Satan and His Allies

Scripture: Revelation 12:17, Revelation 17:8, 2 Thessalonians 2:2-12
Date: 03/02/2019 
Lesson: 9
"How can we stay faithful to prophecy about church history and yet, at the same time, be kind and cautious as we present these truths to others?"

The Beast, the Dragon, and the Woman - Paper or Digital Download

The Beast, the Dragon, and the Woman - Paper or Digital Download
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Good morning, friends. Welcome again to Sabbath School Study Hour, here at the Granite bay Seventh-day Adventist Church in Sacramento, California. We'd like to welcome those who are joining us online, our online members and also the friends who are joining us across the country and around the world. And glad that you've tuned in to continue our study in the Book of Revelation. I like to welcome our regular church members and our visitors here in person that have come to study together. Very important lesson, as you know, our whole quarter is focused on the Book of Revelation. Today, our study is lesson number nine, that's entitled "Satan and His Allies," and we're gonna be getting to that here in just a few moments, principally, looking at Revelation Chapter 13. But before we get to that, we do have a free offer that goes along with our study today. Very interesting topic. It's entitled "The Beast, the Dragon and the Woman." And this our free offer for anyone who would like it. If you'd like to receive a hard copy of the book, you need to call the number 866-788-3966 and you can ask for our offer for today, "The Beast, the Dragon and the Woman." And if you'd like to receive a digital copy of the book, what you need to do is text the code "SH107" to the number 40544, and we'll give you a link and you go to the link and you'll be able to download the book "The Beast, the Dragon and the Woman." But before we get to our study, let's bow our heads for a word of prayer. Dear Father, once again, we are grateful for the opportunity to open up Your Word and study this very important passage in Revelation Chapter 13. Father, we want to ask in a special way that You would send Your Spirit to guide our hearts and our minds, bring us into a clear understanding of this very important subject relevant for the last days. So we ask Your blessing upon our time today in Jesus' name, amen. Our lesson today is gonna be brought to us by Pastor Doug.

Thank you, Pastor Ross, and good morning everybody. Want to welcome again our friends that are watching, via satellite or live on the internet, and we have some online members from different parts of the world. We welcome you as well. I also listened to your prayers as I embark on teaching our subject today because normally we're covering in Revelation 13. Most evangelists, they take one hour to talk about the first beast. Then they take another hour to talk about America and prophecy, the second beast. Then they take a third hour to talk about the mark of the beast. But our lesson writers have asked us to do it in one 45 minutes section. So what I've done today is a little different from what I normally do, I've never done this before, but I've taken everything I've got on Revelation 13, I've put it into one PowerPoint presentation from all the different evangelistic programs. I had to cut a few slides out and so I'm gonna talk quickly. Because I'm afraid that I won't be getting all the way through the lesson, I thought it would be good for us to at least open our Bibles to Revelation 13, and we're gonna be reading that chapter together. Now we have a memory verse in the lesson. And the memory verse comes to us from Revelation 12:17. I know the lesson is on Chapter 13, but memory verse is from Revelation 12:17, I think most of us know that and it says, "The dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus." That is the New King James Version. Now, go with me to Revelation 13. It's interesting, there's 17 verses in Revelation 12. There's 18 verses in Revelation 13. We're going to just read them all. So stay with me. I'll do my best to read this without comment. "Then I stood upon the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns, ten crowns, and on his heads names of blasphemy. Now the beast that I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth was like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority. And I saw one of the heads as it had been mortally wounded, and its deadly wound was healed, and all the world marveled and followed the beast. So they worshiped the dragon, who gave authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, 'Who is like the beast? And who is able to make war with him?' And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for 42 months. And then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. And it was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. And all who dwell upon the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. If anyone has an ear, let him hear. He who leads into captivity shall go into captivity, and he who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints. Then I saw another beast come up from out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spoke like a dragon. And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast whose deadly wound was healed. He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived. And he was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. 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 might buy or sell except the one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: And his number is 666."

