The number 666, part 2
Jun 07, 2016
In the biblical story of David and Goliath, we understand that Goliath was, as it were, larger than life. That is, he was more than just an individual. He was a prophetic type representing the opposition to the Kingdom of God during the time of the church (“Saul”), as well as the giants in the land that Joshua faced in establishing that first Kingdom (Joshua 11:21, 22).
Goliath was said to be “six cubits and a span” (1 Samuel 17:4). Further, “the head of his spear weighed six hundred shekels of iron” (1 Samuel 17:7). Another giant named Goliath, perhaps the son of the original Goliath, was killed some years later by Elhanan (2 Samuel 21:19), and then we read in 2 Samuel 21:20,
20 And there was war at Gath again, where there was a man of great stature who had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in number; and he also had been born to the giant [Goliath].
All of these sixes seem to point to the number 666, identifying the “giant” with the carnal, oppressive systems of the beast nature.
If we look at the entire verse (Revelation 13:18), speaking of the number 666, and calculate its numeric value, it comes to 666 x 15. Hence, built into the text itself is this mysterious number, and the odds of this happening are only one in 666. Furthermore, verse 17 as a whole also carries a numeric value of 666 x 16. The odds of two verses in a row each being multiples of 666, can be calculated as one in 443,556 (i.e., 666 x 666). The odds increase greatly if we were to take into account that both of these verses speak of this very topic.
In Revelation 18:5, the phrase, “for her sins have piled up as high as heaven,” carries a numeric value of 666 x 6.
Later, we find that the phrase in Revelation 14:11, “those who worship the beast and his image,” carries a numeric value of 666 x 6. Likewise, the “merchants of the earth” in Revelation 18:3, who oppress the people as part of the beast’s system, also carry a numeric value of precisely 666. The rulers of Babylon are again described, along with their fate, in Revelation 11:18, “and to destroy those who destroy the earth.” This phrase carries a numeric value of 666 x 5.
Even the overall divine objective, which is to create a new heaven and a new earth (Revelation 21:1), is marked by the number 666. It reads,
1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there was no longer any sea.
Because much of the focus is upon the world system that is passing away, the verse as a whole carries a numeric value of 666 x 11. The corrupted earth itself is linked to both 11 and 666. The Greek word for “earth” carries a numeric value of 11, and the “earth below” (used in Acts 2:19) carries a numeric value of 666 x 2.
Although the word “antichrist” never appears in the book of Revelation—and is, indeed, a word that only John himself uses in his other writings—theologians and Bible teachers have tended to identify the various “beasts” with antichrist. Certainly, there is a connection, but I do not believe that they are the same, nor are the terms synonymous.
The idea of a “beast” is seen most clearly in the book of Daniel, where the four empires that were to arise were described as beasts: lion, bear, leopard, and iron-toothed beast, along with an extension (“horn”) of the fourth beast. The Greek word translated “beast” is therion, a wild, dangerous, or venomous animal. Every wild beast needs a handler, and thus, every kingdom needs a king to guide it. If we think of the king as the antichrist and his kingdom as the wild beast, then we can see the connection between the two, as well as their distinction.
The word “antichrist” does not mean one who stands in opposition to Christ, but one who stands in place of Christ. The word is technically neutral, being neither good nor bad except by the way in which the man rules. In Matthew 2:22 we read,
22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea in place of [Greek: anti] his father Herod, he was afraid to go there…
In other words, Archelaus was an anti-Herod, not because he opposed Herod, but because he ruled in place of Herod. He might rule in the same manner as his father, or he might oppose his father’s past policies and rule in a different manner. The word anti does not distinguish, but remains neutral in this regard.
So also is it with Christ and antichrist. John tells us that by his time there had been “many antichrists” (1 John 2:18). We could cite some of them from the Old Testament. Saul was an antichrist in that he ruled the throne of the Kingdom in his own way, treating the throne as if it were his own. Saul was an antichrist in a negative sense. However, King David ruled the throne as a steward of Christ, attempting to rule by the mind of Christ. He was an antichrist in a positive sense, ruling in place of Christ.
Even so, most examples in Scripture and in history are negative. Perhaps the most prominent antichrist was David’s son, Absalom, who usurped the throne of David for a season and became, as it were, an anti-David. His usurpation established the main prophetic pattern for the events in the New Testament a thousand years later. Absalom overthrew David with the support and help of Ahithophel, David’s friend and counselor (2 Samuel 15:12) in a conspiracy that arose out of the city of Hebron (2 Samuel 15:10). David left without fighting back, and made a sacrifice on the top of the Mount of Olives (2 Samuel 15:30, 31, 32).
