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Is the Internet the Image of the Beast?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
May 31, 2023 4:47 pm

Is the Internet the Image of the Beast?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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May 31, 2023 4:47 pm

Episode 1239 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

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 CoreChristianity.com

Questions in this Episode

1. How should we understand genealogies in the Bible in light of 2 Timothy 3?

2. How can I encourage my wife to stop being superstitious?

3. What do Mormons believe about the end times?

4. Is the internet the image of the beast mentioned in Revelation 13?

5. At what age can we baptize our children?

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Is the internet the image of the beast? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. Well, hi, this is Bill Meyer, along with Pastor Adriel Sanchez, and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. We would love to hear from you. And here's our phone number. You can call us for the next 25 minutes at 833-THECORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. Now, you can also post your question on one of our social media sites. In fact, we have a YouTube channel, and you can watch Adriel live in the studio on YouTube and send him a question that way. And of course, you can always email us your question at questionsatcorechristianity.com. First up, let's go to one of our listeners north of the border, Brandon in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Brandon, what's your question for Adriel?

Hey, guys. So, reading from 2 Timothy 3, verse 16 and 17, all scripture is God breeds and profitable for preaching, for reproof, for correction, for creating in righteousness, so that the man of God may be equipped, having been thoroughly equipped for every good work. So, my question is, reading things like Old Testament genealogies, how do you read those in light of 2 Timothy 3?

That's a great question, right? Like, if all scripture is profitable and I'm supposed to benefit from it as a Christian, how do I make sense of Genesis 5 and the long genealogy there? Or if I'm preaching through the Gospel of Matthew, for example, and I'm looking at Matthew 1, which I just opened up to in my Bible here, the genealogy of Jesus. What are we supposed to learn from these genealogies?

Or should we just skip over them? And I know a lot of people do in their Bible reading. They get to those genealogies in the Old Testament.

They just think, okay, this is not important. Well, the answer, I think, is specifically with regard to those genealogies in the book of Genesis, let's say. Genesis, and really the whole Bible, is tracing that promise that God gave to Adam and Eve in Genesis chapter 3, verse 15, that the seed of the woman, the offspring of the woman, is going to crush the head of the serpent. And so you have that holy seed, the holy offspring, being followed, being traced throughout the book of Genesis and then really throughout the Old Testament and leading into the New Testament with the birth of the Messiah, Jesus the Christ. And so in one sense, it's just unpacking the fulfillment, how that promise was going to be fulfilled in redemptive history. And so we're getting to see God's special care and concern for his people, for the quote-unquote holy family. And then it's also interesting because when we look at these various genealogies, they do say things to us.

They speak to us in ways that I think are encouraging as well. I remember listening to a sermon some time ago on the genealogy found in Matthew chapter 1, the genealogy of Christ there. And I was just thinking about what Matthew is highlighting first, that Jesus is the heir to the Davidic throne, but also you think about the various people who are mentioned in the genealogy, people who oftentimes are considered or might have been considered as not the kind of person that you want in your family tree, people who had done sinful things and had sinful relationships, and yet this is the family essentially that the Messiah comes from. And so there's I think a lot of practical applications that we can draw from some of this, but really I think in terms of the big picture of just tracing that promise that we find at the beginning of Genesis in Genesis chapter 3, verses 14 and 15, where the seed of the woman is going to crush the head of the serpent. That's the story of the Bible is that unfolding, culminating in Jesus Christ and his redemptive work. And so Brandon, appreciate the question. I also think it's so easy for us to skip over whether it's the genealogies or the book of Leviticus or these books that we feel like, okay, how does this relate to me? I think if we read them slowly, if we dig in, if we start looking at the history and unpacking things, there's a lot of richness there that we have to be careful that we don't just gloss over. And I think the digger we deep, the more riches we're going to find. And so thank you for that question. You said the digger we deep. Oh, okay.

