God has number for you number. Please let me explain.
Almost everyone has heard of the infamous number "666." The Biblical quote in Revelation 13:18 goes like this: "Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six (666. This number represents a man's name. We don't know his name, only his number.)
I recently bought some batteries at a local department store. The clerk said, "Your total is $6.66 - uh-oh." I smiled at her as she looked at me with big eyes." Do you know what that number means?" I asked. She said, "No," with obvious interest.
"Six (6) is the number of man, because man was created on the sixth day," I briefly explained. "The number three (3) means divine perfection. So the number 666 means "a man who declares himself to be God." I finished by telling her that the time will come, according to the Bible, when people won't be able to buy at her store without the number of his name stamped on them.
The Bible was written primarily in two languages: the Old Testament in Hebrew, the New Testament in Greek. Both languages have a unique distinction: each letter has a fixed number value (unlike English). Therefore, every letter, word and name in the Bible has a numerical value and a corresponding meaning.
God uses this numbering system to illuminate and illustrate many truths. However, I found one that is of the greatest importance. In the Greek New Testament, the numerical value of the name Jesus: 888. We know His name and the corresponding number of His name. The meaning of 888: God's new beginning. Eight (8) is the number of new beginnings; three (3) symbolizes divine perfection. The name "Jesus" means salvation and redemption - God's new beginning. Jesus Christ declares from His throne, "Behold, I make all things new" (John 21:5).
Jesus said to a group of religious leaders, "I am come in my Father's name and you receive me not; another will come in his own name, him you will receive" (John 5:43). Jesus predicted that another would come in his own name and be accepted. We don't know his name; we only know his number: 666.
When this man emerges, he will be a politician that seems to solve important problems that the world faces. The world will flock to him as a savior. Can you imagine gasoline under $1 per gallon? Hamburger down to $.50 a pound? True peace in the Middle East? On and on it will go - "free" health care, anyone?
The price of these "miracles" will be unquestioned "loyalty" (read "worship") and a mandatory "tattoo" (read "mark") on your right hand or forehead: the number of his name in one form or another: 666. If we refuse, we will not be allowed to buy or sell anything - no transactions at all. This will be a mandate from the international government he leads (Revelation 13).
But as for me and my house, we have taken the name of Jesus! We received it on our hearts by faith, our bodies by water baptism, and our lives by confession and right living.
"Seek the Lord while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon" (Isaiah 55:6-7).
This is your invitation to a new beginning. Please choose your number.
- Butler is the pastor at Wings of Love Community Church in South Williamsport.