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The Antichrist Beast Power - Exclusively a Single Man?

by Marcos C. Thaler
The most popular argument pertaining to the Antichrist circulating in the Christian world
today is that the Antichrist cannot be realized in the Papal System because he must be
exclusively a single man who rules for an exclusive future period of a literal 1260 days or 3
½ years. They say that a man can simply not live for 1260 years long; therefore, the Papacy
does not fit this criterion.
But is this criterion Biblical? Do we interpret the words of Daniel, Paul and John to such
literalism that we completely miss what they were truly trying to convey?
Allow me to quote Tim McHyde, a staunch Futurist proponent from TimMcHyde.com who
comments on the Historicist perception in an attempt to refute its hermeneutic concerning
the Antichrist.
Notice:
Has the Prophecy of the Beast / Antichrist Already Been Fulfilled in the
Papacy?
Historicists believe that the Great Tribulation is 1260 years long and that there is no
gap in the 70 weeks of Daniel. Believing the 70th week has already been fulfilled
years ago, the Antichrist then must also be history. Who was he? Since the papacy
arose out of the 10 horned kingdom of the Roman Empire, they conclude that the
papacy is the Antichrist.
Is this right? Once again, this site tries to raise awareness that prophecy is not to be
read any differently than the rest of the Bible. We are not allowed to break scripture,
i.e. come up with an interpretation that breaks the plain face value meaning of it.
Does Historicism pass this test? We will see that to believe any of these things you
have to give very strained interpretations of many plain passages.
Is the Beast a Man or an "Institution"? It says the Beast of Revelation 13 is a
man who later in Revelation 19 is cast into the Lake of Fire with the other beast of
Revelation 13, the False Prophet. Historicism changes this from a literal man to a
symbol representing a manmade institution, the papacy. This unauthorized
allegorization of the plain text breaks scripture and must be rejected, even if throwing
the papacy into the lake of fire where it is “tormented” with smoke rising as a result
made sense (Rev 20:10). ~ (Tim McHyde, http://timmchyde.com/historicismantichrist/)
In response, I will begin by respectfully saying that these arguments put forth reveal a
complete disregard for the consistency required in order to come to arrive at well-balanced
conclusions on prophetic interpretation in relation to symbolism. They are completely
devoid of sound and logical exegesis once put up to the Biblical test.
The Bible gives us the rules of interpretation. We do not need to guess.

Please take careful notice as we break down the rules of prophetic interpretation in relation
to kingdoms and powers:
1. Daniel 7:23 tells us that the “fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon the
earth”. Therefore, we see that a Beast represents a kingdom. Not a single man. In Daniel
7:17, it declares the four beasts to be “four kings”, but the fact that verse 23 describes the
fourth beast as being a “kingdom” serves to demonstrate that the terms “king” or “kings”
and “kingdom” or “kingdoms” are interchangeable when it comes to prophetic symbolism.
Why? Because the king of a nation is the head-figure that embodies and represents his
entire kingdom. Likewise, in Daniel chapter 8 verses 20 and 21, we find that the twohorned Ram represents the kings of Media and Persia and the Goat represents the king of
Greece. But then a notable horn representing another king grows out of the Ram, and we
know that a king does not grow out of a king. So we are speaking of kingdoms here. Finally,
looking closely at Daniel 8 verses 21 and 22, we discover that the Goat is indeed a
“nation”. “The rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is
the first king. Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall
stand up out of the nation, but not in his power” (Dan. 8:21,22). Thus we see that four
kingdoms, which were four horns, stand up out of “the nation”. Which nation? The Goat
which represents Greece, or the king of Greece.
2. Revelation 13 does not call the Beast “a man” as alleged, rather, it uses the terminology
“he”. To begin with, if this beast is “one man”, how does he have 7 heads and 10 horns?
Daniel also tells us that horns can represent kingdoms. Daniel 8 verses 9 and 22 prove this
without a shadow of a doubt, that these 4 horns are “four kingdoms”. Saying that a horn
is a “king” is another way to express it (verse 21)—simply for the fact that a king is the
head of a nation, and the king is the representative figure OF a nation. In Daniel 7:24, the
ten horns are called “ten kings”, while in 8:22 horns are called “kingdoms”. So, just like the
beasts in Daniel 7 are called both “kings” (v17) and “kingdoms” (v23), likewise, the same
principle applies for the horns. Kings do not grow out of kings. But new kingdoms headed
by a king do split off from previous kingdoms.
3. In 2 Thessalonians 2:3,4, it describes the Antichrist power as the “man of
lawlessness” and “son of perdition”. The argument that this must be exclusively one man in
the future is based on poor exegesis, and we shall see why. First of all, Paul warned that in
his day, the “mystery of lawlessness” was already at work in his day (verse 7), and that this
would continue ALL THE WAY until the consummation of our Lord, when “that LAWLESS
ONE will be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth” (verse
8). This proves that it cannot be exclusively a single man, because Paul unequivocally and
unapologetically expresses that this mystery of lawlessness was already beginning in his
day (yes, the very elements of Catholicism were already brewing through the savage wolves
who were entering the church), and would continue ALL the way until the coming of the
Lord. This matches Daniel 8:25 where it speaks of how this Little Horn would eventually be
“broken without hand” after standing up against the Prince of princes, which is Jesus
Christ (to be “broken without hand” means no earthly power will destroy it, but it will be
destroyed by Divine Power). That’s the Papacy for you! It began in Paul’s day, it showed its
head after Paul died, and it’s still in existence today. A PERFECT fulfillment! It has
received a deadly wound (Revelation 13:3) terminating its Dark Age reign, but this wound
is in the process of being healed (13:12).

