Revelation 13:16-18 “He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or 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 it is the number of a man: His number is 666.”
Through Bible Prophecy we can firmly establish that we are living in the last days of earth’s history.
So many of the signs predicted are happening. Wars are increasing; natural disasters and earthquakes are getting more and more severe and closer and closer together. The earth is convulsing and crime rates and racial tension and terrorism are all escalating.
We now have the capability to destroy the world with our nuclear weapons, not to mention the devastating effects that we are inflicting on this planet through global warming.
Knowledge has increased, both in the technological world, but more importantly in the understanding of Bible prophecy.
The fact that these prophecies have now been opened up to us gives us further clarification as to just where we are in the lifespan of this current earth. The words of Daniel show us two things Daniel 12:9-10 “And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.” Firstly this indicates that generically we are at the end of time, but secondly and more specifically Daniel gave us a 2300 day (prophetically a 2300 year) prophecy, that began at the command and decree to rebuild the Jewish Temple in 457BC, spanned through and specifically pinpointed the Season in which the Messiah would be anointed, would die for our sins and put an end to the need for the Jewish sacrificial system, when the gospel would begin to go to the gentiles, when God’s people would be trodden underfoot for 1260 years by an apostate Church and finally when in the Heavenly Temple Jesus would begin His ministering work in the Most Holy Place. This prophecy spanned all the way down to 1844, which is depicted as the beginning of the end times.
It was in around 1844 that the Christian world began to understand more and more of the light given to them in the scriptures through the prophecies.
Having established that we are living in the time of the end, there are two major things that we are told to expect and be ready and prepared for through diligently studying the scriptures.
We need to understand what 666 and the Mark of the Beast are and what will transpire prior to them becoming an issue.
When His disciples asked Jesus about when the temple would be destroyed and what to expect before His coming, His first words to them were Luke 21:8 “And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them.”
Jesus then went on to predict and describe the destruction of the temple, which occurred in 70AD followed by details of some of the things that they should expect prior to His Return.
Luke 21:9-19 “But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by. Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven. But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name's sake. And it shall turn to you for a testimony. Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer: For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist. And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake. But there shall not an hair of your head perish. In your patience possess ye your souls.”
He went on to give even more details Luke 21:25-28 “And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.”
And finally Jesus warned us all to be prepared and not be taken unawares Luke 21:34-36 “And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.”
Jesus is telling us that we need to be living righteous lives, having a close relationship with Him, so that we will have nothing to fear at His return like the wicked will.
In the book of Revelation we see that the need to understand prophecy and not to be deceived is reiterated as it tells us that those who take the Mark of the Beast are deceived Revelation 19:20 “And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.”
This tells us very clearly then that the Mark of the Beast and 666 are NOT something obvious. Those who take the Mark of the Beast on their forehead (depicting their decisions) or on their hand (depicting their actions) do it obliviously, for even most of the non-Christian world have heard of the Mark of the Beast and know that it is bad to take it (whether or not they really understand the ramifications) and if the Mark of the Beast was something obvious, then even non believers might choose not to take it out of defiance at being told what to do, which then technically would ‘save’ them. This obviously would not be the case, as only those who are true and faithful to worshipping God the creator will be saved.
If the Mark of the Beast were a microchip with 666 or a tattoo of 666 or a picture of the Star of David painted on our skin, then these would be so blatantly obvious that no one could unwittingly take it. The Mark of the Beast, as with most of the book of Revelation is symbolic.
In Genesis we find that after Cain killed Able God put a Mark on his forehead so that no one would kill him and this was obviously a spiritual mark Genesis 4:15 “And the LORD said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.” How could something written on his forehead have prevented anyone from killing him? This had to be a spiritual mark.
Also in Revelation when it is talking about the Christians living forever in the New Heaven and New Earth it says that we will have His name on our foreheads, which again is obviously symbolic not literal Revelation 22:4-5 “And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.”
Ezekiel 9:4 “And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.”
Romans 16:17 “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.” The context of this verse is clear. The mark here clearly refers to recognizing the character and actions of a person, not to put a physical mark on them.
The other point worth noting is that when the time comes everyone on the planet gets a mark, either the Mark of the Beast or the Seal/Mark of God Revelation 7:2-3 “And 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 given to hurt the earth and the sea, Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.”
