Revelation 13:16-18 (NKJ)
16 He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads,
17 and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
18 Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666. (NKJ)
The decision to reject the mark of the beast is an eternal decision. It will take great courage, not of yourself, to declare your faith when faced with the question, “will you accept the mark, or not?” Take note that you will know whether you are taking the mark or the number of his name by understanding that you can not buy or sell without it. You do not have to take the mark or number of his name but listen to what happened to some that did not.
Revelation 20:4 (NKJ)
4 And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
Rather than face certain death, many will flee to the hills and valleys and hide among the rocks to avoid the persecution that is about to occur. Daniel, in his vision, listens to a question regarding the timing of these events. Notice the precision of God’s answer.
Daniel 12:4-13 (NKJ)
4 “But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”
5 Then I, Daniel, looked; and there stood two others, one on this riverbank and the other on that riverbank.
6 And one said to the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, “How long shall the fulfillment of these wonders be?”
7 Then I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand to heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever, that it shall be for a time, times, and half a time; and when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered, all these things shall be finished.
8 Although I heard, I did not understand. Then I said, “My lord, what shall be the end of these things?”
9 And he said, “Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.
10 “Many shall be purified, made white, and refined, but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand.
11 “And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days.
12 “Blessed is he who waits, and comes to the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days.
13 “But you, go your way till the end; for you shall rest, and will arise to your inheritance at the end of the days. “
First, the precision of 1,290 days is stated as the length of time the persecution will last. The persecution will begin when the “daily sacrifice is taken away.” Of course, to be taken away, it would have commenced coincident with the rebuilding of the Temple. Thousands of years ago Daniel was told that the Temple would be rebuilt and sacrifices would commence. When it happens it will be yet another prophecy fulfilled before your eyes. What will it take to humble yourself before God, repent and serve Him? More evidence? No, a changed heart, a will to worship Him and acknowledge Him in every way is what it takes.
Notice also that in Daniel’s vision he is told to “seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.” Has knowledge ever increased at a faster rate? Has the vision of Daniel been sealed to the end? For instance, have you understood this vision before this time?
But, who is the beast?
Revelation 13:3 (NKJ)
3 And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast.
Practically every noted commentator who writes on this verse introduces the fall of Rome and the ascension of the Papacy as representations of the wound that was healed. Their observations may be correct. But perhaps a simple sign we should look for is that the beast will be a leader who has recovered from a mortal wound. The “leader” could be a political entity and not a person, but the Scriptures lead you to feel that it is an individual. Perhaps the “wound” will not be physical. One can speculate in any direction, but the beast will, by some measure, have recovered from a “wound,” whether physical, social or political.
If in fact the beast actually has recovered from a physical and mortal wound, I should think his identity would be unquestionable.
Revelation 13:4-5 (NKJ)
4 So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?”
5 And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months.
Here the beast is respected and worshipped. The beast will speak “great things,” thus be an orator who is able to sway the masses, but the beast will not honor God. He will lead the nations into “peace and safety” but not as a man of God. Listen.
1 Thessalonians 5:2-3 (NKJ)
2 For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.
3 For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape.
The time leading up to the “ending of the sacrifices” will be considered good times. The beast will speak great things and peace and safety will be evident. But when the sacrifices are stopped in the Temple, understand, in advance, that the next 42 months are going to be times of extreme persecution. You will have to decide whether to worship the beast and take the mark of the beast or not. Listen.
Revelation 13:6-8 (NKJ)
6 Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven.
7 It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation.
8 All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
This last verse should help you understand that the name of every redeemed soul is already known to God and is written in the Book of Life. Yes, you have volition. You choose and you decide. But God, who knows the Alpha from the Omega, who knows all things, also knows who will choose Him. You whom He knows are the Elect. Your names are already in the Book of Life. God also knows who will reject Him. God knows the beginning from the end. He knows all your decisions, thoughts, and actions. This truth exceeds our understanding but does not exceed our ability to believe it, by faith.
When the beast makes “war with the saints,” the saints will not prevail, in these 42 months. Several times I have mentioned the rapture of the Church, that event when believers will be caught up in the clouds. Two sentences make the rapture “before the tribulation,” less certain than we believers might hope. First in;
Daniel 12:7 (NKJ)
7 “…when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered”.
and again in;
Revelation 13:7 (NKJ)
7 “It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them”.
We find holy people and saints being persecuted during the last 3 1/2 years of the tribulation. I do not care to focus on the debate of pre, mid and post tribulation positions, but I would strongly suggest that “being ready” is far more important than being correct. If you are ready it will not matter which of these scenarios is correct. Whether you believe that the Church will be raptured before the tribulation, in the middle (3½ years) of the tribulation or at the end of the tribulation has no bearing on your personal salvation. Being ready is the primary issue.
