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. 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. Revelation 13:16-18 (Emphasis supplied).
This portion of scripture holds the key to understanding the mark of the beast. Verse 17 tells us that having the number of beast or the number of his name is the same as having the mark of the beast. Then verse 18 tells us that the key to understanding the mark of the beast is in to understand his number which is the same number of a man.
The question now is what man is v.18 referring to? The answer to that question is found II Thessalonians 2:3&4 where the apostle Paul said:
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. (Emphasis supplied).
I could spend a lot of time showing how this identifies a certain man but I won’t for 2 important reasons:
- There are tons of articles, books and pamphlets that have been written on that subject.
- When we focus on identifying the one man that fits that description we miss the most important point.
The most important point is to realize that the reason the man of sin can cause a great falling away from God’s truth is because the man of sin not only has the number of the beast but he also has our number or the number of our name and that number is 6: The number of all who are born of the flesh. (The reason the number 6 is given 3 times in reference to the mark of the beast is because it denotes the fact that the beast’s purpose is to take God’s place by taking the worship that is due to God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit: 666).
Notice what we are told in Ephesians 2:1-3:
2:1 And you [hath he quickened], who were dead in trespasses and sins: 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 2:3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. (Emphasis supplied).
Like it or not this scripture tells us that we all have the same nature as the man of sin: He is not the only one that is the son of perdition (II Thessalonians 2:3), we all are by nature the children of wrath (Ephesians 2:3). The man of sin is not the only one that opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped (II Thessalonians 2:4), we too are controlled by the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience (Ephesians 2:2) and the only way to escape from this sinful condition is to be quickened by the Spirit of God (Ephesians 2:1): We must be quickened because as long as we continue to walk in the power of the flesh (#6) we are dead to and incapable of walking in the power of the Spirit of God (#7).
Therefore, God in His infinite love and mercy sent the final installment of the everlasting gospel to be preached through-out the world because He knew that we had been confused or deceived by the wine of Babylon that lead us to believe that it is godly to serve mammon 6 days: A belief that results in walking in the flesh because it makes us live with a carnal mind instead of a spiritual mind. This is why the first angel’s message starts this way:
Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. Revelation 14:7 (Emphasis supplied).
The first angel’s message starts by giving us the key to living with a spiritual mind: A mind that results in walking in the Spirit 24/7 because it lives for only one purpose and that purpose is to glorify God by living a godly life. In order to accomplish that one purpose we will only do one thing and that one thing is to worship the God of creation 24/7. This is what it means to be spiritual minded and those who live with this mindset will walk in the spirit and worship God 24/7.
Next week we are going to look at why the fact that the hour of God’s judgment is come makes it absolutely necessary for God’s people to worship God 24/7. Until then I leave you with this portion of scripture to ponder and pray over:
8:5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 8:6 For to be carnally minded [is] death; but to be spiritually minded [is] life and peace. 8:7 Because the carnal mind [is] enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 8:8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his… 8:12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. 8:13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. Romans 8:5-9 & 12-13 (Emphasis supplied).