Now we come to a part of the book that requires a lot of research and wisdom and understanding. This is a continuation of the previous post about Chapter 13 but I felt it was necessary to separate the beginning of the Chapter from the last 3 verses. There have been many different interpretations about verses 16-18. Some say that the mark is a microchip and that the beast whose number is 666 is Obama or the pope.
First we will talk about the mark that men will be forced to receive on their right hand or forehead. He will try and make everyone worship him by making them get his mark in order to survive. The mark is not literal. It shows possession and it shows who the Lord over that person is. God marks the forehead and right hand in Exodus 13:9, 16 and Deuteronomy 11:18 to show that His peoples showed total obedience to Him. In Ezekiel 9:9, allegiance is shown by the mark. The Antichrist tries to mirror God! Revelation 13:16 says the Mark will be placed in the "right hand." Again, this is a symbolic term used to denote a position of power. The Lord is said to be at one's "right hand" (Psalm 16:8; 73:23; 121:5, Isaiah 41:13; 45:1; 63:12, Acts 2:25), so the right hand is symbolic for who your Lord is, who you obey. The "right hand" denotes the power of the Lord (Exodus15:6,12, Psalm 16:11; 17:7; 18:35; 98:1; 118:15-16; 139:10, Isaiah 41:10; 48:13; 62:8, Acts 5:31), and the power of Jesus Christ (Mat.26:64, Mark 14:62). Jesus is at the "right hand" of the Father (Psalm 110:1,5, Matthew 22:44, Mark 12:36; 16:19, Luke 20:42; 22:69, Acts 2:33-34; 7:55-56, Romans 8:34, Ephesians 1:20, Colossians 3:1, Hebrews 1:3,13; 8:1; 10:12; 12:2, 1 Peter 3:22). The "right hand" also denotes work (Psalm 78:54; 80:15), and the power of man (Psalm 45:9; 89:13). The "right hand" could be an adversary of the Lord (Psalm 21:8; 89:42, Lamentations 2:4, and Zechariah 3:1). A wise man's heart is at his right hand (Ecclesiastes 10:2), and whatever you embrace with the "right hand" is where your heart is (Solomon 2:6; 8:3). Similarly to how Jesus places the things he values on his right hand, and the things he despises on his left (Matthew 25:33-34), the right hand is symbolic for the things we value more than other things.
Who Does 666 Refer To?
Now we will take an in depth look at verse 18. Some claim that 666 refers to the Pope because the Latin title to the Pope of Rome is "Vicarius Filii Dei" (which, in English, means "Vicar of the Son of God"). When you add up the Roman numeral value of this Latin Title, it totals 666. Scripture is clear that 666 is the number of a man's name (Revelation 13:18; 15:2). Vicarius Filii Dei is a title to the pope's office, it is not his name. Therefore, this does not fulfill prophesy because this is not a name of a man, like scripture says. It is a title. Some claim that computers are the beast because they have "666" encoded in their programs. The Bible explains how to recognize this beast, by his number. Revelation 13:18 says that 666 "is the number of a man," and Revelation 15:2, going into more detail, says it's "the number of his name." So how can a computer become the number of the beast? Or how can any inanimate object be the number of the beast? How can any inanimate object be a sin? Some claim, "well, the first three digits of all computers are 666". So? What does it matter if it's the 1st 3 digits, the last 3 digits, the middle 3 digits, or if three 6's are scattered throughout the entire number? The Bible is clear that 666 is the complete number. The number is not 666395386669487302666, or 75682946009482654. The number is 666, period! Others say that no one knows the identity of the Antichrist, but it is clear that with knowledge and wisdom we can know. Verse 18 clearly says:
“This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him
calculate the number of the beast….”
So, who is this beast? I know that there is a chance of error in my understanding but I will tell you who I believe he is: Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus. He is commonly known as Nero Caesar, who’s name in Greek is Neron Kesar. No Jew ever thought of Nero except as ‘Neron Kesar.’ The form Neron Kesar is the linguistically "correct" Hebrew form, is the form found in the Talmud and other rabbinical writings, and was used by Hebrews in the first century. Using gematria, where numbers represent letters, we can see that his numbers add up to 666. The letters we would use in gematria are NRWN QSR
The fact that Nero fits the description of the "beast" is well documented. He was a torturer, a homosexual rapist, and a sodomite. He even married two young boys and paraded them around as his wives. One of the boys, whose name was Sporus, was castrated by Nero. He was truly bestial in his character, depravity, and actions. He devised a type of game: covered with the skin of a wild animal, he was let loose from a cage and attacked the private parts of men and women, who were bound at stakes. He also initiated the war against the Jews which led to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD. Revelation 13:14 says that the image was made to the beast, who had the stroke of the sword. How did Nero die? He drove a dagger into his throat, aided by Epaphroditus, his secretary.
Nero’s persecution, which was initiated in A.D.64, was the first ever Roman assault on Christianity. Their death was aggravated with mockeries so much that, wrapped in the hides of wild beasts, they were torn to pieces by dogs, or fastened to crosses to be set on fire, that when the darkness fell they might be burned to illuminate the night. Christians were crucified, beheaded, burnt alive, and used as torches to light the palace gardens. Historically, Nero is the one that persecuted Christians beyond all comparison. St. John’s banishment to Patmos (where he wrote the book of Revelation) was itself a result of the great persecution of Nero. The apostle Paul was tortured and then beheaded by the evil Emperor Nero at Rome in A.D. 67. The apostle Peter, who was crucified upside down, was another victim of Nero. Nero was the first of the emperors who showed himself an enemy of the divine religion. Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder (A.D. 23-79) described Nero as "the destroyer of the human race" and "the poison of the world."
The Christians of the first century were under the military authority of Rome, a nation which openly proclaimed its rulers, the Caesars, to be divine. All those under the jurisdiction of Rome were required by law to publicly proclaim their allegiance to Caesar by burning a pinch of incense and declaring, "Caesar is Lord". Upon compliance with this law, the people were given a papyrus document called a "libellus", which they were required to present when either stopped by the Roman police or attempting to engage in commerce in the Roman marketplace, increasing the difficulty of "buying or selling" without this mark. This is exactly the kind of thing that Revelation 13:16-17 talks about, and Nero will bring it back to order once he returns as the Antichrist.