The conditions of things in the world shows that perilous times are right upon us. The daily papers are full of indications of a terrible conflict in our very time. Bold robberies are of frequent occurrence. Strikes are common. Thefts and murders are committed on every hand. Men possessed of demons are taking the lives of men, women, and little children. Men have become infatuated with vice, and every species of evil prevails.
But multitudes have been living in transgression of God’s law, and now He in mercy calls them to obey its sacred precepts. All who will put away their sins by repentance toward God and faith in Christ are offered pardon. The message of warning and mercy, represented by three angels of Revelation 14, calls all people to repent and honour God.
The first angel preaches the “everlasting gospel” (Revelation 14:6), which is the good news that we have a living Saviour, the man Jesus Christ. In this gospel, “God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). This is the same gospel that was declared in Eden when God said to the serpent, “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel” (Genesis 3:15). Here was the first promise of a Saviour who would stand on the field of battle to contest the power of Satan and prevail against him.
The everlasting gospel declares that “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). The Son of God, our Saviour Jesus Christ, “is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25). The gospel bids “us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).
Since sin was first committed in Eden, God has always desired to restore us to a state where sin does not triumph. Sin separated us from God. “Your iniquities have separated you from your God” (Isaiah 59:2). Sin leads to death: Ezekiel 18:20, and Romans 2:6-10. God calls man back to holiness. “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Be-cause it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:15, 16).
But without supernatural aid, we are powerless to resist the evil desires and sinfulness. “Without me,” Jesus said, “ye can do nothing” (John 15:5). The everlasting gospel pleads with every soul to abide in Christ and be saved from sin.
We are saved in Christ, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). All who look unto Christ, believing in Him as their personal Saviour, shall “not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). Whosoever accepts will be counted as “which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy” (1 Peter 2:10).
Christ came into the world to save sinners. “The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Look to Christ, “Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). Christ is our only plea, in whose name we have access to the Father.
The everlasting gospel calls us to love Christ. Christ says, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). Christ said, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil” (Matthew 5:17). Christ declared, “I have kept My Father's commandments, and abide in His love” (John 15:10). Christ is pure, “And every man that hath this hope in Him purifieth himself, even as He is pure” (1 John 3:3).
A terrible doom awaits the unrepentant sinner, and therefore it is necessary that we know what sin is, in order that we may escape from its power. John says, “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law; for sin is the transgression of the law” (1 John 3:4). Here we have the true definition of sin; it is “the transgression of the law.”
This means we must keep, by the power of our saviour Jesus Christ, all the Ten Commandments, including the fourth – the Sabbath. “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all” (James 2:10). The everlasting gospel calls us to repentance and obedience in Christ.
The first angel calls men to “fear God, and give glory to him” (Rev 14:7) and to worship Him as the Creator of the heavens and the earth. In order to do this, they must obey His law. Says the wise man: ‘Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man” (Ecclesiastes 12:13).
Without obedience to His commandments no worship can be pleasing to God. “This is the love of God, that we keep his commandments” (1 John 5:3). “He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination” (Proverbs 28:9). “Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Mark 7:7).
To fear God is to depart from evil. “Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil” (Proverbs 3:7). “By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil” (Proverbs 16:6).
“Wherefore now let the fear of the LORD be upon you; take heed and do it: for there is no iniquity with the LORD our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of gifts” (2 Chronicles 19:7). “And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not” (Exodus 20:20). “Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD. Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it” (Psalms 34:11, 14).
“And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the LORD, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding” (Job 28:28). “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate” (Proverbs 8:13).
To give glory to God means to reflect His righteous character in your own life and actions. “But in every nation he that feareth Him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with Him” (Acts 10:35). “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame” (1 Corinthians 15:33-34). “Give unto the LORD, O ye mighty, give unto the LORD glory and strength. Give unto the LORD the glory due unto His name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness” (Psalms 29:1-2).
“In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me. Among the gods there is none like unto thee, O Lord; neither are there any works like unto thy works. All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord; and shall glorify thy name. For thou art great, and doest wondrous things: thou art God alone. Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name. I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore. For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell” (Psalms 86:7-13).
The first angel warns, “His judgment is come” (Revelation 14:7). This is the Judgment that begun at the end of the 2300 days (Daniel 8:14) in 1844 (see The Great Controversy, chapter 24). This judgment is presided over by God our Father as the judge and the Son of God as the mediator. Only the cases of the professed people of God are reviewed in this first judgment, for “Judgment must begin at the house of God” (1 Peter 4:17). The judgment of the wicked is after the close of probation and the saints sit on that tribunal, for “Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world?” (1 Corinthians 6:2).
