Can you please respond to this chain message I received recently: [editor’s note: I am not going to do what I usually do, which is correct the grammar and sentence structure errors in the message below]
666 = The mark of the Beast President Obama Vs Revelation13:15-18 The US Senate has passed the Obama Health Care’ bill into law. The implementation would commence on 23/03/ 2013.This bill would require all Americans to be implanted with a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chip in order to access medical care.The device will be implanted on the forehead or on the arm. This is to fulfill the prophesy in theBook of Revelation 13:15-18 concerning the MARK OF THE BEAST! Are you still doubting the ENDTIME? GET READY! The rapture is near! .Revelations 13 is being played out right before us. Many are still unaware.(1) Why is the chip being implanted exactly where the Bible says it would be. Why on the hand and forehead. Why not anywhere else?(2) Why is it being connected to your bank account? Remember the Bible says you won’t be able to buy or sell without the mark. And guess what! The chip is connected to your financial details. What breaks my heart the most is that many people in the church will not make it if Jesus comes now? Many are unaware that the end is near. Don’t tell me that its advancement in technology or development. If any area of your life is not in sync with God’s word Repent and be converted. If you miss heaven you can never miss hell…think about it. Hell is not a pretty place, the worst part is that it is for eternity…Please rather than post and forward senseless messages. Send to everyone you know. Do the work of an evangelist. PLEASE SHARE THIS MESSAGE WITH ALL YOUR CONTACTS. Have you ever wondered what would have happened if we treat the Holy Bible the way we treat our mobile phone? And we really can’t live without it. Only 7% will re-send this message. Don’t be of the 93% who will not share the message. Satan said “I wonder how humans claim to Love God and disobey Him, and claim they hate me yet they obey me! Do not send later. Send now. May Almighty God grant success to every one who reads and sends, ~Suzette Hattingh~
I did my reading on Obama Health Bill — CHIP stands for Children Health Insurance Plan, and is not an electronic Microchip. But I see the need to explain Rev 13 with all relevant applications and explanation understandable for lay people. In Singapore we say, “Toa Payoh Auntie”
First of all, I would like to recommend a book by Gordon Ferguson titled Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory. It is available at www.ipibooks.com. It is an exposition of the Book of Romans. I also suggest a book which may be rather difficult to get. It is Revelation by Jim McGuiggan. You can probably find it on the internet. It is the best commentary on Revelation I have seen.
People who believe these kinds of things are difficult to reach by rational argument because their belief that current events are fulfillments of biblical prophecies are so irrational Believe it or not, a careful and systematic refutation of all their arguments may have no effect. They simply move on to another conspiracy-theory-like set of dubious correlations and stick to the general theme that today’s events are the literal fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy and the Book of Revelation.
So, I will try to address the claim with regard to the Affordable Care Act, but first, let me deal with the question in general of trying to apply present-day events to biblical prophecy.
First of all, those who fall for present-day prophecy fullment scenarios ought to know that Jesus strongly admonished us NOT to do this kind of thing. Speaking of end times, Jesus said in Matthew 24:23-28, “At that time i fanyone says to you, ‘Look here is the Christ!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false Christas and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to decieve even the elect–if that were possible. See I have told you ahead of time. So, if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the desert,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. For as the lightning that comes from the east is visible, even inthe west, so will the coming of the Son of Man.” Jesus warned his followers that many false claims would be made, and admonished them to not pay attention to such claims. Later in Matthew, Jesus said, “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” (Matthew 24:36). Jesus says that even he does not know when the prophecy will be fulfilled, but these arrogant people feel they have the exact interpretation of obscure non-literal prophecies in Daniel or Revelation based on current events. We would do well to ignore these kinds of claims. The whole point of Matthew 25 is that we should be ready at any time. The virgins who tried to guess the time of the coming of the bridegroom missed the wedding and, symbolically, were left out of heaven. This ought to be a warning to those who try to claim they know when prophecies of end times will be fulfilled.
A comment by Isaac Newton with regard to the book of Daniel is appropriate in this issue. “The folly of Interpreters has been, to foretell times and things, by this prophecy [Daniel], as if God designed to make them prophets. Bu this rashness they have not only exposed themselves, but brought the prophecy also into contempt. The design of God was much otherwise. He gave this and the prophecies of the Old Testament, not to grativy men’s curiosities by enabling thme to foreknow things, but that after they were fulfilled they might be interpreted by the event; and his own Providence, not the interpreters, be then manifested thereby to the world. For hte event of things predicted many ages before, will then be a convincing argument that the world is governed by profidence.” Newton’s point is that when humans attempt to interpret prophecy fulfillment before it happens, they bring attention to themselves rather than to God.
