Another explanation that one sometimes comes across is the Greek phrase for ‘the Latin Kingdom’:
There are many fanciful and varied explanations, but these can serve as distractions from the recognition of the words of Irenaeus, a person close to the time of the writer of the Book of Revelation, and who was a friend of Polycarp who knew John personally.
Bar-coding has also been suggested, since the three sets of bars separating the code portions on the label can each be interpreted as a ‘six’.
If the ‘beasts’ of Revelation 13 relate to the Holy Roman Empire, and the Papacy, as indicated by the number 666, then is the antichrist also identifiable with the same organizational activity?
It was an early pope, Boniface I, who was Pope from.419-422A.D, who first styled himself as “Vicar 1 of Peter”. There was still a step higher to be taken, and a subsequent Pope, Gelasius, took this at the close of the council held in 495A.D. The assembled bishops shouted, and six times repeated, “We see that thou art the Vicar of Christ”.
“We see that thou art a substitute for Christ.”
In the Greek language this is ‘anti christos’. In effect, what the people were shouting was, “We see that thou art an anti-Christ”
To this day, the Pope claims as one of his titles, ‘Vicar of Christ’, or in the Greek, ‘Anti Christos’—antichrist.
Is this all coincidence? In some ways, we would hope it was, for we have no grudge against the multitude of people that pay allegiance to the Papacy. In fact, a number of very good, well-meaning people that I have associated with through life are staunch followers of the Roman Catholic Church. In order that the message leaves as little ambiguity in intent as possible, the beast is again the subject of the narrative in Revelation 17.
“Then the angel carried me away in the spirit into a desert. There I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was covered with blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns.” Revelation 17:3
After a further discussion of the woman, John wrote,
“I will explain to you the Mystery of the woman and of the beast she rides, which has the seven heads and ten horns …This calls for wisdom. The seven heads are seven hills on which the woman sits. The woman you saw is the great city that rules over the kings of the earth.” Revelation 17:7, 9, 18
When John penned the book of Revelation, probably about 96A.D, there was only one city that ruled over the kings of the earth, and that city was Rome, which was located astride seven hills. You should ask yourself whether all this is just coincidence!
An abandoned faith
A clear prophecy is revealed through the pen of Paul to his companion Timothy.
“The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.” 1 Timothy 4:1–3
Those who are gardeners will be familiar with one of the laws of nature, that a garden left unattended will quickly degenerate and will soon be overcome with grass and weeds of every imaginable variety.
“I went past the field of the sluggard,
past the vineyard of the man who lacks judgment;
thorns had come up every-where,
the ground was covered with weeds,
and the stone wall was in ruins.
I applied my heart to what I observed
and learned a lesson from what I saw.” Proverbs 24:30–32
Unless the soil is regularly attended, any planned crop will fail to yield the expected harvest. The apostle Paul addressed some words of wisdom to his hearers.
“Remember this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously, will also reap generously.” 2 Corinthians 9:6
- Vicar: a deputy or substitute, L. vicarius, a deputy ↩