Who is the Antichrist?
Biblical Identifiers of the Antichrist
“But if someone claims to be a prophet and does not acknowledge the truth about Jesus, that person is not from God. Such a person has the spirit of the Antichrist, which you heard is coming into the world and indeed is already here.” 1 John 4:3 (NLT).
The Bible speaks of an Antichrist power in Daniel and Revelation that many people believe to be a current world leader or terrorist organization that will persecute Christians. This is far from what the Bible actually says concerning the Antichrist. Since the Bible makes mention of this Antichrist power, lets discover who the Bible says the Antichrist actually is.
The Anti-Christ or False Christ
Firstly, It’s important to understand that the word “Anti-“ doesn’t mean “against” or “opposed to” Christ, it simply means “in place of” or “counterfeit”. Therein lays the cunning deception that the antichrist uses, rather than to be seen as opposing Christ it will resemble Christ so closely as a counterfeit of the original that if it were possible even the elect would be deceived.
Prophecy and Sybolisim
The Bible gives us many clues to successfully identify who the Antichrist is and since Daniel and Revelation talk in prophetic language it’s also important to understand what symbols and meanings are being used (please visit the Bible Prophecy and Symbolism page for a complete reference). A summary of prophetic symbolism is listed below:
Active during Bible times
John’s Day – (1 John 4:3; “But if someone claims to be a prophet and does not acknowledge the truth about Jesus, that person is not from God. Such a person has the spirit of the Antichrist, which you heard is coming into the world and indeed is already here.”)
Paul’s Day- (2 Thessalonians 2:7-9; “For the mystery of iniquity doth already work… And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders…”)
Rome was in power at the time Paul lived. A Roman official tried to kill baby Jesus, Roman governor condemned Jesus, Roman executioner crucified Jesus, Roman emblem sealed his tomb and a Roman guard watched his tomb.
Arises out of a 4th Beast (Kingdom)
(Daniel 7:7-8; “After this I saw… a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly… and it had ten horns. I considered the horns, and behold, there came up among them another horn, a little one, before which three of the first horns were plucked up by the roots.) Arises out of the Roman Kingdom (4th beast of Revelation) Iron legs Iron Monarchy of Rome. Church History pg. 175 “When the last wave of barbarian invasions had spent its force, the face of Europe had been transformed. Independent Germanic kingdoms had been established on the ruins of the Roman Empire. The Church and Churches pg. 42, 43 “Out of the ruins of the Roman Empire there gradually arose a new order of state whose central point was the Papal See. Therefore, inevitably, resulted a position not only new, but very different from the former.” Thomas Hobbes – Leviathan pg. 457 “If a man consider the origin of this great ecclesiastical dominion, he will easily perceive that the Papacy is none other than the ghost of the deceased Roman empire, sitting crowned upon the grave thereof.”
Arises in-between the 10 horns
(Daniel 7:7-8; “After this I saw… a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly… and it had ten horns. I considered the horns, and behold, there came up among them another horn, a little one, before which three of the first horns were plucked up by the roots.) Arises in Europe or in the European area.
Arises after the 10 horns
(Daniel 7:24; “And as for the ten horns, out of this kingdom shall ten kings arise: and another shall arise after them; and he shall be diverse from the former, and he shall put down three kings.”) Arises after the 10 horns (kingdoms) are set up after Roman Empire splits.
Will be a religious power
(Daniel 7:20; “And concerning the ten horns that were on its head, and the other horn which came up, and before which three fell, even that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake great things, whose look was more stout than its fellows. (original translation “spake great things” = “great spiritual things”)) (Matthew 24:15; “When therefore ye see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let him that readeth understand…) (he’s going to come up inside the temple of God as a religious power) - Does the Roman Catholic Church as a religious power today?
Will have human-like qualities
(Daniel 7:8,20; “… in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things. … even that horn that had eyes, and a mouth … (Revelation 13:5,18; “and there was given to him a mouth speaking great things … He that hath understanding, let him count the number of the beast; for it is the number of a man.”) - Normal human being.
Will be a religious power AND a political power
(Religious power AND a political power) (Daniel 7:24; “As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom shall ten kings arise: and another shall arise after them; and he shall be diverse from the former, and he shall put down three kings.”) Different and diverse from other kingdoms as it’s a religious power and a political power. Church and State both secular and religious issues.
