The Mark Of The
IN REVELATION 13:16
the Apostle John has penned these significant words: "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 is
this mark? It must be of great importance to understand this, for Jesus
gives us a solemn warning against receiving the mark. (Revelation 22:16;
14:9, 10.) Some claim that it is the mark of the labor unions; but the
"small" cannot belong to them, neither are the
"rich," or capitalists, members of labor organizations. Others
say this prophecy refers to the peculiar "handshake" of the
Freemasons; but the "bond," or slave, and the
"small," or children, cannot become members of that
organization; and yet all these will receive the mark of the beast.
This mark must
belong to religion, for it has to do with "worship"
(Revelation 13:12), and it must have originated with the Papacy, for it
is "his mark" (Revelation 15:2), and yet it must be something
both Catholics and Protestants agree upon, for "all" will
receive it (Revelation 13:12, 16). It is something in which not only the
people but also "the earth" on which they dwell, can show
obedience. (Revelation 13:12.) There is but one thing that answers to
all these specifications; namely, Sunday-keeping. Sunday is a religious
institution that originated with the Catholic Church, and yet
Protestants agree to keep it, and we shall now show how the earth can
have a part in receiving the mark.
"thy manservant," "thy stranger," and "thy
cattle" to rest on His holy Sabbath (Exodus 20:10); that is, no
work should be allowed in a field of which we have control. And because
the Jews did not obey this, the Lord declared: "I will scatter you
among the heathen, and your land shall be desolate .... Then shall the
land rest, and enjoy her Sabbaths; . . . because it did not rest in your
sabbaths, when ye dwelt upon it." Leviticus 26:33-35.
And so the Jews were
taken into captivity to Babylon for seventy years. (Jeremiah 17:27; 2
Chronicles 36:20, 21.) Generally speaking, the people of this world have
not allowed the earth to rest on God's holy Sabbath for six thousand
years, therefore He will lay it desolate for one thousand years, to give
it the rest man has denied it. (Jeremiah 4:23-25; Revelation 20:1, 2.)
We have now seen
that God wants the earth as well as the people to rest on His holy
Sabbath. But the Roman Catholic Church has put herself on record as
flatly denying God's claim. Father Enright declares:
says: 'Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy,' but the Catholic
Church says: 'No, keep the first day of the week,' and the whole world
bows in obedience"–"The Industrial American," Harlan,
Iowa, Dec. 19, 1839.
When our government,
under pressure from the churches, shall by law enforce the papal Sunday
in open violation of God's command, so that the people rest on Sunday,
and work their land on the Sabbath, then "the earth and them which
dwell therein" will yield obedience to the papal power. (Revelation
Some will ask how a
day can be a mark in a person's forehead or hand. But we read in Exodus
13:3, 4, 9 that a day can be "for a sign unto thee upon thine hand,
and for a memorial between thine eyes." But some one will ask how
this "mark" can be received by some only "in their right
hand," while others receive it "in their foreheads."
(Revelation 13:16.) That is easy to see. Many people tell us:"We
know that the seventh day is the right Sabbath, but we have to work on
that day or lose our jobs." Such people have no Sunday- Sabbath in
their mind, or forehead, because they do not believe in it; but their
"hand" obeys it, and so they receive it in their hand. There
are others who see the seventh day is the true Sabbath in the New
Testament, but they love their old friends and their old ways more than
the unpopular truth, and wish they did not have to obey it. Now, as God
cannot accept unwilling service, He will no longer impress them with the
importance of obeying it. God's Spirit is grieved away, and another
spirit steps in unnoticed and leads them against the truth.
"Because they received not the love of the truth, . . . God shall
send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie." 2
Thessalonians 2:10, 11. (We have an example of this in 1 Kings 22.)
