War and unrest, violence and murder, hunger and distress, tornadoes, inundations, earthquakes... this is nothing new.
All the same, today's generation is exposed to new and difficult challenges; environmental problems, genetic engineering, climate changes, food-related epidemics etc. Many of us will also see that our society is distancing itself from certain basic moral values.
Many are left feeling small and powerless, but shouldn't we ask this question: Why is all this happening?
There is a reason for this development. The good news is
that there is also a solution.
We are not talking about solutions that are being presented to us by today's politicians or religious leaders. History shows that in spite of peace treaties, co-operation agreements and plans based on good intentions, hunger for power and the lust that resides in the heart of man will not disappear.
It is a battle between good and evil that is taking place, but it
will end! Behind our chaotic reality there is a plan that will be
The book of books, the Bible, has something concrete to say about the situation in which we live. It speaks especially to you who seek an explanation, and who want to know what the future will bring!
The prophecies of the Bible have so far never failed! We therefore believe that the last prophecies too will be fulfilled.
In Revelation we find a series of prophecies that are now being fulfilled! We shall take a closer look at these.
The first message
In the last book of the Bible, Revelation, we find a series of prophecies that tell us much about history, about our times, and of our near future. There, we also find three completely unique messages which are highly relevant today, and which we should heed very closely. It says that these three messages are given by angels. The Greek word for "angel" is "angelon" which means messenger. The three angels are therefore a symbol of men and women, who work in harmony with God's will, and who, with all their power, will give this message, the "eternal gospel", to the world.
What is the "eternal gospel"? You will find it explained briefly in the Bible, in the Gospel according to John, chapter 3, verse 16. There it says:
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life."(Jn. 3:16)
We all know the story in the Bible about Adam and Eve who were disobedient and ate the forbidden fruit. They had received
a warning, and knew that they would die. Behind this seemingly simple story is hidden a deep tragedy which has affected the entire
human race. The Bible confirms that the wages of sin is death
(Ro. 6:23) and this is speaking of an eternal death. God, our Creator, is the
of all life, and when our forefathers chose to defy God's warnings, they left Him who is Life. But God loves man.
He chose to take the just death sentence upon Himself. He sent His own son, Jesus Christ, who was willing to go through the suffering on our behalf.
Even though Jesus was God, He came as a man (Jn. 1:1-3 + 14, and Phil. 2:5-8). As a human being He should be tested in everything, just like us. And since He should take our place, it was only by living a just life, without sin, that He could take upon himself our punishment without being guilty himself. Christ overcame ALL temptations through God's power (He. 2:17-18).
He is the only one who has done this. (Ro. 3:23). Finally, He gave His life on the cross in order to release you and me from eternal death. For it says:
"And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission ." (He. 9:22
Therefore, it is up to you and me to receive Christ's offer by faith. If you consider yourself a sinner, you can rid yourself of the burden of sin by coming to Christ. The Bible says:
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." ( 1 Jn. 1:9)
Each one of us who accepts this justification by faith will be saved. Isn't that good news?
But life does not stop when we have said YES to Jesus. Then, our life with Christ begins. Then, it will be seen in our life that we have undergone a change. The Bible says that we shall be transformed by a complete change of our mind (Rom. 12:2). That is what happens when we say YES to Jesus, and the Holy Spirit has entered into our heart. Then we shall - with the help of the Holy Spirit - follow what God tells us and not walk our own ways. Then character traits like love, happiness, peace, goodness and friendliness emerge in our lives, instead of hatred, anger and lust (Ga. 5:16-26). This we cannot do by ourselves, but with the help of God we will do it. Therefore, to give glory to God means to give evidence of His character in our own lives, and in this way make Him known to those around us. Jesus has given us an example, and now it is up to us - with God's help - to continue His mission by revealing His character in our lives and our teaching. (1 P. 2:21 and Eph. 3:10).
To live with Christ and to reveal His character in our lives includes many things. Jesus says it this way:
"If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me." And: "If ye love me, keep my commandments."(Mt. 16:24 and Jn. 14:15)
A person who has received Jesus by faith, will be pleased to follow His commandments. God's commandments express what God represents, and God has given these Ten Commandments to us in order that we may know how we should relate to God and to each other. In the first letter from John in the Bible, we are put to the test in this way:
"And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked." (1 Jn. 2:3-6)
Therefore: To fear God is also to obey God.
When we really understand how much God has sacrificed in order to save us, it will be a joy to follow God's commandments. Then it will not mean slavery under the law, but we shall do it out of love and gratitude to God who was the first to love us.
When Jesus ascended to heaven, He said to His disciples:
"But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you." (Ac. 1:8)
The same power is available for us, too. Therefore, just as Jesus had to be given power from God to overcome sin, we can also overcome any temptation we may meet (Jn. 5:30 and 1 Co. 10:13). A follower of Christ will not only be a listener of the word, but also a doer. True belief will be expressed in good deeds. The life/deeds will be in harmony with God's will (Jn. 1:22 and 2:14-26, also 1 Jn. 2:29).
The Bible makes it clear that the Holy Spirit will be given to those who obey God (Ac. 5:32), and it is the Holy Spirit that helps us not to sin. The Bible promises us:
"Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin, for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God." (1 Jn. 3:9 and 2 P. 1:4)
When we believe in this promise, we shall find that we will receive help to have victory over any
tion we may meet.
We hope you will experience this harmonious combination between human and divine powers, because this is something we all must do in order to honour God in all our different activities in life.
"But," you will say, "if you should forget God's help and fall into temptation, then what?" Then it is we who have forgotten His help, and not the opposite. Then it is important to attach ourselves to Jesus again. He will be more than willing to receive us and forgive every repentant sinner. The Holy Spirit will call on us to help us admit our sins, repent, ask for forgiveness, and receive salvation in Jesus Christ again. As the Bible says:
"My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." (1 Jn. 2:1-2)
These have been cheerful words for those who have felt completely lost. If you are one of them, you should know that Jesus is always ready to receive you. But there is no other way to salvation. We must all pass through Jesus to be saved. Therefore Jesus says:
"I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (Jn. 14:6)
Therefore, to preach "the eternal gospel" and "honour God" therefore includes not only that we at one point in life have accepted Jesus as our personal saviour, but also that we will live our daily lives together with Christ and reveal his character in our lives. When we co-operate with the heavenly powers in this way, we shall receive the help we need in order to become living witnesses for Him, and by His grace we shall be ready when Christ soon will come to bring His own with him.
