THE FUTURE WITHOUT ILLUSIONS
of these events are clearly prophesied in the Bible
In recent years the world witnessed one disaster
after another. Droughts, floods, devastating cyclones and earthquakes
have followed each other in steady succession. Thousands lost their
lives by dreadful accidents on land, sea and in the air; while millions
more are starving to death, many nations are bankrupt, unable to repay
their debts. Wars, national uprisings, population explosion and the
continual destruction of nature causes mankind to look fearfully into
the future. Many of these events are clearly prophesied in
the Bible (Matt
24:4-31; Luke 21:25-28; Rev 6:12-17;16;17;18). God always has warned
the world of coming judgments, which were the results of their ungodliness
(Isa 24:5-20; 46:9-10; Am 3:7; Rev 1:1).
LESSONS FROM THE PAST
For example, God told Noah of the coming flood, Abraham
and Lot of the future destruction of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah
and Moses of the plagues of Egypt. These events were recorded for
us today as a warning to help us understand clearly that all prophecies
recorded in the Bible have met their fulfillment and will come to
pass in the future. (1Cor 10:6-12; 2Pet 2:5-9; Heb 4:11). Therefore,
we find God's urgent warning message to the last generation, represented
MESSAGE OF THE THREE ANGELS
which we find in Revelation, chapter 14, written
by John the Revelator. This is the last call which God is making to
all people before the second coming of Jesus Christ as King and Judge.
It contains the most serious warning of coming judgments to be found
- 1. "Fear God, and give glory to him;
for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made
heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters."
- 2. "Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that
great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of
the wrath of her fornication".
- 3. "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." Rev
can we avoid worshipping the Beast or receiving its
Mark if we don't know who or what the Beast and its
This warning is of vital importance to every person!
But how can we avoid worshipping the Beast or receiving its Mark if
we don't know who or what the Beast and its Image is? The lack of
knowledge in this area has fatal consequences. "My people are destroyed
for lack of knowledge." (Hos 4:6, compare Isa 29: 13-14).
However, God has promised understanding to the upright (Prov 2:1-7;
Dan 12:4,10; Matt7: 7-8).
"As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of
the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye,
turn ye from your evil ways: for why will ye die, O house of Israel?"
Eze 33:11 (compare 2Pet 3:10-11; Mal 3:18; 4:1,2).
What is the meaning of that Beast with that unique Mark?
Before we discuss the Beast itself we must understand
the historical background preceding the Beast. The best place to begin
is in the book of Daniel, which deals greatly with prophecy, from
the 6th century B.C. down to the end of time.
of the symbols used in Bible prophecy has not been left to human guesswork.
Prophecy is history written in advance. The Bible itself gives us
the key of understanding (2Pet 1:20).
A beast in prophecy symbolizes a king or a kingdom.
This is clearly taught in Dan 7:17,23: "These
great beasts are four kings .... The fourth beast shall be the fourth
kingdom upon earth..."
In Dan 7:3 is written: "And four great beasts
came up from the sea...".
"Sea" or "Water" represents "peoples
and multitudes and nations and tongues." Rev 17:15 (compare
In chapter 7 of Daniel the prophet sees the coming world empires represented
A parallel description we find in Dan 2:27-45 where individual parts
of a statue are symbolizing, in an accurate manner, the future course
mankind will take.
"The first was like a lion..."
Dan 7:4 (compare Dan 2:37,38). This refers to the Babylonian
world empire (608-538 BC), which reigned supreme
during Daniel's time. In the Pergamon Museum of Berlin you can still
admire the winged lion as a historical witness of that period of time.
"And behold another beast, a second, like
to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs
in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto
it, Arise, devour much flesh." Dan 7:5. This beast has
the same meaning as the breast and arms of silver in Dan 2:32,39.
It represents the power of the two empires of Media and Persia,
who replaced the Babylonian empire (538-331 BC).
It was a dual monarchy with the Medes ruling first, then later the
Persians. The two arms and the bear raising itself up on one side
emphasizes this aspect of prophecy. The one part would be stronger
than the other. The three ribs represented the nations of Babylon,
Lydia and Egypt that were conquered by Medo-Persia.
"After this I beheld, and lo another, like
a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the
beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it."
