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Antichrist Unmasked

The King James Version (KJV) is mostly used in these lessons. Click here to access the KJV online.
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We have restored on the WLC website, in the Scriptures quoted the Names of the Father and Son, as they were originally written by the inspired authors of the Bible.  Click here to download the Restored Names Version (RNV) of Scripture.  The RNV is a non-WLC resource.  -WLC Team

“At every revival of [Yahuwah's] work, the prince of evil is aroused to more intense activity; he is now putting forth his utmost efforts for a final, despairing struggle against [Yahushua] and his followers. The last great delusion is soon to open before us. The Antichrist is to perform his marvelous works in our sight. So closely will the counterfeit resemble the true, that it will be impossible to distinguish between them except by the Holy Scriptures. By their testimony every statement and every miracle must be tested.” The Great Controversy, 1884 ed, page 411.

To identify the Antichrist, let's study Daniel, chapter 7.

Spirit Of Antichrist

1. Which Bible writer uses the term 'antichrist'?

Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. . . Who is a liar but he that denieth that Yahushua is the Anointed? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.” “And every spirit that confesseth not that Yahushua, the Anointed, is come in the flesh is not of Yahuwah: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.” “For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Yahushua, the Anointed, is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.” 1 John 2:18, 22, 1 John 4:3, 2 John 1:7.

NOTE: The word 'antichrist' is used in the Bible, only by the apostle John, and in just three passages. 'Christ' is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew word 'Messiah,' the anointed one. 'Anti-' is a Greek prefix, meaning 'in place of'. An antichrist is one who claims to take Christ Yahushua's place. Thus when Pope Leo XIII in one of his encyclical letters wrote: 'We hold upon this earth the place of God Almighty,' he was claiming to be Antichrist.

2. Does the Bible teach that the antichrist is to be a single person, or can there be more than one antichrist?

‘“Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.” 1 John 2:18.

Answer: Yes, there have been many antichrists down through history who have worked against the kingdom of Yahuwah. However, there is only one entity that specifically fulfills all the prophesied characteristics of the Antichrist. In Daniel chapters 7 and 8 and in Revelation chapter 13, you will find at least 10 identifying traits of the Antichrist. These 10 identifying marks can be fulfilled in only one entity, the papacy.

NOTE: Because of the teachings of John Nelson Darby, founder of the Exclusive Brethren, and the popularity of the 'Left Behind' series of novels, many Christians have been led to believe that the Antichrist will be a single individual, who will appear after the Secret Rapture, and will eventually become the great persecutor of the post-Rapture believers, imposing the Mark of the Beast. It is clear from John's writings that he did not see the word 'antichrist' as applying to just one person at the end of time.

Man Of Sin

3. How does Paul identify the antichrist?

Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.” 2 Thessalonians 2:3.

NOTE: The Scriptures foretell a great apostasy, which even in the days of the apostles had begun to manifest itself among certain false brethren in the ekklesia, and which finally was to develop into a falling away, and the revelation of that Man of Sin,… the Son of Perdition, of whom Paul wrote to the Thessalonians (2 Thessalonians 2:1-7). In fulfillment of these predictions, it is a matter of historical record that following the death of the last of the apostles of Yahushua, some members of the Christian Ekklesia began to depart from the simplicity of the truth as taught by Yahushua; and gradually these ekklesia members were led to unite with the world in heathen practices. As the years passed by, and the Ekklesia increased in numbers and in popularity, there were many who became less and still less strict in their obedience to Bible teaching, until finally, in the fifth and sixth centuries after Yahushua, the greater number of those who claimed to be Christians were in reality not living in harmony with the teachings of Yahushua. For many centuries thereafter an apostate form of Christianity held sway. The truth was suppressed and lost sight of, and ignorance prevailed. These centuries of apostasy are correctly designated in history the Dark Ages. During this time attempts were made to alter or to set aside many of the fundamental teachings of the Bible.

