Revelation 15:15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. 16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: 17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. 18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.
The two-horned beast "caused the earth and them who dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed." The first beast being Rome in the first stage of her Papal constitution, was now incorporate in the two-horned beast: it was merged or fused with it. This is proved by the fact that the latter "exercised all the power of the first beast"; and proved also by the history and facts of the case. The first beast was revived in the constitution of the second, in so far as imperial rank was restored to Rome, and the Roman Empire re-instated in the west, in the new empire created by the proclamation of Charlemagne as Roman Emperor by the Pope. This was the healing of the wounded sixth head, and by the public proclamation of the new empire, the earth and the dwellers therein were commanded to worship "the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed." The great wonders which the new beast was able to perform consisted of the prodigies of war, for which Charlemagne is famous in history. He was able to enforce his will upon all Europe by the powers for destruction which he possessed, symbolized by "making fire come PAGE 127 down from heaven on the earth, in the sight of men". By these political miracles he deceived "them that dwell on the earth" into the conviction that divine authority was on his side, and proposed and carried his proposal into effect, that an image should be made of the killed beast that had recovered. This, of course, is not a literal image. It is part of the symbolism. It means a political likeness, or counterpart of the imperial system in Rome that had been killed by the Gothic sword: the restoration, in fact, of the old imperiality of Rome in a new form. This was accomplished on the investiture of the Pope with all the prerogatives of an emperor. In this position he was the exact likeness of the old Roman emperors of the sixth head -- chief magistrate in the domain of civil law, and, at the same time, chief pontiff of the national religion. He was, to all intents and purposes, an image of the defunct imperialism of the west, but a speaking image; for the new beast which came on the scene with the victories and empire of Charlemagne, had "power to give life unto the image of the beast" (verse 15). Victorious Charlemagne (accepted and crowned by the Pope) had the power to give political vitality to the Papal image of the beast. This power he exercised, and ordered the worship of the Pope-King on pain of death (verse 15), causing all to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their forehead, that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name (verse 17). This was the symbolic way of setting forth that, under the new system, the authority of the Papal image would be made essential to the holding of any office, or the exercise of any traffic, in the emoluments or advantages of Church or State; and as this authority was conferred by signing the cross on the forehead or right hand of the recipient of official favour, the cross became the subject of this symbolism as "the mark of the beast." The name of the beast, or the number of his name, were equivalent symbols of the same thing. Those who know the name of the beast, or the number of his name, are in the secret as to what is meant by the symbol. "It is the number of a man", so says the last verse. That is, when you have found the system represented by the name of the beast, you will find the system is centred in a man, though the man and the system are two things. The perception of this enigma is made a feat of wisdom in verse 18.
"Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast; for it is the number of a man; and his number is six hundred, threescore and six."
There has been a great deal of guessing and speculating on this subject. It is a standing joke with the scorning and scoffing class, but it is a matter of wisdom for all that. The difficulty which most people have had in finding it out is due to the fact that their theology prevents them from identifying the beast. They regard the Roman Communion as a part of the true Church of Christ, and are therefore driven to look into indefinite futurity for this phenomenon of human history which is already hoary with age. Those who know the truth are burdened with no such difficulty. They see in the leading figure of Christendom -- a sovereign who pretends to hold office in all the centuries as Christ's representative and to be endowed with supernatural authority and prerogatives -- an exact fulfilment of all that was shown to John, and also to Paul, as to the anti-Christ, the Man of Sin, that was coming. The only question is how the Apocalyptic identification of 666 can be discovered in him. Does any official title appertaining to him, when the letters of that title are summed up in their numerical value, yield the number in question as "the number of his name"? It matters not if twenty other names can be made to yield the same number: it must be a name in connection with a one-man system which has wielded a compulsory authority in all the earth in centuries past. The Papal system is such a system, and there is no other system or man of whom this can be affirmed. It is, therefore, a simple question of whether a system, answering in all material points to the prophecy, presents also this feature of identification, that its name, numerically estimated, is equal to 666.
The answer is before us in the Greek name ‘Lateinos’, which, in plain English, may be said to mean Latindom or Latin power, kingdom, or Church headed up in the Pope. The letters of this name, added together according to their arithmetical value, give the number thus:
I hope you find this helpful.