For the record, I have always taken "the Mark of the Beast" in the Rev. 20:4 scripture literally.
Specifically, the Mark (of the Beast) in that passage is indeed literal--it is literally spiritual.
And because the Mark (of the Beast) is literally spiritual in Rev. 20:4, I can conclude that the Mark (of the Beast) is not just future in the scripture.
In my mind, the Mark of the Beast is a seal of ownership which is placed upon people
"Faith and Love"
We are now entering the last part of chapter two. It is important to realize that they are all on the same page, they are dealing with the problem of partiality, of favoring the rich over the poor. This is going to excess in the way they speak and overtly treat those who come to the worship service. This probably extends into their everyday life. The differences in socal status are reflected in so much of what the early society among the Gentiles was all
"So Live and So Act..."
Up to this point, James has built an extensive view of what it is all about and how it was to answer some questionable activites whithin the Body of Believers. He started with the true character of Joy and Perseverance. Wisdom was to be given for the asking, and strong growth was the way of faith for the believers. For those who persevered, the blessing was promised twice in chapter one verses twelve and twenty-five. It is the one who:
"The Royal Law of Love"
If you step back at look at the structure of chapter two, it seems to fall into five parts, all inter-related. We must keep in mind that the over riding theme is the perseverance of faith under fire that was developed in the first chapter. In chapter two, it is the them of love and following the Royal law of Love that is developed here.
The first part of chapter two is contains the first four verses. It sets forth the practice, and outlines
As we know, salvation is not complete for the believer until the redemption of our body occurs:
22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.
23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at