The Five Towers
I’m starting this letter tonight; not sure if I will finish it, but I tend to just keep on going after I get started. I’ll try to remember our conversation about the Towers in as much detail as possible, and if I think of anything new, I will include it.
Essentially, I want to demonstrate from the examples we have in the Bible what it is that causes a church to “fall,” which results in the calling-out of a new Church (the word “Church” in Greek is Ekklesia, which means literally “the gathering of those who have been called out”) and how we can identify the Church of the last days. Hopefully, this will prove useful to you in not only being able to discern that, but also what the “mark” of the beast really means. This is a symbol that, if you ask 12 different theologians, you’ll get 50 different answers :) I think the fact that most of Revelation is composed of quotes from Old Testament books will help us, though.
In the beginning, the Elohim created all things. At the end of His creation, He formed man, a being in His image. As creatures made in His image, we therefore have attributes like Him: we are creative, and we are free. Unfortunately, the very first of us abused that freedom, having been tempted by a much older being, one very averse to the spirit of love which our Father embodies. Because it was not a “willful” sin, however; that is to say, because Adam did not have a full and conscious understanding of what it was to reject the Almighty (in the same way Lucifer did), a way of redemption was provided for the fallen race.
Right at the beginning, the institution of the Sacrifice was given. As early as Genesis 3:21, we find that animals died for mankind’s benefit. A chapter later, in Genesis 4, we read Cain and Abel have been instructed in the ceremony, and that Cain’s sacrifice was rejected because it was not a Lamb, but only the fruits of his own labor. It is written that “without faith it is impossible to please Him,” and Cain, by not submitting to actually sacrificing this animal on his behalf, demonstrated his lack of faith in the “Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29) Some will say, “It isn’t what you do, but God knows our hearts.” That is a true saying, if rightly used; but most use it to justify some practice they are doing that is out of harmony with the Bible, or to reject some teaching that may be new to them. A true heart (which God will know as such) will find joy in obedience, and beauty in holiness.
After Cain slew Abel and departed into Nod, Adam and Eve had Seth. Now, they had had other children, but something was different about Seth. Eve knew that He would somehow replace Abel, for she said, “God hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew.” (Gen 4:25) From Seth, therefore, continued the “seed,” the bloodline that would eventually result in the Messiah. From Cain, by contrast, came the Canites: they were an irreverent race, and eventually succeeded in corrupting even the holy line by intermarriage. (the much misunderstood Gen 6:1-7) Until the time of this interbreeding, there had been two classes of people, the Sethites and the Cainites. After this mixing occurred, only one family was left pure: “But Noah found grace in the eyes of Yahweh.” (Gen 6:8)
Yah saw that the humans He had created had corrupted themselves. By rejecting His Sacrifice, even before It was given, He knew there was no remedy. He could not, without forcing their free will or scaring them temporarily into submission, ever get them to desire the kind of eternal life He has planned for those who love His Character. This rejection of Yahweh, and turning to the things of the world for pleasure, security and so on... this is the spirit of the Towers. The pre-flood condition of almost all men was the spiritual reality behind what the later physical constructs were to represent.
When the flood had come and gone, there were 8 people on the planet: Noah, his wife (who some authorities claim was called Naamah), Shem, Ham, Japheth and their wives with them. After some time, Noah began to plant a vineyard and be a husbandman, to help promote the regeneration of the earth’s foliage. But as he left his juice out one day, something began to happen to it that never would have in the conditions before the flood. It began to ferment.
Just after the flood, if you graph out the ages of people mentioned, the life expectancy dropped off dramatically. From 900 it instantly (in the very next generation) went down to 400, then 200, and by the days of Moses it was about 120. By the time of David it was 70. It’s stayed about there since, although medical science has done somewhat to increase the length of life, if not the actual quality. Some things were very different after that catastrophe.
As it was, Noah became drunk on this liquor, and fell asleep naked in his tent. His son Ham, coming upon him in that condition, despised him for it, and made fun of him to his brothers. The other two – being more respectful – covered him, thus honoring the Commandment (which was not first given to Moses, by the way – the Tables were given to Moses on Sinai as a covenant, but the 10 Themselves are mentioned numerous times before Exodus 20). Because of his transgression, Ham was cursed; and not Ham alone, but his offspring, for as you will remember from our talk on Melchizedek, Shem was to rule over the land of his (Ham’s) son Canaan. Resenting the curse, perhaps... and some other factors besides, Ham’s line unfortunately began to show signs of real spiritual degeneration, and in a couple generations, was as self-willed and profane as the Cainites had been before the cleansing.
