Great job leading the discussion Larry.
I agree with your comments Melva about the necessity of being a team player at times. Escaping the Mark of the Beast is not merely a matter of memorizing a black-and-white formula, but a matter of using the mind to discern the situation and make your own decision independent of unjust authority.
In considering the case in point suppression was the key point rather than team playing. Any time we feel (rather than think) we need to conform at the risk of suppressed feelings or the development of grievances, then is the time to be honest and share your feelings or one may be supplying the Beast with a foothold for control.
Now I'll make a few comments on the popular idea that the Mark will manifest as a computer chip planted in the right hand.
The Middle Way approach is important here. As Blayne says, we should be aware that such a scenario is possible so we can work to prevent it, but others have a point that we should not let fear over such a possibility consume us to the point of paralysis.
There are several things that concern the fundamentalist:
What they do not realize is that the nations of the world are in a similar condition as were the disunited states before the organization of the Union of the United States.
Before the creation of the Union the states often had border wars and did not trust each other. The union they finally formed was with much distrust and reluctance.
Even so the countries of the world are headed toward union and this is a part of natural evolution; there is nothing any group of individual can do to stay the hand of progress.
The question then is not whether there will be a one world union, but the question is this:
Will the union be controlled by the principles of Light or Dark?
Unfortunately many freedom loving people of the world believe that it is God's will that an antichrist surface and form an evil one world coalition that will be burned with fire and brimstone by the Second Coming. Then Christ will rule the world as the supernatural one world dictator.
Because they think that this coming one world evil government is in the inevitable Plan of God some almost rejoice when they see evidence of the Beast controlling the world for this is just one step closer to the coming of Christ.
Besides, many think they will not be affected by this evil government for they believe they will be raptured into heaven as depicted in the popular "Left Behind" series.
Thus again, the closer we get to the fulfillment of these evil prophesies, the better for them.
There's a lot of truth to the statement which reads: "evil triumphs when good men do nothing."
These illusionary teachings are thus very dangerous because they cause good people to do nothing to insure that the coming one world government is controlled by the forces of Light.
Instead they are paralyzed into just waiting around doing nothing until Jesus shows up and does all the work for them.
Fortunately, not all are locked into this mindset and there are many who have the love of freedom in their hearts who are working toward the preservation of that freedom, but many good people who believe the scriptures need to awaken to their awful situation and realize that God will create the coming New Age of Peace by working THROUGH us, not apart from us.
If the Brotherhood of Light gets their way the coming one world government will be a loose association of the nations of the world patterned after the idea of limited government composed of cooperating nation states, similar to the association of the original United States.
Each nation will be free to withdraw at any time.
On the other hand, if the Dark Brothers get their way the coming one world government will be a tight association with strong central control which will seek to control the lives of every person and nation on the planet. This will, of course, be for their own good.
Each nation will be forced to participate.
Everything that happens to us individually and collectively occurs because of either our decisions or a decision made by others for us.
The Workers of Light must not yield up the decision making power going into the coming world order to others or we will wind up being controlled by others.
If we do not direct our destiny through our own decisions, then the decisions of others will control us.
A cashless society by itself is not good or evil. The nations should not be forced to become cashless, but neither should they be forced to not go this direction if they so choose. Complete cashlessness of the civilized world would take about a hundred years to evolve and most fundamentalists believe such an event will happen in the next few years.
As long as we use money as a medium of exchange there will never be pure cashlessness for people will always be able to trade with barter, IOU's and commodities.
What these literalists forget is that the scripture tells us that the antichrist was already in the world 2000 years ago in the days of the apostles:
"Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time." (1 John 2:18)
"And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world." (1 John 4:3)
The true antichrist not only denies the coming of Christ in the past, but the coming of Christ in us in the present and the future.
Paul spoke of "Christ in you, the hope of glory." (Col 1:27). The antichrist denies and has always denied this present coming of Christ in us.
While it is always a possibility that the Beast of authority could implant a literal mark, the true mark is the unseen control of the mind. The true mark is invisible and can only be seen with the inner vision and understanding.
It is not in the Plan of God that we should be forced to receive a literal mark of control by the use of a computer chip. If the lovers of freedom allow the world to sink to this level then the solution will not be as simple of a thing as Jesus showing up in a blaze of glory to destroy the powers that be. If we allow the world to sink to this level it may then require hundreds of years of great sacrifice to correct the situation.
The current solution is to be ever vigilant, to seek to understand the principle of freedom and stand up for it on every occasion possible. If the Workers of Light do this then the concrete materialization of a literal controlling Mark of the Beast will only be a bad dream in the daydreams of lethargic believers.
Copyright © 2001 by J.J. Dewey, All Rights Reserved