head. Out! Out!:hunter:
 

StephenMartyr

Puritan Board Freshman
As one who had to get pried off of this stuff too after believing dispie eschatology for 20 years, I feel ya. It'll feel great though once it's gone, and Revelation will actually profit you :)

I still got those bad dispie sci-fi movies in my head. Out! Out!:hunter:

Haha! I've never watched any of those movies. Sounds scary :eek:
 

Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
I think it is fair enough to see what the Globalists are up to at present as being eerily similar in principle to Revelation 13:17, though I am not convinced that moving to a cashless society would be the actual fulfilment of this prophecy for reasons that Jack mentions. Still, the same godless, totalitarian impulse lies behind it. Nowadays, those who do not worship the beast of Cultural Marxism find their employment opportunities severely restricted and who knows where this stuff will end. Although looking at Communist China might give us some idea.
 

Tom Hart

Puritan Board Senior
Kind of, yes. Because how I've been taught, that period would be an end times event. That is, it hasn't happened yet.

You might be interested in giving these a listen.
Like many Christians, Kim Riddlebarger was raised in dispensationalism, so he'll explain things in a way you can understand them.

You don't have to turn amil, but these will help you re-evaluate long-held dispensationalist views. Dispensationalism tends to run deep.

https://www.monergism.com/legacy/mt/mp3/amillennialism-101-mp3-series-kim-riddlebarger
 

StephenMartyr

Puritan Board Freshman
You might be interested in giving these a listen.
Like many Christians, Kim Riddlebarger was raised in dispensationalism, so he'll explain things in a way you can understand them.

You don't have to turn amil, but these will help you re-evaluate long-held dispensationalist views. Dispensationalism tends to run deep.

https://www.monergism.com/legacy/mt/mp3/amillennialism-101-mp3-series-kim-riddlebarger

I'll definitely take a look. But a quick question. A pastor once told me the amillennial view is a Roman Catholic view. That doesn't necessarily hold?
 

rookie

Puritan Board Junior
This post might not be much help, but I have listened to Voddie Baucham's exposition of Revelation on Sermon Audio. Great series, and while there are lots of long sermons to listen to, I think he will answer most of your questions thoroughly. He also touches on the "mark of the beast" and a "cashless society". Both in geographical context as well as cultural context.
 

Tom Hart

Puritan Board Senior
I'll definitely take a look. But a quick question. A pastor once told me the amillennial view is a Roman Catholic view. That doesn't necessarily hold?

The official Roman Catholic position is amillennial. But there's more to amillenialism than that; anyway, it's not an argument against it to say that amillenialism is "the Roman Catholic view".

One has to deal with amillenialism itself. It is a very ancient view, predating what we would today call Roman Catholicism.

I would also encourage you to look into other views, such as post-millenialism and historic premillenialism. The main reason I linked Riddlebarger's talks is that they are useful for shaking you out of dispensationalism. They'll help you question assumptions that you may have. I was raised dispenational myself, and it has taken a long time for me to get over assumptions and biases.

Dispensationalism is a very harmful doctrine. Many people don't realize just how dangerous it is, in spite of the untold damage it's already done. The leaven of dispensationalism spreads through the whole lump.
 

StephenMartyr

Puritan Board Freshman
This post might not be much help, but I have listened to Voddie Baucham's exposition of Revelation on Sermon Audio. Great series, and while there are lots of long sermons to listen to, I think he will answer most of your questions thoroughly. He also touches on the "mark of the beast" and a "cashless society". Both in geographical context as well as cultural context.

Thanks! I'll find and bookmark them :)
 

StephenMartyr

Puritan Board Freshman
The official Roman Catholic position is amillennial. But there's more to amillenialism than that; anyway, it's not an argument against it to say that amillenialism is "the Roman Catholic view".

One has to deal with amillenialism itself. It is a very ancient view, predating what we would today call Roman Catholicism.

I would also encourage you to look into other views, such as post-millenialism and historic premillenialism. The main reason I linked Riddlebarger's talks is that they are useful for shaking you out of dispensationalism. They'll help you question assumptions that you may have. I was raised dispenational myself, and it has taken a long time for me to get over assumptions and biases.

