For “Scripture Sunday”:
Mark of the Beast
“Will you accept the mark of the beast? Without it, you won’t be able to buy or sell. With it, you’ll suffer the plagues of Revelation. What should you do?
There has been much speculation about the mark of the beast mentioned in Revelation. What do you need to know about this mysterious mark?
It seems that no subject has intrigued and baffled people more than this mysterious mark spoken of in the book of Revelation. Many books have been written and many sermons have been preached about this subject. Scholars and theologians have offered many different ideas about it. Some suggest it is a microchip implanted in one’s forehead or an invisible mark or a visible mark. Some even think it could be one’s credit card or debit card.
But what does the Bible reveal about this puzzling mark?
The key passage reads: “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, 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 13:16-17).
If one does not have this identifying sign, he or she will not be able to legally transact business. This person will find it difficult to earn a living, to hold a job or to run a business.
What is the beast of Revelation?
John, the one God chose to write down the book of Revelation, saw a vision of the future. Here is what he wrote concerning this beast: “Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name. Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority” (Revelation 13:1).
To understand what this beast in the book of Revelation is, we need to begin in Daniel 7:1-8, where we find the imagery of four animals, representing the four great historical empires. These were a lion (Babylon), a bear (Persia), a leopard (Greece) and a fourth beast (Rome).
It is this fourth beast described by Daniel and recorded by John that would have “ten horns” and receive a “deadly wound” before rising again before the end of this age (Daniel 7:7-8; Revelation 13:3). This empire is the “beast” of the book of Revelation. We should note that the human leader of this revived empire is also referred to as “the beast” (Revelation 19:20). The mark of the beast is the mark or identifying sign of this empire.
The book of Revelation explains that the dragon gives the beast its power and authority. This dragon is Satan the devil (Revelation 12:9; Revelation 20:2). Satan uses this beast to rule and deceive the world.
A second beast
Let’s now turn our attention to the word “he” in Revelation 13:16. The passage says, “He causes all … to receive a mark.” Who is “he”? Verse 11 says, “Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon.”
These characteristics indicate a false religious leader who “causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast” (verse 12). This second beast is called the “false prophet” (Revelation 19:20). This mark or sign represents a final revival of the Roman Empire at the time of the end. The religious leader that supports the beast “causes” people to accept it.”
Resisting Satan’s Influence Now
1 Peter 5:8-9
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.
Satan the devil is the enemy of God and of humanity. He is powerful, hateful and deadly. But God does not leave us defenseless. He tells us to resist Satan with faith that the all-powerful Creator God will back us up.
James adds: “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:7-8). By submitting to God and drawing close to Him, we will have His protection, and Satan won’t be able to destroy us.
But if we wander off from God, like a lone animal straying from the herd, we will be easy prey for Satan, the roaring lion.
Until the time when Satan is locked away, pictured by the Day of Atonement, we must be constantly alert and aware of Satan’s deceptive and alluring tactics. We must use the armor of God to defend against Satan’s attacks.
Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.
In Revelation 12:9-12 John described Satan being cast down to the earth “having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.” In Revelation 20:1-3 we see the end of that “short time.” Satan’s wrath will have brought a deceived humanity to the brink of destruction, to the point of even fighting against Jesus Christ, our Savior, at His return.
But Christ will easily defeat the combined firepower of humanity, and Satan will be no match for Him either. In order to bring a time of peace and utopia to the earth, the deceiver must be locked up. Satan’s deceptive influences will be blocked for a thousand years, making it much easier for humanity to make the right choices without interference and diabolical temptations.
Revelation 20:7-8, 10
Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. …
The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
In Revelation 20:1-3 we see that Satan will be bound and kept from deceiving people for 1,000 years. (This is also pictured in the symbolism of the Day of Atonement in Leviticus 16:21-22). But he will be released and will again show his deceptive power, even on people who have lived under God’s beautiful Kingdom.
But finally Satan and his demons, as immortal spirit beings, will be locked away forever. The lake of fire will burn up those who are physical and mortal, but it is described as torment for those angelic beings who have permanently chosen the way of evil. Since physical fire cannot hurt spiritual beings, this torment must be mental torment.
For more about Satan’s fate, see “Satan Destroyed? How?”
When Stephanie Kwolek first invented poly-paraphenylene terephthalamide, the solution was a cloudy substance that was usually thrown away. But she decided to persuade the technician she was working with, Charles Smullen, to test the solution. They were amazed to find the solution did not break like nylon. Her supervisor and lab director realized her discovery was significant because it opened the door to a new field called polymer chemistry.
In body armor, Kevlar fibers actually “catch” a bullet in a multilayer web of woven fabrics. Different layers in the weave perform different tasks. The “engaged fibers” absorb and disperse the energy of the impact, transferring it to other fibers at “crossover points” in the weave of the body armor. Of course, if you don’t wear the vest, it won’t protect you. The Department of Justice estimates that 25 percent of state and local police are not issued body armor. Of the 1,200 officers killed in the line of duty since 1980, more than 30 percent could have been saved by body armor.
The risk of dying from gunfire is 14 times greater for an officer not wearing body armor.
Paul writes, “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11). The bullets we face are not ballistic missiles from guns. We need body armor that cannot be pierced by Satan because “we wrestle not against flesh and blood” (v. 12). God offers you something stronger than poly-paraphenylene terephthalamide. Take time today to put on the protective gear that will withstand the most powerful fire of the enemy.
