October 2017           "A Journal of Biblical Understanding"           Volume 14           

(Daniel 4:25)
" ... and seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will."


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The Mark of The Beast. What Is It? Part 3

(Cont'd from page two)

God's SIGN!

Here is what God said about His special SIGN between God and His people:

"Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my Sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you.
"Ye shall keep the Sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people.
"Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whosoever doeth any work in the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.
"Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.
"It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed" (Exodus 31:13-17).

The CREATOR who pronounced these words was none other than the Person of the divine Elohim; the Godhead, who became Jesus Christ!

Notice the proof:

"In the beginning was the Word [Greek: Logos, meaning Spokesman] , and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
"The same was in the beginning with God [Greek: Theos, the exact equivalent of the Hebrew `Elohim,' meaning MORE than one Person. See Genesis 1:26].
"All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
" In him was life; and the life was the light of men" (John 1:1-4). John opens his gospel with this profound statement about the divine pre-human origins of Jesus Christ! He continued, "He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
"He came unto his own [the Jews], and his own received him not.
"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:...And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt [Greek: "tabernacled"] among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth" (John 1:10-14).

The knowledge of the pre-human existence of Christ is obvious, incontrovertible, PLAIN to anyone who honestly reads these passages, and accepts them as the divinely-revealed Word of God! Yet, tens of thousands of professing Christian ministers, and millions of their followers adamantly REFUSE to accept them!

Do you realize the CONSEQUENCES to the accepted doctrines of the great false church and her protesting daughters? It means that the God of the Old Testament; the One who WROTE THE TEN COMMANDMENTS with His own finger IS the One who became Jesus Christ! He does not change!

Paul wrote, "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and for ever!" (Hebrews 13:8).

The One who became Christ is the Creator of the Sabbath; the member of the divine Godhead who designated the Sabbath day as a perpetual SIGN between Himself and His people!

The Great Tribulation

Jesus Christ of Nazareth was also the greatest prophet who ever lived. It is He who described the impending GREAT TRIBULATION in His famous Olivet prophecy found in Mark 13, Luke 21 and Matthew 24. Notice that one of the outstanding features of the Great Tribulation is a martyrdom of saints.

Jesus said: "Then [during the Great Tribulation] shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you; and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake.
"And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one other" (Matthew 24:9, 10).

The Satan-inspired false prophet, the great spiritual leader who will appropriate the very titles of God Himself, will use the civil power to persecute true Christians! Study carefully the progressive unveiling of the first five seals of the seven seals of the scroll of Revelation. The first five are found in Revelation, the sixth chapter.

Notice that the first seal which is opened to John's vision is a horseman riding on a white horse, seen as carrying a bow, who goes out to conquer. Even as Jesus said the very first thing Christians should watch for is "false Christs and false prophets," so it is obvious that the meaning of the white horse is that of a great wave of religious fervor, the gradual emergence to global prominence of a great FALSE PROPHET, who will eventually fulfill the prophecy of II Thessalonians 2, claiming blasphemous titles, and, according to Jesus' prediction, will have the power to perform such mighty miracles that he would deceive, "if it were possible" the very elect!

The next horse is red, and symbolizes war. Compare this carefully with the next statement Jesus made in Matthew 24 about "wars and rumors of wars."

The third seal reveals a black horse, an obvious reference to extreme scarcity of food and the sustenance of life. The very next thing Jesus said would follow would be famine! The black horse symbolizes global famine—a time into which we are even now entering!

The fourth seal is opened, and John sees a "pale horse" whose name is

"...death, and hades [the grave] followed with him, and power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth" (Revelation 6:8).

And what immediately followed false Christs, wars, and famines, according to Jesus' prophecy? Christ said "PESTILENCES!" As is always the case, the ravages of warfare, including nuclear fallout and radiation, massive loss of life, the destruction of the infrastructure of cities such as communications, water and electric services, sewage disposal and the like, brings about fearsome injury, terrible pollution of air, water and the land; pollution of surface water, and outbreaks of terrible diseases of all kinds. Notice that each of these overlap each other.

As the fifth seal is opened, John sees the figurative lives of martyrs who are crying out, in the same way God told Cain, "Your brother's blood cries to me from the ground."

Metaphorically, John sees, in vision, countless tens of thousands of human individuals who were "SLAIN for the Word of God, and for the testimony which they held" (Revelation 6:9).

They cry out, saying, "How LONG, Oh Lord, holy and true, dost Thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?
"And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed AS THEY WERE, should be fulfilled" (Revelation 6:10,11).

Anciently, these Christians were killed because they refused to worship the Beast or his image, or to receive his mark!

Here you see, in metaphor, the lost lives of countless Christians crying out to God! Remember what you read about the brutal murder of nearly a million Waldenses during the "inquisition"? It is people like these, and countless others who were likewise put to death down through history, who staunchly refused to submit to the Babylonish mystery religion and the power of the states over which it ruled! They loved not their lives until the death, but were true to Jesus Christ's promises that any Christian who "endured unto the end" would be saved!

Notice that they are told they must "wait until their fellow servants also should be killed."

And WHEN are their fellow servants to be killed? Why, during the GREAT TRIBULATION of the future—the next great MARTYRDOM OF SAINTS which is prophesied to occur just before the intervention of Almighty God by the heavenly signs!

Notice we are dealing with two separate events. First, there was a protracted period of time in history when countless tens of thousands of God's true servants were MARTYRED for their faith! They are pictured as crying out, "How long O Eternal?" waiting until He avenges their blood upon the heads of their tormentor.

The second great martyrdom of saints is depicted as occurring in the future, at the time of the opening of the fifth seal, which is called the "Great Tribulation" by Jesus Christ! (Matthew 24:21, 22). They are to "love not their lives unto the death" for the SAME REASON that their fellow servants were killed centuries before—for refusing to worship the Beast, or his image, or receive his mark!

Continued on page four

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