[UPDATE AT BOTTOM OF POST]
1 And the man ['Adam'] knew Eve his wife, and she conceiveth and beareth Cain, and saith, `I have gotten a man by Jehovah;’ 2 and she addeth to bear his brother, even Abel. And Abel is feeding a flock, and Cain hath been servant of the ground. 3 And it cometh to pass at the end of days that Cain bringeth from the fruit of the ground a present to Jehovah; 4 and Abel, he hath brought, he also, from the female firstlings of his flock, even from their fat ones; and Jehovah looketh unto Abel and unto his present, 5 and unto Cain and unto his present He hath not looked; and it is very displeasing to Cain, and his countenance is fallen. 6 And Jehovah saith unto Cain, `Why hast thou displeasure? and why hath thy countenance fallen? 7 Is there not, if thou dost well, acceptance? and if thou dost not well, at the opening a sin-offering is crouching, and unto thee its desire, and thou rulest over it.’ 8 And Cain saith unto Abel his brother, [`Let us go into the field;'] and it cometh to pass in their being in the field, that Cain riseth up against Abel his brother, and slayeth him. 9 And Jehovah saith unto Cain, `Where [is] Abel thy brother?’ and he saith, `I have not known; my brother’s keeper — I?’ 10 And He saith, `What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood is crying unto Me from the ground; 11 and now, cursed [art] thou from the ground, which hath opened her mouth to receive the blood of thy brother from thy hand; 12 when thou tillest the ground, it doth not add to give its strength to thee — a wanderer, even a trembling one, thou art in the earth.’ (Genesis 4:1-12, Young’s Literal Translation)
For the longest time, this passage made no sense to me. The most common ‘read’ on it says that sin itself is crouching at the door and that Cain ought to rule over it. The literal translation, from the Hebrew, says something very different. (This is not something I just came up with. Chuck Missler has distilled the same conclusion from a comprehensive study of original texts and Rabbinical and Christian commentaries.)
Cain and Abel (and their parents, Adam and Eve) were farmers. To further set the scene, note that Abel has brought some lambs to sacrifice. We can surmise that Cain and Abel may be physically together.
What do lambs do? They follow one another. Father YHWH thus says to Cain that, “at the opening” (i.e., the door) a “sin offering is crouching”. Abel sacrifices some lambs. Another is apparently right there, waiting — easily available for Cain if he wants to avail himself of it. Making things even easier, the lamb is crouching. It thus does not need to be chased. Its steps have been directed to this place and time for this purpose. Given that Cain is already sacrificing, his net cost, were he to substitute this lamb for his vegetable offering is… zero. His efforts aren’t needed. The lamb is a free gift. It just appears on the scene. YHWH even tells Cain about it specifically.
Recall that YHWH clothed Adam and Eve with animal skins in the garden after their disobedience and fall and the resulting eye-opening realization of their nakedness (no ‘covering’ for sin). As such, this first family was well aware (long before the law) that atonement came only with blood sacrifice. YHWH says to Cain that if he “does well” (i.e., does not sin) he will be accepted. This is obviously impossible. Yet if not, then (essentially) says YHWH, look over there… I’ve provided you with a sacrificial lamb. It is literally at the door. Take it. It’s a free gift.
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. (Revelation 3:20, regarding the church at Laodicea — a ‘type’ for the lukewarm, end-times church)
Now here’s the kicker… “unto thee its desire, and thou rulest over it”. I would submit that this could be read as “the lamb desires you, Cain”. He loves you. The Lamb of God, slain once for the sin of mankind, desires to have you commit yourself to his sacrifice (literally covering himself in the blood). Remember, Adam and Eve can’t be very far away from this scene. They’re still alive at this point — at least Adam anyway. The instigators of original sin and its symbolic solution may have been standing in the same room, together!
And [yet] thou rulest over it. You, Cain, says YHWH, want to rule over the Lamb of God… the lamb provided by God for perfect, sacrificial atonement. You would rather substitute your own efforts, exalting yourself and your own industry above what I am telling you is THE proper sacrifice to and of God.
Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. (2nd Thessalonians 2:3-4, KJV)
Do you see the pattern? Do you see how Cain’s desire to rely on himself and to find earthly solutions to his sin predicament rather than obeying YHWH is both a type for the ultimate antichrist and the pattern of all those infused with antichrist spirit? Does it give anyone else the willies that two candidates named ‘Cain’ have presented themselves for election to the highest office in the most powerful country in the world?
