The results of my investigation are showing that the Pope is NOT the Antichrist according to these prophecies. But I want to be thorough, so I won't quit yet. For your reference, here again is where you can find the "Pope-is-Antichrist" teaching.
Continuing to examine the beast of the sea in Revelation 13...
Today, the 1260 days:
And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them...
This is similar to Daniel's prophecy:
He shall speak pompous words against the Most High,
Shall persecute the saints of the Most High,
And shall intend to change times and law.
Then the saints shall be given into his hand
For a time and times and half a time.
A time (1 year) and times (2 years) and half a time (half a year) equals 3 1/2 years, which equals 42 months, which equals 1260 days (figuring with the Hebrew calendar of 30 days per month). This length of time is mentioned 8 times in the Bible regarding the end days (Daniel 7:25, 9:27, and 12:7; Revelation 11:2-3, 13:5, and 12:6,14), which might cause you to wonder if all 8 verses are referring to the same era. Right now, we'll focus on Rev. 13:5 which tells us the beast was given authority to rule for 1260 days.
In prophecy, a day could refer to a year (Eze. 4:6; Num. 14:34), but it doesn't have to. In Daniel 4:16, the seven prophetic years were seven actual years, not 2520 years (7x12x30=2520). Therefore, the 1260 days (3 1/2 years) could prophesy 1260 days or 1260 years.
Remember in Part 4 we saw the many different years that could have been considered fatal wounds to the Papacy? The question was, why choose the one in 1798? The answer lies in this prophecy of the 1260 days.
Backing up 1260 years from 1798 gives us the year 538. This is the year the WMSCOG claims the last of the 3 opposing kingdoms was destroyed by the Papacy (See Part 1), which cemented the Pope's rule. Therefore, they say, the Pope had a rule of 1260 years, fulfilling this prophecy.
Now the question is, did the Pope's rule begin in 538 with the destruction of the Ostrogoths (as the WMSCOG claims)?
To find the answer, I've been researching the history of the Church and the history of the Gothic War of 535-554. These are years that could be considered as the mark of the beginning of the reign of the Catholic Church (not counting Matt. 16:18 or Acts 2):
313--Edict of Milan, issued by Constantine, ending the persecution of Christians
325--Council of Nicaea, which the WMSCOG says ended the Passover for the world
551--The Gothic War, Rome finally liberated from the Ostrogoths and place under Byzantine control
553--Last remnants of the Gothic army defeated
800--Charlemagne, the first emperor crowned by a Pope
Where is the year 538, which the Pope-is-Antichrist teaching clings to? Maybe we'll find it if we look closer at the Gothic War? Here's a summary of the war as it relates to Rome...
536--Byzantine (Roman) army enters Rome
537 to 538--First siege of Rome, ends with the Romans maintaining control
546--Second siege of Rome, ends with the Goths in control of Rome
547--Romans regain control of Rome
549--Third siege of Rome, Rome regained by the Goths
551--Goths lose Rome, and the Romans (Byzantines) are able to maintain control until 751
Reading about the Gothic War tells us that the Ostrogoths were definitely NOT destroyed in 538. In fact, looking at these dates, there is no good reason to choose the year 538!
Why choose the year 538 from this list, and choose the year 1798 from the list of potential fatal wounds? So that you can force the Catholic Church to fit into the prophecy of 1260 years.
Do you remember when I checked out the WMSCOG's sources in Part 1 and saw that they were fairly close in their dates of the destruction of three kingdoms? This is the date that was not quite accurate, and now we see the implications of it.
What kind of church plays with dates like this simply to make a prophecy seem to come to fulfillment? There are two reasons I can think of: ignorance or malicious intent. Is this what you'd expect from a church supposedly founded by "Father God" and currently run by "Mother God" in the flesh?
There's more to say about the 1260 days next time.
Click here to go on to Part 6.