It’s the Mark of the Beast. 666. And hundreds of people in Mexico and Costa Rica are reportedly being branded with the number.
[Here's news footage from Costa Rica. The newscast is in Spanish, but the images clearly show people having the Satanic symbol tattooed on their arms or hands.]
The Mark of the Beast is mentioned in the Book of Revelation, Chapter 13. In the passage, John the Revelator declares:
Then I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names. And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority. … And he opened his mouth in blasphemies against God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, that is, those who dwell in heaven. It was also given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them, and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him. … And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name. 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.” (New American Standard Bible)
In addition to Costa Rica, there is also video of people being branded in Chiapas, Mexico.
For centuries, Christians have tried to decipher the meaning of Revelation 13. The Mark of the Beast has been a source of fear and intrigue for countless believers. [In the church I grew up in, one elderly woman wouldn't let people stamp her hand when she paid to get into high school sporting events, because she feared she might inadvertently receive the Mark.]
Many evangelicals believe that the passage is more than an allegory, but describes a coming age when evil will rule the world and the wicked will declare war against God.
For evangelicals, it’s hard to fathom people willingly, gladly lining up to take the Mark. But that”s what’s happening. A Miami religious leader named Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda has declared that he is Jesus Christ Man (Jesucristo Hombre) and has had himself branded with the Mark. Now his followers are also embracing the 666 symbol.
If you go to Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda’s English-language website, it says: “Welcome to the Government of God On Earth.”
It’s unclear to me why Miranda has embraced the symbol. If I have time, I’ll try to track down more information on this most unusual development.