The Bible also encourages us also to honour God with our bodies. In 1 Co. 6:19, it says:
"What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?" (1 Co. 6:19-20)
Isn't it thought provoking that our body is compared to a temple? In the Old Testament, the temple was consecrated to God. In the same way, we should consecrate our lives to God. We must, in the best way possible - and with God's help - try to take good care of the fine body that God has given us. We must go back to nature's own simple remedies: Fresh air, sunlight, physical exercise, healthy food, good hygiene, sufficient sleep and rest, temperance, sufficient amounts of pure water, and trust in God.
Then we will have a better quality of life, physically, mentally and spiritually.
To take the best possible care of our body is also a way to honour our Creator, which every disciple of Christ should do.
We will now look at the second part of this first message, which should be proclaimed loudly today:
The Hour of His Judgement has come
The Bible says that before Jesus Christ returns, it will already have been decided who will be saved and who will be lost. In reality, we are the ones who decide which group we will be in. The Bible tells us that Jesus is now the High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary, where He intercedes for us before God. In order to understand the service He is doing for us there, we have received a model we can study: The earthly sanctuary which we can read about in the Old Testament. Paul calls it "a copy and a shadow of the heavenly things" (He. 8:5). It was simply a miniature model of the heavenly sanctuary. You can read about this in Hebrews chapters 8 and 9. In the first apartment of the earthly sanctuary the priest served every day. This apartment was called "The Holy Place" (Lev. chapter 4). At the end of the year of the sanctuary - only once a year - at "The Great Day of Atonement", the priest went into the second apartment; "The Most Holy Place" (Heb. 9:7). In the sanctuary service of the Old Testament, the people had symbolically transfered their sins (through the blod of the animal sacrifices) to the sanctuary. Om this spesial day; "The Great Day of Atonement", the sanctuary should be cleansed from the sins symbolically transfered to it. It was a day of judgement. (Read Leviticus, chapter 4 and 16.) Sin was symbolically cleaned out of the sanctuary, and not long thereafter they could celebrate their next holyday, the Feast of Tabernacles. The Feast of Tabernacles was a feast of joy and thanksgiving.
Since the service in the sanctuary of the Old Testament was a symbol of what Jesus should later do in the heavenly sanctuary, it is clear that there will also be a day of judgement before the "feast of joy" that will take place when Jesus unites with his people.
Daniel, the prophet, tells us of this Day of Judgement - this "cleansing" or justification - of the heavenly sanctuary.
In the Book of Daniel, chapter 8, verse 14, we are told that the time when this act of judgement
begin was already set.
This agrees with our heading: "The hour for His judgement has come." When will this special "hour"/time arrive? Daniel was told that 2300 days would pass; then this judgement would begin.
In prophetic time 1 day = 1 year (Ezekiel 4:6), so we talk about a long time period of 2300 years.
A little later in the Book of Daniel, we find the starting point for the prophecy (read Dan. 9:25), and history tells us that the event that should represent the starting point took place in the autumn of the year 457 BC.
If we then calculate 2300 years ahead (no zero year), we end up around the mid-1840's. According to the prophecy, this was when the "the great day of atonement" in heaven would begin.
The Bible says that the judgement will start with those who have committed themselves to be God's children. (1 P. 4:17) Their names will be examined, and their lives tried in the light of God's law, which is found in the second apartment of the sanctuary, the "Most Holy Place" (He. 9:3-4).
In the time of the Old Testament, all sins had to be confessed and settled before the Day of Atonement arrived, in order that they could be atoned for.
In this way, we must lay all our sins in front of God, so that Jesus may atone for our sins. When "judgement day" in heaven is over, our time of grace is over.
This will happen just before Jesus returns as our Lord and Saviour. Jesus' blood will only have been able to cleanse those who have prayed for it - those who have acknowledged and repented of their sins - and who have received forgiveness through Jesus Christ. All others will be lost. Even though Jesus has wished to save them too, they have not received the gift of salvation. One day it will be too late, and even if God laments it, justice will demand that they will be judged according to their acts.
It says that they will be destroyed with fire and brimstone (Rev. 20:12 and 21:8).
Jesus is in heaven now (Jn. 14:1-3 and Ac. 1:8-11). Jesus is the Reedemer and the Saviour, but He is also the Judge. It is He who decides who will be saved and who will be lost. Therefore we know that the judgement will be just. The only way to get through this judgement is to place our sins upon Jesus.
Nobody knows when Jesus will end His service as High Priest and His judgement process in the sanctuary. Nobody knows when this life will be over. Therefore, we have no time to lose. The day of grace is now. It is now that God is calling you to be humble and place all your sins before Jesus' feet.
"And he that cometh to Me I will by no means cast out", says Jesus (Jn. 6: 37).
He is like that. You can always come to Him. He will receive you and give you peace, His peace, a peace and safety that the world cannot give you! (Jn. 6:37) Do you want to accept this offer? It's up to you, but you should know that you would never regret it if you answer YES to this offer. Remember the words of the Bible:
"Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed." (Jn. 8:36), and "where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." (2 Co. 3:17)
Let's not be slaves under Satan and the burden of sin in our lives. But, with the help of God, tear yourself loose and become free in Christ. Then we have passed from death to life. Let's make this decision now, while it is still the day of grace. (More about this in the announced book,"The Great Controversy").
The latter part of the first message which will now be proclaimed with a loud voice, says:
Certainly, there is so much beauty in nature that one becomes completely fascinated. Consider a flower, a small insect, a dog, or a human being. All is so finely and appropriately made!
It is sad that some people have started to doubt that God is the Creator. In the 19th century, Charles Darwin presented his theories on the origin of species. Unfortunately, many have fallen for this man-made doctrine of evolution, which constantly permeates books and other study materials at schools and universities.
Let us not exalt man and man's misleading theories on the beginning of life, but exalt and worship the Creator who created during six days and rested on the seventh day some 6000 years ago.
