This site along with its sister site, It's About HIM is undergoing maintenance so some links may not be working. Due to circumstances beyond our control, there are some broken links. Several websites hosting material linked to on this website have either shut down or made changes which have broken the links. We are working to correct this problem. If you have found any links and would like to help by alerting us to which link, you may email me and let me know. I know I haven't found them all yet. Thank you for your patience.

Hello, Beloved...

How nice of you to drop in and visit my page. It's actually not really about myself, but about the Lord Jesus Christ. This is a place you can come, should you find time, and find encouragement and free resources for spiritual growth. I pray you will be blessed and provoked to follow on to know the Lord intimately yourself. Seek HIM and HIS Face for HE alone is WORTHY!! He alone is lovely! Most of what is written on this blog is written by myself, during my study time with the Lord unless otherwise stated. If it's otherwise, the author's name will be included.

God is our refuge, a very present help in trouble. Psa 46:1


Must Hear Messages!

Media that has been removed may still be accessed Here

RSS | My Utmost For His Highest

Sermon Index

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Nature of the (Mark) Beast

I have been studying the cross, the last weeks of Jesus' life, and His suffering on the cross and I just wanted to share this because I heard a message entitled "The Mark of the Beast" preached by Pastor BH Clendennen, of the International School of Christ. I was privileged to meet this beloved man of God one time, briefly, but have been greatly impacted by the School of Christ. Still, I take no man's word alone on what is truth without going to the Source and searching it for myself. However, that said, what I found and learned with the help of the Holy Spirit confirmed what Bro Clendennen said.

2Co 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

The word for "made" here is G4160..in the Greek it is poieo. It means to be the author of, to cause to bring something about, to make ready, prepare, to provide a thing for one's own self, to make one do something, appoint or ordain something for someone else. Christ Jesus, our Lord, the Scripture says is the Author and Finisher, the beginning and end of our Faith. Every saint of God, born again, is marked by the blood of Jesus Christ, which in itself signifies forgiveness, cleansing of sin, self-sacrifice, the selfless act of Another that constitutes our hope.

The same word is translated in the KJV 'causeth' in Rev. 13.

Rev 13:16 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:

This anti-christ of the great tribulation that will come after the rapture, will have this thing, this mark ready. He will bring it about and produce and provide it for the people of this earth. It will be something that will seem to be sensible, convenient, and the people will not have to be forced to take it for the most part-they will clamor for it. I know that goes against traditional religious opinion. The mark ( likeness, or nature) of Christ is self-sacrificing love, for the good of others. It is something that marks or identifies His own. They also have this seal-the blood of Christ, and the word of their testimony (death to self, and the world and sin) making them alive to God, which sets them apart from the world. Many Christians (and I used to think this, as well) have bought the lie that if they miss the rapture they will refuse the mark when the time comes in the future that some decision will be forced on them.

Rom 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

When you look up the word "mark" (G5480) the Greek word is charagma and it means to stamp, impress an image formed upon another. When we behold Him through faith, and divinely given revelation which must be sought after, we are then changed from our image into His. (2 Cor 3:18) Now, if God seeks man to conform him to the image of His Son, ("Let us make man in Our image") (Gen_1:26) you better understand the devil seeks man to conform man to his own image, which is another word for likeness. Simply put, God wants us to be like His Son, Satan wants us to be like him. What is he like? Selfish, proud, envious and angry. Christ is meek, humble, gentle, Light, Truth, long suffering, compassionate, loving, kind. Everything the devil is not. In order for the Anti Christ to be revealed, He who now restrains and with holds must be taken out of the way. That is the Holy Spirit. And since God is not going to take the Holy Spirit and leave those in whom He lives, it is reasonable to believe when the Spirit is removed, so the church too.
2Th 2:6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
2Th 2:7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
2Th 2:8 And 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:

So we see those who have the nature of the devil operating in their lives without repentance, without seeking the overcoming power of the Holy Ghost to deliver them, will not be going anywhere with the Lord. We are all born with these things and yet when we are born again, this nature conflicts with the new nature we are given. If we yield to the Spirit of God, and feed on the Word of Life, we will be strengthened and through the Holy Spirit overcome what we are. If we do not, and we have one foot in the church and the other in the world, we will not overcome and we have that mark already. If we hold onto selfishness, self first, pride, or any of the works of the flesh, then we allow that nature of the beast to mark us. We are what we feed on-what we eat. Is it the things of the world that please self or is it the Christ who is the Tree of life and His Word, His Spirit?