So I've got a presentation, I only have 120 slides, and we're gonna try to cover the beast from the sea, this is what's in your lesson, the activities of the sea beast, the beast arising out of the earth, the image of the beast and the mark of the beast. So let's pray that God will make the sun stand still and let's see how far we can get. Okay, so Satan and his allies is the title of our lesson. First, we're gonna address our attention to the beast from the sea. Now, I'm gonna tell you right away. If you don't already know what, all of the great reformers and Protestants believed about this, I thought, I'll go ahead and tell you what they believe. Then we'll back up and share the reasons. Now, if this is the first time you're hearing this, I hope you put on your seatbelt. But I thought I should let you know that many of the reformers beginning with John Wycliffe, by the way, who was a Catholic priest. He said, "We suppose that the Antichrist, the head of all these evil men is the Pope of Rome." Foxes Book of Martyrs. John Huss, also a Catholic priest said, "The pope is the true Antichrist, of whom it is written, that he sits in the temple of God, among the people where Christ is worshiped." And you got Martin Luther, another Catholic priest who said, "The vicar is in the place of an absent chief, what is such a vicar but Antichrist. I know, and am certain that the papacy is the kingdom of Babylon." Same power that we're talking about here. And I should probably pause here and just mention that in Daniel 7, you got a beast with ten horns. In Revelation 12, you get the ten horns, Revelation 13, Revelation 17, we're all talking about the same beast, Antichrist power here. They recognize that he just referred to Revelation 17, but it's the same beast. John Knox, Catholic priest, he said "Yea, we doubt not to prove the kingdom of the pope to be the kingdom and power of Antichrist." So I just wanted to show you that through Catholic history, they saw that their own institution was fulfilling the prophecies of Revelation and Daniel. Here's Charles Spurgeon, more modern preacher, "Behold upon her forehead the name, Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the Earth. The Church of Rome and her teachings are a vast mountain of rubbish covering the Truth of God!" That's pretty strong. From the book, A Great Cloud Of Witnesses. They write, "Wycliffe, Tyndale, Luther, Calvin, Cranmer, it's Thomas Cranmer, in the 17th century, Bunyan, who wrote pilgrim's progress, the translators of the King James Bible, the men who published the Westminster and Baptist confession of faith, Sir Isaac Newton, John Wesley, George Whitfield, Jonathan Edwards, and more recently Spurgeon, Bishop J.C. Ryle, Dr. Martin Lloyd-Jones, these men among countless others, all saw the office of the Papacy as the Antichrist." So as you study Revelation 13, all of these scholars I just mentioned, unanimously believed the first beast in Revelation 13 was the papacy. So don't say, Pastor Doug, why are you doing hate speech here? You'll have to accuse all of the Protestant leaders and many Catholics leaders, of the same thing. So that's what they believe. Now let's look and find out if it fits. Revelation 13:1, "And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and I saw a beast rise up out of the sea." So he has seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the names of blasphemy." So there's some blasphemy, disrespect of God that's happening here. It says, "This beast arises from the sea. What does the sea or the water symbolize? You go to the Bible to get the explanation. Revelation 17:15, the angel told John," The waters that you saw are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues." So this beast power comes up from the midst of densely populated area, the center of civilization, and indeed, Rome, which was ruling the world at the time Revelation was written, was stationed literally in a peninsula in the middle of the seas, literally as well as figuratively in the middle of an empire of people, densely populated for the time. I'll say more on that in a moment. You go to verse 2, "Now the beast I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, his mouth like the mouth of a lion." So what does the beast represent in Bible prophecy? You know, people say, "That's not very nice to call the Catholic Church a beast." Well, all the nations were called in, the powers were called beast, it's not being derogatory. We think of America, we think of the American eagle. China's typically the dragon and Russia is the what? The bear. Countries have always used mascots and beasts to identify them. Starts with the Bible. So you can look here, it says in Daniel 7:17, "These great beasts which are four, are four kings. The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom." So when it talks about beasts, we're not talking about a monster. We're talking about religious political powers that rule."The ram," Daniel 8:20, "which you saw having the two horns, they are the kings of Media and Persia. And the male goat is the king of Greece." And so they represented different kingdoms. This is established early in the Bible. Now, you'll notice if you read Daniel 7, it talks about a lion, and a bear, and a leopard, and a dragon. Now, what do we find in Revelation 13? This beast is a conglomerate of a leopard, a lion, a bear, and the dragon is giving him his seat, his power and great authority. So what happens here with the Roman power that rises up out of the sea is sort of got pieces of all these other empires. So who is the first beast? Right, one that rises from the sea. Rome fits that definition. It gets its power seat and authority from the dragon. It's a worldwide power, it's guilty of blasphemy, rules for 42 months, gets a deadly wound that heals, persecutes God's saints and left one out, has a mysterious number 666. So I already showed you the papacy arose from the center of civilization. Who gives the beast his power and position? Revelation 13:2, "The dragon gave him his power, his seat, and great authority." Now if you look in Revelation 12, the devil is the dragon, trying to kill Jesus as a baby when He's born, through the Roman power, through the crucifixion, it's the Roman kingdom ruled by Caesars, what you'd call pagan Rome, but pagan Rome began to fail. First pagan Rome tried to destroy Christianity but instead it grew, was ultimately legalized by Constantine and Constantinople was later set up in honor of Constantine. Between the time of Constantine about 500 years AD, Constantine was 320 AD, the church suddenly became a political institution and it went through a great deal of change and you can read here in history, "The transfer of the emperor's residents to Constantinople." The reason they did that as the barbarians were beginning around 446, they're coming down from the north and attacking Rome. They said, we're gonna move our capital of the Roman Empire from Rome to Constantinople. "The transfer of the emperor's residence to Constantinople was a sad blow