BCL Grow: The Number "666" — Revelation 13:16-18

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Revelation 13:16-18 (Perseverance)

Bible Passage

Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name. This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666. — Revelation 13:16-18


“The beast's mark, like the seal of God applied to the church (Rev. 7:1-3), is no outward tattoo or insignia on the body but rather a symbol of the beast's ownership and control of his followers' thoughts (forehead) and deeds (right hands). — Dennis E. Johnson. Triumph of the Lamb: A Commentary on Revelation (Kindle Locations 2159-2160). Kindle Edition.

Steps to Take

1. Know: The mark that the false prophet places on people is a sign of ownership and loyalty, indicating that the Antichrist beast is their lord and master. Their thoughts and actions are given to the service of the beast.

2. Remember: The number six is related to man’s creation on the sixth day. It has the biblical symbolic value of imperfection due to man’s fall, while the number seven symbolizes divine perfection. Six is repeated three times in Revelation 13:18 because repeating something three times represents the divine superlative (e.g., “‘Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!’” (Rev. 4:8: see also Isa. 6:3). Thus, the number 666 symbolizes man exalting himself as God. It is idolatrous humanism. It is what Adam reached for in the garden of Eden, and it is what lies of the heart of all idolatry. Truly, the hearts of humans are idol factories because sinful man desires to be like God. The number 666 perfectly matches the agenda of the beast and the false prophet to worship that which is created instead of the Creator. And chief of all things created is man.

3. Respond: This mark in Revelation 13:16-18 is not literal; it is not a visible mark on the skin or a computer chip under the skin. One who has the mark is devoted to the worship of humanity, to think and live that man is God-like, believing that humans are the ultimate. All people are born in sin; thus, all people outside of Christ have this mark. Where the beast scars his followers with the mark, God imprints upon his children his seal (Rev. 7:1-3) of redemption, a protective badge, the Holy Spirit himself. The Spirit of Christ applies to all believers all of the benefits of Christ and is our protection, our refuge, our wisdom, our discernment, the one who enables us to understand Scripture and perceive the deception of the beast. The Holy Spirit seals us, making us citizens of a better land and heirs with Christ.

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