Three Cosmic Messages: Earth's Final Conflict

The Seal of God and Mark of the Beast Part 1

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript



Series Code: TCM

Program Code: TCM200011S

00:40 Welcome back. I'm glad you've joined us for this series
00:43 called Three Cosmic Messages.
00:45 We've been unfolding the prophetic messages
00:47 of the book of Revelation...
00:49 especially the messages of Revelation chapter 14 verses 6 to 12
00:54 that discuss God's last message for humanity.
00:58 In that first angel's message
01:01 we have a call to come to Christ.
01:03 A call to the everlasting gospel:
01:05 the gospel of His grace & power.
01:08 The gospel which provides for us forgiveness.
01:10 The gospel which provides for us pardon and mercy
01:13 and changes our lives.
01:15 The angel says: "Fear God... " That's obey God,
01:18 reverence God, respect God.
01:20 Obey Him in service.
01:23 Keep His commandments.
01:24 And then it says: "Give glory to Him"
01:26 in our lifestyles... in whatever we think and whatever we do.
01:30 We do that in light of the judgment hour.
01:33 The verse says in Revelation 14:7
01:36 "Saying with a loud voice: 'Fear God;
01:38 give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come. ' "
01:42 This is an urgent, end-time message for all humanity
01:47 to prepare for the coming of Jesus.
01:49 Then there is a call to worship the Creator.
01:52 In the great controversy between good and evil
01:55 the great issue is over worship.
01:58 The second angel's message calls us to flee
02:02 from what the Bible calls spiritual Babylon.
02:05 Babylon in the Bible is a term used to describe
02:09 in the book of Revelation spiritual apostasy,
02:13 error, falsehood, and deception.
02:15 As a result of the rejection of the first angel's message
02:19 the world has drunk of the wine cup of Babylon
02:22 and has entered into falsehoods and deception.
02:27 God calls us to truth.
02:29 The third angel's message is a warning against the beast
02:33 and the mark of the beast.
02:34 You may have wondered about that.
02:36 We're going to explore it in this session
02:38 and in the next one. Let's pray.
02:40 Father in heaven, thank you so much for Jesus!
02:43 Thank you for His grace and His mercy.
02:46 Thank you for these messages of warning that are messages
02:49 of encouragement. Give us hope and encouragement
02:52 as we study and open our eyes
02:54 so we can see marvelous things from Your Word.
02:56 In Christ's name, Amen.
02:59 My topic in this presentation is:
03:03 We divided this into two parts
03:06 because it's such a vitally important topic.
03:09 Some time ago I was reading the healthcare section
03:12 in the NBC news, and this title captured my attention:
03:17 FDA approves computer chip for humans.
03:21 I was then interested in the first sentence:
03:24 Medical milestone or privacy invasion?
03:29 What was that all about?
03:31 The question was: is this computer chip
03:35 that's planted in one's wrist to get medical information
03:40 is that really an invasion of privacy?
03:43 There are some people who believe in certain conspiracies
03:47 who believe that that chip planted beneath the skin
03:50 is going to detect information for the government
03:53 and that has to do with the mark of the beast.
04:04 That radiofrequency is picked up by a scanner.
04:16 It only can deal with a small amount of information today
04:19 but there are companies that are working on enlarging
04:23 that amount of information
04:25 so if you have that biochip implanted your medical info
04:30 and really everything about you
04:32 can be stored in an amazingly small amount of space
04:37 in a computer database.
04:39 Does this have something to do with the mark of the beast?
04:43 Does this have something to do eventually
04:46 with the rise of the antichrist and enforced worship?
04:50 It's fascinating when you take a look at all the different
04:53 ideas about the mark of the beast.
04:56 Some have the idea that this is information
05:00 stored beyond our medical records in a computer.
05:03 But there are other people who believe that this idea
05:05 of the mark of the beast has to do with black police helicopters
05:10 from the U.N. landing in America.
05:12 Some people believe it has to do with barcodes
05:16 on cans that are scanned at the grocery store.
05:19 Other people believe it has to do with strange numbers
05:24 on the dollar bill. You know one of the funniest ones
05:28 is for many years I was the speaker of It Is Written
05:32 television, and one day a lady wrote to me.
05:35 And she said: "Pastor Mark!
05:38 I'm sending you a new tie. " Now I'm always thankful
05:42 for a new tie. But then she said: "The reason I am
05:45 is I looked at the pattern on your old tie
05:47 and it had 666 on the pattern
05:50 and I didn't want you to be wearing the mark of the beast. "
05:53 Well let me assure you that the issue of the mark of the beast
05:57 is not a pattern on my tie, your tie, or a pattern on some
06:02 ladies' dress. It is much more beyond that.
06:07 It's more than mystic ideologies.
06:11 It's more than weird beasts.
06:13 What is the central issue in this whole subject
06:18 of the mark of the beast?
06:19 Because once you understand the foundation,
06:21 once you understand the basic essence of what it is,
06:25 everything else will fall in place.
