"Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world" (James 1:27). To keep oneself unspotted from the world is to be set apart from it; in other words, to be holy. Because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy" (1 Peter 1:15-16).
"Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord" (Hebrews 12:14). Unlike religion, holiness is not anything man can create, because it is the very being of God who is eternal, without a beginning. It is the process of sanctification given to us from above by the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
We can see that the true religion of God is holiness through faith: "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him" (Hebrews 11:6).
What religion did Adam and Eve follow? Were they not both holy before the fall? Did not Jesus become the last Adam? So then, what religion does Jesus follow? Is He not holy? Did He not say that He is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6)?
Jesus says, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me" (Luke 9:23). Jesus did not say to follow any religion, denomination, tradition or doctrine of man; but to follow Him. So let all spiritual teaching we receive come from the Holy Spirit, whether through man or directly, so it is always Jesus being the teacher. As He says: "But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren" (Matthew 23:8).
The Holy Spirit is greater than any religion or denomination. If your church is not teaching you about the Holy Spirit and overcoming sin, that is, to live holy, then you need to find a new church. The Spirit of God teaches us all things, and if we are not taught to have it, then not having it, how can we discern the doctrines of man, whether they are from God? How can we live holy in the eyes of God?
Only the Holy Spirit can change a person, not a religion or denomination. Do not depend on a religion or denomination, only the Holy Spirit! For we must be born from above(John 3:3) by the baptism of the Spirit who will dwell in us, leading us, giving us the power to become holy so we may enter the Kingdom of Heaven: "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God" (Romans 8:14).
Religion cannot save us, only Jesus Christ. On judgment day, God is not going to find favor on those who are Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist, and the like; but rather judge us all by His word: "He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him—the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day" (John 12:48). "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad" (2 Corinthians 5:10).
Jesus warns the church of the Laodiceans: "I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth" (Revelation 3:15-16).
Do not think that this warning is for this church only, but it was given to this church because of their works, to be an example to all believers who resemble this church. For it would not make sense for Jesus to apply this standard to this church only. As the Apostle Peter states: "Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him" (Acts 10:34-35).
There are many false doctrines on the Bible in many different denominations leading people astray, causing them to live lukewarm. Why would this be? For Jesus says this: "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you" (John 14:26).
Could it be because these men of false doctrines are teaching from their flesh and not of the Spirit, or from a wicked spirit of deception? "Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons" (1 Timothy 4:1). Jesus says, "they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch" (Matthew 15:14).
We must beware of any false doctrine, as the Apostle Paul says: "You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you. A little leaven leavens the whole lump..." (Galatians 5:7-10). All it takes is a little twisting of the word to lead us off the narrow path onto the broad path that leads to destruction. It may still feel like we're on the narrow path, but we may only be near it, walking along side it: "Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it" (Matthew 7:14).
Paul makes it clear that we as believers must be of one mind: "Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment" (1 Corinthians 1:10).
"I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed..." (Galatians 1:6-10).
"But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth" (John 4:23-24).
What can man create for God? It is obedience that God seeks, through a personal loving relationship: "Heaven is My throne, And earth is My footstool. Where is the house that you will build Me? And where is the place of My rest? For all those things My hand has made, And all those things exist," Says the Lord. "But on this one will I look: On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, And who trembles at My word" (Isaiah 66:1-2).
God is the truth, who brought the eternal truth down to us; as the word became flesh in the man Christ Jesus saying: "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me" (John 14:6). Man created religion to try to elevate himself up to God through his own rules and rituals.
The truth cannot be created, but only revealed and defined. Can religion reveal the truth? Can religion define the truth? No. The truth reveals religion.
Since man can create religion, but not the truth, nor reveal it, and define it, are not all the world religions and denominations man-made? Cannot only God reveal and define the truth?
Is it not the Holy Spirit that teaches us all things, defining the truth? "..and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit" (1 Corinthians 12:3). So only God, being the Holy Spirit, can define the truth; because without Him we cannot say that Jesus is Lord, who is the truth.
Jesus is more than a religion; He is about having a personal Father and son relationship with God.
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." (John 3:16 NKJV). This verse has to be the most renowned Bible verse, but also the most misinterpreted. What does it really mean to believe in Jesus?
