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The Antichrist to come
By Richard Gunther
are two main schools of thought on prophecy when it comes to interpreting the
books of Daniel and Revelation. One is called Historicist, and the other
is called Futurist. (There is a third, called Praeterist, which is more
like a ‘lucky dip’ than a serious method so we will leave it out) Both the
Historicist and Futurist points of
view are a long way apart, and they cannot possibly be joined together, or
merged, yet both claim to be the correct way of interpreting certain prophecies,
especially when it comes to the two books mentioned.
The Historicist view was held by all the Protestant Reformers – that
is, every major preacher of the gospel on the Protestant side of the
Reformation. They all believed that the Papacy was the Antichrist. This view did
not mean that the Pope as an individual was the Antichrist, but the succession
of Popes, from about 600 AD right through the centuries. Pope after pope after
pope – all represented ‘the Antichrist’.
The word “Antichrist” comes from the Greek word “antichristos”
which means “in the place of”. The Popes all confirm this name because they
all wear a triple crown, representing dominion over Heaven, Earth and Hell, and
they take the name “Vicar of Christ:” which means “In the place of
The Futurist view holds that the Antichrist is yet to come. No accusing
finger is pointed at the Papacy or the church of Rome.
About 1180 AD Peter Waldo identified the Papacy as the Antichrist.
Not long after that the connection between the Bible’s Antichrist and
the Papacy became clear to Joachim of Floris, in 1190 AD, whose followers were
called Joachites. They believed that the Pope of their time, by claiming to be
in the place of Christ, was the “antichristos”, and so convinced was Joachim
of this connection that he actually informed the crusader Richard 1 (Coeur de
In 1380 John Wycliffe translated the Bible into English and immediately
recognised the Papacy as the Antichrist. (See the preface to the King James
Bible – the Papacy is called “that man of sin”.)
In 1519 Martin Luther first called the Pope the Antichrist and later
wrote to Pope Leo X and with great boldness informed him that he, the Pope, was
the Antichrist of that time. Not long after, Luther was notified of his
All the Reformers saw the Pope as the Antichrist. Among these many devout
Christians we have John Calvin, John Ridley, Hugh Latimer, John Knox, John
Bunyan, John Wesley, Dwight L. Moody, Charles H. Spurgeon, Dr. F.B.Meyer, Dr.
Hudson Taylor, Dr. H.Grattan Guinness, Dr. Drinsdale Young, George Jeffreys and
many others. These Reformers and Evangelists named the Papacy as the Antichrist,
and stood in the Historicist camp.
Please note: this view does not say that all Roman Catholics are bad or
wicked. It does not label all Catholics as Antichristian, nor does it say that
all Popes are wicked men. All this view does is identify a religious system.
Individual Catholics may become Christians, as may any Pope.
The effect of the Reformation was to cause huge numbers of people to
swing either away from or into the church of Rome. The great zeal of the
newly-fired up Christians caused a great division between the two systems, and
many people were forced to take their stand, either for or against the Pope. It
was at about this time that Luther, who had been reading the Scriptures for
himself, discovered several areas in which he knew his church was failing to
obey God. At the start he did not want to leave the church, or cause any
trouble. All he wanted was a few small reforms, and he would have remained a
devout Catholic, but his objections caused a great stir, and forced him back to
the Scriptures. Eventually he realised that God’s Word was more important than
Man’s word, which caused him to write down exactly what the Bible said.
Gradually the contrast between what his church taught and what the Bible said
became clearer and he realised how far from God’s Word his church had come.
Luther nailed his 95 thesis on the door of the Wittenburg church and as a
result half the congregation defected from Rome. Although many of Luther’s
beliefs were still strongly Catholic, he had started a move which made more and
more people examine the Scriptures carefully, and make more comparisons.
The Presbyterians (from the Greek “presbuteros” meaning “elders”
not Popes) sprang up in Holland and Scotland. The Congregational church sprang
up in England. The early British church, established, some say, in Glastonbury,
also grew rapidly, and soon the Church of England was established.
