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Chapter 19

The Destruction of the Doctrine of Antichrist

 

So important is the destruction of the true identity of the antichrist that we will follow the previous chapter with a second examination of this matter. We trust that minds will be enlightened.

We have seen that the modern translations greatly favor the heretical doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church. We have further noted that this bias is not coincidence, but rather is the result of a carefully orchestrated program of scriptural sabotage engineered over four centuries chiefly by the Jesuits.

At the time of the Reformation, Protestants were united in proclaiming the Papacy to be the antichrist (1 John 4:2-3), the man of sin and son of perdition (2 Thessalonians 2:3), the little horn (Daniel 7:8), the beast with seven heads and ten horns (Revelation 13:1), Babylon (Revelation 14:8), the mother of harlots (Revelation 17:5), and the whore (Revelation 17:15). The identification was so convincing, and was verified by such powerful scriptural evidences, that the Roman Catholic Church was at a loss to deflect the charges. Eventually the Jesuit innovator Francisco Ribera succeeded in devising a theory which satisfied Roman Catholics, but its faults are apparent to any true student of Godís Word. This theory suggested that the antichrist was to be an evil, Satan-inspired individual who will appear at the end of the age and pursue the acme of apostasy through terrible persecution for three and one-half years.

Since this cunning theory lacked scriptural support, Protestants in former centuries saw it for what it wasóa self-serving Roman Catholic deception. The theory was rightly given short shrift in Protestant circles. But in the nineteenth century a chink in Protestant unity on this issue became evident. The Oxford movement of England, a group of young Anglican clergymen anxious to bring their church closer to the Church of Rome, recognized that it could not be achieved while the Anglican Church maintained the Westminster Confession, which specified the papacy to be antichrist and the man of sin. Desperately seeking a solution to their problem, they lent their support to Riberaís theory. So successful was the Oxford movement in its promotion of this flawed theory that today almost all Protestant churches, whether ritualistic or evangelical, accept it as their position. It accords well with the ecumenical motives of most Christian denominations, but it defies the plain evidence of Scripture.1

Thus we could anticipate that modern translations would corrupt the Scriptures to destroy the divine evidence identifying the Papacy as antichrist. They have achieved this aim.

The central heresy of antichrist is not clouded in darkness. It is the belief that Christ did not come in the flesh.

Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: and every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. 1 John 4:2-3

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. 2 John 7

Many protest that the Roman Catholic Church strongly supports the concept that Christ came in human flesh. In this they are correct, but in his book Facts of Faith Christian Edwardson points out:

Antichrist was not to deny that Christ had come in flesh, but was to deny that He had "come in the flesh," in "the same" kind of flesh as the human race He came to save. Christian Edwardson, Facts of Faith, Southern Publishing Association, 1943; cited in G. Burnside, The NIV and the Antichrist, 7

The Roman Catholic Church has led out in the proclamation of the false doctrine that while Christís flesh (nature) was human, it was nevertheless quite different from ours since it was that possessed by Adam prior to his Fall. But God declares quite differently:

Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh. Romans 1:3

For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Hebrews 2:16

How then do the modern translations thwart this plain truth of God? Quite simply, by corrupting the compelling biblical evidence. God informs us what is the mystery of godliness:

And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. 1 Timothy 3:16

Let us examine how one typical modern translation renders this key text:

Beyond all question the mystery of godliness is great: He appeared in a body. . . . 1 Timothy 3:16 NIV

We have emphasized the fact that the word God has been altered to He thus destroying a potent text which evidences Christís divinity. But most Bible students also overlook an equally serious omissionóthat the term, the flesh is rendered in the NIV as a body. The key mystery of godliness is not that Jesus appeared in a bodyóangels have at times done thatóbut that He appeared in the flesh, our flesh, the same flesh (nature) as that of David and Abraham.

Clearly the mystery of iniquity (2 Thessalonians 2:7) is the antithesis of the mystery of godliness. It is the denial that Jesus came in the flesh. This identification is confirmed by the evidence of 1 John 4:2-3 and 2 John 7 quoted above.

The New International Version confuses the matter by translating the term mystery of iniquity as secret power of lawlessness (2 Thessalonians 2:7 NIV). In such a translation the identifying evidence of the antichrist is weakened. While it is true that the New International Version does make reference to the chief identifying feature of the antichristó

Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist. 2 John 7 NIV

ónevertheless this concept is replaced in the second reference by "does not acknowledge Jesus" 1 John 4:3.

