My Screed (in progress)

My Screed
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During the past 25 years God has stood by me through many experiences that have forced me to examine the perspective of the world that most Christians never question.  Many times God used these events to chasten me, to guide me, to awaken me.  Sometimes, though without ill intent, I was not walking in His path, but rather seeking my own kingdom.  But with each event He has brought me towards His truth.

It is my Christian duty to warn those who have an ear to hear.  It is my purpose to share the truth that the Holy Spirit has revealed to me.  To help awaken those that consider themselves Christians, but whom the dragon has deceived.

It has seemed to me easier to keep my mouth shut (and I have done that for some time), because Christians don’t want to hear.  They are very comfortable in the world.  And who am I to present such a painfully unorthodox view.  I am not schooled in man’s religious institutions of higher learning.  It is interesting (and telling) that Jesus didn’t come to the religious leaders and try to convince them of their error.  When Protestants look back they see that point and relate it to the confusion created by the Roman Catholic Church at the time of the Reformation.  But they can’t seem to see themselves in the same position as the Jewish leaders of Jesus time or the Catholic leaders at the time of the reformation.

I too struggle daily to turn from the things of the world.  I am not sharing this as judgment of anyone.  I am open to hear opposition to this letter and the attached essay.  In fact I welcome and desire feedback; particularly in any area I might be deceived.  It is my heartfelt desire to know the truth of His Word and to fellowship with Him and my fellow bondservants through it.  If I have misunderstood some portion of scripture, I beg you the reader to set me straight.  If I am seeing things wrong, please show me, but don’t just dismiss me.

Further, readers should not take my word for anything set forth in this letter, but should verify it themselves through study of the scripture.

These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.  Acts 17:11


Okay, this is a screed.  A lawyer introduced me to the word.  I had been utilizing the concept in email dialogs we had been sharing.  I think he felt I should know the name for what I had been practicing.  According to a screed is "a long monotonous speech or piece of writing."  I intend to use this area to help you understand where I am coming from, to give you an overview of my understandings.  I'm sure what I am about to write is not new or unique, and that others have said the same thing before me, no doubt with more eloquence and charisma.  But I must present this before time escapes me.

Have you given much consideration to the state of the Israelite social and political system when Jesus came?  Have you thought about how you might have behaved when Jesus came on the scene?  You see, most people that profess to be Christians are not Christians at all.  There faith is in the structure and traditions of the church that they attend.  And for the most part that church is leading them in the wrong direction, teaching them that:

These are just a few of the ways that the PLC (Party Line Church) has lost its way.  Many of you are willing to see problems of other faiths, denominations, etc., but refuse to see the failings in your own.  To a great extent this proves my point that your faith is in the structure and tradition, not in the one true Savior.

The Mark

The "mark of the beast" as described in Revelation 13 is now in place.  While a national ID card or a chip implant may come to pass, it is not necessary to fulfill the prophecy of Revelation.

Revelation is the only book of the Bible that promises a special blessing to the reader of the book.

Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand. Revelation 1:3

I often hear people say things like “I don’t think we are supposed to understand the Book of Revelation.”  Clearly, based upon the verse above, we are to understand the Revelation given to John.  To do that, we must be able to put things into perspective.  We must be able to understand what John was writing about from the standpoint of a first century Christian.  How would he have described a future world, one like we live in today, a world as it has changed over the past 1900 plus years?  A world with cell phones, ATMs, space shuttles, checking accounts, credit cards, etc.  To do this we must allow ourselves to follow the words of the Apostle Paul:

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And 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 (emphasis mine)

There is also a curious thing in Revelation 1:3 above; it says “and keep those things which are written therein.”  This implies that we are to take some sort of action.  What action could that be?  If we are to be raptured before the events, or if we are somehow exempt from the consequences of potential deception, why would we need to hear or keep anything?

If you haven’t recently read the Book of Revelation I suggest you stop here and read it.  It will only take an hour or two.  I would encourage you to read it in the King James Version.

I began to write this letter to show the reader that the mark of the beast is not some future manifestation confined to a period of seven years, of which Christians will be exempt because of the Rapture.  While doing research I found the attached essay by Steve Miller.  This is a very thorough work, and I believe it would not be to anyone’s benefit for me to recreate the wheel.  It is in Adobe Acrobat format.  Click here to open, or right click on the link and select Save Target As to bring a copy to your computer.  It's a large document (1002KB) so it will take a while on slower connections.

Scripture clearly states:

For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 1st Thessalonians 4:16-17

This is not a rapture, but the Resurrection.  It is beyond the scope of this writing to deal with the Rapture in detail here, although some discussion will be necessary.  But the type (or foreshadow) of a pre-tribulation event is not to be found in scripture (that I have seen).  More as we go.

