As it appears he (a moderator who cast doubts as to the historicity of the reformers’ condemnation of the papacy as being the Antichrist) is yet to be convinced, I would like to add a few more quotes from our Christian forbears who agreed that the papacy is the Antichrist, the ‘man of sin’. Before I do so however I feel it is important for me to make something as clear as I can. It is not to engender hatred or animosity toward individual Catholics, nor even against the church they hold dear. I am convinced that in all churches there are genuine sincere Christians who love Jesus and are living up to what light they have regarding religious faith.
It is important however that they understand the true nature of the papal system. God calls them, His children, to come out of her (Revel. 18) for the papal or Antichrist system is devoted to destruction, and it is not in God’s will that there should be any who have placed their faith in Him to remain a part of the counterfeit which places itself in place of Him in the minds and hearts of the world.
Eberhard II von Truchsees, Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg in 1241 at the Council of Regensburg denounced Pope Gregory IX as “that man of perdition, whom they call Antichrist, who in his extravagant boasting says, I am God, I cannot err.”
1350 John Milicz is ordained a priest in Bohemia
In 1367 Milicz travelled to Rome and appealed for reformation.He posted a sign in the city proclaiming the Coming of the Antichrist – he was arrested and imprisoned. Released after 12 months, he began preaching in Prague in 1369, and 3 years later in 1372 is excommunicated by Pope Gregory X1.
A short time later Milicz went to be ‘examined’ in Avignon. On May 21 he preached to the assembled cardinals there but died before judgement on him was made.
Philip Malencthon“It is most manifest, and true without any doubt, that the Roman pontiff, with his whole order and kingdom, is very antichrist. . . . Likewise, in 2 Thessalonians 2, Paul clearly says the man of sin will rule in the church by exalting himself above the worship of God”.
Isaac Newton “But it [the Papacy] was a kingdom of a different kind from the other ten kingdoms [referred to in Daniel 7:7, 8]. . . . And such a seer, prophet, and king is the Church of Rome [referring to the little horn of Daniel 7]. (Sir Isaac Newton, Observations on the Prophecies, p. 75)
Cotton Mather (Congregational Theologian)
“The oracles of God foretold the rising of an Antichrist in the Christian Church: and in the Pope of Rome, all the characteristics of that Antichrist are so marvelously answered that if any who read the Scriptures do not see it, there is a marvelous blindness upon them.” Taken from “The Fall of Babylon” by Cotton Mather
Roger Williams (First Baptist Pastor in America)
He spoke of the Pope as quote:”the pretended Vicar of Christ on earth, who sits as God over the Temple of God, exalting himself not only above all that is called God, but over the souls and consciences of all his vassals, yea over the Spirit of Christ, over the Holy Spirit, yea, and God himself…speaking against the God of heaven, thinking to change times and laws; but he is the son of perdition (II Thess. 2).” Taken from The Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers by Froom, Vol. 3, pg. 52.
Samuel Lee (A seventeenth Rhode Is minister.) “It is agreed among all main lines of the English Church that the Roman pontiff is the antichrist.” (Samuel Lee, The Cutting Off of Antichrist, p. 1)
The aforementioned moderator then asked, “Do you believe that ‘the man of sin’ is an actual person or just figurative of a type of people?”
The above is an interesting question. There is much debate over whether the Antichrist is an individual, as it is propagated in futurist circles, or a system. Following is my answer:
The Antichrist is revealed to us through scripture in several different ways. In Daniel 2 he is the mixture of iron and clay. In Daniel 7 he is the little horn. In 2 Thess the man of sin and son of perdition, and in Revelation 13 the first beast.
I have mentioned before that Nebuchadnezzar was the representative of the entire empire, so also with the ‘man of sin’. Below is an excerpt from a sermon by the renowned preacher and writer Puritan Thomas Manton in the 17th century. Charles Spurgeon testified to Mantons works as being “a mighty mountain of sound theology”
But because he is called the man of sin, here it cometh fitly to be inquired whether Antichrist be an individual person? for ‘that man of sin’ would seem to be some single person. No; he is put for a society and succession of men, that make up the head of the apostate state. As one lion figured the whole kingdom of the Babylonians, and one bear the kingdom of the Medes and Persians, and one leopard the kingdom of the Grecians, Dan. 7, — and there the fourth beast is the fourth kingdom, — so one person that succession of men that head the revolters from Christ. So Dan. 8, a goat figured a succession of kings; so the Assyrian, Isa. 10:5, several kings in that empire; so Isa. 14:9, the king of Babylon, meaning not one but many. So this man of sin doth not note a single man, but a succession of men, a body politic or corporate, under one opposite head to the kingdom of Christ: so the ‘man of God’ is put for all faithful ministers, 2 Tim. 3:17; so ‘honour the king,’ I Peter 2:17, series regum. So o arciereus, Heb. 9:25, ‘The high priest every year entereth into the holy place;’ meaning not one, but the succession of the order; and in reason it must needs be so here. Because Antichrist, from his beginning to his end, from his rise and revelation, till his ruin and destruction, will take up such a long track of time, as cannot fall within the age of any one man, even from the time of the apostles till the end of the world. Antichrist is the head of the apostasy; for here the apostasy and the revelation of the man of sin are tied together; now the mysterious apostasy could not be perfected in a short time.
In this sermon, Manton, like many reformers before him, was applying the prophecy of 2 Thess. concerning the man of sin directly to the papal system.