These passages show us clearly that to obtain eternal life in the New Heaven and New Earth we have to have the name of God on our foreheads, and to be safe from destruction and the last seven plagues we need to have the Seal of God, which are both synonymous.
What does this all mean? If we are to have the name of God on our foreheads, then that means that our decisions and actions have to accurately portray the very character of our Father in Heaven. Our lives need to reflect the life that Christ lived when He was on this earth. This is not entirely possible in this current earth because of the sin that our flesh is vulnerable to, but once the New Heaven and Earth are created and there is no more sin, then we will finally be deemed as fully worthy to portray the Name of God. In this earth it is only through the righteousness endowed upon us through the sacrificial offering of our Lord and Saviour Jesus, that we can be counted as worthy to represent Him and bear His name.
When we look at the seal of God, we need to remember that over two thirds of the book of Revelation either quotes directly, or alludes to verses in other places in the Bible, that need to be referenced to fill in the gaps and understand what those verses in Revelation are speaking of.
Before we look at the Seal of God we need to look at what a normal king’s seal represented. Esther 8:8 “Write ye also for the Jews, as it liketh you, in the king's name, and seal it with the king's ring: for the writing which is written in the king's name, and sealed with the king's ring, may no man reverse.”
This verse shows us that when a king sealed a law, it was irreversible, or in other words it was eternal in nature. The king’s seal would also always depict his name, title and the realm of his kingship.
Does the law of God, His Ten Commandments have a seal? Does it show us His Name, title and the realm of His Kingdom? Most certainly it does. In the fourth Commandment (which in the original Hebrew was in the exact middle, with the same number of characters on either side) it reads Exodus 20:8-11 “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.” This seal shows us that God is the Lord (His name), the Creator (His title) of Heaven and Earth (his realm).
In his letter to Timothy, Paul also points out that those who have the seal of God must depart from iniquity or in other words we must follow the Ten Commandments because sin is the transgression of the law. 2 Timothy 2:19 “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” 1 John 3:4 “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.”
The prophet Isaiah told the people to seal the law Isaiah 8:16 “Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples.”
The Bible tells us that the Ten Commandments are eternal Psalms 111:7-8 “The works of his hands are verity and judgment; all his commandments are sure. They stand fast for ever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness.”
Also keeping the law of God and having His name are directly relational, because as we saw earlier having His name meant that we portrayed His character, and the Ten Commandment law also reveals to us the nature and character of God. There are many places in the Bible where the same words are used to describe the character of God, as are used to describe the law.
|I John 4:8: God is Love||Romans 13:10: The law is Love|
|Isaiah 5:16: God is Holy||Romans 7:12: The law is Holy|
|Romans 16:26: God is Eternal||Psalms 111:7-8: The law is Eternal|
|Deuteronomy 32:4: God is Truth||Psalms 119:142: The law is Truth|
|Psalms 145:17: God is Righteous||Psalms 119:172: The law is Righteous|
|Luke 18:19: God is Good||Romans 7:12: The law is Good|
|I John 1:5: God is Light||Proverbs 6:23: The law is Light|
|1 John 3:3: God is Pure||Psalms 19:8: The law is Pure|
|Psalms 48:1: God is Great||Hosea 8:12: The law is Great|
|John 4:24: God is Spiritual||Romans 7:14: The law is Spiritual|
|Mathew 5:48: God is Perfect||Psalms 19:7: The law is Perfect|
|Deuteronomy 32:4: God is Just||Romans 7:12: The law is Just|
When Revelation speaks about those who take the Mark of the Beast and those who don’t, there is a distinct comparison made. First it speaks of those who take the Mark of the Beast (the doomed) and then it speaks of those who “keep the Commandments of God” (the saved) further clarifying that those who receive the Seal of God are those who Keep His Commandments. Revelation 14:11-12 “And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the Commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.”
The only conclusion we can draw then, is that to get the seal of God we must seek to follow His Commandments and to have His name written on our foreheads, we must seek to be living righteous and Godly lives, following in the footsteps of our Lord Jesus Christ whose covering blood washes away our unintentional sins.
We must always ensure that we do not continue in any deliberate sins, as the Bible tells us that “there is no more sacrifice” or in other words there is no forgiveness from intentional, wilful sins. Hebrews 10:26 “For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,”
There is a common misconception that the beast of Revelation is the devil and that 666 is the devil’s number and that 666 will be the Mark of the Beast. The Bible actually tells us that a beast is a Kingdom, political power or government. Daniel 7:17 “These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth.” Daniel 7:23 “Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces” It also tells us that 666 is the number of a man (at the head of this power). Revelation 13:18 “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 threescore and six.”
