BY APOSTOLOS MAKRAKIS
Delivered in Concord Square the City of Athens, Greece – July 24th, 1866
The interpretation of the related divine words of Scripture has led us to the recognition of our enemy against whom we have to wage war, and of the means whereby he shall be slain. The individual who engages in battle, however, must know all his adversaries, not only some of them. It behooves us, therefore, to ask whether we have other foes besides the anti-Christ, and how we can recognize them also, as we did the others.
The anti-Christ Mohammed is not our only enemy. The pseudo-Christ Pope, whom St. Paul called apostates and St. John the Divine refers to as the “false prophet,” the image of the anti-Christ, and the “great harlot” (as we shall see from the interpretation of his divine words) is our adversary also. Hellenism, i.e. the Truth which the Greek nation was called to carry before Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel, was fought concurrently by both the anti-Christ Mohammed and the pseudo-Christ Pope.
While Hellenism was attacked by Mohammed directly and overtly, it was attacked by the Pope indirectly and covertly. Mohammed directly and openly seeks to replace Baptism with circumcision and the Gospel with the Koran. This is why he is called chiefly the anti-Christ and the Adversary. The Pope covertly and indirectly seeks to replace Christ and the Gospel with a visible head and an infallible mouth. Mohammed proclaims: “I am greater than Christ, and the greatest of prophets; therefore, burn the Gospel and espouse the Koran”. The Pope proclaims: ”I am the infallible vicar of Christ and God upon earth; close your ears to the Gospel and listen only to the utterance of my infallible mouth.”
Thus both the Pope and Mohammed propose to overthrow Christianity, the former by means of his infallible mouth, the latter, by exalting himself over against Christ and all the saints. In order to avoid any confusion, we repeat that while Mohammed is called the anti-Christ, the Pope is called the pseudo-Christ. Whatever evils have been endured by the people who have been faithful to the truth in the hands of these two enemies of the truth are written in indelible letters in the records of prophecy and in the chronicles of history. Just as we came to know the anti-Christ by the divine words spoken about him, so too we must also recognize the pseudo-Christ, so that the pseudo-prophet may be apprehended as was the beast.
In the thirteenth chapter of the Book of Revelation where St. John speaks of the beast depicting the power and authority of the anti-Christ Mohammed, he speaks also of the beast depicting the power and authority of the Pope. He states as follows: “And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spoke as a dragon.” [Revelation 13-1] The fact shines more clearly than the sun that this beast refers to the Pope and the nature of the Papal rule and authority. For the Pope had two horns, i.e. two powers, the spiritual and the secular. These appear to proceed out of the lamb. The tongue however, testifies that the horns are gifts of the Dragon. The Dragon is an arrogant liar; the tongue of the Popes is one of arrogance and falsehood. Every Pope boasts highly saying that he is anointed of God and the impeccable and infallible vicar of Christ upon earth. Holy Scripture, however, nowhere speaks of such a representation, but only of the false prophet, of him who dissembles such a representation and deceives the inhabitants of earth. It is of utmost importance, therefore, that the Popes be regarded not as they speak of themselves, but as the infallible Scripture of God, the Holy Spirit, bears witness to them.
It is worthwhile inquiring into the reason why it is that in the same chapter St. John speaks about both beasts; and why, while that of Mohammed emerges out of the sea, that of the Pope comes up out of the earth. In response to the first question, we have to say that St. John does this in order to show the concurrent emergence of Mohammed and Papism, their simultaneous rise, decline, and disappearance. St. Paul also conceives of the event of the apostasia or rebellion and that of the man of sin in a concurrent sense, for he says: “. . . Unless the apostasia comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition. . .” [II Thessalonians 2:3]
The second question requires a more lengthy response. According to Scripture the great sea signifies all the barbaric peoples who are driven by their lusts and are not restrained by laws and by government. The earth signifies organized nations who live more lawfully, nations accustomed to political and social life, who are not shaken by unbridled lusts as are the barbarians. The shifting sea and the solid earth are taken as symbols for the barbaric and the civilized peoples. The natural similarity and analogy between them is evidenced further in the following: if one were to look at the hemispheres of the globe, one would notice that the larger surface is covered by water, and the smaller, by land. This same analogy is seen with regard to civilized and barbaric peoples. Until this day, barbaric peoples far outnumber those civilized. The beast of Mohammed emerges out of the sea thus indicating that Islam springs from the barbaric peoples of Asia. That of the Pope comes out of the earth thus indicating that Roman Catholicism springs from nations already civilized, such as were the people of Italy.
