Herbert W. Armstrong
Better be sure whether this brand is upon you! Without it, no man will be able to buy or sell! Without it, you may be tortured even unto death! But with it, you shall suffer the SEVEN LAST PLAGUES OF GOD!
SOME used to say this mystic "mark" was the faces on the old United States dimes. During World War II many said it was Hitler's swastika. During the Depression New Deal many said it was Roosevelt's NRA!
No subject has intrigued — and baffled — more people in our generation. Thousands of sermons have been preached on it — by professed ministers and evangelists who themselves did not know what it is! Millions have been curious.
The average sermon on this subject considers one text of Scripture, only!
Only Text Usually Read
This is the sole passage ordinarily quoted:
"And he [the second "beast"] causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a MARK in their right hand, or in their foreheads: and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name" (Rev. 13:16-17).
From this one passage the speaker customarily uses his imagination. The general idea seems to be that since you will not be able to buy or sell without this mysterious mark, and since we all wish to be able to buy and sell, therefore we ought to do all in our power to receive this mark!
But here is an additional passage they neglect to show you:
"And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God ... And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, ... And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the WRATH OF GOD upon the earth. And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image" (Rev. 15:1, 6, and 16:1-2).
If you do have the "mark of the beast," you will be terribly punished, without mercy, by GOD — you will receive the seven last plagues!
How to Tell What It Is!
There are many more references to this subject in the Bible. Instead of looking at one passage only, then turning away from God's own revelation of this mystery, and using human imagination and fancy to conjure up the many ridiculous conclusions being foisted upon a deceived public by persons devoid of understanding, let us see what GOD says this MARK really is!
Make no mistake, God tells us plainly what it is! It is unmistakably, clearly revealed and explained in the Bible! But to find God's answer, we must have before us all of the scriptures referring to this subject!
First, from the text universally quoted (Rev. 13:16-17), notice this: 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 — because no man will be allowed to "buy or sell," unless he receives this "mark."
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 or those from whom one might make purchases of the necessities of life 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.
The "mark of the beast," then, has direct bearing on ability to engage in business, or to hold a job and earn a living.
But let's look at all the facts God reveals on the subject all the scriptures bearing on it.
What Is the Beast?
First, then, the "beast" itself. The "mark" is the mark of the "BEAST." This is described in the first verse of this chapter:
"And I stood upon the sand of the sea," records John, speaking of his prophetic vision, "and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority" (Rev. 13:1-2).
What is this weird "beast"? An astounding booklet "Who Is the Beast?" identifies this wild animal — a composite wild animal with the strongest characteristics of the four wild animals symbolically described in Daniel seven — as the Roman Empire. Space does not permit that full identification here. A copy of this free booklet will be mailed you, without charge, upon request.
Daniel seven reveals that these "beasts" or wild animals, symbolize civil GOVERNMENTS, or world empires. Daniel's first "beast" was like a lion, and it represented the Chaldean Empire of Nebuchadnezzar, called Babylon. His second, like a bear, pictured the Persian Empire; his third, with four heads, like a leopard, represented Alexander's Greco-Macedonian Empire and its succeeding four divisions after his death; and his fourth beast, unlike any existing wild animal, the Roman Empire which swallowed up and absorbed all the others, and embodied the strongest physical and military characteristics of all its predecessors.
This "beast" of Revelation 13 had the mouth, the strongest part, of the lion; the feet, the strongest part, of the bear; the body of the leopard. It included, in the ONE Empire it represents, the strength of ALL of Daniel's "beasts." It is the ROMAN EMPIRE.
Notice, the "dragon" gave this Empire its seat and power, and great authority. Revelation 12:9 and 20:2 both tell us in plain words this "dragon" is Satan the devil. It is, then, the political instrument of Satan in ruling and deceiving the world.
