Monday, September 29, 2014

Exposing the Papacy as the Antichrist 3

This is a detour from the main focus of my posts on this subject but it doesn't go far off the track.

I received a link to a video in my email and found it to be a surprisingly effective claim to reveal a completely different interpretation of Mystery Babylon and the Antichrist than I've been working on: Babylon the Great and The Turkish Antichrist. It's definitely worth some thought. It traces the connections between Islam and the pagan religions back to Semiramis, and claims that Mecca, not Rome, is the "city on seven hills" of Revelation 17. John was taken into the desert, or wilderness, to see the image of the great harlot who sits on the beast, and that location does make Mecca a better candidate than Rome.

It is merely asserted in passing that Mecca sits on seven hills, so I don't know what degree of authenticity can be claimed for this, but certainly Rome was known as the City on Seven Hills already back when John wrote the Book of Revelation, and has always maintained that title.

There are other claims made that give credence to this new interpretive scheme, but I think also enough failures to fit the prophecies to show that it isn't really a rival to Rome.

It's mainly the idea of the Antichrist in this system that ultimately doesn't work, though. This is a single figure who will appear at the very end of time, along the lines of so many Futurist views we're familiar with today, who will have the title of Caliph, which is said to mean "Substitute" just as "Vicar of Christ" means Substitute for Christ and therefore Antichrist. The connection is strained in the film, however, as Jesus is regarded by Islam as just one of many prophets, so the final Caliph is a substitute for him along with all the other prophets and therefore can't be Antichrist who specifically usurps the place of Christ. No informed Christian is going to fall for such an inexact Substitute, but the papacy has fooled Christians down the centuries already with their claim to be the Vicar of Christ.

The papacy also has all the trappings of the old religions that go back to Semiramis, as Alexander Hislop showed in his Two Babylons, so both religions show that connection, but the papacy does a much better job of filling the description of the Harlot's scarlet and purple garb.

Also they have to turn the "wine of her fornication" into the oil which has made Saudi Arabia wealthy, as it is that oil that keeps the world more or less at their mercy, and that made possible all the wealth in today's Middle East that fits the description in Revelation 17. But of course this is all very recent. None of this wealth existed when John wrote the Book of Revelation, or down through the centuries either, but the papacy has accumulated wealth from early on.

The woman's being drunk with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus fits both systems though, as Islam has murdered Christians, including a million and a half Armenian Christians by the Turks during the Ottoman Empire, and of course Islam has been continuing the slaughter particularly in Africa in recent times. Now with the rise of ISIS it is becoming everyday news. I just saw a headline, too, that says ISIS destroyed the monument to the Armenian genocide in Syria.

So none of this is going to rival the papacy for the title of Antichrist, but I'd say it does fill in the case for Islam as the other leg of the Roman Empire as shown on Nebuchadnezzar's statue as described in the Book of Daniel.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Exposing the Papacy as the Antichrist 2

Besides the monumental History of Protestantism, J. A. Wylie also wrote a short treatise, published in 1888, titled The Papacy Is the Antichrist: a Demonstration, in which he argues that the papacy is the perfect counterfeit of Christ.  In fact this treatise is quite a tour de force as Wylie attempts to show that the papacy fulfills all the scriptural references to the Antichrist, including all the references in the Book of Daniel, which I find rather boggling.  He could be right, but it would take quite a bit of study to find out for sure. 

But even without those references he gives solid reasons why only the papacy can be the actual Antichrist, starting with its claim to the title "Vicar of Christ" which all by itself is like announcing the Pope to be "Antichrist" as the words are synonymous.  This is a point I've made as well, as "vicar" means "substitute" or "in the place of," and there is also a Latin version of the concept, VICARIVUS FILII DEI which means "in the place of the Son of God" and whose letters which are also Roman numerals (VICIVILIIDI) add up to 666.

He must be a good counterfeit who can deceive many, a false Christ. Therefore he can't be an open enemy of Christ but must be a pretender to be Christ or a Christian leader. So Wylie points out that he can't be an Atheist or a Communist or a Pantheist.

He also can't be a Muslim. All these actively oppose Christ. Islam reveres him as a prophet and is antichrist in the sense that they deny His Deity, but this is an open denial. There are "Christian" cults that do the same. None of these are THE Antichrist although they are antichrists.

He also can't be an evil political leader, even if his evil surpasses that of all the most violent political leaders ever known, because he lacks the essential character of putting himself forward as a false Christ. (I would point out, however, that a characteristic of some political contenders has been that they make themselves gods and demand worship. That was true of the Caesars and Nero in particular took it to Antichrist proportions in his persecutions of the Christians, and Hitler also made himself as close to an object of worship as he could get. The Third Reich was after all one of the attempts to revive the Roman Empire, which followed the Holy Roman Empire and Kaiser Wilhelm's Second Reich, all in some form of collaboration with the papacy, and those who have followed these things are expecting the European Union eventually to develop into another version of the Holy Roman Empire.)

