Go read! Kim Riddlebarger on the Man of Sin



Dr. Riddlebarger’s article is the kind that involves “thinking along with the author.” 

Revelation 13

NASB
The Beast from the Sea

13 And the dragon stood on the sand of the seashore.

Then I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names. And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority. I saw one of his heads as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed. And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast; they worshiped the dragon because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?” There was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies, and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him. And he opened his mouth in blasphemies against God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, that is, those who dwell in heaven.

It was also given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them, and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain. If anyone has an ear, let him hear. 10 If anyone is destined for captivity, to captivity he goes; if anyone kills with the sword, with the sword he must be killed. Here is the perseverance and the faith of the saints.

The Beast from the Earth

11 Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb and he spoke as a dragon. 12 He exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence. And he makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed. 13 He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down out of heaven to the earth in the presence of men. 14 And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who *had the wound of the sword and has come to life. 15 And it was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast would even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed. 16 And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, 17 and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name. 18 Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six.


666 and the Mark of the Beast

Kim Riddlebarger, The Riddleblog
From his book, Man of Sin: Uncovering the Truth About Antichrist (Baker, 2006)

 

In fact, the preoccupation with identifying just who it is, exactly, to whom this number refers creates an unfortunate tendency to downplay (or even ignore) the theological significance of this number.  What the number 666 represents is at least as significant as the beast’s human identity.  When John tells us that this is “man’s number,” he may even mean that this number does not refer to a specific individual such as Nero, but to a series of individuals who behave as Nero did.

As Beale points out, “The omission of the article in 13:18 indicates the general idea of humanity, not some special individual who can be discerned only through an esoteric method of calculation.  Therefore, in both verses anthropou [man] is a descriptive or qualitative genitive, so that the phrase here should be rendered ‘a human number’ (so RSV) or ‘a number of humanity.’  It is a number common to fallen humanity.” (Beale, Revelation, 724)

In light of the beast’s attempt to parody the redemptive work of Christ so as to receive the worship of the nations, the idea that this number is to be understood as the number of fallen humanity makes a great deal of sense.  If seven is the number of perfection, the number six comes close, but never reaches the goal.  

 


 

 

38 thoughts on “Go read! Kim Riddlebarger on the Man of Sin

    • Tom, I’ve read elsewhere that the dynasty of the Papacy is the Antichrist and the Roman Catholic priesthood is the False Prophet which “exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence.” Also, Timothy Kauffman has written a book in which he makes the case that the Papacy is the Antichrist, that the Apparition of Mary is the False Prophet which constantly turns people’s eyes to the Pope’s authority, and that the Eucharist is the Image of the Beast, the Pope, which receives worship and if believers refuse to worship his image they are killed. What is chiefly important, I believe, is that we realize that the mystery of iniquity is ongoing as Riddlebarger says:

      “Surely, Nero is the forerunner or type of all those wicked and godless leaders who come after him, and who take that which belongs to God unto themselves and who then mock the natural order of things. Such men reject all conventional norms of morality and use power for personal gain and pleasure. This explains why Christians have frequently spoken of a Nero redvivus in connection to the beast. It is not that Nero comes back to life, but that what Nero represented will be a fact of life until the end of the age. For it is not until the seventh trumpet sounds that ‘the kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever’ (Revelation 11:15).

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Maria, I believe that we are meant to consider these things, and even this number has purpose and meaning, but Paul implies that this man of sin will one day be revealed. He who sets himself up as God in the temple of God. To spiritualized what Paul says would mean that Satan takes up residence in us for we are the temple of God. So I accept the literal temple here. Besides there is enough literal evidence given here in the passage you quoted to allow us to hear and literally understand what the passage says. And verse 10 tells us that. Obviously the beast with seven heads and ten horns is an allegorical entity spoken of as “him”. In my opinion the beast is not the Antichrist but is the Governmental system, a one world system. The beasts if we go back to Daniel 7 represent dominions or national or even perhaps regional governments.
    The interesting thing about this final beast seen in Daniel and here in Revelation is that people worship the dragon (Satan) and this beast apparently voluntarily. But there is the question of forced worship, because the second beast present with the first is said to “make” the earth dwellers worship. And we are called upon to persevere while this is taking place. So is the Antichrist the first or second beast? It may not matter, for when these things happen if we are here we will not be in darkness as is the world 1Thess5. Also Paul says:
    Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.
    2 Thessalonians 2:8-12 NASB
    I think that the point of Paul’s writing is that we don’t need to waste time on the 666. He will be revealed and then the meaning will be obvious. And when these things happen Jesus says that we can lift up our heads for our redemption draweth neigh.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jerry you wrote,
      “To spiritualize what Paul says would mean that Satan takes up residence in us for we are the temple of God. So I accept the literal temple here. Besides there is enough literal evidence given here in the passage you quoted to allow us to hear and literally understand what the passage says. And verse 10 tells us that.”

