“More Than One Mark?”
Although most people have heard of “the Mark of the Beast,” very few have heard of the Mark of God. Yet both marks are discussed in the Bible, and both marks are placed on the forehead of the recipients before the outpouring of God’s judgment. Although they have these similarities, they also have their differences: one is a mark given by the Anti-Messiah (or Anti-Christ), and the other is given by God. So in this article, I want to first discuss “the Mark of the Beast” and then “the Mark of God,” as well as the attitudes that these two marks represent.
Book of Revelation – Introduction
The last book of the Bible is Revelation, an apocalyptic book written by the Apostle John (Heb. Yochanan) in 100 C.E., while he was imprisoned on the island of Patmos, an island for convicted prisoners, much like Alcatraz. It was while on this island that John (Yochanan) received the various visions from God that make up the book of Revelation. After writing each vision, it was smuggled out of the prison to the churches in Asia. His visions were then put together to formulate the book of Revelation as we have it today. John (Yochanan) was released and pastored in the church in Ephesus up until he died. He would have seen the collection of his visions in this single book (or scroll) before he died. Therefore, if the visions had been put into the wrong order or if something needed correction, he could have corrected it. One of these visions dealt with the Beast and his mark:
“And he causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: and that no man might buy or sell, saved he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that has understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is six hundred threescore and six.” (Revelation 13:16-18)
There are those who speculate that the “mark of the Beast” prophesied by the Apostle John (Yochanan) in Revelation 13 is either here in the form of the new RFID microchip that’s being inserted into people or it’s right around the corner. But why will so many people accept the mark? I believe it’s because what it represents most people today have already accepted, including its attitudes towards life. What does it represent? What attitudes? What mindset do people have today that will make them susceptible to accepting this mark?
The Number of a Man
First of all, in interpreting this mark, we need to realize the significance of the number. The number specified by the prophecy for “the number of the beast” is 666. Why the number 6, and why is there three of them? According to the Bible, man (Heb. ‘adam) was created on the sixth day:
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth. So God created man [Heb. ‘adam] in his own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them…And God saw everything that He had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. (Genesis 1:26-27, 31)
The number 6 then represents man (‘adam) because he was created on the sixth day. But why is the number 6 repeated three times? There are various views on this. One view is that the number 3 represents God because in the Bible, God is a unique Oneness comprised of 3: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. So as a result of the number 3 representing God, many people have speculated that the number 6 is repeated three times because the Beast will proclaim himself to be a god. Now there is New Testamental support for this, such as,
- The Beast shall be worshipped.
“And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” (Revelation 13:8)
- The Beast shall proclaim himself to be god.
“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin (“the Beast”) be revealed, the son of perdition; who [continues to] oppose and [continues to] exalt himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as god sits in the Temple of God, showing himself that he is god: (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4)
Although this is a part of it, I believe that there is also something else that’s communicated by this mark. It represents a personal value or belief of one’s complete and total independence from all things, including God, which I shall discuss further, i.e., “a life that wants to live and do what it wants without God ruling and reigning over him or her.”
A Belief in Human Diplomacy
Another possible interpretation of the number 666 is the belief in human diplomacy. For example, the number 666 could be looked at as “man” (the first 6) and man (the last 6) being brought together into unity by man (the middle 6).” The idea of the Beast (or Anti-Christ) rising up through the power of diplomacy is also attested to in Scripture:
And I saw, and behold, a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer. (Revelation 6:2)
Notice that although the rider has “a bow,” there’s no mention of any weaponry. Also the “crown was given to him,” he did not acquire it through warfare. As a result, the traditional interpretation of this prophecy is that this rider on the “white horse” is the Anti-Christ, who will rise to power through diplomacy, for through it he will go “forth conquering, and to conquer.” He is also the first of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse.
In fact, this ideal of approaching all issues and problems with diplomacy fits in perfectly with the mentality of most of the world today, People are tired of warfare and feel that peaceful diplomacy is how issues and problems should be handled. It should be remembered though that the “Anti-Christ” is a false “Substitute Messiah/Christ,” and just as Jesus (the real Messiah/Christ) is called in the prophets Sar Shalom (“the Prince of Peace”), so this false substitute will likewise portray himself as “a man of peace.”
