When Jesus Christ made his prophecy about the "abomination of desolation" preceding the Great Tribulation at the end of the world, he included a little note: "Whoever reads this, let him understand it." The phrase "abomination of desolation" took us back to Daniel's prophecy about a counterfeit "prince" who would make an agreement to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem. It said that he would eventually profane the Temple and cause the sacrifices to cease. (see Chapter 13. The Middle of the Week) The 'abomination of desolation' prophecy is the only time the instruction, "Whoever reads this, let him understand," appears in the gospels.

 

The prophecy in The Revelation about the Mark of the Beast includes a similar instruction. It concludes: "Here is wisdom. Let him that has understanding count the number of the Beast; for it is the number of a man. His number is 666."  (Revelation 13:18)

 

The "number" here is generally believed to be referring to the use of letters as numbers in some alphabets. Most of us know that I, V, X, L, C, D, and M all had numerical values in the Roman numeral system. Similar systems operated with the Hebrew and Greek alphabets, so that each person's name had a numerical value if you added up all such numbers in their name. For example; a person with the name VLADIMIR, would, according to the Roman number system, be1557 (M = 1000, D = 500, L = 50, and I (x2) = 2).

 

The name of the Beast (if his name equals 666 in the Roman numeral system) would probably have the letters D, C, L, X, V, and I in it (each occurring only once, to give you 500+100+50+10 +5+1)*, and it could not have the letter M (1000). It could, of course, have any number of non-numerical letters as well.  Some possible names might be: Vox Euclid, Victor Delux, or Exact Devil.**  There don't appear to be any well known candidates for world ruler with such names at the moment. It is my guess that the Beast will have a name which adds up to 666 in Hebrew, but maybe also in Greek as well as Latin.

 

But "Wisdom" shouldn't depend on knowing the identity of the Antichrist.  There must be a deeper truth hidden in the number. So I checked to see if thenumber 666 appeared anywhere else in the Bible. Sure enough, I found one other reference. It is the number of talents of gold that came to King Solomon in one year. (I Kings 10:14) It seemed ironic that a clue which started out by saying, "Here is wisdom" should lead me to the very man whose name has been equated with wisdom for thousands of years. King Solomon was said to have been given one wish by God, and he wished for wisdom. He later became known as the wisest man on earth.
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(*You could make other substitutions, such as two more V's for the X; or two more L's for the C).
(**Some longer examples: Clarence Vaughan Oxbridge, or Governor Charles Poindexter. One observation from this is that names adding up to 666 are relatively rare.)

 

Solomon wrote two books of the Bible. In addition to that, forty chapters of the Old Testament cover events in his life; but there are only two references to him in the Gospels. In one, Christ points to an event in the same chapter (I Kings 10) that has the number 666 in it, where the Queen of Sheba travelled hundreds of miles and brought nearly two tons of gold with her as a gift for King Solomon. (1 Kings 10:1-2) Jesus said: "The queen of the south will rise up in the judgment with the people of this generation and condemn them; for she came from the utmost part of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon. And behold, one greater than Solomon is here." (Luke 11:31)

 

In another place, Jesus said, "Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow. They do not work, neither do they spin [cloth], and yet I say to you that even Solomon, in all his glory, was not arrayed like one of these... Therefore, take no thought saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'With what shall we be clothed?' (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek.) For your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you." (Matthew 6:28-33)

 

In both instances, Christ was saying that what he had to offer was greater than what Solomon had. So, in my own search for wisdom, I deduced that true wisdom would not come from following Solomon, but it would come from following Christ.

 

Solomon was rich; Christ was poor. Solomon was a king; Christ was a commoner. Solomon had hundreds of wives; Christ was a bachelor. Solomon built the famous Temple in Jerusalem; Christ was executed on the grounds that hewas threatening to destroy the Temple in Jerusalem.

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Isn't it strange how, in our study of the final three and a half years, we keep coming back to the Temple? Solomon (through 1 Kings 10:14) is linked with the number 666, and he is the one credited with having built the original Temple. The Beast (or Antichrist) is also linked with the number 666, and with making an agreement to rebuild the Temple. Solomon was a king, and the Antichrist is a king. But the underlying message of The Revelation is that Christ is the true King of kings, and all others are but counterfeits by comparison.

