Is the Pope the Antichrist?
For decades, the prevailing belief in the church regarding prophecy
has been what has come to be known as the futurist view but, it was
not always so. For centuries prior to the 1830's, the true church
was able to discern the antichrist and his false church that had
apostatized. How did this shift occur and who was the perpertrator?
It was during the years of the Reformation that these events began
to take place. Starting with Martin Luther, all the Reformers were
united in their view that the Papacy was the predicted antichrist of
Scripture. How did they reach this conclusion? They saw that he had
fullfilled all the marks prophesied about him in the Word so that
there was no need to look for another. They began to point the
finger at him, much to his dismay. As the light began to shine on
his darkness unmasking him as a wolf in sheeps clothing, the counter
reformation was launched. This counter strike included the Council
of Trent, to reaffirm their damnable heresies, and some new
interpretations of the book of the Revelation in order to take the
onus off the Pope.
Two Catholic theologions wrote separate treatises regarding
antichrist. The first names Nero as the antichrist and said the
Revelation was fullfilled with the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD.
This is what's become known as preterism. The second, written by a
Jesuit named Alberto Ribera in 1585, said the antichrist was one man
yet to be revealed at the end of time. Two hundred years later it
all bore fruit as the group known as the Tractarians in England
translated a book by a Jesuit masquerading as a Jew. His name was
Rabbi Ben Ezra and he wrote 'The Coming of the Messiah In Majesty
And Glory.' It expounded the Jesuit Ribera's false claim, was
embraced by these people, who popularized it England and later the
USA through J.N. Darby and C.I.Schofield.
How can one embrace a doctrine designed for the the express purpose
of throwing true believers off the track, that is, unmasking the
identity if the antichrist?
How can a doctrine so new to the church be true? Was the Lord not
able to teach his church the truth prior to that?
Should a doctine that is generated from the camp of the enemy by
ungodly men be believed?
Unless you can answer these questions satisfactorily through your
studies, you owe it to yourselves and to the Lord,to see what godly
men in the church had believed for centuries. For starters you are
welcome to visit our site and the links as well.
Thank you for writing.
You did not tell me how to reach your web site. I think I succeeded
in finding it:
I have enjoyed a relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ for almost
40 years. This is given me lots of time to know the entire Bible well
and to form my own Christian world view. Naturally I have developed a
well-thought view of eschatology and I have read the writings of
others on this subject.
In spite of all the good the Reformers accomplished there were a good
many issues they failed to address:
There is a period of church history which is predominantly
characterized by Sardis conditions. (Rev. 3:1-6) It extends from the
last half of the 16th century, immediately following the Reformation,
to about the middle of the 18th century, to the beginning of the
Evangelical Awakening. The Reformation, of course, was a time when
the church came out of death into life. When Luther discovered the
great truth of justification by faith alone and began to preach
throughout Germany, the good news spread like wildfire throughout the
nations of Northern Europe. People realized afresh the greatness, the
liberty of the gospel. All Europe was aflame with freedom....in
Luther's day, the gospel spread like wildfire throughout that area
and the cruel walls of spiritual bondage fell before the power of
God's word. The Reformers preached again the truth about Jesus. They
preached in the power of the Spirit. Martin Luther in Germany, Count
Zwingli in Switzerland, Calvin in Geneva, John Knox in Scotland --
all of them preached justification by faith; that Christ was the
sufficient Savior of men and they needed to believe that and receive
it individually. This good news spread quickly, but it only lasted a
relatively short time.
Anyone familiar with church history must wonder at the way the great
fires of the Reformation began to cool so quickly after the Reformers
had gone. A fatal error had been made. The churches began to fail
even while the Reformers were still alive because they neglected
large areas of theology and centered upon the way of salvation
largely. Thus these men came to make a great and serious mistake.
They began to link the oversight and leadership of the church with
the government of the country in which they lived! Luther did it when
he looked to the German princes for protection against the power of
Rome. Zwingli did it in Switzerland because he was associated with
the government of the country and brought the churches under his
oversight into a direct tie with the state. Calvin did it in Geneva
when he sought to turn the city into a theocracy. Knox did it in
Scotland as well. The system of State churches was adopted. This
practice proved to be a very dangerous and destructive error and it
ultimately drained the gospel of its spiritual content. There was no
longer life within the great words. The creed was right -- and these
creeds remain to this day -- but in most places where this occurred
the vitality of the churches has disappeared.
