The Mark of the beast

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					Class of the Week
The Mark of the Beast
Lesson 17 from the series, "Revival"

Revelation 13:16-18, "And he causeth 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, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his
name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for
it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred three score and six."
Revelation 15:2. "And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had
gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the
number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God."
To begin with, I want to set the record straight here that Satan's victories are entirely
dependent upon deceit. He cannot stand exposure. Having been defeated at Calvary, he
only exists by the will of God, therefore, his kingdom is built on a lie. It is important for
you to know, especially you as ministers of the Gospel that this deception works in two
directions.
First of all, he will accuse God's word of being a lie. He will use religious leaders, and tell
you there is no hell, no mark, no Heaven, et cetera. Only a few will swallow this. So he hits
them with his second lie. He will admit that there is a hell, that there is a mark, but he
himself will interpret what that hell and mark is. You have got to know who is preaching the
Gospel. The devil will use a man, God will use a man, but when it is a devil, you had better
know it. There is no place he uses this last tactic more than concerning the mark of the
Beast. He has sold the religious world on the thought that the mark is future, that
somewhere there will be a decision forced on the individual as to whether he will take this
mark or not. Hence, millions of Christians live out their lives in a lukewarm condition telling
themselves, that if they miss the rapture they will refuse the mark.
When I speak of the mark of the Beast, I speak of more than a brand that's going to be
put on the forehead or right hand. I come from cattle country, Texas. Men brand their
own cattle, those that are theirs. They may look a lot like the man's cattle across the
fence, but there is a brand, a circle R or something else, that says that is my cow. That is
what the brand says. Satan will only brand those who are already his. That is a very
important thing. He will not brand the true child of God, which walks with God. He will only
brand those whom he has made his in time. Revelation 15:2, speaks of a multitude, who
have gotten the victory over his mark and the number of his name. This is a very,
important verse, for it points up two very important truths. Number 1: multitudes are
already up there, John saw them, who have already overcome. So we know we can make it.
John saw this multitude in Revelation 15:2, "And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled
with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and
over the mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the
harps of God."
John sees the people that have already made it. They have already overcome. They have
overcome the number of his name. Second, this verse tells us what the mark actually is.
Naming in the Bible denotes character. These people, in overcoming the number of the
name of the Beast, have overcome the character of that Beast. There are only two forces.
Good and evil, God and the devil. Both of them seek man, for their own. God's ultimate
purpose for man is to conform him to the image of Christ. By the new birth God makes man
a part of His family. God's desire is to fill the new man with His Spirit. The Spirit is God's
nature and God's life. As man learns to walk in the Spirit, that is, in God's nature, God's
nature becomes his nature. This is conformity to Christ. This is the whole will of God for
man after having brought him in to this union with Christ and this relationship with the
Father.
On the other hand, the devil seeks that same unregenerate man, to conform him to
himself. Man is the object of both worlds. He will be used either of God to express God in
this universe, or he will either be used of Satan to express Satan in time. Adam chose the
devil. God created him to be the express image of Himself. He was to grow in the
knowledge and image of God and ultimately fill the earth with the knowledge of God. Had
Adam stayed true to his calling, there would be no place on planet earth that God would
not have been known. He chose Satan, and there is no place on this earth where Satan is
not known. Anywhere you go, he is worshiped as God. That is true. No place is Jesus known
except where this new creation has gone. Man is the object of both worlds. God will
conform him to the image of Christ, fill the universe with the knowledge of Himself, or
Satan will conform him to the image of himself. To do this, Satan must put his nature in
man.
The nature of Satan is the mark of the Beast. "Here is wisdom. Let him that hath
understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of man; and his number
is Six hundred threescore and six." (Revelation 13:18) This is man's nature in the extreme.
Man without God is a beast. What then is the nature of a beast? Selfishness is the law of
the jungle. That is the nature of the beast. An animal will eat its own for survival. This is
the mark that Satan would put on every man and woman born of a woman. The law of the
jungle is the law of survival of the fittest. I had a sow pig that I raised as a Future
Farmers project. She gave birth to a litter of pigs in the night, and when I got there the
next morning, she had eaten all of them but one. Her own life meant more to her than her
offspring. This is the law of the jungle. It is the mark of that beast world. This is the very
mark of the Beast.
All the vices of fallen men and angels have their root in the proud atheism of self. Men are
dead to God because they are alive to self. Without a death to self there can be no escape
from Satan's power. The Spirit of God is humility. The spirit of Satan is self-exaltation.
Herein, lies the struggle for eternal life - Pride and humility are the two kingdoms in strife