Also there are two beasts in Revelation that relate to the Mark of the Beast, one which relates to the past and the second which “makes an image” to the first beast in the last days and enforces the Mark of the Beast.
These antichrist beast powers do not come from an atheistic background, but in fact come out of the very church of God, but become polluted with deceptive doctrines of devils and apostate teachings. Revelation also refers to these beasts symbolically as a whore, a woman (representing a church) in scarlet and purple Revelation 17:3-7 “So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration. And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.”
When Paul prophesied about the return of Christ he referred to the man of sin (symbolizing an apostate system with one man at its head) who would sit in the Temple of God, showing himself to be God. In other words the antichrist power comes from God’s own church (the Greek word (naos) that Paul uses for Temple is the same word that he uses when he is calling the people the Temple of God). A definition for antichrist is one who claims to be a replacement for Christ, not necessarily one who is an atheist and doesn’t believe in Christ. This means that an apostate system of religion, who follow non-Biblical doctrines and who have a man at their head who claims to be God’s representative on earth, and who claim to in fact be infallible and have the authority of God on earth would meet the criteria for being antichrist. 2 Thessalonians 2:3-9 “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,”
This again clarifies the fact that the antichrist or beast is not Satan himself, but a puppet system of religious/political power that Satan manipulates for his own ends. The distinction is also made in this verse, which shows that Satan gave the First Beast his seat (position of office) and authority Revelation 13:2 “And the beast which I saw was 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.”
Revelation 17 gives us many clues that we can use to identify the first beast of Revelation 13, which incidentally directly correlates to the fourth beast and little horn power of Daniel 7.
Firstly we will look at these two accounts of the beast, and then we will narrow down the criteria and identify the First Beast.
Revelation 13:1-8 “And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a 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. And the beast which I saw was 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. 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. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? 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. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. 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. 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.”
Daniel 7:3-8 “And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another. The first was like a lion, and had eagle's wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man's heart was given to it. And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh. After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it. After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns. I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.”
Bible prophecy follows a rule laid out in Isaiah, which says Isaiah 28:10 “For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, Line upon line, line upon line, Here a little, there a little.” This means that prophecies are repeated in different places in the Bible and that you need to look at all the places to get the full picture. Often the same prophetic event/s will be repeated using different symbols, and each one will build upon the other to give more and more details and fill in the gaps.
In Daniel 2 there are five kingdoms spoken of when Daniel interprets King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of the giant statue with a gold head, chest and arms of silver, belly and thighs of bronze, legs of iron and feet of iron and clay. Daniel explains the following: Daniel 2:37-43 “You, O king, are a king of kings. For the God of heaven has given you a kingdom, power, strength, and glory; and wherever the children of men dwell, or the beasts of the field and the birds of the heaven, He has given them into your hand, and has made you ruler over them all--you are this head of gold. But after you shall arise another kingdom inferior to yours; then another, a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the earth. And the fourth kingdom shall be as strong as iron, inasmuch as iron breaks in pieces and shatters everything; and like iron that crushes, that kingdom will break in pieces and crush all the others. Whereas you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter's clay and partly of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; yet the strength of the iron shall be in it, just as you saw the iron mixed with ceramic clay. And as the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly fragile. As you saw iron mixed with ceramic clay, they will mingle with the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, just as iron does not mix with clay.”
Daniel identifies Babylon as being the head of gold and then he lists three kingdoms that will come after Babylon and then identifies a divided kingdom after that. Both historically and through other Bible texts we can identify these kingdoms Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome, followed by the division of the Roman Empire into the ten kingdoms of Europe.
These same kingdoms are described in several different ways and represented by different animals:
This then brings us through to the little horn power that Daniel sees in his vision that comes out of the ten divided kingdoms and plucks up three of the ten horns (conquers and destroys three of the ten kingdoms).
This little horn antichrist beast power also speaks “great things” as described by Daniel and “great things and blasphemies” as listed in Revelation.
What is blasphemy? When Jesus forgave a man’s sins, the Pharisees accused Him of Blasphemy as only God can forgive sins, and they thought Jesus was only a man Luke 5:20-21 “And when he saw their faith, he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee. And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, Who is this which speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?”
