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What Is the Mark of the Beast?: Allegiance to the Antichrist

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
September 30, 2021 3:00 am

What Is the Mark of the Beast?: Allegiance to the Antichrist

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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September 30, 2021 3:00 am

Some might think a cashless society might be kind of handy – just scan and scoot. But today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie points out how the mark represents allegiance to the Antichrist! Hard-hitting insight ahead.

And don’t forget to be a part of SoCal Harvest this weekend, live from Angel Stadium in Southern California—and you can watch from anywhere at harvest.org/socal. An important time for a friend or loved one to hear the gospel. Let’s get started with today’s message.

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A New Beginning is the daily half-hour program hosted by Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Southern California. For over 30 years, Pastor Greg and Harvest Ministries have endeavored to know God and make Him known through media and large-scale evangelism. This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

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We're glad you're joining us for A New Beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast supported by Harvest Partners. Get more encouraging audio content when you subscribe to Pastor Greg's Daily Devos.

Learn more and sign up at harvest.org. Coming up today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie points out from Revelation how the Great Tribulation will change nearly everything about life here on planet earth. There is coming this charismatic world leader, the Antichrist, who will introduce a cashless society requiring everyone to take a mark.

No one will be able to buy or sell or engage in any kind of commerce without the mark of the beast. This is the day when the lost are found. This is the day for a new beginning. Amazing grace, how sweet the sound. Oh, can you hear all the angels are singing? This is the day, the day where life begins.

Some might think a cashless society might be kind of handy. Just scan and scoot. But today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie points out how the mark represents allegiance to the Antichrist. Hard-hitting insight ahead. And don't forget to be a part of SoCal Harvest this weekend, live from Angel Stadium in Southern California.

And you can watch from anywhere at harvest.org slash SoCal. An important time for a friend or loved one to hear the gospel. Well, let's get started now with today's message.

This is the day, the day where life begins. So I went to the market the other day and I bought a few groceries. And as I was leaving, they had a nice little flower section. And I was looking around at different flowers. And I usually get my wife orchid.

She favors those. But then I saw something I rarely see. They had tulips. And I thought, well, those are beautiful. So I paid for them. And they cost a little more than I thought they should.

But they were so impressive. I thought, I've got to give her these tulips. And as I'm walking to my car, I'm looking at them saying, what a marvel of God's creation. They're so perfect. They almost look fake.

I can't believe these things. So I get home and I wanted to cut the stems, you know. And so I get a knife out and they're not cutting. I get a stronger knife out.

Still not cutting. I thought, wow, I didn't know tulips had stems that were so tough. So Kathy comes home a little later and I said, I got you some tulips. And so then she went to cut the stems and she said, Greg, these tulips you bought me are fake.

I bought my wife fake tulips. So why are we talking about flowers? You're asking.

I have no idea. I just wanted to tell you that story. No, seriously. There is coming a world leader on this scene who's going to be, for lack of a better description, a fake Christ. A phony Jesus. He's called the anti-Christ. The prefix anti not only means against, and he will be against Christ and his followers, but it also means instead of. Jesus said in the last days, there will come those that will say, I am Christ. And that's exactly what this man will do.

But he's a pretender. And we all know his number, don't we? It's 666. More people probably know that number from the Bible than John 3.16, which says, For God so loved the world, He gave His only begotten Son, and whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. Oh, we don't know that, but we know 666. We get nervous about that number.

If it's in your social security number, maybe you want to change it. If they give you a new phone number and it has 666, I don't know if I want that number. We know that number is connected to evil. We know that it points to something ominous, and indeed it does. The Bible teaches that there is coming this charismatic world leader, the anti-Christ, who will introduce a cashless society requiring everyone to take a mark. No one will be able to buy or sell or engage in any kind of commerce without the mark of the beast. And by the way, this may be one of the most intriguing issues in all of the Bible.