We shall presently see what this worldly beast does upon earth. “First,” writes St. John, “he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him. . .” One may ask, what is the authority of the first beast which emerged out of the sea? The authority of Mohammed is religious and political, aspiring to reign supreme over the whole earth. The earthly beast exercises all the power of the first beast before him, thereby denoting that the Pope, like Mohammed, lays claim to worldwide religious and political authority. Mohammed says: “The whole earth must recognize me as the head of religion and the state.” The Pope, like Mohammed, also lays claim to universal authority in both the religious and the political sense.
Now what does “before him” mean? “Before” here means opposite to. The two beasts stand opposite to one another. One is in the East, while the other is in the West; one stands in New Rome*, [*Constantinople was also known as New Rome, when Emperor Constantine moved the capital city there from Old Rome. After 1453, this city became the seat of the Sultan] the other, in Old Rome. What else does the earthly beast do? “. . . And he causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.” The Popes did not permit the kings of the earth to fight and slay the sea monster except upon the condition that the Popes themselves first be recognized by the Orthodox Christians as the head of the Church.
Since this condition, however, was never met, despite much effort, the Popes gave the occasion for the beast to become more powerful and to be worshipped by the inhabitants of earth. While some worshipped the beast politically by bending to the dishonorable yoke of bondage, others worshipped the beast religiously by surrendering the faith of their Fathers. Even the kings of the earth worshipped the beast by recognizing his authority and humbling themselves before him. The worship of the beast in a more ethical sense is understood as follows: since the beast first preaches an iniquitous and hedonistic religion, whoever follows after the passions of the flesh worships the beast. The Popes in the West gave the example of a hedonistic and carnal life, and they made the inhabitants of earth worship no god other than that of carnal expediency, while having no regard for the welfare of the soul and the spirit. The facts of history, therefore, confirm the prophetic words, and upon the voice of prophecy and history every word stands incontestable.
Let us ask of the truthful prophecy that it may tell us what more the earthly beast does. “And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. . .” Reality speaks for itself: it is a Papal dogma that all the decisions of the Pope as God’s representative are ratified in heaven. The Popes later convinced the nations that those whom they curse and excommunicate are consumed by the fire of hell which descends from heaven upon sinners. The voice of reality is identical with the voice of the divine words. St. John continues, saying: “And he deceiveth them that dwell on the earth, by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.”
It is usually the artists who make drawings. Now the earthly beast, desiring to assimilate itself completely with the sea monster, seeks to have an image made of itself. For this purpose it turns out to the artists, but rather, to the inhabitants of earth, telling them to make an image of the beast which has the mortal wound but lived nevertheless. We know from history that before their apostasy the Popes were called only the successors of St. Peter. But after their rebellion or apostasy, they coveted also the succession of the Neroes, so that they might identify themselves thoroughly with the beast from the sea. The Popes, therefore, prevailed upon the nations to recognize them not only as religious leaders, but also as political leaders, while bestowing upon themselves the title of Bishop of bishops and King of kings. In this manner the unlearned nations of the Middle Ages made an image of the beast, i.e. they made the Pope similar to Mohammed. And while the poor wretches thought that they were worshipping the vicar of Christ, to this day they are worshipping the image of the beast, i.e. the vicar of the anti-Christ.
The Archbishop of Paris was greatly justified in stating officially that Mohammedanism is a Christian heresy much closer to Papism than to Orthodoxy, and that the Western powers should fight for their own spiritual relatives by intensely opposing the schismatics who have nothing in common with Papists. It was quite proper that the Archbishops of Paris interpret the feelings of the image for its own prototype, and that the Roman Catholics thus with their own lips declare the testimony borne against them by Holy Scripture.
