Pope Benedict XVI’s End Time Eisegesis

By Cris Putnam
Pope Benedict XVI preached on the Olivet discourse on Sunday 11/18/2012 in St. Peter’s Square. I guess its not too surprising that he twisted the text to mean something completely alien to its context but conforming to the works oriented righteousness of Romanism. Let’s keep in mind, “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.”(Ga 1:8) as we examine his explanation:

Jesus speaks of a future that is beyond our categories, and because of this Jesus uses images and words taken from the Old Testament, but, importantly, he inserts a new center, namely, himself, the mystery of his person and his death and resurrection. Today’s passage too opens with some cosmic images of an apocalyptic nature: “The sun will be darkened, the moon will no longer give its light, the stars will fall from the sky and the powers in the skies will be shaken” (Mark 13:24-25); but this element is relativized by what follows: “Then the Son of Man will come upon the clouds in the sky with great power and glory” (13:26). The “Son of Man” is Jesus himself, who links the present with the future; the ancient words of the prophets have finally found a center in the person of the Messiah of Nazareth: he is the central event that, in the midst of the troubles of the world, remains the firm and stable point.

Another passage from today’s Gospel confirms. Jesus says: “The sky and the earth will pass away but my words will not pass away” (13:31). In fact, we know that in the Bible the word of God is at the origin of creation: all creatures, starting with the cosmic elements – sun, moon, sky – obey God’s Word, they exist insofar as they are “called” by it. This creative power of the divine Word (“Parola”) is concentrated in Jesus Christ, the Word (“Verbo”) made flesh, and also passes through his human words, which are the true “sky” that orients the thought and path of man on earth. For this reason Jesus does not describe the end of the world and when he uses apocalyptic images he does not conduct himself like a “visionary.” On the contrary, he wants to take away the curiosity of his disciples in every age about dates and predictions and wishes instead to give them a key to a deep, essential reading, and above all to indicate the right path to take, today and tomorrow, to enter into eternal life. Everything passes – the Lord tells us – but God’s Word does not change, and before this Word each of us is responsible for his conduct. It is on this basis that we will be judged.

Pope Benedict XVI “On the Coming of the Son of Man” http://www.zenit.org/article-35982?l=english

It is because this sort of nonsense that the term eisegesis was coined. It means reading meaning into a text rather than reading a meaning from a text.  Its really so bad its hard to know where to start but I bolded two major errors. First, when Jesus said the he would come on the clouds with great glory he was referencing the son of Man passage in Daniel’s vision (Dan 7:13). He indeed identified himself as divine. Yet, Pope Benedict seems to deny that Jesus is speaking of cosmic judgement at His return. Yet that is exactly what he is speaking of, in fact, he was answering a question about the signs of his coming and (in direct contradcition to the infallible pope) the end of the world.

And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?(Mt 24:3, KJV)

Doesn’t it seem odd that Jesus is addressing the very thing the pope says he is not? And finally, the pontiff just abandons the text entirely and spins it toward Romanist heresy with this canard, ” before this Word each of us is responsible for his conduct. It is on this basis that we will be judged” Anyone who is judged on his conduct will be cast into eternal hell, even our most righteous acts are like filthy rags (Isa 64:6). It is only those who have accepted that authentic Gospel who will have the righteousness of Christ imputed to them. A few passages come to mind:

“And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness,” (Ro 4:5)

“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.(2 Co 5:21)

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God”,(Eph 2:8)

In justification God imputes the righteousness of Christ to the believer, which cancels God’s judgment on the believer. It’s not based on conduct rather faith in Christ. “For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law.” (Ro 3:28)

Be warned, the pope is preaching a false Gospel that leads to damnation.




