What Is The Mark Of The Beast?
The “mark of the beast” is a frightening thought to many of us. We know that the Bible mentions it, and we have heard our pastors, priests and rabbis’ talk about it. “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. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.”Revelation 13:16-18 At times we have read people’s concept of what they believe the “mark of the beast” to be. We may even have our own belief on the subject of the “mark of the beast” or maybe we have an idea of what it will be in the future. But, it is for sure that you and I do not want to receive the “mark of the beast”. We want nothing to do with it, right?
The “mark of the beast” is found in the Bible just like the Anti-Christ is found in the Bible. God’s word is our instruction book or manual. God discloses His plan of salvation through His word; He divulges His love for us, and He makes known to us His plans for the future. From cover to cover the Bible gives us good instruction in helping us to live our lives in a way that will bring us peace of mind and happiness. Every book in the Bible tells us of God’s longing to turn us away from the World. He helps us to recognize through His word our need to follow and obey Him which in turn would put us on a much better path. He knows that we need Him to lead our lives because He can do a much better job of it. He is omniscient (all knowing). He knows what the future holds, and He knows each of us so well that if we allow Him to, He will look after us and help us to make intelligent decisions that will help each day go so smooth. We can trust Him, completely. “For his eyes are upon the ways of man, and he seeth all his goings.” Job 34:21
Satan is a master in misleading us. Remember, his goal is to take as many to “hell” with him as he can. He has no love for anyone. If it wasn’t for the grace and protection of Jesus, Satan would wipe out every one of us, right this minute. The Lord keeps Him in check. Satan is going to be destroyed at the end of this world because Jesus won the victory at the cross. Satan is doomed, and he knows it. He knows the Bible better than you and me. He knows the end time prophecies better than you and me. So, he knows his time is short. We can tell every day that he is working powerfully to ruin this world and us through the awful disasters that are taking place around the world, and he is causing people to do such horrifying things to themselves and to others. Satan knows Jesus is coming soon, and he wants to get the masses to follow the beast and receive his mark before then, so they are lost. He is moving this world toward its end with great speed. And, he is keeping everyone so busy doing their “thing” that most will never take the time to read the Bible and come to the knowledge of the Anti-Christ, the beast, or comprehend what the “mark of the beast” is.
Satan will never appear to us. We cannot see him. He will never stand up and say, “Hello, everyone; I am Satan.” He came to Eve as a beautiful serpent. He came to Christ in the wilderness as an angel of light. “And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.” II Corinthians 11:14 If we saw him, we would run away from him as fast as we could. He will never come out and tell us who the beast is, and he will never tell us what the “mark of the beast” is. He hopes to hoodwink all of us because he knows if we pay homage to the beast and receive his mark, we will be eternally lost, and that would make him so happy. We must read the Bible for ourselves. We want to be so in tuned with the Lord and His word that Satan’s sly, cunning traps and snares will be very visible to us. We all want to stay right next to Jesus walking with Him on that path that leads to our heavenly home. “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” II Timothy 2:15
Satan is working in this world through men and women that are controlled by him, to pass laws that will cause suffering and hardships for all of us. He functions through individuals to cause chaos in every country. He causes wars to take place, continually. He is the cause of every wicked thought and every foul word that comes out of the mind and mouth of every person, and he causes people to manage their lives in such revolting ways and helps them to make plans or devices that will bring misery in this world.
Throughout the Bible, God stresses obedience. “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” James 1:22 Often people turn away from God’s word because it stresses obedience. Little do they realize that obeying God makes life so much easier, restful and happy.
As we look around us, we can see those that disobey God experiencing a great deal of despair and grief. They don’t seem to know which way to turn to find relief from all the malice that is happening around them. And, what is sad, it is getting worse. This world is in the terrifying condition that it is in because people have no desire to read God’s word and obey it. Because people are not obeying God, they are hurting themselves and others.
I would like to show you the Ten Commandments found in Exodus 20:3-17. When you are through reading the Ten Commandments, stop and think about them for a moment. Imagine this world being a wonderful place to live in if everyone kept the Ten Commandments. Do you think this world is in an awful state of confusion because the majority have no desire to obey God’s Ten Commandments? Can you see that if everyone kept the Ten Commandments, it would bring such enjoyment and contentment to us all?
God’s Ten Commandments
“Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
Thou shalt not kill.
Thou shalt not commit adultery.
Thou shalt not steal.
Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.” Exodus 20:3-17
God is love. “And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.” I John 4:16 God gave us the Ten Commandments because he loves us. The first four of the Ten Commandments were given to us to keep us focused on God. The last six of the Ten Commandments point out our need to be loving, courteous and thoughtful of others. If we all had love and respect for God and our fellowmen, this world would be a delightful place to live in.
Go back up a few paragraphs and take a closer look at the 4th Commandment. Do you notice that the Bible Sabbath is the 7th-Day of the Week and not the 1st-Day of the Week? Why do you suppose the mainstream churches observe the 1st-Day of the Week as the Sabbath instead of the 7th-Day of the Week? Have you ever wondered why? Some have questioned their church leaders as to why they come together on Sunday to worship our Lord. They have thought it strange that so many mainstream churches honor the 1st-Day of the Week as the Sabbath when the Bible clearly confirms that the 7th-Day of the Week is the Sabbath of our Lord. Incredible, isn’t it?
When people go to their church leaders and ask them about worshipping our Creator on Sunday instead of Saturday, here are a few of the responses they have received: “We are not saved by our works, we are saved by grace.”– “Don’t worry about it; that is from the Old Testament.”– “Jesus rose from the grave on the 1st-Day of the Week.”–“The early disciples changed the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday.”–“Oh, keeping Saturday as the Sabbath is just for the Jews.”
Do you know your Bible well enough to know that all these responses from church leaders are not found in the Bible concerning the change of the Sabbath from the 7th-Day of the Week to the 1st-Day of the Week? They are all false views of the mainstream church leaders. It is true that we are saved by grace (unmerited favor) but, grace does not do away with obedience.
Have you reached the point in your life where God’s word is what you go by? Do you love the Lord so much and value what He has done for you that you will stand on His word even if the majority in this world will not? Does Jesus have the final “say” in your life? Friend, I do hope you have reached the point that if it is not in the Bible, you will not go along with it. We have to reach that point. Believe me, when I say the “spiritual deception” in this world is so bad, and it is going to get much worse. If we are not anchored deep in the word of God, we will be blown about with every wind of doctrine. Satan works in such crafty, subtle ways to turn everyone away from Jesus and His word. Of course, he does not want us to obey the Ten Commandments because he wants to keep this world in a chaotic mess. His aim, everyday, is to bring pain and suffering to us all. He hates Jesus, and he hates us because we were created by Jesus Christ. He knows that if we disobey God, it will make God unhappy because our Lord will not be able to say to us: “…Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” Matthew 25:23
Since we are on the subject of the 7th-Day Sabbath, let’s take a closer look at it. I have put together some Bible texts that will make it easier for us to understand more fully which day is the Lord’s Day.
What Day Is The Bible Sabbath?
It is easy to find the Bible Sabbath in God’s word. By observing the Sabbath, we recognize God as the living God, the creator of heaven and earth. One day in seven in which we can rest from our labors and spend time with Him.
“I was in the spirit on the Lord’s Day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet.” (Revelation 1:10) In this verse we find that the Lord has a day. But, we are not told which day of the week is the Lord’s Day in this verse. The Bible reveals which day is the Lord’s Day.
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day; wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.” (Exodus 20: 8-11) These verses begin with “Remember”. Jesus is telling us to “Remember” His day and not to forget it. Apparently, He knew there would be a time when people would forget which day is the Lord’s Day. He is calling the world back to that day by saying, “Remember”. He not only tells us to “Remember” the Sabbath day, but to keep it “holy”. He, also, tells us to “rest” on that day, because He rested on that day. The seventh day, Saturday, is the only day in the Bible that the Lord blessed and made holy. He set it apart as a special day for all mankind. The first day of the week, Sunday, is mentioned a number of times in the Bible. But, our Lord never called the first day of the week the Sabbath, and he never blessed the day nor made it holy.
“And he said unto them, the Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. Therefore the Son of Man is Lord also of the Sabbath.” (Mark 2:27-28) The Seventh Day Sabbath was made for all mankind, not just for the Jews but for all mankind. It was made for us as a day in which we worship the one who created this world and as a day of rest. God instituted the Sabbath at the end of the creation week. “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it; because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.” (Genesis 2: 1-3) The Sabbath came into being hundreds of years before Abraham, the father of the Jewish race. In the above verses we find that Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath. So, the Sabbath or the seventh day is the Lord’s Day.
