Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Mark - Chapter 8

The Mark

Tom Wise


8. Fighting the Antichrist.

The best defense is a good offense. Rather than waiting for the Beast to come, or attempting to guess which “evil device” the Beast will use, we should be actively taking the Mark of God. If we already have the Mark of God, we need to strengthen it. The time is always now to dig out corruption, build integrity, and follow the commandments of God.

(Proverbs 23:23):

Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.

Commerce. In the future, it will be a major weapon for the Beast. We should be prepared for this. First, it is always a good idea to be as self-sufficient as possible. Second, we ought to remember that accepting certain types of buying power is not the same as accepting the Mark of the Beast.

However, there is a different kind of commerce. Beyond practical concerns, we should be preparing to stockpile, seed, and invest in truth, wisdom, instruction and understanding. These are the greater things which may be bought, and they cannot be denied by mere control of currency. Find the Truth, gain that wisdom, teach it to others, and grow with understanding. Allow no doctrine of security, no human power, no carnal desire, no prejudice, no apathy to divert you from this most worthy goal. Once gained, it should never be surrendered or sold, for it cannot be stripped by any tyrant or demon, and no one can truly be forced to forsake God or Torah, or to take the Mark of the Beast. It is always your decision, and you must stick to it even if it costs your life. I do not say to stand up for every trifling thing, but only those which are essential for human freedom and individual integrity. In short, stand for God and take His Mark.

(Matthew 13:44):

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.

Christ's view of commerce is similarly detached. Often, we find Him urging a greater form of personal happiness by the divestiture of earthly goods, and here is no exception. In this example, the purchase is not only wise (buy the truth) but also extravagant, costing a man everything. In the time of Antichrist, such fields will be even further concealed (as it will be a crime to disseminate any news of God), and the treasure worth even more (sell it not).

Christ not only said cool things, He also walked the walk. While fasting to starvation in the wilderness, Jesus refused the advances of Satan three times by invoking Torah (Matthew 4:4, 4:7, 4:10). Each time, the Son of God was given an opportunity to renounce His Father for something Satan knew to be essential in Christ's mind. We often think that power is the ultimate aphrodisiac, but in that situation it was likely food which was most tempting, and this is how Satan began. But Jesus rejected all of Satan, and would rather have died in that cave than take the Mark of the Beast. How was Christ able to do this? Not that He was superhuman, but that he had the education in Torah, and the willpower to elevate Himself. Are these not the treasures in the field of which Christ spoke? Did not Jesus prefer God over Satan, and Torah over desire?

At His trial, He did similarly. Rather than recant that which He was instructed by God to say, Christ suffered false witnesses, mockery, alienation. Even at the cross, He took the full pathway, accepting the marks of God (crown of thorns on the forehead, nails in the hand) rather than the marks of the Beast. For this, God resurrected Him.

At present, we live mostly in freedom from the Beast, buying and selling without a visible mark. In the future, this may change. However, the Beast cannot and will never be able to limit the commerce in truth, or the spreading of righteousness, between those who will sell everything to obtain it.

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Copyright © 2009 by Tom Wise and Dennis Putnam, Jr.
All rights reserved

"The Mark" is available from Lulu Books: here.

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