…false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect (Matthew 24:24)
Earlier this week, my aunt sent me the following ‘bio’ regarding Republican Presidential candidate, Herman Cain. Full disclosure: We had exchanged ‘excited’ e-mails about him several months ago. I have since changed my mind, as you’ll see below. (Her intro is in green. The forwarded e-mail in blue.):
I know you’re not as interested in political ‘stuff’ as you used to be, but the buzz about Herman has amplified many-fold here – probably more so than in the rest of the country since he’s from Atlanta. There’s lots out about him now, but if you haven’t been paying attention to it, I thought you might appreciate this quick read. I keep thinking about how, throughout the Bible and post-Biblical history, God picks unlikely people for great leadership so that the glory well be his. Herman said for weeks that he was praying about his decision before he entered the race. I pray that our next US leader will be God’s choice… if we’re still here at election time.
Herman Cain is running for president. He’s not a career politician (in fact he has never held political office). He’s known as a pizza guy, but there’s a lot more to him. He’s also a computer guy, a banker guy, and a rocket scientist guy.
Here’s his bio:
Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics.
Master’s degree in Computer Science.
Mathematician for the Navy, where he worked on missile ballistics (making him a rocket scientist).
Computer systems analyst for Coca-Cola.
VP of Corporate Data Systems and Services for Pillsbury (this is the top of the ladder in the computer world, being in charge of information systems for a major corporation).
All achieved before reaching the age of 35. Since he reached the top of the information systems world, he changed careers!
Business Manager. Took charge of Pillsbury’s 400 Burger King restaurants in the Philadelphia area, which were the company’s poorest performers in the country. Spent the first nine months learning the business from the ground up, cooking hamburger and yes, cleaning toilets. After three years he had turned them into the company’s best performers.
Godfather’s Pizza CEO. Was asked by Pillsbury to take charge of their Godfather’s Pizza chain (which was on the verge of bankruptcy). He made it profitable in 14 months.
In 1988 he led a buyout of the Godfather’s Pizza chain from Pillsbury. He was now the owner of a restaurant chain. Again he reached the top of the ladder of another industry.
He was also chairman of the National Restaurant Association during this time. This is a group that interacts with government on behalf of the restaurant industry, and it gave him political experience from the non-politician side.
Having reached the top of a second industry, he changed careers again!
Adviser to the Federal Reserve System. Herman Cain went to work for the Federal Reserve Banking System advising them on how monetary policy changes would affect American businesses.
Chairman of the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank. He worked his way up to the chairmanship of a regional Federal Reserve bank. This is only one step below the chairmanship of the entire Federal Reserve System (the top banking position in the country). This position allowed him to see how monetary policy is made from the inside, and understand the political forces that impact the monetary system.
After reaching the top of the banking industry, he changed careers for a fourth time!
Writer and public speaker. He then started to write and speak on leadership. His books include Speak as a Leader, CEO of Self, Leadership is Common Sense, and They Think You’re Stupid.
Radio Host. Around 2007—after a remarkable 40 year career—he started hosting a radio show on WSB in Atlanta (the largest talk radio station in the country).
He did all this starting from rock bottom (his father was a chauffeur and his mother was a maid). When you add up his accomplishments in his life—including reaching the top of three unrelated industries: information systems, business management, and banking—Herman Cain may have the most impressive resume of anyone that has run for the presidency in the last half century.
United We Win! [Republican elephant logo]
Let us purpose to bring real change to Washington in 2012!
Do not go passively into the future… get involved, make a substantive difference!
Here was my response:
Much as I am inclined to like him (a lot) according to my own here-and-now political-social-economic reasoning, my Biblical-spiritual ‘read’ on him, especially in the context of current world events and other circumstances surrounding his rise, raise HUGE caution flags. Here are just some of the reasons why…
6 Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: 7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon . 8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. 10 For as the rain cometh down , and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud , that it may give seed to the sower , and bread to the eater: 11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
In the first verse, The LORD alludes to the fact that there will come a time when he cannot be found and when he is not near (v6) — a concept which crops up elsewhere in scripture (e.g., the wise and foolish virgins parable, as well as many OT prophets). It points, among other things, to the final “Great Tribulation” when Israel and the whole world come under extreme duress before the final judgment. Those who have already sought shelter in YHWH will be protected.
