In Christian eschatology, the Antichrist or Anti-Christ is a powerful, evil leader who will arise in the Last Days in opposition to God and His church. From its New Testament origins as a description of teachers who denied orthodox teachings concerning Jesus Christ, the term antichrist attached itself to other biblical characterizations about a leader who would arise in the Last Days to control the world and lead humankind away from God.
Antichrist is translated from the combination of two ancient Greek words αντί + χριστος (antí + khristos), which means anti "opposite" (of) khristos "anointed," therefore, "opposite of Christ." The word anti can also be translated "as if," and thus antichrist can also mean someone who pretends to be a Messiah.
Various individuals in history have been identified as the supposed Antichrist. Many scholars believe that the author of the Book of Revelation referred specifically to the Emperor Nero, whom he identified by the number 666. Other candidates as Antichrist have erroneously included various popes or the papacy itself. Martin Luther or his son, several kings, and—in more modern times—Gregory Rasputin, Hitler, Stalin, Ronald Reagan, Gorbachev, and various Secretaries General of the United Nations have also been candidates as Antichrist.
The following verses are the only verses which directly use the word Antichrist.
1 John 2:18: "as you have heard that Antichrist cometh, even now there are become many Antichrists: whereby we know that it is the last hour."
1 John 2:22: "Who is a liar but he who denieth that Jesus is the Christ? This is Antichrist, who denieth the Father, and the Son."
1 John 4:3: "And every spirit that dissolveth Jesus is not of God: and this is Antichrist, of whom you have heard that he cometh, and he is now already in the world."
2 John 1:7: "For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist."
Based on the lack of direct references, some argue that the Bible refers only to a generalized concept of Antichrist, applicable to anybody who is "against Christ," not to a particular person. Moreover, such "antichrists" were already present in the world nearly two thousand years ago. Other argue that these verses mainly prefigure the actual Antichrist and that one can see a single unifying Antichrist figure with the proper exegetical methods if one looks at the books of Daniel and Revelations. So while there is a spirit of antichrist, there is also one Antichrist who is to come. Today, most notably amongst the predicted antichrists are the false religion of Islam, Jehovah's Witnesses, and the Mormons (among many others), who all denieth that Jesus Christ is the Son of God or God himself, equal to the Father and the Holy Ghost.
The Antichrist is often associated with, and in some interpretations considered equivalent to, the Beast of Revelation or the Man of Sin referenced in 2 Thessalonians 2:3.
As the Catholic Encyclopedia article on "Antichrist" points out, St. Bernard (who died in 1153) believed that the Antichrist would be an antipope (a falsely elected pope that is not a true pope). During St. Bernard's time an antipope named Anacletus II managed to displace the true pope, Innocent II. Anacletus reigned in Rome from 1130 to 1138. St. Bernard thought that Antipope Anacletus II, the man he was opposing at the time, was in fact the Antichrist and the Beast of the Apocalypse.
"His [St. Bernard's] language was vehement, not to say violent: Anacletus is Antichrist; he is the Beast of prophecy…" (James Cotter Morison, The Life and Times of St. Bernard of Clairvaux, pp. 164-165).
"… a passage from St. Bernard, as if in reprobation of the Papacy, to the effect that 'that beast of the Apocalypse, to whom is given a mouth speaking blasphemies, occupies the Chair of Peter, as a lion ready for the prey?' whereas it turns out that St. Bernard is not speaking of the Pope, but of the Antipope…" (The British Critic and Quarterly Theological Review, by James Shergold Boone & John Henry Newman, London, 1840, p. 400).
But whether or not one believes that the Antichrist will be an antipope, it has definitely been prophesied that the forces of Antichrist will overtake Rome in the final days. On Sept. 19, 1846, Our Lady of La Salette prophesied that Rome would lose the Faith and become the Seat of the Antichrist in a final days apostasy from the one true Catholic Faith.
Our Lady of La Salette, Sept. 19, 1846: "Rome will lose the Faith and become the seat of the Anti-Christ… the Church will be in eclipse."
This prophecy is also in line with other Catholic prophecies concerning the Antichrist.