“In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulcher.” (Matthew 28:1) The Sabbath is the day before the first day of the week. All Christians know that Jesus was crucified on Friday or on the Jewish day of preparation. We Christians call that day “Good Friday”. We, also, know that Jesus rose from the grave on the first day of the week. We call that day “Easter Sunday”. So, if the Sabbath comes between “Good Friday”, the sixth day of the week, and “Easter Sunday”, the first day of the week, it must be Saturday, the seventh day of the week.
“This man went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulcher that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid. And that day was the preparation, and the Sabbath drew on. And the women, also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulcher, and how His body was laid. And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the Sabbath day according to the commandment. Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulcher, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulcher. And they entered in and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.” (Luke 23: 52-56 and Luke 24: 1-3) Jesus was crucified on “Good Friday”. The Jews called Friday of each week the day of preparation. It was the day in which they prepared for the Sabbath. Jesus was crucified on the day of preparation, “and the Sabbath drew on”. It was yet to come. In these texts we, also, find that the disciples of Jesus were still keeping the Sabbath holy according to the commandment. The women went to the sepulcher on “Good Friday” along with Joseph and beheld the body of Jesus and how it was laid, and then went home and prepared the spices and ointments that same day, “Good Friday”. The next day was the Sabbath, and the women rested on that day according to the commandment. Upon the first day of the week, “Easter Sunday Morning”, the women went to the sepulcher bringing the spices with them, but they could not find the body of Jesus because he had risen. If Jesus changed the Sabbath from Saturday, the seventh day of the week, to Sunday, the first day of the week, before his death on the cross, then why didn’t these women know about it? Jesus walked on this earth for 40 days, (Acts 1:3) after He rose from the grave and saw around 500 people. (1 Corinthians 15:6) During those 40 days, He never told the people that the Sabbath had been changed from Saturday to Sunday in honor of His resurrection. He never told them that the Sabbath was nailed to the cross or done away with. In fact, Jesus was crucified on “Good Friday” and rested the Sabbath day, Saturday, in the tomb and rose from the grave “Easter Sunday Morning”. He kept the Sabbath according to the commandment even at the time of His death.
“And when the Sabbath was past Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had brought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. And very early in the morning, the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulcher at the rising of the sun.” (Mark 16: 1-2) In this passage the women waited until the Sabbath was over, and then they went to the tomb very early “Easter Sunday Morning”, the first day of the week, to anoint the body of Jesus.
The fourth commandment reminding us to keep the Seventh Day Sabbath, Saturday, holy is in the middle of God’s Ten Commandments. Keeping God’s Ten Commandments will never save us. The blood of Jesus saves us. We cannot work our way into the Kingdom of God. We are saved by His grace. Eternal life is a free gift to every person on this earth. We do not keep the Ten Commandments in order to be saved; we keep the Ten Commandments because we are saved. Obedience to God is an expression of our love for God. We keep the Ten Commandments because we love Jesus and our fellowmen. The first four of the Ten Commandments have to do with our love and devotion towards God. The last six of the Ten Commandments have to do with our love and respect for each person on this earth. God’s Ten Commandments are found in Exodus 20: 3-17.
It is true that we cannot gain entrance into the Kingdom of God by keeping the Ten Commandments; but if we don’t keep them, we will not gain entrance into the Kingdom of God, either. How can we expect to be with Jesus forever, if we willfully disobey Him? “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” (Revelation 22: 14) God calls those who keep His commandments “Blessed”. God, also, tells us that in keeping His commandments, we will have a right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city (New Jerusalem). But, the opposite to that is, we will not have access to the tree of life, and we will not be able to enter in through the gates into the city, if we do not love Jesus enough to keep His commandments while we are here on this earth. “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” (James 1: 22) Friend, if we cannot have access to the tree of life, and if we are forbidden to enter the city, we will not be in God’s Kingdom. It is that serious. Remember, it took just one little sin to throw this world into the mess that it is in. God does not take sin lightly. That one sinful act of Adam and Eve cost the life of Jesus. “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou salt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people people from their sins.” (Mathew 1:21) Friend, what is sin? “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” (I John 3:4) “…for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” (Romans 3:20) Had Adam and Eve not sinned (transgressed the law) there would have been no need for Jesus to come and die on the cross for all of us. “…without shedding of blood is no remission (forgiveness). Hebrews 9:22
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
Because of our faith in Christ’s righteousness as our only hope of salvation, we love God and because we love Him, we keep His commandments. Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15) We have everything to gain and nothing to lose by obeying Jesus. He is our example and pattern. “He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.” (1 John 2:6)
In Acts 5: 29 the apostle Peter said, “…We ought to obey God rather than men.”
