On November 27, 2016, the True Church began a New Ecclesiastical Year with the First Sunday of Advent. The Sunday prior, the Church Year had ended with the Last Sunday after Pentecost. Holy Mother Church begins and ends each year with the same theme: the end of the world. It is a truth that the world will end for each of us on the day we die and go before Christ in judgement. However, it is equally true that the world itself will end when Christ returns again in glory, known as Parousia or the Second Coming. These sobering thoughts should be with us throughout all our days; "In all thy works remember thy last end, and thou shalt never sin." (Ecclesiasticus 7: 40).
With the talk of schism within the Vatican II sect over Bergoglio's heretical Amoris Laetitiae, I couldn't help but think of Parousia. No one can be certain of when Christ will return to judge the living and the dead. Nevertheless, Francis certainly is a false prophet, even if not necessarily the false prophet. In the last days, there will come the Antichrist, known in Scripture as the "Man of Sin." There is much misinformation on this subject, ranging from those who deny that the Antichrist will be a real person, to those who claim to know who he is and what he's doing right now! I will set forth what we know from the teachings of Christ's One True Church.
The Antichrist Will Be An Individual
The word antichrist is not some generic term for all the enemies of Christ. This erroneous opinion seems to be suggested in St. John 2:18-22, "Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists...Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son." However, the priests, prophets, and kings of the old law were called "christs." This did not hinder the Jews from believing in the coming of The Christ. Holy Scripture calls Antichrist "The Man of Sin," and "The Son of Perdition." (See 2 Thessalonians 2:3).
He will be known as "the beast" and his number shall be "666." The "number of the beast" simply means that while his human name is not at this time known to us, he is designated with 666. According to theologian A Lapide, the number for man is "6" because he was created on the "sixth day." The first 6 is for the time Satan lied and was cursed in the fall from Heaven. The 60 (a multiple of 6) refers to the second time Satan lied and was cursed in the Garden of Eden. The 600 (another multiple of 6) refers to the time Satan will lie and be cursed through the Antichrist himself, who will attempt to deceive the whole world and drag everyone to Hell. According to theologians Suarez, Ott, and Bellarmine, the personal existence of an individual Antichrist in the future cannot be denied. Suarez and Bellarmine actually consider it an object of Faith.
Is The Antichrist Satan Incarnate?
In a figurative sense only, yes. In the literal sense, no. Human generation, outside the laws of nature, is a miraculous work that can only be produced by God. The Antichrist cannot be the son of the devil conceived of a human female. It is certain the Antichrist will be a male Jew, most probably of the tribe of Dan (the teachings of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church bear this out). Some theologians opine that he will be the bastard son of a prostitute, but this is mere conjecture.
He will be raised in obscurity and lead a hidden life until he begins his public career, in a perverse imitation of Our Lord. This is founded upon the words of Daniel 11: 21, "And there shall stand up in his place one despised, and the kingly honour shall not be given him: and he shall come privately, and shall obtain the kingdom by fraud."
According to theologian Huchede, he will be educated by occultists who will imbue his mind and heart from childhood with wicked principles and doctrines. God will not deny him his liberty, nor deprive him of sufficient grace, yet he will reject God of his own perverse will and then give himself over to Satan to be possessed. He will grow up in the knowledge and practice of evil until he is ready for his public career. "And after their reign, when iniquities shall be grown up, there shall arise a king of a shameless face, and understanding dark sentences." (See Daniel 8: 23).
St. Cyril of Jerusalem says that "his malice will surpass the combined wickedness of all the evil doers gone before him." (See his Catechism, 15). Theologian Suarez goes so far as to teach that he will never perform a good act, being the counterpart of Our Lord who was sinless and never committed an evil deed.
His Rise To Power
He will seek to obliterate the One True Church of Christ. He will declare himself the true Messiah and have the Temple rebuilt in Jerusalem. He will have all temporal power, just as the false prophet will have all spiritual power, by driving the last members of Christ's Church underground. The Jews will accept him even as the rejected Christ, and the Antichrist will be worshiped as God. St. Anselm tells us that the demons will show him all the precious metals out of which they will have money minted for him.
These immense riches, which he will distribute generously to his followers is what will help his rise to this power. "For laughter they make bread, and wine that the living may feast: and all things obey money." (See Ecclesiastes 10: 19). "And he shall have power over the treasures of gold, and of silver, and all the precious things of Egypt: and he shall pass through Libya, and Ethiopia." (See Daniel 11:43). "For the desire of money is the root of all evils; which some coveting have erred from the faith, and have entangled themselves in many sorrows." (1 Timothy 6:10). "Neither shalt thou take bribes, which even blind the wise, and pervert the words of the just." (See Exodus 23: 8).
Finally, he will not hesitate to kill his enemies. He will also perform false miracles. According to the Book of the Apocalypse, Antichrist will perform at least three major "miracles": causing fire to come down from the skies, make the beast to speak, and pass himself off as dead so as to apparently raise himself up from the dead.