Those who are purified by their faith granted by the grace of God, in that time period will be those who have made or who are going to make a commitment to the Lord. They will refuse the mark of the beast, the mark that permits men to buy and sell. This will require great resolve in the face of very strong persecution. Those acquaintances of yours who consort with the beast will become your enemies. You are going to understand what it means to be a “remnant.” Read on concerning key prophecy regarding the beast also called the Antichrist and the dragon, Satan.
Revelation 13:9-15 (NKJ)
9 If anyone has an ear, let him hear.
10 He who leads into captivity shall go into captivity; he who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.
11 Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon.
12 And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
13 He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men.
14 And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived.
15 He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed.
The “other beast” who “spoke like a dragon,” exhibits great power and does wondrous things such as commanding fire to come down from heaven. During these times Satan, the one who gave power to the beast, will have great power, to deceive if possible, even the elect. He gives power and “breath” to the beast to kill those who will not accept the mark of the beast on their right hand or foreheads. No mark, no transactions. No mark and your death shall be decreed.
If you must have the mark of the beast to buy or sell and you refuse the mark, how will you survive? Recall that the “Church,” the Body of Believers, is promised that they are not “appointed to wrath.” At least the “pre tribulation” argument is that the body of believers will be caught up in the clouds with Christ and avoid the wrath of the tribulation. But the question isn’t whether they will avoid the wrath of God, but when? Will it be before the tribulation, during or the tribulation period or after? Does the wrath from which men are to be protected specifically refer to the wrath of God and not the wrath of man? Perhaps, but understand that just as Nebuchadnezzar dished out “wrath” to God’s people, saints and sinners, so might the Antichrist. No “wrath” is served up by man, absent the consent of the Lord and not all wrath leads to bad results.
Listen to the Word.
Job 1:6-12 (NKJ)
6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them.
7 And the LORD said to Satan, “From where do you come?” So Satan answered the LORD and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.”
8 Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?”
9 So Satan answered the LORD and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing?
10 “Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land.
11 “But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!”
12 So the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.” So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.
Here God permitted one of His saints to be tested. Job passed the test. He remained faithful even though all that he had was destroyed including his children. But Satan wasn’t through in his effort to break Job’s faith. Listen.
Job 2:1-6 (NKJ)
1 Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD.
2 And the LORD said to Satan, “From where do you come?” So Satan answered the LORD and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.”
3 Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil? And still he holds fast to his integrity, although you incited Me against him, to destroy him without cause.”
4 So Satan answered the LORD and said, “Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life.
5 “But stretch out Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will surely curse You to Your face!”
6 And the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your hand, but spare his life.”
You need to read the entire account of Job’s experiences to grasp the many truths it presents, but here was the outcome:
Job 42:12 (NKJ)
12 Now the LORD blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning… (because Job remained faithful.)
The wrath Job experienced was permitted but God foreknew the entire circumstance and used Satan’s evil intent to glorify Himself and to demonstrate the faith of Job to the world, forever. You must read the book of Job carefully if you want to grasp the power of Satan, whose power is limited by God, but who nevertheless seeks to destroy your faith and mine.
Job, after being restored, doubly, then went on to die “full of days.” His flesh did die and his spirit did live for redemption, to be housed in a body that will be eternal. Listen to the fate of Job and those who love God.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (NKJ)
13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope.
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.
15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep.
16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.
17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.
18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.
This prophecy covers all those who are “dead in Christ” as well as “alive in Christ,” and this is the rapture event. Its exact timing is in question. We are warned many times to be ready, but not to “predict” the time of the rapture.
A careful reader may have wondered aloud, “where did it ever say that Job believed that Jesus Christ was his Redeemer?” It did not say Jesus was the One in whom Job had faith. Job’s life, as well as the lives of Noah, Moses, and Abraham all preceded the birth of Christ. One could ask, how were they saved if their Redeemer had not yet been born? The answer is provided in the Word. They had faith and it was accounted to them for righteousness. But what is faith? Listen.
Hebrews 11:1-3 (NKJ)
1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
2 For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.
3 By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. (NKJ)
Hebrews 11:7-10 (NKJ)
7 By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.
8 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.
9 By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise;
10 for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
Hebrews 11:32-34 (NKJ)
32 And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets:
33 who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,
34 quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. (NKJ)
Job’s faith and the faith of all God’s children, before the redeeming sacrifice of Jesus Christ, was accounted to them for righteousness. But let’s return to the primary focus of this topic. Was it God’s intent that His chosen people, his saints, be appointed to wrath? Listen.
