Monday, May 23, 2016

Concerns About Mark of the Beast, Being a Sell-Out Christian, and Providing for the Less Fortunate posts

Since Bible Passages That Can Influence Your Life, is now on line through individual posts, I am now putting several links together for each post. I found groupings of three posts worked well for anyone interested in using these for a Bible study group.  Debbie Seiling

And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.  Here is wisdom.  Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.  Revelation, Chapter 13, verses 16-18.
And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.  Revelation, Chapter 14, verse 11.
You don’t have to truly understand things to be careful.  I don’t truly understand why I shouldn’t microwave food in plastic bowls, but credible people have said that this can be harmful, so I just don’t do it!
I can’t attest to understanding all of Revelation or Daniel, Chapter 10 through Chapter 12, but I do know enough to be careful when I see a warning.  It talks about people losing their Salvation by getting the mark of the beast in either their right hand or their forehead.  People won’t able to buy or sell things unless they get this mark.  Every now and then I get concerned when I hear about discussions within the government to take security precautions that might be similar to the mark of the beast.
It’s very commonplace for people to use credit cards to purchase things in stores or over the Internet.  The papers and magazines are riddled with columns about rampant identity theft, not to mention hackers who are hacking into computer systems to get vital information.  I’m concerned that they will institute security measures that are similar to the mark of the beast, whether it’s a number, a computer chip or something else to protect people from identity theft.
What worries me even more, is that I think people will be so excited about having this extra security that protects them, they won’t even realize that they are getting the mark of the beast and are losing their Salvation in the process.  We are warned to have wisdom.  Be cautious about what you do and trust the instincts that God gives you.  He will guide you by these.

And Jacob sod pottage [made something like lentil stew]: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint: And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom.  And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright.  And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do me?  And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob.  Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentils; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright.  Genesis, Chapter 25, verses 29-34.

Unfortunately, I can identify with Esau.  I’ve been a “Sell-out Christian,” selling out my ethics more times than I can mention for food.  Food and control are my two biggest vices.  Satan loves to dangle very subtle things in front of us to pull us into his control. 
It’s so easy to sell out our Christian ethics without even realizing it. It might be by things like spending too much time on the computer that our family goes without our presence.  The computer temporarily becomes a priority over our family.  It might be by telling only partial truths.  Of course, we always tell ourselves that we are doing it to protect others.  Do we come up with reasons why we don’t have time to pray, but spend hours in front of the TV? 

There are lots of subtle ways we sell out our Christian ethics without ever noticing.  Esau lived to regret selling his birthright.  I don’t want to live to regret selling out my Christian ethics either.  I don’t want God telling me on the Last Day, “Debbie, I have other accommodations waiting for you, because you don’t deserve a spot in heaven.  You were too busy doing your own thing to be bothered with leading your life as an example of your love for Me.”

And six years thou shalt sow thy land, and shalt gather in the fruits thereof: But the seventh year thou shalt let it rest and lie still; that the poor of thy people may eat: and what they leave the beasts of the field shall eat.  In like manner thou shalt deal with thy vineyard, and with thy oliveyard.  Exodus, Chapter 23, verses 10-11.

I know there is a lot of talk about Welfare Reform.  I, too, want us empowering people instead of enabling them, destroying their work ethic.  We have to be prayerful about what we choose to do with this system.  This passage says that God wants us to provide for the poor.  You’re right; most of us don’t have fields or vineyards to leave fallow the seventh year so they’re available to the less fortunate.  Instead, we provide for the less fortunate through our taxes, giving to related charities and making donations to causes.  We also provide for the needy by giving at church and through legislation to fund these causes.  We need to be careful about how we change this system.  It’s vital that we continue to provide adequate food and medical care for those less fortunate, especially children.
That doesn’t mean giving monthly disability payments to people with learning disabilities or drug and alcohol addictions.  In this case, we may be enabling people because they aren’t motivated to become literate or substance free for fear of losing that income.  Yes, we do need to change things so some people don’t have multiple fictitious addresses to rake in the Welfare checks.  The Welfare Reform needs to allow the Welfare recipient to make the necessary changes with dignity.
Although there are issues to be resolved within the Welfare System, we can’t lose sight of what God has told us to do.  It would be very easy to “throw the baby out with the bath water” while making the necessary changes to the Welfare System.  We need to continue to provide food, medical attention and other needed services for those less fortunate, because that’s what God would want us to do.

Here are some related passages:
*And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not make clean riddance of the corners of thy field when thou reapest, neither shalt thou gather any gleaning of thy harvest: thou shalt leave them unto the poor, and to the stranger: I am the LORD your God.  Leviticus, Chapter 23, verse 22.
*For the LORD your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward.  He doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment.  Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.  Deuteronomy, Chapter 10, verses 17-19.
*If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any of thy gates in thy land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother: But thou shalt open thine hand wide unto him, and shalt surely lend him sufficient for his need, in that which he wanteth.  Deuteronomy, Chapter 15, verses 7-8.
*When thou cuttest down thine harvest in thy field, and hast forgot a sheaf in the field, thou shalt not go again to fetch it: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow: that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hands.  When thou beatest thine olive tree, thou shalt not go over the boughs again: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow.  When thou gatherest the grapes of thy vineyard, thou shalt not glean it afterward: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow.  And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land of Egypt: therefore I command thee to do this thing.  Deuteronomy, Chapter 24, verses 19-22.
*For the needy shall not always be forgotten: the expectation of the poor shall not perish for ever.  Psalm, Chapter 9, verse 18.
*Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble.  The LORD will preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and Thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies.  Psalm, Chapter 41, verses 1-2.
*The poor is hated even of his own neighbour: but the rich hath many friends.  He that despiseth his neighbour sinneth: but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he.  Proverbs, Chapter 14, verses 20-21.
*When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the LORD will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them.  Isaiah, Chapter 41, verse 17.

Because this is an example of how I’ve applied this Bible passage to my life, it doesn't necessarily reflect the whole meaning of the passage.

These are other blogs I felt led to create:

This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections. 
Please click on comments below to share your suggestions. Thanks! Debbie

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