Although there are many people in the world today who have not physically received the “Mark of the Beast” in their forehead or in their right hand, they have accepted and are living right now His attitudes and beliefs in their day-to-day lives. Consequently, when the Mark does become available, people will not have to be forced to take it because it will represent a mindset and belief system that they already embrace.
What is this “Beastly Belief System”?
These are attitudes and beliefs that many people in the world today, including the majority of Americans, embrace as their ideals in life. The one consistency we see in all of these attitudes and beliefs is that they exclude God and His Son, the Messiah Jesus (Heb. Yeshua).
“This is my life; I’ll live it my way.”
As I mentioned above, this belief asserts that the individual is master over his or her own life, and is, therefore, free to choose how to live that life: what to believe, say, eat, what career to choose, who to sleep with, marry, etc. This attitude and belief is seen reflected in songs like “I Did It My Way,” or even TV commercials that encourage people to “Have It Your Way.” When I was teaching college English, I read many essays, written by students, men and women, who made assertions like this concerning their lives, including students who said they were Christians, but argued, for example, that abortion was a woman’s right because “It’s her body, she can decide what she wants to do with it, and no one else should be able to tell her to do otherwise.”
The problem with this attitude and belief is that it is in direct opposition to what is taught in the Scriptures. The Bible teaches us that God so loved the world that He sent His Son to die for us, and that through His death, He “redeemed” (or “bought” or “purchased”) us with His own blood, and He freed us from the slavery of sin and death, so that we could be “servants of righteousness,” freely serving God now as part of His Kingdom.
But when the fulness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, in order that He might redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. (Galatians 4:4-5)
But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members (your body) as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification….But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. (Romans 6:17-19, 22)
When the Messiah (Christ) died upon the cross, He shed His own blood for our redemption. The word “redeemed” means “to purchase back.” The idea that Messiah’s death was the price paid to “buy” or “purchase” us is seen in several places in the New Testament:
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that YOU ARE NOT YOUR OWN? FOR YOU HAVE BEEN BOUGHT WITH A PRICE; therefore glorify God in your body. (I Corinthians 6:19-20; emphasis mine)
But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, EVEN DENYING THE MASTER WHO BOUGHT THEM, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned. (2 Peter 2:1-2; emphasis mine)
Worthy are Thou [Jesus/Yeshua] to take the book, and to break its seals; for Thou was slain, and DID PURCHASE FOR GOD WITH THY BLOOD Men [and women] from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. (Revelation 5:9; emphasis mine)
So what’s my point? In a monarchy or kingdom, the King owns everything within His Kingdom. Throughout the Bible, God is seen as “the King of all Kings.” So when we give our lives to Messiah (Christ), we are not only acknowledging Him as our “King,” but we are giving Him complete and total ownership over our lives. At that point, we are no longer the “owner” of our lives, He is.
We can see this same attitude over and over again throughout Scripture. For example, we see this attitude in the young Jewish virgin girl, name Mary (Heb. Mir’yam), Jesus’ (Yeshua’s) mother, when visited by the angel Gabriel. After receiving the news that she was going to conceive and give birth to a son, and she was to name Him “Jesus” (Heb. Yeshua) and further prophecies regarding His coming rule and reign upon the earth, she responded by saying,
Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; be it done to me according to your word. (Luke 1:38)
The term “bondslave” here in the New American Standard is translated in the King James Version as “handmaiden,” but the Greek word doulos means “slave.” In John MacArthur’s book Slave: The Hidden Truth About Your Identity In Christ, he notes the following:
Whenever it [the Greek word doulos] is used, both in the New Testament and in secular Greek literature, it always and only means slave. (16)
Interestingly, he also notes that the word “slave” (Gk. doulos) “appears 124 times in the original [Greek] text” (15). But “in almost every English version – going back to both the King James Version and the Geneva Bible that predated it,” the word “slave” has been translated as “servant” due to “the stigmas attached to slavery in Western society” (17). So in Mar’s response, she is acknowledging God as her “Master,” and she is agreeing to do what He has said.