Bl. Joachim (d. 1202): "Towards the end of the world, Antichrist will overthrow the pope and usurp his see."
These titles may or may not be attributed to the Antichrist:
The Antichrist- I John 2:22
The Man of Sin – II Thess. 2:3
The Lawless One – II Thess. 2:9
The Beast – Rev. 11:7
The Bloody and Deceitful Man – Psalm 5:6
The Wicked One – II Thess. 2:8
The Man of the Earth – Psalm 10:18
The Mighty Man – Psalm 52:1
The Enemy – Psalm 55:3
The Adversary – Psalm 74:8-10
The Head Over Many Countries – Psalm 110:6
The Violent Man – Psalm 140:1
The Assyrian – Isa. 10:5-12
The King of Babylon – Isa. 14:4
The Son of the Morning – Isa. 14:12
The Abominable Branch – Isa. 14:19
The Spoiler – Isa. 16:4
The Nail – Isa. 22:25
The Branch of the Terrible Ones – Ezk. 21:25-27
The King of Tyre – Ezk. 28:12
The Little (i.e., "Younger") Horn – Daniel 7:8
The Head Over Many Countries- Psalm 110:6
The Coming Prince – Dan. 9:26
The Vile (or Despicable) Person – Dan. 11:21
The Willful King – Dan. 11:3 and Dan. 11:36
The Idol Shepherd – Zech. 11:16-17
The Angel of the Bottomless Pit – Rev. 9:11
The Son of Perdition – II Thess. 2:3
The Desolator – Daniel 9:27
The Abomination of Desolation – Daniel 11:31 and Daniel 12:11
God of Fortresses – Daniel 11:38
On Sept. 19, 1846, the Church approved apparition Our Lady of La Salette prophesied that Rome would lose the Faith and become the Seat of the Antichrist in a final days apostasy from the one true Catholic Faith.
Our Lady of La Salette, Sept. 19, 1846: "Rome will lose the Faith and become the seat of the Anti-Christ… the Church will be in eclipse."
This startling prophecy coincides with the prophecies in Sacred Scripture (Apocalypse 17 and 18), which inform us that the city of seven hills (Rome) will become a harlot (a counterfeit Bride of Christ), which will commit spiritual fornication (idolatry) and tread upon the blood of the saints (false ecumenism). The great harlot prophesied in the Bible is not the Catholic Church; it is a counterfeit Catholic Church, an apostate, phony Bride which arises in the last days to deceive Catholics and eclipse the true Church which has been reduced to a remnant. In this book, one can see the overwhelming, undeniable, irrefutable evidence from doctrinal grounds and unassailable facts that the "Church" which has arisen with the Second Vatican Council (1962-) is not the Catholic Church at all, but rather a massively fraudulent Counter-Church which denies fundamental teachings of the Catholic Church.
Our Lady specifically predicted that Rome would lose the Catholic faith, fall into apostasy from the true Church of Christ and become the Seat of the Antichrist. But what is antichrist?
In all of Sacred Scripture, the word antichrist is only mentioned four times. The word antichrist is not mentioned at all in the Apocalypse and it is not mentioned by St. Paul (who only uses the terms "son of perdition" and "man of sin"). The word antichrist is only mentioned by St. John the Apostle in his epistles.
Therefore, in looking for the definition of Antichrist, we must first look to St. John's epistles, not the Apocalypse; for St. John uses and defines the word Antichrist and the Apocalypse does not. Out of the four times that St. John uses the word Antichrist, he only defines it twice. The two definitions that St. John gives for Antichrist are the most important pieces of evidence that exist in identifying who the Antichrist actually is, because Sacred Scripture is the inspired, infallible and inerrant Word of God. Therefore, Sacred Scripture's definition of Antichrist is infallibly the correct one.
1 John 2:22 "Who is a liar, but he who denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, who denieth the Father, and the Son."
1 John 4:2-3 "Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is of God: And every spirit that dissolveth Jesus is not of God: and this is Antichrist, of whom you have heard that he cometh..."
Both definitions of Antichrist deal with a denial of the truth about who Jesus Christ is. The truth about Our Lord Jesus Christ and the truth about the Most Holy Trinity are the very foundations of the Christian religion. They are the most important truths in the universe.