A thousand years later, the chief priests, playing the role of Absalom, usurped the throne of that rightfully belonged to Jesus Christ. He too made a sacrifice on the top of the Mount of Olives. He was betrayed by Judas Iscariot (Ish-Kerioth, a “man of Kerioth-arba,” the old name for Hebron), whom Jesus called “friend” (Matthew 26:50).
Absalom was the most prominent “antichrist” of the Old Testament, and the chief priests played his role in the New Testament. John saw the Jewish leaders as antichrists, who had usurped the throne of Christ, saying in 1 John 2:22, 23,
22 Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. 23 Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also.
The Jewish leaders had denied that Jesus is the Christ (or Messiah), thereby also denying the Father who had sent Him. John says that one cannot “have the Father” unless they also confess, or bear witness to, the Son. In other words, it is NOT the case that adhering to Judaism gives one the Father, while Christians have the Son. It is all or nothing, and one cannot reject the Son without also rejecting the Father.
Those who support the Jewish leaders who have usurped the throne of Christ are comparable to the Israelites who supported Absalom when he opposed David. Further, those Christians who consider the Jews to be chosen and support the Jewish leadership are in danger of following the pattern of Ahithophel, who betrayed David, and of Judas, who betrayed Jesus. The irony of betrayal is that it is done by “friends,” not by enemies as such.
The ultimate irony in our time is that the Rothschild family, representing the earth beast, has used its wealth and influence to promote “Zionism” and to establish the Israeli state, and that this has been supported by much of the Christian world. We need to learn what it means to “confess the Son.” It is to support Jesus Christ’s right to rule in His throne, but this cannot be done while supporting usurpers (Absalom). A clear distinction must be made between the two competing kings.
The Rothschild King of the Jews
In the 1800’s this family became so powerful that they soon began to call their chairman the King of the Jews, and often referred to their family as “our royal family.” Their official biography, written by Niall Ferguson and published in 1998, says on page 8:
“In this sense, phrases like ‘Kings of the Jews’ which contemporaries applied to them contained an important element of truth. That was exactly the way the Rothschilds saw and conducted themselves—as phrases like ‘our royal family’ in their letters show—and the way they were treated by many other less wealthy Jews.”
Niall Ferguson writes about Nathan Rothschild on page 21 of his book:
“His wealth was in fact intended for a higher purpose: ‘to avenge the wrongs of Israel’ by securing ‘the re-establishment of Judah’s kingdom—the rebuilding of thy towers, Oh! Jerusalem!’ and ‘the restoration of Judea to our ancient race’.”
Nathan Rothschild died in 1836, more than a century before the family goal was accomplished. The Israeli state was formed in 1948, primarily due to their money and influence. Of course, we acknowledge the sovereignty of God in this as well, for the fig tree had to bring forth more leaves (without fruit) in order to fulfill Jesus’ prophecy in Matthew 24:32. Even so, this historic event did not just happen by itself.
The Niles Weekly Register reported as early as 1835-1836 (proudly quoted in Ferguson’s book, p. 257):
“The Rothschilds are the wonders of modern banking. . . We see the descendants of Judah, after a persecution of two thousand years, peering above kings, rising higher than emperors, and holding a whole continent in the hollow of their hands. The Rothschilds govern a Christian world. Not a cabinet moves without their advice. They stretch their hand, with equal ease, from Petersburg to Vienna, from Vienna to Paris, from Paris to London, from London to Washington. Baron Rothschild, the head of the house, is the true king of Judah, the prince of the captivity, the Messiah so long looked for by this extraordinary people. He holds the keys of peace or war, blessing or cursing . . . They are the brokers and counsellors of the kings of Europe and of the republican chiefs of America. What more can they desire?”
It is the belief in upper Jewish circles that in order to qualify as their messiah, a man must be able to prove some descent from Judah and David, and secondly, he must help establish the Jewish state. So they believe that one of the Rothschild descendants will be the Jewish messiah.
This is what Christians today have been supporting, not quite understanding that they have been manipulated behind the scenes by powerful men with intentions that are anything but Christian.
This is part 104 of a series titled "Studies in the Book of Revelation." To view all parts, click the link below.
Dr. Stephen Jones