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Avoiding the Beast's Mark - The Book of Revelation
Week 23, 2017
We continue here our study of how Revelation was given to the Lord to give to His bondservants. In Revelation 7, we are told that the Lord will hold back the four winds of the earth until His bondservants have been sealed. Therefore, only those who have embraced the life of a bondservant can fully understand this vision and are assured of not taking the mark of the beast.
One question some have is, does the life of a bondservant mean that we never do anything for ourselves? No. On the contrary, there is no greater freedom that we could ever know than being the Lord’s slave, nor is there anything more fulfilling in life than when we put His interests first. He is the most wonderful Master we could ever have, and He showed how great His love for us is by the price He paid—His own sacrifice on the cross.
It is written that the Lord knew us and formed us before the foundation of the world, and His ultimate purpose that we become all that He created us to be. However, as He taught, “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it” (Matthew 16:25).
We are made in the image of God, or more accurately, we are made in the nature of God. His nature is to love, and through love, to give. He so loved the world that He gave the world His best—His only Son. That is the highest expression of His nature, and likewise the highest expression of who He created us to be is found in giving.
The Book of Revelation is clear that the time is coming when anyone who will not take the mark of the beast will not be able to buy, sell, and trade, but those who have become bondservants of the Lord will not need to because they have the Lord as their Source. So the main thing we can do to prepare for this time is grow in our trust in the Lord as our Provider.
This does not mean that we will not be called to do some things in the natural, such as storing provisions, to prepare for these times, , but we will do these things out of faith, not fear. Above all, we must learn the lesson Jesus taught in:
He said to them, "I have food to eat of which you do not know."
Therefore the disciples said to one another, "Has anyone brought Him anything to eat?"
Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.
When we do our Master’s work, He will sustain us. Jesus walked in a place where He did not even need natural food and He came to show us how we too can live. Even if it comes to the place where we cannot eat without taking the mark of the beast, then we can count on Him to either provide for us or sustain us without natural provision.
We should resolve, like Daniel’s three friends who would not bow to worship the golden statue of Nebuchadnezzar, that the Lord can deliver us from anything. Even if He chooses not to deliver us, we will not worship anyone but Him.
Being a disciple of Christ is not an easy life, but it is the path to the best, most fulfilling life we can live. This is a life of maturing in Christ by “growing up in all things into Him” (see Ephesians 4:15). After salvation, if we go on to become a disciple, we will discern the calling of the bondservant. Those who are faithful servants can be elevated to being friends of God. The faithful friends can be elevated to being sons and daughters of God—eternal members of His own household.
next week 24