But let us return to the subject at hand. Although completely unversed in the graphic arts, the unlearned peoples of the Middle Ages created the image of the beast. But what did the Popes do thereafter? Let us listen once again to the prophecy in the Book of Revelation: “And it was given to him (i.e., the Pope) to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.”
We know from history and even from present realities that once ignorance created the image of the beast and the Popes assumed the two-fold authority which they still retain, they succeeded through Councils (Ecumenical according to them), in making the unlawful combination into law, and in proclaiming as a religious dogma the indivisibility of the two authorities of which the image of the beast was composed. Thus it was that life was given to the image of the beast, meaning that the combination of the authorities became a religious dogma of the Roman Church. And whosoever transgresses this dogma is slain by the words of the image which speaks in the name of religion and condemns persons not recognizing the two contrary authorities in the person of the Pope.
The Popes interjoined the religious functions of their office with the political functions to such a degree that the so-called Catholic* [* The Orthodox Church regards herself as the authentic Catholic Church of history.] nations and political leaders cannot separate the Papal functions without denying the Papal religion altogether. Let whoever will compare the words of prophecy with the events before our eyes in Italy, and let him judge whether we slander Papism out of bias or any other cause, or whether Papism is censured by prophecy and history. Only they who have lost their wits can fail to recognize the unbiased and truthful witnesses of the truth. The prophecy states as follows: “And it was given to him (i.e. the Pope) to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.” History testifies that the Popes condemn and murder everyone opposing the interjoining of their two authorities, either with the fire descending from heaven before the sight of men, or by the sword of Roman Catholic political leaders, or by the handbook of assassination, or by the tortures of the Holy Inquisition.
The dramatic events which have transpired in Italy since the time of its political unification to separate the interjoined Papal authorities; the existing struggle between the Papal and the Italian courts; the so-called Ecumenical Council convened in Rome; the pacts among kings; the diplomatic machinations; and thousands of other events attest to whether we are justified in saying that the apocalyptic earthly beast and its deeds foretold the nature and the deeds of Papism, and whether or not the so-called Catholic Christians do well in worshipping the image of the anti-Christ Mohammed instead of Christ. But we shall now continue the interpretation of the Book of Revelation in order to examine what more the earthly beast does? “And he,” writes St. John, “causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads.”
All the leaders of religious and heresies have marks and symbols by which their followers are distinguished. Since the Pope rebelled against Christ and become the leader of a new heresy, he had to design a mark by which the Papists are distinguished from others. This sign is the mark of the right hand, i.e. the manner in which the Papists make the sign of the Cross, also dipping their fingers in water and marking their forehead. The purpose of such signs is “that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”
Now according to Papal policy, they who do not espouse the dictates of the Pope are worthy of excommunication and the gallows. Such people have not the right to buy or sell, i.e. they have not the right to have social relations with other people. And the so-called Catholics are obliged to avoid such people, or to do them harm if they can. In order that one may enjoy the right of social relations and delight in the benefits accruing from them, it is altogether necessary that he be recognized as a Papist, either by the mark of the beast, or by the name, or by the number of the name. For example, one may be asked by another who he is and to what Church he belongs. By making the sign of the Cross in the Roman manner, the interrogated person responds by means of the mark and thus indicates his identity. One can also respond by means of the name, saying that he is a Latin.
But how can one be recognized as a Roman Catholic by means of the number of the name? “Here is wisdom.” With these words St. John the Divine indicates that the matter of the number cannot be comprehended unless one has wisdom. He requires intelligence of the reader in order that he may solve the number of the beast: “Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is six-hundred threescore and six.”
Now in order that we too may wisely solve this important problem of the number, we must first observe that figures are employed to represent place and time, or rather, realities in place and time; numbers distinguish and define things. For example, an innkeeper places numbers on the doors of each room in the inn, and each room has its own number. As each person enters a room of the inn, he notes the number of the room, and says that he has such a number. This number is a means of distinguishing and finding persons lodging in the inn. The usefulness of numbers for the arrangement and finding of things is quite obvious to all. Not to say anything more, we find the streets and dwellings of a city with the help of numbers.
