lamb7 wrote:Mitchell, you state that there needs to be consistency when interpreting the signs and symbolism:
The Beast = The Devil
The Dragon = The Antichrist
The Horns = The Kings
The Crowns = The Kings
The Lamb = The Saviour
The Mark = ???
If we’re going to be consistent here; why would the ‘mark’ then represent an ‘invisible’, non-tangible belief and not stay consistent in representing something tangible and physical?
The Dragon is Satan. I'm curious, though, are you saying that Satan is physical? Obviously, he is not a physical being. Which means that you must at least believe that he is tangible, correct? The Mark = The Allegiance to the Beast. Is not allegiance to the Beast even to the point of death not something to be considered tangible or significant? Is it not a force to be reckoned with? The Islamists who engage in suicide missions, who behead Christians, who persecute the saints of God. Is their allegiance to Mohammed and Islam not tangible?
The Lamb = Christ
The Great Multitude = The Ekklesia
The Bride = "The Church"
The Seal Upon the Elect's Forehead = ???
We are sealed (Ephesians 1:14; 4:30) in Christ. In your view, what is the seal upon the elect's forehead?
Tevye wrote:In the event that the Mark of the Beast is active and in use who would be the specific 'he' who is the one providing and causing?
The "he" likely refers to the coming Islamic Antichrist whom the Muslim world will follow, and it is his rule that will be the impetus to implement the widespread forced subjugation of all Christians residing in Muslim lands to the dictates of Islam. Anyone who therefore is not an obvious Muslim or who does not recite the Islamic "Shahada" (There is no god but Allah, and Mohammed is the messenger of Allah) will not be able to buy or sell. Let's also not discount the possibility that the “man of sin” may not be pointing to one single Antichrist personage, as it were, though the general consensus is precisely that, but could instead be pointing to one single entity. Just as the ekklesia of God is comprised of a great multitude of believing Jews and Gentiles created as “one new man” in Christ who are marked by God (Eph. 2:15, Rev. 14:1) and described by John in Revelation 7 as the “multitude of the lamb” (the Son of God, whom they follow), then the “man of sin” (2 Thess 2:3) may simply be its direct antithesis comprised of those who have the Mark of the Beast and described by John in Revelation 13 as the “multitude of a man” (the false prophet Mohammed, whom they follow).
Tevya wrote:Islam in it's extreme is in a war against Christians, but... According to Daniel chapter 11 the king who is seen as Antichrist or the Beast comparitively in scripture does not honor the faith (or god) of his fathers, so if he does rise up out of Islam and then turns against it then his mark would not be of Islam, but of himself.
Daniel 11:37-38 reveals that Antichrist will not regard “the God of his fathers” but will instead honor “a god whom his fathers knew not.” Many Arabs and Muslims are descendants of Ishmael, whose father was Abraham. To not regard “the God of his fathers” means, in my opinion, that the Antichrist will not regard YHWH the true God of Abraham (and Ishmael, whom God took care of after he and Hagar were sent away), but will instead honor a god whom they never knew, one that is forced upon the inhabitants of all nations surrounding Israel in the eschaton, and in increasing measure upon the world, whom they refer to as ‘Allah’.
Tevya wrote:From what we know of Islam, it cannot claim an existence from before the time of Rome.
The origins of Islam most definitely existed before John's time. Islam originated from a pagan polytheistic religion that pre-dated John where the people of Arabia worshiped many gods, including the moon god "al-ilah":
1. Moon worship has been practiced in Arabia since 2000 BC. The crescent moon is the most common symbol of this pagan moon worship as far back as 2000 BC.
2. In Mecca, there was a god named Hubal who was Lord of the Kabah.
3. This Hubal was a moon god.
4. One Muslim apologist confessed that the idol of moon god Hubal was placed upon the roof of the Kaba about 400 years before Muhammad. This may in fact be the origin of why the crescent moon is on top of every minaret at the Kaba today and the central symbol of Islam atop of every mosque throughout the world:
About four hundred years before the birth of Muhammad one Amr bin Lahyo ... a descendant of Qahtan and king of Hijaz, had put an idol called Hubal on the roof of the Kaba. This was one of the chief deities of the Quraish before Islam. (Muhammad The Holy Prophet, Hafiz Ghulam Sarwar (Pakistan), p 18-19, Muslim)
5. The moon god was also referred to as "al-ilah". This is not a proper name of a single specific god, but a generic reference meaning "the god". Each local pagan Arab tribe would refer to their own local tribal pagan god as "al-ilah".
6. "al-ilah" was later shortened to Allah before Muhammad began promoting his new religion in 610 AD.
