Apologetics – Defending the Faith

Apologetics simply means “defending the faith,” or standing up for your beliefs and stating why you believe what you do. Below is a listing of some faiths and what they believe, teach and practice. These summaries are by no means exhaustive; they are just meant to give a brief overview of these various belief systems. The sources of information on these groups vary from their own literature and scriptures to conversations with adherents, apologetics specialists and in some cases, cult watch and hate watch groups.

Christian apologetics is the both the science and art of answering questions by using reasons and evidence. The word apologetics first appears in the New Testament in 1 Peter 3:15 where the Apostle Peter addressed early Christians in Asia Minor (a Roman province) who were suffering persecution because of their faith in Christ. He writes, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:” Within this one verse, Christian apologetics is summarized nicely.

666 – The Number of the Beast

Ever since John, the servant of God, wrote the Book of Revelation and mentioned the number 666, people have been trying to figure out the meaning of the mark of the beast. The number is mentioned in Revelation 13:16-18.

I believe the mark or number of the beast will be a financial identification system that the Antichrist will establish during the tribulation. He will use the mark as a tool for controlling all aspects of society.

The Antichrist will make it compulsory for everyone to have a tiny microchip implanted under the skin of the right hand or on the forehead. The microchip will hold various amounts of data pertaining to each person who receives the implant. Right now, the technology exists to fully implement this system. From here on out, the only changes will be in how much information those microchips will be able to hold.

Everyone who receives the mark will also have to swear allegiance to the Antichrist and acknowledge him as the supreme authority. This is why all who take the mark of the beast will be condemned to hell. All who choose not to receive the mark will be unable to buy anything because cash, checks, and credit cards will all be replaced by the beast system's instant funds.

As time has passed, we have lost the true meaning of the mark of the beast. Even though it is clearly defined as a mark that will be placed upon the right hand or forehead, a number of people throughout history have attached new and even weird meanings to this number. The number has become trivialized by its repeated association with its every random occurrence. Some folks have believed the beast's number was to be a certain year. Because of this, the year 666 AD was at one time considered the date for the advent of the Antichrist. When that date came and went without incident, many began to anticipate the year 1666 with dread. Nostradamus pointed to the year 1999 as an inverted six-six-six year.

Because the beast's number will have something to do with the Antichrist's name, scholars have been busy working equations to figure which world leaders have had names equaling 666 in some way. Depending on how you figure it, the number can be made to add up to just about anyone's name.

A number of people have superstitions or phobias about this number. Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobiacs is the term for people who fear the number 666. I once met a person who refused to ride in a car that had a license plate with 666 on it. Another person I know adds a stick of gum or something to his purchases if his check-out total at the store is triple six in any way. When President and Mrs. Reagan moved out to California, their house number was, you guessed it, 666. They had it changed to 668. Any time a bill numbered 666 is produced by a governing body like the UN or Congress, prophecy watchers give the document a good going-over to see if it has a connection with end-time events.

Radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh always says the best way to demonstrate absurdity is by being absurd. A friend recently emailed me a note listing other numbers of the beast. I expanded upon it and provide it here to illustrate how people can become too focused on the unholy number.

A Collection of Numbers of the Beast

Phillips 666
Route 666
666 UP 
666lb cap
666 F 
6"X 6"X 6"
66.6 GHZ 
IAM 666
Formula 666
666 calories
66.6 MHz FM 
Chanel No. 666

Number of the beast
Neighbor of the beast
Approximate number of the beast
Roman numeral of the beast
Number of the high-precision beast
Number of the millibeast
Common denominator of the beast
Imaginary number of the beast
Binary number of the beast
The Fermi Number of the Beast
Hexidecimal number of the beast
Negative number of the beast
Zip code of the beast
Retail price of the beast
Price of the beast plus 5% state sales tax
Price of the beast with all accessories and replacements
Wal-Mart price of the beast
Next week's Wal-Mart price of the beast
After-Christmas sale price of the beast
Going-out of business liquidation price of the beast
Gasoline of the beast
Way of the beast
Older brother of the beast
Younger brother of the beast
Soft drink of the beast
Weight limit of the beast
Oven temperature for cooking roast "beast"
Retirement plan of the beast
5-year CD rate at First Beast of Hell, $666 minimum deposit
Vision of the beast
Toll-free number of the beast
Australian number of the beast
Lumber of the beast
Computer processor of the beast
Social security number of the beast
Birth date of the beast
URL of the beast
License plate number of the beast
All-purpose cleaner of the beast
Diet of the beast
Dyslexic number of the beast
Spray lubricant of the beast
FM radio station of the beast
The beast's favorite perfume
What the beast gives in his game

I wouldn't totally rule out any other meaning to the appearance of this number. For example, a Halloween lottery pick-3 drawing once turned up 666 as the winning number. We may have to allow for the occasional sovereignty of God in His attempt to warn folks of the evils of this world--in this case, gambling and Halloween. If there's a wayward Christian at a convenience store buying a dirty magazine or a bottle of booze and the register rings up $6.66, I couldn't think of a better number for God to use to get that person's attention.

Now on the other hand, the next time you receive your water bill and upon opening it, you discover it comes to $6.66 or you realize you've used 666 cubic feet of water--don't go pulling your hair out. Unless it has a direct connection to the Antichrist or is some special message from God, it is just another number that randomly comes up.