Someone wrote to the Left Behind Message Board on
March 22, 2002 and asked some questions about the mark of the beast because he
was becoming confused about the subject. Here is the link to the letter that was
The following is Jerry B. Jenkins' admittedly
3/22/2002 9:32:25 AM
The Mark was forced upon Chang. In my
opinion, no believer, sealed by God, would even be able to CHOOSE to take the
mark of the beast for any reason. Both marks are irrevocable, so in essence,
it's first come, first served. That may seem flippant, but if you choose the
mark of the beast, you're toast. If you choose Jesus first, there's no
reneging on that.
The only way, again, my opinion and reflected
in the story, a person could ever have the mark of the beast after already
being a believer in Christ, would be forcibly against one's will.
So, in the story, Chang HAS the mark of the
beast, but he didn't choose or accept it, neither would he ever worship the
beast or his image.
Jerry B. Jenkins <><
Jerry established several
teachings in his reply to this person's questions
1) In Jerry's opinion, no believer,
sealed by God, would even be able to choose to take the mark of the
2) Both marks are irrevocable (not able
to be altered or changed) so whichever "mark" a person receives
first is the one that stays.
3) If you choose the mark of the beast
you're toast. (The person choosing this mark will go to the lake of fire
4) If you choose Jesus first, there's no
reneging (going back on) that. Jerry is actually teaching that a Christian is
automatically immune to being tempted to taking the mark of the
5) Chang has the mark of
the beast in the story, but he did not choose or accept it, neither would he ever worship the
beast or his image. (Jerry presented the idea that Chang's open profession of
subjection and loyalty to Antichrist was not an act of worship, but it
definitely was.) Chang was forcibly marked with the beast and then
went on to profess
loyalty to Antichrist, while inwardly being loyal to Jesus Christ. (This
is hypocrisy!) His profession of loyalty to the supreme potentate
(Antichrist) was so convincing that he passed the polygraph test.
6) The only way a person could ever have the
mark of the beast after already being a believer in Christ, would be to have it
forcibly administered against his will.
The "a Christian won't
even have the ability to choose to take the mark of the
beast" doctrine is an extension of the
unconditional eternal security doctrine (which I was taught and believed for
many years) far beyond what has ever before been taught in the church. I know, because I was taught for many years that if
anyone, even a Christian, receives the mark of the beast, he will be lost
forever and go to the lake which burns with fire.
All the eternal security teachers taught this.
. . until now. Now we have a paradigm shift brought to you by Dr. Tim
LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. This new doctrine is as follows: if you have received the Lord
Jesus Christ and are truly saved, you do not have the ability to commit
the soul-damning sin of taking the mark of the beast. Christians are unable to
choose to take the mark, so every Christian who is here during the Tribulation
and for some reason has not been able to flee as Jesus commanded us to do, is
automatically assured that he will not even be able to even make the decision to
take the mark of the beast. The Christian will not be able to
worship the beast or take the mark! While the rest of the world is being
tried, the Christian is exempt from this experience according to this mark of
the beast paradigm shift!
This teaching guarantees the Christian that he
will not even have the ability to worship the beast or take the mark of
the beast! Does God overcome a Christian's will at this present time so he
will not sin against him? Many Christians who have called upon the name of
Jesus Christ to save them still love the world. The Bible says that
friendship with the world is enmity with God; and God considers these unfaithful
Christians adulterers and adulteresses. Why is God not making them unable
to love the world right now? Whoever is a friend of the world is the enemy
of God. (See James 4:4) Is God making Christians unable to
commit spiritual adultery now? Then why would he suddenly completely
change character and render the Christian into a virtual robot--incapable of
succumbing to the fearful temptation of saving his earthy life by taking the
mark of the beast?
Paul told Christians that the unrighteous would not
enter into the kingdom of God. He did not tell them, "First
come, first served. If you get saved before you commit these sins
then you are all set. There is no reneging on the seal of God, so if you
commit the following sins you are all set if you come to Jesus first. The seal
of God cannot be revoked."
Paul said no such thing! But he did speak
of a seal that those who belong to God have: "Nevertheless the foundation
of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And,
let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity." 2 Tim.
2:19 Nowhere does the Bible teach that being sealed by God renders
iniquity that is continued in inconsequential because the seal is irrevocable!
Does the Bible teach that God will render
Christians incapable of certain sins? Does it teach that God takes
over the will of the Christian and keeps him from being able to commit
unrighteousness? Let us look at some things Paul told Christians they must not
be deceived about--that those who do these things will not enter into the
kingdom of heaven: "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the
kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor
adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor
thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall
inherit the kingdom of God." 1 Cor. 6:9,10
Christians can be unrighteous if they
are not alert and sober because their adversary the devil, "as a roaring
lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
Whom resist stedfast in the
faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that
are in the world." 1 Pet. 5:7-9
The follower of Jesus must resist the devil and
remain steadfast in the faith. God does not tell the Christian that
he will resist for the Christian so the Christian will be unable
to be devoured! The Bible instructs the Christian to "Submit
yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."
