Sunday, November 13, 2016

THE COMING MARK OF THE BEAST





by Pastor Mike Taylor



9And 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,
10The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
11And 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 14:9-11)

I've had people email me with questions concerning the topic of the coming Beast power and this “mark of the beast”. One lady ask me “can you unwittingly take the mark, and not know that you just did?”

 Another person framed his question around the acceptance of the Mark of the Beast and a 'paradox' he sees facing those who might accept it under coercion,
when he asked
is it something God will forgive, if you are forced into taking this mark because you are fearful for the safety of your family, your kids, or the life of your spouse?”



These both are good questions for those who are fearful of the coming Tribulation and are afraid they will go through this time of devastation that will come upon the whole earth. To answer them, we must go to the source of our learning of this most important question, your Bible.

First of all, the mark of the Beast is not just an economic ability to continue some form of life, some liberty, and some form of happiness by being able to do business in a Beast power run One World government system.


16 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:
17And 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 13:16-17)


Besides being a symbol of economic participation, the Mark of the Beast is first and foremost a worship system. So now, we have crossed over from the material to the spiritual. 

14And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.
15And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.” (Revelation 13:14-15)

One must understand, that by taking the “mark” you have just joined the demonic church of the Anti-Christ and have promised allegiance to him and to worship at his feet.

But the bible makes it plain that you cannot serve two masters. You will either hate the one and love the other. You can't have it both ways. Jesus made it plain in the 16th chapter of Luke:

10He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.
11If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?
12And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man's, who shall give you that which is your own?
13No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” (Luke 16:10-13)

To the question of whether or not accepting the Mark to save a life is paradoxical, James answers that question with a question of his own

"For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away." (James 4:14

Mortal men have a concept of what life is on this earth. But with that in mind, there are two distinct and separate understandings of 'life' at work here. There is our understanding of life in the physical, under which one might be tempted to take the Mark of the Beast, say, to save one's child. 
Then there is God's understanding of life. Physical life is granted to us so that we can choose where we will spend eternity.  Will we spend it with God through His Son, Jesus Christ, or will we be separated for all eternity away from the source of life? Our physical life was given to us, each of us, for one purpose. That purpose is, what will you do with the God/man, Jesus Christ? Will you accept His free gift of salvation or will you reject it?



Obviously, in the physical realm, the choice between life and death is a hard choice to make. The physical man wants to live as long as he can. It's called a sympathetic nervous system response, or “fight or flight”...it is part of our humanity, our DNA if you will. Our spiritual choice of where we want to spend eternity must take presidence over the physical aspect of our earthly self in the physical realm. Each of us are given the freedom to choose...in this case, choose wisely, choose Jesus.



But is the Bible specific concerning the choice to accept the Mark of the Beast and worship his image?  As the opening verses that began this message confirms, the decision to take the mark of the beast has eternal consequences for that person's soul:
"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, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: 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 14:9-11)
In actuality, there really is no paradox here, as it is the same choice that was given by Joshua to the nation of Israel when they entered into the promise land:
"And if it seem evil   unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD." (Joshua 24:15)
It has been the same in any pagan empire when men were made to choose to worship or not to worship a ruling dictator even from ancient times. During the time of the Roman Empire, whole families were thrown to the lions because they refused to worship Caesar as a god. Every year the people under Roman rule were commanded to come before an idol of the current Caesar and burn incense to him and worship at the feet of this idol and proclaim Caesar, their god. Those who failed to do this act, which was required once a year, were condemned as disloyal to the Roman Empire and were killed in martyrdom by whatever heinous way that the Roman authorities could dream up. It was usually in the Collessium in Rome for their blood sport games.

Now that is not an easy choice to make because of our “fight or flight” nervous system that wants to preserve our lives and the lives of our loved ones at any cost.
Those who accept a martyr's death are promised a crown, but nowhere does the Bible grant an exemption for those who reject Jesus, coercion notwithstanding. Not in the Church Age, and not during the Tribulation. 
"Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it." (Luke 17:33)


THE TRIBULATION IS ON THE HORIZON
There is a terrible conflict in progress between God and the devil. It has raged through the centuries since Lucifer, heaven's most powerful angel, rebelled against God. With the angels who joined him, he attempted to overcome God and seize control of the universe. God and the loyal angels had no choice but to eject Lucifer and his angels from heaven. Lucifer, who became known as the devil and Satan, was infuriated. His determination to destroy God and control the universe has grown with every passing year. Amazingly, he has won the support of the vast majority of earth's people in his rebellion. The Lord also asks for people's loyalty and support, but He leaves all free to choose. Soon every person on earth will have aligned with either Satan or God.



