The book of Revelation, the final book in the Bible, is a book of mystery written by the Apostle John during his exile on the island of Patmos. The reason for its mystery is that it is an apocalyptic letter that relies heavily on symbols, visions, and Old Testament references in order to reveal the ultimate fulfillment of God’s promise given to Abraham back in the book of Genesis. One of the most intriguing revelations is the 666 mark of the beast.
The Mark of the Beast a Study
The first thing to realize is to emphasize again is that Revelation is heavily symbolic. Therefore, the 666 mark of the beast is symbolic. But, of what?
Let’s look at Rev 14:6-7
6 Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth — to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people — 7 saying with a loud voice, “Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.” NKJV
To look at the symbolism here, we have angels flying. Wings represent speed, and here we have angels moving with rapid speed with an urgent message that Jesus is soon to arrive. We, the readers, are encouraged to worship the Creator because there is another power competing for our worship.
9 Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, 10 he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 11 And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.” NKJV
A central theme in Revelation is the colliding of true and false worship.
Back in chapter 13, the believers are told how difficult it would be for them if they refused the beast’s mark. However, in these verses, an angel explained to the nonbelievers what would happen to them if they did receive the beast’s mark. Their ultimate judgment would be much worse and the penalty eternal. While those who belong to God would suffer and be killed, they would have a glorious eternity awaiting them (14:1-5). However, those who worship the beast and accept his mark would choose to operate according to the Antichrist’s world economic system and ultimately face God’s judgment. To attain what the world merits, these individuals would have turned away from God and violated Christian principles.
12 Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. NKJV
This message is given by a God whose heart is filled with love
Here are the saints that endure. In the last days, all through the great tribulation, Christians will face dreadful times. They will have to reject Christ and accept the mark of the beast or else face death. But, if they persevere for Christ, if they are sincere in believing that heaven is real and that Christ loves them, only then will they escape the judgment of God. However, only those who persist and truly set their lives apart unto God, only those, will avoid the coming judgment.
Therefore, we have a presentation of two kinds of worship: those who worship the beast and those who “keep the Commandments of God and the faith of Jesus Christ.”
The final conflict is revolved around the matter of worship: whom we worship, when we worship, or even whether or not we worship. Therefore, there is no escape because every person on earth is involved in some form of worship.
Either we worship God or something else because we were all created to worship. [Eccl. 3:11]
- The fact that we have been created automatically lends itself to the concept of worship.
So, what is the basis of true worship? Rev 4:11
11 “You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.” NKJV
What qualifies God for worship is the fact that He created all things, and it is by His will they exist.
God has left us a sign of His creative authority.
8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. (9) Six days you shall labor and do all your work, (10) but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. (11) For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
- The Lord has left the 7th day of the week as a sign of His creative authority.
- When every Sabbath occurs, it is a reminder that it is God who made everything.
Ezek 20:12 12
Moreover I also gave them My Sabbaths, to be a sign between them and Me, that they might know that I am the Lord who sanctifies them.
11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while still uncircumcised, that he might be the father of all those who believe, though they are uncircumcised, that righteousness might be imputed to them also,
- Here we see that the words sign and seal
are used interchangeably
- Therefore the sign that God has left and the seal of God are one and the same
16 Bind up the testimony, Seal the law among my disciples.
- A sign that God has left as His creative authority is the same as a seal, “seal the law among my disciples.”
- God’s seal is in the heart of God’s Law
- It is akin to the ancient Middle Eastern tradition placing a seal of the dominant king in the middle of a covenant between nations that it is his covenant.
- This is the same approach God took when He made the covenant between Himself and His people. He placed His seal in the middle of the covenant, which is the seventh-day Sabbath.
- His seal contains His name, His title, and His territory.
- A seal authenticates a document. Therefore, the seal makes it binding.
- God’s seal contains His name, the Lord Thy God
- His Title—Creator
- His territory—The heaven and the earth
God’s seal stands in contrast to the mark of the beast.
