Sunday, February 11, 2007
WHAT IS THE MARK OF THE BEAST?
The Mark of the Beast
And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in (Lit: ON) their right hand, or in (Literal: ON) their foreheads:
Let us consider the context, and let us move ahead to Revelation 14:1. And there we read:
And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in (Literal: ON) their foreheads.
Here we see the Lamb and His 144,000 faithful ones, having His Father’s Name written on their foreheads.
Why do they have that name written on their foreheads?
It means it is not just an outward show, but the Lord God has placed His mark of ownership in the hearts and minds of His elect people, who are the remnant saved by grace from all nations and kindred and peoples and tongues.
They have the seal of God on their foreheads. On earth no one could see that, but God can. Likewise, all the non-elect have received the mark of Satan on their foreheads or on their right hand, and are the property of Satan. No one can see that on the outside, but Satan can. Satan has placed his mark of ownership on all the non-elect, for that is what Revelation 13:8 teaches us. All those whose names were NOT written in the Book of Life of the Lamb are all the non-elect.
It pictures their total enslavement to Satan in all the works that they do with their hands, as well as in all the thoughts they have in their minds. It pictures again that anyone who is saved must give all the credit to God for his or her salvation. No one can break himself loose from his bondage to Satan. Only God can act and save people.
People who hold on to the charismatic movement, or who are in another one of the many self-help gospels, are filled with fear for a future appearance of the Mark of the Beast. They believe that it is by their own free will that they can choose whether to accept or to reject the Mark of the Beast. They do not know that this decision has been made before the foundation of the world, according to Revelation 13:8.
Buying and Selling
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.
In other words all the unsaved, who have the mark of the beast, are buying and selling. However, this chapter was written in symbolic language. This cannot refer to common economic activities,
for what has that to do with the Gospel?
A person’s salvation does not depend on his financial ability to buy and sell.
When we think of buying and selling in the context of the Gospel we think of merchandizing the Gospel. And indeed selling sermon tapes has become a big business these days. It seems that preachers are afraid that they will run out of money and that they will have to close down the business if they do not charge for the tapes.
But what does God have to say about this?
The Lord Jesus said in:
“freely ye have received, freely give.”
If we still have the resources to provide tapes we should give them freely. And if our money expires before we do, then it was God’s decision to stop the distribution of free tapes. Let God decide what He wants to do with our resources, for these are His resources.
We can also see that merchandizing the Gospel for selfish gain has been a practice already since OT times. Four times do we read in the Gospel accounts that Jesus cleansed the temple. Let us follow the account in Matthew 21:
And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,
And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.
Were they merchandizing the Gospel?
Absolutely Yes! The temple servants sold sacrificial animals at a profit. They had a monopoly in this business.
Was it God’s will that the temple servants engaged in selling animals for sacrifices?
Absolutely not! Let free enterprise reign outside the temple, but the religious leaders of the Jews should distance themselves from this secular business. The Lord Jesus called them “thieves”. The people that were merchandizing the Gospel were called “thieves”.
Now, let us apply this information to our days. TV evangelists are raking in many millions of dollars, and the charismatic movement has become even more lucrative than the TV evangelists. More and more churches are jumping on the bandwagon of the charismatic movement because it is so profitable. The pastors of those churches are selling their constituents a bundle of doctrines that is absolutely worthless, for their kind of gospel cannot save anyone. But the people are buying it, for they think that this is finally the church that they feel comfortable with. It is the business of buying and selling false gospels. It is the business of deceit. That is why the Lord Jesus called them “thieves”.
And who is interested doing that?
Only those who have the mark of the beast are interested in this business.
By Alfred Chompff