7. There is evidence that Hubal was referred to as "Allah".
8. When Muhammad came along, he dropped all references to the name "Hubal" but retained the generic "Allah".
9. Muhammad retained almost all the pagan rituals of the Arabs at the Kaba and redefined them in monotheistic terms.
10. Regardless of the specifics of the facts, it is clear that Islam is derived from paganism that once worshiped a moon-god.
11. Although Islam is today a monotheist religion, its roots are in paganism. [http://www.bible.ca/islam/islam-moon-god.htm].
The religion of Islam has as its focus of worship a deity by the name of "Allah." The Muslims claim that Allah in pre-Islamic times was the biblical God of the Patriarchs, prophets, and apostles. The issue is thus one of continuity. Was "Allah" the biblical God or a pagan god in Arabia during pre- Islamic times? The Muslim's claim of continuity is essential to their attempt to convert Jews and Christians for if "Allah" is part of the flow of divine revelation in Scripture, then it is the next step in biblical religion. Thus we should all become Muslims. But, on the other hand, if Allah was a pre- Islamic pagan deity, then its core claim is refuted. Religious claims often fall before the results of hard sciences such as archeology. We can endlessly speculate about the past or go and dig it up and see what the evidence reveals. This is the only way to find out the truth concerning the origins of Allah. As we shall see, the hard evidence demonstrates that the god Allah was a pagan deity. In fact, he was the Moon-god who was married to the sun goddess and the stars were his daughters. [http://www.biblebelievers.org.au/moongod.htm].
In 1944, G. Caton Thompson revealed in her book, The Tombs and Moon Temple of Hureidha, that she had uncovered a temple of the moon-god in southern Arabia. The symbols of the crescent moon and no less than twenty-one inscriptions with the name Sin were found in this temple. An idol which may be the moon-god himself was also discovered. This was later confirmed by other well-known archaeologists. The evidence reveals that the temple of the moon-god was active even in the Christian era. Evidence gathered from both North and South Arabia demonstrates that moon-god worship was clearly active even in Muhammad's day and was still the dominant cult. According to numerous inscriptions, while the name of the moon-god was Sin, his title was al-ilah, i.e. "the deity," meaning that he was the chief or high god among the gods. As **** pointed out, "The god Il or Ilah was originally a phase of the Moon God." The moon-god was called al-ilah, i.e. the god, which was shortened to Allah in pre-Islamic times.
Muhammad was raised in the religion of the moon-god Allah. But he went one step further than his fellow pagan Arabs. While they believed that Allah, i.e. the moon-god, was the greatest of all gods and the supreme deity in a pantheon of deities, Muhammad decided that Allah was not only the greatest god but the only god. In effect he said, "Look, you already believe that the moon-god Allah is the greatest of all gods. All I want you to do is to accept that the idea that he is the only god. I am not taking away the Allah you already worship. I am only taking away his wife and his daughters and all the other gods." This is seen from the fact that the first point of the Muslim creed is not, "Allah is great" but "Allah is the greatest," i.e., he is the greatest among the gods. Why would Muhammad say that Allah is the "greatest" except in a polytheistic context? The Arabic word is used to contrast the greater from the lesser. [http://www.isrelate.com/pages/content/2/169/Islam-and-the-moon-god].
Tevye wrote:... Muslims will, after he proclaims to be god, turn their backs upon him."
The Muslim world is waiting for a “messianic” figure whom they call “The Mahdi” or “The 12th Imam” that will lead them into a new era of Islamic “justice” that would “spread around the globe” and unite the Ummah (Islamic community of nations) against non-Muslims. Of particular interest here is the fact that Islamists view this figure as the savior, not only for Muslims, but for all of humanity. If the Mahdi proclaimed himself to be — or is proclaimed by the Muslim world to be — the “true savior” of mankind that the whole earth must follow, this would fly directly in the face of God who says in Isaiah 43:11 that “I, even I, am the Lord, and apart from me there is no savior.” According to Scripture, anyone who would proclaim himself to be the savior of the world would therefore be claiming to be God by attributing to himself a title that only God can hold.
The Mahdi (according to Islamic teaching) will not only claim to be the ‘savior’ but will also be the driving force behind uniting a coalition of Islamic nations that come up against the nation of Israel. He will also desire to subjugate the world into converting to Islam, according to Islamic teaching. The Mahdi, or “man of sin”, does not have to outright say “I am God” in order to show (“apodeiknymi”, declare) himself as God. Jesus did the same thing without telling the Sanhedrin “I am God”, yet they understood the theological significance of His words and sought to kill Him.