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Yes, the numbers in different names may add up to 666. But in order to identify the Antichrist or the Beast of Revelation, we need to have ALL the 11 identification points of Revelation 13 to be fully applied in one entity. In other words, the Antichrist has to fulfill ALL the 11 points, not just the point on the number 666, and by so doing, leave no doubt about who the beast is.
Let’s examine these points and find out to whom they point. Revelation 13:1-8, 16-18 provides 11 identifying characteristics for the beast:
A. Rises from sea (verse 1).
B. Composite of the four beasts of Daniel chapter 7 (verse 2).
C. Dragon gives it power and authority (verse 2).
D. Receives a deadly wound (verse 3).
E. Deadly wound healed (verse 3).
F. Strong political power (verses 3, 7).
G. Strong religious power (verses 3, 8).
H. Guilty of blasphemy (verses 1, 5, 6).
I. Wars with and overcomes the saints (verse 7).
J. Rules for 42 months (verse 5).
K. Has mysterious number 666 (verse 18).
As you examine the fulfillment of these points, you will find that they all apply to the Papacy as the beast or Antichrist.
A.The beast would rise from the sea (Revelation 13:1).
The sea (or water) in prophecy refers to people, or a populated area (Revelation 17:15). So the beast would arise from amid the established nations of the then-known world. The papacy arose in Western Europe.
B.The beast would be a composite of the four beasts of Daniel chapter 7 (Revelation 13:2). Babylon represented by the lion. Medo-Persian represented by bear. Greece represented by the Leopard. Rome represented by the ten horned beast. The four beasts of Daniel 7 are depicted as part of the beast because the papacy incorporated pagan beliefs from all four empires.
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C.The beast receives its power and seat (capital) from the dragon (Revelation 13:2).
Revelation chapter 12 identifies the dragon as Satan. In prophecy, a pure woman represents God’s true people or church (Jeremiah 6:2; Isaiah 51:16). Satan has used different governments to try to destroy God’s people, the woman/church. In Revelation 12, the pure woman is portrayed as pregnant and about to deliver. The dragon is trying to “devour” the baby at birth – Jesus. Herod tried to destroy Jesus by killing all the babies in Bethlehem (Matthew 2:16). Thus we see how Satan tried to use Pagan Rome, who put Herod as king, to kill Jesus at His birth. It is important to keep in mind that Pagan Rome became Papal Rome when Emperor Constantine converted to Christianity and issued the edict of Milan 313 AD.
D.The beast would receive a deadly wound (Revelation 13:3).
The deadly wound was inflicted when Napoleon’s general, Alexander Berthier, entered Rome and took Pope Pius VI captive in February of 1798. This is when the papacy lost all its civil power.
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E.The deadly wound would be healed, and the entire world would give homage to the beast (Revelation 13:3).
Currently the papacy is one of the most powerful religio-political organizations in the world. It regained it’s civil authority when it received the Vatican as it’s kingdom, and is slowly gaining power and influence on current civil governments.
F.The beast would become a strong political power (Revelation 13:3,7). This is explained in point E.
G.The beast would become a powerful religious organization (Revelation 13:3,8). This is also explained in point E.
H.The beast would be guilty of blasphemy (Revelation 13:5,6).
The papacy is guilty of blasphemy because her priests claim to forgive sins and her popes claim to be Christ on earth.
I.The beast would war with and persecute the saints (Revelation 13:7).
Historians estimate that in the Middle Ages and Early Reformation Era more than 50,000,000 martyrs perished for their faith at the hands of the papacy (Halley’s Bible Handbook, 1965 edition, page 726).
J.The beast would reign for 42 months (Revelation 13:5).
The papacy reigned for 42 prophetic months, which equals 1,260 years from A.D. 538-1798.
K.The beast would have the mysterious number 666 (Revelation 13:18).
It is clear that the papacy is the only entity on earth that fulfills all these identifying points of the beast.
Millions of reputable Bible-believing Protestant Christians like Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Wesley, Charles Spurgeon, and Matthew Henry (world-famous Bible Commentary author) interpreted the Antichrist, 666, or the first “beast” of Revelation 13 to be the religious-political system of the Roman Catholic Church, led by popes. It is very important to point out here that the papacy as a system of organization in the beast, and not individuals who are Catholic. In fact, God calls many of His own people to come out of her (Revelation 17). So there are good people who are Catholics who will be saved once they learn God’s Biblical truth.
In His service,