There's been more speculation, more sensationalism, more silliness about this topic than any of the other last day's events. Now, maybe 10 years ago if I was teaching on this, I would illustrate with some things I read in the news about how close we are to this mark, but I don't even need to do that anymore, do I? We all know that the tech is pretty much here where we could be identified by a mark. We read of microchips being implanted in pets, and now in some cases even in humans.

I just saw a video for a well-known website where they're saying, you don't need a wallet anymore, you can just scan your hand or wave your hand and make your purchase. I hear that Elon Musk, the creator of Tesla and SpaceX, has implanted a little chip into the brain of a chimpanzee, and I saw a chimpanzee playing a video game with this artificial intelligence added. So clearly we can see this tech is already here.

Think about this. The Bible predicted this technology that the Antichrist will harness and use for evil purposes 2,000 years ago. John is on an island in the middle of nowhere, and the Lord gives to him what we call the revelation, which is the unveiling of the eternal, the unveiling of the future. At this time there were no computers or tablets or smartphones.

This was the age of spears and stones and wood. This was incredible that John would have this kind of insight. And by the way, that's why you can believe the Bible. It's the one book that dares to predict the future.

Not once, not twice, but hundreds of times with 100% accuracy. Okay, so let's read that passage that refers to the mark of the beast. Revelation 13 verse 16 says, He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and no one can buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast or the number of his name.

Here is wisdom. Let him that is understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666. So God has predicted the future, hasn't he? And by the way, that's not risky for the Lord. It wouldn't be any more risky for God to predict the future than for you to tell me what you had for dinner last night.

I hope you can remember what you had. And so when the Lord speaks of the future, it's easy. Why? Because God lives in the eternal realm. So everything is in a continuum to him. So when he says this will happen, he knows it will happen exactly as he says it will. I love this passage, Isaiah 46 verse 9. The Lord says, Do not forget the things that I've done through history, for I am God.

I alone, I am God, and there's no one else like me. Only I can tell you what is going to happen before it happens. Everything I plan will come to pass, for I do whatever I wish.

How true is that? So the Lord has told us this is coming. We know it will. But we don't know when it will happen exactly.

You know, there's a lot of speculations. And I mentioned recently conspiracy theories that people come up with about the Antichrist trying to identify him, which is a bad idea, and it's futile, and trying to figure out what the mark of the beast might be. Now, because of the coronavirus, we have the vaccines that are available to the public. And on more than one occasion, I've read articles about is the vaccine the mark of the beast? If you take the vaccine, are you indeed taking the mark of the beast? So I'm going to answer that right now to the best of my ability.

The answer is no. It is not the mark of the beast. No one's going to take the mark of the beast accidentally. Because in fact, as we study Scripture, we realize it's not just taking the mark on your right hand or forehead. It's a pledge of allegiance to the Antichrist himself.

No one is going to take it by accident. And by the way, the Antichrist will not be revealed until the rapture of the church. So if you know who the Antichrist is and you think you know what the mark of the beast is, congratulations, you missed the rapture. Now, I'm being facetious, of course, because we don't know. So the point is, it's pointless to try to identify Antichrist or even the mark that he will use. Let me summarize. The mark of the beast is future.

Not past or even present yet. The mark is a visible, literal brand of sorts. The mark will be given as a sign of devotion to Antichrist and as a passport to commerce. And here's the thing.

You'll know it when you're getting it. There's even an angel that is going to fly through the heavens warning people to not take the mark. So no one's going to do it again by accident. So don't freak out if you go to Disneyland and they put a stamp on your right hand.

It's okay. You have not taken the mark of the beast. But when this mark is employed during the great tribulation period, that lasts for seven years. There's going to be a one world government, a new global economy ruled by one man. I was watching a business news channel the other day.

And they were talking about the changing economy. And one financial expert said, and I quote, The real reform, the real answer to all this is some kind of a banking union where everyone signs on board. There needs to be some kind of banking overlord, a banking union that everyone will bow down before.