I was wondering, I was wondering why the, uh, I'm looking out at the, at the, you know, the rest of the studio and everybody's laughing at me and I, I mean, this happens quite frequently and I oftentimes I don't know what's going on out there. Um, but now, yeah, the digger we deep, um, well, this is a live broadcast, so there's, there are no edits. Um, the deeper we dig, God's grace always covers you on your mistakes. Trust, trust me on that.

All right. This is core Christianity with pastor Adriel Sanchez, who normally, by the way, has an incredible grammar. Uh, we want to go to Alan, Alan in Nebraska. Alan, what's your question for Adriel? My question is this real quick.

Um, I listen to you guys all the time and I appreciate it. The question is this. My wife believes that if you go to the cemetery, the funeral homes or whatever, for funerals, you come back home, you have to change your clothes.

To me, it's just a superstitious thing because I can't find nowhere in the Bible that says anything to change your clothes. Do you know anything about that? That's my question. Thank you. Yeah.

Alan, thanks. Well, I mean, the closest thing in terms of, of the Bible, you know, in the Old Testament, there were cleanliness laws related to, you know, if you, if you touched a dead body, you were in a state of uncleanness for a period of time and you didn't need to wash and change. But we're not under those laws anymore today, um, under the new covenant, certainly. And so it does sound to me like maybe there, there is some, some, some kind of superstition there. Maybe just be curious as to, you know, where she got the practice from and, and, um, having, having conversations about that because there's really no, there's nothing in the Bible that would indicate, right?

Like if you're, you know, go to a funeral home or if you're at a cemetery that you, you need to make sure that you change immediately afterwards. Uh, no, that's just, that's not something that we're bound by as Christians. And it, you know, even in the New Testament, you, you see, um, kinds, these kinds of superstitious practices that sometimes Christians do adopt, um, specifically in the book of first Corinthians and also in the book of Romans, there's a discussion about how we should think about food that has been used in, you know, pagan rituals. There were, you know, people would go to the meat market and, you know, they would want to buy their tri-tip or whatever it is that they were purchasing back then. And, uh, the, the, the, the food that they were buying might have been used in a pagan ritual. It might've been sacrificed to, to a pagan God. And, and so the people, you know, there were, there were Christians in the church that were really concerned about this. Can I still eat this meat or does it have some sort of, you know, spiritual, you know, demonic attachment to it that makes it sinful for me to eat? And Paul's, Paul's exhortation is like, look, we know that an idol is nothing in the world.

They're not real. Um, for the sake of your own conscience, you know, if you're, if you're buying meat at the meat market, just don't ask any questions, but you should be fine. There's nothing wrong with eating that, but other believers who really struggle with this, um, their conscience is defiled when they eat. And so he, you know, he gets into the discussion about Christian liberty and, and, um, everything that goes along with that. So there are, there are times where we as believers, I think, can, um, through really a lack of understanding, you know, struggle in our conscience with certain things.

And it sounds like maybe, uh, Alan, that's, that's something that your wife wrestles with. And so I think coming to a proper understanding, um, a more mature understanding of, of what God's law says related to, you know, uh, the dead and going to a cemetery, which doesn't say anything about having to go and change right afterwards. And so, um, that shouldn't, that shouldn't be an issue. Um, appreciate your question. God bless you. God bless your wife. And thanks for listening and thanks for calling in. Hmm. You know, when our kids were younger, whenever we would drive by a cemetery, I'd always tell them, you know, that's the last place I want to go, but I hear people are just dying to go there and they would, they would never laugh. Man, Bill, you had to, um, dig her pretty deep for that one. Okay.

Moving right along. This is Core Christianity and our phone lines are open. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, we would love to hear from you. Here's the number. It's 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. We'll be taking your calls for the next 15 minutes or so. Let's go to Bob calling in from Missouri.

