The Mark and The Seal
(The Trademark Issue)
n several of the introductory “chapters”, I have made mention of a “falling away” of the SDA church in regards to the will of Yah. I have also made mention of this in the articles relating to the Sabbath-Rest principle. In this article, I will go into detail (finally) regarding what this is all about. Bear in mind, however, that I am not opposed to most of what the SDA church teaches. This problem arose when the current people in charge rebelled not only against their own doctrine, but much more importantly, the word of the Bible itself.
Even here, I won’t go into ALL the gruesome details. That is covered in its entirety on the CSDA website here: The Trademark Alert, but I will give you sufficient details so that you can follow along with everything else on this site, and also, hopefully, arouse your interest so that you will go through this link and learn from it as well. This is a vital issue to Christians, and my prayer is that you will continue to seek the light and grow accordingly. The reason I don’t give all the details is threefold. 1) As I mentioned, it is covered quite well at the site given, and too much here would be redundant; 2) It is lengthy, in proportion to its immediate importance; 3) The purpose of this site is for a more gradual introduction to the issue itself, and the matter can get quite technical at points.
In any case, as you read what I have written, hopefully the Spirit will convince you to go on and discover the rest, as I pray It will lead ME to tell you what you need to know. So let us begin:
There has been much speculation in the Christian world, especially these latter days, about the nature of the “mark of the beast.” It’s been shown to be applicable to everyone from Bill Gates to Barney the Dinosaur to the Pope. Seventh Day Adventists have made quite a case for this last one. The words on his mitre are said to represent the “number of the beast” (666) in the languages of Christ’s day, and moreover – and many protestants will agree – the office of the papacy has done much to “change times and laws” in regards to Yah’s word.
I do not say this is inaccurate, therefore, for the Roman bishop’s office certainly does fit the criteria for the “man of sin” who would be revealed from the original form of the church (the Apostolic which became the Roman Catholic as per 2 Th 2:3) and in fact, for more reasons than most SDAs know; I will cover that here as well. However, I won’t belabor that point too much either. Essentially, though, John the revelator says that above all, the 666 mark is the mark of a MAN. (Rev 13:18)
I realize that to many of you who are unfamiliar with the history of Protestantism or prophecy, these statements concerning the papacy may come as a surprise. I appeal to you though, do not dismiss this as yet another example of anti-Catholic propaganda. If my sentiments have become a stumbling block to you at this point, you need not read further now. Instead, do email me so that we can reason this issue out. If, however, you see some truth in this, by all means please continue.
Throughout Scripture, the number "7" represents fullness, purity and perfection. However, outside of Christ, no man can attain this blessed state. By his works, a man may go far, however, by works alone, no one can be justified before the perfection of Yah. The highest state a man can attain, then, if we are to put a number to it, is "6", the number of days that the Creator labored. However, on the 7th day, the perfect day, He rested, and blessed the day, making it holy. So do those who keep the commandment rest also, in remembrance of this. Keeping the principles of life, and having the faith of Yahshua, these things are the “Seal of Yah” which is placed in our foreheads, and prevents us from receiving the mark. (Rev 14:9-12)
Those who are not sealed, however, can never reach the “7” of spiritual perfection, no matter how hard they try. Regardless of the various alpha-numerical meanings that can be applied to 666 (and some can get really ridiculous), it is the mark of a man, a man who knows not the rest of Christ, and keeps hitting this invisible barrier of self, and he hits again and again, as long as he keeps trying, this state of imperfection: 6... 6... 6... In his three parts, mind, body and soul, he rejects the renewing grace of Yah as given through His Son Yahshua. In three parts: 6-6-6.
Yahshua invites us to enter into His rest, to let His Spirit do the real work. To us is left the job of identifying and confessing the impurities within ourselves, but the work of shaping and leading to Christ, that we may reflect His character, that is the labor of the Holy Spirit. Only through this process can we be refined and suited for citizenship in Heaven. Without undergoing this transformation of Spirit, even if we COULD somehow enter the kingdom, it would be eternal torment. There would never be any peace for such a soul, and he or she would be surrounded by examples of what he/she COULD be for ever after.
Now, for those who keep only the letter of the law, and not the Spirit, such would be trying to do just this, to “earn” heaven by their works, and therefore hit against this “6-barrier”, completely helpless to elevate themselves in order to “partake of His divinity.” In fact, those who believe it is possible to work their way into heaven actually misrepresent the Father. To do so not only suggests He could be appeased by such meager attempts at goodness that we are capable of, but also says that Heaven is a place for people who deserve to be there. The ways in which this belittles the infinite love and mercy of Yah is reprehensible. This is what the essays on the Sabbath-Rest principle were for, to acquaint you with this idea, so that the true specifics of how this is being played out in the last days can be revealed and understood.