The church of Rome saw these developments and became quite worried,
especially as the Reformation deprived it of the steady flow of money which it
was used to. (King Henry the VIII had put a stop to this.) So the church of Rome
devised many plans in order to win the Protestant ‘heretics’ back into the
fold of the ‘Mother church’. The Anglo-Catholic and Tractarian movements
were started, and a group of highly trained men called the Jesuits were sent out
to launch clandestine plans aimed at winning people back to Rome – by hook or
One of the plans devised by the Roman church was hatched by a Spanish
priest called Fransisco de Ribera. In 1585 he wrote a commentary on the
book of Revelation, in which he tried to take the spotlight off the Pope. While
the Reformers were pointing to Revelation 13 and declaring the Papacy as the
Antichrist, Ribera explained that this “Antichrist” was some person who was
to appear somewhere in the future. Ribera’s
comments were published as footnotes in the Latin Vulgate edition of the Bible
– meant for Roman Catholics to read of course.
Here, in summary, is what Ribera said about the Antichrist:
The Antichrist is a political leader, and individual, who will appear
some time in the future,
He will arise in the last days and make a covenant with the Jewish
He will rebuild the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem, where the Muslim dome
of the rock now stands, and restore animal sacrifices for the Jews, ruling there
for 3 and a half years,
He will emerge as a world ruler, with power and authority over all
nations, using miracles to back his claims, and subdue the church under him
during a great tribulation.
Ribera misquoted Daniel chapter 9 in his attempt to shift the
focus away from the Pope. He changed the word “confirm” to “make” in Dan
9:27, saying that the Antichrist would “make” a covenant with the Jews. The
reference is actually to the Messiah, who confirmed the New Covenant, and
then died for his people. It should not surprise us to see how the Roman church
twisted Scripture to bolster a lie.
One outstanding horror of Ribera’s work was to shift the focus away
from the Papacy, but then he added insult to injury by taking the glory away
from Jesus the Messiah.
In 1838 Archbishop William Howley appointed Samuel Roffey Maitland as
Librarian and Keeper of the Manuscripts at Lambeth Palace. This was the
headquarters of the Archbishop, where the library of the Church of England was
kept. Dr. Maitland discovered Ribera’s work and was so impressed by the new
slant on the Scriptures that he decided to publish it.
The errors of Ribera were circulated, and soon one of the leaders of the
Plymouth Brethren, John Nelson Darby read them. He got busy and published the
work himself, spreading its message far and wide, so it was not long before
thousands of Christians were influenced by the lies of the Spanish priest.
Perhaps because it was ‘novel’, and perhaps because the huge struggle of the
Reformation was slipping away into distant memory, and perhaps because many
Christians did not want to seem uncharitable to what looked like a very powerful
Christian church – the Roman one – the writings of Ribera were accepted. The
Historicist view was not so relevant, now that the Reformation had taken place,
and many Christian leaders were expounding the Futurist teachings, so many
lay-people accepted what their leaders said without question.
Today the situation is even worse. Most Christians are familiar with
Ribera’s teaching, but very few have even heard of the Historicist view.
What Futurists must do to make their view look right:
must not see some things. One of their views holds that, in the latter days “a
great falling away” must occur before the Antichrist can appear. They get this
idea from 2Thess.2 where Paul warns the Christians that before the “man of
sin” can appear there must first be a great “falling away”. This in fact
has happened already. The “great falling away” comes from the Greek meaning
an apostasy, which occurred soon after the Early Church was established. Right
on time, the first popes appeared in the 600’s after the great falling away.
have to believe that, in a world which is continually demanding more
“Rights”, and “Freedoms” and which is increasingly breaking up into more
and more “Independent” countries and nations, each with their own flag and
constitution, some as-yet unknown man is going to draw them all together under
his control. This seems highly unlikely! Can you imagine The President of the
USA and the top man in China bowing to some Jewish man?
piece of Daniel 9, (the last part of the prophecy about the 70 weeks), has to be
ripped out of place and pasted into some future time – and this must be done
in violation to the grammar, the context, and the clear application to the
future period, called “the Great Tribulation” must still happen, and
obviously, Jesus may not return until it happens first. This means that
Christians can complacently believe that Jesus will not come today because the
“Great Tribulation” hasn’t happened yet.
moment this so-called Antichrist character appears, we can start counting the
days, and know precisely and exactly when Jesus is returning – despite the
fact that he said we would not know the day or the hour.
Have we been through the tribulation yet?
