“666” Satan or Christ

June 8, 2006 Article, A. Tartaglia

Featured on all the news programs on June 6th, much was made of the date, 6/6/06, particularly in light of the remake of the apocalyptic film, Omen. The history channel appropriately covered Revelations, Armageddon, Exorcism, Satan, and the Antichrist on the day. Making excellent use of the advertising time slots surrounding the news and the history channel programs, Omen movie promoters made the best of the exposure.

While our attention is on this enigma, let’s reflect on current biblical scholarship on the symbolic meaning of “666”.  Everything that glitters is not gold, nor is everything that’s broadcast, written in history books, or the Bible, literally or evidentially true.  As Stephen Hawkings says “The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.”

Some took the day lightly; note this spoof on the Omen’s promo. “Did somebody get the number of that Antichrist? “666” as everyone knows, are the devil’s digits – as surely as rock ‘n’ roll is the devil’s music…”

For many others, beliefs and fears around “666” have been among the most prevalent and frequently cited portend of end times for centuries. Appearing relevant and imminent in every generation for 2000 years,   preparation has been made over and over for the end of the world. Some of these preparations reached mass proportions and have become historically famous for the false apprehension raised.

The interest in the date is particularly provocative in these times when the much of the world believes Armageddon is around the corner. What we do notice are signs, either of transformation or of the end of the world as we know it, depending on your beliefs. The “hidden is becoming known,” people and organizations are being exposed for their illegal machinations,  and alternative interpretations to traditional beliefs and dogma are being presented as entertainment. The profound messages of What the Bleep, The Da Vinci Code, Down the Rabbit Hole, Indigo Evolution, and The Celestine Prophecy are all available for the price of a movie ticket.

There are a plethora of books on the Holy Grail, Joseph of Arimathea, Mary Magdalene, secret societies, the Knights Templar, the Cathars, and the Arthurian legends. Used as background for The Grail Heresy, which claimed a marriage between Jesus and Mary Magdalene resulted in the San Graal, a child with the royal blood of both parents resulting in the bloodline of the Merovingian lineage. For those of us who have spent their lives studying theology and church history, the new revelations can be quite challenging. I went with sixteen other ministers on a pilgrimage to France to determine for myself the validity of this particular heresy.

All this information presents new viewpoints on historical and religious traditions. Add to this the work of the scientists and biblical scholars and the prophecy about revealing the meanings of unseen wisdom is certainly extant.

One way of looking at the playing of these oppositional presentations is as an opportunity for the many who believe in duality. Every position must have its polarity and every polarity must have its expression even if only to amplify its opposition’s viewpoint.

Remembering Jesus’ words of wisdom….. “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment” lest you be led astray, create false beliefs, unfounded fears, and draw unsubstantiated conclusions.

We are reminded once again not to unreservedly assimilate mass conscious beliefs but to use our own intelligence gathering faculties. Put to the test of our divine intuition that discerns truth from error, we are then more equipped to ascertain the accuracy of available facts and lore.

Returning to our divine gifts, and beginning to think for ourselves outside the parameters drawn by society and the church, can be the beginning of spiritual awareness.

Considering the deluge of information coming from multiple sources, we can rethink Revelation’s famous cipher for Satan, the Antichrist, and the Number of the Beast set against a changing intellectual milieu.

Taken from the Aramaic viewpoint, the original language of the New Testament, prior to the Septuagint  and the Vulgate, the last book of Bible does not spell the disaster the later literal interpretations portends.  But most of the Western world still read translations of scripture.

Among the new conjectures surrounding “666” are those based on the fact that languages have numerical equivalents of letters, words, and phrases.  Traditionally the inexplicable precepts contained in this encoding in the Bible have been considered by scholars to present God’s divine plan for the world. The study of numerical alphabetical relationships implicit in Greek and Hebrew is highly relevant to both Judaism and Christianity.  Hebrew is still considered by some scholars encoded by God, using a sacred alphabet that contains the building blocks of creation.

The first fact to consider is that the number “666,” long designated as the Antichrist, was not even decoded accurately at the inception of the myth.  Knowing that the use of gematria could turn anyone’s name into a number, it was Nero who was designated as the cause of the end of world as they knew it. The Greek gematria converted to Hebrew was supposed to be Nero numerically. The whole book of Revelations written in the 3rd century was not a harbinger of future danger but a description of the current beast, Nero, making war on the Christians, strewing the streets with dead bodies, and burning down Rome.

