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2 Peter 1:12

Dear Readers,

March 2014

“Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God upon every remembrance of you” (Philippians 1:2, 3).

Recovery Update: My right hand has regained much of its movement. It rotates almost as much as my left hand. Thank you so much for your prayers.

Upcoming Meeting: Adrian Ebans from Australia will be speaking at the Community Center in Kansas, OK throughout the day of April 26. Call us at 304-633-5411 for more info.


In This Issue:

The Pope Calls for Unity

by Lynnford Beachy

Young at Heart


by Ellet J. Waggoner


The Pope Calls for Unity

by Lynnford Beachy


In February 2014 Pope Francis sent a video message to Kenneth Copeland and his ministry, calling for unity between Catholics and Protestants. Bishop Tony Palmer, a long-time friend of both Copeland and Pope Francis gave an appeal to a large group of charismatic leaders before presenting the pope’s video. In this appeal Palmer said, “Luther’s protest is over…” He then added, “If there is no more protest, how can there be a Protestant church? Maybe now we’re all Catholics again!” You can view this video at www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehFpeVGLyxs.

After this appeal, Palmer played the video from the pope, in which the pope said, “We are kind of… separated… I am nostalgic, that this separation comes to an end and gives us communion…. let us pray to the Lord that He unites us all. Come on, we are brothers.… the miracle of unity has begun.” You can view the pope’s video at www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZ9Ssvs5cgY.

After the pope’s video was presented before the congregation Copeland prayed for the pope and recorded a response video in which he, on behalf of tens of thousands of Protestants, offered a blessing to the pope and signified their mutual desire for unity with the Catholic Church. After recording this video Copeland said, “I am telling you right now, heaven is thrilled over this. You know what’s so thrilling to me? When we went into ministry forty-seven years ago, this was impossible.” This was impossible because forty-seven years ago most Protestant denominations viewed the pope as the Antichrist.

Notice what many of the leaders of the Protestant Reformation taught:

Martin Luther (1483-1546 - Lutheran)

“…nothing else than the kingdom of Babylon and of very Antichrist. For who is the man of sin and the son of perdition, but he who by his teaching and his ordinances increases the sin and perdition of souls in the church; while he yet sits in the church as if he were God? All these conditions have now for many ages been fulfilled by the papal tyranny.” (Martin Luther, First Principles, pp. 196, 197).

John Calvin (1509-1564 - Presbyterian)

“Though it be admitted that Rome was once the mother of all Churches, yet from the time when it began to be the seat of Antichrist it has ceased to be what it was before. Some persons think us too severe and censorious when we call the Roman Pontiff Antichrist. But those who are of this opinion do not consider that they bring the same charge of presumption against Paul himself, after whom we speak and whose language we adopt. I shall briefly show that (Paul’s words in II_Thess. 2) are not capable of any other interpretation than that which applies them to the Papacy.” (John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, Vol.3, p.149).

Cotton Mather (1663-1728 - Congregational Theologian)

“The oracles of God foretold the rising of an Antichrist in the Christian Church; and in the Pope of Rome, all the characteristics of that Antichrist are so marvelously answered that if any who read the Scriptures do not see it, there is a marvelous blindness upon them.” (Cotton Mather, The Fall of Babylon).

John Knox (1505-1572 - Scotch Presbyterian)

“Yea, to speak it in plain words; lest that we submit ourselves to Satan, thinking that we submit ourselves to Jesus Christ, for, as for your Roman kirk, as it is now corrupted, and the authority thereof, whereon stands the hope of your victory, I no more doubt but that it is the synagogue of Satan, and the head thereof, called the pope, to be that man of sin, of whom the apostle speaks.” (John Knox, The History of the Reformation of Religion in Scotland, p.65).

Thomas Cranmer (1489-1556 - Anglican)

“Whereof it followeth Rome to be the seat of Antichrist, and the pope to be very antichrist himself. I could prove the same by many other scriptures, old writers, and strong reasons.” (Works by Cranmer, vol.1, pp.6-7).

John Wesley (1703-1791 - Methodist)

Speaking of the Papacy he said, “He is in an emphatical sense, the Man of Sin, as he increases all manner of sin above measure. And he is, too, properly styled the Son of Perdition, as he has caused the death of numberless multitudes, both of his opposers and followers... He it is... that exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped... claiming the highest power, and highest honor... claiming the prerogatives which belong to God alone.” (John Wesley, Explanatory Notes Upon The New Testament, p.216).

The Baptist Confession of Faith (1689)

“The Lord Jesus Christ is the Head of the church, in whom, by the appointment of the Father, all power for the calling, institution, order or government of the church, is invested in a supreme and sovereign manner; neither can the Pope of Rome in any sense be head thereof, but is that antichrist, that man of sin, and son of perdition, that exalteth himself in the church against Christ.” (1689 Baptist Confession of Faith).

The Westminster Confession of Faith (1646)

“There is no other head of the Church but the Lord Jesus Christ: nor can the Pope of Rome in any sense be head thereof; but is that Antichrist, that man of sin and son of perdition, that exalts himself in the Church against Christ, and all that is called God.” (1646 Westminster Confession of Faith).