Another topic not adequately dealt with by the Reformers was
eschatology. The Roman Catholic church had almost totally neglected
this subject, as well as ignoring the future place of Israel in
redemptive history--and Israel's national destiny-- (Romans 9,10,11).
To me it is clear that the apostate, false church of the end time,
described in Revelation 17, 18 rides on the back of the beast (the
revived Roman empire). Therefore the last Caesar (antichrist) can not
be identical with the Pope. These two groups are, for a season, in
league with one another, but they are not synonymous. I do not want
to lessen at all the evils of this false church, "...in her was found
the blood of prophets and of saints, and of all who have been slain
Please read http://pbc.org/dp/stedman/revelation/4208.html regarding
the relationship between the harlot church and the Roman state which
supported her in the end time, for a short season.
I believe there are two great evil world leaders at the end of the
age (see Romans 13, http://pbc.org/dp/stedman/revelation/4205.html)
Leader #1 will be a military-political leader in Europe (he is "the
beast out of the sea"). The second beast ("out of the land"), is
Israel's last false Messiah. He will fulfill the prediction of our
Lord, "I have come in my Father's name and you would not receive me.
Another will come in his own name, him you will receive." (Actually
the second beast, in Israel, is more properly the "antichrist"--the
one who comes in place of the true messiah--the false Christ).
I have been referencing the Commentary on Revelation by my mentor,
the late Ray C. Stedman. May I commend this book to you for your
I believe we do agree on many areas of truth. Like you I am an
iconoclast, so I hope you will allow me to disagree with you in some
the details of your belief system. I am not negating your call and
ministry. May I encourage you to dig a bit deeper on some of these
Dear Paraclete Forum Administrators:
As the Lord would have it, He directed me to your article, Is the Pope the
Antichrist? Before tonight I did not know your forum existed. I did not write
the letter you ascribe to this ministry. To my knowledge, neither did my
co-minister, James. Be that as it may, the author of the letter told you the
truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, whoever he or she may be.
In reading the response from the unknown Paraclete editor, I was immediately
struck by the fact that person neglected to address the topic of the letter.
Rather, an Anabaptist bias immediately arose, as the subject was switched to
that of the efficacy and biblical warrant of a Christian state on planet Earth.
The question of the Christian state was not the subject of the letter. Thus, the
subject of the letter, the papal Antichrist and the numerous proofs brought
forth by the Reformers, was dismissed, the editor referring the author to Ray
Stedman's commentary on the Revelation.
This present writer reviewed key elements in Stedman's commentary. I was neither
shocked nor disappointed to find Dispensational Futurism propagated, the seeds
of which were sown by the Jesuits to counter the Protestant Pre-Reformers and
Reformers correct interpretation of prophecy identifying the Pope as the
Antichrist, Beast, Man of Sin, as well as the abomination of desolation.
Dispensational Futurism is that false teaching which arises as smoke from the
abyss, whose keys are held by the Destroyer.
Nowhere in Stedman's commentary is witness given to the tens of thousands of
martyrs who testified against the papal Antichrist, sealing their true testimony
with their shed blood. In other words, Stedman's belief system makes no
allowance for their testimony, no matter how truthful and compelling.
In fact, Stedman has glowing words of praise for popes and their deceived
minions who send millions to Hell:
"It would be simplistic to say this describes the Roman Catholic Church and
that church alone. We must remember, first of all, that there are many true
saints within the Roman Catholic Church. There have been godly popes, bishops,
priests and nuns through the centuries. I have met some of them; so, perhaps,
On the contrary, it would be supreme ignorance to dismiss the Church which
claims to rule Christendom from Rome, by its infallible, supreme Vicar of Christ
- anti-Christ - in the Greek, against whom the saints and martyrs battled head
to head for 1,000 years. Furthermore, if there are saved popes in the 2nd
millennium, then Christ is the liar and salvation is of works + faith +
submission to the Pope and through the 7 sacraments of the Church of Rome,
outside of which no one may be saved.
I care not how long Mr. Stedman or the editors of the Paraclete Forum have
studied the Word of God. If they do not understand the way of salvation by grace
alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, as taught in the Word alone, they
are not of Christ.
While Stedman and those of his ilk look for a future unknown Antichrist, a
rebuilt Temple, a 'secret' Rapture escape, a future tribulation, and the coming
of a re-incarnated Elijah and Moses, those of us who HAVE been given wisdom
battle the Antichrist presently in our midst, believe Christ who declares the
Temple, once destroyed, will NEVER be rebuilt, look for no escape from
tribulation as did not one of the millions of martyrs look for one, and do not
believe in the literal re-incarnation of Elijah and Moses, as it is written that
we are once to live and die in the flesh, after which will then be followed by
the judgment. We look for those who have been given the spirit of the prophets,
warning the Body, judging the false prophets, and pointing out the arch-enemy of
the Lord and His people, the papal Antichrist and his supporters, of whom this
present writer can only conclude, Stedman was one.
Repent, Paraclete Forum. As self-proclaimed teachers in Christ's Church, you
will be judged that much harsher.
Thank you for writing us. However, the harshness, and naivete of your
email pretty much disqualifies you from having anything useful to say
to us. Had you bothered to look a bit further you would have
discovered that the late Ray C. Stedman was a well-known and highly
regarded Bible scholar and expositor who served the Lord for more
than 40 years before his home going in 1992.
You can find his collected works on his web site,
http://pbc.org/dp/stedman/. Please note how well-rounded and broad
Mr. Stedman's teaching was--he had a pastor's heart for people,
though his greater gift was prophetic. His knowledge of the
Scriptures was profound. His life-long study habits were thorough.
His expositions of Scripture are beyond reproach for their accuracy
The Paraclete Forum is a team of a dozen men and women of evangelical
persuasion (from several churches) who answer email and help people
sort through a myriad of doctrinal and personal issues. We are a
diverse team. For you to call us to repent without knowing anything
about us is laughable. I think we would all admit our constant need
for repentance--but very likely it does not concern the debatable
point as to whether or not the Pope is the Antichrist.
Speaking for myself, I believe that the evils of the world are indeed
chargeable to the account of the great harlot of Babylon who will be
focused in the years ahead in the apostate church. I am sure I can
agree with you concerning the many great evils that have sprung from
the Roman Church over and over again for many centuries now.
The final antichrist can not possibly be the pope, however. This is
clear from many passages. For example, Revelation 13 describes two
beasts--the first will be a great military-political Caesar in Europe
and the second a false Jewish messiah in Jerusalem in league with
him. (Either or both of these men is identified with Paul's "man of
sin," -- the final Antichrist. The false church of the end time is
indeed supported by the first beast--but only for a short season as
Revelation 17-18 makes clear.
Dr. Stedman's excellent commentary on the Book of the Revelation
should have clarified this for you,
I am a retired physicist and have known our Lord Jesus Christ for 40
years now. I can assure you that I know the Bible well--as do my dear
friends in the Paraclete Forum. Three years ago a friend and I, Ron
Graf, put together a free online book on eschatology, because we saw
so much confusion on these issues among God's people. If you want to
discuss eschatology further with me, please first take a look at "Thy
Kingdom Come, Thy Will be Done..." (http://ldolphin.org/kingdom).
Mr. Winburn, why are you so vitriolic, judgmental, and opinionated
towards others who follow the Lord Jesus Christ? Are we not your
brothers and sisters in the Lord?
You wrote, "I care not how long Mr. Stedman or the editors of the
Paraclete Forum have studied the Word of God. If they do not
understand the way of salvation by grace alone, through faith
alone..." Of course we believe this--it is kindergarten truth for all
of us. All of us have long since moved beyond that entry-level
teaching --as Hebrews 6 admonishes every follower of Christ to do.
Is there some root of bitterness in your heart that we should help
you deal with? If the Lord directed you to us, as you have said,
perhaps it was in order that He might help you grow towards the
maturity, humility, holiness and wisdom which we all need to enter
the eternal kingdom of our Lord Jesus?
Dear Paraclete Forum Members:
Thank you for taking time out of your schedule to write an in-depth
answer to my charges of heresy on the part of the Paraclete Forum.