It logically follows that if you truly believe in Jesus, you believe in every word He spoke. For He says, "I am the way, the truth, and the life..." (John 14:6 NKJV) and "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away" (Matthew 24:35)
He taught us to obey Him: "If you love Me, keep My commandments" (John 14:15 NKJV). "And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him" (Hebrews 5:9 NKJV). So it is by our obedience to His commands, through faith, that defines our salvation.
There is the example of the thief on the cross in Luke 23:39-43. He was at the end of his life hanging on his cross being crucified beside Jesus. But by what he was capable of doing in his position, by faith did he speak out to Jesus from his heart asking for Jesus to receive him, and He did.
Some may say I will just sin until my death bed and ask Jesus to forgive me. To begin with, your death may come unexpected leaving void the opportunity. Besides that, you are making a premeditated decision to choose to live for sin rather than God, and there is no fooling God. He sees the hearts of man and knows all our thoughts. He may say to you if you wanted to receive Me, why not then and not at your end? Do you love your sin more than Me? Is there true repentance in this approach? Or is it just a sinner who wants it both ways? Only God can make this decision, but I would not play games with your salvation. You may become a thief to the cross instead of being the thief on the cross, if you take this approach.
"And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief" (Hebrews 3:18-19 NKJV). Here we can see obedience being equated with belief. You see, we must first believe to come into obedience because we cannot truly obey Jesus without first believing in Him: "But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him" (Hebrews 11:6).
Apostle James tells us that faith without works is dead (James 2:17 NKJV). Our works through faith produce our obedience to God's word, showing that we love Him because we do the things that He asks of us who confess to follow Jesus: "But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?" (Luke 6:46 NKJV).
There is more than one way to "believe" in Jesus. One way is to believe He existed, another, to believe He is the only begotten Son of God, and another, the true belief, that is to obey His commands through faith.
Likewise, as the word "believe" can be misinterpreted, so can our own subjective view of saying we "know" Jesus:
"Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked" (1 John 2:3-6 NKJV). Here we can see obedience being the focal point in the faith of Jesus, defining how we truly know Him, by keeping His commandments.
Some may say being saved is as easy as this verse: "For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved”" (Romans 10:13). You have to ask yourself, what does it truly mean to call on the name of the Lord?
To truly call on the name of the Lord is to truly receive Jesus into your heart(Ephesians 3:17-19) being transformed from this world, having a renewing of the mind (Romans 12:2); by being born again from above by the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
We can know this because of the conditions that must be met spoken of by Jesus and the word of God. He says we must be born from above to enter the Kingdom of Heaven (John 3:5). And that whoever is born of God cannot continue in sin (1 John 3:9). That he who sins is of the devil (1 John 3:8) and has never seen nor known God (1 John 3:6). That we must walk in the light just as He is in the light (1 John 1:7).
Romans 10:13, and other similar scriptures, can be looked at like a zip file on a computer. Though you may want to believe everything has been compressed into just that one scripture, once you open the file you can see that it is the other way around, that there is more to the word than just at surface level. We must look at all the relatable scripture on the subject to come to a determination. Especially when a verse makes a general statement on the most important topic of the Bible, that is our salvation.
"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will(obedience) of my Father which is in heaven.
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity" (Matthew 7:21-23).
So in contrast to Romans 10:13, we can see there is a distinction for what it means to call on the Lord. One way is to truly receive Jesus into your life, and another is to have a form of Jesus, but never fully receiving Him as your Lord; while continuing in deliberate sin, that is to work iniquity. It is all or nothing, white or black. The devil likes to create grey areas of deception to make us feel comfortable, but it is in these shades where we are lukewarm and in danger of being cast out unless we truly repent (Revelation 3:16).
"He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”
Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?”
Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me" (John 14:21-24).
If you say you believe, know, and love Jesus, but do not obey his commands, you are a liar according to the word of God.
"And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”
He said to him, “What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?”
So he answered and said, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’ ”
And He said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.”" (Luke 10:25-28).
"Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city" (Revelation 22:14).
