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Misinterpretations of Revelation 13 have led to some amazing "prophecies" among the Churches of God. It is not surprising therefore to find stated in I Cor 13:9 that "we know in part, and we prophesy in part". Verse 8 even says that "prophecies will fail". God's prophecies of course will not fail; they either have been fulfilled, or will be fulfilled. 

Lamentably, the Churches of God think that Rev 13 depicts a series of events yet in the future. Based on the phrase "mark of the beast", some think they are going to have a bar code stamped on their foreheads, or a computer chip inserted in their neck, or something similarly fanciful.

Rev 20:4, however, says that the conditions described in Rev 13 are ongoing throughout the time of God's work with His people, rather than one-off end time phenomena.

Rev 20:4 states "Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years."

Here we see that all those who will rule with Christ, regardless of when they lived, have rejected the "mark of the Beast". This is very figurative language, emphasised by the word "beheaded". Throughout history, very few people of God have been literally beheaded for their beliefs, but all of God's people have had to give up their own authority over their lives and allow God to figuratively and spiritually be their head.

What Revelation 13 does is give us an overview of the Beast powers that ruled Jerusalem over a period of 2520 years, with particular focus on the second half of that period. It expands the description of the Beast powers already given in the book of Daniel.

In Daniel 7, four separate beasts are depicted with a total of seven heads, the seventh head having ten horns. The same powers are described in Rev 13, except that there they are portrayed as one beast.

In Dan 7:8 and 25, an additional power is described as a "little horn" that comes up amongst the ten horns. That little horn is elaborated on greatly in Rev 13, and is portrayed from verse 11 onward as another individual beast, i.e. a "lamb" which "spoke like a dragon", making five beasts in total, with the four from Daniel, but all five together constituting one overall Beast. The "lamb" or "little horn" is in Rev 17:11 also called the "eighth" head of the Beast.

The meaning of the number 666, the number attached to this final fifth beast, identifies it as a historical power, not some future fanciful manifestation as is usually claimed by the Churches of God. This will be explained below.

Let's go through Revelation 13, and we'll see that it all adds up.

(I've added my comments in brackets).

Rev 13:1 Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast (a combination of Gentile powers) rising up out of the sea (and onto the "earth" of Israel), having seven heads (representing seven independent powers that successively ruled over Jerusalem starting in 575BC: Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, the Ptolemaic Kingdom, the Seleucid Empire, Rome and Mecca/Medina) and ten horns (representing ten successive Islamic dynasties that subsequently ruled over Jerusalem - listed on the page "The Two Witnesses"), and on his horns ten crowns (showing that the content of this chapter mainly concerns the period when the ten horns were in power, and the eighth head of the Beast, described in verses 5, 6 and 11-18, came up among them), and on his heads a blasphemous name (the Beast powers practised false religions, denying the true God).

2 Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion (showing that this Beast is a combination of the individual beasts described in Dan 7). The dragon (Satan - Rev 12:9) gave him his power, his throne, and great authority (over Jerusalem and the Jews for 2520 years).

3 And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded (meaning that its time of ruling Jerusalem was over), and (but) his deadly wound was healed (the Roman Empire's time of ruling Jerusalem as the sixth head of the Beast had ended in 638AD when Islam, the seventh head of the Beast, conquered the city. However, Roman Catholicism led by the Papacy, having become a power in its own right, independent of the Roman Empire, but in most ways continuing the nature of that Empire, captured Jerusalem once again on behalf of Rome in 1099AD. It thereby became the "eighth" head of the Beast (Rev 17:11), but as the same verse clarifies, it is "of the seven", as it is in reality a reconstituted, or "healed", sixth head). And all the world marveled and followed the beast.

4 So they worshiped the dragon (Satan) who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast (they worshipped its empires, leaders, religions), saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?”

5 And he was given a mouth (the same mouth described in Dan 7:8 and 25) speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months (1260 inclusive years, from 686, when the Papacy gained independence from the Roman Empire's seat of power in Constantinople, until 1945, more fully explained on the page "The Two Witnesses")

6 Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven (corrupted Christianity spouting forth from the Papacy)

7 It was granted to him (the overall Beast) to make war with the saints and to overcome them (i.e. the Jews. This began when Babylon conquered Jerusalem, and lasted until the end of WW2). And power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations (all the Gentile nations within his dominion).

8 All who dwell on the earth (of Israel, while it was under Gentile control) will (also) worship him (the Beast), whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (but those whose names are in the Book of Life resisted. An excellent example of this is seen in the contrast between the attitude of the Jews and the early Church in Christ's time: the Jews sought to please and put first their Roman, Beast power, occupiers, even saying "we have no king but Caesar" (Jn 19:15), whereas the Church sought to please God and put Him first).

