Ellen G. White Writings

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Love Under Fire, Page 184

The Beast and His Image

The beast with two horns “causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name” (Revelation 13:16, 17). The third angel warns, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God.”

“The beast” whose worship is enforced is the first, or leopardlike, beast of Revelation 13—the papacy. The “image to the beast” represents the form of apostate Protestantism that will develop when the Protestant churches seek the help of civil power to enforce their beliefs. The “mark of the beast” still remains to be defined.

Those who keep God's commandments are contrasted with those who worship the beast and his image and receive his mark. The keeping of God's law, on the one hand, and its violation, on the other, will be what distinguishes between the worshipers of God and the worshipers of the beast.

The special characteristic of the beast and of his image is the breaking of God's commandments. Daniel says that the little horn, the papacy, “shall intend to change times and law” (Daniel 7:25). Paul called the same power the “man of sin” (2 Thessalonians 2:3), who would exalt himself above God. Only by changing God's law could the papacy exalt itself above God. Whoever would knowingly keep the law in its changed form would be giving supreme honor to papal laws, a mark of allegiance to the pope in place of God.

The papacy has attempted to change the law of God. It has changed the fourth commandment in an attempt to authorize observing the first day instead of the seventh day as the Sabbath. The Bible presents this as an intentional, deliberate change: he “shall intend to change times and law.” The change in the fourth commandment exactly fulfills the prophecy. Here the papal power openly sets itself above God.

The worshipers of God will be especially known for keeping the fourth commandment, the sign of His creative power. The worshipers of the beast will be noted for their efforts to tear down the Creator's memorial, to exalt the sabbath of Rome. It was in behalf of Sunday as “the Lord's day” that the Church of Rome first asserted its arrogant claims. (See Appendix.) But the Bible points to the seventh day as the Lord's day. Christ said, “The Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath” (Mark 2:28; see also Isaiah 58:13, 14; Matthew 5:17-19). His own words disprove the frequent claim that Christ changed the Sabbath.

Complete Silence of New Testament

Protestants admit that “the New Testament is completely silent about any explicit command for the Sabbath [referring here to Sunday, the first day of the week] or definite rules for its observance.”3George Elliott, The Abiding Sabbath, page 184.

“Up to the time of Christ's death, there had been no change in the day”;

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