Answer: Revelation 13:1-8, 16-18 provides 11 identifying characteristics. They are listed below:A. Rises from sea (verse 1).B. Composite of the four beasts of Daniel chapter 7 (verse 2).C. Dragon gives it power and authority (verse 2).D. Receives a deadly wound (verse 3).E. Deadly wound healed (verse 3).F. Strong political power (verses 3, 7).G. Strong religious power (verses 3, 8).H. Guilty of blasphemy (verses 1, 5, 6).I. Wars with and overcomes the saints (verse 7).J. Rules for 42 months (verse 5).K. Has mysterious number 666 (verse 18).Do some of these points have a familiar ring? Certainly! We encountered many of them earlier when we studied about the Antichrist in Daniel chapter 7. The "beast" of Revelation 13 is simply another name for the "Antichrist," which we learned from Daniel 7 is the papacy. Prophecies of Daniel and Revelation often cover the same ground as prior prophecies, but each time new features are added that help make the prophecies certain. So expect to learn some new things about the Antichrist from this Study Guide. Now let's consider, one by one, the 11 points that describe the beast.A. It would rise from the sea (Revelation 13:1).The sea (or water) in prophecy refers to people, or a populated area (Revelation 17:15). So the beast, or Antichrist, would arise from amid the established nations of the then-known world. The papacy, as we all know, arose in western Europe, so it fits this point.
ABOUT THE POPE:He is as determined to be world ruler as was Constantine in his day (49). He is protected by four governments (120). He is the best-known person of the 20th century (123). He is personal friends with the leaders of 91 countries (490). People of the world seem to him ready for strong worldwide moral government with control (160). Sixteen thousand journalists covered his American visit (490).ABOUT THE PAPACY:The American ambassador says the Vatican is unmatched as a "listening post" (120). The Vatican knows by Saturday what will happen on Monday anywhere in the world (439). Papal structure is prepared for worldwide rule now (143).Obviously, the wound is healed and the eyes of the nations are upon the Vatican, so this point also fits the papacy.
"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 20:12. "It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth." Exodus 31:17.
Answer: God is saying in the texts above that He gave us His Sabbath as a glorious sign of His power to create and His power to sanctify (convert and save) us. In the Bible, the words seal, sign, mark, and token are used interchangeably.7 God's sign, the Sabbath, represents His holy power to rule as Creator and Saviour. Revelation 7:1-3 says it will be written upon the foreheads (minds, Hebrews 10:16) of His people. It will signify that they are owned by Him and have His character. Hebrews 4:4-10 confirms this by saying that when we enter His rest (receive salvation), we should keep His seventh-day Sabbath holy as a symbol, or mark, of salvation. True Sabbath-keeping signifies that a person has surrendered his life to Jesus Christ and is willing to follow wherever Jesus leads.Since the symbol, or mark, of God's authority and power is His holy Sabbath day, it seems likely that the symbol, or mark, of God's challenger, the beast, might also involve a holy day. Let's see if it does.7(Compare Genesis 17:11 with Romans 4:11 and Revelation 7:3 with Ezekiel 9:4.)
Answer: Notice the following section from a Catholic catechism: "Question: Have you any other way of proving that the Church has power to institute festivals of precept?""Answer: Had she 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."8So the papacy is here saying that it changed Sabbath to Sunday and that virtually all churches accepted the new holy day. Thus, the papacy claims that Sunday as a holy day is the mark, or symbol, of her power and authority.8Stephen Keenan, A Doctrinal Catechism [FRS No. 7.], (3rd American ed., rev.: New York, Edward Dunigan & Bro., 1876), p. 174.
