Friends, from our study thus far, you can plainly see that the "beast," or "little horn," is the Roman papacy. So, what is the mark of the beast--or the mark of the Roman papacy? Before I answer that question, let me first show you what the seal of God is. A seal can be an embossed emblem, symbol, letter etc., which is attached to a legal document. It has to do with legal matters. A seal has three parts: The name of the ruler, the ruler's title, and the extent of the ruler's territory. The Bible gives us an important clue as to where God's seal is located, for it says in Isaiah 8:16: "Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples." In fact, the "new covenant" (Heb. 8:8) that God made with His people involves His law. In Hebrews 8:10 we read: "For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put My laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people." In Revelation chapter 7, we read in verses 2 and 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...Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads." Therefore, we can conclude that God's seal has something to do with His law in our foreheads, or in our minds. Behind the forehead is the part of the brain called the frontal lobe, where our moral decisions are made. It is also the part of the brain where the conscience is located.
God's law is known as the Ten Commandments - His ten principles of love. They are also referred to as the "royal law" or the "law of liberty," according to the Apostle James, by which all mankind will be judged. (See James 2:8-12; Eccl. 12:13, 14). In fact, the Bible gives the following definition of sin: "Sin is the transgression of the law [the Ten Commandments]." (1.John 3:4). Therefore, it is safe to say that God is looking for an obedient people--a people in whose minds are written His moral law, His law of love, and who would rather die than transgress His commandments. It is interesting to note that in the bosom of God's Ten Commandments, which, by the way, are impossible to keep without the aid of the Holy Spirit writing these beautiful principles in one's heart, is the Sabbath--the one commandment that gives the name, the title--or office, and the territory of God Almighty! "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...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." (Ex. 20.8-11). This, friends, is the only place in the Bible where you will find God's seal! The Sabbath contains His name, "the Lord thy God;" His title or office, [the Creator who] "made;" and His territory, "the heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is." This is why the Prophet Ezekiel said: "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." (Ezek. 20:20). Thus, the seal of God, which is to be in the heart of man, is in the heart of God's law! Notice also that the command is to keep holy the Sabbath Day. "Ye shall be holy; for I am holy," (Lev. 11:44). The day itself is already holy, because God at Creation had done three things to make it that way forever to represent His own holiness: He rested on the Sabbath Day with man; He blessed the day: and He sanctified it (or set it apart for a holy use). Thus, the day is and remains holy forever. "Whatsoever God doeth, it shall be forever." (Eccl. 3:14). But it is impossible to keep the Sabbath holy while breaking any other one of the nine remaining commandments, or principles of holiness. Hence, the keeping of the Sabbath Day holy uniquely embraces all the rest of the Ten Commandments, which are to be sealed in the heart [mind], and is especially suited by its very function to be the "seal of God" under the Holy Spirit, "whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption." (Eph. 4:30).
I remember the first time I read about the Sabbath in the Book of Isaiah. A deep conviction came over me as I learned that the prophet referred to the seventh-day Sabbath as God's "holy day." The prophet wrote while under inspiration: "If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour Him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth." (Isaiah 58:13, 14). In fact, just a few chapters later, lsaiah further tells us that the saved will worship the Lord on the seventh-day Sabbath in the Earth Made New! "For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain. And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord." (Isaiah 66:22, 23). I remember asking myself the question, "Would God give to man instructions to keep the seventh-day Sabbath holy in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:1-3) and to His people throughout the Old Testament, and then change the day in the New Testament from Saturday to Sunday, and then back again to His original Sabbath in the Earth Made New? Of course not! The very idea seems preposterous ! Christ kept the Sabbath holy in the New Testament, "as was His custom" (Luke 4:16), and even identified Himself as the "Lord of the Sabbath." (Mark 2:27, 28). The Apostle Paul, "as his manner was," also kept the seventh-day Sabbath. (See Acts 13:14; 16:13; 17:1, 2; 18:4)!!!
