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Two Models To Explain Revelation 17:10

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Two Models To Explain Revelation 17:10


Revelation 17:9-10 says the following:

Rev 17:9 And here is the mind which has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sits.

Rev 17:10 And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he comes, he must continue a short time.

Many people, for good reasons, read the two verses quoted above and, believing that the mountains symbolize kingdoms (based on things they see in Daniel), conclude that verse 10 is explaining a series of political kingdoms. The primary idea of their thinking is that all seven heads are in sequence, something which the author calls the sequential model because all the kingdoms form a sequence.  But, is the model correct?  And is it possible that there is another better way to understand it?

Verse 10 is part of the mystery of the beast and the woman that the angel told John about in the vision. This web page has the purpose of explaining the two different models that can be used to explain Revelation 17:10.  Many have been taught one model of how to understand Revelation 17, the sequential model, but have never been taught that there is a second way to understand it.  The author believes that once you see how the old sequential model compares to the new one, the author thinks that you will realize that the new way to explain Revelation 17 is much better than the old way and may even get you a bit excited as you begin to see what this really means.  Of course, depending on the model one chooses, the resulting explanation of the mystery the angel told John can be quite different.

Now, you might be thinking that there cannot be any better way than the sequential model you now understand.  Are you sure about that?  What if you are wrong?  If you believe that you are right, how can you be absolutely sure that you really are right unless you have compared it to all possible alternatives?

You have nothing to be afraid of in studying this page.  The author uses information directly from the Bible and history and does not employ tricks to deceive you.  All the information presented here is easily verifiable using outside sources, so there is likely no real reason why you cannot study this page.  You do not have to be worried that it will somehow "contaminate" you!

So, sit back and enjoy this page.  It should open your mind to new possibilities that you have never though of before this time. It will expand your horizons and your mind and help you better understand Revelation 17 as never before. We believe that you will choose to accept the new model after you come to understand it, but even if you do not, you will better understand your own beliefs. You do want to grow in knowledge of the Bible, do you not?  Well, this is your chance!

The Sequential Model

While the details may vary some from one person to another, many believe that Revelation 17:10 shows a series of political kingdoms spanning a long period of history.  This is a Sequential Model in which the kingdoms both rise and fall in sequence, one following the other.

In verse 10, the angel told John that "one is".  For this reason, many think that the 6th of their series of kings/heads absolutely MUST be in John's time. Consequently, they usually believe that pagan Rome was the "one is".  Then, given that the angel told John that there was one more yet to arrive who would remain only a short time, it all sounds very, very convincing and extremely logical that the kingdoms are in sequence - all of them. Consequently, the sequential model becomes the basis for their belief and they never learn that there is a better way to see it.  Once people choose to see verse 10 in this way, it is extremely difficult for them to see that this verse any other way unless they first back up and re-examine their assumption that the sixth head is in John's own time.  Before doing that it is best for them to first learn exactly how they are currently looking at it and then learn how the alternative works.  Once they clearly understand how and why they look at Rvelation 17:10 using the sequential model and how that works and learn to understand how the alternative model works, then they have the option to see it from a different perspective.  Only then can they make an informed decision.

Frequently, when people are told that Revelation 17 can be explained in a better way, they may listen to the explanation and then often object by saying, "But it says 'one is', which has to be in John's time, so you cannot possibly be right!" Their logic is correct based on the assumptions they have, but as is true with all logical systems, if their conclusion is based on a false assumption, then the conclusion is also false. So, it is very important to know whether this assumption is or is not correct.  The conclusion depends on it.

To this objection the author must reply "Are you absolutely certain this prophecy of "one is" is in John's time and that it is written in stone that it is in John's time so that it cannot possibly refer to another time? Are you totally sure about that?   What if I can show you a way to understand Revelation 17:10 which completely satisfies its conditions and yet shows you that the 'one is' is NOT in John's time, but another time altogether?"  Do you say, "That's impossible!"  Well, stay around.  You might be surprised.

Now, before continuing, permit me to say that the author is about to challenge your thinking a bit.  Its important for you to have an open mind, one open and willing enough to perceive new truth, but not so open that your brain falls out!  By "new truth", the author does not mean falsehood that is falsely claimed to be truth, and it certainly is not "truth" that only confirms what you already believe (many have an attitude that the only new truth they will ever accept is that which confirms that which they already know, which NEVER leads to a discovery of real new truth).  And there is new truth to be discovered, so please don't discount what I am about to say here until you have given it a careful examination.  Fair enough?

