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The last thing that Revelation 13 says about the beast is that his number will be 666.   Why that number?  And what is the spiritual importance of that number?                 

To answer those questions we need to turn  to Zechariah 13.  In verse 7 we read:                    

"Strike the shepard and the sheep will be scattered;  Then I will turn my hand against the little ones."               

This is a reference to the crucifixion.  Jesus was crucified and three days later resurrected.  Later we read that His church was sent to Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the Earth. (Acts 1:8)  This is the beginning of what we would call the Church Age.  In the coming years churches would be planted in various parts of the Roman world.                                    

Verse 8 reads:                       

"And it shall come to pass in all the land, says the   Lord,"That two-thirds in it shall be cut off and die,  but one-third shall be left in it."                  

Verse 9 reads:                       

"I will bring the one third through the fire, I will  refine them as silver,  And test them as gold is    tested.  They will call on my name, And I will answer  them.  I will say, 'This is My people', And each one   will say, 'The Lord is my God'." NKJV                  

During this era, which is where we are today, God will allow His elect to be tested.  He wants His redeemed to grow and to show the enemy that we can be victorious as long as we stand with Jesus.                     

Note what the end of verse 9 says.  Instead of saying "they" it says "each one" will say that the Lord is my God.  Why is that worth noting ?  Because in New Testament times Jesus is presented as the Lord of the individual instead of just a collective group or nation.  Each individual Christian is known by Jesus by name.  To Jesus I am a person not a number.                               

Zechariah symbolizes this group (the elect) as the fraction one third.  Since the one third symbolizes believers then the two thirds fraction symbolizes the non-believers.  Zechariah says that the two thirds group will be cut-off meaning condemned.  These are the people who will be found guilty of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit because of their rejection of Jesus.  Someday they will hear these terrible words:                                            

"Depart from Me, you are cursed into everlasting fire  prepared for the devil and his angels." (Mat. 25:41).               

When we put the fraction of two thirds into decimal form we get the number .666.  Some theologians have muddied the water by claiming that the correct number for verse 18 should be 616.  However if we allow Zechariah 13 to interprete Revelation 13 then we can see that 666 is the right number.                       

With all that said, Revelation 13:18 could be paraphrased:                        

" is the number symbolizing unsaved mankind, and  that number is two thirds or 666."                   

Why does God use the fractions two thirds and one third to symbolize the unsaved and saved respectively?  One theory is when one third of the angels joined Lucifer's ill-fated rebellion, the two thirds symbolizing the unsaved, together, would form a whole.  Likewise the two thirds of the angels that remained loyal to God coupled with the fraction of one third representing the elect, would also form a whole.                               

Whether the above theory is right isn't important.  What really matters is that believers properly redeem the time in these closing hours.

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