The reason why we use Ekklesia and not church when referring to Yahuwah's faithful in WLC content is because the word "church" does not accurately convey the meaning of the original Greek, "Ekklesia." Throughout the New Testament, Ekklesia refers to the Called Out Ones. The word "church," which emphasizes a group, is therefore an erroneous translation and should never have been used. Christians are literally the Called Out Ones. The true followers of Yahushua are indeed the Called Out Ones from the organized denominations and religions of fallen Babylon. When the call to flee Babylon has been heard, none are to again return to Babylonian churches and forms of religion.

4. What did Paul reveal about the career of the Antichrist?

Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called Eloah, or that is worshipped; so that he as Eloah sitteth in the temple of Yahuwah, shewing himself that he is Eloah.” “And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.” “And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against Yahuwah, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.” 2 Thessalonians 2:4. Daniel 7:25 & Revelation 13:6.

NOTE: The man of sin was to arise, and do his work of exaltation and blasphemy, before the brethren could look for the coming of Yahushua. That great event was to be preceded by a falling away. There would be revealed a form of Antichrist, and the leaven of apostasy was to work with increasing power to the end of time.

5. What two definitions of blasphemy are given in the Bible?

And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Yahushua seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee. And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemeth.” The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself Eloah.” Matthew 9:2-3, John 10:33.

NOTE: The Jews were quite correct in supposing that for a mere man to claim to forgive sins is blasphemous. It is likewise blasphemous for a mere man to claim to be Yahuwah. But Yahushua was no mere man, but, as the prophecy of Isaiah 9:6 reveals, 'the mighty El.' It has, however, been a feature of the Roman Catholic religion that its priests have the right to forgive men's sins. It is also the official teaching of the Roman Catholic Church that the pope is Yahushua as the following quotations reveal:

The Catholic Encyclopaedia Volume 6 page 48 describes the pope as: 'not a mere man, but as it were God and the vicar of God.' Pope Leo XIII in one of his encyclical letters wrote: 'We hold upon this earth the place of God Almighty.' Pope Innocent III wrote: 'The pope is not simply a man but rather God on earth.' He also wrote: 'The pope is not only the representative of Jesus Christ but he is Jesus Christ Himself hidden under the veil of flesh.'

6. When did Paul prophesy that the Man of Sin would be revealed?

For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Master shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming.” 2 Thessalonians 2:7-8.

“After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns. I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things. . . Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.” Daniel 7:7-8, 23-24.

NOTE: Paul speaks of a power restraining the Man of Sin from manifesting himself in his true colors. So long as the Roman emperors held sway, the papacy was unable to assume supreme power. Though the seeds of the great apostasy were already beginning to grow, even in Paul's day, the persecutions by the Roman emperors tended to inhibit the tendency of some Christian ekklesia to conform to worldly and pagan customs, practices and beliefs. But once the last Roman emperor had abdicated and three powers hostile to the papacy (see Daniel 7:8, 24) had been defeated, the popes were able to assume supreme power.

Previous to the rise of the papacy, all opposition to the law of [Yahuwah] had been in the form of paganism, [Yahuwah] had been openly defied; but from that time the opposition was carried on under the guise of professed allegiance to Him. The papacy, however, was no less the instrument of Satan than was pagan Rome; for all the power, the seat, and the great authority of the papacy, were given it by the dragon [Revelation 13:2]. And so, although the pope professed to be the vicegerent of [Yahushua], he is, in reality, the vicegerent of Satan, he is antichrist.” Great Controversy, 1888 edition, page 680.

7. What would be the effect on the Ekklesia of the revelation of the Man of Sin?

And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.” Revelation 13:7.

“I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them.” Daniel 7:21.

NOTE: “In the sixth century the papacy had become firmly established. Its seat of power was fixed in the imperial city, and the bishop of Rome was declared to be the head over the entire church. Paganism had given place to the papacy. The dragon had given to the beast his power, and his seat, and great authority. [REV. 13:2.] And now began the 1260 years of papal oppression foretold in the prophecies of Daniel and John. [DAN. 7:25; REV. 13:5-7.] Christians were forced to choose, either to yield their integrity and accept the papal ceremonies and worship, or to wear away their lives in dungeon cells, or suffer death by the rack, the fagot, or the headsman's ax. Now were fulfilled the words of [Yahushua], Ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake. [LUKE 21:16, 17.] Persecution opened upon the faithful with greater fury than ever before, and the world became a vast battle-field. For hundreds of years the [ekklesia of Yahushua] found refuge in seclusion and obscurity. Thus says the prophet: The woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of [Yahuwah], that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and three-score days. [REV. 12:16.]” The Great Controversy 1884 ed, page 57.

