What is the Beast and 666?
In my last post titled “Will the COVID-19 Vaccine be the Mark of the Beast?” I attempted to encourage those who harbor some fears of taking the mark of the beast by learning that the verse in Revelation says the mark is not a visible or tangible thing, but a belief that puts the Beast power above Christ’s power.
Revelation 13:17 says that the mark of the Beast is “the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”
In this article I want to explore the identity of the Beast.
First, Revelation 13:1 says “the beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.”
We have learned from Daniel 7:17 that prophetic visions in Scripture uses a beast to represent a kingdom.
We have learned from Daniel 7:24 that prophetic visions in Scripture uses a horn to represent a king or authority.
We have learned from Revelation 17:15 that prophetic visions in Scripture uses sea or water to represent people. The text says “The waters which thou sawest…are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.”
It is also worth noting, that to a lesser degree, the sea in the Old Testament is often used to symbolically describe evil or trouble, but that certainly was the case in the dark ages likely the pinpoint of Revelation 13’s Sea Beast.
Kingdom of Blasphemy
This Beast is a kingdom that arises from an area that is populated but is also one whose leadership is marked by “blasphemy” (Revelation 13:5) which according to Luke 5:21 and John 10:33 is claiming to be equal with God and having the ability to forgive men of their sins.
Second, Revelation 13:2 says that the Beast is “like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.”
The Beast depicted in Revelation 13:1-2 appears to be a composite of the beasts in the prophecy of Daniel 7 that pointed to the global kingdoms of Babylon, Medio-Persia, Greece, and the Roman Empire. In Daniel 7:8 we are introduced to the Little Horn power, also known as the Anti-Christ, and Daniel 7:24 we see that he is a different type of king, a religious-civil ruler that speaks “great things and blasphemies” (Revelation 13:5).
Revelation 13 appears to pick up the prophecy of Daniel 7 as the composite beast who has been identified as rising from Roman Empire and speaking blasphemy leads one to consider the future Beast power potentially being a very corrupt pope in end times global politics.
Revelation 13:4-5 points out that Dragon “gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast” and that “power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.” The medieval papacy and the Holy Roman Empire ruled Europe with a fierce ungodly might that lead to the death of 50 million Bible believing followers of Christ in martyrdom. Thus the meaning of Revelation 13:7 “it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them.”
We have learned from Daniel 7:25; 12:7; Revelation 11:2-3; 12:6, 14 that prophetic visions in Scripture uses a time as a year and the “forty and two months” spoken of as given by the Dragon are likely the 1260 year reign when the Bishop of Rome sat on the throne by decree of Emperor Justinian from 538 AD until 1798 when French General Berthia marched to Rome taking the Pope captive and confiscating the church’s property.
The Pope died in French captivity and Europe was freed from its blasphemous rule. In 1929 the Italian dictator Mussolini signed the treaty that restored the religious and political might of the papacy and the Vatican as its own country state in Rome.
The healing of this deadly wound against the papacy between 538 AD and 1929 AD may very well be the meaning of Revelation 13:3 when it says “And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.”
Number of the Beast
In my post titled “Will the COVID-19 Vaccine be the Mark of the Beast?” I pointed out that in a biblical context and Hebrew tradition, the “name” of someone was the representation of a person’s character. We pray in the name of Jesus, but that means we pray in the character and position of Jesus, based on who He is, Jesus the Christ.
In looking at Revelation 13:17 we not only see that the mark is the Beast’s name it is also his number. Everyone seems familiar that the number of the Beast as 666, and unless you actually read the chapter, it is not as important to the prophecy as Hollywood and sensational speakers make it out to be. It is simply an ancient way of giving a letter a number value.
If you do a quick internet search you will find many people with names that equal a 666 equivalency. However, I think the prophecy of the Beast inserts the number value to pinpoint a specific quality of the Beast that gives it the character of opposition to Christ.
An official title of the pope is Vicarius Filii Dei, Latin for “Vicar of the Son of God.” It means, as Pope Leo XIII explained, “We hold upon this earth the place of God Almighty…Priests are called Vicars of Jesus because they hold His place on earth…” (Alphonsus de Liguori, Dignities and Duties of the Priest, p. 34).