4. While it is undeniable that the Papal Church is headed by a single man, the Pope—we
must remember that at the same time it is wrong to assume that this “man of sin” must
be exclusively and only a “single, evil man in the future”. We should have no doubt that the
Pope is a physical expression of the "Man of Sin". However, let us be careful to not stretch
this to the point that the "man of sin" does not "include" an entire system through its
dynastical line of Popes. While Paul expressly uses "the Man of Sin" in 2 Thess 2:3, he also
uses the expression "Man of God" in 1Tim 6:11 and 2Tim 3:17 which state: "But thou,
O MAN OF GOD, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love,
patience, meekness."..."That the MAN OF GOD may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto
all good works."
Let us raise the question: Is there only ONE "man of God"? It is interesting how Paul
himself uses both expressions "The Man of God", and "The Man of Sin". We begin to see,
therefore, that it is the officiating authority and seat of the Popes being spoken of here, not
a single man exclusively isolated into the future.
5. Regarding the notion that it is “an unauthorized allegorization” to throw an entire
system into the Lake of Fire, take careful note to the following texts which cause this
argument to fall flat on its face:
"And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously
with HER, shall bewail HER, and lament for HER, when they shall see the smoke of
her burning." (Rev 18:9) "And HER smoke rose up for ever and ever." (Rev 19:3) -compare with..."And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and
brimstone, where the BEAST and the FALSE PROPHET are, and shall be tormented
day and night for ever and ever." (Rev 20:7)
Let us raise two reasonable questions:
(a) Who is the "HER" in these texts that is burning? It's the Harlot Woman of
Revelation 17, is it not? And she represents the system of Babylon according to
Revelation 17:18.
(b) If our critics can accept that this Harlot Woman is also a system that will burn
with fire, and that it is not a single woman, should it not be just as easy and
reasonable for them to conclude the same for the Beast and False Prophet?
Just because the entire Harlot Woman system will burn forever and ever doesn’t mean
everyone who WAS in the system will burn with her. They will separate from her. This is
why they are called to COME OUT of HER (Babylon)! See Revelation 18:4.
If the woman can be identified as a “she”, yet represent a system (because we are called to
“come out of HER”) why can’t the Beast also be referred to as a “he”, and still be a system as
well? The prophet Daniel in chapter 2 verse 38 refers to Nebuchadnezzar and says “THOU
art this head of gold” concerning the dream of the great metallic image. Was
Nebuchadnezzar the head of gold, or was it the entire kingdom of Babylon? Obviously
both! But Nebuchadnezzar was the representative of his kingdom! Verse 39 says “And

