The Antichrist: A Deeper Look

Satan’s Final Atonement Counterfeit

wolf-in-sheeps-clothingIn the last days, Satan will employ a power that so closely resembles the truth that it will deceive even the very elect. Daniel 7 gives such an accurate description of this power that diligent Bible students are left with no doubt as to its identity. Since in Daniel and Revelation beasts and horns represent kings or kingdoms, this apostate ruler is referred to as a beast and is commonly known as the antichrist.

Daniel 7 repeats the prophecy of Daniel 2, but expands on it to identify the “Man of Sin” that Saint Paul prophesied must be revealed before the coming of the Lord (2 Thessalonians 2:3-10). It is a shocking prophecy that tears away the mask of the antichrist, who masquerades as God in the time of the end.

Four Beasts Set the Stage

In his vision, Daniel sees four beasts: a winged lion, a bear, a leopard with four heads and four wings and a terrible, ten-horned beast with iron teeth.

  • A Winged Lion

This beast represents Babylon. Archeology reveals that a lion with eagle’s wings was often employed in Babylon. The eagle also represents the sun god that gave the lion of Babylon its power.

  • A Bear

This beast represents Medo-Persia. It was raised up on one of its sides to show the initial inequality of the alliance of the Medes and Persians that eventually overthrew Babylon.

  • A Leopard

This beast represents Greece. Its four heads and four wings symbolize the four subkingdoms that it would be divided into before succumbing to Rome.

  • A Terrible Ten-Horned Beast

This final beast with its iron teeth represents Rome. When we cross-reference this beast with the legs of iron that represented Rome in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, we see that although it would become divided into the feet of iron and clay, it would remain even until the destruction of the earth by the stone of Christ’s coming.

The beast’s ten horns symbolized ten kingdoms that would arise from Rome after its decline, the Ostrogoths, Visigoths, Franks, Vandals, Suevi, Alamani (Huns), Anglo-Saxons, Heruli, Lombardi, and Burgundians. The little horn that comes up from among these ten, having “eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking pompous words (Daniel 7:8),” is our man. Who is he and why does he wear out the forbearance of God?

RomeThe Antichrist Revealed

A close reading of Daniel 7 reveals the following telling facts about the little horn that identify it as none other than papal Rome:

  • It Rises Out of the Fourth Beast (Daniel 7:7-8)

Historians unanimously agree that papal Rome emerged from the ruins of the Roman Empire. English historian, Thomas Hobbes, says that the papacy is “not other than the Ghost of the deceased Roman Empire, sitting crowned upon the grave thereof.”

This is important since the antichrist arises out of Rome, contrary to the belief of many who take a preteristic view of the antichrist that associates him with Antiochus Ipiphanes IV, a Greek king who persecuted the Jews and desecrated the temple.

  • It Comes Up Among Ten Horns (Daniel 7:7-8, 24)

Papal Rome arose among the ten European tribes (above) that emerged after the fall of the Roman Empire. To qualify as a horn, the papacy must have the attributes of a kingdom. The Vatican is an independent state.

  • It Uproots Three Horns (Daniel 7:8)

Only the papacy can fit this historical description. She mercilessly destroyed the Arian kingdoms of the Heruli (493 AD), the Vandals (534 AD), and the Ostrogoths (538 AD) that stood in the way of her power. This paved the way to the establishment of papal Rome as an independent power in 538 AD.

  • It is Greater Than Its Fellows (Daniel 7:20)

For more than a thousand years, beginning in 538 AD, the papacy waxed in strength until it held absolute control over the states of Europe. Henry IV, King of Germany, waited in penitence for three days in the snow before he was permitted an audience with Pope Gregory VII. Likewise, King John of England waited naked on a cold marble floor to apologize to the Pope. Countries were divided and kings were enthroned and dethroned by papal decrees.

