By Mark S. Watson
There are some of us who will never bow the knee to false gods. There are some of us who have made up our minds long ago to never worship at 'Caesar's altar'1. They have instead chosen to worship at the altar of their God. This God demands solitary worship. There shall be no other gods lurking in the hearts of men who worship at his altar. This mighty God rejects such hypocrisy. The God of Israel is a jealous God and does not allow other worshipers to enter his temple or become his holy temple, which is made up of God's People. The God of these humble but resolute people is most adamant about these things. He is a loving father to those who have made the choice to serve him and he takes care of them in his great love. He is merciful as well to those who have chosen to follow after other gods, such as those who follow allah, buddah, humanism and all of the others. Yet, this mercy is not an eternal mercy for these people. It is intended solely for the purpose of getting them to repent, acknowledge and worship in humility and love, the God who sent his son, Jesus Christ. Christ came to save men from the terrible evil that enslaves the souls of men.
Men reflect the God that they worship. A satanist can not only be identified by his love of open evil, but his hatred for all Christians, his foul language, his love of profanity and even the way he dresses. A true (actually born again) Christian is known by his general humility, his love of his brother, his truthfulness and love of the truth, his utter contempt for lies and his often inability to 'fit in' with the world and people around him who are not Christ's. This is how a true Christian lives. He will not follow after evil and will not offend his God by engaging in it. He will not walk in 'gray areas' and will not do things that may not necessarily be forbidden but are not in keeping with holiness, purity, truth and love. A true Christian loves God and wants above all to please him. He will deny himself, when the situation demands it.
Sadly, there are a lot of so-called 'holy-rollers' who will make a lot of holy noise but their lives are lacking in the real humility and love that Christ demands. Now any genuine Christian can find areas of his or her life that do not meet the high standards that Christ demands, this is not what I am referring to. Many of us fall short, make mistakes, sin and do those things that may be displeasing to the Living God. But the lives of a true Christian is one of striving. He is striving to enter in at the straight gate. He wants to be among the few who are saved. This means he is doing everything he can to get his life to measure up to God word.
But throughout history God has tested his people. He tests them to show that they really are his and love him and are willing, if God commands it, to lay down their life for their faith.
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
There is a kind of defiance that is holy. Now most of us correctly view defiance as something that is wrong and springs from stubbornness and rebellion. Basically this is true, however there is a holy defiance that is very pleasing to God. It is a defiance that says;
But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
These three godly men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, basically (politely but firmly) told the king off. They said as respectfully as possible that there was no way they were going to fall down before that IMAGE. The king was incensed, he was so angry that his whole face changed.
Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: therefore he spake, and commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heated.
The king probably underwent what we call today as an episode of temporary insanity2. He demanded that he furnace he was going to use to burn the young men with be heated up 7 times as hot as before. It is also quite possible that the King became, at least temporarily, demon possessed. Let us consider something for a moment. First the victims of the kings irrational wrath were Jewish, second the king demanded that they be burned alive, third the entire kingdom that Nebuchadnezzar ruled was one in which astrology and the occult had a prominent place in the realms decision making3. Does this remind you of any other government in history? Did any other government since then involve itself in the occult, have a maniacal leader and burned Jewish people alive? Yes there was. Here we are getting an important template for Antichrist government, a government that demands the worship of an IMAGE on pain of death.
The true servants of God would never worship any other God but YHWH and his Son (after circa 30 A.D), Jesus Christ. This is a fact. Thus, in this respect there is a kind of 'holy defiance' that is part of genuine Christians' lives, especially Christians who live in lands of intense persecution and those who will live in the final hours of this age when the antichrist comes on the scene. It is a defiance that will be required if one is to see life, for to deny Christ and take the mark of the beast and worship his IMAGE will cost such a person his eternal soul, irrevocably. This kind of defiance is not only smiled upon by God, but demanded if one is to see life eternal.
The only single solitary truth that I want to impress on each and every reader is this; the coming mark of the beast and concomitant IMAGE worship is not a million years away. It is much, much closer than most believers think. All of the technology is in place to bring about the coming end times worship, the microchips and the 'all seeing eye' police state technology is here. This is a one of the saddest and tragic portions in human history that is about to unfold and we as Christians need to steel our hearts, steel our souls against any attempt to subvert our worship and loyalty to the God of Israel, and his son Jesus Christ.
God always has a faithful remnant. He always has a small group of called, chosen and faithful who will never bow the knee to any false God, idol or IMAGE.
Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.
You can see from this verse, which comes from Elijah's battle with the prophets of Baal, that God looks very favorably upon those who do not worship, love or even acknowledge false gods. This is what God demands of his people. Let us never forget the very first of the Ten Commandments.
I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
The key here is not that we are dealing with sinless, perfect 'holier than thou people', but real people who acknowledge the God of the Bible but refuse to worship anything or, especially in the last days, anyone else. This is a great testimony (singular worship) and God is greatly pleased when his people love him enough to lay down their lives for his names sake.
This is the end times test. This will be the test to see who is really in the faith, for it is by faith that we do all things including laying down our lives. Yes, when one sees the executioners ax, or the guillotine (the main method of death in the last days seems to be beheadings4) one will come to a sudden realization of the truthfulness of their profession. Many who are destined to give their lives, I believe, will be told by our God beforehand that this will be required of them. God did this will Paul just before his death5 and I do think this is going to be the norm for the last days genuine Christian.
