Joseph Herrin (11-23-08)
II Chronicles 16:7-9
At that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah and said to him, “Because you have relied on the king of Aram and have not relied on Yahweh your God, therefore the army of the king of Aram has escaped out of your hand. Were not the Ethiopians and the Lubim an immense army with very many chariots and horsemen? Yet because you relied on Yahweh, He delivered them into your hand. For the eyes of Yahweh move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His. You have acted foolishly in this.”
Many Christians do not realize how much they have been conditioned to look to man to deliver them in all of their difficulties and crises. Looking to God in a time of need is actually a rare thing among the people of God in this hour. Most Christians who reside in western nations live by sight, rather than by faith. They have adopted the thoughts and methods of the world in which they live, and they are quick to look to a worldly source of provision whenever a need arises.
It is very common for a Christian to look to man’s provision in almost all areas in which they might have a need. If they encounter a financial crisis, or have some pressing financial need, they will look to the bank for provision, taking out a loan, or using a credit card. If they have a health need they will look to the doctors, hospitals and insurance companies to take care of the problem. If they have a conflict with another individual, or are dealing with a corporation and need relief, or seek some compensation, they will hire a lawyer and pursue a resolution through the courts of man.
I do not deny that God will at times work through such means, but He does not always desire to do so. Yahweh desires that His children would habitually look to Him when they have a need. The people of God often do not see Him work sovereignly on their behalf because they do not ask, nor do they wait upon Him to discern His will in a matter.
Failing to develop the habit of looking to God, and leaning heavily upon Him when a need arises, will prove very costly in coming days. Many crises are about to beset the people of God. There will be trials of hunger, and shelter, and health, and safety, and in many other areas. Even now Satan is establishing patterns of behavior where men and women automatically look to their governments and other agencies of man to deliver them.
I was speaking today with Randy Simmons, and we were discussing the trials to come. A relative had made a comment recently that when the economy of America collapses that at least we would all be in the same boat, experiencing the same trials. This is both true and false. The circumstances of many will be very similar in that they will be living in a day of great distress. However, the experiences of individuals will vary greatly. Those who have been developing the habit of looking to God to meet their needs will be prepared to continue doing so. Those who have been looking to the arm of the flesh to meet all needs will not be prepared to trust God in the hour of distress.
When the world system ruled over by Satan offers men and women a solution, many who have been conditioned to find their provision in governments and the various agencies and institutions of man, will be drawn to continue looking to the arm of the flesh. Even when receiving aid requires that they give up their freedoms, and even leads them to violate their conscience, or disobey the witness of the Spirit of Christ, many will turn to man’s provision because they are not accustomed to exercising faith in God.
Satan has been working tirelessly to condition men and women to look to the government for all of their needs. We have seen this trend at the corporate level in recent days. When companies face financial distress they are increasingly turning to the government to bail them out, to provide some sort of lifeline, and to enable them to continue operating. In recent days we have seen the government rescue AIG, America’s largest insurance company. They have intervened in behalf of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the world’s largest mortgage underwriting companies. The government has made themselves indispensable to the financial industry, propping up banks and buying stock in them. Now the nation’s three automakers are looking to the government for succor.
Many are not aware that the same trend is occurring at an individual level. This past year the government of America took the unprecedented step of sending out stimulus checks to everyone who had filed a tax return. Never before had such an action been taken by the government. There was no uproar over the cost of the government taking this action. After all, people who are receiving “free money” are not likely to complain. What few discerned was that they were being conditioned to receiving a helping hand from government when they have a financial need.
There is now talk of a second stimulus package, and it is virtually assured that a Democratic controlled government will pass it. This past week, congress also extended the amount of time that people can receive unemployment benefits. Millions are receiving unemployment checks from the government, and this too is training them to look to the arm of flesh when they have a pressing need. On top of this there are millions receiving welfare checks. Millions more are receiving Social Security retirement checks, and Social Security disability checks.
Aside from direct financial support, there are millions of Americans who are enrolled in the government’s Medicaid and Medicare programs. These ones have become dependent upon the government to pay the cost of doctor’s visits and hospital expenses. Since President George W. Bush has been in office, the government has also expanded into the area of paying for prescription medicine. One might well ask what the rationale was in doing so. Traditionally the Republican party has been noted for an emphasis on limited government, and they have opposed the expansion of expensive government social programs. Satan has an agenda, and it involves leading people to a dependency upon the government for all things.
If you receive some form of government support, please do not take this writing as a criticism of your actions. What is written is intended to provoke consideration of the subtle dependence that is being ingrained in the minds of men and women. If you have not sought the counsel of the Father in these matters of dependence, I urge you to do so. If you find yourself facing some need in coming days, before turning to the arm of the flesh, wait patiently before the Father and ask for His counsel. Perhaps He will lead you to look to Him for some very practical need, and in doing so He will be building your faith and preparing you for days that will require even greater faith.