Testing the Spirits (part 3) – Rome’s Marian Dogma

By Cris Putnam
Finishing up the Testing the Spirits series (see part 1 and part 2) we now discuss the third test in 1 John 4: Does it conform to the apostolic teaching in the New Testament? “We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.” (1 Jn 4:6) Now I think it is fair to assume when John writes, “listens to us,” he means himself and his fellow apostles who knew Jesus during his three year earthy ministry. Thus, for this final test we ask, when you bring God’s word to bear upon the teaching and those teaching it, does it agree and do they respond to it?

Jesus warned us “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.”(Mt 7:15) This applies even if they work miracles, so be cautious, “For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.”(Mt 24:24) Jesus is telling us that miracles can be deceptive, this is hard because many people report things that seem beneficial like healings, but even so you must compare their ideas to biblical doctrine. This can be especially difficult when you see what appears to be good fruit.

Every year, nearly 6 million pilgrims visit Lourdes, France because “Mary” was said to appear there. People report being healed from diseases and see apparitions of Mary. However, few Catholics are aware of the dubious origin of “Our Lady of Lourdes.” The apparition first appeared to an impressionable teenager, Bernadette Soubirous under very questionable circumstances. But what is astounding is that Bernadette originally never believed it to be Mary until she was pressured by a local priest. I quote from Lynn Picknett’s excellent work on the paranormal, Flight’s of Fancy:

In February 1858, fourteen-year-old Bernadette Soubirous had discovered a strange creature, apparently suspended between the branches of a tree. It glowed, smiled and beckoned. The future Catholic Saint did not, as in the Hollywood version, fall enraptured to her knees, but ran home to grab a bottle of holy water to throw at ‘that thing’, as she called the vision. She believed it to be a demon, sent by the devil to lure her to doom, and perhaps she was right.

…She took her extraordinary secret to the parish priest, the only man of letters she knew. History might have taken a different turn, had he not been a fierce defender of Mariolatry at a time when the status of the Virgin was being challenged within the Catholic Church.[1]

The priest transformed this phantasm into evidence for the Marian phenomenon and the rest is history. Astonishingly, Bernadette was heralded as a mystic, canonized as a saint in 1933, and even given her own feast day on the sixteenth of April.  But how does Marian theology match up with the apostolic teaching?

Grotto at the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes, France

Perhaps the clearest evidence that the Catholic view of Mary is legendary rather than historical is how the Marian mythology has evolved over time. Whereas the doctrine of Christ has remained stable since the early creeds, Marian dogma continues to evolve: 1) in 431, she was called the “Mother of God”; 2) by 600, prayers were officially offered to Mary; 3) in 649, Pope Martin I stressed the perpetual nature of Mary’s virginity declaring her the “blessed ever-virginal and immaculate Mary”; 4) in 1854 came the dogmatic assertion of the Immaculate Conception (that she was born sinless); 5) in 1950, we have the Assumption of Mary (her body was taken to heaven); 6) as recently as 1965, she was proclaimed “Mother of the Church”; 7) currently there is an earnest campaign to proclaim Mary as “Co-Redemptrix Mediatrix of All Graces” and “Advocate for the People of God.” (The latter is widely accepted and taught but has not been dogmatized due to the potential negative repercussions for ecumenism.) While number one can be uncontroversial when interpreted within the constraints of biblical theology, the dogmas of perpetual virginity, sinlessness, Immaculate Conception, bodily assumption, and mediatorship, along with the veneration of Mary and her images, are wholly inconsistent with Scripture. In lieu of the more extended discussion in my book with Tom Horn Petrus Romanus we examine the latter “Co-Redemptrix Mediatrix of All Graces” in light of John’s admonition to test the spirits against the apostolic teaching.

Mary was given the title “Mediatrix” in the papal bull “Ineffabilis” of Pope Pius IX, the same document that proclaimed her immaculate conception. In 2012, Pope Benedict XVI affirmed this blasphemy when he referred to her as “the mediator of God’s blessing for the world.” Rome’s theologians argue it is an inference from her role in the incarnation of the God-man Christ Jesus. They further claim she had a role in His sacrifice on the cross to God the Father for the sake of the redemption of mankind. While there is nothing in the Bible to support it, they extend the role to the more demanding sense that, after her death, “Mary’s intercessory co-operation extends to all graces, which are conferred on mankind, so that no grace accrues to men, without the intercession of Mary.”[2] This is untenable and idolatrous. Let’s compare a few more Scriptures with Rome’s increasingly Marian mythology.

