Up against the Mark—What Can Be Expected?

The Christian Mark of the Beast Survival Manual Copyright © 2014 by Erik K. Olinger All rights reserved.

READERS: This is a rough-draft of the manuscript.  It is unedited and contains errors that will be corrected at the final release.


Up against the Mark—What Can Be Expected?


Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name (NIV 1Pe. 4:12-16).

During the Great Tribulation or at any other time, if one finds oneself facing the devil and his mark, one will undoubtedly have many challenging surprises with just as many questions with no one reliable to ask. One will not be able to trust or turn to anyone and one will be extensively threatened.

I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him (NIV Lk. 12:4-5).

The only trustworthy source to answer questions that arise while in crisis, is God and the Word.

Our Warfare

Those up against the mark of the beast need clearly identify the following regarding this warfare:

  1. Who the enemy is.

  2. What the goal of the enemy is.

  3. What strategy the enemy takes.

Who the Enemy Is

The enemy was identified in three previous chapters (please see Introduction to the Mark of the Beast and Bible Prophecy, Christ’s Second Coming and the Tribulation, and Satan and the Enemies’ Kingdom). The enemy is composed of:

  • The devil.

  • The rest of the fallen angels.

  • The beast out of the sea (evil government).

  • The beast out of the earth (false prophet).

  • The woman who rides the beast (idolatry).

Those refusing the mark of the beast are going to be in confrontation with all of the above list. The world is fallen and corrupt and passionately hates Christ and the saints,

Do not be surprised, my brothers, if the world hates you (NIV 1Jn. 3:13).

If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you…If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey your s also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me (NIV Jn. 15:18-21).

The Enemies’ Goal

Attributes of the devil were touched upon in a previous chapter (please see Satan and the Enemies’ Kingdom). They are summarized here. The devil is:

  • A murder from the beginning (Jn. 8:44).

  • Does not hold to the truth (Jn. 8:44).

  • Has no truth in him (Jn. 8:44).

  • Is a liar and the father of lies (Jn. 8:44).

  • Filled with violence (Eze. 28:16).

The devil’s purpose is:

  • To prowl around looking for someone to devour (1Pe. 5:8).

  • To work in those who are disobedient (Eph. 2:1-2).

  • To steal (Jn. 10:10).

  • To kill (Jn. 10:10).

  • To destroy (Jn. 10:10).

The enemy will attempt to infiltrate every aspect of a target’s life to at first gain access to his or her trust and then ultimately a person’s entire mind, will, heart, and conscience. Their purpose is to destroy the righteous.

The wicked lie in wait for the righteous, intent on putting them to death (NIV Ps. 37:32).

The Enemies’ Strategy

Throughout the Bible, the record shows that those persecuted for Christ’s name sake will encounter typical opposition and oppression from religious leaders, local government, false friends, authorities, and crowds of civilians. While the Bible does not directly link all cases of biblical persecution to the mark of the beast, persecution remains an unshakable tangibility for all Christians. The methods employed against Christians as written in the Bible, are applicable and compelling and should be convincing enough evidence that the enemy does meticulously persecute Christians.

Was there ever a prophet your ancestors did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him… (NIV Ac. 7:52).

Persecution Strategy

Utilizing examples from the Bible, the following is biblical persecution strategy of the enemy.

  • Stumbling Blocks

The enemies’ strategy is to first incriminate a person so that there is substantial evidence against a person. This can involve obstacles or “stumbling blocks” that are designed to be difficult to progress. They are placed in the path of one to intentionally hinder,

I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people (NIV Ro. 16:17-18).

  • Collect Evidence

Stumbling blocks need not always be devised elaborately, but instead sufficient evidence to discredit a person may preexist and be used by the enemy. For example, when Jesus was healing on the Sabbath, the Jews used the opportunity as evidence against Jesus (Jn. 5:16-18). The following strategy ties in with this type of collection of evidence and stumbling blocks.

