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WELCOME READER!
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My name is Mephisto! I'm basically THE DEVIL in the Marvel Universe! And I'm hosting Dial B for BLOG's 666th issue because I have a message for the world: 666 is NOT "my number"! It does not stand for me, and it is not a coded representation of my name!
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Neither does 666 stand for the name of my no-account son, Daimon Hellstrom, the macabre man-spawn of ME, the devil himself! Like father, like son -- and 666 doesn't stand for EITHER of us!
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Frankly, I'm DAMN tired of people thinking 666 is "my number." It isn't!
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I have a counterpart over in the DC Universe known as "The Devil," aka Satan -- and guess what. 666 isn't HIS number either!
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Let me explain the REAL meaning of "666" to you. The "number of the beast" is found in the Bible, in passages originally written in Hebrew. These passages contain the number 666 -- but it can't actually SAY "666," because there are no numerals in Hebrew! Instead, certain individual Hebrew LETTERS are assigned a numerical value for use as numbers...
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Thus, any number can also be used to generate a NAME -- and visa versa. In Hebrew, the name NERO CAESAR produces the number 666! And so, in the Bible, the number 666 was most likely a coded reference to Nero, Roman Emperor from 55 to 68 AD.
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But if 666 means NERO, how did NERO come to be equated with SATAN? Let's find out from NERO himself, by tagging along with THE SPOOKMAN, as rendered by Pat Boyette in Charlton Premier #1...
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Back through time we go! We're now standing in front of Emperor NERO himself! An obese, disgusting-smelling individual with violent paranoid tendencies! Like many Roman Emperors, one of Nero's favorite tools of persuasion is... state-sanctioned murder. So we'd better be careful! He doesn't seem to be believing our cover story, that we're just entertainers...
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The GAMES?!?! Yikes! Let's distract him with a bright, shiny object!
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Of course a LIGHTER would interest him! After all, in 64 AD, most of Rome was burned down by a mysterious FIRE while an "oblivious" Nero played his fiddle.
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Yes, as SPOOKMAN said, history would have us believe Nero set fire to Rome HIMSELF, so he could to make room for the huge new palace complex he wanted to build. Then he blamed the fire on the Christians, crucifying them or throwing them to the lions for entertainment.
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In some accounts, Nero is blamed for the crucifixion of St. Peter and the beheading of St. Paul. No wonder the Christian holy book of REVELATIONS (verse 13:18), writen contemporaneously with Nero's reign, spoke of NERO -- codename 666 -- as though he was the Devil himself!
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