After rejecting the truth they become enthusiastic believers in the
false sabbath, and thus they receive this mark "in their
Who Receives The
On the other hand,
people who have never heard the facts presented, but innocently keep
Sunday, thinking it is the right day, are not receiving the mark of the
beast by so doing, for God does not hold a person responsible for light
that he has never had opportunity to hear or reject. Let us illustrate
An earnest Christian
is the owner of a dry-goods store, and has sold a woman ten yards of
cloth. Later she comes back with it, claiming that it is too short. He
measures it again, and finds it full length, but, as she insists that it
is short, he buys a new yardstick, and placing both side by side he
finds his old one an inch short. In amazement he exclaims: "My
grandfather was an earnest Christian, and he used this yardstick, and so
did my godly father. They were unwittingly stealing, and died without
repenting of their sin; they are lost!" He reflects a moment, then
adds: "No! I saw them die triumphantly in Christ; they are saved.
And I have had blessed seasons with Jesus during these twenty years I
have used this old yardstick. If they could be saved using it, and I
could serve God acceptably all these years, I will continue to use it
hereafter!" But can he be saved while knowingly breaking one of
God's commandments? He could have been saved, if his attention had not
been called to it. But can he now continue to use the short yard measure
and remain a true Christian?
"If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin, but
now they have no cloak for their sin" (John 15:22); and Paul
"The times of
this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to
repent" (Acts 17:30). "Therefore to him that knoweth to do
good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin." James 4:17. Seeing that
God's law is His measuring rod, or standard for moral conduct, and that
the Papacy has cut off part of it, so people innocently have followed a
faulty rule, and Christ has not attributed this sin to His people till
they had opportunity to know better. But when His last message of mercy
is being heralded to the world, all are given their choice as to whom
they will serve, and those who refuse to listen to His message are as
responsible as though they had heard it. (Revelation 22:14; 14:12; Luke
11:31; Proverbs 28:9.)
All will admit that
Christ has a perfect right to choose any "sign" He desires,
and when He sets forth the Sabbath as the sign, or mark, of His
authority and of His sanctifying power, we should accept it with
pleasure. (Ezekiel 20:12, 20; 9:4-6.)
Selects Its Flag
On the other hand
the pope claims to be Christ's representative on earth, having authority
to act in His name, so that "the sentences which he gives are to be
forthwith ratified in heaven."–Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. XII,
art. "Pope," par. 20, p. 265.
Any one who makes
counterfeit money tries to make it as near like the genuine as possible.
And when Christ has chosen the Sabbath as His sign, the Papacy, in
selecting a counterfeit sign, would naturally choose one as near like
the genuine as possible, and so it took the very next day. And after
having changed the day of rest from the seventh to the first day, the
Papacy would naturally point to such a vital change in God's law as
evidence of its power; for no one could validly change God's moral law
without being authorized to act in Christ's stead.
Hence if, after we
have carefully searched the New Testament, and found no command there
for the change of the day, we still rely on the custom of the church by
keeping the Sunday, we thereby acknowledge the authority of the church
that made this change. The Roman Catholic Church sees this point, and
uses it as a challenge to Protestantism, as the following quotations
from Roman Catholic authorities will show:
Rev. Stephen Keenan
any other way of proving that the Church has power to institute
festivals of precept?
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."–"Doctrinal Catechism,'' p. 174. New York:P. J.
Kenedy and Sons, 1846.
Tuberville, D. D., says:
you that the Church hath power to command feasts and holy-days?
very act of changing the Sabbath into Sunday, which Protestants allow
of; and therefore they fondly contradict themselves, by keeping Sunday
strictly, and breaking most other feasts commanded by the same Church.
by keeping Sunday, they acknowledge the Church's power to ordain feasts,
and to command them under sin, and by not keeping the rest by her
commanded, they again deny, in fact, the same power"–"An
Abridgment of the Christian, Doctrine," p. 58. New York:Kenedy,
1833. J. F. Snyder, of Bloomington, Ill., wrote Cardinal Gibbons asking
if the Catholic Church claims the change of the Sabbath "as a mark
of her power." The Cardinal through his Chancellor, gave the
following answer: "Of course the Catholic Church claims that the
change was her act. It could not have been otherwise, as none in those
days would have dreamed of doing anything in matters spiritual and
ecclesiastical and religious without her. And the act is a mark of her
ecclesiastical power and authority in religious matters." (Signed)
"H. F. Thomas, "Chancellor for the Cardinal." "Nov.