Slavery in ancient Israel and in the first century, C.E., was not like it was in America. In fact, if the Colonists had actually followed the Bible, there never would have been slavery in the United States. Biblical slavery was designed so people could pay off their debts. They didn’t have welfare or food stamps back then. So, for example, Jacob wanted Rachel to be his wife, but he did not have the money to pay for the dowry, so he indentured himself (or became Laban’s slave) for a period of 7 years, so that he could work to pay off the price of the dowry. This is how it worked in the ancient world. Both sides agreed to the terms, and once the debt (or amount) had been paid and the terms satisfied, then the individual was allowed to go free. America, though, violated this model over and over again.
On the other hand, there were slaves who were treated and cared for better being someone’s slave than they would be as a “free man.” So in response, the person would choose to be that person’s slave for life. This is what was known as a “bondslave.” How one became a “bondslave” is described in Exodus 21:5-6,
And if the servant [slave] shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free. Then his master shall bring him unto the judges, he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an aul; and he shall serve him forever.
So in the ancient world, the wearing of an ear-ring identified one as a “bondslave.” Even the word “Lord,” I discovered has “slave connotations.” Like most people today, I have used the word “Lord” in reference to Messiah [Christ] the majority of my life, but I used it just thinking that it meant “God.” I used it that way because I heard other people use it and how they used it. But the word “Lord” actually means “Master” or “Owner.” God is called “Lord,” because He created all things; therefore, He owns everything that He created. Just like any artist today, if they create something, they own what they created. But man and woman sinned, and by so doing, they rejected Him and His claim of ownership. And when they did this, they did not gain the freedom that they believed they would, but they were enslaved instead to sin and to the kingdom of darkness.
This is why Messiah (Christ) came to die for us, so He could free us from sin, and bring us back into fellowship with God and to be a part of His kingdom. By His suffering and death on the cross, Messiah (Christ) redeemed or “purchased us” for Himself. So when we acknowledge what Messiah has done and we give our lives to Him, and we accept Him as our “Lord” and “Savior,” we are giving Him the “ownership rights” to our lives; and therefore, we do not belong to ourselves. We now belong to God. He now becomes the rightful Owner and Master of our lives, not us. Consequently, to say “This is My life, and I will do what I want with it” is a clear denial and recognition of God’s right of ownership. It is a belief or attitude that’s clearly represented by the Mark of the Beast.
The belief that I am to be self-sufficient and take care of myself. This is also a belief that runs contrary to Scripture, because it excludes God and His Son, the Messiah Jesus (Heb. Yeshua). It is the belief that “I don’t need anyone else to help me, I can do it myself.” In America, this belief is looked upon as an ideal, something to strive for. We in America have been taught by our society and culture that this is what it means to be an adult. However, when we look to Messiah (Christ) as our model, we find a very different ideal. Jesus (Yeshua) never went about doing His own will, but the will of His Father (God):
I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. (John 5:30)
For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me (John 6:38).
For example, Jesus (Yeshua) sought only to do the Father’s will, not His own, in regard to what He said and taught, His doctrine, which was given to Him by the Father:
My doctrine is not Mine, but His [God’s] that sent Me. (John 7:16)
For I have not spoken of Myself; but the Father which sent Me, He gave Me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that His commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto Me, so I speak. (John 12:49-50)
If a man love Me [Jesus], he will keep My words: and My Father will love him, and We will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loves Me not keeps not My sayings [or teachings]: and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s which sent Me. (John 14:23-24)
So over and over again, we see in the Gospels that Jesus (Yeshua) lived a life that was completely dependent upon God in every way: what He said and what He did. And sometimes this was a struggle for Him. This is most clearly evident in His prayer while in the Garden of Gethsemane:
Father, if You be willing, remove this cup [His upcoming passion] from Me; nevertheless NOT MY WILL BUT YOURS BE DONE. And there appeared an angel to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. And being in agony He prayed more earnestly: and His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. (Luke 22:42-44; Emphasis Mine)
Even though Jesus (Yeshua) suffered great agony here in the Garden, He still submitted Himself to the will of the Father. Paul highlights this in his epistle to the church at Philippi:
HE [Jesus/Yeshua] HUMBLED HIMSELF, and BECAME OBEDIENT UNTO DEATH, EVEN THE DEATH OF THE CROSS. Wherefore God also has highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus [Yeshua] every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth: and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ [Yeshua HaMoshiakh] is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:8-11; Emphasis Mine)
Jesus (Yeshua) lived His life totally dependent and obedient to God in all things, and as a result, God rewarded Him by elevating Him to the second highest position of authority in all of creation. Only God the Father is higher in authority than He is now. Consequently, Jesus (Yeshua) is our role model on how we are to live our lives. We must ask ourselves each day: Are we seeking to be dependent upon God? Are we obeying God in all things? Do we seek His will in all that He taught from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21? Or are we seeking to do our will instead? Who do we see on the throne of our lives whenever we need to make a decision?