Dan 7:6. This beast also finds its counterpart in Dan 2:32,39. It
was the Grecian empire (331-168 BC),
Alexander the Great which overthrew the Persians, and when he died
his kingdom was divided into four parts, as symbolized by the four
heads. (Macedonia, Thrace, Syria and Egypt).
"After this I saw in the night visions, and
behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly;
and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and
stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all
the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns."
Dan 7:7. Again we find this beast in Dan 2:33,40.41. The fourth empire
that followed the Grecian empire was the Roman empire
(168 BC-476 AD). It was so very different from all
the other beasts that Daniel saw in vision that he was unable to describe
it. The ten horns in Dan 7:24 represent "ten
kings that shall arise out of this kingdom". It is a historical
fact that the Roman empire fell in 476 AD, and in its place 10 new
kingdoms came up which are the ten germanic tribes that make up today's
European states. Parallel to Dan 7:7 we find that in Dan 2:42-44 these
were symbolized by the ten toes. These were the following tribes:
1. Alemanni (Germany), 2. Franks (France), 3. Anglo-Saxons (Great
Britain), 4. Burgundians (Switzerland), 5. Visigoths (Spain), 6. Suevi
(Portugal), 7. Lombards (Italy), 8. Heruli,
9. Vandals, 10. Ostrogoths.
THE LITTLE HORN
"I considered the horns, and, behold, there
came up among them another little horn, before whom
there were three of the first horns plucked up by
the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man,
and a mouth speaking great things." Dan 7:8.
The Various Identification Marks of the Little Horn:
1. It came up "among" the 10 horns (kingdoms),
and three of the original 10 horns were uprooted in its rise to power.
2. In Dan 7:24 it is reported: The little horn shall
rise after the 10 horns.
There is only ONE power in all history that fits this description.
In Rome itself in the very center of the fractured empire there arose
after 476 A.D. the Papacy, the one-man government
of the Catholic Church. In its rise to power three of the Gothic tribes,
(the Heruli, the Vandals
and the Ostrogoths), "were
plucked up". By the decree of the east Roman emperor Justinian
(Codex Justinianus) in 533 A.D. the Roman bishop
was installed as the head of all Christian churches. When the last
of the three Arian tribes (the Ostrogoths) resisted this decree in
538 A.D. they were conquered and chased out of Rome
by the imperial general Belisarius. This was also the time that papal
Rome fully established its political power for a prophesied
period. (See later explanation).
In Dan 7: 25 it says that he "will wear out
the saints of the most High", which is referring to the
great persecution of the Christians. No reader of history will deny
that this statement, too, found its fulfillment in the papacy. The
dreadful persecutions of the Dark Ages (the inquisition, the burning
of heretics, the crusades) are well known and have indeed blackened
the pages of history.
papal system changed the law of God, the 10 commandments
4. Further, it states: "he
will think to change times and laws...." The papal
system actually changed the law of God, the 10 commandments:
It removed the second commandment from the catechism, which
prohibits the worship of images. It also changed the fourth
commandment, the keeping of the Sabbath (the only commandment dealing
with "time"), by moving God's
day of rest from the seventh day to the first day of the week. (compare
2Thess 2:3-4; Ps 94:20).He changed the "time"
of worship. A false day of worship was set up. Instead of
the original, unchangeable Sabbath of the 7th day
(see Ex 20:8-11; 31:13,16,17; Eze 20:12; Isa 56:2,3,6,7;Ps 89:35;Heb
4:1-11; Jas 2:10), which was kept by Christ and the apostles (Luke
4:16; Matt 24:20; Acts 13:42; Heb 4:10-11), the first day
of the week (the pagan "day of the sun") was set up, which God never
commanded to be kept holy. He had warned his people not to accept
this day of worship (Rev 14:9-11;16:2;19:20; see Eze 8:16-18).
of the original, unchangeable Sabbath of the 7th day, the
first day of the week was set up
5. "And there was given unto
him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies... And he opened
his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his
tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven." Rev 13:5-6
(compare Dan 7:8,25; 11:36; 2Thes 2:3-4). How does the Bible define
blasphemy? During a plot against Jesus he was accused of blasphemy
"...because that thou, being a man, makest
thyself God" John 10:33. Another type of blasphemy
we find in Luke 5:21: "Who is this which speaketh
blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?"
Both forms of the mentioned blasphemies fit the papacy. ("On this
earth we are holding the place of Almighty God" Encyc. Pope Leo XIII,
6-20-1894). Frequently the pope is called "Holy Father",
even though Jesus forbade this form of address towards any man (Matt
23:9), because it is reserved exclusively for the Father in Heaven
6. In Dan 7:25; 12:7 and Rev 12:14, even the period
of the papal supremacy is being prophesied as three
and a half times in Rev 11:2, as 42
months in Rev 13:5, and as 1260
days in Rev 11:3 and 12:6 respectively.
The biblical measurement for prophesied periods as 1
day equaling 1 year (Ez 4:6 and Num 14:34) makes it plain
that in all these references it is referring to the same period of
time of 1260 actual years. One "time" by their understanding was meant
to mean one year. In those days they calculated in lunar years of
360 days per year. One lunar month consisted of 30 days (see time
of flood in Gen 7:11,24; 8:4 - here are 150 days 5 months). Accordingly
we find that 3 1/2 times (3 1/2 years) multiplied by twelve months
equals 42 months, and 42 months multiplied by 30 days equals 1260
days, or 1260 actual years in history.We find that this prophesied
time period found its actual fulfillment in the history of the papacy.
The final destruction of the East Gothic Empire around 538
AD, (which was the last power, or "Horn", that withstood
Rome), is generally being understood as the beginning of the political
dominating position of the papacy. When we start counting 1260
years from this period of history we arrive at the year 1798
AD. Exactly in this year Pope Pius VI was made captive
under the leadership of the French general Berthiér in the aftermath
of the French Revolution. Pope Pius VI died in prison. The following
prediction was fulfilled: "He
that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity."
Rev 13:10 (Concordance N.T.). Never again to this date had the papacy
such clear supremacy and influence. A democratic constitution was
established, and Rome became a republic, and the political power of
Rome came to an end - exactly after 1260 years, as prophecy had foretold
In Rev 13:1-10, the history of the papal power is briefly recorded
as it arose out of the pagan Roman empire, as it reigned for 1260
years, and in the end received a deadly wound.
7. In Rev 13:3 it says: "And
I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and
his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the
beast." This shows clearly that this power will
exist until the return of Christ. (Compare Dan 7:21-22).
8. During the time of the deadly wound and the regaining
of its power, another beast comes to view: "And
I beheld another beast coming up out of the
earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as
a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before
him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship
the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed." Rev 13:11-12.
Which power is being described?
|1. Arises out of the earth.
||1. Arises in some new or sparsely
|2. Arises about the time the
sea beast is falling. (1798 AD, Rev 13:1,3,10)
||2. Grows into a nation about
the time of Papal overthrow (1763-1800)
|3. Has two lamb-like horns
||3. Two Christ-like principles
give it strength (civil and religious liberty)
|4. Has no crowns on the horns
||4. Not a monarchy - some form
|5. Exercises power equal to
the first beast (Rev 13:12)
||5. Becomes a formidable, if
not supreme, world power.
Only one power in history meets these five prophetic specifications,
namely the United States of America, which united
during the years of 1763-1800. We see from Rev
13:11-18, that it began with a humble nature, but it will
grow to be a dominating world power at the time of the end. It is
foretold that America will make an
"Image to the Beast", that will
force mankind to "worship" the
Beast whose wound was healed. This Image is an exact copy
of what the papacy was during its 1260 year rule. This described
worship shows clearly that it is referring to a religious - political
In Dan 3:5,10,14,18,28
it is clearly taught that religious reverence of human images
and power symbols are equal to idolatry and are in contradiction to
the second commandment. (Ex 20:4-6).
Sunday worship is a sign of power, a sign of the papal authority,
to substitute their own laws (See below
under catholic authority from their own sources!).
Prophecy reveals that America will force Sunday observance ("Mark
of the Beast) by setting up an "Image".
This Image is nothing else but apostate Protestantism, an
ecumenical union of churches, which will unite with the Government,
to enforce religious laws. The whole world will obey the
law of Sunday sacredness. (See the book "The National Sunday Law".)