1 Thessalonians 5:9 (NKJ)
9 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,
You may have some problems with the imagery of the beast, but most agree that the beasts are Satan and his servant, the Antichrist. The specifics of the identity of the beast should not escape your attention. It is a precise prophecy.
Accepting the mark of the Beast, in order that “one may buy or sell” may take several forms but I believe you know that implanted “chips” already exist as a means of identification. Each implanted chip will have all of your personal data imbedded in a scannable format, and the day will come when all transactions will be based on the data on the chip or some other form of scannable identification. This may seem to be a little far fetched, but technologically, we are already there. Doesn’t it get your attention to know that the technology to have this be true is very recent? This prophecy was written thousands of years ago and readers over the centuries must have wondered how these things could be true. These are “end time signs,” not to be missed!
Now listen to the fate of those who accept the mark of the beast, as well as the promise to those who do not.
Revelation 14:9-13 (NKJ)
9 … “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand,
10 “he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.
11 “And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.”
12 Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.
13 Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’ ” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.”
In these verses you are told that the wrath of God will be poured out “full strength” to those who accept the mark of the beast. But the saints, those, who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, will be blessed. Your choice is made crystal clear. Do not accept the mark!
The scriptures indicate that the return of the Messiah will occur when the “fullness of the Gentiles has come in.” In other words, the period of the great tribulation, the last segment of time prior to the establishment of the Kingdom on earth, will not commence until this occurs.
I heard one commentator say recently that there is not one single event unfulfilled regarding the moment in time in which the Church is to be raptured. Yet there is one. There must be one more soul, at least, to be saved. When the last “believer” has been added to the Church, as a result of their confession of faith, bathed in the Grace of God, then the rapture will occur. God knows who will turn to Him and love Him and His hand is extended still but there will be a time in which time runs out. Are you that soul for whom the door is being help open?
The “blindness of Israel” we spoke of earlier, refers to Israel’s lack of recognition of Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and Messiah. The statement refers to Israel but Israel is both a country and a people.
The individual Jews, and there of course are some, who claim Jesus as the Messiah and their personal Savior, have removed themselves from the uncertainty of the events that will occur during the tribulation, a period in which Israel will eventually undergo the worst persecution ever.
I say uncertainty, because some Jews will survive the persecution of the tribulation period with their faith in God, in tact. As to whether you personally have the resolve and inner strength that will be required when you are forced to accept the mark of the beast and to obey the Antichrist or to die, time will tell. Perhaps the primary point of this book is to tell you that there is a way to prepare yourself and to replace the uncertainty of your response to a death sentence with the certainty of your salvation, now. I do not say that to frighten you, but if that is what it takes…
As much as I would like to think that this presentation will “persuade” you, nothing could be further from the truth. The Holy Spirit calls you, not a man. Your faith and belief in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit redeem you, not some external advocate. It is your belief that the Lord exists and loves you and that you are willing to come before him in all humility and with heartfelt contrition that saves you. Even reading the Word daily can not save you. It takes a new heart, one sustainable and available only by the power of the Holy Spirit in you. We who seek to serve sometimes get overly excited about our sense of mission, but it is His mission in you and His message to you that matters.
Go in all humility and contrition to the Word, go in prayer to God, declare your belief and faith in the atoning act of Jesus Christ. Repent; be baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Go beyond the limitations of your flesh. Seek to be filled with the Holy Spirit. God knows whether you will respond or not and may He have mercy on those who fail to seek and obey.
Listen to the fate of those who accepted the mark of the beast. I know I have quoted these verses in another topic, but honestly, you will learn something new every day that you read the Scriptures, over and over again. The Word is alive and active. It is dynamic. It witnesses to you more powerfully than any man.
Revelation 16:1-21 (NKJ)
1 Then I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, “Go and pour out the bowls of the wrath of God on the earth.”
2 So the first went and poured out his bowl upon the earth, and a foul and loathsome sore came upon the men who had the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image.
3 Then the second angel poured out his bowl on the sea, and it became blood as of a dead man; and every living creature in the sea died.
4 Then the third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs of water, and they became blood.
5 And I heard the angel of the waters saying: “You are righteous, O Lord, the One who is and who was and who is to be, because You have judged these things.
6 For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and You have given them blood to drink. For it is their just due.”
7 And I heard another from the altar saying, “Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgments.”
8 Then the fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and power was given to him to scorch men with fire.
9 And men were scorched with great heat, and they blasphemed the name of God who has power over these plagues; and they did not repent and give Him glory.
10 Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom became full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues because of the pain.
11 They blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and did not repent of their deeds.
12 Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, so that the way of the kings from the east might be prepared.
