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Sermon No: 2612-The mark of the beast



Gavin-Paynter/The-mark-of-the-beast.jpg

SERMON TOPIC: The mark of the beast

Speaker: Gavin Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 29 March 2015

Topic Groups: ANTICHRIST, PROPHECY, REVELATION

Sermon synopsis: In what is one of the most well–known passages in Revelation, John writes:

Rev 13:16-18 He causes all, the small and the great, the rich and the poor, and the free and the slave, to be given marks on their right hands, or on their foreheads; and that no one would be able to buy or to sell, unless he has that mark, the name of the beast or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. He who has understanding, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. His number is six hundred sixty-six. (WEB)

How do proponents of the three main prophetic viewpoints interpret this mark of the beast?
1) Preterist:
- the emperor’s image on Roman coins
- the certificate of sacrifice to the emperor
2) Historicist:
- the practice of making the sign of the cross
- SDA: an international Sunday law
3) Futurist:
- Mark of commerce – most likely a credit facility in the form of a microchip implant or RFID tag.
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The mark of the beast

Q: WHAT IS THE MARK OF THE BEAST?

In what is one of the most well–known passages in Revelation, John writes:

Rev 13:16-18 He causes all, the small and the great, the rich and the poor, and the free and the slave, to be given marks on their right hands, or on their foreheads; and that no one would be able to buy or to sell, unless he has that mark, the name of the beast or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. He who has understanding, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. His number is six hundred sixty-six. (WEB)

THE MARK OF THE BEAST

How do proponents of the three main prophetic viewpoints interpret this mark of the beast?

Preterist:

the emperor’s image on Roman coins

the certificate of sacrifice to the emperor

Historicist:

the practice of making the sign of the cross

SDA: an international Sunday law

Futurist:

Mark of commerce – most likely a credit facility in the form of a microchip implant or RFID tag.

THE MARK OF THE BEAST

The Preterist idea that the mark is the emperor’s image on Roman coins at least acknowledges that a mark of commerce is being referred to. “No one could buy or sell unless he had the mark…”

But by identifying the mark with coins (a form of cash) - what kind of a prophetic sign is that??? Throughout most of human history, you couldn’t buy or sell unless you had money.

PRETERIST MARK

Identifying the mark with the certificate of sacrifice to the emperor is slightly more sensible. At one stage in history Christians were compelled to obtain a certificate proving that they had participated in Emperor worship. But this happened long after 70 AD, certainly not in Nero’s time, when most Preterists say Jesus came again! 1

1 To be exact – it occurred in the persecution by Decius in January of 250, when he issued an edict requiring all citizens to sacrifice to the emperor in the presence of a Roman official and obtain a certificate (libellus) proving they had done so. ["http:// www.religionfacts.com/ ">www.ReligionFacts.com: Persecution in the Early Church] 2 46 such certificates have been published, all dating from this same year (250 AD). [‘Certificate of pagan sacrifice: Jun–Jul, AD 250’, Oxyrhynchus Papyri Project, Oxford Univ.]

PRETERIST MARK

Libellus from the Decian persecution, found in Oxyrhynchus in Egypt. 2

Some Historicists believe that the mark of the beast refers to the practice of making the sign of the cross, common to many branches of Christianity including Roman Catholicism.

But just exactly when were people unable to buy or sell without making the sign of the cross?

HISTORICIST MARK

In SDA eschatology the ‘image to the beast’ represents Protestant churches which will form an alliance with the Papacy, and the ‘mark of the beast’ refers to a future universal Sunday law legally enforcing Sunday-worship. Just how likely is that?

Who is going to enforce Sunday worship on the two billion Friday-worshipping Moslems? What about the two billion Hindus, Buddhists, and other eastern religions? Who is going to make them start observing Sunday? What about the hundreds of millions of people who are secularists, agnostics, and atheists? Who is going to make them worship anything at all? 1

1 "http:// www.ellenwhiteexposed.com/ ">http:// www.ellenwhiteexposed.com - What are the Odds of a National Sunday Law?

HISTORICIST MARK

As in their system the second beast is the USA 1 and it is the second beast that enforces the mark (Rev 13:15-16) – they effectively teach that the predominantly Protestant USA will pass a Sunday Law to enforce Protestants to worship on the ‘Catholic Sunday’ (despite the fact that most Protestants already do, without any enforcement). And based on their shaky track record of predicting “End of the World” dates, it’s not hard to see how this will be another failed prophecy.

In JW eschatology the beast represents human government and the mark “is a symbol that identifies its bearer as one who gives worshipful support to the beastlike political systems of the world.” 2

1 Ellen White – “The Great Controversy”, 387–8 2 "http:// www.watchtower.org/ ">www.watchtower.org

HISTORICIST MARK

Futurists interpret the passage (Rev 13:16–17) literally and understand the mark to be something without which the individual will not be able to engage in any commercial activity.

Buying and selling literally refers to a form of commerce.

This is most likely a credit facility in the form of a microchip implant or RFID tag.

It cannot be cash because the mark is on the right hand or on the forehead. How many people do you know who carry their cash on their forehead?