This means that the antichrist beast power would claim to have the power to forgive sins. The prophecy says it had the eyes of a man, indicating that there would be one man at its head, but not a king as the horn had no crown. It was also different from the other kingdoms because it was not just a political power like the previous ruling powers, but instead a religious-political power.
Rather than answer this myself, I would like to quote some of our great Church leaders of the past. Some of these men met their deaths at the hands of the antichrist beast power, being burnt at the stake for following their consciences and standing on the Word of God alone, rather than bow down to apostate teachings and traditions of man.
John Calvin (1509-1564) - Presbyterian
“Some persons think us too severe and censorious when we call the Roman pontiff Antichrist. But those who are of this opinion do not consider that they bring the same charge of presumption against Paul himself, after whom we speak and whose language we adopt... I shall briefly show that (Paul's words in II Thessalonians 2) are not capable of any other interpretation than that which applies them to the Papacy.” Taken from Institutes by John Calvin.
John Knox (1505-1572) - Scotch Presbyterian
Knox wrote to abolish “that tyranny which the pope himself has for so many ages exercised over the church” and that the pope should be recognized as “the very antichrist, and son of perdition, of whom Paul speaks.” Extract from The Zurich Letters, pg. 199 by John Knox.
Martin Luther (1483-1546) - Lutheran
“We here are of the conviction that the papacy is the seat of the true and real Antichrist...personally I declare that I owe the Pope no other obedience than that to Antichrist.” (Aug. 18, 1520) Taken from The Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers, Vol. 2., pg. 121 by Froom.
“I am at a loss to know whether the pope be antichrist or his apostle” (De Wette, op. cit., I, 239)
(In response to a papal bull [official decree]): “I despise and attack it, as impious, false... It is Christ Himself who is condemned therein... I rejoice in having to bear such ills for the best of causes. Already I feel greater liberty in my heart; for at last I know that the pope is antichrist, and that his throne is that of Satan himself.” --D'Aubigné, b.6, ch. 9.
John Wesley (1703-1791) - Methodist
About the Papacy he said, “He is in an emphatical sense, the Man of Sin, as he increases all manner of sin above measure. And he is, too, properly styled the Son of Perdition, as he has caused the death of numberless multitudes, both of his opposers and followers... He it is...that exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped...claiming the highest power, and highest honour...claiming the prerogatives which belong to God alone.” Extract from Antichrist and His Ten Kingdoms by John Wesley, pg. 110.
Roger Williams (1603-1683) - First Baptist Pastor in America
He spoke of the Pope as “the pretended Vicar of Christ on earth, who sits as God over the Temple of God, exalting himself not only above all that is called God, but over the souls and consciences of all his vassals, yea over the Spirit of Christ, over the Holy Spirit, yea, and God himself...speaking against the God of heaven, thinking to change times and laws; but he is the son of perdition (II Thessalonians 2).” From The Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers by Froom, Vol. 3, pg. 52.
Thomas Cranmer (1489-1556) - Anglican
“Whereof it followeth Rome to be the seat of antichrist, and the pope to be very antichrist himself. I could prove the same by many other scriptures, old writers, and strong reasons.” (Referring to prophecies in Revelation and Daniel.) Taken from Works by Cranmer, Vol. 1, pg. 6-7.
Cotton Mather (1663-1728) - Congregational Theologian
“The oracles of God foretold the rising of an Antichrist in the Christian Church: and in the Pope of Rome, all the characteristics of that Antichrist are so marvelously answered that if any who read the Scriptures do not see it, there is a marvelous blindness upon them.” The Fall of Babylon by Cotton Mather in Froom's book, The Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers, Vol. 3, pg. 113.
These men all recognized the non-Biblical and false doctrines taught by the Roman Catholic Church. They acknowledged that she had not only intermingled many pagan traditions and beliefs into the Christian Church, but had also claimed that by her own authority she could change the very laws of God.
“The authority of the church could therefore not be bound to the authority of the Scriptures, because the Church had changed...the Sabbath into Sunday, not by command of Christ, but by its own authority.” Canon and Tradition, p. 263.
“Sunday is our mark or authority...the church is above the Bible, and this transference of Sabbath observance is proof of that fact.” Catholic Record of London, Ontario, September 1, 1923.
