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Opinions on the Mark of the Beast


----- Original Message -----
From: Name and Address Withheld
Sent: Sunday, May 23, 2010 10:48 PM
Subject: felt compelled to send this
a brief history of my walk so you can understand where i'm coming from:
i do not pretend to have in-depth knowledge of the Bible, but i try to study it as best i can.  as a child, i lived in a "christian" house - we didn't go to church but i was sent off to vacation bible school and we all believed in Jesus Christ as the Son of God.  it wasn't until i was 13 that my mother and i received the knowledge of Christ's work on the cross.  i immediately started reading the Bible and tried going through Revelation and scared myself to death.  a fellow choir member counseled me not to worry because i'd be raptured out.  i also remember watching "a distant thunder" in youth group (f you don't know, it was the "left behind" of the 70's - and we watched it in the 90's lol!).  this kind of put me off regular Bible study - i felt that what i learned in church was probably good enough (and when you're a new christian in high school that's a pretty attractive idea).  i then took on the attitude that paul talks about in Romans, sinning so that grace could abound (recreational drug usage, mostly, but other things as well).  i always seemed to be convicted by the Spirit that this was wrong, and started to draw closer to God around 7 or so years ago.
i have studied off and on with sc for about 15 years now.  i guess it's a good thing that i went to vacation Bible school because i had some ideas deeply embedded in my mind about creation and other things.  also, certain doctrines that my local church teaches (some pastors preach rapture, others, i recently found out, do not; some teach salvation can be lost, others do not) were stuck in there too.  it's good because certain sc teachings (like kenites, 8th day creation, etc) just didn't sit right with me.  especially "born from above".  it just seemed too much like reincarnation to me.  but, certain things, like no rapture, seemed amazingly evident.  this prompted me to study on my own and make up my own mind based on the leading of the Spirit and His Word.  sometimes, i like to hear or read other people's studies and interpretations, especially because i do not have the kind of language and cultural knowledge that some scholars do.  that being said, i am happy to have found your site.
i do admit that i think i am intelligent enough to weed through sc doctrine for myself.  sometimes i find the teachings to be insightful, and they usually prompt me to search further for myself in order to separate Truth from the words of a man.  no offense, but the same goes for your bible study as well, and the bible study at my local church.  i have inferred from your emails that this was probably the case for your for too, at least for a little while until you built up your knowledge and moved into studying completely on your own.  hey, maybe one day i'll have a website, too (lol)!  
anyway, the reason i'm even sending this correspondence is because i was wrestling spiritually about reconciling celebrating christmas with the Amos 5 references to (and i'm loosely paraphrasing, here) God's hating of the feast days and the worship of other gods.  this has been a real struggle for me as i have just had a baby and i want to make sure i raise him right, plus stopping the celebration of christmas might divide my family in an irreparable way (thought this might be a good example of "taking up my cross and following Him").  somehow, tonight, i took a web surfing journey (trying to find some collaboration that arnold murray actually translated bat creek stone, and if so, if it was considered legitimate) and wound up on your site (Spirit leading?).  there i found a response to someone about easter and you presented biblical arguments that i had not even thought of in reference to this quandary.  so, thanks for putting a fresh perspective on this situation for me, even though you had no idea you were doing so!
also, i would like to hear your opinion on the mark of the beast matter.  i have studied with other hebraic-based bible scholars who feel the same as murray that the mark is in your mind not literal (i must be careful though, because some hebraic scholars also rely on kabbalah).  most evangelicals that i occasionally study with hold the literal mark belief.  i know that the preposition "on" can still be translated "on" and not "in" as murray hounds, but it  almost seems like common sense for it not to be literal (and no, i haven't listened to murray's mark of the beast cd although i do have it). this is actually not so much a spiritual issue with me as it is just fact searching.  any biblical documentation on either mark theory that you could throw my way besides revelation? 
oh, and a while back when i was researching "kenites" i found a scripture that refers to them being spared God's judgement (because they refused to drink something when everyone else did, i think - i know they were spared judgement for something), but i can't find it anymore!!!  any help?  i'm just trying to gather up documentation for my mother.  (besides Moses wife being a kenite, and the kenite woman delivering the enemy to barak, therefore pretty much making the serpent seed doctrine just plain illogical).
sorry for the long and mostly irrelevant rant, and thanks for your time.  hey, and if you feel the need to post this on your site, please leave out my name!!!