As I have written about previously, the SDA church is an organization that does indeed keep the Law of Yah. In matters concerning scriptural “do”s and “don’t”s, it is the one that probably most closely sticks to the written Word – with one exception. By the words of some of its own founding members, it violates the spirit of “rest” which the Sabbath day was to represent. To rest from our own labors means also a rest from our own attempts at self-justification, both before Yah, and, to a certain extent, before the world. Christ is the sole head of the church, and therefore its sole defender.
As example of this, founding member Ellen G. White writes, “Lawsuits between brethren are a reproach to the cause of truth. Christians who go to law with one another expose the church to the ridicule of her enemies and cause the power of darkness to triumph. They are wounding Christ afresh and putting Him to open shame. By ignoring the authority of the church, they show contempt for God, who gave to the church its authority.” (“The Acts of the Apostles,” p.306)
Early church elder A.T. Jones in his writings “Christian Patriotism” states (p.33), “Whenever the church forms any connection with any State or kingdom on the earth, in the very doing of it she rejects God.”
Even more important are Paul’s words, “Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church. I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? No, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?” (1 Corinthians 6:1-5)
Also, a 1896 Sabbath School Quarterly (a publication of the SDA church to aid in weekly worship) had this to say, “It has ever been true that a backslidden body, one that has turned from God’s word to men, from God’s power to the state, was never reformed in itself. Invariably God’s message has called out those from the fallen church who would do His will and preach His gospel.”
Note this last part in bold. This is in perfect harmony with the fourth angel’s message of Revelation 18 which this site assists in heralding. The message is one of separation, one last “calling out,” before the work of judgment can begin in full. And why did I choose these three examples specifically, with their common point being the authority of the state and lawsuits? It will all become very clear. Here is the story:
Some time during the 1970s, the SDA church compromised its position on homosexuality to some degree, and allowed certain individuals membership who were still actively involved in this lifestyle. Now, any Bible believing Christian will tell you that it is not the individuals we have issue with, every man is equally and eternally loved by Father and Son; “love the sinner and hate the sin,” as the line goes. But the problem is with the practice itself, which is regarded in several places in Scripture, both Old and New Testaments, as a fatal course of behavior.
Right after his discussion of Lawsuits above, Paul continues, “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers, not male prostitutes, nor homosexual offenders, not thieves nor greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Cor 6:9&10) Again we see a connection between lawsuits and sexual sin. It is no accident that Paul’s words followed this course. Just like John, his words reflect glimpses of truths that would endure until the close of the age.
In fact, the same writer quoted above, Ellen White, had this to say about the practice of sexual sin in her “Testimonies on Sexual Behavior,” p.188: “We must as a people arouse and cleanse the camp of Israel... We are in danger of becoming a sister to fallen Babylon, of allowing our churches to become corrupted and filled with every foul spirit, a cage for every unclean and hateful bird; and will we be clear unless we make decided movements to cure the existing evil?” Does the bold portion sound familiar? That’s right, Revelation 18 again.
By 1980, some of these members formed a support group which they named Kinship International. At this point, the General Conference decided that their experiment in conformity had gone “too far,” and instead of repenting of their initial error (1 Peter 2:20-21), they fell instead into a worse one. Deciding that their good “name” was in danger of being dragged through the mud by association with the outspoken group, they attempted to restrict their use of the name “Seventh Day Adventist,” in regards to their activities and literature.
In 1980-81, the General Conference of the SDA church obtained a trademark on their name, in order to exercise control over which groups had the legal right to bear it. Notice, however, the fact that Christ is the head of the church, and is its one true defender. When men try to defend themselves through their own power, we see the results in wars, political and religious conflict, widespread distrust, envy, slander... it just gets worse and worse. In regards to defending ourselves because of a name, that is well covered in the Scriptures also.
Read Genesis 11. Most people know the story of the Tower of Babel. Everyone spoke one language, and they tried to build this huge tower to reach Heaven. Yah saw the folly in this (no air in space and all), and decided that, rather than have them hurt themselves in their idiocy, He would scatter them around and confuse their speech so they would no longer be united in this destructive quest. Yet many people don’t know the reason why they came up with this idea in the first place.
Genesis 11:4 reads, “And they said, ‘Go to, let us build a city (Babylon) 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 earth.’” The name of the city in brackets is mine, but note also that I have italicized one phrase, and boldfaced another. That is because this story plugs into what we are discussing in two equally important ways.
