Ten years ago I ordered fast food at a restaurant. The total was $6.66. I knew what it meant but it was just food to me. The female cashier balked. This week was different, unnerving. Twice I saw the number ‘666’ on my laptop, the day before Christmas and the day after. It didn’t matter if I was online or not. Christmas day, the traditional birth of Jesus Christ, produced no such evil numbers.
I’ve decided that God is trying to tell me something. Jesus will be the only ark of safety in the troubled times ahead. All those who reject him will take the mark of the beast. They won’t have a choice. “All who dwell on the earth,” whose names haven’t been written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, will worship the anti-Christ and be damned for it (Revelation 13:8).*
Who is this beast? He symbolically has seven heads with ten horns and crowns, a body like a leopard, feet like a bear, and a mouth like a lion (Revelation 13:1-2). He’s not a four-legged creature, however, but a man – the anti-Christ. He will sit as head of a one-world government. “His power” and “authority” come from a dragon, Satan (12:9, 13:2). One of his seven ‘heads’ will be “mortally wounded” and then healed (13:3). From economic collapse, he will give the world financial peace. As a result, the world will worship both the anti-Christ and Satan (13:3).
I’m unsure about the seven and ten references. However, the leopard, lion, and bear are clear. The anti-Christ will embrace Greek culture. He’ll be a homosexual, disregarding “the desire of women” (Daniel 11:37). He will speak and write English, the language of the United Kingdom and of his government (documents, etc). In English, he’ll blaspheme “God … his name, his tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven” (Revelation 13:6). The anti-Christ’s military power will be Russian (army, navy, weapons, etc). He’ll “make war with the saints and … overcome them” (13:7). Then he’ll take “authority over every tribe, tongue, and nation” (13:7).
A second beast, also a man, will help the anti-Christ. He symbolically has “two horns like a lamb,” but he speaks “like a dragon” (Revelation 13:11). In other words, this man will appear like a Christian and call himself one, but he’ll blaspheme like Satan. The devil masquerades as an “angel of light” and his servants are false apostles (2 Corinthians 11:13-14). So deception is the nature of this man. A world religious figure who will bring spiritual peace through a one-world religion, he will exercise the anti-Christ’s same authority and perform signs such as fire from heaven (13:12-13). Then he will force people to create an image of the anti-Christ (13:14-15). This image will speak, forcing those who don’t worship it to be killed (13:15).
Finally, this man will force everyone “to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads” (Revelation 13:16). This mark, a human tracking device, is critical to the anti-Christ’s economy. No one can “buy or sell” without it (13:17). ‘666’ is not the mark of the beast, just “the number of his name” (13:17). In other words, the numerology of the anti-Christ’s name will produce ‘666.’ Six is the number of man and seven the number of God in Jewish numerology. So ‘666’ is a false Trinity. What else should one expect of a world ruler who covets the worship due only to God?
I think RFID (microchip) is the most likely ‘mark.’ Created in 1983, it’s already being used in commerce, transportation, passports, institutions (hospitals, schools, libraries, museums), livestock, and pets. Military and government officials, welfare recipients, and school-children have all been chipped.
The mark of the beast is necessary if people want to survive in the anti-Christ’s Babylon. Her merchandise is great: gold, silver, jewelry, expensive clothing, wood, ivory, bronze, marble, food and drink (spices, oil, wine, flour, wheat, cattle, sheep), transportation (horses and chariots), and people (Revelation 18:12-13, 16). No one can “buy or sell” such items without the mark (13:17). Those who refuse will be killed, but they have no choice. So they must hoard, steal, or live off the land. God will judge Babylon for her sins (18:5-8). He warns, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins and … receive of her plagues” (18:4).
Like Egypt in the time of Joseph, people will sell themselves and their property to the anti-Christ for basic provisions (Genesis 47:15-16). They’ll think they’re trafficking in bodies, but they’re really selling their souls. Sadly, these people will refuse the wine and milk of the gospel, which is “without money and without price” (Isaiah 55:1). Having no allegiances except to self and money, they’ll do anything for economic and religious peace – and food on the table.
Jesus tells us to become friends with unrighteous mammon (Luke 16:9). But when the anti-Christ comes, we cannot “buy and sell.” We must leave that to him and his servants. This is what the virgins of Jesus’ parable did. They left their lives to meet the bridegroom (Matthew 25:1). Five wise virgins brought oil with their lamps (25:4). Five foolish ones did not, turning back like Lot’s wife to their old lives in order to buy oil (25:3, 8-10). When the bridegroom came, the wise virgins went to meet him. The foolish ones were still in the marketplace. He later told them, “I do not know you” (25:12).
Where will we be when Jesus Christ, our heavenly Bridegroom, returns for us? Will we be waiting and filled with the oil of the Holy Spirit, having left this sinful world and embraced the free gospel? Or will we be buying and selling in the marketplace, having taken the mark of the beast? Let us reject this world’s peace and embrace Jesus the “Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).
* All Scripture verses are NKJV, unless otherwise noted.