In the days of Ham’s son Cush, the impure line began to instigate a separation once again from the authority of Heaven. Remembering the judgment of days past, they decided to get some “insurance” for their wicked ways. “And they said, ‘Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto Heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.’” (Gen 11:1) Now remember the reasons why they built this tower: to preserve their name, and to avoid being scattered in judgment. Now because this Tower was responsible for the confusion of the languages, “Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because Yahweh did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did Yahweh scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.” (verse 9)
Here is the principle behind the first Tower... and simply put, this is the principle behind ALL of the Towers: whenever human beings seek, by their own power and authority, to preserve themselves, even to preserve what God has given them, they construct a Tower. Nothing worthwhile is done by man alone, divorced from the power of the Almighty. Christ Himself, subject to His Father, said, “I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.” (John 5:30) This is the way His servants accomplish things, even gaining the victory over sin in their individual lives: “‘Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ saith Yahweh of Hosts.” (Zech 4:6) Similarly, whenever this Tower expands its territory to become a kingdom, the true People of God are called out. We will also see this happen every time, without fail.
So the Tower was built, but not the Tower only: it was “a city and a Tower,” (verse 1) and this city with the half-finished tower became the first human kingdom since the Flood – Babylon. Cush’s son Nimrod built the first society since Cain based on human authority, “And the beginning of [Nimrod’s] kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.” (Gen 10:10) Because of that, the true worshippers were called out. “Now Yahweh had said unto Abram, ‘Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee.’” (Gen 12:1) Here is another point to consider... here is why inter-denominationality, non-denominationality, etc. doesn’t work and isn’t Biblical. When Yah called Abram out of fallen Shinar, He called him and his descendants to a specific land. When Yah called the Israelites out of Egypt, He called them to a specific land. We will see this pattern repeated also – when our Father calls people OUT of somewhere, it is not out only, but He is calling them TO somewhere, to a sweet land, flowing with “milk and honey.” There is always One true people on the earth, and if they arise in different places, for example faithful gentiles, they will naturally join with the true People even as the strangers did to Israel. (Lev 19:33) It is true that the Messiah is returning for a people, but those people will be united, and will have a common purpose, fellowship and name.
There is a unity inherent in the true faith, and Christ is returning in the end of days for one Church that has “One faith, One Lord and One Baptism.” (Eph 4:5) By simply following the callings-out, and seeing where true Godliness and the fruits of the Spirit are taught and lived – that is how one may know where the true People are, “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” (Mat 7:20)
But we are only talking about the first example right now :) Abram, soon to be called Abraham, was called out and he was promised a great inheritance by the Almighty One. From him came Isaac, and then Jacob. Jacob had his name changed to Israel, and from Israel came the 12 Tribes. These were the Israelites, the second named people of God since the Sethites before the Flood. Most of the Old Testament is the history of these People, how they rose and fell in prosperity proportionate to their faith in their Deliverer.
Often they would fall into idolatry, or Sabbathbreaking, both of which are often cited as the reasons why they were overcome in battle (Ezek 23:39,46 comes to my fingers immediately) but Yahweh was faithful to forgive them every time. However, they eventually did one specific thing that made it impossible for them to continue being the People. They built a Tower.
Any national sin was forgiven: adultery, idolatry, even sacrificing their children to other gods – even if the king did it! But although Yah bore long with them, this one thing separated them from His authority: when they took another god (the god of this world and it’s power) as their authority as a nation. When the Israelites’ leaders said, “We have no king but Caesar,” (John 19:15) and used the Roman authority to crucify Christ, they took a second Husband. “They say, ‘If a man put away his wife, and she go from him, and become another man’s, shall he return unto her again? Shall not that land be greatly polluted?’” (Jer 3:3a) The prophet is quoting Deuteronomy 24:1-4. This Scripture says if a woman is divorced from her first husband and marries a second, even if the second husband divorces her also, or even if he dies, she can never, under any circumstances, remarry the first husband.
