By Dr. Patrick Johnston
The Bible speaks of a government in the last days that is at war with God (Revelation 13). This totalitarian state demands worship of its image – “the beast.” This government mandates a “mark” on the forehead or back of the hand in order to buy or sell. This government “makes war with the Lamb” and slays many martyrs. “Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man…”
Throughout the book of Revelation, there is a distinction between those who “worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark” and those who “had gotten victory over the beast, and his image, and his mark.” The former are judged and condemned to the lake of fire; the latter are received into heaven’s glory to rule and to reign with Christ forever.
What’s so evil about receiving a government-mandated mark in order to buy or sell? One must obey the “higher powers”, right? (Romans 13:1-4). “Obey those that have rule over you,” right? Receiving the “mark” is evil because one must worship the image of the state in order to receive it. To worship the state is to commit idolatry, to rebel against God Almighty. God is the “highest power”, and disobeying God’s law to submit to man is to receive a “mark” that brings condemnation.
The Roman pagans, seeing the great age of the church patriarch Polycarp, the disciple of the Apostle John, pleaded with him, “What harm is it to say ‘Lord Caesar’ and sacrifice, and save yourself?”
As documented in Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, Polycarp responded, “Eighty and six years have I served Him, and He never once wronged me. How then shall I blaspheme my king, who hath saved me?”
They would have let Polycarp continue to worship Jesus Christ, as long as He paid homage to Caesar. But God did not give Polycarp the option of serving two masters (Matt.6:24). God did not give Polycarp the option of being a friend of the world and a friend of God (James 4:4). God did not give Polycarp the option of worshiping the state and the Creator. Polycarp refused to pay homage to the state and was burnt at the stake for it.
Comparatively, what little cost there appears to be today to sacrifice to the state, to spurn God’s Word and will for the word and will of government?
How does the pro-life movement worship the state over God?
Let’s contrast God’s word and will with the government’s word and will. God’s Word says, “Do no murder” (Sixth Commandment, Exod.20). God’s Word further mandates the state to protect the innocent through enforcing a penalty sufficient to discourage the crime (Exod.21, Rom. 13:3-4). God’s Word says that justice is a local matter (Deut.21). God’s Word says that life begins in the womb. With regard to the killing of innocent children: “It is not the will of your Father which is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish” (Matt. 18:14). Not one.
In allowing innocent children of God to be slaughtered unjustly, our government is “at war with the Lamb” and in defiance of Almighty God. Our government is also at war with our U.S. Constitution. The Supreme Court declares that it is unconstitutional for states to prohibit abortion, including the abortion of healthy babies mature enough to survive outside the womb. Don’t they know that the Constitution says “nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws”? Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Marshall, in 1803, said, “A law repugnant [or repulsive] to the Constitution is void.”
When the federal government rules contrary to the law of God and the U.S. Constitution, states should not obey them. Those who disobey God to submit to evil commands of evil government, those who “sacrifice to Caesar” to protect and preserve their lives and positions are condemned by God in Scripture. It is those who disobey the evil commands of evil government - even unto death - that are received into heaven to rule and reign with Christ. This was Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin’s understanding when they both said, “Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.” This was St. Peter’s understanding when he said, “We ought to obey God rather than man” (Acts 5:29).
As the federal judiciary consistently rules contrary to the U.S. Constitution and contrary to the law of God, much of the pro-life movement can be relied upon to tread the word of God and the U.S. Constitution underfoot in their submission to the High Court’s lawless rule.
Striking evidence can be seen in how several large pro-life groups responded to the Mississippi Personhood Amendment (which would have ended abortion in Mississippi, and yet failed to pass on November 8). Shirley Henderson, the director of communications for the Catholic Diocese of Biloxi, said this in early November:
“The stance of the Diocese of Biloxi is that the push for a state amendment could ultimately harm the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ efforts to overturn Roe v. Wade.”
The Catholic Diocese of Jackson, which presides over Catholic churches in the upper half of Mississippi, said this in October,
“While we sincerely respect the goal to amend the Mississippi Constitution so as to acknowledge full human rights for every human being, after careful consideration, it is our opinion and that of the legal experts with whom we have consulted that passage of this amendment would not achieve the goal of overturning Roe v. Wade. If such an amendment were to pass, we are convinced that a federal district court would strike it down based on Roe. This decision would undoubtedly be affirmed by an appellate court, and the case would either not be granted further review by today’s U.S. Supreme Court, or worse, would lead to a reaffirmation of Roe. The unintended effect would very likely jeopardize current protections in state law and cause a loss of momentum in the ultimate goal of establishing full legal protection of the unborn from the moment of conception.”