Answer: Yes! In describing the Antichrist in Daniel 7:25, God said it would "think to change times and laws."A. How has the papacy tried to change God's laws? In three different ways: In her catechisms she has (1) omitted the second commandment against veneration of images, and (2) shortened the fourth (Sabbath) commandment from 94 words to just eight. The Sabbath commandment (Exodus 20:8-11) clearly specifies Sabbath as the seventh day of the week. As changed by the papacy, the commandment reads: "Remember that thou keep holy the Sabbath day." Written thus, it can refer to any day. And, finally, she (3) divided the tenth commandment into two commandments.B. How has the papacy attempted to change God's times? In two ways: (1) She has changed the time of the Sabbath from the seventh day to the first day. (2) She has also changed God's "timing" for the beginning and closing hours of the Sabbath. Instead of counting the Sabbath day from sundown Friday night to sundown Saturday night as God mandates (Leviticus 23:32), she adopted the pagan Roman custom of counting the day from midnight Saturday night to midnight Sunday night. God predicted these "changes" would be attempted by the beast, or Antichrist.Notice the following section from a Catholic catechism:"Question: Which is the Sabbath day? Answer: Saturday is the Sabbath day. Question: Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday?Answer: We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday." 9Here is another Catholic statement: "The Church is above the Bible and this transference of Sabbath observance from Saturday to Sunday is proof positive of that fact." 10The papacy is saying in these references that its successful change of Sabbath observance to Sunday worship is proof that its authority is greater, or "above," Scripture.9Peter Geiermann, The Convert's Catechism of Catholic Doctrine (St. Louis, B. Herder Book Co., 1957 ed.), p. 50.10The Catholic Record (London, Ontario, Canada, Sept. 1, 1923).
Answer: We ask the papacy, "Did you really change Sabbath to Sunday?"She replies, "Yes, we did. It is our symbol, or mark, of authority and power."We ask, "How could you even think of doing that?"It's a pertinent question. But the question the papacy officially asks Protestants is even more pertinent. Please read it carefully:"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 can answer. You are a Protestant, and you profess to go by the Bible and the Bible only and yet in so important a matter as the observance of one day in seven as a holy day, you go against the plain letter of the Bible, and put another day in the place of that day which the Bible has commanded. 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? If you are consistent with your own principles, if you really follow the Bible and the Bible only, you ought to be able to produce some portion of the New Testament in which this fourth commandment is expressly altered." 1111Library of Christian Doctrine: Why Don't You Keep Holy the Sabbath-Day? (London: Burns and Oates, Ltd.), pp. 3, 4.Tragically, both Catholicism and Protestantism stand guilty before the judgment bar of heaven for rejecting God's holy Sabbath, His sacred sign of identification.
Answer: A. God warns religious leaders against causing people to stumble by saying that some commandments do not matter (Malachi 2:7-9). For example, some ministers teach, "It doesn't matter what day you keep holy." B. God warns people who want their ministers to preach smooth fables rather than the truth about His law (Isaiah 30:9, 10).C. God warns people about hardening their hearts against the truth of His law (Zechariah 7:12).D. God warns people who say it would seem "strange" to keep God's lawlike the Sabbath, for example (Hosea 8:12).E. God states that the upheaval, tragedy, problems, and woes of earth come because people refuse to follow His law, and have even tried to change it (Isaiah 24:4-6).F. God warns religious leaders who refuse to preach the prophecies of the end time (Isaiah 29:10, 11).G. God solemnly warns that leaders who teach there is really no difference between sacred things (such as God's holy Sabbath) and common things (such as Sunday) will face His indignation (Ezekiel 22:26, 31).
Answer: The forehead represents the mind (Hebrews 10:16). A person will be marked in the forehead by a decision to keep Sunday as a holy day. The hand is a symbol of work (Ecclesiastes 9:10). A person will be marked in the hand by working on God's holy Sabbath or by going along with Sunday laws for practical reasons (job, family, etc.). The sign, or mark, for either God or the beast will be invisible to people. You will, in essence, mark yourself by accepting either God's sign or mark, the Sabbath, or the beast's mark, Sunday. Though invisible to men, God will know who has which mark (2 Timothy 2:19).
"Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression." "If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, ... Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord." Isaiah 58:1, 13, 14.