for the proud possession of man. The enemies of man rising out of the fall are many, but
the supreme enemy called Antichrist is self-exaltation.
Paul writing in the book of Thessalonians says, of this Antichrist, he sits in the temple of
God. "Know you not that your body is a temple of God." Antichrist sits in the temple of
God, exalting himself above all that is called God. What is it that sits in the temple that
exalts itself above God? S-E-L-F. There has been much speculation as to Antichrist and
his mark, which is his nature. To know what Antichrist is not, one only need read the short
description Christ gave of Himself, "I am meek and lowly." If this be Christ, then
self-exaltation being in the highest and fullest opposition, must be that spirit of
Antichrist that opposes the Spirit of Christ.
Jesus said, "Come unto me for I am meek and lowly." (Matthew 11:29) If this were Christ,
this humility, then self-exaltation, being in the highest and fullest opposition, must be the
spirit of Antichrist that opposes the Spirit of Christ. Though that man who is to be the
embodiment of this Spirit is not yet revealed, that is Antichrist, no man need look further
than his own heart to find that same Antichrist John said, was already in the world. Hence,
self has become the god of millions who go to church every Sunday, they sit on the pew.
Filled with pride, self-esteem, pay lip service to the Almighty. Pride is the only disorder of
the fallen world, which has no place among other beings. It can only subsist when
ignorance, sensuality, lust and impurity reign! If a man will boast of anything of his own, he
must boast of his misery and his sin.
Selfishness, then, is the nature of hell, and as such is the nature and mark of the Beast.
It's sad but true; multitudes sit on church pews every Sunday who are already marked by
the Beast. Nothing is important to them but themselves. I pastored a church for
thirty-five years. People came, sat in the church, and were blessed of God. They would
come after the service, and say to me, the message is what our heart hungers for. The
worship is beautiful, but we want to know, what do you have for the singles. What do you
have for the young married? What do you have here for children? They would forfeit what
they said they believed was God, for some program that would minister to the carnal needs
of those around them. Much of religious teaching fosters that spirit.
We feed our kids to worse fires than Molech. You remember they sacrificed their
children, by throwing them into the fires of a volcano. We feed our kids to the fires of
lust and sensuality. Then wonder why God is not blessing. Both worlds are reaching for you.
God wants to conform you to the image of His Son, and through us display the glory of
that Christ in the ages to come. Satan is after you to conform you to his own selfish,
lawless image. To fill the earth with the knowledge of himself. We are the objects of this
struggle; our future depends upon our own choice. The Bible says in the book of Psalms, "I
will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made..." (Psalms 139:14).
You can look at the human organism, at the miles and miles of blood vessels, billions of
cells, the brain, the eye; you can say what a wonderful thing this body is. But the body is,
not what God has in mind here. Fearfully was the first birth. Wonderfully the second. That
works itself out in the spiritual world. Fearfully made, number 1, because everything born
of a woman has within it the potential of being conformed to the image of Satan himself.
It is hard for you and I to look at a Hitler, a Stalin, a Genghis Khan, and the evil that
these men produced, and imagine them as an innocent child at play. Stalin is credited with
killing eighty to one hundred million people. Hard to believe he was once a baby rocked in
his mother's arms. Even studied to be a priest of religion. Fearfully made. That man, born
with all the virtues and innocence of a baby, but carried with it the fearful possibility of
being conformed to the image of Satan himself. When you look at that little baby, that
same Stalin, that same Hitler, through the new birth, could possess the possibility of being
conformed to the image of Him who is all love, all wisdom, all power, all kindness, all
patience. Think about that, the possibility of awaking in his likeness.
John said, "...it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall
appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is." (I John 3:2) Paul said, "As we
behold him, Christ in the Spirit, we are changed into the same image from glory to glory."
David said, in the Psalms, "...I shall be satisfied, when I awake in thy likeness." (Psalms
17:15) We must make our choice always to be wonderfully conformed to the image of
Christ. At the same time we must set forth without any mixture, the frightening
possibility of being conformed to the image of the devil. We must set that before the
people. Preach this; proclaim this in the name of God. We have been called of God to make
a difference in this last generation. This is truly the mark of the Beast. Satan will only
brand those who he has stamped his nature of selfishness on in time.
The church is full of people who sing about the coming of the Lord, but are going nowhere.
Their whole nature is selfishness. If you don't do what they want you to do, they'll quit, or
in the extreme split the church. That same nature on the street that believes, that what
you have is his, if he can take it away from you, sits on the pew every Sunday. That, nature
says, these people have already been marked, and because they are marked, Satan will
brand them in their right hand or forehead one day. On the other side, there are those
whose lives are given to God. The mark of a life under the control of the Holy Spirit is, it
never lives for itself, always for others. You must proclaim this truth to all God gives you.

				
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Kathleen Maples Kathleen Maples Christian http://timnkat1.tripod.com
About It's not about me, it's about HIM-the Lord Jesus Christ.