[Steve] 666 may be the most infamous number in history. People avoid it. The devil seems to love it and it's certainly something found in Bible prophecy ("...His number is 666." - Revelation 13:18).
What do you know about it? Many seem to be afraid of this strange mark (Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia). Is it really such an important number? Why does Bible prophecy mention this amount? Have you ever wondered if it has something to do with microchips, identification or conspiracy? Can you really know what this mysterious number, 666, means?
This is something you'll want to understand because it will affect your finances--your money. How else could it impact you as the time of the end time draws near?
Stay tuned to Beyond Today as we examine "666 & You!"
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[Steve] 666--the mark--calculations--the number of the Beast. These are all intriguing concepts. They're all found in the back of the Book--the Bible. Perhaps no section of Scripture has drawn more speculation than Revelation 13.
The mark of the Beast has long fascinated those who read Revelation. What will that mark be? Could it be a literal mark like the Jews had to wear during Hitler's Third Reich in WWII? Will it be a figurative mark, such as worshipping a false god? Or could it have something to do with supercomputers, or microchips embedded under the skin of someone's hand?
Speculation makes for interesting imaginations and conversation, but among the many questions you might ask about 666 and the mark of the Beast--there is one very important thing you must ask yourself: When that time comes, what will I do when I'm faced with the mark of the Beast?
Let's notice what the passage actually says in Revelation 13:16-18, "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 mark or the name of the beast, or the 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".
Can you imagine that society? You can identify that government, the government that inflicts the mark of the Beast in several ways. In a time, that may not be that distant in the future, there will be no difference between the small and the great, the rich and poor, free and slave. The similarity--none of them--not one will be able to buy or sell anything. Now, stop there for just a moment. Imagine this. That means, without the mark, you won't be able to buy groceries or go to any superstore. You won't be able to purchase the latest cell phone, or a retailer can't sell you a pair of jeans. When it comes to that point, you can't even buy a soda or even a pack of gum.
Can you envision the coming time when you're powerlessness to do any business--retail, wholesale; commerce, trade--unless... unless you publicly accept the conditions: the supremacy--the ultimate authority of that government. That government in the Book of Revelation is called the Beast. By submitting to its manipulative power you'll receive its stamp of approval.
Now what kind of government could hold such a sway over the people of this world? Could a demanding, powerful government exert its dominance over you?
Now before you answer that, let's look at what God says about it. Let's look in Revelation 13. That's where we're given a remarkable description of a world-ruling system--an empire, that coming dominating government. Let's notice, "Then I saw a Beast coming up out of the sea. It had ten horns and seven heads, and there was a crown on each horn, A name against God was written on each head. And the dragon gave the Beast all of hi power and this throne and great authority. One of the heads of the Beast looked as if it had been killed by a wound, but this death wound was healed. Then the whole world was amazed and followed the Beast. People worshiped the dragon because he had given his power to the Beast. And they also worshiped the Beast, asking. "Who is like the Beast? Who can make war against it"?" (Revelation 13:1-4 NCV).
Now, nations uniting together is nothing new. But imagine this future governmental system. How is it described? As a monster, a beast, rising up out of the sea! We're told it's an alliance. It's a coalition or a union of 10 lesser authorities that have all come together. Now, where does its power and authority originate? It's not from popular vote. It's not from the voice of the people. It's not from democratic politics. It draws its control and power from the dragon.
Now you know the dragon. His identity is revealed in Revelation 12:9. It says, "So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him".
You see that monster government and its demonic leader is inspired and guided by the dragon, by Satan. He provides the power. He provides the authority. He provides that ruling throne. So the devil works behind the scenes through the Beast. He is the one who is responsible for leading the whole world astray.
Now, did you notice Revelation 13? It says that this system and its leader captivates the imagination of the world and exerts such an astounding military might that it appears to be invincible. Your Bible identifies it as a political, a military, a social and an economic power of extraordinary proportions, and it dominates the world.
Now, how will these future events affect you? How will these events affect your family? Is there a way to know what lies ahead? There is! I'd like to offer you a free study guide that will help you discover the fascinating truth about the Beast and these coming future events.
