Marked for Death

Marked for Death

Date: 11/15/2014 
What is the Mark of the Beast?
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I want to welcome you again, friends, to this presentation of the Landmarks of Prophecy Bible study series. And tonight is going to be one of the very important subjects people come to a series like this, they want to understand prophecy. I want to thank all of you here in Albuquerque for braving the highway construction quagmire out there. From my window I can see the red tail lights going in every direction. And those who are watching, online or through 3ABN, Amazing Facts television - around the world, we're just very thankful that you've joined us.

Our presentation tonight is entitled 'Marked for Death' and this study, of course, is dealing with the subject of the Mark of the Beast that you find in Revelation 13 and also mentioned in Revelation 14. Now, for the story that helps us introduce this - remember, to understand Revelation you need to go back in the Bible. The keys to unlock the secrets of Revelation are found in other places in the Bible, frequently in the Old Testament. Going all the way back to the beginning, we remember that Adam and eve had two sons - original sons - what where their names? Cain and Abel. Cain and Abel.

But they were very opposite. The Bible tells us that one of them was a shepherd and one of them was a tiller of the ground. Up until the time of when the flood happened, Adam and Eve and their descendants, they could actually bring their offerings right to the gates of the Garden of Eden. You see, after Adam and Eve sinned, they tried to cover their sin with fig leaves and God said, 'That won't do - a symbol of your own righteousness.' And it says the Lord gave them robes of skin. Now where do you think the skins came from? God did not miraculously create some vinyl or something.

That's telling us about when God established the sacrificial system. You realize the sacrificial system goes back before Moses. Abraham sacrificed lambs, Job sacrificed for his family. Those lambs all pointed to the day when John the Baptist would say 'Jesus is the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.' So God prescribed what they needed to do for forgiveness. The Bible says, without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness for sin.

God commanded them about how to do this. And the Bible tells us that Abel - Genesis 4:2 - was a keeper of sheep. He was gentle and - but his brother Cain, he didn't take care of sheep, he was attracted more to tilling the ground. The Bible tells us that Cain was a tiller of the soil and so - very opposite - kind of like Jacob and Esau, you know, one was a shepherd and one was a hunter - opposite brothers. When the time came for them to worship God and to bring a sacrifice, they built their altars - and the Bible tells us that Abel brought of the firstling of his flock, as God had said, sacrificed the lamb, the blood was presented to the Lord.

Cain thought, you know, 'That's not very popular. It's unpleasant and Abel's a shepherd and it makes sense for him, but I'm a farmer. I'm going to bring of the fruits of the ground. That's my sacrifice.' The Bible says that God accepted Abel's sacrifice. Fire came down from God and devoured it, showing acceptance.

But Cain's - his fruits and vegetables that he piled up on the altar, gathered nothing but fruit flies. And it bothered him that his offering was not accepted by God. And when Abel said, 'Brother, you really need to do what God said and worship Him the way He told us to worship Him. There's no forgiveness for our sins without the shedding of blood.' Cain got mad at his younger brother, 'Who are you to tell me?' And they had a fight. You can read in Genesis 4, verse 8, "and Cain talked with Abel his brother: and ...Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him." Here you have the first murder in the history of the universe. Notice that this first murder happens in the context of two brothers - ostensibly worshiping the same God in an act of worship. One does it his own way. One does it God's way. The one who does it the wrong way persecutes the one who does it the right way.

You find that pattern repeated through Bible history. The Bible closes with that. Genesis 4:10 - notice: God said to Cain, "...the voice of your brother's blood crieth unto Me from the ground." The Bible says that the blood of Jesus speaks better things to the Father than that of Abel. And Christ tells us, in the last generation, all the righteous blood from Abel down to the end is going to be brought on that generation. Genesis 4:15, "And the Lord set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him."

Now Cain said - the Lord said, 'You're going to be a vagabond from now on and the ground will not bear its strength for thee. And Cain said, 'Lord, my punishment is too great for me to bear. And all of the descendants of Adam and Eve that will be born, they're going to see that I've got this stigma and they're going to kill me because of what I've done to Abel.' The Lord put a mark upon Cain. Now, we don't know, the Bible's not very specific, but some distinguishing characteristic was put on Cain that set him apart. So there's no record in the Bible that anyone retaliated for what he had done to his brother.

So here you have somebody who receives a mark because of their persecuting God's people and wanting to worship contrary to the right way. So you have this pattern established, okay? With that background, you're going to see the same thing happening in the last days. There'll be two final groups. We always think about the Mark of the Beast but everybody gets a mark in the last days. One gets the Seal of God. One gets the Mark of the Beast. One group is saved. One is lost. Everybody is going to fall into one of two categories in the last days. Let's get into question #1 of our study today.

Question #1: Who is going to be protected through the seven last plagues? Now we, tomorrow, are going to be studying Revelation 12. Last night we talked about - or this morning - Revelation 13 and 14 and then Revelation 15 and 16 you've got the seven last plagues. Remember, there were ten plagues that fell on Egypt when God took them from Egypt and they began their journey to the Promised Land. The Israelites experienced the first three plagues right along with the Egyptians, but God protected the Israelites from the last seven plagues. The last seven plagues that fall on the world, that's called the great tribulation.

