Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name. This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666.
Revelation 13:16-18 (ESV)
666-The number of the beast.
Even non-Christians know of the literary allusions attached to this number. The Bible clearly states that it is a number that has implications for commerce and will be tattooed or branded on the right hand or forehead of any individual that is involved. Without it, no one will be able to engage in financial transactions. Yet, the exact reason for the selection of this number remains a mystery.
What are some of the possibilities? One popular answer is the roulette wheel which has thirty-six numbers, one through thirty-six. If one adds up all these numbers, it becomes…surprise! 666! Life is a gamble and unpredictable, undoubtedly the answer! But the Bible makes it clear that it is the number of a man. Who are some of the candidates? Depending upon the time in history, pundits have attached 666 to world leaders as varied as Nero, Napoleon, and Hitler. Even President Ronald Wilson Reagan (each name has six letters), did not escape the moniker, much to the delight of his political opponents. The truth is no one knows the identity of 666, yet because one disturbing fact is clear, the meaning of the number will be revealed during the Tribulation.
But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.
Matthew 24:36 (ESV)
Jesus Christ divulged to His disciples what signs to look for when the end times and Tribulation are approaching. Yet, it is sobering to learn that even He does not the day or hour of the start of the Tribulation. We should heed His warnings about the Tribulation and it is interesting and tempting to only focus upon these cryptic prophecies of the Bible, but when the prophecies about 666, the beast, and the anti-Christ come to fruition, it will be too late. All believers in Jesus Christ will be taken up to Heaven, marking the start of the Tribulation. When this happens, all of these prophecies will be fulfilled and all hell will literally be loosed upon this earth.
Our knowledge of the Tribulation should impress upon all of us of the urgency and brevity of our existence on this earth. As believers in Jesus Christ, our commandment is to share the Good News to all unbelievers and seekers of God. It is of eternal importance.
The meaning and identity of 666 will someday be made evident. I pray that as few people as possible will be present on this earth to learn the awful truth.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.