Dr.Grattan Guinness wrote: “It has been calculated that the Popes of
Rome have directly or indirectly slain on account of their faith, 50,000,000
martyrs; men and women who refused to be party to the Romish idolatries, who
held to the Bible as the Word of God, and loved not their lives unto death, but
resisted unto blood, striving against sin”. (The Approaching End of the Age
The Futurists are saying therefore that some future Antichrist will
slaughter MORE than 50,000,000 people in 3 and a half years. How does this
compare with WW 2? About 20,000,000 were killed.
So if there ever was a “Great Tribulation” we have been through it.
It was called the Dark Ages, under Papal Rome.
One of the main reasons why the modern church, that is Christians in
general, jump into the Futurist camp, is because of their ignorance of Bible language.
They do not have a good working knowledge of the language of the prophets, so
they tend to take prophetic language literally when they read it in the New
Testament. Westerners, including myself, tend to come into the Bible from the
N.T. end, so they miss out on the whole O.T. with its symbols and pictures, its
visions and manner of speaking. (I have met several long-standing Christians who
had not even reads the O.T. even after many years) The Bible can be a difficult
book to understand. Jesus used many cryptic expressions, and there are many
passages which seem totally inexplicable. An interpretation which sounds
right, even if it is wrong, is sometimes accepted simply because it seems
to make sense.
But when we come to the book of Revelation, we do not need to take it as
a separate book, and try to work out its symbols as if we had no precedent.
Every symbol in the book is already explained by other Scriptures, if
only we will take the time to refer back to them in the Old Testament.
Even the very first verse of Revelation gives us a clear lead: “The
revelation of Jesus Christ . . . and
he sent and signified it by his angel to his servant John” The root
word for “signified” in the Greek is “semaino” from which we get the
word “signs”. A sign is a pointer to something else, like a signpost.
This shows that the book of Revelation is written in a code, but
why would God hide the future under a layer of signs and code words? Because the
book came out at the time when the Roman Empire was in its strength, and the
book of Revelation predicts the fall and destruction of the Roman Empire. It
would have been quite unkind of God to give the church a book which clearly
foretold the fall of Rome. The Romans thought their ‘glorious empire’ was
going to last for ever. The Christians had enough problems without a book which
struck at the heart of the emperors.
But Christians (mainly Jews at first) who knew the O.T. symbols would
have had no trouble in understanding the prophetic code. This gave them hope,
while the Romans knew nothing about it.
the code works is given in chapter one of Revelation. 1:20 says “The seven
stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven candlesticks which you
see are the seven churches”. These signs and symbols were quite meaningless to
the average Roman, who regarded Christians as a peculiar “superstitio”, and
who never read the Jewish Old Testament.
Futurists however, take many of the “signs” in the book of Revelation
as literal, just like your average ignorant Roman, and misunderstand the meaning
of the prophecies. You can’t normally break a code without the correct
Revelation chapter 11.
returning to the theme of the Papacy, it must be understood that all the
Reformers accepted Revelation chapter 11 as referring to the Papacy. The
timescale was 1260 years, as shown by Rev.11:3, taking one prophetic day as one
literal year. This is the correct decoding system.
In AD 533 there was a decree by the Emperor Justinian, which constituted
the bishop of Rome as “Head of all Holy Churches, and of all Holy priests of
God”. Up to this time the Bishops of all the various districts were looked
upon as equals, each with their own small flock to guide, but now the Emperor
had decided that the Bishop of Rome was the most important Bishop of them all.
This decree in 533 paved the way for the first of the Popes to rise. His
name was Boniface III.
Now add 1260 day/years to this date and we come to 1793, when the French
Revolution took place, and the power of the Papacy was struck down by a terrible
blow. To understand how terrible this blow was we need to look at a little
In the 17th and 18th centuries, France had
slaughtered or exiled every Protestant, and was known as “the eldest
daughter” of the Vatican. But now, during the French Revolution, there was a
complete change. Within 5 years some 2,000,000 people died, including 24,000
priests (murdered) and 40,000 church buildings were turned into stables.
The impact of the French Revolution spread to other Catholic-dominated
countries, and the impact of those times is still continuing through to today.
The Papacy never regained its power, and never will.