Decisions are based on the records. Daniel says: “the judgment was set, and the books were opened” (Daniel 7:10). John adds: "Another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works” (Revelation 20:12).
“A book of remembrance” is kept wherein are recorded the good deeds of “them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon His name” (Malachi 3:16). Nehemiah refers to this when he says: “Remember me, O my God, . . . and wipe not out my good deeds that I have done for the house of my God” (Nehemiah 13:14). In the book of God’s remembrance every deed of righteousness is immortalised. Says the psalmist: “Thou tellest my wanderings: put Thou my tears into Thy bottle: are they not in Thy book?” (Psalm 56:8).
Sins are also recorded. “For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:14). Christ says: “Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. By thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned” (Matthew 12:36, 37). God “will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts” (1 Corinthians 4:5). “Behold, it is written before Me, . . . your iniquities, and the iniquities of your fathers together, saith the Lord” (Isaiah 65:6, 7).
Judgment is based on the law of God. Says the wise man: “Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment” (Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14). James adds: “So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty” (James 2:12).
As names come to review, names with sins on records, unrepented and unforgiven, are blotted out of the book of life. The Lord declared to Moses: “Whosoever hath sinned against Me, him will I blot out of My book” (Exodus 32:33). Due to unrepented sins, their good deeds are erased from the book of God’s remembrance. Says Ezekiel: “When the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, . . . all his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned” (Ezekiel 18:24).
Repented sins are blotted out and names confirmed. “I, even I, am He that blotteth out thy transgressions for Mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins” (Isaiah 43:25). Said Jesus: “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before My Father, and before His angels” (Revelation 3:5). “Whosoever therefore shall confess Me before men, him will I confess also before My Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny Me before men, him will I also deny before My Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32, 33).
At the end of this judgment, Christ declares: “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And, behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be” (Revelation 22:11, 12).
The first angel calls all to worship God who “made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters” (Revelation 14:7). The call to worship specifically refers to the fourth Commandment, the Sabbath. The entire fourth commandment says:
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day isthe Sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: or in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it” (Exodus 20:8-11).
The duty to worship God is based upon the fact that He is the Creator and that to Him all other beings owe their existence. And wherever, in the Bible, His claim to reverence and worship, above the gods of the heathen, is presented, there is cited the evidence of His creative power.
“All the gods of the nations are idols: but the Lord made the heavens” (Psalm 96:5). “To whom then will ye liken Me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things … Thus saith the Lord that created the heavens; God Himself that formed the earth and made it: . . . I am the Lord; and there is none else” (Isaiah 40:25, 26; 45:18). Says the psalmist: “Know ye that the Lord He is God: it is He that hath made us, and not we ourselves … O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our Maker” (Psalms 100:3; 95:6). And the holy beings who worship God in heaven state, as the reason why their homage is due to Him: “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for Thou hast created all things” (Revelation 4:11).
Sabbath keeping is a sign of loyalty to God, for God says, “And hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am the LORD your God” (Ezekiel 20:20). And the reason given is: “For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day He rested, and was refreshed” (Exodus 31:17). By Sabbath keeping, shall the world “discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not” (Malachi 3:18).
The second angel proclaims: “Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication” (Revelation 14:8). The term “Babylon” is derived from “Babel,” and signifies confusion. It is employed in Scripture to designate the various forms of false or apostate religion. In Revelation 17 Babylon is represented as a vile woman, a figure representing an apostate church.
Babylon, the woman of Revelation 17, is described as “arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness: ... and upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH” (Revelation 17:4, 5).
As to the “mother of harlots”, it is widely known that there is only one church that claims to be the mother church – the great Roman Catholic Church. A prominent Catholic priest, John A. O’Brien, said: “That observance [Sunday keeping] remains as a reminder of the Mother Church from which the non-Catholic sects broke away” (John A. O’Brien, The Faith of Millions (Huntington, In: Our Sunday Visitor, Inc., 1974, p. 401)).
That the papacy is the power described in Revelation 17 is widely accepted by Protestants. Many leaders of the Reformation (Huss, Wycliffe, Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, Melanchthon, Cranmer, Tyndale, Latimer, Ridley, and others) taught that the papacy is the power here involved (George Eldon Ladd, The Blessed Hope, Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdman's Publishing Co., 1956, pp. 32-34). The details by which the papacy is described in Revelation 17 are too clear for doubt.