There is no Bible teaching that God has ever
resisted the devil so the Christian does not have to, but Tim LaHaye and Jerry
B. Jenkins teach the Christian will be unable to fall into the snare of
taking the mark of the beast! Christians have the ability to commit fornication,
idolatry, adultery, be effeminate, abuse themselves with mankind, steal, covet,
get drunk, revile, and extort (and they will receive the promised
non-inheritance of the kingdom of heaven if they do not repent), but they will
be unable to take the mark of the beast and declare allegiance to Antichrist?
(Remember that Chang did declare allegiance
to Antichrist, even though this was thinly disguised in the storyline.)
During the Tribulation, everyone who wants to
legally exist must take the Luciferic Initiation which includes taking the mark
of the beast. The Christian will be forced to go into hiding and God will
provide for those who have this promise from Him. Many will
be delivered up by betrayers (who will be rewarded for doing this) during this
time of great testing for the entire world. The Christian who is delivered
up must exercise patience in great tribulation by keeping the commandments of
God and the faith of Jesus. (Rev.14:12) Nowhere does the Bible teach
that God ever makes a Christian unable to sin, and certainly it does not
teach that a Christian is unable to take the mark of the beast. In fact
the opposite is taught in the Holy Bible.
The "a Christian is unable to choose to
take the mark of the beast" false teaching perpetrated on the Christian
church in both fiction and non-fiction formats by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B.
Jenkins is not in the Bible and is a soul-damning snare, because it sets
the Christian up to think that he he will not have the capability
of committing the unforgiveable sin of taking the mark of the beast!
This places the Christian into a spiritually disadvantaged state for the
very time when
Satan will have more power than ever to make war upon the saints and overcome
them! Overcoming the saints means much more than taking their lives.
It means deceiving them into giving up their allegiance to the Lord Jesus
A Christian who has been told that he will not have to be concerned
about the mark of the beast--that God will take care of it for him and make him incapable
of this soul-damning sin--is not going to be hasting to get himself
spiritually ready for the test above all tests! He will be apathetic
because he has been told that he will not be here for the mark in the first
place, and he comforts himself that if he does end up being here when the mark
is required, then God will render him unable to take it!
The Christians who are faced with the mark of
the beast must get victory over the mark! But the victory over the mark goes
together with with getting "victory over the beast, and his image, and
over his mark, and over the number of his name." See Rev. 15:2 The
ones obtaining this victory, who stand on the sea of glass having the harps of
God, get victory over all these things, not just some of them! We
are more than conquerors through him that loved us. We conquer sin
and overcome through the Lord Jesus Christ. He does not overcome
sin for us, independently of our wills, the way the authors are falsely and
dangerously teaching the readers of the Left Behind series about a believer
being unable to choose to take the mark of the beast.
The Bible tells the Christian what he needs to
know to be sure he does not worship the beast and take his mark. Let us look at
Revelation 14:11-12: "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."
Those who do not take the mark are saints with
patience. Patience is defined here as keeping the commandments of God and
the faith of Jesus. Patience is not passive but active obedience on the
part of the saint exercising his will in the power of the Holy Spirit to keep
the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. Patience and faith is what
the saint must exercise in tribulations and persecutions. See 2 Thess. 1:4
Patience is an attribute that comes by keeping
the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus Christ so that one is so resolute
in his devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ that no matter what happens, he will
endure steadfast in the faith. It is certainly not God taking over
the will of the Christian so he is unable to take the mark of the beast.
Patience is something the character Chang was depicted as not having, and
the things he did as a result of this lack of patience were catastrophic, even
though the authors presented these failings as being par for the course for a
Christian during the Tribulation.
Chang did not keep the commandments of God and
was not ready when the time came for him to confess the Lord Jesus Christ.
He did not confess his loyalty to Jesus Christ to his father and so when he was
dragged in to be marked, Antichrist's people considered him one of their own and
marked him on command. Later, when Chang was faced with the "loyalty
test" to prove he was truly one of Satan's top men in Antichrist's palace,
he failed the Lord Jesus Christ and denied him before men by answering
"yes" to the questions they gave him that were designed to reveal if
he was indeed loyal to Antichrist. He did not confess Jesus Christ, but he
did confess Antichrist. Of course all this gross sin and lack of
patience was rationalized and glossed over in the book, Desecration, thereby
giving the reader the spiritually fatal impression that going "along with
the program" was really in Chang's best interest and the will of God, who
he was supposedly serving.
Do not be deceived by the "believers are unable
to take the mark of the beast" paradigm shift the Left Behind Series'
authors are bringing into
the church through their fiction and non-fiction books! God does not
take over the Christian's will and render him unable to take the mark of
the beast anymore than he renders that Christian unable to commit physical or
spiritual adultery! The Christian must choose whom he will serve, and God
does not do the choosing for him. We must stand fast in the faith, stand
fast in the Lord, endure to the end, continue in his goodness and keep ourselves
in the love of God. This is the patience of the saints.
God gives Christians a way out of sin, but he
must take it. The way out of taking the mark of the beast if one has not
been able to flee and is faced with this test, is patience in tribulation
and enduring to the end. Yes, God works in a Christian to will and do of
his good pleasure, but God does not overcome a Christian's will and render him
incapable of sin.
See also: Can
a True Christian Willfully Reject God and Take the Mark of the Beast?
return to: Exposing
False Doctrines in the Left Behind Series