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The Mark of the Beast
By Dan Vis
October 22, 2017
Comments: 28

Note: This is the third and final post in our three part series on reasons to memorize from the 14th chapter of Revelation. Serious about memorization? Sign up for our life-changing Breakout Challenge. 30+ verses in 30 days, guaranteed! Enrollment closes tomorrow!

Over the last two weeks we've been exploring the messages of the three angels in Revelation 14 and discovering that they all point to the importance of memorization. The first angel begins with a call to Fear God, which is learned by hiding God's Word in the heart (Proverbs 2:1,5My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; . . . Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.). The second angel gives a warning to avoid the wine of Babylon, which can only be done by fortifying our minds with the truths of the Bible. This week we look at the message of the third and final angel.

Here is what it says:

Revelation 14:9-11
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: 11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

Without going into a detailed analysis of the identity of the Beast or even its Mark, a few things stand out.

First, the real issue in this angel's message revolves around choice. Either we obey the Beast and receive its Mark, or we obey God and refuse to receive it. The Beast threatens severe civil penalties (Revelation 13:16-1716 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.) to those who resist, while God warns of even more severe consequences, the wrath of God, to those who comply. The question is, who will we obey?

Perhaps a more interesting question is what determines who we end up obeying? To heed the warning of the third angel, we should understand the dynamics that are involved in ensuring we end up making the right choice.

You see, while we sometimes think of the Mark as a single decision, it is really the final stamp revealing a life-long pattern of decisions. The choice we make then will only reveal the choices we make today. Here's how one writer put it: "the time is not far distant when the test will come to every soul . . . The contest will be between the commandments of God and the commandments of men. Those who have yielded step by step to worldly demands and conformed to worldly customs will then yield to the powers that be" (Lift Him Up, p 164).

Which leads to the next question: Where can we find the power to yield ourselves consistently to God, today? How can we have the experience now that will prepare us to stand for God successfully, when the final challenge comes?

The answer, of course, is righteousness by faith. And while there are many theories about just how that works, the Bible gives us a very simple explanation:

But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above) Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach. Romans 10:6-86 But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) 7 Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) 8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;

True righteousness by faith is simply laying hold, by faith, on the power of the internalized Word to produce real righteousness. Righteousness is rooted in Scripture. That's the power source.

To quote the same author above once again:

The Bible, and the Bible alone, laid up in the heart and blessed by the Spirit of God, can make a man right and keep him right. 1888 Materials, p 194.

In other words, once again, this third angel of Revelation 14 is calling us to a deeper experience in the internalized Word. We've seen in our study of the first angel's message, that hiding God's Word in our heart will help us to understand the fear of the Lord. And we've seen in our study of the second angel's message, that fortifying our mind with the truths of the Bible is the only hope we have of escaping the subtle deceptions of Babylon's wine. And now the third angel is calling us to lay up God's Word in our hearts as a living power source for authentic victorious living. All three angels are calling us to memorize Scripture!

Ultimately God's people will respond to these appeals, for these messages produce at last a people who "keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus" (Revelation 14:12Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.). And soon after, a voice from heaven cries out, "thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe" (Revelation 14:15And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.). God's Word has accomplished its purpose--and produced a people fully loyal to heaven...

I want to be in that group, don't you? To understand the fear of the Lord. To be inoculated against the wine of Babylon. To enjoy an authentic experience in righteousness by faith. And for these reasons I'm determined to memorize Scripture. Won't you make that commitment too?

Comments

How important is an understanding of righteousness by faith to a life of victory? How important is living a life of victory today for future victory over the beast? Share your comments in the section below.

Posted by Carole Bliss on 03/24/19
I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength Philippians 4:13I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.. When I rely on Jesus, and focus on Him, I have the strength I need. I can't earn salvation. It is a gift from God. HE is my righteousness. Blessings, Carole
Posted by Dan Vis on 05/07/18

Glad this inspired you Lynie! Be sure to let us know if you need any help getting started...

Great thoughts Pam. That quote captures the principle at work here perfectly. And your picture of every choice being a weight anchoring us more and more firmly to one side or the other is definitely better than one pebble tipping a nearly balanced scale.

Even now we see people becoming more and more polarized. And probation won't fully close until everyone has finally gotten off the fence at last. Which implies, the sooner we are able to fully reveal Christ fully, the better. The longer we wait the more people will be settled into one side or the other, and the harder it will be to persuade them to change. Until finally Revelation 22:11He 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..

Profound stuff! Thanks for sharing...

Posted by Pamela Kendall on 05/06/18

This lesson reminds me of Revelation 22:11He 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. and the following quote from Steps to Christ .

