|III. I. Solving the Revelation 13:18 Riddle : Antichrist: Why A Number for A Name
We get a major clue in the verse which states: 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,
What we learn about the number of the man is that it is also a name.
Nowhere in Scripture is anyone named with a number. It appears as if this verse does not belong because of this fact. This is the only place in Scripture where a man is named a number and we have to ask why?
The answer is found deep in the Scriptures. Bible Scholars know that you must be able to compare Scripture with Scripture to form a doctrine. Anyone can take Bible verses and passages and give them a meaning, but if a teaching cannot be backed up with Scripture then it is not Bible doctrine.
When we look at why a number is given for the Antichrist’s name we discover a deeper, hidden Biblical truth and what this means for those living during the Tribulation under the Antichrist’s reign.
The meaning of number in the Bible is dimensional and has a spiritual meaning that gives us a glimpse into the Spiritual world.
The prophetic writings not only disclose future events but take us into the throne room of God. (depicted in Revelation, Ezekiel and Isaiah, which are all prophetic books) In delving into prophecy you learn more than anyplace else of the Spiritual world and of the ways of God Himself. You will see this as I further reveal the spiritual significance of why the Antichrist has a number for a name.
We get our first hint in Exodus 30:11-16:
11 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying:
12 “When you take the census of the children of Israel for their number, then every man shall give a ransom for himself to the Lord, when you number them, that there may be no plague among them when you number them.
13 This is what everyone among those who are numbered shall give: half a shekel according to the shekel of the sanctuary (a shekel is twenty gerahs). The half-shekel shall be an offering to the Lord.
14 Everyone included among those who are numbered, from twenty years old and above, shall give an offering to the Lord.
15 The rich shall not give more and the poor shall not give less than half a shekel, when you give an offering to the Lord, to make atonement for yourselves.
16 And you shall take the atonement money of the children of Israel, and shall appoint it for the service of the tabernacle of meeting, that it may be a memorial for the children of Israel before the Lord, to make atonement for yourselves.”
Notice that if a man was to be numbered or counted, he had to pay a ransom and to make atonement, which looked to Jesus who became the ransom for many and the atonement for men’s souls. We see here that if a man is numbered he is essentially damned. Even those who do the numbering can bring on a plague if a ransom is not given. Thus being numbered is associated with spiritual death.
In 2 Samuel 24 we read the account where Satan tempted David to number Israel. The story is also told in 1 Chronicles 21. This is the first mention of Satan by name in the Old Testament. In the first mention of Satan by name he has tempted David to number Israel and this numbering occurred without the ransom and God judged David’s sin harshly.
2 Samuel 24:1-2 tells us:
24 Again the anger of the Lord was aroused against Israel, and He moved David against them to say, “Go, number Israel and Judah.”
2 So the king said to Joab the commander of the army who was with him, “Now go throughout all the tribes of Israel, from Dan to Beersheba, and count the people, that I may know the number of the people.”
David knew that he sinned. In 2 Samuel 24:10 it states:
10 And David’s heart condemned him after he had numbered the people. So David said to the Lord, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done; but now, I pray, O Lord, take away the iniquity of Your servant, for I have done very foolishly.”
God gave David the choice on which judgement to choose, either seven years of famine, three months of running from his enemies or three days of plagues and David chose three days of plagues and 70 thousand men died. (2 Samuel 24:11).
David got the plague to end by erecting an alter on the threshing floor and offering burnt offerings and peace offerings. (2 Samuel 24:18-24).
We also see this negative connotation with being numbered in Isaiah 53:12. Concerning Jesus, it reads, “Therefore will I divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong because He poured out His soul unto death, And He was numbered with the transgressors.”
Jesus was numbered with the transgressors for death, the death that sin causes and the resulting separation from God.
2 Corinthians 5:21 confirms:
21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Jesus for that time on the cross was numbered along with the transgressors as He took our sin upon Him.
In the Hebrew the word for numbered is manah and it means to count, number, assign, tell, appoint, prepare.
To be counted, be numbered
To be reckoned, be assigned,
To appoint, ordain
From the definition we see that being numbered takes on another meaning of being appointed and assigned.