Sacred Scripture (underline added) Roman Dogma (underline added)
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (Jn 14:6).


“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Mt 11:28).

“From that great treasure of all graces, which the Lord has brought, nothing, according to the will of God, comes to us except through Mary, so that, as nobody can approach the Supreme Father except through the Son, similarly nobody can approach Christ except through the Mother.” —Pope Leo 13th[3]
“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it [He] shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel” (Ge 3:15).


“And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen” (Ro 16:20).


“All our hope do we repose in the most Blessed Virgin—in the all fair and immaculate one who has crushed the poisonous head of the most cruel serpent and brought salvation to the world: in her who is the glory of the prophets and apostles, the honor of the martyrs, the crown and joy of all the saints.” —Pope Pius IX [4]
“For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven” (Col 1:19–20).


“In the power of the grace of Redemption merited by Christ, Mary, by her spiritual entering into the sacrifice of her Divine Son for men, made atonement for the sins of men, and (de congruo) merited the application of the redemptive grace of Christ. In this manner she co-operates in the subjective redemption of mankind.”[5]
“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” (1 Ti 2:5).


“Mary is the Mediatrix of all graces by her intercession in Heaven (Mediatio in speciali). Since her assumption into Heaven, Mary co-operates in the application of the grace of Redemption to man.”[6]



While the last example is particularly offensive, according to Walter Martin, official Catholic sources have formulated it in even more blasphemous language as, “There is one Mediator between Christ and men, the Holy Mother Mary. Mary is the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to Jesus but by Mary.”[7] This astonishing phrasing has the earmark of the demonic as it is deliberately designed to mock 1Timothy 2:5 and John 14:6 by usurping Christ’s unique role and authority. No matter what visions, emotional passions, and physical healings are associated with the Marian paranormal phenomenon, it is not from God.

As if this is not bad enough, the majority of Romanists now position the imposter as “Coredemptrix,” implying that she is involved in the task of saving sinners. While savvy Catholic theologians are hesitant to sign on, the title is tacitly approved by the Catholic Magisterium. In a 1918, Pope Benedict XV wrote:

As the blessed Virgin Mary does not seem to participate in the public life of Jesus Christ, and then, suddenly appears at the stations of his cross, she is not there without divine intention. She suffers with her suffering and dying son, almost as if she would have died herself. For the salvation of mankind, she gave up her rights as the mother of her son and sacrificed him for the reconciliation of divine justice, as far as she was permitted to do. Therefore, one can say, she redeemed with Christ the human race.[8]

It is because of arguments like this that the term non sequitur was invented. Mary did not allow Christ to die on the cross; she certainly would have prevented it if she could have. Did she suffer for our sins? In John 19, Jesus speaks to Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of Cleophas, the Apostle John, and His mother Mary. I’m sure it was terrible for the others as well. Does it follow that they all suffered for our sins as well? She did not give up her rights as mother, the Roman authorities arrested Jesus, she had no choice in the matter and she certainly did not redeem anyone. Do Catholic leaders not see the fallacious special pleading in this sophomoric reasoning? It is hard to believe an alleged intellectual would publicly advance such poor argumentation. It seems, in the stupefying spirit of antichrist, the pope went to extravagantly inept lengths to diminish Christ’s redemptive work.

