Many, many moons ago there lived a wise farmer who noticed that wild boars roamed freely in the woods behind his farm. "If I could just capture some of those wild boars, I could fatten them up and have them work for me," he mused.
The wild boars proved to be quite easily frightened and were very suspicious of any advances by the farmer. The farmer was a very patient man, though, and knew the rewards were great if he could just gain the boars' trust. The farmer set out with his plan to tame the beasts.
He took corn and threw it out in the woods where the boars could safely feed under the cover of darkness. Gradually, as the boars grew less cautious, the farmer scattered the corn in a pasture located just a few yards from the farmhouse. Next, the farmer started building a fence around one side of the pasture. That night, the boars noticed this fence with some curiosity but were eager to eat the big pile of corn the farmer had left them. A few nights later, the boars noticed a second side of the fence had been erected and then a third, but the corn inside was so tempting and delicious that they gobbled it up boldly, forgetting any apprehension they had about the fence.
Then one night the boars saw that there was a fence around the entire pasture with a large open gate leading into where the corn was piled. Some boars became suspicious and would not go in at the gate. A few of the bolder ones did go in, and after several nights, when no harm came to them, the others decided to join in the feast. Finally one night as the boars were busy feeding, the farmer softly walked up to the gate and closed it...
I told you that story so I could tell you this one . . .
Once upon a time, not so many moons ago, some great men laid down their lives to establish a country where the people could be free. But there were certain farmers of men who wished to fatten up these people and use them for their own -benefit. The farmers were very patient for they knew it would take many years to break down the strong Christian principles of these men. The strength of these people was in their love of God, their love for their neighbor, and their united family kingdoms. These farmers of men set out with the subtlety of a serpent to pervert the liberty wherewith Christ had made the people free. They wished to make the people weak and beggarly so that they would desire again to be put in bondage to men.
These farmers of men, who were really beasts in disguise, set out with their plan to tame these freedom-loving people. Wars from within the states, and wars from without, along with economic chaos and family degradation were perpetrated by the beast system. These crises were the beast's way of coaxing the people to come a little closer to it. By exploiting the people's fears, the weaker ones looked to the beast's promises of care and protection.
When the newfangled horseless carriage became the rage, there was much speculation about the dangers of this high-speed contraption. The beast, capitalizing on the moment, persuaded the people to seek it out to establish safety guidelines for this new hazard of the road.
The beast devised a licensing plan to establish driver competency and a registration scheme for marking vehicles. All this safety and protection would be afforded drivers for a very nominal fee. In return, the beast marked them and gave them its card and some metal plates for their car. These identification marks were for the mutual benefit of everyone who sought out the beast's care and protection.
A few years went by and then a great depression sent the economy plummeting to rock bottom. While some turned to God for His promise to take care of their every need, many others liked what the beast said.
The beast was promoting, with much fanfare, a "wonderful" new program that would take care of men in their old age. Some people were very suspicious of this government giveaway scheme. But, like the first wild boars who ventured into the farmer's fenced pasture, it wasn't long before a few workers started reaping the benefits from this new insurance plan. Several years went by and there were very few who had not been induced to go through the gate to participate in this planned bounty. As they entered at the gate, the beast gave them its mark.
The beast knew it could not have its herd running around with the power of spending real wealth. It spoke sweetly to them in a fatherly way. "You don't ever want the economic chaos of another depression, do you?" (The beast spoke with a forked tongue for it had instigated the chaos.) "Now, just trust me," said the beast. "What you need is an elastic monetary policy that will smooth out the economy and eliminate the boom and bust cycles. Just give me those heavy precious metals you've been carrying around and I will give you lightweight paper and plastic to spend. Just use your mark to put this paper in my depositories and you will receive periodic statements of your standing."
Now I want you to know that the farmer who tamed the wild boars took very good care of them and they were fed well and grew up fat and sassy. But they gave up their chance to roam freely in the forest. They were marked and controlled by men.
Now the farmers of men, the beast system, take good care of its once free people, too. The beast lets them work and roam quite freely as long as they carry its identification marks with them. And the people don't even mind the little marks. Why, they are backed up by some of the best arguments men have ever devised. In fact, the beast is so cunning, the people think they are still free. When the beast requires that they periodically come inside the gate to have their hides sheared, they do so dutifully. And what happens if one of these men decides not to wear the beast's marks? Then the beast's agents are sent out to prod the man back into the gate where he is locked up until he falls back into the beast's favor.
Now the people don't even think about the marks, such a small inconvenience, they say. But let me remind you - they are still marks - marks made by men. They show ownership by the beast who issued the marks. Do you really think the people who have been marked and numbered in the beast's book, also will be written in the Lamb's book of life? For it is written, "Ye cannot serve God and mammon." Matthew 6:24
"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." John 10:27,28
Yesterday, the people looked to a great and mighty God for their every need. These righteous people had no use for a beast that offered to take care of them in their old age or who wanted to grant them a privilege to travel. Someday, the people of today will wake up and find they have been lured inside the gate. When that happens, the beast better hope it has built a very strong fence.
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: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. Revelation 14:9-12