Category: Scripture & Prophecy

7 Facts About The Mark of the Beast

According to the Book of Revelations, the mark of the beast is a seal or mark that is literally placed in the hand or forehead of a person.
Now there have been several speculations concerning the description of the mark of the beast. Some people speculate that the mark of the beast could be some sort of tattoo; others speculate that it might be a technological implant like a microchip; while others say that the mark of the beast is metaphorical for the state of the mind and the heart of mankind

However, there are 7 Biblical facts about the mark of the beast. They are as follows:

Fact # 1
The mark of the beast will be given to those people who support and worship the Antichrist. Therefore the mark of the beast will act as a seal for those who believe in the antichrist / beast system and those people who make a decision to worship the Antichrist.
Revelation 13:16Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead

Fact # 2
The mark of the beast will be used to conduct economic and business transactions such as buying and selling. Therefore the mark of the beast will identify between those who can transact and trade in the antichrist / beast system and those who cannot trade.
Revelations 13:17So that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name.

Fact # 3
The false prophet / the 2nd beast is the one who causes and convinces people to embrace the mark of the beast. The false prophet will convince people of every social and economic status to receive the mark of the beast from the rich to the poor and from the young to the old.
Revelations 13:16Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead

Fact # 4
The mark is literally and physically placed in the hand or in the forehead of a person. The Bible text indicates that the mark is not a metaphor or a symbol and neither is its placing on the hand or forehead metaphorical.
The fact that the Bible says that a person cannot buy or sell without the having the mark itself, indicates that the mark is something literal and physical because the mark would have to be detected whether electronically or visually for someone to be able to buy or sell.

Fact # 5
The mark of the beast will exist or be given during the 7 year Great Tribulation period. Therefore the 7 year Tribulation will occur after the rapture but before the return of Jesus Christ.
Read Matthew 24:21-22 and Matthew 24:29-31

Fact # 6
The people who refuse the mark of the beast will be persecuted and most likely killed for not only refusing the mark of the beast but also for refusing to worship the Antichrist.
Therefore whoever worships God and follows Jesus Christ during the Great Tribulation will be under immense persecution. However those who have been persecuted will eventually reap the benefits of being faithful to God according to Revelation 24:4

Fact # 7
It’s not possible to get the mark of the beast right now. Certain conditions need to be in place in order to receive the mark of the beast.
a) The rapture has to occur
b) The false prophet and the Antichrist himself have to appear
c) The time period has to be the Great Tribulation

 

Hopefully this information is useful to you in helping to understand the mark of the beast.

5 Signs of the End Times | Are We Living in the Last Days?

Are we living in the last days? Is the end of the world sooner than we think and what are the signs of the end times?

There is no doubt that there are many events that are happening in the world today that point to the fact that we are possibly living closer to the end times.
There are basically five important signs or categories that can help us to discern whether or not we are living in the end times.

 

 

1. The Natural Signs
Jesus spoke about great earthquakes and that there would be famines in various places and deadly diseases around the world.
When we look at the world today, we hear of record breaking floods, hurricanes, earthquakes and fierce weather patterns happening all over the world. We also hear of incurable diseases that are killing millions of people and Jesus says that such weather patterns “are but the beginning of the birth pains” (Matthew 24:7-8).

2. The Political Signs
Jesus said that nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom (Luke 21:10). Jesus also said that there would be wars and rumours of wars.
Therefore when we watch the news or when we read about all the political conflict that is happening in so many countries, you will discover that in almost every nation there is no political rest.
There is not only enmity among nations, but there is strife between groups, tribes, political parties and even ethnic races.
If you observe these political signs, you will discover that the strife is actually getting worse instead of improving.

3. The Apostasy Signs
Jesus said that one of the signs of the end times would be that there would be a rise in false prophets or teachers. The Bible also speaks of a rise in false doctrines or the doctrines of demons and we are warned that multitudes of people will be led astray by false prophets and false teachings (Matthew 24:5,11,24).
1 Timothy 4:1-2 says that “in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared”.

