Andrew Ashley Talks About the Mark of the Beast
The church service in the Laurelbrook Seventh-day Adventist Church on January 21, 2017 began with an introit by Jacqueline Miller on the piano. Angel White and Michelle Gustafson had the Personal Ministries Corner, talking about the ten days of prayer organized by the General Conference. Michelle encouraged everyone to pray for seven people this coming week. We need to increase our prayer lives so we can be truly blessed by God.
Bob Gustafson welcomed everyone and invited everyone to the cafeteria for lunch. The afternoon activity will be at 2:30 p.m. in academy Classroom 2. Vespers will be in the church at 5:30.
The congregation had a silent invocation. The congregation then sang “Marching to Zion”. Bob Gustafson then had the Morning Prayer; the congregation sang “Hear Our Prayer”.
Sarah (junior) then called for the offering. Isaac and TJ (seniors) then collected the morning offerings; the loose offering went to the local church budget. The congregation sang the doxology, and Bob Gustafson prayed for the offering.
Jacob (9th grader) then talked to the children present about excuses. TerriAnn (9th grader) then read Proverbs 17:3 “The fining pot [is] for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD trieth the hearts.” Cesar (senior) then played his saxophone and Moises (9th grader) his violin, accompanied by Edgar (senior) on the piano, for special music.
Pastor Andrew Ashley discussed the topic “The Gospel According to Cheesecake”. Two students helped him with the sermon. The congregation sang “Stand Up! Stand Up for Jesus!” Pastor Ashley had the closing prayer.
Personnel Other Than Students:
Bob Gustafson – Laurelbrook vice-president / men’s work coordinator / works with Laurelbrook’s used furniture program
Jacqueline Miller – semi-retired nurse living on the Laurelbrook campus
Pastor Andrew Ashley – works as a recruiter for Southern Adventist University
Following are some notes on the sermon by Pastor Ashley:
- Revelation 13:4-8 “4 And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who [is] like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? 5 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty [and] two months. 6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. 7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. 8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”
- Revelation 13:12-15 “12 And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. 13 And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, 14 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 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. 15 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.”
- Two beasts are working under Satan to force people to worship a false god. If you don’t worship, you will be persecuted.
- Revelation 14:9-11 “9 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, 10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: 11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.”
- Between these two chapters, we see a false god versus a true God. These two individuals fight for your attention, both promising wrath if you don’t pay attention. Mark of the Beast vs. Seal of God.
- 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.”
- 666 is not the Mark of the Beast but the number of man, an ideology and not a physical mark. It shows that we want to put man’s desires and man’s will over God’s Will.
- Do we put the desires of man over what God wants you to do? Even right now, we are practicing the Mark of the Beast by preferring man’s desires over God’s.
- Genesis 4 is the story of Cain (a gardener) and Abel (a shepherd). God asked them for a sacrifice that shed blood in anticipation of Christ’s sacrifice. This shows that our works cannot save us.
- Abel offers a lamb.
- Genesis 4:3-5 “3 ¶ And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. 4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: 5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.”
- Cain brought fruits of his garden, his own great works, but God didn’t O.K. Cain’s sacrifice. There was no blood shed.
- Genesis 4:5-7 “5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. 6 ¶ And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? 7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee [shall be] his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.”
- The Lord told Cain He did not hate him, but Cain had brought the wrong offering.
- Then Cain killed his brother Abel out in the field. This is not a shocker today because we see death all the time. But no one ever had died before.
- Sin took over Cain, consumed him, and made him do a deed he probably could not have imaged himself doing.
- Note: one group puts God’s desires before their own desires, a second group doesn’t their own thing.
- Genesis 4:12-13 “12 When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth. 13 ¶ And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment [is] greater than I can bear.”
- The Lord says there would be no peace the rest of his life, but a mark was set on Cain to prevent Cain being killed.
- One group here decides to recognize Jesus as Lord and Savior, the other doesn’t.
- The Cain group is upset at Abel’s group, who receives their wrath.
- Those who don’t have the Mark of the Beast accepts God’s leading in their lives. The other group looks to the world to guide them and persecute those who follow God.
- All through the world’s history there have been these two groups. Which group are you in?
- Whatever group you are fostering is the group you will be in when your times closes.
- The Seal of God entitles us to persecution and trials and tribulations.
- Why these trials? Flour, butter, salt we don’t take individually in quantity because they taste disgusting. But a combination of these three items with other ingredients makes a good cheesecake.
- When you choose to walk with Jesus, you will have trials and trouble, but God as a Baker makes these problems into a beautiful experience called salvation, eternal life.
- Many are pressured to accept world lifestyles and goals and ideals because things are supposedly beautiful right now.
- Proverbs 17:3 “The fining pot [is] for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD trieth the hearts.”
- If God is so good, why all the problems? Note that silver and gold and cake has to go through a process to become beautiful and a worthwhile experience.
- What is the pain you have been going through that pushes you towards worldly experiences and lifestyle?
- Challenge – turn to Jesus, realizing that in the end this pain will become a beautiful experience.