Are We Living in the End Times?
and The Mark
My purpose in citing Tim LaHaye's statements
about the mark of the beast in his non-fiction book, Are We Living in the End Times? is to prove that his nonfiction teachings parallel what happened to
his fictional character, Chang, in The Mark. Readers of Tim LaHaye's and Jerry B. Jenkins' works must know that the Bible rules out forgiveness
after one receives the mark of the beast.
Rationalizations should never be applied to
the Word of God, but Tim LaHaye is doing just that.
For example, take note of the wording in
"Scripture makes it clear that receiving the mark of the Beast is no accident but the result of a deliberate choice made during the Tribulation. That choice involves rejecting the teaching of the two witnesses, the 144,000 Jewish witnesses, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (Joel 2:28-32), and the angel with the everlasting gospel (Revelation 14:6-7)" Are We Living in the End Times? page 196.
Let us pause for a moment and recall the Chang scenario as related in The Mark. Chang did not deliberately choose the mark of the beast and he did not not reject the preaching of the gospel. But he had the mark of the beast...and according to the storyline, was still saved.
The authors portrayed Chang as retaining
his relationship with God because he did not deliberately choose the mark of the beast:
"I didn't choose the mark. It was forced on me."-Chang (The Mark, page 354)
If a person receives the mark of the beast without deliberately choosing it, then
he is still saved? In Chang's case that is exactly what happened!
These semantics are deadly and could cause many to
receive the mark of the beast if they are not thoroughly exposed. The Bible does not make provision
a person to take the mark of the beast unwillingly or to receive forgiveness
after he takes it. The Bible is forthright regarding the matter of the mark of the beast:
"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..."
Tim LaHaye's use of the word, "accept" has placed an unbiblical question mark into the minds of his readers. He wrote,
"Those who accept the mark will be cast into hell 'and shall be tormented with fire and brimstone...'"
Tim LaHaye's use of the phrase, "accept the mark" is confusing many. The Bible says "and receive his mark." One's heart attitude of being accepting or defiant about taking the mark will not sanctify taking the mark of the beast. Chang did not choose or willingly accept the mark of the beast but he was put in a position where he had to confess Christ and denounce the beast and he did NOT do this! He merely remained silent and tried his best to physically resist the implantation of the mark. Because he did not
verbally choose to accept the mark and it was given to him against his own will, the authors had him retain the seal of God and his salvation. This
The Bible does not provide an "out" for those who do not confess Jesus Christ and end up with the mark of the beast.
"Concerned believers sometimes worry that they might somehow inadvertently receive this devilish mark. But this is impossible. First, we should remember that our God is living and merciful; He proved that forever in the gift of His Son. We should see Him as our heavenly Father who stands at the gate of heaven, letting men and women into His paradise, not trying to keep them out. It would be totally out of character for Him to send someone to hell for accidentally standing in the wrong line and getting the mark of the Beast, when he really wanted the mark of the Father." Are We Living in the End Times? page 197
Let's go back and review
the doings of the fictitious Chang character from The Mark. Poor Chang;
he just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Through no fault of his own, he was in the "wrong line and getting the mark of the Beast, when he really wanted the mark of the Father." Now Chang was not literally in a line, but he was in a room with his father and others who were intent on him receiving the mark of the beast so that he could serve Antichrist.
Do you understand what Dr. LaHaye accomplished with his nonfiction book, Are We Living in the End Times? He used a lot of humanistic reasoning to support the outrageous fictional scenario of a Christian being able to have the mark of the beast and remain
a child of God. And because he presented the unbiblical example of the mark being forced on his fictional character, Chang, he communicated that what is false is true!
"Second, the aforementioned verses show that the mark is obtained only by those who sell their soul to the Beast and the devil who gives him his power. This involves a willful rejection of God--something a true Christian would never do." Are We Living in the End Times? page 197
Let us look at the verses preceding the ones cited by Tim LaHaye about who takes the mark and why:
"And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name." Rev. 13: 16-17
This verse is about a law that will be enacted which
will incur Satan's penalty if it is not complied with:
"no man might buy or sell."
The scriptures also warn of God's penalty if this law IS complied with:
"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...and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angles and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up forever 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." Revelation 14: 9-11
for the masses to worship the beast and receive his mark is to escape the penalty. The mark of the beast and the worship of the beast is commanded under threat of death and starvation. The penalty is the motivation for people to be "caused" to take the mark.
Nobody will be held down and forcibly marked the way the authors had Chang's forcibly marked in their nonfiction book, The Mark. If everyone was made to take the mark by being literally overcome with an irresistible power, which is what being forced means, then no one would receive the penalty because all would be in compliance. Forcing would take away any need for a penalty. That is why "forced" is a completely different meaning from "caused" and is not the way things will happen.
Did Chang sell his soul to the devil? No. Did he willfully reject God? Not
in so many words. Then according to Tim LaHaye's nonfiction writings,
God did not hold Chang accountable for taking the mark of the beast. The
soul-damning mark was merely inflicted upon him (remember he was "forced") and because the marking was done to him with an irresistible power he retained the seal of God. This will happen in real life, although many Christians are being deceived into believing the mark of the beast is a forgivable offense IF one is forced to receive it.
Dr. LaHaye assured his readers that "a willful rejection of God is something a Christian could never do." This reassuring, though false statement, is flatly contradicted by the Holy Bible.
Continued in Can A True Christian Willfully Reject God and Take the Mark?
Jerry B.Jenkins echoed this false teaching on the Left Behind Messageboard. See: The Mark of the Beast Paradigm Shift.
False Doctrines in Tim LaHaye's Writings