"And I saw one of his heads as it were slain to death: and his death's wound was healed. And all the earth was in admiration after the beast...And he did great signs, so that he made also fire to come down from heaven unto the earth in the sight of men. And he seduced them that dwell on the earth, for the signs, which were given him to do in the sight of the beast, saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make the image of the beast, which had the wound by the sword, and lived. And it was given him to give life to the image of the beast, and that the image of the beast should speak; and should cause, that whosoever will not adore the image of the beast, should be slain." (See Apocalypse 13: 3, 13-15).
The Antichrist will rule the earth for three and one-half years being worshiped as God and persecuting the few faithful Traditionalists left on the planet. Everyone must accept the "mark of the beast" or be slain. God will provide for His True Church by preparing a safe haven in the desert and not allowing the Antichrist, Satan, or the false prophet to discern their whereabouts. "And there were given to the woman two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the desert unto her place, where she is nourished for a time and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent." (See Apocalypse 12: 14).
During this time something miraculous will happen: the return of Elias and Enoch. Neither of these Old Testament prophets has died. St. Paul tells us that Enoch was taken so that he might not see death, "By faith Enoch was translated, that he should not see death; and he was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had testimony that he pleased God." (See Hebrews 11: 5). The same is related to us regarding Elias, "And as they went on, walking and talking together, behold a fiery chariot, and fiery horses parted them both asunder: and Elias went up by a whirlwind into heaven." (See 4 Kings 2:11).
The theologians teach they were placed somewhere in a happy state, where they exist incorruptible, until their return. God gave them such a unique grace for two reasons: (1) to show the possibility of the indefinite permanence of humanity, and (2) to confirm our faith in the resurrection when they return.
Enoch and Elias will return to earth at the same time as the reign of the Antichrist begins. Their Divine Mission will last 1260 days, or 15 days less than Antichrist. In imitation of Sts. Peter and Paul, Enoch (like St. Paul) will preach to convert the Gentiles to the true faith and away from Antichrist. Elias (like St. Peter) will preach and convert the Jews. They will show many and wondrous true miracles performed by the omnipotent power of God. At the end of the 1260 days, they will be martyred by Antichrist. "And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast, that ascendeth out of the abyss, shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them." (See Apocalypse 11:7). Antichrist shall boast and glory in his seeming victory. He will blaspheme God and curse His Holy Name.
After being dead in the street for three and one-half days, Enoch and Elias will be resurrected from the dead by God. "And after three days and a half, the spirit of life from God entered into them. And they stood upon their feet, and great fear fell upon them that saw them. And they heard a great voice from heaven, saying to them: Come up hither. And they went up to heaven in a cloud: and their enemies saw them. And at that hour there was made a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell: and there were slain in the earthquake names of men seven thousand: and the rest were cast into a fear, and gave glory to the God of Heaven." (See Apocalypse 11:11-13).
Antichrist will attempt to ascend to Heaven and proclaim such to the world in order to undo the good effects upon everyone by the resurrection and ascension of Elias and Enoch.
He will attempt to ascend from Mt. Olivet, but God shall overwhelm him, "And then that wicked one shall be revealed whom the Lord Jesus shall kill with the spirit of his mouth; and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming, him, " (See 2 Thessalonians 2:8). Then comes his end, "And there came down fire from God out of heaven, and devoured them; and the devil, who seduced them, was cast into the pool of fire and brimstone, where both the beast and the false prophet shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever." (See Apocalypse 20: 9-10).
After the destruction of the Antichrist, Christ will soon return for the General Judgement. I will not, and indeed must not, speculate as to when the events will come to pass. Those who listen to fools and heretics like the late charlatan, Harold Camping, wound up sorely disappointed (and in some cases having sold all they had) when his predicted end of the world did not happen on May 21, 2011. Pope Leo X, at the Fifth Lateran Council, forbade any Catholic from venturing to assert anything certain as to the date of the end times.
Two opposite errors are to be avoided: (1) denying the Antichrist and the Second Coming of Our Lord, or (2) predicting with certainty the time of its occurrence. With all that's going on around us, I don't think the time is that far off, but who knows except for God? Rather, let's be always prepared to meet our Maker, whether it's by death or the Parousia. "But the day of the Lord shall come as a thief, in which the heavens shall pass away with great violence, and the elements shall be melted with heat, and the earth and the works which are in it, shall be burnt up." (See 2 Peter 3:10, Emphasis mine).
Besides a life of prayer, making sacrifices, and frequenting the sacraments, make time to study and know the Faith. Knowing the teachings of the Church through Her approved theologians will help you to see clearly through any situation in which we live, "...and none of the wicked shall understand, but the learned shall understand." (See Daniel 12: 10).