Archive for December, 2007

The Reformers and the Antichrist

Sunday, December 16th, 2007

One thing is very certain and that is that early on in the Protestant reformation it became clear to the reformers that it was the Pope of Rome that fulfilled the Biblical description of the Antichrist. You can study the writings of the Protestant reformers and you will not find one that did not recognize this truth. I will cite just a few here.

Arnulf, (988) the bishop of Orleans France, called the Roman popes “monsters of guilt” and declared in a council called by the king of France in 991 that the pontiff, “was Antichrist, sitting in the temple of God, and showing himself as God”

Eberhard II, archbishop of Salzburg Austria stated approvingly at a synod of bishops held at Regensburg in 1240, that the people of his day were “accustomed” to calling the pope antichrist.

When the western church was divided for about 40 years between two rival popes, one in Rome and another in Avignon, France, each pope called the other pope Antichrist. John Wycliffe (1320s-1384) said both were right “two halves of Antichrist, making up the perfect Man of Sin between them.”

Martin Luther, (1483-1546) as an Augustinian monk in the University of Wittenberg, came to believe that “the papacy is the seat of the true and real Antichrist”. The “Lutheran” church today is playing with the idea of reuniting with the Catholic church.

I have heard some Protestants say that the Papacy has changed, and that it no longer fits the characteristics of Antichrist. I think however that it is more likely that Protestantism has changed and has itself moved more in line with Antichrist. It may not be glorious to some but it’s the truth none-the-less.

The Antichrist

Monday, December 3rd, 2007

You no doubt have heard the term Antichrist. In modern times the term has been associated with some mysterious clandestine figure that will show up on the world scene some time in the future among the powerful elite. In the movie Left Behind the Antichrist is depicted as coming from among the leaders at the United Nations. Another person said the Antichrist was a big computer somewhere in Europe. The list of those who have been called the Antichrist is quite long.

The term Antichrist has it’s origins in the Bible. The Bible speaks specifically of “The” Antichrist but it also speaks of other obviously lesser “Antichrists” as well. The Apostle John said

  • “Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many Antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour.” (1 John 2:18)

Some characteristics of the spirit of Antichrist are understood by the Apostles as well:

  • “For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an Antichrist.” (2John7)
  • “Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is Antichrist who denies the Father and the Son.”(1 John 2:22)

It is also clear that the spirit of Antichrist was something already present in the time of the Apostles as a danger to the church:

  • “. . . and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.” (1 John 4:3)

The apostle Paul, recognizing this looming apostasy said:

  • “For I know this - that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. (Acts20:29,30)

How did Paul know this? He knew it from studying his Bible and in particular the book of Daniel. The Thessalonians were confused about the timing of the second coming of Christ and Paul encourages them that:

  • ” . . . that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. (2 Thessalonians 2:3,4)

Paul continues emphasizing that this apostate spirit is already presently at work within the church of his day. Notice that the Man of Sin or Antichrist is not some entity from outside the church but is a result of a “falling away” from within the church. While at the time of Paul this apostasy was being restrained, soon that which is restraining it would be removed and the Antichrist would then become full blown. This Man of Sin or Antichrist will eventually meet his end with the second coming of Christ. Paul explains:

  • “Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.”(2 Thessalonians 2:5-8)

Compare what Paul has just said with what Daniel says in chapter 7 and see if you don’t agree that Paul gets his description of the man of sin from there:

  • I was considering the horns, and there was another horn, a little one, coming up among them, before whom three of the first horns were plucked out by the roots. And there, in this horn, were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking pompous words.” (Daniel 7:8)
  • “I watched then because of the sound of the pompous words which the horn was speaking; I watched till the beast was slain, and its body destroyed and given to the burning flame.” (Daniel 7:11)

When Daniel asks for further explanation of the little horn the Angel explains:

  • He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, Shall persecute the saints of the Most High, And shall intend to change times and law.

You should have been able to find at least three and maybe four characteristics that indicate that Paul was studying Daniel chapter seven.

You can hijack the term “Antichrist” from it’s context in the Bible and apply it to anyone you want but the Glorious Truth is when you take the term “Antichrist” within it’s Biblical context you have to conclude that, the spirit of “The” Antichrist was already existing in the days of the Apostles, that the Antichrist would come from within the church as a “falling away”, that whatever was restraining the Antichrist from emerging at that time was soon to be taken away, and that the Antichrist is the same as the “Man of Sin” spoken of by Paul and the “Little Horn” spoken of by Daniel.