J.A. Wylie (1808 - 1890)

“The same line of proof which establishes that Christ is the promised Messiah, conversely applied, establishes that the Roman system is the predicted Apostasy. In the life of Christ we behold the converse of what the Antichrist must be; and in the prophecy of the Antichrist we are shown the converse of what Christ must be, and was. And when we place the Papacy between the two, and compare it with each, we find, on the one hand, that it is the perfect converse of Christ as seen in his life; and on the other, that it is the perfect image of the Antichrist, as shown in the prophecy of him. We conclude, therefore, that if Jesus of Nazareth be the Christ, the Roman Papacy is the Antichrist.” (J.A. Wylie, Preface to The Papacy is the Antichrist, A Demonstration).

Charles Spurgeon (1834 - 1892)

“It is the bounden duty of every Christian to pray against Antichrist, and as to what Antichrist is no sane man ought to raise a question. If it be not the popery in the Church of Rome there is nothing in the world that can be called by that name. If there were to be issued a hue and cry for Antichrist, we should certainly take up this church on suspicion, and it would certainly not be let loose again, for it so exactly answers the description.” (Michael de Semlyen, All Roads Lead to Rome).

Counter Reformation

In response to the teaching that the papacy is the antichrist, a Jesuit priest by the name of Francisco Ribera was given the task of writing a rebuttal to this view. In 1585 he published a treatise on the book of Revelation entitled, In Sacrum Beati Ioannis Apostoli, & Evangelistiae Apocalypsin Commentarij. In this book Ribera taught that the Antichrist would come just before the second coming of Christ and would be accepted by the Jews in Jerusalem, thus removing the title of Antichrist from the papacy. This view was not widely accepted among the Protestant reformation, but it has been gaining ground over the past hundred years.

Concerning the unifying of the Catholic Church with Protestants, Kenneth Copeland’s said “When we went into ministry forty-seven years ago, this was impossible.” It is a fallen and backslidden church that lessens its distance between itself and the Catholic Church.

Speaking of the Antichrist, the Bible says, “And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration” (Revelation 17:1-6).

The book of Revelation portrays two women, one pure (chapter 12) and the other wicked (chapter 17). Both of these women refer to churches. God said, “I have likened the daughter of Zion [children of God] to a comely and delicate woman” (Jeremiah 6:2). The Bible says of the Roman Catholic Church, “the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.” She is called “the mother of harlots.” This indicates that there are more churches that follow after her footsteps and have drunk of her false doctrines.

The woman is said to be “drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.” The Roman Catholic Church today does not have the same power as it had during the Dark Ages when it ruthlessly killed over fifty million Christians. Even in the twentieth century there is evidence of these abuses. If you have not heard or read Sister Charlotte’s Testimony from a woman who escaped from a Catholic Convent, you may be surprised at how ruthlessly this Church still exercises the power it has. You can listen to Sister Charlotte’s testimony here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5TyNPG88aU (Warning: there is disturbing information in this testimony).

While the Roman Church’s power is limited, it puts on the guise of a loving and caring Church, but as soon as she gets unlimited power again she will exercise that power and persecution of all those who resist her authority will resume.


It may sound good in theory for all Christians to unite. However, the unity being sought for is not a unity caused by the Catholic Church changing to accommodate the legitimate concerns of Protestants, but for Protestants to cease their protest and once again unite with the Catholic Church. Martin Luther posted 95 Theses against the Catholic Church on the door of the Castle Church of Wittenberg in 1517. This document listed 95 grievances against the Catholic Church’s teachings on the sale of indulgences, baptism, confession to priests, the ability of the pope or priests to forgive sins against God, purgatory, salvation by works instead of faith, etc. There are many more heretical teachings of the Catholic Church that were added over the years. Some of these are:

A.D. 300 — Prayers for the dead, and the Sign of the cross. A.D. 321 — Sunday laws and enforced Sunday-keeping. A.D. 325 & A.D. 381 — The trinity doctrine. A.D. 375 — Veneration of angels and dead saints, and the use of images. A.D. 394 — Daily celebration of the heathen mass. A.D. 400 — Persecution of Bible (seventh-day) Sabbath-keepers begins. A.D. 431 — Exaltation of Mary, as she is called “Mother of God.” A.D. 450 — Death sentence for Sabbath-keepers. A.D. 500 — Priests dress differently. A.D. 526 — Extreme unction. A.D. 593 — Purgatory. A.D. 600 — Latin language alone in prayer and worship, and prayers directed to Mary, dead saints and angels. A.D. 607 — Title of pope or universal bishop first used. A.D. 709 — Kissing the pope’s foot. A.D. 750 — Civil power of the pope. A.D. 786 — Worship of the cross, images, relics, and bones. A.D. 850 — Holy water. A.D. 927 — College of cardinals. A.D. 965 — Baptism of bells. A.D. 995 — Canonization of dead saints. A.D. 998 — Fasting on Fridays and Lent. A.D. 1079 — Celibacy of the priests. 1090 — The Rosary and mechanical praying with beads. 1184 — The Inquisition. A.D. 1190 — Sale of indulgences. A.D. 1215 — Auricular confession of sins to a priest instead of to God. A.D. 1220 — Adoration of the wafer [the host]. A.D. 1229 — Bible officially forbidden to laymen (placed on the “Index of Forbidden Books”). A.D. 1251 — The scapular. A.D. 1414 — Cup forbidden to the people. A.D. 1508 — The Ave Maria to be said with the beads. A.D. 1534 — Jesuit order founded. A.D. 1545 — Tradition (the sayings of Catholic leaders) officially declared of equal authority with Scripture. A.D. 1546 — Apocryphal books officially added. A.D. 1854 — Immaculate Conception proclaimed. A.D. 1864 — Papal “Syllabus of Errors” condemns freedom of religion, speech, conscience, press, and scientific discoveries. A.D. 1870 — Infallibility of the pope. A.D. 1930 — Public, and all non-Catholic schools condemned. A.D. 1950 — Assumption (translation and ascension) of the Virgin Mary proclaimed. A.D. 1965 — Mary is made the mother of the church. Add to these many others: monks, nuns, hermits, monasteries, convents, holy week, Palm Sunday, Ash Wednesday, All Saints Day and Halloween, fish day, flagellation (beating oneself to increase holiness), incense, holy oil, medals, charms, novenas, and on and on.

