From my initial point of inspiration, in 1994, in a flash of insight, I perceived that the set of the numbers of the popes, when added up would total somewhere near 666.
I then examined the Scriptures in regard to what is the wisdom in the counting of the beast whose number is 666. In Revelation 13:18, it reads; "Here is wisdom." and again in Revelation 17:9; "And here is the mind which hath wisdom." Both verses are referring to the same beast. (See pg. 108-109).
After I had gathering the list of the popes' names, I realized that there are the same number of the names of the popes since 1798 to the present, as there are heads and mountains in Revelation 17:9.
The use of the term "mountains" to denote heads, had indicated to me, to count the numbers of the names of the whole mountain of each head. The first of the seven heads is Pope Pius VII, following the transition that occurred in 1798 at the end of the 1,260 year period allotted to the beast's rule over the kings of the earth; the beast "that was, and is not." From 1798, the beast becomes; "and is not," and each name used for the popes, constitutes one of the seven mountains of the beast.
While it has been surmised by Protestants for a long time that the 666 Antichrist will arise from within the papacy, and even feared by Catholics alike, the available knowledge of its fulfillment is limited to the end time perspective. Neither did our early church pioneers predict the papal line so as to know their names and their count. Only since the time given in Revelation 17:10 with the observer at the time of the sixth head (1963-1978), do we perceive the papal line that identifies the seven heads and the count that they represent.
Considering also that most of the popes have taken a different name than their own, and of these names, they have
repeatedly used the same name, and have added "numbers" to them. To myself I thought; "If the popes do not want to be associated with the 666 beast, then why do they put numbers on their names?" I then set out to add these numbers and see how many popes there are. I derived the historic data from the Official Papal Record, which can be found from many sources.
The "discovery" of this research was first of one element, but from there, the Bible and history dictated what direction the prophecy intends it to have. I then noticed a host of more elements that have confirmed this study as present truth.
Finding one correctly interpreted set of matching elements led to finding all the others: When one portion of truth is perceived, it is like striking a rich vein in a mine; it leads along a path to greater truths. By making the first correct identification of the beast's heads, all of the other elements aligned themselves, as they are drawn from the same prophecy and the same historic record where the first set of matching of elements was found. A single thought, inspired at the right time, to the right person, and the path to present truth is made evident for all. Having noted the fact that the popes have put numbers on their names, I embarked on this research project that would gather the data and see how the numbers of their names add up.
I set out to answer one question: Did the numbers that the popes use on their names have anything to do with the count of the number 666? There are only two possible answers to this; Yes, or No. To determine this, it must be seen in the papal record that the number is there. Only the correct count could prove the answer as a "Yes." In all probability, it is harder to find any one specific number such as 666, than to find a thousand other possible numbers without a match to 666. A "Yes" is by odds harder to find than a "No." There have been seven papal names used since Napoleon declared the papacy dead. These
are the seven papal names whose numbers are added together to obtain the count.
The count comes to 665. The prophecy brings forth an eighth, after the seven, who would complete the count to 666. The context of the Greek indicates that this eighth follows in succession after the seven. I began to realize that I was finding more things about this prophecy than I had even thought to look for. The eight is the final one who enters perdition and is the one who makes the count complete.
Once the first element of this prophecy was discovered to fit, all subsequent elements of the prophecy came together by their own weight and merit, thus allowing the Bible to interpret itself. It is as though this research wrote itself because every subsequent element of the prophecy also finds its answer from this same papal list. There are more than thirty separate elements found in this prophecy which are all answered by this one list. In contrast, every other interpretation takes a radical diversion in search of something that might seem to fit, but upon closer examination, fails. They do not demonstrate that they have any connection to the Bible's own chiastic links. The Bible has demonstrated that this chiastic link reveals that the fulfillment from both verses is matched by the same historic record.
The papal record has already given us its pinpoint evidence, that forms a perfect alignment with every element of the prophecy of Revelation 17:9, 10, the "five are fallen, one is, and the other is not yet come," even to the detail of the "short space," and the same evidence fulfills a perfect alignment with Revelation 13:18, with the count of these same seven from Revelation 17:9, 10.
I later saw how accurately the seventh head fits with this record; Revelation 17:10 states that at the time of the 'sixth' head, the 'seventh' had not come yet. John Paul, as the seventh head, had come only after Paul, who was the sixth head.
There was no attempt on my part to set any agenda beyond my initial plan to determine if the number 666 could be found from the papal numbers. But when I found that the number 666 does exist in the record, it also revealed an aligning of this historic record with all the rest of the elements of this prophecy, to which it is chiastically linked.
It was not my plan to discover the identity of the seven heads, and the other parts of the detailed fulfillment of the prophecy, but that was the natural result in the course which I had set out to do. This research would have gone nowhere, except that I have found an affirmative
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answer in my quest. Attached to this first answer, was the whole line of elements in the prophecy, all neatly following in their order, being reflected in the same historic record.
Led by these very elements, I have said of this research, that it wrote itself.
I was commended for having tried to interpret such a difficult chapter (Revelation 17). I disagree. There was nothing difficult about it; I watched as it interpreted itself. The Bible should always be that simple. I did not write the prophecy, nor did I control the history that aligns with it. All that I have done is to show that these prophecies of the number 666, and of the seven heads of the beast, are completely and accurately aligned with the historic record of the papacy.
John Paul II had been in office for 19 years when this interpretation was first written. No one had counted these numbers when there were only six heads present.
The Bible affirms that when a prophecy is fulfilled, it is the time in which it is understood. When I first began this research, all seven heads were already present in the historic record.
The more I looked at how the papal history fits the prophecy, and of what I have written, the more certain I am that it is true. The historical record of the popes appears like a rubber stamp of this prophecy.
For those who have always held that the "beast" spoken of in this prophecy, has represented the papacy, should not be surprised then, that this most recent fit with the papal record, continues to point to the truth that the papacy is this beast, and that the popes as the beast's heads, is the correct interpretation of this prophecy. It is within this arena that we will see the imminent end of the world.
In the original thought that spawned this research, I did not fully anticipate that the results would be as revealing as they have become.
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This is common knowledge that disaster is everywhere. Its in the streets, its inside your campuses, and it can even be found inside your home. The question is not whether we are safe because no one is really THAT secure anymore but whether we can do something to lessen the odds of ever becoming a victim.