“For that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.”
2 Thess. 2:3-4
“…it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.”
1 John 2:18
“There is no other head of the church but the Lord Jesus Christ: nor can the Pope of Rome in any sense, be head thereof; but is that antichrist, that man of sin, and son of perdition, that exalteth himself in the church against Christ, and all that is called God.”
The Westminster Confession of Faith (1646), 25.6
J.A. Wylie 1888
The Papacy is the Antichrist: a Demonstration, Wylie was a Professor of Church History in the old Free Church of Scotland
The following demonstration is rested on no narrow basis. Its two postulates, like two posterns, admit us into the edifice, but they are not its foundations. The whole economy of redemption, and the whole course of history are the broad substructions on which the argument is based and built up; and the author humbly submits that it cannot be overturned, or the conclusion arrived at set aside, without dislocating and shaking the structure of both revelation and providence. The same line of proof which establishes that Christ is the promised Messiah, conversely applied, establishes that the Roman system is the predicted Apostasy. In the life of Christ we behold the converse of what the Antichrist must be; and in the prophecy of the Antichrist we are shown the converse of what Christ must be, and was. And when we place the Papacy between the two, and compare it with each, we find, on the one hand, that it is the perfect converse of Christ as seen in His life; and, on the other, that it is the perfect image of the Antichrist, as shown in the prophecy of him. We conclude, therefore, that if Jesus of Nazareth be the Christ, the Roman Papacy is the Antichrist.
Where to Start
Silversides, David – The Antichrist: a Biblical and Confessional View, Buy 2002, 20 pages
This is the best short introduction to the question of who the Antichrist is. Silversides exegetes 2 Thess. 2, 1 John 2:18, and other passages. He also defends why this doctrine is an important part of the 1646 Westminster Confession of Faith.
Watts, Malcom – Antichrist: The Biblical Doctrine, PDF, no date, 15 pages
Turretin, Francis – Whether it can be Proven the Pope of Rome is the Antichrist, Buy 1661, 65 pages
The classic piece on the subject.
Wylie was a professor of church history in the old Free Church of Scotland, and wrote one of the most readable defenses that the Papacy is the Antichrist. Do be aware that the 2002 reprint of this book was published by Teach Services, which is an arm of the erroneous 7th Day Adventists.
A’Brakel, Wilhelmus – “Antichrist: The Foremost and Most Formidable Foe of the Church” and “Scriptural Proofs that the Pope of Rome Is The Antichrist”, d. 1711, 10 pages, in The Christian’s Reasonable Service Buy vol. 2, the chapter on ‘Concerning the Church’, pp. 43-53
Calvin, John – Commentary on 2 Thess. 2:3-10, †1564, 14 pages
Calvin, John – Institutes of the Christian Religion, Book 4, Chapter 7, Sections 25-30, †1564, 7 pages
Edwards, Jonathan – History of the Work of Redemption, Section 4, Parts 3-7 Buy 1739
Free Church of Scotland – The Church of Scotland’s Anti-Papal Testimony for the Headship of Christ, 1847, 4 pages, being chapter 3, section 1 of the Catechism on the Principles and Constitution of the Free Church of Scotland, 1847, p. 47-50, questions 153-167.
This catechism was ordered by the general assembly of the old Free Church of Scotland for the purpose of its doctrines being preached widely to the people.
Henderson, James – Popery the Antichrist of Scripture, 183?, 30 pages, being Lecture 5 of The Doctrines and Practices of Popery Examined, in a course of Lectures, by Ministers in Glasgow
Protestant Association – The Papal Anti-Christ, 1840, 6 pages, from the Protestant Magazine, Vol. II, June 1, 1840.
Ridley, Nicholas – On the Antichrist, 1555, 19 paragraphs
Ridley was an English protestant reformer who was burned at the stake by Roman Catholic Queen Bloody Mary. Here are some of his departing words.
Whitaker, William – The Roman Pontiff is that Antichrist whose Presence Scripture Prophesied, 1582, 18 pages
Willet, Andrew – ‘Concerning Antichrist, and whether the Pope be that Great Adversary unto Christ’, 1592, 33 pages, being the Tenth Question of the Fourth General Controversy of the First Book of his Synopsis Papismi, that is, A General View of Papistry wherein the Whole Mystery of Iniquity, and Sum of Antichristian Doctrine is Set Down…, pp. 156-189
Lee, Francis Nigel – ‘Antichrist in Scripture’ 1997, 20 points about one paragraph long each, being the concluding chapter from Lee’s book Antichrist in Scripture: Luther and Calvin’s Doctrine of Antichrist, 2008, Focus Christian Ministries, 58 pages
Cassels, Samuel – Christ and Antichrist, or, Jesus of Nazareth Proved to be the Messiah, and the Papacy Proved to be the Antichrist Predicted in the Holy Scriptures, 1846, 346 pages, recommended by Moses Hoge, H.A. Boardman, and William S. Plumer, amongst others
“The arguments both for the Messiahship of Jesus, and the Antichristian character of the Papacy, are strong and convincing. Much advantage, too, is derived from the fact, that these arguments are placed in a sort of parallelism with each other. No real Christian will be prepared to deny the Messiahship of Jesus. But the author shows, that the very same mode of proof will also establish the Antichristian character of the Papacy.” – from the Recommendation
Downame, George – A Treatise Concerning Antichrist, Proving that the Pope is Antichrist, 1634, 192 pages
Elliott, E.B. – Reply to the Rev. T.K. Arnold’s Remarks on the Horae Apocalypticae, 1845, 78 pages
Shortly after Elliott’s monumental commentary on Revelation was published, T.K. Arnold published a critique of it, chiefly relating to 5 points wherein Arnold argued that the Papacy was not the Antichrist. Elliott here responds to Arnold and defends his position that the Papacy is the Antichrist.
Gwalther, Rudolph – Antichrist, that is to say: A true report that Antichrist is come where he was born, of his person, miracles, what tools he works with, and what shall be his end Buy †1586, 400 pages, being three homilies translated by John Old.
This work was highly recommended by Thomas Cranmer who died at the stake under bloody Mary.
Hislop was a minister in the Free Church of Scotland.
Manton, Thomas – 18 Sermons on 2 Thess. 2, on the Description, Rise, Growth and Fall of Antichrist, d. 1677, 185 pages, from vol. 3 of his Works
Wordsworth, Christopher – Is not the Church of Rome the Babylon of the Apocalypse? 1866, 136 pages
Wordsworth was a high-church bishop of the Church of England, showing that not all discussions identifying the Papacy as the Antichrist are from Presbyterian sources. He wrote this in light of the popular movement of his day to try and merge the Church of England with the Roman Church. The book is good.
The Pope Consecrates the World to Mary, Oct. 15, 2013
Gilby, Anthony – The Genealogy of the Pope, 1570, 2 paragraphs, being a quote from Benjamin Brooks, Lives of the Puritans, Vol. 1, pp. 282-283. Gilby was one of the translators of the Geneva Bible. This piece is quite humorous, insightful and historically dead on.
“And I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: And upon her forehead was a name written, Mystery, Babylon The Great, The Mother Of Harlots And Abominations Of The Earth. And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.”