Archive for the ‘Antichrist’ Category

Ratzinger vs. Hitler

September 24, 2011

The Pope went on: “In this place, remembrance must also be made of the ‘Kristallnacht’ that took place from 9 to 10 November 1938. Only a few could see the full extent of this act of contempt for humanity, like the Berlin Cathedral Provost, Bernhard Lichtenberg, who cried out from the pulpit of St. Hedwig’s Cathedral: ‘Outside, the Temple is burning – that too is the house of God’. The Nazi reign of terror was based on a racist myth, part of which was the rejection of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of Jesus Christ and of all who believe in Him. The supposedly ‘almighty’ Adolf Hitler was a pagan idol, who wanted to take the place of the biblical God, the Creator and Father of all men. Refusal to heed this one God always makes people heedless of human dignity as well. What man is capable of when he rejects God, and what the face of a people can look like when it denies this God, the terrible images from the concentration camps at the end of the war showed”.

(Vatican Information System, 23 September 2011)

A few separate points:

1. It is interesting to contrast the rhetoric that Ratzinger quotes approvingly (“Outside, the Temple is burning – that too is the house of God”) with that of Christ (as revealed to John):

Revelation 2:9  I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.

Revelation 3:9  Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.

2. Remarkably, it appears that Rome never formally excommunicated Hitler.  It’s very nice to say nasty things about him now that he’s dead and gone, but when he was actually killing the Jews, Gypsies, and others, Rome apparently didn’t think it was appropriate to actually excommunicate this “pagan idol.” 

3. I suppose it is obligatory at this point to observe that Ratzinger was evidently conscripted into the Hitler Youth, was drafted into service in an anti-aircraft corps during the war, and was briefly made an American Prisoner Of War.  There’s nothing that I’m aware of that suggests that Ratzinger was particularly supportive of Hitler, even despite his (apparently involuntary) participation in those organizations. 

4. Moreover, it is actually Benedict XVI who wants to take the place of the Biblical God.  I can’t say whether Hitler ever called himself the very vicar of Christ and earthly head of the church, but Benedict XVI certainly claims that for himself.  I can’t say whether Hitler ever set up headquarters in what purported to be the temple of God, but the pope certainly attempts to exalt himself over all that is God’s and seats himself on a throne.  (see 2 Thessalonians 2)

5. The concentration camps were filled with death and horror, I am sure.  What if we compare those few years of Nazi cruelty with the cruelty with which Rome sought to persecute and kill European believers from the time of the Waldensians until the defeat of the Spanish Armada?  Were the Nazis as cruel as the Inquisition?  While there are no photographs to document the acts of cruelty perpetuated by Rome, one can read Foxe’s Book of Martyrs to get some sense of what happened.  Perhaps Benedict XVI’s conscience will persuade him to accept the fact that the Roman church that authorized the slaughter of the Albigensians was one that denied God as much as the Nazi regime did.

All which shows why we must not put our confidence in princes or in the sons of men.  Instead, our hope must be in the name of the Lord, who made the heavens and the earth.

-TurretinFan

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Pre-Reformation Views of the Antichrist

November 23, 2010

Ever wonder what people thought about the Antichrist before Luther came along and pounded on the chapel door at Wittenberg? The following is a table extracted (with kind permission of Pastor Grassley) from a longer pdf document available at the link (link). I have not independently verified this information.

Date Name Reference Interpretation
c. 1310 Dante Alighieri Rev. 17 Harlot Roman Church
c. 1331 Michael of Cesena Rev. 17 Harlot

Antichrist

Roman Church

Pope

c. 1345 Johannes de Rupescissa Antichrist

Rev. 17 Babylon

Rev. 17 Harlot

Pope

Roman church

Roman church

c. 1350 Francesco Petrarch Rev. 17 Harlot Papal Court
c. 1367 John Milicz Antichrist

Abomination of Desolation

Man of Sin

Papacy

Papacy

Papacy

c. 1379 John Wycliffe Antichrist

Abomination of Desolation

Little Horn

Man of Sin

Rev. 17 Harlot

Pope

Papacy

Popes

Papacy

Papacy

c. 1388 Matthias of Janow Antichrist

Abomination of Desolation

Man of Sin

Rev. 13 1st Beast

Rev. 17 Harlot

Rev. 17 Babylon

Hierarchy

Fallen Church

Present Church

Papacy

Hierarchy

Popes

c. 1389 R. Wimbledon Abomination of Desolation Papacy
c. 1390 John Purvey Antichrist

