The ID of Antichrist, A reasonable argument?

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C. Matthew McMahon

Christian Preacher
This is an interesting email exchange with a fanatic. You can tell his disposition by his initial email to Scott. I am posting here because I want to get your impression of his attitude, and whether you think he is displaying Christ, even if he is right or wrong about his doctrine. I did not fill in all my answers, but you can see what he chose to respond to and how he responded. Tell me what you think overall.

Scott first wrote me:

I don't have the patience for this..........

I'm just curious. I didn't think Matt--or you (since you have responded on his behalf)--would mind answering them. Pick any 4, if you don't want to answer all 9.


Hi Matt. I have a few questions for you.

1) Who/what is the beast that rose out of the sea, in Rev 13?
2) Who/what is the man of sin of 2 Thes 2?
3) Who/what is the little horn of Daniel 9?
4) Who/what is Mystery, Babylon the Great of Rev 17?
5) Who/what is the beast that rose out of the earth, in Rev 13?
6) Who/what is the "let" of 2 Thes 2?
7) Who/what are the Locusts of Rev 9?
8) Who/what are the two witnesses of Rev 11?
9) What is the mark, name, and number of the beast, in Rev 13?

Thanks for your time.

In Christ,


Thank you for finally answering Matt. As I suspected, your answers (with the exception of #4, which you won't even be dogmatic about) wholly omit any and all references to the church of Rome, and her head, the papacy.

Contrary to your idealist approach to the Revelation, Christians from the Waldenses, Albigenses, and Bishop Cranmer, John Wycliffe, and William Arthur Dent, Joseph Mede, William Fulke, and King E.B. Elliott, Isaac Newton, and Charles Haddon Spurgeon UNANIMOUSLY found the beast and its false church in ROME! In other words, your so-called reformed doctrine, which you "can't get enough of," at least as it pertains to eschatology, is in DIRECT OPPOSITION TO THE BELIEFS AND PROCLAMATIONS THAT ABOUNDED DURING BEFORE, DURING, AND AFTER THE REFORMATION!

Here are the CENTURIES-OLD proclamations of Christians who came before us:

1) Who/what is the beast that rose out of the sea, in Rev 13? THE PAPACY

2) Who/what is the man of sin of 2 Thes 2? THE PAPACY

3) Who/what is the little horn of Daniel 9? THE PAPACY

4) Who/what is Mystery, Babylon the Great of Rev 17? THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH

5) Who/what is the beast that rose out of the earth, in Rev 13? THE CARDINALS, MONKS, PRIESTS, ETC

6) Who/what is the "let" of 2 Thes 2? THE ROMAN EMPIRE

7) Who/what are the Locusts of Rev 9? THE SACERANS (MUSLIMS)

8) Who/what are the two witnesses of Rev 11? ALL TEACHERS PREACHERS AND PROPHETS

9) What is the mark, name, and number of the beast, in Rev 13?


b) Name = LATEINOS (Latin Man)

c) Number = 666, the sum of Greek letters in LATEINOS

In Christ,

So answer me this, "Doctor Matt:"

1) Why are there no articles at your site, authored by you, or anyone else, regarding the papal beast and Roman Catholic Church(Mystery Babylon), IF YOU AGREE WITH THE WCF? Why are you not correcting other so-called "reformed" brethren...who are neither truly reformed, nor truly Calvinist...who are looking for a FUTURE antichrist to sit in a literal Jewish Temple during a "3 1/2 year great tribulation?" Afraid of stepping on futurist toes? Or is it that you just aren't willing to take the time to explain to a futurist how it is that:

a) the man of sin, aka the beast, aka the little horn, aka the antichrist, is a DYNASTY of popes, rather than an individual super-Jew of the future,

b) that the great tribulation is 1260 years, not 3 1/2,

c) and that the Temple of God is the BODY OF Christ, aka the TRUE CHURCH, not a literal Jewish temple?

