Chapter 22


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: Boldface added.


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 RSV)
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 devotion)
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. C. Buck)

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.

Papal Miter 17k"In 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 exactly 666.

D 500
C 100
L 50
X 10
V 5
I 1
Total 666

"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.


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 Sabbath.

"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.

Forward to the Next Chapter  |   Back One Chapter  |  To Revelation Table of Contents