"When the English translations of the Greek New Tes-tament were made in the 1526-1611 period, the “difficult Greek in which the New Testament is written…still held mys-teries for” English scholars. (Nicolson: 224.) One of those mysteries was the Greek word pisteuo in John 3:16. In over 200 instances of pisteuo in the New Testament, not once did the King James Bible render it as obey. (See Strong’s Concor-dance.) However, scholars now realize obey was a common meaning of pisteuo in ancient Greek. Obey certainly was the meaning of pisteuo in John 3:36 (see page 448). Yet, this obe-dience salvation formula is identically repeated in John 3:16."
Begin by imagining the perspective from God's view. Who knowing all things but no sin, who created all things through His love; being able to see the heart and thoughts of man in all his sin. See how loving, forgiving and tolerant He is with us as we should have been put to death for our iniquities against a holy God: "The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy" (Psalm 145:8). Compare this to our own lives, how we can easily be brought to anger over the sin of one man, sometimes seeking vengeance, while we ourselves having committed a multitude of sins.
For Jesus to say that we must forgive others to be forgiven by the Father is not even comparable to what the Father has tolerated and forgiven of us. This command is an act of His mercy and grace: "For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses" (Matthew 6:14-15).
See how humble Jesus was coming to this world as God in the flesh, creator of all things, but only coming to serve others (Matthew 20:28). Who washed the feet of His disciples to lead by example showing us how to love one another (John 13:1-17). Being tempted in every way but He did not sin (Hebrews 4:15). Who could have made himself king over all in this world but chose to deny Himself and suffer on our behalf. To show us the perfect faith and to give us the wisdom of the narrow path to overcome this world so we may have everlasting life.
Now see who we being created beings, who make God in our own image, or ourselves to be our own God, to be a king in this world in some form full of pride. Living to serve ourselves rather than others. To live to glorify ourselves rather than the creator. To worship the creation over the creator. For Him to say to deny ourselves is another act of His mercy and grace: "Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me" (Matthew 16:24).
Examine how comfortable we live in our daily lives compared to how Jesus lived and had to suffer for our sake taking up His cross. A man who knew no sin, while we ourselves having committed sins beyond count. Imagine the emotions and pain He had to endure coming onto his own creation with the truth and love, but being despised and rejected by many, only trying to save their souls from eternal damnation (Luke 9:22), (Luke 17:25), (Isaiah 53:3-5), (Psalm 22:14–18).
For Him to say to pick up our cross to be worthy of Him is once again an act of His mercy and grace: "And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me" (Matthew 10:38).
"For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it" (Mark 8:35). Jesus did not come to do all the work for us, but to show us the way, so we may follow Him.
You can see a pattern being built here and can apply God's mercy and grace to other commands based on the character of Jesus and what He has endured for us.
As many believe today, if mercy and grace are so easily obtainable, then why did Jesus say strive to enter the narrow path that leads to life where only few find it: (Luke 13:24), (Matthew 7:13-14)? He says many will try to enter, but will not be able to. This is because there are some who do not want to receive the real Jesus, but would rather create God in their own image, breaking the first of the ten commandments: "Thou shalt have no other gods before Me".
In short, the mercy and grace from God is the time He has given us out of His love and kindness to repent from our sins by obedience to His commands; to live holy and righteous through faith so we may not perish.
All the law hang on these two commands: Love God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind, and your neighbor as yourself. The first and greatest command is to love God. For if you love God, then you have the love of God within you.
This then fulfills the next greatest command, to love your neighbor as yourself. So that it may be the love of God within us all who love our neighbors as ourselves and not of our own that is of the world.
Jesus says if we keep these two commands, we shall live: (Matthew 22:36-40), (Luke 10:25-28), (Mark 12:28-33).
We should never forget this, that it is not sinful for there to be evil thoughts in our mind. Just as it is not sinful to hear evil thoughts from an external source that can ultimately reside in our memory. These thoughts are not sins, but rather temptations. Did Jesus sin when He was tempted by the devil? No.
It is not until these evil thoughts are conceived by our own desires that they give birth to sin:
"Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death" (James 1:12-15 NKJV).
Our sin nature is not that our flesh will never cease from sinning, as if its will has the greater authority, for our flesh cannot bring us to bondage unless the will of our spirit is weaker, in this way it permits it; but that we have the knowledge of both good and evil, and this evil knowledge resides in our members from our past experiences, constantly tempting us. We have the choice to refrain these thoughts from bearing fruit, but can anyone accomplish this without faith in the true living God?