Both Catholic Dioceses in Mississippi opposed or would not support the Mississippi Personhood Amendment because they feared the Supreme Court would strike it down. National Right to Life opposes statewide abortion bans and personhood amendments in state after state for the same reason. In 2006, Denise McClura, the president of Ohio Right to Life bashed House Bill 2228 - the Ohio Abortion Ban – as she testified before the Health Committee of the Ohio state legislature on the same grounds: it wouldn’t survive the judiciary. Americans United for Life, who did not support the Mississippi Personhood Amendment, said that it “would not have led to the overturn of Roe vs. Wade.”
We see a pattern. Some of the largest and well-funded pro-life groups in America would not stand for a simple amendment that declares life begins at fertilization or conception – a fact with which they all agree – and why? Because of the United States Supreme Court. The Supreme Court’s word trumped God’s Word and the U.S. Constitution in their mind, and they bowed to the Supreme Court’s word and will in defiance of God Almighty’s word and will. They’ve taken the “mark.”
The Supreme Court’s rule is not supreme: God and the U.S. Constitution are both supreme over the Supreme Court. The High Court’s jurisdiction is limited. A good example of a state’s right to defy the Supreme Court when they rule unlawfully is medical marijuana. In 2001, the Supreme Court ruled that states may not allow medical marijuana. Presently, 16 states and the District of Columbia have all enacted laws to legalize marijuana for medical purposes. If states have the courage to resist the Supreme Court for medical marijuana, why won’t states have the courage to resist the Supreme Court when tens of thousands of children are slaughtered under our noses every year? Why does the pro-life movement throw up the white flag of surrender so readily when the Supreme Court orders states to let innocent children be killed in the states without justice? Because the pro-life movement has taken the “mark.”
Further evidence of this deep-rooted corruption in the pro-life movement is the legislation of which we have boasted in the past four decades.
Our “Mandatory Ultrasound” bills: let the mother see her fetus on ultrasound, and then you can kill the baby.
Our “24 Hour Waiting” bills: wait 24 hours, and then you can kill the baby.
Our “Fetal Pain Awareness” bills: inform the mother that her fetus can feel pain, and then you can kill the baby.
Our “Partial Birth Abortion” ban: don’t use this procedure to abort late-term pregnancies, and then you can kill the baby.
Our “Heartbeat Bills: don’t document a heartbeat in the medical record, and then you can kill the baby.
The exceptions we make in our pro-life legislation: if you conceive through rape or incest, or you are sick, then you can kill the baby.
One thing that these so-called pro-life bills all have in common is that, without exception, they justify some abortions. I do not condemn these bills because they fail to end all abortions; no, I condemn these bills because in their wording they justify some abortions. How dare we permit that which God forbids?
When Israel failed to conquer their Promised Land, God gives two primary reasons in Scripture. Unbelief and sin (Heb.3, Deut.28-32). If we never realize our Promised Land of “liberty and justice for all”, it will be because of our unbelief and our sin. We don’t believe God can help us obtain victory over judicial tyranny and protect the preborn in our state’s lawful jurisdiction. And, too many of us have blood on our own hands because of the child-killings our pro-life legislation permits.
For this, the pro-life movement must repent.
We must take a different kind of “mark.”
In Ezekiel’s day, Israel had taken God’s longsuffering for granted and God was sending judgment. Exekiel had a vision of angels in which the Lord said to one angel,
Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof. And to the others [angels] He said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house. And he said unto them, Defile the house [the temple], and fill the courts with the slain: go ye forth. And they went forth, and slew in the city. And it came to pass, while they were slaying them, and I was left, that I fell upon my face, and cried, and said, Ah Lord GOD! wilt thou destroy all the residue of Israel in thy pouring out of thy fury upon Jerusalem? Then said he unto me, The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceeding great, and the land is full of blood,
If bitter judgment comes upon the United States of America as it has upon other nations who have shed innocent blood, it will not be because of the Supreme Court. It will be because the hands of professing pro-lifers are stained with blood. It will be because of our unbelief. It will be because we have taken the “mark of the beast”, symbolizing our submission to the state in defiance of God.
If some states escape this judgment, it will be because they have a different mark that is placed upon them, a “mark” given to those who “sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done” in their midst.
Will you join me in “sighing and crying” for the slaughter of the innocent within your state? Will you join me in repenting for what we have done to perpetuate the abortion holocaust through our unbelief? Will you join me in believing God for “liberty and justice for all”, without exception, in your state?