Why do we accept the title THE Anti-Christ?

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Spinningplates2

Puritan Board Freshman
Does it seem funny to anyone else that many still confuse the Beast and the Man of Lawlessness with what the PreMills call THE Antichrist? We here on the PB see a popular thread that even ask if the Antichrist mentioned in II Thessalonians 2 ( even though I find no mention of the antichrist in that chapter) is the Pope and a few do mention that there could be many Antichrists but doesn't it seem that too many appear to accept that there is a singular person called by the title (for lack of a better word) Antichrist?

Am I wrong to think that most Reformed Christians think the Beast and the Antichrist are the same evil entity?
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
I think many of the Reformed haven't thought it through much, and admittedly it is a difficult area.

(a) I John mentions the Antichrist.

(b) I John also mentions many antichrists, some of which appear to be identified with the "Christian" Gnostics of John's day.

(c) II Thessalonians mentions the Man of Sin, also known as the Son of Perdition.

(d) Revelation mentions the Beast from the Sea (sometimes called the First Beast).

(e) Revelation also mentions the Beast from the Earth also called the False Prophet (sometimes called the Second Beast).
 
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Spinningplates2

Puritan Board Freshman
Hippo is probably right, at least here on the PB. I was also wondering if Amill's are waiting for a Beast or Antichrist type? Like in the Left Behind books.
 

YXU

Puritan Board Freshman
There were many antichrists at John's time, but there is that antichrist which was yet future to John. So the confession follows this doctrine and calls the Pope of Rome that antichrist which is different from those many antichrists.

The doctrine of the antichrist must be known previously to the Christians, otherwise, John would not call it the antichrist. And it is not a light doctrine as Paul also mentioned that such doctrine was known to them already. Nothing else can better fulfill this prophecy other than the Pope of Rome sitting in the temple of God and nothing else can fulfill the apostate other than the Islam Religion. The claim of the Pope of Rome also proves that he takes the place of Christ among the people and robs the glory from Christ.

The revelation chapter is clear as the number of the antichrist is 666, it was already known in the 2nd centry that antichrist will come out of the Latin Church. The title of the woman also corresponds with the mystery of iniquity.

The futurists' antichrist view is the invention of the antichrist himself to fight against the reformers.
 

YXU

Puritan Board Freshman
I think many of the Reformed haven't thought it through much, and admittedly it is a difficult area.

(a) I John mentions the Antichrist.

(b) I John also mentions many antichrists, some of which appear to be identified with the "Christian" Gnostics of John's day.

(c) II Thessalonians mentions the Man of Sin, also known as the Son of Perdition.

(d) Revelation mentions the Beast from the Sea (sometimes called the First Beast).

(e) Revelation also mentions the Beast from the Earth (sometimes called the Second Beast).

The beast from the sea and the beast from the earth describe different characters or elements of the antichrist, the first is the fourth beast of Daniel 7, while the next beast is the little horn of the fourth beast, by which the deadly wound of the first beast from the sea was healed.
 

CNJ

Puritan Board Senior
Postmillennialist and Partial Preterist Dr. Kenneth Gentry reviews the passages in first and second John and concludes, "Antichrist is a contemporary heretical tendency regarding the person of Christ, which is current among many in John's day." p. 378 in He Shall Have Dominion, 3rd Ed. He also in his chapter on "Eschatological Characters" distinguishes the beast, the great harlot and the man of lawlessness.

Gentry concludes his "Eschatological Characters" chapter by writing, "Several prominent evil characters lurk in Scripture's prophetic drama. Too often Christians know these names better than their biblical and historical contexts. . . .Adherents to pessimistic eschatologies see these evil minions of Satan as providing evidence against the postmillenial hope. . . .When we carefully study these characters in terms of their historical context, the prophecies concerning their imminent appearance comport well with preteristic postmillennialism." p. 394

This third edition is fresh off the press. My copy of this book just arrived yesterday and I am anxious to read the whole book to help me decide between amil and post. I go back and forth.
 

toddpedlar

Iron Dramatist
Does it seem funny to anyone else that many still confuse the Beast and the Man of Lawlessness with what the PreMills call THE Antichrist? We here on the PB see a popular thread that even ask if the Antichrist mentioned in II Thessalonians 2 ( even though I find no mention of the antichrist in that chapter) is the Pope and a few do mention that there could be many Antichrists but doesn't it seem that too many appear to accept that there is a singular person called by the title (for lack of a better word) Antichrist?

Am I wrong to think that most Reformed Christians think the Beast and the Antichrist are the same evil entity?

