September 12, 2022
“And he requires everyone – small and great, rich and poor, free and slave – to be given a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one can buy or sell...”
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“And he requires everyone – small and great, rich and poor, free and slave – to be given a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark; the beast’s name, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom: the one who has understanding must calculate the number of the beast, because it is the number of man. His number is 666.” Revelation 13:16-18
Much has been made about this passage and the mysterious meaning of “666”. To add further drama, there are no numbers, per se, in Hebrew. Therefore, each letter has a numerical value. So-called “end times experts” have gone to great lengths to develop computer programs that look for “666” patterns in numerical and literature worlds. My favorite is the guy who determined that if A = 100, B = 101, C = 102, etc., the numerical value of the name Hitler totals “666”!
It all makes me wonder what else these people could do with their time to be more productive for the Kingdom. That is, shouldn’t we spend more time on sharing the Gospel instead of trying to convince our neighbors that their dog has the “mark of the beast” because the veterinarian placed a micro-chip in Fido?
Here’s what we know. As we learned earlier in Revelation 1, the number 7 is the number of completion. The number 6 is the number of Creation. The Lord took 6 days to establish Creation. He rested on day 7: Completion. Whenever we see the number 6 in Scripture, it is generally related to something that man originated and is usually compared/contrasted to what God had intended. For instance, there were 6 steps to Solomon’s throne. The number 6 is used 273 times in the Bible.
So, there are two distinct images we are focusing on today: Where the mark is attached and what the mark means.
John tells us the beast’s mark is seen on the hand and the forehead. This is a direct mockery of the tefillin (phylacteries) (Matthew 23:5) that Jewish people were commanded to wear. The “forehead” represents our mind/thoughts, and the “hand” represents the things we do.
“You shall bind them (God’s commands) for a sign on your hand, and they shall be frontlets for your eyes.” Deuteronomy 6:8
Now, about the three sixes. This represents a mockery of the tri-unity of God. It is Mankind’s attempt to be their own judge & savior and to define their own truth. When you combine the beast’s number with its placements on the non-believers’ bodies, it becomes clear that those bearing the “mark of the beast” are simply those whose minds & actions testify that they have forsaken the Father, Messiah, and the Holy Spirit in exchange for Satan, the Flesh, and the World.
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