No Man Might Buy or Sell
The Bible teaches that the end-time believers will not be able to buy or sell during the small time of trouble. “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” (Revelation 13:17). During this time, the saints will have to share their faith in the face of hard social, political, and religious opposition.
This small time of trouble will resemble the period of time just before the plagues fell on Egypt. Pharaoh tried to make the Israelite slaves rebel against God by forcing them to produce the usual quota of bricks without providing the necessary straw. In the same way, before the tribulation the government will use political and economic sanctions – not be able to buy or sell – to pressure God’s end-time people into receiving the mark of the beast.
The Death Decree on the Believers
When this fails to deter the people of God from obedience and compliance to government rules, there will be a final death decree. “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” (Revelation 13:15). At this time, the great tribulation begins and the seven last plagues will start to fall.
The main reason this time will be so intense is because it will come after probation closes for the lost. “At that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book” (Daniel 12:1). When the tribulation begins, the cases of all people would have been forever decided.
The door of salvation and grace will close for the world-just as the door on the ark closed seven days before the Flood began. At that time, Jesus will declare: “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give to every man according as his work shall be” (Revelation 22:11, 12).
But God will be with His children. “The Lord is my light and my salvation-whom shall I fear? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble?…Though a mighty army surrounds me, my heart will not be afraid. Even if I’m attacked, I will remain confident” (Psalm 27:1, 3).
In His service,