Western Europe: From the decline of Rome to the Reformation pg. 37 “His (Justinian) reign saw the traditional view of the emperor as the protector of the church, change to that of the emperor as the governor of the church.”
C.C.Eckhardt – The Papacy and World Affairs pg.1 “When the Roman Empire had disintegrated and its place had been taken by a number of rude, barbarous kingdoms, the Roman Catholic church not only became independent of the state in religious affairs but dominated secular affairs as well.”
Uproots 3 kingdoms
(Wiped out the Ostrogoths, Heruli and Vandals) (Daniel 7:8; “I considered the horns, and behold, there came up among them another horn, a little one, before which three of the first horns were plucked up by the roots.” Daniel 7:20,24; “… and before which three fell, …” “… and he shall put down three kings.”)
Will claim to rule the whole world
(Claims to rule the whole world) “Daniel 7:20; “And concerning the ten horns that were on its head, and the other horn which came up, and before which three fell, even that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake great things, whose look was more stout than its fellows.” - Claims to rule the world.
The Most Holy Councils vol 13 col 1167 “We define that the Holy Apostolic See and the Roman Pontiff (pope) holds the primacy over the whole world.” Henry Cardinal Manning – The Temporal Power of the Vicar of Jesus Christ (1862) pg 46 “The Vicar of the incarnate Son of God, anointed High priest, and supreme temporal ruler [the pope], sat in his tribunal, impartially to judge between nation and nation, between people and prince, between sovereign and subject.”
Makes war with the saints
(Daniel 7:21; “I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;”)
Heresy pg. 440 “Heresy (Greek., hairesis, choice), deciding for oneself what one shall believe and practice. Regulations of the Synod of Toulouse concerning the Inquisition, 1229. “… a priest and two or more lay people [must] diligently… search out heretics… If they discrover a heretic, follower, patron, or protector of heretics, they must, taking precaution that they do not escape, quickly notify the bishop and mayor of the place or his bailiff so they will be duly punished…The house where a heretic is found must be torn down and the property must be confiscated. All members of a parish shall vow to the bishop under oath that they will preserve the Catholic faith and will persecute heretics according to their power. This oath must be renewed every two years. Lay people are not permitted to possess the books of the Old and New Testament, only the Psalter, Breviary, or the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin, and these books not in the vernacular language. Pastors must explain these regulations to their parishioners four times a year.” www.scrollpublishing.com/store/Inquisition.html
Alfred Baudrillart – The Catholic Church, Renaissance and Protestantism; pg. 182-183 “The Catholic Church is a respecter of conscience and of liberty… Nevertheless, when confronted by heresy… she has recourse to force, to corporal punishment, to torture… She lit in Italy… the funeral piles of the Inquisition.”
Cardinal Bellarmine “Experience teaches that there is no other remedy for the evil, but to put heretics (Protestants) to death; for the (Romish) church proceeded gradually and tried every remedy: at first she merely excommunicated them; afterwards she added a fine; then she banished them; and finally she was constrained to put them to death.”
More than 100 million Christians were killed during the middle ages.
Speaks blasphemy against God, his tabernacle and the angels
What does the Bible say is a “Blasphemy”? (1) Somebody who claims to be able to forgive your sins. (2)Calling yourself (as a man) God.
Luke 5:20-21 “And when he saw their faith, he said, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.” And the scribes and the Pharisees began to question, saying, “Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” John 10:30,33 “[Jesus said] …I and the Father are one. The Jews answered him, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.” Catholic Encyclopedia vol 2 pg. 265 “This judicial authority will even include the power to pardon sin.”
The Catholic Priest pg. 87 “Seek where you will, through heaven and earth and you will find one created being who can forgive the sinner, who can free him from the chains of hell. That extraordinary being is the priest, the Roman Catholic Priest.”
The Catholic National – July 1895 “Thou art a priest forever: says the ordained bishop… He is no longer a man, a sinful child of Adam, but an ‘Alter Christus’, another Christ… Forever a priest of the Most High, with power over the Almighty.”
Dignity and Duties of the Priest vol 12 pg. 27 “And God himself is obliged to abide by the judgment of His priests, and either not to pardon or to pardon according as they refuse or give absolution… The sentence of the priest precedes, and God subscribes to it.”