AFTER THEE shall arise ANOTHER KINGDOM!” This becomes glaringly obvious for the
fact that there were still two more Babylonian kings that took the throne following
Nebuchadnezzar before Babylon was overtaken by Medo-Persia.
Are we now getting a clearer picture of prophetic terminology? I believe so. A king and a
kingdom are used interchangeably to represent a kingdom! According to the literalistic
principles laid out by Futurists concerning the Beast and the False Prophet, consistency
would demand that the Harlot Woman of Revelation be a single and literal woman. Are
they willing to push it this far? Or are they willing to allow the Bible to be its own
interpreter?
If you have pet lion, and it is a male lion, and someone asks you “where is your lion?”, what
would you say? You would say “he’s in the cage”! No wonder the beast of Revelation 13 is
referred to as a “he”. A ferocious beast is no doubt identified with a male. A male lion with
wings is a “he” too. The lion in Daniel 7 is recognized by most Biblical scholars as
“Babylon”. Interestingly, Babylon is also represented as a “her” in Revelation.
Finally, and conclusively, we have that famous passage from Paul in Romans chapter 13
concerning the higher powers of Rome. In rebuking those who felt they needed to physically
rebel and take up arms against the Roman Empire, as well as avoid paying their taxes to
Caesar, please carefully notice Paul’s terminology concerning the Pagan Roman power:
“(1) Let every soul be subject unto the HIGHER POWERS. For there is no power but
of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. (2) Whosoever therefore resisteth the
POWER, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to
themselves damnation. (3) For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil.
Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have
praise of the same:…
Now pay close attention to the following the rest of this passage:
(4) For HE [the POWER] is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that
which is evil, be afraid; for HE beareth not the sword in vain: for HE is
the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.” ~
(Romans 13:1-4)
Here we see that Paul unambiguously declares the power and system of the Roman
Empire as a “HE” and a “minister” of God to execute wrath upon those who do evil.
We therefore should be able to clearly see how these arguments put forth by both Preterist
and Futurist authors against the historical understanding of the Antichrist are not built on
solid principles of prophetic interpretation. Unbeknownst to the majority in the Christian
world, much of this confusion is due to the infiltration of Jesuit works which began at the
Council of Trent in the mid 16th century to counter the Reformation and eliminate from the
minds of the people that the Antichrist of Bible prophecy could ever be realized in the Papal
System. It is my invitation to all Preterists and Futurists (and all those who subscribe to
Dispensationalism and its kin) to abandon these Jesuit inspired theologies at once. They

were clearly meant to mask the identity of Antichrist so that the world can no longer see its
applicability to Rome. This is exactly what the Devil has been trying to accomplish with
the Protestant Christian world for the last 500 years.
May God help us in these last days to study diligently so that we might discern what the
Bible is truly trying to convey to us regarding these matters. Let us pray earnestly that we
may not fall victim to false interpretations of scripture that can lead us down the path of
deception, and ultimately, destruction.
May truth and righteousness reign supreme in our lives!
Recommended and Related Sources (links):
- Futurism’s Incredible Journey ~ by Pr. Stephen Bohr :
http://secretsunsealed.org/downloads/futurismsincrediblejourney.pdf
(This article documents the incredible journey of Futurism, and how it has impacted
modern Protestantism)
- The Catholic Origins of Futurism and Preterism:
http://www.aloha.net/~mikesch/antichrist.htm
- The Rise and Spread of Futurism:
http://amazingdiscoveries.org/RT_encyclopedia_Futurism_Counter-Reformation
- Futurism and Preterism: Antichrist’s Dangerous Detours:
http://amazingdiscoveries.org/RT_encyclopedia_Futurism_Preterism_Catholic
- Futurist and Futurism Truth:
http://www.futurist-futurism.com/
- Preterist and Preterism Truth:
http://www.preterist-preterism.com/
- Historicist and Historicism Truth:
http://www.historicist-historicism.com/

Untangling Misconceptions concerning Historicists made by Futurists:
Q) Are Historicists essentially “Preterists”? Do Historicists deny “Future
Applications” of Bible Prophecy?
A) I have run into a number of Dispensational-Futurists who accuse Historicists of
essentially believing in Preterism. They argue that both Historicism and Preterism
essentially operate on the same principles— only differing in time periods. But I hope to
show this to be categorically untrue. Historicism is very much opposed to Preterism and its
principles as Futurism claims to be. But both Futurism and Preterism share some sharp
commonalities. They both deny the day-for-year principle as defined for us in Ezekiel 4:6