Christians do not need to be afraid of that. God will preserve us through it. We will be here - all that live godly will suffer tribulation, but He will preserve us. Who is protected during that time? Revelation chapter 7, verse 3 - the angel says, in chapter 7 - "Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have" - done what? - "Sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads." Wow, I thought - something in your forehead - I thought that was bad. No, not always. If you read in Ezekiel chapter 9 it says that an angel of judgment went through Jerusalem and these angels destroyed everybody that did not have a mark that was put upon them. Those with a mark, in Ezekiel 9, are saved.

There's two different kinds of marks. You know, whenever somebody hears about a mark in the last days, we instinctively think about the bad mark. How many of you would like to be spirit possessed? Depends on what spirit, right? But you automatically, when I said that, you thought about, 'I don't want to be spirit possessed. Especially after Halloween.' We automatically think about bad spirits, but doesn't the Spirit of the Lord come on people too? And so when you say, 'Would you like to be marked?' 'No, not me.' Well, there's a good mark in the last days too. This is the seal of God placed in the foreheads. And the final winds of strife do not blow on the earth. These angels are shown holding back these final winds until - that's talking about a storm that's coming - until God's servants receive this seal.

Question #2: What is this seal that the righteous have in their foreheads? You can find the answer - Isaiah 8:16 - it says, "Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples." When God writes His law in your heart, you are receiving the seal of God. Now, just to - let me make something real simple - those that have the Mark of the Beast have the spirit of the devil. Do we all agree? In the last days - Holy Spirit's withdrawn from them and when the Holy Spirit's withdrawn, evil spirits come in. Those that have the seal of God have the Holy Spirit. Ephesians said, 'Grieve not the Holy Spirit wherewith you are sealed for the day of redemption.

So we already know that those that are saved have the Holy Spirit's seal. Those that are lost have the seal of the enemy or the devil's spirit. But there's something more distinct about it. Those that are saved have the law of God written in their hearts. But there's still more.

Let's take a look at what is a seal, technically? When you think of a biblical seal, what makes up a seal? I just grabbed here, from the website, the seal for British Columbia. It was a convenient one and it's got, you known, they're part of the English commonwealth, and it says, 'Queen Elizabeth II of Canada’. All seals will contain those three elements. The name: Elizabeth the II, title: Queen, Canada, the territory. The title, the name, the territory.

That's - when our president gives a speech, it'll say: Barak Obama - name, president - title, United States of America. In the Bible you find examples of a seal. When Jesus was put in the tomb, somebody put a seal on the door. Who was that? Pontius Pilate. That means that they took some wax, they tied it off, and they pressed this - his official seal into the wax so that in order to open it up they'd have to break the seal and that seal had the authority on it and it said, Pontius Pilate, Governor, Judea.

When Daniel was put in the lion's den, it says Darius put a stone on the lid of the lion's den and he sealed it. So the purpose might not be changed. That seal said Darius - his name, King - his title, Medo-Persia - his territory. All seals will have these three components.

Now, with that in mind, understanding what a seal is, Question #3: Which of the Ten Commandments contains all of the elements that are technically involved in a seal? You might be surprised to look in the middle of God's law, in the last of the first commandments that are between man and God. The longest of the Ten Commandments, the only commandment that begins with the word 'Remember' - it's called the Sabbath commandment. Here's what it says: "for in six days" - who? - "the Lord" - that's His name, Jehovah - "made" - that's His office, He's the creator - "the heaven and earth, the sea," - everything above, everything below, everything on the land. That's the seal right there in the law.

I think I told you one time that in the world you've got the holy land and in the holy land you've got the holy city and in the holy city you've got the holy mount and on the holy mount they had the holy temple and in the holy temple they had the holy place. Within that they had the holy of holies, which had the holy ark, and in the holy ark was the holy law of God, the testimony, and in the law of God you find the word 'holy' one time. It's in the Sabbath commandment.

Now, I know there are people here thinking, 'Pastor Doug, boy, you folks sure make a big deal out of this. Just one commandment. Why would one commandment make such a big difference?' 'Whosoever shall keep the whole law and yet offend in one point,' James tells us, 'is guilty of all.' If I was in a society where the church was teaching people it was okay to commit adultery, you would hear me talk a lot about that. If I was in a society where Christians were being told that it's okay to lie or steal, you'd hear me talk a lot about that. But it just so happens that we're in a society where Christians are forgetting a very important law that has to do with worshiping God and giving Him your time. See, God made the Sabbath day because we show our love in time. We live in time. If you don't have any time, you don't live anymore and when you give Him as holy that seventh day to worship Him, that says a lot about whose really in charge of your life. But if you say, 'I'm too busy to fit God into my schedule,' then are you really His servant? It says a lot. It really separates the genuine people who say, 'I want to live for God and He does have my time.' Matter of fact, sometimes it's easier to give God your money than your time. I know my father - busy like a lot of fathers - sometimes he knew he just didn't have much time, it was easier for him to hand me five dollars and say, 'Go to the movies.' Of course, back then, it didn't cost that much. But just, you know, than to give me time. But what does most - what do most children want? A handout or time with their parents? God loves us. He wants time with us - quality time. And the Sabbath is all about that.

So in the Sabbath commandment you have the seal of God. You've got the word, 'holy.' It's in the center of His law and the reason God said to His people, 'Remember' is because He knew we would be inclined to forget. Because Jesus said, 'Be careful, lest your heart be overcharged with eating and drinking and the cares of this life so that that day, the day of the Lord, overtakes you as a thief.' Or even your own death. We can get so busy with the cares of this life, we forget about eternity and living for God. Yes, this does matter, friends.