  • Catch Someone by their Words

The enemy waits for and creates difficult situations to use a person’s words against him or her. Although the enemy also outright fabricates stories about the persecuted, when insufficient evidence against a person does not allow for a plausible fabrication to be substantive, a form of entrapment is employed to create evidence. When Jesus was asked if it is right to pay tax to Caesar or not, Jesus knew the evil intent of the question and was very careful in answering the question (Mt. 22:15-22). The enemy will accrue evidence as much as possible,

Then the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him in his words (NIV Mt. 22:15).

When Jesus went outside, the Pharisees and the teachers of the law began to oppose him fiercely and to besiege him with questions, waiting to catch him in something he might say (NIV Lk. 11:53-54).

During an event in the Bible timeline of the life of Christ, spies pretending to be sincere were sent to Jesus to catch Him in something He might say so that they could hand Him over to authorities (Lk. 20:20). The spies devised a question that Jesus would be liable for if He answered either way to. Jesus “saw through their duplicity” (NIV Lk. 20:23), and answered carefully so that He would not be condemned. They “were unable to trap him in what he had said there in public” (NIV Lk. 20:26).

  • Create False Evidence

If sufficient substantive evidence cannot be collected, the enemy will fabricate the needed evidence. This includes slander, libel, false witnesses, and false testimony, and is intended to reduce a Christian’s credibility to nothing so that his or her testimony and integrity becomes questionable.

The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death. But they did not find any, though many false witnesses came forward (NIV Mt. 26:59-60).

  • Plot Against

Once the enemy identifies a target, they will plot against their target in a premeditated fashion. For Jesus, this was to arrest and kill him. For the apostles after Him, it was usually to arrest, flog, and silence them and their testimony to Jesus. Plotting against can even include conspiring to kill, however today this is more common in Islamic nations and not in the United States or Europe.

Then the chief priests and the elders of the people assembled in the palace of the high priest…and they schemed to arrest Jesus secretly and kill him (NIV Mt. 26:3-4).

But the Pharisees went out and plotted how they might kill Jesus (NIV Mt. 12:14—see Mk. 3:6).

Every day he was teaching at the temple. But the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the leaders among the people were trying to kill him. Yet they could not find any way to do it, because all the people hung on his words (NIV Lk. 19:47-48).

  • False Friends

Plots against a saint may even be contrived by a close friend who is really a false friend. It is crucial to only be yoked with believers (2Co. 6:14). Jesus was handed over to be arrested by a false friend who sold His whereabouts to the religious leaders who then had Christ crucified,

Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests…From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over (NIV Mt. 26:14, 16).

False friends may not always plot against a person, but they will desert in a time of need,

At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them (NIV 2Ti. 4:16).

Satan can masquerade as an angel of light (2Co. 11:14) and his servants can masquerade as servants of righteousness (2Co. 11:15). They use this friendly guise to deceive. One should be discerning between friend and enemy. Because of persecution, real friends can even be forced to scatter,

On that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria (NIV Ac. 8:1).

  • Organized Systematic Targeting

The order to arrest Jesus came from fairly high in the hierarchy. The biblical pattern was that the religious leaders (governmental and religious were both governing systems two thousand years ago) would order the persecution of the saints and cause them to become arrested. However, civilians and laity also played a role in the targeting. For example, when Christ was brought before Pontious Pilate to be crucified, the crowds shouted for Christ to be crucified (Mt. 27:17, 20-22). The system is what is able to follow through and persecute Christians most severely.

But the chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that anyone who found out where Jesus was should report it so that they might arrest him (NIV Jn. 11:57).

If we examine a few cases of persecution against the apostles, the sometimes systematic targeting of those who bear testimony to Christ, and the typical strategy employed to persecute Christians, will be evident.

King Herod

The Acts account of King Herod Agrippa I and James and Peter serves as an example of persecution becoming rampant and originating largely from the top of the chain of command,

It was about this time that King Herod arrested some who belonged to the church, intending to persecute them. He had James, brother of John, put to death with the sword. When he saw that this met with approval among the Jews, he proceeded to seize Peter also. This happened during the Festival of Unleavened Bread. After arresting him, he put him in prison, handing him over to be guarded by four squads of four soldiers each. Herod intended to bring him out for public trial after the Passover (NIV Ac. 12:1-4).

