Jan 5, 2008 9:51 AM
How do you interpret “the mark”? Literally only, symbolic only or both?
I know that a mark is put upon the righteous in Ezekiel and it’s a spiritual distinction for God and the angels.
So how do you reckon this with what appears to be a physical mark in Revelation?
I think you’re on the right track with the Ezekiel reference. Also, I believe it’s Ezekiel or Jeremiah that mentions the harlot’s forehead. The forehead represents the forward look that has to do with a will that is set, and the right hand has to do with the execution of power, also an issue of the heart and will in the use of power, a very deep truth. And though the mark may take some visible form, because it is primarily a spiritual disposition, it will not be something that someone will blunder into or have forced on them as some fear. It can’t happen by accident because it will represents a fixed posture of unbelief that has passed over into final reprobation. More than mere unbelief, it will represent a studied antagonism to the God that elects, the God that rules by covenant. I believe the mark doesn’t happen in a vacuum, but will be something that comes out of the crisis of decision that will come through a watershed line of division that God Himself will provoke over the issue of Israel. It is not that Israel is the only issue, but that this issue will be used of God to touch and bring up for review all other issues. God has in mind a use that he will make of Israel to expose everthing before the age can end.
So I see the mark as the antithesis of the seal of God. It is the mark of final reprobation, and in the middle of the week when all restraint is removed, something appears to happen where those that are particularly set against God and His covenant will be utterly given over to the manifestation of sin in the flesh, so that what has happened with the Antichrist is also being released in those that share spiritual union with him. Impulses once only conceived and restrained by government or conscience will now have unhindered expression in the demonic rage against the people of the covenant, both church and Israel. It is part of God’s plan that evil be revealed in the flesh for its exposure that it might be condemned in the flesh. My wife, Connie, suggested to me, and I agree, that it has something to do with God’s intention to educate the universe of angels and humanity through the demonstration that is wrought out in history. Just as something is being demonstrated through the church that reaches to the principalities and powers, the same could be said of the mystery of iniquity. There is a profound education of the universe that is underway that goes back to the fall of the angels, and really even further to the eternal counsels of God.
It’s mystery, to be sure, but I believe that some of the explanation lies in that direction. Now there’s a discussion starter for you, ha!