4. The Technological Signs
We live in the Information Age. Therefore there’s no doubt that technology plays a huge part in our day to day life. There are benefits of using technology but also there are fears that are associated with using technology such as privacy and abuse. Another fear concerning technology that is linked to the end times is the idea of microchip implants which is speculated to be linked to the mark of the beast.
Daniel 12:4 says there will be an increase in knowledge in the last days. Therefore when you observe the world today, you can see that the advancement and development of technology as well as information has been growing at a much faster rate in the 21st Century than the previous centuries.

5. The Morality Signs
In the last days the morality of mankind will grow from bad to worse. Jesus spoke of lawlessness increasing and that the love of many will grow cold (Matthew 24:10,12).
2 Timothy 3:1-5 also gives us a list of some of the evil characteristics that mankind will have during the last days.
Jesus also warns that Christians will be persecuted for believing and standing for Christian and Biblical values. Today, we see persecution happening towards Christians and the persecution is growing all over the world.

 

Nobody Knows The Day or Hour
It’s important to realize that nobody knows the date or the hour in which Jesus will return (Matthew 24:36). Therefore we should never attempt to speculate the day or time in which the end of the world will happen or in which Jesus will return.
Our job is to always be ready and prepared for the return of Jesus. Our job is also to always warn others to be prepared for the coming of Christ.
Jesus Christ can return anytime and any day.

 

ARE YOU READY FOR THE RETURN OF JESUS CHRIST?
If you are not a born again Christian, then it means that you are NOT ready for the return of Jesus Christ. Without Christ you cannot enter into Heaven and you cannot have a relationship with God.
Jesus died for sinners on the cross so that we may have eternal life (John 3:16) and He rose on the third day. We can become born again by believing and receiving Christ into our life through faith in Him.

 

DO YOU WANT TO BE A CHRISTIAN or A FOLLOWER OF JESUS CHRIST???

1. ACKNOWLEDGE: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). “God be merciful to me a sinner” (Luke 18:13).
You must acknowledge that you are a sinner and that you therefore need Jesus in your life.

2. REPENT: “Unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3), “Repent therefore and be converted that your sins may be blotted out” (Acts 3:19)
Repenting means: to change your mind; a sincere turning away, in heart, mind and action;
Therefore God wants you to repent of sinful values and of sinful living. God wants you to decide to
follow Him and to make Jesus the Lord of your life.

3. CONFESSION: “If we confess our sins. He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9)
God is a forgiving God. God will forgive any sin that you have done because Jesus died for ALL your sins and to set you free from the bondage of all types of sin in your life.

4. BELIEVE: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
You must believe that ONLY Jesus can save you and restore your relationship with God. You must believe that Jesus is the ONLY way by which you can have everlasting life and escape from eternal separation from God. You must believe that Jesus died on the cross for you and resurrected from the grave.
“He came to His own, and His own did not receive him, But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name” (John 1:11-12)
By faith, You must receive Jesus as Your Lord & Savior and therefore; you become a child of God; you become born again; you become a Christian; you restore your broken relationship with God

 

Why Not Make Your Eternal Decision NOW?

We become born again Christians by GRACE through FAITH or TOTAL TRUST in Jesus Christ as our Lord & Savior (Galatians 3:26) & (Ephesians 2:8,9). Salvation is a FREE gift received through FAITH in Christ.

PLEASE NOTE: You can choose to pray in your own words. This prayer is a sample prayer and it is only an EXPRESSION of your faith, belief & trust in Jesus. Salvation is by GRACE through FAITH or BELIEVING in Christ Jesus as your Lord & Saviour.

“Lord Jesus, I thank You for Your love. I thank You that You died on the cross for me and resurrected so that I may have life through You.
I confess Lord that I have sinned against You and today I ask You to forgive me of all of my sins, past present and future.
I repent of all of my sins and I ask You to cleanse me Jesus.
Thank You for forgiving my sins.
From this moment, come into my life Lord Jesus & take full control of my life. I want to follow You Jesus and I want to follow Your ways. Save me and from today, make me the person You want me to be.
I receive You Lord Jesus right now by faith. I trust You as my Lord and Savior – Amen”

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What is Truth?