He has created it so marvellously beautiful for us. If you still doubt that God is the Creator, shut your
eyes for a whole day and understand how much your sight has to say for all our movements. In this way, all
limbs are important for us to function well. And lastly: Let us thank God/Jesus Christ for life. The Bible says it this way:
"And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist." (Col. 1:17; Jn. 1:1-3 + 14, and Genesis 1:26)
If everybody had taken time to adore God on the day that He has set aside for holy use, there would not have been any evolutionists and atheists today! God has rich blessings for all who adore Him in spirit and in truth.
The second message
"And another angel followed the first one, saying, "Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication." Rev. 14:8
Fallen, Fallen is Babylon Who is "Babylon", "the great Babylon", and the "Harlot"?
In Revelation chapter 17 the "Harlot" is described. She has many traits that are described so that she will be easy to recognise. The first time you hear it said, it might sound harsh, but all the same: All the identifying marks in the Bible fit the Catholic Church. There are certainly many good, sincere members in this church, and we are not out to "get" them. But we feel called upon to warn both them and others against the system and several of the doctrines this system is built upon. The background for this warning is a Biblical command, and that we cannot find that the teachings of this system fit the clear text of the Bible, and also because the signs and identifying marks of the "Harlot" in the Bible fit this power (Rev. 17:5).
One of the signs is:
"And on her forehead a name was written: "Mystery. Babylon the great, the mother of harlots and of the abominations of the earth." (Rev. 17:5)
The Catholic Church calls itself the mother church. In a letter to all world-wide conferences of bishops, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger writes: "It must always remain clear that the one holy, catholic and apostolic universal church is not a sister, but mother of all churches." (Daily Telegraph, 4 September 2000). Such declarations contribute to confirm that the Catholic Church is the fulfilment of Revelation 17:5.
There is also a description of a terrible state of the religious world in the second angel's message. The Bible reveals that the "Harlot", or "Babylon the Great", will seduce the world through her unbiblical doctrines or her "intoxicating wine". Perhaps the greatest falsification the Catholic Church has committed through the years is that it has changed God's ten commandments as we find them in Exodus chapter 20, verses 3-17. Unfortunately, the Lutheran churches have accepted the false commandments in their catechisms and have seduced people with these false commandments. (We will refer to this under the heading "God's seal and the mark of the beast".)
Babylon's Intoxicating Wine The Catholic Church, or "the Harlot" (Rev. 17:5), has also introduced many other unbiblical doctrines such as the adoration of the Virgin Mary, as well as the teaching of the immortality of the soul, which is also found in the New Age movement and in spiritism. Today, several churches accept the tenets of spiritism. The belief in spiritist phenomena opens the door for spirits that lead you astray and teachings that originate from evil forces. The influence of evil angels will become more and more evident in the different churches as we approach the end of time (Deuteronomy 18:10-12 and 2 Thess. 2:9). Read more about this in the booklet "Mary Revelations".
The Catholic Church teaches that the wafer and wine become Jesus' actual body and blood when the priest lifts them up and blesses them, and that they sacrifice ("kill") Jesus anew every time they eat the communion wafer and drink the wine. Therefore it is called a holy mass sacrifice. This is one of the ugly rituals the Catholic Church has introduced. The Bible, however, says that Jesus was sacrificed - once, and that the communion shall be in remembrance of what Jesus did to save us (He. 9:24-28 and 1 Co. 11:23-26).
There are many indications that apostate Protestantism will accept the Catholic communion practice in the near future, too.
* Joint Declarations
We have briefly mentioned some of the falsehoods (the intoxicating wine) that little by little have filtered into other churches. It is sad to see that the Lutheran World Federation and the Catholic Church on October 31st, 1999, signed a joint declaration regarding teachings on justification. Many members of the Lutheran Churches do not even know what this agreement is all about, since it is the power elite within the churches that has decided this through their large church councils and over people's heads. This "Joint Declaration" says, among other things, that we are both sinful and righteous at the same time. However, the Bible says that as long as we have accepted Jesus' righteousness, we are no longer sinners, but righteous (1 Jn. 1:9).
And furthermore, if we were sinners all the time, nobody would be saved. For the Bible says that nothing unclean shall enter God's kingdom, and Jesus came to save man from sin, and not in sin (Rev. 21:27 and Mt. 1:21).
* Righteousness through sacraments?
The "Joint Declaration" also says that believers are completely righteous, because God forgives them through word and sacrament. But we cannot receive forgiveness and become righteous by our deeds (sacraments). This is Catholic, and originates from the Council of Trent in the 16th century. Why have the Lutherans returned to Rome on this important question? Baptism and communion, which are part of the so-called sacraments, are symbolic acts. We must not place anything between Christ and ourselves to save or make us righteous. It is only by going directly to Jesus Christ with our sins that we are made righteous.
* Sprinkling water on babies
The "Joint Declaration" also says that "by hearing and believing, man is justified through baptism". We know that sprinkling of water on the heads of babies is the entrance ticket to both the Catholic and Lutheran Churches. But a little child cannot have any belief of its own. Neither is it right that others can believe on your behalf. The Bible says that belief comes from the preaching of God's Word, and that the one who believes and is baptised shall be saved (Ro. 10:17 and Mk. 16:16). Baptism is a good covenant of conscience between God and man (1 P. 3:21), but a small child cannot understand the meaning of such a covenant. Everyone must first hear the gospel and then decide if he will enter into this pact of conscience with God or not. Furthermore, a biblical baptism is a burial in water, where one symbolically buries the old sinful life, and rises to a new life with Jesus Christ (Ro. 6:3-6).
* Charta Oecumenica
The "Joint Declaration" is a confusing document, and not a "thus saith the Lord". Recently, the large Lutheran and Catholic organisations in Europe, CEC (Conference of European Churches) and CCEE (Catholic Bishops' Conference of Europe), came together to prepare a new joint document called Charta Oecumenica. This document is, on many issues, almost a copy of the plans of the Catholic Church and the Jesuits of 1995. (From The General Assembly of Jesuits, 1995). Minutes from this general assembly show that they will work for a complete union of churches. Not to mention that they want this union to be under the umbrella of the Catholic Church. In Charta Oecumenica, almost the same plan is repeated. It says: "Until we reach the goal of full church communion, we intend to act together in all matters in which no deep difference of conviction compels us to act separately." In order to obtain this, they will enter into a DIALOGUE with other churches, where the other churches can inform them of their beliefs. Thereafter, they shall try to gather around what they may have in common, and avoid dealing with disagreements. But a true disciple of Christ will also take up truths that are questioned, and in prayer ask God for help to enter into harmony with God's will in all areas.