FUTURIST MARK

666

The number 666 (six hundred and sixty–six) is interesting. Whether it’s of any relevance to this prophecy is debatable, but a curious detail nonetheless is the fact that 666 is a triangular number. So is 6, 66 and 36 (6x6). A triangular number is the sum of a group of consecutive numbers starting from 1.

6 is the cumulative sum of all numbers from 1 to 3.

So 1+2+3 = 6.

6

36 (6x6) is the cumulative sum of all numbers from 1 to 8.

So 1+2+3+ … +8 = 36

36 (6x6)

66 is the cumulative sum of all numbers from 1 to 11.

So 1+2+3+ … +11= 66

66

And then 666 is the cumulative sum of all numbers from 1 to 36 (which is itself 6x6).

So 1+2+3+ … +36 = 666

66

36

6

666

Similarly in the Latin numeral system the 6 lower value Latin numbers add up to 666.

LATIN 666 - DCLXVI

Thus the Latin 666 is simply DCLXVI (all the letters used to represent numerals except ‘M’.

666 is the sum of the squares of the first 7 prime numbers. 2 2 + 3 2 + 5 2 + 7 2 + 11 2 + 13 2 + 17 2 = 666

666 is the sum of ascending-descending cubes from 1 to 6: 1 3 + 2 3 + 3 3 + 4 3 + 5 3 + 6 3 + 5 3 + 4 3 + 3 3 + 2 3 + 1 3 = 666

It is also equal to the sum of its digits plus the cubes of its digits. There are only five other positive integers with this property. 666 = 6 + 6 + 6 + 6³ + 6³ + 6³

666 is a sum and difference of the first three 6th powers: 3 6 - 2 6 + 1 6 = 666

666

Immediately after telling how the second beast will force everyone to receive a mark, John continues by saying:

Rev 13:18 This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man’s number. His number is 666.

John’s challenge here “If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast,” has evoked a seemingly endless list of responses from the time of its writing until the present day. Throughout the ages many have manipulated various schemes to “make the shoe fit” one way or the other for the current political or religious enemy.

666

Unlike English, many ancient languages like Hebrew, Greek and Latin had no separate numeral system but letters had corresponding numbers.

Gematria uses the sum of these numbers to give a numeric value to a word or name.

John calls the mark “the number of his name” so it is quite likely that the Gematria (numerical value) of the Antichrist’s name will be 666. But in which language - Hebrew, Greek, Latin or English?

Calculations using a contrived “English” Gematria (e.g. A=6, B=12, C=18, etc.) are unconvincing, as historically English speakers used the Latin alphabet and numeral system, before moving to the separate Arabic numeral system sometime after 1000 AD.

WHICH LANGUAGE?

The only credible English alphabet-numeral equivalents are found in the ASCII 1 code, which is used in computers for storing all keyboard characters including the alphabet characters.

1 American Standard Code for Information Interchange

ENGLISH?

Hexadecimal representation of ASCII

Some emails have circulated claiming that using the ASCII code “BILL GATES III” equates to 666 and have then used this to equate the cofounder of Microsoft Corporation with the Antichrist.

The problem is that the ASCII value for “I” is not 1 – it’s 49 in hexadecimal (or 73 in decimal). Also in ASCII a space has a numerical value and it is not equivalent to zero. A computer sees a space as 20 in hexadecimal (32 in decimal) and you would have to factor in two spaces.

ENGLISH?

Latin was the language of the Romans and the Antichrist will rule the revived Roman Empire. Most of us are familiar with the Roman (Latin) numerals:

e.g. 1–10 is I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X.

However in the Latin system only certain alphabet characters have numeric equivalents: I(1), V(5), X(10), L(50), C(100), D(500) and M(1000).

Some claim that Hebrew is the “heavenly language”, and so any calculation should be done with a transliteration of the name in Hebrew.

LATIN OR HEBREW?

The Greek alphabet used as a numbering system

However the Revelation was written in Greek, so it is more likely that this is the most important language for calculating the 666.

GREEK?

Preterists see 666 as the code for Nero (r. 54-68 AD), Caligula (r. 37-41 AD) or Domitian (r. 81-96 AD).

It is claimed that the Greek spelling of Nero Caesar (Nerōn Kaisar) transliterates into Hebrew as “נרון קסר” or ‘nrvn qsr’. Adding the corresponding values yields 666.

PRETERIST 666

The Hebrew Gematria used by Preterists uses some inventive gymnastics by relying on a Greek variant of Nero’s name (adding an ‘n’ to make it fit) and then still transliterating into Hebrew. Nero was a Roman and the Latin title for Nero is simply spelt “Nerō Caesar,” which transliterates to “נרו קסר” in Hebrew (or “nrv qsr”) and has a value of 616.

PRETERIST 666

The Hebrew Gematria used by Preterists uses some inventive gymnastics by relying on a Greek variant of Nero’s name (adding an ‘n’ to make it fit) and then still transliterating into Hebrew. Nero was a Roman and the Latin title for Nero is simply spelt “Nerō Caesar,” which transliterates to “נרו קסר” in Hebrew (or “nrv qsr”) and has a value of 616.

