Saturday, May 16, 2020

The Corona, Vaccines, and 666

Revelation 13: 15 The second beast was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that the image could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. 16 It also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, 17 so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name.

18 This calls for wisdom. Let the person who has insight calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. That number is 666.

Just something for a little weekend viewing.  If you stick to just the recommended sections, these videos will take about 90 minutes of your time.  Maybe I have linked to one or two of these before, so it might take you even less time.

Jonathan Pageau does a monthly Q&A, taking questions from his supporters and listeners.  The April 2020 session lasted about 90 minutes; there are two sections on which I will focus – both having to do with the corona, more specifically, the state’s reaction to it.

First, beginning here, at the 36-minute mark, continuing for six minutes: the question regards how a Christian should consider the importance of bodily integrity, in light of the possibility that government authority will require a compulsory shot against this virus (or whatever this thing is). 

Try to ignore the whole St. Paul submission to secular authority thing in the question; the answer is enlightening.  I will summarize Pageau’s response, but suggest you take the six minutes to listen to his answer (paraphrased):

We need to be very attentive to what’s going on with this idea of a mandatory vaccine.  It’s not so much a question of bodily integrity.  It is more the question of control.  The problem is mostly the problem of 666, the problem of trying to account for everything.

The vaccine can be a problem if it is tied to control, tied to identification.  If, by taking the vaccine you are included in society, and by not taking the vaccine you are excluded from society, that’s the place where Christians have to really, really wonder if that’s the right thing to do – and if this is approaching 666 symbolism in a manner that’s too hot to handle.

He offers that if and when things start to play out this way, he may become more explicit about his views.

Second, at the 1 hour, 29-minute mark, continuing for two minutes: the questions regards if Christians should prepare for flips, signifying the end of the world.  By “flips,” he means that people who have strongly held one view, flipping to the opposite; just look at party politics, where everything my guy does is great, but when your guy does the same thing it stinks.  He has noted several such flips in previous videos.

It’s crazy right now: conservatives are acting the way liberals used to act; liberals are acting the way conservatives used to act.  Get ready for the worst.

He notes the flips even in this corona.  It is madness.  He has warned about the year 2020, but even he didn’t see it this mad: there is still a US election coming up.

He has previously done a video on the symbolism of the number 666; it is about 30-minutes long.  To greatly summarize (and not do it justice): it is the number of man, measuring an incomplete completeness – man’s reason being sufficient.  It has to do with control, and specifically the control of trade. 

It has to do with accounting – the accounting of all, with nothing left at the margin.  This ties in with his concern about the possible use of this now-discussed corona vaccine.  He connects this to ideas to a speech given by the Apple CEO, Tim Cook, given to the ADL.  Here is Pageau’s treatment of that speech – it is 22 minutes long.  It is pretty scary – the speech, that is.  This is really worth watching.

Finally, two months ago he did a 30-minute video on The Symbolism of Epidemics.  It is one of the more sensible views from any Christian (other than Chuck Baldwin) of the crisis that was just being created at that time.  It is the only video of his that I recall he read from text; he wanted to remember to say all that was on his mind.

He understands that the ramifications of the reactions could be much worse than the disease itself.  The most basic questions will have to be dealt with: integrity and identity.  In this video, he gives some further example of the flips going on in society, exposed greatly by the corona.


Keep in mind: Pageau’s focus is on symbolism; he is Eastern Orthodox.  For a layman, he seems quite well-read on both Scripture and the tradition of Eastern Orthodoxy.  What I am saying is that his interpretations might not be for everyone, yet I find his interpretations worth considering – and given what we are seeing around us, he may be quite right.


  1. The reason John wrote that 666 is the number of a man, is because one could - at that time - use the number to figure out who he was writing about.

    In those days, it wasn't a vaccine that put you at odds with the Roman emperor, it was whether or not you had worshiped him and offered a sacrifice to him. The symbolism of the writing on a person's forehead is one of the Levitical priesthood. In those days, you had to have a certificate which indicated you had worshiped the emperor before you would be allowed to buy or sell in the markets. They didn't tattoo anyone or write on their foreheads.

    Revelation today is mostly historical, not prophetic as evidenced by Jesus and Johns' words in context. John wrote at the beginning that he was writing things that would "shortly take place." Jesus told him "I am coming quickly" and many think this is a foretelling of his second coming but in the context of this book, it is in his judgement, not literal arrival. Thus the warning to those literal churches and their "angels."

    That doesn't mean there isn't a valuable lesson in there for us today. History repeats itself and the government of the US, like the Roman Empire demands worship. What we're seeing is not prophetic, it's just typical of tyranny.

