NO BUYING OR SELLING

Regarding the previous article written about “Rev. 14:12”, the legitimate question is asked, “Then what constitutes how someone will be prohibited from “buying or selling” if the “Mark of the Beast” is Sunday worship?  In other words, how will they know who you are if there isn’t some sort of physical indication, hence all the recent news regarding chips, implantations, etc.  What does all this mean?

I’ll attempt to provide some answers and guidance, but first I sought guidance from God as well as the Spirit of Prophecy, which I just so happened to read during my morning’s devotions today.  Let me provide the quotation:

“The trades unions will be one of the agencies that will bring upon this earth a time of trouble such as has not been since the world began… These unions are one of the signs of the last days. Men are binding up in bundles ready to be burned. They may be church members, but while they belong to these unions, they cannot possibly keep the commandments of God; for to belong to these unions means to disregard the entire Decalogue… Those who claim to be the children of God are in no case to bind up with the labor unions that are formed or that shall be formed. This the Lord forbids. Cannot those who study the prophecies see and understand what is before us?…The trades unions and confederacies of the world are a snare. Keep out of them, and away from them, brethren. Have nothing to do with them. Because of these unions and confederacies, it will soon be very difficult for our institutions to carry on their work in the cities. My warning is: Keep out of the cities. Build no sanitariums in the cities. Educate our people to get out of the cities into the country, where they can obtain a small piece of land, and make a home for themselves and their children.” (Selected Writings, Volume 2, Chapter 14.  Avoiding Labor Conflicts)

So, what does this mean?

I find it interesting that Seventh Day Adventist are able to tell you “what” the “Mark of the Beast” is but not able to describe how it will be enforced.  Yet, nominal churches are not able to tell you “what” the “Mark of the Beast” is but can describe “how” it will be enforced!  We have nothing but the Record (Bible) given to both groups and it is in this, I believe, we need to seek the answer to this important question.

The first time we encounter a “mark” being placed on anyone, comes from the very first book of the printed Bible, “And the Lord said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the Lord set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.” Gen 4:15 (KJV) Does this imply a “physical” mark of some sort?  I’ve heard some say, God changed his color and made him “white”.  Obviously, this would come from those who believe our first parents were black.  It should come to no one’s surprise the opposite is often spoken, by those who believe our first parents were white!  With the population, at that time, obviously not what it is today, could it simply have been a “warning” some sort of “designation”, not necessarily physical but information given and provided regarding him.  Simply put, his “notoriety”?

The next incidence where we come across the “mark” is by Job in pleading with God for his condition, “I have sinned; what shall I do unto thee, O thou preserver of men? why hast thou set me as a mark against thee, so that I am a burden to myself?” Job 7:20 (KJV)  Again, we’re not seeing a physical mark but an “understanding”.  Job perceives himself as being “marked” by God as a result of his sins.

Following this, our next indication of a mark, but in this particular case, it’s a positive situation is found, “And the Lord said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof. And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity:  Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house.” Ezek 9:4-6 (KJV) Now, God is speaking to His angel.  Do you think it would be a requirement or the angel would make a mistake in determining who God’s people are or not?  In the case of Rahab in the book of Joshua, it was made apparent, a “mark” or “ribbon” had to be placed so that man would not destroy her and her family who assisted the spies.  We read of a similar matter where before the Israelites left Egypt they were told to “mark” their doorpost so the “Destroying Angel” would “Pass Over” their homes.  Do you think the angel would “miss” who belong to God or was this given for man as indicative of his faith which would later have relevance to him as given in the one of the feasts later known as “Passover” (Lev. 23)?

And finally, we come to our text in Revelation 14 where it seems those who do not have this mark, the “Mark of the Beast” will not be able to purchase or sell in order to live comfortably during this most difficult of times.  So, how would they be distinguished?  I think a good answer is given in Daniel 3, the old story regarding the “Three Hebrews and the Fiery Furnace”.  In this actual event, what took place “then” is indicative of what will take place “later”.  What was the ONLY distinction between these young men and everyone else?  Their worship!  These three Hebrews were several among many of others who were just as “Hebrew” as they were, but who sold their faith for fear of being destroyed, never mind a whole country of pagan believers who have had no qualms about bowing once they heard the music.  They could have even pretended to be tying their sandals or something, but they stood tall and quite obvious as compared with those around them.  Because of their position within the kingdom, they had the choicest place in front of the statue which would make it even more obvious and don’t think for a moment, it was not a concern of theirs, knowing full well what they were doing, but not willing to “sell out” their faith.  They, too, were “marked” for destruction and well, we know the story.

Such as will be during these last days.

First off, we are warned to leave the cities where it will be more difficult than say for those who are living in the country and even less for those who will even leave the country for lands far more remote.  I cite the story of Lot and his situation.  They were told where to go and objected.  Later, they ended up going afterward because their first choice proved not to the best, for them.

The cited Spirit of Prophecy has given good counsel by indicating what will take place in these last days with the rising of unions.   We know the unions are all about “trade”, “buying and selling” for the benefit of “their” people.  If we are warned against associating with them, and personally, I’ve never been a member of any union nor would I choose to be regardless of my profession, this was never a concern, for me.  But how about those whose occupations are involved with trade unions?  I’ve even had discussions with some Adventist who support unions, which, I’m sorry, I cannot.  I think they served a purpose in their day, prior to my birth, but they serve no purpose now and even less in the future EXCEPT for what we’re told they will be responsible for as we get closer.

Those who believe and know the truth will “stand” just as the Hebrews against being a part of these organizations as they become more powerful as well as the ecumenism movement (churches finding common ground and uniting) with the Catholic church.  I think the faith of those who will stand, during this time, the 144,000 will make it plain by their characteristics, of “having no guile (speaking against this joining) and being virgins (not associating with them) will be cause enough for them to be found different, and distinguished from the norm and hated and repulsed and prevented from buying the very necessities which are easily obtained during out present time.

Do you think those who know they would be questioned, detained and arrested would actually go to places to make purchases or to sell when they KNOW the truth and what will happen to them and their families by doing so?  I think not.  To say they might become desperate proves their faith is not where it needed to be because God has already assured them that their bread and water would be sure, during this time.  So why would they presume God would protect them while walking into the proverbial lion’s den?

Will there be a physical mark.  No.  The devil is not stupid nor should we be.  If it were just a matter of some type of mark, which even the sinner knows, won’t you think they would not want to have it in hopes of being saved, too?  If that was all it took?  I’ve not been one to focus on the smokescreen but to see through the smoke to determine what is actual versus apparent for my understanding.  Those who are more concern about what they think will be implemented would have missed the entire purpose of these verses and as a result will be confused, will compromise their faith and like the other Hebrews, will bend that knee to honor the false god.  How many are already bending the knee thinking they know the facts but are from it.  Could there be some biometrical indicator which will stipulate what one is able to do or not?  Could be, but I’m convinced it is not the point.  It lies upon what one believes and it is by this belief which will determine one’s action.

 

November 20, 2014

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