I think many who are confused and haven't studied might...

but we should be willing to accept the confessional language on this point, wherein the pope is referred to as the (THAT) Antichrist, the (THAT) man of sin, and son of perdition - unless it can be proven from Scripture to be wrong: (from Chapter 25, Of the Church, in the original WCF)

VI. There is no other head of the Church but the Lord Jesus Christ.[13] Nor can the Pope of Rome, in any sense, be head thereof; but is that Antichrist, that man of sin, and son of perdition, that exalts himself, in the Church, against Christ and all that is called God.[14]

The Scripture texts appended are:

[13] COL 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. EPH 1:22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church.

[14]MAT 23:8 But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. 9 And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. 10 Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. 2TH 2:3 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; 4 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. 8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: 9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders. REV 13:6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.
 

OPC'n

Puritan Board Doctor
I don't think they are the same, but after I read "The Triumph of the Lamb" I will let you know for sure! ;)
 

Spinningplates2

Puritan Board Freshman
I just watched the President speak at Norte Dame graduation and have no problem believing that the church of Rome is anti-Christ. The graduating class and staff gave a standing ovation to a man that thinks partial birth abortion is a good thing. I have no problem with harsh but truthful way the WCF speaks about Rome.
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
Gentry's got a lot of good insights and is worth reading, but he wants to squeeze everything into the first century, apart from the national conversion of the Jews, the Visible Second Advent, the Resurrection and judgment.

Having also compared Gentry with Patrick Fairbairn's "Interpretation of Prophecy" (BoT) and James Madison MacDonald's "The Life and Writings of St John" (a similar book by this author on Revelation - now unavailable - is recommended by Charles Hodge in his "Systematic Theology" ) I believe a more moderate preterist approach gives a better interpretation of these difficult passages. This would be historical or historicist preterism.

For instance, Gentry would make Babylon to be Jerusalem. Bahnsen believed it was the City of Rome.

Fairbairn and MacDonald believed that Babylon and her daughter harlots (Rev. 17:5) was the apostate Church in various forms, dominated by the Roman Catholic Church. The woman of Revelation 12 has been corrupted by statist pressure by the first beast, typified by Nero and the Roman Empire, and by ecclesiastical pressure from the second beast, typified by Christian compromise in the first century, but also including the Papacy and other antichrists.

The theme of apostasy and idolatry being likened to adultery/prostitution is too well known from the Old Testament.
 

BoldBeliever

Puritan Board Freshman
1. John's wording in I John concerning antichrist is actually reminiscent of Jesus' words: "You have heard it said, but I tell you..."

I think John is correcting a rumor. The church was hearing that Antichrist was coming. John corrected them by boldly stating
"but I tell you many antichrists have already come."

2. Regarding the Beast: There are many places in Scripture where a prominent leader is used to personify a nation.

Babylon: Nebuchadnezzar
Egypt: Pharoah
Media-Persia: Darius
Greece: Alexander
Rome: Nero

If we remember that Revelation borrows much of its imagery from Daniel, then we know that there are actually 4 Beast-nations. Babylon, Media-Persia, Greece and Rome which is the FINAL BEAST NATION. Revelation expounds on the final beast and the things associated with it.

3. The Beast from the sea is Rome, composed of many people-groups and personified by the Emperor Nero.

4. The Beast from the land is the Sanhedrin, Israel's apostate leadership which dragged unrepentant Israel to judgment by enciting them to reject their Messiah. They had the 'authority' to conduct sacrifices (the concept of bringing down fire from heaven). They perverted that authority by instead inspiring Israel to worship the Beast (Rome/Nero) by burning incense to the genus of the emperor.

5. 666 is Kaisar Neron in gematria, the alpha-numeric system of the day. The early Believers understood that. Fortunately for John, the Roman censors didn't because he was inspired to
use the Hebrew rendering rather the more easily understood Greek which they would have picked up on.

6. The Mark of the Beast is the exact opposite of the Mark of God in Deuteronomy 6. It's even 'worn' in the same places between the eyes (forehead) or on the right hand (signifying deeds/actions.

7. Those who rejected Messiah were cut off, apostate Israel was scattered to the nations.

Once put into its proper historical place in the grand scheme of things, it's not too hard to figure out. The Beast is NOT 'the Antichrist' because there is no antichrist mentioned in Revelation.
 

Marrow Man

Drunk with Powder
6. The Mark of the Beast is the exact opposite of the Mark of God in Deuteronomy 6. It's even 'worn' in the same places between the eyes (forehead) or on the right hand (signifying deeds/actions.

Also, the mark of God is mentioned in Revelation 14:1. It would seem obvious that a contrast is taking place (a standard Johnanine dichotomy).
 
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