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Sunday - The Mark of the Beast

http://www.pcog.org/27312/bible-ministudy-the-mark-of-the-beast/

Bible Ministudy: The Mark of the Beast

Posted By kmcocomise On February 4, 2013 @ 11:00 pm In Know Your Bible,Prophecy

What is this mystic mark that the Bible says will affect the life of every individual alive at the final resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire?

No biblical subject has been more intriguing and baffling than the mark of the beast. Millions have wondered about it.

We have identified the first beast of Revelation 13 (verses 1-10) as the Roman Empire, now rising for the 10th and final time as a European superpower. The second beast (verses 11-18) was shown to be the Vatican, or Roman church. Now let’s learn about the mark of the beast.

1. Where is the mark of the beast described? Revelation 13:16-17. Who causes the mark to be enforced? Verse 16.

Comment: “He” that causes “all, both small and great” to receive the mark, refers to the second beast introduced in verse 11—the Roman church.

2. Which beast does the mark pertain to? Verse 18.

Comment: When the Apostle John wrote this, telling us to count the number of the beast, he wrote in the Greek language. Consequently, we should look for the number 666 in this language recognized in the Bible, not in the Latin.

We are all familiar with the Roman numerals, where letters are used for numbers. All understand that I is 1, V is 5, X is 10, etc. The Greek language also uses letters for numbers.

The founder and first king of Rome was Romulus. The Roman Empire was named after him. His name, the name of a man, is also the name of the kingdom. And every citizen in the kingdom bears the same name—a Roman.

In the Greek, this name was understood in the second century a.d. to have originally been spelled Lateinos. It signifies “Latin man” or “the name of Latium,” from which region the Romans derived their origin and their language. This word, too, signifies Roman. In the Greek, L is 30, A is 1, T is 300, E is 5, I is 10, N is 50, O is 70, S is 200. Add up these letters. They “count” or add up to exactly 666!

It is no coincidence that the name of the kingdom, its founder and first king, and of each man in the kingdom, adds up to exactly 666!

The mark of the beast is the mark of the Roman Empire which the Roman church causes all under her domination to receive.

3. What is the significance of the mark? Revelation 13:17.

Comment: The mark is something that will be very popular—something the majority of people will be in favor of, will seek—which custom will approve as right.

Everyone wants to be able to “buy or sell.” In this scriptural usage the expression “buy or sell” more literally indicates being able to buy—not that stores would refuse to accept the money, but that the one refusing the mark would not be able to buy, would not be able to earn a living, to earn a wage or salary, or to engage himself in business.

4. Will God severely punish those who have the mark of the beast? Revelation 15:1, 6; 16:1-2.

Comment: Those who capitulate to the beast and accept the mark will be afflicted with the terrifying seven last plagues of God’s wrath!

5. Is the beast of Revelation 13 also pictured in Revelation 17? Revelation 17:1-6. Does the woman riding the beast cause the saints who do not accept the mark to be killed? Verse 6; Revelation 13:15, last part.

Comment: The beast of Revelation 17 is the church-ruled “healed” beast, or Roman Empire, of Revelation 13; and, that woman riding the beast is the Roman church, pictured in Revelation 13 as the second beast.

This church, just as a woman riding an animal guides and directs the animal—like, for example, a woman riding a horse—took over, exercised, wielded, all the power of the first beast—the Roman Empire. As we learned last time, after a.d. 554, the church did do this for 1,260 years, as prophesied! History corroborates that the church did not actually herself kill the martyred saints—she merely caused them to be killed by the Roman government. And it was she who caused all under her domination to receive the dreaded mark of the beast.

6. How are the martyred saints pictured in Revelation 6? Verses 9-10.

Comment: These dead saints are pictured as crying out to ask “how long” before the Second Coming of Christ and the seven last plagues which will avenge their martyrdom. History tells us that in the Middle Ages more than 50 million were killed, many for their Bible faith and obedience to God instead of obedience to the church-ruled Roman government.

7. What must happen again before the seven last plagues and the coming of Christ? Revelation 6:11.

Comment: Christ will not return until another great martyrdom has taken place! This coming great martyrdom is the Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:9, 21-22). This Tribulation is not the wrath of God—the seven last plagues. It is the wrath of Satan (Revelation 12:12), inflicted at the behest of his apostate church by the coming “United States of Europe” and against the people of God! It is a persecution—a torturing—a martyring of the saints of God who have become lukewarm and lost God’s protection (Revelation 3:14-19).

8. Specifically, why are the saints martyred by the beast? Revelation 20:4.

Comment: It is because they refuse to join in the worship of church and empire! In conjunction with Revelation 17:6, these scriptures show that the martyrs, over a thousand years ago, were killed because they would not worship the church, conform to its idolatry and pagan beliefs and customs, or worship the so-called Holy Roman Empire—and because they refused to receive themark of the beast!