Firstly we may ask why the need to transliterate into Hebrew through Greek, when Nero was a Latin name? The New Testament and Revelation were written in Greek. The answer probably lies in the fact that the Greek Gematria for Nero is 1337.

666

However there is another more serious problem with the Hebrew Gematria for the Greek ‘Neron Kaisar’.

The rules of Gematria dictate that when the letter Nun appears a second time in a word, it is known as a ‘Final’, and takes the value of 700. 1

1 "http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Gematria">http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Gematria

PRETERIST 666

So to be precise, even the incorrectly transliterated NRVN QSR actually adds up to 1316 and not 666.

PRETERIST 666

Another 1st century candidate put forward by Preterists is Caligula. His first name was “Gaius” - and “Gaius Caesar” renders 616 when transliterated from Latin into Greek.

Actually his full name was “Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus”, but he was commonly known as ‘Caligula’ which is conspicuous by its absence in the isopsephy calculation.

Using this logic you could get 2 more Caesars from the Julio-Claudian dynasty to fit the name “Gaius Caesar”:

Julius Caesar - “Gaius Julius Caesar

Gaius Octavius Caesar” (later called Augustus)

PRETERIST 666

The reality is both ‘Gaius’ and ‘Caesar’ were very much family names and can hardly be used to distinguish between the Caesars of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. “Gaius Caesar” as an abbreviated name is applicable to three Caesars.

Identifying Caligula as the antichrist also relies on the variant value of 616 mentioned by Irenaeus (whom Preterists otherwise choose to ignore when he mentions the timing of the writing of Revelation).

But although Irenaeus knew several cases of the 616-variant he regarded them as a scribal error and affirmed that the number 666 stood “in all the most approved and ancient copies” and was attested by “those men who saw John face to face”. 1

1 Against Heresies Book V, Chapter XXX

PRETERIST 666

Because Domitian is the actual Emperor that exiled John to Patmos as the early Church Fathers bear witness, some have given up on the identification with Nero and tried to make the terms ‘Antichrist’ and ‘666’ a reference to Domitian.

Domitian’s full title in Latin was “Imperator Caesar Domitianus Augustus Germanicus”. The abbreviated form of this title when transliterated into Greek renders a value of 666.

PRETERIST 666

Domitian (51 - 96 AD)

A German Protestant theologian Ethelbert Stauffer computed this using the short form of Domitian’s names and titles which in Greek is: Autokrator Kaisar Dometianos Sebastos Germanikos. 1 This abbreviates to “A KAI ΔOMET ΣEB ΓE” and in Greek Gematria it equates as follows:

But like many 666 schemes, this is very inventive to make Domitian ‘fit’ using a somewhat random abbreviation. In any event he ruled from 81 to 96 AD, long after the alleged Preterist return of Jesus in 70 AD.

1 Coniectanea Neotestamentica XI in honorem Antonii Fridrichsen sexagenarii

PRETERIST 666

The early reformers Luther and Calvin saw the Antichrist as being both the papacy and Islam, the papacy being a Western Antichrist and Islam an Eastern Antichrist. There is no doubt that the great Islamic prophet Muhammad was a type of the Antichrist, just like Antiochus Epiphanes, Haman and Hitler, in that he too hated and persecuted the Jews. The Medieval Latin and French name for Muhammad is Mahomet, and some have claimed that in Greek it is ‘Maometis’, which has a numerical value of 666:

HISTORICIST 666

Charles Walmesley (1722–1797) was an English Roman Catholic bishop and a leading proponent of the ‘Maometis’ interpretation, who alleged that the name Muhammad was spelled Maometis by Euthymius Zygabenus and the Greek historians Zonaras and Cedrenus. However this is a false claim as Euthymius Zygabenus and Zonaras actually used the name ‘Maometh’ while Cedrenus used ‘Mouchoumet’. Dr. David Thom also rejected ‘Maometis’ as a valid translation, writing that, “… of the seven different ways in which Muhammad’s name is written in Euthymius and the Byzantine historians, not one is the orthography in question.” (“The Number And Names Of The Apocalyptic Beasts” - 1848)

Furthermore none of the seven variant spellings of the name Muhammad that were used by the Greek Byzantine add up to 666 using Greek Gematria.

HISTORICIST 666

According to the SDA Church, an alleged title of the Pope, Vicarivs Filii Dei (Vicar of The Son of God), totals 666 in Latin numerals (disregarding of course letters that had no numerical value for Romans).

But this title is not recognized by Catholics as an official title of the Pope. The title was contained in the Donation of Constantine, a document recognized as a forgery by both Protestants and Catholics.

Then the claim by certain Historicists that this title is engraved in the pope’s tiara has never been proven. Uriah Smith was the first to propose this to the SDA Church when writing “The United States in the Light of Prophecy”.

