The mark on the forehead … Part 3

The Number of the Beast, Off 13, 18 (Source: Berry, G.R. - The interlinear literal translation of the Greek NT, Hinds, Noble & Eldredge 1897)
The Number of the Beast, Off 13, 18
(Source: Berry, G.R. – The interlinear literal translation of the Greek NT, Hinds, Noble & Eldredge 1897) copyfree

About the sign and the seal on the forehead you can read in the second last and the last blog.
There are countless speculations and different theories about the mark on the forehead.
The book of revelations describes humans that wear a mark on the hand and on the forehead. These are the masses of people that have submitted to the coming ruler of the world and his kingdom. Those are not the ones that wear the cross on their foreheads, the ones, about those Ezekiel had reported (The sign on the forehead saves … Part 1) or those, who wear the seal on their forehead (The seal on the forehead saves … Part 2)

In the book of Revelation John paints a dark picture, that the people, that didn’t have this mark of the beast on their foreheads, could not take part in normal life anymore: “Without this mark – that was the name of the beast, respectively the number of his name – nobody could buy or sell anything.” (Rev 13:17 own translation).
The name of the beast is denoted as “mysterious”: “A mysterious name was written on their foreheads “Babylon the Great, the mother of all whores and abomination of the earth.” (Rev 17:5). John writes, that those, who have this mark with the name or the number of the beast upon their forehead or upon their hand, will come under the judgment of God: “None of those, who bow down before the beast and his image and wear the mark of his name, will ever find rest, neither day or night. The smoke of this awful fire of their torture will ascend into the heaven forever and ever.” (Rev 14:11).

In the book of Revelation 13:18 we can read, that the number of the beast is “six hundred and sixty six”, in Greek language: “ΧΞϚ” (Chi, Xi, Stigma) – look at the picture of this post. They have a meaning, if you would interpret them as Arabic letters.
In a few other Greek manuscripts the number is read “sixhundred and sixteen”: Greek: “ΧΙϚ” (Chi, Iota, Stigma). In that case the letter in the middle would be an upright line. In Latin writing the number is “666” or “616”.

Over the years people have made various serious interpretations. By observing that fact, it seems to be intended, that the number of the beast could be interpreted in different manners. The book of Revelation mentions, that “wisdom” and “understanding” are necessary, to “count” the number or – another translation: “to vote to decide about the meaning of the number” or to “reckon” the number. (Compare Strong’s number 5585). That means that even the original Greek perceives that at the same time more than only one interpretation of the number of the beast could be true. Till today there have been various speculations to interpret this number and to explain, which name it contains.

The Bible says, that the number would be a person or the name of a person. The statement in Rev 13:18: “Who has wisdom or understanding, that should count what the the number means” is possibly a sarcastic hint about the way, this person thinks: the school of thought of the person, that is represented by the number of that person, that is named “The Beast”: Human wisdom (philosophy) and human understanding. Significant is, that wisdom and understanding represent the name itself. But where human thinking has become the measure for truth, life will never exceed beyond the humanly possible.

This human (in the bible names as “The Beast”) could create a new religion, based on philosophy. What is human, what is fair, logic, knowable with the human mind and conclusive and acceptable after the self-conception of human wisdom, would be classified as truth. That would lead to the conviction, that an acceptable interpretation of the bible would only apply as true, when it fits to the standards of the modern society, that are characterized by standards of humanism. The truth of God is then reduced to the power of imagination of the human mind and humanistic ideology. That would be very religious, indeed, but it is nothing else than idolatry.

In regard to this, it could be that the number of the beast would represent a mindset, where the utterly human is the measure of all things. All things would be measured by human standards. Christianity, as long as it would be humanly controllable, would be tolerated. With this, Christian faith would not exceed to obey humanistic values, like tolerance, and to fulfill “good” (the rules of humanity generally accepted) deeds. There would be a general spirituality.With the intention of imparting Christian values – that, in relation to this, would be nothing else than humanistic values – Christianity would possibly be approved as good. In that case, Christian faith would not have anything unique anymore and could easily be mixed with other religions.

The worshiping of men, in the mark of the beast may have the appearance of human values of a high rank. But it misses the source of true love and true worship of God. Those men that remain in the human, may perhaps, remain very religious people, perhaps even fanatic tolerant – possibly tolerant in such a manner, that they would condemn the people that set other limits as intolerant and perhaps would even persecute them. But they will never be saved without Jesus Christ, without being born again and without having fellowship with HIM and will therefore also not go to heaven. Salvation is only through the blood of Jesus and faith in HIM. That means believing in the heart, that his death on the cross and his resurrection are true.

Jesus would not have to die on the cross, just that his followers could pursue a principle of humanity. The death of Jesus on the cross is not human and his resurrection is not understandable in a human way. From a human point of view the death of Jesus is both: horrible and unfair.

The blood of Jesus and the supernatural power of the cross of Christ and its exclusivity would be the enemies of such a “humanity”. Because who thinks “human”, cannot understand, why this blood sacrifice was necessary to save the world and why Christ alone is “the way, the truth and the life”, and why man “comes only to the father, as through HIM”, the son of God. (John 14,6). About the meaning of blood sacrifices I will write in my next blog. (“The Power of the Blood“)

Lord Jesus Christ, preserve me from compromising my faith. I want to live my life only with YOU and after YOUR word. YOU are the truth. YOUR word is the truth. You are loving and wonderful, Jesus, my king. I surrender myself to YOU and give YOU my life. Forgive me, where I have not followed YOU. Show me YOUR way and teach me, to hear your voice and show me the way to the father.

(c) Steffen Bürger
Thanks to Aaron Bürger for suggestions and feedback.
Thanks for proofreading to Sarah Nafula

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