This means the mark of the beast is something that was forced on people, on pain of being killed, and that it existed and was enforced over a thousand years ago! But, since it is those who have the mark of the beast who will suffer the seven last plagues at Christ’s Second Coming, the dreaded mark is once again to be enforced!

9. Before He unleashes the seven last plagues, does God send three angels to give the world a final warning? Revelation 14:6-10. Does the third angel specifically warn the world about the consequences of accepting the mark of the beast? Verses 9-11.

Comment: This also shows that although the mark was branded on all but the martyrs over a thousand years ago, it is still the brand of traditional Christianity today, and is once again to be enforced. Once again, those who refuse it will be martyred. But those who receive it will suffer the wrath of God without mercy!

10. How does the Bible describe those who refuse the evil mark? Revelation 14:12.

Comment: In verses 9-11 of Revelation 14, the third angel warns that those who have the mark of the beast shall be punished by the plagues of God. In the very next verse, the saints who do not have the mark are those who keep the commandments of God (verse 12). Those who have the mark, therefore, are those who refuse to keep the commandments of God. The mark of the beast involves a rejection of the commandments of God, or of one of them, for if we break one we are guilty of all (James 2:10). Whatever the mark of the beast may be, it involvesdisobedience to the commandments of God.

The inevitable and plain conclusion of the Scriptures is that the mark is something enforced by the Roman church, originating in the paganism of the Roman Empire, that would cause people to break God’s Ten Commandments. And it involves a direct connection with holding a job—engaging in business—earning a living.

There is only one possible commandment that could affect a man’s job or business—the Fourth Commandment: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy …. [T]he seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God” (Exodus 20:8, 10)

Where did Sunday-worship originate? Not with the church, but with the pagan religion of the Roman Empire! It is the day on which the ancient pagans assembled at sunrise, faced east (as they do Easter Sunday morning today) and worshiped the rising sun. It was Constantine, emperor of the Roman Empire—not a pope—who made Sunday the official so-called Christian day of rest. But it was enforced—people were caused to accept it universally—by the church!

It was for obeying God’s Fourth Commandment—keeping the Sabbath—that millions were put to death. The local Council of Laodicea, about a.d. 363, passed this decree: “Christians must not Judaize by resting on the Sabbath, but must work on that day—rather honoring the Lord’s Day …. But if any shall be found to be Judaizers, let them be anathema from Christ.”

The church caused them to be killed. When the church branded one “anathema” (a heretic), the state police of the empire began torturing him. Unless he recanted, he was tortured until he died!

Laws became so strict that no man could hold a job, or engage in business, unless he worked on Saturday and rested on Sunday. And the world will be so geared again that it will be almost impossible for one to “buy or sell” except he receive this mark of the beast!

11. Is the Sabbath day called a sign in the Bible? Exodus 31:13-17, especially verses 16-17. Why? Verse 13, last part.

Comment: The Sabbath is a sign because it identifies the true God of creation—the Creator—and it also identifies His people that He sanctifies. The Sabbath is God’s Sabbath, not the Jewish Sabbath. Never does the Bible call it the “Jewish Sabbath.” The Sabbath was made for man. So said Jesus (Mark 2:27). It was made when man was made (Genesis 2:1-3). It was made to keep man in the true knowledge of the identity of the true God; to keep him from idolatry! And history proves that every nation that did not keep God’s Sabbath worshiped false gods, and did not know who the true God was!

The Sabbath sets one apart from the world—and always did—as obeying and belonging to God. Can you think of any reason why anyone would ever keep the Sabbath, except to obey God? Would any man defy human custom and invite persecution, and be set apart as different, through human reason? The Sabbath identifies God’s people!

12. Where is the mark of the beast applied, symbolically? Revelation 13:16. Where are the commandments of God—including the sign of the Sabbath—applied, symbolically? Deuteronomy 6:1, 8; 11:18.

Comment: The right hand symbolizes work or labor—the forehead, the intellect or mind. Both the mark of the beast and the sign of the Sabbath have to do with what we believe, in the mind, and whether we obey, with the hand.

However, there is a difference between a mark and a sign. A “mark” is a brand of identification forced upon one. Cattle-raisers put, by force, their mark on their cattle—their brand. A “sign” is also a badge of identity but one voluntarily accepted and used. A retailer hangs a sign in front of his store. It may say, “Jones Hardware.” It identifies. It tells what kind of store, and who owns it.