The Book of Revelation Unveiled will help you sort out the strange images and the symbolism of prophecy. You see, Revelation doesn't have to be a confusing book.
With this helpful study aid, you'll be able to read the book of Revelation with greater understanding. The meaning of the seven trumpets, Armageddon, 666 and the Day of the Lord will become clear.
Call us toll free at: 1-888-886-8632 or go online at BeyondToday.tv for your free study aid, The Book of Revelation Unveiled . It will help you understand the incredible truth about what lies ahead. It's also available as a free download for your iPad, your Nook or your Kindle reader.
Now could the mark of the Beast affect your life? If you're alive at that time, there is no doubt, it will! Notice how it could have a powerful impact on your world.
"The Beast was allowed to say proud words and words against God, and it was allowed to use its power for forty-two months. It used its mouth to speak against God. It was given power to make war against God's holy people and to defeat them. It was given power over every tribe, people, language, and nation. And all who live on earth will worship the Beast - all... whose names are not written in the Lamb's book of life" (Revelation 13:5-8 NCV).
This future government, which includes a world-dominating military power will be the adversary of God. It will be the adversary of the God of the Bible. It opposes everything that God stands for and even more than that, it wants to abolish His way. It wants to suppress God's laws. It wants to overpower His purpose and eliminate His people from the earth. You see this government doesn't exist for the benefit of all, but only for those who worship it and serve its ungodly, wicked mission.
This coming system, it won't be based on individual freedoms. It's not "one nation under God" or "a government of the people, by the people and for the people." This is a kind of government with a power and influence that this world has not seen the likes of. It will also be a system of the state with church, that is directly influenced and guided by none other than the spiritual force of Satan, that dragon.
The devil, he will use this system. He'll use it to prevent the worship of the one true God. Government policy will undermine the activities of God's people and turn humanity away from the one true God. Now could you be influenced and infected by the Beast and the dragon?
Can you imagine that kind of a world? Can you picture living in a world where you are the enemy of the state because you believe and worship the true God? Now visualize that time. It might not be that far in the future. A time when you'll have to make a decision. A decision between God or access to money! You will have to choose. It will be a time that you'll be forced to decide between God and groceries, character or clothing, truthfulness or trade. Can you see it in your mind's eye? A world where your family is in need, and all the things of life, they're abundant. They're readily available, but the price tag is your loyalty, your faith, your life.
You see Revelation 14 gives us more information. In verse 9 it says, "If anyone worships the Beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. 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 mark of his name" (Revelation 14:9-11).
Now that doesn't sound pretty. There's no doubt, the number of the Beast and his mark--666--is coming. Today's leaders are already struggling with this amazing global economic crisis. Now in the future, ideas and strategies will emerge that will suddenly, dramatically reshape the structure of the world's economy, its wealth, its financial system. It will lead us to a time of the mark of the Beast. Could you be taken in by it? Now don't be too sure.
Remember how Jesus warned the disciples? He said, "Take heed that no one deceives you" (Matthew 24:4). You see the time is coming when, as Christ said, you could be misled. You could be fooled. You could be taken in by what seems to be something that's good and something that's right.
Revelation 19:20 says, "Then the 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 -- Did you catch that? Deceived those. He deceived those who received the mark of the beast, -- and those who worshiped his image".
So you see, the key is deception. So are you sure that you're fool proof? You've got to be certain.
Could you be misled by events happening around you? Now here's something that you've got to watch out for. What will seem to bring hope to the world? Where will financial solutions come from? How will war and conflict come to an end? What's going to fix the global economy? As a world ruling government begins to come on the scene with an amazing leader--it'll seem like an answer to all your problems.
Bible prophecy tells us that an incredible leader with supernatural capabilities will come to power. He'll bring artificial peace. He'll have impressive speaking skills and he'll seem to have all the best solutions. Manipulation and craftiness like a sly beast, he'll be backed by evil--a spiritual force that will sway governments and pull the wool over the eyes of the world. But could it be your eyes?
The prophet Daniel describes that shrewd leader.
