Taking on that "mark": Whether the Lord is coming today or a thousand years from now, I don't know but down deep in my heart I believe it's much sooner than the later. My very first biblical marker would be God's loving care for the innocent. What is more innocent than our children? And what are they then being taught today? Most are being raised by ungodly television programming and a school system that teaches evolution rather than the righteousness of God. And many churches today teach salvation alone and totally neglect the righteousness of God that Jesus taught and demonstrated by His own life, that would also be manifested in the lives of those that are being led by the Spirit of God today, as He was. Consider the following word of Jesus.
Matthew 16:24. Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.
I sincerely question if anyone can be led by the Spirit of God and be continually seeking their own will. The Scriptures assures us that apart from God, no one is righteous. But for those that accept Christ's anointing, their lives will certainly manifest the righteousness of God.
Romans 8:14. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
Today many laws are being generated and what is right before God is not being considered, even by many taking claim to Christianity. Proof of that, is in the laws that approve of the gay and lesbian lifestyle. In Romans 1:27 says that, that lifestyle is shameful. Verse 28 says that that acceptance is because they did not want to retain God in their knowledge and in verse 31 says that not only those that do so wickedly but also those that approve also deserve death, which is in the hands of God and not man. But these wickedly are finding approval by the laws that are now being legislated. What's truly right before God is found in Genesis 2:24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. I might add here that Romans 1 was not only about the "shameful & unnatural lifestyle" but to include these other characteristics of the flesh.
Romans 1:29. being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, 30. backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31. undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; Notice, these are the things that sell television programming. Where is the heart before God when many of these are found entertaining, even amongst acclaimed Christians? Oh where is the repentance! Consider the abortion laws, this issue is not about women's rights but the right of the unborn child. The bible clearly states that where there's blood, there's life. Leviticus 17:11. `For the life of the flesh is in the blood,... Abortion is nothing less than the pre-meditated taking of an innocent life and a denial of one of God's most precious gifts, life! Based upon the verses in Romans 1, not only the women that have allowed this done to them but also all the men and women that approve of this ungodly deed will find the wrath of God upon them unless they repent. But thanks be given to God for His loving mercy and His plan of grace and forgiveness to the repentant heart! I'd like to introduce some of these aborted children that are recorded in Scripture.
1 Corinthians 12:8 Some of these children were appointed by the Lord to of been given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another child, the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. Yes some would of rejected God and done a lot of evil but this killing of the innocent, is being allowed by the non-political church members under the "lack of influence" of their pastors, preaching that it is unlawful for them to preach political.
1 John 1:9. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. This is not a license to continue doing wickedly but to repent and turn to seeking the righteousness of God that is revealed by His Holy Spirit to those with an open heart for truth. Here's my main point. The more we are exposed to this justification of unrighteousness, regardless if it's through the laws of our land or the teachings, or lack of teaching in the so many churches, and we begin to accept these beliefs, we'll begin to drift further and further from the righteousness of God, and never realize how wicked we've become. Consider the laws that have allowed evolution to be taught to our children in the public schools. That theory teaches death before sin, when believed, removes the credibility of the bible.
This past Presidential Election was clearly about spiritual choices as in the past. Each of us, as we voted, may of marked our souls for that eternal division between the goats and the sheep. One can place all their trust in the teachings that they are saved but that will not change the spiritual mark on the forehead and the right hand that is placed by our decisions and choices. In studying of the Old Testament, one will see that, that mark on the forehead is the things we believe in and the right hand is the approval and the living out our beliefs. I personally do not believe that the "mark" in Revelation is a physical mark but rather a spiritual mark. You see we are persuaded in Romans 8:38. that no single thing like a chip or anything else that might be placed in one's forehead or right hand, can separate us from the love of our Lord. Verse 38: For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39. nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. But a spiritual mark such as, placing our trust in the things of this world or supporting unrighteous candidates or legislation is a different thing and we are sincerely warned in Romans 1 of agreeing with wickedness. Those that do will be "marked" accordingly. Jesus sat at the "right hand" of the Father when He was obedient, and completed what He'd been sent to do, even to the point of death. One can see that the "right hand" was the Father's approval of His Son's obedience. Everyone is going to be marked by the things that they've done and approved of. Some will take on the mark of evil and some will take on the mark of the Lord, seeking His righteousness.