9 If anyone has an ear, let him hear.

10 He who leads into captivity shall go into captivity; he who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword (God takes vengeance on those who come against His city and His people). Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.

11 Then I saw another (now separately described) beast (Roman Catholicism/Christianity, the "little horn" or eighth head of the Beast) coming up out of the earth (not only true Christianity, but also false Christianity, as portrayed here by this "beast", originated from the "earth" of Israel), and he had two horns like a lamb (impersonating the true Lamb, i.e. Jesus Christ) and spoke like a dragon (he speaks deceptively, like Satan. Note that this beast has a head and two horns. The first Roman Catholic/Christian crusade which captured Jerusalem in 1099AD is represented by the head of this lamb. Its two horns depict the two subsequent times this beast succeeded in seizing control of Jerusalem. These occasions are described on the page "The Two Witnesses". These three conquests are also recorded in Dan 7:8 and 7:24, where the "little horn" is prophesied to uproot three of the ten Islamic dynasties that successively ruled Jerusalem).

12 And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence (continues the Gentile occupation of Jerusalem, and the oppression of the Jews, and causes itself to be worshipped in all the territories it controls), and causes the earth and those who dwell in it (the land of Israel) to worship the first beast (as above in verse 8), whose deadly wound was healed (by the Catholic conquest of Jerusalem).

13 He performs great signs (supposed miracles), so that he even makes (appears to make) fire come down from heaven on the earth (of Israel) in the sight of men (the Catholic capture of Jerusalem from the hands of the "infidel" Muslims was taken to be a great and favourable sign from God).

14 And he deceives those who dwell on the earth (in the Holy Land) 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 (to create a Catholic Kingdom, in the image of all other Gentile, Beast power kingdoms (see Matt 20:25). The Catholic kingdom in the Holy Land and surrounding territories was called "the Kingdom of Jerusalem").

15 (For) He was (had been) granted power to give breath to the image of the beast (to create the Papal system, and its "Christian" rule), that the image of the beast should both speak (speak "great things and blasphemies" - see verse 5) and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed (many who refused to worship the Papacy were put to death by it, utilising the political alliances it had forged).

16 He causes all (under his control), both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark (an obvious transgression of God's law, namely Sabbath breaking, even though this head of the Beast calls itself "Christian", and claims to represent God) on their right hand (symbolising their actions) or (and) on their foreheads (symbolising their acceptance of the teachings of this power),

17 and (so) that no one may buy or sell (practise religion in its realm) except one who has the mark (of Sabbath breaking) or (and) the name of the beast (be it Catholic, or "Christian"), or (and) the number (the values) of (associated with) his name (its "Christianity", meaning its unbiblical doctrines and practices, including Sunday keeping).

18 Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number (the values) of the beast (false Christianity), for it is (they are) the number of (a) man (of sinful man, specifically here the office of "the man of sin" mentioned in II Thes 2:3): His number is 666 (various explanations regarding Papal titles are offered as possible solutions to this riddle. These certainly fit the attitude and mindset of the holders of this office, described in II Thes 2, but they do not explain why the specific number mentioned is 666, and not some other number. That explanation, I believe, is to be found in mathematics, as I will try to explain further below).

The development of false Christianity

We see in Rev 13 that false Christianity, which had begun with individual "false apostles" (Rev 2:2, II Cor 11:13), and had progressed to being an organised "synagogue of Satan" (Rev 2:9), and subsequently had obtained a "throne" (Rev 2:13) and with it a "mouth" (Dan 7:8, Rev 13:5) i.e. the Papacy, and over the course of time had become a "little horn" (Dan 7:8, 20, 24-26) when it gained independence from the Roman Empire in 686, ultimately became the two-horned "lamb" (Rev 13:11), also called the "eighth" head of the Beast (Rev 17:11), when it conquered Jerusalem in 1099. The Papacy is also pictured as a "woman" wearing scarlet and purple and labelled "Babylon the Great, Mother of Harlots" in Rev 17:3-6, 18, due to the fact that much of its religion was derived from ancient Babylon, and because it became the progenitor of false Christianity in general.

God's Third Commandment

God's law is made up of ten principles. In three separate Scriptures, Ex 34:28, Dt 4:13 and Dt 10:13, these ten principles are called the "ten words" and are usually referred to as the ten commandments. The third commandment instructs man to "not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain", referring to the sin of "blasphemy" (see v6 above).