His admonition is to repent, deny oneself (“forsake his way”) return to YHWH and by implication, His appointed King (Christ), Jesus. Don’t offer the fruit of your industry and deny my solution — the Lamb of God. That won’t do it. Just as was the case with Cain, that entails forsaking our own reasoning. (In purely financial terms, it’s quite possible that Cain’s vegetable offering was worth more than than the lamb.) Instead, we are to seek God’s reasoning regarding what salvation will look like — personal, national or otherwise. (Hint: Jesus is not coming back to juice housing prices and the S&P500, making the world safe for a robust shopping season. He is calling a remnant out from worshiping and hoping onto those things.)
It’s the same as “take up your cross and follow”. We are to let His Word (the Bible, fully expressed in Jesus) do its work in us, guiding us with regards to leadership, recognizing that our own thoughts on any matter, but especially “kingship” and government, are inevitably flawed, prone to run to earthly “makes sense to me; seems like a good guy for the times” solutions.
Especially when a candidate seems right to us in our own eyes as the means of extracting us from intractable, almost apocalyptic-scale problems such as we are facing right now as a nation, we need to be super-cautious and ask the Lord’s will. (A candidate’s claim to having sought it to run is not sufficient. We need to seek it ourselves with regards to where we place our support.)
The fact that our current problems are centered on the economy and on peoples’ dashed economic hopes, should give us a clue as to our own vulnerabilities in seeking a solution. If we could have a nation returned to God, in humility and NOT be prosperous, would folks vote for that? (I’m currently reading Katie Davis’ AMAZING first (ghost written) book, ‘Kisses from Katie’, just out yesterday. In it, she paints an amazing picture of just such a kingdom with God constantly present, in desperately poor rural Uganda.)
How many would vote for Jesus Himself as a candidate? How many would instead prefer a Mammon solution (the god of money) but with God pushed aside. Not totally. Just a close second place?
On average, where do you think most voters are on that question? Do we really think we can have BOTH? Do we really think that we can put economic concerns first and that Jesus too will be given to us? Jesus said we cannot serve both Mammon and Him. He said we are to seek FIRST the kingdom of God and THEN all these things will be ADDED unto us. I suspect he meant that nationally, as well as individually. We’ve done just the opposite. Whoever runs or is elected, I suspect we’ll get one last chance to ‘double down’ or repudiate that national ‘bet’ before final destruction-in-a-day judgment falls.
The political left was sucked into a “savior” trap all too easily with Obama, wanting ‘salvation’ from Bush. I am beginning to suspect that the political right, nursed on a superficial understanding of God’s Word, will be sucked in by a different candidate. “Even the elect” are vulnerable to being drawn in by a false “prosperity gospel” rather than the one Jesus lays out: one of obedience and long-suffering, steadfast faith in the midst of opposition, even within one’s own family, one’s church and one’s circle of friends.
We are not to turn to any man, no matter how attractive, with our precious hope and trust. As the bride of Christ, those are reserved for Him alone. We are not to “sleep around” by trusting and hoping in the things of this world. As the Psalmist writes (146:3-4) –
3 Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation. 4 When his breath departs, he returns to the earth; on that very day his plans perish.
The rest of that Psalm goes on to list what might be thought of as God’s “credentials” as a “candidate” for kingship… for all the things we think of as the duties of good government and good leadership. The same set of ideas is found, powerfully and specifically, in 1st Samuel 8, when Israel demands a visible, human king. The Lord (via Samuel) then warns them of what WILL happen when they get what they think they want. He then lets them have their way, and of course it turns into a huge mess, just as He said it would. (Note that the demon-spirit-inhabited Saul immediately precedes the Christ-type, David!!) Verses 7-9 read:
7 …the LORD said to Samuel, “Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them. 8 According to all the deeds that they have done, from the day I brought them up out of Egypt even to this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are also doing to you. 9 Now then, obey their voice; only you shall solemnly warn them and show them the ways of the king who shall reign over them.”
Then there is the matter of the man himself. That is, Herman Cain. Does it strike you as odd that our last hope against Obama was named “McCAIN” and that this man is also named “CAIN”? The name ‘Herman‘ comes from the Germanic (with all the links to Rome, Hitler, etc. that go with that) and means “army man”. It implies not merely one who served in an army according to duty, but one steeped in its ways as a matter of life. What’s startling is that the first name is entirely consistent, in Biblical terms, with the last.
