CHAPTER NOT QUITE COMPLETE.
YET, MANY DETAILS ARE PROVIDED
The Image to the Beast and the Mark of the Beast
For the introducing verses and a detailed introduction and
background to this chapter, see the previous couple of chapters.
First, let's look at the definitions of image in Webster's Dictionary:
1 image - noun [ME, from Old French, short for imagene, from
Latin imagin-, imago; perhaps akin to Latin imitari to imitate]
1: a reproduction or imitation of the form of a person or thing; esp: an
imitation in solid form: statue
2 a: the optical counterpart of an object produced by an optical device (as a
lens or mirror) or an electronic device
b: a likeness of an object produced on a photographic material
3 a: exact likeness: semblance (e.g. God created man in his own image. Gen 1:27
b: a person strikingly like another person (e.g. she is the image of her mother)
4 a: a tangible or visible representation: incarnation (e.g. the image of filial
b archaic: an illusory form: apparition
5 a (1): a mental picture of something not actually present: impression
(2): a mental conception held in common by members of a group and symbolic of a
basic attitude and orientation (a disorderly courtroom can seriously tarnish a community's
image of justice. Herbert Brownell)
b: idea, concept
6: a vivid or graphic representation or description
7: figure of speech
8: a popular conception (as of a person, institution, or nation) projected esp.
through the mass media (e.g. promoting a corporate image of brotherly love and concern. R.
9: a set of values given by a mathematical function (as a homomorphism) that
corresponds to a particular subset of the domain
2 image - verb
1: to call up a mental picture of: imagine
2: to describe or portray in language esp. in a vivid manner
3 a: to create a representation of; also: to form an image of
b: to represent symbolically
4 a: reflect, mirror
b: to make appear: such as in using a project imager (projector)
worship verb -shiped or -shipped ; -shiping or -shipping vt (13c)
1: to honor or reverence as a divine being or supernatural power
2: to regard with great or extravagant respect, honor, or devotion ~ vi : to perform or
take part in worship or an act of worship synonym see revere _ worshiper or worshipper noun.
Frequently the question arises, is the mark of the beast "on" or
"in" the hand or the forehead?
The Greek for the word in these texts is the word epi from which we
derive words such as epi-dermis (the outside of the skin). Strong's Greek Dictionary gives
the following definition and usages for word 1909:
"Epi; a primitive preposition meaning superimpoisition (of
time, place, order, etc.), as a relation of distribution [with the gen.], i.e. over,
upon, etc.; of rest (with the dat.) at, on, etc.; of direction
(with the acc.) towards, upon, etc.: -about (the times) above, after, against,
among, as long as (touching), at, besides, x have charge of, (be-, where-) fore, in
(a place, as much as, the time of, -to), (because) of, (up-) on (behalf of), over,
(by, for) the space of, through (-out), un-) to (-ward), with. In compounds it retains
essentially the same import, at, upon, etc. (literally or figuratively)."
In Ralph Woodrow's excellent expose Babylon Mystery Religion,
he brings out how the beast, which we have conclusively identified as the Roman church,
i.e. the papacy, fulfills the 666 number aspect.
view of these things, we believe the claim that the pope is the -Vicar of Christ" is
without any basis in fact. As early as the year 1612 it was pointed out, as Andreas Helwig
did in his book Roman Antichrist, that the title "Vicar of Christ"
has a numerical value of 666. Written as "Vicar of the Son of God" in Latin. Vicarivs
Filii Dei, the letters with numerical value are these: I equals 1 (used six times), L
equals 50, V equals 5, C equals 100, and D equals 500. When these are all counted up, the
total is 666. This number reminds us, of course, of Revelation 13:18: "Let him that
hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man: and his
number is six hundred threescore and six."
"It should be pointed out in all fairness, however, that numerous names and
titles, depending on how they are written or which language is used, can produce this
number. The examples given here will be of special interest because they are linked with
Rome and with Roman Catholicism. According to Hislop [Alexander Hislop - author of the
classic, The Two Babylons], the original name of Rome was Saturnia, meaning "the
city of Saturn." Saturn was the secret name revealed only to the Initiates of the
Chaldean mysteries, which - in Chaldee - was spelled with four letters: STUR. In this
language, S was 60, T was 400, U was 6, and R was 200, a total of 666.
"Nero Caesar was one of the greatest persecutors of Christians and emperor of Rome
at the height of its power. His name, when written in Hebrew letters, equals 666.
The Greek letters of the word "Lateinos" (Latin), the historical language of
Rome in all its official acts, amount to 666. In Greek, L is 30, A is 1, T is 300, E is 5,
I is 10, N is 50, O is 70, and S is 200, a total of 666. This was pointed out by Irenaeus
as early as the third century. This same word also means "Latin man" and is but
the Greek form of the name Romulus, from which the city of Rome is named. This name in
Hebrew, Romiith, also totals 666.