to the prestige of Rome, and at the time one might have predicted her speedy decline. But the development of the church, and the growing authority of the Bishop of Rome or the pope, gave her a new lease on life, and made her again the capital, this time the religious capital of the civilized world." "To the succession of the Caesars came the succession of the pontiffs in Rome. When Constantine left Rome, he gave his seat to the pontiff." And so what happened was, they quite literally, pagan Rome gave its seat, power, and authority to papal Rome. Even gave the pope an army. We'll talk more about that. So he receives his power, his seat, and authority from the Roman Empire. Fits this definition exactly. How far reaching is the influence of the beast? It says in Revelation 13:3, "And all the world wondered." It's a universal influence. "Authority is given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation." The word Catholic means universal, nothing wrong with the word Catholic. Did you know that the Seventh-day Adventist Church is a Catholic Church? That just means... Oh, that's gonna get some letters. That just means that it is a global church. But what makes the Catholic Church different, is it's not just a church or denomination, it is a religious, a political power. The Vatican is an independent country on about 109 acres where ambassadors go from around the world. And the pope certainly has international influence. And everywhere he goes, he's able to get into play governments. He just came back from meeting with government leaders in Dubai. The United Nations has never assembled and met to talk to the leader of the Methodist or the Episcopalians Church of England, they wouldn't assemble to listen to Billy Graham. But they do assemble to listen to the pope because he is a political power. And power was given unto him to continue 42 months. So there's a time period here where it would have almost uninterrupted authority. Now when does this time period begin? Forty-two months. A day in prophecy is what? A year and that's of course from Ezekiel 4:6 and other verses, tells us when interpreting these large Bible prophecies, it's typically a day for a year. So if you go 42 months Jewish calendar, that's 42 times 30 which is 1260 years, it's the same thing as three and a half years or 40 or yeah, 42 months, three and a half years 1260 days, a time, a time of the dividing of time. It's the same, same time period. 538 is when this time period begins and the reason is, that's when the pope really got his political power. "The legally recognized supremacy of the pope began in 538 AD when there went into effect a decree of Emperor Justinian, making the bishop of Rome the head over all the churches, and the definer of doctrines and corrector of heretics." This is not written by our church. "Vigilius ascended the papal chair in 538 AD under the military protection of Belisarius."And that's history of the Christian Church. 538 is when basically, the emperor left Rome, he gave the pope an army said, you're large in charge and they began to exercise not just religious but political authority. And they were able to correct heretics and use force to make people believe. That started in 538, for then 1260 years they have, that's way over Europe. That's why whenever you play chess, if you play chess there by the king and the queen on either side is the bishop because in every court of Europe there were representatives of the church approving or disapproving of the enactments and pronouncements of the king. They had an emissary from the Vatican, telling them what they could and couldn't do. But then that came to an end. Now we're in Revelation 13:3, "I saw one of his heads as it was wounded to death, and his deadly wound was healed, and all the world wondered after the beast." So you go down 1260 years and exactly 1260 years after 538 in 1798 Napoleon was now storming across Europe, and the murder of a Frenchman in Rome gave the French an excuse to occupy what they call the Eternal City. "In 1798 he Berthier, made his entrance into Rome, he abolished the papal government." Again this is not written, this is Encyclopedia Americana. "Abolished the papal government and established a secular one." That remained that way for over 100 years. And Revelation 13:10 says, "He that leads into captivity will go into captivity: he that kills with a sword must be killed with the sword." Berthier arrested the pope, carried him into captivity in Valence, and he died there. So now we've established who the sea beast is, what were some of the activities of the sea beast. Well, what comes out of the mouth of the beast? Revelation 13:6, "He opens his mouth in," what? "Blasphemy against God to blaspheme His name, his tabernacle, and then they dwell in heaven." Blasphemy, there are two biblical definitions. One is claiming the power to forgive sins. When Jesus said, He could forgive sins, they said, "You speak blasphemy." Claiming to be God, when Jesus said, "I am God." They said, "You are speaking blasphemy." Does the Catholic Church claim to have the power to forgive sins and do they claim the prerogatives of God? Here's a quote from Pope Leo XIII, "We hold upon this earth the place of God Almighty." That, most Protestants would see as blasphemy. Again, Pope Leo XIII in his encyclical letter, "The supreme teacher in the church is the Roman pontiff. Union of minds, therefore requires complete submission and obedience to the Roman pontiff, as to God Himself." Bible says, the apostle said, we are not God. On April 30, 1922, Pope Pius XI said, "You know that I am the Holy Father, the representative of God on the earth, the Vicar of Christ, which means I am God on the earth." That's a man. Does that kind of make you gasp a little? It's a man putting himself in the place of God. And what about forgiveness of sins, do that they claim that? According to the book of the priests, "God Himself is obliged to abide by the judgment of His priests, and either not to pardon or to pardon, according as they refuse or give absolution." God has to abide by what they say. The sentence of the priest's proceeds, it goes first and God subscribes to it. God must forgive or not forgive, the priest has the power, and God goes along with it. The Bible says God and God only can forgive sin. 2 Thessalonians 2:4, it tells us that "He would oppose and exalt himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits in as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God." There's actually a photograph were pope sit on a special throne in the Vatican. And they're flanked by angels like the Ark of the Covenant. You know what's between the angels and the Ark of the Covenant? As in the holy place and that's supposed to be the mercy seat, the Shekinah presence of God, so here the pope is sitting right where the Shekinah presence of God is supposed to be and in the temple, in the holy place. So the Holy of holy is actually so, I always thought that was sort of an outrageous picture for a man to be in that position.

