Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Seal. Who will receive the mark of the Beast. The coming Sunday law

The message containing this warning is the last to be proclaimed before the revelation of the Son of man. The signs which He Himself has given declare His coming to be near at hand. For well-nigh forty years has the message of the third angel been sounding. In the issue of the great contest two parties are developed, those who "worship the beast and his image," and receive his mark, and those who receive "the seal of the living God," who have the Father's name written in their foreheads. This is not a visible mark. The time has come when all who have an interest in their soul's salvation should earnestly and solemnly inquire, What is the seal of God? and what is the mark of the beast? How can we avoid receiving it? {ST, November 1, 1899 par. 8}
The seal of God, the token or sign of His authority, is found in the fourth commandment. This is the only precept of the Decalogue that points to God as the Creator of the heavens and the earth, and clearly distinguishes the true God from all false gods. Throughout the Scriptures the fact of God's creative power is cited as proof that He is above all heathen deities. {ST, November 1, 1899 par. 9}
The Sabbath enjoined by the fourth commandment was instituted to commemorate the work of creation, thus to keep the minds of men ever directed to the true and living God. Had the Sabbath always been kept, there would never have been an idolater, an atheist, or an infidel. The sacred observance of God"s holy day would have led the minds of men to their Creator. The things of nature would have brought Him to their remembrance, and they would have borne witness to His power and His love. The Sabbath of the fourth commandment is the seal of the living God. It points to God as the Creator, and is the sign of His rightful authority over the beings He has made. {ST, November 1, 1899 par. 10}
What, then, is the mark of the beast, if it is not the spurious sabbath which the world has accepted in the place of the true? {ST, November 1, 1899 par. 11}
The prophetic declaration that the Papacy was to exalt itself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped, has been strikingly fulfilled in the changing of the Sabbath from the seventh to the first day of the week. Wherever the papal Sabbath is honored in preference to the Sabbath of God, there the man of sin is exalted above the Creator of heaven and earth. {ST, November 1, 1899 par. 12}
Those who assert that Christ changed the Sabbath are directly contradicting His own words. In His Sermon on the Mount He declared: "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets; I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in nowise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever, therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven; but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven." {ST, November 1, 1899 par. 13}
Roman Catholics acknowledge that the change in the Sabbath was made by their church, and they cite this very change as evidence of the supreme authority of this church. They declare that by observing the first day of the week as the Sabbath, Protestants are recognizing her power to legislate in divine things. The Roman Church has not relinquished her claim to infallibility, and when the world and the Protestant churches accept the spurious sabbath of her creating, they virtually acknowledge her claim. They may cite the authority of the apostles and fathers in defense of this change, but the fallacy of their reasoning is easily discerned. The papist is sharp enough to see that Protestants are deceiving themselves, willingly closing their eyes to the facts in the case. As the Sunday institution gains favor, he rejoices, feeling assured that it will eventually bring the whole Protestant world under the banner of Rome.
{ST, November 1, 1899 par. 14}



November 8, 1899 The Seal of God. No. 2.


A Sign of Authority--How Receive the Mark--National
Apostasy--Rome the Same--An Image to
the Papacy--The Trials of the Remnant Church.


The change of the Sabbath is a sign or mark of the authority of the Romish Church. Those who, understanding the claims of the fourth commandment, choose to observe the false sabbath in the place of the true, are thereby paying homage to that power by which alone it is commanded. The mark of the beast is the papal sabbath, which has been accepted by the world in the place of the day of God's appointment. {ST, November 8, 1899 par. 1}
There are true Christians in every church, not excepting the Roman Catholic communion. None are condemned until they have had the light and have seen the obligation of the fourth commandment. But when the decree shall go forth enforcing the counterfeit sabbath, and the loud cry of "the third angel" shall warn men against the worship of the beast and his image, the line will be clearly drawn between the false and the true. Then those who still continue in transgression will receive the mark of the beast. {ST, November 8, 1899 par. 2}
With rapid steps we are approaching this period. When Protestant churches shall unite with the secular power in sustaining a false religion, for opposing which their ancestors endured the fiercest persecution, then will the papal Sabbath be enforced by the combined authority of church and State. There will be a national apostasy, which will end only in national ruin. {ST, November 8, 1899 par. 3}
Marvelous in her shrewdness and cunning is the Roman Catholic Church. She presents a fair front to the world, covering with apologies her record of horrible cruelties( note this was written in 1899 ,also the Roman Church boast that it does not change ), and declaring that her spirit of persecution no longer exists. But she is the same as in the days of the Reformation, when men of God stood up at the peril of their lives to expose her iniquity; the same as when she assumed the power to control kings and princes, and claimed the prerogatives of God. She may clothe herself in Christlike garments, the better to carry forward her purposes; but she still retains the venom of the serpent, and her principles are exerting their influence in legislative halls, in churches, and in the hearts of men. Her spirit is no less cruel and despotic now than when it crushed out human liberty, and slew the saints of the Most High. ( Inquisitions/ Dark ages/1260 year period of papal persecution ) {ST, November 8, 1899 par. 4}
By compromises and concessions, Protestants have tampered with and patronized popery, giving her vantage-ground which papists themselves are surprised to see and fail to understand. The Protestant world needs to be aroused to resist the advances of this most dangerous foe to civil and religious liberty. {ST, November 8, 1899 par. 5}
When the State shall enforce the decrees and sustain the institutions of the church, then will Protestant America have formed an image of the Papacy. Then the true church will be assailed by persecution as were God's people in ancient times. Almost every century furnishes instances of what human hearts, controlled by rage and malice, can do under a plea of serving God by protecting the rights of the church and State. The Protestant churches that have followed in the steps of Rome by forming alliances with worldly powers have manifested a similar desire to restrict liberty of conscience. How many non-conformist ministers have suffered under the power of the Church of England! Persecution always follows a restriction of religious liberty on the part of secular governments. {ST, November 8, 1899 par. 6}

