The phrase “once saved, always saved” is at the heart of one of Christianity’s oldest and deepest running controversies. It is the belief that a person’s salvation is a permanent condition. Many Christians, including Catholics, commonly deny this doctrine. Several Protestants, including Southern Baptists, embrace this belief. Still others fall in between holding to the argument that if one’s salvation experience was indeed genuine, then that genuineness will be manifested in a secure salvation. In other words, if you backslide you were never truly repentant in the first place. Though I myself am a Southern Baptist, I have challenged this doctrine on the new Babylon Mystery Orchestra CD in a very big way. I have suggested that the infamous “mark of the beast” can, and will, be forced on people against their will. That especially includes Christians. I don’t make this assertion carelessly.

The first person to espouse the idea of “once saved, always saved” was John Calvin in the mid-sixteenth century. Even Martin Luther didn’t subscribe to the theory. Prior to Calvin, the unanimous consent of the early Christians was that a person is capable of losing his salvation by committing mortal sin, as in this scripture:

1 John 5:16-17 If any man see his brother sin a sin [which is] not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it. All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death.

In the first century, the Didache, commonly known as the Teaching of the Twelve Apostles, said “Watch for your life’s sake. Let not your lamps be quenched, nor your loins unloosed; but be ready, for you know not the hour in which our Lord comes. But you shall assemble together often, seeking the things which are befitting to your souls: for the whole time of your faith will not profit you, if you be not made complete in the last time.” -Didache 16 {A.D. 70]

In the second century, Irenaeus wrote, “To Christ Jesus, our Lord, and God, and Saviour, and King, according to the will of the invisible Father, ‘every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth, and that every tongue should confess’ [Phil. 2:10-11] to him, and that he should execute just judgment towards all. The ungodly and unrighteous and wicked and profane among men shall go into everlasting fire; but he may, in the exercise of his grace, confer immortality on the righteous, and holy, and those who have kept his commandments, and have persevered in his love, some from the beginning of their Christian course, and others from the date of their penance, and may surround them with everlasting glory.” -Against Heresies 1:10:1 [A.D. 189]

Biblically speaking, arguments can be made for all three positions. Advocates of the “once saved, always saved” position often point to these scriptures:

EPHESIANS 4:29-30 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

ROMANS 8:37-39 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

JOHN 10: 26-30 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.

Although there is a lot to be said for the comforting certainty that this approach to salvation provides it does harbor some fatal flaws. The implication is there that no MAN is able to pluck a person out of Gods hand. But we should remember this as well:

Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Ahh yes, problem number one. It is not humans that are the problem here. It is the spiritual powers that control the world unseen. Although it would appear Paul is trying to console us that these powers cannot come between us and God in the ROMANS passage, I believe this is a tribute to the power of God and should not be misconstrued as a perpetual condition. To say that you can not lose your salvation would be the equivalent of saying that no one can pull you out of a car moving at 100 mph! Of course they can’t! But you CAN jump out on your own. There in lies the the great problem. There are those who, by deception or the lures of earthly reward might convince you to do the equivalent of jumping out of the moving car. This is what I propose. You can be led by the actions of spiritual beings and their earthly ambassadors to willingly and perhaps even unwillingly extinguish your salvation. I return to the most dangerous verses in the entire Bible:

REVELATION 14:9-11 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.

This is a passage that, unfortunately, does not allow for any misinterpretation. Absolutely everyone who receives this mark is entitled to the wrath of God. It therefore would be very important for our favorite fallen angel to find any and every way to get this mark on everyone. Much has been written of how this mark could come about. Things like implants that can be scanned much like a credit card but that could also contain all your medical and financial records. We already know that animals are implanted with these types of devices. Such an identification implant would be quite useful not only for eliminating all currency into one digital form, but it would also make quite a handy tracking mechanism. Remember, only God is omniscient. The other spirit beings have to find a way to keep track of you while operating in the earthly realm. It will not be that difficult to convince the non-Christian world to accept this “mark” in the name of modernization or even simple “law and order.” But what about….Christians?

I have always believed that the pre-tribulation rapture doctrine was one of the methods used by Satan to deceive people into taking his mark. By convincing Christians that they are “entitled” to be removed from the earth prior to the events of the great tribulation he essentially has them lowering their guard for these forthcoming events. If you believe you aren’t going to be here for it then perhaps you will simply view this mark as a form of social and economic identification, and therefore say to yourself: “this can’t be the mark of the beast since I am still here.” And of course you are instantly eternally doomed. I do believe this is the purpose of the pre-tribulation rapture doctrine, and it will work with many people, but there is more.

Many Christians believe that if someone put a gun to their head and said “take the mark or die” that they could easily choose death. If only it would be so easy. I propose an alternate probability. One that is far more vicious, violent and pure evil. For I believe that the entire tribulation and all the power at Satan’s disposal will be aimed at Christians and Jews at this time, and we will be here for it.

