Countdown to the Mark

PERHAPS THE MOST SIGNIFICANT LAST of the last days sign to keep watch on today is the appearance of Antichrist.  All indicators point to his soon coming rise and as we enter 2011 it appears that the countdown to the mark has began.  some important indictors are as follows:

 I N D I C A T O R  1
The Political Stage is Set
Daniel 2 & 7

The political stage is in place for the rise of Antichrist.  Through the dream of Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel the prophet outlines the nations that would rise up throughout history and lead us to Antichrist.  These nations are Babylon, Media-Persia, Grecian Empire, Roman Empire, Great Britain/United States, and Russia.  These nations will lead to the dividing of all nations into ten political/economic unions which will be put in place by Antichrist when he puts into effect his cashless economic system.  Only in our present age has a truly global realignment of all nations under ten political unions been possible.

 I N D I C A T O R  2
Global Apostasy
2 Thessalonians 2:3

Before Antichrist appears, an apostasy of the church will take place.  The only way this man of sin and evil could appear is if he is given a welcome mat.  That welcome mat is the apostasy of the church, which is a church without the Holy Spirit...a church that thinks it is Christian when it is far removed from God....a church that seeks "life lessons," "principles for living," and "psychological strength," from the Bible without understanding the message of the Bible as written by the authors of its various books...a church striving for God to bless it with material abundance versus God's will.  So far into apostasy has the church fallen that it believes it is ready to be raptured to meet her God.  An apostate church is not ready to meet God face-to-face.  The coming of Antichrist and his great tribulation on God's people will purify God's people and make them ready to meet God and the rapture.

 I N D I C A T O R  3
Movement Toward the Mark
Revelation 13

Only in our twenty-first century has it been possible to have a true global, cashless monetary system.  Revelation 13 is clear that Antichrist will establish this system by requiring every man, woman, and child to receive a mark that will allow them to buy and sell: those without the mark will be put to death.  The countdown to the mark has begun as world leaders continue to cry out for a world economic system.  Our own president has plans for all internet users in America to have a unique online identity to eliminate all the different passwords they use and to make their surfing and identity safer.  Sounds like the step needed to transition to a national ID card and then to a global ID or mark.  (See the CBSNEWS article here.) How close we are to the rise of Antichrist and his economic system is seen in the following statement in a January 2011 financial newsletter that I subscribe to:

"Between now and the end of 2011, we will see a nerve rattling eruption of global chaos--caused by leaders around the world tinkling with the financial system...."

He goes on to write:

"By this next phase of the great financial crises will, in the end, usher in a new America, a new World Order, a new monetary system for the world, and debt repudiation for governments, citizens, and institutions."

It's all in the open, in the mainstream, yet we continue to watch and sleep...watch and sleep...watch and sleep.

 I N D I C A T O R  4
Call to Repentance
Revelation 2 & 3; Matthew 25

It is time for the church to rise out of their slumber and fall to their knees in repentance.  Not a repentance that will turn the direction the world is headed in reverse--that will not happen.  We are not looking at a repentance--a revival--that will change the present course of world events, but a repentance that will change the course of our hearts.  This is what Revelation 2 & 3 is all about.  Here we have a picture of the apostate church and their need for repentance.  Repentance is focused upon the individual to give them strength to endure the tribulation they will soon enter into at the hand of Antichrist.  Nowhere do we find that the church is called to repent to change the course of world events.

The present church is void of relationship with God through the Holy Spirit.  It is the Holy Spirit that makes us true Christian.  Without the Holy Spirit we may claim the name of Christ, understand the doctrines of Christ, and do many good things in Christ's name, but not be in relationship with God and therefore be headed for hell.  The call to the church is to repent by allowing the Holy Spirit to truly live within us.  After Jesus explained the coming events of the last days in Matthew 24, he then encourages in Matthew 25 to prepare for these days by ensuring that the Holy Spirit is alive and well within us.

In Matthew 25:1-13 Jesus warns that even though we may be watching for his coming we may not be ready to be received by Him when He returns since the Holy Spirit is not in us.  If the Holy Spirit is not in us, God does not recognize us as His own.  We must prepare for Christ's coming now--today--by making sure we truly have the Holy Spirit.

In Matthew 25:14-30 Jesus warns that the Holy Spirit is not given to lay idle within us...we must be faithful stewards of God's Holy Spirit in us by allowing Him to work with and through our minds, spirit, and body.  We must prepare for Christ's coming by allowing the Holy Spirit to be active within us.

In Matthew 25:31-46 Jesus warns that if we do not take care and look after fellow Christians--even the lowest and most ungifted--we will be cast into hell.  Notice that these versus speak specifically of fellow Christians.  Also consider that the lowest and most ungifted of Christians will be a fellow king, a joint-heir, equal to the highest and most gifted of Christians, when we enter God's kingdom.  It  is only pride and vain glory that causes us to think we are something when we are nothing, causing division and segregating one Christian from another.  We must prepare for Christ's coming now by focusing our attention on our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.  Christ does not want anyone as a member of His family who is not willing to care for His family now in this life, regardless of whether they are rich or poor, gifted or ungifted, educated or uneducated.

There is no doubt that these are the days of Antichrist when the last pieces of his appearing are being sat in place.  It is now just a matter of time--a short time, my lifetime, maybe this year or 2012, when Antichrist will appear and establish his cashless, economic system.  The call to the church is to repent...but do you hear the voice of your God?  Do you hear?  We do not have to think or wonder if God has spoken.  He is alive!  His presence can be known!  His voice can be heard!  Do you hear?  Our present age demands a hearing Church.