Doug Batchelor - The Deadly Mark
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All right, we're going to be talking tonight about the deadly mark, talking about the mark of the beast and not just the mark of the beast. We're going to be talking also about the seal of God and you've been waiting for this presentation. The Bible tells us, in the book of Genesis, Adam and Eve had two sons. We alluded to this story a little earlier. Their names were Cain and Abel. You read in Genesis 4:2, "Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground," sort of like Jacob and Esau. One took care of sheep and the other was a hunter. Twins, but they were different. The Bible doesn't tell us Cain and Abel were twins. Cain was probably the firstborn.
You see, the Lord established the sacrificial system right after Adam and Eve's sin. They tried to cover their sin with fig leaves and God said that will not do. And he covered them with skin that required something to die. God explained that the death of these lambs were a symbol for when his son would come as the lamb of God and the sacrificial system was established, they would bring their sacrifices to their gates of the garden of Eden. They'd been evicted, but when the time came for them to make an offering to the Lord, Cain as a tiller of the land, he said, Look, Abel, you keep sheep. That makes sense for you to offer a lamb that's kind of messy, I don't want to do that. I'm a farmer, I'm going to offer fruit. And Abel said with his brother, he said, "But that's not what God told us to do. We need to obey God." We got to this problem because we didn't obey God and he kind of aggravated him that his younger brother was telling him what to do. And eventually it says that now "Cain talked with Abel, his brother and Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him."
Here you have the first murder in the universe. You've got two brothers ostensibly worshiping the same God. Cain made an offering to God. He built an altar, he made a sacrifice, but he's doing it his own way. He's changed it, it's manmade worship, and he now persecutes his brother. The Bible says Abel's offering was accepted, that bothered Cain when he saw fire come from God and accept Abel's offering, but it didn't accept his offering, and he became so angry that he killed him. Did he kill Abel for his badness or because of his goodness?
Why were the religious leaders so angry at Jesus because of his badness or because his goodness made their badness stand out? If you have light in you, it will reveal the darkness in others and it will either convert them or really bother them. And the Bible says, because of Cain's awful sin, it says, "The Lord set a mark on Cain lest anyone finding him should kill him." And so you have here worship persecution and a mark is placed on one group.
I'm going to read a passage to you that explains why this subject is so important. In Revelation 14:9, "Then a third angel followed them saying with a loud voice, 'If anyone worships the beast in his image and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself will also drink of the wine of the wrath of God that is poured out full strength into the cup of his indignation, He will be tormented with fire and brimstone, in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the lamb and the smoke of their torment ascends up forever and ever and they have no rest. No rest, day or night who worship the beast in his image and whoever receives the mark of his name.'" Then it contrasts that with, "Here are those that keep. Here is the patience of the saints. Here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus."
So when we're talking about this very important subject, the reason we covered is the Lord is making the very strongest possible arguments in the last days and he's saying, "Do not worship the beast. Do not receive the mark of the beast." But everybody in revelation has a mark. Turn with me please now to Revelation chapter 14, and this will set the stage and then we'll go from there into the slide program. Revelation 7:1. "After these things, I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth."
Now everyone realizes these angels are symbols of the four directions of the earth, north, south, east, and west. That no wind should blow upon the earth or on the sea or any tree. Those winds or storms was talking about trouble. And I saw an angel ascend 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 or the sea or the trees till we have sealed servants of our God in their foreheads."
All right, question number one. With that background, I think we can move along and it'll make more sense. Who is protected through the seven last plagues? So before these angels release the grip on the storm and that storm is the plagues, what has to happen? It says in Revelation 7:3, "Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads. Now with the mark of the beast, it says, hand and forehead. With the seal of God, it just says forehead.
Question two, what is this seal? Instead of focusing on the mark you don't want, let's talk about the seal you do want, amen. Then we'll get to the mark, look at the positive first. What is this seal that the righteous have in their forehead? Well, you know the Bible tells us two or three places, we are sealed with the Holy Spirit. Everybody that has the mark of the beast has got the spirit of the devil. You already knew that, everybody that has the seal of God has the spirit of God. You're not going to find anybody with the seal of God that doesn't also have the spirit of God. So that's the inner essence of that seal. We have God's spirit in us. "Grieve not the Holy Spirit, we're with you are sealed for the day of redemption." Paul tells us, but there's something more that's more specific. What is this seal? You look in Isaiah chapter 8:16, "Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples. Everybody that has the seal of God has the law of God in their hearts, but there's more in the law.