Charta Oecumenica will also work to "promote ecumenical learning in Christian education and in theological training and further education." How are we to protect our youth against such an enormous ecumenical/catholic-inspired influence?
Charta Oecumenica will also use prayer to gather Christianity under the banner of ecumenism. They put it this way: to pray together is at the heart of ecumenism". It is important to pray to God, but we understand that there is a special strategy behind such partners-in-prayer engagements.
Charta Oecumenica is promoting a "common evangelisation in Europe", and they will not evangelise to "steal" members from other
churches. If this tactic is to be followed,
the freedom to preach freely and to call
people away from "Babylon" has disappeared. We must strongly warn against this! With Charta Oecumenica freedom of religion is in danger! We are heading towards incredibly difficult times! It is clear that they favour the large power blocs within Christianity, and they say it is important to distinguish between sects and churches. Let's join Paul instead, who followed the way which they called a sect (Ac. 24:14), rather than allow these power blocs to tie us up in their ecumenical and catholic pattern. (Read more about this in the pamphlet, Charta Oecumenica).
Daughters of Harlots In this we see that the Lutheran Churches and other churches which enter into agreements and sign joint declarations with the Catholic Church, and which maintain false doctrines on important issues, have become "daughters of harlots", as the Bible describes in Rev. 17:5.
The first time we read the words "Babel" and "Tower of Babel" is in Genesis, chapters 10 and 11. Nimrod was the ruler, and it was under his rule that they built the Tower of Babel. "Babylon" was originally synonymous with revolt against God's sovereignty. Man took over the leadership that solely belonged to God. "Babylon" became in this way the mother of all false religions, and their religion was that they would be saved through their own deeds. Ungodliness, concentration of power and confusion reigned. Therefore we connect "Babylon" with confusion. The word "Babylon" means confusion.
The city of Babylon, which existed 600 years before the time of Christ, also had many of the same characteristics of apostasy and confusion. This "world power" suppressed God's people, and the Bible tells the people of those times:
"Flee out of the midst of Babylon, and deliver every man his soul: be not cut off in her iniquity, for this is the time of the Lord's vengeance; He will render unto her a recompence", and "We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed " (Jer. 51:6 + 9)
In the expression "Fallen, fallen is Babylon" (Rev. 14:8) "Babylon" is used as a symbol. It tells of churches which once knew the truth, but which have fallen. It is an illustration of the spiritual corruption that has taken place within Christianity. God is making an accusation and giving a reprimand to an apostate Christianity. The Lutheran churches are a prime example of this. Martin Luther led a powerful reformation against papal power in his time, but today the Lutheran church has made an alliance with Rome on several important issues. We have already given some examples, but you will soon see that apostasy has spread widely.
Therefore Babylon is a description of the false congregation that will seduce the people of this earth. The false Babylonian congregation is the Catholic Church, because it carries the same identifying marks as the old Babylon. The Lutheran churches have gradually become more and more like "Babylon" and have thereby become a part of "Babylon". The Bible indicates that the fall will be great, both for the Catholic and the Lutheran churches and for all who follow in the same path The near future will show this.
In spite of the spiritual darkness and alienation from God that characterise the churches which constitute "Babylon", a large part of Christ's true followers are still to be found in these circles. Many of them have not yet opened their eyes to the special truths of our times. Quite a few are discontent and long for a brighter light. They are looking in vain for Christ's image in the churches they are attending. Little by little, as these churches remove themselves further and further away from the truth and tie themselves closer to the world, the differences between the two groups will increase. At the end, there will be a complete rupture. The time will come when those who love God above everything else, can no longer maintain a connection with those
" having a form of godliness but denying its power." (2 Ti. 3:5)
The exhortation of the Bible to us in these end times is therefore clear:
"Come out of her, my people!" (Rev. 18. 1-4)
Unity in Christ The ecumenical movement tries, through compromise and majority rule, to hammer out an agreement on a few issues that have not been too much in dispute, and then ignore more disputed truths. The Bible says, however, that God's word is what should show us the way. Only then will we reach true unity.
The Bible is for unity, but it must be a unity that is built on a clearly biblical foundation. There must be unity in Christ.
Jesus expresses it this way:
" that they may all be one as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they may be one in Us." (Jn. 17:21-23)
God's children will stand together and reach unity in and with Christ. Unity will arrive according to God's standards, and not by compromise and majority rule which many times are not based on a "thus saith the Lord".
"For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury." (Rev. 18:3)
This is an ominous situation, but there is light in the darkness. God still has His people in "Babylon", and these will now in the end times receive a powerful challenge. A movement, symbolised by an angel, will arise. It will proclaim with a powerful voice the sins of "Babylon". This message is:
"Come out of her, my people lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues." (Rev. 18:4)
This proclamation, together with "the third angels' message", becomes the last warning to mankind. If you consider yourself part of God's people, you should accept this warning and leave the ecumenical seduction.
Next we shall look at the last message that is to be proclaimed now, just before our time of grace ends and Jesus returns.
The third message
"Then the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, 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. And the smoke of their torment ascendeth for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus." (Rev. 14:9-12)
God's Seal or the Mark of the Beast The "Mark of the Beast" or the "Mark of God" - that is the choice in the end times. It has to do with obeying God or man. God has given us his physical seal or mark in His commandment about the day of rest. A seal consists of the lawmaker's name, title and the area under his rule. In the commandment about the day of rest, it 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 no 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)
Here it says that the lawmaker's name is "The Lord", the lawmaker's title is He who "created" (the Creator), and the area under the lawmaker's rule is "heavens and earth, the sea and all that is in them". The Catholic Church has completely removed this text from the commandment of their Catechism. This means that the text showing that God is the lawmaker has been removed.
