For many centuries now, a big deal has been made about the number of the beast, 666. Believers have struggled with numerics, done back flips and cart wheels to try to figure it out. All to no avail, for we have simply amassed hundreds of speculations and viewpoints about the name of the beast and the number of his name. What then of the instructions at Revelation 13:18, "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 666."

It seems probable that the instruction is indeed given to the church and that, accordingly, the church should be able to determine the identity of the beast. But I suggest that the church has been going on a wild goose chase all these years in trying to discover the answer to this riddle. In general, the church has misapplied this instruction as some kind of mandate to figure out and determine who the beast is before he even comes on the scene. But instead it has only resulted in a myriad of speculations and failures to identify him.

The reason for this failure is simple. He is not here. Furthermore, it was never the intent of the instruction that the church "calculate" the number of the beast's name prior to the start of that "end times" period known as Daniel's 70th week. It is for that specific group of believers who will be alive when the 70th week of Daniel begins.

In the context of a prewrath rapture (or even a post-trib rapture), according to which, the church will be present during the first 3 1/2 years of the 70th week and prior to the time that the beast is revealed as the man of lawlessness, the instructions to calculate his number and discern who he is takes on a much greater significance.

The implication is then, that the ones who have understanding within the church, during the time prior to the revealing of the beast will be able to identify him for certain before he actually "takes his seat in the temple of God."

This also suggests that the church may be UNABLE to identify the man (world ruler) who makes the covenant of religious toleration in the Middle East at the beginning of the 70th week except through application of Revelation 13:18.

It should be obvious that identification of the beast AFTER he is revealed as the man of lawlessness is no issue. So the instructions to calculate must refer to a time period prior to that revealing, during which a very precise and irrefutable identification can be made.

Today, such an irrefutable identification cannot be made. All we can do is speculate and guess and wrestle with imaginary scenarios about Hitler, Kennedy, Kissinger, Reagan, Saddam, Clinton, Matreiya, the Pope, Judas Iscariot, and even King Solomon, etc.

But when we find ourselves living in the sphere of a Middle East Peace and Tolerance Accord (M.E.P.T.A.) which authorizes Israel to have a sanctuary and animal sacrifices, then we should begin our search and our calculations in reference to the man and/or organization that established the accord.

To summarize:
The current Middle East crisis demands a solution. Representatives from the United States, the United Nations, the European Union, Russia, the Catholic Church, not to mention the leaders from the several nations specifically involved in that area, are all diligently seeking that solution. The popularly held Biblical view, is that a dynamic individual with a "Roman Empire" heritage will be the one to pull things together and bring order out of the chaos by establishing a "peace" of religious toleration. This "peace resolution" will apparently defuse the cultural and religious time bomb in the Middle East and will allow Israel her ancient worship rituals in Jerusalem while accommodating the Islamic claims to the city as well.

However, at the time that the accord or resolution is put into place, the identity of this resourceful individual may not be publicly known to the world. The Bible clarifies that the man of lawlessness will not be revealed until the time that he breaks this "peace resolution" and institutes beast worship in its place (Mat. 24:15; 2 Thes. 2:3-4; Rev. 13; Dan. 9:27). This seems to suggest that his identity will not be known until that time. Yet that is just the point of Rev. 13:18. Once the world ruler ushers in a resolution to the Middle East crisis, whether his involvement is publicly known or not, the church, which will still be present, will be able to "calculate the number of the beast," and prepare for the time he is revealed to initiate the great persecution of Matthew 24:9-29.


Questions and comments are always welcome






İRon Wallace, Anyone is free to reproduce this material and distribute it,
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