We’re near the end. The world is breaking down, People are breaking down. Society is breaking down. Jesus IS coming soon. What will that be like? Will He come and take His people away in a secret rapture? Will there be a thousand years of peace? What does the Bible say? In this lesson we will touch on the Mark of the Beast and the Seal of God and how they fit into the final days. We will cover both of these in depth as to what causes you to receive the Mark or the Seal in a later lesson.
Before We Start
Dear Jesus. We know you are coming soon. The signs all around us point to that happening very shortly. We pray for the Holy Spirit to open our eyes to see your truths. Amen.
The Beginning of the End
Two lessons ago we looked at the beginning of the end. This is where this lesson starts. Let’s start with the United States. Rev 13:11 And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. Revelation 13:11 talks about another power that arises from an unpopulated area near the end of the 2,300 day prophecy. The only power that meets that description is the United States of America. The two horns represent two separate powers but since the horns have no crowns, then the horns do not represent kingdoms, but a separation of power. This could represent the two party system we have or it could represent a separation of church and state. It starts out as a lamb but as the verse says, it speaks as a dragon. The only dragon we know in the Bible is Satan. How does a country speak? Through its laws. The US was founded on religiousliberty, but somewhere in the future the US will make laws to support Satan’s way of worship. We will go into this a little later in this lesson.
The 1844 Time Period
Soon after the US was established, the 2,300 day prophecy ended in 1844. The text for that is in Daniel 8. But if you will remember in Daniel 9:24 God seals up the vision, “….. and to seal up the vision…” because it is for the future, as it shows in Daniel 11:14, “Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days.” So we see that the understanding of the 2,300 day prophecy was sealed until the time of the end when it would become prominent and people would begin to study the prophecy. Daniel 12 says it a little more plainly. Dan. 12:9 And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. 10 Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand. Dan. 12:4 But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased. Many people used to read “run to and fro” as traveling all around as we do in modern times. The Greek however, translates better into turning pages back and forth. So at the end of time, many people will read and study Daniel and their knowledge will increase. We saw this happen after 1798. Let’s read Revelation 10:8-11. John has been talking tothe Angel in vision who has in His hand a little book that was sealed. Rev 10:8 And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said, Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth. 9 And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey. 10 And I took the little book out of the angel's hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter. 11 And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings. The only little book that was sealed in the Bible was the book of Daniel as it talked about the 2,300 day prophecy. John is told to eat the book, the rest you have just read. When the Millerites heard the prophecy of Daniel about the end of the 2,300 days, they were excited,. Jesus was coming back. A few years later, came the Great Disappointment when He didn’t come as expected. Do you see the Great Disappointment in the text above? The message was so sweet to their ears but when it didn't happen, it became a bitter disappointment. Habakkuk 2:1-4 also talks about this time. Hab 2:1 I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved. 2 And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. 3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. 4 Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith. We talked about the judgment starting at this time in an earlier lesson but here is another text to add to it. I Peter 4:17 says that the righteous will be judged first. The wicked will be judged later. 1 Peter 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
Timing and Placing of the Events
As we continue the rest of the lesson, We will use texts that link two or more events together so that you will see which event comes first. In some cases, the Bible talks about events but doesn’t give a specific time period where they occur. In these cases, we will identify why we place them in a specific time slot. Based on the flow of events and Bible study, we can may deduce their placement with confidence.
Preach The Message
John was told that he would prophesy before many peoples. How? Through the book of Revelation. Before we continue, let’s go back to Genesis 5-8 and the story about Noah and the flood. Noah preached before the flood came but nobody believed him. John’s “preaching” is similar to Noah’s in that he is warning of the destruction to come. Rev 10:11 And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.Rev 14:6 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, 7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. 8 And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication 9 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, 10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: The message to be preached at this end time was threefold: 1. Worship God because His judgment hour IS here, and remember Him as the Creator. (So much for evolution). 2. Satan and all those who push his philosophies have been defeated by Jesus at the cross. Don’t drink his wine, it confuses you 3. If you worship Satan and receive his mark, you will die the second and final death Rev 18:1 And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory This is the step which I believe is starting to happen now. The message of God is going to go to all the world and there will be a great spiritual revival.
