God’s Seal or the Beast’s Mark?

Scripture: Revelation 15:3, Genesis 17:9-11, Ephesians 1:13-14
Date: 06/16/2018 
Lesson: 11
"Why is the Sabbath so important, and what special significance does it have for Christians?"

The Mark of the Beast - Paperback or Online Print

The Mark of the Beast - Paperback or Online Print
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Hi, friends. You know, the modern flags that we see flying from the top of capital buildings right in front of patriotic homes really stem back from the times of battles being fought between warring nations. These beautifully designed and intricately colored banners were flown high above the battlefield, so the warring forces were able to identify amid the chaos, and the smoke, and the fog of war where their forces were rallied and where they were fighting the battle. And if you could capture your enemy's flag, it was considered the highest honor. I wonder if that's where we got the game "capture the flag".

With the changes in war, now these flags also represent a little more of the demarcation and identification of different nationalities. Today the flags that represent the different nations of the world are very colorful and diverse. And all of the colors and the shapes have a specific meaning. They're easy to distinguish and recognize from one another. Perhaps one of the most interesting flags in the world is the flag of the Philippines.

This is unique because it is flown differently in times of peace than it is in times of war. During times of peace, the filipino flag that's composed red, white, blue, and yellow is flown with a blue side up. But in times of war, they flip it around and the red side is up because there they're willing to make sacrifices of their blood to defend the freedom of the country. In the same way that an embassy that is situated in a foreign country flies their flag while still surrounded by another nation, Christians are supposed to have the flag of God's love flying in this fallen world. You can read in the book, Song of Solomon 2:4, "his banner over me is love.

" Love is the flag that identifies Christians as a unique kingdom even here in the world. So, friend, the big question is, how are you flying your flag? Let's face it, it's not always easy to understand everything you read in the Bible. With over 700,000 words contained in 66 books, the Bible can generate a lot of questions. To get biblical straightforward answers, call into Bible answers live, a live nationwide call-in radio program where you can talk to Pastor Doug Batchelor and ask him your most difficult Bible questions. For times and stations in your area or to listen to answers online, visit bal.

amazingfacts.org. Welcome to Sabbath School Study Hour. I am so excited that you are tuning in. Our international family, our family across North America, we are so excited that you have joined us for entire Sabbath School Study Hour, coming to you from the Granite Bay Seventh-day Adventist Church currently located in rocklin, California. We are studying together on the end of time and that will be our lesson today.

Lesson number 11, God's seal or the beast's Mark. So stay tuned, but before we get into our lesson study, we're going to sing. And we want you to join us on one of our favorites. Every week I say it's our favorites because we truly do. We have so many favorites and I know that they are yours as well.

We're going to sing a song that's not in your hymnal but the lyrics are on the big screen. "Here I am, Lord" and I hope that you pay attention to the words that we're singing. Here I am, Lord. Is it i, Lord? Have you called me? Are you going for a God? I hope that you will sing with us on this beautiful song. Thank you so much for joining us.

And before we have our lesson, I'm going to tell you about our free offer that we have for you. Every week we have something that... We encourage you to write, call, e-mail, and now you can text for this. It is entitled, "the Mark of the beast" and it goes along with our lesson today. And it is free, offer number 127.

All you have to do, it's very simple, is call 866-788-3966, which is 866-study-more. Or you can go to Amazing Facts' website amazingfacts.org. And here's the easy one, you can text the code "sh049" to 40544. Once again, text the code "sh049" to 40544, and you can get the Mark of the beast biblical study guide. It will answer every question that you have ever had about the Mark of the beast.

So go ahead and let us know that you want that, and we would love to hear from you. Father in Heaven, thank you so much for the opportunity that we have to be here to open up Your Word and study together on this important topic of the Mark of the beast. And I pray that you will make our hearts receptive, that we will have listening ears, and that you will speak to us. We thank you so much for our extended family around the world. And those that are here with us, here at Granite Bay, and be with pastor and dr.

