666 is the number of the beast (666) in the New Testament and Christian numerology. It is mentioned only once in the Bible and is associated with the apocalypse and what Saint John calls “The Beast.”
The Book of Revelation 13:18-19 reads:
“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.”
Scholars of the Apocalypse agree that “no other problem in Revelation has given rise to so many speculations as that of the meaning of this number (666)”
The Bible does not give a definitive answer.
However, the association of 666 with the Beast, the devil, the Antichrist, and Satan is a long-standing one that has its roots in both Christianity and Judaism. Some Bible scholars say that the number stands for “the man of sin” who will deceive many and lead them astray.
Satan himself will one day come to power and rule over the world for a period known as the Tribulation. The Tribulation is said to be a time of great suffering, and those who do not know Christ will be subject to the Antichrist’s rule.
In modern times, some people have speculated that the mark could be a physical brand that identifies those who worship the beast. The prophecy has also been interpreted as meaning an identification device like bar codes and biometrics earlier but now it seems more likely that they are predicting some type of implantable chip for humans called “the number”
Today we have smart technology and biometrics to ID all citizens globally:
“Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead” (Rev 13:16).
This would also make it easier for the Beast or Satan to find and persecute his enemies.
Some Christians believe that 666 is a symbol of materialism and evil, and other people believe that it simply represents the imperfection of humanity. Some Bible scholars and esotericists believe that 666 is representative of man in his natural state – sinful and separated from God.
Meaning that 666 is the number for all of humanity, since man was created in God’s image.
Other people speculate that the mark could be a 666 tattoo or other physical markings that identify someone as being a follower of the beast.
For example, the Covid vaccine with governments around the world mandated forced vaccinations have been suggested to inject the mark into unsuspecting citizens under the guise of a pandemic. Perhaps, as some people say, there is a magnetizing substance hidden in vaccines such as graphene, which is magnetic and makes it easier for governments to track their citizens.
But what does 666 mean?
Whatever its origins, 666 has come to be widely recognized as a sign of man, sin, evil, and darkness. As far as people representing 666, the list is endless.
The most popular theory is that it refers to the emperor Nero, who was responsible for the burning of Rome in AD 64.
“The name ‘Nero Caesar’, written in its Greek form, yields the exact number 666”. This has led some to claim that Nero (who was Roman emperor from 54 until he died 68) was the Antichrist.
In 66, when Nero was emperor and the Jews revolted against Rome and coined their own money. The Greek word translated as a mark (of the beast), χάραγμα, also means stamped money or coin; “no one buys or sells without the money of the beast.”
He was responsible for persecuting Christians in Rome during his reign and may have even ordered their deaths by burning them alive inside a coliseum specially designed for this purpose (the Colossus). He also tried to rebuild Rome after it had been destroyed by fire in 64 AD.
Many Protestant theologians and authors such as Martin Luther and John Calvin identified the beast of Revelation 13 with the Roman Catholic Pope. Luther said that the “Pontifex Maximus” (Pope) was first considered uncontrollable about the year 666 A.D. Like Luther and Calvin, later Protestant writers identified the beast of Revelation 13 with the pope.
666 A.D. is the year when Wilfrid returns from France, newly consecrated as Bishop of York and the subsequent conversion of the Saxons from Paganism to Christianity. King Lucius is exhorted by Pope Eleutherius to prize the law of God far above the law of Caesar – “superior papal authority and dominion is derived from the law of the Caesars.”- Lucius Ferraris
One of the titles of the Pope is the “Vicar of Christ,” and in Latin “Vicarius Filii Dei.” In English, this means “Vicar of the Son of God” or “Substitute of the Son of God.”
As Pope Boniface VIII proclaimed in 1302 “Unum Sanctum”; “We, therefore, assert, define and pronounce that it is necessary to salvation to believe that every human being is subject to the Pontiff of Rome….. That which was spoken of Christ…
‘Thou hast subdued all things under His feet,’ may well seem verified in me. I have the authority of the King of kings. I am all in all and above all, so that God, Himself, and I, the Vicar of God, have but one consistory, and I am able to do almost all that God can do. What, therefore, can you make of me but God ?”
Boniface had feuded with Dante and excommunicated the French King Philip and several others from the church. Shortly after making the proclamation and excommunicating King Phillip, Boniface was imprisoned and beaten to death.
In his Inferno, Dante portrayed Boniface as destined for hell and recalls the story of the pontiff’s feud with the Colonna family, which led him to destroy the city of Palestrina, killing 6,000 citizens and demolishing both the home of Julius Caesar and a shrine to Mary.