The sequential model, the idea that the heads/kings are in sequence, with the "one is" at the time of John, does seem very reasonable to most anyone upon reading Revelation 17:10 Without a proper understanding of the heads/kings/mountains as they are used in this verse, its often difficult for it to be seen otherwise.  Over the centuries, various explanations have been put forward to explain this verse, apparently most of them using the sequential model.  However, complicating this fact, God intended that this information be kept from our understanding UNTIL the time was right for the verse to be unfolded to the astonishment of the last generation, which is the time just before the Second Coming of Jesus.  That time is now. The major work of prophesy is to reveal the future in a timely fashion that increases our faith in the Hand and Vision of God. This is why prophesy is given to us, because God cares about us. And this is why we study prophesy, so that we are not found sleeping at the switch.

Below is a diagram showing one explanation of the 7 heads/kings using the sequential model.  Note that the "one is" is placed at the time of John, so is pagan Rome.


This is not the only explanation out there in the world but most of them have two things in common:

  • The "one is" is usually placed at the time of John when he was writing Revelation (for apparently obvious reasons)
  • All are in a sequence from first to last

On the surface of it, you should be able to see that the diagram meets most of the conditions of Revelation 17:10 because five rose and fell prior to the "one is", with one more after the "one is" to complete the seven.  This particular model fails to meet all the conditions because Papal Rome actually existed longer than any of the prior political kingdoms which affected God's people (Papal Rome, since the time of Constantine, about 1700 years and counting), which violates the condition that it remains only a short time (clearly relative to the other 6). But people seen to ignore this glaring misfit of the prophesy and believe it anyway since it mostly seems to fit.  Further, the tradition of teaching this interpretation through many generations acts to solidify their belief and defense of it, as if the frequent and long standing repetition of it makes it a fact. But the fact remains, relative to the other empires used to fit this overlay into place, Papal Rome did not last a short time as the Revelation prophesy REQUIRED IT WOULD, if this were the correct overlay of history! The prophesy has been mispositioned on the timeline. The truth of this particular sequential interpretation is as simple as that.

There is another interpretation using the sequential model as the foundation for interpretation and the "one is" is placed at a different time than that of John.  This interpretation is a variation of the 1929 seven popes theory, which you can read about, if you wish, at http://www.biblelight.net/satan.htm.  This interpretation has several deficiencies, which will not be explained here.

Of course, perhaps the author did not mention your particular belief, so you may think that you are safe.  Maybe, and maybe not.  Take a good look at the alternate model next.  You might like what you see!


The Parallel Model

The sequential model, regardless of the interpretation placed upon it, has one very important weakness.  There is no example in Daniel of a sequence of kingdoms for either heads or horns on a beast.  Whenever there was a sequence of kingdoms in Daniel, then a series of beasts are presented, not a series of heads or horns.  Why is it that in Revelation 17, if the heads are supposed to be a series of kingdoms, they are not presented as a series of beasts?

Some might try to get around this by saying, "well, the beast in Revelation 17 is Satan and these are just his kingdoms, so they can be a series of heads!"  The idea behind this is that the heads always belong to the beast they are on.  In other words, a leopard has a leopard head on it, not the head of a bear or crocodile.  Their reasoning is that the leopard has a leopard head on it because it is a "leopard kingdom" and even if there is more than one head on it, the heads will be leopard heads because the multiple heads represent that the body is being divided into smaller divisions of the leopard kingdom some time after the kingdom represented by the body first rises to power.  This is rather logical so long as the heads are merely divisions of the SAME kingdom.  So, with the devil as the beast in Revelation 17, this supposedly solves their problem because the devil, were he the beast, would then own the kingdoms and perhaps could indeed have them as a series.  Besides the fact that there is no example in Daniel of a beast having heads that occur in a series, there is another problem which is that the Bible says the political kingdoms belong to God (see Daniel 5:19), so its not possible for their argument to be true.  If the devil is the body of the beast, then the heads cannot belong to him IF they are a series of political kingdoms.  God has already ruled that out. However, this does not rule out that they could be a series of religious kingdoms - if a series is what John was actually being told about.

