Confirming the identity of the antichrist beast 

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1. Introduction

In study: ‘Daniel 7 and Revelation 13: the antichrist beast’ we identify the antichrist beast as the Papacy. 

Here, by comparing the characteristics of the antichrist beast with the record of the Papacy, we confirm that the Papacy is indeed identified correctly as the end time antichrist beast.

First, we must be reminded of the characteristics of the beast.

2. The characteristics of the antichrist beast

In study: ‘Daniel 7 and Revelation 13: the antichrist beast’ we see that the antichrist beast is represented by both the 'little horn' of the 4th beast of Daniel 7 and the 1st beast of Revelation 13.

We see in section 4 of that study that these entities share characteristics, thus confirming that they represent the same power. Thus we can combine their characteristics to give us a full picture, as follows.

2.1 Characteristics summarized

We see in study: ‘Daniel 7 and Revelation 13, the antichrist beast’,4 that the antichrist beast has power for 1260 prophetic days - in section 3.2 here we see that these equal 1260 actual years.

Blasphemies  - persecution of the saints - worshipped by those not written in the Lamb’s book of life  - thinks to change times and laws - apparent deadly wound that was healed  - all the world wondered after it.

Now, we must examine the Papacy to determine whether these characteristics match its record.

3. The Papacy

Important note: in discussing the Papacy we refer to the system, not individual Roman Catholics, who, though sincere, are misled by a system that places its own teachings above Scripture - even above its own Bible, the Douay Rheims (see section 3.3). 

3.1 Origins

By the end of the 2ndC AD, bishops of the early Christian church began congregating in regional synods. Over time, under successive Roman Emperors, the Bishop of Rome achieved pre-eminence.  By the 3rdC AD, the Bishop of Rome was acting as a court of appeal to resolve major problems.

In 313 AD, the bishops influenced the emperors Constantine (who ruled the western empire) and Licinius (who ruled the Balkans) to implement the Edict of Milan, which ended religious persecution, thus legalizing Christianity.

In 321 AD, again under the influence of bishops, the Edict of Constantine was issued, which decreed that all should rest on Sunday.

In 380 AD, Under Emperor Theodosius I, Christianity became the state religion of the Roman Empire.

In 533 AD, By Decree of the emperor Justinian, the Bishop of Rome was made head of all the churches.  However, the decree could not be implemented until 538 AD, when the Ostrogoths, who were besieging Rome, were defeated.  

Thus 538 AD marks the start of the Papacy proper.

Next, we must examine whether the Papacy fits the prophecies of Daniel 7 and Revelation 13.  An approximate fit will not suffice.

3.2 Key identifying characteristic: has power for 1260 years 

To qualify as the end time power represented in Daniel 7 and Revelation 13, the Papacy must match this key characteristic.

To understand this key identifying factor, we must first understand prophetic time.

Prophetic time employs the year-day principle in which one prophetic day = one actual year (see Nu 14:34; Eze 4:4-6).  The year-day prophetic principle was established in 380 AD, and is accepted widely today. 

A Biblical year = 360 days (a biblical month = 30 days)

Calculate the key identifying factor (Da 7:25; Re 13:5)

Daniel 7:  1 yr, 2 yrs, and 6 mths =  360 + 360x2 +180 = 1260 prophetic days (actual years)

Revelation 13:  42 months = 42x30 = 1260 prophetic days (actual years)

Now we must determine whether the Papacy's period of power did indeed last for 1260 years.

In section 3.1 we see that the Papacy proper began in 538 AD.

In 1798 AD the French General Berthier took the Pope into captivity, ending the Papacy's power.  The Pope died in exile in France. 

The Papacy’s period of power and authority: 1260 years, 538 AD to 1798 AD.

1798, in fact, marks the beginning of the end time on Earth - the power of the Papacy was broken and Bible truth could be re-discovered. However, nothing changed in Heaven in 1798 - the end-time change in Heaven occurred at a later date (see study: ‘The 2300 days prophecy’).

The breaking of Papal power constitutes the (apparent) deadly wound of the first beast of Revelation 13 (Re 13:3).  

Note. Only one head of the beast's seven heads (see study: ‘Daniel 7 and Revelation 13: the antichrist beast’,3.1) received the wound, not the whole beast, confirming that it is the manifestation of the beast power near the end of its allotted time span, which is the focus of the prophecy. 

This also confirms that all the heads refer to the stages of the Papacy throughout its time of power.

The deadly wound healed

Healing began in1929 with the ratification of the Lateran Accords, which recognized the full sovereignty of the Holy See in the state of Vatican City.

That the Lateran accords were granted to the Papacy confirms that the head that received the (apparent) deadly wound that was healed represents the Papal power, whose power was broken in 1798 AD.  

The wound will not be healed fully until the Papacy has full control of the world - its resurgence will be the final manifestation of Satan's power, when for a short time he will be allowed full control of the world (see studies: 'The end of human probation' and 'The time of trouble'). The current world situation cries out that we are almost at that point.  