This is why the early councils of the Catholic Church condemned with the utmost vigor even the slightest deviation from the truth about Jesus Christ or the Trinity. And this is why the greatest enemies of Jesus Christ in history were not those men who caused Christ's followers temporal harm, but those who were most effective and blasphemous in attacking the truth about Jesus Christ – which is the very foundation of one's eternal salvation.
Thus, in defining "Antichrist," Sacred Scripture refers to a specific attack on the truth about Jesus Christ, a specific attack on the truth about the God-man. Sacred Scripture refers specifically to the dissolving of Jesus (1 John 4:2-3) and the denial that Jesus is the Christ (1 John 2:22). These two things serve as the distinguishing characteristic of the Antichrist, according to Sacred Scripture, and these two things clearly refer to an attack on the truth of the Incarnation of the Son of God.
One of the first and most notorious men in Church history to pervert the doctrine of the Incarnation was the 5th century heretic Nestorius, who was condemned by the Council of Ephesus in 431. The case of the heretic Nestorius is very important in identifying the Antichrist and how it has overtaken the Vatican, as we will see, because Nestorius's heresy was the specific heresy which fits the Bible's definition for Antichrist.
Nestorius was the heretic who tried to dissolve Jesus (1 John 4:2-3), and he did so by perverting the truth of the Incarnation.
Pope Pius XI, Lux Veritatis (# 37), Dec. 25, 1931: "…all these, no less than Nestorius, make a temerarious attempt to 'DISSOLVE CHRIST,'..."
Pope Pius XI here confirms that Nestorius's heresy was the specific doctrine of Antichrist – it was an attempt to dissolve the Person of Jesus Christ, which is the mark of Antichrist, according to Scripture. Keep this fact in mind (that Nestorius's doctrine of the "dissolving of Jesus" was the specific doctrine of Antichrist as described by Sacred Scripture), as it will become especially relevant soon.
It is also surprising that so many non-Catholics have trouble with the title "Mary, mother of God." They admit that Mary is the mother of Jesus, but argue that she is not to be considered "mother of God." Protestants who hold that Mary is not the mother of God don't seem to realize that it's not logically consistent to believe that Jesus is God, but to deny that Mary is the mother of God. Such a position actually denies the divinity of Jesus Christ, who is one divine person with two natures.
Fact: Jesus Christ is God. The Bible teaches it in many places (John 1:1; John 20:28; John 8:58; Isaias 9:6; etc.)
Fact: Mary is the mother of Jesus. The Bible teaches it in many places (Luke 1:31; Mt. 1:25; etc.)
Undeniable conclusion: Mary is the mother of God.
Luke 1:31-32 "And, behold, thou [Mary] shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David."
Isaias 7:14 "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel [God with us]."
The Bible indicates that Mary is the mother of Immanuel (which means "God with us").
Luke 1:43 "[Elizabeth said]: And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?"
Elizabeth also explicitly says that Mary is the mother of the Lord. That is the one Lord Jesus Christ, who is God.
Ephesians 4:5 "One Lord, one faith, one baptism…"
John 20:28 "And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God."
That should be simple enough. Unfortunately, it isn't sufficient for some people. The Protestant error on this point needs to be more completely addressed and refuted.
Protestants point out that the divine nature of God is eternal and without beginning. That's certainly true. Since the nature of God is eternal and it certainly did not come from Mary, they argue, Mary cannot be said to be "mother" of God. This is the main argument that Protestants make on this point. It is a very flawed argument.
The Protestant error on this point stems from attributing to the person of the Son of God only that which belongs to His divine nature. It is to fail to attribute to the person of the Son of God also that which belongs or pertains to His human nature.
Since the Son of God has truly become man, by failing to attribute to Him also that which belongs to His human nature, they actually deny that Jesus Christ is at the same time true God and true man.
The Son of God, Jesus Christ, is one divine person (the second person of the Holy Trinity) with two natures. He is both true God and true man. Jesus Christ is not a man who was united with or inspired by God. No, He is true God who truly became man.
