A couple of years ago I heard a rumour that Brannon Howse was saying that it is possible to take the mark of the beast and still get saved later.
I have often listened to Brannon’s radio program, and had not heard him say this, so I thought it was just a rumour. The subject did not come up in any of the Worldview Weekend episodes that I had listened to.
Well, the other day, I was watching Joshua Chavez from Servus Christi and when his video was done Youtube just went to another related video by Jacob Prasch of Moriel Ministries, and there in the middle of it were Brannon Howse, Jimmy DeYoung and John MacArthur all saying that it is possible to take the mark of the beast and get saved later! In fact they were congratulating themselves that they had come to the same conclusion as John MacArthur!
As I listened I heard one of them say that “this is not a salvation issue” and that “this is not the unforgiveable sin”! Well, you can come to that conclusion if you add things to the Scriptures, but if you read it in context, you can’t come to this conclusion!
(Interestingly, in the last few weeks there were a bunch of videos about this, and most of them have disappeared! Someone is apparently doing damage control! I have the audio of Brannon’s program, in .mp3 format, and I will email it to anyone who sends me their email address and asks for it. As far as I can see, if you make a public mistake, you need to publicly recant your error! I would like to see these men do this, but so far there is no evidence they have done so! If they have done so, I will post a video of their recantation in this article.)
There is an element of truth in what they are saying; their statement is based on the fact that God will forgive anyone who repents. This is absolutely true, but they have missed something; that the Holy Spirit is the one who leads us to Repentance. We can’t repent without the Holy Spirit!
They are also missing the biblical definition of the unforgiveable sin, Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, but this is, in fact, what is going on in Revelation 13 and 14!
Please read chapter 13 of Revelation, it sets the context for the mark of the beast;
1 And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.
2 And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.
3 And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.
4 And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?
5 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.
6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.
7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
9 If any man have an ear, let him hear.
10 He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.
11 And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.
12 And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
13 And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,
14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.
15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.
16 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:
17 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.
18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.
Notice verse 6. This is very relevant to the subject of the unforgiveable sin, particularly the last phrase
And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.
“Them that dwell in Heaven” is a reference to the Church-Age saints who had recently been Raptured. This blasphemy is not primarily against them, but mainly against the One who took them to Heaven by His power, the Holy Spirit!
His blasphemy turns Heaven into Hell, and the Holy Spirit into Satan!
Now here is Jesus talk about Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit;
22 Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw.
23 And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David?
24 But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.
25 And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:
26 And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?
27 And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges.
28 But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.
29 Or else how can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.
30 He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.
31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.
32 And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come. Matthew 12:22-32
Do you see how Jesus defined the Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit (Ghost)? They were watching Jesus cast out demons by the power of the Holy Spirit, and the Pharisees were attributing this Power to be the Power of Satan! (Beelzebub, the lord of the flies, is simply another name for Satan, the prince of the demons!)
So what Jesus was saying is that if you attribute a genuine miracle done by the Holy Spirit, to be the work of Satan, you are committing the unforgiveable sin!
I have heard many Christians say that Jesus must be physically on the earth for someone to commit the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit! This is incorrect! Jesus did not define this sin by saying that He must be physically on the earth for this to occur; this is something that men have added to the text. He very clearly said that all blasphemies directed at Himself, can be forgiven. This is not exactly about Jesus, but about the Holy Spirit Himself, who is Christ’s representative on the earth today!
Just because Jesus was on the earth in Matthew 12 does not mean that He must be on the earth for the Holy Spirit to perform a genuine miracle! He only said that attributing a genuine miracle of the Holy Spirit to be the work of Satan is all that is required to commit Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit!
There is one miracle that occurs every day on the earth; people are saved, and come to faith and repentance in the Lord Jesus Christ!
If you ever see a terrible sinner profess to be saved by the blood of Jesus, don’t ever deny that person was saved; you don’t know! Accept their profession with joy and watch to see if there is a change in their life! Don’t expect perfection, but there should be a change. Leave it up to the Lord to decide who is or who is not saved!
