Refrain from taking the Mark of the Beast,
For its damnation by the Devil’s yeast.
Sorrow, pain and eternal regret,
If God’s command one does forget.
Trust not worthless idols and images,
Be not part of the world and savages.
Heed what Christ has commanded,
Faithfulness to the end is demanded.
Even if the forces of darkness seem to win,
Take not the vile mark and thus sin.
Trust in God even if faced with death,
Hold on to Jesus of Nazareth.
Though millions may take the Beast’s Mark,
The Gospel if you believe is enough life spark.
Don’t be fearful of sickness and pestilence,
In those times; focus on God’s ordinance.
By the Holy Spirit you live,
And by Christ you forgive.
Let your prayer then remain,
That Jesus Christ come again.
One wrong perspective about the end of the world is that it’s going to be all fun and thrills. People feel that they will somehow manage to gain neutral spectator positions from where they will be excluded from all the painful parts of the end times. I reckon, some will be eager to take videos or photos of such events and pass it along for their 15 minutes of fame. Such an attitude won’t do them good. The Bible does tell us about the bitterness of it. Let’s read Revelation chapter 10 which confirms this:
1 Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven, wrapped in a cloud, with a rainbow over his head, and his face was like the sun, and his legs like pillars of fire. 2 He had a little scroll open in his hand. And he set his right foot on the sea, and his left foot on the land, 3 and called out with a loud voice, like a lion roaring. When he called out, the seven thunders sounded. 4 And when the seven thunders had sounded, I was about to write, but I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Seal up what the seven thunders have said, and do not write it down.” 5 And the angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand to heaven 6 and swore by him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and what is in it, the earth and what is in it, and the sea and what is in it, that there would be no more delay, 7 but that in the days of the trumpet call to be sounded by the seventh angel, the mystery of God would be fulfilled, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.
8 Then the voice that I had heard from heaven spoke to me again, saying, “Go, take the scroll that is open in the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land.” 9 So I went to the angel and told him to give me the little scroll. And he said to me, “Take and eat it; it will make your stomach bitter, but in your mouth it will be sweet as honey.” 10 And I took the little scroll from the hand of the angel and ate it. It was sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it my stomach was made bitter. 11 And I was told, “You must again prophesy about many peoples and nations and languages and kings.”
Wrathful nature of the Devil at the end times
Another thing about the end of the world is that the vile hellish serpent also known as the Devil or Satan will be thrown down to earth along with his angels due to their defeat at the hands of the archangel Michael and God’s holy angels (Good angels exist too). Also keep in mind he’s going be around with his wicked angels when he comes around. Since the Devil knows his days are numbered (all thanks to God!), he’s going to be filled with rage against the inhabitants of the earth and the sea as well but mostly towards those who keep God’s commandments and the testimony of Jesus Christ. The “those” who are mentioned in the Holy Scriptures are Christians! Obviously, this is not going to be a roller coaster ride when the Devil comes to make war.
7 Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, 8 but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. 9 And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. 10 And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. 11 And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. 12 Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!”
13 And when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. 14 But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle so that she might fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to the place where she is to be nourished for a time, and times, and half a time. 15 The serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, to sweep her away with a flood. 16 But the earth came to the help of the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed the river that the dragon had poured from his mouth. 17 Then the dragon became furious with the woman and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. And he stood on the sand of the sea. (Revelation 12:7-17)
The Anti christ and the False prophet will be there in the end times
Now the Devil will in those days do something not yet done. He will invest his power and authority into a sinister person who will be the Anti christ, also referred to as the Beast. Plus the False prophet who is also called as the Second beast shall arise. This unholy alliance, this evil trinity will try to openly and blatantly enforce worship of the Anti christ and also the image of the Beast. People who are holy shall not worship such wickedness despite the war being waged upon them by the Beast (Many will be killed in such times for refusing to bow down to the Beast and its image). While the others who don’t respect nor believe in the Lord shall end up worshipping the fake god controlled by the Devil who is none other than the Anti christ. You can refer to Revelation chapter 13 in which the whole chapter which confirms this. Don’t assume this will not happen in your beloved nation but only happen in a single nation such as Egypt or Syria, since this will be a world-wide event. People should stop assuming that the end times are happening only due to a certain country and its behaviour towards Israel. Like it or not, the various nations of the world have been playing puppet to the Devil for a very long time! Don’t be shocked if they’d follow the Beast too while staying silent when he causes the true followers of God to be martyred.