After the discovery of a papyrus in the 3rd century, the number of ‘the force of destruction’ was recalculated and it added up to 616 not 666. The new number of the follower of Satan, 616, was Nero with a different spelling.

We are only now beginning to translate the concealed information in the ancient vulgates with the help of computers. Using gematria, the God code, and the Grail heresy as it’s called, lie more provocative scenarios promised in these incriptions, as well as a new understanding of “666.”

Since the twelfth century rabbinical scholars have been inspired by what they perceived to be the secret language of God in the Torah. Hebrew numerology, gematria, is considered the mathematics of the Torah. Today, biblical scholars, mathematicians and Kabbalists decoding the multi-leveled Biblical code that predicts scientific discoveries, wars, world rulers, and world events, consider the Hebrew code to be the major discovery resulting from the deciphering of ancient languages.

Proponents of the Torah code believe that the prophetic clusters of phrases and words found in the text were placed there with intentional design by God. The guidance afforded man in these incriptions was to be used as warnings that when heeded, would change the course of the history. Within the ancient secrets encoded in scripture were mysteries containing wisdom so profound as to sustain man through the coming difficult times. Needless to say this information was not discovered or disseminated widely enough for this divine intention to take place.

In the midst of the current uproar about the Biblical code, scholars have yet to establish if other sacred texts are multi-layered with prophecies of key historic events that would forewarn us about the future of mankind today.

Currently the universal practice of the aged art of numerology, based on alphanumeric valuations is still considered a serious study.  Notable cosmologists, mathematicians and historians perceive the entire universe as mysteriously and providentially encoded with mathematics as the key.

By deciphering the numerical equivalencies in the Bible, Professor Kris Thijs believed that thousands of years ago, knowledge currently being discovered by scientist about astronomy and astrology, the secret of the pyramids, and the cosmological field of the universe was contained within the geometric encodings of God’s numbers placed in His Sacred Text.

Some modern scholars believe that using Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic alphanumerics enabled those with opposing views to the Church, “heretics,” to present their material without detection and inquisition.

Parables with metaphorical and symbolic meanings were customary in the time of Jesus’ teaching at the crossroads of a mainly illiterate society.  Dream analogy and the hidden meanings of things were the topics of the day in this non-reading, non-writing culture. Aramaic, the language spoken at the time, is infused with metaphor. Knowledge and wisdom were passed down verbally through story telling. The stories and teachings of the Master were later recorded in the midst of great turmoil when to proliferate this new understanding of man’s nature and his relationship to his God would result in death.  Later the hierarchical structure of the powerful Catholic Church was the threat. Hence the practice of secreting essential truths became the norm.

In the case at hand, the meaning of “666,” the ancient language of Aramaic which Revelations was originally written in, can be decoded by designating numbers for letters thus allowing a diversity of hidden textual messages in deference to the commonly accepted interpretation.

Using alphabets with numeric values, “666” was thought to spell the Roman Emperor, Nero Caesar, in Aramaic, Pope Leo X, using Roman numeral equivalents, the Pope Of Rome, and Martin Luther according to Napier, Napoleon, WWI Kaiser Wilhelm; WWII Adolf Hitler, and Mussolini. All were “numbered” historically as the Beast. The number holds biblical significance; King Solomon was paid a yearly wage consisting of “666” golden talents.

Throughout history enemies of all persuasions have been labeled the Antichrist, evidence of the veracity of such claims to the contrary.  According to some historians, the pilgrims, needing the food stores of the Native Americans, declared them devils to justify killing them. When fear in Europe was rampant, 18th century George III was thought of as the Antichrist.  Roosevelt’s New Deal and social security program numbering all citizens was considered indicative of the beginning of the end times, thus branding FDR as the Antichrist.  Ronald Wilson Regan, interested himself in end times, was called the Antichrist based on the numbers in his name. Muslims and Christians alike have used the Antichrist designation to vindicate mass destruction.

But the recurrent use of this appellation has not been made public. If it were, many would re-evaluate signs perceived as foreboding impending doom and not allow irrational fear to dominate their lives.

In Canyon Adams’ “666”, THE BEAST REVEALED, the number “666” is defined, the mark of the Beast is clarified and a pronouncement made that the mark of the beast has been on and with the planet, and us all, for centuries. He calls on the churches to explain why they have hidden these facts from the populace.