Note this well! The "mark" is the mark of the BEAST — and the "beast" is the ROMAN EMPIRE. In Revelation 17 a later stage of this same wild beast is pictured, and there a "woman" — a great CHURCH — sits astride it, guides it, rules over it. But the MARK is the mark of the ROMAN EMPIRE — not the Roman Catholic Church.
That is fact number one. Keep that in mind.
Now in verse 11 (Rev. 13) another "beast" is pictured. This beast had two horns like a lamb, but spoke as a dragon.
The Bible plainly reveals this second "beast" to be the Roman Catholic Church. This Church is an ecclesiastical world Empire — a government. (See article "Papacy," Encyclopedia Britannica.)
This second beast of Revelation 13 is also pictured in Revelation 17 as the harlot woman who rode the beast. This fallen woman or Church is different from all other churches in one respect. She is organized at the Vatican as a civil Government, as well as an ecclesiastical church. Nations of the world send Ambassadors to the Vatican, at Rome, the same as they do the capitals of other nations.
This Church, just as the 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. After 554 A.D., the Church did do this for 1260 years, as prophesied!
Notice, further, verses 15-16:
"And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, ... to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads" (Rev. 13:15-16).
Now here is a deceived Church — both herself deceived by, and therefore used by the devil, and also deceiving the world. Notice, this Church did not actually herself kill these martyrs — she merely caused them to be killed. And she it was, too, who CAUSES all under her domination to receive the dread MARK of the beast.
The Brand of Rome
Notice carefully what the above text tells us:
1) "He," — the Catholic Church that formed the Papacy and originated human civil government modeled after that of the Roman Empire.
2) "Causeth" all to receive this mark. It is the Church, not the civil government, which forces this brand on people.
3) It is the same power which caused the martyrdom of saints.
4) It brands on the people the mark of the "beast" — that is, the mark of the Roman Empire, not the mark of the Church.
5) This mark is received in the right hand, and in the forehead.
So the MARK is that of the Roman Empire, which the Roman CHURCH did cause or shall cause the western world to receive.
Next notice when these saints were killed. This will show us when the mark of the beast is enforced.
"And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: and they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?" (Rev. 6:9-10).
Here we find pictured the martyrs of the Middle Ages already dead, at the time of this vision — which is the approximate present. They know "Vengeance is MINE, saith the Eternal." They know God's judgments against this persecuting, deceiving false church, as described in Revelation 18, are to be the seven last plagues, poured out "in the presence of the Lamb" at the second coming of Christ. Read of it in Revelation 18. 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 Dark and Middle Ages more than fifty MILLION were killed, many for their BIBLE faith and obedience to God instead of obedience to this church government of man and the devil. Notice now, what must again happen before the seven last plagues and the coming of Christ!
"And white robes [symbolizing righteousness and purity] were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet a little season, until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled" (Rev. 6:11).
Christ will not come to take vengeance on this great false Church UNTIL another great martyrdom has taken place!
Note it! There was one martyrdom. Those saints are already killed. Their resurrection will occur when Jesus returns to earth — WHEN His judgments are poured out on this false BABYLON and her daughter churches! But there is yet to be another universal persecution and martyrdom of saints, just prior to Christ's coming in vengeance against the forces of evil! Here are TWO universal martyrdoms!
This coming great martyrdom is THE GREAT TRIBULATION (Matthew 24:9, 21-22). This tribulation is not the wrath of God — the last plagues. It is the wrath of Satan (Rev. 12:12), inflicted at the behest of HIS apostate Church by the coming "United States of EUROPE" and against the true people of GOD! It is a persecution — a torturing — a martyring of the saints of God — the very elect who cannot be deceived (Matt. 24:24). Except those days of Great Tribulation be shortened, no flesh would be saved. But, for THE SAKE OF GOD'S PERSECUTED SAINTS those days shall be shortened.
God shall intervene. Christ shall "come quickly."
The MARK Then, and Now
Now compare with these scriptures:
In Revelation 17, picturing this same Church as the woman riding the beast, John writes: "And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus" (verse 6).
