Thanks for your reply. It's understood that this is what's taught in the churches, and was even made into the Left Behind series of books and films, but all of that requires reading things into Scripture that aren't actually there.Thanks for your explanation, I like how detailed you are. Though, I will have to disagree. God specifically gives people during the tribulation a choice to submit to him, or take the mark. You take the mark, you are condemned. There is no hope for those with the mark in this world, or in the world (lake of fire) to come. You either starve, or get beheaded for your faith in Jesus, or you accept the mark FROM SATAN, and you endure Gods wrath upon those with it. "For if any man receives a mark on his hand, or on his forehead, he himself, shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is pulled out full strength into the cup of his indignation."
There's two parts of the tribulation. The first 3/5 years are steady, until they start enforcing the mark of the beast, which personally I believe will happen during the 2nd year, or 3rd year. This is true, because the remaining years are then Gods wrath upon those with the mark. Did you ever study the verses about the 7 bowls? Each angel will pour a bowl of Gods wrath, different punishments, upon the entire earth. Who will be protected? Only the 144,000 which are a separate group of people on earth; Gods people. Let me explain there's 3 groups of people. The Church, (Rapture) the tribulation saints (Die for their faith) and the 144,000 Israelites.
Near when his wrath occurs, the only people remaining on earth will be the anti christ, the beast, the ones with the mark and the 144,000 whom God will protect the 144,000 by sending his cherubs to seal his name on their foreheads. If you got the mark, and you still had hope, then why would God only protect the remaining of his people, AND talk about punishments to those who have not repented via those with the mark? Yeah, they're condemned.
God already chose his people. Everybody else will be condemned, and I don't say this out of pride or selfishness but of the truth. Some people as we speak ARE Gods people, but they just find out LATER hence why the tribulation saints die for their faith, because they weren't ready to accept Christ back then, so they do it during that time. Also, the tribulation saints die for their faith not only because of their faith, but because they knew better than to accept the mark. If you accept the mark, you're forced to renounce Christ, and it's game over for you. That's why each person who dies for Christ never ever ever took the mark, they knew better and they had the Holy Spirit in them.
We're in complete agreement that there will be 144,000 Israelites redeemed from the Earth. However that's it. No second or third groups of people. 144,000 only (Rev. 7:4-9, Rev. 14:1-3).
If you're looking for a physical mark of the beast, you need to look no further than the modern conveniences people are using to interact with the beast system. Credit cards. Online banking. PayPal. Facebook, Twitter, etc. Smart phones. Smart appliances and the like. Google. ALL of these are marks of the beast system. And all of this consumer, throw-it-away society is destroying the planet as well (Rev. 11:18).
All of these modern conveniences allow the beast system to track their users. Fusion centers have been set up all over the United States to gather information for the NSA on everything from phone calls to emails to what is said on social media and likely even here, on internet forums. Their reach is already global.
We are moving towards a cashless society, with many already fully on-board. If and when cash is completely eliminated, how will anyone buy or sell without the mark(s) of the beast? How many right now use their cell phones to buy everything?
Most people haven't connected the necessary dots with what we're actually being told in Scripture and what is going on in the world all around us. We've been conditioned to think that the grocery stores will always be open, and that the water and electricity will always be on. We can then talk ourselves into sitting around and do nothing while all of this evil goes on around us, and think of ourselves as "courageous" and "saved", because when the moment comes we're convinced we'll be ready for it. And it's all about that one moment.
Except it isn't. It's about every moment we've ever lived leading up to it, because we are ALL going to be judged on every one of them, particularly what goes on from now on, and what we do with what precious little time is left. The choices we make. The discipline we develop. The Love and Truth we share with one another.
We all have the opportunity right now to change our fates day by day, moment by moment. Learning to live genuinely God-fearing lives by keeping His Commandments and learning to destroy all personal selfishness is essential. Divorcing oneself as much as possible from all of these tracking devices is another.
There's no other way to train our minds to put Father (God) first, and everyone else ahead of our selves, as we've been Commanded to do. And there's no other way for us to show our faith other than with our actions.
That's The Way home. All other paths lead to The Fire.