A report and comment on religious trends and events being covered by the media. This week’s item is from yahoo.com, January 18, 2003, with a headline: “Bible college shuns 666 phone number,” dateline: Van Cleve, Kentucky: "A small Appalachian Bible college is fighting to change its telephone number because the 666 prefix is disturbing to Christians, who recognize it as the biblical mark of the beast. 'People say, you’re a Bible college, and you have 666 in your phone number?' said Carlene Light, an office worker at Kentucky Mountain Bible College. It’s the connotation. No one wants to be a part of the mark of the beast.
"A conservative non-denominational Christian college on a hillside in eastern Kentucky has been trying for months to persuade a telephone company to change the number. Rob Roy McGregor, the college’s vice-president for business affairs said staff and students want the number changed to a second prefix, 693, that recently was added after all the 666 numbers were taken. In the biblical Book of Revelation, 666, is stamped by Satan into the foreheads or hands of those marked for eternal damnation during the last days.
"McGregor said he asked Access Point, a North Carolina based telephone company that serves the college, to change the number about six months ago. 'In the secular world, 666 is not a problem,' he said. 'It is for us." Kay Davis, general counsel for the company, said Friday the phone company intends to change the number as soon as possible. 'I certainly understand, being a Bible college, that the number 666 would cause some questions,' she said."
Tom: Well, I think the telephone company is going to take care of their problem, but the reason I selected this, Dave, it brings up an issue of many Christians out there. We get letters from time to time, who say, “Oh, have I accepted the mark of the beast?” In other words, their mentality is “That can happen now; there are certain things out there that are going to put me into this category,” and they are really concerned about it. Can that happen now, Dave? I mean, can you get the mark of the beast right now?
Dave: I don’t think so. First of all, I believe it would have to be voluntary. You would have to know what you were doing, and the Antichrist would have to be around, and he’s not here and he can’t be here until after the Rapture.
They’ve gotten an awful lot of mileage out of 666. Not only religious people but the irreligious, you know the filmmakers, and so forth. It’s one of those sensational things. I think people make a superstition out of it— “Wow! I was driving down the road and, Wow! What do you know—a car cut right in front of me and it had 666 on its license plate. Whoa! Is that a bad sign or what?” Like a black cat walking in front of you or something. And they have come up with Henry Kissinger—his name works out to 666, and various other ones.
Tom, I don’t know how 666 fits in there—I really don’t. I’m not worried about it, but I do believe that it will be tied in with worshipping the Antichrist—worshipping his image that he will put in the temple, an image that speaks, and the false prophet will cause “all, small and great,” you know, “to bow down and worship the image of the beast,” and they must take his number in their hand or forehead, otherwise they cannot buy or sell. Well, we haven’t gotten to that point yet. You are perfectly free to give cash if you want. If you’re out in the jungle you can barter and trade. We have not yet had this system imposed upon the world. I can understand these people…
Tom: Yeah, but Dave, here’s the problem. Again, just based on the numerous letters we get, people are walking in fear. It’s a lack of understanding simply what the Bible says. Not that this isn’t going to be an event, but it’s not here now. On the other hand, there are lots of things that are going on that really is conditioning the world to receive the man of lawlessness. We can see that and certainly a lot of it has to do with the corruption of doctrine, sound doctrine, and bringing people into—we’ve talked about it in an earlier segment—sort of taking over the world or the mentalities within the church that would seem to go along with the preparation for the Antichrist. But when it comes to getting chips in your body or whatever it might be, what do you think? Is that something right now that people should be worried about?
Dave: Well, Tom, we have the electronics in place, or pretty much in place—yeah, I think they could do everything that they need, so we can see it coming. This is an amazing prophecy, Revelation 13, that a man with a number could control the whole world—all buying and selling, banking and commerce, as well as politics and everything else.
Dave: The whole world will worship him. So, I think we have the electronics in place. It’s not being done yet, but credit cards and so forth, and numbers—I wouldn’t be fearful about that at this point. And, in my opinion (we have talked about it many times, I guess), the Rapture of the church is the only thing that could bring this about. The terror of the world that is left behind when maybe a hundred million people have suddenly vanished from this earth. Who took them? Where did they go? I mean, this is some threat—“Why didn’t they take me? Are they coming back, whoever did this? Are they coming back to get me?” Nobody will believe it’s the Rapture, and in that fear the world will be united in a common cause of what they think is a defense against some assault from outer space, and I think that the Antichrist will have a false solution, a false answer.
The world will unite around him, but Tom, I don’t think anything else would cause the whole world to unite. Now, the electronics for him to be able to do this is in place, but I believe that there will be millions that will be saved during the Great Tribulation after the Rapture. They will pay for their faith with their lives and we read of them in Revelation—the souls under the throne: “How long, Lord, until you avenge us?” “Not until the rest of your brethren have been killed.” But the number 666 right now? I don’t know what it means in Revelation 13, and I wouldn’t be afraid of it. On the other hand, I can understand these people feeling a little bit uncomfortable having this as their prefix when there is another one available.
Tom: Right, and our encouragement to those who are anxious about it, look, search the Scriptures. You walk in the confidence of God’s Word, and it’s the full counsel of His Word, not just isolating a particular scripture, reading some really outlandish ideas about it, and then walking in fear. We’re not to walk in fear.