06:32 Let's go back to the book of Revelation
06:35 and these three messages - three cosmic messages -
06:38 that lead us to a deeper commitment to Christ
06:42 and an understanding of divine truth
06:45 in earth's final conflict.
06:47 You'll recall that the first angel flies in mid heaven.
06:51 He does not float... he flies.
06:54 It's an urgent, swift message
06:56 carried to the ends of the earth.
07:09 The very essence of the first angel's message
07:14 is a call to worship the Creator.
07:18 And in that very expression where it says: "Worship the One
07:22 who made heaven, earth, the sea and the springs of waters"
07:25 that phrase is a quote from the fourth commandment:
07:30 "Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy. "
07:32 Why? "For in six days the Lord created heaven and earth
07:36 and the sea and all that in them is. "
07:37 So John quotes the fourth commandment -
07:40 the Sabbath commandment - that is an appeal to worship
07:43 the Creator. So this first angel's message,
07:46 this message of eternal destiny
07:50 about worshiping the Creator, has something to do with
07:53 the seventh-day Sabbath.
07:54 Now when you look, though, at verse 8 it says:
08:01 Babylon: false religion.
08:08 In the Bible wine represents doctrine.
08:12 Fermented wine represents false doctrine.
08:16 So Babylon - a fallen religious system -
08:20 passes around the wine cup of her false doctrine.
08:24 People are inebriated with that
08:27 and they fail to understand or comprehend
08:30 the first angel's message...
08:31 the message of the gospel of Christ,
08:34 the message of dependence on Christ,
08:36 the message of obedience to Christ,
08:38 the message of the second coming of Christ,
08:40 the message about worshiping the Creator
08:42 and the Bible Sabbath. A third angel flies and it says
08:47 in Revelation 14 verse 9:
08:51 Now you remember in verse 7 it said: "If anybody worships
08:54 the Creator... "
09:01 So here you have another class in contradistinction
09:07 to those that worship the beast.
09:09 Here you have another class who obediently worship the Creator.
09:14 How are they described?
09:27 So the message of the three angels
09:31 comes to a focal point... it comes to a climax
09:35 with a body of believers who do not worship the beast
09:40 but who worship the Creator.
09:42 And this body of believers who worship the Creator God
09:46 observe His commandments including the symbol of creation
09:51 which is the Sabbath commandment.
09:53 Notice the contrast:
10:07 So here we have outlined the basic issues
10:10 in the great controversy between good and evil.
10:12 The basic issues in this cosmic conflict,
10:15 this intergalactic struggle, this star-wars drama.
10:20 A rebel angel rebelled against God in heaven.
10:25 He challenged God's authority... disobeyed God's law.
10:29 He came to Eden; tempted Adam and Eve
10:32 by saying: "You don't have to obey. "
10:34 And down through the ages this rebel angel,
10:38 this being of dazzling brightness,
10:41 has deceived men and women into thinking obedience
10:45 was unnecessary. This is a cosmic struggle
10:49 over worship, and God will have an end-time people
10:53 who are loyal to Him in the face of the greatest opposition
10:57 and the fiercest persecution in the history of the world.
11:00 This is what the mark of the beast issue is all about.
11:03 It's about where is our allegiance.
11:06 It's about where is our loyalty.
11:08 The mark of the beast issue is about the authority
11:12 of Christ and worshiping the Creator.
11:15 And the sign of His creative authority is the commandment
11:19 that says: "Remember the Sabbath Day"
11:22 in spite of a decree that says according to Revelation 13
11:27 that "no man can buy or sell. "
11:28 In spite of persecution, in spite of oppression
11:32 God will have a group of people
11:34 that through His power will be obedient.
11:37 And the scripture says: "Here are they that keep the
11:39 commandments of God and... " What?
11:42 "they have the faith of Jesus. "
11:43 They worship the Creator and they do not worship the beast.
11:47 And really when you actually look at the book of Revelation
11:51 there are only one of two choices at end time.
11:54 There is no middle ground; there is no neutrality.
11:58 Revelation calls us to a choice.
12:00 Revelation calls us to a decision.
12:03 Revelation calls us to get off the fence of mediocrity
12:07 and neutrality. It is either "I worship the Creator"
12:10 or "I worship the beast. " God is doing everything He can
12:14 to lead men and women from the falsehood to truth.
12:19 From the worship of human idolatries
12:24 and human ideologies to His Word.
12:27 God is doing everything He can
12:29 sending His Holy Spirit to your heart.
12:32 Leading you to deeply sense the truths of His Word.
12:38 God is doing everything He can
12:40 to lead us back to the truths of Scripture.
12:43 He has sent His Holy Spirit.
12:46 He brings conviction to our hearts.
12:49 He reveals truth to our minds.
12:51 He illuminates the darkness with the light of His Word.
12:56 In fact, Psalm 119:105 says:
12:58 "Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet
13:01 and a light unto my path. "
13:02 The light of truth is shining upon you
13:05 as you've watched these presentations. It's no accident.
