Categories
Revelation

Sealed for God on the forehead?

After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth, that no wind might blow on earth or sea or against any tree. Then I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, with the seal of the living God, and he called with a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm earth and sea, saying, “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.”

Revelation 7:1-3

Why and how are God’s servants sealed with God’s seal and why on their foreheads?

When reading Revelation we should remember that we are dealing with Apocalyptic literature and the images and numbers should be understood symbolically, not literally.  

The vision is of four mighty angels holding back destructive winds.  The winds, or if you prefer the winds of woe*, are the seals of Revelation Ch. 6.

They are the winds of hardship, war, persecution, famine and ultimately of God’s final judgment (cf. Revelation 6:12-17) which will blow on the earth.

But the mighty angels are holding them back.

Categories
Pandemic

What is the Mark of the Beast? (Clue: not Covid-19 vaccine)

Revelation 13:11-18 has caused much speculation over the years.

11 Then I saw another beast rising out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb and it spoke like a dragon. 12 It exercises all the authority of the first beast in its presence, and makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose mortal wound was healed. 13 It performs great signs, even making fire come down from heaven to earth in front of people, 14 and by the signs that it is allowed to work in the presence of the beast it deceives those who dwell on earth, telling them to make an image for the beast that was wounded by the sword and yet lived. 15 And it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might even speak and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain. 16 Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, 17 so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name. 18 This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666.

I think William Hendriksen gives by far the best explanation in his outstanding commentary on the book of Revelation, More Than Conquerors.

Categories
Christian Worldview

Why temptation is so tempting

golden cup 2Satan is not senseless or unintelligent. He knows very well that if temptation was not tempting no-one would fall for it. Temptation is always inviting, alluring and appealing. We are always tempted by that which seems to be so good and promising. Or as Revelation 17 says, temptation is like a golden cup, which looks attractive, but is actually “full of abominations” and “impurities” (Revelation 17:4).