"He Who Does Not Remember History Is Condemned To Repeat It"     -     Georges Santayana
"Power tends to Corrupt, and Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely"     -     Lord Acton
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Accession Year -  The Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary for computer, 2000 edition, defines accession as:  the act of coming to high office or a position of honor or power.  The exact definition as used by archeologists seems to be the calendar year in which a king officially takes office.  In an accession year dating system, such as was used in Babylon and the Jews living there and thereafter in Judah, the accession year was not counted towards the years of a kings reign.  The next calendar year was counted as his first year, the next as his second year, and so on.  The first year after the accession year was the first regnal year.

Amulet -  From the Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 2000 computer version, is the following definition:  a charm (as an ornament) often inscribed with a magic incantation or symbol to protect the wearer against evil (as disease or witchcraft) or to aid him.

Antipope -  There are popes and then there are antipopes. 

A pope is considered to have been rightfully authorized by the Catholic Church to rule as a legitimate pope.  The names and numbers of legitimately elected popes are counted in the Catholic Church's official list of popes so that future popes with the same name will normally take on the next number in the sequence. 

An antipope usually is one who claims the title of pope but for various reasons is not considered to have been rightfully authorized by the Catholic Church to rule as pope.  Antipopes are NOT COUNTED in the Catholic Church's official list of popes and the number that is assigned to their name IS NOT COUNTED.   In one or two cases, it appears the antipopes have included popes that were deposed, fired, or in some way let go, or for various other reasons were not selected to be part of the official record.  History may not be clear on why they were treated in such a fashion.  Most antipopes were individuals that pretended to be the real pope in the hopes of gaining the Papal throne, but failed in their endeavor.

The official definition of antipope from the Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary for computer, 2000 edition, is: antipope - one elected or claiming to be pope in opposition to the pope canonically chosen.

Information from the Catholic Encyclopedia on Antipopes, including a list of antipopes.

A short story about one such antipope.

Gentiles -  This is the term the Jews used since the time of Jesus (and probably long before) for anyone who was not Jewish.

Investigative Judgment -  This is a term that is not found in the Bible itself, but is used to describe the judgment of investigation of those who have ever claimed Christ in their lives.  This judgment occurs before the second coming of Jesus, and stands in contrast to the judgment of punishment for the wicked, which occurs during the millennium after the second coming of Jesus.

Primary Characteristics -  These consist of either one or two things, which are (1) The position in which a beast appears in a series of beasts (if it does appear with others), and (2) Whether it has multiple heads/multiple horns. 

The position a beast appears in a series of beasts deterermines it's relative occurance in time.  For example, in Daniel 7, the bear occurred after the lion, so the kingdom the bear represented occurred after the kingdom represented by the lion.  This should be rather straightforward.

Whether it has multiple heads/multiple horns, determines whether the beast represents a kingdom that occurs in one, two, or 3 phases.  The first phase is the initial formation of a kingdom, which may come about by conquest, or it may arise by other means.  If the second phase occurs (there are multiple heads or horns), the second phase is the next stage of a kingdom and seems to follow a major change in the first phase of the kingdom, such as the death of the leader of the kingdom and following that will have some sort of division of the kingdom.  This division may occur naturally or simply be defined as such by God in the Bible.

If there is a third phase of a kingdom, then it will have both multiple heads and multiple horns.  In this case, there will be a second major change in the status of a kingdom so that it begins a 3rd stage in its progress forward through time and history.

Regnal Year -  Regnal is defined by Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary as: of or relating to a king or his reign;  specifically: calculated from a monarch's accession to the throne.  In the accession year system used by the Babylonians and Jewish exiles from the time of their captivity and afterwards, the regnal year of a king was the first calendar year after the accession year.  In this method, the accesion year was sort of a year "zero", and full calendar years after that began the count of the king's reign.  These years, with a count greater than zero, are the regnal years.

Stephen -  Stephen was a very early Christian who evidently was Jewish and lived in the city of Jerusalem.  He was stoned to death by the Jewish leaders for his belief in Jesus a couple of years after the death of Jesus, which some authorities suggest was probably in 34 AD because evidence seems to indicate that shortly after, God opened up the work for the gentiles.  This opening of the work for the gentiles,without working through the Jewish nation, may have signalled that God recognized that Israel would not meet the conditions of the prophecy set down in Daniel 9:24-27, which meant the Jewish people were no longer the favored nation they had once been.  God was now willing to open up favored status to anyone.  You can read about Stephen in Acts 6 and 7.

Secondary Characteristics -  These are things other than the primary characteristics (see Primary Characteristics on this page), and usually involve such things as species of beast (or even multiple beast parts such as the feet of the bear on the leopard beast of Revelation 13), wings attached to the back, ribs in the mouth of a beast, a woman sitting on top of the heads, colors described for it (such as the red of the dragon of Revelation 12), verbally described behaviors, and so on. 

The environment a beast is shown in tells you both it's behavior AND the time it occurs.  For example, the beasts of Daniel 7 came up from the sea, with winds blowing over the waters.  This tells you that when it came about, it arose during a time of warfare and strife among the peoples and nations.  On the other hand, the beast of Revelation 17 is shown in the desert.  It is not shown arising from anywhere.  So, the desert setting does not tell you how it arose.  But the desert is the same as the abyss that beast went into, so it is telling you that it will act with restraint during this time and will be there when the woman is sitting on it.