After his arrest, Peter was met by an angel who helped him escape King Herod’s grasp (Ac. 12:6-11).

Gathering the facts:

  1. A king/ruler arrested church members intending to persecute them.

  2. The king executed someone for being Christian.

  3. The religious leaders approved of this.

  4. A Christian, Peter, was arrested and put in prison under guard.

  5. The Christian was going to be brought to public trial.

  6. An angel helped the Christian escape.

The Apostles and the Leaders

The apostles were preaching once about Christ and healing people in Jerusalem, when the religious leaders of the time became jealous of them (Ac. 5:17).

They arrested the apostles and put them in the public jail (NIV Ac. 5:18).

An angel assisted the apostles in escaping the jail (Ac. 5:19). The apostles resumed preaching and went to the temple courts to teach the people (Ac. 5:21), but they were found again teaching there (Ac. 5:25-26).

The apostles were brought in and made to appear before the Sanhedrin to be questioned by the high priest (NIV Ac. 5:27).

The persecuted apostles had done nothing wrong to deserve their arrest, and at this point they did receive a little help by a teacher of the Jewish law who admonished the religious leaders to leave the apostles well alone (Ac. 5:34-39).

His speech persuaded them. They called the apostles in and had them flogged. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go (NIV Ac. 5:40).

Gathering the facts:

  1. Jealousy fueled the Jewish religious leaders to arrest the apostles.

  2. They were put in the public jail.

  3. An angel helped the apostles escape.

  4. The apostles resumed preaching, but were found again.

  5. The apostles were brought before the high priest to be questioned.

  6. Not all of the religious leaders were corrupt.

  7. The apostles were flogged, forbidden to speak in the name of Jesus, and released.

Paul’s Persecution

Paul was persecuted for his faith many times. One such time he had cast a demon from a woman (Ac. 16:18), but the woman was using the demon to predict the future for money for her slave-owners.

When her owners realized that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to face the authorities. They brought them before the magistrates and said, “These men are Jews, and are throwing our city into an uproar by advocating customs unlawful for us Romans to accept or practice.” The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten with rods. After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully (NIV Ac. 16:19-23).

The order came from the magistrates to release Paul and Silas, however they were Roman citizens and the Roman law was violated during their arrest and mistreatment. But Paul said to the officers: “They beat us publicly without a trial, even though we are Roman citizens, and threw us into prison. And now do they want to get rid of us quietly? No! Let them come themselves and escort us out.” The officers reported this to the magistrates, and when they heard that Paul and Silas were Roman citizens, they were alarmed. They came to appease them and escorted them from the prison, requesting them to leave the city (NIV Ac. 16:37-39).

Gathering the facts:

  1. Persecution can start from civilian complaints.

  2. Testimony against Christians can be legal (in this case, the laws and customs of two thousand years ago).

  3. Crowds can be involved in the attack.

  4. Officials can order the flogging and jailing of Christians.

  5. The law may be violated to persecute Christians.

  6. In this case, Paul and Silas were released without further legal complications.

Paul’s Long Trial

At the end of Paul’s missionary journey, he traveled to Jerusalem where the Jews had been informed that Paul taught to turn away from the customs given through Moses (Ac. 21:20-21). Paul was arrested shortly after his arrival, when some Jews stirred up a crowd to seize Paul (Ac. 21:27). Paul was going to be flogged without even having been found guilty, until he declared his Roman citizenship (Ac. 22:25). The commander of the Roman troops that arrested Paul had already illegally put Paul in chains (Ac. 22:29). Paul was henceforth treated according to the Roman law, which provided him better rights. Paul was brought before two groups of Jews, the Sadducees and Pharisees, so that the Roman commander could find out exactly why Paul was accused (Ac. 22:30), however the two Jewish groups were in an uproar and argued vigorously (Ac. 23:9).