We will now let the
Catholic Church tell when it changed the Sabbath day.
Here is its answer:
the Sabbath day? A.-Saturday is the Sabbath day. Q-Why do we observe
Sunday instead of Saturday?
Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church, in the Council
of Laodicea (A. D. 336), transferred the solemnity from Saturday to
Sunday."–"Convert's Catechism," Rev. P. Geiermann, p.
50. London:1934. Sanctioned by the Vatican, Jam. 25, 1910. "The
Catholic Church for over one thousand years before the existence of a
Protestant, by virtue of her Divine mission, changed the day from
Saturday to Sunday."–"The Christian Sabbath," p. 29.
Printed by the "Catholic Mirror," the official organ of
Cardinal Gibbons, Baltimore, Md., 1893.
Kindly notice how
often Catholic authors refer to the fact that there is no Scripture
proof for Sunday, but that it rests solely on the authority of the
Catholic Church. Rt. Rev. John Milner says:
precept in the Bible is that of sanctifying the seventh day, 'God
blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it.' Genesis 2:3. This precept
was confirmed by God in the Ten Commandments, 'Remember the
Sabbath-day, to keep it holy. The seventh day is the Sabbath of the
Lord thy God.' Exodus 20. On the other hand, Christ declares that He
is not come to destroy the law, but to fulfill it. Matthew 5:17. He
Himself observed the Sabbath and, as His custom was, He went into the
synagogue on the Sabbath day.' Luke 4:16. His disciples likewise
observed it after His death, 'They rested on the Sabbath day according
to the commandment,' Luke 23:56. Yet with all this weight of Scripture
authority for keeping the Sabbath, or seventh day, holy, Protestants
of all denominations make this a profane day, and transfer the
obligation of it to the first day of the week, or the Sunday. Now what
authority have they for doing this? None whatever, except the
unwritten word, or tradition, of the Catholic Church"–"End
of Religious Controversy,'' p. 89. New York:P. J. Ke'nedy, 1897.
The Brotherhood of
St. Vincent de Paul says:
day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do any
work.' (Exod. XX. 8, 9) .... Such being God's command then, I ask
again, Why do you not obey it? . . .
answer me, perhaps, that you do keep holy the Sabbath-day; for that
you abstain from all worldly business, and diligently go to church,
and say your prayers, and read your Bible at home, every Sunday of
your lives. "But Sunday is not the Sabbath-day, Sunday is the
first day of the week; the Sabbath-day was the seventh day of the week
Almighty God did not give a commandment that men should keep holy one
day in seven; but He named His own day, and said distinctly, 'Thou
shalt keep holy the seventh day' and He assigned a reason for choosing
this day rather than any other reason which belongs only to the
seventh day of the week, and cannot be applied to the rest. He says,
'For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea and all that
in them is, and rested on the seventh day; wherefore the Lord blessed
the Sabbath-day and hallowed it.' Almighty God ordered that all men
should rest from their labor on the seventh day, because He too had
rested on that day. He did not rest on Sunday, but on Saturday. On
Sunday, which is the first day of the week, He began the work of
creation .... Gen. 2:2, 3. Nothing can be more plain and easy to
understand than all this; and there is nobody who attempts to deny it
Why then do you keep holy the Sunday, and not Saturday?
"You will tell
me that Saturday was the Jewish Sabbath, but that the Christian
Sabbath has been changed to Sunday. Changed! but by whom? Who has
authority to change an express commandment of Almighty God?– When
God has spoken and said, Thou shalt keep holy the seventh day, who
shall dare to say, Nay, thou mayest work and do all manner of worldly
business on the seventh day; but thou shalt keep holy the first day in
its stead? This is a most important question, which I know not how you
"You are a
Protestant, and you profess to go by the Bible and the Bible only ....
The command to keep holy the seventh day is one of the Ten
Commandments; you believe that the other nine are still binding; who
gave you authority to tamper with the fourth?
