Today on the Eve of All Hallows Eve a day widely recognized in our modern society as Halloween. A day full of ghost, goblins and witches, black cats and costumes …Boo! More on this subject tomorrow but it seems we are already concerned and somewhat preoccupied with the coming of this annual day.
What about the mark of the Beast (666) OMG! Run!
With our progressive breakthroughs in medical implant chips and RFID technologies there has been increased interest in the mark of the beast or the number 666.
Many Christians today assume that 666 is a number representing a modern-day beast yet to be revealed. However, placing this beast in or near our current times according to Scripture when taken in context may pose an insurmountable problem. First, John, the author of Revelation, spoke to a first-century audience telling them with “wisdom” and “insight” they would be able to “calculate the number of the beast, for it is man’s number. His number is 666” (Revelation 13:15-18). Obviously no amount of wisdom and insight would have enabled a first-century audience to calculate the number of a twenty-first-century beast. It would have been misleading for John to suggest to first-century Christians that they could identify this twenty-first-century individual or institution otherwise known as the beast.
Although many very good and perhaps even great bible expositors of Revelation believe in this beast they widely differ as to the exact nature of the mark of the beast. Besides the implanted chip view, other speculations include an ID card, a microchip, a barcode that is tattooed into the skin, or simply a mark that identifies someone as being faithful to the Antichrist.
For this reason the bible speaks to us in 1 Thessalonians 5:21 “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” How do we do that it tells us in 2 Timothy 2:15 “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
For your consideration and study I present the following view:
Unlike today in ancient times it was common place to transform text into numbers “gematria”. The Roman historian Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus, commonly known only as Suetonius identifies Nero by a numerical designation equal to a nefarious deed. This numerical equality is encapsulated in the phrase: “Count the numerical values of the letters in Nero’s name, and in ‘murdered his own mother’ and you will find their sum is the same.” In Greek the numerical value of the letters in Nero’s name in the Greek: Nevrwn, with an English transliteration: Neron totaled 1,005, as did the numbers in the phrase murdered his own mother. This ancient numerical cryptogram reflected the widespread knowledge that Nero had killed his own mother.
Finally, while “Nero” in Greek totaled 1,005, the reader of John’s letter familiar with the Hebrew language could recognize that the Greek spelling of “Nero Caesar” transliterated into Hebrew equals 666. Moreover, the presence in some ancient manuscripts of a variation in which 666 is rendered 616 lends further credibility to Nero as the intended referent. The Hebrew transliteration of the Latin spelling of “Nero Caesar” totals 616, just as the Hebrew transliteration of the Greek, which includes an additional letter “n”=50, the English transliteration: “n”=50, renders 666. Thus, two seemingly unrelated numbers lead you to the same doorstep—that of a beast named Nero Caesar. Twenty-first-century believers, like their first-century counterparts, can be absolutely certain that 666 is the number of Nero’s name and that Nero is the beast who ravaged the bride of Christ – the historical church that included three and a half years of persecution. In the end, Peter and Paul themselves were persecuted and put to death at the hands of this Beast.
We ALL have a responsibility during this journey –
I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. – 2 Timothy 4:1-4