Derose. We thank you so much that he is bringing us our lesson study. In Jesus' Name, amen. At this time, dr. Derose will be bringing us our lesson.

Well, good morning to each one of you. We are indeed continuing our study through the lesson quarterly, "preparation for the end time" and it is indeed lesson 11, God's seal or the beast's Mark? God's seal or the beast's Mark? What do you share when you introduce yourself? Someone's meeting you for the first time, what kind of things do you reveal about yourself? I hear some of you saying, well, your name, maybe what kind of work you do, maybe where you live, but typically we don't go through the darker chapters in our life history. We wouldn't typically say at a first meeting, "we're glad to meet you. My great grandmother was a prostitute, my great grandfather was a murderer and..." You get the picture. Open your Bibles to Matthew 1, some of you may already realize where I'm headed.

And we'll see how this fits in with our lesson today because it's an unusual way to introduce a book. Matthew 1 begins with the genealogy of Jesus. And most of you who've looked at this genealogy written by someone who was a publican, someone, a member of a despised class in Jesus' day, that's Matthew, the Gospel writer. As he writes this genealogy of Jesus, he includes some details that many would, no doubt, have been tempted to leave out. But under inspiration, listen to some of the details that Matthew brings out in verse 3.

"Judah begot perez and zerah by tamar, perez begot hezron, and hezron begot ram. Ram begot amminadab, amminadab begot nahshon, and nahshon begot salmon. Salmon begot boaz by rahab, boaz begot obed by Ruth, obed begot jesse, and jesse begot David the King. David the King begot Solomon by her who had been the wife of uriah." Let's just stop there. Did you catch over some of the names that were mentioned in this genealogy? And by the way, those genealogies typically just highlighted the men.

How many of you noticed some female names in the genealogy? Yes, you heard... Which ones? Tamar first in verse 3, did you catch that? Who was tamar? Yes, she was the daughter-in-law of judah, who disguised herself as a prostitute, you can read the story. And her father-in-law went into her and had an incestuous, if you will, relationship. And that was how that lineage dot was completed. Who else is mentioned here? Rahab, what was rahab's profession? She was a prostitute.

You mentioned Ruth, Ruth was a gentile, wasn't she? Right? You remember the story, you say, "well, Ruth sounds like a little bit nobler class, but she was a member of a class that was hated and cursed, the moabites. You can read about them in the Bible and how evil they were to God's people. And then you have this mention in verse 6, at the end, "David the King begot Solomon by her who had been the wife of uriah." Whose name is not even mentioned there? Bathsheba. But the way is this sounding like a peculiar genealogy? But it's the genealogy of who? Jesus. Jesus coming to our world through brokenness, through relationships tainted by sin, through a heritage that we would say from a human perspective, what good can come out of it.

Now why is there a connection between this in our lesson study dealing with God's seal or the beast's Mark? I would like to suggest to you what we've been studying about in these last lessons is our heritage, is our lineage. It's not someone else. As a Christian church, the lineage of the Christian church goes through the church of rome, the medieval roman church that we studied about last week, right? For 1260 years, we read how those prophecies were fulfilled in Daniel and Revelation, and the medieval roman church, sometimes referred to as the papacy was persecuting God's people. This is the lineage of the Christian church today. Now do some of you have trouble with that? Is that really our lineage as Christians? Now some of you might say, "well, I'm in the lineage of the waldenses because I'm embracing God's truth.

" But I'm sharing with you the Christian heritage is this. And as we come to Revelation 13, we looked at it last week as well. As we read about those two beasts and the image to the beast into the picture as we studied last week, this is review. Cometh the protestantism of America, again our heritage. And so instead of, as we talk about the Mark of the beast as pointing to someone else, I believe that the Bible in the book of Revelation is wanting us to look very carefully at our own selves.