John 1:14 "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us…"
Jesus was not just a special human who had a unique inspiration and connection to the Word of God (the Son of God). No, He is the Word of God made flesh. Therefore, to attribute to the Son of God only that which specifically belongs to His divine nature, and not also that which applies to His assumed human nature – as the Protestants do when they deny that Mary is the mother of God – is to divide Jesus into two different people.
In the 5th century there was a certain heretic named Nestorius. He argued like Protestants of our day on this matter. He held that Mary was not to be called Theotokos (mother/bearer of God), but only Christotokos (bearer of Christ). The Church immediately recognized the heresy of Nestorius and condemned it in 431 at the Council of Ephesus. Nestorius' false view was recognized by the Church to be the heresy which the Bible condemned as the "dissolving" of Jesus and "antichrist." This false idea "dissolves" Christ by separating from His one person that which pertains to His human nature. It results in the division of Jesus into two people, and the position that Jesus was just a man who carried (or was inspired by) the person of God, rather than a divine person who truly became man. This heresy results in the worship of a man and the worship of two sons. The Church clearly saw this for what it was and condemned it.
Second Council of Constantinople, 553 "The holy synod of Ephesus… has pronounced sentence against the heresy of Nestorius… and all those who might later… adopt the same opinions as he held… They express these falsehoods against the true dogmas of the Church, OFFERING WORSHIP TO TWO SONS, trying to divide that which cannot be divided, AND INTRODUCING TO BOTH HEAVEN AND EARTH THE OFFENCE OF THE WORSHIP OF MAN. But the sacred band of heavenly spirits worship along with us only one Lord Jesus Christ."
Council of Ephesus, 431, Can. 5: "If anyone dares to say that Christ was a God-bearing man and not rather God in truth, being by nature one Son, even as "the Word became flesh", and is made partaker of blood and flesh precisely like us, let him be anathema."
Jesus is not two different people. He is ONE DIVINE PERSON with two natures. Therefore, that which happens to His human nature truly happens to His one person. His person was conceived and born in His humanity from Mary. She is therefore truly His mother, and the mother of God.
The meaning entailed in this truth is staggering. As the Church has always taught, the Son of God, eternal and equal to the Father, had two births. He was born before time, and from all eternity, from God the Father (John 16:28; John 8:42.). He was born in time, as man, from Mary, His mother. Only Mary possesses this inscrutable connection to God, to a person of the Trinity. It is from this truth, that she is truly Mother of God, that all of her other unique prerogatives and privileges come.
But what was this doctrine of Nestorius? How did Nestorius "DISSOLVE" Jesus and in so doing become what St. John defines as "Antichrist"? In order to understand Nestorius's doctrine, we must very briefly repeat the Catholic truth of the Incarnation.
The Catholic Church teaches that the eternal Word – the Son of God – the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity – assumed a human nature and truly became a man. St. John 1:14: "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us."
Our Lord Jesus Christ is the eternal Word made flesh. He is truly God and He is also truly man. He is one Christ – One Divine Person with two natures.
Pope St. Leo the Great, Council of Chalcedon, 451, ex cathedra: "… we all with one voice teach the confession of one and same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ: the same perfect in divinity and perfect in humanity, the same truly God and truly man, of a rational soul and a body… one and same Christ… a single person and subsistent being; He is not parted or divided into two persons, but is one and the same only-begotten Son, God, Word, Lord Jesus Christ…"
But Nestorius rejected that Our Lord Jesus Christ is one person. Nestorius blasphemously dissolved Jesus into two persons. Nestorius blasphemously held that the Son of God did not become man in the Incarnation, but rather that the Son of God united himself in a certain way with a man named Jesus.
WE REPEAT, NESTORIUS DID NOT HOLD THAT THE SON OF GOD BECAME MAN IN THE INCARNATION, BUT RATHER THAT THE SON OF GOD UNITED HIMSELF IN A CERTAIN WAY WITH A MAN NAMED JESUS. Does this sound familiar?
Antipope John Paul II, Redemptor Hominis #13, March 4, 1979: "… by his Incarnation, he, the Son of God, in a certain way united himself with EACH MAN."
