THE GREAT DEBATE IN THE FINAL TIMES OF HUMAN HISTORY
What is the “seal of God” and what is its competing “mark of the beast”?
It is high time to “say it all” and express things with clarity. In the following text we explain in a concise manner what the Bible says about how the endtime events of human history will involve a question that affects everyone and will be at the center of the religious-political-philosophical-economic-ecological debate of the end times.
A LONG HISTORY we can see how a certain “agenda” of religious character is being fulfilled. But this “agenda” is not one of any Church or religious organization, rather it belongs to that being that always intended to deviate God’s people from genuine worship. How many times in Israel’s history the people, even their kings, were distanced from God through idolatry! Who was behind all that, but Satan? He even created a “queen of heaven” to whom the people burnt frankincense (Jer. 44:18). And don’t we have today a revised “queen of heaven”, with even campaigns to make her a “co-Redeemer”?!
Would the devil be less active today? Wouldn’t he exert even greater power to distance people from the genuine worship and, if possible, even diminish the glory of the Savior, as he always attempted to accomplish? Didn’t he resort to appealing to be worshipped, in place of God, by Christ Himself, in order to have the Savior worshipping him in the temptation desert? (see Matt. 4).
A Final Message to Warn the Entire World
Other day I heard in a religious American TV station a preacher saying, based on Revelation 14:6-14, that in the endtime three angels will be crossing the skies, preaching the gospel to the Jews! When I heard that I thought in amazement: “This preacher seemed full of imagination.” My friends, brothers and sisters, the mission of preaching the gospel was assigned to MEN, not to angels. We, members of the Church of Jesus Christ, are the ones who have this task to accomplish (Matt. 28:19, 20), not supernatural beings.
Moreover, by this fantastic interpretation we have a God who discriminates Jew against Jew! For if He is going to send angels to preach the gospel to the last generation of Jews, why didn’t the previous generations have the same privilege? And who would resist to that preaching, knowing that it came from an angel? All would be converted forcefully, under the influence and impact of the supernatural aspect of this preaching itself.
These three angels of Revelation 14 just represent the human messengers with such a task to carry out. The meaning of the word ‘angel’ is exactly ‘messenger’.
False ideas emerge when one departs from the right course of understanding of what the “everlasting gospel” message means. It is to be proclaimed to every nation (not only to the Jews), as we read in Matthew 24:14 and Revelation 14:6-14. In this last passage we identify a final warning proclamation to be transmitted to the whole world. On the light of Chapter 13 of the same book we see once more that the final conflict will happen regarding genuine versus false worship.
The Three Messages and What They Stand For
What we find in the aforementioned chapter 14 of Revelation is a message that centers on the genuine worship to God as Creator of “heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters” in contrast with the denunciation of the false worship.
Let’s compare now the language of Revelation 14:6 y 7 with Exodus 20:11 to come to an important discovery:
“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, 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 seas, and the fountains of waters” (Rev. 14:6, 7).
“For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it” (Exo. 20:11).
Both texts are in undeniable parallel. Christianity Today mentioned a time ago that the precept of the day of rest was “the most neglected” among all the Decalogue’s principles. That is precisely where the “memorial of creation” is located. The Creator and His creation are emphasized in this final warning message.
Thus, the final preaching of the “everlasting gospel” is concerned with awakening the world regarding the genuine worship to God as Creator of memorable works, an aspect of the Christian message distorted by the dominant Church in the Medieval Era, which the Protestant Reformation failed to correct. The result of that can be seen today with so many Catholic and Protestant religious people, even ministers and priests, adhering to modernist notions of evolution of the species, which contradicts the basic teaching of the Scriptures on the so-called “basic trinomial of the Christian faith”—Creation-Fall-Redemption.
The Contrast Between the Seal of God and the Mark of the Beast
The prophetic text of Revelation also highlights a denunciation of the false worship:
“If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation” (Rev. 14:9, 10).
As in the context we read about a “seal of God” and a competing sign, or “mark of the beast”, and since in Romans 4:11 we see that “sign” and “seal” are synonyms, one has just to understand two things:
a) What is the “seal of God”
b) What would be the “mark of the beast”
In order to know what is the “seal” of God it suffices to see how God Himself clarifies that, in His Word:
“It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed” (Exodus 31:17).
The prophet Ezekiel confirms this centuries later:
“And hallow my Sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am the Lord your God” (Ezekiel 20:20).
But, don’t these texts indicate that this sign is between God and Israel? Yes, God established His pact with Israel, but why was that so? Why wasn’t the divine pact established with the Egyptians, Babylonians, Assyrians, Libyans? Anyone who can answer this question will have half way through to understand the whole question.
The reference point of the Sabbath is very clearly the divine act of creating the heavens and the Earth, “in six days . . . and rested [God] in the seventh day . . . and hallowed it”. Did God, by any chance, create the world only for the Jews?
David, the inspired psalmist, declared in language that certainly has universal character:“The works of the Lord are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein. His work is honourable and glorious: and his righteousness endureth for ever. He hath made his wonderful works to be remembered: the Lord is gracious and full of compassion” (Psa. 111:2-4).
God even invites the foreigners to