That having been done, they have taken the liberty to become the lawmakers themselves, changing the commandments to what we find in their Catechism.
Daniel, the prophet, wrote about a religious power that would arise and "change times and laws" (Dan. 7:25). Even though the Papacy has fullfilled this prophecy by changing the ten commandments of God, as we find them in the catechism, the commandments of God is still valid. Jesus says:
"Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled." (Mt. 5:17-18)
The Catholic Church has not only removed nearly all the text in the commandment about the day of rest, but also the words saying that we must worship God on the seventh day of the Bible. Not on Sunday, the first day of the week according to the Bible. Unfortunately, the Lutheran Church has followed in the steps of the Catholic Church. Therefore you will only find this short text in the Lutheran Catechism: "Thou shalt keep holy the day of rest." Here, you will find nothing about which day is to be the day of rest. Therefore, the Lutheran church has decided to follow the false, man-made day of rest, and not the day of rest of the Bible.
Changing the day of rest from Sabbath to Sunday was done more than a thousand years before the time of the reformers. Today, very few people know of this falsification, and many keep Sunday as their day of rest in good faith, believing that this is the Bible's day of rest. But here the priests and pastors have deceived the people, and not preached the Word clearly and purely as it is in the Scriptures.
In the Bible a day lasts from sunset to sunset (Gen. 1:14-19; Lev. 23:23; Neh. 13:16-21; Luk. 23:54-56). The seventh day of the Bible, the Sabbath, is therefore lasting from sunset Friday until sunset Saturday.
Today the Catholic Church and several protestant churches are calling Sunday «the Lord's day», but the Bible says that the Sabbath is «the Lord's day» (Is. 58:13). Therefore «the Lord's day» is not Sunday, but the Sabbath.
Pope John Paul II recognises in his pastoral letter "Dies Domini", May 1998, that the Sabbath is God's original day of rest, but he says, quite shamelessly, that the "Christians, called as they are to proclaim the liberation won by the blood of Christ, felt they had the authority to transfer the meaning of the Sabbath to the day of Resurrection." The Pope also talks about "the spiritual and pastoral riches of Sunday, as it has been handed on to us by tradition." The Pope says that they felt that they had the authority to carry out this change, and he admits that Sunday as the day of rest is a tradition.
"Sunday is a catholic institution, and their claim of keeping it holy can only be defended on the basis of catholic premises." (The Catholic Press, Sydney, Australia, August 1900)
Now it is clear that all the identifying marks in the Bible of the Antichrist power, "the Beast", fit the papacy. It was said openly by the reformers that the Pope carries the sign of Antichrist. This was also said in the "Augsburg Confession of Beliefs", p. 539.
We have seen that the Catholic Church has removed God's physical seal or mark from its commandments, as stated in their catechism, and they furthermore say in their different messages that Sunday is their mark of authority, and that others recognise the power of their church by keeping Sunday holy. (H.F. Thomas, Chancellor of Cardinal Gibbons, and the Douay Catechism, p. 59)
In his pastoral letter, Dies Domini, Pope John Paul II exhorted the priests to keep a Catholic communion every Sunday. This means that he told people to introduce two unbiblical customs at the same time, catholic communion and the false Sabbath. We can now see more and more clearly that things are coming to a head, as the Pope says in his second pastoral letter, "Ad tuendam Fidem", published 28th May 1998, that anyone who is not true to the Catholic principles shall be "punished as an heretic". These words are like an evil wind from the past. But do not be frightened. One who has Christ as his leader has the strongest on his side, and He will give His children the strength to overcome even under threats and persecutions.
In the pamphlet, "Watch out for the Power Elite and the Global Union!" we find the 16 identifying marks of the "beast". All these marks fit the Catholic Church, along with the number of the beast: 666. The Bible says that this is A NUMBER OF A MAN and not a number in a cipher code. Those who say that the cipher code system or the microchip is the mark of the beast are leading people astray. That has nothing to do with the mark of the beast. That the electronic system can be used to identify people and see to it that those who do not receive the mark of the beast will be unable to buy or sell, might, however, be possible.
But back to the number of the beast. The Bible says that this is a number of a man. Who is it?
All popes have a common title: VICARIUS FILII DEI, which means "God's Son's representative" on earth. (Our Sunday Visitor", Catholic weekly, Bureau of Investigation, Huntington, Ind., 18 April 1915) The Latin letters have certain numeric values, and if one enters these numeric values, one gets 666. (V and U = 5, I = 1, C = 100, A = 0, R = 0, S = 0, L = 50, D = 500, E = 0). Altogether 666.
"The number of the beast", "the mark of the beast", and "the image of the beast" are only three of many identifying marks of "the beast". All the hallmarks must fit a certain defined power, and they all fit the papacy. Luther and the reformers were right when they said that the Pope carries the identifying mark of Antichrist.
The Bible says that the mark of the beast will be accepted either on the forehead or on the hand. It says:
"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." (Rev. 13:16-17)
The Bible is self-explanatory and says that the forehead has to do with the head and thoughts, and the hand has to do with deeds (Deuteronomy 6:6-9 and Exodus 13:8-10).
Those who - when the time of the mark of the beast arrives - have been told what the mark is and have understood this, but all the same choose in their minds to keep the Sunday commandment of the papacy, receive the mark in their foreheads. Those who receive the mark in their hand, show by hand and deed what their choice is. They work on the Sabbath of the Lord, while they let their hand rest on the false Sabbath. In both cases they receive the "mark of the beast".
To put it in a few words: To receive "the mark of the beast" means that one has made the same decision as the BEAST, and defends the same ideas in direct opposition to God's Word.
While most people accept the sign of loyalty to earthly powers, and by this receive the "mark of the beast", a small minority choose to be loyal to God and to have Him as their authority and thus receive "God's seal".