“From this we may understand how great is the authority of the church in interpreting or explaining to us the commandments of God - an authority which is acknowledged by the universal practice of the whole Christian world, even of those sects which profess to take the holy Scriptures as their sole rule of faith, since they observe as the day of rest not the seventh day of the week demanded by the Bible, but the first day. Which we know is to be kept holy, only from the tradition and teaching of the Catholic church.” Henry Gibson, Catechism Made Easy, #2, 9th edition, vol. 1, p. 341-342.
As well as changing the Fourth Commandment and moving the Holy Seventh Day Sabbath of God to the pagan worship day of Sunday, the Catholic Church also abolished the Second Commandment, which forbade making and worshiping idols, and actually encouraged its membership to pray to statues of ‘saints’. They then split the Tenth Commandment into two to make up the numbers.
This means that if we keep the Sabbath on the seventh day, we are following God’s Commandment, but if we keep Sunday, we are following the traditions of man. If we go even deeper, who gave power to this Church and had them change God's law? Revelation 13:2 states it was Satan himself. Why did he do this?
Jesus made it clear that He was appalled by people who replaced God’s law with man made traditions Mark 7:6-9 “Jesus answered them, “How right Isaiah was when he prophesied about you! You are hypocrites, just as he wrote: ‘These people, says God, honor me with their words, but their heart is really far away from me. It is no use for them to worship me, because they teach human rules as though they were my laws!’ “You put aside God's command and obey human teachings.” And Jesus continued, “You have a clever way of rejecting God's law in order to uphold your own teaching.”
In many documents the Catholic Church has poked fun at the Protestant world for claiming to follow the scriptures alone, but then going to church on the day that they changed it to.
“Protestants...accept Sunday rather than Saturday as the day for public worship after the Catholic Church made the change...But the Protestant mind does not seem to realize that...In observing the Sunday, they are accepting the authority of the spokesman for the church, the Pope.” Our Sunday Visitor, February 15, 1950.
“It was the Catholic church which...has transferred this rest to Sunday in remembrance of the resurrection of our Lord. Therefore the observance of Sunday by the Protestants is an homage they pay, in spite of themselves, to the authority of the (Catholic) church.” Monsignor Louis Segur, Plain Talk About the Protestantism of Today, p. 213.
The Bible tells us that the First Beast was drunk with the blood of the saints Revelation 17:6 “And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.” Did the Catholic Church kill the faithful servants of God? It is a matter of history that during the dark ages and the Inquisitions, the Roman Catholic Church killed an estimated 50 – 100 million people, tortured and murdered as ‘heretics’ (following your conscience and deciding for oneself what to believe). Christians were hunted down and killed, many burnt at the stake. Foxes Book of Martyrs details some of the horrific implements of torture that were employed, and the terrible deaths that many of God’s faithful people met with. Many of these deaths were for keeping the Seventh day Sabbath and why so many now keep Sunday. The true Sabbath day was nearly murdered out of existence typically by the method shown in this re-enactment of a true story on a Death in Red Square.
As we saw earlier, in the end times when 666 and the Mark of the Beast become an issue, there will be a distinction made between those who accept the Mark of the Beast and those who follow the Commandments of God. The Catholic Church (the First Beast of Revelation) claims that changing the Sabbath to Sunday is the “Mark of her authority.”
So not only is the Seal of God found within His Fourth Commandment, that Satan has attacked, but the Mark of the Beast also relates to this same Commandment.
Revelation speaks of the First Beast as a Mother, meaning that she has daughter churches. In essence the Protestant Christian world who follow the apostate teaching of observing Sunday as the day of worship instead of the “Friday evening to Saturday evening” Sabbath of the Bible, are in effect making themselves the daughters of the Harlot Woman riding the Beast of Revelation.
We are told that in the end times, God will call His people out of the apostate system of worship. Revelation 18:4 “And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.”
God has already begun to call many of His faithful servants out of the apostate Christian Churches of this world and into His final remnant church. His remnant church will seek to follow all of the eternal Ten Commandments of God, and will NOT take the Mark of the Beast. This will be a conscious decision (in the forehead) and will be evident by their actions (in the hand) of wilfully observing the Holy Sabbath Day of the Lord.
The Second beast of Revelation is described as follows Revelation 13:11-17 “And I beheld 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. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. 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. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: 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.”
