666 – Number of the Beast

 

Cal Poulsen

Scripture Insights

01-21-2016

Although many people associate 666 with the devil, the Book of Revelation explains that the number really signifies that of a flesh and blood man. He is not Holy Spirit filled, but he is filled with the spirit and treachery of Satan.

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.

Not everyone will have the wisdom or the understanding to determine what the meaning of the number is. They will not know who this man is. Therefore, we need to be very careful when listening to others who proclaim that they know the name of this man.

The vivid images in the book of Revelation are symbolic, but symbolic to a particular time and place. They cannot be shaped into whatever someone wants them to mean. Like any passage of scripture, you first have to look at the original meaning. In the case of the book of Revelation, it is encouraging an embattled Christian community to remain faithful and be wary of conforming too closely to the ways of this hostile world.

Yet the people of the world will fall for him. He and the false prophet will successfully sell to the world the fact that he is seen as god. This will be accomplished through great authority, including signs and wonders. He will be able to establish the necessary people and devices to have man follow him and his satanic ways. 

Scripture is telling us that the numerical value of his name will add up to six hundred and sixty six. The mark that will appear on the antichrist will be a literal mark. Most likely an emblem or some sort of insignia. The mark is not the name or the number of the beast. They are separate from each other. Therefore, the mark of the beast is not 666.

The name of the antichrist is not revealed anywhere in Scripture. This explains why his number is given. No one will know who the antichrist is prior to his revealing. Because of this we can safely assume that nobody can receive mark of the beast until the beast arrives on the world scene. He must be physically present for anyone to receive his mark that is also the mark of the world government. We do not know his name because we do not yet have the wisdom and understanding of how to find and then reveal his number.

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.

The Bible teaches us that the antichrist, who is a man empowered by Satan, will gain total economic and religious control of the entire world. All people will worship the antichrist and receive a mark on their hands or upon their foreheads in order to buy or sell. Those who refuse to take the mark will be hunted down and killed.

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.

The wisdom to search out the number will be given to those living at the time of the unveiling of the beast. Most likely just before he comes to power. All of a sudden what we have been reading in the Bible will start making sense. The mystery of the name of the antichrist will have ended. The very fact that John writes, “Here is wisdom, let him that has understanding count the number of the beast, shows that not everyone has such wisdom or understanding.”

God will provide the necessary people, wisdom and understanding in determining when the revealing of the antichrist will take place.

Most Christians believe in something that theologians call “progressive revelation.” This means that certain Bible truths regarding the last day’s (tribulation) events are revealed more fully as the events approach.

As the tribulation moves forward, those with the mark of the beast place themselves in direct opposition to God.

The source of the false prophet’s power is in the next words, anyone refusing to worship the statue must die. At that time Christianity had become a capital offense. Only those who follow Christ will be unwilling to worship the beast’s image. This is universal persecution.

Revelation 13:11 

And I beheld another beast (false prophet) coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.

Revelation 13:12 

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, who’s deadly wound was healed.

Revelation 13:15 

And he (false prophet) 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.

The first beast had come out of the sea (Revelation 13:1), but this second beast came out of the earth and is later identified as the false prophet (Revelation 16:13; Revelation 19:20).  

Revelation 14:9 

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,

Revelation 14:10 

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:

Then in (Revelation 19:20) we find the fate of the beast and the false prophet. They do not go peaceably. We find that they had to be taken to their fate, most likely by the angels of God.

Revelation 19:20 

And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.

He (false prophet) is a counterfeit of the Holy Spirit. This beast completed the unholy trinity with the dragon (Satan) and the beast from the sea (the Antichrist). The false prophet would be in charge of the worldwide worship of the first beast.

There is a further imitation of Christ, the Lamb of God, in that the false prophet has two horns like those of a lamb (Revelation 5:6). Perhaps his very similarity to Christ will be part of his deceptiveness. He may appear good, helpful, and caring. An “angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14). This beast looked like a lamb but spoke like a dragon. The source of his words were from Satan himself, the dragon.

At that time, to live in this world we will still need the basic necessities to sustain life. Food, clothing, medical care etc. It will not be as it is today. Everyone will be required to take the mark of the beast in order to buy and sell.

Revelation 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:

There will be no special circumstances exempting some from receiving the mark of the beast. The elite of the world will have no choice in the matter.

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.

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.

So what is the fate of those who receive the mark of the beast?

Revelation 14:9 

And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his (antichrist) mark in his forehead, or in his hand,

Revelation 14:10 

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:

Revelation 14:11 

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.

Those who have taken the mark must drink the wine of God’s wrath. The Old Testament often pictures God’s anger as being in a cup, ready to be poured out. This cup of wrath is undiluted. God’s wrath will be in its strongest form. The full extent of his anger, undiluted by mercy and grace, would soon be poured out on those who had adamantly refused to turn from sin and receive his salvation.

Let this be a warning.

 

Your questions and comments are always appreciated.

Scripture Insights

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