Sunday, March 6, 2011

Mark of the beast anyone?

There have been many people throughout the years claiming to know when Jesus is coming back, or claiming to know when the end of the world will be; however, Jesus said “it is not for us to know” and Paul makes the point as clear as it can be in 1Thessalonians chapter 5 that He will come as a thief in the night:

1Thessalonians 5:2 For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.

Isaiah 13 prophesies about this time:

Isaiah 13:6-9 Wail, for the day of the LORD is at hand! It will come as destruction from the Almighty. 7 Therefore all hands will be limp, Every man's heart will melt, 8 And they will be afraid. Pangs and sorrows will take hold of them; They will be in pain as a woman in childbirth; They will be amazed at one another; Their faces will be like flames. 9 Behold, the day of the LORD comes, Cruel, with both wrath and fierce anger, To lay the land desolate; And He will destroy its sinners from it.

Although we are not to know the day or time of The Lord's return, there are some trail markers:

When I read verses like this and look at what is going on in the world I feel like it is unfolding in our generation. We see over and over people willing to give up their liberty for the sake of safety. It is as if peoples survival instinct is completely dormant and has been replaced with this “keep me safe at any cost” kind of attitude. By the time people realize that there is a global elite (under the sway of Satan) that want to “play God” and their desire is complete control of our lives it will be too late. These evil people have been orchestrating one crisis after another and then ushering in the "solution" for centuries. Their “solution” is always more power for them, with the promise of 'peace” and “safety” for us.

1Thessalonians 5:3 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.
I have a very important question for you. When they usher in complete global takeover and “smart chip” technology (which is already in place) will you take that mark? In the interest of “peace”, “safety” and “well-being” will you let them embed a micro chip in you?

Revelation 13:15-17 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. 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.

Revelation 14:9-10 Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, "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.

This can all be very scary to consider. For those that do not belong to Christ it is foolishness. However, for those of us that belong to Jesus, we do not need to fear:

1Thessalonians 5:4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. 5 You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.

Matthew 10:28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

For those that belong to Jesus this Day is exclamation point on our hope of Salvation; for those that have not surrendered to Jesus Christ it is the reality of His Wrath poured out on them for eternity:

1Thesslonians 5:9 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,

Paul wraps up his letter with encouragement and instruction to the brethren (which includes followers of Christ TODAY):

1Thessalonians 5:14a Now we exhort you, brethren,

Here's the list:

In the ESV it uses the word “idle” instead of “unruly”. That seemed strange to me so I looked up a few things. The word in the Greek is “ataktos” which means undisciplined, insubordinate. Insubordinate means, “not submitting to authority”.  Warn the disobedient!

14b comfort the fainthearted

14b uphold the weak

There was tremendous persecution going on in Thessalonica, just as there is today, and as will be intensified as we get closer the the end times. Some will become weak and fainthearted in the faith and those that are strong need to comfort and uphold our brothers; and we are to do all of this (warn, comfort and uphold) with patience:

1Thessalonians 5:14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all.

But that is not the end of Paul's instruction:

1Thessalonians 5:16 Rejoice always,
(not just when everything is going “your way”....ALWAYS)

1Thessalonians 5:17 pray without ceasing,
(not just when everything is NOT going “your way”....ALWAYS)

1Thessalonians 5:18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

1Thessalonians 5:19 Do not quench the Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is at work in the world. He is convicting the non-believers of sin, righteousness and Judgment. He is guiding, teaching, encouraging and admonishing believers. The fire of God's Spirit is not to be doused with sin.

    Ephesians 4:30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
    Ephesians 5:18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit,
    Galatians 5:16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

1Thessalonians 5:20 Do not despise prophecies.

1Thessalonians 5:21 Test all things; hold fast what is good.

1Thessalonians 5:22 Abstain from every form of evil.
14b warn those who are unruly
1Thessalonians 5:3 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.

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