13:09 God in the divine drama of destiny has brought you
13:13 to this place to understand His Word,
13:15 to have a deeper appreciation for Christ,
13:18 to have a deeper appreciation for the cross,
13:21 to understand what it means to be saved by grace:
13:25 to be delivered from the grip of sin as well as the penalty
13:31 for a broken law. God's Word speaks to us.
13:35 His grace-filled Word - His Word of love
13:39 and gentleness - appeals to us
13:41 to make a decision to step out from the majority.
13:45 Because if we conform to the majority today
13:48 because it's easy to do that one day we will accept
13:52 the mark of the beast because we want to be able to buy
13:56 and we want to be able to sell
13:58 and we don't want the persecution and the oppression.
14:01 Now notice what the Bible says.
14:03 It says they "keep the commandments of God
14:05 and they have the faith of Jesus. "
14:08 What is the faith of Jesus?
14:18 It is not OUR faith that carries us through the crisis ahead.
14:22 It is Jesus' faith. It is not OUR strength
14:25 that carries us through the crisis ahead.
14:27 It is the faith of Jesus that takes us through
14:31 these dark periods ahead.
14:33 In this cosmic struggle between good and evil
14:37 it is Christ living in us, Christ sustaining us,
14:41 Christ strengthening us, Christ empowering us.
14:44 It is this trust in Jesus that takes us through
14:48 so that one day we stand on the sea of glass
14:51 and we don't say: "I am worthy because I made it through
14:55 the great crisis! " We sing:
15:05 We live in His honor; we live in His glory.
15:09 We live in His power
15:10 and we live FOR the One that created heaven and earth
15:14 and the sea and the fountains of waters.
15:24 So when we worship on Sabbath
15:27 in harmony with the Creator's power
15:30 it is an acknowledgement of the Creator.
15:32 We are actually worshiping Jesus Christ, who, according to
15:36 Ephesians 3:9 was the active agent in creation.
15:40 So the call to worship the Creator
15:43 is a call to worship Jesus.
15:45 And the call to remember the Sabbath is a call to remember
15:48 Jesus as the Creator in opposition to the beast power.
15:59 It's at the very heart of a titanic struggle.
16:02 It's at the very heart of the great controversy
16:04 between good and evil.
16:07 The Sabbath is an oasis in the desert of this world.
16:11 In a world that has largely ac- cepted evolutionary hypothesis.
16:17 In a world that believes that we evolved from lower
16:20 forms of live... from some primeval slime...
16:24 that we came together by accident.
16:27 in THIS WORLD the Sabbath becomes an oasis.
16:30 We rest in His love and His power and His care.
16:34 We come to the Creator who has formed us and shaped us.
16:38 We sense that we're not some speck of cosmic dust.
16:41 We sense that we are not alone in the universe.
16:45 We sense that we're not a random collection of atoms but
16:49 He created us; He fashioned us; He cares for us; He loves us!
16:53 THIS is the essence of the great controversy
16:56 between good and evil.
17:00 We are created by God! We are sons and daughters
17:04 of God. We are connected by a common creation
17:08 to one another, and by that creation
17:11 we are united to our heavenly Father.
17:14 We are twice Christ's: we are His by creation
17:17 and we are His by redemption.
17:19 He created us and He redeemed us.
17:27 Therefore Satan challenges it
17:29 because Satan knows if he can do away with the Sabbath
17:32 he can do away with the authority of Christ as Creator
17:36 and there is no basis for worship at all.
17:38 Because if we evolved and we are products of chance
17:41 why worship God at all?
17:44 So the Sabbath becomes that central figure
17:48 in this battle between good and evil,
17:51 between Christ and Satan.
17:52 It's the issue in the conflict over the mark of the beast.
17:57 These committed followers of Jesus... Remember? Here are they
18:01 that do what? "Keep the commandments of God. "
18:04 Here are they that have "the faith of Jesus. "
18:06 These committed followers of Jesus who not only have
18:09 faith IN Jesus but they have the faith what? OF Jesus.
18:15 Now what is the faith of Jesus?
18:17 When Jesus is hanging on the cross with a crown of thorns
18:20 upon His head with blood running down His face
18:23 with nails in His hands
18:26 and Peter has denied Him and Judas has betrayed Him
18:31 and His own people have turned their backs and forsaken Him
18:35 and the disciples have forsaken Him and fled
18:38 darkness enshrouds that cross. The thunder crashes,
18:42 the lightning flashes, and Jesus hangs there alone.
18:46 But He reaches out and says: "Father,
18:49 into Thy hands I commend My spirit. "
18:51 What is the faith of Jesus?
18:57 And in the days ahead when every earthly support
19:01 is cut off... in the days ahead
19:04 when there is oppression and persecution,
19:07 when we cannot buy or sell based on Rev. 13's prophecy,
19:12 in the days ahead we, too, trust. We hang on
19:16 in the darkness, we hang on in the persecution.
19:19 We hang on in imprisonment; we hang on in the face of death
19:23 because we believe that one day Jesus will come and deliver us.