Unfortunately, it has only festered since. According to a 1997 Newsweek cover story, Pope John Paul II had “received 4,340,429 signatures from 157 countries—an average of 100,000 a month—supporting the proposed dogma. Among the notable supporters are Mother Teresa of Calcutta, nearly 500 bishops and 42 cardinals, including John O’Connor of New York, Joseph Glemp of Poland and half a dozen cardinals at the Vatican itself.”[9] The Marian phenomenon has increased significantly since then and it seems the only reason the title has not been officially dogmatized is in deference to ecumenism. The apparition that appears to thousands now calls itself the “Coredemptrix.”[10] Clearly, this phantom femme fatale is an ambitious usurper of Christ’s unique and incomparable role. This is unmistakably in the spirit of antichrist.



The latter half of this post is excerpted from the book I co-authored with Tom Horn, Petrus Romanus, which contains a more thorough examination of Marian dogmas as well as other Catholic teachings. If you would like a signed copy please order here.


[1] Lynn Picknett, Flights of Fancy (London: Ward Lock, 1987), 82-83.

[2] Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, 213.

[3] Pope Leo XIII, Rosary Encyclical, “Octobri mense” (1891) as quoted in Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, 213.

[4] Pope Pius IX, “Ineffabilis Deus,” Papal Encyclicals Online, December 8, 1854, viewable here: last accessed January 5, 2012, http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Pius09/p9ineff.htm.

[5] Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, 213.

[6] Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, 213.

[7] Walter Martin, The Roman Catholic Church in History (Livingston, NJ: Christian Research Institute, 1960), 49.

[8] Pope Benedict XV, Apostolic Letter Inter Soldalica, AAS 1918, 181.

[9] Kenneth L Woodward and Andrew Murr, “Hail Mary,” Newsweek, Vol. 130 Issue 8, (08/25/97), 48.

[10] Amsterdam, “Lady of All Nations,” channeled messages by Ida Peerdeman. For more information, see: last accessed, January 24, 2012, http://www.ladyofallnations.org/dogma.htm.

Darkness to Light, the Petrus Apologetic

By Cris Putnam
I am sure most of my readers are well aware that our book Petrus Romanus is about end time prophecy, specifically how biblical prophecy intersects with Saint Malachy’s prophecy of the popes. However, the book Petrus Romanus is much more than a book about prophecy and church history, it is also a book of apologetics.  A large portion of my effort in that volume was devoted to addressing issues like the Petrine doctrine, apostolic succession, transubstantiation, the sacramental system, relics, hagiolatry and Mariolatry. These are all Roman Catholic practices which I feel not only deviate from biblical doctrine but contradict and subvert it in many ways. An apologist is charged to refute false doctrines.

One distinction that I endeavored to make clear in the preface of the book was the difference between criticizing ideas and attacking people albeit the division was promptly disregarded by many Catholics. When one surveys the reviews at Amazon.com, for instance, it’s either all or nothing. As of this writing there are 154 five stars and forty with one star. The one star reviews are invariably Roman Catholics who took offense, many taking it personally and none of them address the biblical arguments. The fact that this book was going to address these issues from a protestant paradigm of biblical theology was made crystal clear in the preface. Even more, in that preface, I offered four caveats (paraphrased from book):

We want to extend this invitation to everyone including Roman Catholics. Accordingly, a few caveats are in order.

  • First, this book does not argue that all Roman Catholics are un-Christian, our intention is not to “Catholic bash” in a book about the Final Pope, but to sound a dire warning to all.
  • Second, we are not arguing exactly as the reformers, that the papacy is necessarily the Antichrist. Even so, it was a definitive doctrine which has been quietly swept under the rug of history.
  • Third, we are not setting dates for the tribulation or return of Christ. Let us phrase it more emphatically lest someone misunderstand: We do not claim to know when the Lord will return.
  • Fourth, the Prophecy of the Popes has a somewhat dubious origin and the Vatican has a demonstrable track record of forgery and revisionist history. We have simply investigated and followed the evidence where it led. This book is our submission of that research for your consideration.