In A.D. 786 they began worshiping images, which is strictly forbidden in the Ten Commandments, which say, “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments” (Exodus 20:4-6).

The Handbook for Today’s Catholic, along with many Catechisms and most public displays of the Ten Commandments, lists the Ten Commandments leaving out the second commandment, the one I just quoted, and splitting the ninth into two to retain the number ten. This is a blatant attempt to change God’s Commandments. Daniel prophesied concerning the papacy, “And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time [1260 years - the Dark Ages]” (Daniel 7:25).

Surely, there is no way for Protestants to have unity with the Catholic Church unless either the Catholic Church abandons these false doctrines, or Protestants decide to accept these doctrines. The Bible says, “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3). Yet, the cooperation of these two opposing groups is prophesied in the Bible, and it will happen. It is startling to see it happen right before our eyes. The outcome of this evil union is going to be the enforcement of the mark of the beast.

The Mark of the Beast

Most of us have heard about the mark of the beast, and have been expecting some worldwide power to cause everyone to receive a mark in their right hand or in their forehead. The Bible uses some of the strongest language to warn us against receiving the mark of the beast. (See Revelation 14:9-11.) Yet, many people are unclear regarding who the beast really is, and consequently what is its mark.

Fortunately, the Bible does not leave us in the dark on such an important issue as this. First we must identify the beast so that we can understand its mark. In the first seven verses of Revelation 13, John records a vision where he saw a beast rise up out of the sea having seven heads and ten horns. This beast has some amazing similarities to the fourth beast and the little horn of Daniel chapter seven. Please notice some of these similarities in the chart on the next page.


First Beast of
Revelation 13

  • Arises from the Sea—v. 1
  • Has 10 horns—v. 1
  • Has a mouth speaking great things—v. 5
  • Speaks blasphemy against God—v. 6
  • Makes war with the saints—v. 7
  • Has power over all nations—v. 7
  • Has power to continue 42 months (3 ½ years)—v. 5

Fourth Beast and Little
Horn of Daniel 7

  • Arises from the Sea—v. 3
  • Has 10 horns—v. 7
  • Has a mouth speaking great things—v. 8
  • Speaks great words against the Most High—v. 25
  • Makes war with the saints—v. 21
  • Devours the whole earth—v. 23
  • Has power over the earth for 3 ½ years—v. 25


There can be little doubt that God gave John a vision of the same beast that He showed to Daniel. The identity of this beast is clearly revealed in the book of Daniel. The angel that spoke with Daniel said, “The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth” (Daniel 7:23). Beasts in Bible prophecy symbolize kingdoms or world powers. Even though this fourth kingdom is not mentioned by name, the preceding three kingdoms are, which makes it very easy to know the kingdom represented by the fourth beast.

Daniel chapters 2, 7, 8, and 11 are parallel prophecies of kingdoms that ruled the world, with chapters 8 and 11 excluding Babylon since its rule was either at an end or nearing its end. In Daniel chapter two, the first kingdom is clearly identified as Babylon (verse 38). In chapter 8, the second and third kingdoms are mentioned by name—Media-Persia (verse 20) and Greece (verse 21). A brief study of history reveals that Rome overthrew Greece to rule the world. There can be little doubt that Rome is symbolized by the fourth beast of Daniel seven. Nearly all Bible commentators agree with this assessment.

Rome underwent changes in its structure and government, the most significant of which was its change from pagan Rome to papal (the little horn) Rome during the fourth, fifth and sixth centuries after Christ. Many of the prophecies of this world power were fulfilled during the papal dominance of the Dark Ages. Many millions of Christians were killed during this time in some of the most gruesome ways imaginable. Truly this power made “war with the saints” (Revelation 13:7; Daniel 7:21).

The prophecies of Daniel leave Rome as the final world power, existing all the way until Christ comes to take His kingdom.

