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The Christian Counter

     

The Seal of God and the Mark of Apostasy

 

Significance of a Seal

 

What is the purpose of a sign, or seal?

 

“Now, O king, issue a decree and put in writing so that it cannot be altered – in accordance with the laws of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.”

Daniel 6:8. 

 

Note – That is, affix the signature of royalty, that it may have the proper authority. Anciently kings used a signet ring, containing the name, initials, or monogram, for this purpose. Jezebel, the wife of Ahab, “wrote letters in Ahab’s name, and sealed them with his seal.” (1 Kings 21:8.) Of a Persian decree it is said that “in the name of King Ahasuerus was it written, and sealed with the king’s ring.”  (Ester 3:12.)   

 

What are the tree essentials of an official seal?

 

The seal of the lawgiver must show three things: (1) his name; (2) his official position, title, or authority, and so his right to rule; and (3) the extent of his dominion and jurisdiction.

 

God’s Seal

 

What was the prophet commanded to seal?

 

“Bind up the testimony and seal up the law among my disciples.” Isaiah 8:16. 

 

What commandment alone of the Decalogue reveals the name, authority, and dominion of the Author of this law?

 

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien that is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.”  Exodus 20:8-11. 

 

Note – In six days, (1) The Lord (name); (2) made (office, Creator); (3) heaven and earth (dominion); this commandment alone, therefore contains “the seal of the living God.” This commandment shows God’s authority to enact all the commandments, and shows all other gods to be false gods. The Sabbath commandment therefore contains the seal of God; and the Sabbath itself, which is enjoined by the commandment, is inseparably connected with this seal. It is to be kept in memory of God’s creation of all things, and it is itself called a “sign” of the knowledge of this great truth. (Exodus 31:17; Ezekiel 20:20.)

Why is the Sabbath a sign between God and His people?

 

“It will be a sign between me and the Israelites forever, for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day he abstained from work and rested.” Exodus 31:17.  

 

Note – The Sabbath is a sign, or mark, or seal, of the Creator.

 

In what two ways does God say the Sabbath is a sign?

 

“Keep my Sabbaths holy, that they may be a sign between us. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God.” Ezekiel 20:20. “Say to the Israelites, ‘You must observe my Sabbaths. This is a sign between me and you for the generations to come, so you may know that I am the Lord, who makes you holy.” Exodus 31:13.

 

Note – The Sabbath is the sign of God’s creative power, whether manifested in creation or redemption; for redemption is creation – recreation. It requires the same power to redeem that it does to create. “Create in me a clean heart.” Psalm 51:10. “We are …created in Christ Jesus unto good works.” Ephesians 2:10. God designed that each Sabbath shall call Him to mind as the One who created us and whose grace and sanctifying power are working in us to fit us for His eternal kingdom.

 

Special Sealing Work Predicted

 

What special sealing work is to take place just before the letting loose of the four winds of destruction upon the earth?

 

“Then I saw another angel coming up from the east, having the seal of the living God. He called out in a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm the land and the sea: Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we have put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.” Revelation 7:2,3. (See Ezekiel 9:1-6.)

 

What is said of the character of the sealed ones?

 

“No lie was found in their mouths; they are blameless.” Revelation 14:5.

 

How does the remnant church described by the revelator?

 

“Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring – those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.” Revelation 12:17.

 

God’s Special Warning

 

What threefold warning does the third angel give?

 

“A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: “if anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand, he too, will drink of the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. He will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb.”

Revelation 14: 9, 10.   

 

Note – The beast with two horns like the Lamb, but speaks like a dragon represents Lucifer in human form. The devil and his angels will be released from the Abyss (the spirit realm) at the fifth trumpet. (Revelation 9:1-11) These evil beings will be given physical bodies so the inhabitants of the Earth can see them, touch them, and freely talk with them. The image or the leopard-like beast with seven heads and ten horns represents Babylon. (Revelation 14:8; 18:2-4) Babylon will form during the first four trumpets and rule over the world as a church-state government.

 

By contrast with the worshipers of the beast, how are the worshipers of God described?

 

“This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God’s commandments and remain faithful to Jesus.” Verse 12.

 

Note – The keeping of the commandments especially the seventh day Sabbath by the worshipers of God and the violation of these commandments by the worshipers of the beast will constitute the distinction between the two classes of worshipers.

 

What power is to enforce a certain mark?

 

“He also [the beast with two horns or the devil] forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead.” Revelation 13:16. 

 

Note – The beast with two horns like the Lamb, but speaks like a dragon, represents Lucifer in human form.

 

The Mark of Apostasy

 

What is the Papacy’s mark, or sign, of authority?

 

“Question – How do you prove that the Church has power to command feasts and holydays?

“Answer – By the very act of changing the seventh day Sabbath into Sunday the first day of the week, which Protestants allow.

The true Sabbath being a sign of loyalty to the true God, it is but natural that the false Sabbath should be regarded as a sign of allegiance to the apostate church. Such we find to be the case.

 

What do Catholics say of Protestant Sunday keepers?

 

“The observance of Sunday by the Protestants is an homage they pay, in spite of themselves, to the authority of the [Catholic] church.” Monsignor Louis Segur, Plain truth About Protestantism of Today (1868), p. 213.

 

Note – A full realization of this fact will lead those who honestly, but ignorantly, have been observing Sunday as the Sabbath, to refuse to pay homage to apostasy, and to return to the observance of that which is the sign of loyalty to heaven - the only weekly day of rest which God, in His Word, has commanded men to keep holy, the seventh day. 

 

Persecution of Commandment Keepers

 

How will the dragon treat God’s remnant people?   

 

“Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring – those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.” Revelation 12:17.  

 

How far will the enforcement of this mark be urged?

 

“He was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that it could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his mane.” Revelation 13:15-17.  

 

Over what do the people of God finally gain the victory?

 

“And I saw what looked like a sea of glass mixed with fire and, standing beside the sea, those who had been victorious over the beast and his image and over the number of his name.” Revelation 15:2.

 

 

 


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