13:16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: 13:17 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. 13:18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number [is] Six hundred threescore [and] six. Revelation 13:16-18 (Emphasis supplied).
Revelation 13:16-18 gives us the second and most important thing we need to know about the mark of the beast. I say it is the most important thing because it gives us the key to understanding how to avoid receiving the mark of the beast. Most of us focus on trying to understand what the mark of the beast is. But knowing what the mark of the beast is, is not as important as knowing how to avoid receiving the mark of the beast because knowing what it is does not give you the power to resist receiving it. You will understand why I say this after I share with you the second and most important thing we need to know about the mark of the beast.
The first thing I want to point out is that Revelation 13:17 tells us that those who have the number of the name of the beast will receive the mark of the beast. Then verse 18 tells us that the key to understanding the mark of the beast is in understanding his number which is the same number of a man and that number is the number 666.
The second thing I want to point out is that biblically the name of a person represented the character of that person. In Genesis 32:28 we are told that God changed Jacob’s name (which means heel grabber; one who supplants or takes the place of) to Israel (which means one who prevails with God). Revelation 14:1 tells us that the 144,000 had Jesus’ Father’s name written in their foreheads which is saying that those who receive the seal of God will have the character of God (read Revelation 7:1-4 & Revelation 14:1-5). Therefore the most important thing to understand about the mark of the beast is that those who receive it will have the same number or character of the beast.
It is also important to note that the number of the beast is: 666. In order to explain the full significance of this number I must refer to what we are told in several other scriptures. The first of which is Ephesians 2:1-3:
2:1 And you [hath he quickened], who were dead in trespasses and sins: 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 2:3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. (Emphasis supplied).
This tells us that the character we are born with is sinful because it is controlled by the flesh which is controlled by the devil. In other words, we are not born the children of God: We are born the children of wrath (v.3). Our lives are not lived in the power of the Spirit, fulfilling the desires of God: Our lives are naturally lived in the lust flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the natural mind (v.3).
Therefore, the number that mankind is born with is 6 which is the number of the name or character of the beast which is sinful. To fully understand why the number 6 is given 3 times we must look at what the apostle Paul said when he described how the man of sin would cause a falling away from biblical truth in II Thessalonians 2:3&4:
2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for [that day shall not come], except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 2:4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. (Emphasis supplied).
The context of II Thessalonians 2:1-17 makes it clear that Paul is describing the activity of the leader of the organization that will set the tone for receiving the mark of the beast. He (the leader) is referred to as the man of sin in verse 3. Paul then goes on in verse 4 to describe his activity which is to exalt himself above all that is called God or that is worshipped. He does this by sitting in the temple of God as if he is God. In other words, the man of sin’s purpose is the same as what caused the fall of Lucifer who became Satan. Notice what we are told in Isaiah 14:12-15:
14:12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! [how] art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! 14:13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 14:14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. 14:15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. (Emphasis supplied).
This is the purpose of Satan and in Ephesians 2:1-3 Paul makes it clear that this is also the purpose of everyone who is born of the flesh. This is why Paul said we are by nature the children of wrath (please read Ephesians 2:1-3 again). I know this truth may come as a shock to most of us because we don’t consciously say to ourselves that our goal is to take God’s place. However, we do wake up every day with the conscious goal of making sure that we have enough money to supply our needs and desires. We don’t have to try to think about this, it is natural for us. As a matter of fact not to think about these things is perceived as being very irresponsible, even ungodly. I Timothy 5:8 says:
But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.
What we are told in I Timothy5:8 is definitely true but it must be understood in context with what Jesus said in the 6th chapter of Matthew about how we are to provide. He said:
6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. 6:25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
Jesus tells us why we are to live this in verses 32-34 where He said:
6:32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 6:34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day [is] the evil thereof.
Jesus makes it very clear that it is God’s responsibility to supply all we need and desire to be complete. Therefore, our daily goal should be to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. When we do this God promises to add all we need to us: Both spiritually (the faith to trust Him) and physically (the things we need and desire to be complete). Those who fail to do this will receive the mark of the beast because it is natural for the flesh to take thought rather than to trust in God’s promise to supply all we need and desire. It is natural because the number of the beast is the number of mankind (see John 8:42-44 & Ephesians 2:2&3).
In summary, the number 6 is the number of all mankind because we are born in the flesh which is sinful by nature. The reason the number 6 is given 3 times is because it denotes the fact that the nature of sin is to take the place of the Godhead:
- God the Father (6).
- God the Son (6).
- God the Holy Spirit (6).
Next week I am going to explain why confession of sin and daily surrender is the key to seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and why we must make this our daily goal in order to resist the mark of the beast and receive the seal of God. Until then I leave you with these scriptures to ponder and pray over:
12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him… 13:4 And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who [is] like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? Revelation 12:9 & 13:4 (Emphasis supplied).