It is the pride of the papacy to think that it can change the 10 commandments,
the law of God. It will be the deciding question of the future, a
decision between life and death (Rev 13:14-15): to obey God or the
commandments of man. (Mal 3:18; 4:1; Rev 16:2).
that at this time America will do "great wonders,
so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight
of men..." (Think of the Atomic bomb in 1945 over Hiroshima,
the air strikes in Iraq, or the
increasing false spiritual fire of the charismatic movement starting
out from America.) "...and deceiveth them
that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had
power to do in the sight of the beast, (compare
Matt 24:24), saying to them that dwell on
the earth, that they should make an image to the beast,
(the papacy) which had the wound by a sword,
and did live." (Rev 13:13-14)
papacy claims the change of the Sabbath to the first day
of the week was her act and is the "Mark" of her authority
in religious things
The papacy claims the change of the Sabbath
to the first day of the week was her act and is the "Mark" of her
authority in religious things (compare Dan 7:25):
"The Sunday is a Catholic institution
, and its claim for sacredness can be defended only on Catholic authority...In
Holy Scripture from the beginning to the end we find not one single
text which justifies the transfer of the weekly public worship service
from the last to the first day of the week." (Catholic
Press, Sidney, 8-25-1900).
"We celebrate Sunday instead of Saturday,
because the Catholic Church has transferred the sacredness
from Saturday to Sunday at the council of Laodicea in the
year of 364 AD." ("The Converts Catechism of Catholic
Doctrine" from P. Geiermann, the work of Pope Pius X, on 1-25-1910
who received the apostolic blessing).
"It pleased the church of
God to transfer the celebration of the Sabbath to Sunday."
(The published Roman Catechism, page 247 after the decision of the
council of Trent by order of Pope Pius V.)
„Of course the Catholic
Church claims the change [from Sabbath to Sunday] to be her deed ...
And this act is the mark of her ecclesiastical authority in religious
affairs." (H. F. Thomas, chancellor of Cardinal Gibbons,
"The seventh-day Sabbath
was kept by Christ and the apostles and was celebrated by the first
Christians and acknowledged as such until it was abolished by the
Laodicean Council. This council first settled the question about the
Lord's day and forbade the keeping of the seventh-day Sabbath under
the issue of an Anathema (Curse)." (William Prynne, a
famous English Theologian, from his work "Dissertation on Lord's Day",
"The Sabbath, the best known
day of the law, was changed into the Lord's day. These and others
have not ceased because of instructions received from Christ, (because
he himself says, I have not come to destroy the law, but to fulfill
it), but because due to the authority of the church they have been
changed." (Archbishop of Rheggio, Sermon on 1-18-1562,
Mansi XXIII, p 526)
"It was the holy Catholic
Church who transferred the rest day from Saturday to Sunday, the first
day the of the week... Which Church does the whole civilized world
obey? The Protestants ...acknowledge great reverence towards the Bible,
and yet by celebrating the Sunday they acknowledge the authority of
the Catholic Church. The Bible says "Remember the Sabbath day, to
keep it holy", but the Catholic Church says: "No, keep the first day
of the week holy! - and the entire world obeys her!"
(Pater Enright on 12-15-1889)
"Question: How can you prove
that the church has the power to institute holidays? Answer: By the
fact that she has transferred the Sabbath to Sunday, which the Protestants
approve of; an obvious contradiction is when they strictly keep Sunday
and then disregard most of the other holidays, which were instituted
by the same Church." (From "Abridgement of Christian Doctrine"
of H. Tuberville, Donay-Kolleg, 1649, p. 58)
9. In Rev 13:18 we find another sign, the number
of the Beast: "Let him that hath understanding
count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man, and
his number is six hundred threescore and six."
One of the official titles of the pope is: "Vicarius Filii
Dei", which is translated, "Representative of the
Son of God".
In reply to questions from readers, the Catholic newspaper "Our Sunday
Visitor" of 4-18-1915 said: "The engraved
letters on the popes Mitre (or better, Tiara)
are as follows: "Vicarius Filii Dei". - This designation
(which by itself is blasphemy, as it places itself above the Holy
Spirit [John 16:12-15; 14:26; Rom 8:26], the true representative of
Christ on earth) is the name of the Beast (Verse
17). According to the information found in Verses 17 and 18 we find
the number of his name, 666 .
Since in Latin certain letters have numerical values, we only need
to add them up. This is the prophecy which points out the Antichrist.