The next morning some Jews formed a conspiracy and bound themselves with an oath not to eat or drink until they had killed Paul (NIV. Ac. 23:12).

Paul was transferred to Caesarea, and handed over to the governor (Ac. 23:22).

Five days later the high priest Ananias went down to Caesarea with some of the elders and a lawyer named Tertullus, and they brought their charges against Paul before the governor (NIV Ac. 24:1).

They bore false testimony against Paul that he was a trouble maker, a ringleader of the Nazarene sect, and that he tried to desecrate the temple (Ac. 24:5-6). Paul remained in prison the next two years, even after the governor was succeeded by another man (Ac. 24:27). The Jewish leaders requested that Paul be brought back to Jerusalem, because they planned to ambush and kill him (Ac. 25:1-3). The governor ordered that Paul be brought before him (Ac. 25:6).

When Paul came in, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood around him. They brought many serious charges against him, but they could not prove them (NIV Ac. 25:7).

Paul decided to appeal to Caesar (Ac. 25:11-12). King Agrippa spoke to Paul with the governor (Ac. 25:22-27, 26:1-32), and Paul shared his life story with him. Part of Paul’s story that was shared was Paul’s persecution himself of Christians, prior to his conversion.

And that is just what I did in Jerusalem. On the authority of the chief priests I put many of the Lord’s people in prison, and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them. Many a time I went from one synagogue to another to have them punished, and I tried to force them to blaspheme. I was so obsessed with persecuting them that I even hunted them down in foreign cities (NIV Ac. 26:10-11).

Paul shared his conversion story and presented his defense against the Jews who were persecuting him.

Agrippa said to Festus, “This man could have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar” (NIV Ac. 26:32).

Paul headed toward Italy by ship with a centurion and some other prisoners (Ac. 27:1-2), however their boat shipwrecked near an island (Ac. 27:13-44). Eventually Paul made it to Rome (Ac. 28:14), and was allowed to live by himself with a soldier guarding him (Ac. 28:16). Three days after arriving in Rome, Paul called the local Jewish leaders together and told them why he was arrested (Ac. 28:17-28). He told them about Jesus, but only some were convinced and the others did not believe (Ac. 28:24).

For two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him. He proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ—with all boldness and without hindrance! (NIV Ac. 28:30-31).

Gathering the facts:

  1. Paul was well-known as evil for following Christ.

  2. Paul was going to be unlawfully flogged.

  3. Paul was illegally put in chains and his rights violated.

  4. There was a conspiracy to kill Paul.

  5. False testimony was used against Paul.

  6. Those imprisoned for their faith can be detained for a long time.

  7. False testimony is not always substantiable.

  8. Christians are persecuted and forced to blaspheme.

  9. Former persecutors can become the persecuted.

  10. A legal appeal complicated Paul’s case.

  11. Paul was able to preach unhindered while in custody.

Peter and John Detained

Peter and John were speaking to some people after healing a man, when they were seized and put in jail by the priests, the captain of the temple guard, and the Sadducees (Ac. 4:1-3).

“What are we going to do with these men?” they asked. “Everyone living in Jerusalem knows they have performed a notable sign, and we cannot deny it. But to stop this thing from spreading any further among the people, we must warn them to speak no longer to anyone in this name” (NIV Ac. 4:16-17).

After further threats they let them go. They could not decide how to punish them, because all the people were praising God for what had happened (NIV Ac. 4:21).

Gathering the facts:

  1. When many people have witnessed the good someone has done, it is more difficult to prosecute him or her.

  2. The authorities wanted to stop Christianity from spreading.

  3. Despite prosecution and legal problems, some may come to Christ through the persecuted and their testimony.

Stephen Martyred

Sometime shortly before Paul was converted to Christianity, a man named Stephen was performing great wonders and signs (Ac. 6:8). Various groups of Jews began to argue with him (Ac. 6:9).

