- Which Beast?
- Invalid Numerical Interpretation
- The Real Names of the Papacy
- The Number 6 in the Old Testament
- Six = Six Thousand
- The Mark of a Slave
- Experiencing the Bondage
- Probationary Periods
- A Spiritual Sign
- The Forehead or the Hand
- Worldwide Points of Decision
- The Revelation of the Father
- The Revelation of the Son
- The Revelation of the Holy Spirit
- Sun Worship
- Coming Short
11 Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon.
12 And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
13 He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men.
14 And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived.
15 He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, 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.
16 And 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,
17 And that no man may buy or sell except one who has the mark of the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
18 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.
Seeing that this mysterious number is in the book of “things revealed”, we can rely on the fact that the number 666 can be accurately and correctly interpreted. So it can be, but not before it is cleared of the rubbish of false interpretation.
Let us begin by seeing what it is not.
The usual interpretation takes one of the titles that has been given to the Pope of Rome, namely, Vicarius Filii Dei, meaning, “The Vicar of the Son of God”–and adds up the numerical values of each letter in the name in Latin:
V = 5 F = 0 D = 500
I = 1 I = 1 E = 0
C = 100 L = 50 I = 1
A = 0 I = 1
R = 0 I = 1
I = 1
U = 5
S = 0
112 53 501
112 + 53 + 501 = 666
This is all so neat and convenient, that it is all that is required to completely satisfy those who fail to thoroughly test the interpretation, which seems to be so obviously right but which, in actual fact, is totally wrong.
The Scriptures plainly declare that 666 is “the number of his [the beast’s] name;” (verse 17), “the number of the beast;” (verse 18), and “the number of a man” (verse 18).
We know the numerical value of the number, but which beast referred to, and what is his name?
The beast in this prophecy is the one who arises after the beast of Revelation 13:1-10. That former beast is the papacy which assumed power in 538 A.D. and reigned for 1260 years, firstly with increasing, and then with diminishing authority, until the deadly wound was administered in 1798. This power is represented by a beast composed of a leopard, a bear, and a lion as it is written:
1 Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name.
2 Now the beast that I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority.
This beast is a symbol of the papacy:
The Great Controversy, p. 439:
In chapter 13 (verses 1-10) is described another beast, “like a leopard,” to which the dragon gave “his power, his throne, and great authority.” This symbol, as most Protestants have believed, represents the papacy, which succeeded to the power and seat and authority once held by the ancient Roman Empire. Of the leopard beast it is declared: “And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies… Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven.”
“And it was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And he was given authority over every tribe, tongue, and nation.” This prophecy, which is nearly identical with the description of the little horn of Daniel 7, unquestionably points to the papacy.
But, despite the fact that so many have linked the head of the papacy to the number 666, this is not the beast of which it is declared that 666 is “the number of his [the beast’s] name;” and “the number of the beast.” Instead, it is the beast which comes after the papal beast to which the number 666 is attached.
This is the beast who arises with lamb-like horns, but later speaks like a dragon. He arises after the papal beast described in Revelation 13:1-10, and is referred to as the “image beast”. He is the instrument which causes the entire world “to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed”. He achieves this by performing great signs and wonders which deceive the inhabitants of the earth into setting up “an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived.” Once this is achieved, those who refuse to acknowledge the universal authority of this beast, will be persecuted, refused the right to buy or sell, and eventually be sentenced to death.
This beast is the symbol of the United States of America as is plainly declared in these words:
The Great Controversy, p. 440:
One nation, and only one, meets the specifications of this prophecy; it points unmistakably to the United States of America.
The Great Controversy, p. 445:
When the leading churches of the United States, uniting upon such points of doctrine as are held by them in common, shall influence the state to enforce their decrees and to sustain their institutions, then Protestant America will have formed an image of the Roman hierarchy, and the infliction of civil penalties upon dissenters will inevitably result….The “image of the beast” represents that form of apostate Protestantism which will be developed when the Protestant churches shall seek the aid of the civil power for the enforcement of their dogmas.
Thus the Image Beast is positively identified as being apostate Protestantism supported by the authority and might of the United States of America. Not yet has this power made the image to the beast, but the time is not for distant when all these things shall be fulfilled.
The point of this study is that it is this beast, and not the papal beast, whose number is 666. There was no doubt about this in the mind of James White who wrote:
A Word to the Little Flock, p. 9:
This last power that treads down the saints is brought to view in Revelation 13:11-18. His number is 666.
