All of you have heard that ominous number: “666.” It is mentioned in Revelations 13:18, where it says, “In this situation wisdom is needed. Let the person who has insight figure out the number of the beast, because it is the number of a human. The beast’s number is 666.”
That passage has really messed with people. Folks have gone over the deep-end trying to figure it out. As a matter of fact, there was a group in the Muskegon area that refused to make a purchase of anything that ended in, or included the numbers “666.” If they purchased groceries and it totaled $76.66, they would buy a pack of gum or something, just to change the total. Yeah, yeah. It was silly, but they were so obsessed with it, they appeared to outsiders as being . . . well . . . weird.
But sadly that group in Muskegon are not the only ones obsessed with it. I has frustrated people from the day it was prophesied. Some tried to use different numerological methods to calculate and manipulate numbers so they could assign this number to specific men, whose names somehow added up to 666.
But I found an interesting tidbit . . . John 6:66 says, “Yeshua’s speech made many of his disciples go back to the lives they had led before they followed Yeshua.” Now I find that interesting! In Revelation it is refering to a “Beast,” which we commonly call the “Anti-Christ.” But here in John’s Gospel, it mentions people who were offended by something Jesus said, and left.
Okay, so what was Jesus saying that caused those folks to desert him? Well, that was when he was talking about “eating his body and drinking his blood,” about our need to be committed to him, no matter what.
One of the things I have learned over the years, is that when the Lord gives you a clear vision of His will, you must “walk in the light” of that vision. I John 1:7 says, “If we are really living and walking in the Light, as He is in the Light, we have true and unbroken fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses—and removes us from all sin and guilt—and keeps us cleansed from sin in all its forms and manifestations.”
You see, even though our minds might be “tinkled-pink” by things we are learning, if we don’t “walk in the light” of what He has shown us, we will sink to a level of bondage never envisioned by our Lord. When we mentally disobey this “heavenly vision” it will make us a slave to ideas and views that are completely against His work. Sadly, some of us are witnessing this happening in the church we attend.
Hey! Friends, don’t go looking at someone else and say, “Well, if he can have those views and prosper, why can’t I?” No, you have been called to a different path—a higher calling, if you will, and you have to walk in the light of what the Lord has show you.
Don’t compare yourself with someone else or, worse yet, judge them — that is between their Father and them. As long as your “Heavenly Vision” does not violate the foundations of the Scriptures, but if it clashes with one of your favorite and strongly held views, let your “favorite view” and dogma go. Again, this only applies as long as your “new revelation” does not violate the Word of God (I feel I need to stress that). If we don’t see and understand this, it is because we are ignoring the underlying principles of our Lord’s teaching.
Our tendency is to lie back and bask in the memory of the wonderful experiences we had when our Lord first revealed His will to us. But if a New Testament standard is revealed to us by the light of God, and we don’t try to measure up, or even feel the “unction” to do so, then we begin to fall back into our old lifestyles and unbelief. It means your conscience does not respond to the truth.
The Truth is that after you “hear” from the Lord, you can never be the same. That moment marks you as someone who either continues on with even more devotion as a disciple of Jesus Christ, or as one who turns to go back as a deserter. I know that may be a stinging message, but we are in a time when we must choose our course. As Arlo Guthrie wrote:
There’s trouble all around the world
Well, it looks that way to me
People don’t know what to do
They don’t know where they should be
But just one question still remains
To which we must respond
Two roads lead from where we are
Which side are you on
With these Morning Messages, I take you on guided tours to, as Bunyan described, the Celestial City. At times we linger at corners familiar and unseen. And explore the depths of our faith along the way.
The trail is long, but there’s no hurry. Though we do need to stock up on supplies for the way, and that’s where I need your help. If you enjoy these messages, please consider becoming a contributing member of this tour group. It will be very much appreciated.