3.3 Other characteristics 

The Papacy murdered millions who stood firm for Scripture truth.  All who denied Rome’s doctrines (particularly that of the Eucharist) were deemed heretics and were killed brutally.

Blasphemy is manifested in two ways:

Claiming to be God on Earth

- in the Canon Law of Rome 1582, the Pope is styled “Lord God the Pope”; it is deemed by the Papacy to be heresy to deny it.

- Pope Leo XIII, Encyclical June 20 1894: "We hold upon this Earth the place of God Almighty"

- Pope Innocent III, 12th century:  “…priests are so many gods” ”  (Note, the Papacy claims that it never changes; thus what the Pope asserted in the 12th century holds today)

Claiming the authority to forgive sin

Rome bases her authority to forgive sin on its claim to be Christ’s vicar on Earth. As such, they claim the same authority as Christ, who does have the authority to forgive sin (Mt 9:6; Mk 2:10; Luke 5:24).

Furthermore, Scripture states that only God has the authority to forgive sin (Is 43:25; Mk 2:7; Lk 5:21), thus confirming that Christ is God.

The Papacy claims the power and authority that belongs to God alone.

Dan 7:25  And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times [Strong’s H2165, season, time] and laws [Strong’s H1882, decree, law]... 


The Papacy claims to have changed the 4th (Sabbath) commandment by replacing the Seventh Day Sabbath with Sunday, the first day, for which there is no scriptural authority (see The Convert's Catechism of Catholic Doctrine, 1951 printing, page 50).

The Papacy claims that it is a sign of her power that she has done so (see Catholic statements on Sabbath/Sunday)


The Papacy has deleted the 2nd commandment (prohibiting graven images); to preserve ten commandments, they have split the 10th commandment into two.  This renumbers the Sabbath commandment to 3: a two-pronged attempt to eradicate the Seventh Day Sabbath.

The Commandments are in fact correct in the Douay-Rheims (Roman Catholic) Bible, but are changed in the Roman Catholic Catechism:

Douay-Rheims (Roman Catholic) Bible

1.  Thou shalt not have strange gods before me.

2.  Thou shalt not make to thyself a graven thing.

3.  Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.

4.  Remember that thou keep holy the sabbath day …on the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord. 

Roman Catholic Catechism

1.  I am the LORD your God: you shall not have strange Gods before me.

2.  You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.

3.  Remember to keep holy the LORD'S Day.

4.  Honor your father and your mother. 

This is a blatant setting aside of scripture: tampering with God’s holy Law. 

The Roman Catholic Catechism (navigate to Part three, Section two) on the Vatican website addresses the Ten Commandments, but deletes the Biblical second commandment prohibiting graven images.  

In making this change, Papal Rome gives the catechism higher authority than Scripture (even higher than its own Bible, the Douay Rheims), thus teaching for doctrine the commandments of men, for which Christ condemned the Pharisees (Mt 15:9; Mk 7:7).

Today the Papacy, has never been so popular.  The Pope is regarded as mediator and saviour by almost every denomination, religion and nation.

3.4 Has the Papacy Changed in recent times?

Many claim that because the Papacy was modernized as a result of the Roman Catholic council Vatican II (1962-1965), it no longer qualifies as the first beast of Revelation 13 - is this so?  

In 2007, Pope Benedict XVI confirmed, as follows, that the Papacy has not changed.




Did the Second Vatican Council change the Catholic doctrine on the Church?


The Second Vatican Council neither changed nor intended to change this doctrine, rather it developed, deepened and more fully explained it.

View on Vatican website (Scroll down past the introduction)

Thus the Papacy today is the same as she has always been - though she may present a modernized face. 

4. The number of the first beast of Revelation 13

Re 13:18  “Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six. [666]”

NB. Although this verse appears at the end of the description of the second beast of Revelation 13 (addressed in study: ‘The Mark of the Beast and the Seal of God’), it is referring to the first beast, because the first beast is the real power.

In this study we have identified the Daniel 7/4th beast and the Revelation 13/1st beast as referring to the satanic power that is represented in the Papacy.  

Thus the number of the beast (the number of a man) must apply to the Papacy personified, i.e. the sitting Pope.  

The apostle Paul confirms this when he addresses the 'man of sin' who will be revealed before the end, and whose characteristics confirm the Papacy (2Th 2:1-4). 

The title VICARIUS FILII DEI first appears in the ‘Donation of Constantine’, a document forged by the Papacy in the 8thC AD. This document applies the title to the apostle Peter to acclaim him as the first Pope.

VICARIUS FILII DEI was enshrined in the Decretum Gratiani (Gratian’s Decretum), which first appeared in AD 1140 and which became the main basis for Catholic canon law. 

The title is confirmed in the Catholic newspaper 'Our Sunday visitor', April 18th 1915.

