What is the Mark of the Beast?

This has been a topic of interest for more than 37 years of my life. I came to Christ because of my interest in this topic. Most of this presentation is not really a Bible study, because there is little scripture on the topic. It really is a presentation of my thoughts on that time that we are approaching fast, and what I think the scriptures are talking about. We cannot be dogmatic on such things, but as you hear or read about the Mark of the Beast it is very obvious that this is something that is going to be forced upon the public. It is my contention that we should try to understand and perhaps prepare ahead of time for when this is rolled out. I also mention this topic in the first study, The Rise of the Antichrist.  The written presentations in Word and PDF format are found in the middle column of this website under the heading of the Second Coming of Christ. If you can help me get these studies out and more, please go to the right of the home page and click on the donate button. I am also willing to visit your group or church to teach this topic.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3_TRc0_hh0

The Great Invitation

408698_10151155622175895_2081552083_n15When one of those at the table with him heard this, he said to Jesus, “Blessed is the man who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.” 16Jesus replied: “A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. 17At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ 18“But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.’ 19“Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’ 20“Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’ 21“The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.’ 22” ‘Sir,’ the servant said, ‘what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.’ 23“Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be full. 24I tell you, not one of those men who were invited will get a taste of my banquet’ ” (Luke 14:15-24).

How lovely to us is the thought that eternity with Christ is pictured as a great banquet where all are invited. You are not left out! All are invited to the feast in the Kingdom of God. No matter what you have done, or where you have been, God offers a free pardon to you on account of the substitutionary work of Jesus on the cross for you and as you. Of all the fun things that we get to do in this world, is there anything better than eating with friends, conversing, laughing and enjoying one another’s company? It certainly is my favorite thing to do, and no doubt yours too. In another place in the scriptures Christ is pictured as standing at the door of your house, perhaps typified as the house of your inner man, your heart, and asking to come in and enjoying eating with you, suggesting deep intimacy with Him:

20Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me (Revelation 3:20). 

The above passages suggest eternal bliss and satisfaction. Parties and banquets are all about fun, laughter and joy. To be around Jesus, to gaze upon His loveliness and laugh with him, seeing His glory and grace, and enjoying heaven with others that also love Him, what joy that will be! How humbling to realize that the God of the Universe wants to enjoy our presence over a meal that He has prepared.

Jesus had been teaching concerning humility and reaching out to the poor and disabled when one sends out invitations to a banquet. A man responds to Him by saying, “Blessed is the man who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God” (Verse 15).

It seems that the words issue from one of the Pharisees that was reclining at the table where Jesus had been invited and was eating. It is difficult to judge the man’s motivation for saying such a thing. Was it a request to find out what makes a person worthy of being invited to share in the Kingdom of God? It’s even possible that he was saying, “I can’t wait for us to recline at God’s table together.” The Pharisees considered themselves as righteous; after all, they were meticulous about keeping God’s commandments. They could not conceive that there would be Gentiles or even Jews that did not keep the law at the Wedding Feast of the Lamb (Revelation 19:7-9). Jesus shared a parable with them that shook their thinking on just who would be in attendance at the feast in the Kingdom of God. He said that God invites the poor, the lame, the blind and the crippled into His kingdom, but those who made excuses would be shut out. Christ makes it clear that there is a free invitation to this Banquet. Nothing to do to deserve a seat at all.

There were no fixed price tickets to the best seats. It was by free invitation only. If you are a Christian, you have come to Christ at His invitation. Jesus said, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day (John 6:44). If you are not yet a Christian, today you have heard of the invite! You have been called and invited. The very fact that you are reading this study is proof that the Spirit of God has been drawing you to Christ. Some people are upset by the fact that the entrance to God’s Kingdom is by a free invitation only. They find it hard to receive grace or undeserved favor. Part of the reason is pride. They feel that they must accomplish something in order to earn their entrance fee, but no one gets into eternity by what they have done. It is only by God’s grace and mercy. Now that is something to receive and party about! Trust Him today, and if I don’t see you this side of heaven, I will see you inside the Eastern Gate when He comes (Ezekiel 44:1-3).

Keith Thomas

The Door of Grace Will Be Shut At What Point?

23Someone asked him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?” He said to them, 24“Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. 25Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’ “But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’ 26“Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ 27“But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!’ 28“There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out (Luke 13:23-28).

I think we would all agree that this passage and the one in our devotional yesterday teach us clearly that there will be no second chances, we are specifically told in both passages that the door was shut. The intimation is that it was never to be opened again, hence the weeping and gnashing of teeth. We are seeing here in this passage that the door of grace has been closed at the rapture or snatching away of the church, and that now will begin the wrath of God and the judgments of God on those that have willfully rejected God’s free gift of salvation that is found through the substitutionary sacrifice of His Son. I don’t see anything in either of yesterday or today’s passages to indicate even the slightest hope that if one were to come later he would find the door open again.

There is no second chance at this point and no opportunities for one to gain entrance into the Kingdom of God after the door is shut. It is as if God’s drawbridge of grace has been lifted, and that those left behind must face the wrath of God. This is a hard truth to accept because we all have friends and relatives that may be left outside that door when it closes. I do not want to imagine their moment of realization and their pleadings when they find that the door is closed to them. At that time, it will not matter what kind of good life that one leads on planet earth, when He comes for His church the deciding factor will be, do you have a relationship with Jesus Christ? The bridegroom says, “I don’t know you or where you come from” (verse 27). When will this rapture of the saints occur? Jesus told us clearly that the gathering together of the elect (those that have relationship and faith in Him) will take place, “Immediately after the distress (KJV Tribulation) of those days…at that time…he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other (Matthew 24:29-31).

Only those who had relationship with him were allowed to enter through the door. If you are not sure as to where you will go on that day, then God wants you to be sure and you can know for certain that you are prepared for that day. God does not want to hide this truth from us (1 John 5:13). Cry out to Him today. Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved (Romans 10:13).

Deception on Earth.

21At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘Look, there he is!’ do not believe it. 22For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 23So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time (Mark 13:21-23).

How can we recognize deception when we encounter it?

Scripture is very clear that a person will come onto the world scene in the days, months or years ahead that will set himself up as the Messiah or Christ.  He will be a master of deception; our passage in Mark tells us.  He will be a charismatic leader that will solve complex problems on the world scene.  I personally think he will solve the Arab Israeli conflict, because we are told that he will set himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God and demand to be worshiped (2 Thessalonians 2:4).  Of course, this means Continue reading