However, I will say this to those of our brothers and sisters who will go home to be with Christ just before the LORD returns, by becoming martyrs; I do not think it is a great blessing to remain here. Let us face it, the worst of the tribulation occurs towards the end. Who would want to go through that? Yes, either way it is going to be difficult for real believers. So for those of us who may one day be facing the antichrist's fury for refusing to worship his IMAGE and take his mark please keep that salient point in mind, remaining here will be no picnic either.
It is easy to find things that are going on around us that we do not agree with and then take up a defiant stance against them. This is how many Christians who seem at times to be anti-government behave. There is a fine line that must be tread when one moves in this direction. God gives us government and we are not to preach or teach rebellion just because laws are unjust. Consider how evil the ancient Roman emperors were and that even so, Paul commanded us to obey them.
Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
Many anti-government Christians who physically resist (or exhort other to) the government (by force) are not only rebelling against the state but are rebelling against God as well. Here is a problem that many will have to struggle with because when evil reigns supreme as in Nazi Germany. Any genuine Christan, at one time or another, is going to ask, 'is blind obedience a Christian duty?' or 'Is armed rebellion allowed?' or 'Is quiet resistance called for?' I think to a large degree these things are individual matters that must be prayerfully considered in each individual situation. Yet there are times when law breaking is called for. Assisting the persecuted is one thing that should be done. Such assistance is good in and of itself and should be pursued despite any legal ramifications. So there are times when law breaking is called for as Christians.
Remember the reaction of the apostles;
Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
God's commands take precedence over man's. Yet we must never let that be a cheap excuse for us to rebel against authority. God frowns on this and it may lead one into a place of severe chastisement with God. Many, I believe will want to change things just before antichrist arrives they will be very angry at the changes that they will see happening around them. Wickedness will abound. Some will probably decide to take arms against the rising tyranny. As one website I visit regularity says as its motto, 'better to die on your feet than live on your knees', this will probably be their reasoning. One can sympathize with their anger, but violence is not the answer to the antichrist's kingdom. In fact there are some very stern warnings to those that do decide to take up arms,
He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.
So it is inadvisable to go on the 'war path' against the antichrist and his kingdom using temporal/worldly weapons. Indeed, the scriptures seem to indicate this renunciation of violence will require faith in God and patience, because in the coming days iniquity shall surely abound and cause many a saint to sigh deeply in their spirit.
Violence is not the way of the Christian. Today in America we accept Christian military members without much consideration of the vocation they have chosen. The ancient Church did not allow members who joined the military after their conversion to return to Church, however those who had a military vocation before their conversion and were compelled to complete it were welcomed. Having served in the military I can attest that while I do not think that anyone who serves is in any kind of 'mortal danger' insofar as sin is concerned, I do think anyone who volunteers (not drafted) goes into God's 'permissive will' rather than his perfect will and will lose out on many of God's blessings. This is my considered opinion after having served in the military for a number of years and then having left it. I know many military members will argue that this view is not correct. They are welcome to disagree. I look at my military service now in retrospect and often wonder what God had in store for me if I had not joined. In any event I know this:
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
I am not trying to cast a snare on anyone who serves nor am I accusing anyone who does serve of not loving the LORD, I only say to each that my experience has taught me some very, very valuable lessons one of these is this; all in all for the vast majority of Christians, it is better not to volunteer for military service. If a man is drafted and serves there is no sin in this, though I think any true Christian should be persuaded not to volunteer, in my considered opinion. I too have the spirit of God.
Violence and the use of it is repugnant to genuine Christians and always has been. We Americans, myself included, are far too accepting of violence and violent means to get things done. This attitude has crept into the Church and it is not healthy.
Brothers and sisters, in one sense we as Christians must cooperate with a system we know is evil and doomed, on the other we owe our first loyalty to the living God who shall judge all. That service to God demands obedience and that obedience is often difficult and contrary to guidance that our natural senses are telling us. This is where faith comes in.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report.
Faith is going to be our primary companion in the prisons, dungeons, caves, and secret hiding places many believers will be forced to dwell in in the final days of antichrist's kingdom. Faith is powerful and God always honors those who put their trust in our faithful creator.
I do not want to instill fear and dread in anyone for any reason. God is going to care for each and every one of us who puts his trust in Christ. God will move mightily to save and preserve his people through all of the fiery trials ahead. Nevertheless some of us will be martyred. Indeed, it seems that most of will lose our lives under the antichrist's reign. Let us all take heart and trust in God's promises and maintain a healthy skepticism of this world's governments knowing who is the prince of this world.
Here is the Great Seal of The United States. Notice the numbers at the Base of the Pyramid. Roll your mouse over the image to see the solution to a conundrum. For those of you who want to read further on this subject Click Here.
More on the 666 System can be found here.
By Mark S. Watson
1Let us remember that it was customary to 'deify' the ancient emperors and call them gods.
2My view is firmly rooted in scripture as the King did go insane for a period of seven years, see Daniel 4:30ff.
3See Dan 2:2ff and 4:7ff
4And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshiped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
5- For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.