Satan from the beginning of time, and the creation of mankind, has been restrained from doing anything against God's creation unless he was allowed. Even though Satan is the “prince and power of the air” and the “god of this world”, Almighty God, Jehovah, God our Father has held back complete, unbridled evil to fill the Lord God's creation. Our God has used Satan as an instrument of free choice...our own free will to choose evil or to chose good, since man fell and sin began to reign in our world. God created a free moral agent with a will to love God without coercion of any sort.



So those who enter this time of extreme temptation with the possiblity of the loss of their life all around them, will have free will choices to make that most certainly will effect their eternal destination. All who choose to take the mark of the beast and align themselves with Satan and his minion on earth, the Anti-Christ will save their physical life for a short time, but they will loose their eternal soul to a devil's hell to be tormented by separation from a Holy God and the Author of anything that is good in this life, or the next.
It won't be by mistake, or slight of hand to take this mark without full conscious knowledge of what you are doing.



HOW IS A PERSON SAVED DURING THIS TIME THEN?
As a companion question along with the mark of beast inquiry, I'm also asked then who can be saved and how?
To answer that question, it would seem that it is just the same as during the Age of Grace that we are now in. They will be saved by grace through faith, but that is not exactly accurate during the time when the Holy Spirit is withdrawn to Pre-Pentecostal manifestation and this coming seven year period when the Age of Grace has ended with the removal of the Bride of Christ in the rapture.
The Tribulation is the final unfulfilled week of the Age of the Law or the final week of Daniel's 70 week of years. It will be a return to the Old Testament revelation of God's Spirit dealing with men on an individual basis, but not sealing them, as the church is sealed in this age of Grace , and as the 144,000 Jewish evangelist are sealed during the Tribulation.



Revelation Chapter 7 describes an event so unique that Jesus devotes an entire chapter to its discussion. It describes a special 'sealing' of "the servants of our God in their foreheads."
3Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.
4And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.”(Revelation 7:3-4)

These 'servants of God' are twelve thousand Jewish male virgins chosen from each of the twelve tribes of Israel -- 144,000 in all.  They are unique from all other men and women during this period known as the tribulation.
They are sealed in a miraculous manner, by the direct intervention of God, in exactly the same way Church Age believers are, through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.  They are forever sealed for future glory and are given a deposit of God's Holy Spirit, as Paul spoke of in Ephesians:

13In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
14Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.” (Ephesians 1:13-14)
During this time, the 144,000 Jewish evangelist are sealed with God's Holy Spirit, just the same as Christians are sealed during the Church Age, the Age of Grace. But it is not so with anyone else who may be saved during this time of the coming tribulation. As the Holy Spirit has been withdrawn liken to the time of King David or the prophets who were selected in who God's Holy Spirit indwelt in Old Testament times. And by extention, you can also loose it during this period as God's Holy Spirit was selective during Old Testament times because Christ had not been sacrificed yet. During this time, salvation will be most easily lost, because of unbridled evil and persecution during which many will be martyred and seek to save their own life...goes back to that “fight or flight” phenomenon that man possesses.



During this time of this great temptation and evil that has taken control of the earth, everything and near everyone is evil beyond your wildest imagination, there will be believers in the Tribulation who will succumb to the antichrist's coercion and accept his mark to save their families and their own lives. And Scripture is clear that those who do are forever lost. 
Those who become believers will be saved by faith in Christ by enduring until the end, as in the Church Age, but without the guarantee of eternal security or the automatic indwelling of the Holy Spirit.  That is why Jesus spoke that this time will be worst that mankind has ever seen and if the time was not shortened, “no flesh would be saved.” (Matthew 24:22)


WARNING TO THOSE THIS SIDE OF THE TRIBULATION

Those of you that have heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ, as has been preached nearly world-wide and has permeated just about every nook and cranny of every country in the nations, but many scoff at the message and refuse to turn away from their sinful lifestyle here in the USA and around the world. Many were not taught by their parents, much to the abdication of duty what parents are suppose to do by bringing up their children in the admonition of the Lord. But maybe those parents weren't taught either, but learned the sin of the world on their own and revelled in that sin and allowed the same for their children.

You all will be thrown headlong into a time of great temptation and evil that will abound. With the effort of the 144, 000 Jewish evangelist, the two witnesses at the Temple mount proclaiming the Gospel, many will be saved, but their very lives and their salvation will be in danger. Conversely, many will refuse and have pleasure in their unrighteousness. Those actually saved can still loose their salvation, and if not, their very lives in martyrdom because of their being steadfast in the belief in the Lord Jesus Christ, but what did Jesus warn those who enter into this time?

9Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake.
10And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
11And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
12And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
13But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” (Matthew 24:9-13)
Many will be saved, but many will continue in the unrighteousness along with those who are confused and wonder what just happened when millions of people suddenely vanished from the earth. God will send them a strong delusion:

6And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
7For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
8And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
9Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
10And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
11And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
12That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (2nd Thessalonians 2:6-12)


As I've warned in many past sermons, many still wonder who the “HE” is in verse 7. The popular solutions to the identity of the restrainer is that the man of lawlessness is being held back from unhindered evil on earth. Then what is holding back or restraining evil in this world and when taken out of the way, will allow the “man of sin” to reveal himself, but not until then? Many postulate wrongly that its Michael the ark angel, some other angelic being, or some spiritual/political person on the earth (I've heard many bizarre explanations of who the restrainer is), but there is only one Power on earth that has been holding back the complete takeover of the earth by Satan's minions, and that is the Holy Spirit of God that dwells within every born again believer alive on this earth in the past and in the present. When that POWER, the Holy Spirit along with those He indwells is removed, then God's Spirit will “step back” and allow evil to take hold of this world like no human has ever seen.

Then all those who are so unfortunate to enter this time will have two choices in front of them. They will either choose Satan and the man he indwells, the Anti-Christ and take his mark, or choose Jesus Christ the Son of God. There is no other choice. Many will be deluded into believing a lie. Some will see through the lies and believe what the 144,000 Jewish Evangelist are preaching and believe by faith. Their faith will be sorely tested to endure until the end. Picture yourself trying to endure unrelenting torture, or the butchering of your wife or kids right before your eyes. It will be much pressure on those who come to Christ during this period, because evil men will use every tool that have to get to to recant and take the mark and worship the Anti-Christ.


12And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
13But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
14And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” (Matthew 24:12-14)


And the world will be extremely evil place where people will betray their own family members:

 “ Father will be divided against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.” (Luke 12:53)

I know I am describing a most horrible existence that anyone should want to avoid at all cost. There is coming a time in the near future when what I'm talking about will be up close and personal for every human being left on this planet. Suddenly and without any warning, millions of people will vanish off of the face of the earth. Many will scoff and say that we believe an escape hatch to avoid the coming persecution and tribulation that shall cover this whole world, because much like a Catholic purgatory, they believe we will all have to go through this time of God's wrath along with an insance dictator hunting down all who refuse his mark, or his worship. But I prefer to believe that instead of an escape, we receive “victory in Jesus”. Instead of the wrath of God that will come down on this earth, we are promised a victory from the wrath of God and evil to come by the Beast power.
6Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.
7For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.
8But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.
9For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
10Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.” (1st Thessalonians 5:6-10)


And our glorified Lord God, Jesus Christ proclaimed to John the Apostle in Revelation.
10Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
11Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. (Revelation 3:10)


Our Lord promised those of us who accept His free gift of salvation by believing on Him, by faith and trusting Him as the Son of God, and our Redeemer who paid the price for our eternal life by His perfect sacrifice on a Roman cross, will not see the coming wrath of God, but will be kept from that hour. Or will you see the coming Tribulation with the heinous Anti-Christ, Satan indwelling within this man, because of your unbelief?


The beginnning of Tribulation is an event that will come without warning, and the removal of the church will be in an instant:

51Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
53For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal mustput on immortality.
54So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
55O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” (1st Corinthians 15:51-55)

There is only one way to avoid something so horrible that I am describing and it is found in One Person, the Lord Jesus Christ. It boils down to the Gospel message and the promises laid down in your bible, that each of us have to believe in our heart of hearts, by faith not by sight. Jesus is our only Hope and all other ways are false and lead to damnation. As Jesus proclaimed:

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6)
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
As the Apostle Peter proclaimed concerning Jesus:
"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

Many who be reading this message, may have heard this message all your life, but have failed to make a decision for your eternal destiny and your salvation. May I ask you, “What are you waiting for?”...Your life is but a vapor. It could end tomorrow. You were born to make that decision either for or against accepting Jesus Christ as your Savior. To continue in rebellion against a Holy God, by continuing to try and save yourself, will lead all who think such foolishness to experience what I briefly have outlined and confirmed in God's Holy Word. The other side of God's Age of Grace and the free gift of His only Begotten Son for your salvation is a time of unspeakable horror and the coming of the mark of the beast. Will you survive its evil? Maybe, but probably not.


This is Pastor Mike Taylor, praying your deliverance from a most evil period in mankind's history coming to all who miss taking God's free gift found in Jesus Christ, my Lord....if you need prayer, counseling, or just a listening, friendly ear..email me at realteam1999@sbcglobal.net, or visit me on my new website for more biblical instructions of prophecy and the coming of our Lord, at www.pastormiketaylor.blogspot.com. God bless you all,