19:28 What is the faith of Jesus?
19:30 It is the quality of Christ's faith living in us
19:33 in which we trust Him and do not betray Him in that time.
20:18 So what is the faith of Jesus?
20:21 It is that rest; it is that trust;
20:24 it is that confidence; it is that security in the Father.
20:28 Christ by faith trusted the Father.
20:33 He gives us that faith to take us through
20:37 the trying times ahead.
20:50 How will we be victors when ev- ery earthly support is cut off?
20:53 How will we survive?
20:55 Just as by faith Christ was victor
20:58 we hang on by faith.
21:01 When our eyes cannot see our hearts still can believe.
21:04 When all around us there is darkness
21:07 by faith we can pierce that darkness
21:10 and know that although we cannot see Him
21:13 He can see us!
21:14 And He's still there to strengthen, to guide,
21:17 and to encourage us.
21:32 ... that will get us through the final crisis.
21:36 And that, my friend, is incredibly good news!
21:48 ... because it says to us that God WILL have a group of people
21:53 who have the quality of faith - that gift by God to them -
21:58 that enables them to hang on in the crisis
22:00 and obediently they keep His commandments.
22:23 Christ is living within them
22:25 and they speak of His love and His goodness and His grace
22:28 and His mercy.
22:47 This prophecy tells us that Satan will do everything
22:52 possible to destroy and wipe out every vestige of goodness
22:58 on earth. But thank God he did not destroy Christ
23:03 on the cross, and on the cross Christ came forth victor.
23:08 Jesus hung on by faith,
23:11 and God's people in the name of Jesus,
23:14 because of Jesus, through Jesus,
23:17 by Jesus' grace; in Jesus' power
23:21 will, too, hang on by faith and be victorious & triumphant.
23:26 Now the devil has two major strategies:
23:29 deception and force.
23:31 In the Garden of Eden he came to Eve as a great deceiver.
23:36 Down through the centuries he's used deception and force.
23:40 The devil is a liar and the father of lies
23:44 and the devil is a murderer. In fact, in the book of John
23:48 the 8th chapter the 44th verse I read these words:
23:54 Jesus says: "You are of your father, the devil,
23:57 and the desires of your father you want to do.
23:59 He was a murderer from the beginning
24:02 and does not stand in the truth.
24:04 He is a liar and the father of lies. "
24:07 Now look, friend... this is the devil's strategy:
24:10 the devil will either try to deceive you
24:13 with his lies or, if he cannot deceive you,
24:18 he'll force, coerce, and pressure you
24:21 to yield to his commands.
24:23 He's done it down through the ages
24:25 and he will do it at end time...
24:28 only at end time it's going to intensify.
24:30 He's going to use human agents as he has down through the ages.
24:35 You remember in the book of Genesis
24:39 God told Cain and Abel each to offer an offering.
24:44 Abel obeyed God; Cain disobeyed.
24:48 And Cain viciously, angrily killed his brother.
24:53 Again, a human agent that Satan used.
24:57 He deceived him, and then this human agent used force
25:01 in the context of that deception.
25:03 Down through the ages this has always been true.
25:06 In fact, Jesus said in John 16 verse 2:
25:09 "the time is coming... "
25:10 Jesus predicted that there would be periods of time
25:14 of great persecution for the people of God.
25:21 Jesus said that to the disciples.
25:24 They experienced persecution. Most of those disciples
25:27 died a martyr's death.
25:30 Jesus predicted that that would happen.
25:33 Down through this period called the Dark Ages
25:35 church and state united.
25:38 And any time you have a union of church and state
25:41 there is the possibility - strong possibility -
25:45 of religious intolerance, bigo- try and oppression that follows.
25:50 A good example of that is what happened during the Dark Ages...
25:53 this 1,260-year period that we studied
25:57 when church and state united
25:59 and those that did not go along with the church powers
26:03 were persecuted.
26:04 Here there was a group called the Waldenses.
26:07 They were Bible-believing Christians.
26:10 They lived in northern Italy and southern France.
26:13 And as they fled back into those mountains
26:16 they were oppressed and persecuted for their loyalty
26:20 to God's Word.
26:26 Now what's a colporteur?
26:27 It's one who takes literature and gives it away or sells it.
26:30 "to spread the gospel news
26:32 that salvation is a gift of God's love. "
26:35 So these Waldenses - these Bible-believing Christians -
26:38 lived far back in the mountains of northern Italy
26:41 and southern France.
26:43 They shared the Word of God.
26:46 When they were hunted and tracked down
26:49 they were often persecuted.
27:00 And the soldiers actually set fire in front of the cave,
27:05 smoked them out, and 3,000 died.
27:08 I have actually climbed into this very cave
27:11 and we have sung there a great hymn: A Mighty Fortress
27:16 Is Our God: A Bulwark Never Failing.
27:18 And we recounted the story of these faithful men, women,
27:23 and children who indeed died for their faith.
