“This calls for wisdom: Let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, because it is the number of mankind and humanity. Its number is 666.” Revelation 13:18
“Mankind and humanity.”
The Greek word has carried over to our modern English word “anthropology.” Which is all about the study of humanity.
But the Big Point with this for me is this: the mark of the beast is all about, in its many, many facets, pointing to the works of, the achievements of, the lofty hopes of, the glory of — mankind.
As much as we have accomplished, it’s still not perfection. That is why the number 6 is repeated 3 times. The number 7 in the Bible and especially Revelation, is about perfection. It represents completeness and wholeness. In short, it represents God and his perfection in every sense of the word.
The number 6 conspicuously falls short of this perfection. Everything people do is inherently imperfect. It doesn’t matter if an idea is executed exactly as planned out or a design is presented with mathematical precision and even serves a practical purpose in the real world.
Nothing about humanity is ever perfect and it indeed never can be.
Why the Number
Which is why this number is the number of mankind — it falls short. But here’s the kicker for us to have stamped into our brains for the last events about to be unleashed onto the world: it is false worship of an imperfect impossibility.
The whole context of this verse about false worship. Much of the Bible and especially for us in these final days of Earth’s Story is to make sure God’s people do not fall snare to this false worship.
The very simple contrast presented as The Story winds its way down is for us to answer the question: Who or what will I worship and give my complete and utter allegiance to?
God, or something other than God?
True worship or false worship?
What or who has been falsely worshipped by human beings in our history?
Let’s see, this could be a long list, but I’ll only share what immediately comes to mind as I write this:
Money and wealth
People and fame
Sex and pleasure
Can you think of more?
The Good for the Great
What’s important to remember is this list isn’t necessarily bad. Who’s going to say individual freedom is bad? Or sobriety? Or unity?
But, if any of one these becomes an end in itself, when I put any or any part of these things before God himself — that is false worship. It will always fall short. False worship always leads to disappointment and “never enough.”
That is why the enemy has been so successful. He wants me to love the good at the expense of the great.
He wants me to put the most precious in my life — my bride and even my kids — before God.
Can you see how this is so nefarious and subtle at the same time?
Notice how there are 3 sixes. This is another attempt to deceive the world into thinking there is another trinity! And this verse is in the context of beast powers — that is geopolitical power and authority — who will work hand in hand with false spiritual powers to set up a false god of supposed power, control, and safety.
When God originally started earth’s story, among so many other things we read: “Let us make man in our image.”
And ever since the fall, humanity as a tool of the enemy, has put something besides God — an image — before him.
The image of God, mankind in all its glory, is what has been and continues to be worshipped to this very day!
Do you see that? God was the one who said, “Let us make a man in our image.”
Humanity has said, “Let us worship the image God made instead of the One who made the image.”
The mark of the beast is just a continuation of what humanity has been doing for millennia: Lifting up all things human before lifting eyes, hands and hearts to the God of the universe.
The mark just formalizes (and enforces) what has been going on since the fall. Something or someone before God. In other words, false worship!
The key here is to ask God this question: “God, what is coming between you and me?”
The reason why this mark can be enforced like it will be (very, very) soon is that the vast majority of the world will have settled in their minds that the invisible God isn’t enough. Worshipping the God of Creation isn’t enough.
“I don’t trust you” is the root of agreeing to get the mark in the forehead.
“I am afraid of what others think of me” is the root of getting the mark on hand.
“I don’t trust you and I never will, because I can do this myself” is the root to both.
What Saves Humanity In the End
Humanity, in the end, will believe it can save itself from the horrors that have fallen on the planet. And key humans, cooperating with false teachers and pretend spiritual leaders — even supernatural beings — will be renown for having the solutions to all the problems facing the world.
Humanity will be at risk. Extinction may even be talked about. Measures will need to be taken in order to save the human race.
All the possible solutions will come, but not from Infinite Wisdom. Not from the mind of God himself. No.
While the renown humans, full of their own wisdom, knowledge and vast experience will collaborate with these supernatural powers — the efforts to save a doomed race will fall short.
The gods of the age will not prevail, just like the Egyptian gods were powerless to prevent the plagues just before the Exodus of God’s people.
Humanity is powerless to save itself. It always has been.
We humans need a Savior and his name is Jesus Christ. His blood is our rescue. When we take his blood and apply it to the doorposts of our hearts, then we are ready to go!
And, friends, it won’t be long now before the gods of this world will come crashing down, powerless to do anything against the living God.
Now is the time to determine who you will trust in. Yourself? Your wisdom? Your power? Your schemes? Your retirement investments? Your government? Your local law enforcement? Your paycheck?
Now is the time to decide and proclaim, “I will trust in God and God alone to take care of me.”
I do what I can, but leave the rest in God’s capable hands. Because the time is coming when that is all we will have. But I would want it no other way!