Nothing strikes more fear in the hearts of Bible-believing Christians than the chilling "mark" of the beast. Along with all the apprehension, panic, and hysteria are numerous convincing theories that range anywhere from the Roman Emperors Nero or Domitian to an infamous Roman Catholic Pope around the same generation or two from the Church's infancy. Using Greek, Latin, or Hebrew 'Gematria' can lead to a seeming unending arrangement of numerical valuations in the letters of a person's name or title to produce the dreaded "666," but is this the methodology and determination of chance that this solemn revelation would be dependant upon to make known one of the most significant and ominous symbols contained within the Holy Scriptures?
Revelation 13: 11-18
Then I saw another beast coming out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. And he exercises all authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. And he deceives those [my own people] who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the [first] beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the [first] beast who was wounded by the sword and lived (Cp. 13: 1-3). He [the "second" beast] was granted power to give breath (life??) to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the (1) mark or the (2) name of the beast, or the (3) number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.
NOTE: Several things need to be mentioned, namely: The Lord Jesus [Yeshua] was asked about whether it was lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, and He said in Matthew 22: 19-21a: "Show Me the tax money." So they brought Him a denarius. And He said to them, "Whose 'image' and 'inscription' is this?" They said unto Him, "Caesars." The second beast with the horns (strength) of a lamb spoke as a dragon. This particular governmental entity (religious, secular) through the working of a super being (false prophet) performs apparently miraculous-looking signs (fire coming down from heaven or the sky) to deceive those who live on the earth; all in the sight of the 'first' beast which recovered from a near-fatal wound (physical, spiritual??). The second beast convinces the other nations or governments to make an "image" to the [first] beast which receiving power from the 'dragon,' not only gives breath [life??] to the image and but causes those who refuse to worship the 'beast' to be killed [not tormented or put into prison]. No one can engage in commerce or trade without having the sign or seal from the 'first' beast in the form of its mark, name, or number; of which a significant clue is given as 666.
14: 9, 10b-12
Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, "If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. "And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the (1) mark of his name." Here is the patience of the saints; [here are those] who keep the commandments of God and the faith 'of' Jesus Christ [Yeshua Mashiyach].
17: 3, 5-6
So he carried me away in the Spirit unto the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast [ the first one] which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And on her forehead a name written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus [Yeshua]. And when I saw her I marveled with great amazement.
NOTE: Unless the last part of verse 6 is redundant repetition, who are the "saints" and secondly, the "martyrs" of Jesus [Yeshua]? Is the color of 'scarlet' associated with the army of Imperial Rome? Lest one also forget, Rome was the presecutor of the Church, and then the Emperor Constantine makes Christianity the official religion throughout the Roman Empire.
17: 10-11, 13
There are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is [at present], and the other has not yet come. And when he comes, he must continue for a short time. The [first] beast that was, and is not, is himself also the eighth, and is of the seven, and is going to perdition [destruction].
Then the [second] beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshipped his image (Cp. 13: 11-14). These were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone.
NOTE: There seems to be inconsistency with the popular viewpoint regarding the interpretation of symbols. For one thing, if the "Woman" is Papal Rome or Babylon [modern country of Iran], then who is this 'second' beast? Some conclude that the United States is this beast, but is that so? Does America fit the description of exercising the authority (ecclesiastical, economic, military) of the 'first' beast and forces or deceives the other countries of the world to worship the 'first' beast's image and receive its mark, name, and number? Also, the second beast reintroduces some kind of an International geopolitical governmental, socioeconomic or religious system on a worldwide basis that perhaps in some way resembles the earlier one of the first beast and the 'Woman.'
And I saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who have the victory over the beast, over his image and over his (1) mark and over the (3) number (666) of his (2) name, standing on the sea of glass, having harps of God.
And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the Word of God (Cp. 17: 5), who had not "worshipped" the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands.
Then I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God. And he cried with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, saying, "Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads."
NOTE: the earth and the sea is where the first and second "beasts" came out of (Cp. 13: 1a, 11a).
Referring back to another aspect regarding the "beast," is the more important and often ignored one of spiritual or religious 'worship' (Cp. 14: 9; 19: 20; 20: 4a). In fact, this is what causes one to receive and to accept the mark, name, and number of the beast. This is in contrast to those who receive the seal of God by keeping His commandments (Cp. 14: 12). But in what sense is this to be understood? Remember the chilling words spoken to Jesus [Yeshua] by satan in Luke 4: 5-7: Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment [throughout all] of time. And the devil said to Him, All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish (Cp. Revelation 13: 1-2b, 4). "Therefore, If you shall worship before me, all will be yours." And Jesus [Yeshua] answered and said to him, "For it is written, 'You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only shall you shall serve.' " (Cp. Deuteronomy 6: 13; 10: 20)
Isaiah 8: 16
Bind up the testimony, Seal up the Law ["Torah"] among My disciples.
Matthew 5: 17
"Do not think that I came to destroy [annul] the Law ["Torah"] and the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.
Romans 3: 31
Do we then make void [annul] the Law ["Torah"] through 'faith'? Certainly not [God forbid]! On the contrary we establish the Law ["Torah"].
7: 12, 14
Therefore the Law ["Torah"] is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good. For we know that the Law ["Torah"] is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin.
James 1: 25
But he who looks into the perfect Law ["Torah"] of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.
Besides keeping God's commandments or Law ["Torah"], the final part is the mysterious number, triple six (666), which has intrigued Christian believers, Gnostics, Occultists, Cabalists, Sufis, etc. for millennia. It must be kept in mind that the author of "REVELATION" was most likely Jewish, considering all the symbolism and allusions in the prophesies (Ezekiel, Daniel, Zechariah, etc.) contained in the Jewish Bible ["Tanakh"]. It is also reasonable to conclude that he wrote in Hebrew, if not Aramaic and therefore used "Gematria" based on the numerical values of the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. This being the case, a possible combination for six-hundred sixty six could be: final 'Mem' (600), 'Samekh' (60), 'Vav (6) or 'Tav' (400), 'Resh' (200), 'Samekh' (60), 'Vav (6).
Be that as it may, those to whom this letter was penned undoubtedly were taught and understood what this coded acronym was as opposed to the mostly commendable scholarly guesswork of modern-day Bible theologians, the "Last Days" or "End Times" proponents, Seventh-day Adventists, and a host of others.
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