Yes, yes, don't misunderstand what I'm saying. The traditional posture that we have taken as Seventh-day Adventist is correct. The presentation in our free offer, the Mark of the beast is right on target. But unfortunately, sometimes things in the Bible that have painted historical personages and future personages in a less than desirable light have led Christians to point fingers. I think the message today is more necessary than ever before because we're in a world that is very sensitive about using religion to oppress other people.

So as we speak today about this important topic, we are not pointing fingers at any individual or any person who has a certain heritage, this is our heritage as Christians that we're looking at. Well, with that background, God has been interested in something for his people to share, not just a heritage that's marred, but to be infused with his heritage, his line, and his principles. In Sunday's lesson, we see that God is anxious not only to invite everyone to be his, but to seal them, but to give them signs that demonstrate their loyalty. So the first sign that we're going to look at is actually one that was highlighted in the old testament times and it comes to us in a rich, rich heritage. Turn in your Bibles to Genesis 16 as we pick up the storyline.

I'm turning to Genesis 16, this is, of course, the story of Abraham, The Father of the faithful. So again, we're speaking about our heritage. Now in Genesis 16, we read that there was a problem that Abraham had. Now, you say, to just jump in here might be unfair and I know these stories are often so familiar, but if we were to take the story of Abraham from the beginning, we'd start in Genesis 12. And in Genesis 12, the Lord has this promise that he gives Abraham.

So let's start there just to make sure we're all in the same page. Genesis 12:1, God speaks, he says, "get out of your country," speaking to Abraham, "leave your family, leave your Father's house. Go to a land that I'll show you, I will make you a great nation, I will bless you and make your name great. You shall be a blessing, I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you, and in you all families of the earth shall be blessed." Now here's the question, God was promising to make of Abraham a great nation, of course, he is referred to as abram here, but how many are in abram's line at this point in the story? How many children does abram have? He has none. And as the story plays out, abram begins to get more and more worried about his lack of lineage.

When we come to chapter 15, Abraham is clearly struggling, and so in chapter 15, God again comes to Abraham in a vision and he says, "don't be afraid, abram." When do you say to someone "don't be afraid?" When they're afraid, that's right. Don't be afraid, abram's afraid. He's afraid of what? Listen what God says, "I am your shield, I'm your exceeding great reward. But abrams says," he reveals what his fear is. He says, "Lord God, what will you give me, seeing I go childless and the heir of my house is eliezer of damascus.

" So he's looking to one of his servants, his chief servant, he's saying, this is who's going to have to inherit my line. Lord, but you promised you'd make of me a great nation. What does God say? Verse 4, "this one shall not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir." And so God keeps repeating this promise of an abundant heritage to Abraham. Well by the time we come to chapter 16, Abraham's really getting worried. Now by the way, I should mention, one of the key texts in the Bible is Genesis 15:6.

It is one of the key text in the Bible repeated again in the new testament because in Genesis 15:6, it says, abram did what? He believed God, he believed in the Lord, he trusted God, and God counted it to him for righteousness. So we speak about righteousness by faith, trusting in God that he'll fulfill his promises. And really we're getting at the essence of this issue of God's seal versus the Mark of the beast. We're seeing it here in Abraham story even though we may not be seeing it clearly just yet. When we come to Genesis 16, what does Abraham do? You know the story, abram still has no children, his wife, Sarah, sees there's no children, she actually suggest to abram in 16:2, "see now, the Lord has restrained me from bearing children.

Please, go to my maid, perhaps I shall obtain children by her." Now is this crazy? I mean it sounds crazy, doesn't it, to us today? But the thing is Sarah believes the promise. She believes that Abraham will have children of his own, from his own seed, and she says, "well, I can't do it." She's not really trusting the Lord either, is she? And so they take matters into their own hands, and Abraham does have a child, ishmael. Now we're in chapter 17. That was all background for where we're headed. Abram, now 99 years old, and again God appears to him.