One might render it: “Army Man First Murderer”.
The primary ‘Herman’ in American lore is, of course, Herman Melville. His protagonist goes after a white whale (“sign of Jonah”), trying desperately to kill it, only to be shipwrecked by it. (The novel is based on a true story which took place in the early 19th century in the Pacific.)
The profile of the antichrist in the end-times is of a duo. Just as Jesus was preceded by John the Baptist, preparing the way, so the antichrist is preceded by the false prophet. Most here know that I’ve thought, for a long time, that Obama is the antichrist. He may well be. He is certainly a major ‘player’ in that final drama. No question. He surely has the antichrist spirit.
But there are some elements that don’t fit. (I’m starting to nibble at the crow here, folks. I may need to eat it.) The ultimate antichrist is supposed to be rich from trade and acknowledged by everyone as extremely smart and wise, well-versed in a wide variety of disciplines, but especially business. The ultimate antichrist comes suddenly onto the political scene from another professional arena, offering the solution to what seem intractable problems. 9-11 and George Bush and Iraq and the Lehman financial crisis of 2008 were hardly intractable. It’s easy to say now that they were merely a warm-up.
Recall also that John-the-Baptist and Jesus had radically different styles and not a lot of contact with one another. (John’s disciples had to ask Jesus’ disciples if he was really the Christ.) According to outward appearances, or a superficial ‘read’ on their tactics, casual observers thought they were opponents. Jesus points this out in Matthew 11:16-19 –
“But to what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to their playmates, 17 “‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.’ 18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ 19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds.”
Just as John-the-Baptist was thought of as being the savior, and had to say repeatedly and specifically that he was not, the imitator, Satan, will have a man who does likewise. The problem posed by John-the-Baptist in a Hebrew context (I can repent and wash all I want but I’m still not SAVED) is solved by the guy who follows him, namely Jesus. In like fashion, the false prophet brings into focus (and perhaps even creates) the intractable problems for which everyone seeks a solution.
In scripture, Babylon and Tyre are two of the antichrist-NATION ‘types’ which come in for the harshest and most specific prophetic condemnations and are utterly destroyed in final judgment. Each also has a unique feature in ‘mapping’ to Satan himself (see Ezekiel 28 and Isaiah 14). Both are nations founded on and centered around the principles of commerce. It is their primary hope. (Babylon mixes it with religion. The antichrist is supposed to be a religiously respected figure, at least at first.)
There is nothing inherently wrong with business. I consult to businesses for a living. But when it becomes an idol and a god, taking the place of the fear of God, then it’s a huge problem. That’s where we are now, as a nation. It’s our one common denominator across left and right: Nearly everyone has become addicted material prosperity above all. They disagree on how to get it, but that is our common ‘god’.
In this symbolic/prophetic context does it strike you as odd that Herman Cain headed “Godfather’s Pizza”? The name evokes the profoundest lawlessness and murder. It has become an American icon of violence as a route to power, just like Cain and all of the antichrist types in the Bible. Further, the very concept of a ‘Godfather’ comes out of Babylon. Jesus is explicit in Matthew 23:9: “And call NO man your father on earth, for you have ONE Father, who is in heaven.”
Then there is Burger KING. Hello! In Greek, the word for king is ‘Christ’.
Recall that, in ancient Israel, cattle, among other animals, were sacrificed and then ‘flame broiled’ on a bronze grating, as offerings to YHWH. Even the method of cooking is identical. It would not ‘fit’ if he’d purchased McDonalds or Dairy Queen.
What is the sacrifice here? To one of the American ultimates: fast food.
In addition to its literal meaning, food, in scripture, is symbolic of being ‘fed’ by the singular Truth of the Word of God or by some other spiritual ‘food’ which is not good for us — the main reason for all of what seem truly bizarre Jewish dietary laws in the OT.
See Amos 8:11, for example about a “famine of hearing the word of the LORD”, or Psalm 23:5 “prepare a meal in the presence of my enemies”, or Matthew 6:11 (Lord’s prayer, “daily bread”) or Matthew 4:4 or Luke 4:4 “man does not live by bread alone but by by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD”, with Jesus quoting Deuteronomy 6:8. Or John 6:22 (“I am the bread of life”), or myriad others.