    But make no mistake, we're seeing so-called Christians ceding to the authority of men rather than God. And what Jesus says about that in Revelation is that it isn't going to turn out well for anyone who does that.

    Isaiah 41
    "24 Behold, you (false god) are of no account,
    And your work amounts to nothing;
    He who chooses you is an abomination."

    1. "That doesn't mean there isn't a valuable lesson in there for us today."

      This is my main takeaway from Pageau's comments. There are so many conflicting understandings of Revelation (and Daniel, etc.). But whatever the truth of it, there are lessons for us to heed today. And consequences cannot be avoided.

    2. I have studied the 1st century Roman period extensively and have yet to find a primary source which indicates that a certificate of emperor worship was required for doing business.

      Do you have any primary source (written in the period) even a translation or copy of such a source that mentions such a certificate?

    3. I don't think it was a certificate of paper. I think it was a wooden chit or something like that. Have you ever read Summer's "Worthy Is the Lamb?"

    4. Also there is "The Triumph of Empire" which talks about this.

  2. I am of the theological tradition that believes Revelation 1-3 is past and 4-22 is future. I think Pageau is on to something.

  3. Peace friends,

    Jonathan Pageau, I think in relation to talking about Pepe the Frog one time, also mentioned his symbolic belief that Christianity itself must be "crucified" in order to be reborn, before the Hour comes.

    Some part of its "ego" and structured self identification must die in order for it's underlying Eternal message to flourish again.

    He also mentioned in this the fact that Christian (and Muslim) eschatology emphasises so much that the End will be heralded by the appearance of a counterfeit Messiah figure, that will fool the overwhelming majority of followers of Christ's way, is significant in this.

    In relation to the "incomplete completeness", the previous discussion about the significance of sin and existence itself comes to mind. There is much suggestion in many Traditions that a true "completeness" leads to Creation to simply cease to be. All debts paid off mean there is no fiat money left so to speak, whereas human imperfection is also the avenue (via Him as the source and return destination) of every moment of continued creation/being.

    So in that way, the attempt to have a totalising system that accounts for everything, but to still have the World be here at all to enjoy, is counter to the very nature of Creation itself. It is the Ultimate Contradiction.

    For there to appear to be no residue and remainder after the system processes everything, even if this is simply impossible, is to require one to pretend the residue at the margins isn't really there. To dump that karma and ancestral effluent into a big psychic landfill or flush it into the ocean, and never look back/down/under.

    Now that unfortunately sounds a LOT like the modern world. I've recently been trying to process all of our waste on our own property, as a way to cultivate the fertility and natural productivity on our land. The irrational and emotional (but pretending to be objective and scientific) way many in the West, especially in authority, look at human waste is quite noteworthy.

    And God knows best.

  4. Dear all,

    It occurs to me recently that the reason the Eastern Orthodox are able to retain these perspectives quite strongly in the modern world is because of their emphasis on icons. Quite a strange opinion from an Muslim with apparent idol smashing duties, let me explain....

    The English language, as our Ron Paul homeschool kids are discovering, has very little principles left in it. It is now an ad-hoc language, in spelling and pronunciation, and increasingly grammar too (though the RP teachers do excellent rearguard action work). This fact is very noticeable to us as students of classical Chinese and Arabic, as it would I suspect to many that have mastered Latin. This has advantages and disadvantages.

    For (esp. classical) Chinese and Arabic, this means that words (and letters for the latter) are never just that, they are also always SYMBOLS, that connect both horizontally and vertically. It would have thus been extremely difficult for the Confucian or Muslim civilisational streams to have progressed into Anglophone Nominalism, with its practical power, to the extent that the modern world has. Even in the scientific materialist modern world, Chinese and Arabic speakers are by default more on the Essentialist side in how they think. That's one reason for why when I write in English, I tend to capitalise many terms, it's to try and emphasis this symbolic aspect in what I try to express. Maybe that's why memes are so popular too, to fill a gap.

    There is a problematic side with this heavily language based Essentialist foundation. Firstly, in Arabic when fidelity to correct pronunciation is lost (eg. the way the strong H makes the chest/Heart expand and encourage the upper back to straighten is VERY important, especially in prayer), and in Chinese when the written character is simplified for utilitarian/nominalist reasons, they also lose their relationship to Principle very fast. Secondly it means these transmissions are hard to share cross culturally.

    In English perhaps the main remaining (however waning) symbol is in the parable, the analogy, the poetry. The language of the bard, or skald. But these too are high language/culture mediated, and easy to ignore at will when it so suits.

    Basically, the Icon as symbol doesn't have any of these disadvantages. And God Knows Best.