A cashless society. A global pandemic. Changes are speeding up in the world. Many are seeing events as signs of the days before Jesus’ impending return. Are they really?
The only authority to reveal all truth, even of the times would be the Bible. On this episode of ‘A New Beginning’, Pastor Greg Laurie talks of about the mark of the beast from the Book of Revelation.
The Book of Revelation states that there will be tribulation on earth before Jesus’ return. This great tribulation will change nearly everything about life here on earth. There is also a charismatic world leader — the anti-Christ. He will introduce a cashless society, requiring everyone to wear a mark. No one will be able to buy or sell or engage in any kind of commerce without the mark of the beast.
Hmmm. We are very much a cashless society today, aren’t we? COVID has escalated that too. But the Book of Revelation also talks about being able to buy or sell only with the mark of the beast. Greg teaches us how the mark represents allegiance to the anti-Christ, and he shares some very confronting insights.
The anti-Christ is going to be, for lack of a better description, a phony Jesus. He’s is going to be a new world leader. He will be against Christ and his followers. But the prefix ‘anti’ not only means against. It also means in the last days, there will come those who will falsely say, I am Christ. And that’s exactly what this man will do, but he’s a pretender.
The Ways of the Anti-Christ
The Bible teaches that the anti-Christ will introduce a cashless society, requiring everyone to take a mark. 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 days events.
“We all know that the technology is pretty much here where we can be identified by a mark,” says Greg. “We read of microchips being implanted in pets. And now in some cases, in humans. We don’t need a wallet anymore. We can just scan our hand and make our purchase. The Bible predicted this technology that the anti-Christ would harness and use for evil purposes 2000 years ago”.
The Lord gives John what we call the revelation, which is the unveiling of the future. At this time, there were no computers or smartphones. This was the age of spears and stones and wood. It was incredible that John would have this kind of insight. That’s why we can believe the Bible. It’s the one book to predict the future, not once, not twice, but hundreds of times with 100% accuracy.
Revelation 13:16 says, ‘he (the anti-Christ) 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 except one who has the mark or the name of the beast or the number of his name.’
“We all know his number is 6 6 6.”, continues Greg. “God has predicted the future, because He lives in the eternal realm. 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.”
Jesus is Coming Soon
The Lord has told us this is coming, but we don’t know when. We do know no one is going to take the mark of the beast accidentally. 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. You can either take the mark and worship the anti-Christ, or starve.
“We’ve never been closer to the Lord’s return than we are at this moment,”
Greg says. “But it’s not all bad news because the Bible promises a new beginning. It promises a new world where righteousness will reign supreme. Awful things happen every day in this fallen world of ours. But the Bible says the knowledge of the Lord will fill the earth. How wonderful that will be.”
The Bible also tells us that before Christ comes back, the gospel will be preached all around the world. But before that happens, it’s going to get pretty dark. The anti-Christ will use every kind of wicked deception, because people will refuse to believe the truth.
“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,” says Greg.
The Beginning in the End
And it’s not all bad news in the Bible. The Book of Revelation, the last Book in the Bible ends with a new heaven and earth. A place where the devil is no more, and there are no more tears. A place where God dwells forever with his people. That is the surety and hope we can hold on to. And if you have not decided to start a relationship with Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, it’s not too late! There is still time, but not much more. He is coming back soon.
Reflect + Respond
- Does the surety of Jesus’ return and the closeness of it infuse you with hope? How can you look at your current circumstances in light of this reality?
- How are you preparing for Jesus’ return? Are you focused more on looking at the signs of the times or on your relationship with Jesus? How does Jesus’ impending return motivate you to share the Good News?
- Would you like to start a relationship with Jesus as your Lord and Saviour before His return? Not sure why you need to or want to know how to? Head to Vision Christian Prayer
To listen to the rest of Greg’s three-part teaching about the mark of the beast, click below.