For did not Adam and Eve both sin by eating of the fruit of the tree that was forbidden by God? Did they have a sin nature before then? Or were they both drawn by the serpents temptation being carried away by their own desires? Is it not the same case today? But what has changed since the fall is the bringing forth of the knowledge of good and evil, that has spread and resides in each and every one of us brought forth by one man, Adam.
When the Apostle Paul says, "...bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:5 NKJV), he is not saying that we should expel all evil thoughts from our mind, but to every evil thought that presents itself, to quarantine them so that the virus does not spread into our members; to not allow them to conceive and give birth to sin by our own desires.
"No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it" (1 Corinthians 10:13 NKJV).
"Truly, this only I have found:
That God made man upright,
But they have sought out many schemes" (Ecclesiastes 7:29 NKJV).
The reason why we have language in this world of various forms, even down to our DNA, is because we are the product of language. For God spoke us into existence: "For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast" (Psalm 33:9 KJV).
We can either be used as a vessel, as a mouthpiece, to speak words that lead unto life, or curses that lead unto death. For we can speak forth the words of life that come from the same authority of power Who spoke the universe into existence, or the words of death that come from the same authority who brought evil into our world, resulting in all the curses and downfalls therein.
We need to come to understand the power and authority we have in our words and how they affect the world. What we say to someone could change the course of their life in one moment. Just as in one moment the serpent(satan) in the garden changed the whole course of human history by deceiving Eve through his words of death.
Our words even have the power to move God Himself, how much more the people? For there is power in prayer.
By our day to day, how many words are we speaking that lead unto life, and how many words are we speaking that curse, that lead unto death? Who are we giving legal rights to reign over us, life or death? The blessing or the curse?
"Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof" (Proverbs 18:21 KJV).
"But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment" (Matthew 12:36 KJV).
"16 He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, 17 and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
18 Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666" (Revelation 13:16-18 NKJV).
Referring to the last days, this could only be speaking of a cashless money society, which we have yet to see, but are heading towards. Otherwise, we could still buy or sell without the mark among others if physical money was still currency. This mark could not be spiritual, because the word references two different physical locations. If it was spiritual, it would just say in the forehead.
We can see throughout the history of society how we are being conditioned through the process of convenience. More specifically with how we make payments. We went from physical currency to credit and debit cards containing digital currency, to these cards having a chip in them, to now being able to place your card near a device that will read its data. As well as self check-out lines in our market places and the cryptocurrency industry making a rapid climb in such form as bitcoin. These are all stepping stones for the powers that run this world to bring about their ultimate goal, that is to place a microchip in each and every one of us.
RFID microchip implant technology will be the future of a one world cashless society. For proof of this, watch both videos below:
The first video on YouTube is titled, "Warning From Man Who Designed RFID Microchip"
Here are some notes written by the user who uploaded the video:
"Carl Sanders sat in seventeen New World Order meetings with heads-of-state officials such as Henry Kissinger and Bob Gates of the C.I.A. to discuss plans on how to bring about this one-world system. The government commissioned Carl Sanders to design a microchip for identifying and controlling the peoples of the world—a microchip that could be inserted under the skin with a hypodermic needle (a quick, convenient method that would be gradually accepted by society).
Carl Sanders, with a team of engineers behind him, with U.S. grant monies supplied by tax dollars, took on this project and designed a microchip that is powered by a lithium battery, rechargeable through the temperature changes in our skin. Without the knowledge of the Bible (Brother Sanders was not a Christian at the time), these engineers spent one-and-a-half-million dollars doing research on the best and most convenient place to have the microchip inserted.
Guess what? These researchers found that the forehead and the back of the hand(the two places Revelation says the mark will go) are not just the most convenient places, but are also the only viable places for rapid, consistent temperature changes in the skin to recharge the lithium battery. The microchip is approximately seven millimeters in length, .75 millimeters in diameter, about the size of a grain of rice. It is capable of storing pages upon pages of information about you. All your general history, work history, crime record, health history, and financial data can be stored on this chip.
