A religious group called 'The Seventh Day Adventists (SDA)' is one of the most ardent ‘expositor’ of the Papacy-Antichrist Theory. On expounding on this issue however, they mistakenly designate the first beast of Revelation 13 as the Antichrist, and the second beast, surprisingly, they say is the United States of America.
The placing of the Antichrist as the first beast of Revelation 13 is a big blunder. The descriptions of that first beast matches with that of the descriptions given to the fourth beast of Daniel 7. And the fulfillment of that fourth beast is the Roman Empire which the SDA themselves accept.
Note Revelation 13:1 and Daniel 7:7
“And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.” (Revelation)
“…and behold a fourth beast [from the sea.v.4]…and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns…”(Daniel)
Note the point of origin "sea" and the "ten horns" of the fourth beast of Daniel and the first beast of Revelation is the same. If the fourth beast of Daniel is the Roman Empire, then the first beast of Revelation must be the Roman Empire.
Early Protestant belief designated the Roman Empire as the first beast, and the second the Papacy. Martin Luther wrote:
"Here, then, are the two Beasts. The one is the [Roman] Empire. The other, with the two horns, is the Papacy."*
Even the Catholic Church, in their notes in the New American Bible, believes that the Roman Empire is the first beast.*
Mere analogy alone points to the second beast as the Antichrist. To the second beast John said it has "two horns like lamb, but speak like a dragon" (cf. Rev. 13:11). It will preach ‘devilish doctrine’ despite its ‘Christ-like’ appearance. Since Christ is the greatest prophet, the second beast–false Christ will be a false prophet, and therefore the Antichrist! And it is very absurd to point to the president of the United States as the false prophet, because he is not a preacher.
Note again that the second beast will coexist and ‘work hand in hand’ at some point time with the Roman Empire as shown by the following passages from the bible, and this actually had taken place between the Roman Empire and the Catholic Church. Thus:
"And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast…” Rev. 13:17
And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him,…” Rev. 19:20
The SDA in believing the Papacy as the fulfillment of the prophesied to Antichrist, is "constructively" correct. They however promoted false 'theology' in designating 'it' as the first beast of Revelation, and the United States "unfairly" designated as the second.