One more thing to examine...
Today, the number of the beast:
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. 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.
We should note that some scholars think this number was originally 616, not 666. You can see this in the footnotes of these Bibles: New American Standard Bible, New Living Translation, New Century Version, Lexham English Bible, Holman Christian Standard Bible, and the English Standard Version. For more information about 616, visit Wikipedia Number of the Beast or read this news article.
That's very interesting. However, in deciphering whether or not the Pope is the beast, it does not matter if the number is 616 or 666, and I'll show you why in a moment. First let's see how the Pope-is-Antichrist teaching comes up with 666 for the Pope.
They say that there is a title inscribed in the Pope's mitre, Vicarius Filii Dei, which is Latin for "Vicar of the Son of God." (I've heard people debating whether this is actually one of the Pope's titles, and whether it is actually inscribed in the mitre, but that also does not matter.)
They look at the letters of Vicarius Filii Dei, pull out those that are also Roman numerals, and add them up, like this:
The total is 666. Look at who else adds up to 666:
Ellen Gould White, co-founder of the Seventh Day Adventist church (add the "W" as "V V")
I was told that Ahnsahnghong was baptized by the Seventh Day Adventists, and the World Mission Society Church of God shares many similarities with Seven Day Adventist doctrine. Interesting.
But who is to say what pattern, code, or formula is to be used in adding the number? Depending on how you figure it, these people (and more) all have names that add to 666:
The Roman Emperor Nero
and Prince Charles of Wales (source)
Do you think any of these people are (were) the beast, the Antichrist? It takes more than the number of a name to identify the Antichrist, doesn't it?
Imagine your boss tells you a client has just landed at the airport and you must go pick her up. He just talked to her on the phone, and he'll give you a description, so you don't have to waste any time in finding her. Here's the description:
long, brown hair
dressed in a black skirt suit
carrying a red suitcase
and her name is Maria.
If you spot a woman with glasses and a red suitcase, but she has short, blonde hair and is wearing blue jeans--do you have to ask for her name before knowing if she's the one you're looking for? No, she already doesn't match the description.
That's why it doesn't matter whether or not the beast's number is 616 or 666, or whether or not Vicarius Filii Dei is an actual title of the Pope. The Catholic Church already doesn't match the description of the beast, even the Pope-is-Antichrist teaching's own description.
Likewise, with all those people whose names can add to the right number, the number of someone's name doesn't matter if they don't otherwise match the description of the beast.
Almost done, see you next time...
Click here for Part 9, the summary.