And that must include Solomon as well.

 

Solomon was a good man; but he cannot hold a candle to Christ. Nor can anyone who was ever born. As Christ said in prophecies about the last days, people will find many replacements for the true Messiah. (Matthew 24:24) But when they do, their replacement (whoever it may be) becomes an antichrist. (1 John 2:18; 2 John 6-7) The so-called Christian church would rather follow St. Paul, or the Pope, or Billy Graham, or, for that matter, Solomon, than to follow Christ. In fact, Solomon is used as one of the prime justifications for the "prosperity gospel", a heresy based on greed, which is spreading like wildfire through the entire church scene today. Even those who say they don't subscribe to it, still choose to tolerate books teaching the prosperity gospel in their religious bookshops.

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It doesn't take a genius to see that the church, with its emphasis on prosperity, popularity, and political power, is closer to the lifestyle of Solomon than it is to the teachings of Christ. Counterfeit messiahs of all sorts have moved into the "holy place" and made it spiritually desolate.

 

But there is another aspect of the number 666.  In The Revelation the number 666 is linked with the "Mark" of the Beast, and in the passage from 1 Kings, it is linked with gold.

Both the Mark (i.e. a computerised implant) and gold, represent significant developments in the history of economics. Mankind has not advanced from the clumsy system of bartering to the concept of a cashless society in a single step.  The Babylonian Empire (of which we will have more to say later) invented money, in the form of gold coins. This was as significant a step in its day as the introduction of the Mark will be for us in our day.

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The prophetic image in the book of Daniel that represented all of the empires from the Babylonian Empire down to the present day (see page 77) was explained by Daniel. He said that the head of gold represented Babylon itself. It was the Babylonian Empire, remember, that invented gold coins.

 

The rest of the statue represented succeeding world empires. As Daniel moved down the statue, each metal became more and more worthless, until it finally ended in feet made of clay mixed with iron. We have already discussed how the ten toes made from iron mixed with clay represent the coming world order, which will be an alliance of nations controlled by the Beast.

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Note how that, between gold coins and the Mark, money has progressed: first to coins made of lesser metals (as indicated by the statue), then paper currency, followed by cheques, and now just electronic impulses producing figures on a balance sheet. The money itself has become more and more worthless; but the system has become more and more efficient, enabling the very rich to make huge transactions in a matter of milliseconds.

 

Interestingly, the main ingredient in clay (symbol of the last empire) is silicon; and the breakthrough in computer technology that made the Mark possible has been the development of the silicon chip!

 

Another invention which has made implementation of the Mark possible is the international product code.

armageddon for beginners 1 76It is a series of lines of varying thicknesses, which can be used to identify millions of different products.  Checkout operators wave the "barcode" in front of a light to get an instant printout description of the item and its price. Look closely at the barcodes, and you'll see they all have three line patterns that are longer than the others. They are at each end, and in the middle of the other lines. If you study which lines are used for which numbers, you'll see that these three patterns that are repeated on all barcodes represent the number six, expressed three times: 666!

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At the end of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus told a story about a wise man and a foolish man. He said the wise man was someone who had listened to the Sermon and then obeyed it. He said that the wise man would be building on a rock that would survive all storms. The foolish man was someone who had als olistened to the Sermon, but then had not obeyed it. All of his efforts to build a house would only end in ruin.

 

A statue with feet of clay is like a foolish man building on sand. He gets more and more wealth, but does not think about where it is all leading. In the end, he dies with nothing to show for his life in eternity. The stone that comes out of nowhere is the kingdom of heaven, the teachings of Christ, the rock that grows and grows until it fills the whole earth. Those who build on the teachings of Christ will be eternally rewarded. We will have treasures in heaven. The storms of life (and death itself) will not be able to shake us.

 

As Jesus, or the angel in The Revelation, would put it, let the person with understanding think about that for a bit...