We know that the Second Beast of Revelation 13 emerges in the end times, meaning sometime after 1798. The scripture says it will come out of the earth (prophetically a sparsely populated area). We are told that the beast has two horns like a lamb, meaning it was a young (new) nation and that to start with there will be two distinct types of leadership, a separation between religion and politics. Being lamb like means that it is a Christian nation (as Christ is the Lamb). It would also be a place where the saints fled to when they were escaping the persecution in Europe. Revelation 12:14-17 “And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the Commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”
There is only one major nation in the world that meets all of this criteria and that is America or more specifically Protestant America. It still calls itself a Christian nation and was initially habituated by people fleeing the religious persecutions of Europe. It also officially became a nation shortly after 1798. It was a haven for religious and civil freedom.
Revelation 13 continues and says that the beast “spake as a dragon”, meaning that at some stage its nature would alter, and it will begin to exercise the same powers and would follow the same apostate doctrines as the First Beast. It says it will “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.” The Second Beast will therefore make an image to, in other words become a replica of the First Beast. What did the First Beast do? It persecuted the true followers of God, the ones who chose to follow their consciences and the Holy Bible as the only authority for doctrine. The First Beast enforced by law the day of worship. In 321AD Constantine had implemented the first Sunday law. The Second Beast will enforce by law worship of the papal power and her false doctrines. The First Beast was a religious-political power, so therefore the Second Beast will also require the merging of Religion and State. Any religion that tries to enforce doctrinal observance by law is apostate, for God gave us freedom of choice. People can only become His by choosing to follow Him with their own free will they cannot have this instigated by force.
Just as the First Beast persecuted and killed anyone who did not bow down to it, so shall the Second Beast.
This End Time Antichrist Beast will force everyone to take its Mark and anyone who does not bow down to it will have their assets frozen and not be permitted to buy or sell. They will most likely be labelled as terrorists and enemies of the state and deemed guilty of high treason. They will be thrown in jail and tortured or killed, just as the so-called ‘heretics’ were under the papal rule of the dark ages.
Although it does not specifically state it, it seems evident that to change the staunch views of the many diverse religions and peoples of this planet to such an extent that they are prepared to forgo their previous beliefs and bow down to a one world religious government, that there must be some catalyst, perhaps an immense natural disaster, a world wide economic crash or enormous terrorist activity on a world wide scale, that precedes this uniting of religion and state. Some sort of cataclysmic event that will lead to a One World Government and the appointing of the Pope as Head of the Universal religion. When this event happens the leading Protestant churches of the United States will call for unity and choose some common ground, putting aside all doctrinal differences, and will influence the government to enforce decrees to implement by law Sunday sacredness in a desperate effort to create peace and unity. This will then be adopted universally.
With the world in turmoil the call for harmony and unity will sound attractive to anyone who is not aware of the warnings that God has given us in His prophecies. They will not realize that by accepting this One World religion and not keeping the Holy Seventh Day Sabbath that they will be taking the Mark of the Beast.
The Second Beast will also be a false prophet, or in other words will promote false prophecies regarding the end times. Revelation 19:20 “And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.” The Second Beast power will do amazing signs and miracles to deceive the people Revelation 13:13-15 “And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. 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.”
The doors for accepting false teaching, false prophecy and false signs have already been opening wider and wider within the protestant Christian churches, especially over the past one hundred years. Revelation speaks of false fire from heaven, meaning false representations of the Holy Spirit. We have already seen the counterfeit miracle of Speaking in Tongues enter into many of the Christian churches over the last century. In the genuine gift bestowed at Pentecost the Disciples understood what they were saying and this gift was specifically given for the advancement of the kingdom, not personal edification as promoted today. We have seen the false prophetic doctrines of a secret rapture of the church before tribulation and the false teachings of seven years of tribulation in which an individual calling himself Christ will sit in a rebuilt Middle Eastern Jewish temple.
The prophetic realization of the uniting of religion and government is yet to be fulfilled, and it is the part of prophecy that we need to ensure we fully understand, so that we do not unknowingly take the mark of the beast, and be doomed to eternal destruction.
Those who stay true to the Bible based teachings and do not bow down to the laws enforcing Sunday worship, and outlawing Sabbath keeping, those who choose to keep all of the Ten Commandments of God have the following promise to look forward to. Revelation “And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.”