Then they secretly persuaded some men to say, “We have heard Stephen speak blasphemous words against Moses and against God.” So they stirred up the people and the elders and the teachers of the law. They seized Stephen and brought him before the Sanhedrin. They produced false witnesses, who testified… (NIV Ac. 6:11-13).

Stephen was asked if the charges brought against him were true (Ac. 7:1), to which he gave a lengthy response. The Sanhedrin were furious about Stephen’s godly speech (Ac. 7:54). Stephen made one final comment to the people. He said he saw Jesus sitting at the right hand of God in heaven (Ac. 7:56).

At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, dragged him out of the city and began to stone him (NIV Ac. 7:57).

Saul, who was later renamed to Paul, approved of the killing of Stephen (Ac. 8:1).

Gathering the facts:

  1. The Jews did not believe even when Stephen was seen performing signs and having godly attributes.

  2. People were persuaded in secret to speak out against Stephen.

  3. Stephen was seized.

  4. False witnesses testified against him.

  5. Stephen had an opportunity to defend himself.

  6. Stephen was murdered for his faith.

  7. Some who persecute Christians will become Christians later.

Paul and His Troubles

To gain more insight on life as a persecuted Christian, let’s turn to one of Paul’s letters. Paul said of his Christian life and the difficulties thereof,

I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches (NIV 2Co. 11:23-28).

A true disciple will encounter this type of hardship. Danger will lurk around every corner, yet a Christian will survive. People today are experiencing very similar stories to the early apostles.

Lies of the Enemy

All of the above strategy the enemy takes is to not only suppress the testimony of Christ and the saints, but also to virulently lead all away from coming to salvation. At a personal level, the enemy focuses on the lies that:

  • I am not forgiven, nor can I be forgiven.

  • I am not saved, nor can I be saved.

  • I have already failed, before having failed.

  • Salvation is not by faith, but by what one does (works/deeds/law), and one has never done enough.



These lies are in the enemies’ offensive repertoire. A Christian’s spirit will be attacked and brainwashed so that the enemy can gain access to his or her belief system in order to condition one to believe in these lies. The most important “technique” to defeat these lies is to always remember that Christ saves by grace through faith, that one need not hurry or worry, and that nothing can separate one from Christ. One’s salvation is between Christ and the person, and no one else.

The State of the World

The strategy that was demonstrated above is very applicable to the enemy today, but was entirely taken from biblical examples. Persecution will be somewhat different closer to the last days. As shown in Christ’s Second Coming and the Tribulation, the world will be close to judgment toward the end, and there will be an increase in:

  • Wars.

  • Rumors of wars.

  • False christs/messiahs.

  • False prophets performing signs and wonders.

  • Natural disasters.

  • Famines.

The list above is the “beginning of birth pains.” Toward the end, the world will also experience increased sin and wickedness,

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God (NIV 2Ti. 3:1-4).

Those refusing the mark of the beast in the last days can expect to meet a more difficult challenge than exists today. They will find themselves:

  • Unable to buy or sell (please see Abstaining from Practice: Meat, Electricity, and Commerce).

  • Possibly exposed to harmful judgments from God upon the earth (please see Christ’s Second Coming and the Tribulation).

  • Put to death for refusing the mark of the beast (see same as above).

What Did Jesus Warn?

Jesus gave indication in Matthew to what some of the signs of the end times are in addition to the birth pains, and what to expect. We know from Jesus that even when the wars and uprisings occur, that the end may still be some time later,

These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away (NIV Lk. 21:9).

For the sake of brevity, what Jesus forewarned we can expect around the end as written in Matthew 24:4-35, Mark 13:5-31, and Luke 21:8-23, is summarized here. There will be, or one can expect toward the end that:

  • After the birth pains, the saints will be handed over to be persecuted (to the local councils), and also to be put to death.

  • The saints may be flogged in the synagogues and churches.

  • The saints will be put in prison, and brought before kings and governors on account of the name of Jesus.

  • When arrested and brought to trial, Christians should not worry about what to say. The Holy Spirit will speak through them.