Satan Prepares his Followers

There is something very interesting in what is going on with the New Age movement (revived paganism, including witches, warlocks, necromancers, etc.). They are expecting Christ to come soon. They even use the term Christ in reference to him. Yet, there is something very different about the way Christ is expected by the New Age movement, and the way His coming is revealed in the Bible.

One of the most prominent prophets of the New Age movement is a British painter by the name of Benjamin Creme. He started a movement called Share International. On their official website there is a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) with answers by Benjamin Creme. Notice how Creme answered the following question:

Q: Could you explain the relationship between the disciple Jesus and the Christ?

BC: The disciple Jesus, who is now the Master Jesus, was born in Palestine as a third degree initiate.… He was, and still is, a disciple of the Christ and made the great sacrifice of giving up his body for the use of the Christ. By the occult process of overshadowing, the Christ, Maitreya, took over and worked through the body of Jesus from the Baptism onwards.…

Jesus… lives now in a Syrian body which is some 600 years old, and has his base in Rome. He has, in the last 2,000 years, worked in the closest relation to the Christ, saving his time and energy where possible, and has special work to do with the Christian Churches. He is one of the Masters who will very shortly return to outer work [physical manifestation] in the world, taking over the throne of St Peter, in Rome. He will seek to transform the Christian Churches, in so far as they are flexible enough to respond correctly to the new reality which the return of the Christ and the Masters will create. (www.shareintl.org/background/FAQ/faq_main.htm)

Creme “asserts that the second coming prophesied by many religions will come in the form of Maitreya,…” (Wikipedia Encyclopedia, article: Benjamin Creme, online at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_Creme)

The New Age movement believes in Christ and Jesus but, to them, Jesus was only a disciple of Christ, and Christ is another name for Maitreya. They believe that the disciple, Jesus, will “shortly return… taking over the throne of St Peter, in Rome.” Can you see what is happening here? Satan, who is obviously behind the New Age movement, is preparing pagans to accept Christ, to appear as Jesus, and take over the pope’s position in Rome. Satan is planning to use the pope of Rome to unite the major world religions.

The Lamb-like Beast

When we come to the book of Revelation we find the Roman kingdom still exercising its power, but another beast is mentioned that cooperates with the Roman kingdom to dominate the world. Right after John saw the Roman beast, he says, “And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon” (Revelation 13:11). All of the other beasts of Daniel 7, as well as the first beast of Revelation 13 came up out of the sea, but this one comes up out of the earth. An angel told John, “The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues” (Revelation 17:15). The sea from which the other beasts arose represent many nations and people. The second beast of Revelation 13 comes up out of the earth, meaning that it arises in part of the world that has relatively few inhabitants or nations. It arises near the close of papal dominance, near the end of the 42 prophetic months or 1260 years, which ended in 1798.* [* It was prophesied that when papal Rome came to power it would root up three kingdoms (Daniel 7:8, 24). The last of these was the Ostrogoths who were defeated in 538 AD. After dominating the world throughout the Dark Ages, exactly 1260 years later in 1798, the French General Berthier took the pope prisoner, ending worldwide papal dominance.]

Just as prophesied, a world power that fits John’s description was beginning to rise at this time. The United States of America declared its independence in 1776, and began as a lamb, striving for peace and safety. The American Constitution is still one of the greatest in the world. But, the prophecy continues… “he spake as a dragon.” Can you see it, friends? The United States has already begun speaking as a dragon. It has become the bully of the world. Yet, there is more to come.

John saw that this second beast “exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed” (Revelation 13:12). We can see that the United States will exercise all the power the papacy exercised, and cause people to worship the first beast, or the papacy.

A Recent Invitation for the Pope to Speak to the US Congress

It may seem unlikely for the US to cooperate with the papacy, but this move is already beginning. In an unprecedented action, the pope has been invited to speak before the United States Congress. USA Today reports:

WASHINGTON — House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, extended a formal and open invitation Thursday to Pope Francis to address a joint meeting of Congress.

If the pontiff accepts, it would be unprecedented. No pope or religious leader that serves as a head of state has ever addressed Congress, according to the U.S. House Historian’s office.

“His address as a visiting head of state before a joint meeting of the House and Senate would honor our nation in keeping with the best traditions of our democratic institutions,” Boehner said in a statement. “It would also offer an excellent opportunity for the American people as well as the nations of the world to hear his message in full.”

Boehner, who is Catholic, said Pope Francis has inspired millions of Americans with his “pastoral manner and servant leadership” to reflect on matters of human dignity, freedom and social  justice.

“These principles are among the fundamentals of the American idea,” Boehner said, “and though our nation sometimes fails to live up to these principles, at our best, we give them new life as we seek the common good.” (USA Today, March 13, 2014, online at: www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2014/03/13/boehner-pope-francis/ 6373779)

The Power Behind the Scenes

Let us not overlook the fact that there is a greater power at work above the papacy. The Bible says about papacy, “The dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority” (Revelation 13:2). The dragon mentioned here is referring to the dragon spoken of just a few verses earlier, “The great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world” (Revelation 12:9). Satan is working behind the scenes. He is the one who gave the authority to the papacy. When people worship the papacy, they are actually worshiping Satan himself, for the Bible says, “The things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God” (1 Corinthians 10:20).