The wrath of God in its various forms will manifest in the end times
There are going to various instances of God’s wrath in the end times (refer Revelation chapter 16). This is because a lot of people will not give glory to God but will rather worship the Anti Christ. Here’s a list of a few such punishments mentioned:
- Harmful and painful sores will come upon the people who bore the mark of the Beast and worshipped its image.
- The sun will scorch and kill people with its heat.
- The throne of the Beast, and its kingdom will be plunged into darkness.
- There will be a great earthquake so violent that a great city will be split into three parts, and the cities of the nations will fall, and God will remember Babylon the great, to make her drain the cup of the wine of the fury of his wrath.
The end times are anything but fun and games. The Devil’s going to be trying to destroy many at such times. Satan’s henchmen the Anti Christ and the False Prophet will deceive a huge number of people leading into eternal damnation. The wrath of God will work very strongly against all those who worship the Beast and even sinners in general. Dear reader, take such times seriously and act in a holy manner worthy, having full faith in Jesus Christ. Avoid taking causal mannerism towards the end times. Pray that you are found faithful to the Lord now and forever more.
Christ be with you!
And now, O Israel, listen to the statutes and the rules that I am teaching you, and do them, that you may live, and go in and take possession of the land that the Lord, the God of your fathers, is giving you. You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you. (Deuteronomy 4:1-2)
Be careful to obey all these words that I command you, that it may go well with you and with your children after you forever, when you do what is good and right in the sight of the Lord your God…Everything that I command you, you shall be careful to do. You shall not add to it or take from it. (Deuteronomy 12:28,32)
Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar. (Proverbs 30:5-6)
In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, this word came from the Lord: “Thus says the Lord: Stand in the court of the Lord‘s house, and speak to all the cities of Judah that come to worship in the house of the Lord all the words that I command you to speak to them; do not hold back a word. It may be they will listen, and every one turn from his evil way, that I may relent of the disaster that I intend to do to them because of their evil deeds. (Jeremiah 26:1-3)
For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. (Revelation 22:18-19)
The Bible encourages us to be teachable unto to things of God. A wise son hears his father’s instruction, but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke. (Proverbs 13:1). Do you listen to God our father’s instructions as given in the Bible? Perhaps a reminder of the meaning of the word ‘teachable’ would be beneficial.Teach·able: 1 a : capable of being taught b : apt and willing to learn 2 : favorable to teaching (reference: Merriam-webster dictionary)
Let me first give you an example of what it means to be unteachable. Here we go with a conversation about a guy Adam inviting to his friend Jacob to a teaching on prophecy:
Adam: “Jacob, there’s a teaching on prophecy about the end times by so and so preachers in church next weekend. They are teaching about how to avoid the various deceptions and also they’re giving a warning of bloodshed during the great tribulation.”
Jacob: “Adam, please don’t talk negative things. I don’t want to know evil.”
Adam: “No it’s not. I just want you to benefit from what is mentioned in the Bible. That’s all I want my friend.”
Jacob: “I hate bloodshed and deception. I don’t want anything to do with it”
Adam: “This teaching doesn’t teach you sin by lying or killing. Now to kindly explain; it could help you keep your faith by…”
Jacob: “Hey wait! I always keep my faith. Are you accusing me of losing my faith?”
Adam: “No please. That’s not what I meant…”
Jacob: “Get away from me. Why did you talk about deception and bloodshed?”
Adam: “With all due respect I want to tell you the importance of such teachings but you are not letting me finish what I want to say.”
Adam: “Ok then, leave it. If you don’t want to hear me then I can’t expect you to listen to that preacher either.”
Jacob: “You are judging me.”