What does the beast do to the saints? Talking about the activities of the sea beast, "It was given him to make war with the saints and to overcome them." I think we all know that the Roman Catholic Church was a persecuting power, other churches have persecuted too. Even here in America, we did a little bit of our own persecuting, but nobody really has matched what happened during the Inquisition and the time period of the 1260 years. It's estimated between 20 and 50 million Christians and Jews were killed during that time. British historian William Edward Lecky wrote, "That the Church of Rome has shed more innocent blood than any other institution that has ever existed among mankind, will be questioned by no Protestant who has a competent knowledge of history." That's History of Rise of the Spirit of Rationalism in Europe. What happened to the beast after the 42 months? "I saw one of his heads as it was wounded to death, but the deadly wound is healed." We saw when they received a wound when the Napoleon's general arrested the pope, they lost their secular power. But it says, "That wound would heal." And this is something that happened. These are actual photograph of the paper from 1928. "The Roman question tonight was a thing of the past, the Vatican was at peace with Italy in affixing the autographs to the Memorable document healing the wound." San Francisco Chronicle, I'm sorry, I said 1928. 1929 is when this happened. And so that was the beginning of the healing. But, you know, it's continuing to heal because some of the language Pope Francis often uses now is there has been a wound in the church. He says it frequently, I've got quotes assembled between Protestants and Catholics that needs to be healed. He always actually incorporates that very language. So now we're going to the section on the beast rising up out of the earth, under Tuesday in your lesson. Most believe this represents United States. "Another beast coming up out of the earth, he had two horns like a lamb," In Revelation, a lamb, good or bad? A lamb is Christ, good. Remember we see a Lamb slain in Chapter 4, it's Jesus. Dragon, good or bad? And so here you got something, it starts out like a lamb, ends up speaking like a dragon. America began with great religious freedom and Christianity grew, more missionaries were sent from the United States than any other place in the world and became a haven for people to come. Why is the US and North America more specifically, "If waters represent a populated area, the earth must represent a comparatively unpopulated area. In 1650…" I'm picking a date where there was a census before 1798. "In 1650, there were about 6 million native Americans living in the entire North America, Canada and the US." Very, very few people per square mile. While at the same time just in Europe, there were 90 million people to help you see the disparity that's out. That's not even counting the Middle East, and Turkey, just Europe, 90 million people. So well over 100 million people in Europe, 6 million in the whole North American continent. And so it was relatively unpopulated. And look at how quickly that changed, you know, there was like 130 million people living in North America by 1850. It just exploded. "And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and he caused the earth and them to dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed." So something's gonna happen where the US now, who was formed, fleeing the religious persecution in Europe is now gonna turn around and there's gonna be some friendship and coming together again. Some of you remember this historic report that was given on how behind the scenes Ronald Reagan, President of the United States work with Pope John Paul II, my father actually met him once, to assist Poland in overthrowing communism. That's what really started the domino effect until Yeltsin got up on the tank, and he declared that communism was over. And everything changed after that. They've even got a statue of Reagan and the pope walking together there in Poland of bronze because they know that was a historic confederacy of the US and Catholicism really helping to lead out in setting up a new form of the world or new world order, you might say. And this is a classic photograph. Here's Pope John Paul II at his funeral. But what's really scary is, here you've got three US presidents who all were technically Protestants kneeling before the Pope in the Vatican. I thought, wow. Anyway, and every president since then has, you know, they visit with the pope. And you'll notice the president usually will first go see the pope, then the pope will come and visit the President of the United States. It really was remarkable just near the end of Obama's presidency when the pope came to United States, and he went to all the historic places that where our government has its office. You know, the first capital for US was in New York. Pope went there, went to do, had a unified service. Went to the 911 Memorial, Philadelphia is where government was formed, he went there. Washington D.C. he went there, and just said, you know, record crowds met with Congress, all met with the pope went to the United Nations in one visit and there's nothing left out. And that was a rather, I think historic meeting. "His deadly wound was healed." And what happens? "All the world wonders." And people have thought well, but, you know, Islam is the second largest religion in the world, how are you going to get over that? Well, just this week, for the first time, he did a mass in an Islamic country, last week in Dubai. "The papacy has gained worldwide influence, prestige and prominence." Now we're going to jump to the part about an image of the beast in Revelation Chapter 13. According to the prophecy, what dramatic change will take