Question #4: Alright, we identified the beast in lesson 13. What is its mark of authority? Alright, now, in this section, we're going to actually be reading through some answers from a Catholic catechism. Now, if you want to be a good Catholic - I used to go to Catholic school - I was actually born in a Catholic hospital too. They use a question and answer teaching method - it's a good method to teach. And this is - some of you - how many of you have seen a catechism before? You've worked - okay, a lot of people. You know what I'm talking about.

Catholic catechism says, "Q. 'Which day is the Sabbath day?' A: 'Saturday is the Sabbath day.' Q. 'Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday?' A: 'We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic church transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday.' Then the next natural question is: 'Have you any other way of proving that the church has power to institute festivals of precept?' How do you prove that the church has a right to create these things? A. 'Had she not such power, she could not have done that in which all modern religionists agree with her'" - most, not all - "'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 not scriptural authority.'" Notice it also says, 'she could not have' - that comes up later too. No scriptural authority. They freely admit this. It's something that has grown totally out of tradition. It is not a Bible truth. And so, a lot of very sincere, dear Christians out there - every Sunday when they go to church - they've never really thought through it, but it's not commanded in the Bible.

You know, I'm going to just pause right here. I want to read something to you. I just grabbed this. I knew that there was a lot of data on this truth and so I just printed some quotes off the internet. Just in case you're wondering if Pastor Doug stands alone or if this is something that just Seventh-day Adventists think about, Dwight L. Moody - great preacher - I know the pastor of the Moody Bible church in Chicago - good man - Erwin Lutzer - this is what Dwight Moody said, "The Sabbath was binding in Eden and it's been in force ever since. The fourth commandment begins with the word 'Remember' showing that the Sabbath already existed when God wrote the tables on the stone at Sinai" - he's right. It goes back before Mount Sinai. 'How can men claim that this one commandment has been done away with when they admit that the other nine are still binding?' Here's Doctor Edward T. Hiscox, author of the Baptist Manual - a Baptist - "There was and is a commandment to keep holy the Sabbath day, but that Sabbath day was not Sunday. It'll be said, however, 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. Furthermore," - he goes on - "of course I quite well know that Sunday did come into use in the early Christian history. What a pity" - still speaking - Dr. Edward T. Hiscox, the Baptist theologian - "What a pity that Sunday came branded with the mark of paganism and it's christened with the name of the sun god, adopted and sanctioned by the papal apostasy and bequeathed as a sacred legacy to Protestantism." Another - William Owen Carver - in his book 'The Lord's Day' - a Baptist. "There was never any formal authoritative change from the Jewish seventh-day Sabbath to the first day observance.”

Here's from an Anglican Episcopal - I'm just reading a fraction of these. I don't have time to read them all. In - Canon Eyton, in his book 'The Ten Commandments' - "There is no word, no hint in the New Testament about abstaining from work on Sunday into rest of Sunday.” - no divine law enters – “The observance of Ash Wednesday or Lent stands exactly on the same footing as the observance of Sunday." It's saying there's no biblical grounds for this. Alexander Campbell, Disciples of Christ, "But some say it (the Sabbath) was changed from the seventh to the first day. Where? When? By whom? No man can tell. No, it was never changed, nor could it be unless creation was gone through again." He goes on to say, "If it be changed, it was that august personage who changed it - who changes times and laws ex officio, I think his name is Dr. Antichrist." That's Alexander Campbell. Presbyterian - T.C. Blake, in his book 'Theology Condensed' page 474, "The Sabbath is a part of the Decalogue - the Ten Commandments. This alone forever settles the question as to the perpetuity of the institution. 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."

I've got John Wesley - you can just go through - these theologians know. They know that it's a Bible truth. The question is - Jesus said, 'In vain do they worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.' If you're going to be a Bible Christian - this is what happened to me. I was up in the cave and I went to a lot of different churches and I said, 'Lord, I just want to know the truth.' It didn't matter to me - and I went to church on Sunday - and a lot of lovely Christians - and I've worshiped with Christians in many different denominations. But I heard things in their theology and I said, 'This doesn't square up with Scripture. Lord, is there a place I can go that squares up with the Bible?' And after I prayed that prayer, up in the cave, the Lord revealed these things to me and I encountered this church where I have been for the last 37 years and I share it everywhere I go because it's the Bible. My allegiance isn't to any denomination. I couldn't care less about that. My allegiance is to Christ and His Word. And I think in the last days, the Lord is calling people back to Scripture that we might receive His seal and be prepared for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit that will come just before the last days. Oh, I've got to grab this. I grabbed my Bible.

Alright, Question #5: What does the second beast of Revelation 13 force all to receive? Revelation 13, verse 16, "And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a" - a what? "A mark in their right hands or in their foreheads." That's not up on the screen yet, sorry. So everybody is forced to receive a mark in the right hand or in their forehead. Now, when you think right hand or in the forehead, that comes up a few times in the Bible.