Romans 2:5. But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, 6. who "will render to each one according to his deeds'': 7. eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; 8. but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness indignation and wrath, Here we can see that self-seeking is a strong hindrance to obeying the truth that is revealed through the Lord's presence, through His Holy Spirit, our guarantee. Those that accept this divine "mark" find the most precious free gift of God and His divine direction to salvation. The "mark" on our foreheads is the beliefs we've accepted and the "marked" right hand is our approval and actions.
I cannot say that voting Republican or Democrat will condemn anyone to hell but the belief behind the vote might, if one supports unrighteous candidates that support legislation such as abortion or teaching evolution to our children. There are many other unrighteous laws that have been passed where righteousness has been set aside. Also, where is our trust, in God or government? There are two governments today. God's government that governs those that are being led by His Spirit, and our man king that the Lord granted in 1 Samuel chapter eight through ten. In our financial crunch that is happening globally, is anyone looking to God for help or are most looking to the wisdom of man. Do we not trust that those that seek God's righteousness will also find God's blessing! Our economy can only be fixed through repentance to God and His righteousness!
Jeremiah 17:5. Thus says the Lord: "Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the Lord.
I believe our decisions before God are very important, for in that, we are all spiritually marked for that great day when Jesus will do as He prophesied.
Matthew 25:31. "When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32. "All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33. "And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34. "Then the King will say to those on His right hand, `Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
I know down deep in my heart that today we are by our own choices preparing ourselves for this great Day of Judgment. Not just in political things but to include our everyday choices. God has given us His Spirit, the Spirit of truth to assist us with "truth-based" choices, but for us to receive this blessing, we must first choose truth over deception, regardless to our position in life. This past and future elections are not about political parties but rather making righteous godly decisions that require our votes. When the Son of Man comes in His glory, on that day, He will look upon all our foreheads and see the hearts of each, as He divides the sheep from the goats! Whether we claim to be saved will make absolutely no difference on His decision for He will be looking for that "mark" that we've placed there ourselves by our own decisions and beliefs! The reason this "Mark" is so important is because it is a mirror reflection of one's commitment to Christ and receiving a love for His anointing of truth.
2 Thessalonians 2:9. The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10. and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
Those that do not receive the love of the truth are of those that resist the presence of the Holy Spirit. Many believe that their church is very holy and Godly but one may want to consider this. It is my deepest conviction that anyone that has shared in the belief that politics has no place in the church will be more responsible and accountable to God for the wicked legislation and the wicked laws that are being passed than the world. I do not see where Christians will have an excuse, considering how God's indwelling Holy Spirit reveals righteous understanding to a truly repentant heart. Some may take claim that they've done what they could, by protesting such laws, but here in America I remember a day when there were not so many wicked laws and consider this, the laws that we have are voted in by the people that we vote into office. Protesting can awaken many to these unrighteous laws but it's our votes that really make the difference. You cannot preach the gospel of Christ without having the balance of God's righteousness. We wouldn't even have the gospel of Christ if it were not for God's will for His righteousness to be manifested in our lives. Righteousness is not for God but for us! Every church that has incorporated and taken on the tax-exempt status, has traded righteousness for a tax break. The incorporated churches of today are a controlled group, not by God but by our government when it comes to taking a political stand on God's righteousness. Every church that I know of is incorporated and a corporation is an artificial person or legal entity. Think about that! Is this what Jesus was talking about when He spoke of His Church??? The following is what I copied out of the Law library!
Black's Law Dictionary:
Corporation: An artificial person or legal entity created by or under the authority of a state. The law treats the corporation itself as a person which can sue and be sued.
