Summary: Do Christians need to fear the Mark of the Beast? When will it be given? Is there a far more important question that we should be asking ourselves? Is there another prophecy that we should be more concerned about?
THE MARK OF THE BEAST
By Pastor Jim May
Over the years I have done a number of series teaching from the Book of the Revelation. I cannot tell you how many times I have been told, by Christians, that they don’t like studying, or even reading, the Book of Revelation because it frightens them. I have always tried to tell everyone that the prophecies in the Revelation are not something that we, as Christians, should fear. Instead we should welcome the fulfillment of these prophecies for they not the end of peace, love and hope for those who serve the Lord. The calamities and judgments that will fall upon this earth and its inhabitants are not meant to destroy God’s people, but to destroy Satan’s evil empire, to purge the power of death and sin from God’s creation, and to usher in an eternal Kingdom of joy that will never end. Revelation is not a book of defeat and death to a Christian, but a book of “Deliverance and Ultimate Victory”.
I won’t have the time to get deep into the teachings of the prophecies this morning, but there was an article in a recent newspaper that caught my eye and I believe that the Holy Spirit is leading me to give you a message this morning based upon that article and the prophecies of Revelation. This message will be a disturbing message to all anyone who is not truly saved and sold out to Jesus Christ, but for those who are truly born again and rapture ready, it will be a message of great hope because it will show you for certain that it won’t be long until Jesus comes.
Revelation 14:9-11, "And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man 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; 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 ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name."
Now I am no great Bible Scholar, and I haven’t studied at any Bible College or Seminary, and I make no claims to know all there is to know about the prophecies of Revelation. Frankly, I don’t believe that anyone, no matter how many degrees they may have earned from educational institutions, could say that they fully understand it all either. There are some things in God’s Word that He has not revealed with sufficient detail for us to know all about it. We don’t need to know the details of how God will bring his will to pass. We only need to know that what He says will happen. We need to know that no man can alter the plan of God. And most of all we need to know that we must be ready for the coming of the Lord that could happen at any moment!
Jesus said in Luke 12:40, "Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not."
One matter of prophecy that has always been a source of wonder and much guesswork by everyone who takes the Bible literally has been the Mark of the Beast. We all want to know, “What is that Mark”, “When will it be given” and “How can I keep from receiving it, even by accident?”
Let me begin by saying this. There is a great passage of scripture that we have all read many times found in the Book of 1 Thessalonians chapter 4. I get a thrill every time I read it and every time I think about it, I just have to stop and whisper that prayer again, “Lord, help me to be ready when this day comes.”
1 Thessalonians 4:15-17, "For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 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: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord."
Of course we all refer to the fulfillment of this prophecy as the “Rapture of the Church”. The word “Rapture” is never found in the scriptures, but this event describes a “catching away” and that’s what “Rapture” means.