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Passionate Christian, devoted to the propagation of the Gospel of Christ.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Buy and Sell

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.”Rev 13:16-17

Many so called 'end time' teachers interpret the verse above to mean that at the time of the end, the antichrist would require the whole world to accept the number 666 (to be tattooed) on their foreheads or right hands which they would be required to use as a unit of exchange for food and other essential services and that because of this, all Christians on earth who despise "the antichrist" and his number would have to stock up on food and supplies shortly before he ascends to power if they want to survive his reign. 

(Note that the Antichrist was already on earth when John wrote the book of revelation: 1 John 4:3 and yet many Christians have been buying and selling goods freely without being required to receive any number on their right hand or forehead)

It should not be taken literally. There is a deeper meaning to the verse which only those that are led by the Spirit can understand:


And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. Matt 13:10-11

Buy and sell (as used in Rev 13:17) means that we would not be able to obtain (buy) the goods (treasures) of the world or give out our godly ideas (sell) to the world unless we agree to conform to the Beast's way of thinking (symbolized by the forehead) and acting (symbolized by the right hand i.e the right hand is the symbol of a person's will/authority: Christ sat at God's right hand: Mark 16:19 (The right hand of God symbolizes His authority to will and act out His desire (will) in His universe i.e Christ has the authority to execute God's will in the Universe: Matt 28:18)

The Beast's Authority
People get their authority (ability to command wealth, respect and power) in the beast's system from their willingness to conform to the beast's way of acting and thinking .i.e The cost of getting ('buying') a living in the Beast's system is conforming to the image of the Beast.

The Bible says that the false prophet demanded that every one worship (submit to) the image of the beast. The Beast wants us to conform to his own image (look like him i.e be carnal and materialistic) instead of conforming to God's image (Be Spiritual and Holy like God).
Buying:
People buy things that they do not have or things that they do not have enough of:

-Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.Acts 3:6

To better understand what the word buy (as used in Rev 13) means, let me give an example:

The society we live in today demands that we have to go to certain schools, meet certain requirements or be willing to tolerate/conform to certain type of work ethics (conform to its standards) before we can get a job or have a source of  livelihood. If we do not attend these schools or meet their requirements, we will not be considered for the job (means of making money) and would have to go without a means of making ends meet.

We Must sacrifice the material for the eternal
-While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.2 Cor 4:18

Because of the demands of God's calling, His children (The Church) cannot be conformed to the world and its standards (Rom 12:2) and because they are not to be conformed to the world and its requirements, they must be ready to sacrifice their rights and livelihoods in order to serve God.

Jesus forewarned us about this in Matt 6: 24: "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other." Ye cannot serve God and mammon."
 
You cannot serve God and mammon my brethren. You have to choose which of the two will be your master. Serving mammon only shows where your true allegiance is: On the present life and the self.
Matt 6:21: "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."
 
What you treasure shows where your allegiance is either with God or with self.

Also Matt 6: 31-32: "Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? For after all these things do the Gentiles seek: for your heavenly Father knows that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."

When we live our lives thinking of what we shall eat drink and wear (The very reason why we look for jobs and other sources of making a living),  it shows that we are who Jesus refers to as the Gentiles (nations)

If we are really God's children like we claim to be, we would make all efforts to diligently seek Him like Jesus commanded and would trust Him to take care of our earthly needs.  


"And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?" Luke 6:46

God will take care of all our material needs if we put all our trust in Him. He takes care of the sparrows how much more you His child? Sounds so foolish right?

 

Well the Bible states in 1 Cor 1:25 "Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men."
 
The so called 'foolish' teaching I am giving you is wiser than holding unto your old way of thinking. Our main problems are our unwillingness to believe in God's ability to provide for us and the fact that we love being in control of our lives (being our own gods).


And no man putteth New wine into old bottles: else the new  wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottles will be marred: but new wine must be put into  New bottles.Mark 2:22

Jesus did not mince words when he stated in John 12:25 :He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal."

If you love your life here and the rewards it gives you, will lose eternal life but if you are ready to lose your life here (your livelihood and surrender to God),  you will gain eternal life. He also said in John 6: 27:" Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed".

Stop laboring for meat and drink. Labor for food that lasts till eternity (the Word of God) That's what your soul really needs.

The only way to avoid compromising and conforming to the beast's image is to be willing to deny yourself and trust God for all your earthly needs (Luke 13:25-26)

-Note that God does not bring food to the sparrows by pouring food from the sky for them to eat. He directs and gives them the wisdom needed to get food without toiling for it. In the same way, God does not pour food, raiment and clothing from the sky for His children to make use of. He teaches them how to get raiment, food and clothing without compromising their beliefs or conforming to the accursed image/system of the beast.

Selling:
People sell things that they have or things that they want to exchange for another thing:

"Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk."Acts 3:6
 
Selling (as used in the verse) implies that no one would be able to sell (give) out ideas that do not conform  with the image (teachings, doctrines, ideals) of the beast. (The price of buying what Christians sell is obedience to the word that they preach and submitting to the cross that they advocate: Luke 14:28)

If you take a careful look at the world that we live in today, the policy makers are people who know nothing about God or fear Him. They seek to impose their ungodly lifestyles on everyone and make humanity respect the abominable. They mold our thinking so that we value things we ought not to value. They mold society to cater for their belly and their bodies and not for their souls.

Anyone who speaks against them is considered a bigot, intolerant or divisive. The Christian worldview is rarely taught and is rarely tolerated. Why do You think this is so?
Why do you think harlots and fornicators are given prestigious awards and paid millions of dollars for what they do when godly people rarely make the headlines? Why do you think majority of the richest people in the world today are either Atheists, Agnostics or unbelievers?


Why do you think secular websites attract the most traffic? Why do you think porn is more popular and profitable (financially) than the Gospel? Why do you think  that the richest and most recognized 'men of God' in the world today are those who compromise the truth of the Gospel and conform people to the world?

The answer to these questions is it is because there is an unwritten law in place that ensures that only the people who conform to the image of the Beast would be able to sell their ideas freely to the world and also ensures that all those who do not conform to the image of the Beast have no say and respect and are  suppressed.

And brought them to the magistrates, saying, These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city,And teach customs, which are "not lawful for us to receive," neither to observe, being Romans.And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them.Acts 16:20-22Anyone who offers ideas that are not in conformity with the ideas that are promoted by the Beast's system would be unacceptable in it and as a result of their "outcast status", they would find it difficult to sell their views to the world (be secluded).

The law of buying and selling is a test
As much as this is an attack on Christians by the antichrist's system, it is also a test. Are you ready to sacrifice all you have to serve God? (Luke 14:26)  Do you love the truth more than you love your life? Are you ready to stand for the truth even when it is unattractive to the world or do you prefer to conform to popular standards? These are questions i want you to ask yourself today. Are you ready to die like a man or do you prefer to live like a coward because you love your life?

Lest they be Killed

.....and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.(Rev 3:15)


"Lest they be killed" simply means they (humanity) would have to forfeit their life if they refuse to conform."Killed" doesn't necessarily mean they will be killed literally but that they would have to deny themselves of their means of livelihood (and the rewards that are attached to it) if they want to remain faithful to God's cause.


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