13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.
14 For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.
15 “Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.”
16 And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon.
17 Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, “It is done!”
18 And there were noises and thunderings and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such a mighty and great earthquake as had not occurred since men were on the earth.
19 Now the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. And great Babylon was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath.
20 Then every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.
21 And great hail from heaven fell upon men, each hailstone about the weight of a talent. Men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, since that plague was exceedingly great.
There are those who will recoil from the thought of such awful judgment. Let’s agree that the scriptures say that those who refuse the mark of the beast will suffer at the hands of the Antichrist, some unto death. One thing appears certain. If you are here for the Great Tribulation, you are going to be tested as never before. Listen to the circumstance of those who refuse the mark of the beast.
Revelation 15:2-4 (NKJ)
2 And I saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who have the victory over the beast, over his image and over his mark and over the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, having harps of God.
3 They sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying: “Great and marvelous are Your works, lord God Almighty! Just and true are Your ways, O King of the saints!
4 Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before You, for Your judgments have been manifested.”
Those who sing the song of Moses and the song of the Lamb will be in a situation where “all nations shall come and worship before You, for Your judgments have been manifested.” This, in my opinion, is a Millennium experience and this joy will follow the judgment of the Antichrist and all who have accepted the mark of the Beast.
Consider yourself warned, many times over, if you have read these scriptures before, and choose life, eternal life, now. The scriptures make many references to the “remnant” but check the references provided here which make the following point: The gate is narrow that leads to life and there are few that find it!
Luke 13:23-30 (NKJ)
23 Then one said to Him, “Lord, are there few who are saved?” And He said to them,
24 “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able.
25 “When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open for us,’ and He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know you, where you are from,’
26 “then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets.’
27 “But He will say, ‘I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.’
28 “There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves thrust out.
29 “They will come from the east and the west, from the north and the south, and sit down in the kingdom of God.
30 “And indeed there are last who will be first, and there are first who will be last.”
Matthew 7:13-14 (NKJ)
13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.
14 “Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
Matthew 16:24-26 (NKJ)
24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.
25 “For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.
26 “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
Acts 14:22 (NKJ)
22 …”We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.”
I know that neither you nor I have been able to keep the whole Law and I know that the sacrifices and offerings that we have made are insufficient. There is only one sacrifice that can cleanse us of our sins, only One who can deliver us to the Father, as if we had never sinned. You do not have to go through the tribulation, absent the enabling power of the Holy Spirit, and if you choose to do so it appears few will be faithful unto death.
Choose life, eternal life, now. Go to God’s Holy Word as one dying of thirst. He will give you Rivers of Living Water; He will give you His peace now and forever. Relax in His love and His caring Hands. Commit your resources, of every imaginable kind to His service. Know that resources represent an opportunity and a liability and that “to whom much is given, much is required.” The only asset that will survive is your soul, your spiritual self. Every other asset will perish. The poet has asked, “How can we cherish that which will perish?” Childish prose, to be sure, but an almost universal error in judgment.
As an aside, if you believe evil spirits exist, how can you not believe the Spirit of God exists? There are even those who “worship” Satan, therefore acknowledging evil spirits. Those who “worship” the stars which God created, or inanimate objects (gods?) that must be transported about and which are made of perishable material, are missing the greatest possible blessing. God loves every person He created, including “worshippers” of false gods. God will forgive, welcome you back and rejoice that a “lost child” has returned home.
Doesn’t that kind of parental affection, that depth of forgiveness and mercy, humble you? God will not remain angry at your sin if you stop sinning! Turn to the only God that is Omnipotent, Omnipresent and Omniscient that exists. Turn to the only God that has sent a Messiah; One who is able to erase your sins from the sight and the memory of God; One who, when he was rejected by man, then reached out, again and forever, saying “Forgive them Father, for they do not know what they are doing.” That is our God, completely different than any god contrived by man. The reason that accepting the mark of the beast is such a fatal error is that it is an act of allegiance and obedience to a false god.
We could continue in discussing the details concerning the tribulation and all of the scriptures in the Old and New Testament that point to it as a crucial event, but suffice it to say that it is one of the final events before the battle of Armageddon, where the enemies of God will be slain by God. Those who are led to understand that they must choose to resist the beast (by refusing to accept the mark) will find that they either must die or flee to survive.
In the wake of the event September 11, 2001, secure identity cards are now being widely discussed. These cards perform a narrow function compared to the purpose of the mark of the beast. However, the speed with which identity cards are being considered should simply help you understand that it is a small step to implant a data chip, if that is indeed what will be considered, in order to buy and sell. Prophecy fulfilled is at hand!