"This calls for wisdom ..." - Revelation 13:18
Rather than trying to figure out who the ultimate and last deceiver, trickster, miracle worker, and en-slaver of souls is, one might be better informed to ask, "Who or what is it now?" What seeks to overwhelm me with something short of awe and wonder, something more like being extremely impressed. What is it and who is it that wants me to think that he or it is greater than God and calls for my loyalty, rewarding it with access by cornering the market on materialism.
Buying and selling can be restricted to those who are marked with loyalty to false gods. It has happened throughout history. "You want in? Join our club. Accept our ideology? Surrender your freedom before God? Align with our cult? Be wowed by our power? Take our mark."
It is 6 - not 7. 7 is perfection. 6 falls short. 7-7-7- would be the genuine, real, and eternal God-head -- triple perfection! The word for "sin" in Greek is missing the mark - even by an inch. 666 is triple that!
The rulers of deception form trinities of mark-missing, impressive systems that attract masses who want the instant gratification or fear being left out.
This word was not meant just for the generation that first received it - but it was meant for them. It is certainly not meant just for our generation or any last generation. It is meant for every generation that is apt to take some mark, some easy road to access and commercial inclusion.
It is meant for me. It is meant for you - no matter what time it might be on some eternal "clock."