In this connection Wylie says
Antichrist’s rage is concentrated on one particular object and cause;
By which he must mean ridding the world of the true God and Christ and His followers, but I'd point out here that although the Inquisition murdered tens of millions of true Christians it also murdered Jews and Muslims and witches and atheists.

He continues:
nor with any propriety can such a one be said to sit in the “temple of God,” the seat on which the mock-Christ specially delights to show himself.
It took a while for me to be convinced that this defines the Popes already down through the centuries, as putting themselves in the seat at the head of the Church, which was the view of the Reformers. This contrasts sharply, of course, with today's futurist interpretation of a rebuilt literal temple in earthly Jerusalem, in which the Antichrist is expected literally to seat himself during the last seven years before the Lord Jesus returns. Something of the sort did happen in the time of the Maccabees when Antiochus Epiphanes put up what was probably an image of Zeus in the Jewish Temple and demanded that the Jews worship it, in fulfillment of the prophecy of the "abomination of desolation" in the Book of Daniel, which is generally understood to have a future fulfillment as well.  Antiochus was certainly an Antichrist figure, but by Wylie's argument not THE Antichrist since he was far from a successful counterfeit but an open enemy of the true God.

The next section of Wylie's argument where he contrasts the Mystery of Inquity with the Mystery of Godliness loses me to some extent, but then he does make a good comparison between the many Christ figures who came as types of the true Christ over the centuries before His arrival, as sketched out in the Old Testament, with types of the Antichrist, particularly the Caesars who were both kings and pagan priests and became the foundation of the papacy. He speaks of a "colossal" image of the Antichrist but, surprisingly (to me anyway), doesn't specifically name the statue of Nebuchadnezzar's dream which identifies the pagan empires that lead up to the final Roman empire. Nebuchadnezzer did, however, erect a gold statue of himself and demanded it be worshiped, which makes him personally a type of the Antichrist.

In Chapter 7 Wylie spells out how the papacy arose, and I find his historical points to be very convincing myself:
The first event which contributed, and contributed essentially to the development of the Papacy was the removal of the Emperor from Rome. Had Caesar continued to reside in his old capital, he would, as the phrase is, have "sat" upon the Pope, and this aspiring ecclesiastic could not have shot up into the powerful potentate which prophecy had foretold. But Constantine (A.D. 334) removed to the new Rome on the Bosphorus, leaving the old capital of the world to the Bishop of Rome, who was henceforth the first and most influential personage in that city. It was then, probably, that the idea of founding an ecclesiastical monarchy suggested itself to him. He had fallen heir, by what must have seemed a lucky accident, to the old capital of the world; he was, moreover, possessor of the chair of Peter, or believed himself to be so, and out of these two -the old town of the Caesars and the old chair of the apostle, it might even be possible -so, doubtless, he reasoned, to fabricate an empire that would one day rival and even overtop that of the emperors. These, it might have been thought beforehand, were but slender materials to bear the weight of so great an enterprise; yet with their help, and aided, doubtless, by deeper that mere human counsel, he projected a sovereignty which has not had its like on earth, which survived the fall of the Roman Empire, which lived through all the convulsions and overturnings of the Middle Ages, and which has come down to our day, and has the art, when men believe it to be about to expire, of rallying its powers, and coming back upon the world.

About this time, moreover, the equality which had reigned among the pastors of the church in the primitive age was broken. The bishops claimed superiority above the presbyters. Nor was there equality even among the bishops themselves. They took precedence, not according to their learning, or their talents, or their piety, but according to the rank of the city in which their see was placed. Finally, a new and loftier order arose overtopping the episcopate. Christendom was partitioned into five great patriarchates -Rome, Constantinople, Antioch, Alexandria, and Jerusalem. These were the five great cities of the empire, and their bishops were constituted the five great princes of the church.