2) If *I* am the ignorant one, why is it MY answers to those 9 questions AGREE with the testimonies of millions of saints of old, from the 12th century to the 19th...while YOUR answers were wholly UNKNOWN TO THEM?!?!?! Have you actually READ any of those works you listed?

How is it, doctor, that the writings of Reformation era saints (concerning the identity of antichrist and Mystery Babylon) make perfect sense to me, while YOU NEED TO SHOW THEM ALL UP WITH YOUR "INTELLECT"...GIVING A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT INTERPRETATION TO THE BEAST FROM THE SEA, THE MAN OF SIN, AND THE LITTLE HORN? Do you think you're SMARTER, or more spiritually discerning than they were?

I didn't cite specific citations because I KNOW YOU HAVE ACCESS TO EVERYTHING I HAVE, seeing you own the Reformation and Puritan Bookshelves from SWRB! To own those 2 massive libraries, and STILL take it upon yourself to muster up the mind-blowing nerve to identify the beast that rose out of the sea in Rev 13 as the "DEVIL," the man of sin of 2 Thes 2 as "ANTICHRISTIAN GOVERNMENT," and the little horn of Daniel 9 as "ANTICHRISTIAN GOVERNMENT," is the HEIGHT of arrogance, and demonstrates a LACK of LOVE for the brethren on your part, when you oppose so great a cloud of witnesses!

Your "historical survey" is quite lacking by way of scholarly citation. If I were to walk into a room with your "list", I would be laughed out of the room. Rather, you want to be sure you know exactly who said what and what they believed. What I mean is that when you cite "authoritative sources" for a given argument, you want to make sure they are "academic" sources there as well or people will not take you seriously. Saying that "Christians all through the centuries" believed "such and such" is no argument unless you cite and prove, by first sources, what they said.

Wrong. Had I given a hundred SPECIFIC citations from Francis Turretin, William Whitaker, William Fulke, John Jewel, Walter Brute, John Foxe, David Pareus, Henry More, Thomas Brightman, E.B. Elliott, James Durham, Arthur Dent, Sir Isaac Newton, Thomas Manton, John Knox, Thomas Boston, William Tyndale, John Wycliffe, Matthew Henry, John Calvin, Joseph Mede, or anyone else, all showing your answers to questions 1-4, for example, to be COMPLETELY WRONG,

would you have acknowledged error, and changed your answers? If so, I WILL GLADLY CITE THEM!!!

Does SEEING the actual quotations from a hundred men somehow give you a more receptive spirit, than merely telling you they all believed contrary to you? As one who claims to be "reformed" and a Calvinist, you surely know what the Reformers, and Calvin himself, taught, regarding antichrist, don't you? Talk about needing to grow up. You know full well your statement emphasized above (in red) is a LIE. I could give you countless citations until I'm blue in the face. Nothing will be "proven" to one who thinks he knows better...such as yourself.

In other words, keep on laughing. While you spend time talking to yourself, that is, while you refute your old baptism articles in a schizophrenic debate with yourself, I am daily engaging "teachers" like you, who teach their flock that antichrist is anything and everything EXCEPT what the Reformers, and those who followed, SAID it was! They were persecuted, tortured, and killed for proclaiming things you deny, and, for which, you are neither persecuted, tortured, or killed. Think long and hard about that.

As for this:

I would still hold that the position of those "Antichristian influences" would be out of the church of Rome.

You seem to go to great lengths in choosing your words, so as not to specifically NAME anyone or anything. You will go so far as to say those "influences" would be OUT OF the church of Rome, BUT YOU DON'T HAVE THE FORTITUDE TO SPECIFICALLY NAME THEM! You also say "The WCF makes it clear that Antichrist would come out of Rome." Would come??? Therein lies your problem, "pastor"...YOU ARE A FUTURIST AT HEART!!! As such, you OPPOSE ONE OF THE RALLYING CRIES OF THE REFORMATION!!! Take heed. The LACK of articles at your site EXPOSING the papal beast and its false church speaks volumes, and proves you don't really believe what you would have me think you believe.

