“His Number is 666”
By Kim Riddlebarger ~ Sermons on the Book of Revelation # 20
Texts: Revelation 13:11-18; Daniel 8:15-26
There is no subject–with the possible exception of the unpardonable sin–which has caused as much consternation for the people of God as has the so-called “mark of the beast.” John pointedly warns his hearers against taking such a mark on the back of the hand or the forehead. He also tells us that anyone who takes such a mark swears allegiance to the beast. This has given Christians throughout the ages a healthy suspicion of any government which persecutes the church or hinders the preaching of the gospel. It has lead to a number of questions in our own day about advancing technology and increasing government control over many areas of our personal lives. Such a warning from an apostle creates a climate in which sensational predictions and warnings about political events and technology are the norm. So we must do our best to bring clarity to this most difficult and controversial of subjects.
In past sermons, we have been working our way through Revelation 12-14 in which John introduces his reader to seven of the main characters in the great drama of redemption. Like the seal judgments of Revelation 6-8:1 and the trumpet judgments of Revelation 8-11, the vision recorded in Revelation 12-14 describes the entire period of time between the first advent and the second coming of Christ from a distinct theological perspective (or “camera” angle as we have been calling it). In this section of Revelation, John gives us a vivid description of the struggle between the people of God and our great adversary, Satan, who has been cast down from heaven to earth where he now seeks to wage war upon the church of Jesus Christ through the agency of his henchmen, the beast and the false prophet. Continue reading