The belief that we can fix whatever problems arise ourselves. Again, when we seek to fix our own problems, instead of looking to God and the leading of His Spirit, we are leaving Him out of our lives, and by so doing, we are embracing the attitudes and beliefs of the Beast. Am I saying that it is wrong to fix problems that arise? No, I am saying that it is wrong when we try to do it on our own and leave God and Jesus (Yeshua) out of it. We must learn to work WITH the Lord to get things done, not APART from Him. You may think your way will work best, but He may have a much better way, if we would only listen to Him.
The belief that with diplomacy and compassion we can solve any conflict peacefully, whether at the local, national, and international levels. Again, am I saying that diplomacy is wrong? No, but even in diplomacy, we should seek the mind and will of God in a matter. God has insights into situations that we just do not have. He does not just look on the surface of the situation like we do; instead, He can see into the very hearts and thoughts of all those involved. He can also see the past, the present, and the future all at the same time, we cannot. Therefore, it is to our benefit to seek His wisdom and counsel in any matter.
The belief that with the right time and technology, we can make this into a better world. This is a belief held by many, and although science has discovered and invented many wonderful things, God is the one who gave us the capability to make such discoveries and inventions. But He also gave us a free will, so we may choose what to do with that capability, either to use it to do good or to do evil. Science has been used to do good, such as to create medicines to heal, but it has also been used to do evil, such as create weapons of mass destruction, like chemical weapons or the atomic bomb.
Why are these the attitudes that make one susceptible to receiving the “Mark of the Beast”? Because God and Jesus (Yeshua) are not a part of any of them; it is the attitude that people can face issues, problems, and fix their own lives without God and His Son.
FOR THOSE WHO ACCEPT THE MARK OF THE BEAST
But what will happen to those who do accept “the Mark” and “worship the Beast”? The Bible tells us,
- He (or she) will experience the wrath of God.
“And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If any man [or woman] worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation;…” (Revelation 14: 9-10a)
- He (or she) will be eternally tormented with fire and brimstone in the Lake of Fire.
“…and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: and the smoke of their torment ascends up forever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receives the mark of his name.” (Revelation 14: 10b-11)
Obviously, the “Mark of the Beast” is something we want to avoid at all cost to not suffer the wrath of God, as well as experience the “Second Death,” which is to be eternally tormented in the Lake of Fire, which burns with “fire and brimstone” forever and ever. But what about the other mark? What is it about?
THE MARK OF GOD OR “ANOTHER MARK”?
The first time the Bible mentions God placing a “mark” on someone is in the book of Genesis. In Genesis 4, Cain, the eldest son of Adam and Eve (Heb. Chavah), kills his younger Abel out of anger and jealousy. As punishment for this crime, God tells Cain,
And now you are cursed from the earth, which has opened her mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand; when you till the ground, it shall not from here on yield to you her strength, a fugitive and a vagabond shall you be in the earth. (Genesis 4:11-12)
In response to his punishment, Cain tells the LORD:
Behold, You have driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from Your face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that everyone that finds me shall kill me. (Genesis 4:13-14)
In response to this concern, the LORD tells Cain,
Therefore whosoever kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him. (Genesis 4:15)
What was this “mark”? Do we know what it looked like? No, the Bible does not tell us. What I am calling “the Mark of God” is placed on a person to keep them from experiencing God’s judgment and destruction. Although the “mark of Cain” and the “mark of God” is put on someone’s forehead to keep them from being killed or destroyed, the “mark of God” is put on someone to prevent them from experiencing God’s judgment; whereas, Cain received his “mark” while under God’s judgment.