Dispensationalism is a very harmful doctrine. Many people don't realize just how dangerous it is, in spite of the untold damage it's already done. The leaven of dispensationalism spreads through the whole lump.

Thanks for understanding. I'm scared at what's being taught out there :(
 

hammondjones

Puritan Board Junior
Anent the OP, apart from the dispensationalist angle, I think the cashless worrying is overblown. Stores, banks, card issuers might like it for a variety of reasons, but cashless stores are de facto discrimination against the unbanked, and I suspect they will be increasingly illegal, at least in the USA.
 

Taylor

Puritan Board Graduate
A pastor once told me the amillennial view is a Roman Catholic view. That doesn't necessarily hold?

I'm scared at what's being taught out there.

I would just encourage you, brother Steven, not to be overly fearful. Indeed, you should oppose Rome. However, that opposition should not lead you to fear or be suspicious of everything to which they hold or practice. After all, both Protestants and Roman Catholics profess the Nicene Creed, pray the Lord's Prayer, baptize in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, preach the Word (obviously to varying degrees of faithfulness), and also hold to similar or same millennial views.

In sum, it is a mistake to believe because Rome is apostate (and it is), that therefore everything they do is wrong. It is especially concerning when this belief makes you fearful.

Study Scripture and the Reformed Confessions, and you'll be fine. :)
 

Stephen L Smith

Administrator
Staff member
Study Scripture and the Reformed Confessions, and you'll be fine. :)
I know that Taylor, like myself, have been blessed by the ministry of Martyn Lloyd-Jones. You might find Lloyd-Jones classic lectures on the Great Bible Doctrines insightful. They are particularly helpful for giving you the big picture of the Bible and reformed theology, and Lloyd-Jones teaches in a pastoral and encouraging manner. I have minor disagreements with him on the Holy Spirit (this helpful article gives his important emphasis I think). Since you have been making comments on eschatology, you will find Dr Lloyd-Jones comments particularly helpful on this.

This series was preached in the 1950's so some of the recordings are missing. But overall you will be greatly blessed and informed by these lectures. The book does include all the lectures.

https://www.mljtrust.org/free-sermons/great-biblical-doctrines/
 

StephenMartyr

Puritan Board Freshman
I know that Taylor, like myself, have been blessed by the ministry of Martyn Lloyd-Jones. You might find Lloyd-Jones classic lectures on the Great Bible Doctrines insightful. They are particularly helpful for giving you the big picture of the Bible and reformed theology, and Lloyd-Jones teaches in a pastoral and encouraging manner. I have minor disagreements with him on the Holy Spirit (this helpful article gives his important emphasis I think). Since you have been making comments on eschatology, you will find Dr Lloyd-Jones comments particularly helpful on this.

This series was preached in the 1950's so some of the recordings are missing. But overall you will be greatly blessed and informed by these lectures. The book does include all the lectures.

https://www.mljtrust.org/free-sermons/great-biblical-doctrines/

Lloyd-Jones is one of my favourites. I don’t have his doctrine book yet but thanks for the audio heads up!
 

StephenMartyr

Puritan Board Freshman
I would just encourage you, brother Steven, not to be overly fearful. Indeed, you should oppose Rome. However, that opposition should not lead you to fear or be suspicious of everything to which they hold or practice. After all, both Protestants and Roman Catholics profess the Nicene Creed, pray the Lord's Prayer, baptize in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, preach the Word (obviously to varying degrees of faithfulness), and also hold to similar or same millennial views.

In sum, it is a mistake to believe because Rome is apostate (and it is), that therefore everything they do is wrong. It is especially concerning when this belief makes you fearful.

Study Scripture and the Reformed Confessions, and you'll be fine. :)

Thank you for your encouragement. The Westminster Standards have been a great help. Both in its teaching and linking things together.
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Professor
Hello Steven,

First, welcome to PB! May this place be an encouraging and edifying place to you.

