Revelation: Its Ongoing Relevancy and Fulfillment
Chapter Six of the Commentary
Portentous Drama of Two Great Apocalyptic Beasts
Chapter 13 of Revelation
Act 2 | Scene 3
The beast having the appearance of a “LAMB” but that “spoke like a DRAGON,” orders “all people… to receive a MARK on their right hands
or their forwards…”
The “MARK… is the NAME of the beast or the NUMBER of its name.” The “NUMBER of the beast… is the NUMBER of a MAN. That NUMBER is 666.”
The Second Beast “forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name. This calls for wisdom. Let the person who has insight calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. That number is 666.” Revelation 13:16-18
The wide curtain on the stage of our Common Era rises once again and Scene 3 of Act 2 of the “Portentous Drama of Two Great Apocalyptic Beasts” begins.
The scenario is filled with multitudes of people of every rank: “Great and small, rich and poor, free and slave.” And in their very midst is that grandiose hypocritical beast! The one that has the appearance of a “lamb,” as if it were “completely harmless, humble, tranquil, peaceful.” But within her beats the heart of a “dragon,” and consequently when she speaks, she speaks “like a dragon!”
She dresses like a “self-sacrificing, religious saint,” publicly presenting herself in her “priestly white garments,” but nevertheless her “religion,” backed in part by her “great signs,” is corrupt, deceiving “the inhabitants of the earth.”
Proud, authoritarian, and dominating, she orders, even as we are observing, each and every person “to receive a MARK on their right hands or on their foreheads,” no matter what their civic or political status, the amount of their possessions, or their social rank.
The purpose of this uncommon action is to control commerce, another of her stratagems designed to completely submit all “the inhabitants of the earth” to her perverse will. Why such an odious step? The reason: “…so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name.”
A. In order that we may arrive at a logical interpretation of this prophecy, let us keep in mind at all times that the Second Beast exercises her power in the presence of the healed Roman Empire. Repeating and underscoring: In the PRESENCE of the HEALED Roman Empire! Let us not lose sight of the context of this prophecy on “the mark… the name… or the number” of this Second Beast. Correctly fixing the position of the prophecy on the timeline is vital for an interpretation free of errors.
1. That we may not forget, let us again take note that the healed Roman Empire came to a practical end in the year 1555 of this Common Era, although it would continue officially to 1806 when Napoleon forced the last Holy Roman Empire emperor to renounce his title and position. Very definitely, the Roman Empire did not fall in 476 CE. Full support of this affirmation can be found in:
“History perverted and the errors propagated by commentators, professors, preachers, teachers, and other writers,” a subtitle near the beginning of the study on the Seventh King-Kingdom-Beast.
2. Therefore, the prophecies on what the Second Beast would do in the presence of the First Beast are not for the 20th century nor the 21st!
a) The prophecy on the “mark… name… or the number” of the Second Beast was fulfilled during the Medieval Age. It was fulfilled during the existence of the healed Roman Empire. That Empire has not continued into modern times and, consequently, the prophecy is definitely not for the present (third decade of the 21st century).
While not a few present-day preachers,
pastors, and self-appointed prophets
assert that the European Union is a
manifestation or reincarnation of the
ancient Roman Empire, they are unable
to present absolutely convincing
evidence from the New Testament or otherwise. Certainly, the political-social-philosophical leaders of the European Union do not project themselves and their united countries as a continuation of the Roman Empire. Since they do not, why should religious leaders?
b) Neither is the prophecy on the “mark… name… or the number” of the Second Beast for a time future to the present. The Roman Empire will not arise again. It was healed only once of its mortal wound. Then, after 12 more centuries of life, it expired. There are no biblical prophecies proclaiming additional healings for that already very long-lived Empire.
Once the first six kings-heads-mountains-kingdoms had fallen, there would come forth in the time programmed by God another king-kingdom, which is the Seventh. “…when he does come, he must remain for only a little while.” Revelation 17:10
Then comes the Eight King-Kingdom.
The Sixth King-Kingdom was the Roman Empire, including its state and time as the “healed head.” That Roman Empire came to an end. It is not reincarnated in the Seventh King-Kingdom, nor as the Eight King-Kingdom. It does not rise again after its last breath in the year 1806 CE.
