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This second beast is also called the false prophet. It is declared that anyone who does not worship the beast or its image would be killed. Those who dwell on the Earth are deceived into making an image of the beast as a means to worship his authority. It is the lamb-horned beast who breathes life into the "image of the beast", so that the image becomes alive and is able to speak.

It also declares death to anyone who does not worship the authority of the beast. The second death has no power over these individuals who were victorious over the beast [10] by not being deceived, even though they lost their lives on Earth by his authority. The beast from the sea [12] also bears a name, but this name is not given anywhere in the book of Revelation.

However, his name corresponds to a numerical value, that of the number or This number is associated with that of a man. The "mark" can be identified by either the beast's written name, or the numerical value of his name. Without this identification, one could not buy or sell. The beast and the false prophet gather the kings of the earth and their armies to prepare for war against "He who sits on a white horse". The battle results in the beast being seized, along with the false prophet, where they are thrown alive into "the lake of fire ".

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Those against the " King of Kings , and Lord of Lords" are killed and left for the fowls. Preterism is a Christian eschatological view that interprets prophecies of the Bible , especially the Books of Daniel and Revelation, as events which have already happened in the first century AD. Preterist academic scholars generally identify the first beast from the sea with the Roman Empire , particularly with Emperor Nero. The beast from the earth is generally identified with the Roman imperial cult or the Jewish religious system of the first century that conspired with the Roman state to suppress and persecute the early church.

This is probably the provincial governor or proconsul who would have overseen the political and religious operations of the area from his capital in Ephesus [22] or the High Priest of the provincial imperial cult. The imperial cult in Ephesus was set up by Domitian in AD This interpretation is based upon the angel's explanation of the beast in Revelation , that the beast's seven heads are seven kings Revelation and that Nero, is the sixth king "who is", who was possibly alive and the emperor reigning at the time John was writing the book.

Revelation Moreover, Rome was known in antiquity as the city of seven hills Revelation and Revelation was a warning about events that were "shortly" to take place Revelation In Revelation —8 , the beast was given a mouth speaking in blasphemies against God and his name. Nero and Caligula "abandoned all reserve" in promoting emperor worship—they were the only two who demanded divine honors while still alive.

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Nero claimed to be the sun-god Apollo. Revelation speaks of the power given to the beast to make war with the saints. Nero was the first of the imperial authorities to persecute Christianity. Tacitus records the scene in Rome when the persecution of Christians or Chrestians [25] broke out: "And their death was aggravated with mockeries, insomuch that, wrapped in the hides of wild beasts, they were torn to pieces by dogs, or fastened to crosses to be set on fire, that when the darkness fell they might be burned to illuminate the night. Revelation says that the beast would continue for 42 months.

The Neronic persecution was instituted in AD 64 and lasted until his death in June AD 68, which is three and a half years, or 42 months. Nero was even called the beast. Apollonius of Tyana specifically states that Nero was called a beast: "In my travels, which have been wider than ever man yet accomplished, I have seen man, many wild beasts of Arabia and India; but this beast, that is commonly called a Tyrant, I know not how many heads it has, nor if it be crooked of claw, and armed with horrible fangs.

And of wild beasts you cannot say that they were ever known to eat their own mother, but Nero has gorged himself on this diet. The manner of Nero's death corresponds with the prophecy of Revelation : "If anyone is destined for captivity, to captivity he goes; if any one kills with the sword, with the sword he must be killed.

Revelation - The Thousand Year Reign

He committed suicide by the sword at the age of The Roman Empire destabilized so greatly that Tacitus reported: "Many believed the end of the empire was at hand" Histories According to Suetonius , to the surprise of the world, "the empire which for a long time had been unsettled and, as it were, drifting through the usurpation and violent death of three emperors, was at last taken in and given stability by the Flavian family" Vespasian 1: 1.

This may be a reference to the mortal wound on one of the heads of the beast "inflicted by the sword" which was later healed Revelation , Wong wrote that the "healing of the wound" alludes to the so-called Nero Redivivus legend or the "revival of Nero" myth. A rumour said that Nero had just disappeared to Parthia and would one day reappear. Finally, the readers of Revelation were told to "calculate the number of the beast , for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six" Rev.