      Not in us, that is, in our bodies – but in our midst. As you know there are different uses of the “temple of God” in the New Testament. Jesus used it in speaking of His own body, it is used of Herod’s Temple, of the individual believer’s body, and of believers corporately as the Lord’s dwelling place. In fact Rev. 13:6, with its reference to believers in Heaven, probably points to a spiritual view in 2 Thessalonians 2:4 (that is, believers corporately are the temple of God):

      Rev. 13:6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemies against God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, that is, those who dwell in heaven.
      Jerry, you wrote “I think that the point of Paul’s writing is that we don’t need to waste time on the 666. He will be revealed and then the meaning will be obvious. And when these things happen Jesus says that we can lift up our heads for our redemption draweth nigh.” But the man of sin’s number must be important to know and understand because the Lord teaches that,

      18 Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six.

      About the man of sin, as Kim Riddlebarger shows, it is likely more than one individual, but culminates in one horrible final Beast at the End of the Age. It is so much more than many believers acknowledge in a view that is only about the future. This “man” – this dynasty – has a horrible past as well.

      Isn’t the Antichrist the first Beast the Antichrist not the second Beast because the first Beast receives worship? You wrote, “It may not matter, for when these things happen if we are here we will not be in darkness as is the world 1 Thess. 5.” Amen, we will not be in darkness like the world!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Maria, If you are saying that Satan will possibly set himself up in the midst of believers (“in our midst”). I assume that would be in the church as a voice through the church claiming himself to be God. How do you see that working? I’m not sure I understand your point. Does the church or part of the church or just one man within the church proclaim himself or Satan to be God? Peter stated that there many Antichrists at work, even in his day. So Satan’s presence and influence has apparently been around inside of individuals for a long time. But I don’t think that Peter is implying that these are believers. And for this to be individuals who are the Temple of God would they not need to be believers? As to the Antichrist being either of the beasts, it would be my thinking that he will come to power within the first beast system, which I would see as the governmental system itself. People seem to actually worship in a sense today Government. But a government system cannot in my opinion declare itself as God. The fact that many in the early church saw Nero as the Antichrist would seem to make him out to be an individual and not a system or government. This is my thinking, but this is obviously not an easy subject with easy answers.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Jerry, Satan’s Man is a dynasty of men which arose from within and is still seated in the midst of the visible church; this is the Antichrist. No, this cannot be a believer but arises from among us – as grievous wolves did from within the visible Church at Ephesus. Jerry, you would gain more from this view of the Man of Sin if you read a book such as Baron Porcelli’s The Antichrist. Kim Riddlebarger – see his linked essay – doesn’t limit Satan’s Man to the Roman Pontiff while I think this is the true view. It bothers me that the historical Papacy and current Pope are ignored by so many. A sisterly suggestion: study more about the Church of Rome and for just a bit lay aside the future view of this Man, his mark, and his deeds.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Looks like it is out of stock. Hopefully only temporarily. But one final thought. The woman riding on the beast in scarlet robes in chapter 17 is what I always thought to be the Catholic Church or what some call the false prophet. This would seem to be the second beast of chapter13. Just reread chapter 17.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Jerry, I’d forgotten about this chapter!

              You’ve probably heard it said that this woman is false religion riding the bestial world system. Rome is the epitome of false religion.

              But this verse explains who this woman is. It is wonderful when symbols are explained!

              18 The woman whom you saw is the great city, which reigns over the kings of the earth.”

              How does this all fit together? As you’ve said, there is so much to consider!