What power is brought to view in Revelation 13:11-18, whose number is 666? Is it the papacy with the Pope of Rome at its head whose deadly wound was healed? No! That power is exposed earlier in Revelation 13:1-10.
The power brought to view in Revelation 13:11-18 is the lamb-like beast which follows the papal beast and is otherwise known as the Image Beast. His number is 666.
I have been able to locate only one reference to 666 in the entire writings of Ellen White, and this reference gives no support whatsoever to the interpretation which attaches the number 666 to the Pope, nor to the papacy as a whole or in part. Instead, the statement plainly declares that 666 is the number of the image beast:
A Word to the Little Flock, p. 19:
I saw all that “would not receive the mark of the Beast, and of his Image, in their foreheads or in their hands,” could not buy or sell. I saw that the number (666) of the Image Beast was made up; and that it was the beast that changed the Sabbath, and the Image Beast had followed on after, and kept the Pope’s, and not God’s Sabbath. And all we were required to do, was to give up God’s Sabbath, and keep the Pope’s, and then we should have the mark of the Beast, and of his Image.
The events described in this paragraph were very much in the future when these words were penned, and they still are. The reason for their being described in the present tense is because the prophet was carried forward in vision to the time when these things will be happening. To her, in that position, they had become present tense and she described them as such accordingly.
This statement confirms two things which are very closely related. The first is that 666 is the number of the image beast, and the second is that when the “Buy and Sell” decree shall be put into effect, then the number 666 shall have been made up. That being so, the number 666 could never be the number of the papal beast because, when that beast was in power from 538-1798, the number 666 was not yet made up, nor will be until the closing stages of the battle with the beast and his image. Until then, the number does not exist except as a prophecy.
Invalid Numerical Interpretation
We have now established that the number 666 pertains to the image beast, and not to the papacy. Therefore the interpretation in which the numerical value of the letters in a name add up to 666, is proved to be invalid.
It is true that the number 666 can be found in the papal title, Vicarius Filii Dei, as demonstrated earlier in this chapter. It can also be found in the name Ellen Gould White as follows:
E = 0 G = 0 W = 500
L = 50 O = 0 H = 0
L = 50 U = 5 I = 1
E = 0 L = 50 T = 0
N = 0 D = 500 E = 0
100 555 11
100 + 555 + 11 = 666
The total of these numbers is exactly 666. The letters, E, N, G, H, and T, have no numerical value in Latin.
So then, if this is the system of interpretation to be used, then Ellen G. White carries the number of the beast and his name, and therefore, together with the Pope, is the beast. We know however that this could never be true, for she was, without question, a true prophet of God, and as such, was in complete opposition to the beast and his image.
Furthermore, if this system in which the numerical value of a name is the correct way to determine the meaning of the number 666, then the name of the image beast, which is Apostate Protestantism, must also contain that mysterious number. But it does not. There are only two letters in the entire name with numerical value and they are I and M. 1=1, and M=1000, making a total of 1001, which is nowhere near 666.
Nor can it be found in the name, “The United States of America”, the numerical value of which is 1607.
The Real Names of the Papacy
There is a very conclusive further objection to using the numerical value of the title, Vicarius Filii Dei, to identify the one whose number is 666. That name, which being translated, means “The Vicar of the Son of God”, is, under no circumstances, the title of the papal pontiffs. They are not, nor ever have been, nor ever will be, God’s representatives on earth. That is not their name. Instead, they represent Satan’s masterpiece of deception, and are the enemies of God and man.
Therefore, 666 is not the number of that name, no matter how much it may appear to be, for it is a title which they have appointed to themselves in order to divert attention from their real names. Those real names are: “Babylon;” “The Man of Sin;” “The Son of Perdition;” “Antichrist;” “The Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the Earth;” and so forth.
There are those who, while sincerely believing the papal system to be anti-Christian and the abomination which makes desolate, at the same time teach that 666 is the number of those with the self-assumed title: Vicarius Filii Dei. It is evident that these people do not realize the implications of the position they have taken, for, if they accept that title as his name, they are admitting that he is in fact the vicar or representative of the Son of God on earth. Such a position rightfully occupied could be obtained only by divine appointment, and the appointee would have to be a true Christian indeed, instead of being the Antichrist which the image beast in fact will be.
