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Christian Pilgrim

 

29. The Pope Prophesied in Scripture



The papacy, contrary to popular belief, is not in nearly every page of Scripture. He is not the beast of the sea or the false prophet (although he is under his control) as these are fallen angels, not men. Indeed he is not in the book of Revelation at all, except (1.) possibly alluded to in Revelation 12:15 as the flood from the mouth of the dragon which tries to sweep the church away, and (2.) Revelation 17:11 as the eighth horn.

He only appears in the following passages:
(1.) 2 Thessalonians 2:3-12 - as the man of sin, the son of perdition who causes the church to fall away (v.3).
(2.) Daniel 7:8,11,20,21,25 - as the little horn arising after the collapse of the Roman Empire (note 8:25 "by peace shall he destroy many"). Note 7:25 He "shall think to change times and laws." Only God can do this (Daniel 2:21). The pope invented the Gregorian calendar, which nearly everyone in the world uses today.
(3.) Daniel 8:9-14,23-25 - This refers more to Rome in general, but there is also a parallel reference here to Antiochus Epiphanes, who desecrated the temple in 168 BC.
(4.) Daniel 9:27 - This again is just an allusion to the pope.
(5.) Daniel 11:21-45 - "he shall come in peaceably and obtain the kingdom by flatteries," i.e. not by war.

All the above references refer to a king that shall rise out of the Roman Empire. Some references are to a continuous Roman rule, hence things referring to the secular Roman Empire merge with things relating to the ecclesiastical Roman Empire (e.g. Daniel 8:9-11 refers to one of the four horns from Greece arising and almost immediately turning into the papacy).

The spirit of Antichrist is everywhere where men seek to exalt themselves in the visible church, i.e. where authoritarian dictatorship reigns at the expense of truth and righteousness. The whole visible church is corrupted with this spirit, no matter what visible denomination or organisation which calls itself "church" one is talking about. All have the spirit of antichrist in them to some degree. In the Reformation times, there was only one visible church, i.e. the Roman Catholic church, so the Reformers clearly saw this spirit in the papacy. Nowadays we have many denominations and churches, and this spirit is in all of them to some degree. The natural man tends only to see this visible influence in the church, and does not understand the concept of the true invisible church, which is a small despised minority within it (but which are the true church, chosen and kept by God). God has deliberately allowed this to happen for the good of His elect. So rejoice!


Characterisitics

Book of Daniel:

7:8 - He is a man with a "mouth speaking great things."

7:11 - His body will be "destroyed and given to the burning flame."

7:20 - His "look was more stout than his fellows" He will be greater than the Caesars.

7:21 - He "made war with the saints and prevailed against them." The vast majority of the visible church is under his control and unbelievers see only his influence and not true religion.

7:25 - He shall "speak great words against the Most High," "wear out the saints," "think to change times and laws," and believers will "be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time," (i.e. the second coming of Christ).

8:10 - "It cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground and stamped upon them."

8:11 - He "magnified himself even to the prince of the host," i.e. Christ, "Messiah the Prince" (9:25). By him "the daily sacrifice was taken away," i.e. persecution of believers. The "place of his sanctuary was cast down," Christ is no longer in His rightful place in the church.

8:12 - "An host was given him against the daily sacrifice," i.e. again we see persecution of believers. Truth was cast to the ground. The false church "practised and prospered." Note that the visible church is largely given over to him "by reason of transgression" to stop anyone exalting themselves that they have the one true church. i.e. It is for our eventual good and well-being.

8:23 - "A king of fierce countenance and understanding dark sentences."

8:24 - His "power shall be mighty, but not by his own power," i.e. not visibly war-like but under the pretence of peace. He shall "destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper and practice," "and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people."

8:25 - "Through his policy he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand." "He shall magnify himself in his heart." "He shall "by peace destroy many." He shall "stand up against the Prince of princes," i.e. Christ. He shall "be broken without hand," i.e. by the breath of Christ's mouth at his coming (2 Thessalonians 2:8).

9:27 - He shall "cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease."

11:36 - He shall "do according to his (own) will." He shall "exalt himself and magnify himself above every god." He shall "speak marvellous things against the God of gods." He shall "prosper" until the appointed end shall come.

11:37 - He shall "not regard the God of his fathers." He shall not regard "the desire of women." He shall "magnify himself above all."

11:38 - He shall "honour the god of forces." He shall honour a foreign god with "gold and silver, and with precious stones and pleasant things."

11:39 - He shall do this "in the most strongholds with a strange god." He shall acknowledge and increase this god with glory. He shall "cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain."

11:40-44 - He shall spread himself over nearly the whole world, but tidings out of the east (the Orthodox church) and the north (the Protestant church) shall trouble him and curtail his total dominion.

11:45 - He shall plant the tabernacle of his palace between the seas (the nations) in the glorious holy mountain (the visible church). But his end will be as has been ordained.


Epistle of 2 Thessalonians:

v.3 - the "falling away" is the decline of the Roman Empire. This reveals the pope as the man of sin.

v.4 - He "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." Cf. Ezekiel 28:2, the prince of Tyrus.

v.6 - God's providence "witholdeth that he might be revealed in his time".

vv.7,8 - After the Roman Empire has fallen, the pope will be rise to power in its place, the "mystery of iniquity," "that Wicked." But Christ will consume him with the Spirit of His mouth (truth) and the brightness of His coming (light vs. pope's sin)

v.9 - The pope's coming is "after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders."

v.10 - The reprobate will perish by "all deceivableness of unrighteousness."

v.11 - God sent them this strong delusion deliberately.

v.12 - All those who believe not the truth but have pleasure in unrighteousness will be damned.