The two-horned lamb, which at its core represents Catholicism and the Papal institution, has specifically transgressed God's third commandment throughout its long, unsavoury history. In two verses alone, Rev 13:5-6, this power is three times described as being blasphemous. It has blasphemed God by claiming to sit "as God in the Temple of God" (II Thes 2:4), thereby assuming the place of Christ as head of the Church. It has also blasphemed God by altering three of His ten commandments (as predicted in Dan 7:25) and by adding to the words of Scripture, e.g. Matt 28:19 and I John 5:7. In addition it has claimed that the host of abominations it has committed have been sanctioned by God.

How does this lead us to the number 666?

Mathematics is God's law in numbers. Numbers are also called values, and God's values are displayed in numbers. God attaches a value from 1 to 10 to each of His ten commandments, and gives us the decimal system of numeration in the process.

In light of what Catholicism has done, what happens when we start to mess with God's laws or values numerically? We can see what happens by jumbling any three numbers (three representing blasphemy) between 1 and 10 (the numbers of God's ten commandments).

Let's look at some groups of three numbers. If we combine 1, 2 and 3 into three digit numbers, and then jumble them into as many combinations as possible, it gives us six possible numbers: 123, 132, 213, 231, 312 and 321. If we add these numbers together we get 1332. If we proceed to divide 1332 by the average of the three digits we have used (which is 2) we get 1332÷2=666.

If we take for instance the numbers 4, 5 and 6, we see the same thing. 456+465+546+564+645+654=3330. The average of 4, 5 and 6 is 5. And 3330÷5=666.

Non-consecutive numbers yield the same result: Take for instance 1, 8 and 9. 189+198+819+891+918+981=3996. The average of 1, 8 and 9 is 6. 3996÷6=666.

Using numbers where the average produces a fraction works just the same. Let's take 1, 2 and 4. 124+142+214+241+412+421=1554. The average of 1, 2 and 4 is 2.333 etc, or to be precise, 2 and a third. 1554 ÷ 2.333 etc (2 and a third) = 666.

Care must be taken when using the number 10 doing these calculations. If for instance using 2, 6 and 10, the number 2 stands for 2 x 100, the 6 stands for 6 x 10, and the 10 stands for 10. Writing that as a three digit number equals 270. Therefore the numbers

2 6 10

2 10 6

6 2 10

6 10 2

10 2 6

10 6 2

should for the purpose of addition be written as







  Add those six numbers together, then divide that number by the average of the three digits used, which is 6, and the calculation will be 3996÷6=666.

I believe that this mathematical explanation shows why the false Christian beast is given the number 666.

As mentioned above, one way in which Roman Catholicism has committed blasphemy is by messing with God's ten commandments in major ways. They have discarded the second commandment, changed the day associated with the fourth commandment, and split the tenth commandment into two parts. As a result most of the commandments have been shifted out of their assigned places. Dan 7:8 and 25 foretell that this power, described as a "little horn", would "think to change times and laws". This they certainly have done for those many millions of people under their influence.

The number 666 in Rev 13:18 is the mathematical representation of the little horn taking God's name in vain by changing God's times and laws.

It is true, of course, that all humans have transgressed God's laws, including the third commandment, and so we have all earned the 666 label. Indeed, what man could claim to not be a man of sin? However, through accepting Christ's sacrifice and turning from our transgression of God's commandments, we rid ourselves of that description.

The big difference between true and false Christianity is that true Christianity has upheld God's law, summed up by the ten commandments, while false Christianity has institutionalised and justified transgressions of God's commandments, has forced others into also transgressing them, and has claimed to have done all this in the name of God!

To give credit where credit is due, I developed the idea for the explanation of the Biblical number 666 after consulting the website I did this as part of researching the mathematical properties of the number 666, as I had begun to suspect that there was a mathematical link between the concept of lawlessness and the number 666. The above website, amid a plethora of mathematical information about many numbers, makes the following statement (though not connecting it to the law of God in any way):

"Take ANY number having 3 consecutive digits and sum all 6 possible combinations, here 789789 + 798 + 879 + 897 + 978 + 987 = 5,328. Now, if you divide the result by 8 you'll obtain 666".

As it turns out, the above statement is in reality dealing with three individual numbers: 7, 8 and 9. In addition, as shown in my calculations above, and contrary to this statement, the numbers don't need to be consecutive, and they don't need to involve single digits. Also, to be precise, the total of the six numbers needs to be divided by the average of the three individual numbers used, which in this example is 8.

It becomes clear by doing further calculations that this law doesn't only apply to the ten basic numbers 1 to 10. Rather, any three numbers of any size will yield the same result.