Now the beast, in association with the church, used force to brand the Western world with its mark. Those who obeyed God and kept His Sabbath were unable to “buy or sell” and were martyred. But God does not force anyone. God lets us make our own decision about obeying Him, accepting Christ and becoming His obedient children.

The mark of the beast stands exposed as Sunday-observance! It also includes the observance of pagan-rooted holidays. Now how does that affect you?

God’s last warning is this: “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).

If you are branded by this mark, rejecting the sign of God in your forehead and hand, you will be tortured by God’s plagues without mercy! (Read all of Revelation 16, especially verse 2.)

But if you obey God—if you are watching, praying without ceasing—you shall be accounted worthy to escape—and come under God’s protection (Luke 21:36).

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    Pope travels to Molise, speaks on respect for creation, Sunday rest

    Catholic World News - July 07, 2014

    On July 5, Pope Francis made an apostolic journey to the southern Italian region of Molise and arrived by helicopter in Campobasso, a city of 50,000.

    The visit to Molise was his fifth apostolic journey within Italy, following trips to Lampedusa (July 2013), Cagliari (September 22), Assisi (October 4), and Cassano all’Jonio (June 21).

    Pope Francis began his visit by traveling to the University of Molise and addressing the world of industry and labor. In response to remarks made by the university rector and workers, the Pontiff spoke of the importance of work that respects creation, Sunday rest for the sake of family life, and the dignity of labor.

    “This is one of the greatest challenges of our time: conversion to a development that respects creation,” the Pope said. “In America, my homeland, I see many forests, which have been stripped … land that cannot be cultivated, that cannot give life. This is our sin: we exploit the earth and do not let it give us what it harbors within, with the help of our cultivation.”

    Pope Francis referred to Sunday rest as critical, a point that allows us to discern, to assess the quality of the human economic system in which we find ourselves. And this also raises the issue of working Sundays, which affects not only believers, but it affects everyone, as an ethical choice. We are losing this free space! The question is what do we want to prioritize? A work-free Sunday-- with the exception of necessary services-– says that our priority is not economics, but the human being, gratuity, non-commercial relations, rather family and friends, for believers it means a relationship with God and with the community. Perhaps it is time to ask whether it is a true freedom to work on Sundays. Because the God of surprises and the God who breaks the mold, surprises and breaks the mold so that we may become freer: He is the God of freedom.

    For the unemployed, said Pope Francis, dignity is a greater concern than hunger. “We can eat every day: we can go to Caritas, to this association or to that club, where they will give us something to eat,” he said. “But that's not the problem. The problem is not being able to bring the bread home: this is serious, and this robs people of dignity!”

    “Motherhood involves labor, but the labor of childbirth is oriented to life, is full of hope,” he said as he thanked those present for the gift of a painting devoted to motherhood. “So not only thank you for this gift, but I thank you even more for the testimony which it contains: that of a hopeful labor.”

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    From the Expat Blog: Germany’s Quiet Sundays

    Despite the country’s uberefficient reputation, regulations sharply curtail activity on Sundays, from retail shops to lawnmowers

    By Sarah Sloat March 23, 2015 6:54 p.m. ET Frankfurt

    Germany holds to much the same Monday-to-Friday workweek rhythm as the rest of the world, but on Sundays it skips a beat. This uber-efficient country, which puts more restrictions on Sunday activities than nearly all of its neighbors, nearly shuts down.

    Laws regulating shopping hours and noise levels mean stores shut, lawnmowers fall silent, and woe unto him who flips the switch on an electric tool.

    Sunday reflects the importance Germans place on quality of life, neighborly consideration and the need to unwind. The postwar constitution safeguards Sundays and recognized holidays as “days of rest and spiritual edification.” Most Germans use the day to get outdoors, visit friends or, hit the gym or pool. “Sonntagsruhe” is one term they use. It simply means “Sunday rest.”

    Opening Sundays to shopping is fiercely resisted, mainly by churches and labor unions. Efforts by retailers and businesses to loosen the rules have also been unsuccessful. But a blanket prohibition was lifted in 2006, when states were allowed to designate a certain number of Sundays as open for shopping. In Hesse, where Frankfurt is located, four are permitted each year.
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    Anyone considering undertaking outdoor chores or home improvements will be in for a surprise. Regulations limit noise levels, forbidding the use of electric tools like drills and leaf blowers, as well as hammering, sawing and loud music. At recycling containers, it’s even prohibited to throw away glass jars and bottles on Sunday because of the noise.

    Heavy trucks are banned from German roads on Sunday. The aim is twofold, says Jan Jurczyk of services union Verdi: To relieve streets and cities of noise and traffic, and to give drivers a break. “People who work weekends have trouble finding time to spend with family and friends, so Sunday shouldn’t be a work day for anyone unless it’s absolutely essential,” he says.

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