The Dragon, The Beast & His Image & His Mark

By admin On April 11th, 2011

 

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The Dragon, The Beast & His Image & His Mark

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“And he (The False Prophet) had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:” Revelation 13:15, 16

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THIS ARTICLE DIVIDED INTO TWO PARTS:

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1. THE CORRECT ATTITUDE TOWARD BIBLE PROPHECY

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2. SHORT DISCUSSION OF THE DRAGON, BEAST, AND HIS IMAGE & MARK

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REVELATION OF THE HEART…

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The True Accusing Finger www.signsofheaven.org share-alike license- you may useDo Bible prophecy seminars ever get discouraging? Does it seem like a lot of “confusing charts and numbers” and “this beast” and “that bug”, and this “newspaper clipping” and “Black Helicopters”, and “Secret Societies” and “dusty old history books”?

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Well, maybe some of these things are relevant, and probably most are not relevant. And even a few of these may be helpful in understanding Revelation.

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But if one simply lets Scripture define Scripture, and cling to that old mantra… “Sola Scriptura” (“Scripture Only”), biblical truth can be arrived at, which might not be as interesting or exotic as some interpretations. But to simply compare Scripture with Scripture, a correct interpretation can be arrived that points to “MY” own heart, as “the chief of sinners”. 

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BIBLE POINTS TO JESUS & ME

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Correct Bible study, without the aid of other books (except a concordance, perhaps) will direct the student right back into more Bible study, instead of into other books, or newspapers, etc..  Because, daily Bible study, properly done, will ultimately lead to “My heart” as the real problem, and at “The Bible” as the only real solution to my problems.

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In other words, I know I’m on the right track if my Bible studies point the accusing finger at “My own sins”. True religion concerns “my” relationship with God. 

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And while it might be very helpful to know a little of the history of the Church, just where does a person look to find the right history book? Satan has greatly confused the issue by writing conflicting histories. Depending on which history book one reads, determines what the reader will find.

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NO OTHER BOOK NEEDED

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Even though it may be a good thing to read history books, Bible prophecy is not dependent upon other books to correctly interpret those Bible prophecies.

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By use of a good Bible and a concordance, one can find all the truth necessary to properly understand Bible prophecy. 

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Remember, the Apostles, such as Peter and John, were merely unlearned fishermen. And yet, because of their diligent seeking after the knowledge of Jesus, they became everything they needed to become.

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And is this not our purpose as well? To become totally Christ-like? But these two men had no science or history books; nor did they have newspapers, television or any such things!

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Revelation – Wikimedia –

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“THE BIBLE IS THE SPIRIT OF PROPHECY”

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“…for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” Revelation 19:10

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Now to be sure, from the above verse it becomes evident that most all of the Bible is prophetic in nature. And it is virtually impossible to not read something prophetic, “…for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:US_Navy_040327-N-1261P-058_Navy_Chaplain,_Lt._Marc_Massie_assigned_to_Naval_Mobile_Construction_Battalion_Seventy_Four_(NMCB-74)_studies_his_Bible_for_an_upcoming_service.jpg 

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From the account of Creation in Genesis, to the stories of the Judges and Kings, to Psalms and Proverbs, to the Gospels, we are either knowingly or unknowingly reading prophecies. So it’s virtually impossible to escape Bible prophecy, when studying the Bible!

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The story of Samson, for instance, is a prophecy about the Church in the last days.

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The story of Esther is prophetic, and is likewise about the Church in the last days.

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These stories and many more are the, “testimony of Jesus”, and are, “the spirit of prophecy”. 

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ALL SCRIPTURE FOR MY HEART PURIFICATION

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But these also have a special application for the individual Christian as well.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:USMC-06831.jpg

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Listen to Paul, as he exhorts Timothy… “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” 2nd Timothy 3:16, 17.

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So God is giving here, the very reason for any and every verse and story in the Bible: to build up His people! And though these various books and stories and testimonies are for the spiritual building up of the body of Christ, they are also filled with life lessons and moral guidance. 

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Chaplain reads Bible – Wikimedia – US Govt. Public Domain 

USMC – Prayer before Bible study – Wikimedia – public domain

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MANY TURN PROPHECY INTO CURIOUS SCIENCE

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The problem with prophecy is, perhaps, this: all too often, many try to study prophecy for merely the intrigue of discovering future events. Such is thhttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Braet_von_%C3%9Cberfeldt_woman_with_bible_1866.jpge appeal to many who have only “itching ears”. They try to divorce Bible prophecy from the very purpose for which it was given: to spiritually strengthen the Church as well as strengthen the individual Christian.

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But true prophecy interpretation will always have this waymark…it is always, profitable for for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

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God is not trying to merely tickle our ears with exotic and intriguing conspiracy theories. The whole Bible is totally dedicated to transforming the Christian and the Church into the image of Christ. And Bible prophecy, if rightly interpreted, always accomplishes this same purpose. 

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BOOKS, NEWSPAPERS DIVERT

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The great problem with trying to interpret prophecy by newspapers or history books is this: you will undoubtedly only end up with some nation or battle or historical figure or literal animal or mechanical device as the ultimatehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:A_U.S._Army_UH-60_Black_Hawk_helicopter_and_a_CH-47F_Chinook_helicopter,_both_with_Bravo_Company,_3rd_Battalion,_25th_Aviation_Regiment,_25th_Combat_Aviation_Brigade,_prepare_to_conduct_rappel_operations_with_130618-A-UG106-454.jpg interpretation.

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But on the other hand, when one uses only the Bible, then the student will hopefully end up with a spiritual interpretation, which will reveal sin righteousness and judgment, which will spiritually build up that Christian.

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Then, by studying the Bible only, the Student will interpret “locusts”, for instance, as God’s means of destroying the Christian’s love of earthy Mammon, instead of only seeing locusts as helicopters, etc..       

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black helicopters – Wikimedia – US Army – Public Domain

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ALL PERSONS, PLACES, THINGS IN SCRIPTURE

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HAVE SPIRITUAL MEANING

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tissot_The_Plague_of_Locusts.jpg

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Now the point is, if the student wishes to understand what locusts represent, he doesn’t need to consult history books or newspapers. All he (or she) needs to do, is to look at how locusts are used in every other instance in the Bible.

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Locusts, scorpions, trees, mountains, lions, or nation, or any other biblical object or person or nation, each represent a spiritual concept, when us ed in the Bible.

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And so the student needs to explore just how any one of these are used in Scripture to rightly interpret that spiritual concept. And this is done by finding every Bible passage where that particular thing is mentioned.

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Tissot – The Plague of Locusts – Wikipedia – US Public Domain

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ALL PROPHECY POINTS TO THE GOSPEL

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The one very important http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:A_U.S._Army_UH-60_Black_Hawk_helicopter_and_a_CH-47F_Chinook_helicopter,_both_with_Bravo_Company,_3rd_Battalion,_25th_Aviation_Regiment,_25th_Combat_Aviation_Brigade,_prepare_to_conduct_rappel_operations_with_130618-A-UG106-454.jpgthing to remember, when trying to interpret Bible prophecy, is that there are basically four different aspects of the gospel, to which Bible metaphors are pointing: to Christ, to the Devil, to the Church, or to the individual Christian.

