The Fallacy of the Mark of the Beast - Seventh Day Adventist
By Let Us Reason Ministries
If you are one of those people who go to Church on Sunday, according to the majority of Seventh Day Adventists (official teachings) you are worshiping the Beast with his mark.
This has been their position from their inception and it has not changed except in personal opinions. "Sunday-keeping is an institution of the first beast, and ALL who submit to obey this institution emphatically worship the first beast and receive his mark, 'the mark of the beast.' .... Those who worship the beast and his image by observing the first day are certainly idolaters, as were the worshippers of the golden calf."(Advent Review Extra, pages 10 and 11, August, 1850 (as quoted in "Seventh-day Adventism Renounced" by D.M. Canright, 1914)
Whenever the Seventh Day Adventists send out flyers and advertise their revelation or prophecy seminars they never put their name on the pamphlet or tell people what Church is sponsoring this. Why? They know they are stigmatized by Christians, so they hide their identity. But it becomes known once one pulls up into the parking lot of the Church that hosts the seminar.
Its been said its harder to refute error than it is to dish it out. It certainly takes longer to unravel its sticky web it has spun on the people. Especially if it has with it over 100 years of tradition.
How do the Seventh Day Adventists figure that the papacy has the number 666? In their pamphlets and handouts for the name Vicarius Filii dei which is the title in Latin vicar of the son of God. They use Latin numerals (which is the language of the Catholic church). They then switch to other names and titles that are not a name of a man. They also go to Greek and Hebrew transliteration to find numerical equivalents. For the title Lateinos it means Latin man or church (which is quite a different thing) they use the Greek language. It means a person of Hispanic, especially Latin-American, descent and it is plural not singular. Now this can be for anyone whose Latin and I don't see any correlation to this exercise, it makes no sense. They then switch to the word Hebron which I guess is suppose to be Hebrew and define it as Romiith which as Roman kingdom with numeral equivalent of 666 (they use the O as the final nun [an n sound] which has no numerical vale and attach 6 to it and use yod [a y] for an I which is an vowel and attach two 10's to it to come up with the final number). Hebron is a city of the West Bank south-southwest of Jerusalem, one of the oldest cities in the world, it was Abraham's home and King David's capital for a short time, it is not the Hebrew language (please correct me if I'm wrong). Roman kingdom can be widely applied to anyone in it, since it is not about a man but an empire or country. Then they are off to Latin kingdom and papal church in which they use the Greek language. It works well to be using numbers with word identification that are not actually related to the biblical text. This way you can insert what you would like it to mean. The purpose is to come up with 666 for anything to do with Roman Catholic church.
They then change Papal church to Italian church (there is no explanation for this). This can be any church in Italy even a Seventh Day Adventist one. Next is the words pontifex maximus in Latin which they don't give the numeral equivalent but under this title give 2 others, captain of the clergy and chief Vicar of the court of Rome. The word for "Vicar" which was previously used Vicarius for the title Vicar of the son of God is shortened to Vicus instead. When the numerals are added up the chief vicar of the court of Rome, it makes it equivalent to the numeral value of 111, while before (for Vicar) it was 112. So what they are doing is shortening words to come up with the correct number. The question needs to be asked Why do both which represent the same word, have a different numeral value? Almost unanimously they are changing and adding to make the puzzle fit which I find is really stretching ones credulity, and the very opposite of what John says in using wisdom to find the number of his name.
There is another paper I have where they say they are using old Latin but they are assigning numbers to the English. They have several names and titles:the "Pontifex Maximvs (supreme pontiff) equals 210 . Ioannes Paulvs Secvndvs (John Paul the second) which adds to 277. Totvs tvvs "all yours" adds up to 179. Add these all together and you have 666, the magic number.
I'm no fan of the Catholic church but I don't think it is fair to juggle words and numbers to arrive at this conclusion.