Rev. 13 1st Beast

Rev. 13 2nd Beast

Rev. 13 666

Rev. 17 Harlot

Rev. 17 Babylon

Pope

Papacy

Hierarchy

Pope

Papacy

Papacy

c. 1393 Walter Brute Antichrist

Abomination of Desolation

Little Horn

Man of Sin

Papacy

Bishop of Rome

Rome

Papacy

c. 1412 John Huss Antichrist

Abomination of Desolation

Little Horn

Man of Sin

Rev. 13 1st Beast

Rev. 17 Harlot

Rev. 17 Babylon

Pope

Papacy

Rome

Papacy

Papacy

Papacy

Papacy

c. 1497 Girolamo Savonarola Antichrist

Man of Sin

Rev. 17 Harlot

Rev. 17 Babylon

Pope

Papacy

Papacy

Papacy

Response to Rev. Paul T. McCain regarding Smalcald Articles

January 27, 2010

Rev. Paul T. McCain (a Lutheran [LCMS] pastor) wrote:

Don’t misunderstand. Luther is perfectly clear elsewhere that he does not deny that Roman Christians are still Christians; the question is whether the Roman Pontiff is the voice of the Church and whether the curia and bishops submissive to him are the voice of the Church.

(source)

I have to wonder whether he and I read the same Smalcald Articles. In my copy we find this comment:

O Lord Jesus Christ, do Thou Thyself convoke a Council, and deliver Thy servants by Thy glorious advent! The Pope and his adherents are done for; they will have none of Thee. Do Thou, then, help us, who are poor and needy, who sigh to Thee, and beseech Thee earnestly, according to the grace which Thou hast given us, through Thy Holy Ghost, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Father, blessed forever. Amen.

– Smalcald Articles, Preface, 15 (emphasis mine)

And this:

Of this article nothing can be yielded or surrendered [nor can anything be granted or permitted contrary to the same], even though heaven and earth, and whatever will not abide, should sink to ruin. For there is none other name under heaven, given among men whereby we must be saved, says Peter, Acts 4:12. And with His stripes we are healed, [Is. 53:5]. And upon this article all things depend which we teach and practice in opposition to the Pope, the devil, and the [whole] world. Therefore, we must be sure concerning this doctrine, and not doubt; for otherwise all is lost, and the Pope and devil and all things gain the victory and suit over us.

– Smalcald Articles, Part 2, Article 1, 5

And this:

For all his bulls and books are extant, in which he roars like a lion (as the angel in Rev. 12 depicts him, [crying out] that no Christian can be saved unless he obeys him and is subject to him in all things that he wishes, that he says, and that he does. All of which amounts to nothing less than saying: Although you believe in Christ, and have in Him [alone] everything that is necessary to salvation, yet it is nothing and all in vain unless you regard [have and worship] me as your god, and be subject and obedient to me. And yet it is manifest that the holy Church has been without the Pope for at least more than five hundred years, and that even to the present day the churches of the Greeks and of many other languages neither have been nor are yet under the Pope. Besides, as often remarked, it is a human figment which is not commanded, and is unnecessary and useless; for the holy Christian [or catholic] Church can exist very well without such a head, and it would certainly have remained better [purer, and its career would have been more prosperous] if such a head had not been raised up by the devil.

– Smalcald Articles, Part 2, Article 4, 4-5

And likewise:

This teaching shows forcefully that the Pope is the very Antichrist, who has exalted himself above, and opposed himself against Christ because he will not permit Christians to be saved without his power, which, nevertheless, is nothing, and is neither ordained nor commanded by God. This is, properly speaking to exalt himself above all that is called God as Paul says, 2 Thess. 2:4. Even the Turks or the Tartars, great enemies of Christians as they are, do not do this, but they allow whoever wishes to believe in Christ, and take bodily tribute and obedience from Christians.

The Pope, however, prohibits this faith, saying that to be saved a person must obey him. This we are unwilling to do, even though on this account we must die in God’s name. This all proceeds from the fact that the Pope has wished to be called the supreme head of the Christian Church by divine right. Accordingly he had to make himself equal and superior to Christ, and had to cause himself to be proclaimed the head and then the lord of the Church, and finally of the whole world, and simply God on earth, until he has dared to issue commands even to the angels in heaven. And when we distinguish the Pope’s teaching from, or measure and hold it against, Holy Scripture, it is found [it appears plainly] that the Pope’s teaching, where it is best, has been taken from the imperial and heathen law, and treats of political matters and decisions or rights, as the Decretals show; furthermore, it teaches of ceremonies concerning churches, garments, food, persons and [similar] puerile, theatrical and comical things without measure, but in all these things nothing at all of Christ, faith, and the commandments of God. Lastly, it is nothing else than the devil himself, because above and against God he urges [and disseminates] his [papal] falsehoods concerning masses, purgatory, the monastic life, one’s own works and [fictitious] divine worship (for this is the very Papacy [upon each of which the Papacy is altogether founded and is standing]), and condemns, murders and tortures all Christians who do not exalt and honor these abominations [of the Pope] above all things. Therefore, just as little as we can worship the devil himself as Lord and God, we can endure his apostle, the Pope, or Antichrist, in his rule as head or lord. For to lie and to kill, and to destroy body and soul eternally, that is wherein his papal government really consists, as I have very clearly shown in many books.

