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Sabbath: The Seal of God and Mark of the Beast – Part 1 — 9 Comments

  1. Every year, on the farm, when the lambs were old enough to be taken from their mothers, they were rounded up and put in the yards for sorting. There were two kinds of lamb, wool producers, and meat producers. We would go through the yards and mark the meat producers with red "raddle" Once that was done, it was easy to separate the lambs and process them accordingly (don't ask, you don't want to know)

    The important thing about this was not the mark but the characteristics of the lambs.

    Just something to think about as we start this week's study.

    • Maurice, I was thinking along a similar vein. The mark is the outward sign of inward characteristics. In the case of professed followers of Christ, the bigger question in my mind is not whether we keep the Sabbath, but whether we live out a Christlike life of love for God and for mankind - not an abstract love, but a concrete love that acts to benefit others, as Phil says.

      (By the way, I haven't seen anything from Phil in a while... I miss his comments.)

      • Not all who profess to keep the Sabbath will be sealed. There are many even among those who teach the truth to others who will not receive the seal of God in their foreheads. They had the light of truth, they knew their Master’s will, they understood every point of our faith, but they had not corresponding works. These who were so familiar with prophecy and the treasures of divine wisdom should have acted their faith. They should have commanded their households after them, that by a well-ordered family they might present to the world the influence of the truth upon the human heart. 5T 213.2

        By their lack of devotion and piety, and their failure to reach a high religious standard, they make other souls contented with their position.

  2. As an elementary classroom teacher, I learned and experimented with various forms of classroom management. The older more traditional styles used various reward systems for good and poor behavior… Marbles in a jar, stickers on the desk on a sticker chart, extra minutes for an extra recess, candy or snacks, etc. The newer models discouraged the use of rewards, the reason being that learning is supposed to be a reward in and of itself, and by offering rewards… or bribes… it sends the message that the real reward is something outside of just being at school and learning…, and overshadows the internal reward of the learning activity or project itself. Lifelong learners learn to connect with their internal motivation, not be driven along by external forces. The joy of learning is its own reward.

    I hear these two options presented in today’s lesson. The lesson brings out that Satan uses force and “compels“ worship of himself through bribes and things external to himself. That’s so true, that if Satan presented himself honestly, no one (except perhaps a person that’s completely given themselves over to him) would want to worship him. Satan can only offer materialistic things and things created by God….like the admiration of people….because his own character is totally unsatisfying.

    Whereas God offers Himself to be worshiped. The truth of His love draws the heart in, and is never disappointed. I’m thinking of the exchange between Jesus and the woman at the well. No fancy tricks, Jesus just honestly revealing her heart’s desires in a way that felt not condemnatory at all, and drew her right in when Jesus presented Himself as the answer. There’s no candy coating to wear off. No “I’ll give you all these kingdoms if you just bow to me“ like Satan to Jesus in the wilderness. God gives material gifts, but those are not offered as bribes for worship in exchange for His love. In fact, He lets physical things be withheld or taken away sometimes so that we can better find Him. Jesus created us to worship Him not because He is selfish, but because that design brings both God and us maximum joy, naturally.

  3. I would like to point out that the ‘little’ horn's and the ‘son of perdition's power speak of a power that only attempts, appears to usurp God’s authority as it demands loyalty. Though Satan introduces a counterfeit system of worship, he does not exercise powers unless given permission by God. The Creator's Authority and Will are reflective of a higher purpose – Rev. 13:13-15.
    The difference when receiving the ‘mark of the beast’ or the ’mark of God’ is found in which spirit we place our allegiance - whose spirit do we allow to come into our heart and mind. Whose light will be found to guide our life – God’s Holy Spirit of Truth and Light, or Lucifer’s spirit of darkness and deception.

    Lest we forget, Lucifer and his followers from the heavenly realms are formerly created beings with limited authority and powers ascribed to their position. They are wholly dependent on their Creator's permission should they use them in schemes meant to harm mankind. The account of Job and Jesus are good examples of their limited authority, limitations God’s purpose sets for the use of these powers.

    Lucifer cannot tempt without permission - Matt.4:1; cannot influence nature – Job 1:12, 16,19; cannot physically harm – Job2:2-6; cannot kill – Job 2:6; Heb.2:14; cannot touch a believer – Job 1:10; 1 John 5:18; etc. . Unless God permits the use of these power, we can see they are actually not under Lucifer's authority at all. God is permitting the use of these powers to deceive or harm only as He allows them for the furtherance of His Plan of Salvation.

    Rev.17:12-18 points out that it is God who ultimately gives His permission, allowing the heart and mind of the ‘ten horns’ of the beast upon which the harlot sits, to be used “to fulfill His purpose. They will be of one mind, and give their kingdom's authority to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled.”

    I agree with the lesson writer – the strength of our commitment to God is measured by the depth of our love for Him; how deeply has our love of Him committed our life to live according to His Spirit? Though, for those who love Him, it is not that our hold upon Him cannot be broken, it is Jesus’ hold upon us which cannot be severed.

  4. Thank you Brigitte for this reminder that without God satan himself can do nothing, including not even exist.

  5. The Sabbath is a most important truth for all the world at this time. Everybody is talking about "climate change" yet if the Sabbath were kept as it is in the Word of God, pollution and environmental degradation would be greatly reduced, keeping in mind that God asks us to be stewards of His creation. The papal introduction of a popular, false sabbath cannot sort out "climate change". Instead, it actually drives minds away from the Creator and owner of the Sabbath (Mark 2:27-28). The drive to make sun-day to be officially known as "the Lord's day" is false and baseless. While it is true that the Seventh-day Adventist church is looking forward to the implementation of sunday law, I often get the feeling that the beast is pushing more and more people to focus on the controversy over sun-day and Sabbath, while taking away their eyes from the Lord of the Sabbath. We must individually work towards re-establishing the Sabbath (Saturday) as the Lord's day, but much more to keep our eyes on the only begotten Son of God and his Father who created the world and is recreating us in His image by obedience to His law.

  6. I am sincerely thankful Dan for your truth on the Sabbath. I though would not call us looking forward to the Sunday law. I would say, I am thank-ful we are forewarned of what will take place. God has never, and never will leave His people in the dark, no matter what church they are in. The Isrealites and people from the Egyptian church were led by the light of The Lord Himself out of Egypt. That's why we trust Him, and have hope of His return that is not seen yet, we also have patience.
    Romans 8:24-25.
    Revelation 14:12.

    God bless you.


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