The Roman Alphabet was adopted from the Greek by way of the Etruscan alphabet, consisting of 23 letters upon which the modern western European alphabets are founded. Also called Roman alphabet that is still familiar today in certain applications. Consisting of any of the numerals formed with the characters I, V, X, L, C, D, and M in the ancient system of numeration. I = 1, V = 5, X = 10, L = 50, C = 100, D = 500, and M = 1,000.
What they have done is substitute V for U to have in Latin a numerical value because there is none for u, from this way we can come up with just about anything. In the Greek the same letter L has a numerical value of 30 instead of 50 in Latin. From this formulae depending on which language you choose, you can make just about anything fit. Talk about pinning the tail on the anti-christ! Is this fair? Is this type of reasoning legal! Not to mention one of their traveling lecturers Schreven states the anti Christ is a kingdom a power, not a person. So how does this work with the Pope who is called the Vicar being the Beast? They need to have a meeting among themselves to agree on whether it is a system, a person, or an office etc.
Seventh Day Sabbatarians do not hide that they are against the Catholic Church system. It seems ok for them to use the Latin language to figure out the name to prove their point. However the Bible was never written in Latin as an original language so I don't think John expected anyone to use this language to figure out the number of the antichrists name. Would God tell us to use Latin language to figure out the name of the beast instead of Greek or Hebrew in which it was written in? With this being said, it is Hebrew that is the only language with a built in numerical system. What they are using are titles of a position, offices and sometimes a person not "the number of HIS name" to figure out who this man is. (It is not the number of men in a continuing office but in the singular- the number of HIS name.)
The Apostle John, the writer of Revelation, spoke Aramaic and Hebrew as his native language. Both Aramaic, along with Greek and Roman languages, used alphabetic characters to represent numbers. Sharrit shows that Nero Caesar's name in Aramaic is NRON KSR. Numeric values for these letters are: N- 50 R- 200 O- 6 N- 50 K- 100 S- 60 R- 20= total 666 the number of his name." Does any of these names become the same in all the languages? No. The main point here is which language is one to use to actually find the number of the name?
Hebrew scholar Dr. A. Fructenbaum of Ariel ministries comments on relation to this number "The Hebrew alphabet has 22 letters, each one having a corresponding numerical value. Therefore, one can find out the number of a name - the number of the beast (Rev. 13:18) - simply by adding the value of each Hebrew letter of a particular name. Obviously, there are many names that total 666. Keep in mind that the person meeting the 666 requirement must also meet the criteria of being a world ruler."
Exactly. I need to also add that the man who is the Antichrist in Rev.13 is asking to be worshipped. This happens when Israel flees out from the country because he is the one 'who makes desolate.' The abomination of desolation is a he, and he is the one who signs a peace treaty and declares himself God in the temple (2 Thess.2). No one can buy or sell without this number of HIS name.
The Bible teaches us in typology there have been many antichrists. They were all men not an office. Nebuchadnezzar was a type of anti Christ having made an image made of gold and people were to bow down to it. Haman in the book of Esther was a type of the Antichrist trying to wipe out the Jews and having them bow down to someone who was not God. Pharaoh was a type of an antichrist who was worshipped as God. Pharaoh and his army came after the children of Israel like the future antichrist does in Rev.12. Nero was a type of the antichrist asking people to bow down to him and killing Christians who would not. But there is one who at the end of time rules the whole world and unites all the religions and people and persecutes the church. Adventists think they will be immune to this because they don't worship on Sunday but Saturday.