2Thess.2 also describes the fall of the Papacy, in two stages. 1. By the
“breath of the Lord’s mouth” and 2. By the brightness of His coming. The
symbol of the mouth signifies preaching, which happened during the reformation.
The Roman church was brought down by the use of the mouths of God’s faithful
evangelists and teachers. The second stage in the Roman church’s fall is the
return of Christ.
Once the decree of Justinian had been passed, the way was set for all the
future Popes, and the clock began to tick towards the time when the power of the
Popes would be broken. It may be objected that there is still a Pope in the
world today, and he seems to have great power, but most people regard him
as a harmless old man who goes about the world talking peace and so on. He no
longer has the immense military, political and spiritual power which Popes used
to wield up until the French Revolution. Besides, the Bible says that some
remnant of the Papacy must remain up until the return of Christ, so the fact
that there still is a Pope actually confirms Scripture.
In AD 606 the Roman Emperor Phocas issued a decree conceding to Boniface
III the “Headship over all the churches of Christendom”. The decree was
written in Latin.
In this single stroke of the pen, the Emperor set Boniface III up as Universal
Bishop. As the Rev. J.A.Wylie says, in his work on Evangelical Alliance:
“The ecclesiastical supremacy had now a legal existence, but it must become
real also. So vast (a) power, extending over (so) many interests, and over such
a portion of the globe, no imperial fiat could create; it must grow” (From
‘The Papacy’, page 31)
The Papacy did indeed grow, slowly but surely. By 1073 – 1085, Pope
Gregory was able to exert supreme power.
Opposed to this terrible power of the Papacy were many Christians, who
became known as Paulicians. They witnessed to the gospel and the truth over the
whole 1260 years, using the Scriptures as their guide. God supported his “two
witnesses” throughout the 1260 years, who were “clothed in sack-cloth”
which was a stark contrast to the rich clothing of the priests and cardinals.
Who were the Two Witnesses?
The Futurists (predictably) say they are two literal people, two men of
great faith, who emerge from the general population and do great things for a
few years. But this view contradicts the code of Revelation. The “two
witnesses” must be a sign, or symbol, of something else. One clue is that
these two witnesses are working throughout the whole 1260 years -hardly a normal
human lifespan – and another clue is the fact that they are clothed in
What does history show? It shows that throughout the whole 1260
years of Papal rule there never was a time when Protestant Christianity ceased.
True Christians were always somewhere in the world, protesting the truth, and
quoting the Bible, to confirm what they believed. (I also feel that the Church
is pictured here, because it seems demeaning to think that the two witnesses
simply represent the Old and New Testaments, i.e. just the Bible).
Following through with the view that the Two Witnesses are the Church and
the Bible, we should see a consistency in the rest of the chapter to support it.
Let us see if this is so.
The Two Witnesses finish their testimony and “the beast” overcomes
them and kills them. History shows that the Popes opposed the circulation of the
Bible and killed true Christians so thoroughly that, at one point, it looked as
if Rome had won.
The bodies of the Two Witnesses are said to lie in the street of “the
great city”, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt. Here the Bible gives
us another helpful clue, by identifying Sodom and Egypt as “spiritual”
names, i.e. coded or symbolic, in the form of prophetic language.
Sodom represents the impurity of the Dark Ages, and Egypt
represents the idolatry of the Dark Ages. Both names are distinguished in
the Old Testament in certain specific ways. Sodom had interbreeding of humans in
immoral ways, Egypt had the worship of creation, idols and demons. The church of
Rome was distinguished by both characteristics. It not only committed spiritual
impurity by ‘interbreeding’ or adopting many pagan rites and practises, but
it also included the worship of saints and the doctrines of devils.
The bodies of the Two Witnesses are said to lie in the streets for three
and a half days, while the enemies of God rejoice, and the bodies are not
permitted to be buried. The enemies of God make merry over this apparent
What does history show? The representatives of the Roman church of
Western Europe came together to hear a famous proclamation of triumph. The
Council address was given by A. Pucci of Rome on May 5th 1514. He
said, to the delegates gathered before him: “There is an end of resistance to
Papal rule and religion. Nobody opposes any more.” There was great joy over
this proclamation . . . but on
October 31st 1517, exactly 3 and a half years later, when the
Council of the Church announced that all ‘heretics’ were finally dead,
Martin Luther nailed his 95 thesis on the door of the Wittenburg church. His
thesis was a loud protest against the many unscriptural practices of the Roman
church, and it sent shockwaves through Europe.