We have established that the mark of the first antichrist beast power is its blatant disregard for authority of God and claim that they have the authority to override scripture, which they prove by the fact that they changed the fourth Commandment Sabbath day of God to Sunday by their own authority. In other words, the Roman Catholic Church’s act of changing the Sabbath to Sunday is the “mark of the beast.”
666 is not the mark of the beast it is the number of a man at the head of this apostate system of religion. Revelation 13:18 “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 threescore and six.”
Since the beast power is the Papal Church and this man is part of this Papal system, it does not take much to realize that this man has to be the most prominent man in charge of this system. So does the number 666 depict the head of the Antichrist beast power, the apostate Roman Catholic Church? One of the names given to the Pope, which is written on one of the early triple tiered crowns worn by the Pope, is VICARIUS FILII DEI, meaning Vicar of Christ or Substitute for Christ, which is synonymous with Antichrist, i.e., assuming the power of God on earth. The literal meaning of each word of this Papal title is as follows: VICARIUS - substituting for, or in place of, FILII - means son and DEI - means God. As a result of this truth coming to light, they now deny that this was ever a Papal title but the evidence though it is no longer blatantly obvious, does still exist. Here is one of their very own quotes.
Question: “What are the letters supposed to be in the Pope’s crown, and what do they signify if anything?”
Answer: “The letters inscribed in the Pope's mitre are these: Vicarius Filii Dei, which is the Latin for Vicar of the Son of God. Catholics hold that the Church which is a visible society must have a visible head. Christ, before His ascension into heaven, appointed St. Peter to act as His representative. Upon the death of Peter the man who succeeded to the office of Peter as Bishop of Rome, was recognized as the head of the Church. Hence to the Bishop of Rome, as head of the Church, was given the title ‘Vicar of Christ.’ Enemies of the Papacy denounce this title as a malicious assumption. But the Bible informs us that Christ did not only give His Church authority to teach, but also to rule. Laying claim to the authority to rule in Christ’s spiritual kingdom, in Christ’s stead, is not a whit more malicious than laying claim to the authority to teach in Christ’s name. And this every Christian minister does.” — Our Sunday Visitor, (Catholic Weekly), April 18, 1915, thirteenth question under "Bureau of Information,” p. 3, (on page 2 appears “sanctions for the editor” from Pope Pius X, dated May 17, 1914; from the Apostolic Delegate, John Bonzano, dated April 27, 1913; and from J. H. Alerding, Bishop of Fort Wayne, Ind., dated March 29, 1912).
If you add up the Roman numerals for each letter of this name it comes to 666. So when the Bible says 666 is the number of a man, this corresponds to the Head of the Roman Catholic Church, which is the first beast of the two Beasts of Revelation 13. There are other names that also add up to 666 but the fact that this one does in conjunction with all the other evidence is conclusive and meets all the criteria.
In the Bible the number 7 is always used as God’s number, depicting completion or perfection and the number 6 is used to depict man. The ancient Babylonian system also used 6 as the basis for their numeric system. See mark of the beast for the origins of 666 and why God calls the Catholic Church Babylon.
The Bible makes it clear that the only way to avoid receiving the Mark of the Beast in the end times is to be faithful to Jesus and to follow all of the Holy, Eternal Ten Commandments of God, no matter what the laws of the land try to force us to do.
It shows that we need to be prepared and aware that 666 and the Mark of the Beast relate to worshipping or bowing down to the decrees and doctrines of the apostate system of religion found within the Roman Catholic Church and its head the pope. This system has clearly been identified as the Antichrist Beast power of Revelation and Daniel.
God has shown us that at the end of time the faithful followers of Jesus will have to endure a terrible time of persecution, but that we need to stand firm in our faith, and we will be rewarded in Heaven for our endurance.
The Bible also shows us that if we are currently in one of the ‘daughter’ churches, which do not follow all of the Ten Commandments of God, then we need to hear His voice, the voice of our shepherd calling us out of this apostasy and into His remnant fold.
If you would like to watch an online Prophecy Seminar that reveals who the little horn of Daniel 7 and the Beast of Revelation 13 is that changed the Sabbath to Sunday, you will find Revelation Reveals the Antichrist very enlightening. You may want to start about 17.5 minutes in to bypass singing items etc. You can also watch Histories Greatest Hoax on the truth about the Sabbath and ideally should be watched first. There is also an episode covering 666 and the mark of the beast. To watch more from this and other Prophecy Seminars you will find the menus here. Be prepared to discover many mind blowing, lost Bible truths.