We are beginning to get the picture that those who are numbered have no redemption for their souls and are appointed to hell’s fires. Jesus Himself becomes numbered with the transgressors as He became the atonement for sin.
We see this negative connotation for numbered in Daniel 5:26 concerning the end of the Babylonian kingdom when Belshazzar the son of Nebuchadnezzar was having a feast and using the temple cups and utensils for his party, when a large hand came and wrote some writing on the wall. Daniel was called to interpret the writing and he stated: “This is the interpretation of each word. MENE: God has numbered your kingdom, and finished it. The word men-aw in the Aramaic means to count, appoint:—number, ordain, set. Again we see the term numbered meaning appointed to death. We also see this teaching in those who take the Mark of the Beast who will be damned to hell via taking the Antichrist’s number vs. the name of Chris. In doing so they number themselves for death.
The Mark of the Beast is mentioned twice in the Revelation and referenced to in six verses.
A key verse that mentions eternal damnation for taking the mark or the number of the Antichrist’s name is Revelation 14:9-11 and it reads:
Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 11 And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name..
We see this in God’s promise to Abraham a double meaning for numbered in Genesis when God promised him that that his descendants will be as the dust of the earth which cannot be numbered.
Jeremiah 33: 22, As the host of heaven cannot be numbered , neither the sand of the sea measured: so will I multiply the seed of David my servant, and the Levites that minister unto me.
Hosea 1:10 states, “Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered and it shall come to pass that in the place where it is said unto the, ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, ye are the sons of the living God.”
They are innumerable and cannot be numbered because they are not appointed to death but to life, see the double meaning.
While the promise describes the amount of Abraham’s descendants that are innumerable, many believed that this was why when David numbered the Israelites he defied God because of this passage. There was also the idea floated that judgment came because David was looking to the number of his army and not to God, but in the book of Numbers the numbers are recorded. The reason David was judged is because Numbering needed to follow a protocol signifying redemption for those numbered. Why? Because those who are numbered are damned. When you are numbered you are appointed to death. When you are given a name you are redeemed and your name is written in the book of life. What we glean from Revelation 13:18 is that if you are not given a name, and your name is not written in the book of life but if you are numbered meaning you are appointed for death, i.e. eternal death and damnation.
Revelation 22:4 states, “And they shall see his face and his name shall be in their foreheads.”
In these two verses we see that the redeemed are given a name, in contrast to the damned that are numbered.
Philippians 4:3 And I intreat thee also, help those women which labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellow labourers, whose names are written in the book of life.
Revelation 3:5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.
Revelation 13:18:, And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world .
Revelation 17:18: The beast that thou sawest was and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.
Revelation 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
Revelation 21:27 And there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie, but they are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
We also see that those whose names are written in the book of life are not numbered.
Luke 10:20: “Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”
Here we see that the redeemed have their names written in heaven.
In the Bible the name of Jesus is emphasized and the importance of His name is throughout Scripture.
Revelation 19:13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood and his name is called the Word of God.
Revelation 19:16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
In contrast lets look at the significance of a name. We see that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow and every tongue will confess. We see at the sealing of the 144 thousand the name of God is in their foreheads.
Revelation 3:12 tells us: ”He who overcomes I will make him a pillar in the Temple of My God, and he shall go out no more; and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God; and I will write on him My new name.”
In contrast the Here is Wisdom and let he who has understanding count the Number of His name. The wisdom is that those who are numbered are appointed to death and the reason the Antichrist has a number for his name is because from his birth he is destined for death because he is the son of Satan himself.
The other shocking reality is that if you do not have a name in heaven, you are essentially a number. Upon my first realization that my unsaved loved ones are mere numbers I felt the same horror that Charlton Heston felt in the movie Soylent Green when he realized that the food that Soylent Green was made from was people.
The reason the Antichrist has a number for a name is because he is the son of Satan and is not only appointed to eternal death from his birth but will bodily be thrown into the lake of fire. It is important for the Tribulation Saint to fully understand that this man is the son of Satan, the second member of the unholy trinity.
Those who number themselves with his number and take the number of his name will also be numbered for death. The Bible cannot seem to drive this point far enough that the man instituting the mark is the son of Satan himself. We see this driven home even further when we get to the next phrase.
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