An official representative for their church Leo Schreven in his book: "Now That's Clear!" says Now, what is the Mark of the beast? It's a simple step by step counterfeit of receiving the Seal of God. (PROPHECY SEMINARS LESSON 18)
He writes and teaches at his seminars that the SDA church believes the Mark of The Beast is Sunday-Worship. "ab" means father (See Strong's Hebrew Dictionary, word H1) "b" means dwelling place, or of (i.e. Tisha B' Av in Hebrew means the ninth day of the month of Av) "ath" (oth) means sign or seal (See Strong's Hebrew Dictionary, word H226) So "S-ab-b-ath" means the dwelling place of the seal of the Father." (Lesson 18 - The Mark of the Beast & The Seal of God Leo Schreven)
This is so convoluted that it would take a whole article to make it really clear. Why is the S for Sabbath missing in his formula? Breaking up the word into little pieces does not prove anything? Nowhere does the Bible break up the word like this, as it would change the meaning of the word. Besides in Hebrew it is pronounced Shabbat not Sabbath, which is in English (and Shabbat means rest not the dwelling place of or the seal of the Father- nor worship). The Sabbath was the sign of Moses' Covenant that God made to the nation Israel. Adventists say it is the seal of the Father. This interpretation is important because he uses this premise to leap off into the seal of the Holy Spirit is keeping the law.
Adventists make up the words to try and prove their point like A. Jan Marcussen who says, "the seal of God is his Sabbath" " the word sign means the same as seal." (National Sunday Law p.47)
If one looks this up they will have quite a surprise. The word seal found in Daniel 12:4; 1 Kings.21:8 in the Strong's Concordance :2856 chatham ; a primitive root; to close up; especially to seal: KJV-make an end, mark, seal (up), stop. Nowhere is the word seal used for the Sabbath.
Sign is used for the Sabbath in Ez.20:12, 20, 31:13,17 In Strong's Concordance it is a completely different word.#226 'owth (oth); probably from OT:225 (in the sense of appearing); a signal (literally or figuratively), as a flag, beacon, monument, omen, prodigy, evidence, etc. Ex 12:13: "The blood will be a sign (oth) for you on the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt."(also Ex.13:9)
Besides these being different words the use of these words are different also. The word sign is used between God and the Israelites, the nation of Israel not the church. He never delivered the Church out of Egypt.
So by setting up the premise the Sabbath is the seal and not a sign they can argue like this. "Now, what is the Mark of the beast? It's a simple step by step counterfeit of receiving the Seal of God. ...Daniel 7:25, "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." He would change times and laws. The first step the Beast must counterfeit is God's law. Why? Because the "law" is sealed in the saints who follow God. Notice though it also changes "times." Only the fourth commandment deals with times."
Scripture states Jesus also changed the law. Heb 7:12 "For the priesthood being changed, of necessity there is also a change of the law." This is important as the whole law revolved around the priesthood and their sacrifices, especially the feast days. Why do we not sacrifice? Why don't we keep the feast days and meet in Jerusalem 3 times a year? Because the law has been changed. The law that was strictly for a Jew, one who would enter into covenant with God.
Schreven says, "There are millions of people who are not "worshiping the beast," but they do worship its image. Many churches today are nothing more than an image of the Papal Church. ... they are following the same false teachings, traditions, and commandments of men. False teachings like baptism by sprinkling, the immortal soul, Sunday worship, eternal hell-fire, et cetera, are all from the Beast. ...Lets see step by step how a person receives the Mark of the beast in their forehead.... 2 Thessalonians 2,... the first step to receiving the Mark of the beast: Refusing to love the "truth" (the truth is what is sealed in the saints)... you don't have to do anything wrong, you just refuse to do what's right."
The Bible says the Holy Spirit (who is the spirit of truth) is the seal, who lives inside the believer. He is a person. One thing for sure, he is saying the mark of the beast is being given today. For to make the image of the beast one must have the beast first! Which means there have been people worshipping the beast for quite some time. It doesn't matter whether one worships the beast itself or its image. The same consequences are applied! Schreven makes it clear the Beast is a system a church not just a person as he attributes numerous practices to its source.
Schreven says, "God's side believes in the true God. They worship Him and keep His Sabbath day holy. They love Him and keep His commandments... They are filled with the Holy Spirit and have the Seal of God—the Father's name in their foreheads." (underlines and bold added).
This is the Seventh Day position of making the Sabbath as the seal. One cannot worship God without the Sabbath. These are inextricably woven together. According to Rev.14 only the 144,000 have the Fathers name on their foreheads, this occurs at the 7th seal. So which Adventists have this seal since it is to only 144,000? Doesn't matter because Adventists ignore this limited number and make it a Church, THEIRS!