Babylon is also charged with the sin of unlawful connection with “the kings of the earth.” Alexander Flick says that by the 13th century, the pope was “at least in theory and claim ... the ruler of the whole world in temporal and spiritual affairs” (The Rise of the Mediaeval Church, New York: Burt Franklin, 1959, pp. 575, 576). It was by departure from the Lord, and alliance with the heathen, that the Jewish church became a harlot; and Rome, corrupting herself in like manner by seeking the support of worldly powers, receives a like condemnation.
Babylon is said to be “the mother of harlots,” if a “mother” it must have “daughters.” “The message of Revelation 14, announcing the fall of Babylon must apply to religious bodies that were once pure and have become corrupt. Since this message follows the warning of the judgment, it must be given in the last days; therefore it cannot refer to the Roman Church alone, for that church has been in a fallen condition for many centuries” (The Great Controversy, p 382).
Babylon, the mother of harlots and her daughters, is fallen, for she rejects God’s Ten Commandments. Instead of the true Sabbath (Saturday), Babylon institutes and keeps Sunday as a day of worship. To her and her harlot daughters, Jesus says, “Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Mark 7:7).
The second angel denounces Babylon as fallen “because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication” (Revelation 14:8). This wine of error is made up of false doctrines, such as the natural immortality of the soul, the eternal torment of the wicked, the denial of the pre-existence of Christ prior to His birth in Bethlehem, and advocating and exalting the first day of the week above God’s holy and sanctified day. These and kindred errors are presented to the world by the various churches, until “all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication” (Revelation 14:8).
It is a wrath created by Babylon’s false doctrines, and when world powers drink this wine of the wrath of her fornication, they are stirred with anger against God’s people who “keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus” (Revelation 14:12).
Daniel saw a power that would exalt itself above God, sitting in the temple of God, and showing itself to be God, thought to change times and laws (Daniel 7:25). This power, the papacy, thinking to prove that it was not only equal to God, but above God, changed the rest day, placing the first day of the week where the seventh should be. The Protestant world has taken this child of the papacy to be regarded as sacred. In the Word of God this is called her fornication. Thus, the papacy has made all nations drink of the wrath of her fornication.
Daniel 7 reveals an Old Testament description of the Antichrist power. It clearly predicts that the beast would attempt to change both God’s laws and times. The papacy has tried to change God’s laws by: (1) omitting the second commandment against veneration of images, (2) shortening the fourth commandment from 94 words to just eight in order to avoid mentioning which day is the Sabbath, and (3) dividing the tenth commandment into two commandments.
The papacy attempted to change God’s times by: (1) teaching people to recognise the first day of the week as the Sabbath instead of the seventh day, and (2) adopting the pagan Roman practice of beginning each day at midnight instead of sunset. God’s timing for the Sabbath is from sunset Friday night to sunset Saturday night (Leviticus 23:32).
Of His law, Christ declared, “Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law” (Matthew 5:18). The papacy may think to change, but cannot in reality change God’s law.
The third angel warns all not to “worship the beast and his image” (Revelation 14:9). The beast of Revelation 14 is the same beast of Revelation 13:1-10, described as “like unto a leopard,” to which the dragon gave “his power, and his seat, and great authority.” This symbol, as most Protestants have believed, represents the papacy, which succeeded to the power and seat and authority once held by the ancient Roman Empire.
Two quotes supports this interpretation. First, “The Roman Church ... pushed itself into the place of the Roman World-Empire, of which it is the actual continuation. ...The Pope ... is Caesar's successor” (Adolf Harnack, What is Christianity? trans. by Thomas Bailey Saunders, New York: Putnam, 2nd ed., rev., 1901, p. 270). Second, “The mighty Catholic Church was little more than the Roman Empire baptised. Rome was transformed as well as converted. The very capital of the old Empire became the capital of the Christian Empire. The office of Pontifex Maximus was continued in that of Pope” (Alexander Clarence Flick, The Rise of the Mediaeval Church, reprint: New York, Burt Franklin, 1959, pp. 148, 149).
Of the leopardlike beast it is declared: “There was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies … And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, and His tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.” This prophecy, which is nearly identical with the description of the little horn of Daniel 7, unquestionably points to the papacy.
This power spoke “great things and blasphemies.” The Bible defines blasphemy as man claiming to forgive sins (Luke 5:21) and claiming to be God (John 10:33). The papacy boldly claims the power to forgive sins. Notice the following section from a Catholic catechism: “Does the Priest truly forgive the sins, or does he only declare that they are remitted? The Priest does really and truly forgive the sins in virtue of the power given to him by Christ” (Joseph Deharbe, S.J., A Complete Catechism of the Catholic Religion, New York: Schwartz, Kirwin & Fauss, 1924, p. 279). Pope Leo XIII said, “We [the popes] hold upon this earth the place of God Almighty” ((Christopher Marcellus, Oration in the Fifth Lateran Council, Session IV (1512), manuscript SC, Vol. 32, col. 761 (Latin).). Here is another startling statement about the pope: “Thou art another God on earth” ((Pope Leo XIII, Encyclical Letter “The Reunion of Christendom,” dated June 20, 1894, trans. in The Great Encyclical letters of Pope Leo XIII (New York: Benziger, 1903), p. 304)).