People may argue that since it says in Revelation 17 that the 6th head "is" and "the other is not yet come" , this proves ALL of the heads are in sequence.  It sounds reasonably convincing.  According to their reasoning, one does not need to follow the example in Daniel because they have already proved that John clearly shows is that the model in Daniel was not to be followed here.  But, please, be honest with yourself (something always very important to do).  Does it really say that ALL of the heads are in sequence or is this an assumption based on the fact that 2 of them are in sequence?  If you are honest with yourself, you should realize that this is an assumption.  There is a very big difference between facts and assumptions.  There is no question that it APPEARS as if the head typically called head #6 (the "one is" head) comes after the others and it should be abundantly clear from the text that head #7 does factually occur after head #6. But does head #6 actually come after the other 5 heads?  Maybe.  The assumption that the heads are all in sequence does strongly suggest to many that head #6 must come after the other 5 heads.  This means the others appear to rise and fall before head # 6 comes along.  But, just maybe it really is not that way in spite of appearances.  What does the Bible actually tell us about this?

The problem with all of this is that because some people have this mind set that all the heads are in sequence and it appears to work.  Because of it they fail to examine the possibility that one can follow the model in Daniel AND satisfy the conditions of Revelation 17:10.  It really can be done. Of course, surely by now you must wonder how that can be done.  The author will now explain that in detail.

To begin our discovery process, let us carefully examine the model in Daniel.  The real truth may surprise you.

The model in Daniel is probably best exemplified by the 4 headed leopard of Daniel 7, which showed the sequence of events related to the kingdom created by Alexander the Great.  In the history books we learn that Alexander created a large empire in just a few years and then died shortly afterwards in 323 BC.  For more than 20 years prior to 301 BC, there were attempts by the various generals (five in number then) to reunite the kingdom and recreate the empire, each of whom naturally dreamed that he alone would rule the entire empire.  But in 301 BC four of the generals had tired of the many wars among them for this purpose and decided that to end it they had to end the efforts (which had begun again) of the fifth general towards that goal.  Four of them got together and went to war against the fifth general, who was killed and nearly all of his territory taken (his son got away and was permitted to keep a very small amount of territory).  Following the battle in 301 BC, the four generals wrote and signed an agreement dividing nearly all of the remaining territory of the empire. Professional historians recognize that 301 BC marks the point at which the desire of all four generals to recreate the empire was gone.  For this reason, most professional historians will state that the empire was divided four ways.

When the empire of Alexander was divided in 301 BC, the four generals ruled in parallel with one another.  Thus, the model in Daniel is a parallel model rather than a sequential model.

Below is a diagram to illustrate the important information about the divisions of Alexander's empire.

Parallel Kingdoms Model

parallel kingdoms model illustration

Now, the first thing of importance to note is that all four king lines of the four kingdoms began to rule essentially on the same date.  Today we date them as starting in 301 BC. 

The second important thing to note is that all four generals/kings ruled their kingdoms until their deaths, after which their descendants ruled the kingdoms until they were conquered one by one and their king lines ended.  You can say they ruled in PARALLEL with one another because they all started to rule on the same date and all continued to rule until their king lines were ended by conquest of their kingdom and the king line on the throne removed by the conquerers.  THIS is the Biblical model of divisions of heads and horns in Daniel 7 and 8.  All heads occur at the same time as other heads and all horns occur at the same time as the other horns.  Thus, they rule in parallel with their respective counterparts rather than in sequence as is commonly believed occurs in Revelation 17:10.

The third thing that is important to note is that the various divided kingdoms FELL one at a time rather than all of them falling at once.  They all began at the same time, but their fall times, the point in time when the line of kings that ruled each kingdom from its beginning was conquered by an outside invader and subsequently removed from power, was different for each kingdom. Note that each head fell when the last king of a line died.

The fourth thing of importance to note is that the four kings of Alexander's successor kingdoms ruled from within the previously existing kingdom of Alexander the Great.  They did not rule other territory, so their kingdoms were merely a division of the original kingdom.

