What will believers do when an economic system is put in place that every merchant and bank uses, and that is the only way to buy anything? I believe in the Jewish Feast of Trumpets and the blowing of the Last Trump which will cause believers to rise or be changed and taken to heaven, while earth starts the 7 year time of Jacob's trouble. But we can see the principles of the 666 system being put in place in our time.
The mark of the beast
Revelation 13: 15-17 states: "...as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: That no man might buy or sell, except he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name."
This is important, because in all the talk on the Internet about the 666, no one is mentioning that BEFORE that is put in place, or with it, people will have to swear allegiance to the State or be killed.
So personally, I wonder how many believers will be left when they first refuse to worship 'the beast.' The Greek of verses 15-17 is one very long sentence, and Greek doesn't have punctuation, so it could be understood that a statement of loyalty to the 'beast' may first be required to get the mark.
I can see building persecution now, so am more concerned how are we viewed and treated by society in our time, more than I am of some future economic system I could work around by growing my own crops and animals (If I were on earth at that time and had survived the double asteroid hit, reduced sunlight, etc).
Consider China's social grading system started in 2014 and is to be fully operational this year, 2020. It is called 'social credit'. By facial recognition and monitoring activities, friends, and web activity, the government determines a 'grade' for each citizen which determines what privileges they may enjoy, or be punished for straying from government guidelines.
Published examples requiring a negative mark to their score include smoking in a non-smoking zone, bad driving, buying too many video games, and posting things online not in agreement with government policy. They now ban or limit the ability of such people to travel by train or air, they slow their Internet speeds, can ban your children from better schools, keeping you out of the better hotels, and even take your dog from you.
What if a similar system as outlined in The Revelation went further, shutting out undesirables like Christians and Jews from society and the economy altogether?
What if you and I because we are Christians, were excluded from the economic system and could therefore only buy and sell amongst ourselves? What if to get milk, you had to know someone in Christ with a cow who was willing to sell, trade, or barter with you? What if to get chicken meat or eggs you had to know someone with chickens who would be willing to sell, trade, or barter for them?
Would we shun them because they believe differently than we do about say, water baptism, like some might do today? I suggest the average Christian in need of the farmer's chicken eggs, or one in need to the extra toilet paper you have, will set aside what they don't believe in common and focus on Who is held in common, Christ Jesus.
At that point, the body of Christ will grow up. Many Christians already walk in that level of love, able to celebrate Who we have in common and lay aside differences. But if you read many of the posts on Facebook for example, or if you have about any church experience, you'll find a lot of Christians being rude, argumentative, and purposely provoking fear, strife, and confusion.
I wonder who people like that have to turn to as a network of support in their time of need? We are each other's greatest resource for Christ lives in each of us. It's time now to lay aside childhood in order to grow up in love in Christ.
Right now among your circle of Christian friends, if you had to depend on them for your daily needs: Could you eat? Could you find someone with household supplies? Would you be meeting openly in auditorium churches, or in homes among those in your network of support? Could it be that gathering around a dinner table sharing a meal becomes the intimate celebration and sharing of faith we already have in so many of the home based church gatherings?
More what if in our day...
What if Jews and Christians were blamed for what's wrong with a nation? What if Jews and Christians and conservatives are believed to be holding back a nation from progressing to a great new economy and society? What if in our day Christians and conservatives are harassed on social media, what if their blogs and videos are removed because of their views, which are thought to be controversial or inciting people? What if people demonstrate outside church buildings and synagogues against the (hated) Jews and Christians? What if the State encouraged citizens to spy on and report one another they suspected of violating restrictions or laws?
We are seeing everything I just mentioned in the paragraph above, is happening right now in the USA. As the Lord told me in the visitation in December of last year and I have shared: "We are just starting, like someone on the shoreline with their toes just getting wet, but about to wade into deeper water." See the groundwork being laid, but don't fear. It is for a future time. Be prepared, but not to the point you break your own budget for fear of what may be coming. We do what we can within what we have, and the Lord takes care of the rest.
The biggest thing a person can do now, is walk in love. Grow up body of Christ. Ephesians 4:14-16 talks of Jesus' goal of causing us to stop being children tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine devised by the cunning of man. Grow up in love in Him in all things, the body supporting the body.
If the Father can time our lives in such a way now to provide for us, He will again when another crisis hits the world. Start looking back over the course of your life to remember and acknowledge His guidance and provision, and you won't be afraid of the future. He never changes. He hasn't brought you this far to fail you now. Take peace in His record of faithfulness in your life, and you will know peace now, and then.
As holocaust survivor Corrie ten Boom so famously said: "It's never wrong to trust an unknown future to a known God."
But this series is about a post-rapture believers...
We can see the storm clouds building on the horizon, we can see the spirit in the world that will bring that 666 system into fullness, but it isn't upon us. I am thankful the NT teaches we are not called to the days of wrath, but to receive our salvation instead. But we can learn by what that spirit is doing for we are in the light and have revelation from heaven on what that spirit wants to do.
New subject next week...until then, blessings,
www.cwowi.org and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org