John saw that, “Power was given unto him to continue forty and two months” (Revelation 13:5). This period is the same as “time and times and the dividing of time” (Daniel 7:25), which is 1260 years, counting a day for a year (Ezekiel 4:6). The 1260 years started in AD 538 when Emperor Justinian’s decree making the papacy supreme was no longer opposed, and ended when the papacy received a deadly wound (Revelation 13:3) when Napoleon's general, Alexander Berthier, entered Rome and took Pope Pius VI captive in February of 1798. Napoleon decreed that at the death of the pope, the papacy would be discontinued. The pope died in France in August of 1799. “Half Europe thought ... that without the Pope the Papacy was dead” (Joseph Rickaby, “The Modern Papacy,” Lectures on the History of Religion, Lecture 24, London: Catholic Truth Society, 1910, p. 1).
The deadly wound would be healed, and the entire world would give homage to the beast (Revelation 13:3). Since its healing, the strength of the papacy has grown and increased until today she is one of the most powerful religio-political organisations and influence-centres in the world. Malachi Martin, consummate Vatican insider and intelligence expert, reveals the following in his best-selling book, The Keys of This Blood (New York, Simon & Schuster, 1990) – page numbers in parentheses:
That the pope is as determined to be world ruler as was Constantine in his day (49); He is protected by four governments (120); He is the best-known person of the 20th century (123); He is personal friends with the leaders of 91 countries (490); People of the world seem to him ready for strong worldwide moral government with control (160); and Sixteen thousand journalists covered his American visit (490). The papacy, the American ambassador says the Vatican is unmatched as a “listening post” (120); The Vatican knows by Saturday what will happen on Monday anywhere in the world (439); and Papal structure is prepared for worldwide rule now (143).
The head of this leopardlike beast is also identified by the mysterious number 666, which “is the number of a man” (revelation 13:18), and also it is “the number of his name” (Revelation 15:2). Here is a Catholic quote: “The title of the pope of Rome is ‘Vicarius Filii Dei’ ((English: ‘Vicar of the Son of God’) “Answers to Readers' Questions,” Our Sunday Visitor, Nov. 15, 1914). Malachi Martin, in The Keys of This Blood, uses the same title for the pope (New York, Simon & Schuster, 1990, pp. 114, 122). A footnote for Revelation 13:18 in some Douay [Catholic] versions of the Bible says, “The numeral letters of his name shall make up this number.” The numerical letters of his name adds to 666. Notice, V and U each equals five in Roman numerals, and letters that have no Roman value are given a zero. VICARIUS (5+1+100+0+0+1+5+0) FILLI (0+1+50+1+1) DEI (500+0+1) equals 666.
In harmony with God's command to honor all people (1 Peter 2:17), it must be said there are some good things that the papacy has done: her hospitals, orphanages, care for the poor, homes for unwed mothers, and care for the aged are appreciated universally. She can honestly be lauded for these good deeds. But, like all other organisations, she has also made mistakes. God pinpoints her deadly errors in Revelation. The Lord, who blesses and comforts, must also chasten and correct. Please ask His Spirit to speak to you as you continue this study.
But what is the “image to the beast” and how is it to be formed? “When the leading churches of the United States, uniting upon such points of doctrine as are held by them in common, shall influence the state to enforce their decrees and to sustain their institutions, then Protestant America will have formed an image of the Roman hierarchy, and the infliction of civil penalties upon dissenters will inevitably result” (The Great Controversy, p 445).
When departing from the simplicity of the gospel and accepting heathen rites and customs corrupted the early church, she lost the Spirit and power of God; and in order to control the consciences of the people, she sought the support of the secular power. The result was the papacy, a church that controlled the power of the state and employed it to further her own ends, especially for the punishment of “heresy.”
It is common knowledge that the papacy did persecute and destroy conscientious Christians, especially during the Middle Ages, the peak period of her control. Many historians say that more than 50 million people died for their faith during this period of great tribulation. Apparently the church felt it was doing God a favour by stamping out “heresy.” The pope has asked that the church be forgiven for her atrocities, but the fact remains that she did persecute and destroy, and she will do so again.