"He says I am almighty God, walk before me and be blameless. And I will make my covenant between me and you, and will multiply your seed exceedingly." And as the story plays out, God speaks of an everlasting covenant. And that covenant will be given not through ishmael, but through a seed that will be born miraculously, a child born to Abraham and to Sarah. And in this context, in this context, God says in Genesis 17:10, "this is my covenant which you shall keep between me and you and your descendants after you. Every male child among you shall be circumcised, and you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you.

" We're going to have one of our members share a verse in just a moment from Romans 4. But before we do, I want you to pick up the significance of what's happening here. What has Abraham just done in chapter 16? What has he shown his trust was in? His trust was in his flesh, right? In himself. Abraham trusted in his flesh, Sarah trusted in Abraham's flesh. And now, what is God asking them to do? The sign of the covenant becomes a cutting off of the flesh.

Now you might say, "well, this is being a little bit too graphic." But we need to turn in our Bibles to Romans, Romans 4. We have someone who'll be reading that for us, momentarily. Romans 4:11 and 12. "And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while still uncircumcised, that he might be The Father of all those who believe, though they are uncircumcised, that righteousness might be imputed to them also, and The Father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also walk in the steps of the faith which our father Abraham had while still uncircumcised." Thank you. Do you catch the picture here? Abraham was righteous by faith in Genesis 15, right? And we get to Genesis 17, now God is asking him a sign, God is sealing him, it's a seal, it's a sign of what? Of righteousness by faith.

Do you catch this? It's a sign that he's trusting God, he's cutting off his flesh, he's saying, "I'm not trusting in what I can do, I'm trusting in God's promise." And so God gives this beautiful sign, it really is. It's a seal as the apostle Paul put it of what? A seal of the righteousness by faith. And I'd like to suggest to you the essence of God's seal always includes this element of trusting in him and righteousness by faith. Somehow trying to find our righteousness by what we do, but righteousness by what? By trusting a God who calls us righteous in the midst of our sinfulness, right? So we can come to God just as we are. He's not content to leave us in sin, right? But he sealed Abraham before Abraham was perfectly for the child that even been born.

It was a sign of Abraham's trust in The Father. So we see this seal, but what's crazy about this outward seal is what happened to it. What was the history of the Jewish nation? By the time we come to the book of Galatians, turn there, the jews had so perverted this sign, this seal of cutting off of the flesh, of not depending on the flesh and trusting in God, but they began to trust in the sign... But it was a sign that they didn't trust in their flesh. Does that make any sense at all? You say, "you just said that way too quickly, how could it make sense to anybody.

" Did you catch it? God was saying "you're cutting off the flesh, you're not trusting in the flesh, it's a sign of righteousness by faith." And the jews are going around saying we are good because we are the circumcised, we're God's people, we are trusting in our flesh in so many words. Look with me at Galatians. It had gotten so bad, the church had become so polarized, the early church, and some were thinking they had to be circumcised to be saved. Paul put it this way, in Galatians 5:2, "indeed i, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing." Now wait a minute, how could that happen? How could circumcision go from a sign or a seal of righteousness by faith to a sign that someone was not trusting in God? Yes, because of tradition. And because of the misinterpretation of the good thing that God had given.

Now this is really crazy when you think about it. God gives a seal or a sign of righteousness by faith and his people can pervert it into a sign that becomes identified with showing our own righteousness by our works. Now this is a sobering thought as we continue this study because this theme does not stop, as we continue to look at this topic of sealing. Sunday's lesson doesn't stop with that seal because in the new testament there is another seal, another sign that takes the place of circumcision if you will. Circumcision is set aside as the sign of the covenant, as a sign of righteousness by faith and in its place is the sign of baptism.

Turn in your Bible to another of Paul's letters, this time we're going to Romans. And again, we want to catch this, the significance of baptism in Romans 6, Romans 6. There are number of passages that are mentioned in the lesson study but let's highlight this one in particular, roman 6, we could begin, well, I'll begin with verse 1, we probably should, just in case you've misunderstood anything I've said to this point. Romans 6:1 begins with the question, "what shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?" So by speaking about grace and righteousness by faith, we're not setting aside God's law. In fact, Paul makes it quite emphatic here.