What is a seal? A seal biblically, contains three characteristics, even in our world today. When you go and you hear the President give a speech, he'll come to the podium and it'll have the seal. It'll say the president's name, it'll say a president, his office, United States of America. You got to Britain, it'll say Elizabeth, Queen England. Wherever you have a government seal, it's got three characteristics. When there was a seal placed on the tomb of Jesus, what did it say? Remember, Pilate put a seal, Pontus Pilate, Governor Judea. When there was a seal placed on the lions' den then they took a stone, they put it on Daniel's lions then and it said Darius King, Mede-Persia. It's got the name, their title, their territory.
All right, so you've got these three components in a seal. Now here's the question. Do you find the seal of God in the law of God? Question number three, which of the 10 commandments contains all of the elements of a seal? You read there in Exodus 20:11, "For in six days the Lord," that's his name, Jehovah made, that's his office. He is the creator and sustainer of all life, the heavens and the earth and the sea and all that is in them. That's his territory, his name, his office, his territory is in the middle of the law in the longest of the 10 Commandments, in the only commandment that begins with the word remember and I think I shared this with you the night that we talked about the Sabbath truth.
That's why this subject's important is because in the world you've got the Holy Land there in Israel and in the Holy Land you've got the Holy City. And in the Holy City you've got the Holy Mount, and on the Holy Mount you've got the Holy Temple. And in the Holy Temple you've got the Holy Place and within the Holy Place you've got the Holy of Holies. And in the Holy of Holies you've got the Holy Ark. And in the Holy Ark you've got the Holy Law. And in the Holy Law you've got the word holy one time, you know where that is? Fourth commandment. God is asking us to keep a special time holy for His worship.
Now we should worship God... some people say, Oh Pastor Doug, you guys, you worship God one day a week. I worship God every day of the week. That sounds very sanctimonious when you say it, but it's really not valid because God is the one who thought up the idea of worshiping him in a special way, one day a week, right?
And if you say I'm worshiping God seven days a week, that's wonderful, I do too. But if you're saying that you're keeping the Sabbath seven days a week, you're not holy, you're lazy because it says you're not supposed to work. And so it is definitely itemized by God. It's not the church's idea, the Sabbath was God's idea, right? Let's keep that straight. And so this is in the middle of God's law, the seal of God's law is there, people who love the Lord Jesus said, 'Come to me, I'll give you rest.' What did we learn about those who worship the beast? They have no rest. Day or night, the Sabbath is a sign of the rest that we have in Christ, every week, amen. And people think about it like it's a burden, it's a blessing and it's also very important in the last days, it talks about who we worship.
Why has God given this special sign of his power? Let's look at some of these verses. Ezekiel 20:12. I also gave them my Sabbath to be a sign, like a seal between me and them that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctifies them. Does God only sanctify Jews or does every believer need the sanctification of the Holy Spirit? The Sabbath is a sign. First thing that God did after he made Adam and Eve, he made a day and he made it holy, he sanctified it. He made their marriage holy. There are two institutions that God gave us out of Eden, the Garden of Eden marriage, holy and a day that is holy.
Do you realize that you can't experience love without time? All love requires time to express it, isn't that right? Your life requires time. So if you believe that the Lord sanctifies, then this is an important truth. Again, Ezekiel 20:20, "Hallow My Sabbaths and there'll be a sign between me and you that you might know that I am the Lord, your God." He says it's a sign also says it's a sign that he is the creator. He not only sanctifies us, but he creates us. Exodus 31:13, "Surely my sabbaths, you shall keep for it as a sign between me and you throughout your generations that you might know that I am the Lord who sanctifies you."
Several times God says, it's a sign, it's a sign. Don't forget this. And the very fact that the children of Israel were told to remember it means it existed before it was given on Mount Sinai when they were raining bread down from heaven. In Exodus chapter 16, that's before Exodus 20, where God gives the 10 commandments. It tells us that he said there's not going to be any bread on the seventh day because that's my Sabbath. Where'd that come from? Back in Genesis chapter two, it was made for man. That's not how you spell Jew, M-A-N, it's mankind, let's talking about humanity.