"We blame you
not for making Sunday your weekly holy-day instead of Saturday, but
for rejecting tradition, which is the only safe and clear rule by
which this observance can be justified."–"Why Don't You
Keep Holy the Sabbath-Day?" pp. 2-4, 8. London:Burns and Oates.
Found also in "The Clifton Tracts," Most Rev. John Hughes,
Church has instituted the Sunday as the Lord's day instead of the
Sabbath . . . shows forth her great power which she solemnly received
from Christ"–"Manual of the Catholic Religion," p.
Dr. Martin Luther
and Melancthon felt the stinging force of this Catholic argument in
proof of the power of the papal church, although they knew that the time
had not then come for a Sabbath reform. Dr. Eck, disputing with Luther,
the Church has had power to change the Sabbath of the Bible into
Sunday and to command Sunday-keeping, why should it not have also this
power concerning other days? . . . If you omit the latter, and turn
from the Church to the Scriptures alone, then you must keep the
Sabbath with the Jews, which has been kept from the beginning of the
world"–"Enchiridon," pp. 78, 79. 1533.
Calling attention to
this Roman Catholic assumption of authority, the Reformers said:
point out, that the Sabbath is changed to Sunday, contrary as it
seems, to the Ten Commandments; and there is no example over which
they make more ado than the change of the Sabbath. Great, they assert,
must be the power of the Church, when it can grant release from one of
the Ten Commandments.''–''The Augsburg Confession," art. 28, in
"Book of Concord," p. 79. (Norwegian ed., printed in
At the great Council
of Trent (1545-1563), which was called to determine the "doctrines
of the Church in answer to the heresies of the Protestants"
(Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. XV, art. "Trent," p. 30), the
question of the authority of the church over that of the Bible was
decided in the following manner:
the last [session] opening on the eighteenth of January, 1562, their
last scruple was set aside; the archbishop of Reggio made a speech in
which he openly declared that tradition stood above Scripture. The
authority of the church could therefore not be bound to the authority
of the Scripture, because the church had changed Sabbath into Sunday,
not by the command of Christ, but by its own authority. With this, to
be sure, the last illusion was destroyed, and it was declared that
tradition does not signify antiquity, but continual
inspiration."–"Canon and Tradition," Dr. J. H.
Holtzman, p. 263. ("Source Book," pp. 603, 604.)
After the Jesuits
were expelled from England in 1579 they determined to recapture that
country, and at their school at Rheims, France, they translated their
New Testament from the Vulgate Latin into English in 1582. (Their Old
Testament was printed at Douay, 1609, so that their whole Bible has come
to be called the Douay version.) In their English New Testament,
translated from the Vulgate Edition of 1582, printed in New York, 1834,
we read on page 413, note on the Apocalypse 1:10:
"And if the
Church had authority and inspiration from God, to make Sunday, being a
work-day before, an everlasting holy-day; and the Saturday, that
before was holyday, now a common work-day; why may not the same Church
prescribe and appoint the other feasts of Easter, Whitsuntide,
Christmas, and the rest? For the same warrant she hath for the one she
hath for the other."
Thus we see that the
Roman Catholic Church always and everywhere points to her change of the
Sabbath as the mark, or evidence, of her having the power and
inspiration from God to legislate in Christ's stead for His church on
earth, and that this power is vested in the pope. Pope Leo XIII says:
"We hold upon this earth the place of God Almighty." All must
yield "complete submission and obedience of will to the Church and
to the Roman Pontiff, as to God Himself"–"Great Encyclical
Letters," pp. 304, 193. And Pope Gregory says of the power of the
"Hence he is
said to have a heavenly power, and hence changes even the nature of
things, applying the substantial of one thing to another–can make
something out of nothing–a judgment which is null he makes to be
real, since in the things which he wills, his will is taken for a
reason. Nor is there any one to say to him, Why doest thou this? For
he can dispense with the law, he can turn injustice into justice by
correcting and changing the law, and he has the fulness of
power."–"Decretals of Gregory" (R. C.), Book I, title
7, chap. 3. Gloss on the Transfer of Bishops.
