Ha! You might have thought that I was going to talk about the mark of the beast because of the title. No! Though there is a mark that we do need to take. There is a mark that we do need to accept as a blessing! And the mark is the mark of persecution!
One of the marks of a true believer is the amount of persecution that he or she gets. Not because of their fault, not because of their religiously, but because of the amount of anointing they are carrying! And just like how the pharisees were jealous of Jesus and then persecuted Him because of it is the same way TRUE believers today will be persecuted!
If you’re not being persecuted for the same reasons, it may not be true persecution!
Abel, Joseph, David, Sampson, Stephen, Paul! These are some men that were persecuted in similar ways. Why? Because of the power that was on their lives. They wanted to cut Sampson’s hair off because it was his strength. His hair represented the anointing. And many want to cut off your hair, too, your anointing!
When we think of Paul, we think of the worldly kings, leaders, and armies that came against him. Though don’t forget he was also persecuted in a way by his fellow brother, Peter, and some of the other disciples over doctrine and truth. Though Peter and all of them that were with him didn’t realize that they were still carrying some old wine. They were for Jesus, but because of their lack of revelation and insight, they came against Paul because he was carrying the new wine for the time.
Though Paul knew the cost, that if he was going to go deep in the truth, deeper in revelation, there would be more hate. This is why he gloried in his sufferings, because it was THE MARK of his calling. How many people are really carrying around this mark? Not many at all, and it just goes to show what their walk with God is really about.
1 Peter 4:14
“If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.”
Are you being persecuted? Even by your loved ones around you? No?
Well, maybe the Spirit of Glory and of God doesn’t rest upon you! You may not be being persecuted because you not really His.
2 Timothy 3:12
“In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”
This is what the Bible says and you’re telling me that you can truly be loved by the world and God? No brother, no sister. You don’t have the mark, you don’t have the sign of the high calling! Persecution will prove to me that you are born again and on fire!
When people see something that is different and greater than them, they revile it and come against it, especially if it’s God. Not only because the spirits in them hate God, but because they don’t want to pay the price for the greatness and glory. And people don’t want to pay the price because they know they will lose friends, family, loved ones, and lifestyles. Even people they are close to in church.
You want to fit in with the crowd? Well, you are not worthy to move unto the next level of power and glory. Stephen got stoned by his own, the people that surrounded him everyday because of the position he was in before the throne.
God is saying it’s either them or me. Everyone is going to have glory either way. The question will be either from man or from Him!
“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.”
Blessed are you. Part of the reason why Paul rejoiced in his sufferings was because it showed the mark of his faith. It actually showed that he was blessed! It’s doesn’t just say blessed are you just because you will be blessed because you are persecuted. It’s saying blessed are you because it shows that you are His! It shows that you are a faithful son! This is the mark of your calling. If you want to find any sign to show whose you are, this is the best sign, persecution! Receive the mark of your calling, be joyful when it happens: because your name is written in the lamb’s book of life!
By Joe Pinto