Question #6: First thing I want to make very clear. Does anyone have the Mark of the Beast now - today? Quick answer, no. When will people finally have the Mark of the Beast? In Revelation 13, verse 17 it says, "No man might buy or sell." When there's a law made that nobody can buy or sell, that's when you're going to know that it becomes an issue. Furthermore it says, "Save he that has the mark of the beast or the number of the beast's name." Now, you know, in your - when - you go shopping today. How many of you, 90% of the time don't even use cash anymore when you shop? You don't have to show me hands - but virtually always - and it's very convenient, right? When that first came out, people wondered if that was the Mark of the Beast. And people have done a lot of speculating about what the Mark of the Beast was. I remember when I was living up in the mountains, the - we called them 'Jesus freaks' - the hippies on the street back then, they thought the Mark of the Beast was the Proctor and Gamble symbol because it looked like 666. And I've heard rumors out there that the Monster drink has got this like 6 claws - that was the Mark of the Beast then. Probably not good for you but - so there's all these different crazy theories out there about what the Mark of the Beast is.

And they think that the Mark of the Beast is a mechanism that will control buying and selling. There are lots of mechanisms that will control buying and selling, but that is not the mark. It may be used by the beast power, but that itself is not the mark. Eventually, there'll be laws made that people cannot buy or sell unless they cooperate with the beast power. Revelation chapter 13, verse 12, it says that he (the beast) "...and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed." And so, you have the second beast, in Revelation 13, verse 11, is compelling the world to worship the first beast. Now, I told you earlier today just straight out, I believe the second beast is the United States.

That doesn't mean I'm not happy to be American, in case anyone didn't hear me earlier, I'm not leaving. I believe the first beast - and it's with - America's sort of the home for the Protestants of the world. Many of the Protestant churches found refuge in America. Most of the Protestant mission work around the globe, the funds come from where? North America. Are you aware of that? And that Catholicism was the first beast in the beginning of the chapter and it says that 'The second beast causes the earth and them that dwell therein to worship the first beast whose deadly wound was healed.'

Let me show you a couple of pictures I thought were interesting. Now this is just trivia, but is it just a coincidence that you've got the U.S. Capitol and the Vatican - don't they look kind of similar? They used that same Greco-Roman kind of architecture at their domes. And in front of the Vatican you've got a - a big obelisk and in front of the capitol you've got another big obelisk - it's called the Washington Monument. Almost looks like we're kind of making an image right there. Don't misunderstand, I just think that's a curiosity.

Question #7: Is the Mark of the Beast or the Seal of God a visible mark? Now this is very important I don't know if you remember when bar codes first began to appear on products. And I remember when that first happened still. I was a young Christian and my friend said, 'They're putting the Mark of the Beast on all the products. Don't buy anything that's got that mark on it. They're going to use it to control buying and selling.' All those friends starved to death a long time ago because now it's on everything. But no, that is not the Mark of the Beast. And others think that, you know, the beast power - you know, there's even some translations of the Bible - they're not translations, they're paraphrased - it says, 'And he causes all small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a tattoo in their right hand or in their forehead.' You know, it does not say that in the original. It says a mark 'in' the hand and 'in' the forehead. That's talking about in your actions and in your thoughts. It is not an external mark.

Now I'm going to prove that to you. Hebrews 10, verse 6 - talking about the new covenant - "Saith the Lord, I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them." Ecclesiastes 9, verse 10, "Whatever your hand findeth to do, do it with thy might." It's talking about in your thoughts is in your heart - your actions, your worship - your hand, it's talking about your actions. Here's another example of that: Isaiah 59, verse 6, it says, "Their works are works of iniquity, and the act of violence is in their hands." So when it says 'in the hand' that really begins in the heart. Jesus says if your right hand offends you, cut it off. Did He literally mean for you to cut off your hand? No, I hope you - that means - no, that was an illustration Jesus is giving about if you've got something real close to you that's causing you to sin, just - even though if it's a close as your hand, cut it off. Better to enter Heaven maimed - is anyone going to Heaven maimed? No, it's an illustration. Now I want you to look at a few verses quickly. Exodus 13, verse 9 - alright, let's understand in the hand and in the forehead - what does this mean? "And it shall be a sign unto thee" - notice, a sign - "unto thee upon thine hand, and for a memorial between thine eyes that the Lord's law might be in your heart." On your hand - between your eyes. Now, the Hebrews, that's how they said it - between your eyes meant your forehead.

Where did Goliath get struck? Right between the eyes, in his forehead. The Seal of God in the forehead represents having the Law of God in our hearts. Hebrews 8:10 - we read that - "I will put my laws in their mind and write them on their hearts;" Let me read you another verse. Go with me in your Bibles to Deuteronomy - this is a very famous verse - all of my Jewish friends will know this, it's the great Shema. In Deuteronomy 6, you go to verse 4, Jesus quotes this: "Hear, o Israel, the Lord our God is one. You should love the Lord your God with all your heart and your soul, with all your strength" - that's Deuteronomy chapter 6, verse 4 - "and these words that I command you today" - what words did Moses just command them? You look at Deuteronomy 5 - 'You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, do not steal, do not bear false witness, remember the Sabbath' - so forth - Ten Commandments - chapter 5, Ten Commandments. Chapter 6, part of the same sermon - "These words that I command you today shall be in your heart."