He says, he's not condoning sin, his answer to that rhetorical question, "shall we continue in sin that grace may be abound?" Verse 2, "certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? And then he speaks about this sign or this seal now of baptism. "Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Therefore we were buried with him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of The Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." So you get the picture here. So now our sign of dying to self of identifying with Christ's death is baptism. So we go into the watery grave in baptism. We're fully immersed, we die and then we are resurrected up, right? That beautiful symbolism.

And by the way, if you haven't been baptized with Bible baptism, this is a reminder that this is something that God has put his approval on. And be sure to talk with one of the elders or one of the pastors here because this is something that God asks of his people. You say, "wait a minute, if he asked something of us, if he asked circumcision of them in the old testament, then surely it's some work that must save us." No, Jesus is complete. Paul wrote, "you are complete in him." It's not in our lineage that we trust, it's not in the signs that we embrace, although God uses those, it's in trusting a loving father. Have you thought about it that way? So think about it.

Are there people that will be in the Kingdom that have never had water baptism? You know, Jesus went through every step the sinner needed to do. And not only was Jesus setting the example there at the Jordan when John baptized him. I believe that Jesus was providing a sufficient record that can be assumed by anyone who is in a situation where they can't be baptized. Maybe in an unusual prison setting, or maybe on a cross like that thief who died beside Jesus. No opportunity to be baptized, was there? But Jesus did what? He gave him the assurance of salvation.

Why? Because he trusted in him. So God has used signs of the covenant throughout history. But there are other signs that Mark people into whose they are. We're going to have a Scripture reading from the book of Revelation in just a moment from Revelation 13:16 and 17. But before we go there, just a reminder, we've been looking at a drama as the book of Revelation has been playing out.

And by the way, lest we miss something, lest we miss something, some of you think, I've been taking liberty with saying the heritage of some of these powers, and Romans 13 is a heritage we all need to own. But turn your Bibles to Revelation 3. Those of you who have studied the book of Revelation realize that among the parallel prophecies, time prophecies in the Bible are the prophecies of the seven churches, which, by the way, are actually literal messages to seven literal churches in John's day, but there are also prophetic descriptions of ages of church history. And if you study out the seals, it parallels this very precisely. And as you read through Revelation 2-3, in these letters to the seven churches, when we come to the seventh church.

Bible scholars for decades have realized, this refers to the last Christian church era when we come to that last or the seventh church which is known as the church of laodicea. So go with me there to Revelation 3:14. It says, "these things says the amen, the faithful and the true witness, the beginning of the creation of God." These are all descriptors of Jesus who was revealed to John 1. And here is the words of Jesus, verse 15, "I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. Oh, I could wish you were cold or hot.

So then, because you are Lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of my mouth. Because you say, 'I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing', and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked, I counsel you to buy of me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich, and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed, and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten." And then what is the message? What is the summary of that message to the end time church? "Be zealous and repent." So basically as we read through the book of Revelation, it's not we're putting down a group of people, or a church, or a church system that we're putting these people down anyone connected with it, and we're supposed to walk proudly because we have the seal of God as we'll look at a little bit later. Another of God's seals, but it's realizing that we all need to examine ourselves. The book is the Revelation of what? Of Jesus.

It's not a Revelation of how good his people are, it's a Revelation of how good Jesus is. And the ones who stand complete will see are the ones who stand complete because they are hidden in Jesus, hidden in Jesus. Revelation 13 brings into focus... Just one of the places that brings into focus the Mark that satan, if you will, has in satan's kingdom. We have someone who's going to read for us Revelation 13:16 and 17.