Adam: “Excuse me, you were first to judge when you said that I’m talking negative.”
Jacob: “Just stop talking negative!”
Adam: “Fine, keep to your ignorance and good luck with that!”
Now I don’t want to focus on how polite Adam should have been. Nowadays there is too much emphasis on being polite rather than being right. There’s a place for empathy but you should realize some people are too engrossed in themselves. So, I’m talking about how Jacob deliberately was avoiding going to the teaching on prophecy. He was only bothered about himself and kept interrupting whenever an explanation was offered. That is a fine example of being unteachable.
Don’t get me wrong but the scope of this post is not limited to only learning prophecy. I stand for all the topics and teachings of the Bible which we are to learn.
There are some people in the church who are quite cosy in their ignorance of the word of God. They are aware of certain Bible verses and they do try to understand these verses. However due to their own reasons, they avoid getting taught on every Bible topic.
For them peace, love and miracles are the only things to hear. Now try teaching them about repentance, avoiding false prophets, exposing pedophiles etc and they will first get uneasy and later angry. Most will try to exit the place where such topics are spoken but some will be so outraged that they will be very vocal in their dissent. They may say, ‘You have said this but as per my experience we shouldn’t be talking about it’ or may say ‘I don’t know about this topic and I don’t want to know’.
So you ask them where in the Bible it says we shouldn’t get this topics taught and they get cornered. As they don’t read the Bible that well, they will not know even if there was a Bible verse prohibiting so and so teaching. Such is the depth of their ‘experience’. There are verses in the Bible that in fact tell us what things not to learn. Here’s one of them; But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. (Revelation 2:20 ESV). I will also mention another one; But I also have a message for the rest of you in Thyatira who have not followed this false teaching (‘deeper truths,’ as they call them–depths of Satan, actually). I will ask nothing more of you (Revelation 2:24 NLT).
For such people their experiences are greater teachers than anyone else. They will try to avoid any teaching that is not sugar-coated or doesn’t fit their religious theology. Obsession with sugar-coated teachings reminds me of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder though the former is more about deliberate choices rather than the latter’s medical leanings.
To make this clear let’s go through another example; you see a bridge on the verge of collapsing any second and everyone is avoiding that bridge. Now a person is trying to cross it. You say, ‘Hey, the bridge is about to collapse any moment so don’t cross it’. And that person replies ‘Why should I listen? You didn’t say ‘please’ nor ‘kindly’. How dare you address me as ‘Hey’?’ You realize that empathy will help in such a case and so you then say, ‘Excuse me but since I don’t know your name I used the word ‘Hey’ and as it’s a matter of life and death I had decided to cut down on the pleasantries. So now will you kindly please avoid this bridge as its way to dangerous’. Then the person replies saying ‘O good. I shall surely not cross this bridge. Thanks for telling me in a way I am accustomed to understand.’ This may seem absurd in the world but in Church there are some Christians who behave just the same as the person trying to cross the dangerous bridge. Give them all warnings with related verses but they won’t even consider unless it’s in terms of their liking.
You see how people are more concerned about the sugar-coating rather than the actual topic of the words spoken. Such people are prone to deception unless they start checking facts before politeness. Because these people have an obsession that until and unless the words are not sugared to their liking they won’t even consider. The Evil One knows this too well. He therefore will make the temptation to sin look very pleasant as per that persons notions of politeness who only partly depends on God’s word to know what is true from false. As long as his inducement to sin seems pleasant to the eye (or mind) the gullible person will consume the product with great relish.
Not just the Devil, even selfish marketing people use the same trick of fake empathy. They speak lies so kindly and politely even if they don’t mean it. And thus sell products like insurance, weird oils, weight loss powders etc to people who don’t even need them. (Food for thought)
It’s time to start being teachable in the truest sense. It’s not about accepting any teaching for the sake of accepting. Rather we learn things because they are right in the eyes of God and help us and our brothers and sisters in Christ to admonish them of dangers, also to love, respect and bless one another for the glory of God.