Apparently, many of the Amazon reviewers did not bother to read the preface before they dug in, (it’s always advisable to read prefaces and introductions). Even so, with all of this made clear upfront, we did design the book in a certain sequence for a reason. We wanted Catholics to read it, so we placed the Malachy discussion upfront and lead them toward the apologetics. We wanted them to understand the incoherence of the Petrine doctrine and the ambitious power mad ruse perpetrated by the papacy. We wanted Catholic readers to be informed about the history of the popes who worshiped the devil and the recent charges of Vatican insider, Malachi Martin, that Satanists were deeply entrenched in Rome. We felt it important to demonstrate the necoromantric nature of hagiolatry and relics. We devoted an entire chapter to Mariolatry and presented a case that the apparition that is usurping the role of Christ by asserting itself as coredemptrix has absolutely no relation to the humble Jewish mother of Jesus in the New Testament. I believe we made a convincing case using the Bible as our primary source. The beginning of chapter 13 states, “We hope Catholics understand that the highest expression of love is grounded in truth. We believe that the Roman Catholic Church is the most fertile mission field in the world” (p. 293). Today, I am pleased to offer a recent testimony as a demonstration of that spiritual fruit.

A couple months ago I received this comment on my site:

Hello! I am a Catholic and I have just read your book, “Petrus Romanus”. This is a real eye-opener for me that I am seriously considering leaving the Catholic faith. I am in a spiritual dilemma right now–which church do I now turn to if this is even necessary? Can I just pray and read the Bible on my own without having to seek out a church with a pastor? Non-Catholics are persecuted in my family and country.

I am going to protect this persons identity, because whether American Catholics acknowledge it or not, the inquisition is alive and well in the third world.  I have been counseling this reader for a while now and they are in real danger from the Catholic Church in their area.

  I am currently in a confused state not only because of some of the Marian apparitions mentioned in your book. First, the prophesies delivered in Fatima are very accurate (i.e. apostasy within the church, the errors of Russia–Communisim–spreading all over the world, the world wars, etc.). This apparition warns us of danger that goes hand-in-hand with the writings of Nostradamus as well as other Marian apparitions. In this light, how could we say that we cannot give credibility to what it is saying? Can it still be demonic considering that it is warning us to go back to God or else all evil will break loose?  I am very open to moving away from Catholicism because there are also many things I don’t approve of (rhetoric prayers, the evil people running the church and its equally evil members, the emphasis on doctrinal classes instead of scriptural classes, the emphasis on tradition, etc.); however, I am being held back because of the ones I mentioned above: the Fatima apparition, the saints’ experiences.

Although this exchange is edited for the sake of brevity, I offered this:

Remember the fortune teller in Acts 16?

“As we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners much gain by fortune-telling. She followed Paul and us, crying out, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation.” And this she kept doing for many days. Paul, having become greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And it came out that very hour.(Ac 16:16–18)

This spirit also said things that were true and even said that Paul and Silas “are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation.” But it was demonic spirit that Paul cast out!  I pray you will find the truth. I am very concerned that the apparition phenomenon is leading people astray. It may say many good things and even seem to predict the future. I do not think Fatima or any of the apparitions have anything to do with Jesus’ mother, a simple Jewish woman named Mariam. I attached an article. Also, here is a nicely produced documentary that may be helpful:

We went back and forth a little and I then one day I received this amazing email:

Thank you, Cris. As of today, I have given all the Marian statues, etc. in our house to the local parish. It’s a big step for me. I don’t feel comfortable destroying them so I just gave them away. I still have crucifixes though so I think these should be alright.