The Roman "Decretalia,"
an authentic work on Roman ecclesiastical law, says of the power of the
pronounce sentences and judgments in contradiction to the right of
nations, to the law of God and man .... He can free himself from the
commands of the apostles, he being their superior, and from the rules
of the Old Testament.
"The pope has
power to change times, to abrogate laws, and to dispense with all
things, even the precepts of Christ."–"Decretal, de
Translat. Episcop. Cap."
will stands for reason. He can dispense above the law; and of wrong
make right, by correcting and changing laws"–Pope Nicholas,
Dist. 96; quoted in "Facts for the Times," pp. 55, 56. 1893.
"The Mark Of
We have now seen
that the pope claims to be the "Vicar of the Son of God" on
earth; to have authority to act in His name. And as proof for this claim
he points to the fact that he has changed the Sabbath into Sunday. How
conclusive! He must be authorized as Christ's "Vicar" in order
to validly make such a vital change in God's moral law. That is
imperative! The Sunday-Sabbath is therefore the proof or mark of his
"vicarship"; it is "the mark of his name."
Revelation 14:11. When once a person has become aware of the wording of
this text (Revelation 14:11), it becomes impossible for him to exchange
this explanation of either the "mark" or the "name"
for some other. For the creation of the Sunday-Sabbath by the Papacy
constitutes the mark, or proof, of the pope's being invested with
authority to act as "Vicar of the Son of God." This
"mark" and this "name" fit together as prepared by
the divine hand of prophecy, and no others do. Catholics can therefore
appeal to Protestants in the following way:
"not only has no foundation in the Bible, but it is in flagrant
contradiction with its letter, which commands rest on the Sabbath, which
is Saturday. It was the Catholic Church which, by the authority of Jesus
Christ, has transferred this rest to the Sunday .... Thus the observance
of Sunday by the Protestants is an homage they pay, in spite of
themselves, to the authority of the Church."–"Plain Talk
About the Protestantism of Today," from the French by Segur, p.
While God did not
attribute this sin to His people in former ages, when they had not been
enlightened on the subject, we are now approaching the final struggle
between Christ and the restored Papacy, and it behooves us to show under
which flag we have decided to stand. For example: In times of peace, no
serious results would come to an alien in this country, if, on his
holiday, he should hoist his native flag. But if our country was at war
with his homeland, and he then should tear down the "Stars and
Stripes," and trample on it, while he hoisted his own flag, it
would be an entirely different matter. And so now, while Christ and
Antichrist face each other in the last deadly struggle, it becomes a
serious matter to hoist the enemy's flag, while trampling on the
blood-stained banner of Prince Emmanuel!
The papal power was
"to continue forty and two months" (Revelation 13:5), and, as
the Bible reckons thirty days to a month, this period would be 1260
prophetic days (Revelation 11:2, 3). And a day in prophecy stands for a
year. (Ezekiel 4:6.) Thus we see that the papal supremacy would continue
for 1260 years. We have already seen that this period began in 538 and
ended in 1798 A. D. (See pp. 52-60.) At that time the pope, who had for
centuries driven God's people "into captivity," was himself to
"go into captivity," the prophet declared. (Revelation 13:10.)
And when the hour struck, to which God's prophetic clock had pointed for
1700 years, the pope had to "go into captivity." Rome was
taken by the French on February 10, 1798, the Roman Republic proclaimed
on the fifteenth, and on the night of the twentieth, Pope Pius VI was
hurried off "into captivity," where he finally died at
Valence, France, in 1799. Napoleon had previously given orders that no
new pope was to be elected in his place. "No wonder that half
Europe thought Napoleon's veto would be obeyed, and that with the Pope
the Papacy was dead"–"Modern Papacy," Joseph Rickaby,
S. J., p. 1.
But this prophecy
also foretells its restitution. The prophet declares: "His deadly
wound was healed; and all the world wondered after the beast."
Revelation 13:3. (Compare 17:8.) A new pope (Pius VII) was elected March
14, 1800, and, as J. Rickaby further states:
then, the Papacy has been lifted to a pinnacle of spiritual power
unreached, it may be, since earliest Christian history"–Id., p.