Now back to the Rapture; Jesus is not physically on the earth during the Rapture, but He is physically in the sky above the earth, calling His saints Home! (1 Thess. 4:16) They then meet Him in the air! This is the context of the Rapture, shortly before the Beast blasphemes those who dwell in Heaven!
Now go back to Revelation 13:6. Who will be living in Heaven at this time? Who would the Antichrist really like to discredit? In fact he must discredit these people if his own “ministry” is to have any credibility: he is blaspheming the Church of Jesus Christ who shortly before had been Raptured to Heaven!
The Antichrist is not talking about the Church-Age saints who had passed away throughout the ages. Rather, he must discredit the Rapture of the Church, because the world has recently witnessed this event, and if they believe the Christians were taken to Heaven by Jesus, through the power of the Holy Spirit, there is no way they will accept the Antichrist as the Saviour of the World, even though they have seen him die, in verse 3, and then having been raised from the dead!
The creatures commonly referred to as “Aliens” are actually demons, or devils, and Satan is the chief of the demons. So if the Antichrist says that “Aliens took the Christians, because they were not able to transition to the New Paradigm” he is saying that Satan did it! He is attributing the work of the Holy Spirit to be the work of Satan!
When the people of the world take the mark of the beast, they are saying that they agree with his blasphemy against the Holy Spirit; that the Christians were taken by Aliens, because they were not able to transition to the New World Order, or to the New Paradigm! In other words, he is basically saying that Satan has taken the Church to a place of punishment!
This is exactly what Jesus was talking about in Matthew 12:31-32! Jesus calls the Church to Himself, and they come through the power of the Holy Spirit, but the Antichrist says it was Satan!
What is the role of the Holy Spirit, in Salvation? What did Jesus say?
7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
9 Of sin, because they believe not on me;
10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;
11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.
You see, the Holy Spirit is essential for Salvation. He is the one who uses Scripture to convict us of our sin, and leads us to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ! Without His work, we cannot be saved!
So, Jesus is saying that if anyone attributes the work of the Holy Spirit to Satan, this is the unforgivable sin, but He does not have to damn that person, all He has to do is to stop what He normally does. When He is the victim of this supreme insult, He just walks away! He is so good that if they would repent He would save them, but they can’t repent without Him!
11 And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables:
12 That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them. Mark 4:11-12
God will forgive everyone who repents! While God wants everyone to be saved, He is not willing to save anyone their own way, they must come to Him on His terms! You must come to Him, admitting that you are a sinner, and admitting that He is the only Saviour! He is Holy, and you are not!
When you declare the work of the Holy Spirit to be the work of Satan, you are declaring yourself to be God, and He loses interest in saving you.
I wanted to skip the first few verses of chapter 14, but really you should read the whole chapter, because it is all relevant to the subject.
6 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,
7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
8 And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.
9 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,
10 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:
11 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. Rev. 14:6-11
This explains why verses 9-11 say that if any man worship the beast and take his mark, they will drink the wine of the wrath of God, and will be tormented with fire and brimstone, in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb, for ever!
I think that some will have doubts about taking the mark of the Beast, because of the prompting of the Holy Spirit, and because they have heard warnings about it from believers, but in the interests of saving their lives many will do it. Once they have taken the mark, I believe they will have a supernatural “peace” about their decision!
The Holy Spirit will no longer convict them about their sin, from that moment on, and they will no longer be bothered by their conscience! They will be so “at peace” about having taken the mark that they will have no problem with turning in believers to be beheaded!
Those who thought “I will take the mark now, and later I will accept Jesus as my Saviour” will NEVER get around to accepting Jesus Christ as their Saviour, because at the moment they took the mark, the Holy Spirit walked away from them, never to bother them again!
Brannon Howse, John MacArthur, and Jimmy DeYoung are performing a great disservice to the lost people of the Tribulation period, because they are giving them an excuse to take the Mark of the Beast! This is a fatal mistake from which they will never repent! Never, until they open their eyes up in Hell, and then it will be too late!