"A king shall arise, having fierce features, who understands sinister schemes. His power shall be mighty, but not by his own power...Through his cunning He shall cause deceit to prosper under his rule; and he shall exalt himself in his heart. He shall destroy many in their prosperity" (Daniel 8:23-25).
Because all will seem good, the world will love the temporary peace. They'll love the good economy, prosperity. Now could you be deceived by these? No wonder that small and great, rich and poor, free and slave will willingly receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads. Because by taking the mark or the name of the Beast, or the number of his name, people will ultimately feel protected. They'll feel safe. They'll feel secure--able to buy and to sell.
You see many have speculated about the meaning of this fascinating prophecy. Some interpret it literally in terms of supercomputers, unique personal I.D. numbers and maybe even microchips under the skin with some sort of advanced surveillance system.
There is historical evidence that, in the ancient Babylonian culture, slaves "were indentified...[by] some kind of mark, either tattooed or branded on the face or the back of the hand..."( The Greatness That Was Babylon , H.W.H. Saggs)
Now there may be parallels between this ancient practice and what God reveals will happen in the end time.
Now it's also possible that this mark on the hand or on the forehead could be figurative. Remember when Moses told God's people to "Keep all His statues and His commandments...bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes" (Deuteronomy 6:2; Deuteronomy 6:8).
So you see the hand and the forehead represents your actions and your thoughts, your mind and your behavior. So, instead of the Beast controlling your behavior and your thinking, you must be dedicated to obey God--no matter what.
The mark of the Beast is a sign. It's a symbol that shows you're disobeying and defying God. So many serious Bible students point to God's Saturday Sabbath as an identifying sign and they realize that this mark of the Beast defies true worship of God.
Forcing people to observe Sunday worship--a day originally dedicated to honor the sun as a god, instead of the observance of the seventh-day Saturday Sabbath--could very well be involved. Now you might say, why? Well many prophecies in the book of Revelation show that a great counterfeit religion and false prophet will play major roles in leading people away from the one true God.
Now don't you be taken in. When you consider 666 and the mark of the Beast, it will be associated with the Beast's name and apply to his evil activities. Don't be fooled by compromising or contradicting God's commands. Make sure you know them and do them.
There is so much more to talk about on this topic. Up next, we'll discuss with the Beyond Today panel how you can be sure to avoid the mark of the Beast.
But first, let me remind you about our free study aid. We're making available on today's program: The Book of Revelation Unveiled . It covers in detail the prophecies about the mark of the Beast, 666 and how it will affect you.
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Our topic today is "666 and You." Now we've been discussing the mark of the Beast and its symbolism and the reality. How will these future events affect you and your family? Well it's time for the Beyond Today panel. So we've got fellow hosts, Darris McNeely and Gary Petty with us.
We've read earlier Revelation 13:16 where it says, people will [People will] receive a mark on their right had or on their foreheads,...no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name."
So why do you think that the Beast and the connection to this mark has anything to do with buying and selling? Why do you think that's such an important aspect?
[Gary] You know Steve, I think to understand that you have to look at the Beast in the context of all of the book of Revelation. You've read earlier that he would reign for 42 months. Well if you look at the chronology of the book of Revelation, there is something that happens before that 42 months and it's called the four horsemen of the Apocalypse. And the earth is in a devastated collapse. I mean the economies have collapsed. There is violence. There's all kinds of problems. There's disease epidemics. And in this chaos and in this time of collapse, the Beast comes along and what he promises to do, and what he starts to do is restore some kind of semblance of life and he starts to give people back prosperity, the basic needs that they just need to have because of this chaos. See, he actually is seen as savior because he begins to bring some kind of order to a collapsing world.
[Steve] So in a lot of ways, it's almost the opposite of what you might think. That something so evil would be easily recognizable...
[Steve] ...but it's going to take a different form.
[Darris] Oh he will be looked upon as a benign figure; a positive influence that will pull the society back from the brink of complete collapse. Security will be restored. People's pensions, people's way of life, their ability to marry, give in marriage and eat and drink as Matthew 24 talks about will be perpetuated. It will be restored and that will be credited to the plan that this power will have and it will be totally benign at first. And then there will come a moment and there will come a time when a sense, the mask will be ripped off and there will be a revelation as to how evil this system is. But that's not how it will come to power.