Praise God that she got rid of all of the Marian idols and started trying other churches:

The Catholic church is very powerful here. The church controls the government decisions and can even overturn a government! My children study in an IB Jesuit school because it’s one of the best schools here so far so many traditions have been enforced in their students. Everyone is influenced. Last night, when my brother found out that I didn’t go to Mass, his response was, with a wagging finger, “That’s a mortal sin!!!” (I shall go to hell if I die without going to Confession for it). My youngest son has always been so bothered because of the slightest sins; he would worry about hell and dying that he would clutch his scapular and make it into an amulet. He would even wake up in the middle of the night worrying about his heart stopping and forgetting how to breathe. Yesterday, I removed his scapular to give him peace of mind. It’s alarming how this religion could make us, even a little child, paranoid about death, hell and purgatory! It doesn’t make **** any happier either considering the endless novenas and rosaries recited every day to ensure the success of our family business; in fact, *** is depressed and wants his life to end!

I am giving you permission to write about my story and how oppressive the church is in this country. If one isn’t a Catholic in Philippines, the majority will treat you differently (in another area of the country, one has to be Muslim).

Notice, the utter spiritual slavery experienced by someone under the sacramental system. Even a child lives in terror from Romanism. I edited the personal details to protect their identity. “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery” (Ga 5:1). Praise God, that they moved from darkness to light left and are now visiting new churches!

Thank you, Cris! I visited a different church and the experience made me have peace of mind (which was what I needed).  Instead of the usual worry-wart me, I became very calm and relaxed all throughout the week despite the challenges at work (last-minute things that would usually stress me out).  I prayed more for the things I needed during the week and to my pleasant surprise, I would either receive a phone call/text message or an unexpected answer seconds after praying!  It’s really wonderful to see God’s response; it seemed like He was directly speaking to me. I shall be visiting another church tomorrow called *****.

As of this writing, I was able to get a missionary from my denomination to contact this person and they are now working with them personally. I thank God that our book Petrus Romanus is being used to lead folks on the other side of the world out of darkness and idolatry. Please pray that it continues to bear fruit.


While supplies last, I am offering signed copies along with the data DVD containing a library of  original source documents.

Petrus Romanus: The Papacy as Antichrist

By Cris D. Putnam

The idea that the pope or office of the papacy is the biblical Antichrist offends modern sensibility. Contemporary culture elevates political correctness as a cardinal virtue albeit many of its staunchest proponents are intolerant of those who advocate objective truth. It seems pluralism rules the day in religious discourse. Even in evangelical circles, ecumenism disavows such an idea. However, protestant tradition is not politically correct. The purpose of this series is to survey the history of the notion that the papacy fulfills the prophetic descriptions of Antichrist and to follow the data where it leads. This presentation will first give a broad overview and summary of the biblical data and then it will offer a sampling of significant Protestants who have contended for the idea. Two noteworthy proponents, Francis Turretin and Charles Hodge, will be discussed more thoroughly. Finally, a brief discussion will be offered on contemporary responses and conclusions will be drawn. While the argument that the papacy fulfills the prophecies of the Antichrist is sound and compelling, it seems unwarranted to conclude that it does so exclusively.

The Antichrist in Prophecy

The concept of antichrist traces back to Israelite history where Israel as the chosen people of God were threatened or opposed by a pagan Kings. For example, concerning the Babylonian King, Isaiah writes, “You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north” (Is 14:13). Ezekiel paints a similar portrait of the King of Tyre (28:2) and Gog of Magog (38-39). This self-proclaimed apotheosis is also found in the “little horn” of Daniel 7 and 8. Even more, it is seen in Daniel 11:36-37. Antiochus IV Epiphanes who desecrated the second temple typifies the eschatological figure and the infamous “abomination of desolation” is seemingly spoken of as future event by Jesus (Mt 24:15). This deified tyrant figure appears in the New Testament in Paul’s description of the “man of lawlessness” who “proclaims himself to be God” (2 Th 2:4). In John’s Apocalypse, he is the beast from the abyss whose image is idolatrously worshipped (13:1-18). In Mark 13:22, Jesus warns near the time of his return that false Christs (pseudochristoi) and false prophets (pseudoprophētai) will deceive people by doing signs and wonders (cf. Matt 7:15; 24:11, 23–24). These texts form a composite picture from which scholars and expositors have formed a model of who this is and how he might manifest.