"And he causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a Mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the Mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name." So again, this is a bit of review but it's critical for today's topic. We looked last week at the identity of the beast. And we saw that it... That first beast power in Revelation 13 applies with particular force to the medieval roman church, sometimes referred to as the institution of the papacy, and it's rightly been pointed out, and we've tried to allude to this already that this is not speaking about individuals in that church, it's not speaking about any individual pope, it's speaking about a system that Pastor John so clearly portrayed last week is a system that historically has set itself in opposition to God's principles. It is really a system, if you will, that has trusted in its own judgment, in its own flesh, right? There is in contrast to that seal that sign of allegiance to the beast that is a sign of allegiance to God.

And in the end times, what is highlighted in the book of Revelation is not circumcision, that's been set aside, baptism, although it's still reinforced in the new testament that is not the identifiable seal that is especially highlighted in the book of Revelation. We want to look at a very interesting verse, and someone has this Scripture for us as well. Because we're going to find that there is an internal seal as well as an external seal. And both of these go hand in hand. That internal seal again is described very clearly in the writings of the apostle Paul in his letter to the church of ephesus.

Someone's going to read for us in just a moment from ephesus, the letter to the Ephesians 1:13 and 14. Ephesians 1:13 and 14, " in him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the Gospel of your salvation, in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of his glory. " So the book of Ephesians is writing again to a polarized church. In case, if you gonna go back in history, by the way, ephesus is the first church mentioned in the book of Revelation. It is one of those seven churches identified.

So it being what we would call "turkey" today. And as Paul was writing to this Christian church, there was a lot of tension between jews and gentiles. So in the book of Ephesians, Paul is speaking of how Christ makes us all one, we're all one in him. And some of the most beautiful expressions of salvation are found in Ephesians 2, about God, who is rich in mercy, not looking to us for what we've done. Well, look at there, Ephesians 2:4.

Let's just read some of these verses. Ephesians 2:4, "God, who is rich in mercy, because of his great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses." So was our situation. Our lineage and our own behavior condemns us, okay? We have nothing to boast in. But God is what? Rich in mercy. Now many people aspire to have wealth in our culture, right? But how many people really aspire to be rich in the things that are of most value.

How many of you aspire to be rich in mercy? Rich in mercy, this is the characteristic of our father. He is rich in mercy, and it says, "his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses." So how do you feel today? Are you seeing yourself dead in trespasses? Do you see your sin before you? The Bible often paints that picture to us. And it's not to drive us into the dirt, it's to help us realize that we have a loving father who forgives all of us who have trespassed great light. Isn't that good news? And so, Paul here in this letter is establishing our faith, he's establishing it on Jesus. "He made us alive," I'm continuing Ephesians 2:5, "we're made alive together with Christ.

He's raised us up together, he's made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace and his kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast." But Paul doesn't stop there. Many Christian would like to stop right there but he continues in verse 10, "for we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them." So coming back to Ephesians 1 that we just heard read. In Ephesians 1, God speaks of a redeemed people that are sealed internally and they are sealed how? With the Holy Spirit of promise. How can we live the kind of lives that God wants us to live? It said, we just read it.

We're called in Jesus to good works. We're not saved by our works, but we're called to live in harmony with God's loving principles. What's the longest chapter in the Bible? Psalm 119, that's right. What does psalm 119 all about? It's the psalmist rejoicing in how much he loves the law. Now it's true, the law points to our need for a Savior.

The law drives us to Jesus. But once we're there, the law has not ceased. It's another important purpose and that is revealing God's character. We see in the law, God's loving character. We see what it looks like to love God with all our heart, mind, and soul, and to love our neighbor as ourselves.

And so it should come as no surprise as we're looking at this topic from this perspective that the seal of God as identified in the book of Revelation is a surprising one to some Christians. So go back with me to Revelation 13, we just read, not long ago, from Revelation 13 about the Mark or the seal of a power that sets itself in opposition to God and his people. But now we come to Revelation 14. And someone, in just a moment, is going to read how just right after this Mark of the beast is described, we have the Mark or the seal of God referred to. So Revelation 14:1.

