Editorial – The Mark of the Beast

According to Revelation 13:1–17, the United States of America is the beast that arises from the earth. We know this because: (1) after the first beast receives a deadly wound in 1798, it becomes a world power (Revelation 13:1–12), (2) it comes up out of the earth, in contrast to other beasts of Daniel and Revelation that come up from the sea (Revelation 17:15), (3) it was “to grow up perfectly like a plant.” As George Townsend said, “like a silent seed we grew into an empire,” (4) it would influence the thinking of the world (Revelation 13:14), and (5) it was to be gentle and innocent in its appearance when it arose (Revelation 13:11).

However, the United States of America ultimately becomes an intolerant, persecuting power forcing all to receive the mark of the papacy (Revelation 13:12 and 15–17). Sunday worship is not commanded anywhere in the Bible, yet it will become the mark of the beast. The papacy has said that Sunday keeping is a mark of their authority: “Of course the Catholic Church claims that the change was her act, and the act is a mark of her ecclesiastical authority in religious matters. …

 “… Had she not such power, she could not have done that in which all modern religionists agree with her – she could not have substituted the observance of Sunday, the first day of the week, for the observance of Saturday, the seventh day, a change for which there is no Scriptural authority.” The Convert’s Catechism of Catholic Doctrine, Third Edition.

The United States, on behalf of the Church of Rome, will force all to receive the mark of the papacy and any refusing to receive the mark will be unable to buy or sell, and then a death decree will be enacted against them.

How will this happen? “Communications from the spirits will declare that God has sent them to convince the rejecters of Sunday of their error, affirming that the laws of the land should be obeyed as the law of God. They will lament the great wickedness in the world and second the testimony of religious teachers that the degraded state of morals is caused by the desecration of Sunday. Great will be the indignation excited against all who refuse to accept their testimony” The Great Controversy, 591.

Notice the sequence of events:

  1. great wickedness will develop in the United States,
  2. this wickedness will be so great that people will long for the violence and lawlessness to end,
  3. supernatural spirits will say with human religious teachers that the degraded moral state is the result of the desecration of Sunday,
  4. a Sunday Law will be passed and the spirits will say the laws of the land should be obeyed as the law of God, and
  5. their testimony will turn the world against those who keep the law of God.

In the final judgment, every person will be judged over this issue (Revelation 14:9–12; Revelation 22:14, 15; Revelation 19 and 20). Which side will you be on?