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Originally posted by Bedlam
What I'm not so sure about is that even this is "the mark of the beast". My take on it is that you're going to have to overtly embrace the antichrist in a heads up sort of fashion, not buy a can of beans with a barcode or have an SSN.
In order to remove the papacy of the Catholic Church from consideration as the Antichrist (as an act of countering the Protestant Reformation), Ribera began writing a lengthy (500 page) commentary in 1585 on the Book of Revelation (Apocalypse) titled In Sacrum Beati Ioannis Apostoli, & Evangelistiae Apocalypsin Commentarij, proposing that the first few chapters of the Apocalypse apply to ancient pagan Rome, and the rest he limited to a yet future period of 3½ literal years, immediately prior to the second coming. During that time, the Roman Catholic Church would have fallen away from the pope into apostasy because of the Reformation cry stating that "the papacy is the seat of the true and real Antichrist." (Martin Luther, Aug. 18, 1520). Then, he proposed, the Antichrist, a single individual, would:
Persecute and blaspheme the saints of God.
Rebuild the temple in Jerusalem.
Abolish the Christian religion.
Deny Jesus Christ.
Be received by the Jews.
Pretend to be God.
Kill the two witnesses of God.
Conquer the world.
To accomplish this, Ribera proposed that the 1260 days and 42 months and 3½ times of prophecy were not 1260 years as based on the year-day principle (Numbers 14:34 and Ezekiel 4:6), but a literal 3½ years, hence preventing the arrival of the deduction of (i) the 1260 years to be related to the Dark Ages (according to the Historicism (Christianity) interpretation of eschatology from 538 A.D. when the papal power was fully established in Rome until its political blow in 1798 A.D., when Louis-Alexandre Berthier the general of Napoleon captured pope Pius VI as prisoner to Valence, France) and (ii) the Antichrist to be related to papacy.