Other candidates for the Beast include Caligula and Charlemagne and as time moved on, more people and suspects have been added to the list by authors and speculators. People like Napoleon, Hitler, Mussolini, Saddam Hussein, John Kennedy, Sun Myung Moon, Mikhail Gorbachev, Henry Kissinger, and the US President with 6 letters in each of his names, Ronald Wilson Reagan.
The British occultist, black magician, author, and secret British spy, Aleister Crowley (1875-1947) proudly proclaimed himself The Great Beast 666. Crowley believed or acted as if he was an agent of the devil to help bring about humanity’s spiritual evolution.
Entities such as The World Bank, The Ecumenical Movement, The Council on Foreign Relations, The United Nations, The European Community, The Trilateral Commission, and one of the newest conspiracies is the mysterious CERN and all the weird events surrounding this agency.
Again, the list goes on and on…
However, the facts are that up until recent times, only trusted scholars and Fathers of the Church were trusted with the translations and interpretations of the Scripture.
When we study the traditional literature of the early church in which Saint John was involved, we see a common Apocalyptic theme among all Biblical scholars. This is the ancient struggle for world supremacy between the Greeks in the East and the Romans in the West and the priests, spies, leaders, and philosophers who defined them.
If we follow early tradition, we will see that many early Church commentators like Ireneaus believed that the Beast and the number 666 were connected with the Ancient Roman Empire (Latin).
One of the earliest commentators on the Apocalypse of the Blessed John, Saint Irenaeus proposed the Greek word “lateinos” in connection with the name and number of the beast. The letters found in “lateinos” add up to 666, which means in English, “Latin man.”
The Latin Empire was intended to replace the Byzantine Empire as the Western-recognized Roman Empire in the east, with a Catholic emperor enthroned in place of the Eastern Orthodox Roman emperors. The “Roman Empire” encompasses the history of the Romans from the origins of the Empire in approximately 45 BC.
The Greek Byzantines referred to the Latin Empire as the Frankokratia (Greek: Φραγκοκρατία, lit. “rule of the Franks”) or the Latinokratia (Λατινοκρατία, lit. “rule of the Latins”). It was at the conquest of Constantinople in 1453 during the Crusades and the institution of the Latin Empire under the Knights Templar and the installation of Baldwin of Flanders as “emperor” in 1204, until the Byzantines retook Constantinople in 1261.
Saint Victorinus of Pettau was an Early Christian ecclesiastical writer who flourished in about 270 AD. Victorinus associates the number 666 with Phoebus, also known as Apollo, an angel of light and knowledge in Greek and Roman mythology. Victorinus’ account diverges from the traditional line of thought associating 666 purely with evil and instead believed it was a “Apollo Helios” who is cut off from the light and then transforms himself into an angel of light.
He wrote in Commentary on the Apocalypse of the Blessed John;
“In Hellenistic times, especially during the 3rd century BCE, as Apollo Helios he became identified among Greeks with Helios, Titan god of the sun.
His number is the name of a man, and his number is Six hundred three score and six.” As they have it reckoned from the Greek characters, they thus find it among many to be τειταν [teitan], for τειταν [teitan] has this number, which the Gentiles call Sol and Phoebus; and it is reckoned in Greek thus: τ three hundred, ε five, ι ten, τ three hundred, α one, ν fifty,—which taken together become six hundred and sixty-six.
For as far as belongs to the Greek letters, they fill up this number and name; which name if you wish to turn into Latin, is understood by the antiphrase DICLUX, which letters are reckoned in this manner: since D figures five hundred, I one, C a hundred, L fifty, V five, X ten,—which by the reckoning up of the letters makes similarly six hundred and sixty-six, that is, what in Greek gives τειταν [teitan], to wit, what in Latin is called DICLUX; by which name, expressed by anti-phrases, we understand Antichrist, who, although he be cut off from the supernal light, and deprived thereof, yet transforms himself into an angel of light, daring to call himself light. (Commentary on the Apocalypse of the Blessed John)
Swedish Christian theologian, scientist, and philosopher, Emmanuel Swedenborg believed that the mark of the beast received on the forehead or the right hand (Revelation 13:16) “signifies the acknowledgment of being a Reformed Christian, and confession that he is so” and “the name of the beast signifies the quality of the doctrine.” (The Heavenly Doctrines 1758)
Swedenborg said that the number of the beast signifies the quality of the confirmation of doctrine and faith from the Word among them. Six hundred and sixty six signifies every truth of good, and as this is said of the Word, it signifies every truth of good in the Word, here the same falsified, because it is the number of the beast. The number six hundred and sixty six is used, because that number six is tripled, and triplication completes.”