What is truth? In life you can have people who have different perceptions about many issues and you find that people can create their own versions of what they believe is truth.

For example – you might have a camp of people who believe that there is nothing wrong with abortion and they firmly believe that it’s okay to have an abortion.
Then you will have another camp that opposes abortion and this camp believes that abortion is wrong.
Who is right and who is telling the truth in this case?

Another example is this: You have people who believe that there is only ONE God. However, another group believes that there are MANY gods. But yet still, a third group will tell you that there are NO gods that exist.
Who is right and who is telling the truth in this case?

Are people creating their own “truths” or is there a REAL TRUTH that exists for every situation and circumstance?

 

What TRUTH is NOT
First let’s look at what truth is NOT.
1. Truth is NOT what you want it to be
2. Truth is NOT what the majority says is “true”.
3. Truth is NOT what you feel it should be
4. Truth is NOT what you believe it should be

A lie will always remain a lie. The truth will always remain the truth irrespective of our feelings or perceptions.

 

What is TRUTH?
Truth is telling it like it is. Truth is what corresponds to reality. Truth is whatever is based on the word of God. Most importantly – truth is a Person. Truth is Jesus Christ.
Jesus said that He is THE TRUTH (John 14:6).
Therefore to know the truth – we must have a personal relationship with the Truth Himself – Jesus Christ.
Our understanding of the truth in relation to various life issues and circumstances comes from our relationship with Christ and also with our understanding and application of the word of God.
As we apply the Scriptures in our life we not only have a knowledge of truth but we are also living according to the truth through Jesus Christ.

John 14:6 NKJV
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

 

Does God Help Those Who Help Themselves?

 

“God helps those who help themselves!”

You may have heard this proverb before or perhaps you may have quoted this proverb yourself.
However is this proverb Biblical? Is this proverb true? Does God help those who help themselves or is this proverb a lie?

Despite being quoted often – this particular proverb does not appear anywhere in the Bible and neither does it accurately reflect the truth of God’s word. The proverb is misleading.

According to thefreedictionary.com the proverb “God Helps Those Who Help Themselves” means the following: You cannot solely depend on divine help, but must work yourself to get what you want.

 

In contrast the Bible actually instructs us to rely FULLY / SOLELY on the Lord and NOT on ourselves or in our own abilities. We therefore MUST SOLELY DEPEND ON GOD – ONLY.

The Bible also teaches that God is the helper of the helpless; the distressed; the weak; the lowly; the hurt. The life of Jesus and His attitude towards people reflected this. Furthermore the healings Jesus performed on people reflected that God is a helper of the helpless.

In Luke 7:22 Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things you have seen and heard: that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them”.

All of the people that Jesus helped were helpless to help themselves. They could not heal themselves & neither did Jesus help them on the basis of their own righteousness or works. They needed to solely rely on God in faith.

Isaiah 25:4 says “For You have been a strength to the poor, A strength to the needy in his distress, A refuge from the storm, A shade from the heat; For the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall”

Below are Bible scriptures which reflect the several ways in which the proverb “God helps those who help themselves” contradicts the Scriptures:

 

  1. It Contradicts The Attitude We Should Have Towards God

Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV – Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.
Jeremiah 17:5 NKJV – Thus says the Lord: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the Lord.”
Proverbs 28:26 NKJV – He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but whoever walks wisely will be delivered.

We cannot trust in ourselves neither can we trust in man. The reason being that man is sinful and is capable of making mistakes, breaking promises & is therefore not perfect. Only God is perfect; only God is totally faithful; only God keeps His promises; only God is trustworthy.

 

  1. It Contradicts God’s Nature & Love Towards Us

Romans 5:8 NKJV – But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
1 John 4:10 NKJV – In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
1 John 4:19 NKJV – We love Him because He first loved us.

Whilst we were sinners God loved us first before we knew Him. God sought us first before we even knew that we needed God in our lives. God drew us to Himself before we did. Therefore God ALWAYS takes the FIRST initiative to reconcile and bless us.

