The Church of God of The Firstborn
A LIFE FULL OF FAITH -- The Book on Bible Facts
Written by A. G. Etterman
THE MARK OF THE BEAST

Just a few words to explain the mark of the beast, concerning which there is so great
a dispute.  Each Bible teacher explains this subject to please his self, his
denomination or church.  The Book of Revelations is not given to every man to
understand this book as it is written.  The word of God in one place says that the
letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.  So
there must be a spiritual understanding,
also in this matter be sure that if any man explains Revelations, that he has the
Holy Ghost to bring the right explanation.
Therefore, let us look in the Bible, 2
Corinthians 3:6,
"Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not
of the letter, but of the spirit; for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life."

From this we find that the Lord is the one who makes the spiritual ministers, and not
some college.
 When we read the Bible, and especially the Book on Revelations, we
need the wisdom from God.  In James 1:5,
"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask
of God
, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given
him."

So then the right wisdom comes from God alone.  Every man or woman who reads
this explanation, should be prayerful and ask God to give him the right
understanding before beginning to read it.  Revelation 13:18,
"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."

May God be blest by his wisdom, which he giveth to all that ask him in faith, and
come from a clean heart.  Now let us explain what is meant by the number of a man.  
Every man knows that no other man carries that number on him, except the Pope of
Rome.  He has on his front and back, in Roman figures, the number six hundred and
sixty-six.  Let us notice that the Bible states that the beast hath given to the false
prophet, to exorcise the same power.  Everyone knows that Martin Luther was a
Catholic monk when God called him to translate the Bible.  He did this faithfully and
showed all men what to do and by what name to go under.  In a few years there
sprung up one denomination after another until at the present time, we have over six
hundred denominations.  Now let us refer to Revelation 13:17,
"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."

Let us bring to your mind that no man can preach or teach in any denomination,
unless he belongs to it.  Now let us use wisdom.  It is the custom throughout the
world that every preacher must have papers or otherwise, he is not allowed to
preach in any church.  This custom also requires that we make up our mind and join
one of the many denominations,
but when we do join them, we do not belong to the
Lord, but only belong to that particular church.
This is wrong, because we have our
minds upon the church and not upon the Lord.
 The word of God says: "Where your
treasure is, there is your heart also."
 In these days we are added to the church by
man, but our Bible says that the Lord addeth to the church.  Acts 2:47,
"Praising
God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily
such as should be saved."

Now is it right that man should add to the church, when our Bible tells us that God
adds to the church?  Revelation 22:19,
"And if any man shall take away from the
words of the book of his prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of
life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book."

Is it not taking away the word of God when we are added to the church by men?  
And may God help us not to be added by men.  If we have already been added to the
church by man, we have taken the mark of the beast on our forehead and on the
right hand just as told in the Bible.  We have proven that every one who has gone
contrary to the Bible, will find that their name is not written in the Book of Life.  In
Revelation 20:15,
"And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast
into the lake of fire."

If our names are placed on the church book by man, and we are not born again or
born into the church, we have accepted the mark of the beast
, which the Bible
speaks of in connection with the Roman Catholic Church.  We proved in the
beginning that every church has copied after the Catholic including their forms, and
their main ideas, and have also called themselves by some man's name.  The Bible
in speaking of the family, calls it by God's name.  Ephesians 3:14-15,
"For this
cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Of whom the whole
family in heaven is named."

If we do not call ourselves by the Father's name, we have taken from the word and
our name is not written in the book of life
.  To belong to a man made organization is
wrong.  
By this we mean that the cause for which each church is built is right, but
that the sin is in joining a man made organization, instead of God's family
.  We are
shown by the above proof, what every man should be called, but will give more proof
from the Bible.  I Corinthians 3:4,
"For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I
am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?"

If we are called by any other name than God, we are carnal, and the carnal mind is
an enemy of God, but an enemy of God will never be with Him.  Any person that
becomes a member of a man made organization, or church has the mark of the
beast, either on his forehead or on his right hand.  Romans 8:7,
"Because the carnal
mind is enmity against God, for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can
be."

No carnal man can be obedient to the laws of God, and every person that is
disobedient, is lost.  
Then let us plead with everyone that reads this book to be
careful and not join, or be connected with any man made organization.  The word of
God says,
"Whom the son set free, is free indeed."

Let us then be free from all the beggarly things of this world, for when we are saved
from sin, God puts our name in the book of life, and that is sufficient. We must not
forget to gather with the children of God, which are called by God's name or belong
to the great family on the earth.  We can worship in any kind of building, because
the word of God does not dwell in houses made by hand, but
God dwells in every
saved person's heart
.  In order to please God, and to follow His will, we must
worship Him in spirit and in truth
, and to abstain from joining man made
organizations
.  We must be very careful, and do the things that the Bible requires of
us.  
Our interpretation of the mark of the beast is being a member of a man made
organization,
and as soon as we have reached the number, six hundred and sixty-six,
the end will come.  May our great God be blest.