Our order number invoked a few chuckles and a great question:
“What do you think about 666 and the Mark of the Beast?”
Revelation 13:16 It also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, 17 so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name. 18 This calls for wisdom. Let the person who has insight calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. That number is 666.
Over the millennia, many have speculated who this could be. Someone explained “Satan doesn’t know when his time shall come, so he’s always had someone ready to step into this role.
A popular speculation is that this mark is a specific tattoo.
The earliest candidate I know of is Nero. He exalted himself above other gods and demanded all to worship him. The Christians said “no” so he didn’t like them. No one could buy or sell without the coin bearing his image in their hand.
Since then, there have been many other named. It’s a great way to stir up political resistance or justify going to war against people like Hitler or Stalin. Popes and American presidents are also prime candidates for wild speculation.New technologies have also fueled speculation.
In the eighties, a tattooed bar-code was all the rage – these had a calibration stripe at both ends and in the middle representing the number 6. Sometimes a 9 but the wise end-timzers saw right through that ruse.
Soon after, credit cards were the cool thing, with everyone carrying a computer chip around in their pocket. Credit cards meant that everyone could be traced via transactions, replacing the anonymity of cash. A great computer building was nicknamed “The Beast”, which really sparked imaginations.
Today, microchip implants are the latest tool of the devil. These provide passive tracking.
The next rage will be nano-implants – microscopic machines that can regulate your health and self-replicate, with the potential of turning people into evil androids like the Borg of Star Trek fame.
Speculators spread their terror of being dammed by unknowingly taking the Mark of the Beast. They misunderstand
Revelation 14: 9 ‘If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives its mark on their forehead or on their hand, 10 they, too, will drink the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. They will be tormented with burning sulphur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb.
This requires explicit submission and allegiance to the Beast by worshiping him including receiving his mark. Now I would advise against just receiving his mark and feigning worship, but you’re not going to damned by taking a chip in your hand for modern security concerns – no more than signing up for a credit card or paying with the Queen’s image.
To be honest, I’m superstitious about this and always offer my left hand to receive an admission stamp etc. If faced with the necessity of being chipped, I’d feel really uneasy, but would consider using my left hand. If they won’t accommodate my superstitious religious concerns, then there’s a problem. I mean what’s with the insistence of it being the right-hand? – that would be suspicious.
Another interesting theory from ex-terrorist Walid Shoebat is that St John drew what he saw – looking like 3 Greek letters, but was in fact the insignia from an Islamic arm/head-band like ISIS wear. Two characters look like Arabic: “In the name of Allah” and the last the crossed swords of Islam. https://youtu.be/Rs_09o5j_pY The word “hand” can also be translated arm, so this has some potential. Daniel 11:37 “He will show no regard for the gods of his ancestors” rebuts an Islamic Antichrist – or Jewish or “Christian”.
Some speculate this leader will appear as the chief of benevolent and technologically superior aliens. Others as artificial intelligence having gained consciousness as in the Terminator films. I strongly doubt the latter, but find the former a reflection of Noah’s days and the Canaanites wiped out when Israel reclaimed their allotted land.
Some early church fathers taught that the Beast’s name would add to 666 in Greek where letters double with numeric values. They provided a list of common names as examples, demonstrating that just because their name adds up does not mean they’re the Devil. Many others have used such methods to prove someone’s devilry. The cool kids in English add each letter’s numeric position multiplied by 6 e.g. A=6, B=12 …. This produces some interesting coincidences such as “Mark of Beast” and “Bio Implant”. The ‘helpful’ people at http://www.angelfire.com/ok5/l-jackson/GCode.html have written a calculator such as I programmed as a teenager. Other coincidences occur around 444 (Jesus) and 888 (the trinity).
Ezekiel 39:21-24 suggests that after the war of Gog of Magog, which could derive from the current situation in Syria, the whole world will know God’s miraculous power to defeat Israel’s enemy. I speculate that this will end atheism, polarizing the world to those who seek God and those who explicitly reject and oppose him. As with the tower of Babel in Genesis 11, they will conspire to overthrow God under Satan’s leadership. Such will be the times of the tribulation/apocalypse. As in Nazi Germany, the world will be charmed by this charismatic, miracle-working leader and will pressure their peers to worship him and proudly display his insignia in whatever form this will take.
Until the time comes, we will not know who the Beast is. The world will be in chaos and some charismatic, angelic leader (i.e. not Trump 😉 ) will convince the world of his benevolent deity and ability to save the world. He will be elected and empowered to do exactly this.
God has not revealed his plans to cause us concern or invoke superstitious witch hunts, but to demonstrate that he is in control no matter how bad things might get. I believe that God will rapture the godly from the world before these events, but I can’t prove this conclusively. Such an event would produce world-wide chaos to rapidly instigate a Savior “whether he be God or Devil”. There are valid alternate speculations from highly respected leaders of the church. For millions of persecuted Christians, the Revelation of God’s plan has brought immense comfort. Jesus keeps his promise in John 16:33 In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
After these troubled times, Jesus will return with his Bride – the godly. Nature will be restored to the times of Adam and Eve, people will grow old like trees, no animal or person will eat flesh, and the world will live in perfection for 1000 years under his governance.
After this, the universe will be replaced with a new Heavens and Earth devoid of death and imperfection for eternity.
I pray this will help put things into perspective and provoke some neurons and a hunger to seek God. I pray God would quench all fear and give you peace.
Blessings and Shalom