The Number of the Beast, The Number of a Man – Purity 666
Purity 666 02/28/2022 Purity 666 Podcast
Today’s photo of a palm tree and the blue sky above the beach at the E.G. Simmons Regional Park in Ruskin Florida comes to us from yours truly as my wife and I decided to have a low key day of relaxation on the last full day of our honeymoon vacation last Thursday.
I reported that it was “back to reality” on Friday because we had returned to our homes in upstate New York only to be welcomed back by a snow storm, but today is the real day of reckoning as my job as “spontaneous vacation tour guide” has been exposed for the temporary assignment that it was and I return to the working world and my “real job”.
While I only give my employer 40 hours a week, I try to give the Lord all of my life and a part of my desire to follow the Lord are these nearly daily encouragements that begun as personal texts to a brother I was in an accountability relationship with. “Purity 1” was a single text that was intended to encourage my brother in Christ that he could had victory in the area of sexual immorality. Shortly after that first encouragement, I started sharing the texts with all the men that walked through the doors of our recovery ministry and then started sharing the encouragements along with photos that highlighted God’s creation on Facebook. In 2020, I decided to bring them to mt4christ.org which had been dormant since 2018 with Purity “217” and now we have reached the dubious number of Purity “666”.
Numbers can be meaningful or novel as we all witnessed as there was quite a bit of hoopla over 2/22/2022 last week. Numbers can also be seen as ominous as some see the number 13 as bad luck and thus we have some buildings out there with no 13th floor. So as I realized that we were reaching Purity “666”, I wondered if I should talk about the elephant in the room that comes to mind with that “number of the beast”, the anti-Christ.
In light of the invasion of the Ukraine by Russia, many are speculating over whether these events will lead to World War III, the emergence of the anti-Christ on the world stage, and the fulfillment of end times prophecies in which Russia is speculated to play a significant role.
So is this the end? Is this World War III? Is the anti-Christ going to come on the world stage to usher in the time known as the Tribulation? What does the number 666 even mean?
As for the first three questions, I confidently say “I don’t know” but based on what I know from my study of the Bible, I would say “I don’t think so” because scripture indicates that the event commonly referred to as the rapture will occur before the tribulation. According to the pretribulation view of the end times, which the vast majority of Bible scholars agree on, Christ comes and “snatches away” the church before the Tribulation period begins.
But I am not here to argue over or predict the end times, as a “freedom fighter” for Christ, I don’t really push one end times scenario over another and take a more pragmatic view of my role as a disciple of Christ. I believe that our purpose as Christians lies in the “great commission” given to us by Jesus to go into all the world and to make disciples regardless of the times or seasons that we encounter on the earth.
As for “666” John MacArthur’s commentary on Revelation 13:18 where the number of the beast is mentioned tells us that “666”
“ is the essential number of a man. The number 6 falls one short of God’s perfect number, 7, and thus represents human imperfection. Antichrist, the most powerful human the world will ever know, will still be a man, i.e., a 6. The ultimate in human and demonic power is a 6, not perfect, as God is. The 3-fold repetition of the number is intended to reiterate and underscore man’s identity. When Antichrist is finally revealed, there will be some way to identify him with this basic number of a man, or his name may have the numerical equivalent of 666. (In many languages, including Heb., Gr., and Lat., letters have numerical equivalents.) Because this text reveals very little about the meaning of 666, it is unwise to speculate beyond what is said.”  John F. MacArthur Jr., The MacArthur Study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2006), Rev 13:18.
Well, I am not going to be unwise and speculate over who the anti-Christ will be, nor will I push one end times view that attempts to incorporate current events over another.
Instead, as someone who has known and seen the spiritual reality of the forces of demonic darkness, I will continue to live the life of a Christian disciple regardless of the times or seasons. I will attempt to live according to the Lord’s ways for my life and not fear the times to come. Our purpose in Christ should be to share the gospel that teaches of the exclusivity of Jesus Christ to save and to encourage Christians to pick up their crosses to follow Jesus by “walking in the Spirit”, by praying at all times, by giving thanks to the Lord at all times, and by rejoicing at all times.