Please allow me to respond to your apology.
"I am one the Paraclete Forum members."
My response: Based on your errant understanding of salvation I would
expect no less. I am a member of the Body of Christ.
"Lambert has shared with us your e-mail exchange with him. It seemed
to me that you sounded more like a snotty nosed boy shouting out
insults across the schoolyard rather than a man bringing the good
news of God's love."
My response: What you view as insults, I view as defending the truth
and honor of Christ, giving earnest warnings and rebuke. Insults are
defined as to treat with insolence, indignity and contempt by word or
action; to make an attack or assault; to make little of; affect
offensively or deprecatively. In the minds of the Pharisees, Christ
unnerved them with insults the likes of which they had never
experienced. For this He deserved death. Yet He told them nothing but
truth, to their eternal damnation. He offended their high estimation
of themselves. Yet it was they who were offended by the truth and the
rock of offense. The true God, as well as the true way of salvation,
is offensive to the world. This is why Christ was crucified and why
He promises His disciples hatred and persecution by the false
religious, who are really of the world, serving the god of the world,
Christ did not shout the Good News of God's universal love for every
human ever born. Instead, His first public sermon was met with hatred
and loathing by those in the synagogue, desiring Him to be cast off
the cliff to His death, (Luke 4:16-29). Are you more able preachers
than Christ? Perhaps, in your wisdom, you would have chosen a less
controversial Scripture on which to speak? John 3:16, perhaps? Christ
knew exactly what needed to be preached to whom. He exposed the
depravity, hatred, unbelief and pride within their religious, but
lost, hearts. The true Gospel is only Good News to the Elect who have
been given ears to hear and eyes to see. To the others who perish it
is the savor of death unto death.
"However, I was able to dig out a few points from your tirade that I
hope to address. In particular, I would like to discuss your
understanding of the gospel, God's love, and predestination."
My response: I eagerly await your shining 'light' on the subjects
essential to orthodox Christianity!
"Your fundamental error is that you equate love with salvation."
My response: Just when I thought I had heard it all, the Paraclete
Forum breaks new ground in heresy! It is with this inane,
blasphemous, Christ-slandering remark that I shall deal today. I
answer with Scripture alone.
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for
Here Christ Himself equates His unsurpassed love for His disciples
with His atonement. His atonement on behalf of His intimate friends
is His great love for them in action. Their need for salvation is the
cause for His willingness to lay down His life. To teach the
distinction between love for His dear friends and the doctrine of the
atonement is unbiblical and anti-Christ. Christ's atonement is
inseparable from His love for His chosen Elect. He says so in plain
language a child could hear.
Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood.
Here John equates Christ's great love for His Church with His
atonement. Those whose sins are washed by His blood are the saved.
Washing their sins was an act of love on Christ's part. Shedding His
blood for the salvation of the saints in the 7 churches was the
result of His immense love for them. His love for them brought Him to
the cross. It was the motivating factor.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath
blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ
- according as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the
world, that we should be holy and without blame before him - in love;
having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ
to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will?.
Here Paul equates the love of God the Father for the saints at
Ephesus with His predestinating them to adoption in His family by
means of the atoning, propitiatory death of Christ Jesus, in whom He
is well pleased. That the saints have been blessed with all things
necessary unto salvation is the outworking of the Father's great love
for them before they were born, choosing them before they had done
either good or evil. In fact, they were chosen in order that they
would become holy and righteous, not because they already were holy
and righteous. The reasons for choosing some over others is found
only in the Father's inscrutable will which it has not pleased Him to
For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that
whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting
Here Jesus equates the unique love of the Father for man - a love
which is not bound by the physical nation of Israel only, but extends
worldwide - with the gift of the Savior, His unique and beloved Son.
That gift has conditions, however. In this case, faith in Christ
alone, whose work, merits and righteousness alone are to be trusted,
is necessary to escape perdition and gain eternal life. Praise be to
God, those conditions will assuredly be met by God who is both the
just and justifier. This is what Paul teaches in the Scripture above:
spiritual blessings such as repentance and faith are conditions
necessary for salvation. Good works, love of the brethren, hatred of
the world and perseverance are some examples of fruit necessary to
prove to others one has eternal life??all of which are fulfilled by
the Elect who are freely given these blessings and gifts having been
purchased for them by Christ at the cross. Once justified by faith
alone, the Elect will manifest the fruit which proves their Election
and certain salvation.
