Beast from the Land - Page 3 (Lessons on Revelation)

by John Lowe
(Woodruff, S.C.)

17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

He BINDS them very completely as well. But John draws our attention to the sweeping extent of the success of his scheme. He says “that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” There will be a total economic enforcement of the will of the beast. Every human being will be required to display the passport of the slavebrand; for without that identifying mark, no transaction great or small will be made. Whether it is the industrialist trying to close a billion-dollar international deal, or the child buying an ice cream cone at the corner store, the rule will be—no seal, no sale! From one end of the earth to the other, not a single wheel of commerce will move without the sign of the seal. Nor will any black market system either dare or desire to defy the will of the beast. The boycott will be complete.

It is possible to see a note of religion in the rationing system and in the mark of the beast, which will link those who receive it to the kingdom of the beast. Revelation warns that those who accept the mark of the beast will have to endure God’s cup of anger (See 14:9-12; 20:7-15). Those who receive the mark can never be saved nor forgiven. In that day those who eat will join the kingdom of the Antichrist, marked to be damned. If they do not receive the mark, they will hide in the forest, in the mountains and the caves; they will beg, borrow, steal, eat out of the Rivers and the woods, until finally they are caught and killed. “They that endure to the end, the same shall be saved.”

18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.

But if John tells us of the sweeping extent of the success of this scheme, he also tells us the single exception to that success. He says, “Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.” “Wisdom” is the application of the knowledge of God into real life. There will be an enlightened remnant that will see through the whole sordid scheme, and they will recognize the beast for whom and what he is by the number of his name.

The Greek and Hebrew alphabets have numerical values attached to the letters of their respective alphabets. The beast’s name, when it is known, will yield the number 666. This number, mystic and mysterious as it is, has taxed the ingenuity of commentators from the very beginning. People have seen in it an identification mark for the pope on the one hand and Nero, who symbolized all the evils of the Roman Empire, on the other (The Greek letters of Nero’s name represent numbers which total 666.). There are some Bible interpreters who have suggested that the number represents, Napoleon, Martin Luther, the number of man or the unholy trinity of Satan, the Creature, and the False Prophet (16:13); which was designed to undo Christ work and overthrow Him. It has been pointed out that the number 666 is the sum of all the numbers which make up the square of 6. It has been claimed that the symbol of the ancient mysteries was SSS, or 666. Gallons of ink have been spilled in seeking to interpret the meaning of the number “six hundred three score and six.”

Final Comments
When the beast comes, the enlightened will recognize him by the number of his name. Being thus forewarned, they will be forearmed and will be able to make swift and secret arrangements to get away into the wilderness to await the Lord’s return from glory. In the mean time, I would suggest that we not waste our time trying to identify a person by this number. Instead, we need to present Jesus Christ, so that we might reduce the population of those who have to go through the Great Tribulation Period and who will therefore know what the number of the beast is.

I am very thankful today that I know Jesus Christ as my Savior. Instead of spending time with the Antichrist, I want to know Christ. I can say with Paul: “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death” (Philippians 3:10). I am really not very interested in knowing what the number of the beast really is or who he is or anything about him, but it makes me want to know Jesus Christ more, because my plan is to be with Him—not because of who I am or what I have done, but because Jesus Christ died for me on the cross, and by His grace I will go into His presence.

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