place in America? It says, "He starts out like a lamb, but he ends up speaking like a dragon." America has had the two horns of the lamb, where we have a government without a king, and a church without a pope. We are a very religious country, but there's no head of the church, and we have political freedom but our presidents have limited terms. We have no king, and it's made us a very unique government. And, you know, since the formation of America, which largely was due to Roger Williams, under the leading of the Lord separating the church and the state. Doesn't mean that you have a government that is separate from religion, which is what's happening. Now they're pushing morality of the government but it means that you don't have a state government. Since that time, most of the governments of the world have adopted the same form of government. Isn't that interesting? So how does the nation speak? It speaks through its laws or its legislative body. For over 100 years, the Supreme Court of the United States was all Protestant. Our founding fathers, some were deist, most were Christians. They believe we should have a separation of church and state, but they were very religious, mostly Protestant people who embraced the Protestant values. Today on our Supreme Court there's not a single Protestant, even with the most recent last two appointments. This is just something you can find online the makeup of the Supreme Court, you have all Roman Catholics, one Episcopalian, Gorsuch who was raised Roman Catholic but Episcopalian is really the English version of that. And three were Jews, there are no more Protestants now. This is the body that will legislate and speak for the laws of the country. May all be wonderful people. I'm just saying, I think that's an interesting development. "It causeth the earth and them that dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed." So something is going to be a catalyst in the world. I also think it's interesting that now we have the first Jesuit pope in the history, and the Jesuits perform specifically to fight against Protestantism. And I don't know what the catalyst is going to be. It could be a natural disaster, a war, it could be a financial disaster, all three at one time. One could lead to the other, it's going to have people become very religious very quickly. Then you see that during 911, how many remember how full the churches were, right after that. People can become very religious. People are willing to sacrifice their freedoms when they're frightened. And I think you're going to see something that will be the catalyst to America saying, we need a religious leader who is going to be the most likely candidate. Even with all of the problems the Catholic Church has, they've got very low ratings right now with some of the sexual scandals but the Pope Francis as an individual has a very high rating. He's actually dealing with some of these things. It says, "Telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived." Now, I just always thought this was interesting. Here you've got the US Capitol then you get the Vatican. An image is a likeness and you know, right in front of the Vatican, you've got a very large Egyptian obelisk, sort of a pagan sundial. What do you have right in front of the Capitol building? The largest Egyptian obelisk in the world, it's the Washington Monument. I remember when you could still go to the top of that. Now we're going to go to the section on the mark of the beast. So, on the last thing about making an image to the beast, it's telling us that something is going to happen that the United States is going to set up a government that will actually be a persecuting, a religious political power that will persecute, tell people how to worship. Now, right now, it might be hard to see how could that develop? It seems like we're becoming so secular. But what you see happening historically, is there are great swings that happen when a pendulum goes too far in one direction, it seldom comes back to the center, and then swings almost all the way the other direction. Right now America is becoming so very secular, where the government is, you know, just absurd laws, everything from the same sex restrooms to, you know, just taking God out of everything, that I think, there's going to be an uprising. Even though 65, 70% of America is Christian. 85% of America is religious. People are getting tired of God being pushed out of our daily lives, and I think when there's a crisis, there's going to be a swing that will go the other direction, and you're going to see legislation that is religious. Now, what did we just see about the court? Do we have a religious court? Every member of the Supreme Court is religious. There's no atheist on the Supreme Court. So I can see how these things can happen. Mark of the beast, number 10. What does the second beast of Revelation 13 force all to receive? It says, "He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond to receive a mark in the right hand, or in their foreheads, that no one might buy or sell, unless he receives the mark with the name of the beast or the number of his name." The first thing I want to establish is, people think when they think mark of the beast, they're thinking barcode in the hand, tattoo in the forehead. Does the Bible say the mark of the beast is that kind of mark? As soon as it says in the forehead and in the hand if you're a Jew, your mind should go back to the verses in Deuteronomy. If you have your Bible, you might go to Deuteronomy Chapter 6 for example, and there are three places that I know in Deuteronomy and Exodus where it tells us that that mark is a symbol. Deuteronomy 6:6, now keep in mind, if you have your Bibles open, you'll notice Deuteronomy 5, God repeats the Ten Commandments. In fact, the