The great majority of people of the world still live under the mystical authority of the Antichrist. We are told that salvation, and the Kingdom of God, will not arrive on earth until the Antichrist has been revealed and destroyed by the Spirit of The Christ's mouth. (See 2 Thess 2:8 NEB).
Recently, I came upon the writings of John Bunyan, who wrote at some length about the Antichrist, and I have quoted from these writings below. My own writings on this subject began on December 14th 1976 to reveal the evil activities of the Antichrist: The composite "man of lawlessness" described in second Thessalonians 2:1-12 (NWT). Further information may be obtained from:
Antichrist is the adversary of Christ; an adversary really, a friend pretendedly: So then, Antichrist is one that is against Christ; one that is for Christ, and one that is contrary to him: (And this is that mystery of iniquity. (2 Thess 2:7). Against him in deed; for him in word, and contrary to him in practice. Antichrist is so proud as to go before Christ; so humble as to pretend to come after him, and so audacious as to say that himself is he. Antichrist will cry up Christ; Antichrist will cry down Christ: Antichrist will proclaim that himself is one above Christ. Antichrist is the man of sin, the son of perdition...
Christ is the Son of God; Antichrist is the son of Hell.
Christ is holy, meek, and forbearing: Antichrist is wicked, outrageous, and exacting.
Christ seeks the good of the soul: Antichrist seeks his own avarice and revenge.
Christ is content to rule by His Word: Antichrist says, The Word is not sufficient.
Christ prefers his Father's Will above heaven and earth: Antichrist prefers himself and his traditions above all that is written, or that is called God, or worshipped.
Christ has given us such laws and rules as are helpful and healthful to the soul: Antichrist seeks to abuse those rules to our hurt and destruction.
Antichrist may be considered either more particularly, or more generally.
Again, Antichrist must be distinguished, with respect to his more internal and external parts; and so there is the spirit, soul, or life (1 John 4:3); and also the body and flesh of Antichrist. (2 Thess 2:7). The spirit, or soul, or life of Antichrist, is that spirit of error, that wickedness, that mystery of iniquity, that under colour and pretence of verity, draws men from truth to falsehood. The body or flesh of Antichrist, is that heap of men, that assembly of the wicked, that synagogue of satan that is acted and governed by that spirit. But God will destroy both soul and body; He 'shall consume the glory of his forest, and of his fruitful field, both soul and body: [or from the soul, even to the flesh] and they shall be [both soul and body] as when a standard-bearer faints.' (Isaiah 10:16-18).
A PARTICULAR DESCRIPTION OF ANTICHRIST.
The reason why Christ came into the world, was, that he might destroy all the works of the head of Antichrist, and they which he endeavours to complete by his wicked spirit working in his body. (1 John 3:8). And the reason why Antichrist came into the world, was, that the church, which is the body of Christ, might be tried, and made white by suffering under his tyranny, and by bearing witness against his falsehoods. For the trial of the faithful, and for the punishment of the world, Antichrist was admitted to come: But when he came, he first appeared there where one would have thought there had been no place nor corner for his reception.
WHERE ANTICHRIST FIRST APPEARED.
OF THE RUIN OF ANTICHRIST.
Besides, the text says plainly, The Lord shall destroy him (2 Thess 2:8), and that he goes into perdition... Also the church of God believes it, and the limbs of Antichrist fear it.
Now when, or as his time shall come to be destroyed, so he shall be made a hand of; and that with such instruments and weapons of God's indignation, as best shall be suited to his several parts.
Such weapons as are best for the destroying of his soul, shall be used for the destroying of it; and such weapons as are best for the destroying of his body, shall be made use of for the destroying of it.
THE SOUL OF IT DESTROYED, AND HOW.
This we have in the words of Paul: 'For [says he] the mystery of iniquity [the spirit of Antichrist] does already work: only he who now lets, will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that wicked [one] be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the Spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming'. (2 Thess 2:7,8). The Apostle here treats of Antichrist, with reference to his more subtle and spiritual part, since that indeed is the chiefest of Antichrist...
Now, by the Spirit of his mouth, I understand [to be] his holy word, which is called 'The word and breath of his lips'. (Isaiah 11:4). And also, 'The sword of his mouth'. (Rev 2:16). By 'the brightness of his coming,' I also understand, not only his presence, but an increase of light (2) by his presence; not only to help Christians to begin to bear witness against some parts and pieces of the errors of Antichrist, but until the whole is rooted out of the world. By this, I say, must the soul, spirit, or life of Antichrist be taken away. But how shall Christ by this rod, sword, or Spirit of his mouth, consume this wicked [one], this mystery of iniquity? Not by himself immediately, but by his Spirit and Word in his church; which he will use, and so manage in this work, that they shall not rest till he by them has brought this beast to his grave...