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In other words, all Bible prophecy is ultimately pointing to some aspect of the Gospel. So if a Bible prophecy student arrives at an interpretation concerning some non-biblical object, or historical event not related to the Church, then that student has probably used a newspaper or history book in addition to the Bible, and needs to get back to using the Bible only. 

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black helicopters Wikimedia US Army public domain

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DON’T BE LED DOWN RABBIT TRAILS!

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“See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:15, 16 

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John the Baptist by Harold Copping www.wikigallery.com US public domainNow concerning this matter of, “which way the accusing finger should be pointing”: even though true religion says, “I am chief of sinners”, this is not to say that there is never a time to point out the sins and errors which Satan is bringing into the Church and into the world.

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Listen… “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.” Isaiah 58:1.

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The house of Jacob not only refers to the Old Testament Jews, but also to us. The Church of God also needs to hear that, “voice like a trumpet”, declaring to God’s people our sins.

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John the Baptist by Harold Copping www.wikigallery.com US public domain

 

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SELF-PURIFICATION PARAMOUNT

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But we don’t want to let Satan get us sidetracked. We don’t want to make a career out of finger-pointing, nor of side issues. And more often than not, Satan is usually trying to get us off and onto some “rabbit trail” in our Christian walk, such as looking at the sins of others, instead of “my own sins”.

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And Satan doesn’t mind if the Christian gets sidetracked by endless prophecy seminars, politics, conspiracy theories, Creation/Evolution studies, or perhaps endless music listening.

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Anything to keep the Christian from engaging in his or her own personal heart-purification (“And every man that hath this hope in Him purifieth himself, even as He is pure.” 1st John 3:3).

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SATAN PROVIDES MANY “RABBIT TRAILS”

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It’s not that it is bad to study prophecy. Bible prophecy is good if one does it correctly, applying it to his ownhttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Alice_rabbit_art_brown.png life. And a Creation/Evolution seminar, or listening to Christian music is OK. Just as long as the Christian keeps his or her Bible meditation and prayer-life in the forefront of each day.

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Everything else is optional… “I rejoice at Thy word, as one that findeth great spoil.” Psalm 119:162.

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This verse reveals what is to be our correct attitude toward God’s Word… “I rejoice at Thy word, as one that findeth great spoil.” The Word of God should be so precious to us, like a cool glass of water in a dry desert.

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Alice rabbit art brown Wikipedia US public domain

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“THE SADDEST WORDS…‘WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN?'”

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In the previously quoted verse from Ephesians, Paul warns Christians to be careful how they use their time… “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:15, 16. 

http://vintageprintable.com/wordpress/vintage-printable-juvenile-educational/juvenile-alice-in-wonderland-white-rabbit-2/

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We need to be wise and not fools, concerning how we use our time. There are all sorts of Christian duties we can be doing. But are they what we really need? 

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As the saying goes, “Keep the main thing the main thing”. The days are definitely evil! The purification of the soul, through hiding God’s precious promises in one’s heart is the work before us.

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Don’t be like Alice here in this above picture, going down a rabbit hole, where she should not have gone. Like Alice, many of us have wasted years going down such rabbit trails: politics, history books, science books, newspapers, endless prophecy seminars, etc., etc….A little bit here, and a little bit there, and before long, we’ve strayed far away from our personal devotions and prayer-life. Years may be lost, going down some rabbit trail!

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Juvenile-Alice-in-Wonderland-White-rabbit1-believed to be public domain

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PAUL’S CHIEF DESIRE

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Many people mistakenly believe that Paul’s chief desire was to evangelize others. Well that certainly was a great desire for Paul. But Paul had a much greater desire than merely evangelizing others. You see, it was Paul’s greatest desire to fully evangelize his own self!

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Listen to Paul’s own words… “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do http://lavistachurchofchrist.org/Pictures/The%20Early%20Church%20Artwork/target8.htmlcount them but dung, that I may win Christ,” Philippians 3:8.

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Paul did not presumptuously imagine that, “he had already arrived”. Paul did not regard himself as, “home-free”. No, Paul took the opposite attitude toward his own Salvation.

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Listen again to his own words… “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect…I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:12, 14.

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Now, chances are, you will seldom, if ever, hear this concept uttered from today’s pulpits. And small wonder! This kind of Christianity is perhaps, the greatest fear for Satan and his evil angels. And so, he has relentlessly tried to keep the lid on this Bible concept. And he will divert you in every other direction, in hopes of keeping you from searching the Bible to get to know who God is, and from keeping you from the work of heart-purification.

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Paul Shipwrecked – Acts 27:41-44 – www.lavistachurchofchrist.org – Public Domain

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“THY FIRST LOVE”

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Now this is not to say that we shouldn’t study prophecy, or do prison ministries, or hand out food baskets. But we must keep our focus on the main thing: to become thoroughly converted, into the likeness of Jesus.

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Listen again Paul’s confession… “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,”

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Oh yes, Paul loved to evangelize. Yes, Paul loved to work for the churches. But Paul knew that his very own self-evangelism and Salvation was his first duty in life, and his utmost priority.

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Paul in Prison www.thebiblerevival.com US public domain.

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PURIFICATION OF THE HEART

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There is one duty which each and every Christian must engage in: the purification of the heart.

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Listen to the Apostle, John… “And every man that hath this hope (Christ’s Return) in him, will purify himself, even as He (Christ) is pure.” 1st John 3:3.

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Notice that John says, “every man”. He doesn’t say, “many men”, or even, “some men”. So this is the solemn duty of each and every Christian: to be purified, even as Christ is pure! And of course, to become totally Christ-like is what John is saying we must strive to become.

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ABOVE PICTURE: Holy Bible – Wikimedia – Creative Commons Lic.

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.http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:At_a_loss.svg

But how do we engage in such a purification process?

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Question Marks – At a loss – svg – Wikimedia Commons – Share-Alike License

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Listen to Jesus Himself explain… “And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true Ghttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Girl_with_a_Bible_(Faith_of_Our_Fathers).jpgod, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.” John 17:3. So here is the secret of eternal life: to get to know and understand just who God and Jesus are.

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And listen as Jesus continues… “Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy Word is truth.” John 17:17.  So here Jesus reiterates the secret of sanctification: the Word of God, the Bible is the truth which sanctifies us.

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And just one more verse found in Psalms… “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee.” OK, so here are four passages which all agree with each other, presenting the same concept, howbeit in slightly different language.

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But enough said on this subject. If you wish to explore this subject, just click here…  “How To Be Hidden in the Day of Wrath”

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Girl with a Bible – Wikimedia – US Public Domain

 

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PROPHECY & HOW IT RELATES TO MY OWN LIFE

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This article concerning the “Dragon”, the “Beast”, theImage of the Beast”, and his Mark”, will not endeavor to explain all the heads and tails and various beasts involved. But this article will concentrate on just how do all these things relate to “Me”….to “My heart”. And just how can “I” escape all these things.

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Hopefully this brief study will point the reader in the right direction for further personal study. So please read on. (And this website has other articles, such as “Floodwaters of Psychology and Atheism of the False Prophet” which give further insight into these things.)