Now what did Moses mean? 'The words I command you will be in your heart?' He meant for them to all make an incision in their chest, open it up, and stick the Ten Commandments in there. Is that what he meant? Or is it a figure? Right? Do we all agree? It's a symbol. It's important you get that. You should teach them - verse 7 - Deuteronomy 6, verse 7 - "Teach them diligently to your children. Talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, when you rise up" - here it comes - "You will bind them as a sign on your hand and they will be as frontlets between your eyes." In the hand and in the forehead. You go - just jump over - Deuteronomy 11 - there's several places in the Bible - go to Deuteronomy 11, you'll see the same thing here as well, in verse 18, "Therefore you shall lay up these words of Mine in your heart and in your soul. Bind them as a sign on your hand. They will be as frontlets between your eyes."

They all - the Jews all understood in the hand and in the forehead - this mark - is not talking about people getting tattooed. The devil loves that. The devil loves that there's people out there that say, 'I'm not getting the mark of the beast. As soon as they come after me with that tattoo' - and everyone's getting tattoos today, right? I mean every corner - it's like Taco Bell - a tattoo parlor everywhere. Isn't that right? Someone asked me a question about that. I'll deal with that later. But the devil, he's got people thinking, 'Nobody's going to tattoo 666 on my forehead.' Nowhere in the Bible does it say that's the Mark of the Beast. It's talking about - very simply, if you've got the law of God in your heart and in your actions, you will not have the Mark of the Beast in your thoughts and in your actions. It's going to have to do with who you worship. I've got to hasten along.

Question #8: The beast has a mark to represent its power and authority. Does God also have a sign of His power? I believe the answer is yes. You can look - some examples of this - Ezekiel 20, verse 12 - I love to hear the rustle of the lessons, it means you're reading it for yourself. We put these things in your hands - we want you to take it home, look up the Scriptures, compare it, share it with your friends. I don't think we need to hide from the truth. It should stand up under investigation. "I gave them my Sabbaths to be a" - what? - "a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them." Does God still sanctify us? He does.

You can also read in Ezekiel 20, verse 20, "Hallow my Sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between Me and you, that ye may know that I am the Lord your God." So God still sanctifies us. Let me give you one more - Exodus 31:13, "Verily My Sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign" - it doesn't say that about the other commandments. He says it about the Sabbath - "it's a sign between Me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you." Now, is anyone getting to Heaven without being sanctified? 'Blessed are the pure in heart, they will see God.' God must sanctify us. The Sabbath, when you commit your time to God that way, it's a sign you believe that he created. In the beginning it says that He made the day holy, he sanctified it, and he can sanctify us. He can recreate us. That's the new covenant - 'I'll create a new heart within you.' Sabbath just embraces all of that. One more - Exodus 31:17, "it is a sign between me and the children of Israel forever." Now you might say, 'Oh, that's just for Jews.' Remember, Jesus said the Sabbath is made for man - and the word He uses is 'mankind' - anthropos - everybody. It was given to Adam and Eve.

Alright, Question #9: What did the antichrist power attempt to change? If you read in Daniel 7 - matter of fact, I think Alexander Campbell just referred to this. He understood it - Daniel 7:25, speaking of the beast power, "He shall...think to change" - what? - "times and laws." Now can he change them or just think to change them? There's an effort. Can you change God's law? Jesus said 'Heaven and Earth will pass away. My law will not pass away.'

Now here's a few quotes that I think you might find interesting. "The Pope" - this is written by the - in the official documents of the Catholic church the Decretal de Translat. Espiscop. Cap - I can't - it's in Latin - but you can look these things up. "The pope has power to change times to abrogate laws, and to dispense with all things, even the precepts of Christ." That's their official teaching. That since he's Christ's representative on earth, if he needs to modify or adjust the teachings of Christ, he has that power. I respectfully disagree.

Everyone's free to believe what they want. I just want you to be aware of what they teach. And that, I don't believe, is biblical. "Of course the Catholic church claims that the change of the Sabbath was her act" - and notice what they say - in their own words - "...and the act is a mark of her ecclesiastical power and authority in religious matters." That's from letter October 28, 1895 from C.F. Thomas. Here's another quote from their own writings, "Perhaps the boldest thing, the most revolutionary change the church ever did happened in the first century. The holy day, the Sabbath, was changed from Saturday to Sunday ...not from any directions noted in the Scriptures, but from the church's sense of its own power... People who think that the Scriptures should be the sole authority, should logically become 7th day Adventists, and keep Saturday holy." That's from Saint Catherine Catholic Church Sentinel, May 21, 1995. I'd like to thank them for the endorsement.

But they freely admit there's nothing in Scripture that supports that - that it's solely through the self-importance of the church they changed it. You know why? Because in the early days of Christianity in Rome - the Romans, of course, worshiped on the first day of the week. They worshiped the sun. That's where it gets its name. We use the Roman names for the days of the week - Sun day was worship the sun, Monday was moon day, you've got Tiwaz day, you got - Thor's day - the god of thunder was Thursday, Oden's day is what we call Wednesday - it's changed in English a little. But they were all named after the various gods. When Christians finally were legalized, pagans began to come in the church. For a couple of centuries they actually kept two days - kind of like the American weekend, they got Saturday and Sunday off. We sort of do that to respect the Judeo-Christian values in our society. Jews obviously still keep the seventh day Sabbath - at least Orthodox Jews do. But after awhile, the Jews became very unpopular in Rome and Christians, wanting to distance themselves from the Jews, and wanting to be more popular among the pagans - and the seventh day of the week they said was a day for fasting - Sunday, they said, was a day for feasting. Now, if you get to choose between feasting and fasting, what would you prefer? And suddenly Sabbath keeping became - nowhere in the Bible did it say you had to fast on Saturday, but it became very unpopular and, gradually, it was abandoned in place for Sunday and the church authorized it, as did Constantine.

"Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said," - and this is Acts 5:29 - "We ought to obey God rather than men. That's where I stand, friends. If you're going to make a decision about what you do, they told Peter to stop preaching about Jesus. He said, 'I'm sorry, I can't. I ought to obey God rather than man.' That's why I'm doing what I'm doing. Jesus said, in Matthew chapter 5, "Whosoever therefore, will think to change one of the least of these commandments and teach men so, he will be called least in the kingdom of Heaven. But whoever will do them and teach them will be called great in the kingdom of Heaven." I just want to do what Jesus said. I want to do it. I want to teach it. And so, this is what the Lord says.

Here's a few more quotes: Pope Francis says evolution is real and he supports the big bang. This came out last week. Now, does the Bible say evolution is real? No. I believe in a literal six-day creation. You know what Jesus said? Jesus said, 'If you don't believe Moses then you don't believe Me.' And if we think that Moses was making up the first eleven chapters of Genesis or it's all a fable, Jesus refers to it as a fact that God made man. The Word of God - He spoke them into existence. Ask me questions about evolution. I used to believe in that. I'll be happy to share with you what I learned.

In the Catholic Encyclopedia, Peter Stravinskes, the editor, says, "...we should not interpret Genesis literally..." So what I'm sharing with you is the whole Catholic approach to Scripture is they just don't take it that seriously. They figure that since they're 'in charge of the church' they can change the Word of God. Christ said, 'Not one tittle, not one jot will pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Heaven and earth will pass away.' If you want to survive the coming storm, who survives? 'He that hears these words of mine and does them.' 'Change not His Words lest thou be found a liar.' It says that in Revelation - 'if anyone adds to this book, God'll add unto them the plagues. If anyone takes away from his book, God'll take their name out of the book of life.' Messing with the Word of God is dangerous business if you're a Christian because everybody can just make it say whatever they want it to say. The Word of God is infallible and true and we need to believe it. We can't be readjusting it.

Question #10: What was God's criticism of His ancient priests or pastors? This is something you find even in the Old Testament. Malachi chapter 2, verses 8 and 9, it says, "Ye have caused many to stumble at the law....ye have not kept My ways, but have been partial in the law." What does partial mean? They're sharing it, but they're not sharing all of it. They're sharing it partially.

Question #11: How did God's ancient leaders regard the great things of His law? Hosea 4:6, "Thou hast forgotten the law of thy God." Could that be something the Lord might say to His church in the twenty-first century? Are we being partial? Does God give us a ten-percent discount of the law? No. Heaven and Earth will pass away. God is looking for His people to have a revival and to return to the truth. Hosea 8, verse 12, it says, "I have written to him the great things of my law, but they were counted as a strange thing." And you preach to people about the whole law of God.

You know what I think is unusual? Or suspicious? I could go to virtually any church here in Albuquerque on Sunday and I could stand up and preach a variety of sermons. I'm acquainted with most of the major teachings and I could preach a sermon on honoring your parents and I'd get loud amens. I could preach on faithfulness in marriage - people would squirm but they'd appreciate it. I could preach on don't steal - say amen. I could preach on don't covet. I could preach on don't use God's name in vain, don't worship graven images - that one would be difficult in some churches. But I could preach on virtually 90 percent of all the commandments and people would feel just fine. And then I would stand up and I would preach on the fourth commandment and, you know, people would say the strangest things. 'Pastor Doug, we're not under the law now, we're under grace. We don't need to keep that one.' Or 'The law's done away with.' And I would say, 'You mean He doesn't want us to keep the Ten Commandments?' 'Well, nine of them.' So the one we're not supposed to keep and we're supposed to forget about is the only one that begins with the word 'Remember?' That doesn't make sense, right?

You hear all these - this strange squirming and I know because I've studied this with a lot of Christian friends and pastors and many have take a stand. I know some pastors that when they learned these truths they shared it with their congregation and some of the church said, 'We believe it.' And some said, 'You need to go find another church.' And so it's really a challenge, in our culture today, for people to accept these things. But what does Jesus say? 'For this is the love of God that we keep His commandments.' This is actually 1 John 5 verse 3, "and His commandments are not burdensome." When God gives us a law, is it to be a problem or to be a blessing? Blessing. Sure. Jesus said, 'If you love Me keep My commandments.'

You know, there's one commandment that says 'keep.' 'Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.' Now, why does God say 'keep?' If you come to my house in the wintertime and I've got to make a trip to town - I've got to get some groceries - it's ten miles away - and I say, 'Look it's cold. I'll be back in about an hour, can you keep the fire going?' And you say, 'No problem, Doug.' I say, 'The wood's in the woodbox.' 'No problem.' I leave and you go over just to make sure the fire's stoked and there's no fire. It's cold, dead ashes. And you're thinking, 'Why did Doug ask me to keep the fire going if there wasn't already a fire?’ Wouldn't you think that's strange? The fact that I tell you to keep it going means that I've already got it going and I want you to keep it going.