 

  1. It Contradicts God’s Grace For Our Salvation

Ephesians 2:8 NKJV – For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
Titus 3:5-7 NKJV – Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

When a person becomes a Christian, that Christian is saved not because of his own merit or personal righteousness, but he is saved because of the work & righteousness of Jesus Christ. A Christian cannot earn his salvation and therefore cannot help himself if God is not part of the plan.

 

  1. It Contradicts God’s View of Man’s Sinful Nature & Depravity

John 15:5-6 NKJV – I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
Isaiah 64:6 NKJV – But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousness are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away.

Without Jesus we can do nothing. Therefore we cannot help ourselves. Indeed there are many things that unbelievers do and achieve without Christ in their lives, but ultimately all their earthly work will amount to nothing on judgment day before the Lord.

 

  1. God Must Get All The Credit & Glory

James 1:16-17 NKJV – Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 NKJV – In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

God must get the glory for every good thing that happens in our lives. Even the unbeliever though he might not be religious or believe in God – the unbeliever still benefits from the things & resources that God has created. The planet and everything we need from the earth belong to God. (Psalms 24:1 NKJV – The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein).
Whether Christian or not, we all cannot survive without the grace and earthly provision of God and for that alone we should give thanks to God.
Therefore there is no situation where a person is totally independent of God or God’s provisions so that an individual can take glory in his own works or ability.

 

 

Does This Mean That We Should Be Inactive & Not Apply Works to Our Faith?

For example, if you need a job and you’ve prayed to God about it, does it mean you shouldn’t practically go out looking and applying for a job?
Of course not. A person should not be lazy and inactive. James 2:17 says “Faith without works is dead”. But why is FAITH dead? It is dead because FAITH is not grounded in God alone. Therefore – FIRST you put your faith & trust in God to supply your needs, THEN God will practically in your actions lead and guide you to the job that He wants you to have. The key thing is to fully TRUST in GOD to supply your needs – not to trust in your OWN works to supply.

Proverbs 16:3 says Commit your works to the Lord, And your thoughts will be established.
Proverbs 3:6 says In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

Our full faith and trust in God will automatically lead us to perform godly action/works according to God’s directed will. Therefore be fully dependent on God and trust Him to lead and direct your actions.

 

So does God help those who help themselves? The Scriptures disagree.

6 Reasons Why We Neglect Our Bible

How often do you read your Bible? When was the last time you actually studied a specific topic from the Bible on your own?
Do you faithfully mediate on God’s word on a daily basis – or do you struggle to read even a single chapter?

2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

The word of God is basically food for your spirit. Your spirit cannot be healthy without a consistent intake of God’s word. It is through God’s word that you can be effective, edified and equipped for righteousness. This is why the Bible says that we should meditate on God’s word “day and night”.

If you are struggling to read the Bible, there are many different reasons why you may be struggling to read God’s word – and these struggles are very common among many people.

Below are a few reasons why we neglect to read our Bible:-

  1. We Are Lazy To Read The Bible
  2. We Claim That We Don’t Have Time
  3. We Think Bible Reading During Church Is Adequate
  4. We Have Replaced Bible Reading For The Pastor’s Sermons
  5. We Find It Irrelevant To Our Life & Situation
  6. We Are Succumbing To Spiritual Warfare

 

  1. We Are Lazy To Read The Bible

Let’s be honest. Some of us cannot reading the Bible for more than 10 minutes. We could probably read our Facebook newsfeed for hours or read an entire celebrity story on the internet, but yet we just become lazy when it comes to reading at least one chapter in the Bible. We need to cultivate a culture of self discipline & motivation if we are to overcome laziness and faithfully study God’s word.
Joshua 1:8 ESV – This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

 

  1. We Claim That We Don’t Have Time

We all know that there are 24 hours in a day. Yet in those 24 hours, we will probably find time to engage in sometimes unproductive activities like watch the television, gossip with friends, visit the social media apps on our cellphones and still fail to find at least 15 minutes within that day to read & meditate on God’s word. The truth is, we can always have time to read the Bible. The question is whether we have chosen God’s word to become a priority in our daily life. Within 24 hours, try to find at least 30 minutes a day to read, study & meditate on God’s word.
Psalms 1:1-2 ESV – Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; 2 but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law he meditates day and night.

