[Steve Myers] Your friend asks you to tell a “little” lie so he doesn’t get in trouble. Someone else takes the praise and promotion that you deserve. It seems like everyone is looking the other way while someone steals from the company. Now you know better, but you take credit for working on the big project, when you didn’t.
Have you experienced these kinds of moral dilemmas?
Do you realize there is a connection between end-time prophecy and this kind of behavior? The book of Revelation reveals a problem is coming for those who are willing to compromise their integrity. In fact, it will impact everyone.
Bible prophecy tells us there is a challenging time just ahead when you’ll need great moral courage in order to take the right action—and not accept the Mark. You need to know what you can do to prepare now!
Join us on Beyond Today as we discuss the “Mark of the Beast.”
[Announcer] Join our host, Steve Myers and his guests, as they help you understand your future on Beyond Today !
[Steve] Do you believe that compromise could be deadly? What about compromising your faith?
Think about that for a moment as I tell you a story about a man named, Dan. Dan is a believer. He follows God. Tries his best to live a life that would be pleasing to Him. At work, when the weather is nice, Dan enjoys eating his lunch outside. He likes to read his Bible and meditate on God’s Word and His creation. Now at first, when his co-workers began to notice, they initially thought it was a bit odd—but they seemed to put up with it and just gossiped about it amongst themselves.
But as time went on, Dan’s co-workers became more and more irritated with the situation. Their idle talk became more accusatory. Then Dan’s habit was brought to his boss’ attention. Now the boss felt that he had to do something about it. He took Dan aside and he told him, “You’re going to have to stop. People are getting uncomfortable and upset. So you really can’t do that here. That book—you’re going to have to leave it home. It’s awkward and it’s offensive to people—so you’ve got to stop. I’m sorry, but if you don’t, you’re giving me no choice. I’ll have to let you go.”
What was Dan to do? Can you imagine if you were in his situation? What would you do? Well I took to the streets and interviewed people like you, asking them what they thought about the government interfering in personal religious beliefs. Perhaps you may feel as they do.
> I would be willing to risk my own life to stand up for my religion. If it meant martyrdom, then martyrdom.
[Steve] So you wouldn’t allow a government to tell you what religion that you’d have to be?
> No, most certainly not.
» Never. It’s freedom. I mean, that’s your choice. I believe as individuals we have our own right to choose what we believe in, and no one should be able to affect that.
[Steve] Can you imagine any kind of conditions that might come up in our country or in this world that it might come to something like that?
» No, freedom of choice, regardless of where you’re at.
[Steve] Think about that for a moment. In many countries, people have the right to believe whatever they wish. They can worship and observe whatever religion they want. They’re even free to follow the true God as He expects, but watch out! Bible prophecy says that it won’t always be the case. In some places in the world, that’s already true.
Now back to Dan for just a moment. What did he do?
Well the next day at work, Dan sat outside by himself at lunch time. He opened up his lunch box, pulled out a sandwich—but he also quietly took out his Bible. He began to read silently, just as his habit had always been. Dan had already decided he was going to keep doing what he felt was right. He was willing to face whatever the consequences would be—even if it meant losing his job. He determined to maintain his relationship with God. Now, he knew he would have to face his boss.
How could something like that happen today in a free country? In a place that stands for freedom? Is it farfetched to think that someone could be persecuted and even fired for what they believe? What about basic freedoms? Can’t I believe what I want? After all—the government wouldn’t try to dictate what I believe. Would they?
> Well, I mean, I think we’re kind of getting there. I mean, I feel like we’re headed that way. The government is really in everyone’s lives right now, and I think they should maybe just step back a little bit.
» To those who want to believe it, that’s fine, but that’s why we’re the United States. Anyone can believe whatever they want.
[Steve] Can you imagine a time where a government would actually dictate what religion you needed to be?
> I could not imagine. I think everyone should be able to worship who they want to worship and the government should have no say in that.
» We’re keeping an eye on it. It seems like the government has overstepped their bounds in the last 10 to 20 years, and we just got to be concerned about that, and pay attention to it and be active and proactive and—so that’s—I haven’t really taken a lot of steps but there’s plenty of people that have taken steps to try and make sure the government stays in line. And I think we need to bring it out in the public view, too.
[Steve] Can we really keep the government in line? Try to look beyond today… The Bible clearly says that a time is coming where the government will completely step in and tell us not only how to worship, but what God we’re required to worship. Will you be prepared? Are you ready?
That’s what happened to Dan. That story I began to tell you is actually a modernized version of the story of Daniel of the Bible. Well let’s find out what happened to the man who stood up to his boss and his coworkers in order to continue to honor God.
“Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days. Then these men assembled and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God. And they went before the king, and spoke concerning the king’s decree: ‘Have you not signed a decree that every man who petitions any god or man within thirty days, except you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions?