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John did not expect that his readers "who had understanding" to have any difficulty identifying the beast, since they could simply calculate the meaning of this number. The variant probably existed to keep consistent the meaning of Nero as the beast. Adding the corresponding values yields , as shown:. Historicism is a method of interpretation in Christian eschatology which interprets biblical prophecies as actual historical events and identifies symbolic beings with historical persons or societies in the history of the church. This interpretation was favored by the Protestant reformers [31] such as John Wycliff and Martin Luther , as well as other prominent figures such as Isaac Newton.

One such example is the miter 's comparison to the dead fish as a traditional vestment of the head priests who served the god of the sea, specifically fishing, and of fertility: Dagon.

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According to this interpretation, the beast and false prophet were most commonly identified with the papacy in its political and religious aspects. The identification with the papacy is a viewpoint echoed by Seventh-day Adventist writers.

According to the Seventh-day Adventist Church , the "image to the beast" represents Protestant churches which will form an alliance with the Papacy, and the "mark of the beast" refers to a future universal Sunday law. Adventists have interpreted the number of the beast, , as corresponding to a Latin title Vicarius Filii Dei of the Pope. The number is calculated by using a form of gematria where only the letters which refer to Latin numerals are counted. In , Uriah Smith was the first to propose the interpretation to the Seventh-day Adventist Church.


The Revelation Code

The pope wears upon his pontifical crown in jeweled letters, this title: " Vicarius Filii Dei ", "Viceregent of the Son of God"; the numerical value of which title is just six hundred and sixty-six. The most plausible supposition we have ever seen on this point is that here we find the number in question.

It is the number of the beast, the papacy; it is the number of his name, for he adopts it as his distinctive title; it is the number of a man, for he who bears it is the " man of sin ". Adventist scholar J. Andrews also adopted this view.

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Jimmy Akin of Catholic Answers and additional Catholic sources [37] disagree with the above argument, claiming "Vicarius Filii Dei, although it adds up to , is not a title of the pope". The beast from the earth has also been interpreted as the Islamic prophet Muhammed , according to some medieval Christians, particularly Pope Innocent III ; [39] Saracens and Antipopes , according to other medieval Christians, particularly Joachim of Fiore ; [40] and the government of the United States of America this is the view of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Samuele Bacchiocchi , an Adventist scholar, has noted that Seventh-day Adventist teaching is moving away from historicism towards a more symbolic interpretation of the mark of the beast. The Historicist interpretation has fallen out of favor with modern commentaries on Revelation, partially because it has failed to form a consensus on how the outline of the book of Revelation corresponds with history. Idealism, also known as the allegorical or symbolic approach, is an interpretation of the book of Revelation that sees the imagery of the book as non-literal symbols.

Some Idealist interpretations identify none of the book's symbols with particular historical events while some idealists like Beale take a more eclectic approach which see that the book portrays events throughout history while also predicting some future events such as the return of Christ. In this view, the beast from the sea is interpreted as the state or any human kingdom that is in opposition to God.

This would include the Roman Empire but would broadly apply to all empires. Therefore, given that the beast of Revelation thirteen is a composite of the beasts of Daniel, one should similarly interpret this beast as a kingdom, more specifically a composite of all kingdoms. Similarly, in some idealist circles, it is suggested that the beast represents different social injustices, such as exploitation of workers , [49] wealth, the elite, commerce, [50] materialism, and imperialism. The Idealist interpretation of the beast from the earth is that it represents religious, cultural and economic powers within society which work to compel people to give their allegiance to the state or governmental powers.

This was first expressed in the imperial cult of Rome, but finds expression at all times of history. In his commentary, Michael Wilcock says "Religion, indeed is too narrow an identification of the second beast. He is, in modern parlance, the ideology-whether religious, philosophical, or political-which 'gives breath to' any human social structure organized independently of God. The Idealist perspective on the number of the beast rejects gematria, envisioning the number not as a code to be broken, but a symbol to be understood.

Because there are so many names that can come to and that most systems require converting names to other languages or adding titles when convenient, it has been impossible to come to a consensus.

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Given that numbers are used figuratively throughout the book of Revelation, idealists interpret this number figuratively as well. The common suggestion is that because seven is a number of completeness and is associated with the divine, that six is incomplete and the three sixes mean completely incomplete.

The Idealist interpretation in which the beast finds expression in the socio-cultural, economic and political arena of all human activities since the existence of man best describes the scriptural perspective of the beast. This position was fully annunciated by Chike Udolisa is his book. The records of Revelation and Revelation show this beast to represent the kings of the earth.