The Counter Reformation and the Antichrist


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.

14 Responses to “The Counter Reformation and the Antichrist”

  1. Jon Edwards Says:

    Wondering if you have read “The Real Manuel Lacunza” which I discovered on Google. Thanks for your great blog. Jon

  2. Owen Says:

    Yes and that statement is correct in stating that Manual de Lacunza did not teach the pre-tribulation secret rapture. That was Margaret McDonald’s contribution.

  3. Anni Says:

    Makes you wonder what else we have been “taught” from “biblical” perspectives that is actually nothing more than smokescreen lies.

  4. Jon Edwards Says:

    I recently bought journalist/historian Dave MacPherson’s bestselling book THE RAPTURE PLOT (Armageddon Books online) which has 300 pages of recently uncovered documentation on how, where, when, and by whom the 178-year-old pretribulation rapture view was invented by a 15-year-old Scottish lassie. I also found “Scholars Weigh My Research” on Google which has quotes from today’s best known Christian scholars - all of whom endorse the decades-long research that went into THE RAPTURE PLOT. Armageddon Books charged me only about $15.00 for the most shocking, mind-boggling pages that I have ever read on the beginnings of the rapture view that has been promoted by LaHaye, Lindsey, Van Impe, Bakker, Swaggart etc. etc. etc. I guarantee that you will be turned inside out reading it. After being shocked, you may find yourself getting really angry with pretrib rapture teachers, and you will ask how such a huge hoax could have gone on so long! But didn’t Jesus say that MANY would come in His name in the last days and deceive many? He surely did say so, didn’t He? Lord bless. Jon

  5. Jack Says:

    Very interesting!

  6. plop Says:

    Ironic? No the Reformation is not what you think it is.
    The Reformation tried to Reform the Roman Catholic Whore, the protestant churches are the daughters of the Whore.

    A Protestant is a Reformed Catholic. It also answers why all the Protestant denominations are all moving back to Rome, they’re going back home to their mommy. It explains why the Reformed Catholics as well as the Ordinary Catholics all loved to murder Christians.

    There’s truth for you. How about you people repent and come to Lord Jesus Christ and be saved?

  7. Van Says:


    With regards to Protestants being reformed Catholics, I’m interested to know what aspects of the Catholic faith you think they were against.

    A second question would be, what aspects of the Catholic
    faith did they fail to recognize as error?

    And lastly, doesn’t any belief apart from the teachings of Jesus Christ through His life and word constitute what is known as Babylon, the non-virtuous woman mentioned in Revelation?

  8. Timothy Says:

    Your ignorance on the subject of the Powerscourt conference doesn’t inspire confidence in your other ‘certainties’.
    (1)Irving’s translation of Lacunza’s work appeared in 1827 three years before the first Powerscourt conference and Darby had already commented on it in a paper published in 1829.
    (2) There is absolutely no evidence for Mary Macdonald having attended the Powerscourt conferences.
    Halfbaked and badly researched history is worthless especially when it is invented to substantiate halfbaked ideas.

  9. Owen Says:

    Timothy, I am not sure what aspect of the Powers court conferences you are accusing me of ignorance on except that it might be that Mary Macdonald had attended them. I will agree I am not aware at this time of anything that would cause me to believe that she was or wasn’t at the conferences. Subsequently I have struck my comments about her being there.

    Also it has become unclear to me at this time if her comments on the rapture was that it was a “secret rapture” so I have struck that as well. Her connection here in this history seems somewhat incidental anyway. Ribera,Lacunza, Edwards and Darby are the essential players. You might also check out Cardinal Roberto Bellarmine,(a disciple of Ribera.) as another strong advocate of futurism.

    What other “half baked ideas” you may be referring to I’m not sure

    If it is that the Jesuits embraced an idea that put the Antichrist off into the future to get the heat off of the Papacy then I’ll have to see the history to convince me otherwise. (See English Connection p 205 by Dr. Ball)

    If it is regarding the Protestant conviction that the Pope is the Antichrist then I will have to have the history as well as the Bible evidence to convince me.

    If it is my conviction that futurism is not Biblical then I’ll have to see the Biblical evidence for that.

    If it is my belief that a “secret pretribulation rapture” is not Biblical then I will have to see the Biblical evidence for it.

    Thank you for your comments and sorry for the confusion.