Let’s continue reading in Revelation 13.

“And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live” (Revelation 13:13, 14). We can expect to see many miracles performed, but they will be used to deceive people into making an image to the first beast.

An image is a likeness of the original. The most notable and damning characteristic of the first beast was the union of church and state. The pope was the head of the church, but he was also the head of the state. Essentially the church ruled the state, and we have to but look at the history of the Dark Ages for the frightening results of this unholy union. About two million people were tortured and killed during pagan Rome’s rule, but that number was multiplied to 50-150 million during papal Rome’s rule. According to the Bible we can expect the United States to duplicate this unholy union of church and state.

John continues, “And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth 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. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six” (Revelation 13:15-18).

Identifying the Beast

The beast, whose mark we are to avoid, is the first beast, or the Roman Catholic institution, called the papacy. The United States will be instrumental in causing the people of the world to receive the mark of the beast. Notice that the whole issue of the mark of the beast is about worship. The United States will cause people on the earth to worship the beast (verse 12), and to worship the image of the beast (verse 15). There is a very important fact to learn from this. Please don’t miss it. The implementation of the mark of the beast will revolve around worship. Nobody will receive the mark of the beast unless they “worship the beast” (verse 12). It is a sin to worship anything or anyone other than God. Jesus said, “It is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve” (Luke 4:8). The first commandment states, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3). Those who obey the United States when it urges the whole world to worship the beast will be breaking God’s commandments. Nobody will receive the mark of the beast unless they worship the beast or his image. Worship will be the key issue.

God warned us, “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, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb” (Revelation 14:9, 10). This is a serious warning. For God to punish those who receive the mark of the beast, it has to involve breaking one of God’s commandments. Think about this. If receiving the mark of the beast only involved a man receiving a tattoo, or a microchip under the skin, that alone could not be enough reason for God to cast him into the lake of fire. There has to be something more to it than that because a person could be pinned down and forced to receive a tattoo or a microchip. God would not cast a person into the lake of fire for having this done to him. There is something more that must not be overlooked and, according to the Bible, it involves worship and the breaking of at least one of God’s commandments.

God’s Ten Commandments

Let’s take a moment to examine God’s Ten Commandments. The first four deal with our relationship and worship of God, while the last six deal with our relationship toward other people. The mark of the beast, then, must involve breaking one of the first four commandments, which are summarized as follows: 1) Thou shalt have no other gods before me. 2) Thou shalt not bow down to graven images. 3) Thou shalt not take the name of God in vain. 4) Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy (Exodus 20:3-11). If you obey all of these commandments, you will not, and cannot, receive the mark of the beast. Even if someone pinned you down and forced you to receive a microchip under your skin, if you have not broken any of these commandments, you have not received the mark of the beast. I pray that you realize this important point.

Look again at the four commandments listed above and ask yourself, which of these would the United States most likely compel people to break. It has to be one of them, for these are the only ones that deal with worship.

Many years ago the king of Babylon set up a great image in the plain of Dura, and commanded all his subjects gathered there to bow down and worship the image or else they would be thrown into a fiery furnace (Daniel 3:1-11). The king was compelling people to break the second commandment. Three faithful followers of God refused to bow down, and they were thrown into the fiery furnace (Daniel 3:12-23). The Son of God came down and performed a miracle to keep the fire from harming them (Daniel 3:24-27). By this God demonstrated that the state has no right whatsoever to require its subjects to worship. This is something that belongs only to God. Jesus said, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s” (Mark 12:17). There is a clear distinction between what we owe to God and what we owe to our fellow man. It is a sin to render to man those things which belong solely to God, specifically our worship. Likewise it is a sin for man to require worship from man. God demonstrated this fact for all time when He saved His three faithful servants out of the fiery furnace.

God again demonstrated this fact when He saved Daniel out of the lions’ den. In this case the king passed a law that no man could ask a petition of anyone but the king for thirty days, or he would be cast into a den of lions. (Read Daniel chapter 6.) The king was requiring people to break the first commandment by putting himself above God. Daniel was seen praying to God, and he was cast into the lions’ den. God overruled by sending His angel to shut the mouth of the lions.

Here we have two examples of earthly governments passing laws related to worship. One violated the second commandment, the other violated the first. In both cases God demonstrated that His people are innocent if they disobey a law of the land related to worship.

Do you think the United States would set up a literal image and command all the people of the world to bow down and worship it? Not likely! This would not go over well in a predominately Christian nation like the US. For the government to be successful in getting people to violate one of God’s commandments they need to get the people behind them. They need to make it appear as if what they are asking is a good thing. Do you think the US would ask people to worship the president as God? Again, this is unlikely. However, they may ask people to worship a false god, which is generally thought by Christians to be the genuine, such as the Trinity. But doing this openly would find much resistance among Jews and Muslims, as well as some Christians, and it would be difficult to implement because what a person believes about God’s identity is hard for other people to see. Do you think they would ask people to take God’s name in vain? Certainly not! This only leaves one commandment, the fourth commandment, which deals with the Sabbath. This, logically, is the easiest and most likely of the commandments for the US to cause all the people in the world to violate, as we will see in a moment.

