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20Jan

The Mark of the Beast and the Sunday Law

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Hello everyone, before we begin I would like to ask a few favors of you. First, before we begin I suggest you read the previous articles from the Sabbath Truth series, they will lay a groundwork upon which this article stands, otherwise you may wonder when I make references what I am referring to.   You can view the whole series here, Sabbath Truth Series -  Secondly, please pray that God will guide you as you read this article and lead you to study His word and that nothing you have been taught previously will stand against His truth. This site is not here to indoctrinate you with my beliefs, it is here to promote the reading and studying of the Bible for yourself, the Bible teaches that we should test everything with the scriptures, don’t test it with your pastor but with the scriptures. Men may make mistakes, God doesn’t. I strongly believe that God has inspired the Bible to be written in such a way that if we search the scriptures diligently we can be sure of each of the truths it contains.

So lets get started… in this article we will be discussing what I believe to be a very important issue at the end of time.  Actually THE issue of the end times… and that is the test of worship. We will be going to the Bible and as always it will be our only rule of faith. God bless you as you study this subject with me. Questions and comments are welcome!

In previous articles we have established that contrary to popular belief the Sabbath has neither been abolished at the cross nor changed. That this is the work of Satan to destroy God’s law just as he tried to do in the garden of Eden, and just as he tried to do through the Papal church during the reformation period when the Catholic church kept the Bible hidden from the public and persecuted any who would read or teach its truths.  If you still have doubts about this and have read the previous articles feel free to email me at randy[at]ebibleanswers[dot]com with your questions or thoughts on the subject. I will study with you from the scriptures… but even history will prove this fact a hundred times over.

In the article Does the Sabbath Really Matter we discovered that the little horn of Revelation which thought to “change times and laws” and which oppressed the saints of the most high is the Papal Church of Rome, the Catholic church. This is supported by history which screams the testimony of the reformers who died for their faith under papal suppression when they would rather die then submit to papal dogmas and recant the truth. When it was illegal to read the Bible without being “educated” or without papal permission. We will discover in this article that this same power will oppress the saints one last time at the end and there will be a test which will separate the sheep from the goats, the saved from the lost, those with the seal of God from those who have the mark of the beast.

I want to take you back for a minute to the Garden of Eden… please bare with me as I try to explain to you why this is necessary. Lets turn to Genesis 2:15-17

And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.

And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:

But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die”

Hmm why would God plant a tree and then say “don’t eat of it”? He probably actually didn’t care which tree they didn’t eat from did He? – if we go back to verse 9 of chapter 2 we read:

And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil

There was nothing inherently wrong with the fruit of this tree, in fact it probably looked very delicious and appealing to the sight as this verse states.  So was God just being obstinate? No God always has a good reason for everything He does… it was a test to see if they would trust what God told them or believe a lie.

Are you beginning to see the correlation here? Both the test of the tree in the garden and the Sabbath are both matters of worship, trust and loyalty. We do not know how long before this when Satan rebelled against God and lost his place among the heavenly beings however God allowed Satan to tempt Adam and Eve that He might prove their loyalty to Him. And had they not failed their test Satan would have been banished from the garden and never again allowed to tempt them. But as we all know Eve listened to the serpent, why? Because when Satan tempted her she did not flee from him but stood there desiring the fruit.  She had to trust God that what He said was true, even though Satan was twisting it to make it sound like it was okay to eat the fruit. Is it any different today? Satan twists the Bible to say that the Apostles kept Sunday instead of Saturday as the new Sabbath. Are we going to trust that when God said “remember to keep the Sabbath holy” that He meant it or are we going to make petty arguments which scripture does not support? Friends I am not going to downplay and make the truth fluffy… we need to realize that when God says something that is what we do, we are not safe in any other course. The Bible says that Satan is so beguiling that if it were possible the very elect would be lost. We need to be studying the bible for ourselves so we can discern Satan’s temptations.

The test in the Garden of Eden was a simple test of whether Adam and Eve would believe the words of God or would say “it doesn’t really matter… did God really say???” – also I should point out an interesting fact here. Eve was beguiled and she sinned out of lust and a desire for a fruit because she allowed herself to remain in a position where Satan could tempt her, instead of fleeing. Adam on the other hand was not deceived yet he sinned because of peer-pressure… because his wife had sinned he also sinned so that he wouldn’t lose her.  In the end there will be two groups of lost people, those who were deceived(not anymore excusable then Eve’s sin) and those who are not confused in the least but who will not practice it because their friends, family and relatives are not following the truth and because they rationalize it away. Friends lets pray we never allow peer-pressure to keep us from following the truth… its a matter of life and death. If you are convicted of the truth don’t let days go by, accept it and by God’s grace let it be seen in your life.