Hence you find again, that this wicked [one], is to melt and consume away as grease: For the Lord Jesus shall consume him, and cause him to melt away; not all at once, but now this part, and then that; now his soul, and after that his body even until soul and body are both destroyed... (3)
And in the meantime, this is the plague wherewith the Lord shall plague or smite the people that have fought against Jerusalem: 'Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.' (Zech 14:12)... True, the fogs of Antichrist... has darkened and eclipsed the glorious light of the gospel: But you know, in eclipses, when they are on the recovering hand, all the creatures upon the face of the earth cannot put a stop to that course, until the sun or the moon have recovered their glory. And thus it shall be now, the Lord is returned to visit the earth, and his people with his primitive lustre; he will not go back, nor slack his hand, until he has recovered what Antichrist has darkened of his. 'The anger of the Lord shall not return, until he have executed, and till he have performed the thoughts of his heart: in the latter days you shall consider it perfectly'. (Jer 23:20). Therefore he says again, 'The light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun [was in her eclipse;] and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day that the Lord binds up the breach of his people, and heals the stroke of their wound,' etc, as the verse before has it: 'In the day when the towers fall.' For (as was said before) as to the recovery of the light of the gospel from under antichristian mists, and fogs of darkness; Christ will do that, not by might nor power, but by the Spirit of his mouth, and the brightness of his coming: Wherefore the soul of Antichrist, or that spirit of wickedness by which this gospel-light has been diminished, must be consumed and destroyed by that Spirit also. Nor can any other way of conquest over that be thorough, and lasting; because that spirit can by no other means be slain. The body of Antichrist may be destroyed by other instruments, but spirits cannot be killed but by spirits. The temporal sword then may kill the body, but after that it has no more that it can do, wherefore, the other must be dealt with by another kind of weapon: And here is one sufficient, the Spirit against the spirit; the Spirit and face of Christ, (4) against the spirit, that wicked [one], of Antichrist. And by this Spirit of Christ's mouth, all the spirit that is in all the trinkets and wash of Antichrist shall also be destroyed; so that those trinkets, those rites, ceremonies, and ordinances of this man of sin, shall be left as carrion upon the face of the earth, and shall stink in the noses of men, as does the corrupted blood of a dead man.
THE ORDINANCES OF ANTICHRIST.
And hence, as the loss of our natural life is compared to the loss of these lights (Eccles 12:2); so the loss of the life, soul and spirit of Antichrist is compared to these things also. For, the soul of Antichrist is compared to a heaven; and her ordinances and rites, to the ordinances of heaven: wherefore, when the Lord comes to fight against him with the Spirit of his mouth, he says, 'The stars of heaven [shall be darkened], and the constellations thereof shall not give their light' (Isaiah 13:10); because he will slay that spirit of Antichrist that is in them. (Isaiah Ch.34) (Rev 6:13,14).
Take things therefore more distinctly, thus: The antichristians' spirit, is the heaven of antichristians; their sun, moon and stars, are their superstitious ordinances; (5) their earth is the body or flesh of Antichrist, otherwise called
the church and synagogue of
satan. Now as the earth cannot live, and be desirable, without the influences of the
Spirit of the heavens; so neither can Antichrist live, when the Lord shall darken the light of
his heaven, and shall slay the spirit thereof. Hence you read, as I touched before, that when his heaven shall be rolled together as a scroll, 'all the host thereof,' unto which I compare the ordinances of Antichrist, 'shall fall down, as the leaf falls off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig
Therefore, the first and chief proceeding of the Lord with the man of sin, is to slay his soul, that his body may also be consumed: And when the spirit of Antichrist shall be made to leave both the body and ordinances of Antichrist, 'twill be easy to deal both with the one and the other. And first, for the ordinances of Antichrist; because the spirit of error is in them, as well as in the body itself... We speak then of them with reference to men, not with respect to the very members of Antichrist: And I say, as to them, when the spirit of Antichrist is gone out of these ordinances, they will be with them as dry leaves that no body seeks after. The ordinances therefore of Antichrist are not able to bear up themselves in the world, as the ordinances of the Lord Jesus are, for even the ordinances of Christ, where the Spirit of Christ is not, are yet in some esteem with men: But THESE, when the spirit of delusion has left them, are abhorred, both skin and bones: For in themselves they are without any sense, or rationality (Ezek 20:25,26); yea, they look as parts of things which are used to conjure up devils with: These were prefigured by the ordinances that were NOT good, and by the judgements whereby one should not live. For what is there, or can there be of the least dram of truth or profit in the things that are without the Word, that being the only stamp by which one is distinguished from the other? I say, What is there in any of them, to the man whose eyes are open, but delusion (6) and deceit! Wherefore, as has been expressed already, when the Lord Christ, by the Spirit of his mouth, etc, shall drive this mystery of iniquity from them, and strip them of that spirit of delusion that now by its craft puts bewitching excellency upon them, they will of themselves become such stinking rivers, ponds and pools, that flesh and blood will loathe to drink of them; yea, as it was with the ponds and pools of Egypt, they will be fit for nought but to breed and hatch up frogs in.
