12 – God’s Seal and the Mark of the Beast

////12 – God’s Seal and the Mark of the Beast
12 – God’s Seal and the Mark of the Beast2016-11-27T17:36:36+00:00

Sabbath, March 22, 2014

“The sign, or seal, of God is revealed in the observance of the seventh-day Sabbath, the Lord’s memorial of creation. ‘The Lord spake unto Moses, saying, 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 31:12, 13. Here the Sabbath is clearly designated as a sign between God and His people. 

“The mark of the beast is the opposite of this–the observance of the first day of the week. This mark distinguishes those who acknowledge the supremacy of the papal authority from those who acknowledge the authority of God.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, p. 117.

Sealing by the Holy Spirit

1. What function does the Holy Spirit perform in the sealing work?

Ephesians 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise.

Ephesians 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

“The mighty power of the Holy Spirit works an entire transformation in the character of the human agent, making him a new creature in Christ Jesus. When a man is filled with the Spirit, the more severely he is tested and tried, the more clearly he proves that he is a representative of Christ. The peace that dwells in the soul is seen on the countenance. The words and actions express the love of the Saviour. There is no striving for the highest place. Self is renounced. The name of Jesus is written on all that is said and done….

“When the Lord’s people reach this mark, they will be sealed in their foreheads. Filled with the Spirit, they will be complete in Christ, and the recording angel will declare, ‘It is finished.’” –(Review and Herald, June 10, 1902) Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, pp. 1117, 1118.

2. What does it mean to be sealed by God? Is it an outward, visible seal or mark?

Ezekiel 9:3, 4 And the glory of the God of Israel was gone up from the cherub, whereupon he was, to the threshold of the house. And he called to the man clothed with linen, which had the writer’s inkhorn by his side; And the Lord said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.

Hebrews 8:10 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.

Hebrews 10:16 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them.

“Just as soon as the people of God are sealed in their foreheads–it is not any seal or mark that can be seen, but a settling into the truth, both intellectually and spiritually, so they cannot be moved–just as soon as God’s people are sealed and prepared for the shaking, it will come. Indeed, it has begun already.” –(Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, p. 1161

[1902]) Last Day Events, pp. 219, 220.

“What is the seal of the living God, which is placed in the foreheads of His people? It is a mark which angels, but not human eyes, can read; for the destroying angel must see this mark of redemption. The intelligent mind has seen the sign of the cross of Calvary in the Lord’s adopted sons and daughters. The sin of the transgression of the law of God is taken away. They have on the wedding garment, and are obedient and faithful to all God’s commands.” –(Letter 126, 1898) Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, p. 968.

The seal in God’s law

3. What day is respected as sacred by those who receive God’s seal in their foreheads?

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.

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

“A mark is placed upon every one of God’s people just as verily as a mark was placed over the doors of the Hebrew dwellings, to preserve the people from the general ruin.” –(Review and Herald, February 6, 1900) Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, p. 980.

“… The seal of the living God is placed upon those who conscientiously keep the Sabbath of the Lord.” –(Review and Herald, July 13, 1897) Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, p. 980. 

“The fourth commandment alone of all the ten contains the seal of the great Lawgiver, the Creator of the heavens and the earth. Those who obey this commandment take upon themselves His name, and all the blessings it involves are theirs.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 351.

“The observance of the Lord’s memorial, the Sabbath instituted in Eden, the seventh-day Sabbath, is the test of our loyalty to God.” –(Letter 94, 1900) Last Day Events, p. 220.

The character of Christ

4. What characteristics will make it possible for one to receive God’s seal, and how will he conduct himself today?

Psalm 51:7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Psalm 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

Philippians 2:15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world.

1 Peter 1:14, 15 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation.

“… Many do not realize what they must be in order to live in the sight of the Lord without a high priest in the sanctuary through the time of trouble. Those who receive the seal of the living God and are protected in the time of trouble must reflect the image of Jesus fully.“ –Maranatha, p. 41.

“Those that overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil, will be the favored ones who shall receive the seal of the living God.” –Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, p. 445; Last Day Events, p. 221.