Another point ot be made is that every single generation from the time of the early church has made rash predictions that their own current events were the fulfillment of end-time predictions. All, so far, have been completely wrong and have brought shame on the Christian message. Thousands went throughout Europe as AD 1000 approaches, declaring that the end of the world was upon us. In the late 1830s a self-proclaimed prophet named Miller predicted the coming of Jesus in 1844. He combined a dubious interpretation of Daniel 8 with use of current events to “prove” that the return of Jesus was immanent. Then some of his followers said that, due to a miscalculation, it would be 1875, and thus the Jehovah’s Witness movement was launched. Later, Charles Russel, founder of the JW movement used Daniel and Revelation to predict the coming of Jesus in 1914. Well, the date came and went. Then the Watchtower Society recalculated and announced the end of the world in 1975. Hal Lindsay, a famous evangelical author predicted the coming of Jesus to Jerusalem and the rapture by 1979. We are still waiting. In the 80s, the Mideast oil crisis was the begining of the war between Gog and Magog (Ezekiel). The ten countries of the Common Market were the ten toes in Daniel 2. I can go on and on… Christians everywhere need to stop this God-dishonoring business of shoehorning current events into a dubious prediction of prophecy fulfillment. It is truly shameful and a dangerous distraction from the real business of Christianity, which is the saving of souls and giving glory to God.
A third point needs to be made, which is that the Book of Revelation is NOT about end-times, except the final scene in chapters 20-22. Revelation 1:1 makes this clear. “The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place.” In Revelation 1:2, he repeats the concept, saying that “the time is near.” The things predicted in Revelation involve the persecution of the Christian church under Rome and the spiritual war in heaven. Those who use revelation to predict a literal war on the earth in present times when the book points to a spiritual war in heaven in the first two or three centuris are really missing the mark. The same can be said for the book of Daniel. You should consider getting a copy of my book, “Daniel, Prophet to the Nations.” (www.ipibooks.com). It explains the prophecies in Daniel 2,7-12. All of these prophecies concern events which, for us, are now in the past. The exception, like in Revelation, is that the closing chapter is about end times. The modern-day interpretations of prophecies already fulfilled show a lack of understanding of history and of the scripture.
Now, let me get to this particular claim from your friend. To be honest, it rates rather low on the credibility scale, even for those who make a habit of misinterpreting present events as fulfillment of Daniel, Ezekiel and Revelation.
First of all, the beast in Revelation 13, as well as in Revelation 17 and 19 is Rome and its emperors who were persecuting the church. Revelaiton 17:11-17 makes this very clear. The beast is one sitting on seven hills, a clear reference to Rome. The ten horns of the beast in Revelation 17:12 are ten kings. They are the same ten kings as Daniel 7. The ten crowns of Revelation 13:1 are Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, Nero, Galba, Otho, Vitellisu, Vespasian, and Titus. They are the ten emperors of Rome before Domitian, who was the first Roman emperor to systematically attack the Christian Church. The seven heads in the same passage, are the ten above, minus Galba, Otho and Vitellius, all of whom only served as emperor for a few months, none of who actually ruled the whole empire. All this was common knowledge when John wrote revelation because the book was written during the reign of Domitian. Domitian was the first emperor to attack the church. He was “the beast.” The mark of the beast was the certificate that Romans were given if they offered sacrifice to the god of Rome. The They are emperors of Rome who “make war against the Lamb” (Revelation 17:14).
The very idea that Barack Obama is the beast, to be honest, is laughable. Domitian and those who followed visciously persecuted the church. Obama claims to be a Christian and certainly has no plans to attack Christianity. The claim that his health care bill is a fulfillment of Revelation 13:15-18 is ludicrous. Whoever made up this silly idea has not done his/her research. There is no plan to implant chips in Americans. Who can believe this kind of nonsense! This is an appeal to the emotions of people who are easily influenced and who have not been trained in good Bible interpretation.
As for the rapture. The whole idea of a rapture, with the ungodly left behind is not supported by a single scripture. This is part of the false teaching of premillenialism, which holds that Jesus will come back and occupy a physical throne in physical Jerusalem. I will not take the time here to refute this false idea, but a simple reading of the scriptures, without listening the the televangelists will never lead one to this interpretation. You can do a search of the word premillenialism at my web site (www.evidenceforchristianity.org) to find some response to this doctrine. I am prepared to concede that this is not a salvation issue, but it certainly is a distraction and Satan would love for us to be distracted from the business of repenting and spreading the gospel message.
My advice is to ignore such bogus claims. You certainly should not be disturbed by those who try to find prophecy fulfilled in current events. Instead, what you ought to do is commit to a careful study of the books of Daniel and Revelation so that you can be prepared to answer these questions.