I thought, wow. He may have just described the Antichrist. Yeah, so he'll be an overlord, if you will. And in this case, people will technically bow down before him. You'll have a choice during the tribulation period. You can either take the mark and worship the Antichrist or starve.

Basically no mark, no merchandise, no seal, no sale. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. We hear from so many people who find Christ through Pastor Greg's teachings. Pastor Greg, I was saved at Your Harvest Crusade at Anaheim Stadium about 20 years ago. Before that, I could hardly stand to look in the mirror because I was lost in a world of drugs and violence.

In fact, I had many friends and family who died when I was young, and I always figured I wouldn't be far behind. The day I went to Your Harvest Crusade, I was kind of embarrassed to be there and didn't understand what this was all about. Then You came on stage and began to grab my attention. God was speaking through Your mouth to my heart. I started crying and didn't know why, but I knew I wanted everything You were talking about.

The love, the forgiveness, eternal life. You did an altar call for anyone who wanted to accept Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. I popped up and jumped through the rows to get to the field so that I could commit my life to Jesus Christ.

I just felt the need to share this with You. I pray that God continues to use You to help save the lost. Thank you, Jesus, and thank you, Pastor Greg, for sharing God's love with so many. What a great story of how God used the Harvest Crusade to bring this man to Christ. And tell a friend about Pastor Greg's next event, SoCal Harvest, October 3rd at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California. Get information and get involved by going to Harvest.org.

That's Harvest.org. Well, today Pastor Greg is offering some important insight about the end times, and specifically the time of the Great Tribulation. And he explains even more in his new book on Revelation.

Get the details at Harvest.org. Let's continue today's study of prophecy. One thing is clear, we've never been closer to the Lord's return than we are at this moment. Now, it's not all bad news because the Bible promises a new beginning. The Bible promises a new world when righteousness will reign supreme, light over darkness, good will prevail over evil. And isn't that good news? Because we read so much bad news right now.

Horrible, awful things that happen every day in this fallen world of ours. Why are things going to be so much better? Because the Bible says in Isaiah 11, 9, the knowledge of the Lord will fill the earth.

How wonderful that will be. Right now the knowledge of the Lord does not fill the earth. Many don't even want to hear what God has to say. One of our passions here at Harvest Ministries is to get the gospel to as many people as possible. And to reach unexpected people in unexpected places. And indeed the Bible tells us before Christ comes back the gospel will be preached all around the world. And then one day the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord.

But before that comes it's going to get pretty dark. And that's what Revelation 13 is telling us with the emergence of this antichrist figure. Now if you heard my message last time which was titled, Who is the Antichrist? You remember some things I pointed out.

But in case you missed it, here's a little recap. Number one, antichrist is coming to deify Satan. He's coming to deify Satan. Revelation 13 forces they worship the dragon.

Revelation tells us in chapter 12 the dragon is Satan. So they'll worship Satan who gave authority to the beast. And the beast is the antichrist.

And they worship the beast saying who is like the beast and who is able to make war with him. So ultimately there's going to be full tilt Satan worship happening on the planet. Number two, antichrist is coming to defy and take the place of Jesus. So he wants to deify Satan and he wants to defy and take the place of Jesus. Revelation 13 five says there was given a mouth speaking great things in blasphemy and authority to continue for 42 months.

And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God to blaspheme his name and his tabernacle. A third thing I'd point out about antichrist, his time and reign will be limited. He'll rule for a seven year period.

The first three and a half years will be peaceful. And that's why some will hail him as a peacemaker. But in reality he's the ultimate trouble maker.

He'll show his true colors at a certain event I'll talk about in just a moment. And number four, he is coming to kill Christians and followers of the Lord. Verse seven says it's granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them.

And authority was given to him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. We're also told in Revelation that there'll be some kind of an assassination attempt against antichrist that he will survive. And when that happens people are going to worship him and the devil himself. Now the antichrist does not act alone.

He has a partner in crime and that person is identified as the false prophet. Revelation 13 verse 11 says I saw another beast. And remember beast is not a description of how they appear but more a description of their character.