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that while we were yet
sinners, Christ died for us.
Paul is explaining grace to the Roman saints. By grace were they
saved. As sinners not one deserves grace and mercy. Yet the Father
gave Christ for their salvation. This He did out of love for them.
Paul equates God's love with Christ's death on behalf of those who
had once hated Him. God's love and His salvation through Christ are
deliberately intertwined. To believe and teach otherwise is
But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved
us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together in
Christ, (by grace ye are saved)??.
Paul, once again, equates God's love for spiritually dead sinners
(who did not love Him) with His saving grace in Christ Jesus. Had
they first loved Him they would have grounds to boast. Had they risen
to life spiritually by their own power to accept Christ as their
personal Savior they would have grounds to boast. It was God's
merciful love for the once-dead Ephesian saints which motivated Him
to regenerate and save them through the only Savior, Christ Jesus.
Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and
gave himself for it.
With this proof text I rest my case. Paul now teaches the doctrine of
the mystery of Christ and the church. We discover that marriage on
earth has great significance in understanding the spiritual
relationship of Christ with His Church, His Bride. He so loved the
church that He sacrificed Himself for her. Greater love hath no
husband for his wife. Just as a fleshly husband marries for love, so
does Christ give Himself for His Bride whom He, too, will marry for
love. To not understand or believe this essential Christian truth is
to prove oneself to be without the Spirit of Truth.
Please respond, O wise Paraclete Forum members. I look nowhere but to
God's Word. Please do the same to prove me wrong. And please, do not
respond with vain analogies which emanate from your frail human minds
as did Rick when he stated: "It is possible to love someone without
being able to give them what they need because they will not accept
it. Anyone involved with real people will experience this on some
level; I don't think anyone has a problem with this concept." The
Bible teaches those whom God loves, He saves to the uttermost. Please
do not make the error of believing your ways are God's ways, or that
your thoughts are God's thoughts.
Defending the honor, work and merits of the Savior Christ Jesus
who cannot fail to save those whom He loves,
This is renewed attack on us from a man I thought we had dealt with
decisively a few weeks ago. (I hope our editor can gather and
archive our discussions with this man). I do not think any of us has
over stated the case against this man. There may be others of you
who would like to comment in answer to his latest.
Don't miss this man's web site! The pope is the antichrist. Billy Graham
is a false prophet. His problem is that he is very
self-righteous and hyper-calvanistic. Under this surface layer there
must surely be mountains of pride which has made him judgmental and
critical of everyone. He has gone to a lot of trouble making fancy
graphics, but it is all very sad I think.
His fan mail, http://www.iconbusters.com/iconbusters/love.htm shows
that others like us have been outspoken in dealing with him. He seems
to thrive on being called sick. He hates Catholics with a vengeance.
I don't think we can gain any ground with this poor man--but God
I've been mulling over a response to this cat. It's really easy to fall
into his trap of confrontation and polemical rhetoric. There are a couple
of passages from Proverbs that I think are relevant:
The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But he who heeds counsel is
wise. A fool's wrath is known at once, But a prudent man covers
shame...There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, But the
tongue of the wise promotes health...counselors of peace have joy (Pro
Good understanding gains favor, But the way of the unfaithful is hard.
Every prudent man acts with knowledge, But a fool lays open his folly
A wise man fears and departs from evil. But a fool rages and is
And my personal favorite:
A whip for the horse, A bridle for the donkey, And a rod for the fool's
Do not answer a fool according to his folly, Lest you be like him.
Answer a fool according to his folly, Lest he be wise in his own eyes
I'm sure Father Theodore Wisely and the Great Lambo remember the days of
street evangelism at UC Berkeley and Stanford. All through my musical
ministry (and we were quite confrontational, too), we dealt with people who
had the farthest out approaches to just about everything. Trying to have a
balanced approach was a challenge for the neophytes we were then (and still
are), but one thing I think we tried to learn was how to pick our fights.
