Chapter 5 - The MARK of the Beast.
The "Mark of the Beast" and the "Seal of God" are direct opposites. In the end, everyone will have one or the other.
Those who choose the seal of God, will be with Jesus in His wonderful kingdom - that gorgeous paradise of beauty beyond our wildest dreams. It's a land where loving kindness, peace, and happiness reign. Those who choose the mark of the beast will be cast into the lake of fire.
Man! If there's anything we don't want - it's the mark of the beast!
Now we're ready to discover the hoax of all hoaxes - the counterfeit that will deceive the world and plunge it into eternal despair. It will be the straw that broke the camel's back. Listen to what God has to say about this dreaded "mark."
"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." Revelation 14:9,10.
There are two easy ways to learn what the mark of the beast is. Number one, ask the beast what the mark of its authority is. It will tell you quite frankly. Number two, find what the "seal of God" is, and you'll know that the "mark" is just the opposite.
The reason why such a terrible warning is given against receiving the mark of the beast is, because, to receive it is a great sin against God. This is why those who receive it will be lost. Those who choose the seal of God will be showing their love and loyalty to Him instead of to the beast - even in the face of death! Oh yes, the Bible reveals that pressure will be applied (the beast's favorite method). Those who refuse it will be persecuted, boycotted, not allowed to buy or sell, and finally sentenced to death!
Take a look at these astonishing words. Notice that this time it will be the "image of the beast" that will enforce the "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 ... 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 13:15,17.
What a picture!
No matter which way you look at it, a crisis is stealing upon our world. People can sense it. And it won't be long.
Those who love God with all of their hearts will not conform to the pressure - come what may. They stand firm in the face of death, and receive the seal of the living God in their foreheads. Is this your choice? It's no trivial thing - it's a matter of eternal life, or just the opposite.
Concerning God's seal it says:
"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." Revelation 7:2,3.
"Winds" in prophecy stand for strife and war. A global war is coming, as we'll soon see. But here, the angels are holding it back until the servants of God can have a chance to receive His seal. It would have all broken loose before now but God in His great love and mercy, is holding it back - only a little longer. There have been "smoke screens." The "superpowers" and other nations have had a number of "peace" talks. Nations are talking peace while preparing for "high tech" war. "Peace, peace" is cried, when there is no peace.
It's no accident that the "Mark of the beast" hasn't yet been enforced. But soon the angels will start to let loose! Whether by T.V., radio, or by seeing the persecution of others in the courts who have God's seal, people will learn the difference between the "seal" and the "mark" and will take their stand. This very book may be one method God has chosen for you to find out these fantastic facts! It's no coincidence that you are reading it now. God is waiting for the sincere, humble followers of Jesus to learn the great issues involved and to be able to receive His seal which Satan has tried to keep from them.
When all learn the issues involved, and make their final choice - it's closing time! Then comes the close of probation for the human race, the seven last plagues, and earth's last, stupendous battle, (we'll look at these things in a few minutes). Where you stand then is determined by the choice you make now!
First of all, what is God's "seal?" A seal is something having to do with legal affairs. A law is stamped with the seal of the ruling government. A seal has three parts:
When the government seal is on a law, or on currency, it is official. The whole loyal nation stands behind it. God's seal makes His law official, and the whole loyal universe stands behind it.
Anyone disloyal to the seal of the government, and to the law upon which it is attached, is looked upon as being disloyal to the government itself.
Just as a government ruler's seal is placed in his law to make it official, God's seal is in His law. Here's what God says: "Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples." Isaiah 8:16.
Where are we sealed? In the forehead. His law is in our hearts. Under the new covenant, His promise is:
"This is the covenant that I will make with them after those day, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them." Hebrews 10:16.
The Holy Spirit places the seal of God in our foreheads when we choose it. The forehead contains the "frontal lobe." This section of the brain is where our conscience is. When you receive the seal of God in your forehead, it means you have it in your conscience. You believe in it. You're loyal to it.
Just as the government ruler uses his "seal" of government to enforce the laws of the land, God uses His "seal" to enforce His law. The beast will use his seal (mark), to try to enforce his law in place of God's.
Where will you find the seal of God with its three parts? In the very center of His law. Take a close look:
"Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work . . . 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." Exodus 20:8-11.
This is the only place in the Bible where you will find God's seal. Here are the three parts of the seal.
That is fantastic! No wonder Satan has worked so hard to hide the truth of the sacred Sabbath from us. It's God's sign!
You may ask "Is the Sabbath really the seal of God?" Look at 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." "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." Ezekiel 20:20. (The word "sign" means the same as "seal" - see Romans 4:11).
What could be clearer? The seal of God is His Sabbath.
Satan knew that he had to get at this very part. No wonder the beast ripped it out and put in a substitute!
Look at this astonishing statement concerning her act of changing God's Sabbath to Sunday - "Of course the Catholic Church claims that the change was her act. And the act (get this now) is a mark of her ecclesiastical power and authority in religious matters." (1)! Sunday worship is the mark of the Papacy's authority. The mark. Sunday worship is the "mark of the beast!"
The issues are plain. God says that He is the true God. He has given His Sabbath as a sign of His authority as the Creator of all. By keeping it, we recognize His authority. But the Catholic church says in effect:
"No! Keep the first day of the week, and lo, the entire civilized world bows in reverent obedience to the command of the holy Catholic church." (2) "It's the MARK of our authority to over-rule God's law."
But what about all of our loved ones who are keeping Sunday and don't know any better? Do they have the mark of the beast?
No! Only those who know better and realize that they are breaking God's fourth commandment are held accountable. The Bible says, "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin." James 4:17. You and I know now and are held accountable. Soon all will know. God is making this very point a great test for the world in the last days. It will separate those who really love God enough to obey Him, even amid persecution, from those who merely claim to be Christians but like Pilate, will compromise, go along with the crowd - and end up with the mark of the beast. The "Mark" won't officially be received until it is enforced by the "two horned beast" of Revelation 13.
We certainly don't want to hurt our loving Saviour by breaking any of His commandments. That would break His heart. Sin hurts Him most of all. He suffered agony on the cross to take away our sins. Blood ran from His body. His love for us is very tender. Those who willfully receive the mark of the beast are willing to hurt the loving heart of God. As we choose to keep all of His commandments, it makes Him glad.
As you begin to worship Him in a special way on His Sabbath, He will make it the happiest day of the week for you. You'll be able to lay aside your cares and labours one whole day and have a beautiful rest with Jesus - not only physically, but a rest of soul, a joyful peace and freedom from guilt.
If you happen to work on Sabbath, He can help you with that too. I've never seen it fail. Those who determine to keep His Sabbath holy and not work on Saturday, have God's special care and miraculous providence. He will either help you get the Sabbath off from work, or if you have to lose your job, He will give you a better one! I guarantee it. That's God! That's our kind Heavenly Father.
Every person on the earth will be tested on this very point. Millions around the world have discovered these amazing truths just like you have and are rejoicing in a closer walk with Jesus than ever before.
Here's another question - what does it mean to receive the mark in your hand?
Remember, to receive it in the forehead means that you believe in it, you're loyal to it. (There will also be an outward sign of some kind whereby people will be able to tell who has the mark and who doesn't. We'll study that in a minute). To receive it in the hand means that when the mark is enforced by the "image of the beast" they go along with it, not because they believe in it but just to be able to buy and sell, to keep their jobs, and save their lives. The hand is a symbol of work and making a living.
This is a shocking thought! How could anything like that happen in our free country? If the "image of the beast" tries to force everyone to receive the "mark of the beast" how does he do it?
Who is the "image of the beast" anyway?