PROPHECY

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WHY IS THE ANTICHRIST NECESSARY?

By Rand Winburn

The reader may be startled by the title of this essay. The question broached by this present author is quite pertinent, profound and penetrating. Yet it is one which is not asked by Christians. All professing Christians agree that the Lord is omnipotent and sovereign over His creation. They differ to the extent by which the Lord exercises His power, divine right and authority. However, all are in agreement that nothing in His creation occurs without the Lord’s consent. Again, Christians differ as to whether His consent is bare permission, God looking the other way, especially concerning those things in which evil enters, or is present and active. Other Christians deny the doctrine of bare permission. They teach that nothing occurs by bare permission, but by a positive, willful and wise decree. Evil occurs because the Lord actually decreed it, though by so doing, He is not the author of it, nor does He tempt man to commit evil. The Devil was told to enter the Garden to tempt Adam and Eve, but it was for the Lord’s greater eternal purpose: that He might reveal His grace in Christ Jesus to the fallen Elect. To the fallen non-elect His eternal purpose was to reveal His righteous judgment and condemnation for their sin, (Isaiah 45: 7; Job 1: 6-12; Genesis 50:20; Romans 9:21-23). This present writer will explain in this essay the wise purpose of God in decreeing the existence of that ultimate evil, the Antichrist.

THE EVIL OF MODERN-DAY CHRISTIANITY

There is an evil permeating professing non-Roman Catholic Christianity in the English-speaking world. This evil has been increasing for the past two hundred years and shows no signs of abating. What was once viewed the standard orthodox Protestant position regarding the prophetic interpretation of the Scriptures has today been nearly extinguished by those calling themselves ‘Protestant,’ ‘Reformed,’ ‘Puritan,’ and ‘Evangelical.’ The Historical-Continuous School of prophetic interpretation has been replaced by the Futurist, Preterist and Idealist schools. Simply stated, the Historical school has viewed the Revelation as the ongoing, continuous history of the Lord’s Elect Church from the days of the Apostle John through the centuries comprising the rise, reign and rule of the Antichrist and his false church, even until the Second Coming of Christ in Judgment. We are then given a glimpse into what is to occur after the Judgments of Christ, when eternity is opened up to us. All but the Historical school place the Antichrist outside the Church, whereas the Historical school recognizes the Antichrist in the midst of the professing, visible Christian Church. This is no small disagreement. One must be right, the other wrong. Because the issue of the Antichrist is prophetic, those in leadership holding teaching and/or pastoring offices and who prophesy erroneously, no matter how sincere, are prophesying falsely. Thus, they are false prophets. False prophets are liars. Liars are not written in the Lamb’s book of life, nor are they admitted into New Jerusalem to partake of the tree of life should they continue in their lies. Instead, their end is the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone. (Rev. 21:8, 27; Rev. 22:15)

The anti-Historicist schools of interpretation either place the Revelation in the first century, Nero being the Antichrist; or in the unknown, undetermined, but always soon-coming future, wherein they allege a non-Christian world dictator is destined to be the Antichrist at the very end of the world; or they allow the  Revelation to speak in general, non-specific terms of the devil’s work against the Church throughout history, the devil himself being the Antichrist.

But these anti-Historical interpretations are not the interpretations the Lord’s people under persecution, torture, threat of, and ultimately death, believed or taught. Instead, to their last dying breath they confessed the historical Pope of Rome was the very head of Antichrist, his historical members the body of Antichrist, and his historical false church, Mystery Babylon, the great whore, the mother of all harlots. This truth is evidenced in numerous Inquisitional records whereby the ‘heretics’ testimonies were recorded for posterity. These records have been translated and published for all the world to read. Martyrologies from the Reformation era are also plentiful and readily available for all to study. A common doctrinal error claimed against the ‘heretics’ was that of denying the real presence of Christ’s literal Body, Blood, Soul & Divinity in the Eucharist. Another charge against them was their refusal to submit to the authority of the Roman Pontiff as sovereign head of the Church on earth. From here the list of so-called heresies goes on and on.

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Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.