“Oh, the unspeakable greatness of that exchange,—the Sinless One is condemned, and he who is guilty goes free; the Blessing bears the curse, and the cursed is brought into blessing; the Life dies, and the dead live; the Glory is whelmed in darkness, and he who knew nothing but confusion of face is clothed with glory.” Trailady

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A person God turned around many times.

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Marks of the Beast

The Protestants. Protestantism renounced the Ten Commandments when the Adventists began to preach the seventh day Sabbath. The popular Protestant denominations had already denounced the preaching of a literal, personal, visible second advent of Christ. Thus when a subgroup of the Adventists started preaching that the time of God’s judgment had begun and a solemn time of divine investigation was in progress, they exalted the 4th commandment in a special way. It had been trampled upon by Satan and his church, and it was high time to return God’s day of worship to its rightful place in the church of Christ.

The evangelical denominations realized that they were in a real difficult position. They still professed to be a valid part of the great Reformation. One of the Reformation’s three pillars of faith was, “The Bible and the Bible only.” Yet now a failure was uncovered, and it was a major failing, putting them in association with Rome—Sunday worship. They had already dampened the voice of conscience in a big way by denouncing Christ’s second coming and casting out the Adventists from the varied Protestant denominations. Because worldliness and self-exaltation had moved into the churches, the Holy Spirit wasn’t able to influence them as He had their fathers in the Reformation. The message of the coming kingdom of God was the providentially issued test of their loyalty to heaven, and in their rejection of it they failed the big test.

When Sunday/seventh-day Sabbath worship became an issue, the churches fought against that light as well. They sought out any way to shut out the light. Since they professed obedience to the Bible, and they weren’t going to let those Adventist fanatics expose them publicly, to keep up their profession, they began to refigure their original position regarding the Law of God. They had had only three choices: 1) agree and bow to the Adventists’ new truth and admit to the evident leading of God among the SDAs; 2) reject the Bible like the Church of Rome had done; 3) keep the Bible, but twist and contort it to suit their stance on the false day of worship.

They picked choice #3. Already a theology had been floating around that at Christ’s death the Ten Commandments were abolished at the cross, along with the ceremonial laws given to ancient Israel. Suddenly, this idea appeared to the Protestants to be absolutely true. And it served them perfectly well. They could save face by not bowing to the Seventh-day Adventists, and they could keep their Bible, too!

Everything seemed to go well, until the truth about Sunday sacredness came to light. “The authority of the church could therefore not be bound to the authority of the Scriptures, because the Church had changed...the Sabbath into Sunday, not by command of Christ, but by its own authority.” Canon and Tradition, p. 263.

"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 (1868), p. 213.

But the protestant ball was already rolling enough to get over the Sabbath stumbling block and keep going. Who was that insignificant group, the Seventh-day Adventists, anyway? They wouldn’t amount to anything and their distinctive doctrines wouldn’t either. All the great, innumerable Protestants were keeping Sunday, and as it appeared, unmolested they always would.

So the Ten Commandments were believed abolished. But what about the other nine valid commandments beside the 4th? Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not commit adultery, and all the rest. Regardless of the Evangelicals’ claim that love fulfills the Law, the denominations had committed a grave error. They thought to revoke the authority of the infinite God of heaven, the Creator of the ends of the earth.

They were able to keep their Bible, but they lost the power of God’s authority. By removing God’s law they removed an essential tool of the Holy Spirit. Without the authority of the Law, the Bible lost its power to reform. For them, the Reformation had ended.

Paul explained how important the law was to conversion. “But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” (Gal. 3:23,24).

The Law had played an indispensable role in bringing the soul to justification and conversion to God. Without the weight of the Law grinding, the soul never can realize, through the supernatural force of the Holy Spirit, the power to lay hold on to God and His promise of acceptance and adoption through Christ.

Seldom does anyone realize their desperate sinfulness and need of grace. This is especially so, when the churches assume that everyone attending and paying tithe or giving an offering and professing to love God must have made everything right with Him. It’s a big assumption that if a person carries a Bible around and even reads it, that that person has a vital, saving connection with God.

Worse, when that assumption is built right into the basic fibers of the churches’ theology, we have a recipe for certain damnation. Everyone in the church believes he or she is following God, yet without the weightiness of the powerful voice of Mt. Sinai thundering from the Ten Commandments, how can a person be driven to Christ for His justifying intercession? According to the apostle Paul, this is a major piece of the formula for salvation.