The Number 6 in the Old Testament
Having demonstrated the incorrect way to interpret 666, we now turn our attention to the truth of the matter. To do this, it is necessary to return to the Old Testament to find where the number first began to be made up and the revelation in Scripture of this development. This is a sound and valid procedure because:
The Acts of the Apostles, p. 585:
In the Revelation all the books of the Bible meet and end.
Therefore, as certainly as we find the fully developed 666 in Revelation, we can be certain that we will find the beginnings of that growth in the early days of the great rebellion.
As an insight into, and an explanation of the emergence of that which would eventually become a fully matured 666, God provided Israel with a law designed to protect them from the awful power symbolized by the numbers 6, 66, and 666. That statute reads as follows:
1 Now these are the judgments which you shall set before them.
2 If you buy a Hebrew servant, he shall serve six years; and in the seventh he shall go out free and pay nothing.
3 If he comes in by himself, he shall go out by himself; if he comes in married, then his wife shall go out with him.
4 If his master has given him a wife, and she has borne him sons and daughters, the wife and her children shall be her master’s, and he shall go out by himself.
5 But if the servant plainly says, I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free.
6 Then his master shall bring him to the judges. He shall also bring him to the door, or to the door-post, and his master shall pierce his ear with an awl; and he shall serve him forever.
As the Hebrews acted out the requirements of this law, God designed that they should have their eyes opened to see the application of the same law to the entire history of the great controversy. He likewise expects us to see much more in this than an instruction limited to the Jews. We are to understand the outworking of man’s determination to bring his fellowmen into cruel, perpetual servitude, and the limitations God has imposed on that disposition.
Six = Six Thousand
The six years of bondage which the Hebrew slave was compelled to render, points to the six thousand years during which the human family as a whole will have been held in the bondage of sin. The fact is that there will be just six thousand years between the commencement of man’s bondage and the termination of it.
This allocation of six thousand years to human bondage is revealed by the fact that there will be one thousand years of total rest for the earth between the second and third comings of Christ. As surely as there will be one thousand years of rest, so there will be six thousand years of unrest and bondage. There is quite a list of statements confirming this, from which list I will select two. Describing the situation as it will be at the second advent of Christ, it is written:
The Great Controversy, p. 656:
For six thousand years the great controversy has been in progress; the Son of God and His heavenly messengers have been in conflict with the power of the evil one, to warn, enlighten, and save the children of men. Now all have made their decisions; the wicked have fully united with Satan in his warfare against God. The time has come for God to vindicate the authority of His downtrodden law. Now the controversy is not alone with Satan, but with men. “The Lord has a controversy with the nations;” “He will give those who are wicked to the sword.”
Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 342:
For six thousand years Satan has struggled to maintain possession of the earth.
Because we know that six thousand years will have elapsed between man’s fall into sin, and the return of our coming King, this does not therefore give us the ability to set the time for the Second Advent of Christ. This is because no one knows exactly how long it has been since Adam and Eve transgressed, for complete and accurate records of time have not been kept. However, we can be sure the time is now very short.
We must not overlook the fact that God is the Lawmaker who has limited the period of servitude to six years in the type, and to six thousand years in the anti-type. He has decreed the limitation of the time during which oppression can reign, and for this we can be truly thankful.
The Mark of a Slave
At the end of the stipulated period, the servant was offered his freedom, but, he was not compelled to take it. If he loved his master and the wife and children his master had given to him, he could elect to remain in bondage. If he chose this option, he could never again go free but must remain a slave forever.
To signify this, a visible, physical mark was placed upon him, by boring a hole in his ear. It was not in the shape of a six, but was the symbol of it, for everyone who saw the hole knew that he had served six years and then had chosen to be a slave forever.
This signifies the fact that, while God has placed a time limitation on the oppressor, no one is compelled to go free. Whoever wishes to, can remain in bondage eternally.
But this leaves a question:
“Why is the choice between perpetual freedom and never-ending bondage given at the end of the six thousand year period, rather than at the beginning of it?”
While it might appear that the slave makes his choice for permanent freedom or slavery at the end of the six years of service, in fact this point of time is really only the moment to ratify the decision he made beforehand. In practical terms, no slave would dreamily arrive at the end of six years and suddenly wake up to a decision to stay or leave. He would have been anticipating that moment and would have made his decision before then.