All the theories about the end times and all ideas about a political solution to the problems of world events should not cause us to fear or cause us to lose our focus to share the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the wisdom of living by faith in the power of the Holy Spirit in all the aspects of our lives.
If Christ comes back tomorrow or the anti-Christ rises to power and an age of darkness and destruction comes to the world stage, we are to be doing what Christ called us to do: to tell the world about Him and to live according to His wisdom.
Regardless of the wars between nations, ultimate reality will come down to who we chose to stand with and serve. We can choose to go with God and share the hope of Jesus as a living expression of our faith or we can choose the ways of the world, religious systems that deny who Jesus is, or our own personal philosophies and agendas that separate us from God.
Jesus Christ came to earth to give us life and life more abundantly. Having faith in Christ and trusting that the Lord is in control means that we follow Him regardless of the circumstances that surround us.
So keep walking and talking with God. See the good in the world and share the hope that transcends the evil that men do, the hope that gives us everlasting life, the hope that lies in Christ alone.
Today’s Bible verses come to us from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.
This morning’s meditation verses are:
29 What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it.
30 And the very hairs on your head are all numbered.
31 So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.
Today’s Bible verses encourages us to not fear, as our sovereign Lord knows everything that is happening and has deemed us to be very valuable.
Today’s verses are the words of Jesus, Himself, and prior to this section of scripture Jesus is telling us that we should not fear men who could kill our physical bodies but to instead fear God who could destroy both our bodies and souls in hell!
Yup, that’s the kind and gentle Jesus that we know and love, warning us of the wrath of God and the consequences of not making peace with Him.
But Christ doesn’t want to scare us, He wants to save us. He wants us to be assured that as scary as the world can be, God knows what is happening in the world and considers us to be valuable.
Jesus contrasts the value of sparrows with that of man who is made in God’s image – indicating that we are not created equal with the beasts of the earth. Jesus seeks to assure us that God is in control over the matters of life and death and that He is aware of when things will die, even sparrows. God’s knowledge is so great that He even knows the insignificant details of life, like the numbers of hairs on our heads.
All of this is said by Christ, to reveal the Father’s omnipresence and His sovereign control over life and death matters.
Jesus assures of us of the immense value that we have in the Father’s eyes and that God seeks us to give us the assurance of our safety by being reconciled to Him through Jesus. If we put our faith in and follow Jesus, we don’t have to fear other men or the death they could dispense through violence. In Christ, we are brought under the protection of God and assured our value and safety.
So don’t fear man, and don’t fear death. Fear God and make peace with Him through Jesus Christ to know the peace that comes from knowing that you are very valuable to Him and that He will give you life everlasting.
As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.
Today we continue sharing from June Hunt’s Codependency: Balancing an Unbalanced Relationship.
As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase June Hunt’s books for your own private study and to support his work. This resource is available on many websites for less than $5.00.
IV. Steps to Solution
The primary problem with codependency can be called "idolatry"—giving a greater priority to anything or anyone other than God Himself. Our God is the One who created you and who has a wonderful plan for your life. He is the Lord who loves you and knows how to fulfill you. If you are in a codependent relationship...
- Your excessive care causes you to compromise your convictions.
- Your excessive loyalty leaves you without healthy boundaries.
- Your excessive "love" allows you to say yes when you should say no.
However, our Maker and Master has the right to have primary rule in our hearts and over our lives. Any other substitute is simply idolatry. The Bible says.
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength." (Deuteronomy 6:5)
A. Key Verse to Memorize
No other verse in the Bible is better at helping us set our priorities straight... put our relationships in the right order. We must put "first things first" or else we, in our relationships, will never have the fulfillment that God has planned for us.
"Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ." (Galatians 1:10)
Biblical Counseling Keys: Codependency: Balancing an Unbalanced Relationship.
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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship