Vicars and Antichrists
NCW 75, April-June 2002
Q. Who do you think is the antichrist mentioned by Paul to the Thessalonians? Do you think it is the Pope?
A. The antichrist is both an end-time person who holds absolute political power as well as anyone who rejects Christ. Thus the antichrist is both a person as well as a society of people who refuse to accept salvation. As to the name or identity of the antichrist person, this has not yet been definitely revealed, but will be evident as soon as he reveals himself.
That the Roman Catholic popes are antichrists is difficult to dispute. The Greek word for "anti" means a "substitute", in other words, a "substitute Christ", or one who puts himself in the place of the Messiah as a redeemer-figure. Interestingly enough, the Catholic Pope has always called himself "Vicar of Christ" which in the Latin literally means "substitute for Christ". Translate that into Greek and you get "antichrist". This is where the Anglican Church gets the word "Vicar" from, a most unfortunate choice of terms.
Whether a Roman Pontiff will be the end time Antichrist or just one of the many is hard to ascertain. Certainly no good has ever come out of Rome, or will come out of Rome, in the future. When I visited Bulgaria in 1994 I was shown many visions of the current Pope and the plotting that was taking place, and how false visions were being directed to religious people everywhere. Despite the benign outer appearance, he is spiritually a most dangerous man.
We will know who the end-time Antichrist is when, as it is written in 2 Thessalonians 2:4 he visibly and defiantly sits on the Throne of God in the Holy Place. Whether this is a literal place (many believe it will be a reconstructed Jerusalem Temple) or simply presents himself as the Saviour of the World has been debated long and hard. I am myself disinclined to believe that the throne is the Holy of Holies in a future Talmudic Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem which Yahweh would not in any case recognise. Rather, since the New Covenant Temple is the bodies of men and women, more likely the enthronement of the Antichrist will be in men's hearts. And if that is correct, then the enthronement is well underway, and will be completed when the final separation of the good from the wicked has taken place.
This page was created on 16 June 2004
Last updated on 16 June 2004
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