Therefore, if God’s seal is a sign of His creative authority, then the
mark of the beast will be a sign of the beast’s authority.
2 Then I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God. And he cried with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, (3) saying, “Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.”
- The seal of God is received in the forehead
- The forehead represents the seat of intelligence, meaning that receiving the seal of God would be an intelligent unforced decision for an individual to make in his mind.
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
God’s seal says to “remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy” therefore, God’s seal and law which is in the mind, is an intelligent, unforced decision to serve God.
However, Satan has attacked God’s Sabbath because it is the seal of God’s Law.
He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, Shall persecute the saints of the Most High, And shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand For a time and times and half a time.
Since the final issue revolves around worship, what power claims it has the authority to change God’s Law?
Previously, we identified that the antichrist beast is a kingdom and the little horn (Dan. 7:8) was a little kingdom somewhere in Europe called the Vatican or the Papacy.
From the St. Catherine Catholic Church sentinel 5/21/1995:
“perhaps the boldest thing, the most revolutionary change the church ever did happened in the first century. The holy day, the Sabbath, was changed from Saturday to Sunday…not from any directions noted in the Scriptures, but from the Church’s sense of its own power…”
This statement is an admission that the church (the universal—Catholic church) changed the day of worship from Saturday to Sunday.
From the St. Catherine Catholic Church Sentinel 5/21/1995 – “People who think that the Scriptures should be the sole authority, should logically become 7th day Adventists and keep Saturday holy.”
This statement acknowledges that the Catholic Church worked against the authority of the Scriptures when it changed the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday.
From the Decretal De Translat. Espicop.cap. “The Pope has changed times, to abrogate laws, and to dispense with all things, even the precepts of Christ.”
This is fulfilled prophecy and confirmation that Satan, through the Pope, has attacked God’s seal of the Sabbath, the basis of all worship.
The Sabbath is God’s seal and sign that He is the Creator. Satan has nothing that indicates that he is the Creator. Therefore, since he desires worship through all of the earthly powers, he must then attempt to erase or remove that which tells us that God is the Creator. Because if we have no evidence that God is the Creator, if we forget that God is the Creator, then he (Satan) can establish his monkey business doctrine:
- That humans came from monkeys
- That we came from nowhere
- That we can worship anything
- That we can do anything on our own without God
In Revelation 13, we have the beast. In the symbolic nature of Revelation, the beast represents a kingdom. Rev 13:1-2
1 Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name. 2 Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority.
- Seas represent people’s, nations, and tongues
- Beasts represent kingdoms
- A crown represents smaller kingdoms
- Monarchs rule the smaller kingdomsThis beast represents a kingdom that is a composition of the four kingdoms that went before it.· It looked like the kingdom of Greece [Leopard?]
· It walked like the kingdom of Persia [bear?]
· It speaks like the kingdom of Babylon [Lion?]
· The kingdom of Rome gave it its power [Dragon]—where is the dragon?
Since this kingdom receives its power from the kingdom of Rome (the dragon), it must be a Roman power.
Note: The large red dragon, with seven crowns on its seven heads
from Rev. 12:3, symbolizes the (pagan) Roman Empire. The banner of the
cavalry of the Roman army was a red dragon. Jesus referred to this
banner as the abomination of desolation in Matthew 24:15.
- Dan 7:23 “Thus he said: ‘The fourth beast shall be A fourth kingdom on earth,” [study verses 23-25]· The little horn and the beast of Revelation 13 are the same.· It came up among the ten
· It was after A.D.476
· It was a little horn (kingdom)
· It uprooted three kingdoms
· It has a little leader
· It was diverse (different from all the others)
· It was blasphemous
· It was persecuting
· It has changed God’s law
· It ruled for 1260 years
· It was (is) based in RomeRevelation identifies the dragon as Satan
Revelation identifies the dragon as Satan.
Rev 12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
- Satan works through human agencies.
- The dragon working through pagan Rome attempted to kill Jesus.
