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The Mark of the Beast

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#1 Johannes

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 03:29 PM

Having been raised in megachurches, and having converted only in my adult life to Holy Orthodoxy, I have a longstanding (irrational?) fear of the Mark of the Beast described in Revelation. 

 

Recently, I signed-up for a Toys R Us credit card in order to save 35% off of a train set for my son. The card -- unbeknownst to me -- came with one of those new RFID chips designed -- purportedly -- to prevent CC fraud.

 

My fear, in seeking a bargain, I unwittingly brought about my own condemnation through the use of this chipped credit card.

 

P.S. I am aware that this concern sounds insane to most. 

P.P.S Regardless, I am terrified.

 

 



#2 Matthew Panchisin

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 07:16 PM

Dear Johannes,

You received the gift of the seal of the Holy Spirit when you entered the Orthodox Church, when your Priest anointed you therein I'm sure he was exercising what Christ mentioned to his servants.

"Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

 

You really have nothing to worry about, be at peace, God is good and loves mankind.

 

In Christ,

Matthew Panchisin


#3 Lakis Papas

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 08:39 PM

There is no official rejection of credit cards (or any other technological gadgets) by the Church. The synodic system of the Church is our guide. Panchicin's advice is wise and spiritually proper.

#4 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 09:54 PM

I agree with Matthew and Lakis. I am not knowledgeable about this matter but Revelation 13:16 is clear: the mark will be on the right hand or forehead. Chips in passports and ID cards may be steps towards what Revelation speaks of but those of us who have biometric passports and bank cards with chips need not be afraid. After all, it these were the mark, we would not be able to take Holy Communion and obviously we can. In the UK we do not have ID cards so that particular issue does not arise.



#5 Angie

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Posted 21 December 2016 - 03:28 AM

That sounds scary. 

 

I don't know if anyone has heard about The Russian Angel Vyacheslav - his life.  Its on you tube and would like to ask if anyone has heard of this little boy?  Not sure what to believe, perhaps someone is Russian and knows something?

 

 

It has English subtitles.  He talks about the end as well and whats to come.



#6 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 21 December 2016 - 10:43 AM

From what I know, the ROC investigated the boy and Patriarch Alexey II found no grounds for canonization. We know some things for sure: that the end is 2,000 years nearer than when it was spoken of by Christ; and we know what Holy Scripture and a few saints have said about it. We should be more concerned about our own end which can be at any time, though it is difficult to keep this in mind. We should pray that we should have some forewarning of our death that we can prepare for it.



#7 Lakis Papas

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Posted 21 December 2016 - 05:26 PM

What makes someone to despair comes from devil.

#8 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 21 December 2016 - 05:34 PM

Exactly! Though there are two forms of despair, as I was taught. There can be a godly despair - that one may not be any better than one is, and there can be demonic despair - that makes one doubt that God will save one.



#9 Johannes

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Posted 21 December 2016 - 10:51 PM


Exactly! Though there are two forms of despair, as I was taught. There can be a godly despair - that one may not be any better than one is, and there can be demonic despair - that makes one doubt that God will save one.



#10 Johannes

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Posted 21 December 2016 - 10:52 PM

The latter is something that I struggle with. I didn't know that there was a distinction.

#11 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 22 December 2016 - 12:16 AM

The distinction between the two types of despair is part of our spiritual tradition.



#12 Father David Moser

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Posted 22 December 2016 - 03:32 PM

Properly understanding the Apocalypse of St John is a difficult thing - especially in this current age of rampant fantasy based upon the end of the world (not the least the fantasies put forth as Bibical exegesis by those who are alien to the Church).  In order to approach and understanding one must forget all the nonsense that is out there and begin anew drawing only upon the fathers and the tradition of the Church. 

 

Here is an excerpt from a brief article on the Apocalypse by the late Bishop Alexander (Mileant) of South America that touches on the question of the mark of the beast:

 

The seal of the beast (Rev. 13:16-17, 14:9-11, 15:2, 16:2, 19:20, 20:4). In the language of Holy Scripture, to bear upon oneself a seal (or a mark) denotes belonging to or being subordinate to someone. We have already mentioned that the mark (or the name of God) on the forehead of the faithful denotes their being chosen by God and consequently having God's protection over them (Rev. 3:12; 7:2-3; 9:4; 14:1; 22:4). The activity of the false prophet, which was described in the thirteenth chapter of the Apocalypse, convinces us that the kingdom of the beast will be of a religious-political nature. In creating the union of various governments, it will simultaneously propagate a new religion instead of the Christian faith. Therefore, the submission of oneself to the antichrist (allegorically speaking, by taking upon one's forehead or right hand the mark of the beast) will be tantamount to renunciation of Christ, which will result in the forfeiture of the Kingdom of Heaven. (The symbol of the mark is drawn from ancient customs, according to which warriors burned upon their arms or their foreheads the name of their commander, and slaves, either voluntarily or by force, were branded with the seal of their master's name. Pagans devoted to some deity often bore upon themselves the tattoos of that particular divinity.)