(Compare 2Thess 2:3-12; 1John 4:3; 2John 7; Rom 8:3). The Greek word
"Antichrist" means someone "that
places himself in the position of the Lord's Anointed, (from anti
- instead, and crio - anointing)" (Konkordantes NT, p
In other words, the Antichrist is the alleged representative
of Christ - exactly what the pope claims to be! If the pope would
have to introduce himself in the language of the New Testament he
would have to say: "I am the Antichrist".
the pope would have to introduce himself in the language
of the New Testament he would have to say:"I
am the Antichrist".
Christ is the only, and true High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary
after his ascension, "a minister of the sanctuary,
and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched,
and not man ". Heb 8:1-2. Here Jesus procures for us,
daily, the way to the mercy seat of His Father through His blood (John
14:6,13,14; Rom 8:34), whom we can approach any time by prayer without
the intervention of man, only by faith and trust in the atoning blood
of Christ (Heb 4:14; 5:10; 7:25; Matt 6:6-15).
The teaching of an added mediation by man or "departed
saints" represents a "blasphemy of the beast" against God and "His
tabernacle" of reconciliation in heaven according
to Rev 13:6 (compare Dan 8:11-14 and 12:11 - there this condition
is described as a "transgression towards the sanctuary" or as "the
abomination of desolation").
THE MARK OF THE BEAST
It is not an outward symbol which is being forced upon every man against
his will. If you could not
refuse to accept the Mark, then God's warning to not accept it would
be meaningless. Those who refuse to accept the Mark
of the Beast (the sign of authority or affiliation) are
described as: "...they that keep the commandments
of God, and the faith of Jesus". Rev 14:12. It is those
that have received the seal of God (Rev 7:3,4; 14:1), and they are
victorious over the Mark of the Beast (Rev 15:2; compare Dan 3). The
Mark of the Beast includes the transgression of God's law (compare
Jas 2:10), because the Seal of God, his sign of authority, is found
in the 10 commandments (See below).
The Mark of the Beast will be received on the forehead or in the hand
(see Rev 13:17; 14:9). The forehead symbolizes awareness (belief,
knowledge). The hand symbolizes man's actions, (keeping or not keeping
the commandments). This is also shown in Deut 11:8,18 (compare Deut
13:1-6) where it talks about the keeping of all 10 commandments.
Whosoever understands the requirements and the institution
of the fourth commandment, of which God states that this is the sign
of his authority, and yet rejects it, and instead honours what Rome
has established as its sign of authority, the same accepts the sign
of affiliation with Rome, the Mark of the Beast. Not until the establishment
of a national Sunday law, when man will have to choose between the
commandments of God and the commandments of men, will those that continue
in transgression receive the Mark of the Beast. For the sincere Sunday
keeper applies the following: "the
times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men
everywhere to repent." (Acts 17:30)
THE SEAL OF GOD
A sign or seal is used with the
same meaning in the Bible. (Rom 4:11).
An official seal must show three things:
- 1. The name of the lawgiver - (Abraham Lincoln)
- 2. His official position - (President)
- 3. The territory - (United States of America)
The Seal of God is connected with His law and is
found in the fourth commandment (Ex 20:8-11):
"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, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant,
nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within
thy gates: 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." (Compare Ex 31:13,17,18).
Even though all commandments are of equal importance in the sight
of God (Jas 2:10), we find the mark of the Seal of God only in the
- 1. The name of God: "The Lord, thy God"
- 2. The title: "Creator"
- 3. The domain: "Heaven and earth, the sea and all that in them
The Bible speaks of the Sabbath as the everlasting
sign of God: "...Verily my sabbaths ye shall
keep: for it is a (eternal)
sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know
that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you." Ex 31:13 (Compare
Verses 16 and 17; Eze 20:12,20).
Jesus says: "Think not that I am come to destroy
the law, or the prophets; I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.
For verily I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one
jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till
all be fulfilled." Matt 5:17,18.
There was someone who came to Jesus and asked him: "Good
Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?"
Jesus answered: "...if thou wilt enter
into life, keep the commandments ...thou shalt not murder,
thou shalt not commit adultery, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not
bear false witness..." Matt 19:16-19.
seventh-day Sabbath is an integral part of God's law, a
weekly reminder of Christ as our Creator and Redeemer.