HISTORICIST 666

Patrick Madrid notes: “Catholic apologists point out that by that merely looking at any of the more than 20 papal tiaras still in existence—including those in use in 1866 during the reign of Pope Pius IX when Uriah Smith made his claim—it is plain that not even one of them has any such inscription, nor is there is any evidence that any of the earlier papal tiaras destroyed by invading French troops in 1798 had any such inscription either.” 1

1 Envoy magazine article titled “Pope Fiction”

HISTORICIST 666

We already saw that in the Latin numeral system the 6 lower value Latin numbers add up to 666.

Thus the Latin 666 is simply DCLXVI - all the Latin letters used to represent numerals except ‘M’.

Immediately after the first 6 letters, which equate to 666, we get the seventh ‘M’ which represents the value 1000. An interesting fact considering that Premillennialists believe that immediately after the rule of Antichrist (whose number is 666), there will be the Millennial Rule of Christ which is 1000 years.

FUTURIST 666

In Roman mythology according to Virgil, Latinus was an early king of the Latins. Interestingly Irenaeus mentions that the name Latinus (meaning “Latin man”) equated to 666 in its Greek form:

Then also Lateinos (ΛΑΤΕΙΝΟΣ) has the number six hundred and sixty–six; and it is a very probable [solution], this being the name of the last kingdom [of the four seen by Daniel]. For the Latins are they who at present bear rule: I will not, however, make any boast over this [coincidence]. 1

1 Against Heresies, Book 5, Ch. 30:3

FUTURIST 666

This is very significant when we consider that Futurists often identify the antichrist as a future political leader from the revived Roman (Latin) Empire – or what is today the EU (European Union).

Revelation 13:17 … and that no one would be able to buy or to sell, unless he has that mark, the name of the beast or the number of his name.

Futurists see the “666” not only as the Gematria of the Antichrist’s name, but possibly having a link to move towards a single world currency and a technology used to facilitate commerce (without which no one will be able to perform any financial transactions).

FUTURIST 666

SINGLE

WORLD

CURRENCY

Does the Book of Revelation specifically predict a one world currency or cashless society? No, but it would greatly facilitate the regime of Antichrist. It’s clear that the Antichrist uses the mark of commerce to control and subdue people by restricting their ability to conduct commerce if they do not cooperate with him.

Many Futurists believe that a single world currency will be another step closer to the point where the Antichrist, who is predicted as a global ruler, will be able to implement the mark. A single currency is the natural step after economic cooperation and political unification. One only has to look at the European Union and how shortly after it was instituted the drive began towards the use of a single European currency – the Euro.

SINGLE WORLD CURRENCY

John Maynard Keynes was an influential British economist who advocated a global currency arguing that it would not suffer from inflation, which has sometimes had disastrous effects on economies.

Others have added that a single global currency would encourage foreign direct investment and would streamline the conducting of international business.

It would also remove the problems caused by exchange rate volatility.

SINGLE WORLD CURRENCY

John Maynard Keynes (1883–1946)

Up to the end of the 19th century, international trade was denominated in terms of currencies that represented weights of gold. 1

But since 2014 the gold standard is no longer used by any nation as the basis of its monetary system, although many still hold substantial gold reserves. 2

1 "http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ World_currency">http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ World_currency

2 "http:// www.encyclopedia.com/ topic/ Gold_standard.aspx">http:// www.encyclopedia.com/ topic/ Gold_standard.aspx

THE GOLD STANDARD

Under a gold bullion standard, paper notes are convertible at a preset, fixed rate with gold bullion.

Before 1944, the world reference currency was the UK’s pound sterling. 1

In the period following the 1944 Bretton Woods Conference, exchange rates around the world were pegged against the US dollar 1 making it the de facto world currency.

1 "http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ World_currency">http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ World_currency

UK POUND & US DOLLAR

In 1971 the Smithsonian Agreement adjusted the fixed exchange rates established at Bretton Woods. Although other currencies remained pegged to the dollar until 1973, the dollar was no longer convertible into gold guaranteed by the US Treasury.

This led to the demise of fixed exchange rates and the gold standard and the institution of floating exchange rates.

Although most currencies are no longer pegged against the US dollar, because the US remained the world’s leading economic superpower most international transactions still continued to be conducted with the US dollar.

THE US DOLLAR

The Euro has since become the second largest reserve currency as well as the second most traded currency in the world after the US dollar being used daily by some 334 million Europeans as of 2013. As of 2013 another 210 million people worldwide— including 182 million people in Africa—use currencies pegged to the Euro.

THE EURO

But despite getting off to a good start, the Euro has recently suffered some serious setbacks since the ongoing eurozone crisis which commenced in early 2009, triggered by a group of 10 central and eastern European banks asking for a bailout.

The crisis made it difficult or impossible for some countries in the eurozone to repay or refinance their government debt without the assistance of third parties like the ECB or IMF. Banks in the eurozone were undercapitalised and have faced liquidity and debt problems. Additionally, economic growth was slow in the whole of the eurozone and was unequally distributed across the member states. 1

1 "http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Eurozone_crisis">http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Eurozone_crisis

THE EURO

With the global economic crisis, on 24 March 2009 Zhou Xiaochuan, President of the People’s Bank of China, called for “creative reform of the existing international monetary system towards an international reserve currency,” as he believed it would “significantly reduce the risks of a future crisis and enhance crisis management capability.” 2 But the suggestion was summarily dismissed by US President Obama.

