K. 666: The Mark of the Beast—
To counterfeit the seal of God on the foreheads of the saints, the seal of the Holy Spirit, the False Prophet will introduce his own counterfeit mark or seal. The counterfeit seal is the famous mark of the beast. The placing of the mark will be on the forehead or on the right hand (v. 16). It will be given to all who will subject themselves to the authority of the Antichrist and accept him as god. The mark will serve s a passport for business (v. 17a). They will be able to neither buy nor sell anything unless they have the mark. It should be pointed out that this mark has nothing to do with credit, as is often taught today. In a credit system, everyone must have a different number. In this case,
everyone has the same number. The purpose of the mark will be to serve as a sign of identification of those who will own the Antichrist as their god. Only those who have this number will be permitted to work, to buy, to sell, or simply to make a living. The verse does not speak of credit cards, banking systems, a cashless society, a one-world money system, or computers, etc.
The interpretation of the mark is given by five clues (vv. 17b-18):
The name of the Beast;
The number of his name;
The number of the Beast;
The number of a man;
The number is 666.
Following through this logical progression, the number of the Beast is also the number of a man because the Antichrist will be a man who will be the last ruler of the final form of the Fourth Gentile Empire. Furthermore, this number is the number of his very own name, and the numerical value of his name is 666. The point is essentially this: whatever the name of the Antichrist will be in Hebrew, the numerical value of that name will be 666. Each letter of the Hebrew alphabet has a numerical value. There are 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet and in the order of numerical value they are as follows: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100, 200, 300, and 400. So everyone’s name in Hebrew has a numerical value. The numerical value of the author’s name is 966. The name of Jesus the Messiah has the numerical value of 749. In this passage, whatever the personal name of the Antichrist will be, if his name is spelled out in Hebrew characters, the numerical value of his name will be 666. So this is the number that will be put on the worshipers of the Antichrist. Since a number of different calculations can equal 666, it is impossible to figure the name out in advance. But when he does appear, whatever his personal name will be, it will equal 666. Those who are wise (v. 18) at that time will be able to point him out.