FAST food is thus symbolic of our willingness, like swine, or like Esau who sold his birthright for a bowl of stew, to consume whatever is most easily at hand to satisfy our immediate (spiritual) hunger, without ruminating on it (chewing the cud, pondering, bringing it back into recollection to chew more). So too is fast food the opposite of our properly dividing the Word of Truth, symbolized by animals with split hooves.
It’s the utter anathema of the slow, communal meal, properly divided into courses, suffused with thanks to God, such as we see at the Passover supper. Further adding to the symbolic intrigue, the franchises he ran were in Philadelphia… the name of the one church remnant for which Jesus has no condemnation. (Where would Satan most like to seed corruption and deceit? That church.) Bottom line: the typology with this guy around fast food alone is startling when looked at in a Biblical context.
His involvement with the Federal Reserve is another red flag. Most here probably already know that the Fed is NOT a governmental institution. Its objectives are NOT aligned with that of the population at large. It is a private bank, with dark, nefarious roots among Edomites (“those who say they are Jews and are not”)… The Fed is essentially a parasite, hiding in plain view. Its shareholders profit most in a crisis. It’s role is simultaneously that of subtle crisis-instigator and ‘savior’.
There are several other elements of his background that, in a Biblical context are consistent with what I’ve laid out and thus give me even greater pause. His roots in Atlanta, for example.
I have nothing against Atlanta per se. My family has deep roots there. I like many things about it. Daughter ‘Sunny’ went to college there. We visit frequently. It would not be worth mentioning if it were inconsistent with other elements. Not everyone from Atlanta is cursed. By no means. What I am laying out is a spiritual ‘read’ on things, not my natural, worldly reasoning. Modern, corporate Atlanta is a ‘type’ for Atlantis, the island nation of New Age dreams and Herman Cain is a poster-child for corporate success.
Altanta/Atlantis is represented in scripture by the trade-driven island nation of Tyre which, as the very seat of Satan (see chapter 28) gets wiped off the map and forgotten. Atlanta is home to Ted Turner, the man most believe to be behind the so-called “Georgia Guidestones,” a blatant, anti-Biblical imitation of the Ten Commandments, centered on the idea that it would be a really good thing if several billion people were killed-off for the sake of the environment and the elite.
If it were up to my worldly reasoning regarding Herman Cain, he seems like the perfect candidate and an excellent antidote to Obama. That in itself causes me to be super-cautious. I suspect may be the deception that causes many to turn back to a worldly (commerce-driven) means of salvation at the very moment when our ultimate savior is knocking at the door. As Obama snookered the left and center, so Cain may snooker the center and right of the political spectrum.
More than anyone probably wanted to read.
Bottom line: ask the Lord. Inquire. Probe. Pray.
I have a feeling that the truly faithful candidate is unelectable in this country, and that the electable candidate will only evince a veneer of faithfulness. (Remember: Jezebel and Ahab were extremely religious.) Cain may even deceive himself as to his true motives and calling. (Remember: the original Cain offered sacrifices to the Lord!)
The only leader I’m ready to trust is one so utterly humbled and broken that he wouldn’t ‘sell’ nowadays. That man is Jesus Christ. Herman Cain is a motivational speaker. Jesus is no such thing. He says, simply: Come. Follow me. Carry your cross. Be ready to suffer and die. Expect it.
A country that worships outward success and comfort is likely to elect a man who embodies the very same values. It is not that elements of Christian devotion will be absent in such a man. It is simply that, like the original Cain, they will take a back seat to the man’s own drives.
Cain’s 9-9-9 tax plan
Having written most of this post before seeing this headline, it shocked me outta my socks. It is entirely consistent with the material I’ve already laid out. See also: “Cain’s 9-9-9 Math Raises Questions…”
Herman Cain stunned the Republican political establishment on Sept. 24, 2011, easily winning Florida’s Presidency straw poll by trumpeting a platform of specific tax reforms he calls the “9-9-9 Plan.” The plan would eliminate the current tax system all together, replacing it with a 9 percent personal income tax, a 9 percent corporate income tax and a 9 percent national sales tax.