"Unlike the Greeks and Hebrews, the Romans did not use all letters of their
alphabet for numbers. They used only six letters: D, C, L, X, V, and I. All other
numbers were made up of combinations of these.* It is interesting and perhaps significant
that the six letters which made up the Roman numeral system when added together total
"Turning to the Bible itself, in the Old Testament, we read that king Solomon each
year received 666 talents of gold (1 Kings 10:14). This wealth played an important part in
leading him astray. In the New Testament, the letters of the Greek word euporia,
from which the word "wealth" is translated, total 666. Out of all the 2,000
Greek nouns of the New Testament, there is only one other word that has this numerical
value, the word paradosis, translated "tradition" (Acts 19:25: Matt.
15:2). Wealth and tradition--interestingly enough--were the two great corrupters of the
Roman Church. Wealth corrupted in practice and honesty, tradition corrupted in doctrine.
*[The "M" has now come to be used also as a Roman numeral representing 1000.
But as E. W. Bullinger points out in his book Numbers in Scripture (p. 284), 1000 was
originally written as CI with another C turned around facing the I. This combination
was later simplified and finally arrived as M.]
Ralph Woodward, Babylon Mystery Religion. pp. 95, 96.
In another book I read which I am attempting to locate, the author indicated that the
Greek word for Satan is Teiten. The numerical values of that name is 666. It's
obvious that Satan gave the beast, and the city of Rome his power, seat and authority AND
the number of his name.
So let's look at what the mark of the Roman church's authority is.
A HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE:
Since the creation of the world when God set aside the seventh day as a day of rest for
mankind, it has been observed as a sacred day by lovers of God. The seven day work week
has stood through the centuries, and other than the creation week, there is no
explanation for why the week is seven days long. Other civilizations and
countries, such as France, have tried to change the number of days in the week, but this
attempt has always failed.
Around 200 years after Christ, and beginning with the church in Rome, Christians began
to participate with the pagan religions in their Sunday (Day of the Sun) celebrations
while still continuing to observe the Sabbath. Since these Sunday celebrations were more
enjoyable than the solemn ceremonies that they participated in on the seventh day of the
week, they began to look with disfavor on the seventh day and began to worship on Sunday.
In 321 A.D., the emperor Constantine signed
a law decreeing that all people, not involved in agriculture, should worship on Sunday
(the first day of the week). The English translation of the decree reads as follows:
"All judges and city people and the craftsmen shall rest upon the venerable Day of
the Sun. Country people, however, may freely attend to the cultivation of the fields,
because it frequently happens that no other days are better adapted for planting the grain
in the furrows or the vines in the trenches. So that the advantage given by heavenly
providence may not for the occasion of a short time perish." Joseph Cullen Ayer, A
Source Book for Ancient Church History (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1913), div.
2, per. 1, ch. 1, sec. 59, g, pp. 284, 285.
Who Changed the Day? Since then, the Roman Catholic Church
has lent its weight to worship on Sunday and has stated that it is a mark of its
authority as a representative of God that the day of worship was changed from Saturday or
Sabbath to Sunday. You may find the following quotations interesting and informative. They
are all quoted from various publications of or affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church.
[boldfacing of items are this author's.]
"Q. What day was the Sabbath?
"A. The seventh day, our Saturday.
"Q. Do you keep the Sabbath?
"A. No. We keep the Lord's Day.
"Q. Which is that?
"A. The first day: Sunday.
"Q. Who changed it?
"A. The Catholic Church."
James Bellord, A New Catechism of Christian Doctrine and Practice, pp. 86, 87.
"Q. How prove you that the church hath power to command feasts and Holy Days?
"A. By the very act of changing the Sabbath into Sunday,
which Protestants allow of; and therefore they fondly contradict themselves by keeping
Sunday strictly, and breaking most other feasts commanded by the same church.
"Q. How prove you that?
"A. Because by keeping Sunday, they acknowledge the church's
power to ordain feasts, and to command them under sin."
Henry Tuberville, An Abridgment of the Christian Doctrine, p. 58.
"Q. Have you any other way of proving that the church has
power to institute festivals of precept?
"A. Had she not such power, she could not have done that in
which all religionists agree with her. She could not have substituted the observance of
Sunday the first day of the week for the observance of Saturday the seventh day, change
for which there is no scriptural authority." A Doctrinal Catechism, p. 174.
"The Catholic Church for over a thousand years before the existence of a
Protestant, by virtue of her divine mission changed the day from Saturday to Sunday."
Catholic Mirror, Sept. 1893.
"She [the Catholic Church] took pagan Sunday, dedicated to Balder [an
Icelandic god identified with Sun worship], became the Christian Sunday, sacred to
Jesus." Catholic World, 1894, p. 809.
"You may read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and you will not find a single
line authorizing the sanctification of Sunday. The scriptures enforce the religious
observance of Saturday, a day which we never sanctify." Cardinal Gibbons, The
Faith of Our Fathers, p. 111.
". . . of course the Catholic Church claims that the change was her act. And the
act is a mark of her ecclesiastical power and authority in religious matters." H.F.
Thomas, Chancellor of Cardinal Gibbons, in answer to a letter regarding the change of the
"No! Keep the first day of the week, and lo, the entire civilized world bows in
reverent obedience to the command of the holy Catholic church." "It's the mark
of our authority to over-rule God's law." Father Enright C.S.S.R. of the Redemptoral
College, Kansas City, Mo., History of the Sabbath, p. 802.