Remember, to receive the mark of the beast you must violate one of the first four commandments. This is the only way it would deal with worship, and be a sin. In the book of Revelation we are given a warning against receiving the mark of the beast (14:9-11), and in connection with this warning we are given three specific instructions to help us avoid receiving the mark. We are told, “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 sea, and the fountains of waters” (Revelation 14:7). In explaining how to avoid receiving the mark of the beast we are told to worship Him who made heaven and earth. Again we can see the emphasis is on worship, and a portion of the fourth commandment is quoted here, giving us a clue that the mark of the beast has something to do with the fourth commandment.

The Sabbath

Let us examine the Sabbath commandment and see if this could be used as a means to institute the mark of the beast. The commandment says, “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: 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” (Exodus 20:8-11). The commandment prohibits us from doing any work on the seventh day. This prohibition includes buying and selling on the Sabbath (Nehemiah 13:16, 17).

Many financial transactions today are done without the use of physical money. More and more people are using plastic cards to make purchases, or they write checks. It is an oddity to see people in a grocery store using cash to make purchases.

We have heard stories of people’s credit cards being revoked, and their bank accounts frozen. To many people this would be devastating, especially if we had a totally cashless society. If all transactions were done by computers, a person’s ability to buy and sell could be taken away very easily. If RFID chips, or biometric identification, are used in place of cash, it would be very difficult for someone to buy or sell unless they fit in with the program. Those controlling the computers would have the ability to prohibit certain people from buying or selling.

It would be very easy for the US to use the Sabbath commandment as a means to cause people to worship the beast and receive its mark. For example, the US could require a person’s ID, that enables him to buy and sell, to be renewed each week by participating in a work program on Sabbath, or some other activity that violates the Sabbath. Yet, how could they openly require people to violate the Sabbath commandment in a world where many people are “Christians,” and the beast itself is a “Christian” power. The answer is simple when we realize that the majority of Christianity violates the Sabbath commandment every week without thinking anything of it. Satan knew about the mark of the beast many years ago, and he has been planning his attack for a long time. He has succeeded in convincing most of the world that Sunday, the first day of the week, is the Christian Sabbath because Christ was raised from the dead on that day, even though there is not a single Bible text that tells us that the Sabbath was changed from the seventh day of the week to the first.

The Beast Tried to Change the Law

History teaches us that there was an attempted change to God’s law, but it occurred after the Bible was written, at a time when paganism was beginning to be merged with Christianity by the papacy. The early Christians kept the seventh day Sabbath for many years after Christ died. The day after His death, His disciples “rested the sabbath day according to the commandment” (Luke 23:56). They were evidently oblivious of any change. The Roman Emperor Constantine enacted the first Sunday law for its citizens in 321 AD, stating:

Let all the judges and town people, and the occupation of all trades, rest on the venerable day of the sun: but let those who are situated in the country, freely and at full liberty, attend to the business of agriculture; because it often happens that no other day is so fit for sowing corn and planting vines; lest the critical moment being let slip, men should lose the commodities granted by Heaven. (Encyclopedia Britannica, article Sunday).

This Sunday law was strictly and completely a religious law, and could only be a religious law. Even though this Sunday law was enacted by a pagan emperor to benefit pagan sun worshipers, Sunday observance as a religious holiday was adopted by many Christians.

Notice what one historian has to say about this:

“Centuries of the Christian era passed away before the Sunday was observed by the Christian church as a Sabbath. History does not furnish us with a single proof or indication that it was at any time so observed previous to the Sabbatical edict of Constantine in A.D. 321.” (Sir Wm. Domville, Examination of the Six Texts, page 291 as quoted in History of the Sabbath and First Day of the Week, page 344, by John N. Andrews, Steam Press 1873).

A prominent Catholic Catechism boldly admits:

Q. Which is the Sabbath day?

A. Saturday is the Sabbath day.

Q. Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday?

A. We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic church, in the counsel of Laodicea (336 A.D.) transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday. (The Convert’s Catechism of Catholic Doctrine, Second Edition, by Peter Geirman, page 50).

Not only is the Catholic Church bold enough to admit that they attempted to change the Sabbath to Sunday, but they claim that it is the mark of their authority. “Sunday is the mark of our authority. The church is above the Bible, and this transference of Sabbath observance is proof of the fact.” (The Catholic Record, London, Ontario, September 1, 1923—emphasis supplied) “Of course the Catholic Church claims that the change was her act. And the act is a mark of her ecclesiastical power and authority in religious matters.” (Thomas, H.F., Chancellor of Cardinal Gibbons, in answer to a letter regarding the change of the Sabbath.— emphasis supplied) “The observance of Sunday by the Protestants is an homage they pay, in spite of themselves, to the authority of the [Catholic] Church.” (Monsignor Louis Segur, Plain Talk about the Protestantism of Today, page 213).

There can be no doubt that Sunday observance is a mark of the beast, a mark of the authority of the Roman Catholic papacy, and it is easy to see how Sunday legislation could be used to enforce the mark of the beast.