“The king answered and said, ‘The thing is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which does not alter.’
“So they answered and said before the king, ‘That Daniel, who is one of the captives from Judah, does not show due regard for you, O king, or for the decree that you have signed, but makes his petition three times a day.’ So the king gave the command, and they brought Daniel and cast him into the den of lions” (Daniel 6:10-13, Daniel 6:16).
Daniel knew that he was facing more than just losing his job—he was facing the death penalty for choosing to worship the one true God in the right manner, but he stepped out in faith and chose to do it anyway.
Now this is not just a quaint Old Testament children’s story. This reflects reality. It happened in the past and the scary part is—that your Bible—in a prophecy in the book of Revelation says, it will happen again.
Because this is coming—beware! There’s no doubt that the world around us is already telling us what we should accept. They say society’s standard must be adopted.
Just ask yourself: Does the government have the right to decide what is marriage, who pays for birth control, what beliefs must you accept? These are issues that government is already deciding. But, we’re only at the beginning.
If we’re to be ready for a coming government that will rule like a wild beast, there’s something that you should be doing now. Here’s one simple test to know if we really obey and love God. Ask yourself: Am I following the Ten Commandments?
Well you might be thinking, well of course I do: I haven’t murdered anyone. I don’t cheat on my spouse. I try not to lie. I don’t steal. I honor my parents.
Yet…what about idols? Do you place anything higher in importance than God? Now, be honest. What’s most important in your life? Your work? Your entertainment? Your family? What really is most important to you?
And what about that other Commandment? That command to “remember the Sabbath”? Do you observe the Fourth Commandment—to worship on the seventh day Sabbath? It’s an indication whether you’re truly following God’s Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:8-10)..
There is a time coming when a world-ruling government will step in and keep you from worshipping God as you should. So it’s important to discover what Bible prophecy really has to say. Now you can learn about this and so much more by requesting our free Bible study aid: The Book of Revelation Unveiled.
To order your personal, free copy of The Book of Revelation Unveiled , call toll free: 1-888-886-8632. That’s 1-888-886-8632, or you can go online at BeyondToday.tv or write to us at the address shown on your screen [Beyond Today, PO Box 541027, Cincinnati,OH 45254].
With the right key to the book of Revelation, you can unlock the doors to understand Bible prophecy and discover what lies ahead for you and your family! So please, don’t wait! Order your own, personal copy of: The Book of Revelation Unveiled today!
So far we’ve recognized that a coming government power will force you, just as Daniel was, to choose between obeying God or obeying the ruling authority.
In the book of Revelation, this government is called a Beast. Its rule will be so complete, so all-encompassing that prophecy tells us:
“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: 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” (Revelation 13:16-17). And that he would “cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed” (Revelation 13:15).
What kind of government could possibly have this much influence on the economy and control religion over the entire earth to put a mark on you?
Well how would you feel if we came into a situation where the government tried to tell you what religion you had to be?
> I would not be happy with that.
» I—you know, I know a lot of things look that way, but this is still supposed to be a free country, it’s what it was established as—freedom of religion. And so, I would hope… I would be very disappointed. I don’t know what I’d do. I might have to move away.
[Steve] Can you imagine conditions that we would live in where a government would control commerce or control what you bought and what was sold?
> Unfortunately, yes. I think some things are headed that way right now. I think that the government is getting a little too much power and feeling like they think they know what’s best for people, taking away our choice.
[Steve] Well, what kind of government would that be, that would have ultimate control with commerce in that way?
> Ultimately, it’s a dictatorship, I believe.
» Yeah. Yeah.
[Steve] Well how would you feel if there came into power a government that controlled things, controlled things like what you bought and what you sold—commerce, those types of things? How would you feel?
> Not good. I don’t want to be controlled like that.
[Steve] But what would you do? What would you do if that actually happened?
> Talk to them very well. Try to convince them to change it.
[Steve] Do you think that me, as one person, or you, as one person, could have an effect on a government that came into control like that?
> No, we don’t. I don’t think so, no. But I’ll try. Yeah, I’ll try.
[Steve] Now, what if that government also were able to tell you what religion you should be? Told you, you have to go to this church?
> I think I’d have to fight for that. Yeah. Right. Yeah.
[Steve] What would you do, if they said you have to—in order to buy something or buy or sell something, you had to go to this church?
> I think I’d have to have a rally to give my opinion. Because I couldn’t do it by myself, so I’d have to get a couple people to help me out.
[Steve] Do you think a government like that would let you have a rally?
> It might not, but I’ll try!
[Steve] That kind of dominating government existed during the time of Daniel and it will exist again before the return of Jesus Christ, and it won’t put up with any dissent.