The seventh-day Sabbath is an integral part
of God's law, a weekly reminder of Christ as our Creator and Redeemer.
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word
was with God, and the Word was God... All things were made by him...
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, full of grace
and truth". John 1:1-3,14).
Similar to the promised rest of Israel at their entrance into the
land of Canaan, the Sabbath is a reminder of the promised "Sabbath
rest" at the entrance into the heavenly Canaan, (2
Pet 3:13; Heb 11:10,39,40; Rev 21:2), which will take place at the
return of Christ, (Heb 3:10-19; 4:1-11; compare Deut 4:1-2; 1 Cor
10:11-13), after the wandering of 6000
years in the "desert of human history" since the fall
of man in Paradise.
If you go through the trouble of adding the time span for each mentioned
generation recorded in the Bible starting with Adam, you will come
up with a total of about 4000 years arriving at the time of
Christ. (See Atlas of World History, 1990 by K. Thienemanns
Herewith we can also see clearly that we are in the completion
of the 6th millennium of the history of mankind as has been
foretold by God.
Regarding the return of Christ, the Bible says: "...one
day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as
one day." (2 Pet 3:8) Do you realize now "...that
it is near, even at the doors"? (Matt 24:33)
In the New Testament, God's people
are called the spiritual Israel, which by faith
has received a spiritual circumcision of the heart. (Compare Col 2:11-12;
Rom 2:28-29; Gal 3:6-9,28,29; 5:6; 6:15; Rom 11:25; 1Pet 2:9-10).
The new covenant with Christ causes in each person a new creation
through His creative power. By the prophet Jeremiah this very fact
was foretold: "...But this shall be the covenant
that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith
the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in
their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people."
Consequently God's people will always uphold His law: "And
the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the
remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have
the testimony of Jesus Christ." Rev 12:17 The pure woman
in prophecy symbolizes a pure church, a harlot a fallen church (Compare
2Cor 11:2; Eze 16; Rev 17:18).
Now we understand what is meant by the three angel's messages
of Revelation 14:
- 1. They tell us that the judgment,
the decision regarding our eternal life, now
is taking place in heaven. (Verses 6-7)
- 2. They tell us that Protestantism also
has fallen (Verse 8), and according to Rev 18:1-5 "...is
become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit."
To every upright Christian (his people) the angel appeals: "Come
out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers
of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues..."
- 3. A very serious and loving
warning from God to the entire world: All
that will worship the papacy or his image, when they submit to
the pressure to keep Sunday holy against their better judgment,
will receive the Mark of the Beast and suffer eternal death in
consequence (Rev 14:9-11).
- 4. Verse 12 shows us the group of people that
do not receive the Mark of the Beast. They
keep all commandments of God (including
the Sabbath commandment of the seventh day; compare Acts 7:38)
and the faith of Jesus.
Will you stand in the Judgment?
The first angel speaks of God's judgment which will
take place in heaven before the return of Christ,
(compare Dan 7:9-12; 2Cor 5:10), because it must be decided before
his appearing who shall be raised from the dead to eternal life, and
who of the living will be translated at his appearing. (1 Thess 4:15-17;
John 5:27-29; Rev 20:5-6). In addition, the Bible speaks about a judgment
taking place in heaven during the 1000 years after
the return of Christ in which all faithful will take part in
sentencing the unbelieving dead and the fallen angels.
(Dan 7:22; 1Cor 6:2-3; Rev 20:4). This sentence will be announced
and executed after the 1000 years at the
resurrection of the unbelievers (John 5:29; Rev 20:7-15). The 10 commandments
are the unchangeable standard at God's judgment day. (Rev 11:19; Ps
89:34; Matt 7:21). The same is reflected by the examplary attitude
of Jesus (Phil 2:5; Rom 15:5), of which it says: "I
delight to do thy will, O my God, yea, thy law is within my heart."
Ps 40:8. (Compare John 6:38; 4:34; Ps 40:7-9; Heb 10:9; Luke 22:42).