Back to my original point, as the test in the Garden of Even was a simple test of whether man would obey God’s command over what Satan said so will the Sabbath test be in the end, a test of whether we follow what the Bible says or what man has established.  Don’t ever listen to Satan’s lie that God understands or God doesn’t care which day you keep… God holds as much esteem for the day He hallowed as He did for the tree He selected… think about it for a minute. God did not say to Adam “My son, go eat from every tree of the garden and select one that you will dedicate to me” – No, God said of THIS tree thou shalt not eat and God said THIS day I have hallowed.  God will no more accept our own day of worship then He accepted Eve’s disobedience.  When God tests His people He sets the conditions and His people are to obey unconditionally, it is our loyalty to Him that is shown by our obedience.

Some of you are wondering why I used this as a backdrop for the Sabbath test, the answer is simple. I want to show that there is little difference between keeping the Sabbath and eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil… in fact only one thing makes either of these a sin… a direct command from God.And when God commands we have but one option, obey! Why is it that the simplest things are made so complex by men?

I would like to get started in the Sabbath test study by going back to Daniel 7:25

And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time”

As we learned earlier in our previous Sabbath studies the only law in the Bible which is both a law and a time is the Sabbath… and the Catholic church as we also have learned fits right into this scenario, they clearly admit they changed(thought to change… in God’s book no change was made) the day. We discovered that the Papal Church, that is the establishment will be the anti-christ of Revelation. Now I must put a disclaimer here, up until the time the Papal church enacts the Sunday law there will be true Christians in the Roman Catholic church, those who are living up to all light they have been shown and they will be saved. But once the Papacy forces a Sunday law God’s true people will come out of “Babylon” as they did centuries ago during the reformation. I am not in anyway being mean to Catholics, I am only preaching the Bible to you.

Now lets get into the meat of the subject… determining what the mark of the beast and the seal of God truly are.

There are some Christians who make a rash statement, they state “you do not want to have a mark on your forehead in the end” – this is actually inconsistent with Biblical teaching. The Bible says that EVERYONE in the end will have one of two marks… lets read it from Revelation 7:2-3

And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea,

Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads

And also Revelation 9:4

And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads

Okay so ALL those who do not have the seal of God will receive the wrath of God, so this is a good mark that true Christians will have, not only that but we need to make sure we have this mark on our foreheads in the end because it seals us. Okay so I think we have established that the seal of God is a good thing, but what exactly is it… well what is a seal of a ruler? The seal of any ruler or king contains three items, the name, the ruler’s title or claim to authority, and thirdly, the region of his rule.

The Seal of God

And the purpose of a seal? Lets read Daniel 6:15-17

Then these men assembled unto the king, and said unto the king, Know, O king, that the law of the Medes and Persians is, That no decree nor statute which the king establisheth may be changed.

Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee.

And a stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords; that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel”

The seal of a king or ruler declares that his decree may not be changed, not by anyone even himself. This is proven in the above story of Daniel where even though Darius loved Daniel and desired to revoke the law he could not because of his seal.
So what is the seal of God, which is not only unchangeable but also a test for the Christians of the end times? Well it is the whole law in one essence… lets read

2nd Timothy 2:19:

Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”

Departing from iniquity is the same as keeping God’s law… for sin is the trasgression of the law. So the Lord has the seal and those who depart from iniquity will receive it.

Isaiah 8:16

Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples”

Revelation 14:12

Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus”

Is it safe to say that in the end keeping God’s law will be a test of the true Christian? I think that is a given… don’t believe anyone who tells you the law was nailed to the cross(please read our previous Sabbath articles) – because Revelation and many other parts of the Bible when dealing with end times specifically state that God’s true people will be keeping His WHOLE law.

So the true Christian is sealed by God’s law, by the keeping of His holy law.  I think we can also safely establish that this seal is a symbolic seal and not a physical stamp across our foreheads.

Now I want to get back to what the actual seal of God is, it is not only His law but in a more clear representation it is His holy Sabbath. Let me show you how and why… lets turn to Ezekial 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”

Let me pause for a second in case anyone should argue that these “Sabbaths” are the ceremonial Sabbaths and not the holy Sabbath of the ten commandments. The same Hebrew word, shabbâth, is used in both Exodus 20:11 and then in Ezekial 20:12 – the use of the plural only signifies that Christ has given us a perpetual sign, a perpetual and reoccuring day of worship.

You can also see the message of Ezekiel 20:12 reiterated in Ezekiel 20:20

And hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am the LORD your God

Exodus 31:13

Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you”

Exodus 31:16-17

Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.

