Hi Kari,It's funny how many different ways people can interpret the verses of Rev.17 the ones you printed below. My interpretation is obviously different than yours. This is my view of those verses .........John who wrote the Book of Revelation is having a vision concerning the first beast the antichrist and a mysterious woman ( three different meanings for this woman) and he wrote what he saw concerning this vision. Keep in mind that he was transferred in time to a point in the future. We can tell approximately what point in the future this was by what he says in Rev.17:10 when John enters the present tense.John in Rev.17 is focused on this first beast who has seven heads and ten horns and a woman with three different functions. We know from verses 10 and 12 that the seven heads and the ten horns both represent kings. Seven kings and ten kings. The woman represents a world wide organization, a city, and a blasphemous woman aligned to this world wide organization. Rev.17:3,4,5,6,15,18, and Rev.18But in order to tell you the identity of this first beast, the antichrist, John tells a bigger story about how this first beast fits into a realm of seven kings. He says......"There are seven kings. Five have fallen (died), one is (present tense, the one John is looking at), and the other (the seventh) is not yet come. So John is focused on the sixth king as the beast.In verse 8 before describing the seven kings John twice establishes that this first beast he is focused on,....... was (alive), and is not (he died), and yet is (rose from the bottomless pit). Then John tells you again in verse 11 that the beast he is focused on who was, and is not, will also be the eight king of this realm he is portraying.In others words John is telling us that the sixth king of a world wide organization (who he is focused on in the present tense ) who has died, will come up from the bottomless pit to become the eighth king of this organization. He will be the first beast, the antichrist.For even more proof and backup as to who this sixth king is, John tells us that one of the seven heads of this beast (and we know from verse 10 that means one of the seven kings) was mortally wounded but recovered from his wound. We know ourselves that this sixth king of this organization was mortally wounded by being shot and recovered from his wound.It's very important to note that in this 17th chapter of Revelation John......... describes this world wide organization, where it's location would be, when it would become a kingdom, it's kings--past /present/ future, it's colors, it's world wide affiliations, a blasphemous woman aligned with this organization, a very vivid description of it's implements and daily practices and objects that define it and it's blasphemous workings. He did this in such great detail that anyone who was reading about his vision of the end times in Rev.17,18 would have absolutely no excuse in determining who this organization was, who the players are, and then who the beast would be. He said in verse 9......"Here is the mind that has wisdom"......I am sure the players are very familiar to you Kari but to those others that may be reading this ,the players are......... the Roman Catholic Church, it's popes, a false blasphemous Mary not the earthly mother of Jesus but the one the RCC concocted for their benefit, Rome, scarlet and purple the colors of it's bishops and cardinals, golden cups or chalices, and a laundry list of it's favorite trappings in Rev.18:12,13.In the riddle God gave us in Rev.17 we find the sixth king or pope of a kingdom, the Vatican State in Rome established in 1929. A pope or king who was, and is not, was wounded and recovered, who will come again to be the eighth (king) pope. And John tells us quite clearly that he will be the beast we call the antichrist. He will use his well established worldwide organization along with ten kings (ten horns) to establish a one world government and a one world religion. He will have great oratory skills and continue to push the extreme blasphemies of the RCC for 42 months Rev.13:5. Then after these 42 months he will declare himself to be god, blaspheme the true God, blaspheme the true God's name, His tabernacle and those who dwell in heaven. Rev.13:6. He will cancel the daily sacrifices (the millions of daily RCC Mass sacrifices said around the world) because he being god is now on earth and should be worshipped as such.Considering all the things that are going on presently in the Middle East and around the planet and that the existing pope (king) is the seventh and he is talking about ending his reign this spring, one can only surmise that we are very close to the great rapture trumpet blowing, the great tribulation and the reign of this eight king, this terrible beast, who rises from the bottomless pit I believe in conjunction with the rapture. Side note......There is no possible way Obama can fulfill what John the Revelator has described for us in these visions.Blessings---------John BThank you John for taking the time to express your thoughts on the matter, it was beneficial for us gaining your perspective. I am thankful that you got yourself free from clutches of that institution. My husband's mom and one sister still are heavily involved with it, one works for the archdiocese of a large city. I agree with your assessment that the church is going to be very involved with the deception coming up, but I don't feel the 6th pope is the antichrist. Here's why:
10And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.
11And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.
John was speaking about kings: 5 have already fallen when he wrote it. The beast that was (past tense) and is not (not living at present) even he is the eighth (future king) and is of the seven.
From John's sentences above we can assess that the king is one of the past 5 kings from when John spoke. Not the 6th.
Under the clue 1, I wanted to bring up something about the beast coming up out of the sea/bottomless pit. His name is apollyon and it is clear that he and his army only are given 5 months. You said he has 42 months. This is where I found Patrick Heron's book, "The return of antichrist and the new world order" very helpful. If you cannot find it online, here's a youtube blurb about it:
The geneva bible which predates the kjv, says the false prophet breathes a spirit into the image of the beast. I think that spirit is named Apollyon. I think 'image' means his physical body.
From G1503; a likeness, that is, (literally) statue, profile, or (figuratively) representation, resemblance: - image
The beast from the sea means deep. Deep can mean deep as in sea, I think it means deep space and I'll explain why.
From G1 (as a negative particle) and a variation of G1037; depthless, that is, (specifically), (infernal) "abyss": - deep, (bottomless) pit.
A variation of G899; depth, that is, (by implication) the sea: - deep.
The bottomless pit is the sea: meaning depthless, deep. The beast from the sea is the same person as the beast from the bottomless pit. Mystery religion has a fascination with a particular area of space: The Pleiades, Sirius, the constellation Orion. What did God say in Job regarding this area?
Canst thou restrain the sweet influences of the Pleiades? Or loose the bands of Orion? Canst thou bring forth the mazzaroth in their time?
God has restrained and bound something there. In due time He will bring it forth.
Thanks for taking the time to read.