Brother Sanders believes that this microchip, which he regretfully helped design, is the “mark” spoken about in Revelation 13:16–18. The original Greek word for “mark” is “charagma,” which means a “scratch or etching.” It is also interesting to note that the number 666 is actually a word in the original Greek. The word is “chi xi stigma,” with the last part, “stigma,” also meaning “to stick or prick.”"
Mr. Sanders asked a doctor what would happen if the lithium contained within the RFID microchip leaked into the body. The doctor replied by saying a terrible sore would appear in that spot. This is what the book of Revelation says: "And the first(Angel) went, and poured out his vial on the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore on the men which had the mark of the beast, and on them which worshipped his image" (Revelation 16:2).
Another video to watch is an infamous interview done with movie producer Aaron Russo titled, "Aaron Russo RFID Human Implant Chip"
He produced such movies as Mad as Hell, Trading Places, and America: Freedom to Fascism. He gained the attention of a man named Nick Rockefeller who saw the movie Made as Hell and knew Aaron was running for governor of Nevada. Knowing the impact Aaron was having on society, who being a freedom fighter standing for the constitution of the United States, Nick sought to befriend him to subtly recruit him into his secret society.
Nick would come to visit Aaron's home from time to time having dinner and sharing thoughts among one another. Nick had told Aaron 11 months before 9-11 occurred that there would be an event(though not sharing what that event would be), and from that event they would invade Afghanistan and Iraq to establish bases to help build the New World Order. And that there will be this war on terror where there is no real enemy, and the whole thing is a hoax; a tool used by the American Government to take over their own people through the propaganda of fear. Because you cannot define a winner, it can go on for as long as they desire.
Aaron asked Nick what the purpose was for doing these things because they have all the money and power in the world. Nick replied by saying their ultimate goal is to put a microchip in everybody so they can have total control over the people.
Based on these evidences and reasoning's, a cashless society in which people receive a microchip implant makes out to be the best case for the mark of the beast described in the book of Revelation.
WHAT IS THE NAME OF THE BEAST, THE NUMBER OF ITS NAME?
What I first want to mention, before I share my thoughts on the number of the beast, is that God confirms in threes. We can see this all throughout scripture: "For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one" (1 John 5:7 NKJV). "and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures" (1 Corinthians 15:4 NKJV). "...Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!" (Revelation 4:8 NKJV). There are many more examples, but I thought I would just share three of them to make the point.
Examining Revelation 13:16-18, the first group of three I would like to point out is that the mark of the beast is described in three separate verses, 16, 17 and 18. The next three I see is in verse 16, "He causes all..." is followed by three contrasting categories of people, "both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave...". Then unto verse 17, it opens with, "and that no one may buy or sell except one who has...", followed by three explanations of what one must have to buy or sell, "...the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name". Then in verse 18, we read "Let him who has understanding calculate...", which is followed by, "the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666". The last three I see is the number 6 being used three times in a row. The reason I'm making this point is because of the number 666, as you will read below.
"17: even that not any could buy or sell, except the one having the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of its name" (Literal Greek Translation).
Here we see the mark being identified as having the name of the beast, and that name being identified as being a number. We can know that these attributes being described in verse 17 are all in one thing because the Bible warns of us about receiving the mark, singular. It is clear in verse 17 that we cannot buy or sell without the mark(being previously identified as a microchip), but why cant we buy or sell without the name of the beast, or the number of its name? What does that have to do with us buying or selling if the number of the beast only applies to identifying the Antichrist, as the common thought has been? So we need the number of the beast to buy or sell. What does this mean?
"here the wisdom is, the one having the mind let him calculate the number of the wild beast, number for of human it is, and the number of it 666" (Revelation 13:8 Greek Translation).
"Here is wisdom. Let him that has understanding count the number of the beast: for the number of man; and its number is six hundred sixty-six" (Jubilee Bible 2000 translation).
"In this situation wisdom is needed. Let the person who has insight figure out the number of the beast, because it is a human number. The beast's number is 666" (GOD'S WORD translation).
The Greek word "anthrōpos" being used in verse 18 where it says "of human" is the Greek strongs concordance G444. The first two definitions of the word are "a human being, whether male or female", and, "generically, to include all human individuals". Could the number of the beast apply to all mankind? In the Greek, and other translations, you will notice the beast is described as an "it", instead of "him". The reason I'm making this point is because when a translation says "His number is 666", this would imply a singular person, the Antichrist. But by saying "the number of it 666", implies that it is of the beast system as a whole.
