When Buying or Selling Requires Worship

17086570218_70271813b1_z-0-0

Anyone who is at least thirty-five years old will probably remember one of the most brilliant advertising campaigns to date. The American Express company featured well-known celebrities in commercial scenarios checking into hotels, renting cars, and paying for dinner in restaurants. As they presented their American Express card they would say, “Don’t leave home without it.” Fast forward to recent years and we find ourselves in the days of Apple Pay and other mobile payment apps. There was a time when cash was king but regardless of which method of payment you prefer to use, we are still able to buy and sell when, how, and where we choose to do it. There is a day coming when commerce and worship will be intrinsically linked. It will be a time when buying or selling requires worship.

If I want to go to the store and buy a few groceries for dinner, all I need is my preferred form of payment and depending on the situation, a form of identification such as my driver’s license. I pick up my bread, pickles, and cold cuts and pay the cashier without giving the transaction a second thought. How may times have you swiped your credit card for gas, a hotel room, dinner with your spouse, or paying your utility bill? I’m certain it’s probably hundreds of times and whether you paid by cash, check, or card, buying, and selling is something that is second nature to us. If you own a business, your entire livelihood depends on your ability to sell goods or services and collect payments. At first glance, buying and selling are activities that we can all take for granted because it is so woven into the fabric of our daily lives.

Because commerce is so routine, many of us don’t stop to think about what would happen if someone would come to power and drastically alter the mechanisms in which we engage in buying and selling. This scenario has unfolded numerous times in history and on occasion, it will ostracize a certain segment of the population so they aren’t able to buy or sell. This is the sort of unimaginable evil that Jewish people had to endure in the 1930s as German laws were changed to prohibit commerce with them. More recently we have vicious rulers in Cuba, North Korea, and in Venezuela who can brutally crush dissent with impunity. Oftentimes these despots will use controls over commerce and commodities to keep people in line. The desperate food shortages now being realized in Venezuela and North Korea are the direct result of evil men being consumed by the lust for absolute power.

I watch the global economies and the interwoven complexities of today’s financial markets with great interest. If there is a selloff in an Asian market, the reverberations are felt in other markets around the world and on Mainstreet. I don’t know what will trigger the beginning of an economy controlled by one man but regardless of how it transpires, we see continued global economic crisis and geopolitical upheaval as indicative of the last days. Moreover, the massive influx of refugees into Europe and the US. along with the spike in terror attacks in the West’s prominent cities and capitals may result in a consolidation of power by one man based on the demand for peace and safety.

Coercion, exclusion, and deprivation, are the methods evil men use and as ruthless as these men are, someone much worse will emerge on the world stage. A day is coming when one man will take control of the global financial infrastructure. This man will be the Antichrist and when he comes to power, the Bible makes it clear that no one will be able to buy or sell without the mark (his name or the number of his name) on their right hand or forehead. He will have an accomplice in compelling people to take his mark. The False Prophet will perform great signs, exercise great authority, and causes people to take the mark of the beast (Antichrist) in order to buy or sell. People who refuse to worship the beast and take his mark are unable to purchase anything including the basic necessities of life. When Antichrist comes on the scene he will be a deceiver straight from hell. Daniel 11:36 says he will speak against the One true God and exalt himself. This man is going to be persuasive and lying signs and wonders are worked to point people to him.

There is something even more troubling about Antichrist’s rise to power. This may be oversimplified for some readers but for the sake of others who aren’t familiar with Bible prophecy, please allow me to explain a very important detail that is frankly a matter of eternal life or death. Worship is the centerpiece of the Antichrist’s economy. A time is coming when cash, checks, and credit cards will be useless. The Bible makes it clear that no one can buy or sell unless they have Antichrist’s mark. take a close look at what the Bible says about this worship based economic system.

Revelation 13:16-18  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, 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.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.

Revelation 14:9-11  And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, 10he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 11And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.”