He goes on "Obviously this "seal" is not a literal visible seal. Your forehead represents your mind where you make decisions. When you choose God, His name and law is symbolically written in your mind. Hebrews 10:15-16, "Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them." (Schreven)
First they say the seal is the Sabbath, now its symbolic. Then the seal is the Holy Spirit. Is the Holy Spirit symbolic or real? What does this have to do with the seal of the Holy Spirit from the Bible? This is no different from what they said about the mark of the beast almost 100 years ago, being Not a Visible Mark. In the issue of the great contest two parties are developed, those who "worship the beast and his image,' and receive his mark, and those who receive "the seal of the living God," who have the "Father's name written in their foreheads." This is not a visible mark (ST Nov. 1, 1899 also S.D.A. Bible Commentary Vol. 7, page 980, paragraph 9 also The Great Controversy, page 438, paragraph 1). Schreven is taking the traditional Adventist teaching of E.G. White, which I hear so many Adventists say they are moving away from. White stated, "The change of the Sabbath is the sign or mark of the authority of the Romish church." ... "The keeping of the counterfeit Sabbath is the reception of the mark." (Ellen G. White, Great Controversy, Vol. 4, p.281).
Schreven states, "The second step in receiving the Mark of the beast is in verse 11, "And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie." What is that lie? 1 John 2:3-4, "And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. They are damned for not believing the truth. Rather than being comforted by the Spirit who leads to Jesus Christ, they stand condemned for following the Antichrist. Because of their willful decision to follow the Beast, its false teachings and practices, the Beast's name is in their forehead and they are lost having received the Mark of the beast. The process is a step by step counterfeit of the Holy Spirit's work to give us the Seal of God."
The lie of 2 Thess. 2 has nothing to do with a day but with not believing the gospel, God's word to be saved. All one has to do is read it through to find this out. Schreven is insinuating one must believe the Sabbath to have salvation.
Here Schreven is able to identify (as other Adventists do) what most have considered veiled." The Seal of God can only be received in the forehead. But the Mark of the beast can be received in the forehead, or hand...The hand symbolizes works, and actions. While these people do not believe in the Beast, their works reveal they follow its teachings and errors."
That's blunt enough isn't it? You have just been anathematized not by the Catholic Church but by the Seventh Day Adventist church (the true remnant church). On the other hand (no pun included) the Bible says the seal is the Holy Spirit who lives in the believer, he is not received in the forehead! Adventists say "the seal of God is his Sabbath." So then we are saved by the Sabbath 9and other commands to keep). That's a works based salvation the way I read it.
Previously he quoted Hebrews 10:15-16, but he forgot it also states,"I will put my laws into their hearts." The believer according to Eph.1:13 "Having believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession." We receive this seal by believing (faith in the gospel) not by keeping the law (which is by works). The seal is the Holy Spirit who is God. The believers then have the Holy Spirit as the seal inside them, is there anything greater? By twisting this he leaps off into numerous other distortions to arrive at his unbiblical conclusions.
"We need to focus on receiving the Seal of God rather than worrying about receiving the Mark of the Beast. You see, if you have the Seal of God, you don't have to worry about the Mark of the Beast! Let's study then how you can receive the Seal of God." (Lesson 18 - The Mark of the Beast & The Seal of God Leo Schreven).
This of course means the Sabbath. Schreven is saying if you worship on another day other than the Sabbath you DO NOT have the seal of God. If you worship on the Sabbath there is no need to be concerned about the mark. Why? Because the Mark is the Sunday worship instituted by the Catholic Church. He certainly is not alone in this assessment. But lets think this through. What if one worships on the Sabbath AND Sunday? Then we receive some very good explanations that are really excuses for this false doctrine. You see there are many Adventists who also worship in Church on Sunday.
Experiencing the Great tribulation NOW!