There are numerous factors that could set the stage for a worldwide Sunday law to execute those who refuse to violate conscience. These could include: The activity of terrorists; Riots and escalating crime and evil; Drug wars; A major economic crash; AIDS and other epidemics; Nuclear threats from radical nations; Political corruption; Gross miscarriage of justice by the courts; Welfare abuse; Increasing taxes; Pornography and sickening immorality; Appalling global disasters; Radical special interest groups; and The abortion crisis. A backlash against corruption, lawlessness, immorality, permissiveness, injustice, poverty, weak and ineffective political leaders, and many similar woes could easily precipitate a demand from the papacy for strong, specific laws to be rigidly enforced by the United States.
The third angel warns that no man should receive the Mark of the Beast “in his forehead, or in his hand” (Revelation 14:9). We have already identified the beast as the papacy. The best way to discover its mark of authority is to ask the papacy directly.
Notice the following section from a Catholic catechism: Q. Which 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 (Peter Geiermann, The Convert’s Catechism of Catholic Doctrine, St Louis: B. Herder Book Co., 1957 edition, p 50).
Here is another statement from a catechism: Q. Have you any other way of proving that the Church has power to institute festivals of precept? A. Had she not such power, she could not have done that in which all modern religionists agree with her – she could not have substituted the observance of Sunday the first day of the week, for the observance of Saturday the seventh day, a change for which there is no Scriptural authority (Stephen Keenan, A Doctrinal Catechism, New York: P.J. Kenedy & Sons, third American edition, revised, edn., p. 174).
So the papacy is saying that its mark of power and authority is making Sunday a holy day – a change that virtually all churches admit in their official writings that there is no Scripture support for Sunday sacredness. Tragically, both Protestantism and Catholicism stand guilty before the judgment bar of God for throwing out the Bible Sabbath! God Himself gave the Sabbath as a sign, or mark, of His power to create and His power to sanctify and save (Exodus 31:17; Ezekiel 20:12). Dare any man tamper with this sacred sign, which represents the great God of heaven and all that He stands for? Will God not avenge the transgression of His law?
The forehead represents the mind, and the hand is a symbol of work. “On the hand” and “between the eyes” are consistent symbols in Scripture for a person’s thoughts and actions (Exodus 13:16; Deuteronomy 6:8; 11:18). A person will receive the mark of the beast in his forehead by choosing to believe that Sunday is a holy day in spite of Bible truth. A person will be marked in the right hand by working on God’s Sabbath or by outwardly keeping Sunday laws for convenient reasons – such as a job or family.
A Universal Sunday Law will be passed, if not already by the time you read this. When you obey the decree that commands you to cease from labour on Sunday and worship God, while you know that there is not a word in the Bible showing Sunday to be other than a common working day, you consent to receive the mark of the beast, and refuse the seal of God.
The third angel warns that those who accepts the mark of the beast, “the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation” (Revelation 14:10). Everything is now at stake. It is a life and death question. If we receive the mark of the beast in our foreheads or in our hands, the judgments pronounced against the disobedient must fall upon us. Those who in the face of these specifications refuse to repent of their transgressions will realise the result of disobedience.
When the law substituting the false sabbath for the true Sabbath becomes universal, God will reveal Himself. When the laws of men are exalted above the laws of God, when the powers of this earth try to force men to keep Sunday, know that the time has come for God to work. He will arise in His majesty, and will shake terribly the earth. He will come out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the world for their iniquity.
In Malachi's day the mocking inquiry of the impenitent, “Where is the God of judgment?” met with the solemn response: “The Lord . . . shall suddenly come to His temple, even the Messenger of the covenant. . . . But who may abide the day of His coming? and who shall stand when He appeareth? for He is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers’ soap: and He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and He shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the Lord, as in the days of old, and as in former years” (Malachi 2:17; 3:1-4).
The day is upon us when the awful denunciation of God’s wrath must be uttered against all who have persisted in their disloyalty to His holy law. This will be when God must speak and do terrible things in righteousness against the transgressors of His law. But you need not be among those who will come under the wrath of God. It is now the day of His salvation. Now is time to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,” by surrendering fully to God, for “it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:12,13).
The message of warning and mercy, represented by three angles of Revelation 14, is calling: “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues” (Revelation 18:4). Babylon is irretrievably fallen, and you must come out of her and separate yourself from fallen churches that disobey God’s holy law.
The result of an acceptance of these messages is given in the Bible: “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus” (Revelation 14:12). The law will be the standard of character in the judgment. The apostle Paul declares: “As many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law, . . . in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ.” And he says that “the doers of the law shall be justified” (Romans 2:12-16).
Finally, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man” (Ecclesiastes 12:13).