Second, “covenant theology [does not] say that Revelation 4 on already happened”; rather, that it mostly is happening, and this present-tense aspect has been the case since it was written (in the mid to late 90s of the first century). For the Apocalypse of John was written firstly for the church of John’s day, and yet is profoundly applicable to all the centuries the church would be in till the end of the age.

About a cashless society, and the mark of the beast in Rev 13:16,17,18), some remarks from a class I taught :

Notes on The Mark of the Beast

A good – and necessary – interpretive approach to understanding the Book of Revelation is that almost everything in it should have been understandable to and applicable to the churches in the first century (and early second) at least in some degree, for it was initially written to them (the seven letters of chapters 2 and 3, for example). The Lord gave the prophecy of Revelation to comfort the young churches, many of whom were under persecution of some sort by the Roman authorities or their proxies in the local governments of Asia Minor, or the local trade guilds, whose pagan celebrations they would not honor.

Back then slaves were often branded or tattooed on the forehead or hand as a sign of ownership, so it was understood back then that such a mark meant one was owned by someone. But it was also meant to be considered symbolically, even for those who were not literally branded or marked somehow: a “mark on the forehead” would signify one’s thoughts and mental allegiance were given to a certain person or entity; a “mark on the hand” would signify one’s actions were in behalf of that person or entity. So a person who gave their primary allegiance – both in their minds and by their actions – to the “beast” of the Roman Empire (a persecuting antichristian government) would be considered in the sight of God to have the mark of the beast, and to be its follower, even if they had no outward mark. God, on the other hand, did not “mark” His people, but set a seal upon them of protection, authenticity, and ownership (Eph 1:13; Rev 7:3; 9:4; 14:1; Ezek 9:4) ; this seal is also invisible – but God sees it (although baptism as a seal of the covenant to the truly saved is visible)! There is a big difference between the mark of the beast and the seal of God!

My point is, what is written in the book of Revelation would have to make sense to the churches John wrote to, and the dispensationalist’s implanted-under-the-skin micro-chips would have made no sense to those in the 1st and 2nd centuries. The relevance of the book to the early church cannot be ignored. Now is it possible that – accepting what I have already written about the early church – a government in our times could require the implanting of such chips in our day. It is possible, and the technology does exist. The RFID technology is being pushed by some. However, if one thinks that having a chip is the only way to have the mark of the beast, then one has been deceived into looking out for the wrong thing – for one may not have a chip and yet have the mark of the beast in their mental allegiance and their actions! There is a danger in thinking it is only the literal thing and not the often unseen realities of the heart and actions!

With regard to the chips, every Christian, having read Revelation, will be wary of ever receiving an implantable chip. However, if one does innocently receive one, and then comes to believe it an offense to God, he will very likely be able to just have it cut out and removed. I think it true that a chip does not cancel our salvation by Christ – nothing can separate us from Him, or snatch us out of His hand. Though His followers will be very careful about where our true allegiance lies, and what signs we may give that confirm or deny it. Back in the Roman days, the authorities would make one burn incense to Caesar and call him Lord, and give a certificate affirming such – and this was understood by the church as in one’s heart having the mark of the beast. Some professing Christians – from fear of death or torture – would deny Christ and sacrifice to Caesar, but later repent. The churches had different views of this: some would forgive and receive such again, and some would not. We need to be on guard so as not to betray our Lord in a moment of weakness. While there is repentance, some Christians will be doubtful as to its sincerity. Especially when those who did not deny Christ paid with their lives. Some who did deny, and later repented, went back to the authorities and said they were Christians after all – and paid the price (but were glad they did).