It is quite possible that during the time of the antichrist a perfected computerized registration system will be introduced which would be similar to modern bank credit cards. This state-of-the-art registration will have an invisible computerized code imprinted not on a plastic card as it is now, but directly on the body of the individuals. This code, read by an electronic or a magnetic "eye," will be transmitted to a central computer that will contain all pertinent personal and financial information regarding that person. Thus, the imprinting of personal codes directly on individuals will replace the need for money, passports, visas, tickets, checks, credit cards and other personal documents. Thanks to individual encoding, all monetary operations such as payment of salaries and payment of debts can be performed directly in the computer. In the absence of money, robbers will have nothing to take. It will be pre-eminently easier for the government to control crime because people's movements will be known thanks to the central computer. It appears that the positive aspects of this system of personal encoding will be used to introduce the system. In practice, however, it will also be used for religious-political control over people "when no one shall be able to buy or sell, except those who have such an imprint" (Rev. 13:17).

Of course the idea of stamping codes on people is speculation. The essence is not in electromagnetic markings but in fidelity to Christ or our betrayal of him! Throughout the history of Christianity, pressure on believers from antichristian authorities has taken on the most varied of forms: the bringing of a formal sacrifice to an idol, the acceptance of Islam, the joining of a godless or an anti-Christian organization. In the language of the Apocalypse, this acceptance of "the seal of the beast," is the acquiring of temporary advantages at the price of the renunciation of Christ.

 

Notice that the key element in receiving the mark of the beast is a conscious and intentional renunciation of Christ.  You can't get tricked into doing this without your knowledge - you have to directly and purposefully renounce Christ to obtain the mark of the beast.  So unless there was a "check off" on the application for that credit card for renouncing Christ, you do not have the mark of the beast.

 

Another thing that the Fathers tell us about this mark is that the hand and the forehead denote our thoughts and actions and so the mark isn't about what is put on the outside, but rather what comes out from the soul. Remember, "Not that which goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man" (Mt15:11)  That is to say that we are not defiled by things which are put on from the outside (for example a physical mark placed upon us by someone else) but rather we are defiled by that which comes from the inside - our own thoughts and actions.

 

Another good book on the Apocalypse is by Archbishop Averky of Jordanville, translated by Fr Seraphim Rose (available I believe through St Herman Press).  There is now coming out from Zoe Press a series of sermons on the Apocalypse by Archimandrite Athanasios Mitilinaios.  There are three volumes in print and at least one more (maybe two) still to come.  Forget your protestant and Hollywood fantasies and embrace the tradition of the Church.

 

Fr David Moser



#13 Johannes

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Posted 22 December 2016 - 04:25 PM

Thank you, Father.

#14 Angie

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Posted 23 December 2016 - 09:45 AM

Yes, thank you Father and everyones comments.

 

The thing that concerns me in the above vedio is that the monks of Mount Athos have gone there as well and believe it



#15 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 23 December 2016 - 01:17 PM

That doesn't concern me.



#16 Ben Johnson

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Posted 24 December 2016 - 02:16 AM

Thank you Father.  Is this the book you are referring to?  https://www.amazon.c...chbishop Averky



#17 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 24 December 2016 - 08:42 AM

Very expensive - could be worth trying to get from your local library, perhaps through inter-library loans.



#18 Father David Moser

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Posted 24 December 2016 - 05:17 PM

Maybe its out of print at the moment - I've seen at least 2 reprints over the years.  Here is the best that I found on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.c...=ntt_dp_epwbk_0



#19 Kusanagi

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Posted 25 December 2016 - 08:55 PM

This book I have seen in Essex monastery, if you want to get hold of them to reserve a copy and won't cost so much.

Also an example of a mark is mentioned in this book 

 

http://www.stanthony...ef=3ELDERCLEOPA

 

A JW visited the elder and Fr. Cleopa explained how the Orthodox faith is the correct one and asked the visitor to make the sign of the cross but he was unable to do so.

Fr. Cleopa had to make the cross for him and then he was able to freely make the cross himself.



#20 earlv

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Posted 03 January 2017 - 11:54 PM

Thank you Father David Moser.

 

I was told, as I was growing up in the old country, that by my 25th birthday the AC would be running the world, which let me tell you, it really messed me up... Now being much older, I have come to understand just how wide spread and wrong these Protestant ideas are.

 

I'd like to add one other thing to what was posted by Fr Moser. I recall reading, I think it was from Elder, now Saint Paisios, that the meaning behind the number 666 is the reason for the mark. The number, is symbolic of material wealth and it is the amount of gold given to Solomon (see 1 Kings 10:14). So in other words, it will be a voluntary marking so that people will have access to material wealth. As to how this will come about... well, I seeing this growing trend of automation and extrapolating to 30 years into the future... I don't know. Will we come to a stage that we will all need a Universal Basic Income and everything will be made by robots....?






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