Christian author, Tom Horn says: “[m]any Christians believe that, before long, an antichrist system will appear. It will be a New World Order, under which national boundaries dissolve, and ethnic groups, ideologies, religions, and economics from around the world, orchestrate a single and dominant sovereignty…
According to popular Biblical interpretation, a single personality will surface at the head of the utopian administration… With imperious decree the Antichrist will facilitate a one-world government, universal religion, and globally monitored socialism. Those who refuse his New World Order will inevitably be imprisoned or destroyed,” Horn said.
As you can see, just like many alleged figures in history may be the Beast, there are almost as many theories among religious scholars and authors. However, a few common themes appear with most of them.
First of all, the Beast will be a man connected to the Tribe of Dan, the Latin Empire, the Franks (French), and Rome.
This man will be associated with a person who is mostly called the “Antichrist” and sometimes by the name Satan whose rule or governmental system will come in the so-called end days of the days of Revelation.
It will be a New World Order. What appears to be a global Socialist empire.
Saint Hippolytus (born c. 170—died c. 235) understands the fourth kingdom of Daniel as Rome. Hippolytus wrote in his “Treatise on Christ and Antichrist”;
“By the beast, then, coming up out of the earth, he means the kingdom of Antichrist; and by the two horns, he means him and the false prophet after him. And in speaking of “the horns being like a lamb,” he means that he will make himself like the Son of God, and set himself forward as king.
And the terms, “he spake like a dragon,” mean that he is a deceiver, and not truthful. And the words, “he exercised all the power of the first beast before him, and caused the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed,” signify that, after the manner of the law of Augustus, by whom the empire of Rome was established, he too will rule and govern, sanctioning everything by it, and taking greater glory to himself.
For this is the fourth beast, whose head was wounded and healed again, in its being broken up or even dishonored, and partitioned into four crowns; and he then (Antichrist) shall with knavish skill heal it, as it were, and restore it.”
This commentary by Hippolytus is interesting because modern-day Russia is sometimes referred to by the Russians themselves as the Third Rome.
As if they were the current torchbearers of the Ceasars. An empire that may have never ended.
For the last few years, the most observant Orthodox Church leaders in Russia have been protesting against the use of “satanic figures”, such as the “internet, smartphones, tax code, and Covid.”
Recently on September 30, 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin presided over a ceremony at the Kremlin to annex four Ukrainian regions partly occupied by his military forces.
During the 37-minute address, Putin decried “Satanism” in the West and U.S., referring to a radical denial of moral, religious, and family norms as well as transgender issues.
The overthrow of faith and traditional values. Indeed, the suppression of freedom itself has taken on the features of a religion: outright Satanism,” Putin proclaimed.
In January 2019, Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church proclaimed that the Antichrist was here and would eventually rule the entire human race over the worldwide internet web. He said, “The Antichrist is the person who will be at the head of the worldwide web, controlling all of humankind.”
“That means that the structure itself poses a danger. There shouldn’t be a single center, at least not in the foreseeable future, if we don’t want to bring on the apocalypse.”
“Every time you use your gadget, whether you like it or not, whether you turn on your location or not, somebody can find out exactly where you are, exactly what your interests are, and exactly what you are scared of,” Kirill continued. “Such control from one place forebodes the coming of the Antichrist.”
The “devil acts very wisely” in offering people such a “toy”, he said.
In May 2020, the bishop of the Russian Orthodox Church and the most authoritative member of the Moscow Synod, Metropolitan Ilarion (Alfeev), conveyed similar revelations about the time we are living;
“There is, alongside the hypotheses of biological warfare, also the possibility of bio-psychological warfare, when trying to instill fear in the population, to control it in a more radical way, “Ilarion told the Rossija-24 TV channel. He, therefore, called for the development of “strong immunity not only physically, but also spiritually, in the strength of mind”.
Valentina Pashenko, president of the “Committee in defense of the family and morality” in Voronezh, denounces the use of biometric fingerprints to enter bank and government buildings and rejects electronic texts.
Speaking to the BBC in April 2019, Valentina said that “when all personal data will be stored in one system, evil people will be able to exclude any unwanted person from the system”.
“First pensions and then all other information about the person, his property, social rights, data on the family and children, school and medical data, salaries: the whole life of the individual will be inserted into an electronic number”,
Pashenko warns, “it is like the mark of the Stalinist camps, where our grandparents were sent”.
So what does 666 mean?
Whether you believe in biblical prophecies or not, it’s fascinating to consider the deeper meaning behind this mysterious number.
One thing is for sure, the meaning of 666 is not entirely clear. It could represent Rome, the Pope, the Antichrist, or Satan himself.
Hell, maybe it is all of the above.
Do you have any thoughts about the biblical meaning of 666 or how it applies to man or your life?
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Moe is the founder of GnosticWarrior.com. He is a father, husband, author, martial arts black belt, and an expert in Gnosticism, the occult, and esotericism.