This kind of government has roots in the prophecies of the book of Daniel. It predicts four great dominating Empires that would arise throughout history. Daniel himself, he lived under the first of these dictatorships as a Jewish captive in ancient Babylon.
He describes the last of these evil empires as “dreadful and terrible, exceedingly strong” (Daniel 7:7) and that it would continue in some form right up till the return of Christ.
More details are found in the book of Revelation, Revelation 17. Where we read of a final attempt to revive that Roman Empire by “10 kings” who are “of one mind, and they [will] give their power and authority to the beast” (Revelation 17:12-13).
So we see the connection to this beast-like government ahead. That empire, it will control and dominate the world. Notice how it will powerfully impact the people:
“And they worshipped the dragon which gave power to the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like to the beast? Who is able to make war with him?” (Revelation 13:4).
This future government power that’s adored and worshipped has military and religious power and authority. But, how could it become so intimidating? “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him” (Revelation 12:9).
Because of Satan the devil—that’s the identity of the “dragon”—the people will bow and unwittingly worship the evil one. No wonder this government captivates the imagination of the world and exerts such might that it appears invincible.
But there’s more:
“It used its mouth to speak against God, against God’s name, against the place where God lives, and against all those who live in heaven. It was given power to make war against God’s holy people and to defeat them. It was given power over every tribe, people, language, and nation. And all who live on [the] earth will worship the Beast—all…whose names are not written in the Lamb’s book of life” (Revelation 13:5-8, NCV).
Do you see that this future government and world-dominating power is absolutely opposed to God? It contradicts all He stands for and would love to extinguish God’s way, His laws, His purpose and His people—exterminate them from the earth.
As hard as it is to imagine—there will be no individual freedom, as we know it today. It’s a governmental system controlling state and church guided by none other than the spiritual force of Satan the devil.
That deception will be so complete, so thorough that those who accept the mark of the Beast will cry out: “Who is like to the beast? Who is able to make war with him?” They’ll actually “worship the dragon who gave power to the beast: and they worship the beast” (Revelation 13:4).
Satan will use his power to help deceive the whole world and turn it away from the true God—in essence—to worship him!
Now where will you be? What will you be crying out? Could you be deceived? When you’re faced with this moral dilemma—what will you choose? Will you choose to be like Daniel?
Now don’t let yourself be deceived. We’re already living in the midst of this kind of an attitude—tolerating too many things that God condemns.
Certainly this prophecy brings concern. It brings so many questions. What is true worship? How can I avoid that mark? Well that’s why you need your free copy of our valuable study aid, The Book of Revelation Unveiled . It will answer many of your questions about prophecy and that infamous mark.
And when you order The Book of Revelation Unveiled , we’ll also send you a free subscription to our bi-monthly magazine. This special publication will help you sift through the confusing world events around us. It will also provide insight into the practical teachings of the Bible to help you prepare for the challenging future that lies ahead.
To order your free copy of The Book of Revelation Unveiled and your free subscription to our magazine call us free: 1-888-886-8632. That’s 1-888-886-8632.
If you go to our BeyondToday.tv website: you’ll also find videos, articles and booklets about prophecy and so much more. You’ll find you can easily search through a wealth of biblical information.
So order your free literature at BeyondToday.tv or write to us at the address shown on your screen throughout the program [Beyond Today, PO Box 541027, Cincinnati,OH 45254].
We’ve been discussing a coming world-dominating leader and a government that will control commerce and religion. One that is absolutely opposed to God. One that will force people into false worship and require all to receive a mark—just to survive.
Will it be a literal mark like the Jews were given during Hitler’s Third Reich? Could it be a figurative mark, such as worshipping a false god on a false Sabbath day? Or perhaps an implanted computer chip, so you could easily make your purchases once you’ve “pledged allegiance” to that oppressive government? Time will tell.
But just imagine: living in a world where you are the enemy of the state because you believe and worship the true God? It is coming. Can you envision having to choose between God and access to money to buy groceries, clothing or anything for your family? It will be a time when your family is in need, and what you need is plentiful and easily available—but the price tag—is your life!
> I mean, it’s always on your mind, you know, when you look at the involvement in government and what they’re doing, but I mean, I don’t really—I don’t think we’re at that point right now. I think there would be too much reaction from American citizens to allow something like that to happen.
[Steve] Okay, It may not be that way right now—but don’t let that fool you. God has foretold that such a world is coming. In fact, don’t we get a glimpse of it on the nightly news? World leaders are grappling with economic crisis. Religion is constantly an issue—in the form of violence from groups like ISIS, or discrimination against Christianity or Islamic persecution.
We know how fast the world can change. Suddenly and dramatically conditions will occur to reshape the world’s economy, leading to the time of the mark of the Beast.
