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The Christian Counter

   
Moses and the Mark of the Beast
Lesson 50
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God is about to send a series of devastating judgments on the Earth (the seven trumpets of Revelation) and during these judgments, through His 144,000 servants; He will announce His will to Earth’s inhabitants. Revelation predicts that most men and women will respond like Pharaoh: “I do not know the Lord and I will not obey….” When Moses saw the elders being beaten because they could not meet the quota of bricks, “Moses returned to the Lord and said, ‘O Lord, why have you brought trouble upon this people? Is this why you sent me? Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has brought trouble upon this people, and you have not rescued your people at all.’” (Exodus 5:22,23, italics mine) Moses had presented God’s demands before Pharaoh just as God required. Imagine how Moses must have felt when he saw the painful beatings. No wonder Moses cried unto the Lord, “You have not helped your people! You are killing them with the rod of Pharaoh!” If Moses had understood that this was exactly the situation the Lord wanted. “Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Now you will see what I do to Pharaoh: Because of my mighty hand he will let them go; because of my mighty hand he will drive them out of his country.’” (Exodus 6:1) God’s purposes and actions are always manifold. In a spiritual sense, this means that God “kills several birds with one stone.” His ways are always higher and grander than our earthy solutions. “As the heavens are higher than the Earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:9) God is Master Designer and Moses’ story has many lessons and parallels for you and me.

Summary Parallels

  1. The sovereignty of God is a truth and man’s awareness of this fact is ever evaporating. Lessons learned yesterday are forgotten tomorrow. Unless we are careful, we can minimize God’s power and like young Moses and Abraham, take matters into our own hands and dishonor Him. The problem with fallen humanity is that we are always trying to assume the prerogatives of God. To compensate for this sinister process, from time to time, God creates real-life dramas with real-life players to remind every person of His sovereignty. Remember King Nebuchadnezzar vainly thought he was Sovereign over Earth? After living like an animal for seven years, he finally conceded that God was Sovereign. Pharaoh, on the other hand, refused to concede that God was Sovereign, even after God horribly decimated Egypt with ten plagues! Pharaoh went to his death (in the middle of the Red Sea) because of his defiant stubbornness. Pharaoh’s experience proves that rebellion can be so complete within a person’s heart that he or she will never submit to God. The truth remains, however, that no sooner is the knowledge of God’s authority established on Earth that it begins to evaporate again. When God created the seventh day, He had His reasons for doing so. God imposed His Sabbath rest test on the Hebrews to show His Sovereign power to the Hebrews and the Egyptians. It is a mystery that so many people so not want to rest on God’s Sabbath. People offer a dozen reasons why we should not observe God’s Sabbath, but what are excuses to God? When God demanded that His Sabbaths be observed as a precondition for deliverance, the Hebrews initially complied. When Pharaoh learned that the Israelites threatened his sovereignty, he implemented pain and torture. The slaves were trapped between two great powers and the penalty for defying either was great!

During the Great Tribulation, God will present His Sabbath rest to the people of Earth with the force of law. God’s servants, the 144,000, will explain how God’s seventh day Sabbath is not a suggestion, nor an option – it is the fourth commandment of God’s law. Like Pharaoh, the world does not currently submit to god’s law or honor God’s day of rest. During the Great tribulation, a great conflict will erupt over the issue of worship. Bible prophecies reveal how this conflict will occur: God will initiate the Great Tribulation with a series of destructive judgments. Because these coming judgments will be overwhelming and catastrophic (killing more than 1.5 billion people in a short time), the survivors on Earth will suddenly wake up to the reality that there is a living God and He is angry with man’s behavior. To appease God so that His judgments will cease, the religious and political leaders of the world will unite and impose sinless laws upon mankind. Eventually, these laws will include laws mandating that God be worshiped, but these laws will directly oppose God’s law. This contest that God has ordained will cause the people of Earth (like the Hebrews of old) to be caught between two powerful forces. If people obey the laws of men, they will receive the seven bowls of God’s wrath. (Revelation 16) If people obey God’s law and honor His seventh day Sabbath, the governments of the world will persecute, imprison or execute them for rebellion. This is the coming contest, and the story of Moses offers an end time parallel for God’s people so that our faith in God is strengthened for this eventuality.

