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More troubles for those who do not follow "the beast" by being unable to buy or sell. There are notes in The Voice bible:
The number "666" stands in contrast to the perfection of the Lamb and the Spirit. Because this number is "the number of a person," readers have tried to pin down the identity of this person throughout history. In John's day, the name and title "Nero Caesar" was a likely candidate for the beast because Nero persecuted and executed believers, demanding obedience and even worship. Every era seems to have its Neros, those beastly characters who occupy seats of power and yet use their power to oppress God's people. The speculation continues as to this person's identity, but what has not changed is the message of hope in the midst of extreme persecution; that is the beauty proclaimed in this vision given to John.
My Pastor always says to remember that scripture was written for those of the time. I think the line he uses "it means what it meant." I do like what the notes say in The Voice that every era has those trying to destroy Christianity, but there is always hope! Thank God for our hope!