word Deuteronomy means a repeating of the law. Chapter 5 is where He repeats the Ten Commandments that you find in Exodus 20. After he repeats the Ten Commandments, there's no change in the narrative here, it's a continuing discussion by Moses. You go to Chapter 6, verse 6, "These words I command you today, shall be in your heart." And I just want to pause. When he said the words Ten Commandments shall be in your heart, did He mean you are to make an incision in the chest and put the words in there? Or is he using metaphors? These words shall be in your heart, you shall teach them diligently to your children, talk of them, when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lay down, when you rise up, you shall bind them as a sign on your hand. Did He literally want them to tie the Ten Commandments on their hand? And He says, "They shall be frontlets between your eyes." That's the forehead. Did He literally want them to tie the Ten Commandments on their forehead? There are some Jews who believe that. You've probably seen Orthodox Jews that put their phylacteries on, they get little box on their forehead, they get a little red leather strap, and they take sections of scripture there and they even staple them to the door of their house so they touch it when they come in. Some take it very literally and you know, I guess there's no sin in that. But what does he mean tie it to your hand, put it between your own eyes? First of all, if you put it between your eyes, you can't read it. Can you read your forehead? So obviously it's a symbol. The forehead meant your thoughts. Bible says, as a man thinks in his heart. Put it on your hand meant your actions. It meant the law of God must be in your actions or in your forehead. So when Revelation says that God's people will have the seal of God on their forehead. Are all of the saved gonna around having a big stamp in their forehead in the last days? No, mine would be easy to read, because I've got a good billboard space but… And when it says in Revelation 17 that the woman's got a paragraph in her forehead, Babylon, Mystery Babylon, Mother of Harlots and abomination, all that written. You gonna really see someone like that with that in their forehead in the last days? No. Thy word I've hidden in my heart. It's talking about in our actions in your hand. Bible says whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might. Your hand doesn't go around by itself, finding things to do. It's talking about whatever work you do. So the mark of the beast in the hand and in the forehead, these churches that are saying that they're going to tap to us, and they're gonna inject a computer chip, or they're going to put a barcode on, it's not what it's talking about. Might the political religious power use credit cards, and chips, and things to control buying and selling? Sure, but credit cards are not a sin. And if your dog has one of those, what do they call them, IFD's under his skin so he can be found when he's lost, he doesn't have the mark of the beast. So people often get hung up on the technology, and they miss the spirit of what it's talking about. So what is the mark of the beast? It's something in the law, has something to do with the law. The seal of God is where you find the word holy and the law of God, which is in the fourth commandment that has the name of God, the title of God, the territory of God, that's what's in a seal, name, title, territory. The mark of the beast is taking away the seal of God and putting a law of the beast in place of the law of God. Revelation, well, I'm getting ahead of myself. In Daniel Chapter 3, when Nebuchadnezzar tells everyone to worship the beast, to worship the image or be killed. Doesn't that sound a lot like what's happening in Revelation, those who do not worship the image will be killed? The people of God had to make a decision, do I obey the law of God that says, do not pray to images or the law of the religious government Babylon. And I'm gonna be killed if I obey the law. They were willing to die Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego rather than disobey, God delivered them. Daniel Chapter 6, government, religious law, king of Persia makes a law, you can't pray to anyone but him for 30 days. That's a religious, political law. The king made a religious law. Daniel has to decide, do I keep the first commandment that says, do not have other gods and keep my job, or do I go to the lions and stand up for God? Daniel chose to obey, God delivered him, and his enemies were destroyed. Both cases, when they threw them in the fiery furnace, the soldiers died. The ones who put Daniel in the lion's den, they died. This is what's going to happen in the last days, there's going to be a law that is going to require every believer to decide law of God or law of man, it's going to be one of the Ten Commandments. So what is this mysterious mark? Says, "His number is six hundred threescore and six." Let's identify who this power is. In Prompta Bibliotheca, according to 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia, it's a veritable Encyclopedia of religious knowledge, and it will ever remain a precious mine of information. This book is quoted frequently as an authoritative Catholic source. Under the heading PAPA his name title there is Vicarius Filii Dei, this is in the Catholic Encyclopedia. Again, the title and this is a letter, you're gonna have trouble reading so I've got it written out for you. The title of Vicarius Filii Dei, as well as the title of Vicarius Christi is very common as the title of the pope. This is a professor of history and Christian archaeology at the Catholic University in Washington DC. Someone wrote a letter to the Sunday Visitor, Catholic magazine, what are the letters on the pope's crown? Now the pope's