A Push for Sunday Observance

Today, there is a large movement pushing for more Sunday laws. Even today, in the United States, we have many Sunday laws on the books—called blue laws. Have you ever wondered why many businesses are closed or have shorter hours of operation, on Sunday? In many cases it is not because of choice, but because laws restrict their businesses on Sunday. In most states it is illegal to buy or sell alcohol until noon on Sunday. In the state of Indiana it is illegal to buy or sell a car on Sunday. There are many other such Sunday laws in effect all over the country. Time Magazine reported, “In Pennsylvania it is legal to sell a bicycle on Sunday, but not a tricycle; in Massachusetts it is against the law to dredge for oysters, but not to dig for clams; in Connecticut genuine antiques may lawfully be sold, but not reproductions. The New York blue law code is particularly messy. Bars may open at 1 p.m., but baseball games may not begin until 2 p.m. It is legal to sell fruits but not vegetables, an automobile tire but not a tire jack, tobacco but not a pipe. It is unlawful to sell butter or cooked meat after 10 a.m., except that delicatessens may sell these foods between 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.” (Time Magazine, Friday, Oct. 25, 1963, article: “Blue Sunday,” online at: www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,830508,00.htm).

The same article stated, “Every state of the Union except Alaska has some sort of never-on-Sunday law on the books. They range from prohibitions directed at a single activity—boxing in California, barbering in Oregon—to broad bans on industry and commerce” (Ibid.).

In 1998 Pope John Paul II issued an Apostolic Letter calling for Catholics all over the world to seek for Sunday legislation in their own countries. In this letter, he stated, “Therefore, also in the particular circumstances of our own time, Christians will naturally strive to ensure that civil legislation respects their duty to keep Sunday holy” (Pope John Paul II, Apostolic Letter, Dies Domini, May 31, 1998).

A few years ago the Catholic Church called for stronger legal restrictions to protect Sunday:

The Archbishop of Paris and President of the Bishops’ Conference of France, Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois, has criticized laws that extend the workday on Sundays, which he recalled is the Day of the Lord and an opportunity for family time.… “If the law extend the workday on Sundays, the harm to people and to society that will result will have an economic impact,” he warned.…

The cardinal’s words come as the government of President Nicolas Sarkozy attempts to breathe life into the French economy by loosening restrictions on sales. Opponents of the change point to the1906 law forbidding sales on Sundays as upholding a less spending-obsessed French way of life. (Catholic News Agency, Paris, Nov. 7, 2008, article: “Archbishop of Paris criticizes work on Sunday,” online at: www.catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=14274).

Croatia passed a Sunday law that went into effect at the beginning of 2009.

The Croatian parliament has passed a law forcing shops to close on Sundays in a concession to the Roman Catholic church. The church has campaigned for years for Sundays to be devoted to family or Mass in Croatia, which is almost 90 percent Roman Catholic. But Croatians have begun spending weekends in shopping malls that have flourished across the country in the past few years and remain open seven days a week. The law [was] adopted Tuesday and goes into effect Jan. 1. (USA Today, July 15, 2008, online at: www.usatoday.com/news/world/2008-07-15-3207228841_x.htm).

All Sunday laws are religious laws, and are in direct violation of the First Amendment to our Constitution which says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

According to the Bible, Sunday is one of the “six working days” (Ezekiel 46:1). God said, “Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work” (Exodus 20:9). Honoring one day of the week above another is strictly religious in nature, directly relating to our worship of God. There can be no other reason for honoring a day of the week than that of worship. Seeing that Sunday observance can only relate to worship, the government has no right to regulate what I may or may not do on Sunday if it is lawful any other day of the week. Yet, this is precisely what the government sought to do in the time of Constantine (The Roman Emperor, Constantine, passed the first Sunday law in A.D. 321) and it was used to persecute God’s people, and it is what the so-called “Christian Coalition” is seeking to do again.

The mark of the beast crisis will revolve around worship and the government legislation of worship. It is certain that the governments of this world will pass a universal law regarding worship. They will most likely follow the example of Constantine and enforce religious observance of Sunday.

Please do not get me wrong, those who have ignorantly, or even knowingly, kept the first day of the week instead of the Bible Sabbath have not yet received the mark of the beast. The mark of the beast will be mandated by the government. Until that happens, nobody could receive the mark of the beast.

I pray that none of you reading this paper will receive the mark of the beast. Obey God’s commandments, “worship Him in Spirit and in truth” (John 4:24), and you will not receive the mark of the beast. You will go through difficulties and “shall be hated of all men… but he that endureth to the end shall be saved” (Matthew 10:22).


Something for the Young at Heart

This month we are continuing a series of studies written by my children. In order to maintain the flow of the study, this crossword puzzle is not split into Across and Down sections—Across or Down is indicated at the end of each line. (The KJV is required.) 

To complete this crossword, please download the PDF version of this newsletter.

