by Mondo Gonzales
It seems I often start many articles I write with one or more caveats. This one will be no different in order for the content to not be quickly dismissed. No doubt there are plenty of secular and even Christian naysayers, mockers, and cynics when it comes to observing and exposing the way in which current events definitively show we are getting closer and closer to Jesus’ 2nd coming. I am certainly not one of those and look forward eagerly to the day we get called up to meet our Lord in the air. Having watched prophecy unfold for the last 30 years provides a vantage point of seeing when current events legitimately correlate with clear expositions of Biblical prophetic passages. It has also provided opportunity to note the way many sensationalize the weekly newspaper to fit their premature interpretations of the Scripture.
One example of this was back in the 1990s, Jack Van Impe (one of my prophetic heroes, may he rest in peace) was selling videotapes of how the European Union comprised of 10 nations and how this was in direct fulfillment of Daniel 2. Now, don’t get me wrong, I was faithful not only to buy the video, but also to watch his show every week. He was trying his best to make understandable the prophecy of Daniel 2 with current events. However, it would be dishonest to say that there wasn’t just a little bit of sensationalism. When there became 13 nations in the European Union, he ended up reinterpreting it to say that 3 of the nations would be removed (Dan 7:24) and thus bringing it back to 10. After the European Union took on member 14 (and now at 27 members), he ended up reinterpreting it once again. I don’t say this to pick on Jack, because he was an amazing Bible teacher and puts almost everyone else to shame with his verbatim Bible memory. What was lacking was the humility needed in evaluating prophetic events.
This brings me to what I have been seeing lately with the hysteria surrounding the covid19 “pandemic” and how it has caused many Christians to react in ways that are once again a little sensationalistic. Another caveat, I think it is quite obvious that even though the virus is real (three of my relatives had severe symptoms with it, but recovered), the media has overblown, lied, misled, and fear-mongered from the moment they had opportunity. Regardless of your political affiliation, I watched as the national media reported with glee various scenarios that would help shut down and damage the national economy in hope of hurting Donald Trump’s reelection bid. You don’t have to be conspiratorial to see that.
However, I have seen some Christian pundits take to their own media presence seeking to sensationalize the supposed connection between covid19 and the potential vaccination efforts, patents, and House Bill numbers introduced in Congress. Most of these have revolved around the association to the number 666.
Now let me ask you a question. How many of you (and me) have heard of or felt a little weird or awkward at various times in the following examples:
You go to the store and the total amount of your purchase equals $6.66.
You are driving your car and you happen to notice that the odometer is turning over to 666 and you feel nervous that something might happen during that specific mile.
Someone reminded you that June 6, 2006 (6/6/06) was coming up and most likely something bad was going to happen.
The average 30-year mortgage rate on the date 6/6/06 was… 6.66% (not kidding), Evil indeed! Research shows that mortgage rates on 6/6/1906 were around 5.4%. It seems 1906 was not as evil as 2006.
The city of Reeves, Louisiana was finally successful in changing their area code prefix of 666 to 749 in 2007. I wonder why…
Ronald Wilson Reagan has six letters each in his full name.
Bill Gates’s name when converted to numbers equals 666.
Christians in 17th-century Europe thought the world would end in the year 1666.
The list could go on and on and the name for this phobia (superstition?) about 666 is called Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia. Is this really how God would want us to interpret the Bible and apply it to our lives? Is the Bible a book of numerology (akin to astrology) that we would allow an innocent number 666 to cause us any alarm or genuine fear? What about the number 13 or broken glass?
No doubt, numbers have various associations in the Bible and I certainly am not arguing against that, but we should not allow ourselves to become superstitious. The enemy would love to enslave us to anything that takes away from the loving protection of God as our Father and spurious Bible interpretation.
Christians for millennia have wondered how the mark of the beast and its association with the number 666 will come to fruition. Remember the big deal about bar codes? Once this was recognized, there was great sensational teaching on how the mark of the beast was going to be a tattooed bar code. Nothing came of this and we moved on to something else as technology became more advanced.
Lately, the covid19 pandemonium has given opportunity for some genuine believers to become fearful over the fact that the House of Representatives introduced a bill entitled HR6666. This is a legitimate bill which is connected with covid19 and was introduced on May 1, 2020. Anyone can go online and look at the contents of this bill and also HR6665 and HR6667, the bills before and after HR6666. This was not a special labeling of a bill, but each bill is given a sequential numbering and it happened to come up in this order. Coincidence? In this case, I would say yes!
There are many things wrong with superstitiously becoming fearful because of the number of this bill. Foremost, it’s not 666, but 6666. Secondly, these HR numbers are recycled every few years and so there are many bills that have a HR6666 labeling. Anyone can go to congress.gov and search these HR bills and you will find that there were many bills with this label in 1980, 1982, 2008, 2012, 2018, and now 2020. To be consistent, shouldn’t those other bills have also been seen as nefarious?
The other thing I have seen lately is the reference to Bill Gates's patent application filed by Microsoft back in June 2019 and which was finally registered a patent number on March 2020. It was given international patent status in April 2020. Let’s be straightforward, Bill Gates is no friend of Biblical Christianity for sure, but a lot has been made about the content of this particular patent for good reason. The title of the patent is “Cryptocurrency system using body activity data”. The number assigned to the patent is WO2020060606 and most people when bringing this up only focus on the last six numbers having three 6’s in it. Why? First and again, the number is not 666, but instead 060606, and secondly, why is there very little mention of the previous 7 digits and numbers?
Under no circumstances am I trying to defend Bill Gates or this particular patent. Many things Bill Gates is involved with are nefarious and aims to contribute to a globalist agenda and increased abortion (reduced population growth) around the world. However, as Christians, we need to demonstrate a more non-sensationalist appearance to a watching world whom we are trying to reach with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Yes, we should expose evil when appropriate (Eph 5:11), but we need to be very careful in our exegesis of the eight Biblical verses that reference the mark of the beast (Rev. 13:16-17; 14:9, 11; 15:2; 16:2; 19:20; 20:4).
When the mark of the beast does finally come, it will not be accidental, nor will we receive it unknowingly (as in a vaccine). According to the above passages the common association of the mark of the beast (and his image) is with worship. I am young and healthy and will most likely not get the vaccine even if it ever becomes available. However, as a pastor would I counsel the elderly in our church not to get the covid19 vaccine due to some loose conspiracy of 666? Definitely not. To do so would be to encourage a superstitious faith.
We can take comfort knowing that when the time comes for the Antichrist to be on the world scene and he institutes his mark (in whatever shape or form that might be), we will not be tricked into getting his mark. It will be connected with worship of the beast, the image, and the dragon. Then, those pastors that are here should warn all people that to take the mark of the beast is to commit their souls to eternal damnation (Rev 14:9-11). Yet there are those who refuse the mark and have victory over the beast (Rev 15:2) and are resurrected unto eternal life (Rev 20:4). Praise the Lord for His grace!