THE MARK OF GOD – TEFILLIN (PHYLACTERIES)?
Another “mark” given by God to His people are the Tefillin, usually translated as “phylacteries” in the New Testament. In his book, To Be A Jew: A Guide to Jewish Observance in Contemporary Life, Rabbi Hayim Halevy Donin defines tefillin as,
The tefillin (translated as phylacteries) consist of two small black boxes, containing small scrolls of parchment upon which are written four biblical passages. They are: Exodus 13:1-10 (“Consecrate every first born to Me…”); Exodus 13:11-16 (“When the Lord will bring you into the land…”); Deut. 6:4-9 (“Hear O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One…”); and Deut. 11:13-21 (“If you will diligently obey my commandments…”). (145)
After providing this definition, Rabbi Donin then goes on to explain,
- Each of the black boxes comes with leather straps (Hebrew: retzuot) so designed as to enable one to be bound upon the hand and for the other to be worn above the forehead. (145)
As Orthodox Jews, Jesus and His disciples would have also worn tefillin during prayer. One of the criticisms that Jesus had of the Pharisees dealt with tefillin (or phylacteries).
But all their works they do for to be seen of men. They make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments. (Matthew 23:5)
The criticism was not that they wore tefillin (phylacteries), since Jesus and His disciples did as well, but that they widened the size of the tefillin, in order to make it more noticeable that they were wearing them, that they may “be seen of men.”
Although the tefillin are not referred to as “a mark,” they do relate. God commands His people to wear tefillin on the hand [usually left hand] and on the forehead. Why the “left hand,” I believe it is because it is closest to the heart, indicating that our obedience to God must come from the heart. But as we read, the “mark of the Beast” is on the “right hand” and “forehead,” the mirrored opposite of what God has commanded in His Word. But why the “right hand”? Because it is furthest from the heart. So in commanding the “mark of the Beast,” Satan is trying to provide His own corrupt imitation of God’s command concerning the Tefillin.
THE MARK OF GOD IN EZEKIEL
However, in the book of Ezekiel, we are presented with “The mark of God,” a “mark” that God is using to distinguish and separate those people who are truly His and those who are not, thereby preventing His people from experiencing His judgment and wrath:
Then the glory of God of Israel went up from the cherub on which it had been, to the threshold of the Temple. And He called to the man clothed in linen at whose loins was the writing case. And the LORD said to him, “Go through the midst of the city, even through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations which are being committed in its midst.” (Ezekiel 9:3-4)
In this passage, we can see that God instructs an angel to go and place a mark on all those that “sigh and groan over all the abominations (sins) which are being committed in the midst” of the city. And as we will see, this mark is to designate who is to be saved.
But to the others He said in my hearing, “Go through the city after him and strike; do not let your eye have pity, and do not spare. Utterly slay [kill] old men, young men, maidens [young girls], little children, and women, but do not touch any man [or person] on whom is the mark; and you shall start from My sanctuary [Temple].” So they started with the elders who were before the Temple. And He said to them, “Defile the Temple and fill the courts with the slain. Go out!” Thus they went out and struck down the people in the city. ” (Ezekiel 9:5-7)
Those who do not have this “mark” (what I am calling “the Mark of God”) are destroyed, regardless of their age, group or gender. Ezekiel then cries out to God in utter horror:
Then it came about as they were striking and I alone was left, that I fell on my face and cried out saying, “Alas, LORD God! Are You destroying the whole remnant of Israel by pouring out Your wrath [anger] on Jerusalem?” (Ezekiel 9:6)
God then responds to Ezekiel:
Then He said to me, “The iniquity [sin] of the house of Israel and Judah is very, very great, and the land is filled with blood, and the city is full of perversion; for they say, ‘The LORD has forsaken the land, and the LORD does not see!’ But as for Me, My eye will have no pity nor shall I spare, but I shall bring their conduct upon their heads.” (Ezekiel 9:8-10)
Did this horrific thing actually happen? Indeed, it did. I believe this is a vision of what Ezekiel saw of Babylon coming against Jerusalem and utterly decimating the city in 586 B.C.E. In fact, in the very next verse, we read,
Then behold, the man clothed in linen at whose loins was the writing case reported, saying, “I have done just as You have commanded me.” (Ezekiel 9:11)
God’s judgment was poured down upon all the city, except for those who mourned over the sinful acts that was going on around them. I believe that this destruction is also a picture of the destruction and judgment that is coming upon all nations at the end of time when God’s wrath will be poured out on all nations.