got many crowns he wears. And what do they signify? The letter on the pope's crown are these: Vicarius Filii Dei: Which is Latin for "Vicar, Son of God." Now, if you take the official title of the pope, you know, how the Jewish priests would wear a crown and on that crown there's a little miter, little placard and it said holiness to the Lord, that's what he had. The Catholic pope on some of his miters, it said Vicarius Filii Dei, Vicar for Christ, meaning in the place of Christ. You take the Roman numerals, says the number of his name. Now we can't do this with the English alphabet because our letters don't have a real numeric value. But if you know your Roman numerals, you know that they wrote with Latin letters, and each letter had a value, it's very common for them. You add up that title, it comes to 666. And I see some, you can take the picture of that off your screen, you can do the math. You can look this up online. It's pretty common. Now, Pope Francis never wears the miter. Here Pope Benedict, they say that he liked to dress up in the regalia. Here he is with four different miters and they've got some that are very expensive, and some of the older ones had a placard here. You don't see it on the newer ones because when the Protestant started saying, you know, your placard adds up to 666, they stopped wearing that. But that's what they used to have on there. But in case you question, is that really the title of the pope? Here's a book by John Paul II, and this is page three. "Confronted with the pope, one must make the choice. The leader of the Catholic Church is defined by the faith as the Vicar of Jesus Christ, it's Vicarius Filii Dei. And is accepted as such by believers. The pope is considered the man on earth who represents the Son of God, who 'takes the place' of the second person of the omnipotent God of the Trinity. Taking the place of Christ on earth. So understanding 666 throughout Revelation, the number seven represents perfection or completeness. The number six represents imperfection. It's the number for man, in Revelation, sorry, in Daniel Chapter 3. When Nebuchadnezzar builds the image it says, it's 60 cubits by six cubits, and one scholar Leslie Hardin said, "If they don't give you the depth, it's going to be the same as the width." Which means it was 60 by 6 by 6, and they were told to worship that. It's the number of man. Man was made on what day? Sixth day. First time you find seven three times in the Bible. Genesis Chapter 2, the seventh day, the seventh day, the seventh day, which leads us to the next part. 666 symbolizes the union of error, the union of the dragon, the beast and the false prophet. What is the beast's mark of authority? The Catholic Catechism says, Question: Which is the Sabbath day? Answer: Saturday is the Sabbath day. This is in the Catholic Catechism. Question: Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday? Answer: We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday. Have you any other way approving that church has power to institute festivals of precept? Notice the answer. Had she not such power, she could not have done that which all modern religionists, most of them, agree with her. She could not have substituted the observance of Sunday the first day of the week, for the observance of Saturday the seventh day of a week, a change for which there is no Scriptural authority." Daniel Chapter 7 said, "The beast power would think to change times and laws." It's exactly what happened. That's why in this church we want to be consistent Christians keep the day Jesus kept, the apostles kept, Moses kept, which is the seventh day. Man cannot change the law of God. The beast power would think to change the laws and times. By the way, only commandment that is a law and the time is the Sabbath. So this chapter has got a lot of information there. Is the beast a government or a religious power? It says, "He causes as many as would not," what? "Worship," it's involved with worship. "The image of the beast should be killed." You notice there in Revelation, I'm sorry, Genesis, Cain and Abel. There at the beginning, they're both told to worship the same God, they claim to worship the same God. Abel does it the way that God said. Cain says, "I'm going to alter it because I can worship however I want." God does not accept Cain's worship. Cain then persecutes his brother. That same story now repeats itself in the end of time, in Revelation 13, both claiming to worship the same God, one does it his way, one does it God's way and the wrong one persecutes the right one. That's why Jesus died. He worshiped God according to truth and the religious leaders became aggravated by that and killed Him. What effective methods will this end-time coalition utilize? It says in Revelation 13:13, 14, 13 and 14. "He does great wonders, so that he makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, and he deceives them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles that he has power to do." Revelation 16:14 says, "They are the spirits of devils working miracles." Christ said, "We need to be careful in the last days for there'll be many false christs and false prophets," and in particular Satan is going to impersonate Christ. The devil himself can be transformed into an angel of light, as he came to Christ as an angel of light in the wilderness, he will appear in the last days, there'll be signs and wonders, some of these counterfeit denominations, and churches are going to be doing things that are going to deceive people. What will prevent God's end-time people from being deceived during this time? Isaiah 8:20, "To the law and the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, there's no light in them." Amen. So what's going to keep us safe? We've got to make sure we're going