1 "http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ World_currency">http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ World_currency

2 China presses G20 reform plans. BBC News, 24 March 2009.

SINGLE WORLD CURRENCY

Zhou Xiaochuan

A few days earlier on 16 March 2009, the Kremlin had also called for a supranational reserve currency as part of a reform of the global financial system. 1

Then on 26 March 2009, a UN panel of expert economists also called for a new global currency reserve scheme to replace the US dollar–based system. The panel’s report pointed out that the: “greatly expanded SDR, with regular or cyclically adjusted emissions calibrated to the size of reserve accumulations, could contribute to global stability, economic strength and global equity.” 1

1 UN panel touts new global currency reserve system. AFP, 26 March 2009.

THE SDR

The SDR (Special Drawing Rights) is an international reserve asset, created by the IMF in 1969 to supplement its member countries’ official reserves.

Its value is based on a basket of 4 key international currencies (US dollar, Euro, Pounds sterling and the Japanese Yen), and SDRs can be exchanged for freely usable currencies.

The SDR is not a currency per se, but rather represents a claim to currency held by IMF member countries for which they may be exchanged. 1

1 Factsheet: Special Drawing Rights (XDRs)". IMF March 31, 2011.

THE SDR

In July 2009, Russian president Dmitry Medvedev presented the attendees at the G8 summit with a coin minted with the words “unity in diversity” as an example of what could become a “united future world currency.” This was to emphasize his call to create a mix of regional currencies in order to counteract the global financial crisis.

SINGLE WORLD CURRENCY

One possibility suggested by proponents of a world currency is that it could be administered by a global central bank which would define its own monetary standard or would be on the gold standard.

A limited alternative would be a world reserve currency issued by the IMF (International Monetary Fund) as an extension of the existing SDR and used as reserve assets by all national and regional central banks.

SINGLE WORLD CURRENCY

Futurists maintain that the Antichrist will expedite the creation of a single world currency and a cashless society. After all how could you enforce a system, whereby nobody can buy and sell without the mark, if you still have the option to use cash? But it will most likely be implemented in the name of:

Combating cash based crime (e.g. illegal drug and arms trade, bank robberies) and money laundering

Counterterrorism - to restrict terrorism funding

Preventing the evasion of international sanctions

Increasing the tax base by preventing cash-sales tax evasion and failure to declare cash income

CASHLESS SOCIETY

A 2012 CBS News article by Lee Cowan declared that the “greenback may soon be a goner”:

It’s what the wallet was invented for, to carry cash. After all, there was a time when we needed cash everywhere we went, from filling stations to pay phones. Even the tooth fairy dealt only in cash. But money isn’t just physical anymore. It’s not only the pennies in your piggy bank, or that raggedy dollar bill. Money is also digital – it’s zeros and ones stored in a computer, prompting some economists to predict the old-fashioned greenback may soon be a goner. “There will be a time – I don’t know when, I can’t give you a date – when physical money is just going to cease to exist,” said economist Robert Reich.

1 "http:// www.cbsnews.com/ news/ why-cash-is-losing-its-currency-20-04-2012">http:// www.cbsnews.com/ news/ why-cash-is-losing-its-currency-20-04-2012

CASHLESS SOCIETY

A web article by Michael Snyder on 26 May 2014 reported the following:

A committee chaired by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s chief of staff has come up with a three phase plan to “all but do away with cash transactions in Israel”… In Sweden, it is estimated that just 3% of all transactions involve cash at this point. In fact, according to an article in the Washington Post, some Swedish banks do not handle cash at all anymore… According to a study conducted by MasterCard, approximately 80% of all consumer transactions in the US are now cashless.

1 "http:// endoftheamericandream.com/ archives/ government-plan-would-transform-israel-into-the-worlds-first-cashless-society">http:// endoftheamericandream.com/ archives/ government-plan-would-transform-israel-into-the-worlds-first-cashless-society

CASHLESS SOCIETY

THE TECHNOLOGY

Several forms of credit technology have been proposed as being “the mark”:

UPC bar codes

VISA cards

The internet

RFID chips

The VISA Card is interesting when considering the number 666. Some have alleged that the word ‘VISA’ (from the VISA card) comprises of the number 6 in the languages of three former world empires (Rome, Greece and Babylonia).

‘VI’ is of course the number 6 in Roman numerals.

‘S’ is claimed as the English equivalent of the Greek ‘Stigma’ whose value is also 6.

Lastly it is claimed that ‘A’ in the Babylonian culture is 6. Thus it follows that VI-S-A equates to 6-6-6.

VISA CARDS

But while the claims about the Latin alphabet check out because ‘VI’ is indeed 6, the last two claims do not.