It’s one thing to deceive you into taking the mark, but first the question must be asked:can it be forced upon you? From a physical standpoint the answer is obviously yes. Scientists (not the toughest of people) regularly “tag” animals like elephants and tigers with relative ease. Shooting them with a tranquilizer suddenly makes the most physically challenging animals on earth very vulnerable. Since humans are much less physically imposing than tigers, we can easily say that the enforcers of the Anti-Christ’s “New World Order” will have the technology at their disposal to actually capture and coerce the unwilling to accept the mark.

Now many people will argue that since the mark was not voluntarily accepted that it therefore will not count against you. I would not be so sure about that but if you truly believe that, it will be one of the greatest challenges to your faith you will ever have. There are these verses in the book of Matthew that have always bothered me.

MATTHEW 18:7-9 Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh! Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast [them] from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast [it] from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.

It seems to me, that Jesus is giving you the prescription for saving yourself from this very problem. Would it not stand to reason that the most offensive thing you could possess on your body would be the “mark of the beast?” It therefore stands to reason that if you find yourself involuntarily in possession of it then you KNOW what you must do. Considering this mark is said to be most often associated with the forehead, and we do possess the technology to make this mark unremovable (safely), it would appear that there is only one way to regain your acceptability in the sight of the Lord. Yes, I am suggesting that you just may have to ask someone else of equal faith in God…to remove your head. Many Christians out there will say this could never happen and isn’t true but you must always remember that Satan is the instigator of confusion and deception. It may well be Biblically true that the mark forced upon you will not separate you from your salvation. But will you take the chance? Many of you will say that the Lord will protect his own and keep this situation from happening much like he kept Noah from drowning. By simply keeping these people away from you. That may also be true but to that I would also say this:

MATTHEW 7:21-23 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 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.

What kind of Christian is Jesus addressing here? He is stating that many people who call themselves Christians are in fact not. Would not this kind of person be vulnerable to a forced application of the mark of the beast? And consider this: Would such a person who suddenly found him or herself forcibly abducted and marked likewise be blessed? What? Blessed you say!! Yes, and here is why. Isn’t it quite possible that many of these people actually believe they are Christians? That they are right with God, only now to find themselves cursed by him? The liberalizing of modern day Christianity is to me the single biggest CAUSE of the tribulation. That’s right I said CAUSE. I firmly believe that if the faith of Christians remained strong then the tribulation would not even get started. Why? Because like in the story Sodom and Gomorrah. God waits until the last possible moment before he acts in judgement. Weak Christianity is the cause of the tribulation. Or as Paul said:

2 TIMOTHY 4:4-5 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

2 THESSALONIANS 2:3-4 Let no man deceive you by any means: for [that day shall not come], except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

Here we see a weakening of faith being tied together with the arrival of the very personality that is going to be behind these events. Therefore I challenge you that a lot of people who think they are faithful Christians actually are not. These people have imperfect or just plain false knowledge about God and are therefore vulnerable to being forcibly marked by the Anti-Christ. However, they should also have knowledge of this mark, and once it has been placed on them, they just may find the humility to pursue the truth of God and they may then have the courage to remove the mark. Therefore it could be viewed as a blessing or a last chance for those who may not have known better? Because of the mark they can correct their situation and will now not be among those who Jesus tells to depart for he never knew them. Therefore…a blessing!

There is also another thing to consider. If you have the mark forcibly applied to you, whatever the state you believe your salvation to be, you will be tempted to use the mark and interact within the society. Think about that one a lot. Once the mark is applied, you will then have access to your bank accounts and medical records that you did not have without it. If you are sick and seek medical attention, you have voluntarily USED the mark. If you are hungry and go to a McDonalds and purchase a meal, you have USED the mark. It matters not at that point whether you willingly accepted it. Perhaps the spiritual ramifications of a hamburger were never so monumental!

So I have presented a case for certain people who could be forcibly marked. Remember the idea is to sew confusion and deception in the world. If I can think of these things, Lucifer is far ahead. But I have saved perhaps the worst of it for the last. What of the children?

For the pre-tribulation rapture believer this comes down to the question of whether or not the children of the non-Christians will be taken. It is pretty much given that the children of Christians would go with their parents. Many, including Jack Van Impe, say that ALL the children of the earth would be taken in the pre-tribulation rapture. However I would contend that this could not be the case. As I argued in the Axis of Evil Essay on Islam, Jesus called himself the “good shepherd” and as such he would be entitled to take that which belongs to him in his rapture. The children of his sheep certainly would qualify as belonging to him. But the children of other shepherds belong to those shepherds. If Jesus was willing to “render unto Caesar that which was his” would he not have to allow the other shepherds to claim that which is theirs?

