Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
There is a sober warning in the Bible that it seems easy for us to forget. It's in Revelation14:9-12: "If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead, or in his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God."
Then chapter 15 goes on to speak of those who have met this great challenge and have accepted the third angel's message, and "have the victory over the beast, over his image and over his mark and over the number of his name" who stand on the sea of glass singing the song of the Lamb forever and ever.
In fact, the entire Book of Revelation is concerned about this issue--the mark of the beast. Chapter 7 describes that same group who sing the song of the Lamb as those who have received the seal of God, who have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
In the Bible, a "seal" is interchangeable with a "mark." So the Book of Revelation tells us that in the last days just before Jesus' return in the clouds of heaven, the entire population of the earth will be divided into two groups: those who receive the "seal of God" and those who accept the "mark of the beast."
Pretty serious, isn't it? This requires very careful study. Revelation 13:8 says that "all who dwell on the earth" will worship the beast with the sole exception of those who are written in the Lamb's Book of Life. It's another crisis, which in principle is the same that the people faced when Jesus was here on earth. They were divided into two groups--those who believed He was the true Messiah as He claimed, and those who rejected Him. He asked them, "What do you think about the Christ?" (Matt. 22:42). They had to decide!
And so today, we have to decide between the mark of the beast and the seal of God. But the issue is far deeper than a superficial outward sign. "The third angel's message in verity" is the true message of righteousness by faith; it will lead to receiving the seal of God. A false, legalistic view will lead to the mark of the beast.
It's time for serious study!
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: November 12, 1997.
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