Reformers of the sixteenth century had many differences of doctrine, but
on one matter agreement was unanimous. They were convicted that the man
of sin, the son of perdition spoken of by the apostle Paul, was the
Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our
Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, that ye be
not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by
word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
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; 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. Remember
ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And
now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth
will let, until he be taken out of the way. 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: even him, whose
coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and
lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrigh-teousness in them
that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that
they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong
delusion, that they should believe a lie that they all might be damned
who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2
It was not only the Reformers of the fourteenth to
the eighteenth centuries who held such views, based firmly upon
Scripture. This was the consistent conclusion of Protestantism even in
the second half of the nineteenth century.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon, the nineteenth century
English Baptist preacher, typified this view. He declared,
It is the bounden duty of every Christian to pray
against Anti-Christ, and as to what Anti-Christ is no sane man ought
to raise a question. If it be not the Popery in the church of Rome
there is nothing in the world that can be called by that name . . .
because it wounds Christ, because it robs Christ of His glory, because
it puts sacramental efficacy in the place of His atonement, and lifts
a piece of bread in the place of the Saviour, and a few drops of water
in place of the Holy Ghost, and puts a fallible man like ourselves up
as the Vicar of Christ on earth; if we pray against it, because it is
against Him, we shall love the persons though we loathe and detest
their dogmas, and so the breath of our prayers will be sweetened,
because we turn our faces towards Christ when we pray. (Michael de
Semlyen, All Roads Lead to Rome?, Dorchester House
Publications, England, 1991, p. 182)
Further, today, there are Protestants such as the
Irish Baptist pastor now residing in the United States, Philip De
Courcy, who perceptively stand by the incontrovertable evidence of
Scripture as it delineates the characteristics of the antichrist. He has
As we shall see more fully in this chapter,
Protestant dissent and disagreement was driven by doctrinal and
Evangelical concerns over the person and work of Christ. In the mind
of our Evangelical forebears, Romeís doctrine and practice undermined
the four unshakable pillars of gospel truth: that men are saved by
grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone based upon the
revelation of the same in Scripture alone. It was their conviction
that to Sola Scriptura (Scripture alone) Roman Catholicism had added
human and Church tradition. To Solus Christus (Christ alone) Rome had
added the pope, Mary, the priesthood and the saints. To Sola Gratia
(Grace alone) Rome had added human merit and the sacraments. To Sola
Fide (Faith alone) Rome had added works and good deeds as a means of
attaining eternal life. Therefore, the subsequent prevailing opinion
in the light of these facts was that Rome, like the Judaizers in
Paulís day, had corrupted and perverted the gospel, and was worthy of
the anathema and reproach of all true Christians. (Gal. 1:5ó9; Phil.
3:1ó11) Rome, much like the Pharisees and Scribes of Jesusí day, had
denuded the Word of God through layers of human tradition and had
earned the scorn of Christ Himself. (Matt. 15:3, 6, 14) (Philip De
Courcy, Standing Room Only, Ambassador-Emerald International,
Greenville, South Carolina, 1999, pp. 3, 4)
We would be remiss if we concluded this book on such
a theme. It is not the man of sin, the son of perdition which we would
leave with you. It is a Man of an altogether different quality. It is
the Author of the book of Revelation.
The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto
him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass;
and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John.
That Man is our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
We have traced the remarkable accuracy of Bible
prophecy in preparing faithful men and women for the end-time scenario.
Christ in His great love has prepared us for that fearful time. Speaking
of the ten horns, as we have seen, representative of the nations of
Europe, Christ foretold,
And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings,
which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one
hour with the beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power
and strength unto the beast. These shall make war with the Lamb, and
the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of
kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and
faithful. (Revelation 17:12ó14)
Europe, undoubtedly through the European Union, will
empower the Papacy in the Old World as the United States does in the
New. This combined power will persecute Christís people and only those
who are truly faithful will stand for their Lord at that fearful time.
But following the withdrawal of Godís mercy from the
world just prior to His return, the nations of Europe will turn against
the Papacy with an unrestrained bitterness.
And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast,
these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and
shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. For God hath put in their
hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto
the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled. And the woman
which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of
the earth. (Revelation 17:16ó18)
It is from complicity with these terrible events that
our God of love calls those still in the fallen churches of Babylon, to
come out of false doctrine and practice; for He desires a people pure in
heart and faith.
Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also
loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and
cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might
present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle,
or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such
things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without
spot, and blameless. (2 Peter 3:14)
The eighteenth chapter of Revelation expresses Godís
powerful plea to His people. It is Christ who calls us in most tender
love and urgency to return to the pure faith and eschew the religion
which pollutes the true faith with Satanic concepts.
And after these things I saw another angel come
down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with
his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon
the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of
devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean
and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath
of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed
fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich
through the abundance of her delicacies. And I heard another voice
from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not
partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her
sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.
This call rings down the ages as a siren blast of
unprecedented piercing clarity. All will hear it, all will respond
either with acceptance or rejection. Christís call is to "Come out of
her [Babylon] my people."
Why does Christ represent Babylon in such telling
terms? It is because of His great love and His reluctance to see any of
His children lost.
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as
some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing
that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (2
He has promised to uphold us during the times ahead.
In the days in which literal Israel prepared to enter Canaan, the
promised land, God assured them,
There shall not any man be able to stand before
thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with
thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. (Joshua 1:5)
He makes the very same promise to His people,
spiritual Israel, as we prepare to enter our promised land, the heavenly
Let your conversation be without covetousness; and
be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never
leave thee, nor forsake thee. (Hebrews 13:5)
We may know all these things. We may believe them in
an intellectual manner, but unless that knowledge under the power of the
Holy Spirit transforms our lives, we will stand culpable in the judgment
for disobedience to that which God has revealed to us.
Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth
it not, to him it is sin. (James 4:17)
May God search the heart of every reader and find a
receptive response is our prayer. We are saved by grace (mercy) through
faith. But God places a condition upon the bestowal of His mercy.
And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love
me, and keep my commandments. (Exodus 20:6)
This is why He claims as His people those who obey.
Here is the patience of the saints: here are they
that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. (Revelation
It is only such a people who will be the object of
And the dragon was wroth with the woman [the
church], and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep
the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
It is only such a man or woman who truly believes, as
we have shown, for such will be born again, love God with the whole
heart and love his neighbor as himself, keep the commandments in
Christís strength, overcome worldliness, have victory over sin and have
the faith of Jesus. Only those possessed of such a character will be
safe candidates for heaven, where sin will no longer pollute.
And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him
that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And
whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. (Revelation
May God endow you, the reader, with such love for
Him, such courage in adversity and such fidelity to His truth. In the
glorious Kingdom of God, we will see our Redeemer face to face and, with
hearts full of gratitude, thank Him for His great salvation. In that day
the trials of this life will be nought when compared with the glories
and joys of heaven.