Since the Second Beast acts in the “presence” of the First, it is necessary to look for the fulfillment of the prophecy about the “mark” in the times previous to the year 1806. This parameter is vital for the correct understanding of the fulfillment of the prophecy on the number 666. (Most versions of Revelation 13:12 read “presence,” “before him,” and “in his sight,” while a few translate “on his behalf.”)
B. The Second Beast “forced all people… to receive a mark…” Everybody, with no consideration for their social, material, or political status. During the Middle Ages, both the First and the Second Beasts had “authority over every tribe, people, language and nation.” Revelation 13:7. Consequently, they had the power to force every person to receive their “mark” in all the areas of the world they could bring under their power and during the time allotted by God to them for such an action.
C. “…a MARK on their right hands or on their foreheads…” What was the “mark?”
1. Was it a literal “mark?” That is, was it a material, visible, or somehow detectable “mark” specifically made on the right hand, and not on the left? On the forehead, and not on the cheek, arm, or shoulder? Neither on any other physical member of the body? Of each and every one of the inhabitants in that part of the world dominated by the Second Beast?
While it is possible the apostate church hierarchy may have forced all of its members at some time or another to receive a literal mark in the flesh of their bodies, I have not found any evidence to show that it did so. Assuredly, the context of the prophecy does not obligate us to interpret the “mark” as literal
2. Is the “mark” the Universal Product Code stamped on almost all products sold today? We may confidently say It definitely is not!
Left. Was the “mark” the “Universal Product Code?” A painting by Duncan Long.
The artist Duncan Long executed his work in accordance with the highly popular, modern-day interpretation of the “mark.” However, this interpretation promulgated mostly by Pentecostals lacks sound exegetical backing, for we have already established that the prophecy about the “mark” is not for these times when the UPC is
being used, nor for a time future to ours. Let us consider again, lest we miss the key point:
a) The Second Beast applied the “mark” during the time when it acted in the presence of the First Beast that was healed.
b) The healed Beast, that is, the healed Roman Empire, existed during the Middle Ages, and into the Renaissance-Reformation Age, dying at last in the year 1806 CE.
c) It is thus deduced that the “mark” was, repeating once again -please pardon the insistence- specifically for that time epoch just indicated, up to the time when the “ten horns” were conquered by Jesus Christ and turned on the Second Beast, drastically curtailing her authority and power, also relieving her of a very great portion of her riches. It was the time when the apostate Roman Catholic Church hierarchy often reigned, materially, secularly, militarily, and religiously to such a degree that it actually controlled the commerce of a number of countries and could demand, on pain of corporal punishment and death, that every citizen accept her infamous “mark.”
d) In modern times, the apostate Roman Catholic hierarchy simply and plainly does not have the power to control the commerce of the world, nor demand, on pain of corporal punishment and death, that every inhabitant of the earthly globe receives their “mark” in order to be able to buy and sell.
Though the apostate Roman Catholic Church possesses enormous riches, she is not able to control, by no means whatsoever, the commerce of the most productive and richest countries of the world.
It is certainly worthy of note that these very countries are not Roman Catholic. That is, a majority of their citizens are not Roman Catholics.
Some of these present-day economic powers are: The United States of America (Roman Catholics make up only 22% of the population of this country), China, Japan, Germany, England, Russia, Indonesia, India, Taiwan, South Korea, and Saudi Arabia. It is notable that none of the richest and most productive countries of present times, with perhaps the exception of Brazil (64.6% Catholic), is predominantly “Roman Catholic.” Among the predominantly Catholic are Italy, Spain, Colombia, Argentina, Chile, Venezuela, and Perú.
3. Is the “mark” a QR code? Negative. For the same reasons given above.
4. Is the “mark” some codification, visible or invisible, on bank cards, credit cards, personal identity cards, driver’s licenses, Medicare cards, voter registration cards, Social Security cards, passports, etc.? Absolutely not! For the simple
reason that the prophecy about the “mark” was fulfilled in the Middle Ages and up into Renaissance-Reformation times before electronic-digital codes, cards, etc. were invented. That prophecy is not for the 20th or 21st centuries.