Likewise, all humanity will have made their decision for permanent freedom or bondage before coming to the end of the six thousand years of decision-making opportunity. The end of the six thousand years only permanently fixes the decisions that everyone has already made before hand.
Experiencing the Bondage
But we should take a little time to consider the purpose, benefits, and necessity of the symbolic six years of slavery as it relates to every individual that has or ever will live.
There is a most important difference between man before he goes into bondage, and man after he has experienced it for himself. This remains true even though Adam and Eve were thoroughly taught by Christ and His angel helpers, just what a servile existence would be like. They and their children were to learn by bitter, painful, personal experience that knowing what slavery is, is much, much more than merely knowing about it.
To render them less able to make an enduring choice, Satan was there to confuse the issue as much as he possibly could. He made it appear that a life under his “gentle leadership” was much to be preferred to God’s “strict control”. He made evil to appear so attractive that it was to be desired above anything which God could offer. In consequence, Adam thrust mankind into a life of servitude to sin; a classroom where all are able to learn by firsthand, direct experience, what a monstrous deception was practiced upon him. If, when Satan first gained access to him, he had understood the misery of a life of slavery as clearly as he did when he came to live under it, he would never have listened to the devil for an instant. How quickly he regretted from the very depths of his soul, the sad choice he had made.
The Signs of the Times, February 6, 1879 [see also Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 82]:
Adam’s life was one of sorrow, humility, and continual repentance. As he taught his children and grandchildren the fear of the Lord, he was often bitterly reproached for the sin which had resulted in so much misery to his posterity. When he left beautiful Eden, the thought that he must die thrilled him with horror. He looked upon death as a dreadful calamity.
He was first made acquainted with the terrible reality of death in the human family by his own son Cain slaying his brother Abel. Filled with bitterest remorse for his own transgression, deprived of his son Abel, and looking upon Cain as his murderer, and knowing the curse which God had pronounced upon him, Adam’s heart was bowed down with grief. Most bitterly did he reproach himself for his first great transgression.
He entreated pardon from God through the promised Sacrifice. Deeply had he felt the wrath of God for his crime committed in Paradise. He witnessed the general corruption which finally provoked God to destroy the inhabitants of the earth by a flood.
Though the sentence of death pronounced upon him by his Maker at first appeared so terrible to him, yet after he had lived some hundreds of years, it looked just and merciful in God, thus to bring to an end a miserable life.
Thus Adam tasted for himself the reality of life as it is under Satan’s rule. He did not wait till the end of the six thousand years to make his choice in favor of God’s benign government. Even so, while in the meantime he had thoroughly repented, been forgiven, and delivered from the dominion of the sin-master, he was still subject to the last enemy, death, and will not come into his promised inheritance until the six thousand years are ended. Then, because he chose to be free according to the terms and conditions laid down by God, he will be set free forevermore.
But, strangely enough, very few in proportion to the masses of humanity who will have lived on the earth by the time Christ comes the second time, will have chosen to go free. This is because they love their master, the devil, and the material things he has given them, as symbolized by the wives and children in the typical law.
When a person makes the choice to remain in bondage to sin, he must bear the mark of that choice. It is the mark of the number six which is the number of man’s probationary time. When in the Bible a period of probationary time is stipulated, it will usually be found to be a unit of six or multiples thereof.
The probationary time connected with the flood in Noah’s day, illustrates this point very well. Noah was born 600 years before the flood, and warned of its coming for 120 years. The flood itself overtook the world 1656 years after the fall of Adam and Eve. Each of these periods of time is a multiple of six.
The period of time given to the papal church to repent was 1260 years:
21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.
A Spiritual Sign
The mark of the number six, which was a hole bored in the ear, was visible to all those who looked out for it. But its anti-typical counterpart is not something which can be seen by the natural eye, but is a spiritual sign. Though unseen by the natural eye, it is a very real mark nonetheless.
The number of his name is the designation of his character. It is not some literal number laser beamed into the forehead or the hand. There will be no need for the government to do this, for the distinction between the two classes will be so marked that everyone will be fully aware of who is on which side.
It is possible that the powers-that-be will issue some sort of identification card to those who are prepared to sign allegiance to the papacy, but it is more likely that this will not be necessary. Nero did not need anything of this kind to tell who the Christians were in his day.