Wherefore these ordinances shall be rejected, not one of them shall find favour with men on earth; when the Lord, 'by the Spirit of his mouth, and the brightness of his coming,' shall have separated their spirit from them.
Now, by ordinances of Antichrist, I do not intend things that only respect matters of worship in Antichrist's kingdom, but those civil laws that impose and enforce them also; yea, that enforce THAT worship... For these must, as the other, be overthrown by Christ, by the Spirit of his mouth, and the brightness of his coming: For these laws, as the other, took their being, and have their soul and life by the spirit of Antichrist; yea, as long as there is life in them, 'tis because the spirit of that man of sin yet remains in them. Wherefore, these are also great ordinances, though of another nature than those mentioned before: Great, I say, are they; forasmuch as neither the church of Antichrist, nor his instruments of worship, can either live or stand without them. Wherefore, it was admitted to the image of the beast, (7) not only to speak, but to cause. To speak out his laws of worship, 'and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast, should be killed' (Rev 13:15). And mark, this is because the life that was communicated to the image of the beast, was by him also communicated to his word and authority. Wherefore, these laws must not be separated from those in which the spirit of Antichrist is; yea, they are the very pillars and sinews by which antichristianism remains: And were these de-spirited, the whole building would quickly become a ruinous heap.
What could the king of Babylon's golden image (8) have done, had it not been for the burning fiery furnace that stood within view of the worshippers? (Dan Ch.3). Yea, what could that horrible command, to pray, for thirty days, to neither God nor man, but to the king, have done, had it not been for the dark den, and the roaring lions there in readiness to devour those that disobeyed it? (Dan Ch.6). As therefore the burning fiery furnace, and the den of lions, were the support of the horrible religion of the Babylonians of old; so popish edicts are the support of the religion of Antichrist now; and as long as there is spirit, that is, authority, in them, they are like to those now mentioned; the spirit of such laws is that that makes them dreadful: For as the furnace would have been next to nothing, if void of fire; and the den as little frightful, if destitute of lions; so these laws will be as insignificant, when Christ has slain that spirit that is in them; that spirit that causes that as many as will not worship the image of the beast, should be killed. (9)
Nor can any sword reach that life of Antichrist that is in these, but the sword of Christ's mouth: Therefore, as all the religious rites and ceremonies of Antichrist are overthrown by his Spirit working in his, as Christians; so those antichristian laws will have their soul and their life taken from them also by this Spirit of his mouth... and when his Son shall down with Antichrist, he will slay seven thousand names of men, as well as the persons of the worshippers of the beast. (Rev 11:13).
...Another thing that I would touch upon is this; to wit, the lying legends, and false miracles that Antichrist cries up: These, by the means of which such as dwell upon the earth are deceived, and made to adore and worship the beast: these have their life and soul (as had those mentioned before) from the spirit of wickedness; and must be destroyed as they, namely, by Christ, the Spirit of his mouth, and the brightness of his coming: for these are not of the body of Antichrist, but rather such implements, or whatever you will call them, by which the spirit and soul of Antichrist is conveyed into, and kept also alive in the body of Antichrist, which is the church and synagogue of satan; you may call them organs and means by which that wicked [one] works in the mysteries of iniquity, for the begetting of, and maintaining a lying and false belief of the religion of the beast: nor can it be thought, but that, as the antichristian statists of Antichrist, mentioned before, do put a dread and fear upon men that are worshippers of the beast, and his image, to the holding of them still to his service; so these legends and miracles do, on the other hand, abridge and bind their consciences to that worship; but all because of that spirit of Antichrist that is in them.