Secondly, we must observe that every name is composed of letters, and every letter signifies a number, so that the number of the name Is made up of the sum of the numbers of the letters of the name. The name Lateinos is comprised of eight letters and the numbers signified by these letters constitute the number 666. Thus the number of the name Lateinos is 666. After these two observations, we come to ask, what does the following statement mean: “Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast”? The verb “count” here signifies “comprehend,” as though St. John were saying, let him that has understanding comprehend the number of the beast.
This number, he says, is the number of a man, and the number is 666. In order for us then to understand the number of the beast, which is 666, we must first comprehend how this number is that of a man. From our first observation we learned that numbers are used to arrange and to distinguish. things and events in time and place. The works of God are, of course, no exception to this rule, as God’s mighty acts are also distinguished and arranged by means of numbers. We know that God created the world in six days, and we can say that the works of the first day have the number one; those of the second day, the number two; those of the third day the number three, etc.
Now because man was created on the sixth day, it is clear that the number 6 is the number of man. The number six is said to be the number of man in the following sense: the fourth commandment of the Decalogue allows man six days for work, and devotes the seventh day to the worship of God: “Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God. According to this law we can say that while the number six is man’s the number seven is God’s. For man is justified in working six days for his bodily needs, but he must devote the seventh day to the worship of God. But the six days of the week return periodically, so that man’s life is encircled, as it were, by the number six representing a group. It is thus that we arrive at the number 666 which is also the number of the beast. With these explanations in mind we have the understanding required to solve, i.e. to comprehend, the number of the beast which is 666!
The number 666 means that the beast works for its own belly and never for God. The beast moves constantly and revolves around the number six six six, which the divine law allows for the works of the flesh. In no way can the beast rise to the number seven, and offer due worship to God. That is the meaning of the number of the name of the beast, which is confirmed by actual facts. This is the reason why it was classified by the number of man, and not by the number of God which, according to Mosaic law, is seven, and according to Christian law, is eight, as is testified by the number of the name “Jesus” which is 888.
Everyone in this life who works only for his own belly, and is unable to rise to the knowledge and worship of the true God, bears the number of the beast and takes on this identification. It is only such people who are taken up by thoughts of the flesh that can recognize the authority of the beast and comply with its demands. People, however, of the number eight, people desiring to be pleasing to God, must be relentless enemies of the beast, and must receive neither its mark, nor its name, nor its number. At this point, the thirteenth chapter of the Book of Revelation, in which St. John speaks of the appearance of the two beasts, that of the sea and that of the earth, and in which he describes their nature and deeds, come to a close.
In the nineteenth chapter wherein St. John foretells the conclusion of the drama, he states: “And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.” Here the earthly beast called upon the false prophet in order to explain to men more clearly the former’s mission. Holy Scripture calls those persons false prophets who speak falsehoods in the name of God and deceive His people. These are persons professing that they were sent by God to say, “thus saith the Lord!” The Lord, however, did not send them, neither is the word of God in their mouth. The earthly beast is called a false prophet, for the Pope who is depicted by the beast speaks false things in the name of God, and leads astray so many Christian nations. The Pope claims that God made him His own vicar, and that God deems that all men should obey him. God, however, did not send the Pope, nor is God’s word in his mouth.
The false prophet is taken captive together with the beast to show that the nature of Mohammedanism and Papism is revealed concurrently to the eyes of the world, and that these two systems of deception are given over to eternal anathema. Now if in the present discourse the number 666 of the name of the beast has been solved knowledgeably, it is evident that the false prophet has also been apprehended just as the beast was in the seventh speech. Now we can carry him also to the Exhibition of Paris or of London, having the false prophet bound with lasting shackles in unbreakable fetters. Now since we shall have to offer convincing explanations to the nations who will interrogate us, let us consider how we can satisfy the curiosity of the spectators around us.
O, nations and peoples of Western Europe! This two-horned beast of the Book of Revelation is identical with the pope-king of history, him who is to this day enthroned in Rome. It can be proved from the following that this is a true judgment: whatever marks this beast has against which the divine Book of Revelation brings judgment, these very marks does history also present in judgment against the pope-king in Rome. The Book of Revelation depicts this beast as a hypocrite and a false teacher, as a vainglorious egoist, and as an ally of the other beast.