The Forehead or the Hand
Whereas the mark of slavery in the Old Testament was administered in the ear, the mark of the beast is to be put in the right hand or the forehead:
16 And he causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
This is a counterfeit of the Lord’s original instructions to Israel, after He delivered His law to them:
18 Therefore shall you lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes.
Binding the Law on the hand or hanging it between the eyes was a figurative way of saying, “Put the principles of my law into all you do with your hand, and into every thought and intent of your mind.”
The mark that the image Beast enforces is a counterfeit of this command. It means putting the strength and the thought into something other than the Lord’s commands, into a worthless substitute.
This again, shows that the mark will be spiritual in nature, and is determined by the way men relate to the law and the gospel. It is only by the gospel, the creative power of God, that the principles of God’s law can be reproduced in the soul. Any modification of the gospel or the law, so that men either form a wrong conception of what God’s standard for them is, or do not understand how to achieve it, destroys the plan of salvation.
This is clearly the aim of Satan in this last test: to rob men of their last chance of salvation and keep them in bondage to sin forever.
Worldwide Points of Decision
So far, the application of the number six has been confined to the individual and his being brought to his personal point of decision. While this is a valid line of thought to follow, it falls short of the larger message revealed in the statute given to Israel which points forward to the day when the 6000 years shall end and all will be compelled to certify the choice they have made. When that time comes at last, the number 666 will be fully made up.
The development of the number 666 to the point where it is fully made up, is the work of millennia. It began with the entrance of sin, and will end when the whole world under the leadership of the Image Beast, will worship the beast whose deadly wound shall be healed. When this final crisis is reached, every person upon the earth must, at the same time, have chosen either to stay in perpetual bondage under their old master, or accept eternal life and freedom under God. No one will be able to remain neutral or undecided.
The Revelation of the Father
But this will not be the first time in history that every person on the earth has, at the same time, been unable to avoid life’s most important decision, for, at the time when the flood was approaching, the whole world was brought to a spiritual crisis point, resulting in eight souls entering the ark and the remainder staying outside.
The masses who made their decision against going free, did so, not merely on what they had been told about life under the slave-master, but in the face of what they had learned of it through personal observation and experience. But they loved their master, the devil, and the pleasant things he gave them, so they chose bondage above freedom, and service to self and Satan before faithfulness to God. When they made that final decision and received the mark of the number 6, they renounced their freedom forever, and passed into eternal slavery under the remorseless dominion of death as the flood took them into its cold embrace.
The almighty powers of Heaven did not sit back and wait for the masses on earth to arrive at their collective decision, but put forth every possible effort to dissuade men from the tragic course in which they were placing their feet. It is important to note that during the period leading up to the flood, it was the Everlasting Father who was revealed to mankind in Heaven’s dedicated efforts to save those people.
The Revelation of the Son
When that effort failed, Jesus Christ was sent as the next demonstration of redeeming love. He came to re-validate that law which limited the dominion of the slave-master and offered perpetual freedom for those who chose to accept it.
Once again, through the ministry of Christ and the Spirit-filled disciples, the entire world was brought to a point of decision, in which, once again, only a small remnant chose the offered freedom. The hour of decision was not so closely tied to a specific day as it was in Noah’s time, but the entire world was involved nonetheless.
Now we come to a crucial point in the making up of the number 666. The point is that those who made the decision taken in Christ’s day were far more responsible than were those who made their choice in Noah’s time. This is because the antediluvians were breaking new ground. While they had seen the effects of sin in the individual lives of various people, they had never seen the cataclysmic effect of a simultaneous global rejection of God. For them there had been no precedent. For them, such a deterrent was missing.
But this was not so in the situation prevailing when Christ and the inspired apostles brought the world to decision day. They had the witness of the catastrophic effect of the choice made by those who had gone before them. This meant that, when in the face of such evidence the people of Christ’s and the apostles’ day chose bondage over freedom, they were testifying that, had they lived when the flood came, they would have joined sides with the masses. Therefore, upon them also rested the number six by which men were marked in the days of Noah. This is further attested to by Jesus when He said,
23 He that hates me hates my Father also.
But even before Jesus came, they had already received the first number 6 by their rejection of the Father as presented in the Old Testament writings. Their apostate condition at the time of Christ is positive proof that they were doing no better than their pre-flood forefathers and with less reason.