To those who are going to receive "the mark of the beast", a warning message sounds from heaven:
"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." (Rev. 14:9-10)
"But not one is made to suffer the wrath of God until the truth has been brought home to his mind and conscience, and has been rejected. There are many who have never had an opportunity to hear the special truths for this time. The obligation of the fourth commandment has never been set before them in its true light. He who reads every heart, and tries every motive will leave none who desires a knowledge of the truth, to be deceived as to the issues of the controversy. The decree is not to be urged upon the people blindly. Every one is to have sufficient light to make his decision intelligently." ("The Great Controversy", p. 605)
Unfortunately, too many will succumb to pressure from the authorities and receive the mark of the beast, partly through fear of losing their jobs or of being without food and clothing. But a true disciple of Christ will be confident that God will help him through the last crisis when it comes.
Which Authority will You Choose?
In this little pamphlet, you have been given a choice which authority to follow: Jesus who instituted the Sabbath (Saturday), or the papacy, which promotes keeping Sunday holy. In this connection, we will give an explanation. Jesus was a participant in creation. The Bible says, "All is created by Him" (Jn. 1:1-3 + 14). He participated in instituting the Sabbath, and the Bible says that Jesus is the Lord of the Sabbath (Mk. 2:28). So if anybody should change the day of rest, it would have to be Jesus Christ. But can you find one word from the mouth of Christ which says that we should stop keeping the Sabbath and rather begin keeping Sunday as the day of rest? We have previously read that not one jot or one tittle shall be removed from the law. Furthermore, the Bible says that .
"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and for ever." (He. 13:8)
This tells us that God's commandments are still in force, including the Sabbath commandment.
Therefore the question is: Which authority will you choose; those who stand behind a man-made commandment and Sunday as the day of rest, or God and His day of rest, the Sabbath (Saturday)?
The Bible says that your answer to this question will become the final test in the end times: will you worship the beast and receive its mark, i.e. Sunday as the day of rest according to the papacy, or will you worship God and obey Him by keeping the Sabbath? (Rev. 13:15-17 and Rev. 14:9-12)
Everybody will make his choice after the matter has been made clear. This pamphlet is meant to help you make this choice, but you may read more about it in the book "The Great Controversy" or in the pamphlet "Liberty in Danger". The Sabbath will therefore be the great test of loyalty, because the issue of truth and worship is what the controversy is all about. When people are put to the final test, a line will be drawn between those who serve God and those who don't. The celebration of the false Sabbath - in accordance with the law of the land, but against the fourth commandment - will be a declaration of loyalty to the power that is opposing God, while the keeping of the true Sabbath in obedience of God's commandment will be a declaration of loyalty to the Creator. While one group accepts the mark of loyalty to earthly powers, the other group chooses the mark of loyalty to God's authority and will therefore receive "The Seal of God".
Even though God's physical seal is in His commandment about the day of rest, and God says that the Sabbath shall be a sign between Him and His people (Eze. 20:12 + 20), we understand that the seal which God's children will receive in their foreheads just before the strife on this earth has ended, will be of a special character. This seal will then be given to the believers who survive and become victorious in the battle with "the mark of the beast".
"God's seal" is the sign that God approves of His children. The Bible says that those who repent and believe in Christ have been promised the Holy Spirit as a seal. The believer has the Holy Spirit as a seal in his life as long as he or she keeps close to Christ and does His will. (Eph. 1:13 and Ac. 5:32)
But now we will look at the sealing God's angel will perform just before Jesus returns. The Bible says that God's angel will put "God's seal" on the forehead of those who sigh and lament for the abominations that are found and practised among those who confess to be spiritual leaders of God's people. "God's seal" on the forehead is a sign which angels (but not humans) can see (Eze. 9:4-6). "God's seal" on the forehead is a settling into truth, both intellectually and spiritually, so that God's children can not be moved (Rev. 14:1-6).
Those who do not trust in themselves, but who humble themselves before God, and with the Holy Spirit's power live in harmony with God's will, accept the heavenly imprint and prepare themselves to receive "God's seal". When this stamp is placed on their foreheads, their character continues to be pure and without stain for all eternity. Therefore, "God's seal", or stamp of approval, will be given to those who have God's Spirit, and they will, in this manner, be strengthened in the Spirit so that they will not be moved. Nobody can harm them when the plagues come, and they are prepared to be with Christ when He comes to take His followers with Him.
The Bible then reveals that the "mark of the beast" will be seen before the time of grace is over and before Jesus returns (Rev. 13:11-16). We read about those who .
"had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark and over the number of his name". They were standing "on the sea of glass, having harps of God." (Rev. 15:2)
John could also see those who had the victory over the "mark of the beast", standing in front of the
throne of Jesus, which is in heaven (Rev. 4:2 and 7:9).
THEY WERE VICTORIOUS. This tells us that they had
been in a struggle. The saved ones, who live when Jesus returns, will, therefore, have been through the great
trial with the
"mark of the beast".
"God's seal" or the "mark of the
beast"; this will be the great test that decides our eternal destiny. This
is the test that God's remnant people must pass before they are given the seal.
All who show obedience to God by keeping His law, and who refuse to accept the false Sabbath (Sunday), will place themselves under the
banner of God and will receive the "seal of the living
God". Those who shy away from the truth which has its origin
in God, and who accept the Sunday Sabbath, will receive the sign of the beast.
Now is the time to prepare yourself. "God's seal" will never be placed on an unclean man or
woman's forehead. It will never be placed on the forehead of a man or woman who is ambitious for, and loves the
world. It will never be placed on men or women with false tongues or treacherous hearts. All who receive the seal
must be faultless before God - like those who have heaven as their goal.
"God's seal" or the "mark of the beast"; this will be the great test that decides our eternal destiny. This is the test that God's remnant people must pass before they are given the seal. All who show obedience to God by keeping His law, and who refuse to accept the false Sabbath (Sunday), will place themselves under the banner of God and will receive the "seal of the living God". Those who shy away from the truth which has its origin in God, and who accept the Sunday Sabbath, will receive the sign of the beast.
Now is the time to prepare yourself. "God's seal" will never be placed on an unclean man or woman's forehead. It will never be placed on the forehead of a man or woman who is ambitious for, and loves the world. It will never be placed on men or women with false tongues or treacherous hearts. All who receive the seal must be faultless before God - like those who have heaven as their goal.
