Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

The Mark of the Beast



Revelation 13:8  All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. 


Evil Personified

I know some of you are waiting for me to tell you what the mark of the beast is and how you can recognize it.  I am not going to do that because I cannot do that.  But the day will come when those who have taken that mark will be damned forever.  A Christian is marked or sealed by the Holy Spirit.  But the day will come when a man energized by Satan will make sure that buying or selling in the market place cannot be done without his EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer) card.  Some people will take the mark because they will say that they have to in order to eat.  Many will take the mark willingly because of the power that this man wields and because he has a second lieutenant doing miracles to prove that this man is "some great one."  (See Acts 8:9).  But the world that has rejected the Man of Sorrows will accept the Man of Sin. (See 2 Thessalonians 2:3).   Even with all that power, ultimately he will go into perdition and perish at the hand of the Lord.


I am thankful that I believe that i will not see the day when that evil beast is worshipped by the whole world.  I know that there are many who have different views of Bible prophecy and I respect that.  I used to be dogmatic about how the plan of God would play out; but I have learned that in this area, sometimes it takes hindsight to realize that God meant what he said and said what he meant.  However, I do believe that Christians are going to be delivered from the wrath to come (see 1 Thessalonians 1:10),  and that they will not see the evil day that is coming after the Lord takes the church home by way of the rapture.  However, that does not mean that we won’t see evil in our day much like the evil of the day when this beast reigns on the earth.  I am sure that many people thought Hitler was this man.  I know I would have thought that too except for the fact that the Christians were still present on earth telling people that their political solution was in Christ and not in a man.  But how did Hitler convince so many people to follow him and how will this man do the same?


Sheep Going Astray

Isaiah 53 verse 6 says that all we like sheep have gone astray.  I think the Lord is saying that we tend to follow the leader and if the leader is wrong we follow him or her anyway.  The story is told of a student who was trying to learn math.  He could do addition but he could not do subtraction.  His teacher knew that his family raised sheep so she tried to use sheep as an illustration to help him.  She said, "Johnny, if there is a pen with four sheep in it and one of them finds a hole and gets out of the pen, how many sheep will be left in the pen?"  She expected him to say three.  But he said none.  She said to him, "Johnny, you don’t understand subtraction."  He said, "Teacher, you don’t understand sheep."  He knew if one went through the hole the others would follow. 


Absalom in the Old Testament is a lesson in how Satan and those energized by Satan work.  He came between David, the rightful king, and the people.  He kissed them and judged their issues in ways that pleased them.  In other words, he professed his love for them and told them what they wanted to hear.  He became powerful and many followed Him.  He was also very attractive and people were drawn to him.  But ultimately, he was destroyed and many were destroyed with him. 


When we have people who lie and repeat the lies over and over again, when we have people who tell us what we want to hear, when those people are attractive and charismatic, it is easy to follow leaders who are destined for destruction.  So what is the solution?


The Solution

There is a verse in the Bible that says, "Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the LORD (Jeremiah 17:5)."  There is another verse that says, "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me (John 10:27)."  Men who want to deceive us can.  All of us are like sheep that can be led to the slaughter.  But the Lord will never deceive us.  He may tell us things we don’t want to hear.  He may discipline or chastise us, but when we follow Him we will never be deceived.  Instead of being a part of the coming destruction, we will be part of an eternal home in the Father’s house (John 14).  How do we know that the Lord is telling the truth?  Deep down in our hearts we know that He gives us what we need and not always what we want.  The liar will always promise people what they want whether he or she can deliver on the promise or not.  But ultimately we find that God gives and the liar takes.   God cares about us, the evil people in this world care about themselves and their power.  Fortunately, God has used evil for good and he can still do that.  But our confidence should not be in sinners and liars.  Our confidence needs to be in the one "gave Himself" for us.


As sheep we need to be following the right shepherd.  We should not be following the hireling who really has no love for the sheep.  We should be following the shepherd who gave His life for the sheep.


Bruce Collins


Meditation for the week of October 30, 2016



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