In Christ,
The Beast Unmasked

Email #4
"Which is more important for the Reformed church right now, understanding salvation, or helping them to see that Rome is the Antichrist? Think about it. Right now they need to understand covenant theology, not Rome. Rome can come later when they understand salvation first."

First of all, I never said ROME was the antichrist! You really have no clue what the saints of the Reformation era believed about antichrist, do you?

Secondly, to know Christ is to know antichrist. Did all the martyrs understand covenant theology, before they proclaimed their murderers to be antichrist? Did a godly martyr named Mrs. Prest (Foxe, vol. 8) understand the intricacies of covenant theology, before she told her papal inquisitors that the pope was antichrist, and the devil? You would do well to hear the words of one who was less educated than you, yet had the discernment to recognize the beast in her midst, and witness against it, as well as its harlot church (Rev 12)...despite the fact that her husband and children were Roman Catholics who persecuted her for speaking the truth, AND, the whole time knowing the fate that awaited her--i.e., being burned alive at the stake!


**He quotes a whole bunch of pages about martyrs dying by the hand of the Catholic Church*

The Holy Spirit inspired testimony of Mrs Prest (Matt 10) is truly miles apart from anything I've read from you, Matt. She had no degrees. She didn't have a bunch of letters and abbreviations before, or after, her name. She didn't spend time refuting erroneous things she may have written or said in the past. She studied Scripture, and NAMED NAMES, when antichrist started persecuting her! HAd you been alive in her day, what would you have said to her? "Now, now, Mrs. Prest. We need to teach others how to understand their salvation and Covenant Theology. Don't speak too loudly, when publicly condemning the pope as antichrist. There may be people out there who aren't saved yet. As such, we wouldn't want to place the cart before the horse, and tell them antichrist is here."


When you convince someone that Rome is the Antichrist, what do they do? Do they say, I fell like I have been born again,? Well, when people understand covenant theology, and Baptist pastors, and dispensational pastors read my articles in climbing out of that twisted mess of theological drivel they call dispensationalism or New covenant Theology, that is what they say. I just had a pastor email me that is a Baptist who said he was floored after reading "A Simplistic Overview of Covenant Theology." now what do I need him to understand at this point more? should I help him understand Rome is the Antichrist, or how he was saved by Christ?

What I see in that bit of rationalization is PRIDE. You crave the praise of men. Shame on you.

How dare you say that I am writing in my schiztophrenic arena on covenant theology, as if it is a game or something. How dare you!? Tell be about covenant theology. Tell me about how you were saved. Tell me about how god saves through covenatns. if you do nto understand that, no amoutn of Rome/antichrist doctrine will save you. you will be damned along with your knoweldge.

So I need to UNDERSTAND how God drew me to Himself and saved me according to HIS will, not mine, to actually BE saved? I think not. In fact, you have condemned YOURSELF! Read Revelation, and tell me who it is that wonders after, and worships, the beast. THOSE WHOSE NAMES HAVE NOT BEEN WRITTEN IN THE LAMB'S BOOK OF LIFE! In other words, those who RECOGNIZE the beast are the only ones who won't WONDER after him, and look for ANOTHER! Hence, it is that group ALONE who have been elected. Not recognizing the beast PRESENTLY in our midst is a bad omen, Matt. The fact that you admitted I'm not the first who has tried proclaiming these things to you sends a chill down my spine. I will not speculate as to why you have not the eyes to see what millions of Christian martyrs saw during the dark ages, the Reformation, and the centuries that followed.

Seeing citations would mean you have studied.

Hogwash! I told you why I didn't spend hours putting citations together for you! And I will ask youthis once again:

If I post the citations that prove you to be teaching something contrary to what the Reformers, and those who followed them, taught concerning antichrist, will you acknowledge error?

If not, what good are the citations then? Unlike you, I don't need to write like a scholar, with a hundred quotes from a hundred different books I've read, to get my point across. Vanity seems to be your M.O.

I do not deny that Rome is Antichrist. Did you miss that?