Antipope John Paul II, Homily, July 2, 1986: "… the Son of God, incarnate in the womb of the Virgin Mary, 'has in a certain way united himself with each man.'"
Antipope John Paul II, Homily, April 8, 1987: "… by his incarnation the Son of God has united himself in a certain way with EACH PERSON."
Antipope John Paul II, Letter to Families (# 2): "… the Son of God, who in the Incarnation 'united himself in some sense with every man.'"
And by holding that the Son of God did not become man, but rather united Himself with a man named Jesus in the Incarnation, Nestorius dissolved or divided Our Lord Jesus Christ into two persons.
Pope St. Leo the Great, Dogmatic Letter to Flavian, 449: "Let Nestorius, therefore, be anathematized… he made one person of the flesh, and another of the Godhead, AND DID NOT PERCEIVE THAT THERE WAS BUT ONE CHRIST…"
And by dissolving or dividing Our Lord Jesus Christ into two persons, Nestorius's Antichrist doctrine logically resulted in the worship of two Christs, and introduced, as a consequence, THE WORSHIP OF MAN!
Pope Vigilius, Second Council of Constantinople, 553: "The holy synod of Ephesus… has pronounced sentence against the heresy of Nestorius… and all those who might later… adopt the same opinions as he held… They express these falsehoods against the true dogmas of the Church, OFFERING WORSHIP TO TWO SONS, trying to divide that which cannot be divided, AND INTRODUCING TO BOTH HEAVEN AND EARTH THE OFFENCE OF THE WORSHIP OF MAN. But the sacred band of heavenly spirits worship along with us only one Lord Jesus Christ."
In this incredible quotation, the dogmatic Second Council of Constantinople teaches that the blasphemous dissolving of Jesus into two persons by Nestorius's view of the Incarnation, resulted in the worship of two sons, and introduced as a consequence THE WORSHIP OF MAN. We repeat, NESTORIUS'S HERETICAL VIEW OF THE INCARNATION RESULTED IN THE WORSHIP OF TWO SONS, AND INTRODUCED, AS A CONSEQUENCE, THE WORSHIP OF MAN. This was the very doctrine described by St. John as the doctrine of the Antichrist. Does it sound familiar?
Antipope John Paul II, General Audience, Jan. 25, 1984: "Christ, the Son of God, by becoming flesh, assumes the humanity of every man… At this point he becomes united with every person… In the Encyclical Redemptor Hominis I wrote that 'the name for that deep amazement at man's worth and dignity is the Gospel, that is to say, the Good News. It is also called Christianity.'"
Yes, Antipope John Paul II preached the heresy of Nestorius – the very doctrine of the Antichrist. He preached the dissolving of Jesus in the Incarnation, which results in the worship of multiple Christs and the worship of man!
John Paul II, Redemptor Hominis (# 13), March 4, 1979: “ We are dealing with each man, for each one is included in the mystery of the Redemption and with each one Christ has united Himself forever through this mystery.”
John Paul II, Redemptoris Missio (# 4), Dec. 7, 1990: “ The Redemption event brings salvation to all, ‘for each one is included in the mystery of the Redemption and with each one Christ has united himself forever through this mystery.’”
John Paul II, Centesimus Annus (# 53): “ We are not dealing here with man in the ‘abstract,’ but with the real, ‘concrete,’ ‘ historical’ man. We are dealing with each individual, since each one is included in the mystery of the Redemption and through this mystery Christ has united himself with each one forever.”
Notice the word “forever” in all three of these quotations. Yes, in three different encyclicals, John Paul II bluntly asserts that every man is united with Christ forever through the Incarnation. Everyone is united with God forever. This is universal salvation.
Furthermore, while the similarity between Nestorius and Antipope John Paul II is undeniable, there is a crucial difference between the two. There is a crucial difference between the preliminary Antichrist, Nestorius, and Antipope John Paul II, whose doctrine represents the fulfillment of Our Lady's prophecy that Rome will become the Seat of the Antichrist. The difference is that Antipope John Paul II's preaching was seven billion times worse. Nestorius dissolved Jesus into two (resulting in the worship of two Christs), while Antipope John Paul II dissolved Jesus into seven billion, which resulted in the worship of seven billion Christs.