Revelation Chapter 13
VERSE 16 continued “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…”
As we discussed in our previous post in order to avoid receiving the mark of the beast it is important that we rightly understand just whom or what the beast is. Knowing this much will greatly aid us when the true test comes, when we are called upon to make a choice. Our next question naturally is:
When and Who precisely receive the “mark of the beast”?
When: From the narrative it appears that no one was given the “mark” until AFTER the “image of the beast” arrived on the scene and AFTER it received life.
Who: Once again the narrative implies that ALL who worship the beast and his image receive the “mark”.
Remember the “image” spoken of here is the vitalized image, the amalgamation of the two-horned beast (the Church of England) with the image of the beast (the Protestant alliance). Together they comprise the entity known as the “False Prophet” referred to in Rev 16:13.
So, when exactly does this take place?
As pointed out in our last post by Brother Shallieu there are three stages to the development of the image of the beast, 1) its initial conception and/or formation in the guise of the *Evangelical Alliance (Verse 14), and 2) a still further development in the form of The World Council of Churches preparatory to its 3) dedication or vitalization (breath of life) Verse 15.
*The Evangelical Alliance (1846) still exist and is now referred to by some as the World Evangelical Alliance (1912), and works closely with The World Council of Churches.
It should be noted that the Church of England (the two-horned beast) was not a part of the initial conception of the image of the beast when by its example it told “those who dwell on the earth” (Protestant congregations, independent church’s and etc.) to make an image of the beast (Verse 14), which they did in the form of the Evangelical Alliance, but would later join them when The World Council of Churches was established.
The last step in the evolution of the image of the beast has yet to have taken place. This will not take place until the two-horned beast is instilled with Satanic power and begins to perform great signs and lying wonders as mentioned in Matt 24:24 and 2 Thess 2:9. Remember the Adversary is working through his great master-work, the Antichrist (the false church system), and he will do everything he can to maintain it including performing miraculous miracles, healings and etc. He may even attempt to fake or feign the resurrection of the dead in order to deceive.
Does receiving the mark effect one’s salvation?
NO! it does not, you cannot lose your salvation simply because you bare the mark of the beast or his image. Most of the world lies in darkness, the god of this world having blinded them, therefore it is not all their fault that they are deceived. Nevertheless, baring the mark does exclude you from membership in the heavenly phase of the kingdom, the ruling phase (Compare Rev 20:4). In the truest sense, only the very elect will avoid receiving the mark upon the right hand or the forehead, and will not fall prey to the deceptions soon coming upon the world (Matt 24:24)
“For false christs (false systems, i.e., the Image of the beast) and false prophets (false teachers, teachers of error) will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, IF POSSIBLE, even the elect.”
This statement is very telling it implies that EVERYONE ELSE regardless of their profession will be deceived in one manner or another, including the Great Company class.
“The shaking and sifting will be thorough; for it is the Lord that is behind it, wishing to thoroughly separate the little handful of wheat from the vast quantity of tares (which comprises the majority of the professing church, the church nominal).”
In our next post we will move on to Verse 17.
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