The “mark… of the beast:” Is it a microchip implanted in the flesh
of the hand or under the skin of the forehead? Absolutely not!
5. Is the “mark… of the beast” a microchip inserted in the back of the hand, on the forehead, or any member of the physical body? It cannot be! For the fundamental reason stated above, to wit: The prophecy was fulfilled before the invention of the microchip and related technologies.
These sensationalist interpretations of the prophecy are usually developed in the minds of people who apply all, or almost all, the prophecies of Revelation to the present and the future beyond our days, ignoring the almost 2,000 years of the Common Era (Christian Age to Christians) that have already transpired. During those 2,000 years, many prophecies of Revelation, including the one on the “mark” of the beast, were surely fulfilled, as is being certified in this commentary.
6. Can the “mark” the Second Beast obligates all people under its authority and power to receive be interpreted symbolically?
Without a doubt. That being the case, the “mark” could be any object, phrase, jargon, countersign, or gesture that a person might use to identify him or herself religiously and/or politically with the apostate Roman Catholic hierarchy. For example:
a) A red or black cross sewn or painted on a garment.
b) The action of crossing one’s self, making the “sign of the cross.”
c) Possess and use the rosary of the Roman Catholic religion.
d) Display a crucifix in any way, shape, form, or fashion.
e) Possess and display any religious image or icon associated with the Roman Catholic religion. A statue of the “Virgin Mary,” Jesus Christ, one of his apostles, one of the “saints,” etc.
f) Possess some “relict” recognized by the Roman Catholic religion. A piece of bone of some “saint.” A piece of the cross on which Christ was crucified. A piece of cloth from the garment of Jesus or some “saint.”
g) Dress in white, black, or a combination of the two colors, using styles of garments that identify one as of the Roman Catholic religion.
h) Any document, such as a marriage license, signed by ecclesiastical officials of the Roman Catholic religion.
i) Any insignia of the many and different organizations of the Roman Catholic religion.
j) Some insignia, document, ring, or herald of guilds approved by authorities of the Roman Catholic religion or by secular authorities that support it.
k) Votive candles, religious veils, and monies of religious significance circulated by Roman Catholic countries or states.
l) Expressions such as “Hail Mary!” or any invocation to any “saint” of Roman Catholicism for whatever purpose.
m) In sum, any doctrine, dogma, tradition, practice, or symbol of the Roman Catholic religion or any secular power officially allied with it.
D. “…so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark…”
1. This prophecy was fulfilled during the Middle Ages and through the subsequent period identified as the Renaissance-Reformation.
2. The Second Beast and the Image of the First Beast ruled with an iron hand the inhabitants of those areas of the Earth controlled by them, imposing both the secular and religious-spiritual law, often with crude, barbaric violence. Logically, they would also control commerce. The tremendous economic control exercised by the Roman Catholic hierarchy in cahoots with deceived secular-political powers is highlighted in Chapter 7 of this commentary.
3. Three instances of economic restrictions imposed by the Roman Catholic hierarchy exemplify those that prevailed wherever that entity was able to make prevail “all the authority of the first beast.”
a) Alexander III was the Pope of the Roman Catholic religion from 1159 to 1181 CE. The Lateran Council (1179) convoked by him ordered that no person could traffic with the “heretics,” that is, with people who did not have the “mark” of the beast, meaning some object, sign, or form of expressing themselves that identified them as Roman Catholics.
b) The Synod of Tours, also convoked by Alexander III, emitted an edict according to which it was ordered that nothing could be bought from a “heretic” or sold to him or her.
c) Martin V was Pope from 1417 to 1431 CE. The Council of Constance convoked by him imposed the same kind of laws.
The Name and Number
of the Second Beast
V. “…the number of its name… is the number of a man. That number is 666.” Revelation 13:18
Many commentators are of the opinion that the “name” of the beast is, in Greek: “Lateinos.” After much reading and study, I personally concur.
