When we go looking for a good over view of what scriptures say regarding the "mark of the beast", the "666 meaning" or the "number of a man", we must ask: How does the bible describe it? To provide you a closer approach into what the mark is, we must first identify the beast.
This verse says, “It is the number of a man,” and Revelation 15:2 refers to “the number of his name.” What man do you think of when you think of the papacy? Naturally, we think of the pope. What is his official name?
Here is a Catholic quote:
“The title of the pope of Rome is "Vicarius Filii Dei” (English: “Vicar of the Son of God”). Malachi Martin, in The Keys of This Blood, uses the same title for the pope on page 114. A footnote for Revelation 13:18 in some Douay versions of the Bible says, “The numeral letters of his name shall make up this number.” Notice the next chart, which shows what happens when we total up the Roman numeral value of the letters of the name. The papacy fits the identification point. The beast with the “mark” is the papacy. No other power in history could possibly fit these 11 divine descriptive points. Now that we have positively identified the beast, we can dive into the mark, or symbol of authority.
Andre Retif, The Catholic Spirit, trans. by Dom Aldhelm Dean, Vol. 88 of The Twentieth Century Encyclopedia of Catholicism (New York, Hawthorne Books, 1959), p. 85.
Adolf Harnack, What is Christianity? trans. by Thomas Bailey Saunders (New York: Putnam, 2nd ed., rev., 1901), p. 270.
Alexander Clarence Flick, The Rise of the Mediaeval Church (reprint: New York, Burt Franklin, 1959), pp. 148, 149.
Joseph Rickaby, "The Modern Papacy," Lectures on the History of Religion, Lecture 24, (London: Catholic Truth Society, 1910), p. 1.
Malachi Martin, The Keys of This Blood (New York, Simon & Schuster, 1990)
"Answers to 'Readers' Questions," Our Sunday Visitor, Nov. 15, 1914.
When people asked the papacy, “Did you really change Qodesh Sabbath to Sunday?” They replied, “Yes, we did. It is our symbol, our mark of authority and power.” We ask, “How could you even think of doing that?” While it’s a pertinent question, the question the papacy officially asks Protestants is even more pertinent. Please read it carefully:
“You will tell me that Saturday was the Jewish Sabbath, but that the Christian Sabbath has been changed to Sunday. Changed! But by whom? Who has authority to change an express commandment of Almighty God? When God has spoken and said, Thou shalt keep holy the seventh day, who shall dare to say, Nay, but you can work and do all manner of worldly business on the seventh day; but thou shalt keep holy the first day in its stead? This is a most important question, which I know not how you can answer. You are a Protestant, and you profess to go by The Almighty's Scriptures and the The Almighty's Scriptures only; and yet in so important a matter as the observance of one day in seven as a holy day, you go against the plain letter of the Bible, and put another day in the place of that day which the Elect Day that The Almighty has commanded. The command to keep holy the seventh day is one of the Ten Commandments; you believe that the other nine are still binding; who gave you authority to tamper with the fourth? If you are consistent with your own principles, if you really follow the Bible and the Bible only, you ought to be able to produce some portion of the New Testament in which this fourth commandment is expressly altered.”
The main passage in the Bible that mentions the “666 meaning” is Revelation 13:15-18. Other references can be found in Revelation 14:9, 11, 15:2, 16:2, 19:20, and 20:4. This mark acts as a seal for the followers of Antichrist and the false prophet (the spokesperson for the Antichrist). The false prophet (the second beast) is the one who causes people to take this mark. The mark is literally placed in the hand or forehead and is not simply a card someone carries.
Picture a woman who deliberately chooses such a life. She sees it, not as degrading, but as empowering! She is eager for the money and influence that this profession offers. Worse yet, what if this woman had a good, loyal husband but she willfully betrayed him in order to pursue prostitution? It would be difficult to feel anything but revulsion for such a woman and the course of life she has chosen. The strong reaction that we feel is a key reason why Elohim Yahuah repeatedly uses the description of a prostitute to show how he feels about false religion.
The book of Ezekiel contains two remarkable passages in which prostitution illustrates the terrible unfaithfulness of The Almighty's people in Yisra'el and Yahuda. (Ezekiel Chapter 16 & 23) Before we take a closer look at those passages, though, we do well to take note of another symbolic prostitute. Her form of prostitution appeared long before Ezekiel’s day—even before Israel existed—and is still thriving today. This prostitute is identified in the last book of the Bible, Revelation.
