Revelation Chapter 13
VERSE 18 continued “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.”
The following we add as an addendum to our study on Verse 18 and the number of the beast as we hope it will prove of further insight.
His Number is 666
“Some believe that every word and letter of Scriptures was divinely directed. This has led to a method of reading Scripture called “Gematria.” This is a method of adding the numeric value of each Hebrew or Greek letter in a text to determine a clue to some extended meaning of the text. Here we must be very careful not to use some value to insert a private interpretation or to fanaticize with the many mystical interpretations of the Cabalistic branch of Judaism. Any teaching must have a firm basis in the written word.
Yet there are some texts that invite our pursuit to a level deeper than the surface. And some uses of numbers do not relate to time at all. One of these is Rev 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, 666.”
This follows the prophetic symbols of the seven-headed beast, a two-horned beast and an image of the beast. Finally, this “image of the beast” receives power to mark both small and great in the hands or forehead and to control certain commerce.
We understand the beast to represent Papacy, the Man of Sin, a most beastly church-state government. The other images are extensions of the ideology of the first beast, and even of the dragon, pagan Rome, who fostered the whole system.
In Verse 18 we are asked to “count” the number of the beast. The word “count” means to calculate compute or sum. It is remarkable that the Romans did not use all the letters of their alphabet for numbers, as did the Hebrews and Greeks. They used only six letters, D, C, L, X, V, and I. (M appears to have evolved from the original use of two adjacent Ds to represent their sum of 1000.) It is even more remarkable, and perhaps significant, that the sum of these amounts to 666, and that each pair sum to the three component parts of the 666 prophetic number. Also, the sum of the highest unit in each pair is 6.
D = 500
C = 100
L = 50
X = 10
V = 5
I = 1
666 is the characteristic feature of the Roman numeral system, and perhaps is a reason this number was chosen to mark the whole Roman politico-religious system in this prophecy.
We think the meaning of the words “wisdom” and “understanding” in Rev 13:18 do not refer to a cleverness to understand the formula of the number, but to the spiritual perception and wisdom in identifying the Man of Sin system and keeping separate in spirit from it.
These are identified in Rev 20:4 as those who “had not worshiped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, nor in their hands” Let us be free from the spirit of antitypical Babylon.” (Beauties of the Truth, “Two Secret Numbers”, November 1994 Page 11)
Of all the professing church, only those who are able to truly identify the Man of Sin (and who have separated themselves both from it and its associates) are found to be without this mark, all others regardless of whether they understand (or believe) it or not have been marked.
Rev 13:18 "Here is wisdom (Here is a feature that contains much divine wisdom and foreknowledge) Let him that hath understanding count ('compute,' Diaglott. -divine the significance of) the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man (a number that identifies it with a man. As the 'one new man,' Christ, Head and body (Eph 2:15) cannot be the one here referred to, that organization being perfect and complete from the divine standpoint, the reference must be to the other symbolic man brought to our attention in the Scriptures-the ‘man of sin’; the Antichrist); and his number is Six hundred, three score and six." The literal rendering of the Greek is 6oo, 6o, 6.
The Weymouth translation, however, suggests a little different thought:
“Here is scope for ingenuity: Let people of shrewd intelligence calculate the number of the wild beast: for it indicates the number of a certain man and his number is 666.”
“Jesus, who gave this revelation to us (Rev 1:1), well knew that this symbol could not be properly understood until about the present time, for the reason that the Image of the Beast (The Evangelical Alliance) was only first made in 1846 A.D. Jesus also knew, of course, that English would be the language used by probably four- fifths of his earnest truth-seeking children, in the "time of the end.” He likewise knew that not many wise, not many great, not many learned in all languages (specifically Greek and Hebrew) would be of the chosen “little flock”. Moreover, it was his custom to adapt his teachings to the "common people," and of this sort his Jewels have been from, the twelve disciples and since.
Therefore, it would appear that the number 666, should be open to the comprehension of us all--we being the ones told to count—as much so as were the other symbolic numbers of (Daniel and Revelation) Let us try, then (in our next post), to apply these figures in English and see if this is true.
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