“Now is the time to prepare. The seal of God will never be placed upon the forehead of an impure man or woman. It will never be placed upon the forehead of the ambitious, world-loving man or woman. It will never be placed upon the forehead of men or women of false tongues or deceitful hearts. All who receive the seal must be without spot before God–candidates for heaven.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 216.

Receiving the mark of the beast

5. Who dared to change God’s law? What institution is identified in the Spirit of prophecy as the source of the mark of the beast?

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.

Revelation 13:5 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.

“The sign, or seal, of God is revealed in the observance of the seventh-day Sabbath, the Lord’s memorial of creation….

“The mark of the beast is the opposite of this–the observance of the first day of the week. This mark distinguishes those who acknowledge the supremacy of the papal authority from those who acknowledge the authority of God.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, p. 117.

“When the test comes, it will be clearly shown what the mark of the beast is. It is the keeping of Sunday. Those who, after having heard the truth, continue to regard this day as holy bear the signature of the man of sin, who thought to change times and laws.” –(Letter 12, 1900) Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, p. 980.

6. What will be the most fearful test to come upon God’s people?

Revelation 13:15-17 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: 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.

“If men will not agree to trample under foot the commandments of God, the spirit of the dragon is revealed. They are imprisoned, brought before councils, and fined….

“There is a marked contrast between those who bear the seal of God and those who worship the beast and his image. The Lord’s faithful servants will receive the bitterest persecution from false teachers, who will not hear the word of God, and who prepare stumbling blocks to put in the way of those who would hear. But God’s people are not to fear. Satan cannot go beyond his limit. The Lord will be the defense of His people.” –Maranatha, p. 191.

The begin of persecution

7. What will those who submit to human commandments accept? When will the mark of the beast be received?

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.

“As men then reject the institution which God has declared to be the sign of His authority, and honor in its stead that which Rome has chosen as the token of her supremacy, they will thereby accept the sign of allegiance to Rome–’the mark of the beast.’ And it is not until the issue is thus plainly set before the people, and they are brought to choose between the commandments of God and the commandments of men, that those who continue in transgression will receive ‘the mark of the beast.’” –The Great Controversy, p. 449.

“No one has yet received the mark of the beast. The testing time has not yet come. There are true Christians in every church, not excepting the Roman Catholic communion. None are condemned until they have had the light and have seen the obligation of the fourth commandment. But when the decree shall go forth enforcing the counterfeit sabbath, and the loud cry of the third angel shall warn men against the worship of the beast and his image, the line will be clearly drawn between the false and the true. Then those who still continue in transgression will receive the mark of the beast.” –Evangelism, pp. 234, 235.

8. Where will one be able to take refuge so as to stand firm in the great battle that is coming?

Proverbs 18:10 The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.

1 Peter 2:6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. 

“Jesus gained the victory through submission and faith in God, and by the apostle He says to us, ‘submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you.’ James 4:7, 8. We cannot save ourselves from the tempter’s power; he has conquered humanity, and when we try to stand in our own strength, we shall become a prey to his devices; but ‘the name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.’ Proverbs 18:10.” –The Desire of Ages, pp. 130, 131.

“But the saints of God do not receive this mark. The prophet of Patmos beheld those who had gotten the victory over the beast and over his image and over his mark and over the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, having the harps of God and singing the song of Moses and the Lamb.” –Christ Triumphant, p. 366.

For meditation

Revelation 3:18.

“The change of the Sabbath is the sign or mark of the authority of the Romish church. Those who, understanding the claims of the fourth commandment, choose to observe the false sabbath in the place of the true, are thereby paying homage to that power by which alone it is commanded. The mark of the beast is the papal sabbath, which has been accepted by the world in the place of the day of God’s appointment.” –Evangelism, p. 234.

“Fearful tests and trials await the people of God. The spirit of war is stirring the nations from one end of the earth to the other. But in the midst of the time of trouble that is coming–a time of trouble such as has not been since there was a nation–God’s chosen people will stand unmoved. Satan and his angels cannot destroy them, for angels that excel in strength will protect them.” –(Letter 119, 1904) Selected Messages, book 2, p. 55.

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