The 1260-Years Of Papal Supremacy

8. How long was the Antichrist to oppress the people of Yahuwah?

And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.” “And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of Yahuwah, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days. . . And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.” “And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against Yahuwah, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.” Daniel 7:25. Revelation 12:6, 13-14, Revelation 13:5-7.

NOTE: "The forty and two months are the same as the time and times and the dividing of time, three years and a half, or 1260 days, of Daniel 7, the time during which the papal power was to oppress [Yahuwah's] people. This period, as stated in preceding chapters, began with the supremacy of the papacy, A.D. 538, and terminated in 1798." The Great Controversy, 1888 ed, page 439.

9. What happened to bring this period of supremacy to an end? Revelation 13:3, first part. Revelation 13:10.

And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed. . . He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.” Revelation 13:3, first part. Revelation 13:10.

NOTE: "The 1260 years of papal supremacy began in A.D. 538, and would therefore terminate in 1798. At that time a French army entered Rome and made the pope a prisoner, and he died in exile. Though a new pope was soon afterward elected, the papal hierarchy has never since been able to wield the power which it before possessed. The persecution of the [ekklesia] did not continue throughout the entire period of the 1260 years. [Yahuwah] in mercy to His people cut short the time of their fiery trial. In foretelling the great tribulation to befall the [ekklesia], the Saviour said: Except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened. Matthew 24:22. Through the influence of the Reformation the persecution was brought to an end prior to 1798." Great Controversy, 1888 ed, page 266.

All The World Wondered After The Beast

10. How did John prophesy the revival of papal power and influence?

And all the world wondered after the beast. Revelation 13:3, last part.

NOTE: The influence of Rome in the countries that once acknowledged her dominion is still far from being destroyed. And prophecy foretells a restoration of her power. 'I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.' Verse 3. The infliction of the deadly wound points to the downfall of the papacy in 1798. After this, says the prophet, 'his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.' Paul states plainly that the 'man of sin' will continue until the Second Advent. (2 Thessalonians 2:3-8). To the very close of time he will carry forward the work of deception. And the Revelator declares, also referring to the papacy: 'All that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life.' (Revelation 13:8.) In both the Old and the New World, the papacy will receive homage in the honour paid to the Sunday institution, that rests solely upon the authority of the Roman Church. Great Controversy, 1888 ed, page 578.

11. How does John picture the final downfall of the papacy?

And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. For Yahuwah hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of Yahuwah shall be fulfilled. And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.” Revelation 17:16-18.

“And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.” Revelation 18:21.

NOTE: "Church members who have seen the light and been convicted, but who have trusted the salvation of their souls to the minister, will learn in the day of [Yahuwah] that no other soul can pay the ransom for their transgression. A terrible cry will be raised, 'I am lost, eternally lost.' Men will feel as though they could rend in pieces the ministers who have preached falsehoods and condemned the truth. All unite in heaping their bitterest condemnation upon the ministers. Unfaithful pastors have prophesied smooth things; they have led their hearers to make void the law of [Yahuwah] and to persecute those who would keep it holy. Now, in their despair, these teachers confess before the world their work of deception. The multitudes are filled with fury. 'We are lost!' they cry, 'and you are the cause of our ruin'; and they turn upon the false shepherds. The very ones that once admired them most will pronounce the most dreadful curses upon them. The very hands that once crowned them with laurels will be raised for their destruction. The swords which were to slay [Yahuwah's] people are now employed to destroy their enemies." The Great Controversy, pages 655, 656.

The Antichrist

12. What seven distinguishing marks does Daniel reveal about the antichrist?

And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.” Daniel 7:24-25.