Why do we care about the Mark?

As Christians we should want to please God.  Remember Romans 12:1-2 that we read above.  Paul tells us that we should learn “…what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”  Do you as a Christian want to know the will of God?  In Revelation 14 we learn of the consequences of taking the mark and worshiping the Beast:

And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb. Revelation 14:9-10

Do you think it is the will of God that you take the mark of the beast?  Don’t you think that you should study to find out who or what the beast is, and what the mark might be?

The Rapture

Some teach that the issue of the mark isn’t really important to us, because we will be gone in the Rapture.  Let’s briefly look at that issue.

As I said before, I don’t see the biblical support for a pre-tribulation rapture.  I would suggest that if you haven’t studied the issue that you pursue it immediately.  Your understanding of the issue could have eternal consequences because you may not know the signs of the times.  The Jews misunderstood the prophecies concerning the first coming of the Messiah, and it has had profound consequences for them, both individually and as a nation.  I recently read a book by Marvin Rosenthal titled The Pre-Wrath Rapture of the Church and found it to be well presented and an excellent resource to help shed light on much of the confusion of end-time sequencing.  In a nutshell, it is his premise that the rapture takes place after the tribulation, and before the wrath (they are separate events).  Personally, I see the Resurrection but not a rapture.  While Rosenthal does not address it, we will see later in this letter that the seven-year time period promoted by much of the Protestant church known as the Tribulation might not be supported by scripture.

The biblical type (or at least one of them) for us being present during the tribulation (not raptured) is found in Daniel chapter 3.  Nebuchadnezzar, then king of Babylon, built an image of gold 60 cubits high and 6 cubits wide and ordered all to bow and worship the image when the music was played. Three followers of God (Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego) refused to bow or worship the image and were ordered by the king to be executed.  The three were placed in a furnace to be destroyed, but God protected them, and they were not hurt.

Daniel refers to the kingdoms in his prophecy as beasts and the kings as horns.  Scripture interprets scripture.  In Revelation chapter 13 we read of a two horned beast that causes all to worship the image of the beast.  The correlation between the events with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego being asked to bow and worship the image with Revelation chapter 13 should be clear.  They were not removed from the tribulation, but protected through it.

Another biblical type would be God bringing the Israelite nation out of Egypt.  He protected them from the plagues (tribulation), but did not remove them from Egypt beforehand.  More about the Exodus later.

Can a Christian take the mark?

Most will tell you no.  I hope they are right.  There are really several questions here.  Let’s look at them.

Who is a Christian?

Scripture tells us that by our fruit we will be known as Christian’s.  In other words, if there isn’t any Christian fruit, we aren’t Christians.  I am not here to judge whether there is any fruit in your life.  You must determine that.  Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal this to you (don't just assume there is, your fruit might be from another Jesus).  But that is not the only criteria.  There can be fruit without baptism; this is what Jesus condemned in the leadership of Israel.  The question becomes are you seeking “first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness” or your will and your kingdom?

As to the fruit, Jesus said this to His disciples:

Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen. And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. Mark 16:14-18

Yes, there will be signs of your belief (or lack thereof).  You can’t help it, the signs just follow you.  I’m not saying you should go drink poison.  It is more like this.

And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's porch. Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.

Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me. But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.  My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:  And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.  I and my Father are one. John 10:22-30 (emphasis mine)

Can a Christian be deceived?

Again, most will tell you no, and again I say I hope they are right.  But that isn’t what scripture reveals.

And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Revelation 13:7-8

Who are the saints?  Who is the Beast given power to make war with and to overcome?  Who are “all kindreds, tongues, and nations?”  There is ample scripture to support the concept that Satan and his minions have and continue to deceive Christians.  Satan deceived Adam and Eve, and they conversed with God directly.  Do not be fooled into believing that you cannot be deceived.

How do we keep from being deceived?  In the previous section we read from John chapter 10.  Let’s revisit that verse, because it has the answer.

Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me. But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.  My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:  And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.  I and my Father are one. John 10:22-30 (emphasis mine)

The Jews stood there hearing His voice but they did not follow Him, and they were deceived and wanted to stone Jesus.  It is not enough to here His voice, you must also follow Him.  Are you following Him, or have you been deceived into believing it is unimportant to follow, that all you have to do is hear His voice?  If you only hear His voice and don’t follow, what makes you different than the Jews described in this passage of John?

Will all Christians know that the mark is the mark?

I don’t believe so.  Based upon the scripture mentioned above (Rev 13:7-8), the beast is given authority to make war with the saints and to overcome.  I have had Christians tell me that everyone will plainly know they are taking the mark, but I don’t see that in scripture.  The wording of the chapter indicates that at least some of the saints will be deceived and overcome.