So whether its South American finances, European Union stability, the world’s reserve currency, Chinese ambitions or a shaky America; we’re reminded that we are a global economy, where all nations are affected by the actions of a few. Is it that difficult to foresee a global currency with global banks with rules and regulations governed by a world authority? No, it’s not really that difficult.
So here’s the crucial question: Will you be ready to stand against the power of this anti-God, world-dominating government? How can you be sure that you will be a Daniel and be ready when you’re faced with the dire circumstances ahead? Is it possible to “endure to the end” in a world that requires you to betray God in order to live?
The answer is yes. Yes, you can! You can be like Daniel. You can be ready and willing to stand for what’s right. Here’s how:
Jesus foretold that these difficult times lie ahead and He showed us how to withstand. He said, “they will lay their hands on you and persecute you… Therefore settle it in your hearts not to meditate beforehand on what you will answer; for I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be able to contradict or resist” (Luke 21:11-15)
In other words, Christ said if we are to avoid the mark of the Beast, He said, we must decide now, resolve and settle it in our minds. So, make up your mind today—to worship Him, today—to keep His words, today—to obey His commands.
You see Christ tells us to settle it in our hearts and minds ahead of time. Don’t wait. Don’t get distracted. Don’t compromise. Do it now. Rely on Him. Develop the strength and courage you’ll need to endure to the time of the end right now. We know the time is coming when you’ll have to choose between loyalty to God and accepting the mark of the Beast.
Do you think there’s any reason to worry in our modern world about anything like that?
> Worry? No. Concern? Yes.
[Steve] Okay, why would you say concern?
> Because if you aren’t concerned about it, it could happen. You have to be on guard all the time.
[Steve] What do we have to do to be on guard? Prophecy clearly shows the mark of the Beast is connected to false worship—and we are already surrounded by false churches. So to avoid it, we must “keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus” (Revelation 14:12). And don’t forget, an important aspect of Jesus’ teaching is the fact that He says He is “Lord of the Sabbath” (Mark 2:28). Do you follow Jesus’ teaching to worship on the Sabbath day—the seventh-day Sabbath? Well if not, can you really say you are following Him and keeping all of the commandments?
So do you think it’s something we should be concerned about in our day-to-day lives?
> Yes, we all should be diligent. We should be concerned about it. It’s day-to-day lives, some of us get so busy with the daily parts of our lives that that’s kind of is on the back burner a lot of times, as far as paying attention to it, but it is something we should be well aware of.
[Steve] How can we be sure not to have God on the back burner? Well, be a Daniel. “Daniel determined in his heart that he would not defile himself” (Daniel 1:8). He decided, he resolved, he made up his mind ahead of time to do what’s right!
So take heart! You don’t have to compromise God’s truth. But, you have to know what His truth is. To avoid the great moral dilemma ahead—determine to be close to God today. Learn the truth—live the truth and choose to live by His commandments now.
And don’t forget our free offers today including our Bible study aid, The Book of Revelation Unveiled , and our bi-monthly magazine. Both are yours free of charge. We are looking at difficult times ahead. But we don’t have to live in fear! God has a purpose and a plan for those who deeply trust and obey Him. So, get our literature absolutely free of charge. Just call: 1-888-886-8632. That’s 1-888-886-8632, or go online to BeyondToday.tv.
God is showing you that He wants to be a part of your life. Don’t let anything keep you from responding.
And, if you want to learn even more about the vital truths of the Bible, please tune in every other Wednesday night to our live Bible Study webcast. To find it, go to BeyondToday.tv and click on the “Webcast” tab at the top of the page. Join us as we cover key Bible subjects—designed to provide you with help for today and hope for tomorrow.
In addition, the United Church of God has Sabbath-keeping congregations meeting each Saturday across the United States and around the world. We’d love to see you at services. Go to BeyondToday.tv —click on the “Find a Church Congregation” link to find one near you. We have knowledgeable and caring pastors to help you in your spiritual journey. We hope to meet you soon.
There’s a difficult time ahead for this world. Now is the time to do something about it.
Be sure to ask God to help prepare your heart and mind so that you will continue to choose Him and His promises over compliance or compromise.
Call on Him and He’ll do just that: “Lord, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will prepare their heart; You will cause Your ear to hear, to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, that the man of the earth may oppress no more” (Psalms 10:17-18).
Decide now to be like Daniel and you’ll be spiritually ready. Make every effort to draw close to God. Be sure you’re keeping His commands so you’ll be prepared to reject the mark of the Beast.
Thanks for joining me today. Don’t forget our free offers and be sure to tell your family and friends about us. Tune in again next week, at this same time, for another edition of Beyond Today and join us in praying, “Thy Kingdom come.” For Beyond Today , I’m Steve Myers—Thanks for watching.
[Announcer] For the free literature offered on today’s program, go to BeyondToday.tv. Please join us again next week on Beyond Today!