- It was a Roman official that tried to kill Jesus (King Herod)
- A Roman Governor condemned Jesus.
- A Roman sealed His tomb
- A Roman guard watched His tomb.
- It was under the kingdom of Rome that Jesus was crucified.
· Labianca, Professor of History, University of Rome—“The
succession of the Caesar’s came the succession of the pontiffs in Rome.
When Constantine left Rome he gave his seat to the pontiff.”
· When Constantine left Rome, he went to Byzantium, and he formed a
new capital and named it Constantinople (the present city of Istanbul in
turkey sits on its ruins).
Who is the Beast?
· A worldwide religious power
· Rev 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him,
whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from
the foundation of the world.
· Anyone whose name is not written in the Lamb’s Book of Life will worship the beast.
· A religious power dominating civil powers
· The most popular religious power on the face of the earth today is the Vatican.
· It has a Diaspora of millions upon millions of people all over the world.
- Dan 7:23 “Thus he said: ‘The fourth beast shall be A fourth kingdom on earth,” [study verses 23-25]· The little horn and the beast of Revelation 13 are the same.· It came up among the ten
Rev 13:7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
- In 1985 President Ronald Reagan became the first President of the US to send an ambassador to the Vatican. Therefore, identifying the Vatican as not only as a church, but as a civil and political power as well.
- Almost all major countries have an ambassador to the Vatican.
- When it speaks, everybody stops and listens
- Myer’s Genera; History, p.455 “Under him was very nearly made good the papal claim that all earthly sovereigns were vassals of the Roman Pontiff.”
- The Roman Pontiff had sway over all of Europe, including all the kings and all the leaders of Europe.
- We have an Angolan church today because the king was not granted permission from the pontiff of Rome to divorce his wife and remarry, so he broke away and formed the Anglican Church or the Church of England.
Myer’s General History, p.455 “Almost all the kings and princes of Europe swore fealty [allegiance] to him as their overlord. Rome was once more the mistress of the world.”
It is a blasphemous power
· Rev 13:6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to
blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.
· Blasphemy is a man making himself God. Additionally, assuming any rights or power that belongs to God alone.
John 10:33 The Jews answered him [Jesus], saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God. [cf. 2 Thess. 2:4]
- Pope Leo XIII “We hold upon this earth the place of God Almighty.” This statement is in opposition to Luke 5:21, 1 Tim. 2:5, 1 John 1:9.
It is a religious power.
· Rev 13:5 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great
things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty
and two months.
Ezek 4:6 …I have laid on you a day for each year. [42 months = 1260 years] If a day is given for a year, then 42 months would equal 1260 years (42 months X 30 days =1260 years).
- The legally recognized supremacy of the Pope began in 538 AD when there went into effect a decree of Emperor Justinian, making the bishop of Rome head over all the churches, the definer of doctrine, and the corrector of heretics.
- Therefore, the legally recognized reign of the famous legacy began in 538 AD [538+1260 = 1798]
- From the History of the Christian Church vol3, p. 271 “Vigilius…ascended the papal chair (538 AD) under the military protection of Belisarius.”
- This reign of power reigned for 1260 years, which is the same period of time known as the dark ages.
- This power ruled until 1798
- During this period, there was a war against the saints. Saints are innocent people—war (an armed force) against innocent, unarmed people is persecution.
- This power persecuted God’s people for 1260 years because they refused to acknowledge the Pope and the Papacy. They were caught and burned at the stake as well as drowned and fed to wild animals. They ran into the caves and mountains but were smoked out and suffocated. However, the more they were persecuted, the more the church of God grew.
· Rev 13:3 And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally
wounded, and his deadly wound was healed And all the world marveled and
followed the beast.
· The end or pause of the supreme Papacy came in 1798.
· From The Encyclopedia Americana, 1941 edition “in 1798 he (Berthier—France)…made his entrance into Rome, abolished the papal government and established a secular one.” He took the Pope captive and sent him into exile in France, where he died.