Hope – by Rebekah Beachy

“Let thy ____, O Lord, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.” Psalms 33:22—9 Down

“For in thee, O Lord, do I ____: thou wilt hear, O Lord my God.” Psalms 38:15—11 Across

“And now, Lord, what ____ I for? my hope is in thee.” Psalms 39:7— 1 Across

“Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou ____ in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.” Psalms 42:5—8 Down

“For thou art my hope, O Lord GOD: thou art my ____ from my youth.” Psalms 71:5—15 Down

“But I will hope continually, and will yet ____ thee more and more.” Psalms 71:14—6 Down

“That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his ____.” Psalms 78:7—3 Down

“Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy ____.” Psalms 119:114—1 Down

“My soul fainteth for thy ____: but I hope in thy word.” Psalms 119:81— 10 Across

“Uphold me according unto thy word, that I may live: and let me not be ____ of my hope.” Psalms 119:116—7 Down

“I wait for the Lord, my ____ doth wait, and in his word do I hope.” Psalms 130:5—16 Across

“Let Israel hope in the Lord: for with the Lord there is mercy, and with him is plenteous ____.” Psalms 130:7—2 Down

“Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his ____, whose hope is in the Lord his God.” Psalms 146:5—5 Down

“The hope of the righteous shall be ____: but the expectation of the wicked shall perish.” Proverbs 10:28—4 Across

“When a wicked man dieth, his expectation shall perish: and the hope of ____ men perisheth.” Proverbs 11:7—17 Across

“For what is the hope of the ____, though he hath gained, when God taketh away his soul?” Job 27:8— 13 Across

“The wicked is driven away in his wickedness: but the righteous hath hope in his ____.” Proverbs 14:32—12 Across

“Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall ____ in hope.” Psalms 16:9—14 Down

“After this manner therefore pray ye: Our ____ which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.” Matthew 6:9─14 Across

in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees ___ ___a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.” Daniel 6:10 (2_words)─20 Across


Note: If you or your children would like to participate in preparing Crossword Bible studies, send us a Bible study and we may be able to include it in upcoming issues of Present Truth.



by Ellet J. Waggoner


The annual making of resolutions and promises of good conduct is now several weeks in the past, and we may venture to call attention to them. It is perhaps safe to say that without doubt all those who took New Year’s day for a time of making new resolutions have broken them by this time. But that is not at all strange, for it is the peculiar characteristic of human resolutions, that they break very easily.

“You wouldn’t have people stop making resolutions, would you?” some one asks. Certainly. The Lord does not ask us to make them. He has provided a better way. We do not say that promises are not good, but it makes a vast difference who makes them. If a man owes a certain sum of money, it is a good thing for him to promise to pay it, provided he has any means wherewith to pay; but if he is bankrupt his promise to pay is not worth much.

But the man who promises to live a better life is a great deal worse off than the man who promises to pay a certain sum of money, when he is bankrupt. In this case the man may earn money, and so discharge his obligation. But in man there “dwelleth no good thing” (Romans 7:18). He has nothing wherewith to pay, and no power to perform the good that he has promised. So all human promises to lead a different life are worthless. They are worse than worthless, for they lead people to rest satisfied with their promises, whereas if those promises were not made they might the more readily see the necessity of taking the better thing that is offered.

It is impossible for a man to live a different life with the old life that he has been living. In order to live a different life, he must have a different life. “An evil man, out of the evil treasure of his heart, bringeth forth that which is evil” (Luke 6:45). So when a man promises to do good out of the evil that is within him.

What promises, then, are of any value? The promises of God, and those only. The apostle Peter says of Jesus our Lord, that “His Divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue; whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises; that by these ye might be made partakers of the Divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (2 Peter 1:3, 4). Here are promises that amount to something. They are the promises of God, confirmed by an oath pledging His existence to their fulfilment.

Notice that it is the power of the Lord Jesus Christ that gives us all things that pertain to life and godliness. Then it is certain that men can add nothing to the sum. By His promises all these things become ours. When we have these promises, what is the need of making others of our own, when we have no power to make them good? Not only are our promises unnecessary, but they are harmful, because they shut out the promises of God. They imply that His promises are not sufficient. Surely no one who has any just sense of the exceeding value of the promises of God, will think of supplementing them by worthless promises of his own.

Human promises can be seen in their true light only when we think of them as made to the Lord. Think of a man making a promise to the Lord, and then coming to Him and asking for favours on the strength of the good promises that he has made! Now if a promise is good for anything, this is what he ought to be able to do. If a man makes a promise to pay another man a sum of money, that is, if he gives a note, something can be raised on that note if it is good for anything. But no man would dare to come to the Lord and plead any promise that he has made. We do not ask the Lord to bless us because we have made good promises, but because He has made promises. The Lord says, “I, even I, am He that blotteth out thy transgressions for Mine own sake” (Isaiah 43:25.

The Christian life is indeed a life. And life means growth. “He shall grow as the lily” (Hosea 14:5) is the Lord’s statement concerning the one who is His. Lilies do not grow by resolution, but by absorbing the elements which God gives for their growth. A resolution pertains to the future, but growth is not a thing of the future, but of the present. The Lord does not want us to tell Him what we are going to do in the future, about which we know nothing, but simply to take the growing power contained in His promises, and live by them day by day and hour by hour. The promises of God are the only hope of mankind. Why not depend on them, then, and not weaken their force by putting our own in their place?

(This article was taken from the February 9, 1893 edition of The Present Truth.)


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