Biblical Answers to the World Mission Society Church of God

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.--1 John 4:1

Are you or a loved one struggling with this group? Do you need Biblical answers about the World Mission Society Church of God (WMSCoG or CoGWMS), their founder Ahnsahnghong (Ahn Sahng/Sang-Hong) or their current leader "Mother Jerusalem" (a.k.a. "Heavenly Mother God," Zang/Zahng Gil-Jah, or Chung Gil Cha)? Thank you for coming here. I hope my blog helps you. Questions and comments are always welcome.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Is 666 the Pope? - Part 2 - Which Antichrist

My quest with this series is to investigate the World Mission Society Church of God claim that the Pope is the Antichrist whose number is 666, referred to in Revelation 13:18.  In Part 1 we saw that the WMSCOG still has a problem with their information sources, like they had in trying to prove the cross is an idol.  But let's try to move beyond that and see what the Bible has to say about this claim.

To start with, we should know that this idea of the Pope's being the Antichrist is not new, and it did not originate with the WMSCOG.  It was a view held by major Protestant reformers, and the idea actually dates back several centuries before the Reformation, though the reasoning for it seems to have grown over time.  There are many websites discussing reasons why the Pope (or Papacy) might satisfy the Biblical descriptions of the Antichrist, so I don't plan on going into detail here.  Wikipedia has a good summary you can read.

We also should know that the Pope is not the only candidate in the running as the identity of the one whose number is 666.  You can read about a few others here, like Nero and Muhammad.  Here is an even longer list of possible Antichrists, and even Prince Charles is a possibility.  The European Union is a popular candidate.  But a search on the Internet shows that the Pope (or Papacy) is one of the lead choices among those who think they can identify the Antichrist.  Since that's also the WMSCOG's choice, I'm only going to focus on the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church.

There's one more thing we need to do in preparing to study this, and that's define some vocabulary.  The word "antichrist" only appears in a few verses, all of them in 1 John and 2 John.  This is the complete list:

1 John 2:18
Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour.

1 John 2:22
Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son.

1 John 4:3
and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.

2 John 1:7
For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.

The term "antichrist" is very broad.  It can refer to anyone "who denies the Father and the Son."  What we're wanting to talk about and study is something more specific--THE Antichrist, the major one of the end times, written about in Revelation

Notice the word "antichrist" doesn't appear in Revelation.  Instead, we have the word "beast."

Rev. 13:1
Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name.

But there is also a second beast.

Rev. 13:11-12
Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon.  And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.

Revelation distinguishes the second beast from the first by calling the second beast the "false prophet."

Rev. 16:13
And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.

Let's read a little more about the false prophet (the second beast).  You can see the first beast is just called the "beast"...

Rev. 13:13-18
13 He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. 14 And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived. 15 He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. 16 He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, 17 and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
18 Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.

In Rev. 16:13 (above) there are three key players in the end time, what you might call an "unholy trinity."  They are the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet.  The beast is the one whose number is 666, the false prophet works on the beast's behalf, but who is the dragon?  The dragon is Satan.

Rev. 12:9
So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

Though the dragon and the beast may have some similarities in description, they are not one and the same.  The dragon gives authority and power to the beast.

Rev. 13:2-3
Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority.

We might call all three of these "Antichrists" (1 John 2:22), but that would get confusing.  They are three distinct persons.  For the sake of clarity, in my studies here I'm going to make the distinction of calling them by their Revelation titles: the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet.

The WMSCOG's position is that the Pope is the one whose number is 666.  I know that because they say so themselves, in their video at minute 6:00, "So, the identity of 666 is the head of the Roman Catholic Church, the Pope!!!"
666 is the number of the beast.  So to be perfectly clear, the WMSCOG claims the Pope (Papacy) is the beast.

Therefore my investigation will be whether or not the Pope matches the description of the beast.  It's important to have a clear focus.
More next time...

Click here to go on to Part 3.

No comments:

Post a Comment