This is exactly what happened with the Israelites. Rome hated her and burned down Jerusalem in 70AD, but nevertheless, Israel had taken him as her husband, and could never again (as a nation) return to Christ. When Jerusalem burned in 70AD, the Christians fled to spread the Word to all the world. And had Israel created a Tower in truth? Remember the two reasons: “to preserve their name, and to avoid being scattered in judgment.” When they brought accusation against Christ, they said he was causing sedition, and misinterpreted His statement “I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days.” (Mat 26:61) The Pharisees wanted a carnal (earthly) kingdom run by a carnal Messiah, and when this Spiritual Teacher came along, teaching love for enemies and blessings to the poor and humble, they saw that the kingdom they were building was in danger. Not only was He drawing away converts after Himself, but He seemed to be threatening their current ways. This was unforgivable, in their eyes, and so to preserve their name, and to avoid being scattered by this “Heretic,” they built a Tower.
As in the case before, the true People were called out. The Apostolic Church came forth as a strong man riding on a white horse, with a crown and a bow of victory. (Rev 6:2) This, like Abraham, was one Body, one Movement, and again with “One faith, One Lord and One Baptism.” (Eph 4:5) This is a phrase I have used already, and it is an important one. If a Church/Body/Movement is not unified in its belief, not by a code or creed, but by the unity that is inherent in (a natural part OF) that faith, it is confusion... it is Babylon. Unity is a mark of the Church in every age, for there is always a place Yah is calling us to, not just from.
Similarly, it is written, “neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto: it is confusion.” (Lev 18:23b) When a woman (or Church – Isa 62:5) approaches a beast (or kingdom – Dan 7:23) to join herself to it, the result is “confusion.” The word there is “tebel,” which according to Strong’s is probably derived from that old, primitive word: Babel. The third Tower came about in this way: the Apostolic church was a pure one. It had the truth about Yah by virtue of the first-hand witnesses, the Apostles. They had personally been with the Son of God who said plainly in their hearing, “he that hath seen me hath seen the Father.” (John 14:9b) Yet even before the Church spread beyond Palestine, errors were perceived crouching at the borders of Christian influence. For example, Luke recorded Paul telling the elders of the Ephesian church, “For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.” (Acts 20:29,30)
Peter wrote also warning about errors, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” (1Pet 5:8) And even more ominously he wrote, “But there were false prophets also among the people [in the days of the OT Scriptures], even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And MANY shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.” (2Pet 2:1,2) We will shortly see Peter’s prophecy fulfilled.
Jude and John also wrote of these matters, Jude 1:3,4 and 2John 1:7, rounding off the matter. Every New Testament author of an epistle to the Church wrote warning of the deceptions and errors to come. Neither was Christ Himself silent about it during the Gospels, “For there shall arise false christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” (Mat 24:24)
History shows us that all these prophecies did indeed come to pass. Even in John’s day, Gnostics were paving the way for a multitude of errors. The Gnostics believed in a form of what today is called the “once saved always saved” doctrine, that their flesh was completely evil, and that even the grace of Christ could not prevent them from sinning. Therefore, they reasoned, if our souls were safe, we could break the commandments of God, and still be “Christians.” Not so, wrote John, “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments: and His commandments are not grievous.” (1John 5:3) And again, “Whosoever abideth in Him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen Him, neither known Him. Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous.” (1John 3:6,7)
Did errors enter into the Church’s teachings? The Churches and various denominations of today bear witness. Not one (that I am aware of) except the Church of which I am a member teaches this in it’s full strength, that in Christ we DO keep the commandments (yes, all 10) and we do not willfully sin if we are fully converted, truly born again. But we aren’t at that Tower yet :) We are still tracking the progress of the third.
The Gnostics were not in fact flushed out. The Church historian Eusebius records that the theologian Origen had “perfect familiarity with Greek learning,” and cites one of the commentators on his life who declares that “He was a pupil of Ammonius, the most distinguished philosopher of our time.” [The History of The Church, Book 6:19] This opened the door for some of that Platonic thought we discussed last night to seep in, bringing with it such thinkers as Augustine who, influenced not only by Hellenistic ideas of hell and judgment, but also Manicheism (his father was of this school of Gnosticism), influenced “Christian” theology forever. Some of his ideas were so radical that even his own Church (which would later become the Roman Catholic organization) rejected it. Among his ideas (or those he refined) that were accepted, and are to this day, include infant baptism, eternal suffering in hell, indulgences, predestination, salvation by works, and many others.