Also: Revelation 20:4 — "And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years."
Now we see WHY these many millions were, and shall be martyred! It was because they refused to receive this mark of the beast — refused to join in this worship of church and Empire! They obeyed God rather than man! Their lives were governed by God. They were the children, the heirs, the future citizens, of His KINGDOM, not the kingdoms of men. But — note it well! — they were, as God commands, subject to the government of MAN. They did not resist — they yielded themselves subject to the penalty. They were tortured — they were killed! But they obeyed the government of God rather than man where there was conflict. And, at Christ's coming to rule the world as KING of kings, they shall all be lesser priests and kings under Him and rule the world!
Do you see what this plainly reveals? Those 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 the MARK of the beast!
This means the MARK of the beast is something that was forced on people, on pain of being killed, more than a thousand years ago! The MARK of the beast was in full existence and enforcement over a thousand years ago!
BUT, since it is those who have the mark of the beast who shall suffer the seven last plagues at Christ's coming, the dread mark is once again to be enforced! And those who refuse it are those who shall be MARTYRED in the coming GREAT TRIBULATION!
Now we begin to find real light shed on this baffling question!
Warning of Third Angel
Soon, now, the time is coming when gross spiritual darkness will cover this earth — when no human will be permitted to preach Christ's true Gospel. We must work while it is day — the night is fast drawing on when no man can work, for God.
At that time God shall send angels with His final warning to these apostate nations under sway of this great deceiving Church as a final witness against them. Three such angel messages are foretold in Revelation 14. Notice the final warning of the third angel:
"If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his MARK in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God" — the seven last plagues, full force, unmixed with mercy! (Rev. 14:9-10).
This 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 shall be martyred. But those who receive it shall suffer the wrath of God without mercy!
You must soon choose whom you will obey — this coming Roman Empire resurrected by a United States of EUROPE, ruled by traditional Christianity — or whether you shall OBEY GOD!
A Mark of Obedience
We begin now to see that the MARK of the beast involves a point of OBEDIENCE — whether we shall OBEY GOD, or reject the commandment of God and obey MAN'S rule.
It has something to do, then, with the COMMANDMENT OF GOD!
Notice, there are, in general, two classes — one has the MARK, the other rejects it and is martyred. Notice now the description of those who refuse this evil MARK:
"Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus" (Rev. 14:12).
There it is! In verses 9-11 of this chapter the third angel warns that those who have the mark of the beast shall be punished by the plagues of God. In the next verse, the 12th, the saints who do not have the mark are those who KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS OF GOD. Those who have the mark, therefore, are those who refuse to keep the Commandments of God. The MARK of the beast, therefore, 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).
So, one class of people accepts the MARK of the beast.
The other class keeps the Commandments of God.
A Mark of Disobedience
Hence, whatever the mark of the beast may be, it means disobedience to GOD'S government — to the Commandments of God.
Here's further proof — here are they who get victory over this mark:
Revelation 15:2-3: "And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are THY WAYS, thou King of saints."
This corresponds to the children of Israel, delivered from Egyptian bondage under Moses. Moses was a type of Christ. Pharaoh was the type and forerunner of this Beast. The plagues God poured on Egypt were a type of the last plagues to be poured out on Babylon. The children of Israel stood on the shore of the Red Sea, and God miraculously delivered them. Here the saints of God are pictured on this symbolic sea of glass.
They sing the song of Moses, and the song of the Lamb (Christ). Moses pictures Law and God's Commandments, the Lamb (Christ) pictures faith and salvation from sin.
Remember, the beast is the human civil organization of the devil. In Revelation 12, we find Satan stirred to great wrath "because he knoweth that he hath but a short time" (Rev. 12:12). He then starts a great PERSECUTION, or TRIBULATION against the TRUE Church — the true saints of God. This is just prior to the second coming of Christ (verse 10). Now notice against whom Satan is so wroth:
"And the dragon [Satan] was wroth with the woman [Church], and went to make war with the remnant [last generation] of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ [the Bible]" (verse 17).