NOTE: In Daniel 7, the career of the antichrist is explained in detail. The empire of Rome is divided into ten kingdoms which arise out of it. Then after this division takes place, another power emerges, at first much smaller and weaker than the ten kingdoms. In order for this power to arise, three of the ten kingdoms have to be uprooted. This power was to be a totally different kind of power from the ten kingdoms. It would blaspheme against Yahuwah. It would take the lead in persecuting Christians. It would claim the power to change Yahuwah's sacred times and laws. And Christians would be persecuted by this power for a period of 'a time, times and the dividing of time. Here we have seven identifying features:

  • It would rise after the Roman Empire had split up into ten smaller kingdoms. (Daniel 7:8).

  • Three of these kingdoms would be overthrown in its rise to power. (Daniel 7:8).

  • It would be a different kind of power (diverse) from the others that came before it. (Daniel 7:24).

  • It would blaspheme against Yahuwah. (Daniel 7:25). See also Revelation 13:5.

  • It would persecute Yahuwah's people. (Daniel 7:21, 25).

  • It would claim the right to change Yahuwah's law and times. (Daniel 7:25).

  • Its period of power would be 'a time, times, and the dividing of time.' (Daniel 7:25).

13. Which is the only power that has fulfilled all of these identifying features?

Answer:

A. The pope assumed the title of the Caesars, Pontifex Maximus (Supreme Pontiff) in 538, nearly sixty years after the last Roman emperor abdicated and his empire was divided.

B. In these sixty years, three kingdoms, the Heruli, the Ostrogoths and the Vandals, all of which opposed the papacy, were overthrown and disappeared from history.

C. The papacy, as a total union of church and state, and claiming authority over all earthly kings, exercises a different kind of power from those kingdoms that preceded it.

D. The Bible defines blasphemy in two ways, claiming to be Yahuwah and claiming the right to forgive sins. The popes have made both those claims.

E. History reveals the papacy as the greatest persecutor of Christians, both in terms of time and numbers. A comparison of the Ten Commandments as found in Exodus 20 and in standard Roman Catholic catechisms will show that one commandment has been omitted and five others have been heavily edited.

F. The period of time that the papacy would flourish was 'a time, times, and the dividing of time.' Elsewhere this period is referred to as 1260 days and 42 months. The principle of prophetic interpretation that a prophetic day is equivalent to a literal year makes this period 1260 years. The papacy assumed the role of the Caesars in 538. 1260 years later in 1798, Napoleon sent General Berthier to Rome to arrest the pope, thus planning to bring an end to the papacy.

The Antichrist And The Protestant Reformation

14. What did the major Protestant Reformers teach about the Antichrist?

Answer: Many Protestant reformers lost their lives because they recognized that the Roman Catholic church- whose head is the successive Popes was the antichrist of Bible prophecy.

Martin Luther (1483-1546) [founder of the Lutheran Church] “nothing else than the kingdom of Babylon and of very Antichrist….For who is the man of sin and the son of perdition, but he who by his teaching and his ordinances increases the sin and perdition of souls in the church; while he yet sits in the church as if he were [Yahuwah]? All these conditions have now for many ages been fulfilled by the papal tyranny.” Martin Luther, First Principles, pp. 196-197

John Calvin (1509-1564) [founder of the Presbyterian Church] “I deny him to be the vicar of Christ, who, in furiously persecuting the gospel, demonstrates by his conduct that he is Antichrist--I deny him to be the successor of Peter..I deny him to be the head of the church.” “Some persons think us too severe and censorious when we call the Roman pontiff Antichrist. But those who are of this opinion do not consider that they bring the same charge of presumption against Paul himself, after whom we speak and whose language we adopt…I shall briefly show that (Paul's words in 2 Thessalonians 2) are not capable of any other interpretation than that which applies them to the Papacy” John Calvin, Tracts, Vol. 1, pp. 219,220. John Calvin, Institutes.