This dude speaks for the Body of Christ. He is the final interpreter
of orthodoxy, and he covers up his arrogance by claiming he is following the
example of Jesus. So, my first thought is that he must hang out with
prostitutes and smelly fisherman who work for a living. He must be healing
them by the thousands, and He must be the most loved man there is, with
fruits of the Spirit dripping from His blessed personage.
Sarcasm aside, I think we did hit a sore spot. There must be something in
his past that has turned him to bitterness, a divorce or betrayal of some
If I do, however, chose to respond directly to the man, I would probably
take the following tact:
First, I would praise him for his knowledge of scripture and very clear
focus (not answering the fool according his folly). I would mention some of
the better-known Calvinists I've read (with my testimony, perhaps). Now,
I'm insisting that I'm not out to get him, mostly because he is plainly
deluded. I think he needs most of all to know that his arrows are sailing
into the air and harming no one in this camp. He is a prating fool.
Secondly, I would merely mention that we, too, are fit into the Body of
Christ. I would take almost every scripture from this latest reply and
totally agree with him. I know my Savior's love, His grace, and His
sacrifice for me. I've not only met Him personally, He has walked with me
for more than thirty years, even in times of trouble.
Finally, I would merely ask that he stop the attacks. They don't
exactly fall on deaf ears, but he really is only making himself look like a
jackass. We are open to exhortation, but I believe we concur, at least in
general, that no one person has all the truth, no matter how linear his
logic might be. While I admire Calvin's thinking (the extremely linear kind
of logic of the Institutes that is forced to claim that other
interpretations are wrong, and therefore heretical), I cannot accept any
view that (a) teaches in strictly dogmatic form how to interpret scriptures
(like the tension of truth that exists between freewill and predestination)
and reconcile those troublesome scriptures that don't fit the dogma/theory
and that (b) patently tells me that my eyes, intellect, and ability to call
on the Holy Spirit in order to interpret scriptures myself is insufficient.
I do not need Calvin or this man in order to understand what the Scripture
teaches (answering the fool according to his folly).
My God is big enough to teach even morons like me. My God came to me while
I was yet a sinner, in the most profound error that exists. He revealed
Himself to me. Yes, He will save me because He loves me. He is the Author
and Finisher of my Faith, and neither Calvin nor this man can claim that. And,
despite this man's deliberate attempts to offend us, I am not offended because
God has planted my feet upon a Rock. The Lord (Adonai) is my refuge and my
strength. Whom shall I fear? Certainly not the likes of men like this man who
piously hurl insults at me, albeit disguised as truth.
His are the mutterings of an egomaniac, not a minister of the Living God.
God's truth edifies. And, while we all have to admit that incorrect
thinking must be rooted out to allow the Truth to grow, we--as a priesthood
of believers--have the Spirit to do that. Each of us can test the spirit in
what this man has to say to the churches and they are not of God. Taking it to
the absurd, Satan knows the scriptures inside-out and uses them for all
sorts of things. How do we tell truth from lie? Not from the ravings of
some self-appointed gatekeeper of the truth: we look at the scriptures, and
prayerfully ask that the God who created the heavens and the earth, Who
revealed Himself to humankind in the form of His Son and our Messiah Jesus,
will give us wisdom--not just knowledge, but the wisdom to deal with our own
humanity and to know Him better today than we did yesterday.
I will never know things the way that I should, but I can look at the
example of Jesus, and it is not what this man thinks he's doing...far from it.
Anyhow, if anyone agrees with me on this, I will put it into a love letter
to this man.
I am very sorry to read your reply to me. I am sorry because you have not
taken the opportunity to consider how you are misrepresenting God's message
to the world and have instead chosen to rely upon your own message. God's
message is one of good news, hope, and life to those suffering under the
rule of the kingdom of darkness. Yours, on the other hand, is the news of
hoplessness and death with no chance of release for anyone in the bonds of
I sincerely wished that you had addressed the Scriptures I cited in regards
to God's message to the world. In particular, I wish you had prayerfully
eveluated the message of I John 2:2, which says,
"[Christ] Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only,
but also for those of the whole world."
which helps us intepret John 3:16-18 properly to refer to the whole of
I have placed my response to the basic question you raise about whether God
hates some people on not on my web site at:
This presents essentially the things I have already sent you but you never
responded to. I know that you never addressed the points I raised because
you have no way of doing so in you scheme of things. And this should be an
indicator to you: if your scheme cannot address 1 John 2:2 then your scheme
cannot be of God.
