Monday, 16 February 2009

THE OTHER SIDE OF THE MARK

Hello again folks! It was great to hear Bob Mitchell speaking @ Donnington Wood Baptist Church; Telford yesterday on the subjects of "Proving the Authenticity of the Bible" and "17 Signs of the End Times". It was also good to meet up with old friends again and discover that DWBC have booked Monty White of 'Biblical Foundations' to speak there on Sunday 7th June 2009 [hint; hint!]
As Bob went through the '17 Signs' last night' particularly on the subject of the antichrist and also the 'mark of the beast'; something struck me [no; not a hostile object from the congregation!] - a thought; a 'revelation'; an idea [I'm usually loathe to say I've had a 'revelation']. What occurred to me was this. The focus of many on the '666' mark of the beast [MoB] is aimed predominantly at the aspect of the buying and selling censorship and the coming 'cashless society' - and rightly so. In fact; it is now being openly discussed. Why not take a look at this sub- feature on the BBC News 'Business' web-site called: "The Penny Drops - Is innovation creating a cashless society?" http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_depth/business/2009/penny_drops/default.stm
But there is another feature of the MoB that needs to be considered. Not being able to buy or sell is a big issue. But I believe that this other issue needs to be considered equally. And that issue is allegiance.
Revelation 13:8 says: "And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world"
Revelation 13:16-17 says: "And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name..."
Revelation 14:9-10a says: "And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God..."
Revelation 14:11 says: "And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name."
Revelation 16:2 says: "And the first [angel] went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image."
Revelation 20:4 says: "And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years."
There are a number of issues to note in the above scriptures. [1] those that take the MoB are damned for eternity; [2] taking the MoB is an eternal decision point and irreversible. In the temporal world they will survive ... for a time. Replaying Esau in swapping their eternal 'birthright'; bought by Christ in their place on the Cross [that is the free availability of the eternal True Gospel] so that they can eat and drink and for a season; [3] taking the MoB on oneself is willingly worshipping the false in place of the One True Triune God; [4] taking the MoB and worshipping the beast are mutually inclusive - you can't have one without the other; [5] those that refuse the mark are blessed - they are True witnesses for Christ - they are martyrs - they prove God in the same way that Job did - despite everything.
The one factor that underpins all of these verses is that the MoB is not only sold as a commercial and social necessity to the world; it is the ultimate statement of full and complete submission to the enemy of God and in rebellion against God. This other [OT] scripture comes to mind:
"For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee ..." [I Samuel 15:23].
Warning unsaved folks about the MoB and the coming 'cashless society' is only half of the message. The other half is the call to True salvation and seeking the Lord while, indeed, He may still be found. There is a stark choice fast approaching; watchmen need to warn; evangelists need to compel!
God bless you and God bless Israel ... KJS ... 16-Feb-2009

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