Revelation 13:12 And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. 16 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: 17 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.
This prophecy pertains to the last days of earth's history, and describes what will certainly come to pass in the near future, namely, the enforcement of a religious institution, which will be directly tied to our economic activity and personal freedoms. For those of us who might not be aware of the rapid developments now taking place towards that end, we need only to observe that the stage is being set for the implementation of this prophecy, because of the incessant bloodshed and turmoil in the world, which cannot be resolved from a mere political perspective. World leaders are now consulting together to find solutions to the grave dangers that are already at our doorsteps, but there is no policy that can avert the present and future evils, for the problem is a spiritual one and therefore the solution must also be spiritual.
This fact will then pave the way for the emergence and establishment of the "Beast" mentioned in our passage for today, who will then implement what seems to be a religious solution to this world's problems, and according to what is written, the issue of worship will soon to take center stage, nationally and internationally. The reason why we can correctly conclude that worship is soon to come to the forefront of our deliberations and national conversation, is because the word "Worship" is used repeatedly in Revelation thirteen and fourteen, and thus The Lord is sounding a note of warning about the things that will shortly come to pass.
In chapter fourteen we get a glimpse of the real issue at stake, which must be addressed by each individual before the close of earth's probation, for the decisions thus made will decide to whom our allegiance is given, either to The Living God, or to the beast power that will obviously take control of all economic activity in this country and abroad. Let's read:
Revelation 14:6 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, 7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
The last sentence of verse seven is actually a transliteration taken from a portion of the fourth commandment, which establishes which day is God's holy Sabbath of rest, and therefore, since the "Everlasting Gospel" is inclusive of the Sabbath day, then we may expect that the final conflict will revolve around a national day of rest, which is already on the books, just waiting to be enforced again. Let's read:
Exodus 20:11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
The genius of Christianity is that it allows us to follow the dictates of our conscience, whether they be good or evil, although the results of any course of action is clearly stipulated, so that we can make informed choices. But when under the auspices of satan, a system of coerced worship is put in place, then it opens the door for religious persecution and bigotry to step in, and the result will be what we are currently seeing in the Middle East, where a certain religion is being enforced in many places, with the inevitable results of mass executions and crimes too horrible to mention.
That's why God is urgently calling to us to align ourselves with the principles and laws of His kingdom before the issue of forced worship becomes a living reality, for then it would be very difficult to serve God, if we did not have a prior relationship with Him. There are millions of sincere Christians who ignorantly trample upon God's holy day of rest, because of traditions handed down from generation to generation. And although in the time of ignorance God winks, yet He now tells us to repent by worshiping Him, not only in spirit, but also in truth. We therefore end with a passage of scripture which represents an urgent appeal from God to humanity, to escape for our lives into His haven of rest, so that when the final conflict bursts upon the scene of action, our lives would have been hid with Christ in God. Let's read:
Revelation 18:1 And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. 2 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. 4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. 5 For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.
May we heed the warning whilst we have opportunity to do so, for the time is at hand, and God can only cover those who choose to serve Him in sincerity. God bless!