Miracles, Signs and Wonders
As the message of God goes through-out the world, Satan will have a counterfeit message. Remember, he is in a war for our souls. Satan is going to use every deception that he can to try and trap us. God is also going to give us every chance He can for us to choose Him. As Jesus was talking to His disciples before His crucifixion, He warned them about the future. Mat 24:4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. 5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. 6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows. 9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, andshall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. 10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. 11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. 12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. 13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. 15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) 16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: 17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: 18 Neither let him which is in the field return back totake his clothes. 19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! 20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: ; 21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened. 23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. 24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. 25 Behold, I have told you before. 26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. ; 27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.As Jesus was explaining this to His disciples, He warned them about false Christs and false prophets. He warned them about miracles that these people or demons would perform. Even to almost deceive those who follow Christ. He specifically gave instructions as to His coming. It will not be secret. One of these deceptions may even be a secret rapture. Many people believe in a secret rapture, but this is not a biblical teaching. Let’s take a quick look at the texts involved. Matt. 24:36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. 37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, ; 39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Many people read verses 40 and 41 but forget to read verses 36-39 and especially verse 39. Who was left and who was taken away? Because so many people believe in the secret rapture, Satan might very well use that as one of his deceptions. Another text warning of thedeceptions is found in Mark 13. Mark 13:21 And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not: 22 For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect. 23 But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things Let’s see what Paul says in Second Thessalonians. 2 Thes: 2:5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? 6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. 7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. 8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: 9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. Paul talks about the Antichrist who will deceive everyone. Antichrist has two meanings, “against” Christ, and “in place of” Christ. Isthere a person today who claims to be “in place of Christ?” Notice that those who die do not love the truth but they love unrighteousness. All of these signs and miracles are designed to fool people into thinking that Jesus is the one doing these miracles when in actuality it is Satan. Why? Because if people believe that Jesus is doing the miracles, they will accept the doctrine that He teaches which will be against what the Bible teaches.
Succession of Power
Let’s review the world powers again. Babylon started the series, followed by Medo-Persia, followed by Greece, followed by Pagan Rome, followed by Papal Rome followed by the United States. Remember, 1798 brought an end to the Papal Roman Empire, but just as it was ending, the beast from the earth arose (1776—the US). Is the US going to be a world –wide power like the other kingdoms? No, but it will continue the policies of the power just before it. Let’s read Revelation 13 to see what the Bible says. Rev 13:11 And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. 12 And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. 13 And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, 14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast;saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. 15 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. 16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: 17 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. 18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hathunderstanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six. Wow, there is a lot of information in this passage. As we review this passage, remember that this will not happen immediately but gradually over time. However, once the tipping point is passed, events will be rapid. Verse 11 says that this beast will speak as a dragon. A beast represents a kingdom, so how does a kingdom speak? Through its laws. This is saying that the US will legislate laws to do Satan’s bidding (Satan is the dragon). This means that laws dealing with religious practices will be enacted by the US. But I thought that the US had laws to separate church and state? Before we answer this, look at all the natural disasters happening today. Now suppose these natural disasters were to multiply. If the people are deceived by Satan’s false miracles and teachings, and if the false Christ causes people to believe that these disasters are happening because a certain group of people are not following the teachings of this false Christ, can you see how quickly laws could be enacted to “resolve this problem”? Do you see how this is a continuation of the power before it? Remember the Dark Ages. Continuing on to verse 12, this power taking over from the previous power will “heal” the deadly wound of 1798. How? By continuing its practices and giving it a say in the legislation itproposes and also legislating religious practices dictated by the former power.Verses 13-14 says that great signs and miracles will be performed by this power, even fire coming down from heaven. How will this happen? I’m not sure. Maybe a leader like the president or someone else high in the government may be able to do these miracles. Or it could be one of Satan’s angels disguised as a leader. The Bible does not specify and I won’t assume. Verse 14 does specify that it will give power to the first beast which was wounded and now is healed. Now it says that life is given back to the “image” of the beast. An image looks just like the original. No difference. The practices and policies of the first beast power (Papal Rome) will become the practices and policies of this second beast power (the US). Can you imaginethe Dark Ages all over again? Verse 15 says that this power gives life back to the wounded beast and will kill those who do not worship as the first beast dictates. In fact, verses 15-16 show that it will be responsible for marking those who can buy or sell. No mark, no buying or selling. No mark? Your money and property is worthless. So how do you live if you are not marked? God WILL provide. Verse 18 talks about the number of the beast. Remember a beast is a kingdom, but a man is in charge. Many Bible students look at the miter crown that the pope wears and by adding the roman numerals in the Latin name of the pope, they come up with the number 666. (See Wikipedia—Number of the Beast) You can see the timing of the events so far. First comes spiritual awakening and also deception . People start deciding who to serve. Satan becomes angry and ups the ante. He starts legislating worship. If that doesn’t work, he will kill and take away your ability to survive. All this through the power arising in the late 1700’s.