There it is again! Those keeping God's COMMANDMENTS — those yielding themselves to God's RULE, and living by every Word of God — by the BIBLE — which is the written testimony of Jesus Christ — they are the ones the devil will persecute and martyr through his false Church and his reborn Empire!
But Satan knows his own. He will brand his own with a mark, so they shall not receive this persecution and martyrdom, even as God put a mark on sinning Cain lest men finding him slay him (see Genesis 4:15). Those in the world who do not receive Satan's brand — the MARK of the BEAST will suffer Satan's wrath in the Tribulation.
Thank God, those days shall be cut short, for the elect's sake!
Class on Whom Plagues Fall
There are TWO classes of people. That class which receives the MARK of the Beast is the class upon whom the PLAGUES OF GOD will fall. So if we can further identify those who shall receive this WRATH OF GOD, and why God will thus punish them, we shall further identify what the mark is.
In Ephesians 5 Paul is telling Christians to flee fornication, covetousness, idolatry — transgressing the TEN COMMANDMENTS. Then he says: "for because of these things," [transgressing God's LAW] "cometh the WRATH OF GOD [last plagues] upon the children of disobedience" (Eph. 5:6).
How plain! The wrath of God — the seven last plagues are coming on those who DISOBEY God, by violating the Commandments. The plagues fall upon those who have the mark of the beast!
Those who receive the plagues are breakers of God's Commandments, and also at the same time receivers of the MARK! It becomes more and more plain that the mark of the beast represents COMMANDMENT-BREAKING.
Notice this again in Colossians 3:5-6: "Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry [transgressions of some of the Ten Commandments]: for which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience."
Notice it also in the prophecies of the Old Testament: "The great day of the Eternal [time of God's wrath — the last plagues] is near ... that day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress ... and I [God] will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men [the plagues! But why?] because they have sinned against the Eternal" (Zeph. 1:14-17). What is sin?
"Sin is the transgression of the law" (I John 3:4) — commandment breaking.
The TRUTH Becomes Plain
Now, let's recapitulate! The truth is becoming plain!
1) The "mark" plainly means the rejecting and breaking of God's Commandments. And in James 2:10-11, God says if we break only one of the Commandments, we are GUILTY of breaking the LAW — guilty of all!
2) The Roman Empire is the real author of this "mark." It is the mark of the BEAST, not the woman who rode the beast.
3) The Church caused people to be deceived into receiving this mark.
4) Satan gave this Roman Empire its seat and great authority — it is the political instrument through which Satan works, in deceiving the world.
5) Those who refuse this "mark" are prohibited from "buying or selling, "engaging in commerce, trade, or holding a job.
6) Many of those refusing this "mark" were, and shall again be, martyred because of their refusal — because they keep the Commandments of God!
7) Therefore, the inevitable and plain conclusion is that the "mark" is something enforced by the Church, originating in the paganism of the Roman Empire, which a cunning, deceiving devil would seize on as a means of cleverly DECEIVING people into breaking God's Ten Commandments. And it involves a direct connection with holding a job — engaging in business — earning a living.
Satan is clever — cunning — a deceiver. He palms off counterfeits, which look like the genuine! Naturally he would select the one Commandment of God which he can counterfeit with a substitute — one in which by human reason alone no man could see where it would make any difference! He would select the one which would seem of least importance to the carnal human mind!
He would not try to deceive men on idolatry, profanity, or on stealing, lying, murder, adultery — though he has led people into all of these.
But WHAT Commandment could it be — what Commandment affecting a man's job, or his business?
There is only one possible Commandment — the one regarded by the largest number as the "LEAST" of the Commandments — and that is the fourth Commandment, which says: "REMEMBER the Sabbath day, to keep it holy ... The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Eternal thy God."
No carnal mind can see, without the special spiritual revelation of God through His Word, where it makes any difference WHICH day man observes.