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A TIME TO LOOK OUT AT THE WORLD

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Now having said all this, there is a time to look out at the world, to see how and where prophecy is fulfilled.

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Yes, after the Bible student has done all his homework, and has discovered the true spiritual meaning of all the symbols of any particular prophecy: one can then look out and see how it is manifested in the world.

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For instance, when the Bible student studies the Bible to find the true meaning of the image of the Beast, then, and only then, can that student look out into the world, to see how it is manifested in the world. Yes, it is possible to look out at the world see how Satan is causing the world’s inhabitants to conform to his image.

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And now, because the spiritual meaning of the image has been rightly divided (dissected), the true fulfillment seen in the world will be of great relevance and importance to the Believer. And as the reader continues in this article, this image will be discussed, a little later, as it is manifested in the world.

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THE DRAGON OF REVELATION 12

Revekation 12 Dragon

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“And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.” Revelation 12:3, 4 

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It is well established that this dragon is Satan… “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” Revelation 12:9 

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This dragon is described as having, “seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.” v. 3  

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And so here in Chapter 12 is a brief description of Satan, and his rebellion against God and his war against Michael and against Heaven. And from reading the rest of the Bible, this arch-enemy of God is somewhat well established, as to his workings on Earth.

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 THE SPIRIT OF THE ANTICHRIST BEAST…

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“And I… saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Burgkmair_whore_babylon_color.jpgcrowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power… Revelation 13:1-3 

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So who is this beast?

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Revelation Chapter 17 defines the various components of the beast. Listen… “And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman (the apostate church) sits. And there are seven kings… And the beast that was… he is the eighth, and is of the seven (kings)…. And the ten horns…are ten kings…” Revelation 17:9-12  (condensed)

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OK, so from the above verse, it can be seen that this Antichrist Beast of Revelation 13 is much more than a mere person. This is a composite beast, composed of kings and kingdoms. And what are his kingdoms? Well, let’s get a further picture of who this Antichrist Beast is…

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babylon color Burgkmair 1523 AD wikimedia US public domain

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ANTICHRIST IS THE WORLD

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“Wherefore come out from among them (unbelievers), and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean [thing]; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” 2nd Cor. 6:17, 18 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:AmishFamilyNiagaraFalls.jpg

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The above verse is pretty strong advice for Christians. And most probably don’t pay much attention to this advice, which explains why Christianity is in such trouble today. We are, as 2nd Corinthians  6:14-18 warns against being “yoked together” with people of a different spirit.

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Just listen… “And every spirit that confesseth not…Jesus Christ… is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world…They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.” 1st John 4:3. 

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At this point, someone would jump up and say, “You mean to tell me, that just because I’m not a Christian, that makes me an Antichrist?”  OK, OK, so let’s explore this a little more, to find out why this is true.

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And furthermore, just why does 1st John call the Antichrist, “a spirit”? Listen again… “…that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world…” 1st John 4:3

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Amish Family Niagara Falls wikipedia share-alike license

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THE BEAST WITHIN

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So what does the Bible have to say about the average citizen of this world? Listen to Ephesians… “Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, THE SPIRIT that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation (lifestyle) in times past in the lusts of our flesh…” Ephesians 2:2, 3.

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So from these two verses it is now understood that the “antichrist” spirit dwells within the disobedient people of the world, as it has for thousands of years.

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Listen…“already is it in the world” Revelation 4:3.

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This was written in the 1st Century A.D. So it might be concluded from what has been discussed so far that the Antichrist Beast is merely comprised of the peoples of the world and their kingdoms and rulers. Unconverted Mankind! With the spirit and attributes of Satan! And so, that is why this Beast seems to be a duplicate of the Revelation 12 Dragon. Because the Beast is very similar to the Dragon.

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Castle of Disney Wikipedia Public dom

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MY WICKED, WICKED HEART!

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“Wherefore are we counted as beasts, and reputed vile in your sight?” Job 18;3 

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:81st_Academy_Awards_Ceremony.JPGAnd what are the attributes of Satan as he manifests himself through Mankind? Here is a very interesting verse from Proverbs… “These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: 1. A proud look, 2. a lying tongue, and 3. hands that shed innocent blood, 4. An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, 5. feet that be swift in running to mischief, 6. A false witness that speaketh lies, and 7. he that soweth discord among brethren.” Proverbs 6:16-19.

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This above description almost sounds like your typical Hollywood movie, doesn’t it?

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But this is a picture of Satan. It is also a picture of Mankind! This is a picture of an Antichrist. These qualities exist in all of us, even though we aren’t necessarily aware that we possess these qualities within. This above passage declares the seven qualities which make up the kingdom of Antichrist: 1. Pride. 2. False ideologies. 3. violence against the innocent. 4. Evil thoughts and ungodly aspirations. 5. lust and greed. 6. deceitfulness. 7. War against the brethren of God.

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These qualities exist in the heart of each and every human being. Oh they may lay dormant to a certain extent. But they are there in the human heart. 

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File name: Academy Awards Ceremony-Wikipedia-share-alike-license.jpg

 

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THE HEART IS TOTALLY EVIL!

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Just look at this next well-known verse found in Jeremiah, which describes the condition of the human heart…

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“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9. 

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As we may already know, this verse is speaking about my heart, and about your heart. And it is even speaking about the hearts of the great men of the Bible!

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Listen to Paul… “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing.” Romans 7:18.

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Paul understood that it was only the grace of God and the in-dwelling of God’s Spirit of Holiness, which made him different from the world.

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Repin – Cry of prophet Jeremiah – www.wikigallery.org – US Public Domain

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PAUL, THE “CHIEF OF SINNERS”…

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The Apostle Paul knew what existed in his own heart. Just listen again to Paul’s testimonyhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:PaulT.jpg about himself… “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing.” Romans 7:18. 

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Now this does not mean that Paul lacked the Spirit of Christ within. Oh yes, Paul was filled with God’s Holy Spirit! But he realized that should God withdraw His Holy Spirit from Paul…well…Paul would be just about as wicked as the most wicked person on Earth! Paul would be back to his old wicked ways, persecuting Christians. Paul knew that God and God alone is righteous.

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Hence, Paul could humbly proclaim… “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; OF WHOM I AM CHIEF.” 1st Timothy 1:15 

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Paul the Apostle-Artist-Valentin de Boulogne or Nicolas Tournier- circa 1500s

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“BEASTS IN EPHESUS”

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Though Paul was no longer an Antichrist after his conversion, he was constantly in conflict with antichrists, as he proclaimed the Gospel… “If after the manner of men I have fought with BEASTS at Ephesus…” 1st Corinthians 15:32.

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Here Paul is speaking of those men who were opposing the Gospel in Ephesus. They were, “Antichrist Beasts”. As we know, “Anti” simply means “against” or “in place of”. These opposers of Paul were against the Gospel. Hence, Paul referred to them as beasts. But this verse also is very revealing as to why the Antichrist Beast is called a “beast”, instead of some other name. Because Paul was speaking of their behavior, and how they became like raging beasts.