One researcher says, “With his pagan mind-set, Augustine could not understand the issue of free choice. He saw God as absolute and in total control... Augustine argued that it is a miracle of the grace of God that any of us should be saved. Thus he suggested that we as erring humans were in no position to question the justice of God because He had preordained some to eternal salvation and others to eternal damnation. This error of predestination logically led to the concept of once-saved-always-saved. The dogma of once-saved-always-saved quickly incorporated the sin-and-live theology.” [Deceptions of The New Theology, p.12,13] The same source also adds the interesting tidbit, “Indeed, in extant church literature, Augustine was the first to have proposed the concept that Romans 7:14-24 is describing a saved Christian.” [p.13] Notice how this corrupt blend of truth and error, Scripture and philosophy, led to the rejection of the doctrine of victory over sin, and all the various other false doctrines associated with it. Notice how strongly John condemns these very teachings (in the Epistle of 1John) over 300 years before they were accepted by the Church. We had this warning from the very first, “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” (Col 2:8)
But these were just the errors, they were not the Tower itself. Judaism’s Pharisaism was the error. The Tower was the result of it. The Shinarite’s fear of judgment and misunderstanding of God’s character was the error, the Tower of Babel itself was just the result. Here also, these errors were only the foreshadowing of the “second husband” that the Church was about to take.
By the way, it was in these early days that the Sabbath was given up. Justin Martyr, another noted church Father wrote to a Jewish opponent in a debate, “Moreover, that God enjoined you [Jews] to keep the Sabbath, and impose on you other precepts for a sign, as I have already said, on account of your unrighteousness...” [Dialogue XXI] The Scriptures, however, in places such as Deu 5:29 and many other verses, declare the Decalogue, and the Sabbath not the least, to be for the people’s blessing. It is “a delight” reads Isaiah 58. But we won’t understand the real reason why the day of worship was changed from Sabbath to Sunday without understanding the political pressures and anti-Jewish sentiment held by the Romans then in power. That, perhaps, is a matter for another time :)
Suffice it to say for now that in every generation, there have been faithful servants of the Most High. Other Church historians write, “Down even to the fifth century, the observance of the Jewish Sabbath was continued in the Christian church.” [Lyman Coleman’s “Ancient Christianity Exemplified,” chapter 26, sec.2] “Although almost all churches throughout the world celebrate the sacred mysteries on the Sabbath of every week, yet the Christians of Alexandria and at Rome, on account of some ancient tradition, refuse to do this.” [Socrates, Ecclesiastical History, book 5, chapter 22] “[The Waldenses] kept the Sabbath day, observed the ordinance of baptism according to the primitive church, instructed their children in the articles of the Christian faith and the commandments of God.” [Jones’s Church History, Vol.II, Chapter 5, Section 4 – although these did keep Sunday also, according to some sources, so they were perhaps not wholly free of the error either]
Of the Tower itself, it was built just as all the others were, by a blend of the Church and the state. When the Apostolic Church ingested all these aforementioned errors, it was in a state of “divorce” from the Almighty. When it joined itself to Rome for its authority and power, it fell – taking a second Husband. From the verses concerning this state, (Deu 24, Jer 3) we see that there was no going back after this point, just as when the Jews by Roman authority crucified the Messiah. A new people were called out. When Constantine, an earthly emperor, was made also the head of the Church, this caused an inseparable union of that Church to the Roman state.
The Catholic Encyclopedia declares, “Constantine showed equal favour to both religions [Christianity and Polytheism]. As pontifex maximus he watched over the heathen worship and protected its rights.” [Listing for “Constantine the Great”] As far as that term goes, we read this, “Pontifex Maximus – highest priest of Roman religion and official head of the college of pontifices. As the chief administrator of religious affairs he regulated the conduct of religious ceremonies, consecrated temples and other holy places, and controlled the calendar. During the time of the empire, and until Christianity became firmly established, the emperor was designated pontifex maximus. After the supremacy of Christianity, the popes assumed the title.” [The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001] Many sources claim that this office can in fact be traced back to Babylon itself, the kingdom of the First Tower. Seventh Day Adventists have been able to identify all these historical facts in light of the prophecies John has given to us of the last days, for that was the purpose for that Book, after all. But as far as those symbols go and how every detail fits in, that is also another – and probably quite long – letter :)
The Protestants were called out of the nation that built the Third Tower. Foxe’s Book of Martyrs gives us the touching record of what a struggle this was and how many, many godly people lost their lives in extricating the true faith from the centuries of darkness that resulted from the Roman influence and the errors I mentioned. With heartless efficiency, those who believed we should serve God rather than men were hunted down, tortured and then killed. It is written, “And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” (Rev 12:17) While this may refer to a specific time in prophecy, the principle is an eternal one. Those who love darkness will persecute those who choose to walk in the light. A time like this is coming upon the earth again, and so we, our Father’s messengers, study diligently so we can watch and be ready when it does.