The Seal Of God
We just looked at the Mark of the Beast being given to enable buying and selling. Well that is the counterfeit of God’s mark or His Seal. Just as Satan marks his people, God will mark His. One mark will be visible, one probably will not. What is the Mark of the Beast? It will be needed to buy or sell so it will have to be a visible mark. It could consist of anything as wide ranging as a tattoo or as simple as a credit card. It will be given only if you follow the laws governing worship. It is not a mark that you will receive unknowingly. You WILL have to make a choice to receive it. What is the Seal of God? It is probably not visible except as one sees the character of the sealed individual. It is most likely a firm assurance and deep conviction that God is right and you will follow Him no matter the consequences, even starvation and death. We do know from Revelation 12:17, 14:12, and 22:14 that the final people who are saved will keep the commandments of God. ALL the commandments. So let’s see what the Bible says. Rev. 7:1 And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree 2 And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the sealof the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, 3 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. From this passage we see that there are four angels holding back the winds (strife) from blowing on this earth. From the calamities occurring today, you can be certain, that these winds are already starting to be released. God requests these angels not to let go until He has sealed His followers in their forehead. In other words, God is giving His people a chance to make their final decision, for or against God. When they make that decision, they will either be sealed by God or they will knowingly accept the mark of the beast. Since we see that the world is getting worse. We can be sure that the sealing process is already started. But God will give EVERYONE the chance to be sealed. He will present His message to ALL the world, and those who accept will be sealed. Those who reject His message will get the mark of the beast. What is this message? It is all about worship. Do you follow God or do you follow man. The war started about worship and the law and the war will end on the same theme. A later lesson will cover this much deeper. Rev 22:11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. 12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.Reading Revelation 22:11-12 gives us an insight into the sealing process. When God is finished sealing everyone who accepts Him, He utters the words which seal everyone. Those who are righteous remain righteous and those who are unrighteous remain unrighteous. There is no changing after this. Aperfect example is found in Genesis 7:16 where God closed the doors of the ark after Noah and his family went in. Once the door was closed, no one else could enter, and all those outside the ark were destroyed. The same thing happens here. The unrighteous have no further chance for salvation. Gen 7:16 And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the LORD shut him in. Even though the door of the ark was shut, it did not rain for seven days. Those on the outside continued in their daily life, laughing at Noah and his family for being so stupid. But after seven days, the rain started and the wicked were destroyed. Gen 7:4 For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth. Gen 7:10 And it came to pass after seven days, that the waters of the flood were upon the earth. When the final probation closes on this earth and God utters the words sealing everyone, life will continue for a short while. Nobody knows that the sealing process has been finished until Jesus returns and then it will be too late. But just like Noah in the ark, and also like the children of Israel during the time of Moses, we will be protected.Remember the thief in the night analogy that Jesus spoke about? There are two events that happen when you get hit by a thief. The first one is when he comes in the middle of the night. No one knows he was there and the goods were stolen. The second event comes in the morning when you wake up and find that you’ve been robbed. It’s already too late to do anything about it. That’s is how Jesus said He would come. But, He warned us to be on the lookout . We can see the signs and know that He is already at the door. If you read Ezekiel 9, you’ll see an old testament version of the sealing and destruction.
What Happens To The Righteous During This Time Of Trouble?
The time of trouble starts very soon after the deception starts. The false Christs will encourage the religious laws against those who choose not to follow man’s laws. This will lead to the death decree. Just as the Christians were martyred and died for their beliefs, we will see the same again. Why? Until probation closes and everyone is marked or sealed, the martyrdom of some will cause others to take their stand. God wants to save as many as possible. Those who die, will do it willingly. God will not allow someone to be martyred and then lose them. He promises that we will never be placed in a position beyond our ability to bear it. If necessary He will put us to sleep before we reach that point. 1 Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. However, once everyone has been sealed or marked, there is no purpose for martyrdom. At that point in time, no one can change their position. Those who are sealed will now be protected. These are the 144,000. These are the ones who will be alive when Jesus comes.
Let’s review these events again. 1. Pagan Rome conquers Greece to become a world power 2. Pagan Rome falls apart and gives way to Papal Rome 3. Papal Rome is “wounded” by General Berthier in 1798 4. Another kingdom arises from an unpopulated area about the same time—the United States 5. This new power starts off with religious liberty 6. The prophecies of John are preached 7. Worldwide spiritual revival occurs 8. Satan counterfeits this revival and deceives many with signs and miracles. False Christs appear and teach non-biblical teachings 9. The US legislates laws to enact policies and practices of the previous power 10. It kills those who resist these religious laws 11. It issues a special ’Mark”, which is required for buying and selling 12.Everyone has to choose between God’s laws and man’s laws 13. Those choosing God receive His seal 14. When all are sealed, probation closes 15. Time continues for a short time, but the righteous are protected
How Does This Show God’s Love?
Jesus wants as many people as possible to be saved. That is why He is still waiting before He comes. After all, He is our brother and our creator. Before probation closes, He gives EVERYONE a chance to choose Him or to reject Him. He has given us all the information we need to know about the final events, so we will not be deceived. What more can He do?