The One World Religion of the Antichrist

1. The Antichrist is not in the world today. There is a common opinion that the tribulation is divided into two parts, the lesser and greater tribulation. The lesser tribulation occurs first, with a length of time in-between the two times of suffering. Since the lesser or first tribulation has not yet occurred, the second is in the distant future. And the Antichrist is only of the second or greater tribulation, not the first. There are many other reasons to place the second part of the tribulation in the distant future. A number of kingdoms must rise and fall before that time, a set of events that will take generations, and the time of the ten kings must also precede the second part of the tribulation.

Thus, the claims and insinuations that the Francis papacy is somehow related to the Antichrist or the false prophet who assist the Antichrist is false.

2. The Antichrist will not come to power until the world is first divided into ten kingdoms only, and not until that kingdom of the ten kings has reigned over the world for about a century. The world will eventually become divided into ten sets of nations, ten kingdoms, each with one power ruler. These ten rulers or “kings” will encompass the whole world with their authority. They will not be united, but will often be at odds with one another. But all ten kingdoms will be hostile to Christianity.

{24:9} Then they will hand you over to tribulation, and they will kill you. And you will be hated by all nations for the sake of my name.

The Antichrist comes to power within the kingdom of the ten kings. He becomes one of the ten kings. He then defeats three of the other kings, gaining control over the four most powerful kingdoms. Next he compels the other six kingdoms to submit to his authority, by threat of warfare.

[Daniel]
{7:7} After this, I watched in the vision of the night, and behold, a fourth beast, terrible yet wondrous, and exceedingly strong; it had great iron teeth, eating yet crushing, and trampling down the remainder with his feet, but it was unlike the other beasts, which I had seen before it, and it had ten horns.
{7:8} I considered the horns, and behold, another little horn rose out of the midst of them. And three of the first horns were rooted out by its presence. And behold, eyes like the eyes of a man were in this horn, and a mouth speaking unnatural things.

{7:23} And thus he said, “The fourth beast will be the fourth kingdom on earth, which will be greater than all the kingdoms, and will devour the whole earth, and will trample and crush it.
{7:24} Moreover, the ten horns of the same kingdom will be ten kings, and another will rise up after them, and he will be mightier than the ones before him, and he will bring down three kings.

The fourth “beast” is the fourth in a series of kingdoms with influence over much of the world. The fourth is unlike the previous three kingdoms in that it encompasses the whole world and exercises great and sinful authority over it. This fourth beast is the kingdom of the ten kings.

The Antichrist at first has little power (“little horn”), as he rises to authority in only one of the ten kingdoms. Three of the other kings are then “rooted out” by the Antichrist. In the end, he obtains control over the entire kingdom of the ten kings. So the Antichrist cannot rise to power until the kingdom of the ten kings reigns over the whole world.

3. The false prophet of the Antichrist is a woman; she is the same as the Jezebel and the harlot of the book of Revelation.

Some persons claim that either the Antichrist or the false prophet will become Pope. My conclusion, after years of study and writing in eschatology, is that the false prophet is actually a woman, who acts as the head of the false religion of the Antichrist. Since a woman cannot be Pope, she is not even a false clamant to the papacy. And the Antichrist wishes to be worshiped as god; he does not desire the papacy but the destruction of the entire Catholic Church.

4. At the time of the Antichrist’s reign, all Christians will be united in one Catholic Church. Also, there will be only three religions with any substantial number of followers: Islam, Judaism, and Christianity (at that time). But when the Antichrist takes power, his followers kill the Roman Pontiff and burn the seat of authority in the Church (what we call the Vatican today) in Rome.

{9:26} And after sixty-two weeks of years, the Christ leader will be slain. And the people who have denied him will not be his. And the people, when their leader arrives, will destroy the city and the sanctuary. And its end will be devastation, and, after the end of the war, the desolation will be set up.

So during the entire reign of the Antichrist, there is no Roman Pontiff. Neither does anyone make any kind of substantial or believable (to some) false claim to the papacy. Almost the entire world will hate Christians and the Church, so people will not falsely claim to be Pope (as they don’t wish to be hated and to head a Church with so little worldly power in that time).