Sadly, Protestantism didn’t last either, and built a Fourth Tower. In this country, less than 200 years ago, many Protestant Denominations joined themselves to the US Government, even as the Jewish Nation and the Apostolic Church joined themselves to Rome in the Old World. In my own library at USF, I found a book called “The American State Papers Bearing on Sunday Legislation.” In violation of the constitution that the government can make no laws concerning religious observance, this new church/state union attempted to make Sunday an official holiday. That, of itself may not sound too bad, until you read the transcripts of what was done in courts of law in this country to those who continued to work on Sundays. The term “official holiday” may be misleading. It was actually more of a “forced rest” in order, they said, to promote “Christian unity” and to reduce the crime rate, for example. “By 1890, most of the states of the United States had strong Sunday laws prohibiting secular labor on Sunday.” [Liberty in the Balance, Russel Standish] Yet what does the Bible say? “‘Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ saith Yahweh of hosts.” (Zech 4:6)
This attempt to enforce divine (or supposedly divine in this case) mandate by human authority only led to suffering. Sabbathkeepers in this country in the 1800s were thrown in jail, dragged to court, had their property confiscated, and were subject to heavy fines. In order to protect their name (the US as a “Christian” nation) and to avoid the confusion they saw as inevitable if true religious tolerance were allowed, they did what the Cushites, the Israelites and the Apostolics did before them. And this fourth time was no different. A People were called out to continue the message of teaching the pure Gospel to the earth. These were the Millerites, and later the Seventh Day Adventists.
That brings us down to today, where true Christians are again being drawn forth from a Fifth and final Tower. This is the sixth time it has happened if we include the City of Enoch before the Flood (6 being the number of works as opposed to completion in 7) but it is the 5th that follows the exact Pattern of Babel, and as such is indeed labeled “Babylon” in the Scriptures that speak of these days. “And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, ‘Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.’” (Rev 18:1,2)
Seventh Day Adventists, who were called out to restore the old paths (Jer 6:16) by finally correcting the Augustinian errors, restoring the Sabbath,and teaching true Victory over sin, continued their work faithfully for 144 years. From 1844, when their movement began (although they didn’t take the name SDA until 1869) to 1988, they were the people of God. In 1981, however, they showed that they also had resisted the unction to continue advancing in light, and began to join themselves to the world. In the 1970s, and I cover this in some of my other articles, various SDA affiliated groups began to form that did things contrary to the General Conference’s doctrines. In an attempt to correct this, the GC (General Conference) decided to take matters into its own hands, and not only it’s own, but those of the state authorities.
In 1981 the SDA Church trademarked the name “Seventh Day Adventist” under US international law, and since then has been going around suing various offshoot groups, trying to force them to give up the name we believe has been given to us by Yahweh Himself. One of our early writers, Mrs. White whom we have discussed before, said, “We are Seventh-day Adventists. Are we ashamed of our name? We answer, ‘No, no! We are not. It is the name the Lord has given us. It points out the truth that is to be the test of the churches.’” [Selected Messages, Book 2, 384] Now, I don’t quote Mrs. White in an attempt to prove any theological point :) I do so only to show how important that name is to Christians who have accepted the work of reform wrought on the world in the 1800s. We understand our nature as the “Ekklesia,” the Called-Out Ones, and take our job of teaching the Gospel (the full Gospel, including the Commandments and the faith of the Messiah) very seriously. As such, that name is what the Almighty has given to us to describe ourselves, and to give that name up is to truly deny our faith and our trust in our Father, who has promised to defend us on this earth. Indeed, it would violate the principle of “Sabbath,” which signifies a rest from our own labors and worries, if we are truly in Him.
Since the day they took this sword to bear, we have heard of various groups in Hawaii, the Philippines, even here in the US, in my state Florida... in Miami, a pastor Perez of the Eternal Gospel SDA Church is currently involved in a court case since charges were first brought against him a few years ago. My pastor has been to some of the proceedings personally, and we keep in contact with some of their members in order to be updated as to its goings-on.
