Read for This Week’s Study: Revelation 14:12, Ephesians 2:8-10, Matthew 27:45-50, Revelation 13:15-17, Revelation 14:4, Luke 5:18-26.
Memory Text: “Then I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God. And he cried with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, saying, ’Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads’”(Revelation 7:2-3, NKJV).
As we study end-time events in regard to the mark of the beast, one crucial point that comes through is the difference between how God operates and how the enemy of souls does.
As we have been studying, the central issues in the great controversy between Christ and Satan focus on loyalty, authority, and worship. The prophecies describing the beast power in Revelation 13:1-18, the little horn in Daniel 7:1-28, and the “son of perdition” in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-17 all speak of a power that usurps God’s authority, commands loyalty, and introduces a counterfeit system of worship. And they do so through the use of force, coercion, and at times bribes and rewards — all in order to compel worship.
In contrast, love is the great motivating force of the kingdom of God. Rather than worshiping the beast, God’s people find their greatest joy and highest delight in worshiping Him. They are committed to Him because they know how committed He is to them. There is only one thing that will keep any of us from receiving the mark of the beast in the end time &mdash a love for Jesus so deep that nothing can break our hold upon Him.
In this lesson, we will explore these themes further.
Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, June 10.