So, in summary, the parallel model has four important aspects to it, which are:

  • The king lines begin ruling on the same date
  • The king lines rule in parallel with one another
  • The king lines that rule each kingdom usually fall at different times
  • The king lines ruled the divided empire of the original empire (or whatever is left of it), and did not rule other territory outside the original empire

Daniel 7 Four-Headed Leopard Beast

Remember from history and the Bible that the Leopard Beast represents the time of Alexander's line, and the four heads represent the time after Alexander's line was gone, the time of the four generals who divided Alexander's empire and their descendants, or in other words, the four lines of kings who divided Alexander's empire.  It should not be hard to comprehend that through the symbol of the four-headed leopard, the Bible shows us that time is represented as moving forward through the body of the beast, beginning at the tail and continuing into and through the 4 heads, which represent the 4 generals and their descendants who divided the empire and ruled at the same time with each other (we might say that they ruled in parallel with one another rather than sequentially).  We just need to remember that the four lines ended at different times, which means that the four heads fall at different times. We can easily summarize it by saying that the body comes first in history, which is then followed by the four heads that all rule at the same time as one another.

This pattern demonstrates for us the Parallel Kingfoms Model.  The exact same principle can successfully be applied in Revelation 17 and can help us to better understand how to interpret it.  Daniel sets down the principles of interpretation for us and should not be ignored if we are to successfully understand the prophetic beasts of Revelation.  All we have to do is use them in Revelation.

Something that is very important to understand is that there is no sequential model for either heads or horns of any prophetic beast in the book of Daniel.  This is very significant because IF one wishes to use the sequential model to explain the prophecy in Revelation 17, then logically there should be an example of it somewhere in Daniel. Yet, evidence of such an example in Daniel is missing.  It simply does not exist, something that should alert us that using the sequential model is very likely wrong.  We should instead try to find a way to  use the parallel model because we do have several examples of that in Daniel.  However, there appears to be no way to use the parallel model in Revelation 17 AND have the "one is" at the time of John.  This should alert us immediately that the "one is" must be at a future time to John.  Justification for looking to the future is found in several places in Revelation, including Revelation 4:1, where John was told that he was to see the future.  The future is the primary focus of Revelation, and any theory which tends to move us into John's past, such as the sequential model with the "one is" at the time of John, is likely moving us in the wrong direction because most of it then is in the past, not the future. This tends to violate the focus of the vision and should alert us that there almost certainly is a major problem with the theory.

Now, here is where I want to challenge your thinking.  Revelation 17:10 says that "five have fallen ".  This clearly implies they are past history, something for which there is no reason to argue.  Notice too that the five have fallen relative to the point in time of the "one is".  Now, most people read this and then notice that the 7th has not yet come, so naturally they tend to think about this and realize that the 7th will first rise and then fall.  Consequently, they naturally tend to assume that this is talking about both the RISE and  FALL of all of the kingdoms.  And because they see the 6th head is followed by the rise and fall of the 7th kingdom, they conclude that they are a SEQUENCE of political kingdoms.  But, suppose that this statement is NOT emphasizing their rise and fall, but only their fall?  If it was emphasizing their rise and fall, then perhaps each of them could rise, rule for a while, and then fall.  If seen as a sequence, then the sequential model perhaps makes sense to many people. 

Given these thougths in the minds of most people, it is clear why they might believe that the angel was telling a mystery to John using the sequential model as his point of reference.

But what if the angel, without telling you so, was actually using the parallel model as a point of reference to explain things instead of the sequential model that most everyone ASSUMES he used?  Does this not change everything?  If he was speaking to John with a parallel model in mind, then ALL of the seven kings/heads (with the exception of the seventh as explained to John) would ARRIVE on the scene AT THE SAME TIME and then FALL IN SEQUENCE. Then his explanation of "five have fallen " means merely that six of the heads/kings began to rule at the same time starting on the same date.  They then ruled together for some time and fell one at a time so that at some point in time, five of those had already fallen.  This means that the sixth head/king line continues to exist beyond the five and consequently is the "one is" because, quite literally, it is the only one left.  Once the sixth line falls, then the 7th comes and falls later.  After him comes the 8th, which it says is the beast.

Another way to say this is that 6 lines started ruling at the same time and continued to rule, but one at a time the heads fell until there was only one left.  The angel stood in the time of that one remaining head and looked back in time from his temporal vantage point.  He declared that "five have been." From his point in time, that was a true statement.  He declared that "one is".  At the point from where he was standing in time, there was only one head/king remaining.  But he went on to say that "the other is not yet come; and when he comes, he must continue a short time."  From his standpoint in time, there was one more line that had not yet come who would arrive on the scene after the "one is" fell, after which he (the seventh line) would also fall.  Does this make good sense to you?

