Can you not notice the fulfillment of Daniel 11? Here is a power who sees itself above every other power or God. They boast and rule the earth by the power of money which is in their hands. Through the power of the media and of money they have demoralized the entire earth as they have stated they would. Soon they plan to end the system of things which has been before. Faith in God has been abolished by their decrees. These things are the prime movers in all our society today.
This is not a secret, however, for one of the media's own highly respected sons has confessed this very thing. John Swinton, a former Chief of Staff at the NEW YORK TIMES, was asked to give a toast before the prestigious New York Press Club in 1953. Swinton was called "the dean of his profession" by other newsmen who admired him greatly. He made this candid confession.
"There is no such thing, at this date of the world's history, as an independent press. You know it and I know it. There is not one of you who dares to write your honest opinions, and if you did, you know beforehand that it would never appear in print. I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinions out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar salaries for similar things, and any of you who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the streets looking for another job. If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my paper, before twenty-four hours my occupation would be gone. The business of the journalist is to destroy the truth, to lie outright, to pervert, to vilify, to fawn at the feet of mammon, and to sell the country for his daily bread. You know it and I know it and what folly is this toasting an independent press. We are the tools and vassals of the rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes."
Stupid politicians, ministers and news professionals have forsaken their good conscience and sold the multitudes who follow them into the slavery of money which is ruled by these new masters. This is the primary cause of the confusion in the world today. The prophets who have been raised up by God have been driven away and even killed leaving the people to hear the soothing, flattering sophistries of their guides. The antichrist has arisen and the mark of the beast has been received. Alas, the time prophesied so many years ago has come and few men know it.
What is this mark of the beast? It is written, "And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. ...And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men [atom bomb], and deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles (wonders) which he had power to do in the sight of the beast ... and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. 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. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is six hundred threescore and six." Rev.13:11-18.
As we have read in the mysterious book, a series of circumstances arise which take away the people's will to resist. "Then the nations will bow down before us, if for no other reason but to get the right to exist." Here is a power that has been able to bring about a set of conditions where people could not buy or sell except they have the mark of the beast.
The Scriptures shed light on this mark and how people are blind to it. It is written: "Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes." Deut. 11:18.
This mark or sign reveals who one's master is. If one has the mark of God, he is one who lays the word of God up in his heart. That is-he will always and only obey the word of God which is in his heart. On the other hand, if he has the mark of the beast, he will lay up the beast's words in his heart and obey them. In the Scriptures a "beast" is the symbol used for worldly governments.
To receive the mark of the beast on one's hand is to work for the support of the beast or earthly kingdom when that kingdom is opposed to God's law. To receive the mark of the beast in the forehead is to give mental assent to the actions of the earthly kingdom while it is opposed to God's law. To receive the number of his name is to think like the beast thinks. Any of these actions disqualify one from the kingdom of God.
The motivation for receiving the mark of the beast is to receive rest and peace promised by the world and its kingdom. That is essentially the world's sabbath or rest. This mark of the beast is ratified when an individual cannot be moved from this position. The mark or seal of God is experienced when one trusts in the Lord with his whole heart and rests in Him. It is also true that this mark is ratified when the soul cannot be moved from his purpose of obedience to God and His commandments. This is the Lord's Sabbath or rest. The issue involved is whether a man will keep the Lord's Sabbath or the world's sabbath-the mark of God or the mark of the beast. This is what the great controversy involves.
In our nation's history we have had the odious distinction of practicing slavery. Americans enslaved other humans for personal gain. There were also laws on the books of the state which made it a crime to harbor escaped slaves. If a man found an escaped slave, it was the law of the land that he had to be returned to the owner.
Let us suppose a man was enlightened regarding slavery and an escaped slave arrived at his door. If he were God's son he would be bound to disobey the law of the land in favor of the law and Spirit of God. Let us suppose this man understood this principle, yet knew he may get into trouble for hiding a slave, so the slave was returned to the supposed owner. If this were the man's character and he could not be made to do otherwise, he would be revealing he had the mark of the law of man rather than the law of God.
Suppose you have realized your government is enforcing a law which is opposed to God's law. Paying to support corruption is the same as doing the corruption yourself and God will hold an individual responsible for those corruptions when they are revealed to him. You consider withholding your financial support but it occurs to you that you may lose your home or even go to jail, so you go on paying, justifying your position by claiming you cannot be responsible for what other men do. In this, you receive the mark of the beast on your hand. You go on supporting the corruption financially while knowing you should not. You may understand how difficult it is to buy and sell in this world's economy without supporting the beast. That is-without paying those taxes which support these things. God's people must practice civil disobedience when the law of the land opposes the law of God.
If you take a position that your government is doing well in waging wars, killing the unborn, or partially born children and supporting immoral sexual activities, and the Word of God cannot dissuade you, then you receive the mark of the beast on your forehead. When your government's policies are wrong and you keep that government supported with your labors, you are held responsible by the powers of heaven. Your money is your activity and your labor. If you think in earthly ways and refuse to be moved to think in heavenly ways, even though you are shown the truth, then you take the number of his name: "for it is the number of man and his number is 666." These things mentioned are on the political arena. On the religious, the same principles apply.
If one sends his children to public school, even though he knows that his children are being educated to wrong principles, but continues to do so because he is afraid of having his children taken away by the state, or some other inconvenience, and he cannot be turned from his error, he receives the mark of the beast. Receiving the mark of the beast comes from the motive of seeking peace or rest at the expense of doing what is right. Resting in the truth and obeying that truth is the mark of God. It is His Sabbath. Compromising one's conscience so that one might receive the rest of the world from his church or government is receiving the mark of the beast. These individuals receive the plagues which are the natural result of choosing the rest which the world promises.
There are now many issues facing today's professed believers. God's true people separate from those who practice corruption. Many churches today teach their congregations to keep Sunday rather than God's Sabbath. The man with the mark of God will separate from this.
Some religions support the corruption in the public school system. Certain sects have their own educational system which is a copy of the world's system. Some give approval that mothers may destroy their unborn or partially born children. Still others acknowledge the faithfulness as Christians of those who practice homosexual activity. These receive the number of the beast or take his mark on the hand or forehead if they cannot be turned from their course.
Six is the number of man. Six hundred sixty six is the number given to a man who cannot be moved from human corruption. It is the number of a man who has removed himself from God's influence and, instead, follows his "own good sense".
Some of these things may seem like nonsense to the reader, but that is only because the mind that is resting in the Spirit of God can grasp it. "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." 1 Cor. 2:14.
There is another basic cause to the dilemma men find themselves in today. They have missed the real Christ. He is not discerned or understood by man and He is especially misunderstood by the modern day preacher. Jesus is not who they think He is. Modern professors of faith seem to view the Christ as historical. He professed to be God and the Savior of the world and some men today accept that. They hardly consider that Jesus looked as any common man. He did not look like a God. It would be well for modern day professed Christians to gain a new look at who Jesus really was and to consider how He actually came. Would they acknowledge Him as Savior today if He came in the same way?