“So that no one will have power to buy or sell unless he bears the stamp (mark, inscription), [that is] the name of the beast or the number of his name.” Revelation 13:17 AMPC. We are coming very close to a time when man will need to take the mark of the beast to buy and sell. This is something every believer must know and consider the consequences.
A question about the mark of the beast
It was a clear fall day, many years ago, driving back from Edmonton to Sherwood Park, Alberta when God first opened up this verse to me. It was in the form of a question. “What would you do Homer, if you could not buy or sell without the mark of the beast?” It was a simple question, but it did not have a simple answer. This troubled me. It was obvious that I had no choice in my present state but to accept the mark if I was to provide for my wife and then young daughters.
This was a problem for I knew I would lose any relationship I had with Jesus and I did not want to lose Him. I could not see how it was possible to live on this earth and not buy or sell for that was the only system visible to me. God was starting me on the journey of faith through this question and shaking my world. He raised questions about where I placed my faith. My faith in the systems of man was on a shaky foundation that would collapse in the days ahead. The trouble for me was I could not see an alternative. This scared me more than anything.
Facing the 4 systems of man
Not long after this Jesus began to lead our family on the journey of uncompromising faith. God destroyed our faith in the systems of man and taught us to have complete faith and trust in Him. Our journey led us to face the 4 systems of man that have people so trapped and confined. These traps are what satan is banking on to force believers to take the mark when the time comes.
With no clear alternatives available to them, many believers will feel they have no choice but to cave to the demands of man to take the mark of the beast.
The origin of the mark of the beast
This sobering reality helped us understand why our journey of faith was so very important. Not only were we to be released from the bondages of man and freed to have faith and trust in God; but our story was to be an example and a warning to others just how serious this journey of faith is. God is letting many people know that there is a way to escape the mark and have provision in the dark days ahead.
We do not understand what the mark is or looks like. What we know is the mark comes from the beast and the beast’s number is that of man; specifically, the ‘self’ nature of man. It is easy to understand how the mark of the beast would be a natural progression from the systems ‘self’ filled man has already established. These systems are already close to locking people out of being able to buy and sell without credit and debit cards. It would be easy to use these systems to control behavior and override the faith of a believer.
There is a significant danger in being just a believer in the days ahead.
During our homeless journey we sojourned for a time in a church in St. Stephen, New Brunswick. One day while living in his church Robert*, the pastor, came to visit and inquire about our faith journey. Our insistence on following God in faith, especially for food and shelter, puzzled him. In rebuttal to our statements of faith he said bluntly, “If my family needed food or shelter I would rob a bank to provide for them.”
In his sanctimonious way, Robert belittled us for not doing enough to provide for our daughters and ourselves. What he did not understand, was that his very words betrayed his faith in his own ability to provide and willingness to break the law to do so. Robert did not trust God to provide for him but believed if it came to it, he would have to provide for himself; even if that meant hurting others and stealing. The stunning visual of a pastor, a pastor, giving vent to such ‘self’ told us much about the church today. Unfortunately, many believers think the way Robert does.
Many believe that when times get tough, they will just have to rely on themselves and not God to provide for their families; even if that means taking the mark of the beast.
From where does our help come
It is clear that the problems of this world and the systems of man stem from the ‘self’ nature that infects everyone. Pursuing ‘self’ even harder will not fix the problems ‘self’ created. The only solution that our family found was to go in the opposite direction; by pursuing spirit. Following Jesus into the wilderness, allowed Him to strip off our ‘self’ nature so we could trust the Father for our ‘daily bread.’
Did you ever wonder why Jesus included a prayer for our ‘daily bread’ when He taught us to pray? The Lord knows that we need food, water, clothing and shelter daily. Jesus is trying to teach us to rely on God to provide these things instead of relying on our ‘self’ nature. This does not mean we do not work for these basics, but we work trusting God to bring what we need in due season.
The test of trust
In the wilderness God will test our trust. He will deliberately allow satan to resist us, so it will strengthen our trust in Jesus. There were many days when our family went without food, water and shelter. God was building a faith that will not capitulate to the mark of the beast when it comes. This testing is crucial, for in the days ahead life will become very rough. If we capitulate now, when times are easy, how will we survive the difficult days that are coming? For many believers the temptation to take the simple way out, to provide for their basic needs, will be too great to resist.
By choosing the mark of the beast to save themselves believers will cast away their heritage like Esau did for a bowl of pottage (Genesis 25:34), losing any chance at eternity with God.
By siding with the ‘self’ nature of man, many believers will separate themselves from the love and provision of God. Please understand this; God will not dwell with ‘self’. Period. The delusion that many believe, and promoted by the likes of some bible teachers, is that man can take the mark of the beast and still have salvation. This is simply not true. If a believer places their faith in man instead of God, then they have decided against faith in God.
Taking the mark of the beast so we can continue to eat, drink, have clothes and shelter is a poor choice considering what we will lose. We encourage everyone to consider what will happen, and is already happening, on the earth today. Easy food from the grocery store, free or cheap water, homes, places to rent and cheap clothing will be out of reach to those who choose not to take the mark of the beast. Those who take the path of uncompromising faith must learn to trust God to provide for them when there are no other means. Faith like this takes time and effort to develop. Do not think it will happen miraculously for it will not. Real faith is hard work, but the reward is worth the sacrifice.
When the day comes when you have to decide to take the mark of the beast or not, what will you choose?
Homer and Wanda
*Name has been changed