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And of course, we sinful humans often behave like animals, don’t we? Maybe it could be said that we all have some of Antichrist within our own hearts. For more exploration into this subject, just click here… “Woman of Revelation 12, Fleeing to the Mountains, Part 2”

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St Paul Preaching in Athens (Raphael, 1515) Wikipedia US public domain

 

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NO FENCE-SITTERS!

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Now someone might say, “I’m neither for Christ or against Him. I’m neutral”.

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But to those, Christ says… “He that is not with Me is against Me; and he that gathers not with Me scatters abroad.” Matthew 12:30.

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There is no neutral ground. Either I’m working for Christ, or I’m working against Christ and for the enemy of Christ…Satan!

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THE IMAGE OF THE BEAST…

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“And he (the False Prophet) does great wonders…And deceives them that dwell on the earth… saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast… And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.” Revelation 13:13-15 (condensed) 

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So from the above passage, it is seen that there will be some image that Mankind makes that will be able to speak. Could this passage be speaking of television? Of Internet? Of movies?

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If you think about it, the name “Television” is made of two Latin words…”tele” and “vision” which literally means “talking vision” or perhaps, “talking image”. Never before in Man’s history, was there ever such a thing as a “talking image.” Jeremiah 10: 5 speaks of idols (images) in this way“They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not” (Jeremiah 10:5). The images (idols) of olden times were made of brass or wood or stone. The Bible refers to them as “dumb idols”. They couldn’t walk. They couldn’t talk.

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But the Bible speaks about the day when an image will have the ability to speak. That day has come. Television. Internet. Movies. These are all present-day “talking images”. Now because television is more or less mentioned in Chapter 13 of Revelation (i.e., “talking image”), makes it possible to pin-point this fulfillment of the image which is given power to speak.

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Above picture courtesy “The Bible Revival”. Download hundreds of free Bible Art at www.thebiblerevival.com public domain

 

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TALKING IMAGES NOW POSSIBLE

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“They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.” Jeremiah 10:5.

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Here, Jeremiah is speaking of images. They can’t talk… they can’t walk… they can’t do good or evil. So back in Jeremiah’s day, the idols of wood and stone were rather harmless, in themselves. They couldn’t walk, talk, do good or evil. And because they cannot walk or talk or do good or evil, the Bible says… “Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.” Jeremiah 10:5.

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But what if an image can talk…and walk…and do good and do evil. What is the inference? Then yes, we should be afraid of those images. Be very afraid!

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Worshiping idol – calf – Exodus 32 – thebiblerevival.org

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“AS MANY AS WOULD NOT WORSHIP THE IMAGE,

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SHOULD BE KILLED”…

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But in Revelation, the Lord presents to us a brand new concept. A talking image! An image that calls for the death of anyone who does not conform to the world. Well, of course, these medias are not calling for the death of Christians…yet. But don’t you see a growing animosity in society towards Christians? 

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But even though there is not literal killing being encouraged by this talking image, there nevertheless is a fulfillment of this prophecy concerning “the killing” of those who don’t conform to the image. Because reading the KJV Bible carefully, notice that it says that Christians should be killed (see Revelation 13:15). It does not say they would be killed.

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So the crisis before us may start out with just the opinion that Christians are not worthy to live. At that point this passage will have been fulfilled, even though no blood will have yet been spilled. As a matter of fact, there is a growing number of citizens, living in the so-called “Christian nations” of America and Europe who believe that Christians are not worthy to live.

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“I DIE DAILY”

1st Corinthians 15:31

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But there is an aspect to this that should not be missed. When the thhttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Avvakum_by_Myasoyedov.jpegree Hebrew boys refused to bow down to that image in Daniel Chapter 4, they were thrown into the fiery furnace. Now history proves that Christians will die if they are thrown into a literal furnace. Just look at all the thousands of Christians who were burned at the stake during the reign of the apostate churches of Europe. Oh there may have been an exception or two. But for the most part, a Christian will be killed if he is thrown into a furnace.

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But these three Hebrews refusing to bow to the golden image were not killed. Why? because God was giving a picture of how God purifies His people in the furnaces of affliction.

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PURIFIED BY FIRE

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“Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.” Isaiah 48:10. Scripture tells that God will sit as a purifier of the sons of Levi (His priests). And in the New Testament, God has made Christians to be a holy nation of priests… “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation,” 1st Peter 2:9.  

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So it is through fiery trials that Christians are to be purified, just as Malachi 3:3 says… “And He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and He shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.” Malachi 3:3.

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Just as gold and silver are purified by fire, so also it is with Christians…“Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.” Isaiah 48:10.

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Goldkey_logo_removed wiki public domain

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CHRISTIANS TO DIE DAILY (TO SELF-WILL)

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But what does this have to do with being killed, as it states in Revelation 13? Listen to Paul… “I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I DIE DAILY. If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus…” 1st Corinthians 15:31.

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OK, so this passage not only addresses that Christians die spiritually speaking, but right there in the same passage he refers to those “beasts” in Ephesus. It was through tribulation, that Paul died in the spiritual sense.

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Listen… “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20. 

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Paul invited the furnace of affliction. He knew that it was necessary to suffer for Christ, in order to become like Christ.

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Listen… “That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.” Philippians 3:10, 11.

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So Paul here not only speaks of being made conformable to Christ’s death, but Paul also speaks of the, “fellowship of His sufferings”. Fellowship of His sufferings?!? We sure don’t hear much of that kind of talk in church these days, do we? On the contrary, we try everything we can to avoid any kind of suffering.    

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So in conclusion, when it says in Revelation 13, that anyone who refuses to bow down to the image of the beast “should be killed”, it just may be speaking in the spiritual sense.

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Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the Furnace by G, Dore wikipedia US public domain.

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GOLDEN IMAGE A PICTURE OF SATAN’S RULE

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ON EARTH THROUGHOUT HISTORY

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Without making this study too complicated, it may be sufficed to say, that it is Satan’s attempt to control how Mankind thinks. Whether by totalitarian governments, or by false ideologies, or by temptation and vice, or by brainwashing and indoctrination.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:81st_Academy_Awards_Ceremony.JPG.

But as far as this image goes, today’s world is the perfect medium for Satan’s image of the Beast to reign and rule. More than merely a literal image, television, radio, Internet, and motion pictures, along with all the beautiful music orchestrated on these mediums, presents the attributes of Satan in the most glorious and appealing manner. The music helps greatly to enhance and beautify sin. Listen to what this Bible passage has to say about an image that the whole world is commanded to worship…

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“…the king (of Babylon) made an image of gold, whose height was sixty cubits, and the breadth thereof six cubits: he set it up in the… province of Babylon…Then an Herald cried aloud… O people, nations, and languages…That at what time you hear the sound of… ALL KINDS OF MUSIC, you fall down…And whoso falls not down and worships shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.”  Daniel 3:1,4,5,6 (condensed for brevity & context).

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Notice that the golden image here has the dimensions of 60 cubits and 6 cubits? The only thing missing is the 600, and it would then be 666. There are many who believe the “600” is hidden within that very passage from Daniel. But that discussion will have to be for another day.

