“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,” (Rev. 14: 9)
Will many people receiving the Mark of the Beast?
(Rev. 13: 16, 17) – “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: 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.”
He (the image) will “cause” or force by legislation everybody to receive the Mark. You would think that no one would choose to receive the Mark of the Beast. But on the contrary, the Bible shows that in the final crisis nearly everyone in the world will have the Mark in the forehead or hand. In view of what God says, we should make up our minds, even if it takes our lives, we will never receive the Mark of the Beast.
Will anyone gain the victory over the Mark of the Beast?
(Rev 15:2.) – “And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.”
Yes, there are people who will get victory over the Mark of the Beast. They are the ones who have purified their souls in the time of trouble preceding the return of Jesus. These are joined by others of God’s true children who, until now, have been scattered throughout the various Christian denominations, but who, under the increasing light of the loud cry, embrace the Sabbath and join God’s remnant people.
How strongly will this worship and the Mark be urged?
(Rev. 13:15, 16) – “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. 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:”
Yes, it will be urged very strongly. The Image of the Beast will “speak” through legislation, and cause people to obey through enforcement of those laws. If you don’t worship the way they want you to, and if you refuse to worship the Image of the Beast, and receive the Mark of the Beast, they will “cause” you to be killed!
Let’s find out what God’s seal of authority is first and you will learn that the antichrist's mark is just the opposite.
(Isaiah 8:16) – “Bind up the testimony, SEAL the LAW among my disciples”
Note: The words seal, sign and mark have the same meaning (Romans 4:11). The “Sign” or Seal” is contained within his law, but which law?
(Ezekiel 20:12) – “Moreover also I gave them my Sabbaths , to be a SIGN between me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them”
(Ezekiel 20:20) – “And hollow my Sabbaths : that they shall be a SIGN between me and you, that ye may know that I am the Lord your God”
Note: Sabbath was “MADE” for man (Mark 2:27). However, Sabbath was not made for Jews, but was ‘GIVEN” for Jews (Exodus 16:29). Some would point to Mount Sinai as to when it was “made,” but this is impossible when before Mount Sinai we read that it was rather “given.” How can it be “made” after it was given? When, then, was it made? In the beginning (Genesis 2:1-3). Sabbath MADE for mankind and GIVEN also for the Jewish 'mankind' signified that Sabbath will act as a SIGN between God and his people. God makes it clear why he gave the Sabbath to his people:
- "I am the Lord your God" (Ezekiel 20:12)
- "I am the Lord that Sanctify" (Ezekiel 20:20)
Sanctification comes only from God and we must rest in whatever God tells us to do. Sabbath is a SIGN that we cannot work our way to heaven, but we must REST our way to heaven. Add to this, Ephesians 2:11-19 tells us that the cross [Jesus] has broken down the middle wall of separation between Jew and Gentile. Cross says there is no distinction between Jew and gentile. In building up that middle wall of separation, the Christians effectively deny the very things the cross stands for. Cross confirms the Sabbath - and Sabbath is a MARK!
Within the Sabbath commandments we find THREE elements that mark it as an official SEAL.
If these three elements are not present in a seal then it is not valid. President Obama would sign a document into law like this:
(1) NAME: Barrack Obama
(2) TITLE: President
(3) TERRITORY: The United States of America
Within God’s Sabbath law (Ex. 20:8-11), we have these same three elements:
Remember the Sabbath day… for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is:
(1) Lord (his name – 'I am the Lord, that is my name' -Isaiah 42:8)
(2) made (his title which is 'creator' –Isaiah 45:18)
(3) heaven and earth and the sea (his territory –Isaiah 66:1)"
WHAT IS THE MARK OF THE BEAST?
From the previous study we have established that The Beast is the Roman Catholic Church. So, what is the Beast’s mark, its sign of authority? Let’s hear what Catholics themselves have to say on the subject;
Cardinal Gibbon wrote in the letter written in Oct. 28, 1895; “Of course the Catholic Church claims that the change of the Sabbath was her act . . . And the act is a MARK of her ecclesiastical power and authority in religious matters.”
A statement in The Catholic Record of London, Ontario, Canada, in the Sept. 1, 1923, edition reads: “Sunday is our mark of authority! . . . The Church is above the Bible, and this transference of Sabbath observance is proof of the fact.” Jesus holds up the Sabbath as the sign of His power. But, the Catholic hierarchy holds up the act of changing the Sabbath from the seventh day to the first day of the week as the sign of its authority.
Here is a statement from a Catholic catechism – The Abridgment of Christian Doctrine, by Henry Tuberville, page 58: “Question: How prove you that the church has the power to command feast and holy days? Answer: By the very act of changing the Sabbath into Sunday.” The Catholics openly admit that the change of the Sabbath from the seventh day to the first by their church is a mark of their power to make laws.
Here is another statement by Father Segur in his book, Plain Talks to Protestants, page 213: “The observance of Sunday by the Protestants is an homage they pay, in spite of themselves, to the authority of the Catholic Church.”
"Of course the Catholic Church claims that the change was her act… And the act is a MARK of her ecclesiastical authority in religious things." H.F. Thomas; Chancellor of Cardinal Gibbons
As we can see, the Catholic Church claims that Sunday is the mark of her authority. It comes straight from paganism. And the whole Christian world is following the pagan sabbath. The Roman Catholic Church changed the day of worship from Saturday to Sunday. They admit this, and call Sunday the mark of their authority.