Answer: He says, show "my people" that they are (innocently perhaps) sinning because they are trampling on My holy day, and ask them to quit breaking My Sabbath so I can bless them. Speak loudly so they will hear you!Notice that the third angel of Revelation 14:9-12, who brings the message about the mark of the beast, speaks with a loud voice also (verse 9). The message is too important to treat as ordinary. It's a life-or-death issue. Jesus says His sheep, or people, will follow Him when He calls them. (John 10:16, 27).
Answer: No! No one will have the mark of the beast until Sunday worship becomes an issue forced by law. At that time (just ahead), those who decide to follow the false teachings of the beast and worship on Sunday (the beast's counterfeit holy day) will receive the mark of the beast. Those who follow Jesus and obey His truth will keep His Sabbath day holy and receive His mark. Those who expect to refuse the beast's mark in the future must step under Jesus' Sabbath banner now. His power is available to those who obey Him (Acts 5:32). Without Him, we can do nothing (John 15:5). With Him, all things are possible (Mark 10:27).
Answer: The answer is threefold and very clear:A. Those who have God's mark, or sign (His Sabbath), in their foreheads (Revelation 7:3).B. Those who refused to identify with the beast or his image and who refused to have his mark or name in their foreheads (Revelation 15:2).C. The people who today, and for eternity, follow where Jesus leads, trusting Him fully in everything (Revelation 14:4). There is no other way.
"He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." John 8:12.
Answer: What a fantastic promise! If we follow Him, we will not end up in darkness but will, instead, have glorious truth. Nothing could be more exciting! Further, following Him and keeping His Sabbath will put God's mark on our foreheads and protect us from the dreadful plagues (Psalms 91:10) that will fall upon the disobedient (Revelation chapter 16). It also marks us as ready for translation at Jesus' second coming. What blessed protection and assurance God has offered us!An Urgent AlertYou will discover some astounding information as you study the final three Study Guides of the nine that deal with the three angels' messages of Revelation 14:6-14. These Study Guides will explain (1) the role of the United States in earth's final conflict, (2) how churches and religions of the world will be involved, (3) what world conditions will precipitate earth's final battle, and (4) Satan's amazing strategy for deceiving billions.Perhaps you are wondering what Protestant churches have to say about the papal claim for changing Sabbath to Sunday. The quotes that appear in the "Your Thought Questions Answered" section of this lesson will provide the shocking answers.
1. What do other preachers and pastors say about the Sabbath and Sunday?Answer:Here are a host of comments from churches and other authorities about the Sabbath:Baptist: "There was and is a commandment to keep holy the Sabbath day, but that Sabbath day was not Sunday. ... It will be said, however, and with some show of triumph, that the Sabbath was transferred from the seventh to the first day of the week. ... Where can the record of such a transaction be found? Not in the New Testament -- absolutely not. There is no scriptural evidence of the change of the Sabbath institution from the seventh to the first day of the week." Dr. Edward T. Hiscox, author of The Baptist Manual, in a paper read before a New York ministers' conference held Nov. 13, 1893.Catholic: "You may read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and you will not find a single line authorizing the sanctification of Sunday. The Scriptures enforce the religious observance of Saturday, a day which we [Catholics] never sanctify." James Cardinal Gibbons, The Faith of Our Fathers, 16th edition, 1880, p. 111.Church of Christ: "Finally, we have the testimony of Christ on this subject. In Mark 2:27, he says: 'The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.' From this passage it is evident that the Sabbath was made not merely for the Israelites, as Paley and Hengstenberg would have us believe, but for man ... that is, for the race. Hence we conclude that the Sabbath was sanctified from the beginning, and that it was given to Adam, even in Eden, as one of those primeval institutions that God ordained for the happiness of all men." Robert Milligan, Scheme of Redemption, (St. Louis, The Bethany Press, 1962), p. 165.Congregationalist: "The Christian