27:26 They copied Scripture in those mountain retreats
27:30 and sent their young people with the Scripture hidden
27:33 in their long robes down into Europe
27:36 and a mighty revival took place.
28:02 What did Jesus say?
28:04 He said: "They will kill you and think... " John 16:2...
28:08 "that they are doing God a service. "
28:11 Down through the ages Satan has used
28:15 various entities and human beings
28:18 to persecute the people of God.
28:20 But the light of truth has shown brightly.
28:24 Sometimes flickered... almost dimmed...
28:26 but it shone brightly. And God has always had a people
28:29 that have been loyal and faithful to Him.
28:31 And He will have that people at end time.
28:42 It is the final link in this chain of oppression.
28:51 ... that unless men and women believe and accept the beast
28:57 power's teachings that they will not be able to buy or sell.
29:01 There'll be an economic boycott if they do not have the mark.
29:48 Did you notice the significance of that statement?
29:51 Those who have step by step yielded to worldly demands
29:57 and customs. We do not walk from godliness to worldliness
30:01 in one swoop generally... it is step by step.
30:05 What is the devil tempting you with to lead you
30:10 step by step... slowly, imperceptibly... from Christ?
30:16 What is God leading you to surrender to Him
30:21 and say: "Lord, I don't want anything between my soul
30:24 and my Savior. " "Lord, if this displeases You,
30:26 it may seem so small but it may be the noose around my neck
30:30 that strangles out my spirituality. "
30:32 "Lord, I don't want to step by step yield to worldly customs
30:36 and demands. "
30:38 God will have a group of people
30:40 who respond to His message
30:43 of the last days of earth's history.
30:45 A message that we're living in the judgment hour.
30:47 A message to prepare for His coming.
30:50 A message of deep spirituality that transforms the life.
30:59 We need not fear what is coming
31:01 because we can be secure in Christ.
31:04 But the three angel's messages are messages of love.
31:08 These three cosmic messages come from the heart of God
31:13 who wants us saved in His king- dom to live with Him forever.
31:17 We can be one of that group in Revelation 14 verse 12
31:21 that we read about:
31:45 ... and not accept the author- ity, oppression, deception,
31:49 lies, of the beast power.
31:52 They will one day stand on the sea of glass
31:55 and sing in Revelation 15:3:
32:02 They will sense one day that it has been worth it all.
32:07 They've been through a period of darkness;
32:08 they've been through a period of oppression.
32:10 They've been through a period where nobody could buy or sell.
32:13 They faced a death decree.
32:15 But because of their trust in Jesus,
32:18 because of Jesus' faith living in their hearts,
32:21 because they've been charmed by His love
32:24 and His love has motivated their obedience
32:27 it will be written of them: "Here are they that keep
32:30 the commandments of God. " And one day they will sing:
32:36 In spite of persecution,
32:39 in spite of oppression,
32:40 in spite of economic boycott,
32:42 in spite of decrees
32:44 we, through Your grace, have stood! "Great and marvelous
32:49 are Your ways, O God,
32:51 because through Your grace and by Your power we are victors. "
32:55 Now you might ask the question
32:57 and we introduce it in this presentation
33:00 to develop it further in the next:
33:05 Let's go directly and take a look at it.
33:13 We have seen that the issue in the mark of the beast
33:15 is an issue over worship:
33:17 worshiping the Creator or worshiping the beast.
33:19 We've seen that that finds it's focal point
33:22 in a group of people who have the faith of Jesus
33:24 and keep the commandments of God.
33:26 But what is this beast power?
33:28 The Bible would not simply mention the beast without
33:31 identifying the beast.
33:33 So we go to Revelation 13 verses 1 and 2.
33:36 Revelation 14 in the third angel's message
33:39 describes the beast and its mark but it doesn't identify it.
33:44 Because that identification is found in the chapter before:
33:47 Revelation 13.
34:12 Now we pause there.
34:14 In the book of Daniel chapter 7 you have four beasts:
34:18 a lion, a bear, a leopard, and a dragon.
34:21 This is a composite beast
34:24 that follows those four great empires:
34:26 Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome.
34:29 Now notice the Bible says
34:30 that: "On his head he has ten horns. "
34:35 Well these horns, of course, represent the divisions
34:37 of the Roman Empire.
34:39 But the next identifying phrase is the key:
34:48 So whoever the beast is that follows Babylon,
34:51 that follows Medo-Persia,
34:53 that follows Greece, that follows Rome,
34:55 that follows the break-up of the Roman Empire...
34:57 whoever he is he gets his authority from the dragon.
35:02 Now, who is that dragon
35:05 that would give him his authority?
35:07 Well, Revelation 12:9 tells you.
35:22 Now notice: the devil is the great dragon
35:25 because he destroys and he is the serpent because
35:28 he deceives. But notice: it identifies
35:31 who this great dragon is
35:34 that gives the authority to that beast power.
35:37 What does it call him?
35:39 He's called the devil and Satan.
35:41 But the devil always works through an earthly power.
35:46 The devil does not work in a vacuum.