When God brought judgment on the world with the flood, only eight where taken into the ark and saved.  When God brought judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah only a three were saved. (Here are two biblical types against a pre-tribulation rapture.)  Lot tried to warn his sons-in-law, but they though he was joking.

But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. Corinthians 2:14

What does it mean to be in the world, but not of it?

This is where the world has blinded many.  Most don’t want to deal with the idea that they should get out of the world.  We have to physically exist on this earth.  The world is all around us, but we are not to be of it.  Most people confuse the world and the earth, believing that they are one and the same.  This is not the case.

…for the pillars of the earth are the LORD's, and he hath set the world upon them. 1st Samuel 2:8

The earth is the LORD's, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. Psalms 24:1

Most often, when the word world is used in scripture, it is referring to the inhabitants, the societies, the structures of man as a group or collective.  It is not referring to individual people and generally not the earth.  If someone is said to have turned their back on the world, you understand that they have turned from the societies, not the earth or necessarily individuals.  We know that the world cannot be the individuals, because we are instructed in 1st John:

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 1 John 2:15 NKJV

But we know we are to love our brothers and or neighbors.  The verse above doesn’t say “love not the evil things of the world” (that is the way most explain that verse).  It says “DO NOT LOVE THE WORLD OR THE THINGS IN THE WORLD.”  That is all inclusive.  It is your responsibility to discern what is “the world” and “the things in the world,” and what is of the Father.

If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.  Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. John 15:18-20 (emphasis mine)

Does the world hate you?  Are you persecuted?  In the selection above Jesus is not talking about foreign nations.  He was talking about those all around us.  This is made evident by the manner that Jesus and His apostles died.  Wake up!  Come out of the world!  Chose Jesus, hear His voice, and follow Him!


You have been raised to believe that you should love your country.  This perhaps could be true if your country is ruled under authority of God’s laws (and you are responsible to know if your country is following God’s law). 

Is your country being lead by Godly men?  Is your country seeking His kingdom?  Do your leaders acknowledge that "there is no power but of God" (Romans 13:1)?  Do your leaders know that their duty is to encourage good and punish evil, as defined by God?  I’m not asking if your country was founded on Godly principles.  I’m asking if any godly principles are evident today.  Do you consider “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” godly principles?  Perhaps as originally written they were.  But as they are expressed today, they are not.  Today “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” have evolved to be “if it feels good, do it!”  Jesus said “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness" (Matthew 6:33)

How do you think God feels when you say “I pledge allegiance to the flag” of an earthly ungodly nation while you have your right hand over your heart?  Is a pledge of allegiance to a flag idolatry?  Does it matter that it says “one nation under God” when the nation clearly is not?  Are you teaching your children that when the nation is not under God you CANNOT offer allegiance?  Or are you living your life under the doctrines of man making null the commandments of God?

Patriotism to the nations of the world is not a biblical concept.  How can you be patriotic and not love the things of the world?  Patriotism infers a love of country. "Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world…" (John 18:36).

The Bible teaches us that we are supposed to be citizens of His kingdom. "For our conversation is in heaven…" (Philippians 3:20).  The word conversation here is the Greek word politeuma (pol-it'-yoo-mah).  Strong's defines that word as a community or citizenship.  It is from this same root that we get the word "politics".  "Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;"  (Ephesians 2:19)  In many ways our love of country actually keeps us from understanding His kingdom.

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.  Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever.  Isaiah 9:6-7 NKJV

But what about Grace?

Many say “I’m saved by faith, not by my works!” (James said faith alone is not enough - "Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only." James 2:24)

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.  Ephesians 2:8-10

Grace is not license!  Grace is forgiveness.  If you are unwilling to recognize and turn from sin, do you really believe?  I’m not saying you will be perfect (I know I’m not, and I haven’t met anyone but Jesus that is).  But if you don’t think it is important to understand what sin is, because you are saved by grace, you have put Jesus words to no effect.

But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? ... Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias [Isaiah] prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.  Matt 15:3&6-9

Now read the verse below:

If ye love me, keep my commandments. John 14:15

Do you love Jesus?  Can you believe in Him and His gospel and not love Him?

In Matthew we hear Jesus saying "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.  Matthew 7:22-23

By the way, the word for iniquity in the Greek is anomia (an-om-ee'-ah) which means "illegality, i.e. violation of law or (genitive case) wickedness."  In the King James it is also used as "...transgress (-ion of) the law, unrighteousness."

The Beast

Revelation 13 is the primary section of the Bible that talks about the mark of the beast.  In that chapter we read:

Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six. Revelation 13:18

“Here is wisdom.  Let him that has understanding…”  At the beginning of the book we are told about a special blessing, and here we are told that this verse contains wisdom.  It would seem we should care.

More later.  Stopped 04/14/2005