Sabbath [Sunday] is not in the Scriptures, and was not by the primitive church called the Sabbath." Dwight's Theology, Vol. 4, p. 401.Episcopal: "Sunday (Dies Solis, of the Roman calendar, 'day of the sun', because dedicated to the sun), the first day of the week, was adopted by the early Christians as a day of worship. ... No regulations for its observance are laid down in the New Testament, nor, indeed, is its observance even enjoined." "Sunday," A Religious Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, (New York, Funk and Wagnalls, 1883) p. 2259.Lutheran: "The observance of the Lord's day [Sunday] is founded not on any command of God, but on the authority of the church." Augsburg Confession of Faith, quoted in Catholic Sabbath Manual, Part 2, Chapter 1, Section 10.Methodist: "Take the matter of Sunday. There are indications in the New Testament as to how the church came to keep the first day of the week as its day of worship, but there is no passage telling Christians to keep that day, or to transfer the Jewish Sabbath to that day." Harris Franklin Rall, Christian Advocate, July 2, 1942.Moody Bible Institute: "The Sabbath was binding in Eden, and it has been in force ever since. This fourth commandment begins with the word 'remember,' showing that the Sabbath already existed when God wrote the law on the tables of stone at Sinai. How can men claim that this one commandment has been done away with when they will admit that the other nine are still binding?" D. L. Moody, Weighed and Wanting, p. 47.Presbyterian: "Until, therefore, it can be shown that the whole moral law has been repealed, the Sabbath will stand. ... The teaching of Christ confirms the perpetuity of the Sabbath." T. C. Blake, D.D., Theology Condensed, pp. 474, 475.Pentecostal: "'Why do we worship on Sunday? Doesn't the Bible teach us that Saturday should be the Lord's Day?' ... Apparently we will have to seek the answer from some other source than the New Testament." David A. Womack, "Is Sunday the Lord's Day?" The Pentecostal Evangel, Aug. 9, 1959, No. 2361, p. 3.Encyclopedia: "Sunday was a name given by the heathen to the first day of the week, because it was the day on which they worshiped the sun, ... the seventh day was blessed and hallowed by God Himself, and ... He requires His creatures to keep it holy to Him. This commandment is of universal and perpetual obligation."Eadie's Biblical Cyclopedia, 1872 ed., p. 561.
1. Many people have already received the mark of the beast. (1)_____ Yes. _____ No.
2. The mark of the beast is (1)_____ Your Social Security number. _____ Sunday as a holy day. _____ The bar codes for grocery pricing.
3. The beast organization that has the mark is the (1)_____ United Nations. _____ Papacy. _____ European Community of Nations. _____ Trilateral Commission.
4. The mark is literal and will be seen by all. (1)_____ Yes. _____ No.
5. God also has a mark, or symbol, of His power and authority. (1)_____ Yes. _____ No.
6. God's mark of authority is (1)_____ A secret number that is given to each faithful Christian. _____ Speaking in tongues. _____ Sabbath-keeping in commemoration of Creation and sanctification. _____ Baptism.
7. How did the "beast" attempt to change God's law? (2)_____ Changing Sabbath (of the fourth commandment) to Sunday. _____ Teaching that it is not a sin to commit adultery. _____ Removing the commandment against the veneration of images.
8. In Bible prophecy, how long is 42 months? (1)_____ 420 literal years. _____ Three and one-half literal years. _____ 1,260 literal days. _____ 1,260 literal years.
9. Where will the beast's mark be placed? (2)_____ In the hand. _____ On the mouth. _____ On the cheek. _____ In the forehead.
10. Where will God's mark be placed? (1)_____ On the hand. _____ In the forehead. _____ On the person's tongue.
11. Which of the three angels' messages is the warning against the mark of the beast? (1)_____ First angel's message. _____ Second angel's message. _____ Third angel's message.
12. The beast attempted to change God's times by (2)_____ Celebrating New Year's as a holiday. _____ Changing God's holy day from the seventh to the first day of the week. _____ Setting the hours for God's holy day as midnight-to-midnight instead of sundown-to-sundown.
13. Jesus gave us the warning message regarding the mark of the beast. (1)_____ Yes. _____ No.
14. Sign, mark, seal, and token are used interchangeably in Scripture. (1)_____ Yes. _____ No.
15. There is no scriptural authorization for observing Sunday as a holy day. (1)_____ True. _____ False.