5. Neither the Antichrist, nor the false prophetess will be Pope in the Catholic Church. Instead, their goal is to destroy the Catholic Church. So the Church is separate from the worship of the Antichrist. When the Antichrist takes power, he orders all the houses of worship of the world closed: churches, temples, mosques. But eventually, he decides he needs or wants a formal structure ordered toward the worship of the Antichrist, so he will subsequently reopen these houses of worship, but then only for the use of his own, newly-devised false religion.

There is an idea that the Antichrist will be Muslim: that claim is certainly false. At La Salette, the Blessed Virgin Mary stated that the father of the Antichrist will be a [very sinful] Bishop, and his mother will be an unchaste nun. The Antichrist is from a Catholic Christian background. If not for the grave sins of Christians, the Antichrist would never be born.

6. The false prophetess helps the Antichrist devise this formal structure for his false religion. This religion takes elements from all the different religions of the world, but especially from Catholicism, Judaism, and Islam. The Antichrist makes an amalgam of the different religions, and then, of course, he distorts all the borrowed elements in the service of evil. And the religion of the Antichrist is a veiled worship of devils, even though the Antichrist is the alleged god of that false religion. So the Antichrist wishes to destroy all religions other than the religion of his false worship. His goal is to destroy the Catholic Church, not become its head.

Now, the Antichrist does attempt to establish a one world religion, that is, one religion only, which worships him as god, and that religion is like synthesis of elements from Catholicism, Judaism, Islam and other long-existing religions. But he only takes elements from those religions, and he makes perverse changes to those elements.

For example, he will probably have six false Sacraments, which imitate Catholic Sacraments. The abomination of desolation is a false Eucharist. When he reopens the houses of worship of the world, after they had been closed for more than 2 years, he sets up the abomination where the Eucharist formerly was placed.

{9:27} But he will confirm a covenant with many for one week of years; and for half of the week of years, victim and sacrifice will nearly cease; but there will be in the temple the abomination of desolation. And the desolation will continue even to the consummation and the end.”

“Victim” is the Eucharist (Christ, the paschal Lamb) and “sacrifice” is the Mass. The Antichrist forbids all religions but his own, causing victim and sacrifice to nearly cease. The abomination of desolation will be the Antichrist’s attempted replacement for the Eucharist.

Why only 6 Sacraments? In Jewish numerology, 7 signifies perfection, whereas 6 signifies evil. For evil is always a deprivation in something good created by God. Evil human persons have a good human nature, which they contradict by their grave sins. The Antichrist is evil in soul, spirit, and body, so he is represented by the number 666. There may perhaps be different versions of the Antichrist’s false religion, so as to attract and capture the hearts of Christians, Jews, and Muslims. Each version will be a perversion of the religion it imitates. Thus, there are three 6’s, representing the three perverse versions of the Antichrist’s false religion.

Which of the 7 Sacraments does not have a perverse imitation in the Antichrist’s false religion? Perhaps Confession, as they do not admit that sin exists. On the other hand, they might consider anything truly good as an offense against the Antichrist, so there could be a false version of that Sacrament. Perhaps it is Confirmation, which (we are told by one of the Saints) will fall out of practice among many Catholic Christians in the future. That future society, also, will practice a severe adultification of children, making a Sacrament (or its false version) that signifies being strengthened for the adult practice of the religion seem offensive.

Summary

The idea that either the Antichrist or the false prophet are a Roman Pontiff, and the idea that they wish to take control of the Catholic Church are false claims. They only wish to destroy the Church from outside. Then the claim that the Antichrist will have a “one world religion” is correct, but this does not involve a mere distortion of Catholicism, but the construction of an entirely new false religion, which only imitates Christianity and other religions perversely. Finally, in my speculative eschatology, the Antichrist does not take power until the early 25th century. He is not in the world today.

More in my books of eschatology here.

by
Ronald L. Conte Jr.
Roman Catholic theologian and translator of the Catholic Public Domain Version of the Bible.

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