35:49 He works through an earthly power.
35:59 Do we learn anything in Revelation chapter 12
36:04 about who the dragon really was working through?
36:09 We do! In Revelation chapter 12
36:12 the Bible says the dragon tried "to destroy the Man Child. "
36:15 Satan worked through pagan Rome to destroy Christ
36:19 when He was born. Herod passed a decree
36:21 that male children under 2 would be killed.
36:25 Satan stalked Jesus all of His life.
36:28 Roman soldiers nailed Jesus to the cross.
36:31 Roman soldiers guarded His tomb.
36:34 So in Revelation chapter 12 the dragon
36:37 primarily represents Satan
36:40 but it represents Satan working through pagan Rome.
36:43 So whoever the beast power is of Revelation 13
36:48 the dragon, pagan Rome who Satan works through,
36:52 gives to that beast power the seat of its authority.
36:57 Who did pagan Rome give the seat of its authority to
37:01 when the pagan Roman Empire was falling apart?
37:04 Remember what it says in Revelation 13 verse 2:
37:15 When the Roman Empire was falling apart
37:17 Constantine recognized that he had to move his capitol.
37:21 And so he decided to move it
37:24 to what we now call Istanbul
37:27 but it was named after Constantine. In those years
37:31 in Turkey called Constantinople.
37:33 But there's a problem.
37:35 When you move your capitol
37:38 to leave a vacancy in Rome
37:41 would have been fatal to the Empire.
37:43 So who usurped? Who took over?
37:48 Who received the throne of Constantine,
37:52 the seat of the pagan Roman government?
38:07 Professor Labianca of the University of Rome
38:11 who spent a lifetime studying the history of Rome said this:
38:36 Absolutely amazing statement!
38:39 Historically you've got Babylon.
38:41 Then you've got Medo-Persia; then you've got Greece;
38:45 then Rome; then the break-up of the Roman Empire.
38:47 Constantine shifts his empire to Constantinople.
38:51 Vacancy... and upon that vacant throne
38:55 the popes arise. So the beast power then
38:58 is not an individual. It is a power that rises
39:02 out of Rome in the papal power.
39:04 Now Arthur P. Stanley, a famous lecturer on
39:08 the history of the eastern church wrote in 1884, p. 197
39:12 of his book:
39:20 There are numerous identifying characteristics
39:24 of the beast power there in Revelation 13.
39:29 We're going to introduce a couple of those today
39:31 and then further on that in our next presentation.
39:35 The first identifying mark is this:
39:46 It grows out of Rome, and the seat of its government
39:50 has been given by pagan Rome.
39:52 That clue - that first identifying mark -
39:55 is clearly outlined both in the Bible and in history.
40:00 But then we go on. Revelation 13 verse 3 and 5:
40:25 Remember the conflict between good and evil?
40:28 You remember Revelation 14:7 "worship the Creator? "
40:31 Revelation 14:9.. "Do not worship the beast. "
40:34 Revelation 14:12: "Here are they that keep the commandments
40:38 of God. " And worshiping the beast has to do
40:41 with the counter sign to worshiping the Creator:
40:45 the counter sign... the counterfeit Sabbath...
40:47 rather than the true seventh-day Sabbath.
40:50 So the issue is worship.
40:52 So what then is Revelation 13 describing?
40:56 It's describing a power that would rise out of Rome
40:59 and that would become a "Catholic" or a universal
41:04 system of worship.
41:05 Now let me assure you: we're not here to condemn
41:09 any system. I personally was brought up in a lovely
41:14 Roman Catholic home.
41:15 Worshiped on the altar with priests for many many years.
41:18 Never knew anything about these three cosmic messages.
41:23 But as I began to understand Bible prophecy,
41:26 began to understand the overwhelming truth
41:30 of Scripture, began to understand
41:33 the messages of these 3 angels
41:36 and God's appeal, His last-day appeal to worship the Creator
41:40 and not worship the beast,
41:41 I sensed the call of God to my heart.
41:44 You may be sensing the call of God to your heart.
41:47 We're living on the knife edge of eternity.
41:51 Living in what the Bible calls "the judgment hour. "
41:54 And Jesus is making an appeal to you to follow the Creator.
41:59 This system would be a worldwide system of worship.
42:03 But the Bible goes on: a third identifying characteristic.
42:11 We'll study the 42 months next time.
42:13 But I want to take a look at what this means:
42:15 "A mouth speaking great things and blasphemies. "
42:28 It becomes a power
42:31 that leads us back really when you think about this
42:35 back to the rebellion in heaven.
42:38 When Lucifer rebelled in heaven
42:40 what did Lucifer rebel over in heaven?
42:44 The authority of God.
42:45 What did Lucifer rebel over in heaven?
42:48 The commands of God.
42:50 A created being did not want to worship the Creator.
42:54 And so again you have that conflict over worship
42:57 exactly like will happen in the last days of earth's history.
43:08 But with Jesus there is no force.
43:13 With Jesus there is no coercion.