But, I suspect you are muttering to yourself that this cannot be right because it still says "one is", clearly meaning at the time of John.  Well, does it say what you think it means?  I would like to suggest not.  There are several reasons why things may not be what they seem to be.  What we think the Bible says is sometimes different from what it actually says.  Is it a good idea to let opinion get in the way of the facts? I do have Biblical reasons to back up what I have been saying here in this paragraph so should you close your mind to any other possibility than the sequential model before you know all the facts?.

First, the angel told John in Revelation 4:1 that he was to see things of the FUTURE.  If that is true, why does the angel explain the 7 heads of the scarlet beast of Revelation 17 to him if most of them are already in his past? Does that not seem to make a liar out of the angel's statement in Revelation 4:1?  It should cast a shadow of doubt on the interpretation method commonly used and argues that the "one is" must be in the future.  It does not prove it, but anyone reading this had better have a very good reason to justify the sequential model that places most of the heads in John's past and should be able to prove that there is no alternative possible before insisting that the time of John had to be when the "one is" occurs. The trouble is that there really is an alternative explanation, a good one that fits the requirements of Revelation 17:10 very well.  Consequently, there is no reason to insist that the sequential model is the only correct explanation. To insist otherwise is not wise.

Second, consider that God is fair and just. Or is he really that way?  Does God punish people for things that they have not done and are not responsible for?  Now, consider that the theory that the 7 heads/kings of the scarlet beast of Revelation 17 are a sequence of ancient kingdoms leading all the way to Papal Rome makes God out to be unfair and unjust. This assertion is completely true, and here is why.  The body of the beast of Revelation 17 clearly has blasphemy upon it, which means it is a Papal power. One of the ancient kingdoms that is commonly said to be one of the heads of the scarlet beast is Egypt. There is no question that Egypt mistreated God's people, for which those directly responsible will pay in the day of judgment.  But what on earth does the mistreatment of God's people by ancient Egypt have to do with Papal Rome?  Papal Rome did not in any way cause ancient Egypt to mistreat God's people.  We know that Satan and his agencies did that, so it is they who were the instigators of such actions, not Papal Rome.  Papal Rome came along long after the Israelites had left ancient Egypt so there is no way that Papal Rome can be said to be responsible for the things that ancient Egypt did.

Here is why that is important.  The angel told John at the beginning of Revelation 17 that he was to see the punishment of the woman.  Then, in the very heart of the chapter, he proceeds to tell the mystery of the 7 heads.  The purpose of telling the mystery of the 7 heads is to explain why the woman is punished later.  There is a story to it and the angel gets busy telling that story in a mystery that we are left to figure out.  If the heads are a series of ancient kingdoms, it means that God will punish the woman for things that these ancient kingdoms such as ancient Egypt did long before the Papacy existed.  Is that fair?  It seems abundantly clear to me that it is not. 

Contrary to this, if the 7 heads are all Papal, then it makes perfect sense that the woman should be punished for what the 7 heads do as well as what the beast itself does, which makes sense that God would then be fair in punishing the woman for their actions.  This argues against the heads being a series of ancient political kingdoms.  It also argues that the "one is" cannot refer to John's time, but instead must refer to a future time.

Third, the word "is" in the phrase "one is" is clearly a present tense verb, which appears to argue that the "one is" must be in John's time. This is the basis for the objections by many and certainly is something that appears logical and well founded.  But, again, things may not always be the way they appear to be.  Logically to be sure of things, one must ask, "is it actually true that the verb 'is' makes the 'one is' in John's time?"  The truth is that there is good reason to believe that it does not have to be in John's time in spite of the use of language in the present tense.The author will now show you an example elsewhere in Revelation where the angel uses a present tense verb, and yet it is clear from the context that the angel was actually referring to a future event.  The angel spoke AS IF he were actually in the future (relative to John's time) and describing things from his future vantage point and referred to things in the past, present, and future relative to that future point of reference.  Things that were in the present at the time from which the angel was speaking were spoken of as if they were in the present.  Thus, the "one is" was in John's future, but for the angel, it was as if the "one is" was in his present because he was speaking as if he was actually in the future.  I hope this makes sense!  Anway, does this surprise you?  It is true.  Permit the author to demonstrate that the angel elsewhere in Revelation spoke as if he were in the future and yet use present tense language to describe things he saw..