I think the only reason you wrote back to the Paraclete Forum is your own
pride of "wanting to prove yourself right" rather than trying to bring God's
message to us. So I don't think our addressing you any further would be
helpful. You must take what has already been given you and make your
choices. You can choose to represent God to the world and bring His message
of hope and life or continue to present your own message, which is one of
hoplessness and death. Therefore, at this point I will have to shake the
cyber dust from my virtual sandals and say good bye to you.
Was dead but now alive in Christ,
Outstanding thoughts. Yes, by all means what you have written is excellent.
I think I will write him a polite letter explaining why the Catholic
church is not the whore of Babylon and the antichrist can not be the
Seems the Spirit has been at work sowing this Field with seeds of
Truth. As you know, other's have both made valiant
efforts to crash through the wall of arrogance. I have this wish we
could post disclaimers somewhere to discredit such as "this cat", but
lo we might be seen as presumptious/arrogant. How far does one go in
an attempt to separate the wheat from the chaff? You all are brave
men; I would never question the Spirit's direction for any of you.
Have at it if He says so.
Let me add this: I know men like this from
some churches we have attended. They have
fallen into the temptation of making their
intellect (as in logical thinking) their idol and
have displaced Christ. They truly believe that
the evangelical church is heretical and no
amount of rhetoric will convince them otherwise,
it only adds fuel to their convictions. God must
humble him and demolish those strongholds.
Thank you for inviting us to comment further on our previous
criticisms of your ministry. Your last reply indicates to me that you
have read through the Bible and consider it authoritative for all
matters of doctrine and conduct for the Christian.
I took the opportunity of reviewing your web site a bit further last
night. Your graphics are certainly outstanding--well above average.
I had several thoughts. May I share them? Suppose Billy Graham, Hank
Hannegraaf, the current Pope, and one or two of us Paraclete Forum
members, actually do to have a personal relationship with the Lord
Jesus Christ? Based on your greater maturity in matters of doctrine,
this subgroup would then be classed as "weaker brethren." If this
were the case then does not Paul's word in Romans apply?
Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise
your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God;
for it is written, "As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to
me, and every tongue shall give praise to God." So each of us shall
give account of himself to God. Then let us no more pass judgment on
one another, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or
hindrance in the way of a brother. (14:10-13)
Should you not then be approaching us weaker brethren gently with a
desire to correct us and help us see the truth more clearly? If God
is the one who justifies, who is there to condemn?
I know quite a few dear people who are in the Catholic Church, or
were at one time. I am eager to build them up in the knowledge of the
Word of God whenever I can. I have not found it helpful in most cases
to condemn their institution. The same charges of corruption can be
levelled at many of the Protestant churches as well.
In our area the manager of Family Radio network, Mr. Harold Camping,
is teaching that the age of the church has in fact now ended.
Christians should resign from the church since every church has
departed so far from truth that God has now removed all the
"lampstands." Mr. Camping does not tell us what God has done to
replace the church. If I were to leave the Catholic church, for
example, where would I go in this age of widespread apostasy on all
sides? Do you lead a church you would like me to join?
The Protestant Reformers did a fine job of correcting some of the
things that were grossly wrong with the Roman Catholic Church. But
the reformers did not go far enough, and they left obviously many
topics unaddressed. Eschatology is one of the major areas the
Reformers sadly neglected.
To touch briefly upon a few of the problems I see with your
eschatology: The term "antichrist" can mean one who is opposed to
Christ, or it can mean one who comes instead of Christ. Consider what
Jesus said to His own people, the Jews, when they rejected Him: In
John 5:43 "I have come in my Father's name, and you [Israel] do not
receive me; if another [messiah] comes in his own name, him you
[Jews] will receive." The final antichrist must therefore be a false
Jewish Messiah whom the Jews in our day will embrace and receive as
their long-awaited Maschiah.