The Bible makes it very clear that taking the mark and worship are intricately linked together. Notice the apostle John wrote, “and they have no rest, day or night, those worshippers of the beast and it’s image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.”In these cases, people have willfully either rejected Christ altogether or have known Him but have fallen into deception. I believe the current slide toward the emergent church and ecumenism is setting up lukewarm Christians to embrace a one world religious system. The bottom line is this, people who truly belong to Jesus are not going to be deceived. Satanic deception is already at work in the world right now preparing the way for Antichrist. There is a willful process of turning aside into false teaching. Remember the warning in Matthew 24:24 when Jesus warns that false prophets would appear and perform great signs and wonders that would deceive even the elect if that were possible.

A growing number of prominent evangelical teachers and leaders who are teaching that it is possible to receive the mark of the beast and still be saved and go to heaven! This is utter foolishness and downright dangerous teaching. There is an eternally important point you must remember. Receiving the mark of the beast and worshipping him are intrinsically linked together. If you received the mark of the beast, you have worshiped him, you have been able to buy and sell, and you are eternally lost. Moreover, you have worshiped Satan because he gives authority to the Antichrist. I’m warning you as a Bible teacher and friend, you can’t receive the mark of the beast and go to heaven. The Bible clearly says that anyone who receives the mark will be tormented day and night with fire forever. They will not repent after taking the mark. Throughout biblical history, the same scenario has played out. People either choose to serve the Lord or to serve Satan. Walking with Jesus will cost us, but He has overcome the world.

John 16:33  I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

I want to remind you that there are believers all over this planet suffering for their faith right now. Ministries such as Barnabas Fund, Voice of the Martyrs, and others tell us about countless instances of our Christian family being persecuted even now. In many parts of Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, Christians are hungry, destitute, ostracized, and persecuted by governmental authorities and extremists groups. This is not an anomaly, this has been the norm for Christians over the last twenty centuries. I’m left wondering why many Christians here in the West are lulled into believing that we are the lucky generation that receives a pass.

I absolutely stand on biblical authority regarding a premillennial rapture and that believers will indeed be raptured before God pours out His wrath on an unrepentant world. It is certain that followers of Jesus are not appointed to God’s wrath. It is equally certain that there will be believers living in the end times will be persecuted for their faithfulness to Jesus. We are constantly told through scripture to endure until the end, to finish well, and to abide in Him. I want to exhort you to remain strong in the Lord no matter what comes our way. It’s biblical to look at the big picture of global conditions to understand the times and discern the season we are in. It doesn’t require an advanced degree in theology to see that things conditions are deteriorating in regard to how Christians and Christianity are viewed here in the West.

Some of you will read this article about the coming worldwide persecution of Christians and will dismiss the warning because you are 100% convinced that you won’t be around for it but will be raptured before global persecution begins. Unfortunately, your ironclad belief in a pre-tribulation rapture is based on your own opinion and personal interpretation of scripture (hermeneutic) and not biblical fact. As Bible teachers and ministries, we must tell people the whole truth of scripture. Revelation 13:18 tells those with understanding to calculate the number of the beast. I believe Christians will be able to identify the Antichrist. Christians are going to face trials and hardship at the hands of this evil man and his totalitarian system. That is precisely why we must stay awake, be sober minded, and abide in the Lord Jesus. The trials and tribulations believers are going to endure are not God’s wrath being poured out. We aren’t appointed to it and therefore won’t be here for it.

On a personal note, many of you have been longtime readers, supporters, and offered prayers on behalf of this ministry. I have been blessed by so many emails and letters of encouragement in the Lord. To be certain, I also receive my share of nastygrams and anger mail directed toward us regarding the stand we take on unbiblical issues and false teaching and that’s to be expected. Since we started in 2014, I’ve written and spoken about numerous end time Bible prophecy matters. I’ve affirmed my absolute belief in a premillennial rapture countless times but I decided not to voice my personal beliefs regarding the timing of the rapture until now. This is because I’ve seen so much unnecessary and unbiblical division over the timing of the rapture from within the church. The point is that all of the labelings, gossiping, cliques, and blacklisting needs to stop if you are indeed a Christian ministry, teacher, or anyone else who is a genuine disciple of Jesus. There are many brothers and sisters I respect and agree with in so many key areas of scripture. As other Bible teachers but most notably Jacob Prasch have rightly mentioned and I’m paraphrasing, ‘If we are going to break fellowship or divide over an issue, let it be with those who are (rapture deniers) not others who have a different view on the timing of the rapture.’ If my personal teaching and opinion on the timing of the rapture is a reason you believe we should divide over, I would be saddened by that. That division is what Satan desires and it gives fodder to end time scoffers like Rick Warren and other false teachers who attack the study of end time Bible prophecy.