Bob, what's your question for Adriel? Well, my question was, um, I know the Mormons have a different Jesus and their God is a political master and adulteress and so is Jesus, but I ask them many times about revelations. Most of them don't understand it, but what is even going to happen since we get raptured out tomorrow? They're going to stay here with Satan? I mean, they're going to be there anyway, but what is their actual belief?

Do you know? What is the Mormon belief about, uh, well, like what's the Mormon eschatology? What do they believe about the second coming of Jesus?

I honestly don't, I don't know. I haven't, I haven't, uh, I know a bit about the sort of doctrine of God. Um, and so maybe if there are any Mormons listening into the broadcast right now, feel free to give us a call.

Um, and Bill will give you them. We'd love to love that. I know we've had Mormons, uh, call in, uh, before, and I really appreciate that. I love, I love talking about, um, doctrine and really the heart of the gospel with, with, uh, Mormon friends. But, but as far as their eschatology is concerned, you're right. They, they do have a different understanding of the gospel and a different Jesus. Um, and I, I, I think what I can say, so what is, what is the historic Christian view? The historic Christian view is that there is going to be a literal second coming, a bodily return of Jesus Christ to the earth to judge the world, but that hasn't happened yet. Um, there is a, there is a heretical view out there known as hyper-preterism, and it's the idea that, that everything that you read in the book of Revelation essentially has already happened, the second coming has already happened, um, so on and so forth.

Well, that, that's not the case. You read 2 Thessalonians, you read the end of the book of Revelation, um, and, and it's clear that, that, that coming, that final coming and final judgment is still something that we're looking forward to. Um, and I, and I do believe that the Mormon Church has a, a doctrine of that, and of course, I think it's going to come along, uh, with a lot of the other things that they hold to, and so, um, sorry I can't give you more information, um, Bob, about what, what they believe specifically, but that's what we believe as Christians. Jesus is going to come back, um, bodily to judge the world, and, and that is the, the hope that we have as Christians, the blessing, the blessed appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ as the apostles refer to it, and so, God bless you, brother. Amen.

Thanks, Bob, appreciate your call. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. If you're a parent or a grandparent with kids in high school, we have a wonderful resource we want to tell you about today. It's something we think will really help them to really, uh, stay strong in their Christian faith after they graduate. Yes, the resource is called How to Keep Your Faith After High School.

Get a hold of it, written by a friend of mine, uh, Kendra Dahl, who, um, is just an, an excellent writer, and, uh, this is, this is a resource, uh, let me just, let me just read you the, the chapter titles, part one, Get the Gospel Right. Uh, we're finding that a lot of, a lot of young people, you know, leaving our, our churches, going off to college, just don't understand that fundamental truth, right? Like, what is the gospel? How can I, how can I understand the gospel rightly, uh, belong to a true church?

What is a true church, right? Going to church, the importance of, of going to church, that's something that so many people go off to college, and, and that sort of goes by the wayside, and so, uh, that knowing what you believe in, why? Uh, you know, the answers to the big questions that we oftentimes, times have in clinging to the goodness of God, um, and then the conclusion is God is going to keep you, and that's our, that's our hope, that's what we need is Christ to keep us tethered to himself, and so, get a hold of this resource for, uh, someone in your life, uh, graduating from, from high school and heading off to college.

Once again, it's called How to Keep Your Faith After High School. You can find that by going to corechristianity.com forward slash offers. We have a lot of other great resources, by the way, on our website, and many of them are free and encourage you to check out some of our core guides and our core questions, and of course, all of our great core Bible studies.

You can find them again at corechristianity.com. Well, we do receive voicemails here at the core, and you can call us 24 hours a day and leave your voicemail question. Here's the number, 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. Here's a voicemail from one of our listeners named Leonard. My question is, I think the internet is the image of the beast. I wanted to get his opinion on everyone staring at the internet. Is that actually a good thing?

Thank you. Well, is it the image of the mark of the beast? I would say no.

