"Straight Talk About the Book of Revelation"

The Book of Revelation contains a single sentence message for readers today and yesterday. That message is: "When you are being persecuted for your faith in Jesus Christ, remain faithful, even if it kills you." There is no future-telling in this book and none was ever intended. Anyone who tells you otherwise is a poor student of the Bible and/or probably is more interested in your money than in your faith.

Revelation was written to the early Christian community in the second century after the birth of Christ in the midst of a period of severe persecution of Christians by the Roman Empire. The last time it was as severe was when Nero was emperor. This letter, also known as "The Apocalypse of John," was written by an unknown author and is similar in its vocabulary and style to the gospel and letters of John in the New Testament. Together they are known as the Johannine literature of the New Testament.

In addition to the message above, the Book of Revelation carried a scathing denunciation of the Roman Empire and the Roman Emperor for their murder of Christian men, women and children. This diatribe was written in code language which only Christians could decipher, and Jewish Christians could decipher best. It had to be written in code to protect anyone caught with it by the authorities. Had it been written in plain language, the owner or bearer would have been convicted of treason and executed.

Good Bible scholars admit to knowing only portions of the code used in writing Revelation. One portion of which we are relatively confident is the number of "the Beast." "The Beast" was the archenemy of the young Christian movement and, we can assume, the Roman Emperor. It was unthinkable to write the Emperor's name in the document, so his number was used instead. His number was 666.

The early Christians reckoned his number this way. Since he was as vicious in his persecution as had been Emperor Nero, he was called "Nero redivivus," which means "Nero reborn" or "the second Nero." Nero's name in Latin is "Nero Caesar." His name in Greek is NERON KAISAR. When you transliterate the Greek letters of that name into Hebrew letters, there are seven letters (Hebrew does not have vowels) and they look like this, reading from right to left:  200 + 60 +100 + 50 + 6 + 200 + 50

In Hebrew, there are no numbers. The letters of the alphabet have numeric value as well. The first letter of the Hebrew alphabet is also the number 1, the eleventh letter is the number 20, the nineteenth letter the number 100, the twentieth letter the number 200, the last letter (twenty-second) the number 400. The value of these seven letters when added together is 666. The Christians to whom this letter was written could decipher the code. This was the number of the name of the Roman Emperor, Domitian "the Beast."

For further information, contact Dr. Ray Dykes, 405-728-2844 or e-mail.