You can walk in Bible book stores and watch Christian TV and you see so many books about the end times, the anti christ, the mark of the beast, the movies, the tapes preachers make "what to do if you miss the rapture" and NONE of this is Christ-centered. Indeed, most of it is theologically wrong. To those who do not believe in pre-trib, that is your right. But ask yourself this: If you can't live close enough to the Lord to make the rapture, with the power of the Holy Spirit (of Truth) available and the support and fellowship of believers, HOW can you live for God with all that gone? You can't. Without the Spirit of Truth to show man right from wrong, man will believe the lie. It will be very convincing-the signs and wonders will deceive the whole world, according to the Word.

Don't debate pre or post trib beliefs because that is not profitable. What is profitable is being ready to go, period, regardless of what you believe. One belief (pre-trib) lends itself to diligence, the other (post trib) to lukewarmness. Which is better? Diligence. If you, rather, spend your time seeking HIS face, getting to know the REAL ONE you will be able to spot a fake immediately. Ask yourself how your time would best be spent-reading a book or studying Scriptures on the anti christ, and the tribulation in an effort to prepare yourself ---or feeding on the Lord Jesus Christ who is our Strength, our Source, and trusting the Holy Spirit to get you through whatever comes? There are only two roads-narrow (Christ) and broad (everything else). If you are studying or debating the Anti Christ, or reading about the imitation, then you will not be communing with the Christ. You fall for the same lie Eve fell for..."you need to know knowledge of good and evil" when in fact you only need the Tree of Life-Christ. The Bride is making herself ready for her Bridegroom-not studying and and preparing to face the devil's imitation. The Holy Spirit will prepare the Bride to meet the Bridegroom not His imitation. The anti christ spirit is alive and well now in the world. You need look no further than your own heart to find it. How many times does the Lord convict us of things in our lives and draw us to prayer and we make excuses and do not listen or hang on to what He has said must go? That is self exalting itself in the Temple of God (as its own god) over all that is God.

2Th 2:4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

That is the root of the anti christ spirit. Self first. We are the temple of God if we are born again. Yet do we always yield to the Spirit or to flesh? Focusing on anything but Christ can cause luke warmness or carelessness. That was the central point to what Bro Clendennen said. When Christ is not enough to satisfy the Christian and their heart wanders to other things, even religious things, like Israel's did in the wilderness, they have stepped on dangerous ground. You can call it or defend it however you want. It's in the Book because He wants us to know how the Story ends. But it's not to become our focus. He is to have the pre-eminence in all things. Folks in America seem to think God is going to have to allow tribulation to come to the church here to shake us awake...and I have thought that myself and I believe we will face even worse persecution or tribulation ..but the rest of His Body in many places are already going through great tribulation and persecution. Perhaps America herself is symbolized by the five foolish virgins whose oil ran out because her time was not spent plugged into the Source of her life. American Christianity is having a love affair with the gospel of prosperity, and self, even in devoutly religious denominations, whether it's being at ease and peace, peace when there is no peace coming to this nation, regardless of who is elected president, or whether it's religious rules and regulations, the church is stuck in a routine and largely is at ease in Zion or ignorant of the danger of NOT being in close communion with the Lord regularly. If we are not living close enough to the Lord to hear His Voice for ourselves then will we be able to hear Him shout and call His Spirit out of here and us with Him? Isn't that something to think about................

1Th 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

No comments: