The Apostle John was taken in a vision to the future, to the time of the reign of the sixth king (John Paul II) who was to be followed by the seventh king, who will rule for a short time. However, the eighth king is going to be one of the previous seven kings when he appears from the bottomless pit (v. 8). He will not only be a king (ruling power) but a beast (a persecuting power); he will then go into perdition.
When one of the seven kings reappears from the bottomless pit as the eighth king in the form of a beast, the ten kings of the earth (v. 12) (ten is an all-inclusive, universal number indicating all earthly rulers; parable of ten virgins) will be greatly awed by the beast, and will willingly surrender their power to the beast for a short time (v. 12, 13). Both the beast and the ten kings will rule and war against Christ in the person of His followers for a short time, but will not overcome them (v. 14).
Just before all things end, the ten kings will learn that they have been deceived and ensnared by the beast (the eighth king from the bottomless pit). They will turn against the beast system with vengeance, and destroy it (v. 16). They will be doing God's will (v. 17).
Until 1798, the Catholic Church was a beast. It has been in the wilderness experience since that time. The Catholic Church will regain the beast status (come out of wilderness experience) after the fall (death) of the seventh king.
The next king (to come after the next fallen pope) will be one of the other seven kings. He will not be considered just a king, but he will be a beast as well; for with him, the Catholic Church will regain her former power to persecute her enemies.
The eighth, when he comes, will be the last; for he "goeth into perdition."
"The beast that thou sawest was [the Catholic Church was a beast until 1798] and is not [wilderness experience of the Catholic Church], and after the fall of the 7th king, the 8th king (who ascends from the bottomless pit), will restore the Catholic Church's beast status. Revelation 17:8. During the reign of the eighth king, persecution of God's people as it was in the Middle Ages, will resume again until the 8th king will “go into perdition”.
The Greek word abussos is translated “bottomless pit” or “an abyss”. The following verses explain an abyss.
"And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not. (For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For oftentimes it had caught him: and he was kept bound with chains and in fetters; and he brake the bands, and was driven of the devil into the wilderness.) And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him. And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep. And there was there an herd of many swine feeding on the mountain: and they besought him that he would suffer them to enter into them. And he suffered them. Then went the devils out of the man, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the lake, and were choked. When they that fed them saw what was done, they fled, and went and told it in the city and in the country. Then they went out to see what was done; and came to Jesus, and found the man, out of whom the devils were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid. They also which saw it told them by what means he that was possessed of the devils was healed."
The bottomless pit is an unknown location that serves as a confined existence for some of the evil, fallen angels.
"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 one of the seven kings. The eighth will be a fallen angel (demon) from the bottomless pit, impersonating one of the 7 kings, who will lead the Catholic Church out of the wilderness into a beast that will deceive the whole world.
John Paul II the Great is the best personality to be used by Satan to achieve his end-time agenda. He is the only one that fulfills the prophesied statement: "And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast." Revelation 13:3. He experienced a deadly wound in 1981, when he was nearly assassinated, the whole world, as prophesied, wondered after him. As it is written "five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come." Revelation 17:10.
John Paul II is the most loved, respected, and known. He is a prime candidate from the bottomless pit for Satan to impersonate and use to deceive the whole world.
"And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light."2 Corinthians 11:14.
God has not shed light through His written Word as to how the impersonation will take place. The Apostle Paul warns us that the coming back of the beast in the last days will be "after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,and with all deceivableness" 2 Thessalonians 2:9, 10.
All power, signs, lying wonders and deceivableness are the elements Satan will use to deceive the whole world and hold it captive.
The Bible prophesies that there will be dramatic and eventful changes in the world once the Catholic Church regains beast status. The most prominent changes are:
Satan will use the beast power (papacy) and the USA to impose universal laws (including Sunday Law) throughout the world. Violation of the universal laws will deprive citizens of their basic rights of buying and selling: "And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name." Revelation 13:16, 17.
God's people, who refuse to honor the beast and refuse to accept the universal laws, will be persecuted and killed: "The image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed." Revelation 13:15.
Mark of the Beast