Daniel 7:24-25; 2 Thessalonians 2:2-12; Revelation 13:5-8
Revelation 13:5 specifies a time period of persecution which I explained in a previous note. The 42 months of the beast’s activities is the same time period as the 1,260 days/years of the persecution of the woman/church in Revelation 12:6, 14. (A prophetic “day” symbolizes a year [ Num. 14:34, Ezek. 4:6].
The year a.d. 538 marks appropriately the beginning of this prophetic period when the Roman church, with the pope as its head, established itself as a church-state power that dominated the Western world throughout medieval times. The events of the French Revolution inflicted the deadly wound upon the beast in a.d. 1798, when the pope was arrested and died in prison a year later. This brought the church’s oppressive rule and the state-empowered religion to a temporary end.
The sea beast’s activities during the prophetic period of 1,260 days/ years are stated in terms of blasphemies. In the New Testament, blasphemy can denote a claim of equality with God ( John 10:33, Matt. 26:63–65) and the action of usurping His authority ( Mark 2:7).
The sea beast’s blasphemies are directed “against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven” ( Rev. 13:6, NKJV). The dwelling of God is the sanctuary in heaven, where Christ ministers on behalf of our salvation. The sea beast seeks to negate Christ’s mediatorial work by attempting to replace it with a human priesthood that claims to administer salvation and the forgiveness of sins. Assuming these powers that belong only to God is the essence of blasphemy.
Revelation 13 points to a time of major apostasy in Christianity, which was fulfilled when Roman Catholicism claimed the position and authority of God with the pope as its head. Those who refused submission to Rome experienced persecution and martyrdom.
Although today such statements are viewed as harsh, even bigoted, the present cannot erase the history, no matter how much some people wish that it would. All the evidence is in history; the Bible predicted it and it all happened precisely.
There’s still more happening today which will continue till Christ’s return. Satan’s best tool is deception i.e. outright lies or mixing truth with error. Only a true understanding of God’s word can reveal it to His children.
I still have questions; studying this further here: https://www.amazingfacts.org/media-library/book/e/53/t/the-beast–the-dragon-and-the-woman
Source reference: SDA 1Q19 Quarterly