Revelation chapter 13 clarifies this. There will be two powerful men
on the world-stage at the close of this age, "the beast and the false
prophet." The (first) beast described is in the line of the Caesars
of old--a neo-Roman [European] political and military leader. He
collaborates with the fake messiah in Jerusalem to set up a middle
east peace called by Isaiah Israel's "covenant with death." This
treaty will fail, leading the the final war in the Middle East.
Now consider Revelation 17: the woman, "mystery Babylon the great" --
the harlot church of the end time and the symbol also of world-wide
economic/political corruption, rides on the back of the first beast.
That is, the new European state will support the false church--but
only for a brief season of history. Neither beast in Revelation 13 is
descriptive of the false church.
This final apostasy all happens after the removal of the true church
at the Rapture. The harlot church will be a coalesced union of all
the apostasy in all the churches. The Catholic Church, which has
roots in the Church of Thyatira, will certainly be the focal point
for this final apostasy. However, right now Thyatira remains one of
the legitimate "seven churches" --which are representative of all the
churches of Christendom. By way or comparison, Scripture does not
have much long-term commendation for the church of Sardis which
church sprang from the Reformation.
Visitors to your web site who have updated their eschatology from the
limited views of the Reformers will surely be aware that the Pope can
not be the antichrist and that apostasy in the church is occurring in
all branches, not merely among the Roman Catholics. So one should be
even-handed in critiquing the visible, professing church, don't you
From your web site I can tell what you are against, but I can't tell
what you are for--unless it is for your own opinions and superior
"Love covers a multitude of sins." It is not enough to quote a few
Scriptures about love, which you did when you wrote us this week. If
we don't live out truth in our daily lives, we are disqualified from
speaking with any real authority. I see you as very self-righteous
and arrogant--yet very naive about who God really is. It is very sad
to see you making a fool of yourself. But of course that can be
corrected if you are willing to experience God as your own refining
> My response: Just when I thought I had heard it all, the Paraclete Forum
> breaks new ground in heresy! It is with this inane, blasphemous,
> Christ-slandering remark that I shall deal today.
> I answer with Scripture alone.
And without the aid of any strings, wires or lubricants of any kind!
PS: "Have I therefore become your enemy by telling you the truth?" (Gal 4:16)
My real point is that if we make statements towards people like
this, they should be positive ones. Engaging in the polemics is
kind of silly to me. As I wrote:
We are open to exhortation, but I believe we concur, at least in
general, that no one person has all the truth, no matter how linear
his logic might be. While I admire Calvin's thinking (the extremely
linear kind of logic of the Institutes that is forced to claim that
other interpretations are wrong, and therefore heretical [if x is
true, then not x is false; so, if we are saved by grace, we cannot
be saved by our free will]), I cannot accept any view that (a)
teaches in strictly dogmatic form how to interpret scriptures (like
the tension of truth that exists between freewill and
predestination) and reconcile those troublesome scriptures that
don't fit the dogma/theory and that (b) patently tells me that my
eyes, intellect, and ability to call on the Holy Spirit in order to
interpret scriptures myself are insufficient. I do not need Calvin
or this man in order to understand what the Scripture teaches (answering
the fool according to his folly).
What we do accept is our humanity, God's grace, and His personal
revelation of Himself, the Bible, and not necessarily in that order.
I am also convinced that the first step to real heresy (and not
just a difference of opinion) is when one particular person claims
to have special insight, knowledge, and/or authority. This type of
person consciously positions him/herself as superior, contrary to
the example of Jesus as a servant.
I know Ray Stedman understood the difference. Having God's calling as a
pastor/teacher is an awesome responsibility, and it must be
accompanied by the fruits of the Spirit. Otherwise, it is the
knowledge that puffs up and the kind that engenders needless
controversies and divisions--it is intentionally divisive (doctrines
of men) . None of us really knows God's Word as God does--how silly
to even think such a thought. We all have to interpret. And,
without the Holy Spirit, we are all lost, individually and
collectively. If we don't come to the task with our faces on the
ground in absolute humility, then we will be held up to tremendous
judgment, and that is exactly what I fear for this dude.
Oh, well. Maybe it's just our egos wanting to plant a big, fat,
over-ripe tomato right in this guy's kisser, figuratively, of course.