It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed”

So the Sabbath which is in the middle of God’s law is His seal or sign… lets goto Exodus 20:11 to see this more vividly.

For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it”

We have the whole seal of God in this passage… did you see it? Lets recap, what does a seal include? A seal of a ruler has three items, the name, his office or title and his territory. For instance Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States of America.

In this verse we find them all…

His name: The Lord
Office or Title: Creator
Territory:  Heaven and Earth and all that is in them

Interestingly back during the time of the Israelites it was common for a document to be sealed by a King or ruler in the very middle of the document. As you can see in the following image of an ancient tablet:

ancient hittite document sealed by king in center

ancient Hittite tablet sealed by King in center

You might also note that the Bible states that the tree of knowledge of good and evil, the other test we mentioned, was also in the midst of the garden.  If you look at God’s law you will also notice the Sabbath is in the midst of the law. Is this all coincidental? No I don’t think so, if we look for it God has given us ample proof of His seal.

God knew all along how Satan would attack His holy law, especially His Sabbath which is a sign between Him and His people and the day HE established for His people to worship Him… He knew all this and that is why God said “remember” to keep it Holy… that is why He sealed it in His holy law so that anyone who cared to look could see that like other rulers yet with a much higher authority He has established a law which cannot be changed by anyone, a law that was sealed by the Holy one. And yet we dare to substitute His holy day and claim that He doesn’t mind, who do we think we are? We would not have dared to do that to any other King or ruler?

There will come a time when a Sunday law is declared(this will be shown later in the article) and those who who keep the Sabbath will have the seal of God on their foreheads and will be saved. But you ask, doesn’t Paul say that works cannot save us? Yes he does indeed, but he also says “shall we then continue in sin? God forbid…” – works do not save us, they will not save us in the end, they only show the state of the heart and are an act of obedience towards God. Works are only the outward showing of our connection and relationship with Christ. Works do not save us but lack of them, failure to follow God’s law condemns us…

I found this quote on another blog and I found it very interesting…its source is: The Pontifical Biblical Commission, May 24, 2001,THE JEWISH PEOPLE AND THEIR SACRED SCRIPTURES IN THE CHRISTIAN BIBLE, 2. The Human Person: Greatness and Wretchedness, a) In the Old Testament, #27.

Human existence is endowed with a certain rhythm. As well as the rhythm of day and night, lunar months and solar years (Gn 1:14-18), God establishes a weekly rhythm with rest on the seventh day, the basis of the sabbath (Gn 2:1-3). When they keep the sabbath observance (Ex 20:8-11), the masters of the earth render homage to their Creator.”

Is that amazing or not? The Catholic church, the very church that declared Sunday sacredness turns around and declares the true Sabbath. So even Catholicism admits that you are worshiping God and rendering homage and recognition of His seal by keeping the Sabbath, this raises a interesting question.  Who are you rendering homage to if you are not keeping the Sabbath of God? The Mark of the Beast…

There is something interesting about the Seal of God compared to the Mark of the Beast… we have discovered that the seal of God is in the forehead, however we will soon discover that the Mark of the Beast can be in the hand OR the forehead… why is this?

Revelation 13:16

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:”

What does this mean? It means that God’s true followers will keep His law and it will be part of who they are, it will not be an empty action as many Christian’s today… it will not just be works but it will be an act of pure love and honor for their Creator. They will keep His law because He died for them and commanded it…

Those who follow the beast do not have to believe Sunday is the truth and will not have to keep it out of conviction(if you can call it that). There will be many who will realize Sunday is the wrong day and will see clearly that the Sabbath of the Lord must be kept but they will observe the papal institution to save their lives just as many during the reformation sacrificed principle for their lives. Those represented in this verse as having the mark on the hand will act the part but will not actually believe it. They will have the outward appearance of keeping the Papal institutions but they do not believe it, they are only doing it to save their lives. When the Sunday law is enacted and they make the ultimate decision there will be no room for ignorance, they will have been given ample light,yet they will refuse it because of fear of death.

But remember God’s true church has only one seal and it is only on the forehead…if it is not a real love for Christ that causes you to keep the Sabbath you will become a Sunday-keeper when the Sunday law is passed. Because it is only out of love for our Creator and the Lord of the Sabbath that we would keep His day of worship. Don’t wait till that fateful day, establish your faith now by keeping God’s law… then when you are persecuted you will have such a relationship with Christ that you will be able to live without fear.