– Smalcald Articles, Part 2, Article 4, 10-14

(source for Smalcald Articles)

Obviously, Luther didn’t refer (in the Smalcald Articles) to Romanism as paganism, but he certainly doesn’t seem to have treated the adherents of the papacy as though they were justified in the sight of God. In fact, in the first quotation above he seems to indicate that by adhering to the pope (“the very Antichrist” in one of the later quotations) they have failed to adhere to Christ, and consequently are “done for” and about to face the wrath of God at the glorious advent (second coming) of Christ. I’m not sure Rev. McCain’s picture is totally accurate when he describes the “first evangelicals'” (his characterization based on the usage of the term) response to Rome’s claims:

What is the Church? Is Rome the Church? Ought we to listen to the Pope when he speaks as Bishop of Rome because there is some unique promise attached to his office? Smalcald Articles III, Article XII is joyously clear:

“We do not agree with them that they are the Church.” (Accent, should be on the Church) “They are not the Church. Nor will we listen to those things that, under the name of the Church, they command or forbid.”

As we’ve seen above, their claims were considerably more well-defined than simply stating that Rome is not the church.

-TurretinFan

Some Patristic Views of 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4

January 21, 2010

2 Thessalonians 2:3-4
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; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

Chrysostom:

Ver. 3, 4. “Let no man beguile you in any wise: for it will not be, except the falling away come first, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, he that opposes and exalts himself against all that is called God or that is worshipped; so that he sits in the temple of God, setting himself forth as God.”

Here he discourses concerning the Antichrist, and reveals great mysteries. What is “the falling away?” He calls him Apostasy, as being about to destroy many, and make them fall away. So that if it were possible, He says, the very Elect should be offended. From Matthew 24:24 And he calls him “the man of sin.” For he shall do numberless mischiefs, and shall cause others to do them. But he calls him “the son of perdition,” because he is also to be destroyed. But who is he? Is it then Satan? By no means; but some man, that admits his fully working in him. For he is a man. “And exalts himself against all that is called God or is worshipped.” For he will not introduce idolatry, but will be a kind of opponent to God; he will abolish all the gods, and will order men to worship him instead of God, and he will be seated in the temple of God, not that in Jerusalem only, but also in every Church. “Setting himself forth,” he says; he does not say, saying it, but endeavoring to show it. For he will perform great works, and will show wonderful signs.

– Chrysostom, Homilies on 2 Thessalonians, Homily 3, at 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4

Jerome explains:

Let us not follow the opinion of some commentators and suppose him to be either the Devil or some demon, but rather, one of the human race, in whom Satan will wholly take up his residence in bodily form. “. . .and a mouth uttering overweening boasts…” (cf. II Thess. 2). For this is the man of sin, the son of perdition, and that too to such a degree that he dares to sit in the temple of God, making himself out to be like God.

– Jerome, Commentary on Daniel, at Daniel 7:8

Cyril of Jerusalem:

And what comes to pass after this? He says next, When therefore you see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of by Daniel the Prophet, standing in the Holy Place, let him that reads understand. And again, Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is the Christ, or, Lo, there; believe it not. Hatred of the brethren makes room next for Antichrist; for the devil prepares beforehand the divisions among the people, that he who is to come may be acceptable to them. But God forbid that any of Christ’s servants here, or elsewhere, should run over to the enemy! Writing concerning this matter, the Apostle Paul gave a manifest sign, saying, For that day shall not come, except there came first the falling away, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself against all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. Do you not remember that when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now you know that which restrains, to the end that he may be revealed in his own season. For the mystery of iniquity does already work, only there is one that restrains now, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall the lawless one be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus shall slay with the breath 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, and with all deceit of unrighteousness for them that are perishing. [2 Thessalonians 2:3-10] Thus wrote Paul, and now is the falling away. For men have fallen away from the right faith; and some preach the identity of the Son with the Father, and others dare to say that Christ was brought into being out of nothing. And formerly the heretics were manifest; but now the Church is filled with heretics in disguise. For men have fallen away from the truth, and have itching ears. [2 Timothy 4:3] Is it a plausible discourse? All listen to it gladly. Is it a word of correction? All turn away from it. Most have departed from right words, and rather choose the evil, than desire the good. This therefore is the falling away, and the enemy is soon to be looked for: and meanwhile he has in part begun to send forth his own forerunners, that he may then come prepared upon the prey. Look therefore to yourself, O man, and make safe your soul. The Church now charges you before the Living God; she declares to you the things concerning Antichrist before they arrive. Whether they will happen in your time we know not, or whether they will happen after you we know not; but it is well that, knowing these things, you should make yourself secure beforehand.