Now came the momentous question, for a while so keenly agitated, Which of the five shall be the first? Constantinople claimed this honour for her patriarch, on the ground that it was the residence of the Emperor. Antioch, Alexandria and Jerusalem each put in its claim, but to no effect. Constantinople found, however, a powerful rival in the old city on the banks of the Tiber. Rome had been the head of the world, the throne of the Caesars; around it was still the halo of a thousand victories, and that gave it a mysterious influence over the imaginations of men, who began to see in its bishop the first ecclesiastic of the Christian world. The popular suffrage had pronounced in favour of the Roman bishop before his rank had received imperial ratification. He was installed as the first of the five patriarchs in A.D. 606. The Emperor Phocas, displeased with the bishop of Constantinople, who had condemned the murder of Maurice, by which Phocas opened his way to the imperial dignity, made Boniface III. universal bishop. The imperial edict, however, gave to the Roman bishop only the precedence among the five patriarchs; it gave him no power or jurisdiction over them.
He goes on to sketch out how the papacy acquired power bit by bit over the ensuing centuries beginning with the forged Donation of Constantine and Decretals of Isidore. These are now acknowledged to be forgeries, but
The fabrications of Isidore were made the substructions of canon law, and that stupendous fabric of legislation is still maintained to be of divine authority, despite that it is now acknowledged to be founded on a forgery.
And he goes on describing the means by which Rome brought primitive Europe under subjugation to papal power, for instance by teaching not a word of the gospel of Christ but only the power of Rome itself, and creating various superstitions to keep them in line.

In earlier years there had been genuine Christian evangelical churches planted in northern Europe by Irish and Scottish missionaries, but these were forced under Romanism, as were the original Irish evangelical churches that had been founded by St. Patrick.

Then the Crusades added to the papal power. And on it goes. I do find all this very convincing myself. This is certainly a portrait of the Great Apostasy and the Antichrist system built on it. It fits all the scriptural qualifications for the Mother of Harlots.

He continues with further evidences but I'll have to come back to consider them later. But to this point I'd say he's made the case, and it is really astonishing that today's churches are blind to the Antichrist nature of the papacy.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Exposing the Papacy as the Antichrist

I've had in mind for quite a while getting together a post on the Antichrist system of the papacy with documentation so that it might convince some to try to do something about it. Even people who believe the papacy is the Antichrist don't think of doing anything to combat it, it's just a passive recognition, along with the sense that there will yet be a final Antichrist, which is the main thing people think of. That there is any danger to anybody at any stage is a completely foreign thought.

But as Chris Pinto has been making clear, there is quite a history of Protestants warning against this Antichrist system, trying to make Christians aware of it, exposing it, calling it out, as we're counseled in scripture to do with the "works of darkness." Charles Spurgeon didn't believe the papacy was the Antichrist at first but finally did and wrote many articles exposing them in his publication The Sword and the Trowel.

Up until the first part of the twentieth century there were many such warnings, and a main target of the warnings was the Jesuits, who are the attack dogs of the papacy and truly dangerous, being known in former times as ruthless assassins who aimed to take down heads of state, particularly Protestant heads of state, but also any others who crossed them, including Popes. Early American President John Adams said there wasn't any group more deserving of Hell.

But who knows any of this any more? Newsweek magazine even came out recently with an edition that speaks approvingly of the Jesuits having a sort of comeback. Since this current Pope is a Jesuit and is quite popular, his order gets to bask in his glow.

I hope I'll be able to get my documented post together soon, I've been reading J A Wylie's History of Protestantism for starters, but at least I wanted to say this much now. We all need to know these things. Catholics also need to know about it since they really don't have a clue about any of it either.

Meanwhile Chris Pinto has lots of information at his sites, Noise of Thunder Radio and Adullam Films.

Friday, September 5, 2014

People Still Fall for the Heaven Stories

It's beginning to seem that a major proof that we are in the last of the last days is the phenomenal success of the many books about people's experiences of "heaven," and in some cases also Hell.

I was reminded of the popularity of these stories as I was walking out of the grocery store a few days ago with a couple of people behind me talking about the book Heaven Is For Real, what it costs at that store and where to go to get a better deal on it. Their interest is probably due to the recent movie based on that book. With that much popularity I thought I should write a brief update on the subject since I've got a few posts of my own on it here that I hope steer people to the truth about such things.

When I wrote my posts on that subject it never occurred to me that they would become the topic that attracts far and away the most comments I get at my blogs. I still get comments on those posts.

Many of the comments are of course negative, especially when it comes to the experiences of small children. How can I suggest that small children could be so deceived? The idea seems to be that children are too innocent for the devil to exploit them. But of course the devil has no qualms about whom he exploits, whatever works to deceive us is all that matters to him, and apparently we are a gullible lot, even Christians sad to say. Some of the books were of course written by Christians, and I do mean genuine believers, who even claim the experiences do not contradict the Bible.

By now it should be clear that they do contradict the Bible. I've tried to collect that evidence here, but there are many other sources out there, including the sermon by a pastor I linked here, but also in particular John MacArthur's ministry Grace to You, for instance HERE and HERE.  [Just for the record, I don't see that there's any reason to suspect that these stories are the product of imagination or hallucination, I think there's reason to believe that they are genuine experiences that can only be demonic deceptions.]

I don't want to review the arguments in this post, there's enough in the posts I've written already, and there are many comments to those posts people can read as well. This is just a reminder for anyone who still has questions.