The Greek term antichristos can be taken two ways as “opponent of Christ” or as “false Christ.” This is due to the twofold meaning of the prefix “anti.” It can mean “against” or “instead of.”[1] It is only used explicitly in 1 John 2:18.22; 4:3; 2 John 7, and in other apocryphal Christian literature. If we look to John’s epistles we see that antichrist is defined as “he who denies the Father and the Son” (1 Jn 2:22b). This meets the “against” sense the prefix “anti.” Yet, John also seems to distinguish between a single Antichrist “who is coming” and a plural “many antichrists who have come,” (1 Jn 2:18). Leon Morris offers, “Perhaps we should bear in mind that John refers to ‘the spirit of the antichrist’ as well as ‘the Antichrist’ (thus using both neuter and masculine); indeed, he refers to ‘many antichrists’ in whom that spirit finds expression (1 John 4:3; 2:18).”[2] Thus, it seems prudent to be flexible in one’s view. Even so, in 2 Thessalonians 2, Paul’s use of: 1) “man of lawlessness;”2) ” son of destruction;”3)”he who opposes and exalts himself;”4) “he whose coming is after the working of Satan” points to a single individual. Due to this and because Jesus is described as defeating an individual (cf. 2 Th 2:8; Re 19:20), one should understand the general term “antichrist” as many individuals culminating with an ultimate incarnation, “the Antichrist,” just prior to the Parousia.

Most interpreters conflate the two meanings of “anti” with a figure who poses as Christ while initially clandestinely opposing God in allegiance with Satan. This portrait of a deceptive usurper is well supported by the above mentioned passages. Yet, the futurist interpretation has not been the dominant view of the Apocalypse historically. Since the reformation, there has been a large body of biblical scholarship which posits the events in the book of Revelation as milestones along church history. We believe that this approach has merit and will suggest a hybrid of futurist and historical interpretation. While speculations on the identity of Antichrist have run the gamut from Muhammad to President Obama, arguably, until very recently, the dominant opinion since the reformation has been the Roman Catholic pope albeit not a single pope rather the office of the papacy. Even though strictly historical interpretations seem inadequate, a hybrid of historical with a still yet ultimate realization of “the Antichrist” offers more promise. Nevertheless, it is demonstrable that from the time of Luther to the present day, there has been a consistent and compelling argument that the office of the papacy fulfills the prophetic type of antichrist.

Next we begin a survey of some of the major proponents of the papal Antichrist.

[1] L. J. Lietaert Peerbolte, “Antichrist.” in Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible. 2nd extensively rev. ed. K. van der Toorn, Bob Becking and Pieter Willem van der Horst (Leiden; Boston; Grand Rapids, Mich.: Brill; Eerdmans, 1999), 62.


[2]Leon Morris, vol. 13, 1 and 2 Thessalonians: An Introduction and Commentary, Tyndale New Testament Commentaries (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1984), 129.


Petrus Romanus and the Jerusalem Connection Part 3

By Cris D. Putnam
The Vatican’s establishment of full diplomatic relations with Israel in 1993 has been credited as an overdue political consequence to the theological changes reflected in Nostra Aetate. However, in truth, there is much more going on than meets the eye. As early as April 15th, 1992, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger visited Israel and met exclusively with Jerusalem Mayor Teddy Kollek. The Jerusalem mayor was quoted previously as saying, “The Israeli government should meet the Vatican’s demand to apply special status for Jerusalem.”[i] An Israeli journalist, Barry Chamish, has been working fearlessly for over two decades to expose a conspiracy which includes the current President of Israel, Shimon Peres, and his aid, Yossi Beilin. In his 2000 book, Save Israel, Chamish wrote:

In March 1994, the newspaper Shishi revealed a most remarkable secret of the Middle East “peace” process. A friend of Shimon Peres, the French intellectual Marek Halter, claimed in an interview that in May 1993, he delivered a letter from Peres to the pope. Within, Peres promised to internationalize Jerusalem, granting the UN political control of the Old City of Jerusalem, and the Vatican hegemony of the holy sites within. The UN would give the PLO a capital within its new territory and East Jerusalem would become a kind of free trade zone of world diplomacy.