WHERE DID SUNDAY ORIGINATE? Not with the Roman Catholic Church, but with the pagan religion of the ROMAN EMPIRE! It is the day on which the ancient pagans assembled at sunrise, faced the east, (as they do Easter Sunday morning today) and worshipped 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!
Why Saints Were Martyred
It was for obeying God's FOURTH Commandment — keeping the Sabbath- -that millions were put to death. The local Council of Laodicea, in 363 A.D., passed this decree: "Christians must not Judaize by resting on the Sabbath, but must work on that day, resting rather on Sunday. But, if any be found to be Judaizing, let them be declared 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 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 that it will be almost impossible for one to "buy or sell" except he receive this MARK OF THE BEAST!
This is the ONLY COMMANDMENT which was altered by the Roman Empire! In Daniel 7:25 we read the prophecy of this "BEAST" and the little horn (papacy) rising up, which was to think to CHANGE "times and laws." That is, change God's LAW in respect to TIME the time for the Sabbath!
What Is a Mark, Anyway?
Now what is a "mark"? In Bible usage it is virtually synonymous with a "sign," and in one or two places used interchangeably. There is merely this difference: A "mark" is a brand of identification, forced on 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 druggist hangs a sign in front of his store. It may say, "JONES & CO., DRUGS." 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 their MARK. Those who obeyed God and kept His Sabbath were martyred. They were unable to "buy or sell." But God does not force anyone. God lets us make our own decision about obeying Him, accepting Christ, and becoming His obedient children.
But is the Sabbath God's SIGN that we are Christians, belonging to HIM?
It was after God had made, and ratified, the Covenant with Israel. That Old Covenant, of course, was for limited duration and is now replaced with the New. But any covenant made after it had been made and ratified by blood was no part of that Old Covenant.
It was forty days after that ratification, that God made a new, separate, different Covenant between Himself and all who should be His people, to last forever. This was no temporary covenant, but for all generations, FOREVER.
It is found in Exodus 31:12-17:
"And the Eternal spake unto Moses, saying, Verily MY SABBATHS ye shall keep; for it is a SIGN between me and you throughout your generations." These generations of Israel (see our free booklet, "United States and Britain in Prophecy,") are still going on! Now WHY is it a sign? Does it IDENTIFY God to us? Does it identify us as HIS? "... that ye may know that I am the Eternal that doth sanctify you."
Get the powerful meaning of those words!
It is a SIGN, that we may KNOW that the Eternal is the true God. It identifies who God is. How? Notice verse 17: "It is a SIGN ... for in six days the Eternal made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed." It is the memorial of God's rest from CREATION. Always, in all parts of the Bible, God identifies Himself as CREATOR. How can we distinguish who is the TRUE God, from all the false gods?
The true God created all the false gods, and that from which they are made, and everything that is. Some worshipped the sun. But the Eternal, the true God, created the sun, and rules it. Some worship idols carved out of stone, or wood, or marble. But the true God created that from which they were made, and even the human beings who made them. The Sabbath is GOD'S Sabbath, not the Jewish Sabbath. Never does the Bible call it the "Jewish Sabbath." It identifies GOD as the CREATOR.
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 — and it was Christ, the Eternal, who made it! Therefore HE is Lord of the Sabbath! 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 worshipped false gods, and did not know who the true God was! When Israel quit keeping God's Sabbath, they went into idolatry (Ezek. 20:5, 11-13, 17-21).
It was for SABBATH-BREAKING GOD SENT BOTH ISRAEL AND JUDAH INTO SLAVERY!
But back to Exodus 31:17-18. It also is the SIGN by which we are identified as belonging to GOD. We BELONG to whom we obey — so we read in Romans! It is the sign by which we know He is the ETERNAL ... "that doth sanctify YOU." To sanctify is to set apart for spiritual use. 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? Could any atheist be a Sabbath keeper? THE SABBATH IDENTIFIES GOD'S PEOPLE!