Another beast coming up out of the earth. He had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. So a lamb is a passive creature. A dragon as we already know is Satan so the devil's speaking through him. But he appears oh I suppose religious and pious like a lamb. He has all the authority of the first beast in his presence. The first beast being the antichrist. He causes the earth and those that dwell in it to worship the first beast whose deadly wound was healed. Antichrist survives that assassination attempt. And here's the verse.

Verse 16. And he causes both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave to receive a mark on their right hand or their forehead. So he's sort of implementing this mark in the culture. And again this is in the future.

So here's the thing. We wonder why would anybody take the mark of the beast? And the answer is given to us in 2 Thessalonians chapter 2 verse 9 which says speaking of antichrist. This evil man will come to do the work of Satan with counterfeit power and signs and wonders. He will use every kind of wicked deception to fool those who are on their way to destruction.

Listen. Because they refuse to believe the truth. It's not that they haven't heard the truth. They refuse to believe the truth that would save them so God will send a great deception upon them and they will believe the lie.

They'll believe the lie. What is the lie that people in the tribulation period will believe? The lie is pretty much the same thing that goes back to the Garden of Eden.

Satan was peddling this thing way back when. Remember our first parents Adam and Eve were there at the garden. There at the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. By the way the Lord said you can enjoy all this garden. Just you know steer clear of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Scene two. Adam and Eve at the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. You know a lot of times we get ourselves into trouble without the devil's help. So there they were standing at the tree and the snake comes to them. The serpent.

The devil. And says has God said you can't eat of every tree in the garden? Go ahead and eat of this fruit for in the day you eat you will become as a god knowing good and evil. Now people always say when Adam and Eve ate the apple in the garden. The Bible never says it was an apple. I don't know about you.

I wouldn't even be tempted by an apple. Who knows what it was. It probably glowed and pulsated with light.

Maybe it had its own theme song. I don't know. But when they saw the tree and the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasant to look upon and desirable to make them wise. They ate of it and then sin entered the world. But what is the lie that Satan was propagating? The lie is simply this. Don't believe the word of God. Believe something in its place. Hey we believe the lie sometimes too. The devil will whisper in our ear God doesn't love you.

Why do you even follow him? He's against you. That's a lie. Sometimes the devil will say go ahead and do this thing. No one will ever find out. You'll get away with it. Well that's certainly a lie.

He'll say it'll be fun. And he'll whisper into our ears these things that are not true. And the only way to know the lie from the truth and to know good from evil is to have a good working knowledge of the Bible. All of us have been deceived by sin at some time in our life. All of us have known something was wrong but we went for it anyway.

Right? And if you did that means you listened to the lie. So now we're in the tribulation period as Satan is pulling out all of the stops for this last big play. He's wanting people to take this mark. I'm sure there'll be a lot of pressure for people to take the mark. I'm sure all the celebrities on social media will say I got the mark.

Did you? Have you got the mark yet? Make sure you get the mark.

The mark is awesome. The anti-Christ is great. And people will be swept up into this and take the mark. Terrifying times coming during the great tribulation. Pastor Greg Laurie pointing out what Revelation tells us about the time after the rapture of the church. And there's more to come from our Revelation series here on A New Beginning.

But listen, if you missed any of today's study or any of our previous presentations, you can catch up by going online to harvest.org. Just look for today's message, What is the Mark of the Beast? Now in tandem with our studies of Revelation here on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg has just released a brand new book on Revelation that takes us even further. You know, Pastor Greg, there's a lot of symbolism in Bible prophecy.

You've studied the subject a great deal. How much of that symbolism do we know for sure what it means, and how much is open to interpretation where godly people do disagree? Well, I think it's very important to understand Bible prophecy. There are constant exhortations to understand these things. Jesus, when he was speaking of an event called the abomination of desolation, said, let the reader understand. In the book of Thessalonians, Paul writing to the believers there, he says, Brothers, I would not have you be ignorant. Then he went on to talk about the rapture. So we don't want to be ignorant.

