So here is another landmark moment in arriving at what Revelation is often known for, a number.
What is it? Should we look out for it? Should we be afraid?
Over the next few days we will slow this passage down and try to understand and as usual in my very non-academic and very much ordinary approach! But let’s read the whole passage as a second beast emerges.
“Then I saw a second beast, coming out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb, but it spoke like a dragon. 12 It exercised all the authority of the first beast on its behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed. 13 And it performed great signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to the earth in full view of the people. 14 Because of the signs it was given power to perform on behalf of the first beast, it deceived the inhabitants of the earth. It ordered them to set up an image in honour of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived. 15 The second beast was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that the image could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. 16 It also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, 17 so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name. 18 This calls for wisdom. Let the person who has insight calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. That number is 666.” (Revelation13 v 11-18)
- 666 is trying to be what you’re not, v11-13.
- It wasn’t the Trinity though it looked like a version of it.
- The dragon (God the Father); the sea beast (God the Son, the Lamb); the earth beast (God the Spirit).
- The earth beast moves the earth to worship the sea beast (as God the Spirit does towards God the Son).
- The earth beast (the Spirit) looks like and operates with the same authority as the sea beast (the Son with the lamb’s horns) but sounded like the dragon (the Father)
- It pointed to a resurrection but it was only a healing.
- The fatal wound may have been healed but the point is it has not conquered death. Jesus died but He will never die again.
- It looks like the power of God but these signs lead people away from God.
- Elijah called fire down from heaven. And “It was the Lord our God himself who brought us and our parents up out of Egypt, from that land of slavery, and performed those great signs before our eyes.” Joshua 24:17
When you see a mimicry of the truth of the Bible; when you see a force which is a wonder but not the Way; when you see worship; everything that is trying to be what it isn’t is 666.