The character is revealed, not by occasional good deeds and occasional misdeeds, but by the tendency of the habitual words and acts. {SC 57.2}

Every choice we make is adding another weight in the balance on one side or the other - the day of final choice between the mark of the beast and the seal of God will be but the last straw, the final pebble in the balance that tips the scale to one side or the other. But perhaps this is not the best picture... If we are 50/50 between God and Satan... riding the fence as it were it will take but a puff of wind, a little threat of danger or persecution to blow us over on Satan's side.

Here is perhaps a better picture. if we consistently put our choices on God's side of the balance now the scales will be so heavy toward his side that no temptation, no inducement or threat of the devil or the beast power will be able to sway us to change our choice in the day of the last great decision. God's side of the balance will be so heavy with habitual good choices that the scale will be "anchored" down on God's side and we will be "immoveable" and God will be able to seal us as his for we will never want to change our mind. I Corinthians 15:57-5857 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. If we base our choices today on the word of God we will be safe in that day for the word will never lead us the wrong way! If the word is in our heart the Holy Spirit will be able to bring it to our mind each day at each fork in the road and lead us in a safe path. John 14:26But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. ; Isaiah 30:21And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left. ; Proverbs 3:21,23My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion: . . . Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble.

Posted by Lynie on 11/07/17
Thank you so much for the sharing.. It reminds me to get start of memorize bible verse.. It's fun... May God's Will be done..
Posted by Dan Vis on 11/06/17
Nice thoughts there Debbie! Glad you enjoyed this post. :)
Posted by Debbie Payne on 11/06/17
Powerful message Pastor Dan! It is so comforting in these unsettling times to know that God literally "has our back" as He seals us for His Kingdom. What a blessing to know that we can rest in His peace as we study His Word, pray, worship, witness and wait for His soon coming. I love that as our "foundation in God" settles...we shall not be moved. Praising God for His love for us.
Posted by Qing Ling on 11/06/17
Yeah, it's the new lightbulb :)
Posted by Dan Vis on 11/06/17
*Kapow*? Cool Qing...
Posted by Qing Ling on 11/06/17

Dan *kapow* that is mind blowing. yet another line upon line moment - comparing scripture with scripture. AWESOME!!!

That will be added to my list of go-to verses when sharing the God=Jesus=Spirit=WORD connection:
John 1:1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God., John 6:63It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life., John 15:3Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.....

i love bible equations!

Posted by Dan Vis on 11/06/17

Debbie, that statement of mine brings another statement to mind which says the seal of God is "a settling into the truth, both intellectually and spiritually, so they cannot be moved" (Maranatha 201). Goes right along the same lines, doesn't it?

And thanks for mentioning Deut 30, Qing! Actually if you compare Romans 10:6-86 But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) 7 Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) 8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; with Deuteronomy 30:11-1411 For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off. 12 It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? 13 Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? 14 But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it. you'll see the whole passage is a quote from the Old Testament, with one exception: Paul replaces the Word ("command") with Christ! Fascinating. Evidently Paul understand that Christ in the heart was in fact God's Word in the heart. Chew on that some.

When I get time, I'd like to put FSAT on Amazon with their print on demand service. I'm not sure I want to invest in another big printing. Our new house is a bit small! :)

Posted by Qing Ling on 11/06/17

Dan what will it take to get another reprint of hardcopy FSAT? :D

Debbie I agree that statement stood out for me too:
while we sometimes think of the Mark as a single decision, it is really the final stamp revealing a life-long pattern of decisions.

That so clearly explains to me how just God will be in His judgment. When the books are opened (Revelation 20:12And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.), we shall know that truly God did everything He could to give everyone the utmost opportunity to decide if they wanted to be reconciled to God or not.

It also reiterates the importance of making wise decisions NOW - there is no time to waste! EVERY decision moves us either nearer or further away from God. There is no stagnancy in our choices.

By the way Romans 10:8But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; borrows from Deuteronomy 30:14But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it., one of my fav verses re: the power of the Word to TRANSFORM lives. :)

Love this 3-part series of memos Dan - am going to post them up on my church pinboard!

Posted by Wendelina P Deligero on 11/04/17

Amen to all that. Thank you Ptr. Dan. The 3rd angel message is righteousness by faith in verity.

Blessings to all.

Posted by Dan Vis on 11/02/17

David, I think this is the quote you are referring to:

Several have written to me, inquiring if the message of justification by faith is the third angel's message, and I have answered, 'It is the third angel's message in verity.' (RH, 4/1/1890)

It is an interesting quote isn't it?

Posted by Fiona van Wyk on 11/02/17

A message for you, Dan from David.