– Catechetical Lectures, Lecture 15, Section 9

An Anti-Christ: Vissarion

August 4, 2008

Glen H at Pot and Torch Apologetics has a thorough article on an anti-Christ whose real name is Vissarion. (link) He is a Russian man who has gained a cult following in a fairly remote part of eastern Russia.

Let me ask the reader a question. How in the world could we tell if this man really is the Messiah returned a second time? Would we simply go to him and believe what he says because he claims to speak the Word of God?

I hope no one would be so foolish. There are, however, those who read this blog who accept what their churches have to say as though that were God’s Word. Their churches don’t claim to be the second coming of Christ, but they do insist that their doctrines cannot be tested by individuals on the basis of Scripture.

By comparison to Vissarion (and he is not the only man claiming to be Jesus and gathering a following after himself), we can see the need for Scripture. It is Scripture to which we turn to know whether this man is the Messiah or an Anti-Christ. It’s the same way we test the claims of any teacher and of whole churches of teachers.

We start from what we know to be the Word of God, and go from there. I hope, dear readers, that you will do the same. Most error is not as obvious as a man pretending to be Jesus. More often in comes in more subtle forms. The way to root it out is by searching the Scriptures.

To the glory of God, and the vindication of His truth,

-TurretinFan

New Age Heresies

July 19, 2008

These days, from what I can see, the “New Age Movement” is no longer quite as hip as it was (under that name, at any rate) a decade or two ago. It has since branched out in various regards, and I would be unsurprised if crystal sales have either tailed off, or at least stopped growing at the same rate.

The “New Age Movement,” however, is part of a larger overall anti-Christ movement that seeks to avoid the authority of Scripture. It is a powerful movement. Gail A. Riplinger’s over-estimation of the movement should not lead us to dismiss its reality. As Scripture explains, we do not wrestle against “flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

Today, thanks to the Internet as well as to satellite televisions, the more blatant manifestations of this spirit of evil are open for all to see. What many, particularly the younger folk, may not recognize is that this nothing new. Todd Bentley and the rest of the Lakeland gang of rogues and heretics are not original.

I hope that the videos below help to demonstrate that fact. The first is a montage of clips including Bentley’s “Revival” as well as the similar manifestations by earlier heretics, by Indian pagans, and by “New Age” cults (including those connected with certain branches of Yoga).

Notice that in this trailer for Religulous (Re-lig’-you-luss) the prominence of the anti-Christian religions and mockery of the true religion by way of linking and comparison to those false religions. It’s obviously an inflammatory documentary that will appeal mostly to liberal inclusivists, secularists, and militant atheists.

Nevertheless, we need to be ready to explain the difference between the true Christian faith (defined by Scripture) and the substitutes defined by the New Age movement, the Vatican, Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda (who claims to be the second coming of Christ), Mohamed, Pelagius, and so forth.

We also need to be ready address the criticisms of scoffers like Bill Maher who refuse to see the difference between Biblical Christianity and Santa Claus. One may note that one prominent anti-Christian religion doesn’t seem to get much (if any) assault in the trailer: Judaism (though based on interviews Mr. Maher has done, it appears that footage of the “Wailing Wall” will be included).

Suffice to say that this film, which will undoubtedly exhibit Bill Maher’s excellent wit, and the high production quality that we’ve come to associate with Lionsgate movies. It will be watched, and it will confuse and mislead those who don’t know better.

Bill Maher’s point in making the film is to deny the reality of Hell. On Larry King, he explained that the thesis is to suggest that his answer to people who tell him what happens when you die is to tell them, “You don’t know.” Mr. Maher is wrong, of course. We do know what happens when people die: they come before the Judge of all the Earth to account for what they have done. If there is any sin in them, the just judgment for that sin is Hell. There is only one way that one will not suffer the just judgment for one’s sins, and that is the way taught in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. That one way is by repentance of one’s sins and faith in Christ alone for salvation. It’s a message that the world opposes, but it is the only way to be saved. If you are reading this and realize that you are trusting in something else to provide you with a proper standing before God when you die (whether that is your church, your personal holiness, or the general mercy of God) I strongly urge you to think again. Pick up a Bible and learn about God and the way of salvation from the guilt of sin.

-TurretinFan


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