And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.(2 Thess 2:11-12)
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.(Revelation 14:9-11)
A few days ago, in a blog article I commented upon the trend among many among Evangelicals and Pentecostals of succumbing to evil in so many current controversial issues. If these religious leaders can find ways to unite with Islam (Chrislam) and can seek to be reconciled with unrepentant and practicing Sodomites, (N.A.L.T.) in the face of the clear New Testament warnings, What else remains of the Christian faith is there to deny?
I then posited that the next thing we knew there would be those among us who would rise up to assure Christians that it would be alright to take the Mark of the Beast.
I am appalled to have to report to you that in the responses to my last article, I was informed that this is already happening, there are already prominent Christian teachers on record who do advise that it is possible to take the Mark of the Beast and yet to be saved after having done so!
Here is a Link to a discussion between Brannon Howse, Jimmy Deyoung, about a teaching Q/A by John MacArthur, in which all agree that it is possible to take the Mark of the Beast and still be saved! Outrage;John MacArthur
I have long respected MacArthur, and hope that he will soon retract his rash and irresponsible teaching on this point. It is shocking that a minister who is otherwise so well-known for his respectful treatment of scripture and his bold stand for Jesus would be teaching this!* MacArthur has long taught through scripture and his Grace to You program has been a source of feeding for hundreds of thousands of God’s sheep.
To be fair to MacArthur, he isn’t cavalier about taking the Mark. He merely denies that taking the Mark is an irrevocable and unforgivable action. Here is GTY’s official response to those who object to MacArthur’s teaching on the Mark,
Unforgivable? by Phil Johnson
Several years ago in a live Q&A session, someone asked John MacArthur if taking the mark of the Beast during the Great Tribulation would be an unpardonable sin. His answer, in short, was no. Though there is a stern warning against taking the mark of the Beast in Revelation 14, the sin is not categorically said to be unpardonable. (That would contradict Matthew 12:31.) The point of the severe language in Revelation 14 is to make clear what an utterly reprehensible sin it will be to swear an oath of willful loyalty to Antichrist… (click link for the rest of the statement).
What are we to make of this confusion about something so seemingly so clearly taught in scripture?
* We must be very near the time of the test warned of in Revelation 13, the imposition of the Religio/Political/Economic system which will impose on all, the Mark of the Beast.
This is what christians have been conditioned for in the countless accommodations by so many leaders to other things clearly rejected in scripture, such as union with false religion and accommodation by the church of sexual perversions, or they dare to lead congregations to reject things emphatically taught in scripture, such as Hell and final judgment..
But bold pseudo leaders leaders rise up and decide (for all of us) that the time for our (the church’s) ignorance, and prejudice is over, it is time to be responsible and for the church to get with the times, and accommodate what scripture clearly forbids.
Acceptance of the Mark of the Beast is just the last in a long line of this kind of leadership.
* We need to be clear about the Mark of the Beast, we can’t afford to allow any confusion about it.
God so wants us to be aware of the danger of accepting the Mark, He will commission Angels in the last days, to warn people of the eternal and irrevocable danger to all who would take the Mark of the Beast.
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.( Revelation 14:9-11)
How could God be any clearer? There will be astonishing pressures upon people; buying and selling in the conventional way will become impossible without the Mark, therefore people will look about for any kind of justification for violating this clear Word of scripture, just as some churches found ways to justify rejecting the Biblical teachings on Hell, Homosexuality, and prohibitions of interfaith unity.
Perhaps this is why the Lord resorts to such etra-ordinary means, Angelic Heralds flying through the sky , warning of the everlasting punishment on all those who took the Mark of the Beast.
Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.(Revelation 20:4)
*The Mark of the Beast is something to Overcome…
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.(Revelation 15:2)
Prepare now to reject the Mark with all of your being! There are some things worse than death, such as everlasting judgment.
The scripture talks about “receiving the Mark”, thus it is not imposed on anyone, all are given a clear choice to accept or reject it. The Mark of the Beast is the final watershed, man’s last chance to take God’s side or the devil’s. I hope and pray this encourages much conversation and prayer.
*(As a Pentecostal I have always realized that on the subject of the gifts of the Spirit and Pentecostalism, MacArthur has allowed his biases against the antics of the pseudo pentecostal money preachers to taint his teaching, but I never held that against him).