There is a Sunday movement under way over the whole world. Pope Benedict will reinforce Sunday as the day of rest. Large religious movements, like "The Christian Coalition", tell us that we have to come back to God's ten commandments. In the EU, Protestants and Catholics try to find issues they can agree on, and Sunday as the day of rest is such an issue. In Europe the interfaith alliance, CEC, wants to unite the churches together after the Catholic pattern, and Sunday will be in focus as the common day of rest. When Harald V was crowned as king of Norway, he wanted his blessing ceremony to be on a Sunday in order to strengthen Sunday as the day of rest. Bishops and priests long for a renewal of Sunday celebrations. Some want a popular movement in defence of the day of rest, while others are pushing to have penalties for breaking the holyday peace.
We also see how bishops and pastors join trade unions, environmental organisations and different branches of business and industry in order to protect Sunday and make it a different day from the rest of the week. Their motives may be good, as, in principle, it is good that they want the day of rest to be a more meaningful experience. We need to relax, rest and undergo spiritual and physical renewal. But if professed Christians are to encourage a day of rest, it should be the day that the Creator has sanctified and blessed, the Sabbath, the seventh day of the week according to the Bible. Furthermore, it is not right that anybody should be forced to keep the day of rest that the authorities decide on. To keep the day of rest holy must be voluntary, not by force. But the Bible says that freedom of conscience will be broken on this issue. We are already seeing preparations for such religious constraints.
The test of the "mark of the beast" will come when Sunday as a day of rest will be established by force or order, most likely in the near future.
All the same, when we now know of this falsification that has been done to the day of rest, we should also make our choice today (James 4:17). It is imperative that we place ourselves wholly on Jesus' side in this matter now, so that we may have the Holy Spirit as a source of strength in the choices and trials that lie ahead.
A Remnant will Endure; they will Keep God's Commandments and have Jesus' Beliefs
The Bible describes those who will not give in to the man-made false day of rest, in this way:
"Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus." (Rev. 14:2)
Therefore, let us be acquainted with God's commandments and what Jesus believed in.
The Bible makes it clear that there will be a tremendous spiritual battle during the end times before Jesus returns. Those who will not accept the mark of the beast will be pressured in every possible way. It says they will not be able to buy and sell, and that orders will be given to kill them (Rev. 13:15-16). The whole world will wonder after and follow the papacy ("the beast"), but the faithful remnant of God's people will not succumb to pressure. The Bible says that they have not made themselves unclean with other women (churches, 2 Co. 11:2); for they are like virgins. In other words, they do not accept "Babylon's intoxicating wine", but proclaim with clear voice "the three angels' message", and reveal God's character in their lives. They do not let their egos rule, but follow God's way - with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is said about them...
"These are they which follow the Lamb (Jesus) whithersoever he goeth ..", "And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God." (Rev. 14:1-5)
They have sanctified their lives to Christ, and they have received the Holy Spirit as a source of power for their lives in order to live righteously before God and man.
It says that they are faultless. The same is said of the lambs they sacrificed in the old covenant. These point towards Christ who was also faultless. With the Holy Spirit in us, we too can reveal Christ's character in our lives, and we will not sin. Let there be no misunderstanding. We can obtain this, not on our own, but with the power of God working in us and helping us to act according to God's will (1 P. 1:14-16 and Phil. 2:12-13). Therefore the Bible has this challenge for you: If you feel unworthy of God, or fear the future, you should know that the Holy Spirit is calling you to come to Jesus with your burden of sin, now! Place all your sins in front of Jesus' feet in prayer, so that He may atone for your sins, and make everything right with people you may have hurt, or who have hurt you. Then His righteousness will be yours. At the same time, we must pray for the power of the Holy Spirit to help us continue on our path together with Christ, so that we may live righteously in all things. By the grace of God we shall then be ready when He will soon come to bring His people with Him.
Since the papacy fits the identifying marks of "the beast" in the Bible, "the image of the beast" must be a copy of this system.
The "image of the beast" means an apostate Protestantism that is the result of protestant churches seeking the support of the state to force its worship and ideas on the people.
In Europe, many countries have a state church. State and church work together. The church receives assistance from the state to carry out its mission. This is like a Catholic system. In the dark Middle Ages, we had clear examples of how the Catholic Church used its power and applied torture towards people of other beliefs. The Bible says that the same misuse of power will return in the end times (Rev. 13:11-18). Since the United States does not have a system of state church in its Constitution, one would not think that it is here that a copy of the papal type of government will be introduced, but the Bible makes it clear that this is exactly what is going to happen. They will use the state to enforce religious laws, especially laws that concern keeping Sunday holy.
But, you say, USA is the land of religious freedom. Yes, the Bible characterises it also as a lamb that has two horns and talks like a dragon. In its early history USA appeared as a land of religious freedom. The lamb's horns represent youth, innocence and gentleness _ characteristic traits of the United States when the country started to take shape at the end of the 18th century. Protestantism and a republican type of government were the basic principles. Freedom of religion was secured, so that anyone had a right to serve God according to his own conscience. The Bible shows, however, that this situation will change and that the country, in the end, will speak like a dragon. A nation speaks through its legislative assemblies.
Many have observed that Congress has already started to make laws concerning religion, such as HR 2431. This law gives a newly appointed office authority to keep surveillance of religious groups all over the world. Those who carry out religious persecution will be punished. This office will decide what constitutes religious persecution. Will this pamphlet, for instance, be considered a persecution of the Catholic Church?
The American Constitution says that it will not promulgate laws that concern religion. It says: "Congress shall not make laws concerning introduction of religion, nor prohibit free exercise of religion". Only through a complete disregard of these guarantees of freedom, can the national authorities make such religious impositions. This process has already begun, and more will come. Yes, the Bible says that all the power of the papacy (the first beast) will be used by the USA (the second beast) on behalf of the papacy. They will introduce the "image of the beast". They are already doing this.
It will come as a surprise for most people that the USA will spearhead the introduction of the "mark of the beast" (obligatory Sunday keeping), and thereafter, other countries will follow. Those who will resist these giants (apostate Protestantism and Catholicism) and not receive the "mark of the beast", will be marked as rebels who are guilty of all catastrophes and disasters and as disturbers of world peace. The Bible says that, in the end, orders will be given to destroy them (Rev. 13:11-16). It is at this stage that Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world, will return to liberate His people. (Read more about "the lamblike beast" in the book "The Great Controversy", pp. 439 - 445).
