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3rd angels message

The Three Angels’ Messages Lesson 03: The Third Angel’s Message

Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, "If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall 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 forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name."

--Revelation 14:9-11

The third angel’s message is very ominous and scary. The third angel’s message also leaves us full of questions. What is the mark of the beast? Is it a tattoo or a bar code of some sort? How can we avoid getting this mark? Before we try to answer any of these questions, there is something important we need to discuss first. Did you know that God has a mark for His people?

Let’s turn to Revelation 6:12-17 and read the passage together:

I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place. And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?"

Let’s turn to Revelation 7:1-4.

- According to these verses, how are God’s people protected?

  • Answer (highlight to read): They are sealed on their foreheads with the seal of the living God.

Revelation 7 answers the question brought up at the end of Revelation 6. Those who have the seal of the living God on their foreheads will be preserved.

The mark of the beast and the seal of God are antithetical to each other – you can only have one or the other. Ultimately, you must have one of these marks – you cannot have neither one. The mark of the beast and the seal of God both have to deal with worship.

Let’s turn to Revelation 14:1.

- According to this verse, what do the 144,000 have written on their foreheads?

  • Answer:  They have the name of God written on their foreheads.

Let’s turn to Revelation 22:4.

- According to this verse, what is written on the foreheads of God’s people?

  • Answer: His name

God’s law, God’s name, and God’s character are all one and the same. In Exodus 33:18-23, Moses asked to see God’s glory. God agreed to show Moses His glory upon three conditions:

  1. Moses was to be put in a cleft of rock
  2. God would cover Moses with His hand
  3. God could only see God’s back

In Exodus 34, God proclaimed His glory and wrote His law again on two tables of stone. Moses could have told the people of Israel about God, but God wrote His character on two tables of stone as a perpetual reminder.

There have been instances in the Bible where the names of individuals were changed to reflect their change in character:

  • Abram – Abraham
  • Sarai – Sarah
  • Jacob – Israel
  • Saul – Paul

Anything that can be said about God’s name can be said about His law: holy, perfect, just, etc.

To reiterate, God’s law, God’s name, and God’s character are all one and the same.

Let’s turn to Ezekiel 20:12, 20.

- According to these verses, what was to be a sign between God and His people?

  • Answer: The Sabbath

The fourth commandment in the Bible (Exodus 20:8-11) tells us when we worship and who we worship. The Sabbath is a sign that God alone makes us holy. Our own works cannot make us holy. We must trust in and rest in God’s work for us. We cannot add to the work of salvation. We can only enjoy it. The Sabbath is a sign of trusting in Christ’s righteousness and not our own.

Let’s read Deuteronomy 6:1-8 together. God is actually talking about the Ten Commandments in this passage. How do we know this? Moses just repeated the Ten Commandments to the people of Israel in Deuteronomy 5. Did Moses mean in Deuteronomy 6:8 that we have to literally bind stone tablets to our hands? Of course not! Let the things you do demonstrate the God you serve (Ecclesiastes 9:10).

Additionally, Moses did not want us to bind a copy of the Ten Commandments between our eyes. What is between your eyes? It’s your forehead. If God’s name is on your forehead, then His law is on your forehead. Moses wanted us to take the name of God, the holiness of God, and the law of God and put them into our minds.

Remember, salvation is by faith through grace. You cannot obtain salvation by your own works. Salvation is a decision you make in your mind (John 3:16). The seal of God can only be communicated and applied in the mind.

Conversely, the mark of the beast can be received by the hand or the forehead. You can receive the mark of the beast by your works or by your mind. It is the inculcation of principles that are against the name, the character, and the law of God. This disabuses us of the notion that the mark of the beast is some kind of literal tattoo or bar code placed upon our bodies.

Friend, if you have the seal of God, then you don’t have to worry about the mark of the beast, even if you didn’t know what the mark of the beast is! The seal of God is the name of God, the law of God put right into your mind. You accept the seal of God by faith, and God works outside of you to declare you righteous and inside of you to make you righteous by the power of the Holy Spirit. When you have a daily personal relationship with God, He will write His law into your hearts (Hebrews 10:16).

Notice that in Revelation 14:6, the Old Testament quotation is taken directly from Exodus 20:11. The seventh-day Sabbath is a symbol of creation (Exodus 20:11) and redemption (Deuteronomy 5:15). Worshiping God on the Sabbath goes all the way back to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.

Notice in Revelation 14:9 that worship is tied to receiving the mark of the beast. Sunday worship does not have a Biblical basis. It has pagan roots. It is the mark of Roman Catholic Church’s authority over the Bible. It has been adopted by Protestant churches.

Notice in Revelation 14:11 that those who receive the mark of the beast have no rest. The Sabbath is all about rest (Hebrews 4:1-11). The physical rest on the Sabbath is a sign of our creation and the spiritual rest on the Sabbath is a sign of our redemption.

Let’s turn to Revelation 14:12 and read the verse together:

Here is the patience of the saints, here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.

John contrasts those who get the mark of the beast with those who keep the commandments of God in spirit and truth. God’s people have His name and law inculcated into their very minds, thoughts, and thinking.

Apple trees don’t produce apples to be apple trees, but because they are apple trees. In the same sense, Christians don’t do good works to be saved, but because they are saved. Works does not get you salvation; works are the result of salvation based on what Jesus did for us

Why should we keep the seventh-day Sabbath? The Sabbath:

  1. Was created by Jesus before sin
  2. Was commanded at Sinai by Jesus
  3. Was kept and honored by Jesus
  4. Was kept by all of Jesus’ Old Testament followers
  5. Was kept by all of Jesus’ New Testament followers
  6. Was the day God rested from creation
  7. Was changed to Sunday by the Roman Church
  8. Is a sign of both creation and salvation
  9. Is the day Jesus calls us to remember and honor
  10. Will be kept in heaven

Friend, if Revelation 14:9-12 was all you knew about the mark of the beast, you would know enough how not to get it. You obey the Ten Commandments in spirit and truth not in order to be saved, but because you have been saved.

Friend, the third angel’s message is not to be feared, but to be welcomed! It is good news for all those who have the seal of God! Jesus is promising to destroy sin and death forever!

Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, "If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall 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 forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name."