[Steve] And so it's not a thing that suddenly we'll be surprised by this and be taken in by it in the sense that this is so evil that it overcomes us, but almost the opposite in the sense that it… it looks really good.
[Darris] The people are already being conditioned for it today. We have already gone through one major economic collapse in 2008 and the world which is still ongoing and having its impact in the world. We were in 2008, we were they say 24 hours away from an ATM debit card being put into a machine and not working. And when you imagine that impact happening upon a society, once again and perhaps even taking place but then a powerful system comes along and a being, a personality with the ability to prevent that, then it's going to be seen as a savior.
[Gary] I think security is the big word. I mean it's going to be such a time of insecurity because it's going to be a total collapse economically of the world. It's not just going to be the Untied States or locally, it's going to be a world economic collapse. And because of that, I mean when there is no money, when you can't buy, you can't get your basic needs and suddenly you can have luxuries again and you can normalcy again. His attraction for that sense of security is going to be enormous.
[Steve] So it's not one of those things we'll unknowingly or unwillingly submit to. It is something we'll want because it'll seem so good and so right.
[Darris] And that's why people will be taken in by this and even those people who read these scriptures in Revelation 13 about the Beast--and we're not the only program or group talking about this. Many, many people understand this and think they understand it but in reality, they don't. And those who think that they understand the mark of the Beast are going to be going right along with it, and they'll be serving it and take on that mark because they will have been conditioned by a number of events that are topical and current but also their own way of life. And they will be brought into it not knowing that they have been set up virtually from their whole life.
[Steve] Okay, cause we talked about the economy and finances but we didn't focus a whole lot on the religious aspect of this as well. So religion comes into play?
[Darris] The day of the week upon which people actually worship is Sunday as opposed to the biblical Sabbath--the Sabbath that God instituted by the Commandments. In chapter 14 and also back in chapter 12, the people of God are identified as those who keep the commandments of God (Revelation 14:12; Revelation 12:17), and the people who come under this system in chapter 13 are not going to be keeping the commandments of God and one of the critical commandments of the Sabbath. And so they're going to go right along with it, in reality buying into it and receiving the mark because of the day upon which they worship or the system that enforces that. And then they're not going to understand it.
[Gary] Let me read the verse that you just mentioned here. Because it's in chapter 14 which you were, you've been quoting much of in which you were talking about. "Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus" (Revelation 14:12).
So there's two things here that would help us understand and be prepared for this. We're obeying God and we have faith in Jesus Christ as our Savior and as our Master, as our soon coming King. So those two things combined together to help people be able to see these events, understand what's happening and be able to reject that mark.
[Steve] So if we're going to reject the mark of the Beast, we've got to have God's markings in our forehead and in our hands.
[Gary] And really you're choosing two ways here and you're choosing two marks--God's mark or Satan's mark. It really comes down to that.
[Steve] Alright, some important things to think about. I think we've got to make sure we're ready to reject the mark of the Beast, in whatever anti-biblical form that it takes.
Now remember our free offers today. You'll want to order your copy of our study aid, The Book of Revelation Unveiled . It covers in detail the prophecies about the mark of the Beast, 666 and how it will affect you. And, ask for your free subscription to The Good News magazine. Call toll free: 1-888-886-8632. Or, you can read both The Good News and The Book of Revelation Unveiled online at BeyondToday.tv .
Remember, prophecy doesn't have to be a puzzling mystery to you. Revelation, like its name says, means revealing. The prophecies of 666 and the mark, point to accepting that sign or that number. It involves compromising, minimizing and contradicting God's commands, so don't be deceived by it. Now how can you be sure you're not taken in?
Now is the time to make sure you're spiritually ready. Make every effort to draw close to God--be sure you're keeping His commands, then you will be prepared to reject the mark of the Beast.
Now thanks for joining us. Don't forget our free offers and be sure to tell your family and friends about us. Tune in again next week for another edition of Beyond Today and join us in praying, "Thy Kingdom come." For Beyond Today, I'm Steve Myers. Thanks for watching.
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