“Also, it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or on the forehead so that np one can buy or sell unless he has the mark: (Revelation 13:16-17 ESV)

 We need not understand the mark of the beast or the bearing of God’s law upon one’s forehead or hand – as was the practice by the Israelites- as being physical, even though they might be. Both these practices symbolize a person’s spiritual allegiance of heart and behaviour, either in terms of the beast or the Lamb. Only God’s seal is a guarantee of safety.

In these last times it is going to become more evident where an individual’s allegiance lies, as the battle between good and evil becomes more overt. There will be an ever-decreasing space for anonymity or taking a position that favours both sides. Identification will be required, by word or deed.

Scripture has made it very clear that only a full-hearted declaration of faith and action is acceptable … lukewarm is not what is needed. In the face of growing opposition such affiliation is going to be a true exercise of faith and not to be undertaken lightly. However, once the decision has been made to accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ and have faith in his teaching and miracles, the response of God is never to lose those who are his own.

History shows us what happens when there is persecution of religious groups, unfortunately from within and without the church. If the same confrontations, or their 21stcentury equivalent, were to happen today would you be identified as a follower of Jesus Christ by your words and deeds – would you want to be?

Let us not forget that for some this situation is reality.

Will the increasingly critical scrutiny of believers clarify the perception of some that “the church” is a somewhat benign organization to seeing it in its true role of spiritual authority and power as it joins and supports believers in other parts of the world in the battle against the powers of darkness?

Revelation 3:16 GNT

But because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I am going to spit you out of my mouth!

Matthew 7:21-23 GNT

21 “Not everyone who calls me ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but only those who do what my Father in heaven wants them to do. 22 When the Judgment Day comes, many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord! In your name we spoke God’s message, by your name we drove out many demons and performed many miracles!’ 23 Then I will say to them, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you wicked people!’

 2 Timothy 2:12NIV

11 Here is a saying you can trust.

If we died with him,
we will also live with him.
12 If we don’t give up,
we will also rule with him.
If we say we don’t know him,
he will also say he doesn’t know us.
13 Even if we are not faithful,
he remains faithful.
He must be true to himself.

Mark 1:14 NIV

14 After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee. He preached the good news of God. 15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Turn away from your sins and believe the good news!”

John 1:12 NIV

Some people did accept him and did believe in his name. He gave them the right to become children of God.


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