First of all, the word NAME is important. The SDA church trademarked its name to protect itself. In the same way, the people of ancient times were scattered abroad while seeking to protect their unity, and to make a name for themselves. It becomes even more obvious when combined with the second part. Revelation 18:5 reads, when speaking about the new “Babylon,” “For her sins have reached unto Heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.” Why was this worded thus? So that we would go back and see, in Genesis (the very beginning) just WHY their sins would reach unto Heaven. It is because they wanted to protect their name.
Moreover, let us see in Revelation exactly what the characteristics of the Mark of the Beast are: Rev 13:17 declares, “And that no man might buy or sell, save he had that mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” The name, the number and the mark are equivalent, it seems, in terms of function. Yet look at this: without the MARK, an individual cannot BUY or SELL. Without the MARK, an individual cannot TRADE. We have jumped from Revelation to Genesis and back again. From the beginning of the Scriptures to the end, the Word of God declares that the Mark of the Beast is a TRADEMARK of a NAME.
But why? What is this beast, and why is the trademark of a name its mark? I know it seems like just a clever play on words, but there is REASON that everything written in the Scriptures was worded just as it is. Let us see the full significance of this. As stated above, SDA members enjoin the 666 mark of the antichrist to the Pope, declaring him to be the “man of sin,” and moreover, they declare the papacy, his office and dominion, to be this beast. Reasons for this are numerous: seven heads on the beast (Rome built on seven hills), blasphemous rulers (popes claim to be the representative of Christ Himself, in fact, God incarnate), one of the heads being wounded (Napoleon capturing a pope for political reasons), the wound being healed (the return of the dominion of Roman rule thereafter), worship of the Dragon...
Let’s examine that last point a bit. The list goes on for some time, the similarities made clearer and clearer, but this specific aspect is vital. Who is the Dragon? That part’s easy. It’s Satan, the fallen archangel Lucifer. (Rev 12:1-9) And what does it mean to worship him? It means to follow the same principles Lucifer did, just as to worship Yah means to follow the principles He does. And these “dragon-like” principles are pride, self exaltation and rebellion against authority (Ezekiel 28:13-17) In short, it is to set ones self up as being equal to or higher than the throne of Yah. “For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High.” (Isaiah 14:13&14)
Who is it who claims today to be seated upon the Throne of Yah Himself? What erring, sinful man (For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; [Rom 3:23]) makes himself equal with the Most High? In times past, such a one would have been dragged out of the town and stoned. Yet, this is not an anti-Catholic essay, it is a pro-Christ essay, and if there are distinctions between Christ and the human, that is not my doing :) It also happens to disprove his claims of equality with the Son of Yah, but did we really need any proof of that? Yahshua said His kingdom was not of this world. How could His representative thus live in a castle, to whom were once subject the very kings of the earth?
Anyway, if the Dragon and the Beast were our only enemies, we would have trouble enough, yet Revelation speaks of a second beast (Rev 13:11) that appears gentle as a lamb, yet speaks “like a dragon” and gives cause for those who do not worship the True Lamb to worship the first beast, and all the qualities it stands for. This second beast appears harmless, and even its horns are lamb-like, but it is what it says that is dangerous. The United States of America came forth from mostly uninhabited land. Whereas Rome sprang forth from populated areas (the “seas” of Rev 13:1), the US was founded from “out of the earth” (Rev 13:11)
Right before that, John records a seemingly irrelevant proverb: “He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.” (Rev 13:10) But, oh, what a blessing to finally be able to understand! This second beast will follow the same example of Peter when he cut off the ear of one of those come to arrest Christ at the foot of the Mount of Olives. “Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. (Matthew 26:52)
In the same way, the SDA church, in seeking to protect itself from the influence of Kinship International, joined itself to the second beast (the US Government) which, though not specifically “Satanic” of itself, by its persecution of others speaks “like a dragon,” and moreover follows the example of the first beast, for by Roman authority were heretics and blasphemers taken to the stake and the chopping block. So fervent were these “crusades” against unrighteousness that the history of the planet was plunged into such dark times and events as the Inquisition, the French revolution, the Dark Ages themselves.
And all this was done in the name of Christ, of whom it is said, “A bruised reed shall He not break, and smoking flax shall He not quench, till He send forth judgment unto victory.” (Matthew 12:20) How Heaven, the kingdom of Love, must have hidden its eyes from these scenes of human depravity and injustice. Yahshua did not seek to stop others from doing wrong with force of arms. His arms He did indeed use, but by laying them upon the cross to be nailed there. By His example did He lead men away from sin, not by soldiers or legal injunctions.
