INSIGHT INTO BIBLE PROPHECY #125
What Is the Real Meaning of 666?
by David Vaughn Elliott
What number is more intriguing than 666? For those of us who like mental puzzles, this is among the best. Yet, this is not a game. Neither is it a vain pursuit. The book of Revelation instructs us: “Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast” (13:18).
Sadly, when it comes to wild ideas, it may be difficult to surpass the absurdities foisted on the public as solutions to the enigma of 666. Popular ultra-modern views include concepts of a cashless society, the universal use of bar codes, and the implantation of computer chips and biochips in each individual for identification and control. It is claimed that the Antichrist will control all commerce by such technology.
At the other extreme, many commentaries on Revelation assert that it is useless, foolish, or even dangerous to attempt to discover a specific name with a historical fulfillment of 666. They treat 666 and most items in Revelation as if they were parables devoid of specific predictions with historical significance.
It was no one less than Jesus Christ, the real author of Revelation, who directed John to write: “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” (Rev. 13:18). We are commanded to “calculate” or “count,” as other versions translate it. We are dealing here with a mathematical computation…
Seldom does Revelation directly tell us to apply understanding to grasp the meaning of a particular symbol. It does not tell us to try to figure out who the lamb-like beast is. It does not tell us that if we have wisdom we can figure out the meaning of the third trumpet. However, when it mentions 666, it specifically tells us to calculate or count.
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