2:1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and [by] our gathering together unto him, 2:2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for [that day shall not come], except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 2:4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. II Thessalonians 2:1-4
In my last blog we discovered the key to understanding the mark of the beast is in understanding that the number of the beast’s name is the same as the number of a man (see Revelation 13:7&8). Therefore, the number 666 is not only the number of the name of the beast; it is also the number of a man. The question is which man.
The answer to that question is found in the above scripture which tells us that before Jesus returns to establish His kingdom of righteousness that the man of sin would cause a falling away from the truth by leading mankind to worship him instead of God (see verses 3&4). The reason the man of sin is able to get mankind to worship him instead of God is given a few verses down in II Thessalonians 2:10-12 where it says:
2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 2:12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (Emphasis supplied).
The reason so many will be deceived into worshiping the man of sin is because they loved his lie concerning godliness more than they loved God’s truth concerning godliness. The lie is, gain is godliness (see I Timothy 6:3-5): The truth is, Godliness with contentment is great gain (see I Timothy 6:6). Those who live by the lie will receive the mark of the beast because they had pleasure in the unrighteous pursuit of money (see I Timothy 6:6-10 & Matthew 6:24-34). Those who live by the truth will receive the seal of God because they rejected the lie and found contentment and great gain in the pursuit of righteousness (see I Timothy 6:11).
What I have just said becomes crystal clear when we look at the threat that is used to cause people to receive the mark of the beast. That threat is found in Revelation 13:16&17:
13:16 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: 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.
Now I ask you, which one would this threat affect more; those who have been deceived in believing that the pursuit of gain is godliness or those who have rejected that lie and found contentment and great gain in the pursuit of godliness alone? Let me ask that question this way:
Which one would that threat affect more: Those who believe the 4th commandment teaches that it is godly to work for mammon (money) 6 days and long as we stop on 1 day to worship God and God alone or those who believe that the 4th commandment teaches that we are to worship God only by pursuing His righteousness 24/7?
In my next blog I am going to deal with how the proper understanding of the 4th commandment makes it possible to live by the truth that leads to godliness. Until then I leave you with this scripture to ponder and pray over:
6:3 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, [even] the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; 6:4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, 6:5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. 6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 6:7 For we brought nothing into [this] world, [and it is] certain we can carry nothing out. 6:8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. 6:9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and [into] many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. 6:11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. I Timothy 6:3-12
For a more complete coverage of this subject click on the Book Store tab of this website and purchase the book entitled: The 7th Day Sabbath: God’s Finishing Work (Start reading at page 78, The 3rd Angels Message).