Especially since the
days of Pope Leo XIII the healing of the "deadly wound" has
been steadily progressing. On February 11, 1929, the pope once more
became a civil ruler (a king). Some day he will attempt to assume his
ancient authority over the nations of earth, and then the world will
realize that the Papacy is unchanged in spirit, that it will do today
just what it did in the Dark Ages.
We shall now see
what God will do for those who have been faithful to Him in this time of
apostasy, and have not deviated from His word, while the whole Christian
world has gone astray. But let all remember that we cannot follow what
is easy and popular, and expect to stand under God's protection.
It was the ark of
Noah–the object of so much scorn and derision from the world–that
finally became the means of rescue to all who stood faithfully by it
under taunt and ridicule. And so now. (Luke 17:26.) God always uses
unpopular truths with which to test His people and gather out the honest
in heart, and He will protect His own in the time of trouble.
abide under the shadow of the Almighty," safe "from the
noisome pestilence." As a hen protects her brood in a storm, so
"He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt
thou trust; His truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be
afraid for the terror by night [night raids by airplanes]; nor for the
arrow that flieth by day; nor for the pestilence that walketh in
darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand
shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall
not come nigh thee, . . neither shall any plague come nigh thy
dwelling." Psalm 91:1-10.
God will reveal that
He still lives and reigns, and the world shall yet see that He puts a
difference "between him that serveth God and him that serveth Him
not" (Malachi 3:18), just as He did during the plagues of Egypt
(Exodus 8:22, 23; 9:4; 10:23; Isaiah 4:5, 6). "His truth shall be
thy shield and buckler." Psalm 91:4. (Compare John 17:17;
Colossians 1:5; Psalm 119:142, 151.)
According to the new
covenant promise, the Holy Spirit is to write the law of God in the
heart of God's children. (Hebrews 8:8-10; 2 Corinthians 3:3.) But it
must be put "into their mind" before it can be written
"in their hearts" (Hebrews 8:10); and as they have been
looking at a mutilated law, the missing part must be .restored before
the 'Holy Spirit can write it in their hearts. And so the message comes
to "bind up the testimony, seal the law among My disciples."
While the nations
are moving toward Armageddon, while angels are about to release the
winds of war but have been admonished to hold a little longer, another
angel comes with the "seal of the living God," saying:
"Hurt not the earth, . . . till we have sealed the servants of our
God in their foreheads," so they shall be able to stand during the
terrible time of trouble just ahead. (Revelation 6:17; 7:1-3). The Lord
revealed the same scene to Ezekiel. He saw the destroyers coming, but a
man clothed in linen (a symbol of purity, Revelation 19:8) went before
them to "set a mark upon the foreheads of" God's people, after
which the destroyers were told to "slay utterly old and young, . .
. but come not near any man upon whom is the mark." Ezekiel 9:1-6.
This mark, or sign, is the Sabbath. "I gave them My Sabbaths to be
a sign between Me and them." Ezekiel 20:12, 20.
As Christ viewed His
people on the earth, and found them without "the seal of the living
God," He commanded the winds of war to be held in check "till
we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.
"Revelation 7:1- 3. They were God's servants, but lacked the seal.
In Ezekiel 9:4-6 and 20:12, 20 it is called God's "mark," or
"sign," while in Revelation 7:1-4 it is called His
"seal." God's "name" will be written in the
foreheads of His people. (Revelation 14:1.) In God's law His name is
found only in the fourth commandment. The fourth commandment, which
enjoins the keeping of the seventh-day Sabbath, is the seal of God which
the Holy Spirit places in the minds and hearts of His people.
The day of wrath is
fast approaching. God's people will need a shelter during Armageddon.
But God will not do miracles to protect the willfully disobedient. The
Lord is greatly grieved over the situation, and complains that His
watchmen are not preparing the people "to stand in the battle in
the day of the Lord." Ezekiel 13:5. Compare Ezekiel 22:26, 30;
Isaiah 58:1, 2, 12, 13; 56:1-5, 10, 11; Hebrews 10:26, 29. "But the
Lord will be the hope of His people, and the strength of the children of
Israel." Joel 3:16.