There may be some things in Revelation that were not at all clear to the early churches, such as things pertaining to the end of the last days – which may be the times were in now (not stating that dogmatically, though). There was a manifestation of Babylon then (Rome, and also other God-opposing cultures), and there is a present-day manifestation. As the time draws nearer to the end, we may have insights into the symbols of Revelation that they did not have then. It is often the case that only after the events prophesied came to pass could we with certainty identify them – so it is wise not to end discerning of prophecies because some were fulfilled with Rome, for there are other manifestations of wicked seducing Babylon, and the murderous saint-slaying beast in our own day, and if we limit fulfillment to Rome we will be flying blind in the gathering storms of the 21st century.​

For some of my collected posts on eschatology see here, then click on the link that says “Spoiler”. I’ll also be glad to answer any of your questions (I came out of Dispensationalism maybe 30 years ago). Contemporary Amillennialism is quite different from the RC kind, and also from the Protestant kind of the 19th and early 20th centuries, seeing as godly men have labored diligently in the field. Eschatology is the one area of doctrine that is still in flux, as we often do not understand what prophecy means save in hindsight.
 

rookie

Puritan Board Junior
A big factor that 's been blown out of proportions by the dispensational movement, is the term "cashless society". There's no such term in the bible as was mentioned in a few posts above. I carry a debit/credit card for everything (although I almost never use my credit). So in a sense, we already live in a cashless society.

The part about Revelation 13:16-17 doesn't say anything about cash, it talks about a mark. According to Voddie, there was a traders/workers guild back in the day. Something like an "association" or a "union" today. If you weren't part of it, you couldn't get work if you were a tradesman.
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Professor
As a help to making the Book of Revelation easier to understand, I want simply to clear the church-age field of end-time views that openly contradict the Bible. The church-age field, so to speak, is that period of time between the ascension into Heaven of Jesus Christ after His crucifixion and resurrection, and His Second Coming at the end of the age to usher in the eternal state. The New Testament in many places says that we Christians have but two ages to reckon with, “this present evil age” or simply “this age” (Gal 1:4; Luke 20:34), and “the age to come” (Matt 12:32; Luke 18:30). This age we are now in is the New Testament church age, and the age to come is that of eternal life for the saints, and everlasting destruction for the unsaved (2 Thess 1:9; Matt 25:46). No other ages, just those two. What is called the Amillennial or present millennium view says just that—there is one present age, and one to come.

When the premillennial and the postmillennial schools each say there will be a third age very different from this one and then eternity, they are on the face of it in opposition to the Bible.
_____

Why getting eschatology, and Revelation right – or wrong – matters: Understanding the times, engaging in fruitful labors, or: Unprepared, wrong focus

If one holds to the premil view, we’ll expect to be raptured out before the serious tribulation starts (though there are views within their fold, such as mid-trib, and pre-wrath, both of which go through some tribulation), and how one prepares one’s mind – and life – would be different than if one were postmil, expecting things to generally get better and the Christians in it for the very long haul (as in possibly tens or hundreds of thousands of years). For the postmil, one would see the secular culture as a field to be sown with the Word of God and spiritual labors with the expectation of that culture becoming “Christianized” and bearing at least outward observance of God’s Law. One would be devoting one’s life and energy to infusing the Mosaic Law into the political-legal arena, with the expectation of its becoming the law of the land.

For the amil, or one holding that the present age is the millennial period, we see that we are in a worsening world, with the main threats either intense worldly seduction from an increasingly antichristian culture, and/or persecution from hostile ruling authorities – with no hope of these things getting better, not in the long run, though there could be short-term improvements. We fight for justice for the downtrodden and speak for those with no voice, even though we go against the grain when we do it in Christ’s name. The focus for the amil is that we

“may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life...” (Philippians 2:15, 16)​

To the amil the Kingdom of God to be secured and sustained is the church, not the culture or the political arena, though one may speak to the culture, whether by Christian witness, works of art and literature, or works of mercy, calling those who love the truth out of the power of darkness and into the Kingdom of God’s dear Son. The same with the political-legal arena – one may seek to influence those therein to uphold God’s agenda of righteousness and compassion, and to become disciples of Christ, but the amil does not desire build the Kingdom of God in and of the worldly institutions of culture, law and politics.

To the amil the church is the manifestation of God’s Kingdom and rule in this world, and the House in which He lives. I assert that one’s eschatological view will seriously affect one’s attitude to the culture, politics, and the areas of one’s heartfelt labors. It will also affect one’s expectations of suffering-to-come, and preparing one’s mind and heart in that regard.
 

