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What Does 666 Really Mean?

By Rev. D. Earl Cripe, Ph.D.


The Mark, the Name and the Number of the Beast

Few subjects have attracted more attention from people of all walks of life than the number symbol 666 in the Book of Revelation.  This is most often referred to as The Mark of the Beast.  That is a slight inaccuracy however; there are really three things involved in this identifying mark of the so-called Beast.  There is the mark, the name, and the number.  If you wanted to be technical, it is not the mark of the beast — it is the number of the beast.  Even so, all three of these — the mark, the name, and the number — are involved with this creature and its identity.  The beast with which this designation is associated is not the first beast (the beast of secular humanism) that rises up out of the sea in Revelation 13:1-8, but the second beast (the beast of religious humanism) that rises up from the earth in Revelation 13:11-18 where it says:


Rev 13:11  And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.         

Rev 13:12  And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.

Rev 13:13  And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,

Rev 13:14  And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.

Rev 13:15  And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.

Rev 13:16  And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:

Rev 13:17  And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

Rev 13:18  Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is six hundred threescore and six.


This number symbol 666 is really quite simple to understand and explain.  It does not deserve all of the confusion that it has received through the years. While its meaning is simple and plain, we will take a little time to discuss the scriptures and symbology surrounding it, in order that you might have a fuller understanding.

666 vs. 777

The basis for that understanding consists in contrasting 666 with 777.  In the Kingdom of God, no man could participate and sing the new song (of the New Covenant) unless he had the mark and the number and the name identified with that operation.  It was the number — the mark — the seal, of the living God in their foreheads.


7 Equals Completion

The number 7 is symbolic of completion.  It does not always refer to something good because the first beast and the Dragon have 7 heads.  The Beast is a multi-headed thing with complete dominion in the realm outside the Kingdom of God.  In that case, the number 7 represents the complete and united operation of evil in the kingdom of darkness within the finite parameters that God allows; but it does not represent that which is good or holy.


The 7th Day

The basis for the symbolic meaning of the number 7 was established by the 7th day when God rested from all His labors because creation was complete.  The 7th day was itself a prophetic testimony of the Cross, the New Creation, and the Kingdom of God.  The number 6, arising from the fact that it was on the 6th day that man was created, stood for the finite, the unfinished, the Old Covenant of flesh and the world of mortality.



God is Three-in-One — the Holy Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Ghost.  These Three combine, in number symbolism, with the perfection of the number seven to form the three sevens:  777.



There is an unholy trinity — the Dragon (Satan), the Beast (secular humanism) and the False Prophet (religious humanism).  The Dragon — that old serpent Satan — the devil, is an imitator.  In Isaiah 14, we read of how Satan was envious of God.

Isa 14:12  How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

Isa 14:13  For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:

Isa 14:14  I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.

Isa 14:15  Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

So, in an attempt to compete with God, these three (the Dragon, the Beast and the False Prophet) combine with the imperfect and incomplete number six to form the three sixes:  666.

777 or 666

So we have God, the 777, as contrasted to the Dragon and his operation, the 666.  If you receive that mark in your forehead — if you accept that philosophy, if you live your life in that realm, if you adopt that way of thinking — and if you receive the mark in your right hand — if you practice those beliefs and your deeds reflect those values — then you are part of the kingdom of darkness.  Satan will — for whatever compensation it will be for you now in these mortal years — allow you the benefits of being on the low road.  Those who will not receive that mark will get no quarter from Satan, but that is alright with them.  They do not want any of that trash.  Their song is to the Lamb, their living and breathing consists in doing God’s Will.  They have bread, and they have meat (even as Jesus said when he was in this world) that the worldly man knows nothing about.  They do not want to sit down at the devil’s table.

6 is The Number of Man


Rev 13:18  Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is six hundred threescore and six.


The Bible says that this 666 is the mark of a man.  Let me explain something to you about that phrase.  In the Greek language indefinite articles are optional, for the simple statement of the case. But there is a rule concerning indefinite articles.  Dr. A.T. Robertson states that where no article is present in the text, you may use it the indefinite article.  To quote Robertson: “It may be used or it may not be used. It is not essential to speech.”  You do not need to use it.  Sometimes it is better not to use the indefinite article, and never is it mandatory where none exists in the Greek text.  In this instance, there is no article in the Greek, and the way it is written should read as: “Here is wisdom.  Let him that hath understanding count the number of the Beast: for it is the number of man; and his number is six hundred threescore and six.”

In the Greek it does not say a man, and in my view it does not intend to say that.  It says: the number of man and that is exactly what it means, as I see it.  6 is the number of man.  It was on the 6th day that man was created.  6 is in contrast to the 7.  6, being the number of man, is symbolic of religious and secular humanism which has its authority and power in the Beast. 