Is it good for us to be constantly staring at the internet? I would probably also say no, but that doesn't mean that it's the mark of the beast. The mark of the beast, right? I mean, this is something that many Christians have debated about, and especially with new technology and vaccines. When there was the sort of vaccine questioning controversy not too long ago, there were people who were calling.

We got a lot of calls about that. Is the vaccine the mark of the beast? That language comes from the book of Revelation, of course. Revelation chapter 13 says, speaking of the beast, it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark. That is the name of the beast or the number of its name. This calls for wisdom. Let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666.

Two things. Being marked on the forehead or on the right hand, right? This is a picture of your mind being controlled by something, your actions being controlled by something. We have to remember Revelation is a book full of symbols, and so this idea of being marked on the forehead, on the hand, right?

Your mind and your lifestyle, your actions are controlled by the beast. This is idolatrous worship. The Christians that John is writing to, you think about the pagan Roman empire, one of the ways that they persecuted Christians was by saying, hey, if you don't worship the emperor, if you don't participate in this idolatry, especially some of the major persecutions that believers face there, if you don't participate in this idolatry, you're going to lose. You're going to lose things. You're going to lose your home.

You're going to lose your job. You're going to lose your life, and many Christians, in fact, did. It's not falling into that idolatrous worship, embracing that pagan worship. What we have to realize is in Revelation 13 and 14, there is this great contrast. You have the mark of the beast, but then you also have the mark of God on his elect, on his people. Chapter 14 begins. He just talked about the mark of the beast.

Chapter 14 begins, and John says, then I looked, and behold, on Mount Zion stood the lamb, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his father's name written on their foreheads. You see the contrast there. You have those who embrace this sort of pagan idolatry of the world. That's what controls their mind. That's what controls their lives. It's this idolatrous worship, which I think you can still see even today. I'm not talking about a literal stamp.

I don't think that's what this is. This is false worship. There are those who are marked with that, and then there are those who, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, are marked with the name of God, with the seal of God, which is the Holy Spirit, Paul says in the book of Ephesians, Chapter 1. Understanding the symbols correctly, I think, is key.

That's really important. Revelation 13 is not talking about the internet, but there are sinful ways to use the internet. We have to exercise wisdom there as well, but we're talking about something bigger here in Revelation 13. We're talking about a kind of worship, a kind of idolatrous worship specifically.

Thanks for that question. Cat videos. I think those are idolatrous.

I was going to say, Bill, is that a good way to use the internet or a bad way to use the internet? Cat videos. Oh my gosh, think about the amount of time people spend at work watching. It's just ridiculous.

It can definitely be an obsession. Well, this is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Please do not watch or send us cat videos. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, we would love to hear from you. And also, just a reminder, we're going to be recording a second episode of The Core here in just a few minutes after our live program ends, so if you weren't able to get through with your question, you can still call us for the next 40 minutes or so at 833-THECORE. That's 1-833-843-2673.

Let's go to a call from Missouri. A question about baptism. What's your question for Adriel? Hello.

Good afternoon, everybody. Thank you for taking my question too. You know, infant baptism is such a huge aspect of a young Christian's life, especially in Catholicism, which is where I heavily grew up. So I mean, really, I just, at what point do Christians get baptized? Is it an age of accountability? Is it, you know, an infant? It can be complicated, it seems like. Yeah. Yeah. Well, thank you for that question. And it is, I mean, this is definitely one of those questions where we're going to have some differences.

And I know that we've gotten into this on the broadcast before. Of course, there are those who say, no, you shouldn't be baptized until you've made a profession of faith. You look at the New Testament, right? And you know, the disciples are going out preaching the gospel and people are turning to the Lord believing and that's when they get baptized.

And so that's one view. There's also the other view, and you mentioned, you know, the Roman Catholic Church teaches infant baptism. The original Protestant reformers like Martin Luther and John Calvin and so many others, they also believed that we should baptize infants, not on the basis of some, you know, church tradition, but on the basis of the teaching of the Bible. You know, this is I think an important point to bring up is whatever we hold to, right? We want it to be biblical.