Name and Address Withheld

ps - kudos on your explanation of the Trinity.  i couldn't agree more and really couldn't have explained it so simply! i plan on showing that one to my step-daughter.  hey, it is how it is just like God Is That He Is.  and i'm happy to accept that and take it on faith!

My Response: edits in maroon and in ( ), as in: (this is an example of an edit)

----- Original Message -----
From: Paul Stringini
To: Name and Address Withheld
Sent: Wednesday, June 23, 2010 11:33 AM
Subject: Re: felt compelled to send this

You are, of course, welcome to any benefit you can glean from my activities. I take no offense, I expect as much.
As pertains to the Mark of the beast,  I don't think it is important to figure it out ahead of time.  God is not trying to test who is the smartest among men.  If an ability to "Figure it out," was what God wanted from man, then only the smartest would be saved.  As with all matters prophetic, it is important to have the basic facts straight and also to take our prophecy with a bit of humility.
Daniel 12:8 And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? 9 And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.
10 Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.
The time of the end is not yet.  (Red alert! We are not living in the "end times," not yet anyway, but being near my age, you may remember that the 70's, the 80's and the 90's were also the "end times," I think they should stop calling it before the signal is given,  I don't want to say, "my lord delays his coming, "  but somehow, people are not preparing, even though they say "it is here." I would rather just take advantage of the time I have to prepare myself for whatever comes) The words of these prophecies, many of them are sealed.  These guys don't really know what they are talking about. When the time comes, those who have been wise will understand (See my study on Matthew 25).  That is why I think the most important thing we can do is to know the words of the prophecies.  So many people have all these "ideas" they know about prophecies.  But do they know the exact wording?  So that when it comes to pass they can be like the disciples of Christ:
John 2:17 And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.
John 12:16 These things understood not his disciples at the first: but when Jesus was glorified, then remembered they that these things were written of him, and that they had done these things unto him.
Then they remembered, it was written. 
 We need to purge out the leaven, which is false doctrine and tradition.  I consider various opinions concerning the mark of the beast to be nothing more than leaven.  But seriously, right or wrong, these ideas do not bring us one step closer to growing up into Christ.  This kind of knowledge is not the kind of knowledge that saves us.  I need to know him and the power of his resurrection.  I don't need to know if the mark is internal or external because whatever it is, if I am doing the things that make my calling and election sure, I know that I will never fail.   I do not build up my faith by, "intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind." 
These men spend their time digging for secrets which God himself has hidden from them.  We should not wonder at their failure to persuade us.
I consider familiarity with the word to be an excellent way to prepare for the end times. To be exercised in the spirit of the things that were said before.  If we have grown up into Christ, then we know we are his.
2Peter 1:1 Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:
2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,
3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
It is really very simple, if we want to be confident, we should focus on obtaining the promises.  Not on digging out secrets.  I've memorized Revelation,  I have many thoughts concerning it, and I'll be teaching is soon (after I finish Luke and John)  But the most needful thing is that we should obtain the things that God has promised us, that accompany salvation.   That will give us confidence and everything we need to weather any storm.
2Cor7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
Remembering this:
Philippians 1:29 For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;

For the kenite reference you mentioned, you need to look up verses pertaining to the Rechabites... it is Jeremiah 35 you are looking for.  And to understand why you are reading about "Rechabites", and not "Kenites," you need a cross reference:.
1Ch 2:55 And the families of the scribes which dwelt at Jabez; the Tirathites, the Shimeathites, and Suchathites. These are the Kenites that came of Hemath, the father of the house of Rechab.
I have always marveled at the fact that to this day, there are people with the last name "Cain."  You would think, "What ancestor would choose that name?" But still, its just a name, and the name is not cursed, nor exclusive.
And you probably know this but I think this is the best way to discuss the children of the devil.
1John 3:7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.
8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. 9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.


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