History attributes these very same characteristics to the pope-kings. The Popes are such egoists that they demand adoration and worship from all people. They have so much vainglory that they mercilessly slay whoever does not worship the image of the beast, the image of their own vainglory. They are false teachers for they teach things of the Devil and not of God. The Popes are hypocrites for they have been misrepresented in Christ and have been deceiving the western nations. They support the authority of Mohammed in the East, so that they can gain reprisal against the Orthodox people who bear the truth which censures them.
The religious wars of the West, the tribunals of the Holy Inquisition, the acts of cruelty and inhumanity which history relates with horror – what else accounts for these things but Papal egoism and the vainglory of the dragon-like nature of the Popes? These are the things we have to say to the nations of the West so that we may convince them that the earthly beast of the sacred Book of Revelation is identical with the pope-king of history in Rome; that those who bow before the image of the anti-Christ instead of Christ are wretchedly deceived; and that those political leaders who become instruments of the murderous intentions of such an evil beast are conducting themselves in the worst manner possible.
But to ourselves who are already convinced of the accuracy of such an identification, we must constantly say: let us beware of that policy which is influenced by the vindictive and egoistic beast which breathes fire and murder against us, for we confess the truth openly and justly dishonor the image of the anti-Christ. It is impossible for the court of the Tuileries* [* A royal palace in Paris famous as the scene of revolutionary attacks and burned by a mob In 1871.] to have a policy favorable to Greece, and it is impossible for the person who adheres to the principle of chauvinism to make an exception for the Greek nationality. I state these things being convinced more by present day facts, rather than by the hypocritical proclamations of faithless diplomacy.
The present Emperor of France who is the president of the French Democracy abolished the democracy in Rome and restored the Pope to his own see. Now what is the cause of such an inconsistency? It is the welfare of Roman Catholic France that the conscience of so many Roman Catholic Frenchmen may not be troubled seeing the vicar of Christ suffering unjustly. The political leaders of today have no religious convictions at all, nor are they concerned more for one religion than for another. Being, however, at the head of nations having religious convictions they are obliged by their self-interest to comply with the demands of popular opinion. The president of the French Democracy saw that it was to his interest to satisfy Roman Catholic, rather than democratic, France. This is why although he was the president of the French Democracy, he abolished democracy in Rome.
The interest of Roman Catholic France obliges its monarch to follow the Papal policy also in the affairs of the Middle East. It is not difficult for us to understand in what this policy consists, if we but recall that the Popes declared and declare to this day that God handed us Orthodox to the yoke of the Turks because we disobeyed His vicar. If we, therefore, become freed from this yoke before we repent and subject ourselves to the Pope, the Pope is censured as a liar, and our resurrection must at all costs bring about the inevitable fall of Papism once the nations are convinced that God exalted us precisely because we disobeyed the Pope who rebelled from God. Since the fall of Mohammedanism is also the fall of Papism, the Papal policy consists in supporting the authority of the Turks as much as possible until such time as the Greeks become papists.
A part of the schismatic Greeks, however, did throw off the yoke rather than espousing Papism. And that which happened to a part must at all costs happen also to the whole of the Greek race. But this is nothing. As long as the Turks occupy Constantinople, the Greek race can never be considered free! And Papism has as much to its interest in the support of Turkism as does the court of Paris in support of Papism. This is why the French agents in the Middle East are working in harmony with Papal propaganda, promising freedom and every protection to those who recognize the Pope as the head of the Christian Church*. [* The French Embassy In Constantinople had served as a center of Papal intrigue in the center of Orthodoxy during the Ottoman domination of the Church.] The policy of France in its provinces has the same motives and is explained in the same manner.
Judging from all the current events we conclude that the French policy in the Middle East is a Papal policy, which means one of hatred toward Greece, supporting Turkism in reprisal against Hellenism; for this is what the interest of Roman Catholic France demands. If the glory of Hellenism is the disgrace of Papism, how can the monarch of so many millions of Roman Catholics act in our behalf and contribute to the disgrace of his own subjects? Let us, therefore, not be deluded by the beguiling words of diplomacy; and let us not place our confidence in political leaders, in the sons of men in whom there is no salvation. “Blessed are we, for the God of Jacob is our help, and our hope shall be upon the Lord our God!”