Halter’s claim was backed by the Italian newspaper La Stampa, which added that Arafat was apprised of the agreement and it was included in the secret clauses of the Declaration of Principles signed in Washington in September 1993.[ii]

We took pains to fact-check Chamish’s claims, and to the extent that we were able, they checked out. Below is the original article which ran in the Italian paper La Stampa:

The headline reads “‘Now Jerusalem’ Secret Plan: to entrust it to the Pope”; the text below and to left of John Paul II’s photo reads, “The old town, under the auspices of the Vatican would be administered by the Palestinians Arafat told me: ‘I’m going to Jericho.’” The small print below that reads, “Mark Halter, French Israeli writer who, like other Jewish intellectuals played a mediating role in the difficult question, said here, the Pope would have the ‘spiritual sovereignty’ of the old town.” (translation Putnam)

It seems that the timing of the Vatican’s long overdue recognition of the state of Israel was motivated more by ambition than repentance. The major players on the Israeli side are the current President Shimon Peres (the Israeli representative at Oslo) and his aid, left-wing politician Yossi Beilin, a former Knesset member, Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister, and Justice Minister. The secret deal was allegedly meant to sweeten the pot as a clandestine portion of the Oslo Accords. According to another Israeli journalist, Joel Bainerman, New World Order think-tank, the Council on Foreign Relations was behind the deal all along and was encouraging a turnover of Jerusalem to the Vatican:

Pope Benedict XVI embraces Israel's President Shimon Peres

The plan was originally discussed in November 1992 (the same time the first meetings in London took place to discuss an agreement between Israel and the PLO which was probably arranged by Council on Foreign Relations executive, Edgar Bronfman) when then Foreign Minister Shimon Peres met with Vatican officials in Rome. Under the plan, Jerusalem will stay the capital of Israel but the Old City will be administered by the Vatican. Arafat agreed not to oppose the plan. The plan also calls for Jerusalem to become the second Vatican of the world with all three major religions represented but under the authority of the Vatican. [iii] (emphasis added)

It seems the plan is underway. On February 4, 2012, an op-ed piece ran on the Israeli news site Ynet News titled, “Don’t Bow to the Vatican.” The editorial by Italian journalist Giulio Meotti opposes the Vatican’s designs on Jerusalem, and speaks in the past tense referencing the sovereignty over the Cenacle (which houses the Hall of the Last Supper and King David’s tomb):

Don’t Bow to the Vatican

Israel reached an historical agreement with the Vatican to give up some sort of sovereignty over the “Hall of the Last Supper” on Mount Zion in Jerusalem. The Vatican will now have a foothold at the site: Israel agreed to give the Vatican first priority in leasing opportunities and access to it. [iv]

It appears that Rome’s Jerusalem ambitions are being implemented just in time for the arrival of Petrus Romanus.

Next week we will begin to examine how this potentially fits into biblical prophecy.

[i] As cited by Joel Bainerman, “The Vatican Agenda: How Does the Vatican View the Legitimacy of Israel’s Claims to Jerusalem?” last accessed February 13, 2012, http://www.joelbainerman.com/pages/vatican.html.

[ii] Barry Chamish, Save Israel (Israel: Modlin House, 2001), 117.

[iii] Joel Bainerman, “Secrets of Oslo,” last accessed January 10, 2012, http://www.joelbainerman.com/articles/chronology.asp.

[iv] Giulio Meotti, “Don’t bow to the Vatican Op-ed: State of Israel Should Not be Giving Up its Sovereignty Over Holy Sites in Jerusalem,” February 4, 2012, http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4185027,00.html.