If someone denies the rapture or scoffs at end time Bible prophecy, that is where the battle should be. If a person calls himself a Christian or a Bible teacher and attacks the Trinity, Jesus being the only way to the Father, or any other key doctrine, that is a different matter altogether. Solid Christians will have differing opinions on the timing of the premillennial rapture and that’s okay. If you are pre-trib, read all of the media that supports it, and that’s your belief as to the timing of the rapture it is just fine. If you believe in an intra-seal rapture before God’s wrath is poured out on an unrepentant world just as I do, that’s great also. What is an (intra-seal rapture) of the church?  Many Bible teachers including myself have come to understand through the study of scripture that the rapture of the church will take place between the 6th and seventh seal in Revelation.

I want everyone reading this article including myself to remember to humble ourselves before the Lord. We are part of one body and rapture timing is not a godly reason to break fellowship. If you teach and believe solid doctrine, are living a life of holiness as you watch, wait, and endure until we are caught up to meet Jesus in the air, you are my brother or sister. To call another believer a heretic or false teacher because your feelings or ego are hurt or because someone gently and respectfully challenges your favorite Bible teacher as to their eschatology is an ungodly thing to do.

Many fellow ministries and people I respect and love in the Lord are not pre-trib. I’m not pre-trib, Ray comfort isn’t either, nor is Jacob Prasch. Other Bible teachers such as John Haller and Joe Schimmel aren’t pre-trib. Corrie Ten Boom, John Bunyan, Charles Finney, Charles Spurgeon, George Whitefield, Leonard Ravenhill, A.W. Tozer, Walter Martin and many others were not pre-trib. The fact is that a vast untold number of Christians past and present are not pre-trib. There are other fellow ministries and friends I also know and love in the Lord who are pre-trib. Friends at Rapture Ready, Olive Tree Ministries, and Rapture Forums are pre-trib. Other godly teachers such as Dr. Mark Hitchcock, Dr. Fruchtenbaum, and Pastor David Hocking are all pre-trib. Do you understand the correlation here? Despite our differences on the timing of the rapture, we are all pre-millennial rapture believers and hold fast to core Christian doctrine. I thank God for every Bible teacher and ministry listed above as well as others who work tirelessly and selflessly to spread the gospel.

I want to close by saying that as we approach the time of Jesus’ return, the days will continue to grow evil, violent, and the love of many will grow cold. We need to be salt and light in this world that desperately needs it. We see preparations and global economic shifts being made that will ultimately result in a global economy under the Antichrist. Look at what is happening right now in places like Venezuela. It’s an indicator as to how rapidly social unrest and chaotic conditions deteriorate when evil men rule. Millions of people in Venezuela are forced to eat horses and domestic animals right now for food! Hospitals in the capital Caracas are in shambles and the unsanitary conditions are unbelievable. This is just the tip of the approaching iceberg because when Antichrist demands worship in order to participate in the economy, while many people will receive his mark, faithful believers won’t.

We must remember we are in the world and not of it. We are told to endure to the end and that Jesus would never leave or forsake us. The Holy Spirit will enable the faithful remnant to stand firm until we are caught up together with Him in the air. Blessings to you as you continue to finish well for Jesus.

All for Him,

Howard

Thanks to Moriel TV for the excellent video teachings below on the Rapture by Jacob Prasch.

Click here to view: Should the Pre-Trib Rapture view be considered doctrine?

Click here to view: Gnats & Camels and dividing over timing of the rapture.

 

 

 

About Howard Green
Howard uses end time Bible Prophecy to proclaim the gospel and to exhort believers. He focuses on end time prophecy because it points to repentance, salvation, and holy living through Jesus. 2 Peter 3:11 What sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God...