Go read! Kim Riddlebarger on the Man of Sin


Dr. Riddlebarger’s article is the kind that involves “thinking along with the author.” 

Revelation 13

NASB
The Beast from the Sea

13 And the dragon stood on the sand of the seashore.

Then I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names. And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority. I saw one of his heads as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed. And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast; they worshiped the dragon because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?” There was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies, and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him. And he opened his mouth in blasphemies against God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, that is, those who dwell in heaven.

It was also given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them, and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain. If anyone has an ear, let him hear. 10 If anyone is destined for captivity, to captivity he goes; if anyone kills with the sword, with the sword he must be killed. Here is the perseverance and the faith of the saints.

The Beast from the Earth

11 Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb and he spoke as a dragon. 12 He exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence. And he makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed. 13 He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down out of heaven to the earth in the presence of men. 14 And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who *had the wound of the sword and has come to life. 15 And it was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast would even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed. 16 And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, 17 and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name. 18 Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six.


666 and the Mark of the Beast

Kim Riddlebarger, The Riddleblog
From his book, Man of Sin: Uncovering the Truth About Antichrist (Baker, 2006)

 

In fact, the preoccupation with identifying just who it is, exactly, to whom this number refers creates an unfortunate tendency to downplay (or even ignore) the theological significance of this number.  What the number 666 represents is at least as significant as the beast’s human identity.  When John tells us that this is “man’s number,” he may even mean that this number does not refer to a specific individual such as Nero, but to a series of individuals who behave as Nero did.

As Beale points out, “The omission of the article in 13:18 indicates the general idea of humanity, not some special individual who can be discerned only through an esoteric method of calculation.  Therefore, in both verses anthropou [man] is a descriptive or qualitative genitive, so that the phrase here should be rendered ‘a human number’ (so RSV) or ‘a number of humanity.’  It is a number common to fallen humanity.” (Beale, Revelation, 724)

In light of the beast’s attempt to parody the redemptive work of Christ so as to receive the worship of the nations, the idea that this number is to be understood as the number of fallen humanity makes a great deal of sense.  If seven is the number of perfection, the number six comes close, but never reaches the goal.  

 


 

 

Go read! Vatican Files


Proverbs 18

akjv

The words of a man’s mouth are as deep waters,
    and the wellspring of wisdom as a flowing brook.


This article offers Christians an opportunity to understand what Roman Catholicism truly is and whether it can ever be reformed.


“Roman Catholics as individuals and groups may have different opinions about the Pope. After all, the Church of Rome is not a monolith, and even Popes polarize the assessments of the Catholic people. But what happens when negative voices become more frequent, more outspoken, more radical in their criticism, as seems to be the case in recent months? While public opinion is still heavily influenced by the overall positive image that Francis has, and continues to consider him as a kind of ‘hero’, within Catholic circles the ‘wait-and-see’ approach toward some awkward aspects of his teaching is coming to an end. Groups of intellectuals, priests, and even cardinals are voicing their growing embarrassment and are doing it publicly and with a severe tone. In raising their concerns, what they point to are not some peripheral elements but important matters of doctrine. The irony is that the one who is supposed to guard the Roman Catholic deposit of faith is charged with allegations of introducing confusion, if not heresy.”

What Happens If Catholics Think the Pope Is a Heretic?

Leonardo De Chirico


 

Go read! An excellent resource on Christmas


John 1

AKJV

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.


Christmas: An Historical Survey Regarding Its Origins and Opposition to It

by Kevin Reed

Lately, I’ve posted excerpts from this article, here and here. This is the introduction:

To speak against Christmas observance is considered by many people to be sacrilegious and others as religious fanaticism. After all, how can anyone legitimately oppose such a hallowed institution?

The purpose of this study is to set forth scriptural reasons for opposing Christmas celebration. A brief historical survey will provide the suitable means for such an examination. Following an initial look at the origins of Christmas, we will note historic opposition to its observance, with special emphasis on Protestant objections to the holiday. We will see that Protestants, and especially Presbyterians, have rejected Christmas celebration, as demonstrated by the following facts: (1.) the scriptural principles of worship upheld by Reformed churches; (2.) the confessional testimony of the churches; (3.) the historic practice of the churches in their most orthodox times.


 

Go read! Reformed and always being reformed!


A Tyndale Bible, displayed at the Bodleian Library in June 2014, photo by Steve Bennett (stevage), via Wikimedia.

Semper Reformanda

By Michael Horton, Ligonier Ministries

Oh, no – not Latin again! But at least we have a translation. Semper reformanda means “always being reformed.” Where did the phrase come from? Dr. Horton answers this and shares some important insights in the article linked above. 

When we invoke the whole phrase — “the church Reformed and always being reformed according to the Word of God” — we confess that we belong to the church and not simply to ourselves and that this church is always created and renewed by the Word of God rather than by the spirit of the age.


Acts 6

Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.

1 Thessalonians 2

13 For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.


 

Go read! quotes and notes and opinions


Psalm 137

NKJV

By the rivers of Babylon,
There we sat down, yea, we wept
When we remembered Zion.
We hung our harps
Upon the willows in the midst of it.
For there those who carried us away captive asked of us a song,
And those who plundered us requested mirth,
Saying, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”


Awaiting the City of God

Jerusalem_Glory

“We live—in every age and in every generation—by the rivers of Babylon. We need to understand that clearly. We must learn how to sing the Lord’s song in a strange and foreign land.”


Hebrews 11

13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 14 For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. 15 And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.