Number seven, is either the mark of the beast or the seal of God visible? This is where I want you to pay special attention. Look in Hebrews 10:16 that "Says the Lord: I will put my laws in their hearts and in their minds, I will write them." The law of God in the heart and in the mind. Is that physical or is that something inside, spiritual Exodus 13:9, "It shall be assigned to you on your hand and a memorial between your eyes." What do you call this spot between your eyes? Your forehead. What did David use to bring down Goliath? A rock. And where'd it hit him? Between the eyes. See for the Jew, this is between the eyes. It's not talk about where your glasses hang. It's talking about in the hand and in the forehead.
Now I'm going to show you a few other verses on this. Look at Isaiah 59:6. "There are works or works of iniquity and the act of violence is in their hand." So in the Bible, when it says in the hand, represents your actions. In the forehead, your thoughts and your worship. If I say, "Can you please lend me a hand?" You don't unscrew your hand and throw it to me, right? It means can you give me some action.
Let me give you a couple more verses. If you go in your Bible to the book of Deuteronomy, one of the most important scriptures for the Jewish nation was the great Shema that you would find in Deuteronomy 6:4. But I want you to notice here what it says right after that. Deuteronomy chapter five, they have the 10 commandments, Deuteronomy six, this is all one message. So Moses is not stopped and is part of a continuation of the 10 Commandments being repeated. "Hear all Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength and these words that I command you today."
Now, Jesus said the greatest commandment, is loving the Lord, right? That was it, the greatest commandment. What does he say immediately after that? These words I command you today, He just recited the 10 commandments. Chapter five will be in your heart. Now, when he says in your heart, does that mean you make an incision in your chest and you peel it open and you put the law in there and sew it up? Or is it a metaphor? Metaphor, right?
Keep reading. You shall teach them diligently to your children. Verse seven, talk of them when you sit in the house, when you walk by the way, when you lay down, when you rise up the law of God, you shall bind them for a sign. It's like a seal, bind them for a sign on your hand. They shall be as frontlets between your eyes.
Friends, this is just so easy when you think about it, God is saying over and over in His word, the law of God is to be in your actions, in your hands and in your forehead, in your mind. And it starts by being in your heart. If first it is in your heart, it'll then be in your hand and in your head, right? And so if you do not have the law of God in your heart, in your hand, in your head, in the last days, you'll have the mark of the beast in your forehead or in your hand.
Quite simply, there's going to be two kinds of worship in the last days. There's going to be laws that will compel us to worship, that is going to require us to violate the law of God. And we're going to have to make the same decision that Daniel and Esther and Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego they all made. Does anybody have the mark of the beast now? Not yet, when will it become official? You look in Revelation 13, it says, "No man might buy or sell except the one who has the mark or the name of the beast or the number of his name."
See, the anti-Christ power is going to try to compel people to worship a certain way. Now in Daniel chapter three, it was the second commandment, Daniel chapter six. It was the first commandment and the last days the issue is going to revolve around the fourth commandment. The fourth commandment is the seal of God and the beast power is going to be saying, No, you cannot worship on the day God said, you've got to worship on the day that we set aside. What was God's criticism against his ancient pastors and priests? He said, "You have caused many to stumble at the law. You have not kept my ways, but you have shown partiality in the law." Hosea 4:6, "My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge."
He said his people, today it would be Christians. Why are they destroyed? Because you've rejected knowledge. I'll reject you from being a priest for me because you have forgotten the law of your God. I will forget your children. This is pretty serious. It's one of the prophets that lived just before the time of Jesus. And he said the people were forgetting the law of God. How did God's ancient leaders regard the great things from his law? He says, "I've written to them from the great things of my law, but they were counted as a strange thing."
What specific solemn rebuke did God give religious leaders regarding his Holy Sabbath? Answer, he says, You have despised my holy sayings and you've profaned my Sabbath. Again, Ezekiel 22:26, "Her priests have violated my law and profaned my holy things. They have not distinguished between the holy and the unholy."
My friends, I don't ever want to apologize for telling you that God said, "Blessed are the pure in heart, they will see God." God is calling us the holiness. Jesus will cover you with his blood and give you his holiness as a gift. But he wants us to then grow in sanctification and learn how to live holy lives where we are dedicated to him. We are doing our best, that's why we sing that song. Make me willing to do your will. What is the will of God? I love to do thy will, thy law is in my heart. That's what it says in the Psalms, Psalm 40:7. And so we're talking about living holy lives, but this is what was forgotten. They're not distinguishing between the holy and the unholy, God said that I have blessed, God.
