Thank 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.