 

  1. We Have Replaced Bible Reading For The Pastor’s Sermons

Do you prefer to be “spoon-fed” by a preacher’s sermons instead of actually studying the scriptures for yourself? Is the temptation of listening to DVD sermons & tele-evangelists greater than the idea of doing a personal study of the word of God? Is listening to a Pastor’s sermon and reading the Bible one in the same thing? NO it’s not!
People who do not regularly study the Bible for themselves are more susceptible to false indoctrination and to follow false preachers. It’s therefore important to always verify for yourself through the Bible everything you hear from a preacher’s sermon.
Acts 17:11 ESV -Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.
A person should not live according to the standard of a preacher’s sermon, but he/she should live according to the standard of God’s word (the Bible).
But He (Jesus) answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” – Matthew 4:4 ESV
According to Jesus, a person must live on EVERY WORD that proceeds FROM THE MOUTH OF GOD.
Therefore, you cannot live on the word that proceeds from your Pastor’s mouth alone. You cannot live on the word that proceeds from the mouths of politicians alone. You cannot live from the things that fill your physical desires alone.
You must live “by EVERY word that comes FROM THE MOUTH OF GOD”
Psalms 119:105 ESV – Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

 

  1. We Find The Bible Irrelevant To Our Life Situations

If we find the Bible to be irrelevant to our lives or a specific issue in our life it could be because of 1 or more of the following reasons:

  1. We do not adequately know or understand what the scriptures exactly say about our life or our specific situation.
  2. There is a specific sin in our lives which we do not want to repent of, and we do not want God’s word to rebuke us or correct us.
  3. We would rather find unbiblical solutions for the issues in our life.

Hebrews 4:12 ESV – For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
Psalms 119:10,11 ESV – With my whole heart I seek You; let me not wander from Your commandments! I have stored up Your word in my heart, that I might not sin against You.

 

  1. We Think Bible Reading During Church Is Adequate

Do you eat food once a week? Would it be adequate for your physical body if you only ate once a week? Perhaps you attend church every Sunday, and the only time you actually open your Bible is on Sunday during the sermon. God’s word is actually spiritual food for our spirit and therefore we need to edify ourselves with His word on a daily basis. Our motivation & desire for reading God’s word must always come from within our own heart and not because of a religious meeting. God’s word is meant to be meditated on a daily basis and not only during a church meeting.
1 Peter 2:2-3 ESV – Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up to salvation—  if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.
Job 23:12 ESV – I have not departed from the commandment of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my portion of food.

 

  1. We Are Succumbing To The Enemy’s Spiritual Warfare Tactics

Ultimately, the devil does not want Christians to have knowledge and understanding of the scriptures. It’s through the Bible that we learn about God nature, God’s values, Man’s sinful nature & his need for God, and God’s redemption plan through Christ.
Matthew 13:18-19 ESV – “Hear then the parable of the sower:  19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path.
The Bible is also the only offensive weapon in the Armour of God. God’s word is the sword of the Holy Spirit. The scriptures are therefore what every Christian uses in order to discern and overcome the temptations of enemy through Christ. You will discover that when Jesus was tempted by the devil, Jesus always used the Scriptures to overcome every temptation from the enemy.
The devil will therefore do what he can to ensure that you do not have knowledge or understanding of what God says in His word. At times, the devil will also distort the meaning or interpretation of the scriptures through the sermons of false preachers and the like.
2 Timothy 2:15 ESV – Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.
Ephesians 6:17 ESV – And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God
Ephesians 6:11-12 ESV – Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

 

Conclusion
Just as we cannot be physically healthy without eating the proper food and having the proper nutrition, our spirit man cannot be healthy and spiritually equipped if we do not feed daily on the word of God. God’s word edifies us and equips us for every good work in Christ.
If you haven’t been reading your Bible and mediating on God’s word on a daily basis – start TODAY.

 

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