[Reason #3] =========================
"The main description of the False Prophet, who falsely mimics in Satan's Unholy Trinity the role of God the Holy Spirit, is found in Revelation 13:11-18:
He had two horns like a lamb and he spoke as a dragon - This guy is going to seem to Christ-like (the lamb) to the masses, but his words and deeds will be those of Satan's (a dragon). I would say that we both agree that this statement is applicable to a pope.
He makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast whose fatal wound was healed. - The entire world will worship the Antichrist upon the guidance of the False Prophet. A pope is the only religious figure I can imagine that would have that kind of incredible sway and influence upon all the religions of the world."
You are so correct in calling the beast from the earth, the false prophet. Scripture, which is our rule, says so: Rev. 16:13 & 19:20. You assessment of the false prophet's ministry is excellent. As to that specific Scripture's application to the Pope, it certainly fits - especially if we neglect the rest of the entire body of prophetic Word which went before it, and comes after it. We would also have to neglect the facts and evidence of history and Catholic Magisterial teaching.
History and Catholic doctrine do not allow the Pope to take second place to anyone. I have proved to you in my earlier responses that the Papacy has always striven for supremacy and the primacy. First, he goal was to be the Universal Bishop of the Christian Church. This he achieved almost immediately, (not without dissenters, of course), in Church council decrees, and culminating in the sanction of Emperors. Next, he sought to be recognized as the supreme power even over rulers and kings. This was achieved in the High Middle Ages through the outworking of such luminaries as Gregory VII, Innocent III, and Boniface VIII. A study of their papal bulls and its positive effects on the power and authority of the Papacy is essential to understanding the big picture. To achieve this goal took Satan and his vicar approximately 800 - 1000 years of hard work. Common sense dictates:
(1) No superman/Antichrist/Johnny-Come-Lately is going to equal the Pope's sphere of influence, respect and dominion in a 3 1/2 year time span, which is what Futurism prognosticates.
(2) No Pope is going to throw away the honor, power and authority he has earned over the centuries by bestowing it upon someone else.
(3) Nor will Satan attempt to give that power and authority, which he personally bestowed upon his vicar, to someone else. From a strategic POV it doesn't make sense. He already has the earth dwellers in his back pocket via his vicar, the Pope. Why would he try to duplicate that which took 1,700 years ( A. D. 300 to A. D. 2000, our present age) within a ludicrous short time span of 3 1/2 years?
(4) The Catholic Church will not allow it to happen for prideful reasons - they are the true Church, Holy Mother, the origin of Christianity. Their Pope is the Head and true Vicar of Christ. Nor will they re-write their Canon Laws to allow for such humiliation. It would make them appear to be less than infallible, at the least. Besides, their Magisterium would never be unified, agreeing to making such drastic revisions. It would cause an uproar.
(5) The Man of Sin, of whom Scripture, history, Catholic dogma, and the testimony of centuries of saints, cry out, "The Bishop of Rome is that man!" would now be required to BREAK the Scripture, which cannot be broken, to avow that another is greater than he and should be worshipped instead. II Thess. 2:4 is clear: The Man of Sin sits in the Church, (not the Jewish Temple, which has never and will never be built again, because Christ decreed it), declaring himself that HE is God, above all that is called God. The Man of Sin will never declare another human to be the greater God. Scripture has spoken.
(6) The Roman Catholic Church is not so naïve as to begin worshipping a stranger as God Almighty. They are not about to render obedience to a new supreme God. Switching allegiance and placing faith in a new supreme God is out of the realm of reason, and has no historical precedence. They do and will worship a bevy of new, little gods, such as newly canonized saints, to whom they may pray and petition. But the Antichrist is no little god.
(7) The Jewish people, who are split in many religious factions, from ultra orthodox to atheist, will never consent to worship outright a man as Jehovah God. Nor will they add him to their monotheistic Godhead, which does not allow for the Trinity. One of their biggest arguments against Jesus Christ as God Almighty, is His human form. God is not a man, they cry. Thus, Jesus cannot be God.
(8) The fantasy of having the Muslims, and every other religion under the sun, unite with the RCC and Jews into a "One World Religion" is probably the most absurd scenario to date, and one which Futurists hold. Once Osama and Saddam die, destined to spend eternity in damnation, there will be no shortage of others to take their place. Their replacements will not bow to Western gods. Besides, the fictitious scenario which allows each human on earth to relinquish his personal God or Gods in order to offer worship to another supreme human being is not just unreasonable, it is runs against the grain of human nature.