As a matter of fact, this interpretation dates from the 2nd century of our Common Era. For example, Irenaeus wrote, referring to “Lateinos:” This interpretation “appears to me right on the mark, for it is the name of the last of the four kingdoms seen by Daniel, being lateinos those who are governing at the present time.” For Irenaeus, the “present time” was the time of the 2nd century when he lived, and the Roman Empire was at its height of power. (Irenaeus. Born in 130, in Smyrna. Died c. 208. A Greek bishop of Lyon, France from 177 to his death, he battled against the Gnostics in his treatise “Against Heresies.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irenaeus)
The following considerations support the interpretation according to which “lateinos” would be the name of the Second Beast.
A. The book of Revelation was written in Greek. “Lateinos” is a Greek name.
B. The numerical value of the name “Lateinos” is precisely 666.
C. “Lateinos” is the name of a man.
In the Latin language, the name of the man who founded Rome was “Latinus.” Tranlated to Greek, his name is “Lateinos.”
“In later Roman mythology (notably Virgil’s Aeneid), Latinus, or Lavinius, was a king of the Latins.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latinus
“The Latins were originally an Italic tribe in ancient central Italy from Latium. As Roman power and colonization spread Latin culture, during the Roman Empire, Latins came to mean mostly unified Italic Latin-speaking people and the Latin-speaking people of Italia, Gaul, Hispania, and Dacia whose land was settled by Roman colonists.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latins
D. In accordance with the interpretation of the two beasts we have given, the “name” of the beast should correspond contextually to the healed Roman empire, to the apostate church, or to both entities.
It is not reasonable to look for the “name” among the nations and secular-political-religious leaders of the present time (first half of the 21st century) because the biblical context is not that of the present time but rather the time when the healed Roman Empire existed, and the Second Beast acted in its presence. The name “Lateinos” responds perfectly to the contextual exigences of the text.
1. In the case of Imperial Roman:
a) The founder of Rome, mythical or real, was a king whose name was “Latinus” (“Lateinos” in Greek).
b) The official language of the Roman Empire was “Latin.” In the western part of the Empire, Latin continued to be the dominant language until the end of the Middle Ages.
c) With reference to the healed Roman Empire, in 330 CE, Constantine I inaugurated New Rome (Constantinople), in a place on the Bosporus called Byzantium, as the capital of the entire empire, both East and West. The eastern part of the empire quickly rose to dominance, Greek becoming its official language. Latin remained the official language of the western part of the empire. In time, the dominant Eastern Roman Empire, never calling itself the “Byzantine Empire,” designated the western part as the “Latin Empire,” continuing to exercise control over it through vassal kings or rulers and the senate in Rome. Odoacer, an Arian Christian, was one of them, taking the throne in Rome in 476 CE but submitting himself to the Roman emperor in Constantinople. The final separation of the much-debilitated Latin Empire from the Eastern took place during the latter part of the 7th century CE.
2. In the case of the apostate church in the West (one of the two horns of the Second Beast), she herself called herself the “Latin church!”
a) The Bible was read only in Latin.
b) Mass, prayers, hymns, liturgies, canons, decrees, in sum, all was written, said, and done in Latin.
c) The clergy identified itself as “Latin.”
d) The councils called themselves “Latin.”
e) During the Dark Ages, the adjective “Latin” was applied to everything, even to the world itself!
E. Conclusions. All evidence and factors considered,
“Lateinos” appears to be the name most indicated for the
Second Beast. What other more appropriate name could
be conceived for the Second Beast? The name harmonizes perfectly with the apocalyptic context of the two beasts, and particularly with that of the Second Beast.
1. The prophecy about the “name” of the beast and the “number of the name” was fulfilled amply when the apostate Roman Catholic religion began to identify itself as the “Latin Church,” worship in Latin, ally itself closely with the “Latin Empire,” and imitate in its ecclesiastical organization the secular organization of the Roman Empire. Indeed, we should consider such a remarkable accuracy of the prophecy as another great proof in favor of the divine origin of the book of Revelation.
2. Reiterating: This prophecy on the much discussed and debated number 666 of the beast has already been fulfilled. The prophecy is not for the 21st century, nor for any time future to the present. It was fulfilled during the Dark Ages and the time of the Renaissance-Reformation.