So then, here is the spirit of Antichrist diffusing itself into all the things pertaining to the kingdom of the beast; for it dwells in the body of Antichrist; it dwells in the matters and things of worship of Antichrist; it dwells in the titles and names that are antichristian; and it dwells in the laws, legends and miracles of Antichrist. And as it is the spirit of Antichrist, so it must be destroyed; not by sword, nor by bow, but by Christ, as fighting against it with the Spirit of his mouth, and as conquering of it by the brightness of his coming.
THE BODY OF ANTICHRIST DESTROYED, AND HOW.
And this is to be destroyed, either as it is a body mystical, or under the more gross consideration.
First, As it is a body mystical, and so it is to be destroyed absolutely.
Secondly, As it is to be considered more grossly, and so it is to be destroyed conditionally. That is, if repentance does not save the men that have gone to the making up of this body, and to the rejoicing in it.
As she is a body mystical, (10) so she is to be destroyed the same way that the things of Antichrist, of which we discoursed before, were to be destroyed; to wit, by Christ, the Spirit of his mouth, and the brightness of his coming.
This then is the sum, as to this: That the church of Antichrist, as a church, shall be destroyed by the word and
Spirit of Christ. Nor can anything in heaven prevent it, because the strong God has decreed it: 'and a mighty angel took up a stone, like a great mill-stone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.' (Rev 18:21). This city, Babylon, is here sometimes considered in the whole, and sometimes as to the parts of it; but always, whether in whole, or in part, as some, or else as the whole of the antichristian church; and as such, it must not be destroyed but by the means aforesaid. By which means her witchcrafts, spiritual whoredoms, spiritual murders, thefts, and blasphemies, shall be so detected and made manifest, so laid open, and so discovered, that the nations shall abhor her, flee from her, and buy her merchandise no more. (Rev 18:11). Hence her tempting things rot, and moulder away; for these will not keep, they are things not lasting, but that perish in the using: what then will they do when they are laid by? Therefore it follows, 'All things which were [your] dainty and goodly [ones] are departed from
you shall find them no more at all.' (Rev 18:14). Now, if when she had things to trade with, her dealers left her; how shall she think of a trade, when she has nothing to traffic with? Her things are slain, and stink already, by the weapons that are made mention of before; what then will her carcass do? It follows then, that as to her church
But as she must, with reference to her body, be considered mystically as a church; so also she must be considered as a body of men, (11) (this is that which I called more grossly,) and as such, against whom the wrath of God will burn, and against whom, if repentance prevent not, He will have indignation for ever. These, I saw are them; to wit, as they are the body of the people, that have been seduced by this spirit of Antichrist, that have been made use of to do all the mischiefs that have been done both to true religion... wherefore these must not escape. Wherefore you find, that after Antichrist, as to the spirit and mystery of Antichrist, is slain, that the body of Antichrist, or the heap of people that became her vassals, come next to be dealt withal. (12)
Therefore, the angel that stands in the sun, makes a proclamation to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, to gather themselves, and to come unto the supper of the great God; that they may eat the flesh of the several sorts of the men that have been the lovers, the countenancers, the upholders and defenders of her antichristian state, worship, and falsehoods (Rev 19:17,18): for [the] abundance of their hearts shall be hardened, and made yet more obdurate, that they may be destroyed for the wickedness that they have done.
Wherefore, you find (as did the enemies of the church of old,) that they might revenge themselves for the loss of their idol, or antichristian state, begin a new war with the king, whose name is the Lord of Hosts: 'And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.' (Rev 19:19).
Their implacable malice remained when their church-state was gone; wherefore they will now at last make another attempt upon the men that had been the instruments in Christ's hand to torment them that dwelt on the earth; of which more hereafter.
Now therefore is the last stroke of the matter, with reference to the destroying of the body of Antichrist; only the head of this monster remains, and that is SATAN himself: wherefore, the next news that we hear, is, that he is taken also: 'And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the Dragon, that old serpent, which is the devil, and satan, and bound him a thousand years, and cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled,' etc. (Rev 20:1-3).
BRAVE DAYS WHEN ANTICHRIST IS DEAD.
There will be a strange alteration when Antichrist is dead, and that both in the church [of God], and in the world. The church and the members of it then, shall wear the name of their God in their foreheads; that is, they shall be bold in the profession of their King, and their God; yea, it shall be their glory to be Godly; and... the praise of the whole earth shall the church of God be in those days.
Then there shall no more be a Canaanite in the House of the Lord: no lion shall be there; the unclean shall no more tread in the paths of God's people, but the ransomed of the Lord shall walk there.
