No reason to fear a number

New Year's Eve is a time when calendars, dates and numbers come to mind. These can be major causes of spikes for people with OCD.

Among Christians with the disorder, the Mark of the Beast- 666- can cause all sorts of anxiety. It shouldn't. First, with the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, Satan and all that pertain to him are defeated and utterly harmless to us. If that's so of the Enemy and his legions, how much more so it is of mere symbols for them!

Many Christians waste time trying to decode this and other symbolic numbers in Revelation. In fact, the numbers are a kind of code; in Hebrew letters do double duty as numbers. Bearing this in mind,  it should be instructive that Neron Imperator ("Nero the Emperor") and Diocletian Imperator ("Diocletian the Emperor")- the names of the Roman emperors who sponsored respectively the first and the last of the persecutions, and the two fiercest- both decode to "666." Is there another enemy of Christ and His church who will arise, and whose name will also yield the same result when subjected to "Hebrew arithmetic?" Perhaps. But if so, he will still represent a defeated power, and can do us no more spiritual harm than Nero or Diocletian can today.

Christ has triumphed over all we fear- including the Antichrist, and even his boss.


  1. Hello,

    I came across your blog while researching the ideas of Christianity, OCD, and the number 666. I agree with your idea that the number refers to a figure in the past (not the present or the future, like so many of those obsessed with bible prophecy seem to assume). Also, since your blog deals with OCD, there is now evidence that associating the number 666 with the sign of the beast may have been developed by someone suffering from OCD:

    1. The page you link to is no longer available, but I suspect that its argument is that Nero and/or Diocletian are being referred to in Revelation. Maybe. Contrary to what a lot of people seem to think, Revelation is not a linear, blow-by-blow account of the End Times, but a thematic approach to the story of the church from the Ascension through Christ's Second Coming and the end of all things (and no, the millenium isn't a thousand year reign of Christ on earth, but a symbolic number representing that entire period when Satan is being restrained by the proclamation of the Gospel).

      But I digress. John does seem to indicate that Jesus will return at the climax of a period of persecution, and any Christian who reads the newspapers or has his finger on the pulse of the culture will have no trouble wondering whether one might be coming. Could there be a figure at the end who embodies the opposition to Christ and the Gospel? Could be. We just don't know. But whether there is or not, Satan is just as defeated and the cause of any such hypothetical villian is just as doomed.


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