Rev.11:11 says that the Two Witnesses suddenly stood up on their feet
again, causing great fear to come on those who saw it. Martin Luther recognised
what had happened from the symbols in Revelation when he wrote: “We are not
the first ones who applied the Antichristian kingdom to the Papacy. This many
great men have dared to do many years before us, and that frankly and openly
under the greatest persecution. The old-divinely ordained witnesses confirm our
doctrine, and the bodies of these saints arise as it were among us with the
newly vivified Gospel, and (they) awaken much confidence.”
Rev.11:12 says that God calls the Two Witnesses up into heaven so their
enemies can see them there, in a cloud. If this was literal, we would have an
absurd situation – bodies floating about in the clouds, heaven in our
Earth’s atmosphere, resurrected saints raised before the day of resurrection .
. .??? But if we stay within the Bible’s consistent use of symbols we have
“heaven” representing a “place of elevation” as in importance. And this
is exactly what history shows us. The Reformers were no longer the down-trodden,
but became a powerful force, and soon became too strong for the enemies of the
truth to attack.
What does history show? In
Germany Martin Luther was elevated and protected by Frederick of Germany. In
Britain the Reformed Church was protected by Henry VIII. Once the Reformers were
protected, the Reformation travelled fast through Holland, Switzerland,
Scandinavia, England and Scotland. Since then the Two Witnesses, embodied in the
true Church and the Bible, have penetrated to the ends of the Earth.
The Reformation has caused endless trouble for the Papacy.
True Christians have no need for rosary beads, confessionals, statues of
Mary or the saints, blessings from bishops, or priests – since all believers
are priests. All Christians are saints too, and there is no need to have a head
over the churches, since Christ is the only rightful Head. (Etc, etc)
So steady has been the undermining of the Roman church that it was
reported in the newspaper a few years ago that Pope Paul VI was “appearing
deeply depressed, even despairing”. He was quoted as saying that “the church
is doomed to die”. (NZ Herald 26/10/74
All the above has been by way of setting the scene for the subject of
this article. Having shown how prophetic language works, and where the relevant
verses are in regard to real history, we can now move on to the question of the
identity of 666 and the Mark of the Beast.
is the mystery of 666 and the Mark of the Beast?
Linked with the Antichrist is the mystery number 666. There have been
many attempts to identify this person, are the Futurists are no exception. They
have come up with many suggestions, naming Henry Kissinger at one stage, and
John Lennon at another. But because Futurists always look into the future for
the fulfilment, they can never be sure.
Rev.13:18 The number
of the beast is the number of a man : 666. This chapter describes the end of the
Pagan Roman Empire, and then the rise and fall of the Papal Roman Empire. And we
must never forget that the whole book of Revelation is written in the same code,
so we cannot expect to read a literal account of history in the way we might
read a newspaper. The true meaning of the prophecy is hidden behind the signs
One good reason why the code is used is to protect the Church. As we saw
before, the Church would come under a lot more persecution if the Romans thought
there was a book which foretold the fall of Rome. In the same way, much
persecution did actually come when some Christians identified the Papacy as the
Antichrist. If they had not said this, they might not have been troubled so
The beast of Rev. 13:1 “Having seven heads and ten horns” is a
description of pagan Rome. The seven heads represent the seven different systems
of government which Rome employed, all represented by the headship symbol, and
the ten horns represent the ten different divisions into which Rome subsequently
Way back in Daniel (which is like the first half of Revelation) we saw
the coming of the Roman Empire. There was the head of gold (Babylon), then the
chest and arms of silver (Medo-Persia and Elam), the belly of brass (Greece),
and the legs of iron (East and West Rome) – Dan.6. After Rome came the
sub-divisions which we call Europe, symbolised by the iron and clay feet.
Some background information from the history books:
The historian Michiavelli lists TEN small kingdoms which arose out of the
broken pagan Roman Empire: The Lombards, Franks, Burgundians, Ostrogoths,
Visigoths, Vandals, Heruli, Sueves, Huns and Saxons (Elliot’s Horae, vol.3,
The Pope of Rome claimed himself to be king of kings over all the kings
of these ten kingdoms, and over their successors, for centuries, right up until
the Reformation, when, one by one, the nations threw off his temporal power.
