Thinking Out Loud

December 9, 2017

Armageddon Preview: California Wildfires

Admittedly the person who posted this on Twitter retouched the sign, but everything else in this image is real.

Long before there was the Left Behind books and music, there were the Russell Doughten films. Growing up Evangelical in the ’70s and ’80s meant your church probably had showings of:

While studies have shown that guilt- and fear-induced decisions tend not to produce lifelong disciples, there are no doubt some reading this who were “scared into the kingdom” by movies such as this and live productions such Heaven’s Gates and Hell’s Flames.

Looking at the images from Southern California this week, it was difficult not to imagine that we were viewing a film producer’s vision of the end times. The people who had to drive through those scenes in order to escape will simply never be able to erase those images. The future PTSD issues related to the past week will endure as long as many of these people are living.

The losses are staggering. But beyond the personal tragedy is the loss of a rather unique part of the world, every bit as special to me as Venice is to others.

I took six trips to So. Cal., staying at least two weeks for each, and renting a car each time. My favorite memories are of driving north of Los Angeles at night with the radio cranked on KFI or KKHR and capturing the image in my mind of the homes lining the Hollywood Hills, not unlike the view you get looking down on a city or town at night from an airplane, but with the perspective reversed by the fact you’re at the lowest altitude and the porch lights and street lights are displayed in a panorama above you.

When the lights go down in the California town
People are in for the evening
I jump into my car and I throw in my guitar
My heart beatin’ time with my breathin’

After finding something that totally awed me, I would then take the first exit, loop around and drive the opposite way to see it all again. Gas was cheaper then, I suppose. I can’t describe to you the beauty of the lights twinkling up the hills. It was another world.

Ventura Highway in the sunshine
Where the days are longer
The nights are stronger
Than moonshine

To think of so much of that being simply gone is unimaginable. You see the video footage of burned out properties, but I think about what they were; what will take at least a generation to rebuild if not longer.

When you think of the dangers of living in So. Cal., you think earthquakes. Not any longer. As one responder said yesterday, “Fire season is now all year.”

In the end, condition “red” was not enough. They had to create a new level “purple” for “extreme” danger.

…I don’t know if any filmmakers were mercenary enough to go out and shoot stock footage in the middle of this, but it certainly raises the possibilities of what Armageddon could look like; metaphorically of course, because the prophesied battle takes place on the other side of the world.

But The Tribulation, perhaps? Definitely. Nuclear aftermath? For sure.

 

 

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September 19, 2010

A Rather Unique Explanation of ‘666’

Filed under: theology — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 4:48 pm

I’d forgotten about this particular post at this blog until an e-mail last night jogged my memory.    I’ve made some changes to it in order to insert a longer excerpt from the original blog…

Remember those people in the late ’60s who declared that VISA and MASTERCARD credit cards were “the mark of the beast?”   Well, what if they were somewhat right?

Actually, the cards were called by other names back then.   VISA was “Chargex” here in Canada, “BankAmericard” in the U.S. and went by other names elsewhere.  Meanwhile, MASTERCARD went by the now awkward-sounding name “Mastercharge.”

Some Christians (okay, mostly evangelicals) declared this was the beginning of the end when it came to interpreting the “666″ mark in Revelation, but were strangely silent decades later when debit cards were introduced.   I’ve never understood what made the difference and the resultant silence on ATM cards.

I remember Pat Robertson commenting that the mark on the hand and forehead were symbolic.   The hand represents the work of man and the forehead represents the thoughts of man; the result being an anti-Christ figure who wants to control both.

Online, I ran into Tim Jamz.  In a post on March 28th, 2008, he suggested that “the mark of the beast” isn’t the number 666.   It’s numbers, period.    Our preoccupation with them.   Our can’t live without them.  Commenting in another forum, Tim said, “Our focus on our own contrived systems of analysis, and the reliance on these systems, separates us from our Creator.”

The road he takes to get to there, an examination of themes occurring in both Genesis and Revelation is going to seem murky to some readers, but you should read it anyway.  Here’s the highlight:

The “Mark of the Beast” is 666, right? Technically, it is “six-hundred, three-score, and six,” according to the King James Version of the Bible. Well, a friend I hung out with many moons ago … brought this up; it’s stuck with me ever since, and the more I think about it, it really makes sense.

The Book of Revelation, where the Mark is referenced, was written during the reign of the Roman Empire, in a region, which was primarily ruled by Rome. Naturally, the original text, and the number written to mean the “Mark of the Beast” would have been written in the Roman language… enter: Roman Numerals. We’ve all learned these in grade school, and most television shows and other “scholarly” works use them to denote dates, et al.

If you write out the number 666 in Roman Numerals, it comes out: DCLXVI. (500+ 100+ 50+ 10+ 5+ 1= 666) That’s right, one of each Roman Number, in descending order. So, it could be surmised that “numbers,” in general, are the Mark of the Beast. Before you exorcise your computer, think about this.

Modern civilizations are wholly dependent on numbers; for currency, for architecture, for science…. EVERYTHING! Everything except God, that is. Our quest for knowledge between good and evil… our ultimate desire and preconception that our minds are able to make determinations in general… these are what separate us from simple existence, and one-ness with the Creator.

I found the conclusion resonated more than the premise, but make your own decision.   To go directly to that post, titled ‘Lost in Translation,’ use this link.

April 3, 2008

The Devil’s In The Numbers

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — searchlightevents @ 6:05 pm

Remember those people in the late ’60s who declared that VISA and MASTERCARD credit cards were “the mark of the beast?”   Well, what if they were somewhat right?

Actually, the cards were called by other names back then.   VISA was “Chargex” here in Canada, “BankAmericard” in the U.S. and went by other names elsewhere.  Meanwhile, MASTERCARD went by the now awkward-sounding name “Mastercharge.”   Some Christians (okay, mostly evangelicals) declared this was the beginning of the end when it came to interpreting the “666” mark in Revelation, but were strangely silent decades later when debit cards were introduced.   I’ve never understood what made the difference and the resultant silence on ATM cards.

I remember Pat Robertson (see my post on him a few days ago) commenting that the mark on the hand and forehead were symbolic.   The hand represents the work of man and the forehead represents the thoughts of man; the result being an anti-Christ figure who wants to control both.

Today online I ran into Tim Jamz who has a blog page you might want to visit, www.onehigherpower.com In a recent post, on March 28th, he suggests that “the mark of the beast” isn’t the number 666.   It’s numbers, period.    Our preoccupation with them.   Our can’t live without them.  Commenting in another forum, Tim said, “Our focus on our own contrived systems of analysis, and the reliance on these systems, separates us from our Creator.”

The road he takes to get to there, an examination of themes occuring in both Genesis and Revelation is going to seem murky to some readers, but you should read it anyway.   I found the conclusion resonated more than the premise, but make your own decision.   To go directly to that post, titled ‘Lost in Translation,’ use this link: http://onehigherpower.com/archives/153

If link above is broken try this one.

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