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How will the end of the world be? What is 666?

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September 29, 2018

Every Christian one day or another has wondered about how the events of the end of the world will transpire? It is truly a fascinating topic. Many opinions have been proposed and we hope to propose another one today.  But first, to be able to illustrate the idea, I will start with a parallel between the Old and New Testaments. So God created Adam in His image which implies many facets like the nous (which is the spiritual intellect), freedom and will, but the most literal understanding of God sharing His image is that He shared His authority with Adam. We can see this in Genesis 1:26, where God gave Adam dominion over the earth and He asked him, in Genesis 2:19, to name the animals, which is a sign of authority. But, in Genesis 2:17, He also commanded Adam not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Why is all of this important? Because in the next chapter, when the serpent is deceiving Eve, he is doing so in front of Adam. Adam was with her. That is why the text in Genesis 3:6 says that Eve took of the fruit and ate and also gave to her husband with her and he ate. The main issue, here, is that God had given the commandment not to eat to Adam (not eve). He also gave him the responsibility to exercise authority. Adam should have jumped in and said to Eve not to listen to the serpent or at least not to eat of the tree. But he did neither. Adam failed in his leadership. And this failure led to major corruption in the world which climaxed during the time of Noah, where God had to cleanse the world for the upcoming salvation of humanity. In a sense, it was the end of that world. And although, God said that He will not flood the world again, He did mention during His message on the second coming in Matthew 24 that “as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.” And at this second coming, people will be eating, drinking, marrying and giving in marriage but will refuse to repent. He makes the link between the Old and New Testaments events. Then, He continues, and says: “because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved.” In other words, sin and corruption will be so prevalent at the end of times that many Christians will fall. He says also in Luke 18: when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth? There is an implication here that the people’s lack of faith and corruption at the time of the flood, which originated by Adam’s lack of righteous leadership, (this corruption) will be seen once again at the end of times.  

 

 

In this light, let us understand what the Scripture says about the Antichrist. It says: “Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.” The habit of using numbers to divulge people’s names was not uncommon in the first century. This practice was called Gematria that could be used to communicate private information to a certain group without exposing the information to others. This alphanumeric code can be seen in this picture. But what does this number mean? One of the opinions is that during St. John’s time, the roman empire was under the reign of Emperor Dometian. In Eusebius’ Church history, he mentions that Christians suffered severe persecution under this Dometian. Now, if we take Dometian’s full latin name but we translated into Greek (which is the language of the New Testament St John used), it becomes AUTOKRATOR KAISAR DOMETIANOS SEBASTOS GERMANIKOS. His name was summarized as A. KAI. DOMET. SEB. GE. on the money coins of the time. When this shortened name is deciphered with the Greek Gematria, its total number is 666. St. John, here, is not necessarily saying that Emperor Dometian is the Antichrist. He is saying beware of the corrupted leadership that will be persecuting Christians at the end of time just like Dometian did. Like Adam’s corruption led to the flood. So the leadership’s corruption will lead to the culmination of spiritual disaster amongst the laypeople as well. One is to wonder how far are we from these times when some countries leadership has already allowed abortion, euthanasia, cannabis, prostitution, etc. And many laypeople are willingly backing them up. The world is indeed falling and it is falling quickly. 

 

 

So when leadership is corrupt, people follow. Generally speaking, humans look for the easy way out. But especially if the person they follow performs miracles. Revelations 13 speaks about the Antichrist as having a deadly wound that was healed. And then the Scripture says that the second beast will do the following: “He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived.” Christians will have tremendous pressure from leadership as well as from their neighbors, colleagues, and even family—everyone around them. This pressure is already partially seen today. It is disguised under the title of “freedom of speech.” This title implies that all can speak up their mind, which would be a good thing if it is to lovingly discuss different opinions with the objective of discovering the Truth. But in reality, it seems like everyone can speak up their minds except Christians. From what we experience, this freedom of speech means you can speak up your mind as long as what you say fits within the framework of what the leadership, and those backing them, have already decided. This is not freedom of speech. This is pushing an agenda. This is widely seen today, when there are certain Christian fundamental beliefs that cannot be spoken of publicly. When we do, their reaction is quite aggressive. PUT PICTURE. The third factor is described by Scripture as well. It says about the second beast that: “He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” With the advance of technology, this mark could involve some sort of chip. We are already seeing countries like Sweden and Belgium injecting chips into workers hands to be used for transactional purposes. Regardless if these marks will actually include a chip or not, if one doesn’t have it, he cannot buy or sell, which ultimately means poverty and therefore a struggle to survive. So, in summary, we will have a corrupt leadership pushing for evil and a false sense of freedom. We will have a majority of laypeople cooperating whether because they will be convinced or for survival reasons. The Christian will eventually find himself with two choices: deny Christ and live on earth OR persecution and death on earth and life in heaven. There is no wonder the Scripture says: “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.” AND “And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.” It will be far from being a walk in the park. It will be a dreadful time.  

 

 

In summary, we can already experience today an indirect type of persecution against Christians which will be magnified at the end of times. But what should we do? Well, we know that this is going to happen, regardless if we like it or not, and we cannot change this truth. The real question is “are we prepared to suffer persecution?” Specially in this world that gives us what we want when we want it. I mean I can have fast food at midnight if I want or shopping on Amazon at 3 am if I want or watching YouTube whenever it is convenient. Although none of these things are sins in themselves, the real issue at hand is that we have to realize that we are the culmination of our habits. Our personal daily habits make us who we are. So when I give in to all of these things without proper boundaries and guidance, I become soft. I am not ready for suffering. I guess this is a natural consequence of living in a culture that aims to alleviate suffering—to make life easier. But the result is that we are not as prone to suffering as the earlier generations were. This is a recipe for disaster! So what do we need to do? Or what do we need to teach our children? Well, we need to strengthen our will as well as our children’s. We need to tell ourselves and our children NO when needed. We don’t have to indulge in the luxuries of the world when we don’t need to. We don’t have to eat what we always like, specially during fasting periods. We don’t need to have everything we want. Let us be content with what we need. In addition, I would say, we need to fast more, we need to fulfill our spiritual canons more, we need to forgive more and serve more. All of these are but mere examples that will help us in strengthening our will. What we do daily, makes us who we are. A true Christian life will prepare us and our children for such a life of persecution whether it may be a partial one or the one at the end of times. 

 

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