|Revelation 13:15-18 |
15 And he had power to give life to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed.4
16 And he causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or on their foreheads.
17 So that no man might buy or sell, except he who had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.5
18 Here is the need for discernment. Let him who has understanding enough calculate the number of the beast; for it is the number based on man; and his number is six hundred sixty six .6
6 The great pastime of modern Christendom: speculating on what is the meaning of 666, or who is it? The King James, says incorrectly: it is a number of a man. The Amplified says: it is a human number. The New International says it is man's number. Look for yourself, by clicking here. Seems to be a bit of confusion in the translation. But this is a critical difference in expectations and ability to understand the meaning. On the sixth day, man was created, so that 6 is man's number.
John said: Here is discernment. Let anyone who has understanding (penetration and insight enough) calculate the number of the beast, for it is a human number; his [the beast's, not the antichrist's] number is 666. It is the beastly religion created by man's spirit(6), man's defiled heart(6), and man's carnal mind(6); the old fleshly self, the old sinful nature, the old man, the uncircumcised in heart, the stony heart, the carnal mind, the old unregenerated creature, walking after the lusts of the flesh — instead of walking in the Spirit, in faith, in love, in the light. If the beast is supposedly yet to come, then all previous generations of Christians were deliberately told to do the impossible — to calculate the number with intelligence and insight. The beasts are the spirits of man-made religions, seeking to appease their image of God with some heathenish ritual, works, actions, or sacrifice. The 2nd beast, with horns like a lamb [appearing christian], is the so-called christian sects of today.
Now since the 666 number doesn't even refer to an antichrist, it refers to the image of the beast, with no mention of the antiChrist; but if you still think there is a [single] antichrist to appear, explain John's statement in 2 John 1:18: Little children, it is the last time [2000 years ago]; and as you have heard that antichrist will come, even now many antichrists have come [2000 years ago]. By this we know that it is the last time. John has just told us that two thousand years ago there were many antichrists; they went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us; but they went out, so that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. 1 John 2:19. The antichrists were believers who left them. From the Word of the Lord within: "they did not have patience;" they didn't have the patience for what?—they could not bear the cross and its necessary suffering over time. They went out as the many false prophets have gone out into the world, who tried to seduce the true Christians with their false gospel and false Jesus, promising liberty without the necessity mortifying the sinful nature on the inward cross of self-denial. Anyone preaching who does not have the anointing of the Spirit of Christ, is antichrist. Anyone preaching, teaching, or witnessing, who does not confess that Christ's anointing is their Lord, controlling their thoughts, words, and deeds, is an antichrist. With the anointing of the Spirit of Christ, a true believer knows all things: But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things. 1 John 2:20. But the anointing which you have received from him abides in you, and you do not need any man to teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you all things, and is truth, and is no lie; and even as it has taught you, abide in him. 1 John 2:27. The Holy Spirit is given to those who obey, as their souls are purified by obedience to the truth.
as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. And anyone who did not worship that image, was killed. As predicted, the Roman Church speaks great abominations, calling the Pope the Vicar of Christ, (a vicar is someone who acts in place of Christ, implying that Christ does not still act); creating saints and then worshipping them; offering absolution; worshipping statues; praying to dead men and dead women instead of the one mediator, (Christ); forbidding marriage, forbidding meats; self-appointed men creating laws, ordinances, rituals, etc. The Roman sect made Hitler's Gestapo look like amateurs. Anyone who had not taken "the eucharist," (bread and wine supposedly made holy, the eating of which in mass constituted a sacrifice for sin, thus denying Christ's one, lasting sacrifice), in the last 90 days was subject to investigation by a European wide network of priests who then "examined with murderous torture " that individual in the inquisition for heresy. Anyone who allowed someone to live on their land, who had not recently taken the "eucharist," was also subject to the inquisition. The priests and civil magistrates periodically searched all houses and all lands for concealed heretics. The Roman sect's inquisitions and slaughters throughout Europe in the Middle Ages (800 AD to 1500 AD) murdered nine million souls, accused of witchcraft.
Following in the footsteps of their murdering mother, the Protestants killed and murdered throughout Europe too. The Peasants War in Germany, led by Luther-inspired religious despots, raped, plundered, and killed 100,000 of the nobility and Roman Catholics. English King Henry VIII, the founder of the Episcopalians, had 72,000 opponents, (mostly Catholics), killed. England, Scotland, and Ireland suffered three civil wars of Puritans* against ruling governments, which left 190,00 dead in England, (3.7% of the population); 60,000 dead in Scotland, (6% of the population); and 616,000 dead in Ireland, (41% of the population, which was mostly Catholic).
*Justifying their revolution as bringing Christ's kingdom to earth, the Puritans regarded their adversaries as enemies of Christ. The Puritan officers of their army frequently inspired their troops by shouting a quote from the Old Testament against heathen idolatry: "Cursed be he that does the work of the Lord deceitfully, and keeps back his sword from blood." The victorious Puritan and parliamentary soldiers, with their extraordinary biblical names — Praise God Barebones and Sergeant Hew Agag in Pieces before the Lord — were roaming through the country, smashing the images in the churches, tearing out the pipes in the organs, breaking the stained-glass windows, and stabling their horses in cathedrals.
This was followed in the 17th Century by the Protestants of England and America, who in 50 years were responsible for the deaths of over 869 Quakers, imprisoning tens of thousands, and seizing the property of tens of thousands; the persecutors of the Quakers included Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Congregationalist Puritans, and Baptists. Three men and a woman were hung in Boston by the Bible-believing Puritans. The beast was given power to overcome the saints. The false church, the whore of Babylon, was drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.
All the Protestant and Catholic sects that killed, (or even approved of killing), those with a different religious opinion were very different from real Christians; in even considering murder, they were following and yielding to their father the devil, who was the murderer from the beginning.