Wednesday: The Mark of the Beast

What is this mark that we need to avoid getting? As we saw in an earlier lesson, the fourth beast power of Daniel chapter 7, in its latter phase (also depicted by the sea beast of Revelation chapter 13), would “think to change times and laws” (Dan. 7:25). 

Mount Carmel

Image © Lifeway Collection

As we have seen already, one law that it thought to change was the Sabbath, the fourth commandment, the only commandment that points directly to God as the One who “made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day” (Exod. 20:11).

Meanwhile, the first angel’s message — pointing the reader back to this same commandment, one that the beast power tried to change — makes it clear that we are to worship the Lord alone as the Creator. Then, after a warning about the fate of those who instead worship the “beast and his image” (Rev. 14:9), God’s faithful people are depicted in verse 12.

Read Revelation 14:12. Given the immediate context, how does this depiction of God’s faithful people help us understand why the Sabbath is so central to final events?

The text reads: “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus” (Rev. 14:12). As we have seen, included in “the commandments of God” is the fourth commandment, the Sabbath, which points to God as the Creator and the one who alone should be worshiped. No wonder, then, that many see the issue of “the mark of the beast” as being directly tied to the question of Sunday worship, a counterfeit “sabbath” that is not commanded in the Bible, as opposed to keeping the fourth commandment, which is commanded in the Bible.

Does that mean that Christians who worship God on Sunday have the mark of the beast now? No. According to Revelation 13:15, those who refuse to join in this false worship of the beast will be killed. It will eventually become a life-or-death issue. Obviously, though, events have not yet reached that point, and the mark of the beast will not be given until this final test does come. Therefore, no one has yet received the mark of the beast.

Commandments of God. The faith of Jesus. Why are these traits, even now, crucial aspects of what it means to be a true Christian?

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Source: Daily Sabbath School Lessons