43:17 Let me make it plain to you.
43:19 The Bible describes three angels flying in mid heaven.
43:24 They are God's last-day message for humanity.
43:28 The first angel flies in mid heaven.
43:31 It says: "I saw another angel flying in mid heaven with
43:34 the everlasting gospel. " This angel who flies
43:38 leads us from all human folly,
43:42 from all human works,
43:45 leads us to come to Jesus.
43:48 To accept Him by grace; to allow Him to change our lives.
43:54 This first angel leads us
43:57 to reverence or respect God.
44:00 To obey Him. To desire to do whatever He wants us to do.
44:05 This first angel leads us to give glory to God
44:10 in our lives. This first angel leads us to sense we're living
44:14 in the judgment hour. This first angel
44:17 points us to the second coming of Christ.
44:20 The second coming of Christ is mentioned throughout Scripture.
44:24 In fact, the Bible talks about the second coming of Christ
44:27 at least 1,500 times.
44:29 In the Old Testament, for every prophecy on the first coming
44:34 of Christ there are eight on the second coming of Christ.
44:37 Throughout the New Testament every single author
44:39 talks about the second coming of Christ.
44:43 The book of Revelation comes to a climax
44:46 leading us to be ready for that day when Jesus comes.
44:50 The whole purpose of the first angel's message
44:53 is to get an end-time people ready for His appearing.
44:58 The first angel's message calls us back to true, genuine
45:03 worship of the Creator.
45:05 The second angel's message: "Babylon is fallen! Is fallen! "
45:09 leads us from the falsehoods of this world.
45:13 And this message we're talking about now
45:15 on the mark of the beast discusses the very heart
45:20 of the controversy between good and evil.
45:22 The beast uses force; the beast uses coercion.
45:27 The beast uses falsehoods; the beast uses lies.
45:32 Our God is a God of freedom.
45:35 He is a God that appeals to us through His Word.
45:39 He is a God that appeals to the highest consciousness
45:43 of the brain. He is a God that reveals truth.
45:46 And truth speaks to our hearts.
45:50 Truth transforms our lives.
45:53 Truth changes us and makes us over again.
45:56 Jesus said in John 14 "I am the Way,
46:00 the Truth, and the Life. "
46:01 Jesus is the way of salvation.
46:03 Jesus' truth illuminates the darkness.
46:07 And Jesus is the Life. He is the One who is an example
46:12 for us. The whole issue with the mark of the beast
46:14 is not to follow man, not to follow his traditions.
46:18 Not to follow his authority; not to follow his opinion.
46:22 It is to follow Jesus and be committed to Jesus and His Word.
46:31 God's people in the last days of earth's history
46:34 are motivated not because they cannot buy or sell.
46:38 They're not motivated by the material things of this world.
46:42 If the materialism of this world attracts you,
46:46 if the things of this world strangle out
46:50 your love for Christ today,
46:51 if the things of this world enamor you,
46:54 if the things of this world charm you,
46:57 if the things of this world have captured your love,
47:00 then it will be easy then to receive the mark of the beast.
47:05 If you feel pressured by friends to do something
47:09 that you know is not in harmony with God's will,
47:12 if you feel coerced by others,
47:15 if you cannot stand alone,
47:17 if the crowd and the cry of the crowd attracts you
47:22 and stimulates you and therefore you yield
47:25 your conscientious conviction for the crowd,
47:29 how will you stand in the days of the mark of the beast?
47:33 You see, the whole issue is an appeal...
47:36 an appeal to worship Christ supremely.
47:39 An appeal to worship Christ completely.
47:41 An appeal to worship Christ totally and absolutely.
47:55 "Thou wilt grant to me or give me the path of life.
47:59 Thou wilt lead me into pleasures forevermore"
48:02 the Psalmist says.
48:03 Jesus says in John 10:10 "I have come
48:07 and I have come that they might have life more abundantly. "
48:10 The beast offers us a barrage.
48:14 The powers of this world offer us simply tawdry
48:19 trinkets when Jesus wants to offer us Himself...
48:23 the pearl of great price.
48:25 Are you a truth seeker?
48:28 Some time ago the story is told
48:32 of a young man coming to Socrates.
48:36 And this young man said to Socrates: "Socrates,
48:39 you're a brilliant scholar. You're a deep philosopher.
48:43 Socrates, I want to know
48:46 your secret of finding truth. "
48:51 Socrates said: "Come with me. "
48:52 He took the young man. They walked through the streets
48:56 of Athens. They came there to the port.
49:01 As they came to the port they walked out into the water.
49:05 It was a beautiful day.
49:07 The sun was shining... puffy white clouds in the sky.
49:11 Deep blue sky. Socrates kept walking.
49:14 The young man said: "All I wanted to do was find truth.
49:16 What's going on here? "
49:17 They came out to the water about up to their chests.