The equivalent of the English or Latin ‘S’ is not stigma but sigma, which had a numerical value of 200. Stigma is a now obsolete Greek character, but it was used in NT times and did represent the number 6. But stigma was a continuation of the old letter digamma which was the ancestor of the Latin letter ‘F’.

While one can see how sigma and stigma may get confused, it’s totally unclear to me how anyone arrived at the last claim regarding the Babylonian alphabet. The Babylonians had a separate numerical system and they did not have to use the letter ‘A’ from their alphabet to represent the number ‘6’.

VISA CARDS

Rather their alphabet was cuneiform and utilised a series of wedge shaped characters. The Babylonian cuneiform shape for “A’ is quite distinct from the cuneiform number ‘6’.

VISA CARDS

Babylonian number system showing the numbers 1 to 6.

The alphabet (a-e) in Babylonian cuneiform

The Internet plays a major role today in eCommerce and financial transactions. The common abbreviation for “World Wide Web” is www.

The English ‘w’ is transliterated in Hebrew as the letterו (‘waw’ pronounced ‘vav’). In Hebrew, the letter ‘waw’ is used to represent the number 6.

In Hebrew, this abbreviation ‘www’ could be spelled ו ו ו (waw-waw-waw). Numerically, this Hebrew abbreviation would equate to 6-6-6.

THE INTERNET

But the mark of the beast goes in the right hand or forehead – what does this have to do with the Internet?

In any event the number of the mark is not 6–6–6, but six hundred and sixty six. In the Greek John says the number is “χξς” (chi xi stigma ), denoting respectively 600, 60 and 6; 666 as a numeral – six hundred threescore and six. (Thus the total of ‘www’ is actually 18 (6+6+6) — not 666.)

THE INTERNET

UPC (Universal Product Code) bar codes were first implemented in 1973 and today all products in large grocery stores will have a UPC imprinted on them. It is claimed by some that all UPC bar codes have the number 666 encoded within them. These bar codes are made up of numerous lines of various widths and distances apart. Each number is represented by a 2-line code. The code for the number 6 on the right segment is 2 thin lines, a short distance apart.

The 3 elongated end and middle “guard bars” on every barcode are visually identical to the symbol used to represent the number 6 on the right hand segment of a barcode. Thus 6-6-6 appears to form a template for the barcodes.

UPC BAR CODES

6

6

6

Note guard bars and right segment 6

So is the barcode the mark of the beast?

Each individual barcode number comprises of seven units, which are either black or white. Black units display as a bar. But the same numbers on the left–hand side are coded differently than the numbers on the right–hand side, with the left sided being the inverted codes of the right side numbers.

UPC BAR CODES

Now let’s look at the three guard bars located at the beginning, middle and end. These guard bars allow the scanner to know where the manufacturer and product codes start and finish.

Now remember that the 3 guard bars are also the alleged hidden ‘666’.

But examining the previous diagram reveals that the beginning and ending guard bars are encoded as a binary number 101, while the middle guard bar is encoded as 01010. The beginning and ending guard bars have only three units, the middle guard bar has only five units, but the number 6 has seven units with the binary code 1010000.

So while visually the barcode does appear to contain a ‘666’ template, in reality from the perspective of the computer software that reads it, it is not.

UPC BAR CODES

While an employee with IBM, George Joseph Laurer was assigned the task of developing a point–of–sale technology suitable for the grocery industry and the result was the UPC bar code. On the ‘Questions’ section of his own website, he responds to the 666 question as follows:

Answer– Yes, they do RESEMBLE the code for a six…There is nothing sinister about this nor does it have anything to do with the Bible’s “mark of the beast” (The New Testament, The Revelation, Chapter 13, paragraph 18). It is simply a coincidence like the fact that my first, middle, and last name all have 6 letters. There is no connection with an international money code either. 1

1 "http:// 204.13.85.155/ laurergj/ upc/ 666quest.html">http:// 204.13.85.155/ laurergj/ upc/ 666quest.html extracted on 20 Sept 2014.

UPC BAR CODES

In reality, in today’s world the UPC barcode does seem like a poor candidate for the mark of the beast as the technology is somewhat dated. In our modern world of hi–tech security and identification, a barcode is simply not reliable enough. The barcode has a self–check digit at the end, which causes the scanner to beep when the code is misread and this remains a fairly common occurrence when scanning goods at a grocery store. But because human skin stretches, using a barcode on the forehead or right hand (the place the Bible indicates the mark would be) would make it virtually impossible to get the precision required for a reliable scan.

And again, as with the ‘www’ claim, the number of the mark is not 6–6–6 (the claimed barcode template), but six hundred and sixty six.

UPC BAR CODES

While the mark is clearly linked to commercial transactions and the barcode is just such a technology, there are currently far more reliable technologies like biometric RFIDs which are better technology vehicles to use if this commercial mark were required in our lifetime.

Using satellites, fibre optic networks, the internet and computer databases and software, there is the potential to control world commerce. Many countries are actively pursuing policies for a global cashless society. Doing business without physical currency is not only entirely feasible, but probable. For the first time ever, the technology is in place which could permit the fulfilment of the Orwellian “big brother is watching you” visions that John received 1900 years ago.