RamistThomist

Puritanboard Clerk
I decided to redeem the culture and get a TGC invite. So I found a "rapture rap."

Are you gonna be ready when Jesus comes back?
If the rapture happens whose gonna be left back?

Did you read the paper today?
I think you gonna be blown away.
3 million disappeared in thin air.
Their bodies was gone but they clothes still there.
The union had this meeting at this big church.
The pope said aliens took them and they were the first.
And the president said I can't buy juice unless I get injected.
That's not who I elected.

They made abortion in every state.
Cause they hated Section 8
And that gays had the right to mate.
And I was prejudiced for being straight.
And I can't teach my kids or they would be warded to the state

Are you gonna be ready when Jesus comes back?
If the rapture happens whose gonna be left back?

All freeze and get on your knees.
So I can check yo hand an' yo wrist for some ID.
'Sir, this man's resistin.'
'Put a black tag on his wrist that says 'Christian.'
Now listen.
Throw this Jesus freak in the trunk so he can get chipped in.

I'm a Christian there will be no microchippin'
I'm dying for the Lord there will be no triple 6'n.

(Sadly, this rap is not original to me. Author unknown).
 

Edm

Puritan Board Freshman
Sad?? I'm actually overjoyed that you didnt come up with that. That is really bad....
I decided to redeem the culture and get a TGC invite. So I found a "rapture rap."

Are you gonna be ready when Jesus comes back?
If the rapture happens whose gonna be left back?

Did you read the paper today?
I think you gonna be blown away.
3 million disappeared in thin air.
Their bodies was gone but they clothes still there.
The union had this meeting at this big church.
The pope said aliens took them and they were the first.
And the president said I can't buy juice unless I get injected.
That's not who I elected.

They made abortion in every state.
Cause they hated Section 8
And that gays had the right to mate.
And I was prejudiced for being straight.
And I can't teach my kids or they would be warded to the state

Are you gonna be ready when Jesus comes back?
If the rapture happens whose gonna be left back?

All freeze and get on your knees.
So I can check yo hand an' yo wrist for some ID.
'Sir, this man's resistin.'
'Put a black tag on his wrist that says 'Christian.'
Now listen.
Throw this Jesus freak in the trunk so he can get chipped in.

I'm a Christian there will be no microchippin'
I'm dying for the Lord there will be no triple 6'n.

(Sadly, this rap is not original to me. Author unknown).
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
Also, so many folks today are "looking about" or "looking ahead" for the unveiling of the Beast. It seems not to occur to enough of them that beastliness is a certain description that goes back to OT origins, and is brought current (as of 1C A.D.) in the NT age.

Daniel's ch.7 prophecy included multiple beasts, which nearly all interpreters recognize as referring various historic human governments or empires. The implication is clear (at least to me). Fallen man's natural inclination is toward more and more brutishness. Give him tremendous, unchecked power and--whether it be concentrated in one head, or in a cabal, or a senate, or a party--he will make the worst of it.

The historic empires of man, because all of them have tended to obliteration of diffused seats of smaller power in the interest of consolidation and top-down (god-like) control, are all examples of the apotheosis of the Beast. Christians, of the 1C or the 21C, should recognize their ultimate citizenship is contrary to beastliness. They would be among the State's best citizens (for that social stability that serves the apolitical interest of their superior King); but the fact they will not say "Caesar is Lord" (or the most up-to-date shibboleth) is intolerable defiance. They will be punished.

The reality of Man the Beast is neither new, nor old; it simply IS. The wild beast that tears (Hos.13:8) was on full display by humanity before the flood (Gen.6:11; cf.Hab.2:17) and too soon after it (as I interpret Gen.10:9). The people of God are in the midst of the earth, but it does not belong to them because it is not a garden but the wilds. Christians will not tame this earth, however much their presence savors the local improvements that various cultures manage to impose--briefly--on this portion or that.