49:20 Socrates said to the man: "Put your hands on your head. "
49:23 The man did. Socrates took his hands
49:25 and he put them on the man's head, pushed the man under
49:27 the water. The man came up: "ah-ha, ah-ha... "
49:29 Pushed him down again. He came and
49:31 he said: "All I wanted to do was find truth! "
49:33 And Socrates said:
49:34 "When you want to find truth as much as you wanted
49:39 that breath of fresh air come and talk to me
49:43 and I'll reveal to you the secret of finding truth. "
49:48 You know Jesus speaks to you
49:51 and He says: "Do you have a heart longing? "
49:55 "Has the television special so attracted your attention
49:59 you have little time to study God's Word? "
50:02 "Have the things of time for you
50:06 crowed out the things of eternity? "
50:10 Jesus is speaking to you. His people find their
50:15 greatest joy, their highest delight in worshiping Him.
50:20 When Christ appeals to you
50:22 would you like to say: "Jesus, open my eyes? "
50:25 "I long to know Your truth. "
50:27 "Open my eyes that I can see Your truth. "
50:31 "Open mine ears so I can hear Your Word. "
50:34 "Jesus, all I want is to worship the Creator of the universe.
50:39 To worship the One that lives for me,
50:43 that died for me, that intercedes for me,
50:46 that's coming again for me. "
50:49 Listen as Charles sings that wonderful song Open mine eyes
50:53 that I can see glimpses of truth... illumine me.
51:01 Open my eyes
51:04 that I may see
51:08 glimpses of truth
51:11 Thou hast for me.
51:15 Place in my hand
51:18 the wonderful key
51:21 that shall unclasp
51:24 and set me free.
51:29 Silently now
51:33 I wait for Thee.
51:36 Ready, my God,
51:40 Thy will to see.
51:44 Open my eyes,
51:47 illumine me
51:51 Spirit divine.
51:58 Open my ears
52:01 that I may hear
52:05 voices of truth
52:08 Thou sendest clear.
52:11 And while the wave notes
52:15 fall on my ear
52:18 everything false
52:21 will disappear.
52:27 Silently now
52:30 I wait for Thee.
52:33 Ready, my God,
52:36 Thy will to see.
52:40 Open my ears,
52:44 illumine me
52:48 Spirit divine.
52:55 Open my mouth
52:58 and let me bear
53:02 gladly the warm truth everywhere.
53:08 Open my heart
53:11 and let me prepare
53:14 love with Thy children
53:18 thus to share.
53:23 Silently now
53:27 I wait for Thee.
53:31 Ready, my God,
53:34 Thy will to see.
53:38 Open my heart,
53:42 illumine me
53:49 Spirit
53:54 divine.
54:05 Is that your desire
54:08 that Jesus will speak to you?
54:13 You say: "Pastor Mark,
54:16 I really want to know truth
54:19 but I'm not sure how to distinguish
54:22 between truth and error.
54:25 There is so much falsehood in the world.
54:29 How can I know truth? "
54:31 Jesus gives us really two characteristics
54:34 in knowing truth. First,
54:37 He says: "If any man will do His will
54:40 he shall know of the doctrine. "
54:43 Are you willing to do God's will?
54:47 Are you willing to do whatever Christ asks you to do?
54:53 Get on your knees... play fair with God.
54:57 Say: "God, I'm willing to do Your will. "
55:00 "I'm willing to do whatever You ask me to do. "
55:06 Secondly the Bible says
55:08 "Sanctify them... sanctify them through Thy Word.
55:13 Thy Word is truth. "
55:17 The second characteristic of doing God's will
55:21 is opening your heart to His Word.
55:26 Whatever His Word says
55:29 say: "Lord, that's what I want to do. "
55:34 "Whatever Your Word says Lord I want to follow You. "
55:38 How do we know truth?
55:40 A willing heart to do what He says
55:42 and an informed mind.
55:45 Now there are times that God is going to ask us to do
55:48 things that are... that seem to us impossible.
55:54 But remember: He is your Creator.
55:57 He is the all-powerful God.
56:01 He is the One that made you,
56:03 the One that fashioned you, the One that shaped you.
56:06 He is the One that has a plan for your life
56:08 and a destiny for your life.
56:10 He is the One that died for you.
56:13 He is the One that intercedes for you.
56:16 He's the One that's coming again for you.
56:18 When we make a decision to follow Christ
56:20 we do not make that decision in some vacuum.
56:24 He is there to strengthen us, to encourage us.
56:29 He is there to empower us.
56:32 Right now wherever you are
56:34 would you like to bow your head with me
56:36 as we pray?
56:39 Our Father in heaven,
56:41 thank you for the reality that You're there.
56:47 Thank you that You are our Creator.
56:49 We come to worship You... the One that made us.
56:52 The One that created us.
56:55 You are the all-powerful God, the infinite God.
57:00 You're the One that redeemed us,
57:03 that longs to save us by Your grace.
57:06 And You're the One who's coming again for us.
57:08 Give us Your strength to follow Your truth.
57:11 In Your name, Amen.
57:13 My friend, He loves you more than you know.
57:18 See you next time.


Revised 2020-08-12