              Liked by 1 person

              • I have heard that, and it does make sense. I’m not an expert on the Vatican and it’s history, but it is its own city, and at times it has had great influence over the Kings in Europe. Possibly this last beast system will again see this influence. Did you consider Daniel and the dominions of chapter 7. Each one plays a roll in the end as being absorbed into the final beast. As I understand this the bear would be Russia, the lion The British commonwealth. The eagles wings were broken off the USA, the leopard the Muslim Nations. There is much I do not know or understand but this makes sense. Each of these dominions are seen in the Revelation 13 beast, but the eagles wings are seen in chapter 12 protecting Israel. The closer to the end that we get the better we should understand. But consider that if these nations which were not all evident on the world stage when this prophecy was written are now being seen it is quite possible that we are the ones who may need to understand, or at the very least start our children and grandchildren to think about. This is why I wrote the last book I wrote. I think that God has taught me things that He wanted them the next generation to know. Things that they will not hear elsewhere.

                Liked by 1 person

                • Jerry, hi, brother! Prophecy is a complex and wonderful study!

                  About the wings:

                  Revelation 12 says,
                  13 And when the dragon saw that he was thrown down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male child. 14 But the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman, so that she could fly into the wilderness to her place, where she *was nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the [g]presence of the serpent.

                  The two wings that are given to the woman who gave birth to the male child are the wings of “the great eagle,” not those plucked from the lion of Daniel’s vision (chapter 10).

                  About the beasts of Daniel 7:

                  The beasts of Daniel 7 are said to be Babylon (lion), Medo-Persia (bear), leopard (Greece), and the dreadful terrible beast (Rome). These are the four world empires which proceeded Christ’s eternal Kingdom inaugurated at His First Advent.

                  About the Vatican:

                  “Vatican City State was founded following the signing of the Lateran Pacts between the Holy See and Italy on February 11th 1929. These were ratified on June 7th 1929. Its nature as a sovereign State distinct from the Holy See is universally recognized under international law…”

                  http://www.vaticanstate.va/content/vaticanstate/en.html

                  For your interest…

                  “Lateran Treaty, also called Lateran Pact of 1929, treaty (effective June 7, 1929, to June 3, 1985) between Italy and the Vatican. It was signed by Benito Mussolini for the Italian government and by cardinal secretary of state Pietro Gasparri for the papacy and confirmed by the Italian constitution of 1948.

                  “Upon ratification of the Lateran Treaty, the papacy recognized the state of Italy, with Rome as its capital. Italy in return recognized papal sovereignty over the Vatican City, a minute territory of 44 hectares (109 acres), and secured full independence for the pope. A number of additional measures were agreed upon. Article 1, for example, gave the city of Rome a special character as the “centre of the Catholic world and place of pilgrimage.” Article 20 stated that all bishops were to take an oath of loyalty to the state and had to be Italian subjects speaking the Italian language.

                  “By article 34 the state recognized the validity of Catholic marriage and its subjection to the provisions of canon law; nullity cases were therefore reserved to the ecclesiastical courts, and there could be no divorce.

                  “The state agreed by article 36 of the concordat to permit religious instruction in the public primary and secondary schools and conceded to the bishops the right to appoint or dismiss those who imparted such instruction and to approve the textbooks that they used.

                  “With the signing of the concordat of 1985, Roman Catholicism was no longer the state religion of Italy. This change in status brought about a number of alterations in Italian society. Perhaps the most significant of these was the end to compulsory religious education in public schools. The new concordat also affected such diverse areas as tax exemptions for religious institutions and ownership of the Jewish catacombs. ”

                  https://www.britannica.com/event/Lateran-Treaty

                  Jerry, what did you want your children and children’s children to know that you wrote your book?

                  Liked by 1 person

                • Ok Maria, you wrote: Jerry, hi, brother! Prophecy is a complex and wonderful study!
                  I certainly agree with that analysis sister. And I hope I don’t come across as being argumentative as I truly admire your knowledge. But we see things differently here.

                  About the wings:

                  Revelation 12 says,
                  13 And when the dragon saw that he was thrown down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male child. 14 But the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman, so that she could fly into the wilderness to her place, where she *was nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent.
                  I’m not sure who you believe the woman to represent, but I agree with those scholars who see her as Israel the nation. So this eagle who’s wings are protecting her from Satan who comes down in wrath because his time is short would be in existence in the last days when his time is known to be short. The protection of Israel by the United States has been obvious since her restoration as a nation. And she had to be restored as a nation in order for her prophesied salvation adding her back to the Olive tree to occur. This salvation is still future.