In the book of Revelation, there is a parallel passage in which destruction is again about ready to be poured out, but this time on all the nations, and God again sends His angels out to put a mark of the foreheads of those who are God’s people:
And I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the seal of the living God; and he cried out with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, saying, “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have sealed the bond-servants of our God on their foreheads.” (Revelation 7:1-3)
And earlier in the book, there is a scene where Jesus (Yeshua) promises to write upon those who overcome:
He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the Temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write upon him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name. (Revelation 3:12)
Could these two passages in Revelation be referring to the same “seal”? Could this “seal” be the same “mark” that was placed on the foreheads of the ancient Israelites that marked them for salvation? Those in Ezekiel who received this mark were “saved,” while everyone else was destroyed.
WE ARE GIVEN A CHOICE
From the very beginning of creation, humanity has (and continues to be given) a choice between two options: obedience to God or disobedience to God. For example, we read about these choices:
OBEDIENCE TO GOD
DISOBEDIENCE TO GOD
|The Tree of Life||The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil|
|The way that led away from Sodom||The way that led towards Sodom|
|The Commandments, blessings and life||Sin, cursings and death|
|Serving YHVH, the true God||Serving Ba’al, the false god.|
|Entering the Narrow gate/way||Entering the Broad gate/way|
|living the crucified life||not living the crucified life|
|Led by the Spirit||Led by the Flesh|
|Being Spiritually-minded||Being Carnally-minded|
|Living in subjection to the Law of God||not living in subjection to the Law of God|
|Doing what pleases God||Not doing what pleases God|
These are just some of the choices we see discussed within the Bible, but the ultimate decision that each of us must make that’s also in the Bible is in regards to the person of the Messiah Jesus (Heb. Yeshua). To accept Him as our Lord, Savior, and King, OR do we reject Him as our Lord, Savior and King? This is not just a one-time decision, but it is a DAILY decision that we must make and live out each and every day.
ONE FINAL CHOICE
But there is coming to humanity, ONE FINAL CHOICE. Do we choose to follow God and the Messiah Jesus (Yeshua) OR do we choose to follow the Beast and receive His mark? When that day does arrive, what “mark” will your life reflect? What “mark” does your life reflect today? Does your life reflect the “mark of God,” the beliefs and values of God and His Word? Are you sighing and mourning over the sins and abominations that you witness around you each and every day?
Or does your life reflect the “mark of the Beast”? Do you seek to live independently from God? Do you choose what you think is best, rather than God, and do you follow the popular saying, “If it feels good, do it”? And not only do you engage in sins condemned by God, but do you also give your approval to those who do them as well? For the Scriptures teach, “Though they know God’s decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them” (Romans 1:32).
IT’S TIME TO DECIDE
The time of the Lord’s coming is quickly coming upon us. We do not want to wait until it is too late. We need to accept Jesus as our Lord, Savior and King, and begin working with Him to get our life right with God. But how do we know that we’ve been legitimately saved and we’re on the “narrow road” that leads to eternal life?
I believe a sign that we have truly chosen and made God and His Son Jesus Christ (Heb. Yeshua HaMoshiakh) as Lord, Savior and King over our lives is that we share His heart in sighing and mourning over the sins and abominations we see committed around us each and every day. And by sincerely daily following Jesus (Yeshua) and His teachings found throughout the whole Bible, God will bless us as Jesus (Yeshua) promised by saving us from the coming judgment and destruction, the “Second Death” (Revelation 20:11-15), for “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” (Matthew 5:4).
it was actually my devotion this morning:)