  10. Ramsay Says:

    [just viewed this web contribution and just want to share it - Ramsay]


    by Dave MacPherson

    The word “secrecy” when applied to Christ’s return can refer to two different things: time and visibility. Before 1830 the only coming Christians looked for was the “every eye shall see him” second advent to earth - secret only in point of time.
    Enter Margaret Macdonald in 1830. She saw “the one taken and the other left” before “THE WICKED” [Antichrist] will “be revealed” - and added that her pretrib rapture would not be “seen by the natural eye” but only by “those who have the light of God within.” Her rapture was doubly secret: at an unknown day and hour and also invisible to “outsiders.”
    Desperate to eliminate Margaret as the pretrib originator and the Irvingites as the first public teachers of pretrib, Darby defender Thomas Ice foolishly claims that they taught a secret POSTTRIB coming even though he knows that when Hal Lindsey teaches “one taken” etc. before the Antichrist “is revealed” Lindsey is expressing the kernel of the pretrib view - what MM and the Irvingites clearly taught before Darby did! Google “X-Raying Margaret” and “Edward Irving is Unnerving” to see why they are properly labeled “pretrib.”)
    As early as June 1832, Irving’s journal taught that only “to those who are watching and praying…will Christ be manifested…as the morning star. To the rest of the church, and to the world, this first appearance will be…unintelligible.” (”Present State of Prophetic Knowledge” etc., p. 374)
    Always trailing and “borrowing” quietly from the Irvingites who in turn had “borrowed” from Margaret, Darby in 1845 finally sounded like them when he wrote that “the bright and morning Star…is the sweet and blessed sign to them that watch…And such is Christ before He appears [at the final advent to earth]. The Sun will arise on the world….The star is before the [Sun], the joy of those who watch. The unwakeful world, who sleep in the night, see it not.” (”Thoughts on the Apocalypse,” p. 167)
    And Lindsey’s “Late Great Planet Earth,” p. 143, says that “the second coming is said to be visible to the whole earth (Revelation 1:7). However, in the Rapture. only the Christians see Him - it’s a mystery, a secret.”
    My bestselling book “The Rapture Plot” (available at online stores including Armageddon Books) has 300 pages of such documentation and proves that Margaret was the first to “see” a secret, pretrib rapture, that the Irvingites soon echoed her in their journal (which Darby admitted he avidly read), and that Darby was last on all of the crucial aspects of dispensationalism.
    Shockingly, all of the earliest pretrib development rested solely on unclear OT and NT types and symbols and NOT on clear Biblical statements. Margaret’s rapture was inspired by Rev. 11’s “two witnesses.” And her “secret visibility” rested on the “types” of Stephen, Paul, and John - all of whom saw or heard what others couldn’t see or hear.
    For 30 years Darby’s pretrib basis was the rapture of Rev. 12’s “man child” - actually his plagiarism of Irving’s usage of this “pretrib” symbol eight years earlier!
    As I said at the start, the “second advent to earth” is secret in point of time with its unknown “day and hour,” as Christ stated. Pretribs assert that if Christ returns for the church after the tribulation, we could count down the days and figure out the actual date of His return - which would contradict Christ’s words.
    But pretribs deliberately ignore the fact that Christ said that the tribulation days will be shortened - and He didn’t reveal the length of the shortening!
    Our opponents also assume that the “watch” verses prove the “any-moment imminence” of Christ’s return. But do they? II Peter 3:12 says we are to be “looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God” which all premills claim is at least 1000 years ahead of us and therefore hardly “imminent”! What’s the difference between “watching for” and “looking for”?
    Another gimmick has pretribs saying “Would you want Jesus to return at any moment and find out you’re sinning?” But Jesus ALREADY knows all about us! And the Holy Spirit, who’s also God, is ALREADY here (Rom. 8:27)!
    You have just learned a few of the many secrets that the Secret Rapture Gang has hidden for a long time. Evidently they have forgotten Luke 12:2’s warning that “there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed”!
    PS - For the ultimate in uncovered secrets, see engines like Google and type in “Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty.”
    PPS - While evangelicals stay largely asleep while waiting for their 180-year-old rapture, the shmutzy-tongued subversives of the world (e.g., movie moguls at awards ceremonies) invent new ways to create and unite even more members of the FFA (Future Followers of the Antichrist). For insights Yahoo “backstabbing tirades by David Letterman (and Sandra Bernhard and Kathy Griffin)” in a short Letterman bit.

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  14. Owen Says:

    Well it’s been a long time since I’ve done anything with this blog but I want to get back into it. Since the last time I have read Dave MacPherson’s, THE RAPTURE PLOT. I have to say that though it is a task to read it is very thorough, and I am convinced that his time line for the introduction of the “secret rapture” by Margaret is convincing. While I had struck a line through that part of my blog post I have now removed the “strikes” believing it to be the truth.

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