Read this verse, please:

Rev 11:18 And the nations were angry, and your wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that you should give reward unto your servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear your name, small and great; and should destroy them who destroy the earth.

Now, notice the present tense phrase "and your wrath is come".  The verb "is" clearly is a present tense verb.  You cannot mistake that unless you do not read English well.  The "nations were angry" clearly is past tense. What is interesting is that this verse is from the information about the 7th trumpet.  Anyone who has read Revelation and understands its basic themes should realize that the event in the verse above is the 7th trumpet and was clearly NOT an event of John's time.  Consequently, the statement that "your wrath IS come" CANNOT possibly refer to John's own time, but rather refers to an event yet future to John. 

In the verse above, the angel is describing things to John concerning the future relative to John's time and was speaking to John AS IF he (the angel) was actually in the future describing things to John that he was seeing from that future point in time.  The phrase "your wrath is come" refers to the seven last plagues explained in Revelation 15 and 16, which we know is yet future even to our own time in 2010 when this page is being written.

This proves that the present tense verb "is" in Revelation 17:11 does not necessarily mean that the time of John was intended to be the time of the "one is". It is important that we not get our minds so tightly locked into things that we cannot adjust them to the facts.  The facts are very plain: Revelation 17:11 clearly does refer to an event yet future to John. It changes the perspective to understand that this can happen.

What makes the difference in Revelation 11?  It is the context, the information presented around the verse in question that tells us it is about the future beyond John's time of the vision.  Likewise, in Revelation 17:10, it is the context that provides us with information which clarifies that it is about the future relative to John and does not and cannot refer to his own time.

There are several facts that point to the "one is" not being in John's time. To summarize, some of these facts are as follows:

  • The angel said that the beast "was, is not, even he is the 8th", which clearly lines up with the body as the "was" time, the heads as the "is not" time, and the horns of the beast as the time when the 8th will exist.  This precisely follows the pattern in Daniel 7 for the beasts. 
  • Heads in Daniel NEVER coexist with the body of a beast they are on nor did any of them predate the body.  Thus, the 7 heads MUST come after the time represented by the body of the beast. There are no examples to the contrary in Daniel.
  • The body and heads of the beast have words of blasphemy upon them, which clearly means the body and all 7 heads are Papal because the blasphemy points to claiming the power to forgive sins and to actually be God himself. Only the Papacy has ever made both claims, so both the body and all 7 heads are Papal.  The Papacy did not exist during John's day, so none of the heads/kings could possibly exist in his time nor could they exist prior to his time.
  • The woman sits on the 7 heads of the beast, both of which are in the wilderness when this happens. This means that during the time of the wilderness, she is no longer sitting on the waters, meaning she neither has authority over the people anymore nor does she fornicate with the kings of the earth.  This should be a no-brainer because at the beginning of Revelation 17, the woman sits upon the waters fornicating with the kings of the earth. Its impossible for her to do this and be in the wilderness!  It should not be hard to understand that the time when she is sitting upon the waters and fornicating with the kings of the earth represents the time of the beast at the time of the end.  It also depicts the condition that creates the beast during the 1260 days, but particularly represents the beast at the end.  Do not forget that when she is in the wilderness, the kings of the earth MUST REMAIN upon the waters in order for them to continue ruling the people of the nations they control and own.  Therefore, when she sits upon the 7 heads, this represents time AFTER 1798.  In 1798 the Catholic Church lost the power to legally persecute people for heresy in most of Europe.  This unmistakably places the 7 heads during the time after 1798.

These things place the entire beast, heads and all, in John's future.  Therefore, the angel clearly spoke from John's future, and more specifically, he spoke from the time after 1798.

Based on the information presented on this and other pages on this web site, we have constructed the following illustration to explain Revelation 17:10.  This illustration is based on the parallel kingdom model. Notice that this prophesy begins on the date the 1260 year prophesy ended in 1798! This is the clock that started ticking when the original beast lost the legal power to prosecute people for heresy in 1798.


As you should be able to see, the lines of kings are the lines of popes by their names.  Each line continued to exist (even when there was no pope in power by a particular name because it would yet return again) UNTIL the last of a line died, at which point the head for that line fell.  Thereafter, no pope would ever die with that name again.  