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For a more in-depth examination into the subject of music, just click here… “Running The Christian Race-Modern Music” 

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THE WHOLE WORLD WORSHIPS THE IMAGE

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This passage from Daniel in the Bible tells about a golden image in the likeness of the King of Babylon, (King Nebuchadnezzar, who by the way, was referred to as “Lucifer” in Isaiah 14.)  Notice in this passage, the herald announces the warning to the entire world regarding the consequences of not falling down and worshipping the golden image…

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“Then an Herald cried aloud… O people, nations, and languages…That at what time you hear the sound of… ALL KINDS OF MUSIC, you fall down…And whoso falls not down and worships shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.” 

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This passage ties together very nicely with Revelation 13…

And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.” Revelation 13:15. Do you see the similarity between these two passages? Both images are to be worshipped…by all of humanity! 

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Academy Awards photo courtesy Wikipedia share-alike license. Click here for link.

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TV, THE REAL PIED PIPER…

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The Bible says“Be not deceived. Evil communications corrupts good character.” The world repeats this Biblical concept somewhat the same“You are what you eat.” Either way, it comes out the same “Garbage in…garbage out”, as the saying goes.

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Listen to Scripture… “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.” 1st Corinthians 15:33.

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Don’t be deceived, dear Christian! If we think we’re too strong to be influenced by television, Internet, radio, etc… Don’t be deceived! It will change you and me ever so imperceptibly! “Be not deceived. Evil communications corrupts good character.”

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IMAGE THAT SPEAKS

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IS MORE THAN JUST TELEVISIONhttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Burgkmair_babylon_color.jpg

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Now this concept about television being the fulfillment of Revelation, Chapter 13, which speaks of an image which speaks, is much more complex than merely television, or radio, or newspapers or Internet.

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The true image which is given power to speak is ultimately Satan and his evil angels, which have now been given power to speak in people’s minds, pretending to be the Holy Spirit.

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Babylon – Burgkmair – 1523 AD – Wikimedia – US Public Domain

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TV, THE 24/7/365 TEACHER

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“And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.” Revelation 13:15

TV indoctrination

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And it doesn’t take much research to discover that television is constantly teaching, teaching, teaching! As the above verse speaks of an image to the beast, it should be remembered that an image is a reflection of something. This particular image is a reflection of the Antichrist Beast. And whatever a person focuses his attention on, is what that person will eventually become a reflection of. And that is why TV teaches; in hopes of changing us. It’s constantly teaching us how we should dress, what we should eat, how we should speak. It’s a 24/7/365 teacher!

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TV tells us how we should behave.

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What kind of cars we should drive.

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What kinds of houses we should live in.

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What kinds of people we should hang out with.

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What music is acceptable, and not acceptable. What kinds of ideologies we should believe. It even tells us why we should dislike serious-minded Christians. Television teaches us just what is fashionable, and even what is no longer fashionable.

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SATAN RAISES FANATICS

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“And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.” 2nd Peter 2:2

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And though television has a form of godliness, it nevertheless has engaged in a very subtle war against the Holy Spirit, since its conception.  In other words, television doesn’t mind a Worldly Christian. Satan is not http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:David_Koresh.jpgconcerned about destroying a worldly-minded Christian. They are his greatest weapon against true Christians! But Satan has used television (and modern media) to engage in a very low-profile campaign against those who want to serve God with all their heart. By subtle mockery, and innuendos, Satan has carried on his attacks against the Faithful Followers of the Lord Jesus. And Satan has always raised up fanatics in order to stigmatize dedicated Christians. And TV faithfully does the Devils’ dirty-work of constantly exposing these fanatics, in order to turn off any public sympathy for wholehearted Christians. TV is Satan’s ultimate mind-control weapon.

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To the right is David Koresh, whom Satan deceived and used to make a mockery of true Christianity. Satan uses such counterfeits to cast dirt upon sincere, dedicated followers of Jesus.

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David Koresh wikipedia US public domain

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 “THEY (the peoples of the world)

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SHOULD MAKE AN IMAGE TO THE BEAST”…

Revelation 13:14

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Television is Satan’s Ultimate Mind-Control Device! It is a very powerful medium. The music, the lighting, the drama, the false goodness. Television, radio, etc., possess a powerful that is more than Mankind can resist. As one famous person once put it, “If you tell a lie often enough and loud enough, eventually people will begin to believe it!”

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And television, not only tells such lies 24/7/365, but also dresses up those lies, making them very appealing. 

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THE IMAGE WITHIN MY HEART

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But what does this have to do with “Me” making an image to the Beast? After all, I’ve never even carved one single statue in my lifetime! But wait! If my character becomes conformed to the qualities which our modern-media society compels us to conform to…then I become an image…and image to the beast…and ultimately, into an image of Satan, though to a lesser degree! In a very real sense, I have carved an idol in my heart!

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So now it begins to be seen that this image is much more than just television. It has to do with just who is sitting upon the throne of my heart. Whoever a man, or woman, or child gives homage to; and the modern media is all about character. Satan’s character!

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Just listen… “And (the False Prophet) deceiveth them that dwell on the earth…saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast…” Revelation 13:14.

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Notice that it says here that the people of the world are commanded to, “make an image to the beast”. Now obviously, not every person is making a television, are they? But those in the world who are being conformed to the image of the Beast are making an image, right in their very own heart!

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For more detailed information on the this topic, click here…  “Television and The Image That Speaks”

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“VALLEY OF DECISION” IN YOUR HEART…

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The battle between good and evil is the battle for control of the mind. And whatever a person gives over his mind over to, becomes the ruler of his or her heart. The Bible says…

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“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal (earthly), but mighty to the pulling down of strongholds…casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God…bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”2nd Corinthians 10:4, 5.  

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VALLEY OF DECISION

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valley of decision and false mountain

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As this verse says, the spiritual battlefield is the mind. The goal of God is to regain complete control of the hearts and minds of humans. Satan’s goal is to pollute the mind, thereby retaining his control over the human race. We think of Armageddon as a time when all the world will be at war: black helicopters, and war machines, etc.. But the Bible says it will be something vastly different. Listen… “Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.” Joel 3:14

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Here we see that the valley of that great battle that involves the entire world will take place in the, “Valley of Decision” ! It’s not a physical valley. It’s in a person’s heart.

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Listen to this next verse… “(Jesus said) The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS WITHIN YOU.” Luke 17:20, 21. 

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Christ will indeed literally appear on the last day. But when a person comes to the Lord, there begins a battle between the two opposing kingdoms. Satan strives to retain his control over that person. God strives to prepare that person heart, so as to overcome. The true worshipper will definitely overcome Satan and the mesmerizing allurements of this world.

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The above picture is of the Valley of Decision Constellation group. If you would like to read more on this subject, you may go to “The ‘Valley of Decision’ Constellation”

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“HOLY WAR”…

.John_Bunyan wikipedia public domain

John Bunyan the writer of that incredible allegory, “Pilgrim’s Progress”, which shook much of the world back in the 1600’s, also wrote a very popular allegory, “Holy War”. This allegory capitalizes on this idea that the war between Christ and Satan is engaged within the mind of humans. Should you care to listen to this audio book online, just click this following link… “Holy War” by John Bunyan

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John_Bunyan wikipedia public domain

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SATAN AN ANGEL OF LIGHT?!?…

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But let’s get back to the question of, “just what are the attributes of Satan?” As we read Scripture, we find that Satan’s qualities are Pride, Violence, False Science, Dishonesty, Lust, Greed, Hatred, and a Form of Godliness.