To quote, “the symbolism surrounding the Beast reveals that (1) it is not a man nor an animal but a country and a kingdom, (2) that it has been present on earth for over 2000 years, (3) that we all (you, I, and everybody!) carry its mark on our foreheads and hands….”

The reason for our re-consideration today and the coup de grace of “666” symbology is found in Margaret Starbird’s Magdalene’s Lost Legacy, and The Goddess in the Gospels. Dismayed by the Grail Heresy, she set out to find evidence to dispute it.  A Catholic scholar and former University instructor, well trained in research and presentation, found instead corroboration supporting the Sacred Union, the forgotten Bride of Jesus.

Her decoding of the symbolic numbers of the Septuagint, the original Greek translation of Sacred Scripture, reveals what may be interpreted as evidentiary proof of the current theories causing upheaval in the ecclesiastical world today.

Only one such revolutionary discovery stemming from Starbird’s work, was her elucidation on the secret number of Christ as “666”.  Her exhaustive examination of the gematria of the canonical Gospels makes a compelling case considering that the gematria literary device was employed as a method of encoding the New Testament. Symbolic phrasing hid sacred numbers whose meanings, were they revealed openly, would result in persecution and death.

The practice of utilizing Greek alphanumerics to encode was so commonplace it was banned by church father Irenaeus in the 4th century. Contrary to current refutation, the church did order the destruction of sacred texts such as the Gnostic gospels found in the Nag Hammadi library.  Regardless of the prohibition, the Hellenistic writers inserted this hidden wisdom in the synoptic gospels and the highly metaphorical Book of Revelation.

Since St. Jerome translated the bible from ancient Greek into Latin, the Vulgate, the coding of the gematria numbers has been lost to the world.

Starbird, the prominent researcher whose work is sited in The Da Vinci Code, reminds us that the Greek alphabet consists of symbols like “delta” and “pi” that also work as numbers. Unlike the English alphabet and numbering system, classical Greek had no numbers.

Each letter was assigned a number and numbers were used to convey esoteric messages, often in the secret realm of the sacred.  Greek words were also understood as their number value, not just for their word meanings.  As in today’s numerology, adding each letter’s number value together produced one final number with a particular meaning.  Additionally, in Greek because each number was also a letter, they added up the digits of a word or a phrase to derive a message, not just a number.

By deliberately putting together specific number combinations in words or phrases, the sum produced significant cosmic messages according to the symbolic numbers for their cosmology. These universal numbers have been in use since Plato.

It is from this Greek gematria encoding system that Christ’s number was determined to be “666,” the numbers representing the solar principle.  Scriptures established Jesus as creating principle in John I.  The world was created through the Logos made man, Jesus Christ.  This symbolic numerical signature may be considered the Jesus of the institutionalized church after the Council of Nicea, not the unconditionally loving Christ who taught direct access to a merciful and loving Father.

Additional disciphering of the code proposes the unity of the solar principle, Christ, and lunar principle, Mary Magdalene. Together they form 1746 the symbolic equivalent of “the grain of mustard seed” or “the kingdom of God within.” The marriage of sol and luna or masculine and feminine (1746 = union of opposites) is also the gematria for “Jerusalem, the city of God.”

The sacred principles and secret rituals intertwined throughout out all native cultures, the world’s sacred texts, the mystery schools, and secret societies are the same in essence.  Adjoined and made manifest in the One Principle, they are finally being revealed to modern man. Let us bask in the freedom they afford us in knowing man’s true nature as an unlimited creative being and release the superstitions of the past that limit and separate us.

In light of all the research being published today, tracing the history of the Templars and the Grail heresy, many by recognized historians and biblical scholars like Elaine Pagals, one wonders how many other antithetical biblical interpretations have become accepted doctrines. One always contemplates what the real truth is among all this controversy.

So ignore the foreboding of Revelations which is Aramaic symbolism at its best. There are six month courses studying Revelation in Aramaic that fascinate and intrigue. This is but another opportunity to be judicious and refuse to judge things by their apparent or accepted meaning.  We are to look for the gift in every challenging event and belief….. and in this case, hidden within the beliefs surrounding “666”, the gift was Christ Himself.

It is up to each person to choose the reality they create by opting or not to expand their knowledge and to shift their viewpoint in light of the continual flood of new scientific and religious information.