Fact: No church can partake of the tax–exempt status unless they have first been incorporated so to be recognized by the government as a person or legal entity.
This following is taken out of title 26 of the Internal Revenue Code and is not the law but the agreement that non-profit organizations have taken with the Internal Revenue Service.
Controlled Group: A controlled group of corporations is required to share a lower-level corporate tax rates and various other tax benefits among the members of the group.
List of Exempt Organizations Sec. 501 (c) 3
1. Corporations, and any community chest, fund, or foundation, organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, testing for public safety, literary, or educational purposes etc..
Sec 504 (a) (2)
2. To disqualify for the exemption described in 501 (c) (3)
A. By reason of carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting, to influence legislation, or
B. By reason of participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office,
In other words, the corporate church, in order not to lose it tax-exempt status must be careful to honor it's contractual agreement with the IRS to not support any candidate for public office or support any legislation. You see any pastor that preaches politically, is not breaking the law, but rather breaking a contract, an agreement. There is no law that requires any church to incorporate. They've all done that voluntarily. The only reason to incorporate is to qualify for the tax-exempt status and to avoid personal liability, which is another issue.
Consider Hollywood. It does not look for this tax-exemption and look at the political influence it has. Then consider how the church could of politically influenced leadership and legislation, had it not taken on the tax-exemption agreement with the IRS. Consider the abortion laws, abortion is a very old debate. It was introduced in the day of baby Moses? This abortion law was also in effect in the time of baby Jesus. These laws were influenced by evil to kill God's chosen! How did these laws get passed here in America? Did not the politically silenced churches carry responsibility for this? You see, in the days of Jesus' temptation, the devil offered Jesus a deal but Jesus refused all of the devils deals! This same devil offers each of us deals continually, especially if he knows we are not focused on Christ, leaving one weak and likely to submit to his temptations.
The deal: Matthew 4:9. And he (the devil) said to Him (Jesus), "All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.''
No deal!: 10. Then Jesus said to him, "Away with you, Satan! For it is written, `You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.' ''
The tax-exempt status for churches is a deal. And I do not believe it's from God but from the same devil that offered Jesus a deal. The devil has not changed. He continually offers deals that compromise our divine relationship with the Lord, which brings on destruction! To the body of Christ, depart from the evil of the tax-exempt tradeoff, the exchange for being politically silent. Instead, pay the taxes and stand up and vote righteously. Bring in the Godly candidates! Don't invite the ones that take a stand for unrighteousness such as abortion and the other unbiblical ideologies. It is the last hour for repentance! Don't waste it! Seek God and His righteousness in everything and do not compromise with the devil. Everything that is evil comes with a deal which normally veils our eyes because the deal is pleasing to our fleshly desires. Same with the tax-exemption for the incorporated church. Some may worry, how can it grow without it? Is not what Jesus accomplished on the cross sufficient for church growth without the tax break? You've heard the offer, Deal or No Deal! Tell Satan, No Deal! And choose righteousness which is revealed through the truths that are in the anointing of Christ.
This we know! God never turns a deaf ear to the repentant heart. Pray for our country, for a return to righteousness and do away with the tax-exemption so that the righteousness of God can be preached from the pulpit and Godly politicians can capture all the Godly votes needed for their place in leadership. This nation was built upon the precepts of God. Our forefathers fought and died for this once Godly nation. For sure, our Godly forefathers did not submit to the idea that the two things that should not be spoken in public is religion and politics. They spoke both and fought for our rights to do the same. If we do not humbly unite to the truths of God, with a repentant heart, this nation, under God, is going to be of the past and evil will rule.
Proverbs 29:2. When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; but when a wicked man rules, the people groan. Why?, ungodly & unjust laws, that's why!
Psalms 1:6. For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the ungodly shall perish.
Today, obey His voice, the voice of the Lord through His Holy Spirit, praising God for this wonderful opportunity!!! The anointing of Christ in us !!! The only real strength to overcome, even to the end!