God's people, we have seen above, are identified as they who KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS. The world acknowledges all the other nine Commandments. The only one the world rejects is the fourth. The only one that sets one apart from the world — that IDENTIFIES one as belonging to GOD — that is a SIGN of God — is the SABBATH.
Notice, verse 16, it is a "PERPETUAL COVENANT." It is a covenant! It is no part of the Old Covenant — no part of the law of Moses! It was made with Israel after all these, and is a separate, and perpetual COVENANT.
Notice verse 17: "It is a SIGN between me and the children of Israel FOREVER. There it is! It is a COVENANT. It is FOREVER!
When given to physical, flesh-born Israel, this covenant punished by death any breaking of the SIGN. Today, since the administration of the death penalty by the Levites and judges is not being done (II Cor. 3:7-8), and since all believers, in all nations, whether Israelite or Gentile are grafted into spiritual Israel (Romans 11:24), the willful refusal to keep this sign is punishable by death — the second death.
"He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God ...?" (Heb. 10:28-29).
On Right Hand and in Forehead
God says the penalty for SIN is DEATH! Sin is the transgression of the Law. If we break only this one Commandment, we are guilty. The penalty is DEATH!
The Roman Church caused people to receive the MARK of pagan ROME — the Sunday observed by the pagan Roman Empire — and the penalty for disobedience was DEATH! Fifty million or more were put to death — so says history.
It is the ONLY Commandment the world will not accept in its MIND (forehead) and OBEY (by work, or rest, with the HAND). It is the ONLY commandment that can distinguish between those who have the MARK of the BEAST, or the SIGN OF GOD.
Now the book of Revelation is written mostly in symbols. The right hand symbolizes work, or labor — the forehead, the intellect, or mind. It has to do with what we BELIEVE, in the mind, and whether we OBEY, with the hand.
How ABOUT GOD'S SIGN? It also was received in the forehead, and the hand!
Regarding one of God's annual Sabbaths, we read: "... it shall be for a SIGN unto thee upon thine hand, and for a memorial between thine eyes [forehead], that the Eternal's LAW may be in thy mouth" (Ex. 13:9).
Deuteronomy 6:1, 6-8: "Now these are the COMMANDMENTS ... and these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart ... and thou shalt bind them for a SIGN upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes."
Deuteronomy 11:18: "Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a SIGN upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes."
Also see Proverbs 7:2-3, and Revelation 7:3-4; 14:1.
There is absolute proof. Yes, the truth is very plain!
The Sabbath is God's SIGN, standing, more than any commandment, for OBEDIENCE. It was symbolically in the HAND and in the FOREHEAD, just as the MARK of the BEAST — the pagan SUNDAY- -was in the right HAND and in the FOREHEAD!
SUNDAY observance — Christmas, New Year's, Easter, etc. — this is the MARK of the BEAST!
The Church did cause all under the "Holy Roman Empire" to receive this "mark," during the middle ages. Has she stopped?
Just at present she has not the POWER to enforce this mark on everyone. But there will be a United States of EUROPE — a union of ten nations. It will be a UNION of Church and State — and the Church once again will sit astride "The BEAST."
Now notice Daniel 7:21, 22: "I beheld, and the same horn [papacy] made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; until the Ancient of days came [Second Coming of Christ] and judgment was given to the saints of the most High."
Yes, the MARK OF THE BEAST once again will be enforced! No one will be able to hold a job or engage in business without it. Those refusing will once again be tortured and martyred — probably by the secret police of the political state — but at the behest of the Church!
Today, ALL NATIONS are deceived by this paganism masquerading under the name "Christianity."
Today, America, Canada, Britain — Israelitish nations — are actually in the ways of this "BABYLON."
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!"
IF you are branded by this MARK, rejecting the SIGN of God in your forehead and hand, you shall be tortured by God's plagues without mercy! Yes, You!
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).