Receiving or Not Receiving The Mark of the Beast

We are being told something here that is very simple and the warning is clear enough for those who have ears to hear and eyes to see: Do not adopt the Dragon‘s ideas.  Do not sing his song.  Do not repeat his line.  Do not feed on his lies.  Do not take the bait.  Do not adopt his ways as a pattern of behavior in your life.  Give no credence to ideas which are contrary to the Bible, and do not fall into the unnecessary and dangerous practice of confusing yourself as to what the Bible says and whether or not these lies of Satan really conflict with the Bible.  What am I talking about?  I will give you four examples of what could be a very long list if we had the time.

  1. Do not believe for a moment that there could be millions of years between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2.  The Bible is written for simple men, and what it says is clear to all.  This arcane, esoteric, and tortured notion of millions of years is nothing but an apology for the faith in order to placate the Beast and the False Prophet.

  2. Do not fall for prosperity preaching and the lying wonders and faked miracles in the religious world today.  Pay no attention for a moment to the utter sham and sleight of hand of the thing itself.  The philosophy is that of the False Prophet.  It is has its value system, its power base, and its reward in this fallen world of darkness. That makes it plainly a part of the 666.

  3. Do not believe that there is room in Christianity for divorce and remarriage among Christians in the Church.  I am not talking about the non-Christian or what he may or may not have done before becoming a Christian.  There is a case to be made, in I Corinthians 7:13-16, for the right of a woman, whose unbelieving husband has left her through no fault of her own, to remarry.  But this is a matter between a believer and an unbeliever and does not comment on that which is acceptable in the lives of two believers.  I am talking about the Bible rules concerning moral discipline in the Church between believers.  The Bible is clear on it.  It is not permitted.  Those who make the case for it are guilty of wresting the Scriptures to their own destruction, and the glaring 666 on their forehead is brighter than the scarlet A on Hester Preen.

  4. Do not give even passing thought to the modern argument that it makes no real difference whether or not there are errors in the Bible.  According to this argument, inerrancy is a myth, the Bible is not infallible, and it cannot be relied upon in historical and scientific matters.  This doctrine of the False Prophet has related claims, such as “God did not create this universe in six days” or that “Adam was not the first man.” You cannot believe that.

But false religion is compassionate, generous and expansive.  The False Prophet comes by to chat and to cheer you up.  “Hey, what difference does it make,” he asks, “whether Adam was the first man or not?  What do we care?  We are here, are we not?  That is what matters.  What do we care whether there are errors in the Bible?  Our purpose is to save men, to get them redeemed, to get them into the Kingdom of God, that is what we are here for. We are concerned with people, not doctrines and theologies.  I do not think we are supposed to worry about these other things.” 

Is that true?  Is it?

Nothing under heaven could be more untrue or further from the truth.  Pay close attention to this because the legitimacy of any claimed Gospel preaching stands or falls on this point.  If Adam was not a literal person, if the Bible is not correct in what says about Adam — if we are not all the literal and genetic offspring of Adam and if all men did not die in Adam, then there is no salvation for anyone.  If all did not die in Adam, then all are not made alive in Christ.  The whole Biblical proposition of salvation is based upon the federal-mediation principle that Adam acted, and his race was affected.  In identically the same way, according Romans 5:14-15, all are made alive in Christ. I Corinthians 15:22 phrases it similarly when it says, “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”  If that is not true then the Bible, and certainly the Gospel, is based upon a fallacy.  If Adam was not a real, historic person, created fully grown and in the image of God approximately six thousand years ago, then the entire Biblical story of redemption is a hoax, and there is no Gospel to preach.  That is the trick in theistic evolution, the big bang theory, and every other enlightenment lie designed by the Dragon, the Beast, and the False Prophet to corrupt the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ.

It is pointless to talk about “just wanting to see souls saved” if Adam and creation are not literal truths.  What are you going to save souls with? There is no Gospel to preach to them.  But that is not a problem to the advocates of neo-evangelism, which is another of the False Prophet‘s inventions.  They will get him down to the altar, get him to shed a few tears, get him to repeat a parroted little prayer, get him signed up, get him on the newsletter mailing list and get his money coming in.  That is all they care about — the here and the now.  They have made another proselyte to their system. It is not hard to see why the devil wants to sell that idea of a flawed Scripture and no historic creation or Adam.

If you accept these ideas, whether you know it or not, you are accepting a lie which shoots the heart out of the Gospel.  In so doing, you are accepting the Mark of the Beast in your mind, and the deeds will not be long in following.  Do not accept the number of the Beast.  What will happen to those who do?  The Bible goes on to tell us about that, and it is a sinister warning indeed.

God’s Point of View ©2020

This article was an excerpt of our commentary on the Book of Revelation. It can be purchased from Kindle at the following link: Vol XXX - Seven Trumpets Asounding - Commentary on the book of Revelation

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