We pray in the Lord's prayer: "Thy will be
done", but does the will of God become a reality in our
sinful lifestyle? The Bible says: "Sin is
the transgression of the law" (1John 3:4), and "The
wages of sin is death". (Rom 6:23). Then, when we hear
out of the mouth of the prophet: "Can the
Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also
do good, that are accustomed to do evil", (Jer 13:23;
compare Rom 7:24), when we consider
our own lives, we must realize that there is no possibility that we,
from ourselves, can escape the judgment of God and the consequent
eternal death. God, however, has made a way of escape for all those
that have been under the slavery of Satan. This path, which the love
of God has created, is called "Jesus Christ". "For
God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever,
believeth in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life."
John 3:16. Golgatha stands as a memorial of this incomprehensible
sacrifice, which was necessary to atone for the transgressions of
God's law. Therefore, we cannot look at sin as something harmless
(Rom 6:15). God's offer of mercy is not a cheap offer. It requires
your consent and complete submission to God. Jesus says: "I
am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father,
but by me." John 14:6.
In His life, Jesus has shown us the way to His Father, and the way
to eternal life.
How do we receive eternal life through
Jesus' answer today is the same as in the
past: "Keep the commandments ...and
follow me!" Matt 19:17,21; compare 1Pet 2:21-25; Rev 14:4.
Discipleship for us today means that we study the life of Christ recorded
in Holy Scripture (John 5:39; 8:31,32), and that we obey his words
(John 3:36; Heb 5:8,9; 11:8 etc; Jas 4:7; Rom 16:26). The
Holy Spirit will cause the same reaction in us as in the days of pentecost,
when people confessed their sins and cried: "What
must we do?" Peter's answer was: "Repent!"
Acts 2:37-38. At another occasion he said: "Repent
ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out".
Acts 3:19. The law of God, just like a mirror,
shows us our defilement and sins (Rom 4:15; 3:20; 7:7), which Jesus
wants to wash away with his atoning blood. This is the birth of the
human love response to God. Jesus, speaking about the woman that was
a sinner, said: "Her sins, which are many,
are forgiven; for she loved much..." Luke 7:47. "We
love him, because he first loved us. ...For this is the love of God
(our response), that we keep his commandments:
and his commandments are not grievous." 1 John 4:19; 5:3.
In our love to Christ we receive from God the power to overcome sin
in our lives. "If ye love me, keep my commandments.
And ...the Father will give you another Comforter, ...the Spirit of
truth." John 14:15-17. The love and the strength of the
Holy Spirit given to us enables us to overcome sin the same way as
Jesus overcame. (John 15:10; 1John 5:4-5; Rev 3:21).
Through the incarnation of Jesus Christ, the Son of God (Phil 2:5-8;
John 16:28), we can be sure that God knows what kind of power He needs
to give us to enable us to fulfill the requirements of God's law and
to withstand the temptations of our weakened fleshly nature. "Forasmuch
then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself
likewise took part of the same, that through death he might destroy
him that had the power of death,
that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were
all their lifetime subject to bondage... Wherefore in all things it
behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a
merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to
make reconciliation for the sins of the people." Heb 2:14-18.
We can receive this power, which overcomes sin, only as we believe
(John 6:28,29) in Jesus' examplary righteousness (a sinless life in
a fallen nature. Compare Rom 8:3; Heb 4:15), and as we personally
accept in faith his substitutionary sacrifice (John 3:16; 1:29).
Jesus did not die for His own sins. We read: "For
he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might
be made the righteousness of God in him." 2Cor 5:21 (Compare
1John 3:5; John 8:46). This will mean that we repent of our unrighteousness,
acknowledge it, and turn from sin (the transgression of God's law)
and obey Him. (Prov 28:13; 1John 1:6-10; 2:4; 3:3-10; 1Pet 2:21; Matt
Faith and repentance are gifts of God for those who seek them with
an upright heart. God will work in us both of it by his Holy Spirit
whenever we give Him the opportunity. Faith is the result of the proclamation
and the study of the word of God (Rom 10:17). Jesus
said: "Search the scriptures, for in them
ye think ye have eternal life, and they are they which testify of
me." (John 5:39; compare Luke 24:25-27; John 2:22; Rom
16:26; Acts 17:11,12).
The study of accurately fulfilled divine prophecy, (concerning world
history foretold and the appearance of His Son), will strengthen our
faith in the divine plan of redemption through Jesus Christ and form
a secure foundation for our faith. (2Pet 1:19-21).
For a sincere study of the word of God, we are promised an unseen
divine Teacher: "But the Comforter, which
is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall
teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever
I have said unto you ...he will guide you into all truth ...thy word
is truth." John 14:26; 16:13; 17:17.
