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From Here to Forever

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    The Beast and His Image

    The beast with two horns “causeth [commands] all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” Revelation 13:16, 17. The third angel warns: “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 the wrath of God.”HF 275.4

    “The beast” whose worship is enforced is the first, or leopardlike, beast of Revelation 13—the papacy. The “image to the beast” represents that form of apostate Protestantism which will be developed when the Protestant churches seek the aid of civil power for the enforcement of their dogmas. The “mark of the beast” still remains to be defined.HF 276.1

    Those who keep God's commandments are in contrast with those that worship the beast and his image and receive his mark. The keeping of God's law, on the one hand, and its violation, on the other, will make the distinction between the worshipers of God and the worshipers of the beast.HF 276.2

    The special characteristic of the beast and of his image is the breaking of God's commandments. Says Daniel, of the little horn, the papacy: “He shall think to change the times and the law.” Daniel 7:25, R.V. Paul styled the same power the “man of sin” (2 Thessalonians 2:3), who was to exalt himself above God. Only by changing God's law could the papacy exalt itself above God. Whoever should understandingly keep the law as thus changed would be giving supreme honor to papal laws, a mark of allegiance to the pope in place of God.HF 276.3

    The papacy has attempted to change the law of God. The fourth commandment has been so changed as to authorize the observance of the first instead of the seventh day as the Sabbath. An intentional, deliberate change is presented: “He shall think to change the times and the law.” The change in the fourth commandment exactly fulfills the prophecy. Here the papal power openly sets itself above God.HF 276.4

    The worshipers of God will be especially distinguished by their regard for the fourth commandment, the sign of His creative power. The worshipers of the beast will be distinguished by their efforts to tear down the Creator's memorial, to exalt the institution of Rome. It was in behalf of Sunday as “the Lord's day” that popery first asserted its arrogant claims. (See Appendix.) But the Bible points to the seventh day as the Lord's day. Said Christ: “The Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.” Mark 2:28. See also Isaiah 58:13; Matthew 5:17-19. The claim so often put forth that Christ changed the Sabbath is disproved by His own words.HF 276.5

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