This translation further diminishes the evidence that Jesus came in the flesh (nature) of fallen man. We return to the two texts cited above from the King James Version. These texts should be compared with the following translation:

regarding his Son, who as to his human nature was a descendant of David, Romans 1:3 NIV

This translation does possess the virtue of demonstrating that the term flesh as translated in the King James Version does equally refer to nature. However, the translation seriously weakens the possession of Davidís fallen nature by failing to emphasize that Christ was made of the seed of David according to the flesh.

In respect of the second reference, the entire text is distorted in such a way as to make the two translations almost unrecognizable as referring to the same original. Certainly Christís possession of the same human nature as Abraham is entirely lost.

For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abrahamís descendants. Hebrews 2:16 NIV

Now it is true that the King James Version is forced by context and obvious intent to insert a few additional words to make plain the meaning of the text. But it is quite necessary and is demanded by the context. The translation offered by the New International Version is totally devoid of any relevance to either the preceding or succeeding verses.

Yet in all fairness we must admit that one text supporting the fallen human nature of Christ is strengthened by the New International Version translation. We shall compare the two versions.

For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Romans 8:3-4 KJV

For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit. Romans 8:3-4 NIV

That Rome denies that Jesus possessed a fallen nature is beyond dispute, for to sustain this unscriptural position it proclaimed the heretical doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of Mary.

The Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception . . . was preserved free from all stain of original sin. . . .

She was created more sublime and glorious than that of all natures. . . .

Very different from the rest of mankind. . . .

The Blessed Virgin . . . by communicating to the Second Person of the adorable trinity . . . a true human nature of the same substance with her own. . . . Catholic Belief, 214-217, quoted in G. Burnside, NIV and the Antichrist, 3

We define that the Blessed Virgin Mary in the first moment of her conception . . . was preserved free from every taint of original sin. . . .

Unlike the rest of the children of Adam, the soul of Mary was never subject to sin. Faith of Our Fathers, Cardinal Gibbons, 203-204, quoted in ibid.

The merits of Jesus, shall be dispensed through the hands and by the intercession of Mary. Glories of Mary, 180, quoted in ibid., 9

God has chosen to bestow no grace upon us but by the hands of Mary. . . . Ibid., 180

Whoever asks and wishes to obtain graces without the intercession of Mary, attempts to fly without wings. Ibid., 189

Mary is all the hope of our salvation. Ibid., 195

Thou [Mary] are the only advocate of sinners. Ibid., 129

All those who are saved, are saved solely by means of this divine mother, . . . the salvation of all depends upon preaching Mary. Ibid., 19-20

We ask many things of God and do not obtain them; we ask them from Mary and obtain them. Ibid., 150

Well may it be asked why God identified antichrist by the single criterion of the denial of the truth that Jesus came in the flesh. After all, does not Rome propose numerous disgraceful heresies such as confession to priests and saints, the baptism of infants, the doctrine of original sin which declares that we are lost because of Adamís sin, the immaculate conception, limbo, the issuing of indulgences, and many other perversions of the Christian faith? This claim is true, and it will be found that the central doctrine upon which each of these depends is the human nature of Christ.2 One example will suffice to illustrate.

The Bible teaches that in order to qualify as our Mediator, Christ had to be made like unto us in every respect.

Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted. Hebrews 2:17-18

Rome, in denying that Jesus possessed our fallen nature, not only deprive Christ of His role as our Example, but also disqualify Him from being our Mediator. Thus, they turn not only to Mary, but also to "saints" and priests to be mediators between man and God.

The merits and virtue of the sacrifice of the cross are infinite; but that virtue and these merits must be applied, and this can only be done by certain means. Doctrinal Catechism, S. Keenan, 129: New York, Kennedy and Sons, 1846

The priest has the power of the keys, or the power of delivering sinners from hell, of making them worthy of paradise, and of changing them from the slaves of Satan into the children of God. And God himself is obliged to abide by the judgment of His priests; . . . the Sovereign Master of the universe only follows the servant by confirming in heaven all that the latter decides upon earth. Dignity and Duties of the Priest, St. Alphonsus de Liguori, 27-28: New York, Benziger Brothers, 1888

Thus it is that the weakening of the identification of antichrist in the modern translations seriously reduces Godís witness and warnings concerning this power. It is lulling present-day Protestants into an ecumenical slumber which will have devastating effects upon their eternal destinies unless aroused by the power of the valid Word of God.

1 See C.D.Standish and R.R.Standish, Antichrist Is Here, 1990; Hartland Publications, Box 1, Rapidan, Virginia 22733 U.S.A. <BACK>

2 A far fuller explanation of this statement will be found in C.D. Standish and R.R. Standish, Antichrist Is Here, Hartland Publications, Box 1, Rapidan, Virginia 22733, U.S.A.  <BACK>

 

 

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