Now, without permitting the Holy Spirit His authority in the Law because the churches have abolished the Law, when the denominations teach the high standard of Christ as written in the gospels and the epistles of Paul, where is the power to keep that standard? Without the Law there is nothing driving anyone to Christ, thus there is no real justification, and thus, no power to keep the high standard.

Without the power of God working within through the Holy Spirit, all attempts to keep righteousness has nothing more than a human origin. Any works of righteousness without the Holy Spirit are righteousness by works. Righteousness by faith does not exist for those who have abolished God’s Law, because it takes the Holy Spirit carefully wielding the great Law of God for the faith of Jesus to be generated in the sinner. This is the issue brought out in the 3rd chapter of Galatians.

So the mainline evangelical churches have fallen, and as organizations are no longer usable by God. Conversely, because of their lawless theology, they are working contrary to the Holy Spirit. They are under the control of God’s adversary, for those who are not with Him are against Him. Satan has subtle sway of those organizations. Yet there are many thousands of honest, faithful people still part of them, who will one day follow the voice of the Spirit of God, in search for a genuine relationship with God, true power to obey His Law, and victory over the devil; and they will come out of the confusion and join a cleaned up, revitalized Seventh-day Adventism.

In spite of their profession of sanctification and salvation, their religion is salvation by works. It’s a religion without a genuine relationship with Jesus because they abolished the only thing that will bring them to Him. That makes theirs a religion of legalism, even if it has a smiling face and a high profession of Bible truth. The Protestants, because of their legalism, will receive the mark of the beast in the hand.

The Church of Rome. This organization never has professed “the Bible and the Bible only.” In fact, they have burned many Bibles. According to the Catholic Church, Bible interpretation belongs to the Magisterium of the Church; the Church reserves the sole right to understand and interpret the Bible. The Christian world, including the Protestant Catholics, must accept as a diet of truth only what Rome has poisoned.

So the big thrust of Rome isn’t the Bible. Rather, its gift to the religious world is spiritualistic make-believe, clothed in Christianity. The Church of Rome is not Christianity—rather, paganism with a Christianized look and feel. Without the solidity of the Bible, spiritual religion is worthless. When evidence of scripture is not required for faith, that faith is nothing but empty feeling. The intellect is feared by Rome, thus is excused from Romish worship; the emphasis there is placed solely on emotion. Satan knows the human psyche very well. He knows just what formula will ruin us.

The Church appeals to the little boy and girl that it says is inside of each one of us. Rome offers a touchy-feely religion. When I was in the Navy, one day Catholic chaplains gave our command some religious training. They told us that we all needed to get in touch with that little boy inside of us. We politely waited for them to finish and leave and then we left in pure disgust! They were talking to Navy men! Men!

The prophet described spiritualism to do exactly the same as what we hear from Rome. “They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.” (Jer. 6:14;8:11). “And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many.” (Dan. 8:25).

How can worshipers in Catholicism be calm and manly and of a sound mind, when Mary does not wield the sword of the prophets? How can they overcome the world when they are empty of the Spirit of truth? How can they ever fear no man when they have never bowed low before the King of kings?

Mary stands as the medium for pure blissful worship, without a single word from God or meditation upon His Law. Ignoring convicting truth, yet daring to worship God anyway, the church provides insulting, impudent, imperious worship! To those vain worshipers Christ says, “When ye spread forth your hands, I will hide Mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.” (Is. 1:15). “Depart from Me, ye that work iniquity.”

Thus this presumptuous religion will receive the Mark of the Beast in the forehead.

The Law of God and His prophets are used by the Spirit of God to give the atheistic, fallen human race authentic, transforming faith in the living God, which is the faith of Jesus that plucks up deeply rooted sin and throws it into the depths of a sea of shame and self-loathing. This is true religion. It is to worship God in spirit and in truth. For such the Father seeketh to worship Him. It receives the Seal of God in the forehead.


Blogger Herb Douglass said...

Magnificent overview, fresh and compelling. You nailed the ellipse of salvation: grace of pardon and the grace of power. Anything less is limited gospel. Cheers, Herb Douglass

4/22/2008 7:45 AM  
Blogger David said...

Nice to meet you, brother. Cheers back to you. David

4/22/2008 8:54 AM  

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