Britain was the first, in 1534. Italy was the last, in 1870.
Gibbon, another historian, who specialised in ‘The Decline and Fall of
the Roman Empire’ wrote of the first Norman king of Sicily: “The nine kings
of the Latin world might disclaim their new associate, unless he were
consecrated by the authority of the supreme pontiff” Nine plus one is always
Back to Revelation again, and in ch 13:3 we see the end of the pagan
Roman Empire, and its almost miraculous re-appearance as the Papal Empire:
“And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death, and his deadly wound
was healed: and all the world (the Roman world) wondered after the beast”.
What does history show? In
476 AD pagan Rome fell under the blows of the Goths and the city was captured.
The Roman Empire came to an end. It looked as if that “head” was wounded to
death. But 60 years later, in 533 AD, the decree by Justinian gave power to the
bishop of Rome, and the Papal Empire began to rise. In this way the “deadly
wound” was healed, and the amazing resurgence of Rome began to take place.
Harnack, in his book ‘What is Christianity?’ page 126 says: “The
Roman church in this way privily (secretly) pushed itself into the place of the
ole Roman-world Empire, of which it is the actual continuation; the empire
has not perished, but has only undergone a transformation”.
Rev. 13:11 Another head is seen, which has two horns like a
lamb, but with a voice like a dragon. There are two symbols
combined here – a lamb and a dragon.
What does history show? Having
seen the rise and power of the Papacy from the ashes of Pagan Rome, and the Pope
instead of the Emperor, we come to the Pope’s hardcore administrative council
– the Lateran Council. Since the time of Pope Gregory in 590 AD all the
bishops wore a palium, made of specially blessed wool of lambs. (Incidentally,
Jesus warned against wolves in “sheep’s clothing” Mat. 7:15)
The abbots wore two-pointed mitres, and they were called Goruti,
which means “horned ones”.
The Papacy ruled over the same territory as the Pagan Roman Empire, and
it also retained the same totalitarian power of dictatorship. Woe betide anyone
who disobeyed the Pope! Dissidents were crushed as ruthlessly by the Popes as by
any Diocletian or Nero. (For example on the authority of the Pope an Inquisition
was established in the Netherlands to suppress the Reformation. As a result some
30,000 Protestants were martyred.)
How exact the Bible was when it described the Papacy as both a
false lamb and a dragon.
Rev. 13:13. So
universal was the power of the Papacy that, in the code language of Revelation,
they seemed to make fire come down from heaven. Fire and heaven are not literal,
The beast system commanded symbolic fire to come down, and claimed for
itself the divine prerogative to punish what it decided was disobedience. The
“great wonders” include Satanic manifestations, false tears or blood from
statues, arms or legs on images moving as if in blessing, visions, strange
healings and voices. Often these “wonders” came along in response to various
amounts of money donated to the church.
As the Papal power increased, the Papacy used the Lateran Council as its
spokesman. Rev. 13:15 describes this Council as “the image of the beast”. As
we know, Adam was made in God’s image, so the code is cracked. The beast has
produced an image of itself, the Council, which reflected faithfully everything
which the Papacy did and said.
The Popes “spoke” their decrees and judgements through the Council of
Trent in 1545 and other Councils. These orders were enforced by the armies which
marched at the Pope’s bidding.
Following the example of the Roman Emperors, the decrees, edicts and laws
were made binding on every citizen within the borders of the Roman church
control, on pain of death.
Rev. 13:16-17. Here
we are told that the beast causes everyone who does not receive a mark on their
hand or forehead, and if they do not have one they will be ineligible to buy or
sell. The “mark” represents slavery. It is a symbol of the Papal demand for
complete and unreserved obedience from all within its domain.
What does history show? Many
Papal decrees, forbidding trade with ‘heretics’ could be quoted. For
example, at the Third Lateran Council in 1178 Pope Alexander III issued an order
that “no man presume to entertain or cherish them (the Protestants) in his
house, or land, or exercise traffic with them.”