(Mark 7:7) – “Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”
As we have learned from the previous study, the Seal of God is the seventh day Sabbath worship. The Bible says that there will be two groups of people in the end; those who receive the Seal of God and those who receive the Mark of the Beast. With all the scriptural evidence that we have seen from the previous study, we have established that Sabbath-keeping constitutes the seal of God. It is obvious that the Mark of the Beast, is in direct opposition to the Seal of God. Sunday worship constitutes the Mark of the Beast! Mark of the Beast is not the Sunday observance, but it is the submission to the national Sunday laws. Nobody has the Mark of the Beast now. The Mark will come into effect when the Sunday laws are put in place.
You might say that it doesn’t matter which day one keeps. But the Sabbath question is not a matter of days. It is the question of obedience. (Eg. Tree of Knowledge in Garden of Eden)
There is a principle in Romans 6 that we should carefully consider.
(Rom. 6:16) – “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?”
Now I want to ask you two questions;
First, when a person keeps the seventh day of the week as the Sabbath, who does he obey? He obeys God. He shows that he is a servant of God.
And the second question is: When a person keeps Sunday as the Sabbath or the Lord’s Day, whom is he obeying in the matter of the day that he keeps?
The fact is that the person who keeps Sunday as the Lord’s Day does not obey Jesus in reference to the day that he keeps. There is no place where Jesus, or God the Father, has told anybody to keep the first day of the week for any reason whatsoever. So, when a person keeps the first day of the week as Sabbath, who is he obeying? He is obeying the authority of the Catholic Church.
(Rev. 13:16 again. ) – “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:”
The verse tells us that you can get the Mark of the Beast in your forehead or in your hand. Why will some people receive the Mark of the Beast in their foreheads and others in their hand?
The forehead represents the mind (Heb. 10; 16). A person will be marked in the forehead by a decision to keep Sunday as a holy day. The hand is a symbol of work (Eccl. 9:10). A person will be marked in the hand by working on God’s holy Sabbath or by going along with Sunday laws for practical reasons like job, family, etc.
By what power is this mark enforced on those who receive it?
(Rev. 13:11, 12, 16.) – “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. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.”
This Second Beast is a symbol of the United States of America. This power accurately fulfills the specifications of the prophecy. “And he had two horns like a lamb.” These horns represent the two notable features of the American system of government, separation of church and state, which is guaranteed in the Constitution of the United States. Civil liberty found its expression in a republican form of government and religious liberty in Protestantism.
Who will USA give life to?
(Rev. 13:15) – “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.”
The Image to the Beast will happen when the Protestant churches of America receive the power from the USA government to enforce worship. It will become an image or a likeness of the (First Beast) or the papacy of the dark ages. The civil government will enforce worship of the fallen protestant churches of America. Although the freedom of worship is guaranteed by the Constitution, there are powers working to amend the Constitution to take away that right. And the Bible tells us that the right to worship according to you conscience will be taken away.
What does Jesus say about those who place the men’s laws above God’s Commandments?
(Matt. 15:9) – “But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”
If we observe the Sunday laws and worship God on the false Sabbath (which is Sunday), Jesus said we are worshipping Him in vain. Sunday Sabbath is only a tradition which came into use centuries after Jesus ascended to heaven.
What does Jesus say about keeping of traditions which contradict the Law of God?
(Matt. 15:3) – “But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?”
Not only are we worshipping Him in vain, if we place tradition before the Law of God, but we are breaking God’s Law.
(Rev. 14:12) – “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.”
At the end of the Third Angel’s Message, which warns against the receiving of the Mark of the Beast, we are shown in contrast, those who keep the Commandments of God.
Reception of the Mark of the Beast will involve the commandments of God. It has to do with the rejection of the authority of God. Led captive by Satan’s delusions, the world will bow to the beast and its image, and carry out its commands. The saints, on the other hand, refuse to comply with its demands. They keep the Commandments of God.
During the time of trouble, what happens to God’s people who have refused the mark, and have the seal of God?
(Daniel 12:1) – “And 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.”
Those who have refused the Mark of the Beast will go through the time of greatest trouble this world has ever seen. They will resist even though they will be threatened with death. But, the good news for them is that they will be delivered.
How will they be delivered? Let’s see what follows the third angel’s message?
(Rev. 14:14.) – “And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.”
It is Jesus that appears on the scene! It’s talking of the Second Coming of Christ. It’s the time when everyone has made the decision, - to receive the seal of God or Mark of the Beast.
What does He do at this time?
(Rev. 14:16.) – “And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped”
Jesus thrusts His sickle on the earth, and the earth is reaped.
What is the reaping time, or the harvest called?
(Matt. 13:39.) – “The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.”
The harvest is the end of the world, and the reapers are the angels. This is the time when the righteous and the wicked will be separated and the wicked burned up.
Most of the world will receive the Mark of the Beast, and with the aid of the world government they will try to force it onto the Sabbath keepers. But, there is only one way out – Accept Jesus Christ as you personal Savior and follow Him – keep His commandments. Let us all work hard, and pray that God will help us to strengthen our faith, so when the mark of the beast is enforced, we will be strong enough to make the right decision and stay faithful to the only true God, the Creator.