The SDA leaders had enough warnings from the Scriptures, their own writers, and certainly history. These things I have shared with you so far are found well represented in Adventist literature. Yet, the leaders would not hear. I personally have spoken to pastors, elders and leaders in the SDA Church, and they say, “Times have changed, we have to protect ourselves.” But foolishness! Times have not changed in 6000 years, and they think it will in the last days, when we are to be the most meek of men. These are the days in which we must trust Christ as our defender more than ever before, and yet these individuals walk after their own lusts, despising the gentle guardianship of the Messiah.
Of the last Christians it is written, “And they overcame him [the dragon] by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” (Rev 12:11) Not by might, not by power, not by human laws. Because of their errors, the leaders have been blinded to the mistakes that have been made since before the Flood, and yet their reasons have been the same. It is to protect their name (this time Seventh Day Adventists) that they have done this, lest their reputation be tarnished, and their authority scattered. But well has John written of these men, saying, “And he [the image of the beast (church/state union)] 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)
Now remember, this is not a one world government so much as a universal religion, for this beast does not command civil obedience, but “worship.” (verse 15) This is a religious matter, and must be understood in spiritual terms, or else we get a thousand different interpretations for what the “mark” might be. From the bar code to an implanted microchip, Christians have seen these verses after a carnal manner, and not understood. The Bible speaks of the forehead as a place of choice (Jer 3) and the hand as the place by which one is led. Those who go along with the Trademark, or indeed agree with ANY religion that uses human force to expand its borders, take the mark in their foreheads. Those who merely go along with it, remaining in the fallen kingdom, take the mark in their hands.
Moreover it is written that no man may “buy or sell” without this mark. Remembering this is a religious matter and not a fiscal one, we see that no man may buy or sell without the mark. The buy-or-sell mark is essentially a TRADE mark, and to protect a name. That law was originally designed to protect companies from having their products stolen and then bought or sold. Today it has been twisted into a religio-political defense against “heresy,” a sinister echo of the Papacy’s Old World policies. No Christian can give or deal in the true Gospel under the name “Seventh Day Adventist” legally without taking the mark and accepting the trademark law as just. But the true people of God cannot do it – we will keep the name our Father gave us, and continue to do our job of teaching the Gospel despite the human law. One more parallel: With the first Tower, it was written that because of their desire to protect their name, their structure’s top was to reach “unto heaven.” (Gen 11:4) The last Tower’s kingdom receives a similar indictment, “And I heard another voice from Heaven, saying, ‘Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.’” (Rev 18:4,5)
Does that seem unreasonable? Does it seem a hard teaching that those in the kingdom must flee, or pay the penalty for their leaders’ mistakes? It may at first, but consider the Second Tower. Consider them all. If it were not important whether we remained in the fallen Churches or not, Abraham would not have been called out. Peter told ALL the Jews they were responsible for Christ’s death if they remained in Judaism, even though some of those “devout” (sincere) worshippers were not even IN Jerusalem for that Passover. He made it clear, “Therefore let all the house of Israel know _assuredly_ that God hath made that same Jesus, whom Ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. “ (Acts 2:26) Those who were honest-hearted understood. They saw with new eyes. They realized that Isaiah’s prophecy applied to them through their leaders, “For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed.” (Isa 9:16)
Many Adventists to whom I bring this matter tell me, “I didn’t join because of the leaders. I am not going to leave because of something THEY did.” Well, they should read the rest of Acts 2. “Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, ‘Men and brethren, what shall we do?’” (Acts 2:37) No pride, no desire to do the safe or comfortable thing darkened their character. They had followed the true voice of Yah so far, and they were willing to make that one last step. What Peter next said to them I say to every SDA, and to every Christian who has not yet fully walked in the light revealed unto this last generation: “Then Peter said unto them, ‘Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.’” (Acts 2:38,39)
“Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.” (Acts 2:41,42) Baptism, you see, is not merely a death and rebirth in Christ, it is also a joining to His Body, the fellowship of true believers.
These then are the Five Towers: Babel, Judaism & Rome, Apostolicism & Rome, Protestantism & The US Government, Adventism & The US Government. Each of the five has had the same reasons for being formed, each of the five has invariably persecuted true Christians. Each of the five has been a fallen body from which the Most High has drawn His faithful few. Each time it has been a new people, with a new (and specific) name that describes its character, and readies the Bride to meet Her Husband in the air. “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved,” Paul said in Romans 10:1. This applies to human beings in every kingdom that resulted from a fallen Tower. This is my prayer also, and this is the reason Yah has called me, and all the faithful workers of these very last days.