BIOMETRIC RFID

Rev 13:16–17 …to be given marks on (Greek: epi) their right hands, or on (epi) their foreheads… (NIV)

Modern English versions translate the Greek preposition ‘epi’ as ‘on’. However the KJV renders it as ‘in’.

Rev 13:16-17 …to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads… (KJV)

In contrast, all early English versions from 1380 to 1833 render ‘epi’ in Rev 13:16 as ‘in’. 1

1 That includes Wycliffe's Bible (1380), Tyndale New Testament (1525), Coverdale Bible (1535) , Matthew Bible (1537), the Great Bible (1539), The Bishops’ Bible (1568), The Geneva Bible (1587) the KJV (1611), Wesley’s New Testament (1755) and Webster’s Revision (1883).

‘ON’ OR ‘IN’

The primary use of ‘epi’ is ‘on’ or ‘upon’, but it can legitimately be translated as ‘in’. It depends on the context.

Interestingly in the Vulgate, which includes a 5th century Latin translation of the Greek New Testament, Jerome rendered it as “in their right hand or on their foreheads”.

So it’s not possible to make a categorical case for either ‘in’ or ‘on’ the hand, but while ‘on’ is the preference for modern English versions, the older English versions and the Vulgate opted in favour of ‘in’ and the Greek seems to allow for both usages. If it is indeed “in the hand” this could be an indication that it is some type of RFID implant.

‘ON’ OR ‘IN’

Doesn’t the mark have to be visible?

Some feel that the mark has to be ‘on’ the hand or forehead in order to make it visible so that dissenters in the final one world government can be easily spotted. But with modern technology clearly this is not an issue, as a scanner linked to a computer can easily ‘see’ an invisible chip implant.

In the Book of Ezekiel God instructs an angel to place a mark on the foreheads of the righteous people in Jerusalem, so that they are not destroyed in the judgement on the city that followed. (Ezek 9:3-4)

‘ON’ OR ‘IN’

No one believes that this angelic seal in Ezekiel was visible to humans. Then again, in Revelation 7 an angel puts a seal on the foreheads of the 144,000 elect Israelites and it is not likely that this will be visible either.

Rev 7:3-4 … “Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.” Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel.

Paul speaks of the Holy Spirit being God’s “seal of ownership on us”, once again a metaphor in no way seen as a visible seal. (1 Cor 1:21-22)

‘ON’ OR ‘IN’

Futurists interpret the scripture regarding the mark of the beast literally as being a requirement for all commerce. Thus it could well be a device with the function of a credit or debit card, but in the form of a RFID microchip implant.

Even in a cashless society, when using debit or credit cards there is still an issue with identity theft. A chip implant solves this issue. The technology exists today to take a chip similar to those used in smart cards and place it under your skin. Once the chip is implanted it could be read by an inexpensive scanner, much like the one that reads bar codes in your local grocery store. You would then become your own smart card — and the very expensive problem of making sure the owner of the card is who he says he is, has been solved!

‘ON’ OR ‘IN’

This technology is already in use for the purpose of identifying lost pets. The former VeriMed website indicated that their RFID technology was FDA cleared as being viable for implantation in humans as well.

VeriMed features VeriChip’s patented, FDA–cleared, human–implantable RFID microchip. Unlike traditional forms of ID, the VeriChip can’t be lost, stolen, misplaced, or counterfeited. Because it’s inserted under the skin, it’s always there when you need it regardless of where other kinds of ID might be. Using a handheld reader, healthcare professionals are able to securely access a patient’s unique VeriChip ID number which can be looked up in a designated secure healthcare information database, allowing them to immediately take the safest course of action.

BIOMETRIC RFID

Small RFID chip, here compared to a grain of rice

In 2009 there was a merger of VeriChip and Steel Vault to form a new company called PositiveID. However despite being FDA approved, the human microchip marketed by the company ran into trouble:

In 2007, it was revealed that nearly identical implants had caused cancer in hundreds of laboratory animals. The revelation had a devastating impact on the company’s stock price. Some time between May and July 2010, the Positive ID Corporation discontinued marketing the implantable human microchip.

Nevertheless it may just be a matter of time before this again becomes a feasible technology, when the health hazards are overcome.

BIOMETRIC RFID

So it is understandable that when people ponder on these prophecies, that they consider barcodes, credit cards and the Internet, all of which all play a major role in commerce. It is also not beyond the realm of probability that RFID tags could be incorporated as tools for commerce. But we need to bear in mind that not only is the mark linked to some form or commercial control (inability to buy or sell without it), John specifically calls it a man’s number and refers to a compulsory mark on the right hand or forehead. This cannot apply to the Internet, credit cards or product bar-coding.

Rev 13:18 Here is wisdom. He who has understanding, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. His number is six hundred sixty–six. (WEB)

MAN’S NUMBER

The word ‘man’ here in Greek is ‘anthropos’ (ανθρωπου). 1 Man was created on the 6th day. Thus 6 is man’s number.