"Then I looked, and behold, a lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having his father's name written on their foreheads." So there is something in Revelation 13:16, it's on the foreheads of those who are identified with the beast powers. And there is something on the forehead of those who are identified with God. What is this on the forehead of those who have trusted in Jesus? What's on their foreheads? Well, it's a sealing, it's the name. You see it there, Revelation 14:1, "The Father's name is on their foreheads." Now turn your Bibles to Exodus 34 just to remind you of something, God's name is synonymous with his character. When we speak about the name of God, we're speaking about God's character.

The righteous are sealed with God's character. Exodus 34, you know that Moses was longing for a Revelation, a fuller Revelation of God. He asked God to see him. In Exodus 34:5, Exodus 34:5, we read this, "now the Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him," with Moses there, "and proclaimed," what? "The name of the Lord." So God is now going to proclaim... Is he going to just say, "jehovah, jehovah, jehovah," is that what we're going to hear? He's going to proclaim the name of the Lord, what are we going to hear? Look what it says, verse 6, "the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, 'the Lord,'" yes, there is that holy name of God, jehovah or yahweh.

"the Lord God," continues "merciful and gracious, long suffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquities of The Fathers upon the children and the children's children to the third and fourth generation." Now we like the first part of it, we say it's a beautiful character, loving, merciful, kind, but, by the way, do we appreciate the character of someone who overlooks atrocities, someone who overlooks things that harm us. God is going to purify the planet. And those that cling to sin will lovingly be put out of their misery before the conclusion of all time. What is the seal of God? It's God's character and it's especially represented, it's especially embodied in God's law. And Wednesday and Thursday's lesson, Thursday in particular, it speaks of the Sabbath as a seal.

By the way, I don't know if you picked up on it, but when we read that message to the last church in Revelation 3, how was one of the ways that Jesus was identified? Did you pick up on it? It says, "he's the beginning of the creation of God. He is the source of creation." So the laodicean church, the end time church, has a Revelation of Jesus as creator. Look now with me at Exodus 20. If we just want to remind ourselves of something that is basically pointed to as we look at God's end time seal. Exodus 20, they are familiar words but as we read in the heart of the commandment, God's special sign, the Sabbath, it says there in verse 11, "for in six days, the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and he rested the seventh day.

Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it." Now think about this for a minute. Think about this for a minute. As we come to the book of Revelation, as we've been looking at God's end time people, the people that trust him fully, that have absolute confidence in The Father, one of the things they're doing is they're representing God's character. And as we read about the seal of God in multiple places, by the way, you could look back as far as Revelation 7, you'd see a seal there. A sealing work is taking place in Revelation 7.

As you read on, you read about a sealing work taking place in Revelation 14, we just looked at it. In contrast to those who receive the Mark of the beast, as that third angel's message is given, we read in Revelation 14:12, "here is the patience of the saints, here are those who do," what? "Keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus." We're called to worship the creator in the last days and the sign of the creator's authority is the Sabbath. God is wanting to place his seal on our foreheads that is basically in our minds. You read about a Mark of the beast on the hand and on the forehead... By the way, and we'll mention this again just before we finish, this study, the Mark of the beast that we have is the free offer goes into great detail in all these things.

If you're wondering how to connect all the dots, but the point is simply this, whether we accept this seal of uniting with the beast power, the powers that are in opposition, if you will, to God. And the hand in the Bible is a symbol of our works, to mind our thoughts whether we're deceived and go along with the end time powers in opposition to God, or whether we act in harmony with those powers for fear of economic boycott or life itself. We bear the Mark of the authority of the earthly powers that trust in themselves. "Do God's will." In contrast, we have a choice, will we bear God's seal? Will we allow his Holy Spirit to put his character in our lives and to embrace his law, which is his character represented. And especially, in the heart of the law is the seventh day Sabbath, it is our sign that we are his.