Because of this teaching on Sunday worship the Adventist Church puts everyone (themselves too) smack dab in the middle of the tribulation. And you thought it would be the worst time we would ever experience on earth (Mt.24). A question all Adventists need to ask themselves, Was Jesus wrong or right when he said this?
In the Seventh Day Adventists Study Bible (It is written) in the back Mark Finley leads one through a Bible course of why Adventists are right and have the 3rd angels message. He writes on the Bibles longest most amazing prophecy. Referring to Rev.14 where a certain group of people will proclaim the gospel just before Jesus returns. He states- "4. To what particular time period does this message draw attention? Revelation 14:7.
MY BIBLE SAYS: "... For the hour of His judgment has come;..."Notice the tense of the verb describing the judgment. The text clearly says, "The hour of God's judgment HAS come!"
7. This message is a call to worship whom? Revelation 14:7. MY BIBLE SAYS: "... Fear God and give glory to him ...and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water."
In an age when the evolutionary hypothesis has captured the scientific world, God invites men and women to worship Him as the Creator. In another study we will focus on Christ's sign of allegiance in the end time of earth's history."
What he means Christ's sign of allegiance is what they all do, the Sabbath. Clearly their position is that the seals are run through and we are now at the very least at Rev.14. Look outside, its not as bad as the bible made it is it?
"The 144,000 (12 times 12 times 1000) represent an ideal group... those who enter into a covenant relation with God and recognize Him as Lord may truly be considered part of Israel. The New Testament explicitly declares that the Christian church now constitutes God's true Israel." (These Times Special Edition 1983)
This is the Seventh Day Adventist church. Problem #1- this doesn't occur until the 7th seal. Problem #2 Gentiles who are the church are not true Israel. The principle is that God always had a believing obedient remnant among Israel the nation. Nowhere doe the Bible call the Church true Israel.
I wonder how can they say these 144,000 are not literal tribes of Israel (Jews) and then make the Sabbath day so literal? This is totally taken out of its contextual intent. How many of Israel went out from Egypt, how many camped around the tabernacle? These were all literal numbers of people. The 144,000 is a specific group of Jews, not the church, Rev.14:1. Of course they can't take this as a literal number because they want to make it fit their church to be spiritual Israel. The problem is you can't find any such term or teaching in the NT. Another problem, it brings their Church (and others) into the tribulation (now), which Jesus said would be a punishment Rev.2:22. The real problem is their interpretations since they believe the seals have been open, which means we've been in the tribulation for a very, very long time. And that is absolutely unbiblical.
In a Seventh Day article what Revelation says about the 4 horsemen of the apocalypse p. 25-26 "At the breaking of the first seal, John saw a white horse whose rider" went out conquering and to conquer" chpt.6:2 Throughout Revelation, white is the color of Christ and his church (see chpt.1:14;2:17) and Revelations literary structure purposely parallels the first seals white horse and conquering rider with the white horse and conquering rider of chpt.19 where the rider is obviously Christ." "This seal is best understood as representing Christ's victory at the cross and the early spread of his invisible kingdom through the church he established....As we saw in the vision of the 7 churches, the 4 horsemen of Rev. show God's work on earth beginning well but soon running into trouble..."( Signs of the Times Apr.1998)
Just because something is white and conquers does not mean it is Christ. This is a counterfeit Christ, one that most scholars throughout history have called the anti-Christ. However if you worship on Saturday you have no worries right? All 4 horsemen are a judgment, they are not Christ plus three that destroy. They all are destructive. He has a crown as do many kings, he goes conquering throughout. Christ never told the Church to conquer, we have different riding orders. Here's the underlying problem. The whole Church except they are deceived because of Sunday worship but they teach Christ is one of the riders who conquers bring the seal being opened to the first century. Compare this to when he really comes back on a white horse.
Rev 19:11-16 "Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS." Notice the difference. He has many crowns, He rides to judge the wicked as the King and Lord of all, and the saints follow on white horses too. While this is not a major piece of the puzzle I only point this out to make you aware how their premise of the Church being in the tribulation affects all the rest of the teachings in the book of Revelation.