Few Christians realize what is occurring. They are simply swept along with the stream of events, seldom pausing to consider where the current is taking them. Few consider how much things have changed. When the United States was first established there were no government social programs. Welfare did not exist. Social Security did not come about until the 1900’s. The poor were taken care of by the churches, not the government, and health insurance was unheard of, much less something the government sought to be involved in.
The government being looked to as the supplier of all needs, and the source of all things necessary for life, is a recent phenomenon. It is also a disturbing trend for those who have read the Scriptures and are aware of what is prophesied for the end of the age. A people who are conditioned to look to the government of man for every need will be willing to surrender every freedom as long as they are promised food and shelter, peace and safety. National ID cards will soon be required in order to partake of the government programs, and not long after a mark in hand or forehead will be required to do things as basic as buying and selling.
How many Christians will embrace such things, trying to convince themselves that they are not that which is spoken of in Scriptures? They will embrace these things because they have habitually looked to man to supply all their needs, and they have failed to develop the habit of leaning upon God.
People of God, you need only read the daily news to see these things being played out. There is a great hope among many that Barack Obama will supply everything that the people want and need. After his election one woman was interviewed on national news. She was ecstatic, saying that now she did not need to worry about paying her home mortgage or electric bill, for Barack Obama would take care of everything.
Some may ridicule the woman as being naive, but her mindset is not uncommon. There is a very large percentage of Americans who are right now looking to the government to supply some need in their life, and the areas of dependence are expanding all the time. How many Christians are actively, daily, looking to God to meet the practical needs of life? The number is relatively small, and in the days ahead only those who are leaning upon the Father for all things will be able to pass through days of trial as overcomers. God has promised to take care of the needs of life.
II Peter 1:3
His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness…
My God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Yahshua.
“Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
God can be trusted to supply all the needs of His children. Why do Christians not look to Him to do so? Do you recognize the schemes of the enemy in these things? Do you understand that Satan is the god of this world, and he is the mastermind behind the government policies to foster a dependence upon the arm of flesh? Satan, and those men and women in league with him, are both creating the crises and then offering solutions which lead to a greater dependence and greater subjugation.
Is it reasonable to expect that Christians who have not looked to God for their needs will be well equipped to do so in a time of desperate need if they have not made a habit of trusting Yahweh for these things already? Many will find that their faith is deficient. They have for too long looked to the arm of flesh for all their needs. Fear and unbelief will lead many into the embrace of the beast system.
Then another angel, a third one, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up to the age of the ages; they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.” Here is the perseverance of the saints who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Yahshua.
John declares that it will require faith and perseverance to obey God in the hour when the mark is given that will be required to buy and sell. Will Christ find faith on the earth when He returns? Will He find this faith in you? Will you be able to entrust yourself to the care of God when you are forbidden to buy or sell anything without the mark? Have you been proven in these things already?
The mark of the beast actually speaks of a far deeper spiritual principle than most people realize. It is not just a physical mark required for commerce. In the book titled The Mark of the Beast, the following is written:
A great number of prophecy teachers are focusing upon carnal interpretations of those things written in the book of Daniel, in the book of Revelation, and elsewhere, but they are almost universally neglecting the spiritual truths to which they point. This is not wisdom, for it will lead no man to perfection. These carnal signs exist for the purpose of leading the saints to the spiritual realities that are signified in them, but for the most part there is no discerning of these greater things.
It is not my intent to deny that there will be a physical fulfillment to many of the things described in the apocalyptic Scriptures, though certainly much that is taught today is spurious and results in much injury to the church by leading the saints to focus upon false notions of man’s imagination rather than directing them to that which could be of real spiritual benefit to them. I am not desiring to deny that there may be a physical mark that will be given one day soon which will be required for men and women to buy and sell. What I do want to stress is that such a carnal fulfillment of the Scriptures is not nearly as important as the spiritual truth to which it points.
In the history of the church during the past 2,000 years there has not yet existed a physical mark of the beast which has been required to buy and sell, yet there have been innumerable saints who have received the imprint of the beast nature to which it points. In receiving this mark many men and women have been able to trade in all of the things of a fallen and corrupt world. Many more saints stand in danger of receiving this mark, and of bringing the wrath of God upon themselves, and they have no clue as to the true identity of this mark.
This book seeks to illumine the saints to the greater meaning of those things relating to the mark of the beast that they might arrive at the perfect will of God and escape the wrath that comes upon the children of disobedience.
It is important to discern the spiritual truths symbolized by those things written concerning the mark of the beast. If you have not yet read this book, you can find it here:
May you be blessed with peace and understanding in these days.
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063