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Saturday, June 10, 2017

Wild Beast of Revelation

The Mark of the Wild Beast



John now sees how Satan maneuvers
the political parts of his visible organization
to cause the maximum suffering for the re-
maining ones of the seed of God’s woman.
(Genesis 3:15) He returns to describing “the
wild beast” itself:
And it puts under compulsion
all persons,the small and the great,and the rich
and the poor, and the free and the slaves, that they
should give these a mark in their right hand or upon
their forehead, and that nobody might be able to
buy or sell except a person having the mark, the
name of the wild beast or the number of its name.
Here is where wisdom comes in: Let the one that
has intelligence calculate the number of the wild
beast,for it is a man’s number;and its number is
six hundred and sixty-six.”—Revelation 13:16-18.


The wild beast has a name, and this
name is a number: 666. Six, as a number, is
associated with Jehovah’s enemies. A Philis-
tine man of the Rephaim was of “extraordi-
nary size,” and his “fingers and toes were in
sixes.” (1 Chronicles 20:6) King Nebuchad-
nezzar erected a golden image 6 cubits in
breadth and 60 cubits high, to unify his po-
litical officials in one worship. When God’s
servants refused to worship the image of
gold, the king had them thrown into a fiery
furnace. (Daniel 3:1-23) The number six falls
short of seven, which stands for complete-
ness from God’s standpoint. Therefore, a tri-
ple six represents gross imperfection.


A name identifies a person. So how does
this number identify the beast? John says
that it“is a man’s number,”not that of a spir-
it person, so the name helps to confirm that
the wild beast is earthly, symbolizing human
government. Just as six fails to measure up
to seven, so 666—six to the third degree—

is a fitting name for the world’s gigantic po-
litical system that fails so miserably to mea-
sure up to God’s standard of perfection. The
world’s political wild beast rules supreme
under the name-number 666, while big pol-
itics, big religion, and big business keep that
wild beast functioning as an oppressor of
mankind and a persecutor of God’s people.


What does it mean to be marked on the
forehead or in the right hand with the name
of the wild beast? When Jehovah gave Isra-
el the Law, he told them: “You must apply
these words of mine to your heart and your
soul and bind them as a sign upon your
hand, and they must serve as a frontlet band
between your eyes.” (Deuteronomy 11:18)
This meant that the Israelites had to keep
that Law constantly before them, so that it
influenced all their actions and thoughts.
The 144,000 anointed ones are said to have
the Father’s name and that of Jesus written
on their foreheads. This identifies them as
belonging to Jehovah God and Jesus Christ.
(Revelation 14:1) In imitation, Satan uses the
demonic mark of the wild beast. Anybody
engaged in everyday activities such as buy-
ing and selling is pressured to do things the
way the wild beast does, as, for example, in
celebrating holidays. They are expected to
worship the wild beast, letting it rule their
lives, so as to receive its mark.


Those who refuse to accept the mark
of the wild beast have had constant prob-
lems. Starting in the 1930’s, for example,
they had to fight many court battles and en-
dure violent mobbings and other persecu-
tions. In the totalitarian countries, they were
thrown into concentration camps, where
many died. Since the second world war,
countless young men have suffered lengthy
imprisonments, some even being tortured
and killed, because of their refusal to com-
promise their Christian neutrality. In other
lands Christians are literally unable to buy or
sell; some are unable to own property; oth-
ers are raped, murdered, or chased from
their native land. Why? Because in good
conscience they refuse to buy a political par-
ty card.John 17:16.


In some areas of the earth, religion is so
ingrained in community life that anyone
who stands for Bible truth is ostracized by
family and former friends. It takes great faith
to endure. (Matthew 10:36-38; 17:22) In a
world where the majority worship material
wealth and where dishonesty is rampant,
the true Christian often has to trust implic-
itly in Jehovah that He will uphold him in
pursuing an upright course. (Psalm 11:7; He-
brews 13:18) In a world awash with immo-
rality, it takes great determination to remain
clean and pure. Christians who fall sick are
often pressured by doctors and nurses to
break God’s law on the sanctity of blood;
they even have to resist court orders that
conflict with their faith. (Acts 15:28, 29; 1 Pe-
ter 4:3, 4) And in these days of rising unem-
ployment, it is becoming increasingly dif-
ficult for a true Christian to avoid work that
would mean compromising his integrity be-
fore God.—Micah 4:3, 5.


Yes, the world is a difficult place for
those who do not have the mark of the wild
beast. It is an outstanding demonstration of
Jehovah’s power and blessing that the re-
maining ones of the seed of the woman, as
well as more than six million of the great
crowd, are keeping integrity despite all the
pressures to break God’s laws. (Revelation
7:9) Unitedly, throughout the earth, may all
of us continue to magnify Jehovah and his
righteous ways, as we refuse to receive the
mark of the wild beast.—Psalm 34:1-3.