I have said to myself a number of times, “If it is good enough for Jesus and the early disciples, it is good enough for me.” In other words, if Jesus did it and taught the early disciples to do it, let’s do it; if Jesus did not do it and the early disciples did not do it, then let’s not do it. And, when it comes to the word of God, I feel the same way; if Jesus said it, then let’s say it; if Jesus did not say it, then let’s not say it. I feel that walking in the footsteps of Jesus and doing what He said is a wise and safe thing to do. Don’t you feel the same way? Apparently, the early disciples felt as I do because they, also, did and said what Jesus taught them during His time on this earth.
Jesus And The Early Disciples Kept The Lord’s Sabbath
“Remember the Sabbath Day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath Day, and hallowed it.” Exodus 20:8-11
God kept the Sabbath
“Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day and, sanctified it; because that in it he rested from all his work which God created and made.” Genesis 2:1-3
The Sabbath is the Lord’s Day
“I was in the spirit on the Lord’s Day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet.” Revelation 1:10
“And he said unto them, the Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath: therefore the Son of Man is Lord also of the Sabbath.” Mark 2: 27, 28
“For the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath Day.” Matthew 12:8
Jesus kept the Sabbath
“And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath Day, and stood up for to read.” Luke 4:16
“And he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath.” Luke 13:10
“And they went into Capernaum and straight way on the Sabbath Day he entered into the Synagogue and taught.” Mark 1:21
“And he entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand. And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the Sabbath Day; that they might accuse him. And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, stand forth: And he saith unto them, is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath Days, or to do evil? To save a life or to kill? But they held their peace. And when he had looked around about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other.” Mark 3:1-5
We will keep the Sabbath in the World Made New
“For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain. And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord.” Isaiah 66:22, 23
If we love Jesus and our heavenly Father–we will keep the Sabbath Day
“If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.” John 15:10
“He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” John 14:21
“If ye love me, keep my commandments.” John 14:15
“By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.” I John 5:2, 3
“let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” Ecclesiastes 12:13
The early disciples kept the Sabbath
“And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulcher, and how his body was laid. And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the Sabbath Day according to the commandment.” Luke 23:55, 56
“Men and brethren; children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of his salvation sent, for they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew them not, nor yet the voices of the prophets which are read every Sabbath Day, they have fulfilled them in condemning him.” Acts 13:26, 27
“For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath Day.” Acts 15:21
“But when they (Paul and Barnabas) departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia and went into the synagogue on the Sabbath Day and sat down. And when the Jews were gone out of the Synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath. And the next Sabbath Day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God.” Acts 13:14, 42, 44
“And on the Sabbath we (Paul, Silas, Timothy, Luke) went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which restored thither.” Acts 16:13
“Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three Sabbath Days reasoned with them out of the scriptures. Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus whom I preach unto you is Christ.” Acts 17:2, 3
“And he (Paul) reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks. And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.” Acts 18:4, 11
Jesus stands firm behind His Ten Commandments
“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8
“For I am the Lord, I change not…” Malachi 3:6
“…all his commandments are sure. They stand fast for ever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness.” Psalms 111:7, 8
“And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.” Luke 16:17
“Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” Matthew 24:35
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” James 1:17
“Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.” I Peter 1:23
“And he (Moses) was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments.” Exodus 34:28
“My covenant will I not break nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips.” Psalms 89:34
Here is something else for you to ponder. The more we get the word of God into our heads, the easier it will be for us to resist the temptations of the evil one. And, the easier it will be for us to see truth from error. There is so much error being taught in the mainstream churches that we need to read the Bible, daily. We do not want to be led down the wrong path.
WHAT IS SIN?
“Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” I John 3:4
“…for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” Romans 3:20
IS IT WISE TO KEEP SINNING?
“For sin (transgression of the law) shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin; (transgress the law) because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin (transgression of the law) unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” Romans 6:14-16
New American Standard Bible
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles? And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS. Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock.And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock.Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell–and great was its fall.” Matthew 7:21-27
Here is one more interesting and noteworthy section of this whole article that has taken me hours to write because I genuinely want to walk the streets of gold with you, friend, in the World Made New. All that I have written to you is good food for thought. This section is on “obedience and works”. Faith and obedience go hand and hand. We can’t have one without the other. Works means doing what Gods wants us to do. People seem to have trouble with that. They love it when church leaders tell them that all they have to do is believe in Jesus and doing what He wants us to do is “works”. I guess it gets back to wanting to live our lives in the way that we want to. Many do not want God telling us how we should live our lives. And, that may be the reason people do not read the word of God. If they were to read the word of God, they may come across a passage that conflicts with their lifestyle, and they love their lifestyle. Little do they realize that if they obeyed God and lived their lives accourding to His word, they would be so happy. God’s aim is to make us content, not miserable. He is for us, not against us. All the do’s and do not’s are in His word for our safety. He wants each day for us to be enjoyable.