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Now, you might be wondering how, “a form of godliness”, could be one of Satan’s qualities. Satan knows that if he only had evil qualities, he would blow his cover, so to speak. So in order to deceive the world, Satan must work under a cloak of false humanitarianism.

“…for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” 2 Corinthians 11:14, 15.

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You have probably heard that old saying… “Mice will never eat poison unless it’s mingled with 99% oatmeal”. So also, Satan could never deceive the whole world unless he mingles lots and lots of “good things” in with his poisonous ideologies.
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TV MAKES SIN LOOK ATTRACTIVE

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Television and motion pictures are a perfect illustration of how Satan cloaks his evil with a thin coating of “goodness”. For instance, just look at a typical show. You might see many shttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Poster_-_Gone_With_the_Wind_01.jpgcenes filled with violence, revenge, lust, greed, etc.. But all he has to do is to give the heroes some good qualities, good looks, and add some violin music, make the “bad guy” really, really bad…and we all, “buy it…hook, line and sinker”. Don’t we? Sure we do! Listen to the Book of Revelation…

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“And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, WHICH DECEIVES THE WHOLE WORLD…” Revelation 12:9. Notice in this verse that the Dragon deceives the whole world? This entire “World System” in which we live, is the “Kingdom of Satan”.

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This entire world, the Bible refers to as Babylon… “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” 2nd Corinthians 4:3, 4.

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Not only does this passage speak of Satan as the god of this world; but it speaks of his purpose of keeping the image of Christ from shining in Mankind’s hearts. And images are what we’re discussing here at the moment, isn’t it? 

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Poster – Gone With the Wind – US Public Dom – Wikipedia

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THE MARK OF THE BEAST… 

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“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 

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This is perhaps the most widely discussed topic of the Bible. And perhaps the most misunderstood. And though we don’t fully understand all the ramifications of this fearful concept; we do have some Scriptures which shed some light on the subject.

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For instance, this following verse in Exodus helps see that the Mark is to distinguish between those who serve God and those who serve Him not. This comes from the section in Exodus when God was pouring out His plagues on the Egyptians…

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Listen… Behold, the hand of the LORD is upon thy cattle… there shall be a very grievous murrain. And the LORD shall sever between the cattle of Israel and the cattle of Egypt: and there shall nothing die of all that is the children’s of Israel.” Exodus 9:3, 4 (condensed)

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Mark of the beast  pub. dom. Wikipedia

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THE GRIEVOUS SORE OF SIN…

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Behold, the hand of the LORD is upon thy cattle… there shall be a very grievous murrain. And the LORD shall sever between the cattle of Israel and the cattle of Egypt: and there shall nothing die of all that is the children’s of Israel.” Exodus 9:3, 4 (condensed) 

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Even though this above verse speaks of cattle during God’s pouring out of plagues upon Egypt, it is a metaphor concerning the plagues to be poured out in these last moments of time.

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Listen… “And the first angel went, and poured out his vial (of God’s wrath) upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.” Revelation 16:2.

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Notice the similar language in these two passages. And by comparing them, one begins to get a more complete understanding of just what is the Mark of the Beast all about.

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THE MARK OF CAIN

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So is there any other passage which helps us understand just what is this Mark all about? Yes, the passage in Genesis regarding Cain. God placed a “mark” upon him after he murdered his brother… “And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.” Genesis 4:15.

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Cain of course, murdered his righteous brother Abel. And so God put a mark on Cain’s forehead to set him apart, and keep him safe, lest anyone should kill Cain. So too, the people of the world are under the same condemnation as Cain. We have been guilty of the murder of God’s Son. And we are now the enemies of God, and of God’s people. 

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LEPROSY

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Is there any other passage which might shed more light on this Mark? Yes! The following verse from Leviticus presents a concept that most theologians agree, represents sin…“When a man shall have in the skin of his flesh a rising, a scab, or bright spot, and it be in the skin of his flesh like the plague of leprosy;” Leviticus 13:2.

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Let’s combine this with the following verse… “For my loins are filled with a loathsome disease…For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin.” Psalms 37:18, 38: 18. So the Psalmist is speaking of the, “disease of sin”.http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Leprosy.jpg

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Leprosy was a cancerous growth on a human which spread on his or her body, and was very contagious. Leprosy was a picture of the malignancy of sin. And so these seemingly unrelated subjects in Scripture were in reality, all about the Gospel… “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” 2nd Timothy 3:16, 17.

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Here is seen that all Scripture is profitable for the heart-purification of the Christian. And Jesus proclaimed that the Scriptures testified of Jesus. And so does this passage, as well.

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Leprosy – Wikipedia – US Public Domain

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“MARK THEM”…

Romans 16:17

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Now, how does all this relate to the Church of God? Listen..“Now I beseech you, brethren, MARK THEM which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.” Romans 16:17, 18  

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And so here we have the crux of the problem, within God’s house. There are, “pretenders”, within the Church, who still seek after selfish pleasures. They, “serve their own belly”. But even more than this, they deceive, “the hearts of the simple” (they deceive those who are not mature in Bible knowledge).

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Listen to this next verse…

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“Brethren, be followers together of me, and MARK THEM which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. (For many walk, of whom I have told you often…that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: Whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly… who mind earthly things.) For our conversation is in Heaven;” Philippians 3:17-20 (condensed)

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So not only are we to mark them that, “serve their own belly, causing divisions and offenses”; but we are to also, “mark them”, who walk as Paul and the other godly disciples walked. This last verse also speaks of the false brethren, “who mind earthly things”. Let’s explore that with this next verse…

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“…and this is that [spirit] of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.  Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world hears them.” 1st John 4:4, 5.

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Did you notice that this verse about antichrists says here that, “they are of the world…and the world hears them”? 

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“EVERY MAN THAT HAS THIS HOPE…PURIFIES HIMSELF…

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So an antichrist is merely someone who is of the world; just your average worldly-minded individual. He might be a mechanic…or a teacher…or…a bus-boy at a restaurant. But what is the difference between this, “worldly person”, and a, “True Worshipper”?

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Listen again…“I beseech you therefore, brethren…be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Romans 12:1, 2 

 

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So this above verse tells us that we must be, “transformed by the renewing of your mind”. But how can such a thing be accomplished in such a wicked heart as mine?

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The next passage offers help… “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom;” Colossians 3:16. 

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“A NEW HEART ALSO, WILL I GIVE YOU”

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So it is by placing the Word of God in our hearts, and becoming transformed by that Worhttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:USMC-06831.jpgd into a new creation. Listen to this next passage… “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and ye shall keep My judgments, and do them.” Ezekiel 36:26, 27.

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So it is seen here that God gives a new Believer a brand new heart. Now that Christian begins to develop new desires and aspirations. Heaven now becomes the focus of the new Christian. Earthly desires fall away. Spiritual things become all-important. 