The SDA church trademarked its name and joined with the state (as did the Jews in the crucifixion of Christ by the Romans), and then, in order to validate it’s position before taking on Kinship International, it’s real enemy, it decided to get some legal precedent first. In 1988, seven years after the trademark was validated, the General Council brought suit against an offshoot organization in Kona Hawaii. The local pastor there, one John Marik, was brought to court for his refusal to abandon the name Seventh Day Adventist because he was no longer under the main body of the SDA church.
He lost his case, and was thrown in jail. The stoning of Stephen, whose testimony sealed the wrath of Yah eternally against the adherents of the Judaic system and made plain to the world its fallen state, is the literal counterpart to this spiritual occurrence.
One of the problems SDA members have in accepting this is a quote from E.G. White’s book “Last Day Events,” which declares “When our nation shall so abjure the principles of its government as to enact a Sunday law, Protestantism will in this act join hands with popery.” [5T 712, 1889]... and “Sooner or later Sunday laws will be passed.” [RH Feb. 16, 1905]. Until her death, she was convinced that this was the way in which Satan would make his final attack upon the true worshippers. I’m not saying this is absolutely impossible. However – and get this point if nothing else – I am saying that the FORMULA she gave for how this would come about has been wrought out TO THE LETTER by the General Conference of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. Regardless of whether or not an actual Sunday Law will be passed, the GC has already followed the same dark road the rest of the world would have.
The formula is, and has always been, based upon the principles involved. E.G. White outlined these by saying, among other things, “During the Christian dispensation the great enemy of man’s happiness has made the Sabbath of the fourth commandment an object of special attack. Satan says, ‘I will work at cross purposes with God.’” We have already seen just why Satan hits this issue hard, and the resulting inconsistency in the doctrine of those who try to reconcile “light with dark” regarding this issue.
Even more dramatically, White agrees with A.T. Jones in this statement, “In the very act of enforcing a religious duty by secular power, the churches would themselves form an image to the beast; hence the enforcement of Sundaykeeping in the United States would be an enforcement of the worship of the beast and his image.”--GC 445, 448, 449 (1911) Do you see how the principle takes precedence over the specifics? Enforcing A religious duty (any, not a specific one); and IN THE VERY ACT is the falling away cemented, not in the result! So it does not matter WHICH church is doing it, or WHICH act is being enforced, or WHAT specific consequences come about... the problem is that this recipe for disaster IS followed, and an image of the beast is formed.
Would you like more evidence this is a Sabbath issue? A. T. Jones, 1895 General Conference Bulletin, page 28: “I need not undertake to give a definition in detail of what the image of the beast is; we all know well that it is the church power using the government, the civil power, for church purposes . . . And of all Christians, SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISTS cannot do it. The very KEEPING of the Sabbath forbids it.”
I fear I have introduced an unfamiliar term. The “image” of the beast. This is one of the two final topics I wish to present. The image of the beast is the counterpart of the Holy Spirit in the tri-une One. There is Father, Son and Holy Spirit, which is the essence of the first two, the binding force that leads sinful man to repentance. In the same way, there is the Dragon, the Beast and their Image: their binding force.
Revelation says of the second beast: “And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the (first) beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.” (Rev 13:13-15)
Two points become clear in this, first of all, “men that dwell on earth” make the image, so it is not something directly from Lucifer; and secondly, it causes worship through fear, for the consequences of disobedience would be persecution, and eventually death – the Christians “should be killed.”
Now, when the SDA Conference sought protection under the trademark law, it formed what is called a “corporation.” For example, this is their address on the Trademark registration form:
General Conference Corporation of Seventh-Day Adventists
(District of Columbia Corporation)
6840 Eastern Ave., NW.
Washington, D.C. 70012
And just what is a corporation? It is defined in legal terms as: [Late Latin corporatio, from Latin corporare to form into a body, from corpor- corpus body] an invisible, intangible, artificial creation of the law existing as a voluntary chartered association of individuals that has most of the rights and duties of natural persons but with perpetual existence and limited liability. (Source – The Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory)
Note the language... invisible, intangible, having most of the rights and duties of a natural person... It is a group of people acting as one. But, the corporation itself is not a thing. It is a creation of law, it is an image of a (natural) man. And like the first beast, it is not an individual, but a perpetual office. In this way, the SDA church, in union with civil law, has formed an image of the beast, that oppressive force that seeks to restrict religious liberty. Not that a corporation in and of itself is an evil thing, but this one’s purpose is to “cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast (yield to it’s unjust restriction of religious liberty) should be killed. (persecuted... for now)” (brackets mine)
In 1991, the SDA church lost its legal battle with Kinship International. In so doing, the image of the beast seemed to have received a “deadly wound,” just as John prophesied it would. But it also says that though it received this wound, it “did live.” (Rev 13:14) Just as the first beast received a deadly wound in the capture of the Roman bishop by Napoleon, but this wound was healed (Rev 13:3&12), so the image of the beast would also recreate a deadly wound that would be healed.
