Recently I read Jeremiah 23, where it talks about God's anger towards false prophets. Acknowledging the grave responsibility of prophesying, or sharing a vision, I fearfully prayed about what I had sent out in my newsletter, going through each point. (You can read it here.) I felt He confirmed every point I made, until I said "mark of the beast attacks free will", then came a sudden "No!" I asked Him to please explain, and He said "because all power belongs to God." The realisation was that all things happen only because God allows it, not because the devil, or his mark, have any power.

       The book of Job makes this same point. Also, many times God "hardens the hearts and stiffens the necks" of those who continually turn away from Him. Also in 2 Thessalonians 2, "God sends a powerful delusion so that people who refuse to love the truth, would believe a lie." 

       Jesus said "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. Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows." (Luke 12:4-7)

       Maybe the message (which seems particularly relevant today) is to fear God and nothing else. Indeed, all power belongs to God! Wow. Amen.