If we take for instance the numbers 22, 34 and 49, we'll see that this law works just the same:

22 34 49 (2200+340+49) = 2589

22 49 34 (2200+490+34) = 2724

34 22 49 (3400+220+49) = 3669

34 49 22 (3400+490+22) = 3912

49 22 34 (4900+220+34) = 5154

49 34 22 (4900+340+22) = 5262


The average of 22, 34 and 49 is arrived at thus: 105÷3=35

and, finally


Endless similar calculations could be demonstrated.

As God's law is limitless in its extent, likewise this mathematical law is limitless in its application.

Almost 2000 years ago God revealed the number 666 to John the apostle. In Prov 25:2 God states that it is His glory to conceal a matter, but the glory of men to search it out. This gem, amongst many others, has been hidden in the Scriptures for this very purpose.

The number 666 can at times be seen in relation to God's work with mankind, as recorded in the Scriptures and shown in a few places on the chart on the "HOME" page. I believe, for example, that the year 2025AD corresponds to the 5994th year since Creation, which equals 666 x 9, the significance of which can also be seen on the chart.

Concerning the phrase "the image of the Beast".

The Creation story tells us that God made man in His image. The Bible narrative informs us that the creation of man in a physical sense is just the beginning of God's plan. Through the conversion process, God is creating human beings in His spiritual image, or in other words, His character. God's adversary, Satan, likewise has his own image or character. It is the total opposite of God's character.

On the very first day of Creation God pictured these opposites when He created day and night. God has placed His ways and Satan's ways before us and tells us to choose: good over evil, light over darkness, lawfulness over lawlessness, life over death. In other words, we are to choose His image or character, over the image or character of Satan.

God raised up His people Israel, and revealed His nature to them so that they in turn could reflect His character as a light unto the world. God led them into the Holy Land, but over a long period of time they disobeyed Him more and more, and eventually were sent into captivity, whereupon rulership of their country was given to those who did not know God. These conquerors reflected the ways of the "god of this world", Satan the devil. They are collectively described here in Rev 13 as a "Beast". It says that the dragon, Satan, gives them their power (v2). Satan also gives them his character or image.

The second commandment states "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image", meaning, at its most basic level, physical images. However, the spirit of the second commandment is about God wanting us to know His true character, and for us not to have a false spiritual image of Him. He wants us to know Him exactly as He is. And, in learning what He is truly like, He wants us to love His way, His character, His image, as He does.

The people who worship God love His characteristics or image: love, faithfulness, goodness, mercy, honesty, integrity, benevolence, humility, joy, high standards, high quality etc.

The people of Satan love and worship his characteristics or image: oppression, hatred, discord, violence, covetousness, perversion, destruction, selfishness, dishonesty, laziness, low standards etc. We see this image of Satan reflected in the Beast powers. God requires us to reject this way of life, and this is why in Rev 20:4 we are told that all those who ultimately are resurrected as firstfruits and rule with Jesus Christ, "had not worshipped (loved, adored) the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands".

This even includes all those firstfruits who lived long before the Beast came into being!

They, through a lifetime of trial and overcoming, chose the ways of God over the ways of Satan, developing God's character through the habit of keeping His laws, the forgiveness of their transgressions being made possible through faith in the blood of Christ.

In Deut 6:8 God instructs Israel to tie His laws to their foreheads and hands. He wanted His way of conduct to become their norm, and the spirit of His way to become their habitual way of thinking. Likewise, Satan wants his evil way to become our habit, and his way of thinking to be our normal way of thinking. So we can see that these references to "foreheads" and "hands" are symbolic and figurative.

Concluding remarks

In conclusion, we find that Revelation 13 gives us an overview of the Beast powers in their entirety: all the powers that have trodden down Jerusalem and the Jews, and to some extent true Christians as well. This period, known as "the times of the Gentiles", lasted from 575BC until 1945, i.e. 2520 inclusive years, as fully explained on the page "THE TIMES OF THE GENTILES", as well as other pages on this website pertaining to the book of Revelation.

The two-horned lamb described in Rev 13:11-18 specifically represents false Christianity led by the Papacy. Daniel 7:25 and Revelation 13:5 indicate that this power would be given authority for 1260 years, and history clearly bears this out. Therefore this beast is not some entity still in the future, as claimed by the Churches of God and many others, but rather it is a prophecy that was fulfilled through the long, bloody and deceptive history of false Christianity led from Rome.

As stated at the outset, the Churches of God have failed to take into account that the symbolic phrase "had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands" applies to all of God's people throughout time, as Rev 20:4 makes clear.


To listen to my YouTube presentation on the historical evidence of the Two Witnesses, and where they fit in with the Beast powers, please click here.

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