John Wesley (1703-1791) [founder of the Methodist Church] “He is in an emphatical sense, the Man of Sin, as he increases all manner of sin above measure. And he is, too, properly styled the Son of Perdition, as he has caused the death of numberless multitudes, both of his opposers and followers… He it is…that exalteth himself above all that is called [Eloah], or that is worshipped… claiming the highest power, and highest honor… claiming the prerogatives which belong to [Yahuwah] alone.” Albert Close, Antichrist and His Ten Kingdoms, London: Thynne and Co., 1917, p. 110.

John Wyclif (1324-1384) [Completed the 1st English translation of the Bible] “Why is it necessary in unbelief to look for another Antichrist? Hence in the seventh chapter of Daniel Antichrist is forcefully described by a horn arising in the time of the 4th kingdom. For it grew from [among] our powerful ones, more horrible, more cruel, and more greedy, because by reckoning the pagans and our Christians by name, a lesser [greater?] struggle for the temporals is not recorded in any preceding time... and the horn has arisen from the ten horns, having eyes and a mouth speaking great things against the Lofty One, and wearing out the saints of the Most High, and thinking that he is able to change times and laws.” (Daniel 7:8, 25 quoted) …For so our clergy foresee the lord pope, as it is said of the eighth blaspheming little head. Translated from Wyclif's, De Veritate Sacrae Scripturae, vol. 3 pp. 262, 263

William Tyndale (1484-1536) [1st translator of the Bible from the Greek] “The pope's forbidding matrimony, and to eat of meats created of [Yahuwah] for man's use, which is devilish doctrine by Paul's prophecy,… are tokens good enough that he is the right antichrist, and his doctrine sprung of the devil.” 1 Timothy 4:1-3 Tyndale, An Answer to Sir Thomas More's Dialogue, in Works, vol. 3, p. 171 Visit http://www.williamtyndale.com for more information on William Tyndale.

King James (1566-1625) [Authorized the King James Version of the Bible] “The faithfull praiseth [Yahuwah] for the Popes destruction, and their deliverance, and for the plagues which are to light on him and his followers. The Pope by his Pardons makes merchandise of the souls of men: Heaven and the Saints rejoice at his destruction, albeit the earth and the worldlings lament for the same James I, Paraphrase, in Workes, pp. 47, 57

John Knox (1505-1572) [Scottish Reformer] He preached that Romish traditions and ceremonies should be abolished along with “that tyranny which the Pope himself has for so many ages exercised over the church and that he should be acknowledged as the son of perdition, of whom Paul speaks. In a public challenge he declared: As for your Roman Church, as it is now corrupted… I no more doubt but that it is the synagogue of Satan, and the head therof, called the Pope, to be the man of sin of whom the apostle speaketh. Knox, The Zurich Letters, p.199

Philipp Melanchthon (1497-1560) [Associate of Martin Luther] “Since it is certain that the pontiffs and the monks have forbidden marriage, it is most manifest, and true without any doubt, that the Roman Pontiff, with his whole order and kingdom, is very Antichrist. Likewise in 2 Thess. II, Paul clearly says that the man of sin will rule in the church exalting himself above the worship of [Yahuwah], etc. Translated from Melanchthon, Disputationes, No. 56, De Matrimonio, in Opera (Corpus Reformatorum), vol. 12 col. 535

Huldreich Zwingli (1484-1531) [great Swiss reformer quoted on Dec. 28, 1524] “I know that in it works the might and power of the Devil, that is, of the Antichrist… the Papacy has to be abolished… But by no other means can it be more thoroughly routed than by the word of [Yahuwah] (2 Thessalonians 2), because as soon as the world receives this in the right way, it will turn away from the Pope without compulsion.” Principle Works of Zwingli, Vol. 7, p. 135.

And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Yahushua: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration. Revelation 17:6.

15. What divine judgment, however, is pronounced upon the little horn?

The judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.” Daniel 7:26.

16. To whom will his dominion be given?

The kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey Him.” Verse 27.

Are you thankful to Yahuwah for exposing the antichrist to you? Do you want to decide to follow Yahushua, the Anointed, wherever He leads and no longer be part of antichrist false religion?


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