The Word for today:
mark this: (Revelation 13:18)This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man's number. His number is 666.
and this: Revelation 16:13
And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.
Yesterday, Stand in the Rain looked back, locating preliminary appearances of the beast--the antichrist--throughout scripture. The reader who has not done so may want to begin there.
Warning: This article contains word-pictures of graphic evil. The reader will also encounter some extremely dark surmise.
It is not recommended for children, or for the scripturally inexperienced, or for the spiritually immature.
First, the facts. Then we'll draw the face of exponential evil.
In Revelation 13, Satan appears (as a "dragon"--see 12:9 and 13:2) along with two "beasts"--one from the sea (13:1) and one from the land (13:11).
(The "sea" in scripture indicates the nations other than Israel. Thus a political Antichrist--the beast from the sea--can come from any nation other than Israel.
The "land" indicates Israel. Thus the false prophet, a religious Antichrist--the beast from the land--will come out of Israel.)
'6' is the number of man since Genesis, when man was formed on the 6th day. So 666, in the context of Revelation 13, is formed when the beast from the sea (a man, a '6') and the beast from the land (a man, a '6') assume their roles in an unholy trinity (a '6-6-6') of Satan's devising. This is the ultimate culmination of Satan's pride and man's idolatry. Finally, Satan and man can worship themselves.
The formation of this counterfeit Trinity stems from Satan's longing to be like God, to enthrone himself in God's stead:
How you are fallen from heaven,
O Lucifer, son of the morning!
How you are cut down to the ground,
You who weakened the nations!
For you have said in your heart:
"I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;
I will also sit on the mount of the congregation
On the farthest sides of the north;
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds,
I will be like the Most High." (Isaiah 14:12-14)
Unredeemed man, like his father the devil (John 8:44, below) seeks to take God's place. This can take many forms, but it often begins when individuals decide that they will be their own arbiters of right and wrong. From there, it's not too long before a society--a government--will vote themselves the ability to decide matters of life and death. God has not relinquished these matters to man.
These are dark days in the USA. A man goes on a killing spree in Tuscon. He has a satanic shrine in his backyard and when his math instructor wrote '6,' he insisted it was '18.'
Looking through his twisted arithmetic, I discern a demonic inside joke: the beast--a man, a '6'--is one with a trinity (a '6+6+6'). So, 6 is 18. It's merely the arithmetic of hell.
Identifying the face of evil in Revelation 13 isn't a parlor game, a riddle, or a puzzle for us to solve. Evil, in Tuscon, is the grotesque smirk behind a 9mm Glock. Jesus knew this face:
You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. (John 8:44)
Evil, in Revelation 13, is a self-worshipper who knows his time is short, and is determined to take everyone down with him--
Because maybe, just maybe, God won't have the heart to judge so many.
Then God would be a liar--shirking his promise and responsibility to judge sin--and thus no longer God. And so the crown and throne and scepter that Satan could not gain through usurpation, he would attain through God's abdication…
That's the spirit of 666. That's the nature of the beast.