When you ascribe the assigned numeral value to “Vicarius Filii Dei” using the Roman method of computation, this papal title equals 666. Papacy’s Title: V=5 I=1 C=100 A=0 R=0 I=1 U=5 S=0 F=0 I=1 L=50 I=1 I=1 D=500 E=0 I=1 equaling 666 according the theologians who like numbers.
I happen to have grown up Roman Catholic and attended Catholic elementary school so it is important to me to stress that the Beast out of the sea, which I am convinced is the global papacy of the last days, is not an accusation against any of my Catholic family or friends.
I happen to consider myself a good American, but if my leaders go completely off the rails into corruption, that won’t mean I am no longer an American. So if you are Catholic, Revelation 13 does not even single out an individual Pope, but simply points to a system gone corrupt in the end times.
Revelation 13 also points to a Beast that comes out of the earth as the nation or kingdom that gives the global authority to a corrupted papacy for world rule over all commerce and governance.
Revelation 13:11-12 says that “another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.”
It is this Beast that gives the global authority to the end times corrupted papacy, to “maketh fire come down from heaven” (Revelation 13:13), and “he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed” (Revelation 13:15).
Beast from Earth
This second Beast came from the Earth and not the Sea as did the first Beast in Revelation 13, which could simply indicate that it arose from unpopulated area of the planet, like the American Continent .
Some Bible commentators see this Beast as arising around the time of the first Beast’s “which had the wound by a sword, and did live” because of that mention in Revelation 13:14 in the context of this second Beast.
The United States could be seen as the potential second Beast in Revelation 13 if you consider that it was rising to political strength in its 1776 founding, shortly before the 1798 period when the French squashed the papacy power in Europe.
Of course, the United Nations could be seen as the potential second Beast in Revelation 13 if you consider that it was rising to political strength in its 1945 founding, shortly after the 1929 reinstatement of the papacy and its Vatican as both a civil and religious power.
There could be an involvement of both the United States and the United Nations in this second Beast because Revelation 13:11 says “he had two horns like a lamb” which could indicate two rulers, the President of the United States and the President of United Nations. Actually, the United Nations is within the United States.
When Revelation 13:13 refers to “maketh fire come down from heaven”, it could indicate a false revival in the United States among the protestant churches that turns into a political impetus to submit control and authority to the papacy.
Remember that fire from heaven symbolized the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and revival as seen in Acts 2:3-4. There is also mention of false signs and wonders in Revelation 16:14 as “the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.”
Revelation 13:15 mentions this Beast as having the authority “to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.”
So it’s actually not the second Beast himself that tries to carry out the laws to kill the saints, it’s the image to the Beast that does by the backing of the second Beast. I realize that I am thinking out loud here, but that sounds more like the image of the Beast could be the United Nations possibly having the blessings of the United States to use UN blue hates to enforce the mark.
In other words, for those who do not worship the image or comply with the image or obey the image, the result is being put on this end times extermination list.
I realize that there are some missing details in the Revelation 13 prophecy and maybe when we are directly in those times we will see something that may fill in the gaps.
The important thing about this prophecy in Revelation 13 is just knowing that some kind of global authority is on its way and we need to be faithful to the Lord as our Provider, regardless what laws are made to force us from being faithful.
Revelation 13:8 states that “whose names are not written in the book of life” will be the only ones to follow, worship, and take the mark of the Beast. As a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit will stiffen your spine to stand on truth.
Those who follow the Lord Jesus Christ, whose names are in the book of life, will be delivered, just as the Israelite’s who were spared from the plaques of Egypt, just as Daniel’s friends in the fiery furnace were not harmed, and just as is promised in regard to the plaques in Revelation 16:2 that they will only fall upon “the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.”
We do not know exactly what it will be or what law we will need to comply with if we wish to continue to buy or sell, but that is not our concern. Our concern is to be following the Lord and obeying His word and be confident He will not abandon us.
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” — Romans 8:35-39