12:9 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… 13:4 And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who [is] like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? Revelation 12:9 & 13:4 (Emphasis supplied).
These two texts in Revelation let us know that those who worship the beast and receive his mark are really worshipping the Devil and receiving his mark. In last week’s blog we discovered the reason the Devil is able to accomplish this unbelievable feat is because all of mankind is born with his number (#6) and if we do not change that number we are powerless to resist his control over our lives (Please read or re-read Blog 3/29 for a more complete explanation of why I say this). When you understand this you also understand that there is only one thing that you can do to escape from the bondage of sin and that is to surrender daily to the convicting work of the Holy Spirit. Notice what Jesus said about the Holy Spirit’s convicting work in John 16:7&8:
16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. 16:8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: (Emphasis supplied).
In order for Jesus’ work of salvation to be effective the world had to be convicted of sin, righteousness and judgment. All three convictions are necessary for Jesus’ work of salvation to be effective. In the next three verses Jesus tells us why they are necessary. He says:
16:9 Of sin, because they believe not on me; 16:10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; 16:11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. (Emphasis supplied).
I emphasize the reason Jesus gives for the conviction of sin because it holds the key to the other two convictions. Once we surrender to the conviction of sin surrender to the other two convictions of righteousness and judgment will come naturally. Let me explain why I say this.
In verse 9 Jesus tells us that sin is to not believe in Jesus. In other words, sin is living in the flesh because all who live in the flesh do not trust God. No matter how hard we may try, as long as we live in the flesh we cannot trust or please God (please read Romans 8:1-13). Therefore, the first thing the Holy Spirit convicts us of is the fact that we are sinners by nature, hopelessly lost and there is nothing, absolutely nothing, we can do about it. Those who fight this conviction will also fight the conviction of righteousness and judgment: Those who surrender to this conviction will naturally receive the next two convictions because those who surrender to the conviction of sin will feel their desperate need of a savior and cry out:
O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? Romans 7:24 (Emphasis supplied).
Then the Holy Spirit will convict us of the righteousness of Jesus that is available to all who believe in Him because He is interceding in our behalf before His Father in heaven (John 16:10). Our conviction of sin will make the conviction of righteousness such good news (gospel) that we will run to Jesus in full surrender so He can deliver us from the death that living in the flesh condemns us to. Those who do this will experience what the apostle Paul describes in Galatians 2:20&21 where he says:
2:20 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. 2:21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness [come] by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
The reason I included the 21st verse because I wanted to point out a very important truth. Those who think they can achieve righteousness by obeying the law or “keeping all of the commandments” will surely receive the mark of the beast because they are trying to achieve righteousness by the power of their fleshly obedience. This is the same mistake Paul made until he was convicted of sin: When He surrendered to that conviction his testimony was:
3:7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. 3:8 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, 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: 3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
So here is the most important thing that we need to know about resisting the mark of the beast and receiving the seal of God. Those who do not surrender daily to the convicting work of the Holy Spirit will not have the power to resist receiving the mark of the beast because they still live by the number of his name: The number 6 (sinful flesh). Those who do surrender daily will have the power to resist receiving the mark of the beast because they are being sealed by God daily: They are being sealed by God daily because daily surrender to the work of the Holy Spirit’s convicting work of judgment gives Jesus the right to crucify the flesh (#6) so we can live by the power of His faith and His righteousness (#7) working in us (read Colossians 1:27-29).
Therefore, the key to resisting the mark of the beast and receiving the seal of God is daily surrender to the convicting work of the Holy Spirit because it gives Jesus the right to change the number of our character from sinful (#6) to righteous (#7): From walking in the power of the flesh (not I) to walking in the power of His Spirit (but Christ in me).
Next week I will go into more detail about the Holy Spirit’s convicting work of judgment and how it gives Jesus the right to change the number of our character from 6 (sinful) to 7 (holy/righteous). Until then I leave you with this portion of scripture to ponder and pray over:
12:31 Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all [men] unto me. 12:33 This he said, signifying what death he should die. John 12:31-33 (Emphasis supplied).