Throughout the years there have been people trying to calculate numbers based on titles and names that come up to the number 666 to identify one person. But from verse 18, I do not see where God is telling us to count up to 666, but rather to count the number of the beast. This number is identified as 666. So the verse is telling us to count the number 666.
What does it mean to count? It means to add up. So how could we add up 666? Remember my previous point about God confirming in threes. So logically, what would be the best way to count the number 666? To count it equally in threes based off the number. We cannot count it equally as 600+60+6, this would also bring us back to the start. We cannot count it as 600+600+600, or 60+60+60, because there are no zeroes in between or at the end of 666. The only option is 6+6+6=18. What is interesting is that the verse that reveals for us to count the number itself is verse 18, being the third verse out of three verses that describe the mark of the beast. What is 18 divided by 3? 6. So 3x6=18, or 6+6+6=18.
Another interesting point is the only two other combinations(making a total of three possible combinations) for placing a "+" symbol in between the 6's are 66+6=72, and 6+66=72. Adding 7+2 and 7+2 equals 18. Add both 72's together and you get 144. Why the number 144 is interesting is because the verse following Revelation 13:18 is the first time in the Bible where the 144,000 are being described in detail: "Then I looked, and behold, a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father’s name written on their foreheads..." (Revelation 14:1).
Now if you add up all three numbers by counting 666 by moving the "+" symbol around, it would be 72+72+18=162. What is interesting about the number 162, is, if you divide 144,000 by 162, you get 888. The name of Jesus in Greek gematria adds up to 888. Revelation 14:1 not only mentions the 144,000, but also the Lamb who is Jesus.
Applying the same format that I used with calculating the number 666, in which I got the numbers 144 and 162, they also bring interesting results bringing us to the number 18:
• 1+4+4=(9), 1+6+2=(9), (9+9)=18*
• 1+44=(45), 1+62=(63), (4+5)=9, (6+3)=9, 9+9=18* | (45+63)=108, 10+8=18*
• 14+4=(18), 1+44=(45), (1+8)=9, (4+5)=9, 9+9=18* | (18+45)= | 16+2=(18), 1+62=(63), (1+8)=9, (6+3)=9, 9+9=18* | (18+63)= | [6+3]=9, [8+1]=9, 9+9=18* | [63+81]=144
• 1+4+4=(9), 14+4=(18), 1+44=(45), (9+18+45)= (any two combinations of (9, 18, 45, and 72 will add to 18*) | 1+6+2=(9), 16+2=(18), 1+62=(63), 9+18+63= (any two combinations of (9, 18, 63, and 90 will get you 18*) | [7+2]=9, [9+0]=9, 9+9=18* | [72+90]=162
Now what is interesting about the number for Jesus, 888, is that if you apply this same formula, you get 8+8+8=24. Why the number 24? Revelation chapter 4 tells us there are 24 elders seated around the throne of God. This is the same throne where Jesus sits.
Now if you take 8+8+8=24, and 8+88=96, and 88+8=96, you get 24+96+96=216. Take 144,000 divided by 216 and you get 666. Remember that this was the same exact formula to get the number 162 out of counting 666 that brought about the number 888 when dividing 144,000 by 162.
I can see some more possible combinations but I believe the point has been made. With using the same formula of counting by adding the "+" symbol in between the numbers, why do all these numbers relate in such a way?
Another interesting point to note is that if you add up all the numbers from 1 to 36, it totals 666. The number 36, as in three sixes? Could this be a hint that we should add up three sixes instead of perceiving the number as six-hundred sixty six?
So what could this mean? Well we know in this world we are identified by numbers in various forms. From our birth certificate to social security, as well as our drivers license, being identified based on a system of rulership. So it is possible that this RFID microchip will contain a new identification that has a total of 18 characters. Could this be the name of the beast, the number of its name? The beast system that is identified by 18 characters? This would fit scripture that speaks of a mark that we must have to buy or sell in our right hand or forehead, and that it also contains the number of the beast, during a future cashless money society.
