army), the Roman Catholic Church was entrenched in her wilderness experience a far cry from the dominating-beast status she had enjoyed during her 1260 years of supremacy when she was a global persecuting power which directly or through her over-powering influence over European rules, caused the martyrdom of close to one hundred million dedicated people of God.
7. How was the Roman Question between Italy and the Roman Catholic Church resolved in 1929?
It was incomprehensible for the Roman Pontiff to be the head of Catholics the world over, yet in his own country be subject to another head of state. The Catholic Church believed that by virtue of his calling, the pope had an inalienable right to a temporal sovereignty. Only then could he conduct fully and freely his duties as head of the universal Catholic Church. But this demand conflicted with the natural desire of the Italians for a united nation with Rome as its capital. Italians after 1870 found themselves torn between their allegiance to the Catholic Church as Catholics themselves, and their allegiance to their newly-established country. This unresolved tension between the two sides undermined the new country internationally as well as domestically. A solution for the Roman Question had to be found!
Both sides of the conflict were eager for an end to this lingering problem. 1922, Benito Mussolini, the Duke, and Pope Pius XI came to power. And by 1929 they had at last found a solution to the thorny Roman Question that had lasted 59 years. On February 11, 1929, three sets of documents, known collectively as the Lateran Accords, were signed in Rome at the Lateran Palace by Cardinal Gasparri, representing Pope Pius XI, and Mussolini, representing King Victor Emanuel III.
8. Give a summary of the highlights of the 1929 Lateran Treaty between Italy and the Catholic Church of Rome.
1.The Italian State recognized the sovereignty of the Catholic Church, and regarded the Church as an independent member of the international community. By this agreement the Church obtained an independent state in Rome with an area of about 44 hectares.
2.The Italian State recognized the Roman Catholic Church as the official state religion.
3.All anti-clerical laws passed by the Italian parliament since 1870 were annulled and made void.
4.Cash settlement was made to the Roman Catholic Church to compensate her for renouncing all legal claims to the City of Rome and the old Papal States.
5.The pope pledged to perpetual neutrality in international relations, and abstention from mediation in any controversy except when specifically requested by all concerned parties.
9. What is the significance of the Lateran Treaty of 1929 to the wilderness experience which the Roman Catholic Church was in since 1798?
What the Roman Catholic Church got in 1929 was its independence and sovereignty. The political independence means that now they had a monarchy, although on much reduced area of land, where the pope was the absolute ruler. The pope now was not only the supreme head of the Catholic Church universally, but also the indisputable temporal king over the State of Vatican City. He was no longer a prisoner of captivity.
Notwithstanding, the Roman Catholic Church did not, in 1929, even remotely regain the stature she had prior to 1798, when she was a beast power. As such, she did not, in 1929, yet come out of her wilderness experience. Although in 1929, and by virtue of the Lateran Treaty, the popes were now universally recognized as sovereign kings, in return the Lateran Treaty stipulated that the popes pledge to perpetual neutrality in international affairs. This restricting condition could not have been imagined to be agreed upon by any pope prior to 1798. The Catholic Church long believed that Christ is the Lord of the whole world, and that at His departure He left His dominion to His representative, Peter, and to Peter’s successors, the popes. Therefore, it is the stated position of the Catholic Church that true and genuine temporal power and dominion lie exclusively in the hands of the pope. Consequently, every earthly ruler or monarch possesses only so much power and area as the pope would deem appropriate and good.
In sum, while tangible gains were secured for the Catholic Church by the Lateran Treaty of 1929, it did not restore the primacy and power the Church had enjoyed globally upto 1798, which had enabled her to persecute her enemies, and hence was tagged in Bible prophecy as a beast power. Hence there is not much significance of the Lateran treaty of 1929 to the wilderness experience of the Roman Catholic Church, as she still remained in the wilderness, even after 1929.
10. What about the seven kings of the Roman Catholic Church during her wilderness period?
Now we come to the most important part of the whole chapter. God has prophesied that there will be only seven kings: “And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.” Revelation 17:10. From this verse the following facts can be gleaned:
1.Seven kings in total.
2.John was taken in vision to the time of the sixth king: “five are fallen, and one is.” He comes after the first five have fallen. Again, it is not co-incidental that when taken in vision, John was taken to the time of the sixth king. It is a divine hint by which God is guiding His people to focus their attention on this particular king, as he will play a very important role in the end-time events.
3.The seventh king “must continue a short space.”
11. So who are the seven king-popes?
Pius XI was the first Roman Catholic pope (from February 6, 1922) who became king as well on February 11, 1929. He along with Mussolini, engineered the Lateran Treaty.
12. What is destined to take place after the prophesied short monarchy of King Benedict XVI?
“And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.” Revelation 17:11. Here, we learn the following:
1.The Roman Catholic Church was once a beast (upto 1798), but now is not (is in the wilderness experience since 1798); however, she will regain the beast status (meaning she will come out of her wilderness experience) after the fall of the seventh king (Benedict XVI).
2.The next one to come after Benedict XVI will no longer be considered a mere king, but will be a beast as well; for with him the Roman Catholic Church will regain her former power to persecute her enemies.
3.The eighth, when he comes, will be the last; for he “goeth into perdition.”
The Eighth King
13. Who is the eighth who will restore the beast status to the Roman Catholic Church anew?
To answer this question we need first to note the origin of the eighth: “The beast that thou sawest was (the Catholic Church was once a beast until 1798), and is not (during her wilderness experience), and shall ascend (after the fall of Benedict XVI, the eighth will restore her beast status) out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition.” Revelation 17:8.
From this verse we can conclude the following:
1.Only one more king will come after Benedict XVI, and he will be the eighth. And this king will restore the beast status to the Roman Catholic Church for during his reign persecution of God’s people will resume again, just as it was in the Middle Ages.
2.That the eighth king will ascend from the “bottomless pit”, and in due course will “go into perdition.”
14. What is the bottomless pit from which the eighth will ascend?
Once again, we go only to the Bible to answer this valid question. The Greek word translated ‘bottomless pit’ is abussos which has the English counterpart, ‘an abyss’. The following verses will unfold what is the abussos.
“…a certain man, which had devils long time…30 And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him. 31 And they besought Him that He would not command them to go out into the deep (abussos)… 33 Then went the devils out of the man, and entered into the swine…” Luke 8:27, 31, 33.
From the above Bible passage we learn that the Greek abussos (in the Bible translated ‘deep’ or ‘bottomless pit’) is a certain location [not known to man] where some of the fallen evil angels are confined. Not all the evil angels are permitted to leave the abussos. Abussos is not a very pleasant place to be in, even for the evil angels. One can imagine the pandemonium and the constant jostling that goes on at the abussos among the rebellious evil angels. The legion of devils, who were tormenting a certain man in the above story, dreaded that Christ would command them to go to the abussos. And they begged Him not to command them to go to the deep [abussos]. They find much happiness in tormenting people and animals than to be in the company of others of their kind.
To summarize, the abussos is a certain location that serves as a confined habitation for some of the evil angels (devils).
15. This does not make sense! What do you mean that the eighth will come from the abussos, which is the confined habitation of devils? How can it be that the eighth will be a devil?
What we have been learning thus far will make more sense when we focus on the following verse: “And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.” Revelation 17:11. God is clarifying that the eighth is really one of the seven kings. Combining this important key with the fact that the eighth