When God tells us to keep the Sabbath holy, you know what He's saying? 'I made it holy back in creation. Now I want you to keep what I made holy, holy. If you're my children - if you say you love me' - a lot of people say, 'I love you, Lord. I love you, Lord.' Jesus says, 'Oh really, prove it. Obey me.' He that says 'I love Him' and keeps not His commandments' - the Bible says - 'is a liar and the truth is not in him.' It's real easy to clap our hands and sing and shout at church and make a big fuss and not really be surrendered to the Lord and obey. The highest form of worship is obedience. Samuel said to King Saul, 'To obey is better than sacrifice and to hearken than the fat of rams.' God is wanting us to obey Him in the last days.

Question #12: What specific, solemn rebuke did God give to religious leaders regarding His holy Sabbath? Ezekiel 28, verse 8, "Thou hast despised Mine holy things, and hast profaned My Sabbaths." They even had that problem in the Old Testament. In Jesus' time they went too far. They had become legalistic and they had all these extra laws about the Sabbath and were making it a burden when it's supposed to be a blessing. Ezekiel 22, verse 26, "Her priests have violated My law and have profaned Mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane." That was a problem back then and it's still a problem today. If you want to get to Heaven, don't follow me. Don't follow any pastor. Now, I don't mean you can't trust anybody or listen to anybody but, ultimately you need to listen to the Word of God and what Jesus says because people can lead you astray. Let's all face it, some pastors come and go. Some are like shooting stars. Some crash and burn. You don't want to be putting your trust in the son of man in whom there is no help, right? Be putting your trust in the Word of God - in the Lord. That's what we're telling you to do. We're putting Bibles in your hands and the lessons in your hands and saying, 'you study the word for yourself.' And then ask us questions. We'll do our best to answer them. It says, "and have hid their eyes from my Sabbaths, and I am profaned among them." Wow, that's a heavy verse. They've hid their eyes. Have you seen that happening in the religious world today? It does.

And it goes on to say in Ezekiel 22:28, "And her prophets have daubed them with untempered mortar," - he's talking about building the walls. And it says, "seeing vanity and divining lies unto them saying, 'thus saith the Lord God,' when the Lord hath not spoken." So they ignore what God has said and then they conjure up these excuses that God didn't say for disobedience or disobeying him.

Question #13: What specific sin does God command His leaders to denounce? Isaiah 58 - now, this is a very important verse. "Cry aloud, spare not; lift up your voice like a trumpet and show My people their transgressions." Now, I'm not sharing these things with you to make anybody uncomfortable - let me just tell you, friends, I'm just like everyone else. I like to be liked. But when Jesus comes, you can't get me to Heaven. He can. So I've got to please Him first of all, right? So even though it might be unpopular sometimes, to preach the truth, I need to answer to Him. And so I'm going to tell you what the Bible says, amen? 'Show My people their transgression.' And then He goes on to say - same passage - "If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on My holy day;" - it doesn't say the Jewish holy day - "and call the Sabbath a burden" - no. What did God say we should call it? - "A delight" - it's a blessing not a burden - "the holy of the Lord honorable; ...then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord."

So when I share these things with you, it's not to cause problems. When you really catch ahold of what God has for you in this day, everything that God gave to man in the Garden of Eden was good, including this time. It'll not only be better for your health, it'll be better for your relationships.

Now, what happens when this message about the Seal of God and the Mark of the Beast go to the world - these three angels' messages? It says, 'then Jesus comes' - that, well, before Christ comes, the angels release their grip on those seven last plagues. There's a great time of trouble and then Christ comes. These messages are going to the world right now - not just through our particular ministry, but many others are taking these things to the world. I've been all over the globe and God's message is going to the world and He's going to come soon. Christ said "The gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world for a witness to all nations" - Matthew 24 - "then the end will come." It's going to come. I believe Jesus. He said He'd come and He came the first time and said, 'I'll come again.' - He's going to come the second time. A day with the Lord might be like a thousand years, but we're at six thousand years now. We're going to spend a thousand years during the millennium, living and reigning with God. I think we're, right now, at the sundown of this world's history. We're living on the threshold of eternity. That's why these truths are important.

Question #14: When you decide to accept Jesus and fully follow him, what happens? Jesus said in Matthew 11, verse 29, He said, "Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls." Every one of the Ten Commandments has a spiritual side to it. There is a spiritual faithfulness. The Bible says that we can commit adultery on the Lord by going after the devil. There's a spiritual kind of murder. We can be angry and murder our brother in our hearts, the Bible tells us. There's a spiritual part of Sabbath keeping. 'Come unto me' - Jesus said - 'and I will give you rest.

So, let me summarize what I said here about the subject of the Mark of the Beast. First we need to understand what the seal of God is. The final battle is going to be revolving around who do you obey? Because the Bible says whoever you obey, that's whose servants you are - Romans chapter 6. We show our allegiance to God by obeying Him. Notice: I'm letting the Bible - God's given us stories in the Bible to show us how it works. Daniel chapter 3 - government makes a law everyone's got to bow down and worship Nebuchadnezzar's image. If they don't, you'll be killed. Doesn't it say that there's going to be a similar test in the last days? God's people in Babylon had to make up their mind: 'Do I obey the commandments of God or do I obey the commandments of men? Do I bow down with everybody else or do I stand up for God?' When they stood up for God, He honored them. God went through the furnace and the fire with them. They stood up for one of His commandments. Daniel chapter 6 - government makes a law - everybody's got to break the first commandment and pray to the king just for thirty days - you don't have to do it for long.