She is called “the great prostitute” and “Babylon the Great, the mother of the prostitutes.” (Rev. 17:1, 5) For centuries, her true identity has mystified religious leaders and Bible scholars. They have variously said that she represents Babylon, Rome, or the Roman Catholic Church. For many decades, however, Good Samaritans have understood the true identity of this “great prostitute.” She is the world empire of false religion. How do we know that?
Why, though, is Babylon the Great called not only “the great prostitute” but also “the mother of the prostitutes”? False religion has countless divisions. There are denominations, sects, and cults without number. Since the time when the languages were confused in ancient Babel, or Babylon, all manner of false religious doctrines have been spread abroad, spawning an endless variety of religions.
How fitting that “Babylon the Great” derives her name from the city of Babylon, a breeding ground for false religions! (Gen. 11:1-9) Hence, all these religions may be seen as “daughters” of one organization, one great prostitute. Satan often uses such religions to lure people into spiritualism, leaven, idolatry, and other God-dishonoring beliefs and customs. No wonder God’s people are warned regarding that corrupt, world-spanning organization: “Get out of her, my people, if you do not want to share with her in her sins”! Revelation 18:4, 5.
In the book of Ezekiel, Yahuah uses the illustration of the prostitute in an especially personal way. Ezekiel was inspired to record, in two vivid passages, Yahuah's feelings of hurt and betrayal on account of the disloyal and immoral behavior of his people. Why would he compare them to prostitutes?
The Torah Given to Yasharal by Yahuah stated:
“You must not have any other elohim besides me [or, “in defiance of me,”]. . . . I, Yahuah your Elohim, am El Elyon.” (Ex. 20:3, 5) He later stressed the same truth in this way: “You must not bow down to the Elohim; Yahuah Is Elohim of Elohim. Yes, he is a God who requires exclusive devotion.” (Ex. 34:14) Yahuah could hardly have made the matter any clearer. We cannot worship Yahuah acceptably unless we worship him exclusively.
For the sake of illustration, we might think of a marriage. Both husband and wife have the right to expect a certain kind of exclusivity. If either mate were to give romantic or sexual attention to someone outside the marriage, the other mate would rightly feel jealous and betrayed. (Read Hebrews 13:4.) Similarly, when it comes to worship, Yahuah properly feels betrayed when his own people, dedicated exclusively to him, turn to false gods. He expresses this sense of personal betrayal forcefully in Ezekiel chapter 16.
Most of the paranoia associated with false concepts about the “666 meaning” comes from an underlying false assumption. That assumption is that the Mark of the Beast is something that may be imposed upon you unsuspectingly, secretly, by subterfuge. Many people seem to believe that, though they wish to live good Believer lives, want to obey Yahuah, and do not want to come under the Mark of the Beast, that some insidious plotters in Europe, or in the Pentagon, or elsewhere, may be able to secretly impose this hated and mysterious Mark of the Beast upon them by causing them to comply with certain laws or requirements involving registration for a social security number, the issuance of a national identity card, or perhaps submitting to the implantation of a microchip, or an invisible tattoo!
But notice this scripture, and think deeply about what you will read! “And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls [Greek: psuche, meaning “lives”] of them that were beheaded for the witness of Yahushua, and for the Word of God, and which had not worshiped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Yahushua the Messiah a thousand years!” (Revelation 20:4).
No one WORSHIPS computer-generated labels on food packages [barcodes], or identity cards, or computer chips!
Notice carefully! The refusal of these individuals to worship the Beast or his image, or to receive his mark, and who are clearly pictured as being in the Kingdom of The I Am – now exalted as co-RULERS with His Salvation – literally cost them their lives! BUT it assured their continued possession of eternal life!
Do you see? Here a conscious choice is to be made! Notice they refused to WORSHIP the Beast, or his image. That tells us they KNEW WHAT IT WAS! They made a reasoned, conscious choice! Just as happened during the infamous “inquisition,” when hundreds of thousands were put to death for refusing to give up their Bible-based faith, so the Beast and the False Prophet will be attempting to FORCE Christians to bow down to them in worship. They will refuse, choosing to WORSHIP YAHUAH rather than man (Acts 4:10, 19; 5:32), and they will be martyred because of that choice! Actually, there were countless hundreds of thousands who were martyred during the Middle Ages for the very same reasons!
The inquisition was the main agency in the Papacy’s effort to crush the Reformation. It is stated that in the 30 years between 1540 and 1570 no fewer than 900,000 Protestants were put to death in the pope’s war for the extermination of the Waldenses.