We want to understand. And the very word revelation means to unveil. Now there are different ways that we can view these truths, and I think godly people can, and they do, frankly, disagree on some of these things. Now my position is I believe that there is an event called the rapture that can happen at any moment. I believe in a pre-tribulation rapture. Now, the tribulation period is last seven years, starts with the emergence of antichrist, it ends with the return of Jesus Christ. I don't believe we as Christians will go through the tribulation period. I believe we'll be raptured before that time comes. Now, that belief alone will affect you in the way that you live.

Because if you believe you could be caught up to meet the Lord in the air, and you see the signs of the time showing how close the tribulation period could potentially be, you realize if the tribulation period is close, then the rapture of the church is even closer. So I could use the illustration of seeing Christmas decorations up. And you know they go up so early now, don't they?

What is it, August or something? I can't believe Christmas decorations are up. Well, guess what? If I see the decorations for Christmas going up, it says this, Thanksgiving is coming. You say, no, Greg, it says Christmas is coming.

No, I know. But if Christmas is coming, Thanksgiving is coming even sooner because Thanksgiving precedes Christmas, doesn't it? So the point of it all is if I see signs of the times out there telling me that the tribulation period is coming, then that means that Jesus is coming even sooner for his church. That belief alone will affect you in the way that you live. And I talk about that and a lot more in this brand new book that I've just written called Revelation, a Book of Promises. It's hardcover.

It's a thick one. This is going to be a resource that you'll keep at home, and hopefully you'll consult it again and again. And my prayer and my hope is it will help unlock this great book, the final book of the Bible, the only book of the Bible, I might add.

It has a special blessing promise to the person who reads, hears, and keeps the words of it. And I want you to get this book I've just written, simply called Revelation, a Book of Promises, and we'll send it to you for your gift of any size. And here's Dave to tell you more.

All right, well, thank you very much. It's a brand new commentary from Pastor Greg hot off the press, more than 400 pages in length. If you've been less than clear on your understanding of last day's events, you need to get this resource.

Hey, Dave, let me jump in really quick. Not only are we offering this new book, Revelation, a Book of Promises, but we have this really cool graphic bookmark that we have put together that gives you a timeline of end times events. So you probably wondered, okay, I know I've heard about the rapture and the tribulation period and the antichrist and the second coming.

What happens when? Well, this very beautiful little visual bookmark sort of lays it out for you. That's included in the book you're talking about right now. Yeah, that's right.

It comes automatically. So get in touch with your donation today, and we'll thank you with a copy of Revelation, a Book of Promises. You can write us at A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, California, 92514. Or call 1-800-821-3300. That's a 24-7 phone number, 1-800-821-3300.

Or go online to harvest.org. Evangelist Greg Laurie of SoCal Harvest. Many are filled with worry and complete hopelessness. I'm telling you tonight you can go from hopelessness to hope, from emptiness to fulfillment, from guilt to forgiveness, because hope has a name, and it's Jesus Christ, and He's here to change your life tonight. Who do you know that needs a message of hope? Bring them with you to Angel Stadium of Anaheim for SoCal Harvest, Sunday night, October 3rd. A compelling interactive experience, a message of hope from Greg Laurie, and music from For King and Country. God only knows what you've been through.

And Phil Wickham. Oh God, that all belongs to me, yeah. SoCal Harvest with Greg Laurie, October 3rd at 7 p.m. Play a part by serving, and get more information at harvest.org slash SoCal. Next time, Pastor Greg guides us into the 14th chapter of Revelation, where we consider the 144,000 and the mark they carry as God's own. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher Greg Laurie. This is the day, the day when life begins. A New Beginning is a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners, helping people everywhere know God. If this show has impacted your life, share your story, leave a review on your favorite podcast app and help others find hope.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-18 12:01:50 / 2023-08-18 12:12:42 / 11

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