Whosoever rejects God's offer of mercy and knowingly does not listen
to the word of truth, does not read it, and does not test it, will
not receive from God the saving power of faith and will eventually
be among those who are eternally lost. (Jer 6:17-19; 9:12-15; Hos
"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of
God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it
shall be given him". James 1:5. Jesus tells us: "Ask,
and it shall be given you... If ye then, being evil, know how to give
good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which
is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?" Matt
7:7,11. So let us ask, as did David: "Create
in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me."
Ps 51:10 (Compare Ps 139:23-24).
Whosoever will sincerely believe and pray will realize the experience:
"I can do all things through Christ which
strengtheneth me." Phil 4:13.
Only as we follow Jesus with a sincere heart, and as we trust Him
as our living Redeemer, can we develop a character like His, and thereby
be prepared for His return. "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."
Heb 10:16. (Compare Jer 31:33).
Do you remember that the obedience of man was tested by a fruit in
the garden of Eden (the tree of knowledge of good and evil - Gen 2:16-17)?
Again, in the last days will the obedience of man be tested with a
special commandment of God (Jas 2:10). Then the deceptive serpent
asked: "Did God really say...?"
consequences did mankind reap from this disobedience?! (Gen 3)
Doubt towards a plain command of God is again being sown into the
hearts of mankind in this age by the arch enemy of God suggesting:
"Is God really taking it that serious with
the seventh-day Sabbath?"
When it will be discovered that Sunday observance is nothing other
than a man made commandment, we must be reminded of the words of Jesus:
"Well hath Isaias prophesied of you hypocrites:
...'Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the
commandments of men... Ye reject the commandments of God, that ye
may keep your own tradition." Mark 7:6-9.
Through his prophet Ezekiel God admonishes his people: "Walk
ye not in the statutes of your fathers, neither observe their judgments
(traditions), nor defile yourselves with their
idols: I am the Lord your God; walk in my statutes, and keep my judgments,
and do 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." Eze 20:18-20; Jer 9:12,13.
The commandments of men and their traditions do not free us from the
Christian principle: "We ought to obey God
rather than men." Acts 5:29; 4:19.
will your decision be - the Sabbath of the Lord or the papal
What will your decision be - the Sabbath of the Lord or the
papal Sunday? (Jer 10:2; 1Kings 18:21; 1Sam 15:22,23).
The Holy Spirit admonishes us: "...Today,
if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts... For he that is
entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as
God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that
lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief."
Only those will be redeemed and saved of which the Bible says: "Here
is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments
of God, and the faith of Jesus." Rev 14:12.
Terrible plagues and judgments will soon fall upon mankind who have
received the Mark, the name, or the number of the Beast, or who will
worship the Beast and his Image (who submit to an antichristian, religious-political
authority), and who, by that act, have taken a position against the
clear will and warning of God (Rev 13:16-18; 14:9-11; 16:2; 18; 19:19-21).
This judgment hour message may cause fear in some. But in reality,
it is a message of salvation - a message from a loving God,
"not willing that any should perish, but that all should come
to repentance." (2Pet 3:9)
signs of the times tell us that we are in the very last
hour of this earth's history!
Every sincere individual will experience that:
"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge."
Prov 1:7 (Compare Luke 12:4,5; Ex 20:20). Fear is created only by
sin. (See Gen 3:10,11). However, after we have accepted forgiveness
through the love of
God in Jesus Christ we will experience, that "There
is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear... He that feareth
is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us."
The feeling of being lost is changed into an assurance of salvation,
and the fear of God into respect and love. The hopelessness is changed
into a singleness of purpose, and general fear into a joyful expectation
of the fulfillment of a divine promise. God's offer, the time for
repentance and return, will last only for a little while. Use this
time to seriously examine your own condition and to turn around as
the time of probation will soon end before the return of Christ.The
signs of the times tell us that we are in the very last hour of this
the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which
the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall
melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein
shall be burned up... be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace,
without spot, and blameless." 2.Pet 3:10,14.
(Compare Isa 55:6-9; Mal 3:17,18; 4:1,2).
"Let us hear the
conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments;
for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work
into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether
it be evil." Eccl 12:13-14.