Thank you for your lovely thoughts, David. :-)

Posted by David Grabe on 11/01/17

Thank you Pastor Dan,
"So then, (righteousness by) faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."Romans 10:17So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
"Therefore lay aside all filthiness & overflow of wickedness, and receive the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. but be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves"..."
But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does." James 1:21-2521 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. 22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. 23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: 24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. 25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

Just a thought. Is there a statement from that favorite writer of yours & mine that says," The three angels messages is righteousness by faith in verity."
Thank you again Pastor Dan?
Now for the Breakout Memory Challenge!

May the Lord bless us each one this day!

Posted by Dan Vis on 10/24/17

Nice word picture Carole! Love the idea of a little child just learning to walk!

If you enjoyed this Shanthi, you might want to get a copy of the For Such A Time book. It goes into all this in much more detail. Unfortunately it's out of print, but we do have a digital version in our Resource area.

Thanks for your enthusiasm Diane. It's members like you who help make FAST such a great community!

Nice and to the point Nievelyn. You are exactly right...

Posted by Nievelyn on 10/24/17
It is the BIble and only the Bible will take us closer to Jesus, for He is the Word.
Posted by Diane Castanon on 10/24/17

Hallelujah and Amen!!! Yes! This is why I LOVE FAST! Encouraging commitment, encouraging faithfulness, encouraging us to stay in the Word!

Dan, you make it very clear in Monday's memo how important it is to memorize God's Word, from bible texts that I grew up hearing, and how much clearer these are to me now.

I also love how Konni said, "I join the chorus of praise to God for His Word to us." I join that chorus too, as I LOVE to sing!

Also how Carole shared how we learn as a child. This is definitely me! As a child, I was bored with learning history in school, but the Bible history fills me with great joy!
Love to all FAST participants! His mercies are new every morning!

Posted by Shanthi Solomon on 10/24/17
The explanation of the three angels messages in relation to scripture memorization is so amazing and I feel so true. Only the Holy Spirit could have brought this about. Thank you Dan.
Posted by Carole Bliss on 10/24/17
I just read this message. It makes me think of a child learning how to walk.
Its one step at a time. If they are careful, they will get to the other side of the room. If they become distracted, they will fall. We are the same way, it is a day by day time with JESUS and His Word, and seeking His choices that we grow closes to Him. Knowing His Word, praying to share His Word with others, is so needed.
Blessings,
Carole
Posted by Dan Vis on 10/23/17
Wow, thanks everyone for the encouraging feedback to today's memo! I love how Konni put it: a "chorus of praise to God for His Word to us"! Your testimonies and insights are so inspiring to me. Let's keep pressing forward everyone! Ann John Joy Leslie Debbie.
Posted by Debbie Payne on 10/23/17
Thank you! Thank you! I love your comment in regards to the mark of the beast, "the final stamp revealing a life-long pattern of decisions." I've never heard it so clearly stated and easy to understand. Powerful!
Posted by Konni Plue on 10/23/17
I join the chorus of praise to God for His Word to us. I too want to continue to be filled with His Holy Spirit and hide His Word in my heart. Thank you Pastor Dan for showing us the connection between the 3 Angels messages and the need to eat, digest, and store the Bible in our hearts.
Posted by Leslie Caza on 10/23/17
We can have faith only in what we know and have proven to be faithful. Ignorance is not bliss. To know the word of God is to know the Author and Finisher of our faith. The Engine continues to be a most useful tool for me to memorize and thus live by and share the word of life.
Posted by Valerie Wise Burrell on 10/23/17
Praise the Lord! This message is so timely because the events that are unfolding in the U.S. are indicative of what we have been warned about in the scriptures. It is a solemn time and also an exciting time. I want to hide His word in my heart that I will not sin against Him. Thank you Dan Vis.
Posted by Joy Hank on 10/23/17
It is essential that right doing (righteousness) be by the faith of Jesus alone. It is resting our faith in His faith as Paul says in Galatians 2:20I am crucified with Christ: neverthless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me..
It is why Revelation 14:13And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them. assures us that only then will we have a life of victory. Thank you, Dan, for clarifying greater reasons to memorise scripture. God bless.
Posted by John Gilmore on 10/23/17
Thank you, Dan, for strengthening again the connection between memorization and righteousness/victory. God's Word is so encouraging and powerful!
Posted by Ann Lavenburg on 10/23/17
Having God's word in one's heart is such a blessing AND being able to share with others where that verse is found is essential to the witnessing success. I've been able to paraphrase for years but actually knowing the scriptures word for word AND the reference brings so much more assurance to the "witnesser" and makes the words more effective. God's word is powerful it will not return unto him void, Isaiah 55:11So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. .

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