But that was not all. After rejecting the Father, they were faced with what to do with the Son, who brought the same offer as the Father, but with a much more powerful and more convincing appeal than had been possible in Noah’s time. Therefore, in addition to receiving the mark of the number six by duplicating the sin of the antediluvians, they received their own as well. Thus the making up of the number 666 advanced to 66 upon the rejection of the Father and the Son.
The Revelation of the Holy Spirit
After this, the only remaining Messenger from heaven who can bring the loving offer of freedom is the Holy Spirit who is soon to be manifested in latter rain magnitude on a worldwide scale. With awesome power He will contest the efforts of the sin-master to hold all men in bondage for eternity, and so fiercely will the battle be fought, that every man, woman, and child in the whole world will be compelled to make a personal decision.
But none will make it in ignorance of the rejection of the Father in the antediluvian days, and of His Son when He came the first time. The Holy Spirit, as only He can, will make the issues so clear that everyone will see for themselves the true nature of the two great global rejections which have gone before, and what it will mean to add the third and final preference for everlasting bondage rather than perpetual liberty.
The powers of darkness will go to desperate lengths to hold mankind in captivity even to the persecution of the saints unto death. The Image Beast, as we have already seen, will use every device and measure at his command to achieve the supremacy at this time.
Incredibly, once again only a few will accept deliverance, the rest displaying a love for their master and his gifts to them, which will be stronger than life itself. When these, under the leadership of the beast and his image, decide for eternal bondage, they will receive the mark of the number six for themselves.
By so doing they demonstrate their approval of the decision made at the lead-up to the flood, for which they too will receive the same number six. They will also endorse the decision taken by the generation which rejected Christ and His apostolic messengers. For this, they will share that six as well.
So they will come to their final day of destiny and decision already bearing the number 66, and have but to add their own number 6, to at last make up the number 666.
Thus the number 666 is not something in the false title applied to the Pope of Rome, but is the symbolic designation of men who, in the face of all the evidence of past history, have chosen never to be free again. Upon every man, woman, and child who chooses bondage instead of freedom when the beast and his image are rampaging the earth, that number will be marked.
18 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 man of sin has done his very best to bury that number from sight by giving a false interpretation which, if accepted, diverts the mind from the real truth of the matter.
But one does not have to go very far into the satanic delusion of this false religion to find 6, 66, and 666 cleverly, but not securely buried from sight. These numbers are found in the anciently established sun worship which will continue to the end of time, and which is at the heart of every false religion. This is why the universal enforcement of Sunday worship will figure so largely in the final struggle for supremacy.
In sun worship, the sun is made the great center around which circles the twelve signs of the Zodiac each of which occupies thirty degrees of the circle.
Each of the twelve divisions were further divided into three “decans” each occupying ten degrees of the circle, making a total of thirty-six progressions altogether. If each of these numbers is added to the sum of the numbers before it, the sum is 666.
Thus, right in the religion of sun worship which is soon to take the entire world captive, is a picture of the making up of the number 666, the mark of those who, in the end of time, have chosen eternal bondage to be served under the last of all masters: death.
The apostle Paul gave this warning to the church:
1 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.
4 For he spoke in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works.
9 There remains therefore a rest to the people of God.
10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also has ceased from his own works, as God did from his.
11 Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
The seventh day, or Sabbath, was a sign of God’s rest. To understand better exactly what God’s rest is, we recommend the book, Entering into God’s Sabbath Rest, since there is not space here to lay out all those principles.
God’s rest is signified by the number seven. After God had created all things in six days, including man on the sixth day, He rested on the seventh. This rest, to rest in the creative power of God to recreate us through the gospel, into His image again, remains. As long as the gospel is preached, that rest remains for us to enter into.
Paul warned the church not to “come short” of that rest. The number six, which signifies man and dependence on man, comes short of seven, or fails to “enter into His rest.” Since the “rest” is freedom from sin, to fail of entering into it means to remain a slave to sin.
There remains a rest for the people of God. Let us take heed and enter into it now.
Other articles by F.T. Wright:
- True Gospel Work
- The Hidden Ark
- Covered Sin
- Forsaking the Holy Covenant
- Why Jesus Came
- Men on the Moon
- Righteousness by Faith in the Book of Job
- A Powerful Argument
- The Contender
- Churchcraft and Statecraft, part 1
- The Parable of the Ten Virgins
- The Real Issues at Minneapolis
- Modified Improvements
- The Path of the Just
- Self and the Sin-Master