Is it okay to just sin temporarily? Now don't make an opening like that. Temporary things have a way of becoming permanent. And Daniel says, 'No, I'm not even once, going to fail my appointment to God.' He opens his windows, he kneels and worships the Lord, he goes to the lion's den. God delivers him. Notice what happens. The ones who throw Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fire - instead of them dying, the soldiers die. The ones who connived to have Daniel thrown in the lion's den - Daniel comes out alive, they go to the lion's den. The ones who make a law in the last days to wipe out all of God's people, just before the end comes the tables are turned. God's people are delivered.

Have you read the book of Esther? A law is made to annihilate all the Jews on a certain date because Mordecai would not break God's law and bow down to Haman. And because Esther intervened with the king - she's like a type of the church - at the last moment, the tables were turned. The enemies of the Jews were destroyed, the Jews were delivered. That's what's going to happen in the last days. God is telling us it's the same thing except this time it's not the first commandment or the third commandment, it's going to be about a very precious commandment. The issue is going to be about the commandment of worship, the fourth commandment. And so the devil is extremely clever. He's going to tell people, 'Go to church. I don't mind. You go ahead. Worship God. Pray. Sing. Just don't go the day that God said. One little change doesn't matter.' Does it matter? First day - seventh day - does God care about things like that? When God told Joshua 'March around the city seven times and seven times on the seventh day.' Did he blow the trumpets after the first day? They didn't get the victory until they did it the number and the way God said. When God says 'Look, I blessed this day.'

It's like somebody going to a man who's got seven daughters and saying, 'Sir, I'd like to talk to you about marrying your daughter.' And he says, 'Which one?' 'Oh, it doesn't matter, just one of them.' When God says, 'Look, I've blessed this day.' And you say, 'I appreciate that, God but, you know, I'm busy that day. I'm going to the beach. I'll keep this day.' What audacity for man to tell God 'I'm going to make my own day holy.' See how clever the devil is? It seems like a small thing but it's bigger than you think. It's going to really determine who has your heart. Are we going to unquestionably say, 'I believe the Lord. I'm going to trust in Him. I'm going to obey Him.'

You know, I'd like to pray with you before we close. I know a lot of people are struggling about this truth. Now, nobody has the Mark of the Beast yet. Are we clear on that? That becomes an issue when there's a law made saying you cannot buy or sell. It's interesting that the United States is sort of at the head of the United Nations that has economic sanctions on countries telling them that they cannot buy or sell on an economic level unless they cooperate with certain things. I think that power is going to be used again in the last days. Economic sanctions. I think that the cards and the devices we use for buying and selling - now people are buying with their phones. I think soon people might even get a chip implanted. I don't know what'll happen next.

But you'll find that if you don't worship the way the government tells you - the day and the way they tell you, you're going to go to buy something - canceled - no purchase. How easy would it be right now for the governments of the world and for individual governments to control buying and selling? We already know, right? We're living in the time where all these things are playing out before us. And God brought you here - you're watching now because He wants you to be ready. He wants you to enjoy the blessings that He has in receiving the seal of God and His commandments. I'd like to invite Christian to come out and sing, and Kelly. And I want you to pray about are you going to be a hearer of the word or a doer? And a willingness to do his will. He's speaking to your heart softly and tenderly.

Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling,

Calling for you and for me.

At the heart's portal he's waiting and watching,

Watching for you and for me.

Come home. Come home.

Ye who are weary come home.

Earnestly, tenderly Jesus is calling,

Calling 'o sinner, come home.'

You sometimes feel like it's been awhile since you've really had rest? Jesus says 'You'll only have that rest when you come unto Me. Take My yoke upon you. Learn of Me and you'll find rest for your souls.' You know, the Sabbath is all about that. The Lord wants you to have that spiritual and that physical rest. God will not force you. He's given you a free choice. He's given you a heart. He wants your heart and He cannot force that. You must choose to give it. If the Holy Spirit has been speaking to you and you're struggling with making a complete surrender - Sabbath is just one of the commandments, there might be other areas where you know you're living outside of God's will, you're running from His law. Sin will be your undoing. It will find you out. And the only one who can save you from the penalty and the power of sin is Jesus. But you've got to come just like you are and say, 'Lord, help me. Save me. Give me that new heart. Give me that new spirit. I want to be not only a hearer, but a doer of Your Word.' Is that your prayer, friends? Is that your desire?

Those of you who are watching, I'd like to pray with you. And you can make that decision and pray with me right now. Dear Father, we've all sinned and fallen short of your glory. We are so thankful that You loved us so much that You sent Your Son that we might be forgiven - that we might have a better life here and eternal life in the world to come. Lord, we're powerless to even give our hearts, but we can choose to come as we are. We hear You calling gently and softly and here we are, Lord, we're surrendering ourselves. Save us from our sins. Help us to represent You in this fallen world. Give us Your seal of the Holy Spirit in our minds and in our hearts. Prepare us for the things that are soon to break upon the world as an overwhelming surprise. And I pray that we can represent Jesus and know Him. This we ask in Christ's name, amen.

God bless you, friends. Please remember, our next program is going to be 'The Woman of Truth' and that'll be tomorrow night. We hope you tune in. Tell your friends and look at 'landmarksofprophecy.com' - God bless you.

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