                  You say: The two wings that are given to the woman who gave birth to the male child are the wings of “the great eagle,” not those plucked from the lion of Daniel’s vision (chapter 10).
                  I say they are the same, so let’s listen:
                  Then I kept looking because of the sound of the boastful words which the horn was speaking; I kept looking until the beast was slain (which beast is this? — if it was slain at Jesus first advent which you later imply was its timing; then was Rome finished — or destroyed at the first advent? Scripture then says:), and its body was destroyed and given to the burning fire (This appears to rather be after the Lord’s second advent, not the first. yet as the scripture continues we see that the rest of the beasts , still remain. Listen:). As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, but an extension of life was granted to them for an appointed period of time.
                  Daniel 7:11-12 This many believe will be for the time of the Lords reign on earth — Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. This earthly kingdom has not yet come into existence, and many believe that it will not until Jesus returns to earth — the second coming. But who are these beasts who are allowed to remain?

                  You say: About the beasts of Daniel 7:

                  The beasts of Daniel 7 are said to be Babylon (lion), Medo-Persia (bear), leopard (Greece), and the dreadful terrible beast (Rome). These are the four world empires which proceeded Christ’s eternal Kingdom inaugurated at His First Advent.
                  You’re right this is who these are said to be, but if this prophesy is speaking of the second advent and not the first as I and many think; then these nations are present before the second advent. And if so — there are today nations identified with these beasts. The Russian bear; the British lion; we the US eagle were plucked from Britain; the 4 headed leopard the Arab nations under Iran-Persia. And then this terrible beast which seems to be made of at least elements of these other beasts as we view Revelation 13 and this beast is definitely seen just before the second advent. The first advent is now over decades before Revelation is written, and Rome is ravaging the church not destroyed.

                  About the Vatican:

                  “Vatican City State was founded following the signing of the Lateran Pacts between the Holy See and Italy on February 11th 1929. These were ratified on June 7th 1929. Its nature as a sovereign State distinct from the Holy See is universally recognized under international law…”

                  I’m not sure what all of this information on the Vatican implies to you, but could it not imply that this all is coming about as planned by the Lord in order to fulfill the last days elements of the Revelation prophecy just before the second advent?
                  I enjoy discussing with you because you make me think.

                  You had also asked what it is that I want my family to know. They are no different unfortunately than most of the church today. They attend, and believe what they are taught, but there is so much they miss from the word that the Holy Spirit wants to teach them so that they will be prepared with the full armor in the evil days to come. And it appears that they are rapidly approaching.

                  Liked by 1 person

                • Again very interesting, but would you agree or disagree that in 2Thess 3 the use of the definite article before both “man of lawlessness” and “Son of perdition” would seem to make “man” in this verse one person and not what both this article and the article shared here earlier imply to be the meaning of the #666 or the papacy equaling multiple men? I know that we both agree that the scripture itself has to be at the foundation of our what we choose to believe if we are following truth. So it is important that we get this right. Is this talking of one man or multiply men? The system itself which will promote this Antichrist to the world certainly seems to be Catholicism based on the description of the harlot in Rev 17, but are we not looking for the revelation of one man in addition to the system before the Lord will return in His day of the Lord?

                  Liked by 1 person

                • Jerry, I believe that there will be one final man of sin arising within this worldwide apostasy, the Antichrist. The Antichrist is a title like the King of a nation. All the individuals are rightly called the King of. . . This may look different, such as, a Pope rejecting the trappings of the Papacy but maintaining the same and increased authority from Satan.

                  Liked by 2 people

  2. One response and then I must do chores and study your comment much more. The woman is believing Israel which fled after Christ ascended to Heaven, following the Lord’s instructions (Luke 21) to not turn back for anything but FLEE. Her flight had wings, that is by God’s help it was successful according to history. The dragon then turned upon the rest of the Church, Gentiles, and almost succeeded in destroying it through fierce persecution over three centuries.

    Rev. 12:17 So the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.

    Luke 21
    20 “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is near. 21 Then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains, and those who are in the midst of the city must leave, and those who are in the country must not enter the city; 22 because these are days of vengeance, so that all things which are written will be fulfilled. 23 Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days; for there will be great distress upon the land and wrath to this people; 24 and they will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

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