Michael Muller – The Catholic Priest “Who can forgive sins? There is a man on this earth that can forgive sins and that man is the Catholic Priest. Yes, beloved bretheren, the priest does not only declare the sin to be forgiven but actually forgives the sin. The priest lifts his hand, speaks the word, and instantly the sinner becomes a child of God. So great is the power of the priest that the judgment of heaven is subject to the decision of the priest.”
Cardinal Bellarmine – Authority of Councils Vol 2 pg. 266 “All the names which in scripture are applied to Christ, the same names are applied to the Pope.”
The Great Encyclical Letters of Pope Leo XIII, Encyclical Letter, June 20, 1894 “We hold upon this earth the place of God Almighty.”
Story in the Bible where a man claimed to be God – Acts 12:21-23 “And upon a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration unto them. And the people gave a shout, saying. It is the voice of a god, and not of a man, And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost.”
Will think to change times and laws
(Daniel 7:25’ And he shall speak words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High’ and he shall think to change the times…”)
(1) Gregorian calendar and Midnight - World Almanac pg. 646 “By 1582 the accumulated error was estimated at 10 days. In that year Pope Gregory XIII decreed that the day following October 4, 1582, should be called October 15, thus dropping 10 days and initiating the Gregorian Calendar.” - In the Bible, days started at sunset and finished at sunset yet today its 11:59pm to 0:00 midnight.
(2) Changed Sabbath to Sunday - The only commandment that is both a time and a law is the 4th commandment that upholds the 7th day of the week (Saturday) as the Sabbath Day.
Decretal De Translat. Episcop. Cap “The Pope has the power to change times, to abrogate laws, and to dispense with all things, even the precepts of Christ.” Prompta Bibliotheca Papa, art. 2 “The Pope can modify divine law.” A new set of commandments in contradiction to the word of God.
The Catholic Encyclopedia Vol4 pg 153 “The Church, after changing the day of rest form the Jewish Sabbath of the seventh day of the week, made the third Commandment refer to Sunday as the day to be kept as the Lord’s Day.
Rules for 1260 years
(in Bible prophecy a day = prophetic year)
42 months x 30 days (Jewish month) = 1260 days
3.5 years x 360 days (Jewish year) = 1260 days
Labanca “To the succession of the Ceasers came the succession of the Pontiffs in Rome. When Constantine left Rome he gave his seat to the Pontiff. The legally recognized supremacy of the pope began in 538 AD when there went into effect a decree of Emperor Justinian, making the bishop of Rome head over all the churches, the definer of doctrine and the corrector of heretics.”
History of the Christian Church vol 3, pg 327 “Vigilius… ascended the papal chair (538 AD) under the military protection of Belisarius.” = 538+1260 = 1798 (no zero year)
Church History pg. 24 “The murder of a Frenchman in Rome in 1798 gave the French an excuse for occupying the Eternal City and putting an end to the Papal temporal power… The aged Pontiff himself was carried off into exile to Valence. The enemies of the church rejoiced. The last Pope, they declared has resigned.”
The Encyclopedia Americana, 1941 edition “In 1798 he (Berthier)… made his entrance into Rome, abolishing the Papal government and established a secular one.”
Rev. Joseph Rickaby – The Modern Papacy pg.1 “Berthier entered Rome on the tenth of February, 1798, and proclaimed a republic… Half Europe thought Napoleon’s veto would be obeyed, and that with the Pope the papacy was dead.”
Goes into captivity (forced from power)
(Revelation 13:10; “If any man is for captivity, into captivity he goeth: if any man shall kill with the sword, with the sword must he be killed. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.”
It's wound is eventually healed
(Revelation 13:10; “If any man is for captivity, into captivity he goeth: if any man shall kill with the sword, with the sword must he be killed. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.” - Forced from power.
The Antichrists number is 666
(Revelation 13:18; “Here is wisdom. He that hath understanding, let him count the number of the beast; for it is the number of a man: and his number is Six hundred and sixty and six.”)
Our Sunday Visitor April 18, 1915 “The letters inscribed in the Pope’s miter are these ‘VICARIUS FILII DEI”, which is the Latin for VICAR OF THE SON OF GOD.”
Vicarius Filii Dei – the literal meaning: VICARIUS = substituting for, or in place of FILII = son DEI = God