Here is the resource, again, where the "Pope-is-Antichrist" teaching has been clearly stated. Please remember that the WMSCOG is not the only (or the first) group to hold to this teaching. So even when I write, "the WMSCOG says...," the other Pope-is-Antichrist groups also say something similar (and vice versa).
In Part 3, we saw how the Pope-is-Antichrist teaching of the 10 kingdoms arising out of the fall of Rome is not accurate with the historical record. Since the Papacy has failed to match up with this prophecy, we already know that the Pope is NOT the Antichrist, as the WMSCOG teaching claims. But for the sake of completeness (and just in case you are still not convinced), I'll continue with this study.
Continuing in Revelation 13...
Today, the "deadly wound":
And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast. So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?”
The WMSCOG says that this "deadly wound" happened in 1798 when Pope Pius VI was taken captive by one of Napoleon's generals. He died in 1799 while still being held by French troops. It took almost 7 months for the next Pope (Pius VII) to be elected. The church recovered, and the office of Pope is still occupied today. Is this the "deadly wound" to the Papacy that was healed?
Read the verses carefully and see that this deadly-but-healed wound was such that "all the world marveled and followed the beast." It's the kind of thing that would be all over the news and everyone would be talking about the miraculous recovery. Does "all the world" stand in awe of the Papacy surviving this incident? Are they amazed at the miraculous recovery and exclaim, "Who is like the Papacy [the beast]?"
What about these other "wounds" to the Papacy?...
Pope St. Hyginus--traditionally thought martyred about AD 140.
Pope St. Pius I--martyred by sword in 155.
Pope St. Anicetus--traditionally thought martyred in 166.
Pope St. Soter--traditionally thought martyred about 174.
Pope St. Eleuterus--traditionally thought martyred in 189.
Pope St. Callixtus--martyred about 223.
Pope St. Cornelius--"died a martyr, through extreme hardship" in 253.
Pope St. Stephen I--martyred by beheading in 257.
Pope St. Sixtus II--martyred by beheading in 258.
Pope St. Caius--legend says was martyred in 296.
(Wikipedia List of Popes)
Do you think those are too early in history to count? Maybe they were early enough to be uncorrupted Popes (as the WMSCOG might define "corrupt")?
Think of this... the WMSCOG says the church was already becoming corrupted, even that early. After all, Anicetus (who is on the list) was the Pope the WMSCOG accuses of taking the "lead in abolishing the Passover" in 155--a statement that is incorrect. (See Part 1)
How about these later "wounds"?...
Pope Benedict VI--seized by Roman nobles, imprisoned and strangled in 974.
The East-West Schism--the division of the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church in 1054.
[no Pope for 2 years]--A deadlock in voting resulted in no Pope in office from April 1292 to July 1294.
[no Pope for 2 years, again]--Another deadlock in voting resulting in no Pope in office from April 1314 to August 1316.
[no Pope, yet again for 2 years]--No Pope elected from July 1415 to November 1417.
The Protestant Reformation--the "revolt" in which Protestants broke away from the Roman Catholic Church beginning in 1517.
Pope Pius VI--taken prisoner by Napoleon's general in 1798, and died while still expelled from the Papal States in 1799. (This is the incident used by the WMSCOG.)
Pope Pius VII--expelled from the Papal States by France from 1809-1814.
Pope Pius IX--During his time as Pope, the Papal States were lost to the Kingdom of Italy (1870).
Consider the list. Any of these instances could easily be viewed as a deadly wound that healed. Rev. 13:3-4 indicates only one deadly wound--the word for "wound" is singular, and here we have so many to choose from. Why choose the one in 1798? I'll examine that next time with Revelation 13:5-7.
Yes, the Papacy (Catholic Church) has many "wounds" that could have caused its collapse, and it has survived. But the prophecy only refers to one, and it is the kind of deadly wound which causes the world to "wonder, marvel, and be amazed" with its healing. It's not describing a series of difficult struggles. The Papacy doesn't work well with this prophecy.
Click here to go on to Part 5.