Think about how big God is. Think about how powerful God is. I have blessed the seventh day, he commands, "Remember the seventh day, keep it holy." He's wanting this quality time with us. But a lot of religious leaders back in the Old Testament, they haven't changed much, Christ time, New Testament, they go through the motions. They got a form of godliness, but they lack the power thereof.
Number 10, what two things does the Antichrist power attempt to change? You read in Daniel 7:25, it describes as little horn Antichrist power does all the things you find there in Revelation 13. And Revelation 17, it speaks great words, exalts himself, persecutes the saints, speaks words of blasphemy. And it says, well think to change, what? Times and laws. Now, which one of the commandments is both a time and a law. There's only one commandment and they freely admit.
Now can any man change the law of God or did they think to? You can attempt it, you can't change the law of God. God's got the original written in heaven, you can't reach it. And so Jesus said, "Heaven and earth will have to pass away before one shot or one tittle in any wise passes from the law." And by the way, Jesus said, "Whosoever will break one of this," This is Matthew chapter five also, whoever will break one of the least of these commandments and teach men so he will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. That means they'll be spoken of as the lowest in the kingdom of heaven. They're not in the kingdom. People in the kingdom of heaven speak of them as the lowest kind of person. But whoever will do and teach my law will be called great friends. I not only want to do it, I want to teach it. And the Lord says, "Those that teach it will be called great in the kingdom of heaven."
So if you say, why are you making an issue out of this? Jesus told me to. He says, We need to exalt the law. The law, you know why the devil hates the law? Sin is the transgression of the law. When we see the law of God, we see our sin. When we see our sin, we realize we need a savior and we go to Jesus for forgiveness. It is perfectly healthy and appropriate for someone to preach the law. If it brings conviction, it then drives you to Christ for forgiveness. The Bible says we must humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God. Cry out loud, weep. And then James says, "And he will lift you up." He doesn't leave you in a state of repentance forever. He wants you to then be lifted up and have the joy of the Lord. The gospel is good news, but first those seeds sprout through tears and people need to be aware of their sins.
Friends, in the last days, God is calling his people back to the book. What do you say? And the doctrines of devils have crept into the church over time. People have drifted away from a thus sayeth the Lord and taken up these man-made traditions and they've tried to sanctified man-made traditions, make them holy and only God can make these things holy. My father was a multi-millionaire and I really wanted more time with my father. He was a workaholic, like many multi-millionaires. And it was much easier for my father to give me a donation than to give me his time. And a lot of people, it's easier for them to go to church and make an offering than to give God a day. It really tells who you worship if you're willing to give God a day as holy.
And it's not a recommendation. He says this is a commandment. You know the Bible says if you break one commandment, you're guilty of all, the book of James. Whosoever shall break one commandment is guilty of all. You can't go into the courtroom and say, Your honor, I realize I murdered somebody, but I'm keeping the other nine commandments. He's going to say, "Oh, you got to pay for that though." And the sin is a transgression of the law, right? So it does matter. I think we underestimate how the Lord feels about this. "If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on my holy day and call the Sabbath a delight. It's not a burden, friends, it's a blessing. Holy day of the Lord, honorable, then you will delight yourself in the Lord. He's blessed it, he didn't curse it. He wants you to receive that blessing and you will because he's promised it.
When you decide to accept Jesus and fully follow him, what happens? You can read in his word, "Take my yolk upon you, learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart and you will find rest under your souls." We want you to have that rest. The Bible tells us in Revelation 15:2, "And I saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire and those who had gotten the victory over the beast and over his image and over his mark and over his number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, having the harps of God."
Now, before you can say no to the mark of the beast, you need to say yes to the seal of God. If what you've heard is true, it's so important that you respond and then God can release his power in your life. Some of you are thinking, oh Lord, I don't know how I'm going to follow You in this area. If you surrender to the Lord and say, Lord, I want to follow You, God will open the door. Don't worry how you're going to obey him. God will never ask you to do something without giving you the power to obey. Do you believe that, friends?