  1. Remember that God demanded the Hebrews to observe His Sabbath as a precondition for deliverance. God sent this demand through Moses because He wanted to (a) demonstrate man’s rebellion by confronting Pharaoh, the most powerful man on Earth at the time, (b) teach the Hebrews their first lesson in faith, the importance of trusting in God’s leading at any cost or suffering, and (c) use Israel and their deliverance as an object lesson for generations to come. Unfortunately, Pharaoh’s persecution destroyed the faith of most Hebrews. They lost confidence in Moses and in God. So, God sent them a message of hope: “Therefore [Moses], say to the Israelites: ‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the Lord your god, who brought you out from under the yoke pf the Egyptians. And I will bring you to the land I swore with uplifted hand to give to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. I will give it to you as a possession. I am the Lord.’ Moses reported this to the Israelites, but they did not listen to him because of their discouragement and cruel bondage.” (Exodus 6:6-9, italics mine) Did you notice the last sentence? The Hebrews murmured against Almighty God, gave Moses a good cussing and refused to go along with God’s plans. If the Hebrews could have known all that we know now, they would have rejoiced at God’s words! However, no murmuring, faithlessness, discouragement, and bitterness can shut out God’s promises and purposes. This is an end time parallel here. God placed the Hebrews in a tough situation to test their faith and He showed them they had no faith. Unfortunately, they did not catch the vision and they gave up! Most of the Hebrews went back to work on Sabbath because they lacked faith in God. Do not forget, these same people died in the wilderness because they never overcame their lack of faith. The end time parallel here is so powerful. Believers in Christ are now the Hebrews. We are the children of God! During the Great Tribulation, God will once again set His Sabbath rest up in direct opposition to man’s laws. Everyone who wants to be delivered from the bondage of sin must submit to god as a precondition to being set free! This will cause our faith to be severely tested. Salvation comes through faith and god will test our faith to see where each of us will stand! When people deliberately and intentionally choose to suffer because of their faith in god, He makes their faith pure, like gold. This refining process produces the type of people who will inherit the Earth made new! God says, “This third [the remnant] I will bring into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are my people,’ and they will say, ‘ This Lord is our God.’” (Zechariah 13:9, insertion mine)
  1. This study of Moses and the Exodus gives us one final unexpected parallel. For thousands of years, slaves have been marked with tattoos or hot-iron brands. (For a picture of a hot iron used for branding slaves during the era of African slave trading, see National Geographic, September 1992, page 72) A person cannot remove or lose a brand or tattoo. It is not transferable. Evan as late as World War II, Hitter tattooed millions of prisoners in his concentration camps. The reason for marking slaves is simple. The owner/slave relationship is permanent. Children born of slaves are also slaves. Normally, a slave is never freed because ownership never ends. This is the ugly power of slavery (sin). I believe that Pharaoh adult slaves were marked with tattoos or brands. This mark prevented any possibility of escape from Egypt, for no one would dare purchase property belonging to the Egyptian Pharaoh. Did God forbid the Hebrews from wearing tattoos because they were no longer slaves? He said, “Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the Lord.” (Leviticus 19:28) Perhaps the reason behind this command is that Gods’ people are never slaves, because they are always free to exercise the power of choice. God did not want His people to deface their bodies with markings associated with slavery. The Lord said, “…I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. (Exodus 6:6,7

When Pharaoh’s firstborn was killed during the Passover night, he finally came to the point of temporary submission. He allowed Moses and the children Of Israel to leave Egypt at sunrise. To commemorate this marvelous deliverance, god instituted an annual memorial of this event. He told the Israelites, “This observance [the observance of Passover] will be for you like a sign on your hand and a reminder on your forehead that the law of the Lord is to be on your lips. For the Lord brought you out of Egypt with his mighty hand.” (Exodus 13:9, insertion mine) Another interesting parallel is that observing Passover (the day their freedom began) was like a sign on the hand or forehead. This statement may reflect the fact that Pharaoh’s slaves wore a sign (a tattoo or branding) on their hand or their foreheads indicating their status. I believe a Hebrew foreman probably wore the mark on his forehead, while the rank and file slave wore their status on their hands. The parallel is that the mark of the beast will be a tattoo or a branding that will be worn on the right hand or on the forehead! “He [the Antichrist, the lamblike beast] 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 [Antichrist, the lamb-like] beast or the number of his name.” (Revelation 13:16,17, insertions mine)

When the devil radiantly appears on Earth (fifth trumpet), he will masquerade as God. He will establish a new world order and install himself as king of kings and lord of lords. Only those people who unite with his government can conduct commerce, survival buying and selling. (Revelation 13:17) Anyone who refuses to unite with the devil’s one-world government will be killed. The permit to conduct business will be a physical mark on the hand or forehead. The mark will be a tattoo or hot-iron brand. This mark will not be transferable, so it cannot be stolen or lost. This “proof of membership” in the new world order requires no electricity or computers. This form of identification will work in any village on this planet. Satan’s foreman will wear the name that the Antichrist will assume on their foreheads, and the rank and file members will wear the evil number, 666, on their right hand. To survive, people will submit to the devil’s demands rather than submit to the authority of God!

When Jesus comes in clouds of glory, two groups of people will be on Earth: People who chose to receive the mark of the beast and people who are free of Satan’s bondage. When Israel finally entered the Promised Land after 40 years of wandering in the wilderness, the new generation did not bear the marks of slavery on their bodies. They were totally free! On the other hand, the same adults whom God miraculously delivered from Egypt died in the wilderness. Even though they were freed of Pharaoh’s slavery by God’s mighty power, they never did escape the bondage of their carnal rebellion against God. This is a profound lesson from Moses’ story: Our escape from the bondage of sin is only possible through a patient faith that produces total submission to God’s demands.

Quiz:

1.      After reading this study on Moses and the Mark of the Beast, what do you think about slavery?

2.      What is a patient faith in God?

3.      What is the difference between a leader and a servant leader?

4.      What does it mean, “timing is everything with God?”

5.       Do you now understand what it means to be in complete submission to God?

6.      What does it mean that the wicked at the end time will have the mind set of the Sodomites of old and Egypt?

7.       What mark are you going to permit to be put on your body at the end time?

Notes:


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