  • The saints will be betrayed by parents, brothers or sisters, relatives and friends, and some will be put to death.

  • Children will rebel against their parents.

  • Everyone will hate the saints.

  • Not a hair of a Christian’s head will perish.

  • The one who stands firm to the end will be saved.

  • The abomination of desolation will occur (see Christ’s Second Coming and the Tribulation).

  • A dreadful day of distress will occur (the tribulation).

  • People will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners.

  • Jerusalem will be attacked.

  • There will be signs in the sun, moon, and stars.

  • The sea will be more aggressive.

Through prophecy that came after Jesus had been crucified, resurrected, and ascended to heaven, Jesus warned that the devil will put some of the saints in prison to test them (Rev. 2:10). Through this same prophecy, we know that more and more saints will be killed like those killed before them, all the way up to the end (Rev. 6:9-11). The end will be increasingly difficult to come out of, but at least one can know what to expect.

Victimized and Mistreated

Richard Wurmbrand, a man who was tortured for his Christian faith in communist Romania, wrote in his book, Tortured for Christ, about Christians who were placed in asylums where the mentally ill are placed.1 In one case he shared about, a man was put in an asylum until he became mentally ill himself by unnecessary treatment and mistreatment.2 Christians who are persecuted by the government usually are placed in hospitals or prisons in this manner. Sometimes this results in silent martyrdom.

Gaining Access

In the Korean War, brainwashing was used against the prisoners of war. Because the world is against the saints, the saints should not be surprised and should expect that they could be brainwashed to worship the beast. The devil is not above utilizing everything available to him, including mind control techniques such as sleep deprivation, classical and operant conditioning, induced paranoia and psychosis, reverse psychology, verbal/physical/sexual abuse, and brainwashing techniques such as channeling and releasing of guilt.

How Lengthy is the Test?

The refinement of one’s faith can be lengthy in duration. God desires all to be consistently holy, and so he expects a lifetime of standing firm. The enemy may try for a lifetime to convert, but like the testing of the patriarch Job, for years one may have trial followed welcomely by some relief and reward by God. One should be patient and holy through times of suffering,

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast (NIV 1Pe. 5:10).

Benefit to Enduring

A Christian can carry the hope that through his or her persecution, he or she, as well as others, will receive blessings and salvation,

Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s word is not chained. Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory (NIV 2Ti. 2:8-10).

Through our chains, Christ will be preached and the Gospel spread,

Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel…And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear (NIV Php. 1:12, 13).

When Christians are persecuted, they should rejoice. Our reward is great, and Christians are welcome to the kingdom of heaven,

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you (NIV Mt. 5:10-12).

If one has left anything behind to follow Christ and the Gospel, one will receive a hundred times as much in this lifetime and in the next,

“Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life (NIV Mk. 10:29-30).

Speaking with Boldness

A persecuted victim should strive and expect to become passionate for the Lord, speaking as if he or she is saying his or her last words with boldness. These words that will be spoken will not be one’s last however, and God will be speaking through the persecuted.

If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God (NIV 1Pe. 4:11).

The Beast, Captivity, and Death

Indeed many will be taken captive or martyred. We need stand firm throughout everything the enemy subjects us to,

If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity they will go. If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword they will be killed (NIV Rev. 13:10).


Persecution is inevitable for those living like Christ. The warnings of Jesus and the testimony of the apostles, point to a real danger to Christians. The threat will only increase in the last days, and some will be imprisoned, put to death, and silenced. What cannot be silenced, however, is the Christian’s hope in the Gospel. Because of persecution the Gospel will be spread. Even former persecutors will become saved, and all will know the power and love of God. To stand firm and receive the promises, one still has the narrow road of persecution and trial to travel. This road, thankfully, is not traveled alone. Christ, the angels, and the brothers and sisters will travel all the way with the persecuted.

