2 Thessalonians 2:9-10 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders,and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
Mark of Self – the one you don’t want Revelation 13:17 and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. 18 Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.
Mark of God – the One you want Ezekiel 9:4 and the Lord said to him, “Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it.”
The other day at the gym, I saw a man with a tattoo on his forearm of a bar code with the words “Made in Rio” above it. It struck me, the mark we bear reflects by whom we are made, thus by what we are made of? The man with the tattoo was “made in Rio” – a part of that heritage, culture, beliefs, and family. Each of us is a part of one of two entities made up of a heritage, beliefs, and family …
Ultimately, there are two options by which you can “be made of”; self or God. There is no neutral ground. Either you are made of God or made of self, which is under the sway of “evil” (what is contrary to love) because it is counter to God. 1 John 5:19 What we are made of starts in our minds and in our wills – that is why the mark is on the head (mind) or on the hand (will). Revelation 13:16
Which mark do you bear? Take time to contemplate this question in the light of Truth. Many are deceived in thinking they bear the mark of God when it’s truly of self; for that is what deception is.
What makes up your thoughts? What do you meditate on? Ideas of people, religion, or philosophies of this world? In what do you really trust? What do your actions show?
Have you experienced a renewal of your mind, a mind transformed from seeking your will to God’s will? To be spiritually minded instead of carnally minded?
Whose will do you truly desire to do? Yours or God’s? Do you desire to do what you think God wants or do you spend time daily with Him to truly know Him and His will so you can walk in it?
Who do you serve truly?
To have the mark of man is to strive to serve this life. It means you live by the wisdom of the world. You trust this wisdom fulfill your desires and purposes. You try to be the best in and of this world. Your mind is filled with thoughts and beliefs of people, institutions, etc. It’s ultimately about serving you; of course this can wear many disguises because to outwardly do so would be “selfish”. But that is at its core. You know best. The world tells you if you don’t live according to its wisdom, then you won’t advance. You can’t “buy and sell” unless you follow its protocol, bear its mark, own its philosophies and follow them, that is the only way you’ll advance to becoming to who you want to be, which will ultimately fulfill you and be good, of course.
Let’s dig a bit deeper. You feel you strive to do what is right and good. Even if you are oriented to be a good person isn’t that really serving your own need to be good and feel justified? Jesus said only God is good. Luke 18:19 So why do people strive for to be good outside of God? Possibly it makes us believe there is a change. We are different. We are special. We will be in God’s good graces, though we aren’t seeking His goodness. The only true transformation comes by the hand of God and the indwelling of His Holy Spirit. It isn’t about our efforts but Him living and working through us. Many will be surprised in the end to see that they were really serving self, or the image of God constructed by self, but not God. They haven’t sought God to know Him to truly follow Him. How can you follow who you don’t know?
To be truly born again from above and to have a transformed mind is to “be made of” God. It means you have sought the truth to the extent to make a choice between self or God. Only the truth dispelling the lies of this world enables you to see past the deception the self will for what it is, death and destruction. With the knowledge of the truth of God and His ways, you let self go (true repentance) to follow God’s ways that bring peace, love, joy, rest, and life. Bearing God’s mark means you seek to live with God as Lord of your life, not you. Therefore, you seek to know God, know His ways and seek His counsel in all areas so you can walk in it. He is your first love. You meditate on the things of God. You want to advance and grow in the wisdom of God, not man, therefore you spend time seeking God’s wisdom not man’s. To seek God, to know, trust and live in and by Him is to be made of God.
Who owns you truly? Do you feel like a slave to this life? To the things of this life? How much time do you spend seeking God? How are you trying to advance in your life? All these things tell you who you are really serving, thus what mark you truly bear.