(9) I don't mean to be glib, but due to the very nature of the Revelation - it is a murder mystery - the saints are dead, and the Antichrist did it - good writing mandates that the author, the holy and all-wise God, NOT introduce an unknown protagonist/assailant in the LAST CHAPTER of the book. All of the renowned authors of mysteries acknowledge the principle that in order to properly execute the elements of shock and surprise, the murderer must always be someone not obvious, one who has been introduced in the beginning of the story, one whom we may suspect, but one whom we do not have the ability to link directly to the crime. The reader is then part of the drama: Who done it? Futurists are wondering, Who done it? Yet their wondering is futile because they allege they will be removed (via a 'secret' Rapture) before the plot unfolds and the high drama begins. So why wonder? What difference does it make to them? Perhaps they are bored, with much unproductive time on their hands, so they revert to playing the childhood game, "Pin the Tail on the Antichrist." :>)
A second method used by successful and skillful writers, is to let the reader in on the mystery of Who Done It, while allowing the characters in the story line to be oblivious to the murderer in their midst. This scenario is frequently used in axe murderer-type plots. The reader/audience finds suspense and frustration in the fact that naïve teens don't discern that the big bad wolf is hiding under their noses, and has a machete, dripping from the blood of his latest fresh kill. This is the scenario we Historicists face. Satan's vicar, the Antichrist, is proudly, pompously, and openly showing himself to be the arch enemy of God before all the world. Yet the world and most of the 'Christian' church do not see it or will not admit to it. We Historicists face ridicule, hatred, and name calling by standing our ground, knee deep in the blood of the martyrs and prophets, crying, "Open your eyes, ears and hearts you stubborn, stiff-necked people. God does not will His people perish for lack of knowledge. If any man lack wisdom to understand these mysteries, let him ask of God."
The cunning of the Papacy is to ALLOW the multitudes of Pagans and false Christians to cling to their personal Gods, while at the same time garnishing, enjoying and "drinking in" their worship, adulation, honor, reverence, respect, admiration, and veneration. Scripture tells us the world wonders after the Beast. He is the most wonderful being on planet earth. This description fits no one but the Roman Pontiff. It is vital to understand that the very essence of adultery is that of unfaithfulness to your spouse. The adulterer REMAINS married to his spouse while having an extramarital affair or two or three or more. This is the description of the condition of the false church prophesied in Revelation 17: The woman, the false church, is the great whore. She is espoused to Jesus Christ she candidly admits, (and has a beautiful, lavish wedding ring/Vatican to prove it), yet she has no guilty conscience when publicly engaging in fornication with the gods of the world. Promiscuity is no problem with her. Neither is there a guilty conscience on the part of her admirers/lovers. They gladly, willingly, enthusiastically, promiscuously, drink her ecumenical love potion, which she extends to one and all, drinking themselves into a drunken stupor. They are so enamored by her riches and her promises that the kings of the earth could care less this is the same woman who, for centuries, cruelly tortured, maimed, drove away, imprisoned, and burned, innocent men, women and children, including true Christians, by the untold millions. 'History be damned,' they say to themselves. 'The prophetic Scriptures be damned,' the Christian kings of the earth say to themselves. Scripture promises their judgment will be most severe - a DOUBLE PORTION.
The scarlet-colored Beast upon whom this false church, the Roman Catholic Church, sits, is not a new God. It is the papal Antichrist. It is the same Beast depicted in Rev. 13:1-10. Both Beasts have 7 heads and 10 horns. Only this time, there are no crowns on the horns. The papal Antichrist does not reign supreme over the 10 kings of Western Europe as he once did, allowing him to terrorize the saints. His dominion is relegated to the lovey-dovey spiritual sphere at present, though his opinions in matters of state are heard and considered. He is not able to unite them to fight holy wars in his name. Yet, Rev. 17:12 intimates that there will be a future temporary uniting (one hour), whereby the 10 kings will do the Pope's will, making open war, once more, against the saints of God. I refuse to speculate any further. I will only comment on matters which have been fulfilled and which can be proved.