Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Where did they get that? - Why Christians are Concerned about Privacy

I hope you enjoyed the series on the fourth of the seven Feasts of the LORD, Pentecost, which was just celebrated this past Sunday on June 8th. In the prophetic calendar of the Feasts of the LORD, there is now a break in time until the three fall Feasts. So through the rest of spring, let's take a look at a few End Times Prophecies. (Tweet that!

On May 31, 2014, news outlets reported that the NSA has been collecting millions of faces from images in emails, text messages, social media, video conferences and other sources to use in sophisticated facial recognition technology that could revolutionize the way they find intelligence targets around the world. Here's one article from The New York Times: "N.S.A. Collecting Millions of Faces From Web Images." 

Often there is a reaction to reports like this by Christians who find it disturbing. I'm thinking we Christians may look weird to some folks because they don't know what makes us so uneasy about a lack of privacy or losing our privacy. Many people may ask, Why do Christians react strongly with concerns about privacy issues?  (Tweet that!) As I promised in my post on May 20, 2014, "What is Prophecy? Two Definitions," I would like to answer the question, "Where do they get that?" 

We react because we see it as either a tool for evil forces to fulfill End Times prophecy or at least it is leading up to the fulfillment of prophecy.

Where do we get that?

Our reaction comes from the prophecy which might well be the most famous End Times prophecy of all – the prophecy of the Mark of the Beast and the number 666. (Tweet that!

This prophecy is found in Revelation 13:16-18. According to this prophecy, which has yet to be fulfilled, no one will be able to buy or sell unless he has the "mark."

The "It" that begins the first sentence refers to "The Beast" which the writer is seeing in his vision. Some versions translate it as "He."
It also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name. 
This calls for wisdom. Let the person who has insight calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. That number is 666. (Revelation 13:16-18, NIV)

People have been trying to figure out what this number means or who it represents since John, the close personal friend of Jesus, wrote this in exile in about 95 AD, about 65 years after the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. (Tweet that!

So that's where we got that.

We'll talk more about this number in the next post when we talk about what having or refusing this Mark of the Beast might mean in practical terms of living today. Then, in Saturday's post, we'll talk about the Beast and the two other evil characters who, together, make up the counterfeit trinity in the book of Revelation. 

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