I want to close with some very serious passages from the Bible. Whoever reads this, and does not believe in Jesus, the time is now more than ever to build a strong relationship with God. There is nothing we can do to avoid these events from occurring, but what we can do, with the time of grace that we do have, is to get right with God; so we may dwell with Him in paradise for eternity.
It is time to repent and turn from our sins, and receive our only hope for salvation found in Jesus Christ. When we receive Him, and His baptism, our body of sin is put to death, just as He was buried. And just as He was raised to newness of life, likewise we receive His Spirit within us making us alive again. The same Spirit that rose Jesus from the dead will live in us, so when the time comes, we may be resurrected into newness of life.
"Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived. He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed" (Revelation 13:11-15 NKJV).
"Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name" (Revelation 14:9-11 NKJV).
"Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written:
KING OF KINGS AND
LORD OF LORDS.
Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, “Come and gather together for the supper of the great God, that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and great.”
And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh" (Revelation 19:11-21 NKJV).
"Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God" (2 Thessalonians 2:1-4).
What first must be established is knowing that the Bible teaches of only one event where those who are alive and remain are taken up to be with the Lord when Christ returns for His last time. This is known as the second coming of Christ. In 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4, we can see that these verses speak of the second coming of Jesus where all believers will be gathered unto Him. You will find that this will happen after the Antichrist is revealed. Already we can void the idea of a rapture that occurs before the Antichrist takes the stage.
Does scripture allow us to know a time-frame in which Christ will make His return after the Antichrist sits in the temple, and what will occur in between? Yes.
"For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words" (1 Thessalonians 4:15-18).
These verses affirm that both the alive and remaining being caught up and the second coming of Christ are speaking of the same event. Let us connect the dots correlating key points throughout scripture that relates to this single event, the day of the Lord.
Key points from 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18:
• The alive and remaining gathered
• The resurrection of the dead gathered
• The Lord descending from heaven
• With the trumpet of God
• With the voice of an archangel
"For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened" (Matthew 24:21-22).
(Do not think because Jesus said for the elect's sake those days will be shortened, that this is referring to the pre-tribulation rapture, because the following verses below show that the elect are gathered after the tribulation of those days)
“Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other" (Matthew 24:29-31).
Key points from Matthew 24:21-22 and 29-31:
• Flesh will be saved(people kept alive until the Lord returns)
• The angels will gather His people from the four winds
• The Lord descending from heaven on the clouds with power and great glory
• With a great sound of a trumpet
• Time of great tribulation, "such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be"
“At that time Michael shall stand up,
The great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people;
And there shall be a time of trouble,
Such as never was since there was a nation,
Even to that time.
And at that time your people shall be delivered,
Every one who is found written in the book.
And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake,
Some to everlasting life,
Some to shame and everlasting contempt" (Daniel 12).
Key points from Daniel 12:
• People will be delivered(rescued)
• People will be resurrected
• Michael stands up for Gods people, who is an archangel
• Time of trouble, "such as never was since there was a nation, even to that time"
"Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed" (1 Corinthians 15:51-52).
Key points from 1 Corinthians 15:51-52:
• Those who do not sleep(die) will be changed
• Those who sleep will be raised and changed
• The trumpet will sound
In 1 Corinthians 15:51-52, scripture reveals to us more detail about this trumpet call being seen throughout the related scriptures above. We are told that this will be the last trumpet. Where in the Bible do we hear of trumpet calls, and more specifically the last trumpet?
In the book of Revelation we are told there will be 7 trumpet calls that occur in the last of the last days. In Revelation chapter 11 we are shown where this last(7th) trumpet will be positioned in the timeline of the end time events:
"Then the seventh angel sounded(the 7th and last trumpet): And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” And the twenty-four elders who sat before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying:
“We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty,
The One who is and who was and who is to come,
Because You have taken Your great power and reigned.
The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come,
And the time of the dead, that they should be judged,
And that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints,
And those who fear Your name, small and great,
And should destroy those who destroy the earth" (Revelation 11:15-18).
Revelation 11:15-18 clearly shows that this 7th(last) trumpet will be at the end of the great tribulation. For we see that after the 7th angel has sounded that God has begun to reign and to bring judgement upon the dead, as also told of in Daniel 12 and Revelation 20:11-15(Great White Throne Judgement). "The One who is and who was and *who is to come" (Revelation 11:18), that is Jesus, we can see makes His return "Immediately after the tribulation of those days..." in Matthew 24:29.