In addition the number is not 6-6-6, but six hundred and sixty six. In the Greek John says the number is χξς (chi xi stigma 2): denoting respectively 600, 60 and 6; 666 as a numeral - six hundred threescore and six. 3

7 is the number of perfection and 777 represents the triune perfection. 888 (Jesus’ number) surpasses the perfect number 777 by one in each case, while 666 falls short of the divine perfection in each case.

1 a genitive (expressing possession) noun: man-faced, i.e. a human being.

MAN’S NUMBER

8 is the number of the new creation. Christ (Cristos) is 1680 (8 x 210). Kurios (Lord) has the value 800 (8 x 100). Saviour (Soter) is 1408 (8 x 8 x 22).

The name Jesus (Iesous in Greek) adds up to 888 (8 x 111). In similar fashion the Greek name for the antichrist may equate to 666.

The number of Jesus’ names and titles in Greek. NOTE: ς is an end-of-word lowercase sigma (σ), which equates to 200.

FUTURIST 666

But we need to bear in mind that not only is the mark linked to some form or commercial control (inability to buy or sell without it), but taking the mark seems to extend beyond simply using a more modern form of credit.

Surely God wouldn’t condemn someone simply for using an alternative to a credit card? So while there is no doubt about its link to commercial activity (cannot buy and sell without it), it is also clear that taking the mark seems to include some sort of “oath of allegiance” to this new world ruler, or perhaps even some ceremony which entails refuting the ideals of a Judeo-Christian heritage.

MORE THAN CREDIT

The judgement is not just for receiving the mark, but for the worship of the false messiah.

Rev 16:2 The first angel went and poured out his bowl on the land, and ugly and painful sores broke out on the people who had the mark of the beast and worshiped his image.

Taking the mark seems intrinsically linked to the worship of the beast (Antichrist) and ultimate eternal damnation.

Rev 14:9-11… “If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand, he, too, will drink of the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath… And the smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his image, or for anyone who receives the mark of his name.”

Those who refuse to take the mark are beheaded by the Antichrist. Again this is seemingly harsh, even for the Antichrist, if they are simply refusing to endorse the latest version of a credit card. The implication is that by refusing to take it or worship his image, they are rejecting his claims to be God.

Rev 20:4 … And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands…

THE MARK

Rev 13:16-18 It also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name. This calls for wisdom. Let the person who has insight calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. That number is 666.

So what do we really know about 666?

It is something that will be fulfilled in the future.

666 is the number of man.

666 is the number of the Antichrist’s name.

THE MARK

So what do we really know about the mark?

The false prophet forces people to take the mark.

It’s on/ in the right hand or forehead.

The mark is linked to the Antichrist’s name or the number of his name.

It’s linked to commercial activity.

It’s linked to the worship of the Antichrist.

Those who refuse to take it are beheaded by the Antichrist.

Those who take it will be eternally damned by God.

THE MARK

The number 666 is mentioned twice elsewhere in Scripture:

Adonikam

Ezra 2:1,13 Now these are the people of the province who came up from the captivity of the exiles, whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had taken captive to Babylon (they returned to Jerusalem and Judah, each to their own town, …of Adonikam 666…

666 ELSEWHERE

While we don’t learn a whole lot about Adonikam from this passage except that 666 of his family members came back to Judah, it’s interesting that he is known for coming from Babylon to Israel.

The Antichrist is always associated with Babylon and we know from the Book of Daniel that he will come to Israel (he negotiates a covenant with Israel, and later sets up his image in the temple).

Strong’s (ref: 140) indicates that the name Adonikam means “my Lord has arisen”.

The antichrist arises as a lord or ruler, and many Futurist believe that he even “arises” in the sense of a counterfeit resurrection.

666 ELSEWHERE

Solomon

1 Kings 10:14 The weight of the gold that Solomon received yearly was 666 talents.

While this is interesting, why would the writer bother to give such detail? Could it be that the number 666 holds some future relevance? As the number is obviously significant in light of the Revelation, what can we learn from its earlier application here?

666 ELSEWHERE

Solomon was extremely wealthy. How much would 666 talents be worth in today’s terms? Using the price of gold in the last 5 years (2011-2015), it would be somewhere between $800 million and $1.4 billion.

The Antichrist will be powerful and wealthy.

Solomon was the “son of David” and seen as a type of the Messiah to come.

The Antichrist will be a false Messiah.

Solomon ruled in a golden age of Israel with extended borders, military prowess and peace treaties with many nations around him.

The Antichrist will be prominent in both diplomacy and conquest.

666 ELSEWHERE

The name Solomon (Strong’s ref: 8010) in its Hebrew form is Shlomo (שלמה) and comes from the word ‘shalom’ meaning ‘peace’.

The Antichrist will bring peace to Israel.

Solomon built the first Jewish temple.

The Antichrist will possibly sponsor the building of the third temple.

Solomon ultimately worshipped false gods.

The Antichrist will have allegiance to a false god (Satan).

666 ELSEWHERE

COPYRIGHT INFORMATION

Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations are taken from the NIV:

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB:

New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. (http:// www.Lockman.org)




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