“This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man’s number. His number is 666.”
Thoughts… Revelation 13:11-17 teaches that half way through the seven-year period known as the great tribulation, everyone, without exception, will be required to have the “mark of the beast” on their right hand or forehead in order to buy and sell. Verse 18 then talks about something that has been speculated on, twisted and contorted more that anything else in the Bible: The number of the beast, which is 666.
So just what does 666 mean?
Someone pointed out years ago that there were 6 letters each in the late president Ronald Wilson Reagan’s full name. Throughout history, this 666-theory has been attributed to various popes, Martin Luther, Napoleon, Hitler, JFK, Kissinger, and so on. Take your pick—it’s the beast du jour! There has also been speculation that the “mark” might refer to your social security number, or that is has to do with credit cards, or that it is embedded in bar codes on products.
Here’s what I think: In Hebrew, the number 6 simply represents man, while the number 7 represents God. Done in triplicate, these numbers represent completeness. So triple 7 represents the perfection of God; triple 6, then, represents the ultimate humanist—man totally without and opposed to God—the Antichrist, no more, no less.
Now the prophecy about the “mark of the beast” is exceptionally sobering because the next chapter, Revelation 14:9-11, says, “If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand, he, too, will drink of the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath…” This is describing that time when the wages of sin will be paid out in the currency of God’s wrath as the great tribulation comes to an end with the battle of Armageddon.
That’s what the future holds—we know that. But what we don’t know is when that future will become the present. It could be this year; it might be a hundred years from now. We just don’t know for sure. Neither do we have a clue as to “the Beast’s” identity, so there is really no need to speculate as to who it will be.
But I do think that it would be wise for us to keep an eye out for the “spirit of antichrist,” because it is already here. And since it represents the ultimate perfection of humanity independent from God, it is going to seem pretty attractive to this old world. That’s why we need to be on high alert for anything and everything that betters humanity but leaves God out of the picture.
Just know this: The “spirit of antichrist” now, and the real “Antichrist” to come, is and will be so attractive, not because of pure and obvious evil, but because of apparent “good” … good without God, that is.
And that has always been Satan’s stock-in-trade—from the beginning of human history when he deceived Adam and Eve right up to the deceptiveness of this current day when there is so much potential for the betterment of humanity but so little room for God.
In that sense, antichrist is already here. So make sure you stay aligned with the winning team—and at all times, keep God in the center of all that you are and all that you do!
Prayer… Lord, there are many things about tomorrow I don’t understand. But I know Who holds the future. And I know Who holds my hand!
One More Thing… “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” —Corrie Ten Boom