Take some time to look over the list of key points from the scriptures above to see how they correlate among one another. I attempted to place each related key point in the same numerical position as close as possible so it may be easier to connect each one to see how they are speaking of the same event.
By highlighting key points from these verses, we can make the correlation across all scriptures presented that they all intertwine and concur that when Jesus returns and gathers His people, both those who are alive and those who sleep, will be after the great tribulation, at the 7th(last) trumpet.
I would like to address some commonly used scripture used by those who claim a pre-tribulation rapture. One common objection I have heard: "For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Thessalonians 5:9).
Paul is the writer of 1 Thessalonians and what was the end of his life? The book of Revelation not only speaks of the wrath of God, but also the wrath of Satan working through the beast system: "...Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time" (Revelation 12:12). The wrath of God comes after, upon all those who worship the beast, and his image, and receive his mark.
Another verse I have heard to try and point out the reality of a pre-tribulation rapture: "Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth" (Revelation 3:10).
What needs to be defined is the meaning of the word "keep" used in this verse. It is the Greek word "tereo" which means to guard, watch over, attend to carefully. So this has nothing to do with God taking His people out of the world early by a pre-trib rapture, but rather preserving some of His people through the time of tribulation.
I have read through other statements making the case for a pre-tribulation rapture, and most are of wishful thinking from people who read into scripture things that are not there. The case I have made above is foundational from the word of God giving a clear picture of when the rapture will take place in the timeline of events in scripture.
Allow those scriptures to be your guide for understanding all other scriptures you may have thought to favor a pre-tribulation rapture, so you may see them for what they really are. For it is natural for us as humans to desire the thought of safety. But you have to remember that the New Testament is full of radical acts that lead believers to lose their lives. Many Christians to this day are losing their lives for just professing to be Christian.
What does the Bible say will occur between the time of the Antichrists reign and the return of Christ?
"And the dragon(Satan) was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ" (Revelation 12:17).
"And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months(the great tribulation). Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Revelation 13:5-8).
"Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.
Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’ ”
“Yes,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.” (Revelation 14:12-13).
"When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. And they cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed" (Revelation 6:9-11).
"Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?”
And I said to him, “Sir, you know.”
So he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb" (Revelation 7:13-14).
"Then I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand to heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever, that it shall be for a time, times, and half a time(42 months of great tribulation, the same time-frame spoken of in Rev. 13:5-8); and when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered, all these things shall be finished" (Daniel 12:7).
From these verses, you can see that the saints are put to death by the wrath of Satan and cry for God to avenge them; in which He will at an appointed time when he calls down His wrath upon those who worship the beast, and his image, and receive his mark(see Revelation chapter 16).
Do not be deceived by false teachers and ultimately your own heart:
"Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons" (1 Timothy 4).
The theology of the pre-tribulation rapture didn't appear until the 18th century and wasn't popular until about 1830. It is the work of the devil, a doctrine of demons still being taught to this day; especially by popular speakers who have a big audience through the avenues of media. Beware of preachers who have a big audience through television, radio and so on. I of course cannot say they all are wolves in sheep's clothing, but be aware! Only the Holy Spirit can teach you all things. Always go to the Holy Spirit, for He cannot lead you astray.
Of what benefit would Satan gain by creating and teaching a pre-tribulation rapture? What is the worst that can happen? It weakens the faith of a believer to the point of falling away(2 Thessalonians 2:3) because they did not prepare themselves for the moment of testing; leading the person to worship the beast, and his image, and receive his mark.
For there may come a time when they say to themselves, surely God would have raptured us out of this world before all these disasters have come upon us. And when the Antichrist takes the stage, there may be a scenario where he brings a solution to save the world from these sufferings, causing those who use to confess Christ to put their hope and trust in him.
Grow your faith and relationship with Jesus as strong as possible, and be willing to go through anything up until his return!
"And he said, “Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, made white, and refined, but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand.
“And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up(see Matthew 24:15, time of great tribulation), there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he who waits, and comes to the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days" (Daniel 12:9-12).
"Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man(at the Lord's second coming after the tribulation of those days)" (Luke 21:36).