EXODUS 20: 5-6 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

I believe that these two verses resolve the issue soundly. The children of non-Christians will be “left behind” because those without Jesus to intercede on their behalf are to be judged by the law…and the law is clear.

But wait! Haven’t I established that I believe the very idea of a pre-tribulation rapture is a Satanic plant within the world of Christendom for the purposes of deception? Therefore if there is no pre-tribulation rapture…what of the children?

MATTHEW 24:19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!

This verse should bother you a lot as it comes right in the midst of Jesus describing the events leading up to his return. He specifically goes out of his way not to mention the children, but their parents. What could that be all about? Yes, it’s that bad and I am going to say it.

What would you do if you were Satan? Have you ever asked yourself that question? Now is the time for you to do it. Even if you were willing to execute someone who refused to take the mark of the beast, would you be willing to kill their children? Of course not! You will take him or her alive into “state custody” where they will receive the mark, and with it, the promise of eternal damnation. It is the responsibility of the parents of those young children to see that their offspring are not captured…alive. Am I suggesting that Christians living through these events will kill their own children? For some, this will be their only option. I hate to offend the sensitivity of many of you Christians out there (Ok, actually I don’t but I don’t want you to think I am enjoying this), but its time to spiritually “grow up” and see the world for what it truly is. REVELATION 14:9-11 does not allow for exceptions. And before you go howling away about how God would never allow such a thing remember: God is not the one doing it to you! Satan is!! And Satan is mocking God!! Consider this example:

GENESIS 22:1-12 And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. And he said, Take now thy son, thine only [son] Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him. Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off. And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you. And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid [it] upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together. And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here [am] I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where [is] the lamb for a burnt offering? And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together. And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood. And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.

It is a long passage but an important one. Most people will tell you that God was testing the faith of Abraham. Certainly Abraham passed the test since he was willing to sacrifice his own flesh and blood son, as God had requested. But God did not allow him to follow through with the sacrifice. Seeing that his faith was true, God spared him from this terrible duty. However, it is not God who is insisting on putting an identification mark on the people of the earth in the last days. God has no need of a tracking mechanism. I tell you Satan will mock God and force you to prove your faith in those days. He will not show mercy and you will have to be stronger than him.

Keep in mind that this will actually help the cause of Christian persecution at this time. The newspapers will be full of stories about how Christians kill their own children rather than submit to what they believe is a benign example of modern technology designed to help preserve peace and security. Since persecution of Christians is the ultimate goal of both Satan and the Anti-Christ, it’s a virtually fool-proof plan. And it has already been done in the past.

In the previous “Axis Of Evil” Essay on Islam, I suggested that Islam was in fact a religion of Satanic origin. Have you ever heard of the Janissaries? Lets look at them. The Janissaries became famous for their military skills, but also because they were staffed by youths conscripted from Christian families in the Balkans. After the conscription they were defined as the property of the sultan, and converted to Islam. That is right, Christian children were taken from their parents and raised as Muslims and as soldiers they were charged with fighting against the Christian society from which they were stolen. It’s not the only time that Islam has stooped to this type of behavior. During the Armenian Genocide of 1915-22, Armenian children were taken from their families and likewise raised as Muslims. Do you really think the Anti-Christ will do less when it come to the children of Christians in his time? The children apprehended by this “Beast” will certainly have the mark placed upon them and be forever separated from God. Will you be willing to risk that with your own child? What will you be willing to do to prevent it? How far will you go? Now tell me, how strong is your faith? I tell you “The Great Tribulation” will be this bad…and even worse.

Sidney Allen Johnson (A.S.C.A.P.)

Welcome to the free world, upon you I will feed
I’ve come to place a mark on you that bonds your soul to me
Don’t act so surprised, you’ve known it all along
This day would come when I will make you choose where you belong

Come drink the wrath! Of Your God
Come drink the wrath of your God

Will your hand offend you? Or will it be your head?
Great or small, rich or poor you’ll all be just as dead
Do you have the strength, to free you from my vice?
Can you suffer death on earth to enter heaven’s life?

Come drink the wrath! Of your God
Come drink the wrath of your God

Do you love your children? I’ll put you to the test!
Is your love strong enough to put your child to death?
No Jesus, these I will not kill
Once my mark is on their head…you will!

Come drink the wrath! Of your God
Come drink the wrath of your God

Now listen up you Christians
I’ve got a special plan for you
My secret is sedation
I’ll get my mark of death on you

Welcome tribulation, is it everything you fear?
You’ll kill for life and kill for love and all that you hold dear
Don’t act so surprised, you’ve known it all along
This hour would come when I will drag you down where you belong

Come drink the wrath! Of your God
Come drink the wrath of your God
Come drink the wrath! Of your God
Come drink the wrath of your God

Lift your glass, raise it high
Now your soul is mine

May 4, 2008 – Sunday


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