Revelation 13:15-18 ESV
“And it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might even speak and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain. Also 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, so 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. This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666.”
We live in an age of massive deception. Deceiving spirits are everywhere. Liars abound. Anything can be faked. Just think Hollywood. Videos, news stories, pictures, etc. can all be faked and/or altered. Even if we see something, if it is in a video or a picture or on TV, or on the internet, it can all be faked and/or altered. Anything can be a stage production.
So, why is it that so many Christians are just believing everything they are told from their pulpits, from the media, and from their government officials? Just because someone says it, or we see it in writing doesn’t mean it is the truth! People do lie! And the Bible told us these days would come. So, why do so many Christians act as though that is not true?
What happened to testing the spirits to see if they are of God? This isn’t just about testing prophets and teachers and preachers, but we should test everything we are being told, in prayer and in discernment. And we should question what is going on and what we are being told and not just get in line like sheep being led to the slaughter.
Try backing up and rewinding history for yourself and begin asking yourself and God if everything you have believed is true. If you live in America and you pledge allegiance to the flag of the USA, is that biblical? Do you know what a pledge is? It is a vow. And what is allegiance? Loyalty, fidelity. So, you are vowing your fidelity to the US government with hand over heart.
Is there anywhere in Scripture that warns against this? Yes! Try reading Revelation 13 where it says that they worshiped the beast and its image. What is a flag of a nation? Its image? And then we read in Revelation 13 about a second beast who deceives those who dwell on the earth, and who makes the earth, and its inhabitants worship the first beast.
And what is worship? It is loyalty and fidelity. It is allegiance. And what is faith? Is it not, at least in part, a declaration of allegiance to the Lord Jesus Christ? And what about the hand over heart? What is our heart? It is the very core, the very essence of who we are. So, we are giving that to our government when we pledge allegiance. Is that biblical?
Worshiping the Beast
So, we are being convinced to worship our government and to vow our fidelity to our form of government with our whole being. Doesn’t that sound like “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength?” Yet, we are giving this allegiance, this worship to our government. Why? Because the church taught us to do that.
By doing so, we end up trusting them without question, and we believe whatever they tell us, and whatever the media tells us, which then brings me to another “image.” TV is an image, as is the internet. And TV and the internet and social media, etc., can all be very deceiving and mind controlling, and I believe they are all feeding us with what the beast wants us all to hear and to believe. And many are buying into it all.
So, what is a beast? Besides the usual, it can be something formidably difficult to control or deal with. It can also be something very large and/or powerful. It also means to have a savage nature or characteristics and/or to be brutal and uncivilized and filthy. It appears in Revelation that this is speaking of a conglomerate of people of enormous power, like a one world government. Did you know the USA is party to this?
The second beast is synonymous with the false prophet, so this could be the false church and/or the one world religion. It has two horns, and a horn is symbolic of power and rule and authority. I see this as the institutional or the state church, i.e., the church in bed with the government, which is teaching government worship, too, via the pledge to the flag. So, it is teaching the people to worship the first beast.
The False Prophet
Do you ever question why the church, which via the 501c3, became a state church and thus altered the meaning of church, and how the church operates, and what the church teaches? They, for the most part, have so diluted the gospel of Jesus Christ that they have totally emptied the cross of Christ of its power to save human lives.
For, so much of the institutional “state” church has now gone the way of big business and is marketing their gatherings just like any product of any business with very similar or the same types of marketing schemes and techniques. They want to draw in large crowds of people from the world into their gatherings, so they have patterned much of their gatherings now after the world to attract the world.
Thus, they also altered the gospel to make it more acceptable and appealing to human flesh and to the people of the world. Most have removed God’s requirements for submission to him as Lord, forsaking our sinful lifestyles, and for obeying our Lord’s commands (New Covenant).
Instead, they teach “easy believism” or a “cheap grace gospel” which indulges the flesh, and which does not put it to death. They are promising people eternal life with God, though, while they are leaving them still dead in their sins, making sin their practice.
So, we must stop believing everything we hear from people we think should be trusted to tell us the truth. And we must be people of God who test what we hear or see or think we see in prayer and in the study of the Word, seeking God for wisdom and counsel to discern truth from lies, and to point us in the right direction so that we are not deceived and led astray.
Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer
Lyrics by Thomas O. Chisholm, 1897
Music by W. J. Kirkpatrick, 1897
Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.
Oh, to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wandering sinner to find.
O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer others to save.
O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.
Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.
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