“Our tax code is the 21st Century version of slavery. The IRS has become the overseer of the American people,” says Cain, 65 [a multiple of 13, the number associated, in scripture, with rebellion]…
He’s absolutely correct. People are enslaved to the IRS. But that’s only part of the truth. We are enslaved also to a system of values whereby we feel we need to work harder and harder to earn the “good life”… the American dream. (Question: Is it synonymous with Christ’s purpose for us?) Too often we also become enslaved to fear… the fear of losing all that… the fear God will not provide for us. These are the seeds of the enemy. Those still working become slaves in another sense also (See: “Stress ‘Top cause of workplace sickness’”)
Part of our slavery is self-imposed. We cannot place all of the blame on government, especially when we are the ones who, at least nominally put that government into place and allowed it to get to where it is today.
But listen to what he is saying. Listen carefully. Herman Cain, the sudden favorite to unseat Obama, is saying that his 999 tax plan will bring us up out of slavery. After a forty year career out of view (just like Moses) this man is offering us economic salvation. Hold that thought.
Cain’s national sales tax, in effect, would attempt to make up for the reduction of federal revenue by creating the 9 percent income tax. The national sales tax, which would help fund the federal government, would be on top of state and local sales taxes, which fund state and local government. In Florida, that would create a hypothetical tax rate of 15 percent in most parts of the state. In the Wall Street Journal, Cain said the national sales tax would be levied “on all new goods.”
In other words: If you want to buy or sell, either as an individual or as a corporation, or if you want to work and earn income, then you’ll need to submit yourself to the 999 system.
In scripture, hands are often symbolic of our capacity to work, to do, to act. In Exodus 13:9-16, the Hebrews are told to put the “law of the Lord” on their hands, imposing that law on how they act and work.
In Revelation 13, the beast seeks to superimpose his mark over that of the law of the Lord, which is Christ, the proper king, governing our work and our actions. The number of that mark? The infamous 666… the number needed to buy or sell… to conduct ourselves according to the laws of Mammon and commerce rather than the free sharing which is of Christ.
It is the number of a man, we are told. DO NOT confuse this man with the beast. The 666 man serves it, however the beast itself is a spiritual entity.
Herman Cain seems to be gaining momentum primarily as a result of this 999 tax plan. It is his calling card. It will soon become closely associated with his name, I expect, with headlines such as “Cain’s 999″. The number also appears in accounts of Solomon’s wealth. That other wise, wealthy empire-ruling man, we are told, had 666 talents of gold, i.e., 666 in relation to money and wealth.
Are you with me here?
Herman Cain is clearly wise and wealthy and seeking to rule. His first professional background was in information technology (IT) systems. He rose to the top of that world. He is all about automation and streamlining and making things more efficient, according to the rules of commerce. How hard is it to imagine a successful candidate Cain, implementing his 999 tax system with either a physical mark or a virtual one on our symbolic ‘hands’ (i.e., all of our work and our commerce).
A mark on one’s hand has a special property in that it will be seen by the owner of the hand one way and by someone in front of him upside down. To an inspector of the mark on my hand (or my tax compliance card, or whatever… please oh please don’t write to me about bar codes and chips) will look like a 999. To me, from the other side of my hand, it will look like a 666. If your right hand causes you to sin, Jesus says, in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:30)… (symbolically, if your work causes you to sin) cut it off.
Is this to be taken literally. I sure hope not, though it is possible. I suspect what he is indicating is the same thing as he indicates in Revelation 13: Don’t take the mark. Don’t buy into the beast system. Come out of her, my people. Jesus Christ is our only route out of slavery, not the 999/666 tax system of army-man (Herman) Cain. The fruit of our labors will not suffice. With or without the IRS, we cannot earn our way to peace, comfort or salvation. The Lamb of God crouches at our door, offering to take away our sin. Will we seek, with this man Cain, to rule over him? Or will we consent to being covered in his blood, following as he may lead?
UPDATE: Candidate Michelle Bachman notes the same thing, in this video clip from the Republican debate, Tuesday, October 11th. Two things strike me: 1) her insistence that any new tax revenue stream tends to be permanent; to my mind that’s not unlike what a vampire does, tapping a vein, and 2) the widespread nervous laughter at her allusion to the Biblical 666. The second point is sadly diagnostic of the state of our faith and collective willingness, even as Christians, to dismiss great swaths of the Bible as fantastical myths of no relevance to our time, or to the events and characters of our public life.