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So we see that it is God, “who works in us, to give us a new desire, and the ability to do of His good pleasure”. Philippians 2:13

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USMC – Prayer before Bible study – Wikimedia – public domain

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IMITATE THE SAINTS, NOT VENERATE THEM!

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“Let me not, I pray you, accept any man’s person, neither let me give flattering titles unto man. For I know not to give flattering titles; in so doing my maker would soon take me away.” Job 32: 22  

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The commandment from God to separate one’s self from ungodly influences (as far as possible) must not be underestimated, as to its importance in overcoming the world. And never before in history has there been such an array of evil influences to corrupt the Christian’s purity. Modern technology has brought the worst of the worst into our very own living rooms. and even into ours and our children’s bedrooms. Sod-m and G-m-rrah has now been brought into our homes, via TV, radio, Internet, etc.. And so it seems that this matter of separation has become the defining issue of our times. It appears to be the great test for Christians in this hour of testing, which is coming upon the entire world.

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“Am I willing to give up all those secular, and atheistic programs and music, which are on television, radio, Internet, etc..? Am I willing to instead, surround myself with things which are sacred and holy? Am I willing to be like Jeremiah, the prophet? Am I willing to immerse myself in God’s Word, and in prayer?”

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Fountain of the sight Jeremiah statue Wikimedia Commons share-alike license

 

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“COME OUT FROM AMONG THEM”

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Just listen to the testimony of Jeremiah… “Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and Thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by Thy name, O LORD God of hosts. I sat not in the assembly of the mockers, nor rejoiced; I sat alone because of Thy hand: for Thou hast filled me with indignation.” Jeremiah 15:16, 17,

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Jeremiah had to separate to a certain degree from the company of the apostate Jews, even though they claimed to be Believers. Jeremiah loved God’s Word. It was the joy and rejoicing of his heart. The Jews did not. They were too enamored with the world, and its pleasures and pursuits. Jeremiah knew the importance of coming, “out from among them and be ye separate”. 2 Corinthians 6:17

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There are those who would like to venerate the Bible saints, such as Jeremiah or Paul, placing them on pedestals. But the fact is, these men were raised up by God to be role-models for the Christian world. We are not to venerate them. We are to follow their godly example in our own lives. And by so-doing, the Christian will not ‘win any popularity contests’ in the world. But he or she will definitely ‘win a popularity contest’ with Heaven, and all its host.

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Repin – Cry of prophet Jeremiah – www.wikigallery.org – US Public Domain

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THE FALSE PROPHET

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“And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.” Revelation 13:11

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So many of us are still trying to hang on to this world, while attempting to serve Christ. That rich young ruler represents us! Remember him? He asked Jesus what was still lacking in his life.

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And Jesus answered… “Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in Heaven: and come and follow Me.” (see Matthew 19:16-30).

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We are heavily invested in this world, aren’t we? We would like to be able to pursue Heaven, and yet still seek after the things of the world. But it just won’t work!

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Just listen to what Jesus has to say about this… “So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsakes not all that he hath, he cannot be My disciple.” Luke 14:33.

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Even though we Christians all profess to have forsaken the world…Christ knows. He searches the heart and mind of each, “professing Christian”.  

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MINISTERS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS

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We have all been deluded by the, “False Prophet”, of Revelation 13. He comes to us through those in the Church who, by word or example have urged us on to a worldly life-style. Perhaps even you or I have been guilty of presenting a false idea to others, of just what it means to be a Christian. Perhaps we have misled others into believing that we can be both Christ’s… and be worldly-minded at the same time. Even by our ungodly behaviour…our foolish talk and jesting.

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Evangelist Preaching – Church – Audience hands – Wikimedia – Public Domain

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“ALL THINGS ARE NOW READY”

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“Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: and sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready.” Luke 14:16, 17 

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If we have, then we need to repent before it’s too late! There is an end to all this, you know. The day is coming in which the doors to that wedding supper will be closed…  

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“And Jesus…said…The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son…But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise… ‘The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. Go ye’…So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.” Matthew 22:1-10 (condensed).

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So this parable tells just what the problem is: many will not enter in because they are just too busy in the world. This picture to the right from Matthew Chapter 25  of the 5 Wise & 5 Foolish Virgins, should be a great encouragement to get ready. If we think that time is far off, we will be deceived.

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“Woe to them that are at ease in Zion…Ye that put far away the evil day,” Amos 6:1, 3.

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The Lord has warned His people many, many times in Scripture, to be ready… “Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the Master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: Lest coming suddenly He find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.” Mark 13:35-37

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five wise virgins Matthew Ch. 25. www.thebiblerevival.com public domain

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“NO REST DAY NOR NIGHT”…

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There remains one great big point to all this. The Bible speaks of those who receive the, “Mahttps://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Brooklyn_Museum_-_The_Bad_Rich_Man_in_Hell_(Le_mauvais_riche_dans_l%27Enfer)_-_James_Tissot_-_overall.jpgrk of the Beast”. It states… “And the smoke of their torment ascends up for ever and ever: and they have NO REST DAY NOR NIGHT, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receives the mark of his name.” Revelation 14:11 

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In the above verse, the word “rest” is the very same Greek word as is translated “rest” in this next verse… “Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you REST. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find REST UNTO YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30. 

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So here we begin to understand just what type of “rest” is missing in the lives of those who receive the Mark of the Beast. They have no rest unto their souls. And those of us who have suffered the torment that Satan can bring upon unbelievers can well testify of heavy burden that a life without Christ can bring.  

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Brooklyn Museum. The Bad Rich Man in Hell (Le mauvais riche dans l’Enfer) James Tissot overall wikipedia public domain

 

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NO UNDERGROUND TORTURE CHAMBERS

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Here is another companion verse… “There is no peace, saith the LORD, unto the wicked.” Isaiah 48:22. Contrary to popular belief, God is not this ruthless tyrant that endlessly tortures the world’s inhabitants for time and eternity, as most Christians believe. You can rest easy about your unsaved grandparents. They won’t be tortured and tortured endlessly.

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These heresies are the product of bad Bible study and the vain traditions of misguided men (and women). This lack of “rest” is what the unsaved must endure on this present Earth, because they refuse to, “come follow Jesus”.

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“The smoke of their torment ascends up for ever and ever”, simply because this present earth will be a lesson-book for all eternity, for all the host of the heavens. Only in that sense does, “the smoke of their torment ascends for ever and ever.” 

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So this never-ending ascending smoke speaks of the glory that will follow this unhappy experience called Planet Earth, as we become eternal witnesses to the woe and misery which sin brings.

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For more on this subject please link here… “The Mark of the Beast–They Have No Rest Day Nor Night” 

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Triumph of Christianity by G. Dore www.christimages.org Limited use license – see their website for restrictions

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“A MARK IN THEIR RIGHT HAND OR IN THEIR FOREHEAD”…

Revelation 13:14

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“And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be, as frontlets between thine eyes.” Deuternomy 6:6-8 

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So we have a command from God… “Bind the Scriptures in your heart. Bind them as a sign on your every transaction of daily life. Love God’s Word. Live God’s Word. Eat them. Sleep them. Let God’s Word so fill up your mind, that they emanate from every pore of your being, as a fragrant incense that rises heavenward.” Let Jesus shine forth in your every thought, word, and deed! 