We Are Saved By Grace–But We Must Also Obey
“That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” Titus 3:7
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, least any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8, 9
“For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? Shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” Romans 6:14-16
“And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.” Hebrews 5:9
“And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” Luke 6:46
“Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.” Matthew 7:21-27
“And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.” I Samuel 15:22
“Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, we ought to obey God rather than men.” Acts 5:29
“And that servant, which knew his Lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.” Luke 12:47
“And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.” II Thessalonians 1:7-9
“Therefore to him that knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” James 4:17
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23
“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.” James 1:22-25
“For not the hearers of the law are just before God; but the doers of the law shall be justified.” Romans 2:13
“My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.” I John 2:1-6
“For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps.” I Peter 2:21
“And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou will enter into life, keep the commandments.” Matthew 19:17
“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” Ecclesiastes 12:13
“He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.” Proverbs 28:9
“Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.” Romans 7:12
“If ye keep my commandments ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.” John 15:10
“Blessed are they that do his commandments that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” Revelation 22:14
What About Works
“Also unto thee, oh Lord, belongeth mercy: for thou renderest to every man according to his work.” Psalm 62:12
“And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” Revelation 20:12
“And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” Revelation 22:12
“If thou sayest, behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? And he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? And shall not he render to every man according to his works?” Proverbs 24:12
“For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” Ecclesiastes 12:14
“Who will render to every man according to his deeds: to them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: but unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; but glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: for there is not respect of persons with God.” Romans 2:6-11
“What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto them, depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” James 2:14-17
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
“This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men. And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.” Titus 3:8, 14
“But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?” James 2:20
“Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.” Romans 3:31
Well, let’s get to what the “mark of the beast” is. When the “mark of the beast” comes into play, the greater part of this world will receive it. The Bible tells us that will happen. “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.” Revelation 13:16 It will not be a visible mark even though the text says “mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads.” Receiving the “mark in their right hand” means that folks will choose to be committed to the beast through serving him and the “mark in their foreheads” means individuals will have a mind-set in being committed to the beast. And, the small group that will not choose to go along with the “mark of the beast” will be committed to Jesus Christ, even if it means death. Eventually, the world will turn on that small group who love the Lord and insist on obeying Him, and a death decree will go out to annihilate them. “And 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 13:15 It will be a difficult time for those who love the Lord and want to obey Him; but, the Lord will be with them just like He was with Noah and his family during their terrible time of trouble. When the death decree goes out for those who will not receive “the mark of the beast”, they will still stand up for Jesus Christ and walk in His footsteps because they love Him.
The Bible calls the small group that are determined to put Jesus Christ first in their lives, which the world will ultimately regard as outcasts and worthy of death, the “saints of God”. “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” Revelation 14:12
The “mark of the beast” is “disobedience”. Like I said, the devil is a very sly foe. Almost all, right this minute, are disobeying God. And, what is sad is that the mainstream church leaders are helping them to disobey God, by telling them that keeping God’s Ten Commandments isn’t really important. If you were to go up to a church leader and ask him if you should keep the Ten Commandments, he may say, “yes”. But, what he means is you should obey nine of them not all ten of the Commandments. The 4th Commandment most of the church leaders will not go along with because they know that Commandment requires us to keep the 7th-Day, Saturday, as the Sabbath of the Lord and not Sunday the 1st-Day of the Week.
No one is under the “mark of the beast”, yet. But, soon there will be a law that will go out to the world, in the next few months or years, demanding that everyone keep Sunday as the Sabbath. When the Sunday law is passed, those who choose to keep Sunday as the Sabbath of the Lord will receive the “mark of the beast”. Because of their disobedience, they will go under the “mark of the beast”. They are giving their allegiance to the beast (or Anti-Christ) instead of giving their allegiance to Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.
Not one person on the face of this earth wants to “drink of the wine of the wrath of God”. “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.” Revelation 14:9, 10
You and I have to make up our minds as to whom we are going to serve and obey. Let Jesus know, today, that you, friend, want Him to help you to remain faithful to Him. “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” Matthew 24:13