"Throughout the New Testament, written years after Christ's ascension, the Holy Spirit, speaking of the seventh day, calls it 'the Sabbath' upwards of fifty times....In the Levitical or sacrificial ordinances of the sanctuary services there were annual sabbaths and feasts, associated with meats and drinks and ceremonial observances. But in appointing these the Lord specifically distinguished between them and the one and only weekly Sabbath, which was from the beginning. 'These are the feasts of the Lord,' He said, 'beside the Sabbaths of the Lord.' Lev. 23:37, 38.
"The annual festivals and sabbaths, like all the ordinances of the Levitical service, were shadows of things to come, and found their fulfilment in the great sacrifice of Calvary. Col 2:16, 17. But the Sabbath of the Lord was made blessed and holy by God at the creation, before sin had entered the world, before any sacrificial or shadowy service was instituted to point to a coming Redeemer. It is a fundamental and primary institution, a part of the moral order of God's government for man, the same as the obligations set forth in each of the other commandments....Thus we find the seventh day Sabbath a plant of the heavenly Father's planting, rooted deep in all Holy Scripture, and abiding eternally in the world to come." (Our Day in the Light of Prophecy, pp. 163, 164).
Has it occurred to you that most Christians in the world keep only nine commandments? This could be the reason why God began the fourth commandment with the word, "Remember," for He must have known we would forget! Besides, would not a change, involving the day God expects us to worship and praise Him, be in the Bible? And why is there not a verse in the Holy Scriptures supporting the observance of Sunday? The Scriptures say: "For I am the Lord, I change not....Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto Me, and l will return unto you, saith the Lord of hosts." (Mal. 3:6, 7). Before we look at some heavier issues involving the "mark of the beast," please remember that God is seeking to write His law in our hearts, but only with our consent, of course. A Scripture that has become precious to me which verifies this promise is in 2.Corinthians 3:3: "Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshly tables of the heart."
Some have asked the question: "How do you know that the Sabbath is Saturday?" First, the Bible clearly tells us that "the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God." (Ex. 20:10). In fact, the Bible says in Genesis 1 that "God created the heaven and the earth" (including the water, creatures, and vegetation) in six days. And in Genesis 2:2 and 3 it adds: "And He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it [or set it apart for holy use]." It is the 4th Commandment, set up in Eden! Second, let us now turn in our Bibles to Passion Week in the New Testament. In Luke 23 and 24 you will find the account of Jesus' death, burial and resurrection. Almost all Christians realize that Christ died on Good Friday and rose on Easter Sunday. Luke 23:54 tells us that the day Christ's body was taken off the cross was the "preparation [day], and the Sabbath drew on." If the Sabbath, the 7th day of the week, "drew on," then the preparation day, the day He died, must have been the 6th day of the week, or Good Friday. Verse 56 tells us that the women returned to their homes and prepared spices and ointments, then "rested the Sabbath day according to the commandment." "Upon the first day of the week [what the world calls 'Easter Sunday'],..they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre...and found not the body of the Lord Jesus [for He had risen]." (Luke 24: 1-3). Please notice that Friday He died, Saturday He rested in the grave "according to the commandment," and Sunday He rose. Therefore, the 7th-day Sabbath must be Saturday, the day between the "preparation" day or 6th day, Friday and the 1st day of the week, Sunday! And let no one accept the argument that we are now to keep Sunday holy instead of Saturday because Christ rose on that day. Friends, where are the Scriptures telling us of this change? Remember, even the Catholic Church says there is no Scriptural authority and claims the sole responsibility for the Sunday Sabbath. Besides, Romans 6:3-5 tells us that God ordained baptism to honor the resurrection, not Sunday! Even Webster's College Dictionary defines the Sabbath as: "the seventh day of the week, Saturday, as the day of rest." After all, did not even the Virgin Mary keep the 7th-day Sabbath? And, furthermore, beware of any calendars that falsely show Sunday as the 7th day of the week!
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