The words of Luther underscore the power of the papacy for centuries:

“It is a horrible thing to behold the man who styles himself Christ’s vicegerent displaying a magnificence that no emperor can equal. Is this being like the poor Jesus, or the humble Peter? He is (say they) the lord of the world. But Christ, whose vicar he boasts of being, has said, My kingdom is not of this world. Can the dominion of a vicar extend beyond those of his superior?” (D’Aubigne, History Of The Reformation, Volume 2, Book 6, Chapter 3)

  • It is Different from All the Others (Daniel 7:24)

The papacy is different from all of the pagan kingdoms before it because it is not only a political power, but also a religio-political power. The Pope is not only the head of the church, but also a temporal sovereign of the Vatican, with reciprocal representatives in the capitols of the world.

  • It has “Eyes like the eyes of a man, speaking great words against God.” (Daniel 7:8, 8:25)

The Pope claims to be the Vicar of God on earth, a position that dares to claim that it “holds upon this earth the place of God Almighty” (The Great Encyclical Letters of Pope Leo XIII, June 20, 1894), that the Pope is “not only the representative of Jesus Christ, but is Jesus Christ, Himself, hidden under the veil of flesh” (The Catholic National, July 1895), and that his judicial authority even includes the divine prerogative to forgive sin (Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 12, 265 and Catechism of the Catholic Religion, 279). These are cardinal blasphemies.

  • It Makes War on God’s Saints (Daniel 7:21)

History records that papal Rome relentlessly persecuted all those who resisted her power. Her bloody reign included the “Thirty year war,” the “Hundred year war,” the Inquisition, and the extermination of the Waldenses, the Albegensers, and the Huguenots.

John Calvin wrote to Emperor Charles V, saying, “I deny that See to be…the vicar of Christ, who, in furiously persecuting the gospel, demonstrates by his conduct that he is Anticrist.” Finally, the historian Lecky said that “The Church of Rome has shed more innocent blood than any other institution that has ever existed among mankind” (History of Nationalism in Europe, volume 2, 32).

  • It Changes Times and Laws (Daniel 7:25)

In changing its day of worship from the seventh day of the week (Saturday) to the first (Sunday), the Catholic church has changed the law of God. She boastful brags that “the Christian Sabbath is therefore to this day, the acknowledged offspring of the Catholic Church as spouse of the Holy Ghost, without a word of remonstrance from the Protestant world.”

  • The Saints are Handed Over to It for a Time, Times, and a Half a Time (Daniel 7:25)

This period of time, when computed in prophetic time, comes out to 1260 years. If we add 1260 years to 538 AD (the year Emperor Justinian elevated the Bishop of Rome to the position of Head of all Churches), then we come to 1798 AD. In 1798 the Pope was taken into captivity by Napoleon, ending the enforcement of papal power and its persecution of God’s saints.

  • It Reigns Till the Ancient of Days Comes

Though the papacy’s power was interrupted, its wound is healing and it will one day regain again the supremacy that it had during the Middle Ages. Only papal Rome spans the time outlined in Daniel 7.

  • 666-number-of-the-beastIt Has the Number of a Man (Revelation 13:18)

One of the official titles of the Pope is Vicarius Filii Dei, which means Vicar of the Son of God. An inspection of a few papal cannons will verify this title.

Latin letters have a numerical value and the title “Vicarius Filii Dei” adds up to 666 (V=5, I=1, C=100, U=5, L=50, and D=500). These words used to be on the Pope’s mitre, but in the early 17th century the Church of Rome was sufficiently embarrassed by this revelation that they removed them. However, this is still the Pope’s official title, used in ordination ceremonies.

Papal Rome is Babylon, the Church Fallen

The Bible’s undeniable identification of the papal system with the antichrist may come as a shock to many. By placing herself in the place of Jesus Christ on this earth she has shown herself to be the beast of Revelation and the Mother of Harlots, causing the churches of the world to wander after her.

The great reformers all recognized papal Rome as the antichrist, which resulted in the reformation. She is yet seeking the place of Christ in this world, both overtly and covertly. We know from Daniel and Revelation that she will once again flex her muscles in the end to enforce her decree contrary to the law of God. The Church of Rome is Satan’s counterfeit to the final atonement, calling us to unite with the super-church of Babylon the Great (ecumenicalism), which will eventually unite with the United States of America to persecute those who do not conform to her.

In contrast, the message of the final atonement and Revelation 14 is a message of separation from Babylon. God is gathering a people to come out of all churches and make a stand for His truth. Compromise is impossible.