 

One of the problems with the Mark, is that everyone wants to know how close they can get to it without actually being covered by the curse that has been pronounced against those who take it. Most people hope that the Mark will not come in their lifetime. In one way or another, they put off dealing seriously with it, and they are continuing to do this even as it is starting to become reality.

 

It's difficult to imagine many of these people actually making a sudden and dramatic change in their lifestyle when the Mark comes in, especially if the change could cost them their lives.

Please check this link for a short video on how people are reacting to the Mark today: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOOwLaKaDQk

 

Jesus identified the enemy, not as the Devil, but as money or mammon. He said our choice is between serving (i.e. working for) God, and serving (i.e. working for) money. (Matthew 6:24) He said we would end up despising one or the other... God or money. Which one do you despise? He said your actions will show which one takes first claim on your life and which one gets the leftovers. Do you fit in time to work for money after you have finished serving God, or do you fit in service to God after you've finished working for money?

 

St. Paul said that love for money is the root of all evil. (I Timothy 6:10) There is no mention of the Mark of the Beast here, nor in any of the above references.You don't need implants and computer scans to be disobedient to Christ.

 

Religious double-talk won't undo the evil that has come from ignoring the teachings of Christ. St. Peter said Jesus is the Stone that the builders rejected.(I Peter 2:7) And Jesus said if we don't fall on this Rock and let him change us, then the Rock is one day going to fall on us (as the Stone out of nowhere did in Daniel's vision of the statue) and it will grind us to powder. (Luke 20:17-18)

 

For those of us who have tried to take the teachings of Jesus seriously, learning to live by faith when the Mark comes in will not be so traumatic. We are developing a relationship with Jesus right now where we can hear him speaking, and where we experience God's provision whenever we go where he tells us to go.

 

Jesus said to his followers, when they asked where Christians will go when the Great Tribulation starts, "The birds will go where the food is." (Luke 17:36-37)

 

Here is wisdom: Consider the birds. They sow not, neither do they reap, but they do know how to follow God's voice, if he tells them to leave one place and go to another. By the time famine hits, the birds have all left. And a wise person, with true understanding, will learn to listen to God right now (before disaster strikes) and to obey him, even if it means giving up everything that we now cling to... before the Mark comes into effect.

 
*For more information related to this chapter, please check out the following videos: Survivors Ch. #12 - The Temple, and Bro Dave Ch. #15 - God's Final Warning About The Mark of the Beast

Appendix, Chapter 19

Matthew 24:15-16. When you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet stand in the holy place (Whoever reads this, let him understand), then let them which are in Judea flee to the mountains.

 

Daniel 9:27. He will confirm the covenant with many for one week, and in the middle of the week, he will cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations, he will make it desolate.

 

1 Kings 10:1-2, 14.  When the Queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the Lord, she came to prove him with hard questions. She came with a very great train... with very much gold and precious stones. The weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was 666 talents of gold.

 

Matthew 24:24. There will arise false Christs and false prophets. They will show great signs and wonders, insomuch that, if it were possible, they would deceive the very elect.

 

1 John 2:18. As you have heard that Antichrist will come, even now there are many antichrists...

 

2 John 6-7. This is love, that we walk after his commandments... For manydeceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.

 

Matthew 7:24-27. Whoever hears these sayings of mine and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on a rock. The rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, and it did not fall, for it was founded on a rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of mine and does not do them will be likened to a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, and it fell; and great was the fall of it.

 

1 John 4:3. Every spirit that confesses not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God. This is that spirit of antichrist, which you have heard should come. Even now already is it in the world.

 

Matthew 6:24. No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate one and love the other, or else he will hold to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

 

1 Timothy 6:10. The love of money is the root of all evil, which, while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

 

1 Peter 2:7. To those who are disobedient, the stone that the builders disallowed is made the head of the corner.

 

Luke 20:17-18. Whoever will fall on that stone will be broken; but on whomever it will fall, it will grind them to powder.

 

Luke 17:36-37. "Two people will be in the field. One will be taken and the other left. "They said to him, "Where, Lord?" and he said, "Wherever the body is, there will the eagles be gathered together."