True to the Revelation of John, in 1996 the CG once again began bringing lawsuits against dissenting members of the “house of God,” and those offshoots who, while not under their authority, refused to relinquish the title “Seventh Day Adventist.” So... if the name is the problem, why not just give it up? We can still worship Yah in Spirit and in truth without that insignificant title, can’t we? The reason the name is so very vital to both our relationship with Yahshua and our message to the world is found here: The Controverted Name. We could just say, “it is the principle of the thing,” and be fully justified, but there is a deeper reason as well.
So the wound has been healed, and the SDA General Conference has taken up its sword once again. Now, not only on US land, but in international arenas as well (A trademark law has global jurisdiction), lawsuits have been brought against their Sabbath keeping brethren. The beasts and their image now roll across the land, laying waste to what were once sacred principles in matters of law and religious liberty. These are fearsome times indeed, for we know that the end approaches even now, and woe unto any who would worship the beast or its image by his participation in such an unholy union.
This brings us to my final issue for now. Participation... how is this accomplished? Let us look at the nature of the Mark of the Beast as it contrasts with the Seal of Yah. The Seal can be received in only ONE place: “And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.” (Rev 9:4) This is the only place that the Father will write His name (Rev 3:12), for to accept Christ, to choose to follow Yah and the Holy Spirit’s influence, these are decisions that can only be made in the mind. We can get technical by saying that the frontal lobe of the brain (just behind the forehead) controls the decision-making abilities of an individual, but I think you get the point :)
Now the Mark... that can be received in two places: “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.” (Rev 13:16) And 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,” (Rev 14:9)
Observe that while the Mark can be received in the forehead, just like the seal, it can be also found on the hand. If the forehead is conscious service, a mental decision to worship the Beast, what is the hand? It is labor, it is work. It is a “following along,” for even those who disagree with such a policy as persecution by law, if they continue their membership, and if they continue to pay financial support to the furtherance of the lawsuits, are not these same also members of the “corporation?”
Why is the fourth angel’s message one of separation? Because light CANNOT abide with darkness. Revelation 18 is a specific calling out of Yah’s true people from the corrupt organization. And not just SDAs, but ANY who see the unrighteousness of the current religious systems of the world (and I use “of the world” non-loosely) will feel the need to be seen as righteous before the Lord Almighty. Like Korah’s sons, they will separate themselves from the offending body, and stand with Moses.
The message has passed to us... for we obey the commandments of Yah and have the faith of Yahshua (Rev 14:12) and are ready to face the Throne of the Father, having been justified by the Son, and having shown our faith by our works (James 2:18). But not yet. We still have a work to do. We still have great love for those who yet remain within the fallen body. Until the close of this age, we will continue our heartfelt appeal to those who continue their course in ignorance of the nature of their actions.
We raise up the cross and say to these: “Was this the way of our Holy Redeemer?” If the answer is no, they, just as ourselves, must throw their crowns of self at the feet of Him crucified, and accept the free gift of the crown of life. Have I shown my beloved reader the truth? Will he or she see the voice of the Spirit in my reasoning? For it was no wisdom of man that showed me these things. Had it been man’s voice or writings alone, I could never have accepted such a thing.
In steadfast love, I appeal to you that, even if you have not been convinced by my words, you will not wholly disregard the facts presented here. Research for yourself, write me and tell me I am wrong, but above all, DO NOT DO NOTHING! White herself wrote, “If God abhors one sin above another, of which His people are guilty, it is doing nothing in case of an emergency. Indifference and neutrality in a religious crisis is regarded of God as a grievous crime and equal to the very worst type of hostility against God.” I hope I have at least lifted the veil of secrecy and legalism that Satan has cast over his final, great deception, and revealed that it is, in fact, a religious crisis. May the Holy Spirit lead you to the altar of truth, is my prayer in Yahshua’s name.
P.S. Details of the court cases etc. can be found here: TM Alert