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. This is a very deep truth.
Therefore, though the mark may take some visible form, 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 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.
So, I believe the mark doesn’t happen in a vacuum, but will be something that comes out of the crisis of decision provoked by a watershed of division that God Himself will demarcate over the issue of Israel. Israel is not the only issue, but it is the issue that will be used of God to touch and bring up for review all other issues. God intends to use Israel to expose everything before this age can end.
As I see it, the mark is 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 solidify in those that are particularly set against God and His covenant. They will be utterly given over to the manifestation of sin in the flesh, so that what has happened with the Antichrist will also be released in these ones who actually 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 in both church and Israel. It is part of God’s plan that evil be given full exposure in the flesh, 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 an ultimate demonstration that is wrought out in space-time 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, which goes back to the fall of the angels, and even further, to the eternal counsels of God.
It’s a mystery, to be sure, but I believe that some of the explanation lies in this direction. Now there’s a discussion starter for you, ha!