THE TRUTH CONCERNING 666
Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; who substitute bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter [Isaiah 5:20]!
Why do people say that the number 666 denotes evil, even the acclaimed “beast”? This idea comes from Bible translations and their translation of Revelation 13:18:
Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six.
But a fragment of the oldest surviving copy of the New Testament, as well as other older manuscripts, show that the original number was not 666, but 616. And as you will see, unquestionably the preponderance of evidence is that 666 is in fact a number denoting extraordinary good, and not evil. This is the reason we use it as our PO box.
Let us first ask the question: If 666 is a number that denotes evil, then wouldn’t it have confirming evil significance throughout the Bible? Indeed! But quite revealingly, this is not the case!
What we find instead is that, other than this false and erroneous use of 666 in Revelation 13:18, the number, used only twice in the Bible, in both cases is extraordinarily good! Let us look at these.
The number 666 is first found in the accounting of the amount of gold Solomon received in one year for building the temple: “Now the weight of gold which came in to Solomon in one year was 666 talents of gold” (1 Kings 10:14).
First, the mere fact that this gold was for the temple tells us that the use of 666 here denotes something exceptionally good! Furthermore, the fact that 666 is identified with gold evidences even further good, in that it represents Yahshua and His kingdom.
Likewise, in the same account we read that Solomon received 120 talents of gold from Hiram, the King of Tyre whom Solomon commissioned to bring all the gold and cedar and cypress for the temple construction (1 Kings 9:14), as well as 120 talents from the queen of Sheba (1 Kings 10:10). There is certainly nothing evil regarding 120 talents of gold, a number often representing good, such as the 120 in the upper room on the day of Pentecost (Acts 1:15). Therefore, 666 talents of the same precious element for the same temple have the same positive implication.
The second time 666 is used is in Ezra 2:13, where we read: "the sons of Adonikam, 666." Who was Adonikam? He was one of the leaders of those who came out of captivity in Babylon to help rebuild the temple. These 666 were those of his household who returned to Jerusalem to effect this curse-reversing work. Also, quite revealingly, what does "Adonikam" mean? Adonikam means – "the Lord of rising"! So if you put the phrase together with the number, it says – "the sons of the Lord of rising, 666"! Clearly, it speaks of a people ascending, like unto Elijah.
Therefore, whether it was Solomon's temple or Zerubbabel's temple, 666 evidenced both something good by virtue of these temple constructions, as well as of great value. Certainly, they do not indicate the desolation of the temple by the beast, but rather just the opposite – its construction! Therefore, with full assurance we can say that the assessment of the number 666 as evil is calling good evil.
Furthermore, Bible teachers often draw a contrast between 666 and 888. They say that Yahshua is identified with the number 888, which speaks of the perfect Son of Man. But then, as if it is evil, they say that 666 is a perfect man, but now taking on the identity of some great charismatic leader who will come and rule the earth for a season and cause an abomination of desolation. But is this truth? Far from it!
If three eights makes something good and perfect, then why do three sixes not equally make something good, or at least better? Granted, one is working with sixes here; and that cannot yet be entirely perfect, since six is the number of man. But frankly, flesh man needs a great degree of help in order to be prepared for Yahshua’s return. Let us now go to yet another account to further understand the truth concerning 666.
In Del Washburn's comprehensive book, Theomatics II, he gives extensive evidence, which he qualifies as “overwhelming,” supporting that 616 is the number of the beast and not 666. He notes regarding his first book he wrote on theomatics: "I have in a certain sense regretted that I ever put the chapter on 666 in my first book. At the time I felt compelled to 'say something' about this number because of its popularity." But he goes on to say: "I found virtually no pattern of 666 in all the references from the Bible that could in any way relate to Revelation chapter 13." To the contrary, he discovered an overwhelming amount of evidence that 616 is the number for the beast. "It is one of the most consistent designs I have ever discovered from the Old Testament," He concludes. And equally confirming evidence was afforded in the New Testament as well.
Finally, in James Harrison's book, The Pattern & The Prophecy, he addresses the significance of triangle numbers, which form a triangle. The number "1" is considered a triangle number. Next would be the number "3," followed by "6," and then "10," and so on. In the following dot pattern, you see that in each case they form a triangle – starting at the top with one, then below it adding two more (1 + 2 = 3), then adding three more below that (1 + 2 + 3 = 6), then adding four more (1 +2 + 3 + 4 = 10), and so on.
What is the significance of this? A triangle number is considered to be a complete unit. One is of course representative of God, who is one. Three attests to the trinity of God. Six is man or the number of days of creation. Ten is also a number of completion – the ten commandments. Other interesting triangle numbers pointed out by Harrison are 45, or "Adam (created in God's triangle image)," and 1,081, "God's Holy Spirit."
There are two other triangle numbers that are most striking – 153 and 666. 153 is the number of fish caught by Yahshua’s disciples when He directed them to cast their nets on the right side of the boat. 153 is also the numeric value of Lazarus's name, who was called out from death by Yahshua.
It is a curious and most revealing thing that Harrison, who believes that 666 is the mark of the beast, points out that 666 is a triangle number, but adds the comment: "Yet perhaps the most bewildering of all such [triangle] numbers is that of the Antichrist, 666." Clearly, it is "bewildering" because he and others have the wrong identification for what that number truly means.
It is equally most interesting that 6 is the only digit that is duplicated as a triangle number. In other words, not only is 6 a triangle number, but so is 66, and of course so is 666. All three of these numbers place it on the triangle number pattern. No other digit does this, making these combinations of 6 most relevant.
Therefore, the evidence concerning 666 is soundly conclusive. Based on:
- The absence of 666 in Revelation 13:18 in the oldest manuscripts,
- Del Washburn’s conclusive study confirming that it is not the number of the beast,
- Its association with the building of both Solomon’s temple and Zerubbabel’s temple,
- Its association with gold,
- Its association as "the sons of the Lord of rising, 666," and
- Its positive placement as a complete triangle number,
we see that 666 is actually an exceptionally good number!
For this reason, despite people’s ill-formed views of 666, we have it for our PO box, quite fittingly, here in Salem. As the RTC in RTC Quest Publications indicates, we endeavor to Reverse The Curse – to restore that which has been used for evil, returning it to its original good. Such needs to be the case with 666. It is a number that speaks of exceptionally good, and not evil!