Rejection of Great Light.

It is urged by many that the intellectual and moral darkness prevailing during the middle ages favored the spread of dogma, superstition, and the oppression of popery, and that the general diffusion of knowledge, and the well-nigh universal acceptance of the principles of religious liberty, forbid a revival of superstition and tyranny. It is true that great light, intellectual, moral, and religious, is shinning upon this generation. Since 1844 light from the heaven of heavens has beamed from the open door of the temple of God. But it is to be remembered that the greater the light bestowed, the greater the delusion and darkness of those who reject the Word of God and accept fables, teaching for doctrine the commandments of men. {ST, November 8, 1899 par. 7}
Satan will excite the indignation of apostate Christendom against the humble remnant who conscientiously refuse to accept false customs and traditions. Blinded by the prince of darkness, popular religionists will see only as he sees, and feel as he feels. They will determine as he determines, and oppress as he has oppressed. Liberty of conscience, which has cost so great a sacrifice, will no longer be respected. The church and the world will unite, and the world will lend to the church power to crush out the right of the people to worship God according to His Word. {ST, November 8, 1899 par. 8}
The decree which is to go forth against the people of God in the near future is in some respects similar to that issued by Ahasuerus against the Jews in the time of Esther. The Persian edict sprang from the malice of Haman against Mordecai. Not that Mordecai had done Haman harm, but he had refused to flatter his vanity by showing him the reverence which is due only to God. The king's decision against the Jews was secured under false pretenses. Satan instigated this scheme in order to rid the earth of those who preserved a knowledge of the true God. But his plots were defeated by a counter-power that reigns among the children of men. Angels who excel in strength were commissioned to protect the people of God, and the plots of their adversaries returned upon their own heads. {ST, November 8, 1899 par. 9}
History repeats itself. The same masterful mind that plotted against the faithful in ages past is now at work to gain control of the Protestant churches, that through them he may condemn and put to death all who will not worship the idol sabbath. We have not to battle with man, as it may appear. We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. But if the people of God will put their trust in Him, and by faith rely upon His power, the devices of Satan will be defeated in our time as signally as in the days of Mordecai. {ST, November 8, 1899 par. 10}
The decree is to go forth that all who will not receive the mark of the beast shall neither buy nor sell, and, finally, that they shall be put to death. But the saints of God do not receive this mark. The prophet of Patmos beheld those that had gotten the victory over the beast and over his image and over his mark and over the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, having the harps of God, and singing the song of Moses and the Lamb. {ST, November 8, 1899 par. 11}
To every soul will come the searching test, Shall I obey God rather than men? The decisive hour is even now at hand. Satan is putting forth his utmost efforts in the rage of a last despairing struggle against Christ and His followers. False teachers are employing every device possible to stimulate the hardened sinner in his rebellious daring, to confirm the questioning, the doubting, the unbelieving, and, by misrepresentation and falsehood, to deceive, if it were possible, the very elect. Who are prepared to stand firmly under the banner on which is inscribed, "The commandments of God and the faith of Jesus"? {ST, November 8, 1899 par. 12}
Christ never purchased peace and friendship by compromise with evil. Tho His heart overflowed with love toward the human race, He could not be indulgent to their sins. Because He loved men and women, He was a stern reprover of their vices. His life of suffering, the humiliation to which He was subjected by a perverse nation, show His followers that there must be no sacrifice of principle. God's tried people must maintain watchfulness, with fervent prayer, lest, in their eagerness to prevent discord, they surrender truth, and thus dishonor the God of truth. Peace is too dearly obtained if purchased by the smallest concession to Satan's agencies. The least surrender of principle entangles us in the snare of the enemy. {ST, November 8, 1899 par. 13}
Paul writes to the Romans, "If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men." But there is a point beyond which it is impossible to maintain union and harmony without the sacrifice of principle. Separation then becomes an absolute duty. The laws of nations should be respected when they do not conflict with the laws of God. But when there is collision between them, every true disciple of Christ will say, as did the apostle Peter when commanded to speak no more in the name of Jesus, "We ought to obey God rather than men."

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