The Bible makes it clear that those who receive the "mark of the beast" will receive a terrible punishment. The Bible tells us clearly that those who receive the "mark of the beast", will be the first to suffer horrible torments during the "7 last plagues" which will come just after the time of probation has ended (Rev. 15:5-8). It says in the Bible:
"And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth. And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image." (Rev. 16:1-2)
The following six plagues coming from the vials of God's
wrath, will also come on those who have re
ceived the "mark of the beast", while God's children will walk free (Rev. 16. 1-2). Today, everybody is subjected to the devil's destructive power, but God's children who have received God's recognition, "God's seal", will not be hurt by "the seven last plagues", just as the people of Israel were not hurt by the seven last plagues before they left the land of Egypt (Ex. 8. 22).
The last and worst punishment that will come on those who have received the "mark of the beast" will be when Satan and those who have placed themselves at his side will at last be destroyed with fire and brimstone. The Bible describes it this way:
"But the fearful, and unbelieving, and abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death." (Rev. 21:8)
Those who have withstood God will be judged according to their deeds in that time, and they will burn as straw. They will be destroyed (Rev. 20:11-15 and Mal. 4:1).
This is the final destruction of evil and those who are on the side of evil. Thereafter God will create a new heaven and a new earth where justice reigns. The round is complete. Man will live in the lost Paradise _ in Eden _where sin does not exist anymore and where man can talk with God face to face again, because he will then have received a body of glory (1 Co. 15:50-54).
This is something to look forward to, and the difficulties here will be of no significance compared to the glories that will come to the saved. Let us pray for the Holy Spirit to help us get there. The signs of the times show that the hour is not far away.
When Jesus returns, the saved will be lifted up in the air and taken to heaven. This is described in the Bible:
"For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord."(Read 1 Thess. 4:15-17; Php. 3:20-21; Jn. 14:1-3).)
The saved ones will be carried up in the air together to meet the Lord.
Jesus will not come down to earth then, but the saved will be carried up in the air. They are bound for heaven (Rev. 15:2).
The Bible says that the saved will be in heaven for 1000 years (Rev. 20:4). This will be a glorious time, together with Jesus, our Saviour, and the saved ones. But it will also be a serious time. The Bible reveals that the saved will hold judgement. They will see that those who are not saved have received a just judgement and that God is just.
After the 1000 years, the unsaved will rise from their graves and receive their final judgement. They will be thrown into the lake of fire that has already been described.
Remember to study the time line and the scripture-texts below!
Even if it looks as though the rulers of the world have the upper hand today, God is still in control. He will intervene in His time to liberate His people and bring them where He is - to Heaven (Jn. 14:1-3). Therefore the Bible describes the result of this battle in this way:
"And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou king of saints!" (Rev. 15:2-3)
Rev. 17:14 also tells us about those who will be victorious: either the "beast" (the papacy) and its allies or the "Lamb" (Christ) and those who are on the side of the Lamb. The conclusion is described in this way:
"These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is the Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with himare called, and chosen, and faithful." (Rev. 17: 14)
It is Christ and those who stand at His side who will be victorious in the struggle ahead of us. The faithful will have the faith of Jesus. In their love of God and with the help of the Holy Spirit, they will also keep His commandments, not by force, but with joy. The Bible says:
"By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments... and his commandments are not grievous." (1 Jn. 5:2-3)
The three angels proclaiming the "three angels' message" represent human beings who have dedicated their lives to Christ. They will proclaim the "three angels' message" with a loud voice. It will be a clear and loud voice, because the Holy Spirit is participating. Don't you also want to come with us and proclaim "the three angels' message"? The time has come to make this decision now.
If you feel bound by the chains of Satan and the power elite, pray to God in Heaven for strength to become free. The Bible appeals to us:
"Is this not this fast I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?" (Is. 58:6)
You and I should pray for strength to rid us of all the burdens the world places on our shoulders, and that are against God's word and the principles of that word. They try to bind us with thousands of man-made rules so that we are not free in the Lord. But true freedom is only found when we begin to co-operate with the heavenly forces in order to eliminate the burden of sin. We are again reminded of these encouraging words from the Bible:
"Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed." (Jn. 8:36) And: "Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." (2 Cor. 3:17)
Because we live in the end times and the time of probation is almost over, it should be expected that God's people do their utmost to save people from the traps that Satan has set and let them open their eyes to the message of salvation. But the Bible calls the congregation of the end times "Laodicea" (Rev. 3:14-22). Laodicea is characterised by dullness and lukewarmness. The majority of those who profess to believe in the three angels' message are lukewarm believers who do not show any eagerness to bring the message to others. They are neither cold nor hot. They are staying neutral, and at the same time they pride themselves in not needing anything. They are unwilling to abandon their selfishness. They think of themselves as rich and not lacking anything in the spiritual sense, but they are poor, blind and naked. They cannot see themselves as they really are. Are you and I in the same lukewarm situation?
But let us thank the Lord! He offers us a way out of this hopeless situation. He is coming to us with a heartfelt and loving encouragement to be converted and take the eye ointment he offers us. (Rev. 3:18). This ointment is God's Word as it speaks to our conscience through the Holy Spirit. By putting it on, we shall receive the spiritual power of judgement that lets us withstand Satan's cunning attack, recognise sin and make us feel repelled by it - to see the truth and obey it. When this conversion has taken place, God will again use us, and we shall be strong witnesses for God in this final work.
We hope you will consecrate your life to God's service and come with us to proclaim "the three angels' message" both in your life and your teaching. This is the last warning message and a message of grace to a fallen world, and it is a solemn and heavy responsibility that is placed on our shoulders. We must understand that we are approaching the end of the history of this world. When the time of probation is over and Jesus returns, no more chances will be given. It is now that we must give a positive answer to the Holy Spirit's call for our hearts and minds.
We pray that as many as possible, who read these words, will feel called to participate in the spreading of the three angels' message and consider it a privilege to do so. The harvest is ready, but the workers are few, and God will use those who want to consecrate their lives to Him.
May you and I be among them!
Kind regards, Bente and Abel Struksnes
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