Glory that has not been seen nor heard of by the people that used to walk in sackcloth, shall now be set in the land of the living. For as it was said of Christ, with reference to his day; so it shall be said of saints, with reference to this day: many kings and righteous men have desired to see the things that will be seen then, and shall not see them: but without all doubt, the men that shall be born at this time, will consider that these glories, and liberties, and privileges of theirs, cost the people that... suffered the trials, troubles and tyranny of the antichristian generation, more groans and hearty wishes, than they did them that shall enjoy them...
Oh! now shall the church walk in the light of the Lord, and sit every man under his vine, and under his fig-tree, and none shall make him afraid!
'For the Lord will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land: and the strangers shall be joined with them, and they shall cleave to the house of Jacob. And the people shall take them, and bring them to their place: and the house of Israel shall possess them in the land of the Lord for servants and handmaids: And they shall take them captives, whose captives they were; and they shall rule over their oppressors. And it shall come to pass in the day that the Lord shall give you rest from your sorrow, and from your fear, and from the hard bondage wherein you were made to serve, that you shall take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say, How has the oppressor ceased! the golden city, (or the exactress of gold) ceased! The Lord has broken the staff of the wicked, and the sceptre of the rulers. He who smote the people in wrath with a continual stroke, he that ruled the nations in anger, is persecuted, and none hinders. The whole earth is at rest, and is quiet: they break forth into singing. Yea, the fir trees rejoice at you, and the cedars of Lebanon, saying, Since you are laid down, no feller is come up against us.' (Isaiah 14:1-8).
Also the world will now be (as it were) another thing than it was in the days of Antichrist... Now the world shall return and discern between the righteous and the wicked; yea, they shall cleave to, and countenance the people of God, being persuaded, as Laban was of Jacob, that the Lord will bless them for His people's sakes: for at this day, 'the remnant of Jacob shall be [among the Gentiles] in the midst of many people, as a dew from the Lord, as the showers upon the grass, that tarries not for man, nor waits for the sons of men.' (Micah 5:7).
Also in these days men shall come flocking into the House of God... as the doves do to their windows: and for that cause it is spoken to the church, with reference to the latter days, saying, 'Enlarge the place of your tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of your habitations: spare not, lengthen your cords, and strengthen your stakes; for you shall break forth on the right hand, and on the left; and your seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited.' (Isaiah 54:2,3).
Now will be broken up those prophecies and promises that to this day lie as under lock and key, and that cannot be opened until they be fulfilled. Now will the Spirit of God be poured forth abundantly; and our rivers shall be in high places, that is, shall break forth from the hearts of great ones; yea, then shall our waters be made deep... for men 'shall see eye to eye, when the Lord shall bring again Zion.' (14) (Isaiah 52:8).
...Now the church of God shall read with great plainness the depths of providence, and the turnings and windings of all God's... intricate dispensations, through which she has waded in the cloudy and dark day: now, I say, they shall see there was an harmony in them; and that if one of them had been wanting, the work and way of her deliverance could not have been so full of the wisdom, and justice, and goodness of God; wherefore now will that song be sung with clearer notes than ever: 'Great and marvellous are Your works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are Your ways, You King of Saints. Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your Name? For You only are holy: for all nations shall come and worship before You; for Your judgments are made manifest.' (Rev 15:3,4). And again, 'For true and righteous are His judgments: For he has judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and has avenged the blood of His servants at her hand.' (Rev 19:2).
OF THE MANNER OF THE RUIN OF ANTICHRIST.
There is the downfall, the time of the downfall, and the manner of the downfall of Antichrist.
The manner of the downfall of Antichrist, may be considered, either with respect to the suddenness, unexpectedness, terribleness, or strangeness thereof. It may also be considered with respect to the way of God's procedure with her, as to the gradualness thereof. As to the suddenness thereof, 'tis said to be in an hour. It is also to be, when by her unexpected; for then she says, 'I sit a queen.' (Rev 18:7,8). For the terribleness of it, the nations shall shake at the sound of her fall... And for the strangeness thereof, it shall be to the wonder of the world (Isaiah 14:12), it will be as when God overthrew Sodom.
But I shall not enlarge upon this method in my discourse, but shall show you the manner of the ruin of Antichrist, with respect to the gradualness thereof. (Rev 18:8. Isaiah 47:9).
Antichrist then shall be brought to ruin gradually; that is, by degrees: A part after a part; here a fenced city, and there a high tower, even until she is made to lie even with the ground. And yet all shall be within the compass of God's days, hours, or moments; for within the compass of these limited times Antichrist shall be destroyed.
(Introduction and footnotes by R.Thomas. 17/9/02.