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Ephesians 6:13”
Another week when not much was done to the mini-house as Roy was working elsewhere. I don’t know when he will be back. I get so discouraged trying to find competant workers. Sometimes I think I would like to sell the whole place and go somehwre else that doesn’t need so much work. Like the sign that I have on my porch: “So When Do I Get To Retire?” !
Zack, my neighbor helped me for a couple of days. We put up a temporary wire fence between the mini-house and the road. That is a pie-shaped lot, so the house had to be built at the back of the lot, only 10’ from the busy road. The back door is so close to people walking by, that it felt vunerable. A permanent fence cannot be installed until someone, the county maybe, puts the back the poles that hold up the flashing yellow traffic light at the entrance to the subdivision. Each pole holding up the wires for the traffic light on either side of the road, fell over due to all the rain during Harvey. They just toppled over like an uprooted tree. One of the pole’s guy wires is anchored in the minihouse back yard, so my permanent fence can’t be built yet.
Zack also put some urethene on some of the window sills and trim in the mini-house, and then he just disappeared. I hoped that I was helping him by hiring him as he has no income. Folks want to get paid, but just don’t want to work for it anymore. Early on Wednesday I was ready to take him to Conroe for his blood tests, and he didn’t even show up.
On Monday afternoon, my dear daughter Wendy brought me the residue of her yard sale. One item was a 32” TV. Right now my largest is 27”, so it will be a nice change, My TV’s sit in corners on triangular corner cabinets, so it doesn’t matter if they are not the new flat screens. I like to watch certain shows on TV, but I am not that into it, so spending money on flat screen TV’s is not a priority with me. It is a very heavy and awkward TV, so we called Hans to come help us unload it. We managed to get it on a four-wheel hand-truck and into my living room, and that’s where it has stayed because there hasn’t been anyone here to help put it up on the corner cabinet.
The items in the boxes that Wendy brought were bedspreads, shelves, knick-knacks etc. and other things in a ‘cottage’ theme that she thought I could sell. Now that Wendy and Richard have a new home at Lake Somerville, she is going with a different decor. They sold their lakeview place at Lake Palestine, so she wants water themed items now. She took her pick of my collection of large and small shells from around the world, a bookshelf with oars for legs, beach pictures and sheets with boat and nautical themes.
Then Wendy and I went thrift-shopping. I needed a digital bathroom scale for weighing parcels and found one. She needed a bathroom cabinet and found one. We also found a really lovely door for the bathroom in the mini-house.
Once home here, I quickly defrosted and cooked some ground bison, made a good British ‘Bisto’ gravy, sweet potatoes, Italian beans and yellow squash. Wendy had never had bison before and loved it. We had a great afternoon and evening, then it was time for her to go home to her husband and grown-up son in College Station.
One morning was spent defrosting my deep freeze. This is the worst it has ever been. The door had somehow become blocked slightly ajar, the freezer defrosted a bit and then everything became frozen in place. It took two hairdryers on stands, and stack of towels to get it done, then the ensuing laundry!
One day, just out of boredom, even though I have plenty to do, I went to the store to buy some watercress. It is supposed to be the new kale! They didn’t have any.
Then I finally got my foster-cat’s worm medicine down her! It has taken me three weeks! (not this way http://www.pawsperouspets.com/humor/catpill.shtml ha-ha) I found a canned food that she really liked and emptied the capsule in it. I had tried that a couple of times before, but she took one lick and then wouldn’t touch it. (that food was given to stray cats outside, so they should feel better now). I had tried wrapping her up in a thick bath mat and using my pill-popper, but she spat out the capsule twice. She is such a timid, formerly abused cat that I didn’t want her to be scared of me, so this worked out best.
Thursday and Friday afternoons I spent in the kitchen making different dishes for the church potluck. One recipe was for cooking any veggies that are laying around doing nothing. It was very easy-peasy! Just cut them into chunks and dump them in a crock pot with one tablespoon of liquid for 3 hours on high. They came out very juicy and tender, but one recommended liquid was sodium-free soy sauce, which is what I used, but they came out looking an awful color brown, so they stayed home. So for the next batch I used a tablespoon of chicken broth, and they were terrific. I have some chicken broth powder which cames in handy for making something small like a tablespoon of broth.
For a dessert, the rest of the starfruit was cooked, in apple juice this time, and put in a jello mold with some vegan 100% natural BAKOL Jel gelatin-free dessert. This is one brand that you can be sure that there is absolutely no pork in it, which I will not eat. (Lev.11:7) Most gelatins, including Jello, contain pork.
I tried a recipe for “Crispy Turnips Fries”, but like many reviewers said, it is difficult to get them crispy. So I put a mixture of cooked Beef, Ground Bison and mushrooms in a Pyrex baking dish, covered that with some of the above cooked veggies, sliced small, and put the turnips fries on top, like a Shepherd’s Pie. I took a tiny crockpot of gravy to go with it. I like to keep them separate or the Shepherd’s Pie gets all soupy. It was the rave of the potluck. Another favorite dish was made by one of the husbands with layers of long grain rice, beans, ground beef and cheese. We had several other tasty dishes, so we all had a great meal and an enjoyable time discussing different topics around the table.
The Bible readings were Gen. 1:1-6:8, Isa.42:5-43:10. and John 1:1-14. That scripture includes the debatable translation of John 1:1 where it says in some translations that ‘the Word was God’ and in others it says ‘the Word was a god’, or others say ‘the Word was Divine’. But I don’t think that anyone disputes that Jesus (Yeshua) was there at the beginning and is God’s (Yahweh’s) Son. The Teaching was ‘About Trust in Yahweh, and Put On The New Man.’
Can you believe that we are still having to use air conditioning at the end of October. Hardly any cool days these days.