Salt (Mt.5:13). To be in the world, but not of it (Jn.17:11,14). Condemning the world (Heb.11:7). Even while we use it (properly), the world in its present form is passing away, 1Cor.7:13. We will abide, while it passes, 1Jn.2:17, with those who belong to it, Hos.13:3. Those who oppress them: they shall be among the beasts, Zeph2:15.

Israel built up Egypt with bricks, being slaves there; those works were ephemeral. Canaan was, briefly, Eden renewed; until Israel was cast out; and it became a haunt for wild beasts (Ezk.15:15; cf.Lev.26:22; Jer.12:9; Ezk.34:25). Captive Daniel served Jehovah, while under the dominion of two Beasts (each with mutual hatred of the other). Those empires are dust; but the saints were sustained, and are sustained, and will be sustained regardless of which Beast rules them today or tomorrow. If one should be summoned to help them like Daniel, or Obadiah (1Ki.18:3-4), they are helped indeed--or the Lord will raise up someone else, Est.4:14.

God's people persist. Instead of a "cashless society," the Beast of Islm imposes the jizyah--but God's people persist. The Beast of the Hndus scapegoats them--but God's people persist. If the Beast of Eastasia demands its version of a pinch of incense--God's people suffer, yet persist. If the Beast of Oceania demands a two-minute-hate for the Enemy of the Hour, God's people persist in loving their enemies.

All the beasts are destined for destruction, so beware hitching to one for a ride.

Ps.49:16-20
Though in life he wealth attained,
Though the praise of men he gained,
He shall join those gone before,
Where the light shall shine no more.
Crowned with honor though he be,
Highly gifted, strong and free,
If he be not truly wise,
Man is like the beast that dies.
 

StephenMartyr

Puritan Board Freshman
As a help to making the Book of Revelation easier to understand, I want simply to clear the church-age field of end-time views that openly contradict the Bible. The church-age field, so to speak, is that period of time between the ascension into Heaven of Jesus Christ after His crucifixion and resurrection, and His Second Coming at the end of the age to usher in the eternal state. The New Testament in many places says that we Christians have but two ages to reckon with, “this present evil age” or simply “this age” (Gal 1:4; Luke 20:34), and “the age to come” (Matt 12:32; Luke 18:30). This age we are now in is the New Testament church age, and the age to come is that of eternal life for the saints, and everlasting destruction for the unsaved (2 Thess 1:9; Matt 25:46). No other ages, just those two. What is called the Amillennial or present millennium view says just that—there is one present age, and one to come.

When the premillennial and the postmillennial schools each say there will be a third age very different from this one and then eternity, they are on the face of it in opposition to the Bible.
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Why getting eschatology, and Revelation right – or wrong – matters: Understanding the times, engaging in fruitful labors, or: Unprepared, wrong focus

If one holds to the premil view, we’ll expect to be raptured out before the serious tribulation starts (though there are views within their fold, such as mid-trib, and pre-wrath, both of which go through some tribulation), and how one prepares one’s mind – and life – would be different than if one were postmil, expecting things to generally get better and the Christians in it for the very long haul (as in possibly tens or hundreds of thousands of years). For the postmil, one would see the secular culture as a field to be sown with the Word of God and spiritual labors with the expectation of that culture becoming “Christianized” and bearing at least outward observance of God’s Law. One would be devoting one’s life and energy to infusing the Mosaic Law into the political-legal arena, with the expectation of its becoming the law of the land.

For the amil, or one holding that the present age is the millennial period, we see that we are in a worsening world, with the main threats either intense worldly seduction from an increasingly antichristian culture, and/or persecution from hostile ruling authorities – with no hope of these things getting better, not in the long run, though there could be short-term improvements. We fight for justice for the downtrodden and speak for those with no voice, even though we go against the grain when we do it in Christ’s name. The focus for the amil is that we

“may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life...” (Philippians 2:15, 16)​

To the amil the Kingdom of God to be secured and sustained is the church, not the culture or the political arena, though one may speak to the culture, whether by Christian witness, works of art and literature, or works of mercy, calling those who love the truth out of the power of darkness and into the Kingdom of God’s dear Son. The same with the political-legal arena – one may seek to influence those therein to uphold God’s agenda of righteousness and compassion, and to become disciples of Christ, but the amil does not desire build the Kingdom of God in and of the worldly institutions of culture, law and politics.

To the amil the church is the manifestation of God’s Kingdom and rule in this world, and the House in which He lives. I assert that one’s eschatological view will seriously affect one’s attitude to the culture, politics, and the areas of one’s heartfelt labors. It will also affect one’s expectations of suffering-to-come, and preparing one’s mind and heart in that regard.

For the society paragraph, I guess I take the amill view as I don't it our job to change things to make this earth "heaven" as it were. Jesus said this:

Joh 18:36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.

Doesn't God save us out of this world?

Does this next verse apply to this situation as well, or is this a different topic / context?

Luk 17:20 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:
Luk 17:21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

Thanks again for your post.
 

StephenMartyr

Puritan Board Freshman
Also, so many folks today are "looking about" or "looking ahead" for the unveiling of the Beast. It seems not to occur to enough of them that beastliness is a certain description that goes back to OT origins, and is brought current (as of 1C A.D.) in the NT age.

Daniel's ch.7 prophecy included multiple beasts, which nearly all interpreters recognize as referring various historic human governments or empires. The implication is clear (at least to me). Fallen man's natural inclination is toward more and more brutishness. Give him tremendous, unchecked power and--whether it be concentrated in one head, or in a cabal, or a senate, or a party--he will make the worst of it.

The historic empires of man, because all of them have tended to obliteration of diffused seats of smaller power in the interest of consolidation and top-down (god-like) control, are all examples of the apotheosis of the Beast. Christians, of the 1C or the 21C, should recognize their ultimate citizenship is contrary to beastliness. They would be among the State's best citizens (for that social stability that serves the apolitical interest of their superior King); but the fact they will not say "Caesar is Lord" (or the most up-to-date shibboleth) is intolerable defiance. They will be punished.

The reality of Man the Beast is neither new, nor old; it simply IS. The wild beast that tears (Hos.13:8) was on full display by humanity before the flood (Gen.6:11; cf.Hab.2:17) and too soon after it (as I interpret Gen.10:9). The people of God are in the midst of the earth, but it does not belong to them because it is not a garden but the wilds. Christians will not tame this earth, however much their presence savors the local improvements that various cultures manage to impose--briefly--on this portion or that.

Salt (Mt.5:13). To be in the world, but not of it (Jn.17:11,14). Condemning the world (Heb.11:7). Even while we use it (properly), the world in its present form is passing away, 1Cor.7:13. We will abide, while it passes, 1Jn.2:17, with those who belong to it, Hos.13:3. Those who oppress them: they shall be among the beasts, Zeph2:15.

Israel built up Egypt with bricks, being slaves there; those works were ephemeral. Canaan was, briefly, Eden renewed; until Israel was cast out; and it became a haunt for wild beasts (Ezk.15:15; cf.Lev.26:22; Jer.12:9; Ezk.34:25). Captive Daniel served Jehovah, while under the dominion of two Beasts (each with mutual hatred of the other). Those empires are dust; but the saints were sustained, and are sustained, and will be sustained regardless of which Beast rules them today or tomorrow. If one should be summoned to help them like Daniel, or Obadiah (1Ki.18:3-4), they are helped indeed--or the Lord will raise up someone else, Est.4:14.

God's people persist. Instead of a "cashless society," the Beast of Islm imposes the jizyah--but God's people persist. The Beast of the Hndus scapegoats them--but God's people persist. If the Beast of Eastasia demands its version of a pinch of incense--God's people suffer, yet persist. If the Beast of Oceania demands a two-minute-hate for the Enemy of the Hour, God's people persist in loving their enemies.

All the beasts are destined for destruction, so beware hitching to one for a ride.

Ps.49:16-20
Though in life he wealth attained,
Though the praise of men he gained,
He shall join those gone before,
Where the light shall shine no more.
Crowned with honor though he be,
Highly gifted, strong and free,
If he be not truly wise,
Man is like the beast that dies.

Thanks! Lots to chew on :)
 
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