Be sure I did not. I also didn't miss what you did NOT say, and how careful you were in choosing your words.

The office of the Antichrist is the papal succession. The Antichrist himself was not Pope Innocent the III, or Pope John Paul 1st. We will have to "see" who may be the "one" "giant" Antichrist, that man of sin, when he arises to the scene. We can say that the line is Antichrist (and I do). So what is the problem?


I am no furutrist. I would be Millennial, but with a twist.

I don't think you know WHAT you are, or WHAT you believe.

You seem to be stuck on cornering me into saying I don't agree with you? Why is that?

Rome is no doubt the Antichrist. I agree with the WCF, again, did you miss that?

You don't agree with the WCF at all, in denying antichrist to be IN OUR MIDST!

But....Let's be thoroughly exegetical about it.

Remember, we should always be able to prove what we say.

LOL...ok, Doc. I'll play your game. Prove to me you're saved.

Show me ONE VERSE that says "The Catholic Church is the Antichrist." No symbols, no metaphors. Something that demonstrates your exegesis. Do you have an exegetical paper that demonstrates this, or are you relying on someone else's work?

You have a definite reading problem, Matt. First you claimed earlier that I said ROME was the antichrist. Now you say I claim the Catholic Church is the antichrist...WHEN I'VE SAID NEITHER!!! Do you even KNOW who Christians from the 16th - 19th centuries identified as antichrist?


If you cannot demonstrate exegetically your position, then it is no position, and we are both in the same boat - we both have not written anything on the Antichrist being Rome. I have written nothing, and you have written nothing. Citing other's work is not biblically helpful.

You have just proven to me that you've lost your mind, and have fallen into the pit of intellectualism! Citing others' work is not "biblically helpful?" Of what use, then, are the teachers, preachers, and prophets of the last 2000 years, that God has graciously provided for His people? We can READ their works, but, unless we write an "exegetical" paper on the matter, and show off our own brains, nothing we would cite from Foxe, Pareus, Brightman, Cotton, Spurgeon, et al would be helpful? Talk about ego. I would stop my "education" immediately, if I were you. Praise God a Ph.D. wasn't required of Paul, Daniel, and John, before God could use them to tell us about the beast's birth, acts, and demise! Fortunately, there are others like me alerting the sleeping elect to the beast's identity.



He has a site called "The beast Unmasked." He ahs one article out there he wrote (which is quite pathetic) but, in all this, what do you think of his attitude? Would you listent o him or take counsel from him?

Title edited by puritansailor

Pete Richert

Inactive User
This guy

I know this guy. I used to frequent a few boards he was on including his own. His main ephesis in internet engagement was the KJVO of which he was/is a staunch supporter. The KJVOs of these circles were anything but reasonable or demonstrative of Christian attidudes, but this guy is actually one of the more down to earth, reasonable, and might I say actually Godly ones. Anyway, about a year and a half ago, Keith here discovered the doctrines of grace. As it turns out, about half the KJVO supporters were Calvinists to begin with, it was just a subject that hadn't come up. What happened? The KJVO camp tuned on itself and that venom they usually reserve for us non-Bible believers (ie, might actually read the NKJV) was thrown at each other. While I had been called an idiot, a fool, things I wouldn't repeat, and of course, a non Christian many times, now they were calling themselves such. They began banning each other from their boards and making alliances and everything. Each side had very angry, unreasonable, hard headed supporters. Keith here was caught in the middle (for one part, because the main argument took place at his own KJVO forum) and also because he was the one who switched. And Keith, impressivly, kept his cool for most of it, and proved he indeed has the Spririt of God in Him. I am only telling you this so that you might understand what he has been through and were he is coming from.