Chapter Summary

  1. We should not be surprised at our fiery ordeal that tests us.

  2. The only reliable and trustworthy source during persecution is God and the Word.

  3. The enemy was defined as:

    a. The devil.

    b. The rest of the fallen angels.

    c. Evil government.

    d. A false prophet.

    e. Idolatry.

  4. The world hates the saints.

  5. The devil is:

    a. A murderer.

    b. Untruthful.

    c. A liar.

    d. Violent.

  6. The devil’s purpose is:

    a. To devour.

    b. To work in the disobedient.

    c. To steal.

    d. To kill.

    e. To destroy.

  7. Christians will encounter typical opposition and oppression from others.

  8. The enemy will employ “stumbling blocks” to intentionally hinder the saints.

  9. The enemy will collect evidence against the saints.

  10. The enemy will attempt to catch someone by their words.

  11. The enemy creates false evidence to reduce a saint’s credibility. This includes:

    a. Slander/libel.

    b. False witnesses.

    c. False testimony.

  12. The enemy plots against Christians in a premeditated fashion.

  13. The enemy utilizes false friends.

  14. The targeting of Christians can be organized and systematic.

  15. The system is able to persecute Christians most severely.

  16. Christians may be:

    a. Arrested.

    b. Sometimes executed.

    c. Brought to public trial.

    d. Helped by the Lord.

  17. The persecuted can sometimes:

    a. Receive help from other humans.

    b. Be flogged and forbidden to speak in the name of Jesus.

  18. Regarding persecution:

    a. Persecution can start from civilian complaints.

    b. Testimony against Christians can have legal basis.

    c. The law may be violated to persecute Christians.

    d. The persecuted may sometimes be released without legal complications.

  19. Persecution can:

    a. Cause a person to be known as evil because of Christ.

    b. Cause someone to be detained for a long time.

    c. Cause persecutors to come to Christ.

  20. Regarding persecution:

    a. When multiple people have witnessed the good someone has done, it is more difficult to prosecute him or her.

    b. The authorities of two thousand years ago wanted to stop Christianity from spreading.

  21. Christians will constantly have trouble and be in danger.

  22. The enemy attempts to:

    a. Suppress the testimony of Christians.

    b. Virulently lead all away from salvation.

  23. The enemy focuses on the personal lies that:

    a. I am not forgiven, nor can I be.

    b. I am not saved, nor can I be.

    c. I have already failed, before having failed.

    d. Salvation is not by faith, but by what one does, and one has never done enough.

  24. Persecution will be more severe in the last days.

  25. Those refusing the mark of the beast in the last days will find themselves:

    a. Unable to buy or sell.

    b. Possibly exposed to God’s earth judgments.

    c. Put to death for refusing the mark.

  26. Jesus said to expect around that end:

    a. Birth pains (wars, rumors of wars, false christs/messiahs, false prophets, increased natural disasters, famines).

    b. The saints will be handed over to the local councils to be persecuted or put to death.

    c. Flogging.

    d. The saints will be put in prison and brought before rulers.

    e. The Holy Spirit will speak through the saints.

    f. The saints will be betrayed by family, who will put some to death.

    g. Everyone will hate the saints.

    h. Christians are protected.

    i. Those who stand firm will be saved.

    j. There will be an abomination in the temple.

    k. The tribulation period will occur.

    l. People will die and be taken prisoner.

    m. Jerusalem will be attacked.

    n. There will be signs in the sun, moon, and stars.

    o. The sea will be more aggressive.

  27. Through prophecy one can know:

    a. That the devil will put some of the saints in prison.

    b. That the saints will be martyred until the end.

  28. Christians are sometimes unnecessarily placed in asylums until they themselves become mentally ill.

  29. The enemy is not above utilizing techniques such as brainwashing.

  30. The testing of one’s faith is long in duration, with a period of trial and then relief and reward by God.

  31. Through persecution Christ will be preached and the Gospel spread.

  32. The persecuted are blessed and have a great reward on earth and in heaven.

  33. The persecuted should expect to become passionate for the Lord, speaking the words of God with boldness.

  34. The beast will take captives and make martyrs of the Christians.