by the word of God, that we know our Bibles. So what is your response today? God is calling people out of Babylon into the safety of His remnant church. He says, those who remain in Babylon, this is Revelation 17, will partake of her sins. The most fearful curses in the Bible are found in Revelation, on those who worship the beast and its image and receive the mark of the beast. That's in Revelation Chapter 14. So this is a very important subject because in the last days, there's only two choices. You have the seal of God, or you worship the beast and have the mark of the beast. You either worship God and have his seal, or you worship the beast. There's no middle ground. There's going to be a shaking, and everyone will polarize into one of two groups, both claim to worship God. "I saw as it were a sea of glass…" Revelation 15, I just wanted to end by giving a little encouragement. "Mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over his number, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God." How many of you believe that we can get the victory over the beast? Amen. I want to tell our friends before we run out of time, I know I covered a lot very quickly. Hey, we got through it. That was a miracle. That we have an offer that has more information that you can get for free. It's called "The Beast, the Dragon and the Woman." This is one of Joe Crews' best sermon books that summarizes what I've been talking about. And if you like a copy for one thing you can call 866-788-3966. And that's 866 Study-More. If you'd like to download this for free, some watching, maybe you want to download it for free right now, just text "SH107", text that to 40544, you'll get the link where you can go and download this book. And if you call in, it's offer number 126. Hope that you get that. God bless you, and God willing we'll study His Word together again next week.

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We're here on the beautiful coast of the island of Puerto Rico. And if you were to travel east about 2000 miles, of course, you would be out in the middle of the ocean. But you'd also be in the middle of a mystical sea called the Sargasso Sea. It gets its name because of this common brown seaweed that can be found floating in vast mass. The area of the Sargasso Sea is about 700 miles wide and 2000 miles long. Now the seaweed itself is fascinating stuff. It was first observed and called Gulfweed by Christopher Columbus. It gets the name Sargon from the Portuguese. Some people use it as herbal remedies. But out in the middle of the Sargasso Sea, the water is some of the bluest in the world. It's there you can see 200 feet deep in places. It also has a great biodiversity and ecosystem that surrounds the Sargasso Sea. For years, scientists wondered where the American and the Atlantic eels were breeding. They knew the adult eel swam down the rivers out into the Atlantic, but they never could find a place where they reproduced. Finally, they discovered it was out in the middle of the Sargasso Sea. So it's a fascinating place. But if you are an ancient sailor, you did not want to get stuck there. Being caught in the doldrums was extremely difficult for the ancient sailors. Of course, their boats were driven by wind and sail, and they'd be caught in the vast mass of the seaweed that would wrap around the rudder, barnacles would begin to grow, it's an area that is notorious for light and baffling winds, and so they'd make no progress. They get stuck. The men would become extremely dispirited. Sometimes violence and even insanity would break out as people were trapped in the doldrums. But, friends, perhaps sometimes you felt that you're trapped in the doldrums. You've gone through episodes of depression. You feel like you're going in circles, life seems stifling. You know, the Bible offers good news. There is a way out. Bible talks about a famous character that was trapped in a cycle of depression. He was low as you could be. Matter of fact, he even had seaweed wrapped around his head. His name was Jonah. But God gave him a way of escape. In Jonah 2:3-7, we read, "For you cast me into the depths, into the heart of the seas, and the flood surrounded me, all of Your billows and Your waves passed over me. Then I said, 'I have been cast out of your sight, yet I will look again towards Your holy temple.' The waters surrounded me, even to my soul, the deep closed around me, weeds were wrapped around my head. I went down to the moorings of the mountains, the earth with its bars closed behind me forever, yet you brought my life up from the pit. O Lord, my God. 'When my soul fainted within me, I remember the Lord, and my prayer went up to You, into Your holy temple.'" You know, friends, the way that Jonah got out of his discouraging circumstances, he turned to God and he prayed. And if God could hear Jonah's prayers, just think about it. He was as far away from God as anybody could be. He was in the belly of a sea monster in the bottom of the ocean in the dark. Yet he turned to God and God heard his prayer. You know, these ancient sailors, when they were trapped on the deck of a ship for weeks, stuck in the doldrums discouraged, sometimes they would have a prayer meeting, and pray that God would send a breeze that would set them free, and get their boats moving. They turn to God in prayer and often miracles would happen, and the wind would flutter in the sails, and bring them out of their seaweed prison. Friends, maybe you have been stuck in the doldrums. Maybe you've been caught in a cycle of depression. If God can do it for Jonah, if He can do it for the ancient sailors, He can do it for you. Turn to the Lord in prayer. Trust His Spirit to blow through your soul and to set you free.

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