The "one is" was the time of Pope Paul VI.  He was the last of the Paul line, which did not fall until his death in 1978.  Examine the illustration above very carefully and you should be able to see that five lines had fallen prior to the arrival of the Pope Paul VI.  The Paul line merely survived past the others.  Thus, "five have fallen" is true for him.  He was the "one is" and it was from his point in time that the angel explained the fact that five had already fallen and one more was yet to come who would remain only a short time (author's paraphrase).  The one yet to come was the John Paul series, which had 2 popes in that line and is now gone. 

We now have a Benedict in office, but his line has fallen, so some think that we are wrong.  They say that there cannot be another Benedict in office if he has already fallen.  However, their reasoning is faulty.  We can have a Benedict so as long as he does not die in office with the name Benedict attached to him as it is when they die that their name is counted. It is when the last of a line actually dies that the line is counted as fallen.  The last of the Benedicts that will die in office as pope has already died and no more Pope Benedicts will die in office.  Remember the emphasis of Revelation 17:9 is on the FALL of the heads, so the name at their fall is what is important for the purposes of understanding Revelation 17:9.  Benedict will change his Papal name to a new name not used before, which is why it says in Revelation 17:11 that the eighth (the pope who follows the 7 lines, the last pope, the one who dies in the glory of Christ's coming), is of the seven. In order for the 8th to be of the 7 names or lines, he must start out with one of the 7 names, and then change it to a new name....which means the beast has returned. This passage of Revelation is saying the present pope is going to change his name at the advent of the beast manifesting itself in our time. That has NEVER happened before in the history of the Papacy.  But it makes sense because the Papal names signify their status, their position and power.  When the power to be the beast is handed to Benedict, this will represent a major change in status, so he will change his name to commemorate it, thus fulfilling the prophecy.

Lets sumumarize what we now have.  The "one is" is the time of Pope Paul VI.  Prior to his reign as pope, five lines of popes had fallen, which were:

  • Gregory - fell in 1846
  • Leo - fell in 1903
  • Benedict - fell in 1922
  • Pius - fell in 1958
  • John - fell in 1963

The "one is" was next, and was Pope Paul VI.  When he died, then the 6th line fell. 

The one "not yet come" is the line of John Paul, which fell in 2005.

This precisely matches every particular of Revelation 17:10.  Further, the heads are ALL Papal just as the Bible says they are by placing blasphemy upon all the heads.  Moreover, the 7 heads occur AFTER the body, which ran from 538 until 1798, and the 7 lines of popes after 1798 clearly fulfills that requirement.  And finally, the 8th does come out of the 7 by changing his name so that the line of Benedict remains fallen.  Benedict does not die as a Benedict, but instead will die with another name attached to him, a name never used before in Papal history.

Now, a final thought.  There are people who claim that the "one is" absolutely must be at the time of John because of the present tense verb "is" in Revelation 17:10.  Their assertion can be true only IF the "is" verb cannot possibly refer to any other time period AND no other model can be shown to be true that correctly explains Revelation 17:10.  However, there is plenty of evidence that it can rationally refer to another time period and there is another model to explain it such that the "one is" exists in John's future rather than in his own time.  Therefore, to assert that there cannot be any other explanation other than that the "one is" exists ONLY at the time of John is very clearly not true. To anyone holding such a view, I urge that you study this more carefully and be more honest with yourself about it.  I very likely do not know you and do not know what is in your mind, but you do and if you refuse to admit to yourself that this is true, you and you alone are responsible for it.  I have done all that I can to show you the truth.  Its up to you to act upon it. 



As you should be able to see, the model above perfectly matches the requirements of Revelation 17:10. Further, this matches the examples we have in Daniel 7, unlike the sequential kingdoms model.  If you have doubts, consider that this model officially begins all lines except one at the starting point, 1798.  This is like the model for the leopard heads, in which all started in 301 BC.  Like the model for the leopard heads, all the heads eventually fall, but do so at different times.  And finally, the model places the "one is" at the time of Pope Paul VI, which means that five lives had fallen before his time and there was one after him that arose when his line terminated.  Thus, there is a perfect match with the model in Daniel 7 and perfect conformity to the requirements of Revelation 17:10.

It should be obvious from this that the sequential model is not the only way to explain Revelation 17:10.  The parallel model is a perfect match to Revelation 17:10 when the body and heads of the beast and the time period of the heads are properly identified.  In fact, the parallel model, when properly understood, is a better way to explain Revelation 17:10.

It is the author's hope that this helps the reader to understand Revelation 17:10 more clearly.