We established that the seal of God is His Sabbath, you are probably by now assuming the Mark of the Beast is the false or counterfeit Sabbath: Sunday. You would be right but sense we first went to the Bible, God’s book, for confirmation of His holy day lets goto the Catholic church for confirmation of their day. Here is what they say about the matter…

From the Catechism:

Q. Which is the Sabbath day?
A. Saturday is the Sabbath day.
Q. Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday?
A. We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday.”

And also:

Q. Have you any other way of proving that the Church has power to institute festivals of precept?
A. Had she not such power, she could not have done that in which all modern religionists agree with her–she could not have substituted the observance of Sunday the first day of the week, for the observance of Saturday the seventh day, a change for which there is no Scriptural authority.”

And lastly:

“Protestants … accept Sunday rather than Saturday as the day for public worship after the Catholic Church made the change… But the Protestant mind does not seem to realize that … in observing Sunday, they are accepting the authority of the spokesman for the Church, the pope.” Our Sunday Visitor, February 5th, 1950.

What a rebuke to protestants… who came out of the reformation, churches formed because of papal dogmas and yet years later they are still observing the single-most important work of the papacy, the change of the Sabbath.

I think this safely establishes the point… the Papal church even admits that their authority and mark is the fact that they changed God’s holy day of worship… and what a rebuke they give to protestantism.  But will we heed it or will we ignore yet another conviction?

So what does the Papal power do to those who dare to keep God’s Sabbath during these times?

Revelation 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.”

This point here also makes another fact clear, nobody currently has the mark of the beast for when it is received anyone who does not have the mark of the beast will be unable to buy or sell… this is not an issue in the world today as of yet. There is also another good point here… there is no middle ground in the end, you will either be keeping God’s true Sabbath or Satan’s counterfeit, you will not be able to continue as an atheist or dissolve form keeping any day holy. Satan will as an ultimate thrust try to deceive the whole word with his counterfeit day of worship and he will not be satisfied with just the breaking of the Sabbath, he will see to it that they also keep Sunday. But perhaps on a happier note, at this time because there will be no middle ground every single person in the universe will have a chance to know the truth. In this terrible time God is going to give everyone a last chance to realize His love by instituting the law.

I want us now to go through some verses in Revelation describing the Mark of the Beast.

Revelation 14:9-12

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,

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:

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.

Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus”

Revelation 16:2

And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image

Revelation 19:20

And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone”

Revelation 20:4

And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years”

What do all these verse have in common? They all speak of worshiping the beast… here on earth you are rewarded for a time for worshiping the beast but ultimately those who worship the beast receive the plagues of God and then the second death. Anyone who says keeping the Sabbath is not a matter of worship does not read Revelation cause these verses have been very clear that this is a matter of worship… every verse listed above notes that.

I want you to notice carefully Revelation 14:12 which is listed above. The New American Standard version may have put it in better modern language…

Here is the perseverance of the saints who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus”

I don’t understand how you could get much clearer than that, being part of God’s people is synonymous with keeping His commandments. I can’t overstress the importance here, we MUST be keeping God’s WHOLE law. It is a very important matter.

We have already established from the Bible that the mark of the beast is the Papacy or Roman Catholic church(please see the Sabbath Truth series for further clarification). But there is something very interesting I did not mention previously, if you take the title of the pope “VICARIUS FILII DEI” and add up the roman numerals it equals 666.  Also the Pope in his very name admits he is the Anti-Christ.  Anti and Vicar have very similar meanings, that is to substitute or be in the place of. So the Anti-Christ and the Vicar of Christ or virtually the same thing… Many people have a false idea of what the Anti-Christ is. They think it is some hideous creature which will openly oppose Christ and all Christians, that is not so, he will instead take the place of God on earth and pretend to be acting in God’s will or stead. Has the Pope not done this? If the protestant world accepts the idea that the Anti-Christ is a hideous creature they will be deceived because they will not be expecting it…  I cannot over emphasize your need to be studying the Bible, don’t depend on your pastor or church for the truth, depend on God’s word alone. Do as the reformers did, search the scriptures and know for yourself what they say, so that day will not come upon you unawares.

Has this message been clear? Is God convicting your heart, do you feel convicted to keep His holy Sabbath in light of what the Bible teaches? You should, because if we don’t keep it now why would we keep it then? No matter where you stand in this article, whether your convicted or you don’t believe it, I would love to talk with you personally. If you would like to study it out personaly with me I would be more than happy to do that. You can email me at randy[at]ebibleanswers[dot]com

I have been requested to write this article in continuation of the Sabbath series. I hope it has been a blessing to you and that it will drive you to study the Bible for yourself.

Tuesday, January 20th, 2009 at 4:00 pm and is filed under End Times, General Bible Questions, Mark of the Beast, papal church, Sabbath/Sunday, Seal of God. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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