Church of God, New World Ministries

666 - Whose Number Is It?

Where shall we find that mysterious number 666? Does the pope, as some claim, wear it on his crown, identifying him as the Beast of Revelation 13? Or must we look for it elsewhere?

Here are all the Scriptures speaking directly on this number: “And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast; for it is the number of a man; and his number is six hundred three score and six” (Rev. 13: 17-18). “And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God” Rev. 15:2.

From these Scriptures, we have the following definite points:

  1. The beast has a number, and may be identified, if we have wisdom, by this number.
  2. The number is 666.
  3. We are told to count this number – that is, add it up. The same Greek word is used elsewhere only in Luke 14:28: “Count the cost.”
  4. This number, 666, is the number of the Beast. The only Bible interpretation of this symbol, “beast,” is a kingdom or the king who rules it, and therefore, really is the kingdom (Dan. 7: 17-18, 22-24, 27). Therefore 666 must be the number of the kingdom or government, or empire, as well as that of the king who founded or rules it.
  5. The expression “the name of the beast,” or “the number of his name” makes plain that the number 666 is the number of the name of the kingdom or empire.
  6. The expression “it is the number of a man” shows we must also count this number in the name of the king or ruler, over the kingdom identified as the Beast.

In the 17th chapter of Revelation we find a “beast,” and a “woman” a great wealthy woman called “a whore” who was riding the beast.

The Bible describes the symbol “woman” to mean a church. See II Corth.11: 2; Rev. 19: 7; Eph. 5: 23-27. On the other hand, “beast” is a symbol of a kingdom, or empire. The “woman” of the 17th chapter is described beyond possibility of doubt as the church which did reign over the kingdoms of the Holy Roman Empire.

Let us be consistent. The “Beast” of Rev. 13 is not the woman who rode the beast, the beast is the government, and the woman is the Church.

The “beast” of Rev. 13 had 7 heads and 10 horns. It was like a leopard with the feet of a bear, the mouth of a lion. This doesn’t describe the Church, but the Roman government or Empire.

In the 7th chapter of Daniel we find the unmistakable identification. The lion symbolized the Chaldean Empire. The bear is the Persian Empire, the leopard was the Greco-Macedonian Empire with its four divisions, pictured by the four heads, and the other beast, mightier and stronger than all, was the Roman Empire. And by the time events of history progressed to Rome, we had the seven heads and ten horns.

The “beast” of Rev. 13 had all 7 of the heads and ten horns. It included the strongest aspects of the preceding kingdoms. And so the beast of Revelation 13 is positively identified as the Roman Empire.

This “beast had a deadly wound (Rev. 13: 3). That means the “beast” died, it ceased altogether to exist or function. Yet, it’s deadly wound was later healed, after which (v. 5), it continued to exist another 1260 years!

Those who believe the Catholic Church is the “beast” says this deadly wound came in 1798, when the pope was forced into exile. But the pope was not killed. The Catholic Church did not die, nor for one day did it cease to function. The popes continued to live in voluntary exile, as a protest against the Italian government until the agreement with Mussolini. But that could in no sense be called a wound to death. And those who teach this don’t expect the Catholic Church to continue on another 1260 years.

In 476 A.D., the Roman Empire which is the “beast,” was wounded unto death. The Roman Empire died. It ceased altogether to exist. The next three kingdoms to rule in Roman’s place – the Heruli, the Vandals, and the Ostrogoths, were the barbarian, not Roman kingdoms.

But in 554 Justinian, a true Roman, Emperor of the east, re-established the Roman Empire at Rome. History calls this the “Imperial Restoration” of the Roman Empire. The deadly wound was healed. And it continued exactly 1260 years to 1814, when Napoleon was defeated. “So closed,” states West’s Modern History, “an Empire that had existed from Augustus Caesar.” But this time the Empire did not altogether die. The germ of it remained in 12 little Italian states, united around 1870 by Garibaldi into the present nation of Italy. The Empire went into “the bottomless pit” a virtual non-existence, from which now it is once more emerging (Rev. 17: 8).

The founder and first king of Rome was Romulus. The Roman Empire was named after him. His name, the name of a man, also is the name of the Kingdom. And every citizen in the kingdom bears the same name – Roman.

When John wrote this Revelation, telling us to count the number of the Beast, he wrote in the Greek language. The Old Testament is written in the language of God’s chosen people, the Hebrew. Consequently, we should look for this name, and the number 666, in these languages recognized in the Bible, not in the Latin.

We are all familiar with the Roman numerals, where letters are used for numbers. All understand that I is 1, V. is 5, X is 10 etc. But many do not know that both the Hebrew and the Greek languages also use letters for numbers.

In the Hebrew, the numerical value of Romulus is exactly 666!

In the Greek, the language in which Revelation was written, this name is Lateinos. It signifies “Latin Man” or “the name of Latium” from which city the Romans derived their origin and their language. The word, too, signifies “Roman.” In the Greek, L is 30, A is 1, T is 300, E is 5, I is 10, N is 50, O is 70, S is 200. Count these figures. They count to exactly 666!

It is indeed a remarkable coincidence or is it a coincidence – that in both Bible languages the only two languages we could look in for his number that the name of the kingdom, its founder and first king, and of every man in the kingdom, counts to exactly 666?

And more remarkable – catch this – no other two words have ever been found in two languages, meaning the same thing, and exactly counting, in the numerical value of those languages, to 666! Certainly the beast stands identified!

But the same number 666 is branded on the man who headed the puny 6th head of the symbolic “Beast,” and also on the pope.

Mussolini called himself “II Duce.” The Italians shouted “Viva II Duce!” which means “Long Live the Chief.” Everywhere in Italy was the printed sign, “VV IL Duce.” The “VV” Is the abbreviation used for “Viva.” A “V” is used instead of the “U” as is very commonly done. While this is a greeting or title, Mussolini actually employed “II Duce” as a name. It is in Latin. Count it: V is 5, V is 5, I is 1, L is 50, D is 500, V is 5, C is 100, E has no number. Now count them, and you have exactly 666!

The name of Nero Caesar, Emperor of the Roman Empire at its height, in the Hebrew language is 666! Thus this number 666 is indelibly branded upon the Roman Empire!

But, some will ask, does not this number apply to the pope? Some teach “the words ‘Vicarius Filii DeI’ is on the Pope’s Triple Crown.” And these Latin words in the Roman numerals, count to 666!

The pope does, on some occasions, wear a triple crown, but these words are not on it! We should be careful to prove all things. Furthermore, these words are in the Latin, not a Bible language. This is not a name, but a title, and it is the name of the Beast, and the number of the name of the man of the beast we are told to count. Further this title does not apply to a kingdom, or Empire, but alone to a man.

However, while “Vicarius FILII DeI” is not among the acknowledged titles of the pope (See Catholic Encycl.) he does claim to be Vicar of Christ on earth. Also, for 1260 long years the popes did reign and rule over the Beast. They were in effect, the actual heads of the Empire, ruling over the emperors, as well as over the Church. And so is it indeed significant that this title, too, counts 666?

And so this number is branded on the Roman Empire, on Romulus, the founder and first king of Rome, on Nero Caesar, one of its great Emperors, on the name Rome on every Roman, and even on Mussolini. Could anything b e more conclusive?

 
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