They claim they are fulfilling the message of the 3rd angel that goes out in Revelation 14:9. This causes people to join the SDA church. They are convinced you must belong to God's only true remnant church in order to not receive the "mark of the beast" in the "last days." Seventh-day Adventists teach the seventh-day Sabbath is the "seal of God" and Sunday worship (will?) has become the "mark of the beast." Rev.14 clearly reveals the true church will proclaim the message of the three angels. Rev.12 describes the true church as having the identifying feature of arising sometime after 1798. It would lead men and women back to obedience to the commandments of God." (Seventh Day bible The Search for Certainty p.1272) This manipulative method has brought thousands, possibly millions of "converts" into their church clearly by fear tactics.
This ALL means we are in the Tribulation. The Bible teaches taking the mark is equal to only those who will be able to buy and sell. No one can without it. If the mark is issued for the last hundred years according to their teaching (not the Bibles) are not the Adventists buying and selling right now? This would mean they have the mark too. It also says those who do not take the mark will be slain; I don't see this happening either. What they use to squirm out of this is with a technicality. This has not occurred yet, but one day it will become law by the US. I'm sorry but that doesn't float! If the anti Christ and his system have been here for 1500 years and he changed times and laws in reference to a day. If all the world is deceived, then the only conclusion is this is the mark and this has already happened. You can't say the seals have been opened, the 144,000 are that Adventists, the 3rd angel message is being proclaimed, that Mt.24:15 has occurred, the Woman is riding the Beast and play games with it still being in the future tense! This is nonsense.
On Kenneth Cox's outline under the heading VI. Christ our high priest in heaven E. (that's a Roman numeral he's using, the language of Rome.) He states the sanctuary in heaven was made desolate for over 500 years because no one confessed his sins to Christ- this is the abomination of desolation. (He arrives at this because the earthly sanctuary was destroyed in 70 AD.) First of all if it is the abomination then we have been in the later part of the tribulation for well over 500 years (which we have seen is there position). Second Jesus said the abomination takes place on earth not heaven and they will see it in Jerusalem and they are to flee (Mt.24). So his idea is absurd. But this is Seventh Day Adventist eschatology a mixed brew which I find is no less false than the Catholics Mariology. If what Cox is saying is true (which it definitely is not), then no one was saved for 500 years and the Church was overcome by the devil. But not to worry along came Adventism to restore the true Church in the 1800's. Even though Jesus said the Church would never be overcome!
It is the Sabbath commandment that separated them from the Church in their beginnings and it is the same for today. Now maybe you think I'm being too hard on this and its just a matter of opinion. Well lets hear how hard they are on everyone to win their converts to this doctrine.
CHRIST EXPOSES THE ANTICHRISTS GREATEST DECEPTION AFFECTING YOU #10 In Hawaii LEO SCHREVEN "If we find tonight that 95% of us sitting here and definitely 95% of everybody in this city, is worshipping the beast all the time, don't let it surprise you folks. Cause that's exactly what God said and that's exactly what we are going to find out as we go through this study tonight. So be prepared for it, God's already warned us and the vast majority of us sitting here tonight are going to find out we too have been deceived by the beast, and we too have been worshipping and following after the beast."
"All the world including you will be on one side or the other. The shocking reality is that God says in Revelation 13:3, 8 "all the world" is worshiping and following the beast! So today, if we find an area in which all the world follows the beast instead of the Bible, it should not surprise us, for God has told us it would be so." (Lesson 10 the seventh day Sabbath, true worship)
I don't think you need to wonder who the 5% are that are not worshipping the Beast. Here we establish that Schreven and their other literature says this currently occurring, Rev.14:9 "If anyone worships the beast and his image..." The Bible states the penalty is irrevocable! You can't repent even if you wanted to. We are told in Scripture everyone all the world will worship the beast. There is not going to be a church that is out in the open worshipping God while others worship the beast. Those who do not comply are going to hunted down and killed.