We're not looking for, you know, old nice traditions that give us, you know, warm fuzzies. We want to be able to base what we do in the church, especially as it pertains to worship and the ordinances that Jesus gave to us. We want to base that in scripture. And of course we can disagree on what the scriptures teach, but we need to at least be having a conversation about the Bible. And so my view is that like the baptizing infants is actually a biblical thing. Well, how could you say that?

On what basis? Well, throughout scripture, God's promise to his people is I want to be a God to you and to your children. And in the Old Testament, the children of believers were given the sign of participation in the covenant people of God. Now in the Old Testament, that was the sign of circumcision. And Abraham, right, in Genesis 17 was commanded to circumcise his infant sons. This was a practice that you had throughout the Old Testament.

That was a picture of being a part of the Old Testament people of God. It was also a picture of regeneration, the circumcision of the heart, a new heart. This is why God oftentimes would say to his people when they were turning away from him in sin, you know, you guys, you need to be circumcised in heart.

You need your heart to be transformed. It was this picture of that personal relationship with God. And yet Abraham is still commanded to circumcise his infant children. In the New Testament, Colossians chapter two basically ties together circumcision with baptism. Baptism now under the new covenant being that sign of inclusion into the visible church and the sign of God's goodwill, his promises towards his people and their children. It's like, you know, Peter on the day of Pentecost when he's preaching and thousands of people get baptized, he says this promise, this promise of God's grace, this promise of the Spirit is for you and for your offspring, your children, right, and for all who are afar off. That is the Gentiles. That's what's unique about the new covenant is now.

It's not just Jews. It's the whole world that are given these promises and called to live in them. So there's a lot more that we could say there. And I would just encourage you to continue to dig into this and want to go further into the scriptures. There's more that I can say.

Those are the different views, some of the different views. And that's what I would say. I mean, our practice is a church. And if you want to follow up, maybe I'll just give you the opportunity right now. Was there something specific or a specific passage in mind that you were thinking through or wrestling through? You know, I appreciate you giving me that opportunity.

Thank you. You know, what I wrestled with going back and forth quite a bit is the knowing of right and wrong, the knowing of sin. You know, I keep my toddler in mind quite a bit.

And, you know, she doesn't understand. So it's just that, again, I grew up very in the Catholic Church, and I actually, as an adult, was baptized into Christianity with my husband. It's something that I chose based on the second time, if you will, because I was an infant with my first baptism that I didn't remember, and it was chosen. I made the decision based upon my relationship, my active relationship with Christ. So, you know, I apologize that I don't have a specific passage, you know, right in the first part of my brain. But, you know, it's, I guess, more circumstance more than anything.

Well, let me just say two things. One, God bless you in wanting to raise your children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. And it's not, you know, the view of the Reformers at least like, well, at least some of the Reformers was not that when you baptize your baby, that's like, they're automatically saved in that moment. No, these are God's covenant promises to his people. As surely as we believe in Jesus Christ, this is how we lay hold.

We lay hold of those promises by faith, but they still belong to us as the people of God. The Apostle Paul says something really interesting in 1 Corinthians chapter 7. He says, speaking of, you know, a believing couple, he says, The unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband.

Otherwise, your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. And I want you to know that God treats your children as your child, as set apart, as belonging to him as holy, that is as a part of the visible church, and that is a huge blessing. Thanks for listening to Core Christianity. To request your copy of today's special offer, visit us at CoreChristianity.com and click on offers in the menu bar, or call us at 1-833-843-2673.

That's 833-THE-CORE. When you contact us, please let us know how you've been encouraged by this program. And be sure to join us next time as we explore the truth of God's Word together. Thank you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-31 18:53:56 / 2023-05-31 19:04:46 / 11

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