Recently I watched a DVD presentation by a prominent Adventist speaker on current developments in the fulfilment of the end-time prophecies. Although the information presented was quite good, I was surprised and a bit frustrated that there was literally no mention of our need to physically prepare for what is coming! As I thought this over, I realized that this presentation is my no means unique. As a people, we typically only deal with the spiritual implications of the end-time prophecies and just talk about the need to prepare spiritually for Jesus’ second coming. Except within certain circles, rarely is the need for physical preparation even mentioned. With this in mind, let’s take another look at the Third Angel’s Message.
‘Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation."’ (Revelation 14:9-10a.)
This is the first sentence of the Third Angels Message. And whereas there are many definite spiritual implications to this warning, note that "the wine of the wrath of God," mentioned here is a direct reference to the Seven Last Plagues. "Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous: seven angels having the seven last plagues, for in them the wrath of God is complete." ‘Then I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, “Go and pour out the bowls of the wrath of God on the earth.”’ (Revelation 15:1 and 16:1. See also Revelation chapter 16) So whether the Mark of the Beast is something spiritual, something physical, or both, those who receive it will have physical consequence of the Seven Last Plagues being poured out on them.
What’s more, the first mention of the Mark of Beast is in Revelation chapter 13, which says, "He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, 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." (Verses 16-17.) The beast with "two horns like a lamb" and the "image of the beast" that it sets up, (see verses 11-17), will use economic sanctions in their attempt to force everyone to receive the Mark of the Beast. The penalty for not receiving the Mark will be losing our ability to "buy or sell" –again something that will be quite physical, and something that we need to be physically preparing for!
Brothers and sisters, don’t be deceived by our prominent speakers failure to emphasize our need to physically prepare for what’s coming. Study for yourselves, let the Holy Spirit impress YOUR heart. And then "be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves." (James 1:22.)