The same Pope passed a law against the Protestant Waldenses and
Albigenses, demanding that “no man should presume to receive or assist them in
selling or buying, that, being deprived of humanity, they may be compelled to
repent of the error of their way.”
Pope Martin V in his decree sent out after the Council of Constance,
commanded that “they permit not the ‘heretics’ to have homes in their
districts, or enter into contracts, or carry on commerce, or enjoy the comforts
of humanity with Christians.”
The poor Protestants were a minority, unable to own their own homes, or
even rent somewhere to live, and unable to sell their goods or earn a living. As
a result, these Bible-loving members of the true Church starved and perished
because they would not bear the “mark of the beast”.
So far the Historicist view has been consistent with Scripture and
history. All that the Bible says in code has matched perfectly with the sequence
and events of real history. Revelation is therefore history written in code. The
story has unfolded methodically, verse by verse, without sudden glitches of
mystery. Futurists, on the other hand, have to make wild jumps from place to
place, joining different scriptures together to make their view seem reasonable.
If Historicists are correct in their view, the number of the beast ought
to now unfold in a logical and consistent manner. We will see.
Rev. 13:18 “Here is
wisdom, Let him that has understanding count the number of the beats: for it is
the number of a man; and his number is 666”
What does history show? Going
on what we already know about the Papacy, we should logically expect the number
of the man to further identify the Papacy. This is exactly what we do find.
The eastern Roman Empire (the left leg of the statue in Daniel) used
Greek as its main language, but for
the western Empire (the right leg) of Rome it was Latin. It was a Latin
world with a Latin liturgy for the Catholic church, a Latin Bible
in the Vulgate Version. Everything was Latinised in the church, so that
almost every inhabitant of western Europe used Latin, and so, in the code of
Revelation, they received the “mark” of the beast. (Just by way of an
interesting sidelight, it could be noted in passing that Pope Vitallian issued a
decreed commanding the exclusive use of Latin in all the services of the
Catholic church . . . in the year 666 AD)
The word LATIN in the Latin language is a proper noun, and also the name
of the father of the Latin race. Just as we say the Papal Empire, meaning the
Empire fathered by the Pope, we can say the Latin Empire, because it was
fathered by Latin. Also, when Pope Vitallian issued the decree that Latin
was the only language to be used in worship, he earned for himself the name “Latinus”,
which means “The Latin man”.
Latin letters have a numerical value, which, when added together, give us
a total. The numerical value of LATIN is 666.
When Latin is changed into Greek we get the word LATEINOS, which also has
a total value of 666.
A=1, T=300, E=5, I=10, N=50, O=70, S=200
added together = 666.)
Some further interesting facts which neither prove or disprove anything,
are as follows:
a Pope is crowned, there is placed on his head a heavy golden crown made of
three crowns. One crown represents rulership over heaven, one is for rulership
of earth, and the third is for rulership of hell. When this golden crown is
placed on the Pope’s head at his coronation, it bears the inscription VICARIUS
FILII DEI, which means, in English “Vicarius Son of God”. A person who is
“vicarious” stands in the place of another, on their behalf. This is why the
Pope claims to be the vicar of Christ – he actually claims to be God the Son
on Earth! The word “anti” means alongside of, or in the place of, so the
Pope has elevated himself to equality with God the Son.
The words VICARIUS FILII DEI have a numerical value of 666.
= 112, FILII = 53, DEI = 501)
It is also interesting to see the numerical value of the title ROMITI
which means ROMAN MAN. It is 666.
ROMITI translated into Hebrew gives us ROMITH, which also has a numerical
value of 666.
(Footnote: Away back in the 2nd century, a man called Irenaeus,
who was a follower of the apostle John, wrote “Lateinos has the number 666,
and this is a very probable solution”. Unfortunately he was so far ahead of
his time his words were forgotten.)
So here is the evidence. We have a man who is the Antichrist, who takes
on titles and thus blasphemes the holy words of God, who sits in God’s Temple
(so he assumes) showing himself to be God, who also rules over a Latin kingdom,
with the power to kill and destroy all who oppose him, yet he claims to be a
representative of Christ. Who else could this be but the Papacy? The Historicist
view makes perfect, logical sense, without violating Scripture or the prophetic
For further information, see Article “The Antichrist in the New Testament”.
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