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A Curious Calculation

January 17, 2016
A Curious Calculation
Lately, many popular tabloids and prophecy-related websites have been fixating on a curious calculation related to the number of the beast—666—as found in Revelation 13. The formula goes like this:

666 + 666 + 666 + 6 + 6 + 6 = 2016

Apparently, this calculation means something significant could happen this year in terms of end-time Bible prophecy. Some have used this calculation in conjunction with a variety of additional formulas, dates, and events to conclude that U.S. President Barack Obama has some connection to the devil and the mark of the beast. Other theories are cropping up based on this calculation as well.

But is any of this trustworthy?

Even a brief look at other historical attempts at identifying the beast of Revelation 13 by applying the number 666 to a person’s name, birth date, or year should make Bible believers cautious. For instance, some predicted that the last president of the United States before Christ’s return would be Ronald Wilson Reagan, whose name contains six letters, three times! It didn’t pan out.

The problem with these oft-bizarre numerology efforts is that they do not originate from the Bible, but from the minds of fallible human beings whose imaginations are probably just running wild. There are sound principles for properly interpreting the prophecies found in the book of Revelation. When these aren’t followed, you will end up with endless conflicting views and prophecies that fizzle out. The major fallout is that the failure of these prophecies to materialize ends up doing damage to people’s faith in the Word of God.

Revelation 13:18, where the reference to 666 is seen, comes at the end of a chapter as a final piece of evidence for identifying a symbolic beast, a religious power that ruled, according to the Scriptures, for 1,260 years. This beast received a deadly wound that was later healed (verse 3), showing that this power would rise up again. The title for this power that was used often during that 1,260 year period (from 538 to 1798) is one that numerically matches this false religious power. It is not a number with which we can haphazardly label as a single political leader.
What is this beast power identified by the number 666? Learn the details by listening to this short presentation by Pastor Doug Batchelor. Click here! Or watch Revelation: The Bride, the Beast & Babylon.
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