Archive for January, 2008

The Counter Reformation and the Antichrist

Monday, January 7th, 2008


The Picture above is of a sculpture in the Church of the Jesuits in Rome showing the Mother Church ridding the church of heretics like Martin Luther and Ulrich Zwingle who understood that the Papacy was the Antichrist. The little angel is depicted in the sculpture as tearing pages out of the reformers books.

During the time of the Protestant Reformation the Roman Catholic church was under great pressure to do something to take the heat off from the Protestant and Biblical idea that the Papacy was the Antichrist. To counteract the reformation the order of the Jesuits was formed. Jesuit priest Francisco Ribera (1537-1591) opposed to the idea that the Papacy was the little horn of Daniel seven devised the futuristic idea that the Antichrist was an entity that would show up on the scene sometime way into the future and appear for a brief three and a half years. Another Jesuit Priest Manuel De LaCunza (1731-1801) in Chile adopted Ribera’s idea and wrote about it. (The book he wrote was not published under his name because it had some things in it about the second coming of Christ and the judgment the Catholic church would not like. Eventually after LaCunza’s death the Catholic church condemned the book and forbade it’s publication.) During the Great Awakening in the early 1800’s Edward Irving an Anglican (protestant) minister in Dublin translated LaCunza’s work to spite the Catholic church. This translation was presented at the prophetic conferences at Powerscourt Castle in the 1830’s. Probably unwittingly, Irving had opened the door to popularizing the idea of the Antichrist being a person who would show up sometime in the far future.

What many people don’t realize is that also at these conferences was a young girl, 15 years old, named Margaret McDonald who was having supernatural visions. In one of her visions she saw that there would be a “secret rapture” of God’s people before the great tribulation which would be in connection with the appearance of the Antichrist (Interestingly enough she fingered a man named Robert Owen an atheistic socialist who was planning a socialistic community in New Harmony Indiana as being the Antichrist.)

John Darby is the one however that can be credited for popularizing the idea of a futuristic Antichrist. It is highly likely that John Darby who was at these conferences, through the translation of LaCunza and the influence of Margaret McDonald, embraced more fully the idea of futurism, the pretribulation rapture and the establishment of Israel as a nation in the end time.

Ironically Protestant churches “bit the bait” and have now become water carriers for Papal counter reformation ideas by spreading the un-Biblical notion that the Antichrist is not the Papacy but some nondescript person in the future.
The Papacy must be pleased that the “Protesting” has for all practical purposes stopped and the Jesuit counter reformation has been quite successful.