Applying the title

As VICARIUS FILII DEI is a Latin title, we can sum the numeric values of the letters which are also Roman numerals:

V = 5 

I = 1 

C = 100



I = 1

U = 5  (U and V both = 5)


I = 1

L = 50

I = 1

I = 1

D = 500


I = 1

Add:  5+1+100+1+5+1+50+1+1+500+1 = 666

That this is the number of a man ties in with the ‘little horn’ of Daniel 7, which has eyes and a mouth like a man (Da 7:8).

The word ‘pontiff’ comes from the Latin ‘pontifex’ meaning ‘bridge-builder’. Pontifex Maximus was the title given to Roman emperors.

Therefore the Papacy, in the person of the Pope, is a continuation of pagan Rome, and as a consequence, it has incorporated pagan doctrines into its creed.

5. Further time prophecies in Daniel

Daniel ch.12 repeats the 1260 days prophecy (Da 12:7), and introduces two further time periods:

Dan 12:11  And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.

A strong historic contender for the start of the 1290 days/years prophecy is 508 AD.  In that year Clovis, King of the Franks was baptized into the Christian church.  This opened the way for widespread expansion of the church, leading to the establishment of the Papacy in 538 AD (see section 3.1).

The end of the 1290 days/years is thus 1798 AD, when the Papacy’s power was broken, marking the start of the end time on Earth (see section 3.2).  

Dan 12:12  Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days. 

Assuming 508 AD as also the start of the 1335 days/years, we come to 1843 AD.  

In study: ‘The 2300 days prophecy’ we see that 1844 AD marks the start of the end time in Heaven.  At that time Christ entered the Most Holy in the Heavenly Sanctuary to begin His final redemptive work.

Prior to 1844, and reaching its climax in 1843, the re-discovered Sanctuary truth was widely preached, heralding Christ’s final eradication of the sin of the redeemed, fitting them for entry to God’s Kingdom.

All three prophecies (1260, 1290 and 1335) are to be understood only in the time of the end (Da 12:8,9). Little detail is given about the 1290 and the 1335 days. Thus they are open to interpretation. 

However, they are in the same context as the 1260 days prophecy. It is reasonable therefore to believe that they run in parallel with the 1260 days, and that they are prophetic day/year periods, and that they expand on the 1260 days prophecy.

6. The Antichrist power - the Papacy or Islam?

Many claim that as a result of the Vatican II council (1962-65), which is credited with modernizing the Roman Catholic church, the Papacy has changed radically (this point is addressed in section 3.4).  

As a result they question whether the Papacy is the end time antichrist power - we must, they say, look to Islam instead.  This is an important question which must be examined.

6.1 Islam origins

In 610 AD Mohammad (570 AD to 632 AD) is said to have been visited by the angel Gabriel in a cave near Mecca, where he is given the first revelations of the Quran.

In 622 AD, because of persecution in Mecca, Mohammad and his followers fled to Medina, where Islam flourished.  The year 622 AD marks the beginning of the Islamic calendar.

In 630 AD, Mohammad returned to Mecca, where Islam was accepted.  After Mohammad’s death, Islam spread rapidly into a number of Caliphates (successors), in which condition it remains today.

6.2 Main Identifying characteristics of the Antichrist

The Antichrist has power for 1260 years, at the end of which it receives a seeming deadly wound. It is a blasphemous power, and it is headed by a single man whose number is 666.

Is it the Papacy or Islam that best fits these characteristics?

- the Papacy: 538 AD to 1798 AD - the Pope was taken prisoner and Rome’s power was ended. This was the seeming deadly wound (see section 3.3). 

- Islam: 622 AD to 1842 AD - nothing happened to Islam in 1842 AD.

- the Pope claims to be ‘God on Earth’; thus the Papacy is a blasphemous power (see section 3.3).

- Islam: no leader in Islam, from Mohammad on, has claimed to be ‘God on Earth’; thus Islam is not blasphemous.

- the Papacy is headed worldwide by one man, the Pope; his Latin title VICARIUS FILII DEI adds up to 666 (see section 4).

- Islam: there is no single Muslim leader; in fact, each year a book of the 500 most influential Muslim leaders is published.  Thus 666 cannot apply.

6.3 Conclusion

Islam does not fit Bible prophecies of the Antichrist power; thus it is not the end time Antichrist power.

The Papacy is a perfect fit for Bible prophecies of the Antichrist power; thus it is the end time Antichrist power.

Those who agitate the claim addressed in this section (that Islam is the antichrist) have been seduced by the Papacy.

7. Summary

The identity of the Biblical beast, or Antichrist, is indicated plainly.  In fact, the only thing the Bible does not do is actually name the organization which today exercises all the power of the beast: the Papacy.  

By its actions, and by its historical setting none need be in doubt as to the Antichrist’s identity and its intentions.  

God has forewarned the last day generations, so that none may be deceived.

Furthermore The Lord has granted us the Holy Spirit, whose task it is to guide us into all truth (Jn 16:13).  Thus none need be turned aside by the antichrist power.  Those who knowingly favour the unscriptural doctrines of the Papacy above Scripture truth will pay an eternal price.

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