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THE “HEART”; “TREASURE CHEST OF THE MIND”…

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But the problem is, that most people don’t wish to make the Scriptures the all-consuming desire of their life. And so by refusing to fill their “treasure chest” of their heart with, “every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God”; and contrariwise, filling up this “treasure  chest” with the wisdom and folly of this world. And there is no third alternative. It’s one or the other. It’s either the Word of the Son of God, or the words of, “the god of this world”, Satan.

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And so this verse about God’s Word being bound upon the hand, and as frontlets between the eyes, is merely a metaphor that God is trying to convey. This metaphor is urging us to have our hands dedicated to the work of the Gospel.

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And as for those frontlets…they remind us that our mind should be filled with God’s Word, which will radically change the way we view the world.

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THE ARK = THE HEART OF GOD…

summer /treasure chest

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This sketch is of the Lord’s Summer Constellations. It portrays the Ark of the Covenant as a treasure chest, as it spills out its magnificent treasure: a diamond-studded scepter. A bright and beautiful star. A precious jeweled crown. And inside this Ark-Treasure-Chest is a mysterious star. These are the treasures sought by the True Worshippers of God, (represented by this woman with outstretched arm).

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This Summer Group is a picture of what’s in the heart of God. And it’s also a picture of what should be in the heart of every “True Worshipper” of God: the precious treasure of God’s Word as it translates into a life of self-sacrificing Love; Love for God. Love for God’s Bride, the Church. And loving sympathy for a fallen planet in rebellion against the government of Heaven.

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GOD’S PEOPLE ARE AS PRECIOUS JEWELS

.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Necklace_of_the_Stars.jpg

And since we’re speaking of precious jewels, it may be well to leave off this brief discussion with the following verse…

“And they shall be Mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.” Malachi 3:17, 18.

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This verse nicely dovetails this ‘precious jewel’ concept with this Mark of the Beast concept. This passage seems to indicate that the day is coming when the Believers, and the “Make-Believers” will be distinguishable from one another. And God’s people will be as, “the stones of a crown, lifted up as an ensign upon his land.” Zechariah 9:16

Necklace of the Stars Wikipedia share-alike license

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THE END

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A HEAVENLY HOBBY

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.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:1_vermont_night_stargazing_panorama_2009.jpg

“Lift up your eyes on high, and behold Who hath created these things; that brings out their host by number: He calls them all by names by the greatness of His might, for that He is strong in power; not one faileth.” Isaiah 40:26

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vermont night stargazing panorama 2009 wikipedia share-alike lic.

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The above verse is a plea from God to look up at the Heavens and behold Who has created these things.

.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:New_york_times_square-terabass.jpg

In this busy work-a-day world, there are many very interesting things which can occupy one’s time and energy: hobbies, and careers, and entertainments and worries, and habits, to name just a few.

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But as the child of God devotes his or her life to God, there should be a jealous guarding of one’s own heart… “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” Proverbs 4:23.

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The Christian wants nothing to get in the way of running that Christian Race.

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 New York Times Square – terabass – Wikipedia – Share-alike License

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“AND WHEN YE SEE THESE THINGS…

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LOOK UP, LIFT UP YOUR HEAD”

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But having said this, there is one hobby which every ‘Noble Berean’ may take up, which only compliments the pursuit of the heavenly Prize.

.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Astronomy_Amateur_3_V2.jpg

Yes, Signs Of Heaven becomes a wonderfully rewarding hobby which, unlike many less meaningful hobbies, pays off with rich, heavenly rewards. Everlasting rewards!

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And unlike these people in this photo with equipment, all you need is fairly good vision, and a dark, starry night.

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And once a person really gets to know these heavenly messengers, it will become very apparent that the message connected with these signs is truly a message to be heeded.

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Thus will the Christian be able to share this message with others. And there are perhaps many nuances and hidden biblical truths to these signs which have yet to be discovered.

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Astronomy Amateur Wikipedia share-alike license

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“And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;” Luke 21:25

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ABOVE STAR-CHART – Summer Constellations with Two Turtledoves (Sagittarius) & Flower of the Field (aka: Scorpio) & The 12-Star Crown (aka: Corona Borealis) & The Cross-Scepter (aka: Ophiochus & Serpens) & Revelation 12 Woman (Ursa Major) & Arcturus Star – www.theheavensdeclare.net

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FIRST FIND ORION & 7 STARS

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The very first step in finding these many constellations, should be to find the two main constellations: Orion, and the 7 Stars (aka, The Big Dipper).

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These two constellations represent Christ (Orion), and His Church (7 Stars).

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And just as these are the easiest constellations to find, so too, the first place to begin studying the Bible is the Four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John).

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These four books present Christ and His Church, when He walked the earth, just as Orion and the 7 Stars represent Christ and His Church, as seen up in the heavens.

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Then, once you are comfortable finding these two constellations, you can begin to locate the next closest constellations, and so on.

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ABOVE PICTURE – winter constellations – Orion & Revelation 12 Dragon (Hyades, Pleiades, etc…) seen at Eagle Ridge – Signs Of Heaven.org – Not for profit use!once you are comfortable finding these two constellations, you can begin to locate the next closest constellations, and so on.

ABOVE PICTURE – 7 Stars Constellation as the Cross (aka Big Dipper) – winter – signsofheaven.org – not for commercial uses

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ANOTHER HEAVENLY HOBBY: PRAYER-WALKS

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Now if you’re fortunate enough to be able to go on nightly walks, and you live in an area where you can safely view the stars, here is another Heavenly Hobby which Signs Of Heaven endorses…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Starry_Night_at_La_Silla.jpg.

Why not combine star-watching with prayer, as you walk? What a great way to draw closer to God!

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It cannot be over-stressed, just how wonderful it is to walk under the dark canopy of Heaven, while lifting up one’s heart to our Heavenly Father! There is a closeness to God that cannot be described with words!

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(And even if you cannot safely do this, you can always do such prayer-walks in the daytime, in a safe place, such as a mall, which is every bit as effective, prayer-wise.

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And for those who are in confinement, one can view these starry signs on the Internet, or simply listen to Scripture on audio.

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Either way, all such may enjoy God’s richest blessings at this very time in which God is pouring out all Heaven’s treasures upon anyone willing to forsake all, and follow Jesus!)

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Starry Night at La Silla Wikipedia share-alike license

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THRICE-DAILY PRAYERS

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Marines_at_Prayer_by_Alex_Raymond.jpg.

Now of course, the Bible commands us to, “pray without ceasing“. The Christian is to constantly talk with our Heavenly Father throughout the day.

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But the Bible also holds up the godly life of Daniel, who, when captive in Babylon, still set aside three times daily, in which he knelt for special prayer.

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And furthermore the Bible also says… “Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and He shall hear my voice.” Psalm 55:17.

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Even those who are bed-fast or in a prison cell can begin to imitate Daniel in this way. And if one is fortunate to be able to walk, then this thrice-daily prayer regimen can be combined with three walks daily and even nightly.

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Marines at Prayer by Alex Raymond wikimedia public domain

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