The religious systems of Christianity have again allowed fear to dominate their reasoning. Whatever you do, don’t take the mark of the beast, for if you do, God will disown you! Fear and misunderstanding has encouraged people to look at charge cards, Social Insurance numbers, telephone numbers and so on avoiding with a passion any ‘666’ arrangements. Oh and don’t forget the micro chip implants in one’s hand or the ultraviolet marking on one’s forehead! Let us turn to the scripture for what it truly declares . . .
Here is wisdom. Let him that has understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.
First of all this verse is only for those who have either acquired some wisdom or are seeking it! Now if you really want understanding on this subject, then follow the instructions given in the remainder of this verse. We were all taught at school that the verb in a sentence declares the action that is desired. The verb here is ‘count’.
This number is ‘666’ . . . well that’s the English look. Chinese looks totally different as to hundreds of other languages. Because the Greek language is a ‘numerical language’, we shall take special note here.
A numerical language is when each letter equates
with a number. In ancient Greek and Hebrew, they had no numerals. Instead they
used letters for numbers. For example, ‘A’ would equal ‘1’, B = 2, C = 3 and so
on up to 10, then it went 20, 30 etc. up to 100. Then it went 200, 300 etc. up
to 800. Twenty-six letters of the Greek alphabet were used. God chose Hebrew for
the Old Testament and Greek for the new for these are the only two fully
numerical languages. When substituting numbers for letters, it is called
GEMATRIA. It is no wonder in the original Greek text, ‘666’ appears as three
letters . . . xi = 600, chi= 60 and the stigma = 6. Putting these three letters
together does not make a pronounceable word! Hebrew is similar . . . Mem = 600;
Samech = 60 and Vau = 6. . . combined to give us ‘666’.
How do the Romans show ‘666’? as VICLXVI.
Add up all the Roman letters used for numerals and the total will equal ‘666’.
I = 1; V = 5; L = 10; C = 100; D = 500 (M = 1000 came into being in more modern times). This shows that there is a ‘Roman’ input to this stigma (mark). This could be religious bias handed down from Rome . . . but better would be the ‘merchandising’ and intimidation.
Read again our verse . . . it will not take you long to realize that this number of ‘666’ has already been counted and ‘666’ is the answer!
The King of us kings is drawing us to be wise and gain understanding. Proverbs 25:2 says It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.
We now need to know what it is that has been counted, for when we know that, we shall also grasp what ingredients this particular mark has.
We need to turn to the ‘gematria’ of words in the Greek New Testament and if we can find some whose total values add up to ‘666’, then we will have found some further characteristics of this mark and what it means to us.
This Greek word is translated 13** times in the New Testament as TRADITION and it is included in the beast nature because man loves his ‘comfort-zone’ of no change and is very relaxed in his traditional ways. However traditional ways have the effect of replacing Christ and His words and ways. The word ‘antichrist’ in the Greek simply means instead of Christ!
** 11 times as something bad and twice as something good. (‘Antichrist’ is covered in ‘rethink #9).
This word is found in Acts 19:25 Whom he called together with the workmen of like occupation, and said, Sirs, ye know that by this craft we have our wealth. The love of money is the root of evil. Money in itself is good, but when it dominates ones life, then it is also a part of the beast nature and character of the mark we are investigating.
This is found in 1 Peter 1:1 and is translated ‘scattered’. It depicts anything that keeps God’s people scattered of separated from one another which is the opposite of what Jesus prayed in John 17. The Christian Church is certainly scattered among innumerable denominations, sects, fellowships and ‘no-name’ groups!
This word found in Luke 8:24 is translated ‘WE PERISH’. This reference shows from the context the absence of faith in the abiding presence of Jesus Christ. It reveals a further aspect of this ‘666’ mark that of ‘save my flesh’ principle when God wants us to identify with Christ as our flesh was crucified in Him at Calvary (Gal. 2:20).
It is not a matter of taking this mark but rather of getting rid of it for we were born with such characteristics in our nature inherited from Adam. In the old days many slaves bore the mark of their owner either in their hand or on their forehead. The mark that God is speaking of here is not a literal mark but rather a spiritual mark depicting one’s actual character and ownership.
A characteristic of this mark has close association with the beast. What beast? There is one ‘beast-nature’ that is evident in creation. It can readily be seen in unredeemed man as he lives more and more like a beast . . . he looks after his own interests without any apparent restraints as seen in sex, drugs, amusement, accumulation of wealth and so on. The all encompassing beast nature is actually the summation of all beastly self-centered actions and words that man without God’s restraining and changing hand, will naturally produce.
Rev 13:16 And he causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
This shows very clearly that it is to do with one’s thinking and attitude.
(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 ‘name’ = ‘the nature’. Without any change in one’s walk and talk, it will prevent any spiritual gain or progress while a man has this mark of the beast . . .there will be no deep hunger shown for the word and revelation. The number of the beast’s nature (name) is ‘666’. Using the spiritual meaning to numbers in scripture, we see three (complete) sixes (carnal man) . . . which together gives us the meaning of ‘666’ which is complete carnality of man. (The spiritual meaning of numbers used in scripture is covered in ‘re-think No.64).
Consider this! A person refusing to take an external mark or number while inside they have beliefs and attitudes that are antichrist(instead of Christ) and even rebellious, does this one have the mark of the beast? Afraid so!
If this mark should be a natural one, should we be afraid of such? No way! Our trust is in the Lord to lead us and any fear will be swallowed up in His love. God looks on the heart while man looks on the outside!
God loves ‘opposites’! It comes down to this . . . you are marked with these aspects of the beast nature UNTIL you are sealed ... Rev 14:1 And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads. The ‘name’ in scripture equates with the ‘nature’. The ‘seal of God’ in your forehead is ‘the mind of Christ’ which we have, so therefore we must not allow the mark of the beast to erase the effectiveness of the seal from God. The provision of Christ has given us all we need to place the mark of God which will push out the mark of the beast. Phil 3:14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Remember that sin means ‘missing the mark’.§