The debate died down. All of the forums the KJVOs hung at died themselves. Meanwhile, Keith continued to study (in a manner that perhaps rivals yourself, webmaster) and began to look more and more at the reformation. He began listing quotes from Calvin, Spurgeon, etc on his forum. This was all quite a shock because the KJVO of these circles was almost always old school dispensational (often hyper-dispensational) with no respect for history, tradition, and espeically not John Calvin who even the Calivinst on these boards don't believe was even saved). As you might guess, they are staunch staunch baptists. Anyway, he is posting these things and all of a sudden picks up on a new pet doctrine, the antichrist is Rome. Apparantly he is still arguing this one. He has been having an ongoing discusstion with another KJVO on another KJVO site (the most obnixious of all places run by avseven) over this and the same spew and venom is passed back and forth. I think behaps Keith has been harded to much not to be defensive. Perhaps interaction with you will help to bring him back into a Christlike attitute that he started with. I'm not sure whether or not he ever switched to padeobaptism, as he was leaning that way and posted some information at least defending a more correct understanding of what the reformers believed if not actually agreeing. BTW just for clarification, I am a baptist.

[Edited on 4-26-2004 by Pete Richert]

[Edited on 4-26-2004 by Pete Richert]


I just have to agree with Paul on this one. The tone of this brother is mocking and antagonistic. There is no point in wearying yourself in answering him. My old pastor gets many many letters day after day. Some are genuine requests for information and help. Some are antagonistic accusations and threats - accusing him of being arminian, for example (as a banned member of this board has previously done). He ignores these letters. He believes that what he has published speaks for itself and he should not have to re-visit these areas when there is serious gospel work to be done. Don't let these things take up your time. Your website contains more than enough. Perhaps a first reply is warranted, and then the 'attitude' of the correspondent can be gauged.


[Edited on 4-26-2004 by JonathanHunt]


Puritan Board Freshman
What I think about his attitude:

It could use some improvement. However, who can say their attitude doesn't need improvement at times. This is especially true when we are debating something that we believe is a critical doctrine. That being said, he seemed to come more and more unglued each exchange.

Is he modelling Christ? No. Are any of us? Like I said, his attitude could use a more humility/humbleness/respect. He believes this is a key issue, I understand how hard it is to demonstrate the fruit of the spirit on these matters, especially if he's just gone through a major theological shift.

What I think about the issues he raises:

I have often wondered about the reasons the updated "Americanized" WCF deletes the "Pope == AntiChrist" part.

It is definately worth further study.

I somehow have the impression that modern day USA evangelical Arminians who are on the "road to Rome" in doctrine will re-join the Roman church in spirit welcoming the Pope/Anti-Christ.

It may just be me, but I had a hard time following exactly who wrote what in the e-mail exchange. Maybe you can color code, or bold your words versus his so it is easier to follow.

Something else to consider is if Keith expected these e-mails to go public. I know I'm usually more careful about what I write on forums than in an e-mail I consider private.

He questions aren't unreasonable, but his attitude is troubling. If you discount the attitude based on the info above, his questions seem legit.

Why is the modern WCF changed?

[Edited on 4-26-2004 by humble_soul]

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
You should have taken my advice. I (still) don't have time for this..........

Chris, My opinion, the mistake was in entertaining his questions. By doing so, you have then given him permission to exchange. As I said to Matt, this man listed about 10 eschatological questions; I did'nt have the time or patience to answer. Eschatology is quite muddy (at times) and in my opinion, requires alot of time & patience.

The reason Matt placed this here is because this is his home and we are family. If he didn't want it public, he should have said so. With his attitude, it needed a public rebuke. Maybe some anger management!!!

I grant you, he may have a point on a few of these items; I will not discount that. However, one needs to be patient. We are teachable. Educate us. The point is, this gentleman has an issue w/ Matt on a more personal level. It seems as if he doesn't like Matts system of thinking.

~Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't..........