The Day of Which Lord?
The Day of Which Lord? In its current usage, as shown in the
first quote in the series above, "the Lord's Day" is a term referring to
Sunday rather than Saturday or Sabbath. It is important to note that John's words "the
Lord's Day" in the text of Rev. 1:8 refers to the Sabbath day, as again,
it wasn't until many years later that worship on Sunday took place. Jesus referred to
himself as Lord of the Sabbath, commenting in Mark 2:28 "So the Son of Man is Lord
even of the Sabbath." So then how did this association of Sunday with the term
"Lord's Day" come about?
The following quotations are from the book Last Day Events, a compilation of the
writings of the prophet Ellen White
on the subject of end time events.
What the Mark of the Beast Is
John was called to behold a people distinct from those who worship the beast or his
image by keeping the first day of the week. The observance of this day is the mark of the
beast.-TM 138 (1898).
The mark of the beast is the papal sabbath.-Evangelism 234 (1899).
When the test comes, it will be clearly shown what the mark of the beast is. It is the
keeping of Sunday. -7 BC 980 (1900).
The sign, or seal, of God is revealed in the observance of the seventh-day Sabbath, the
Lord's memorial of creation.... The mark of the beast is the opposite of this-the
observance of the first day of the week. -ST 117(1904).
"He causeth all, both small and great,... to receive a mark in their right hand,
or in their foreheads" (Rev. 13:16). Not only are men not to work with their hands on
Sunday, but with their minds are they to acknowledge Sunday as the Sabbath.-Special
Testimony to Battle Creek Church (Ph 86) 6, 7 (1897).
When the Mark of the Beast Is Received
No one has yet received the mark of the beast.-Evangelism 234(1899).
Sunday keeping is not yet the mark of the beast, and will not be until the decree goes
forth causing men to worship this idol sabbath. The time will come when this day will be
the test, but that time has not come yet.-7BC 977 (1899).
God has given men the Sabbath as a sign between Him and them as a test of their
loyalty. Those who, after the light regarding God's law comes to them, continue to disobey
and exalt human laws above the law of God in the great crisis before us, will receive the
mark of the beast.-Ev 235 (1900).
The Sabbath will be the great test of loyalty, for it is the point of truth especially
controverted. When the final test shall be brought to bear upon men, then the line of
distinction will be drawn between those who serve God and those who serve Him not.
While the observance of the false sabbath in compliance with the
law of the state, contrary to the fourth commandment, will be an avowal of allegiance to a
power that is in opposition to God, the keeping of the true Sabbath, in obedience to God's
law, is an evidence of loyalty to the Creator. While one class, by accepting the sign of
submission to earthly powers, receive the mark of the beast, the other, choosing the token
of allegiance to divine authority, receive the seal of God.-GC 605 (1911).
Enforcement of Sunday Observance Is the Test
None are condemned until they have had the light and have seen the obligation of the
fourth commandment. But when the decree shall go forth enforcing the counterfeit sabbath,
and the loud cry of the third angel shall warn men against the worship of the beast and
his image, the line will be clearly drawn between the false and the true. Then those who
still continue in transgression will receive the mark of the beast. -Ev 234, 235 (1899).
When Sunday observance shall be enforced by law, and the world shall be enlightened
concerning the obligation of the true Sabbath, then whoever shall transgress the command
of God to obey a precept which has no higher authority than that of Rome, will thereby
honor popery above God. He is paying homage to Rome, and to the power which enforces the
institution ordained by Rome. He is worshiping the beast and his image.
As men then reject the institution which God has declared to be
the sign of His authority, and honor in its stead that which Rome has chosen as the token
of her supremacy, they will thereby accept the sign of allegiance to Rome, -"the mark
of the beast." And it is not until the issue is thus plainly set before the people,
and they are brought to choose between the commandments of God and the commandments of
men, that those who continue in transgression will receive "the mark of the
beast."-GC 449 (1911).
Sunday-Law Enforcement Precedes the Close of Probation
The Lord has shown me clearly that the image of the beast will be formed before
probation closes, for it is to be the great test for the people of God, by
which their eternal destiny will be decided.-2SM 81(1890).
What is the "image to the beast"? and how is it to be formed? The image is
made by the two-horned beast, and is an image to the beast. It is also called an
image of the beast. Then to learn what the image is like and how it is
to be formed, we must study the characteristics of the beast itself-the papacy.
When the early church became corrupted by departing from the
simplicity of the gospel and accepting heathen rites and customs, she lost the Spirit and
power of God; and in order to control the consciences of the people, she sought the
support of the secular power. The result was the papacy, a church that controlled the
power of the state, and employed it to further her own ends, especially for the punishment
of "heresy.". In order for the United States to form an image of the beast, the
religious power must so control the civil government that the authority of the state will
also be employed by the church to accomplish her own ends....
The "image to 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.-GC 443, 445(1911).
End of Quotations.
Now that we have clearly identified the Beast, the Lamblike Beast, the Mark of the
Beast and Image to the Beast, we have just a few other players to identify, namely,
Babylon and the Beast from the Abyss.
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