Here a few Bible verses about being teachable:
- And when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself in a book a copy of this law, approved by the Levitical priests. And it shall be with him, and he shall read in it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God by keeping all the words of this law and these statutes, and doing them, that his heart may not be lifted up above his brothers, and that he may not turn aside from the commandment, either to the right hand or to the left, so that he may continue long in his kingdom, he and his children, in Israel. (Deuteronomy 17:18-20)
- And Samuel said to Saul, “The Lord sent me to anoint you king over his people Israel; now therefore listen to the words of the Lord. (1 Samuel 15:1)
- Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning. (Proverbs 9:9)
- Poverty and disgrace come to him who ignores instruction, but whoever heeds reproof is honored. (Proverbs 13:18)
- And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Corinthians 2:13-14)
Your walk with Christ calls for faith in him at all times. You must have faith in him, in good times and in bad times, in poverty and in riches. Believe in Jesus even if billions don’t believe in him. Don’t stop at this, even if you see the people who profess Christ suddenly turn away from the Lord, you shouldn’t get perturbed but simply continue to follow Jesus. Don’t lose your spiritual balance when this happens. After all its your personal walk of faith with Jesus which no one else can walk on behalf of you.
We are already warned not to get trapped by any wrong philosophy. Because the purpose of the Evil One is to take your loyalty to God and place it anywhere else as long as it away from Christ. It doesn’t matter to the Devil if you are enamored with hedonism (pleasure centered living), partying excessively, lasciviousness etc as this will all get you on the many roads away from the Gospel.
See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ. (Colossians 2:8)
For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them (Ephesians 5:5-7)
Now, the Bible warns us about something serious in the future. This was prophesied so that you don’t lose heart but instead be strong in the faith. Why, because there will be many believing Christians who will turn away from the Christian faith, which is to believe in Jesus and the Gospel. In certain Christian circles this is also called as the Great Apostasy. Now some believe that it has already happened years back. For this they refer to denominational break ups and schisms. They point to doctrinal deviations as the defining point to this. Now I do agree that we must not give into any lies that deny the truth of the Gospel and the salvation that comes Jesus Christ. And also that we must hold on to the true doctrine of the Christian faith which comes through Jesus our Lord.
What I maintain however is that the Great Apostasy is still a work in progress, despite the increase of false prophets and wicked cults. The reason being that this wicked event will followed by the manifestation of the Anti-Christ and also the return of Jesus our Lord. I will cite two specific places in the Bible to shed light on this. These scriptures themselves are abundant in meaning not just about the falling away but other things too.
Firstly, lets read Matthew 24:3-14 which shows that the falling away from the faith will happen. Here the context is in regards to the return of Jesus Christ and the preaching of the Gospel to all the ends of the earth. Here were go:
Later, Jesus sat on the Mount of Olives. His disciples came to him privately and said, “Tell us, when will all this happen? What sign will signal your return and the end of the world?” Jesus told them, “Don’t let anyone mislead you, for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah.’ They will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world. But all this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come. “Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers. And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other. And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people. Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come.
Secondly, there is also 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12 which again confirms that the Great Apostasy or falling away from the Christian faith will happen. Here its associated with the return of Christ our Lord and also the manifestation of the man of sin also know as the Anti-Christ. Lets read on:
Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
You might wonder. Why is all this warning given? There is a good reason, it’s so that you don’t lose courage on seeing so many Christians leave the faith and that you continue to be rooted in Christ. You may have felt bad about the hypocrites in the Church but that doesn’t mean that you give up on Christ. In the same way the Apostles even during their time on earth faced lots of challenges seeing other Christians martyred, some in chains etc but they didn’t give up on the blessed hope that comes from Jesus Christ alone.
If someone doesn’t want to fall away but instead wants continue with Christ right until the end, then I recommend that you pray daily and try to read the entire Book of Jude and understand the reality of it. Especially the following verses:
Jude 1: 20-25 But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And on some have compassion, making a distinction; but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire,hating even the garment defiled by the flesh. Glory to God. Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, To God our Savior,Who alone is wise,Be glory and majesty, Dominion and power, Both now and forever. Amen.