[Edited on 4-26-2004 by Scott Bushey]


Puritan Board Freshman
It has been my experience such individuals are usually theological one-trick ponies. Even if they are to do good work in a particular area this is usually overshadowed by unbalance somewhere else or by mischaracterizations levelled at those questioning their positions. In fact because they have done so much work in a particular area their responses become cut and paste, so that they apply the same argument to everyone regardless of their opponent's theological position. Eventually it'll boil down to salvation by knowledge in many cases. Interestingly though the way these folks respond are usually all the same as far as attitudes. And boy do they love CAPS LOCK and exclamation points!!!!!!!!! :D


All the while I was reading his email I could hear the Looney Tune theme song playing. T-t-t-t-t-t-t-t-t-that's all folks! :lb:

[Edited on 4-26-2004 by maxdetail]


Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
The key here, Matt, in my opinion is the relative centrality of the doctrine together with the vehemence of the posting. Eschatology is (at best) a tertiary doctrine, and yet he is making it a test of orthodoxy. I would tend to agree with him about the Papacy and Antichrist (and so would most of the Puritans), but you never see this king od attitude on this issue from them.

If this were justification, or the Trinity, or even ecclesiology to the extent of Campingism, it would be different. People are dying, suffering and excluding themselves from the fellowship of Christ b/c of Camping. No one is in grave danger because they have misidentified the antichrist. This is especially true since if Keith had taken any time tgo ask and listen, he would have found out that Matt is much more critical of Rome than most Presbyterians.

Sigh... far too often I see this; where a layman studies one issue to death with no knowledge of Systematics - which is designed to give us both correlating truth and perspective.


Puritan Board Professor
[b:0f7b5a93ba]Matthew wrote:[/b:0f7b5a93ba]
Would you listen to him or take counsel from him?

Maybe. Keith sounds like somebody who's done his homework and isn't afraid to share what he's learned. If I could filter out the attitude with which he presents his case, I'd gladly listen to what he has to say. Being human, its difficult for me to look past a condescending, belittling type attitude to evaluate honestly the point he's trying to make. Unfortunately, I think this attitude may keep most people from listening to what he has to say, even though what he says may be correct.


Strange. My post reads "evaluate honestly the poin the's", but when I go to edit the source, the source has the "t" in the correct place.

[Edited on 4-26-2004 by blhowes]


Puritan Board Junior
His debate tactic sound very much like a Ruckmanite. He personally attacks the messenger rather than the message.

Whether or not he may brings up valid claims, he thinks that stomping his feet like a child having a temper tantrum will get folks to believe him.


Puritan Board Freshman
I'll give my opinion in smilies:


I had to edit because (again) the smileys
are going beyond the default and stretching the screen.

[Edited on 4-26-2004 by Scott Bushey]


Puritan Board Senior
My thoughts?

I would not respond to him. I would ignore him. I would block his email address. I would never ask him for counsel as he proves that he is immature in the faith by his attitudes. Whatever he does know, it has puffed him up, made him arrogant, condescending, and foolish.

This kind of "discussion" is a waste of time.

People who get so dogmatic about eschatology need to get a life here and now instead of already/not yet.



Puritan Board Freshman
It's kind of funny to me, when people get so riled up about an issue, and then spell words like "Saracens" improperly.

I'd say leave him alone. He relies in the force of hate-speech to attempt to win his arguments, that's enough for me.

C. Matthew McMahon

Christian Preacher
I did attempt, twice, to help him understand what it means ot be prudent, patient and humble. He basically blew that off on every email. But I told him I would post his info on the forum and then send him an email on what people said in repsone. I will not use your names, just you likeminded rebukes. I told him, people like his give Christianity a bad name, and dishonor Christ.

Thanks for the input.


Puritan Board Sophomore
[quote:c8c3df7ec1][i:c8c3df7ec1]Originally posted by Christopher[/i:c8c3df7ec1]
I'll give my opinion in smilies:

:end: [/quote:c8c3df7ec1]


Hey, smiles are my job!!:biggrin:

[Edited on 4-26-2004 by Scott Bushey]


Puritan Board Sophomore
[quote:c9192bb327][i:c9192bb327]Originally posted by Christopher[/i:c9192bb327]
I thought you were just in charge of the bouncy ones. I kind of like all the violent ones myself. heheheh:lol: [/quote:c9192bb327]


Your right... although lately I've been using the one with the dead horse a lot.:bouncy:
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