Now lest again, coming back to that opening imagery, lest we somehow think, this is a reason to be proud that we are keeping the Sabbath, that we're here on church on the seventh day, on Saturday, lest we are proud of ourselves if we trust in our Sabbath keeping, we're just as lost as the jews who trusted in their circumcision. Our trust is where? Our trust is in Jesus. And we keep the Sabbath as a sign of our loyalty to the loving Savior who saved us. Do you see how that comes through? God's last day message calls for his people to come out of Babylon. We're entrusted to give that message to a world, many of whom don't understand, many wonderful Christians don't realize this special end time sign.

Do you want to learn more about it? Our closing offer goes into much more detail than we've been able to touch on here. And if you're disappointed with what I didn't cover, get this special offer, the Mark of the beast. It is offer 127, you can get it by calling our toll free number, that's 866-788-3966, simply, 866-study-more or you can text the code "sh049". And you would text that to the number 40544. So text "sh049" to 40544, and we can get you an electronic copy of the Amazing Facts study guide entitled the Mark of the beast.

Well, thank you for joining us today. By God's grace, we'll be back again together next week studying more about the end time. I invite you to join us then. Can't get enough Amazing Facts Bible study? You don't have to wait until next week to enjoy more truth filled programming. Visit the Amazing Facts media library at aftv.

org. At aftv.org, you can enjoy video and audio presentations as well as printed material all free of charge, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, right from your computer or mobile device, visit aftv.org. The Holy Spirit came up. This is the part I want you to experience. If you come to Christ, your sins are washed away, you become a new creature.

There's a land of beginning again. And how many of you wish you can get wisdom. "For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat. Inasmuch as you'd do it to one of the least of these, my brethren, you did it to me." We're here in ponce, puerto rico, in an iguana park, surrounded by big lizards or small dinosaurs, depends on how you look at it. These magnificent creatures are found mostly in Mexico, central America and south America, and the caribbean islands.

Here's a few Amazing Facts about iguanas. Iguanas come in a great spectrum of colors. They can be brown, green, blue, and their skin will often work as camouflage allowing them to hide in the jungle. They're social creatures who like to eat together. And what's really interesting, even though they look fierce, iguanas are vegan vegetarians.

They're regarded as popular pets, though if they're not cared for, they can actually just stop eating and wilt themselves to die. Typically, iguanas just lay eggs and they abandon their offspring. So those little iguanas have to fend for themselves from the time they're born. If they're attacked, they'll fight with their tail, either punching or whipping their opponent. It's interesting to see a dog running for mercy after being whipped by an iguana.

Also, to ensure a fast escape, they can detach their tail and later grow another one. Iguanas generally like to live around water, and they can swim away escaping from predators. Green iguanas in particular are excEllent swimmers. They have the ability to inflate themselves and swim incredible distances. This is one way they've been able to populate the different islands of the caribbean.

What's incredible is these creatures have lungs where they are able to hold their breath for up to 28 minutes, putting even a crocodile to shame. They also know how to compensate for when things get hot or cold. They can regulate their body temperature using the loose flaps of skin they have under their throats and under their legs. You might even say an iguana has esp because God made them with sort of a third eye on top of their head. They can't really see with it, but it's a photoreceptor that helps them to regulate their body's circadian rhythms.

You know, in the same way that God made iguanas, where they're some of the toughest creatures in God's natural kingdom, Christians need to learn to be resilient in the Spiritual realm. Through God's grace, we can learn to be great survivors. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 4:8 and 9, "we are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed, we are perplexed, but not in despair, persecuted, but not forsaken, struck down, but not destroyed." I think, friends, we all know sometimes life can be tough. We feel like we're being beaten, pressed on every side, sometimes it's health problems, relationship problems, financial reverses, but in the same way God made the iguana resilient. God can help you to bounce back.

Jesus said that through His help, we can be overcomers, and we are able to endure. If you turn to Him and ask Him for His help and His Spirit, He will recreate you and make you even tougher than an iguana. Why don't you like to ask Him now?

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