The Pope was escorted into power by the government (Constantine). However, the same power that escorted him into power took him out of power.
He who rules with the sword (the civil power) will be killed by the sword. The wounded head represents this.
- San Francisco Chronicle, Feb. 11, 1929 “The Roman question tonight was a thing of the past and the Vatican was at peace with Italy…In affixing the autographs to the memorable document healing the wound…extreme cordiality was displayed on both sides.”
The deadly wound was healed. The Papacy was once again given back some land and some degree of authority, and restoring her to respect and power began.
- This restoration was accomplished through a treaty named the Lateran Treaty. For more details on this treaty, click this link: https://www.britannica.com/event/Lateran-Treaty
[Rev. 13:3]… And all the world marveled and followed the beast.
- An end-time worldwide prominence
- The Papacy has gained worldwide influence, prestige, and prominence.
- It is the most popular religious power on the face of the earth.
Rev 13:18 Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding
calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His
number is 666.
· 666 is not the mark of the beast. 666 is the number of the beasts. It represents a false religious system
· In Babylon, there originated the six adjustable of 60 degrees or
60 minutes in an hour or 360 degrees or 360 days in the year. They had
the idea that they were 36 different heavenly bodies that they would
worship. Each heavenly body would be assigned a number from 1 to 36. The
supreme God that they worshipped was the Sun. The supreme God to be
worshipped would have been the Sun. They would add +1+2+3 until the
number 36 was reached. That number would be 666. That number would be
assigned to the Supreme god, which was the Sun. The first of the week
was dedicated as his day to be worshipped (it was called sun’s day). The Sun god in Babylon was called Belmar Duke. He has a chief priest who
goes by the name Pontifex Maximus (which means chief priest). This idea
was passed down to pagan Rome-Julius Caesar, who wore the title Pontifex
Maximus. This where the word pontiff originates. Therefore, the chief
priest would wear the number 666 as emulates around his neck made of
gold because the color of the Sun is gold which is why Babylon is
represented in the Scriptures by gold because this is a kingdom that
worships the sun.
· They wore the golden emulates around the neck, which had the
sexagesimal, and they have six lines and six rows from one to 36 and
whatever direction you count each line, and each row would give you one
hundred eleven (111). If you multiply that by six, you will have six six
six in whichever direction you multiply.
· This same practice was passed on from Babylon to Rome when the
Babylonian priests arrived in Rome. Rome adopted the practices of
Babylon, and when the powers were shifted from the Caesars to the bishop
of Rome, the title “pontiff” was adopted by him.
· His crown, which Belgium gave him in 1871, was the expression by carros filiadio-which means my corrupt god.
What Precisely is the Mark of the Beast?
- Considering the central issue is worship, the mark of the beast must be the sign of the Roman church’s authority.
Dan 7:25 “… think to change times and laws:
- The Bible says the day begins at sunset; they say it begins at midnight.
- They are changing laws that have to do with time, and there is only one law in the Ten Commands that concerns time—the Sabbath.
Letter, Oct. 28, 1895, from C.F. Thomas “Of course the Cah=tholic Church claims that the change was her act…and the act is a mark of her ecclesiastical power and authority in religious matters.”
- This statement is regarding the change of the day of worship from Saturday to the first day of the week, Sunday (the Sun’s day).
Each day of the week was dedicated to a different heavenly body.
Bottom line: The Catholic church, on its own authority, adopted Sunday as the day of worship.
From the Catholic Record, Sept 1, 1923, “Sunday is our mark of authority…The church is above the Bible, and this transference of Sabbath observance is proof of that fact.”
- The mark of the beast is not a vaccine, computer chip, medication, 666, the number 6 is man—just below God’s perfect number of 7.
- The mark of the beast is Sunday worship
The seal of God is the Sabbath
At the end of time, there are only two choices:
· The seal of God
· The mark of the beast
Questions, comments, and concerns can be left below. You will receive a response