Think of monks and priests, in holy garments, directing, with heartless cruelty and inhuman brutality, the work of torturing and burning alive innocent men and women, and doing it in the "name of Christ", by the direct order of the "Vicar of Christ.’” (Halley’s Bible Handbook, p. 777).
These people were put to death for refusing to worship the Beast, his IMAGE (the great false church and ecclesiastical STATE, formed like a GOVERNMENT and patterned after the ancient Roman civil government), or to receive his identifying MARK.
Notice Revelation 6:9-10, where you see the picture of those who were slain for the Word of God and who cry out, “How long, O GREAT I AM, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?” These dead saints, pictured as crying out from their graves, were murdered MANY CENTURIES ago. It becomes obvious then that the Beast, the image of the Beast, and the MARK of the Beast have been around for a long, long time!
Do you see? It is impossible for you to lose salvation “by accident!” It is utterly impossible for some power to so interfere in your life that it imposes upon you a symbol, identifying sign, some “mark” of some kind that causes you to "LOSE OUT" on salvation!
Notice! “Who shall separate us from the love of Messiah? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
“As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
“Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.
“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor POWERS, nor things present, nor things to come,
“Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:35-39)!
The Father Of Lights absolutely promises that NOTHING – the sword (armed forces), principalities, powers, famins – can separate you from his love and promises, and His Salvation, Yahushua ben David, ben Yoseph.
Read Revelation 20:4 again! Here resurrected saints are seen as inheriting the thrones promised them by Jesus Christ (Revelation 2:26; 3:21)! They are resurrected because they were martyred. WHY were they martyred? Because they adamantly REFUSED to receive the 666 meaning.
That should give you the positive reassurance that, even though some brutal men should forcibly hold you down, implant some kind of an identifying microchip under your skin, or soldiers would literally hold your arms, hands, and legs and tattoo the numbers 666 right across your forehead in great black ink, two inches high, it STILL COULD NOT DEPRIVE YOU OF SALVATION! Therefore, such things ARE NOT the Mark of the Beast!
However, make no mistake! The Mark of the Beast is definitely something that will be ENFORCED – will become a matter of law, and people will be ordered to obey it! They will have to make a final, ultimate choice! That choice will be to either submit, to give in and cooperate with the coming socioeconomic, military/spiritual system called BABYLON THE GREAT, which desires to emerge as a one world "NEW NORMAL", or under pain of DEATH to refuse to cooperate – to refuse the Mark of the Beast!
As we have seen, a mark is a stamp, a sign, a symbol, an identifying label! Anciently, The Almighty designated a great SIGN that would always identify His people! That sign was created at the end of the creation week! Here is what Yahuah said about His special SIGN between Him and His people: “Speak thou also unto the children of Yasharal, saying, Verily my Sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I AM Sanctifying you.
“Ye shall keep the Sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people.
“Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord: whosoever doeth any work in the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.
“Wherefore the children of YASHARAL shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.
“It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days The Father made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed” (Exodus 31:13-17). The CREATOR who pronounced these words was none other than the Person of the Elohim of Elohim – the Alpha and Omega– who In Messiah Tabernacles with us. Notice the proof: “In the beginning was the Word [Greek: Logos, meaning Spokesman] , and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
“The same was in the beginning with God [Greek: Theos, the exact equivalent of the Hebrew ‘Elohim,’meaning MORE than one Person. See Genesis 1:26].
“All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
“In him was life; and the life was the light of men” (John 1:1-4). John opens his gospel with this profound statement about the divine pre-human origins of Yahushua the Messiah, He continued, “He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
“He came unto his own [the Jews], and his own received him not.
“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: … And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt [Greek: skenoo “tabernacled”] among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (John 1:10-14).
The knowledge of the pre-human existence of Christ is obvious, incontrovertible, PLAIN to anyone who honestly reads these passages and accepts them as the divinely-revealed Word of God! Yet tens of thousands of professing Christian ministers and millions of their followers adamantly REFUSE to accept them, including messianic jews!
Do you realize the CONSEQUENCES to the accepted doctrines of the great false church and her "protesting" daughters? It means that the I AM of the Old Testament – the One who WROTE THE TEN COMMANDMENTS with His own finger – IS the One who became Emmanuel! He does not change!
Paul wrote, “Yahushua the same yesterday, and today, and for ever!” (Hebrews 13:8).
The One who became Messiah is the Creator of the Sabbath; He and The Father are One [ אֶחָד "Echad" (ekh-awd') Strong's Hebrew Concordance 259. Deuteronomy 6:4-9] who designated the Sabbath day as a perpetual SIGN between Himself and His people!