and Numbers 14:34, along with a host of other day-for-year parallels found in scripture.
Both principles place the Antichrist outside of the Dark Ages, either into the distant past
during the time of Antiochus Epiphanies IV or Nero, or exclusively into the future during a
supposed 7 year tribulation. In fact, it can be argued that Preterism actually has more in
common with Futurism than does Historicism. Futurism, like Preterism, in most cases
identifies the Little Horn of Daniel 8 as Antiochus Epiphanies IV, but they say that the
Little Horn of the Beast in Daniel 7 is different from the Little Horn in Daniel 8, and they
push Daniel 7’s Little Horn as the future Antichrist. Like in Daniel 7, Historicism applies
the Little Horn of Daniel 8 also to Rome, except in chapter 8 it encompasses both Pagan
and Papal, whereas in chapter 7 the Little Horn represents Rome’s Papal phase. In
addition, Preterism, like Futurism, takes the 1260 days or 3 ½ years of Antichrist
supremacy and makes them literal days rather than symbolic days which stand for years
according to Historicists.
It appears that Futurists constantly confuse "Futurism" with a "Future Application". They
wrongly conclude that we Historicists place no prophecies into the future, and assert that,
like Preterists, we place the Antichrist and great tribulation in the past like the Preterists,
except we apply them during the dark ages. But there is a big difference that they are
missing. Futurism has to do with the fact that the Antichrist is placed EXCLUSIVELY
(take note, "exclusively") beyond the year 1798 (the terminus point for the 1260 years of
Papal supremacy over the saints). The Early Church Fathers, such as Ireneaus and
Hyppolytus held "futuristic elements" no doubt. But these "futuristic elements" were not
enough to make them "Futurists", because they lived prior to the rooted establishment of
the arm of the Papacy, primarily 538 (the precise date is insignificant however). What
makes one a Futurist, is that while seeing prophecy from today’s perspective they bypass
1000+ years of history, and insert a "gap", by making the Antichrist exclusively one single
man in the future. They appeal to the ante-Nicene Church Fathers to make their case, but
fail to keep in mind that Church Fathers like Ireneaus and Hyppolytus believed the world
would end no later than 500 A.D. which would have understandably eclipsed their ability to
comprehend a 1260 year Antichrist reign future from their time. The fact that we are
living some 1500 years beyond that date establishes their limited perceptions of prophecy to
be “outdated”, which qualifies the Protestant Reformers and later Waldenses as more
suitable witnesses for identifying Antichrist since they were able to look back
retrospectively over 1000 years of history, not to mention that they experienced the sword
of persecution by that haughty Papal power like no one else. It would seem that Futurists
should know this, but they ignore it.
Futurists do not need to get us wrong, for we do believe in a Future Tribulation, and we do
believe in a future Antichrist manifestation. But there is not the slightest intimation that
this Future Tribulation, which commences after the deadly wound is healed, is based on
any specified time period in the Bible. The contexts of Daniel 11:40-45; 12:1; and Revelation
13:11b-18 place this future tribulation as transpiring sometime after the 1260 years of
Papal Supremacy. As a Historicist, believing in a Future Tribulation will never make me a
"Futurist", rather, this would simply add the next scenario in the grand prophetic puzzle,
because upon close inspection, the Historicist model covers centuries of human history, all
the way up to the consummation which commences the millennial period. We also mustn’t
forget that Matthew 24 has about three applications regarding the great tribulation. The
first application has to do with the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. by Titus and the
Christians who were to flee to Pela. The secondary application points to the 1260 years of

Papal persecution during the Dark Ages. And the third application points to the very end of
the world. Had Jesus unveiled these details in transparent terminology to the disciples, it
would have crushed their spirits, and stifled their longing expectancy for the soon return of
their Lord. Out of mercy, God veiled their eyes from perceiving the fact that this world
would bear another 2000 years or so of sin.
It should be noted that Futurism exclusively forces the bulk of the prophecies in Daniel 7, 8,
9, 11, 12 and Revelation 11, 12, 13, and 17 into the future. Preterism forces the bulk of
these prophecies prior to the Papacy during when Rome was governed by the Caesars.
Historicism, on the other hand, soundly perceives the prophecies as being spread out in a
"continuous fashion" over the centuries, taking into account the "PAST", the "PRESENT",
AND the "FUTURE".
So yes, there will be a future tribulation, and we call this tribulation the “Time of Trouble”
as per Daniel 12:1. This has to do with the healing of the wound of the beast in Revelation
13, because once this wound is fully healed, he will turn upon God’s people. This is the
"second manifestation" of the Papacy, which as of yet has not come to pass. Paul makes it
very clear that the "mystery of lawlessness" (2 Thess 2:7) was already at work in Paul's day,
and finally he concludes in verse 8 that the "Lawless one would be destroyed by the
brightness of His coming" (Verse 8 ). This emphatically suggests that the elements of the
Antichrist Power began in Paul's day as it swelled up into the Man of Sin, and will continue
till the very end of time. The Papacy meets this fulfillment with razor-sharp fulfillment,
and this interpretation has withstood the test of time.
A twist to this whole thing is that many Historicists do believe there will be a “single
Antichrist-individual” just before Jesus comes. But it won’t be a human, but Satan himself.
Satan will transform himself into an “angel of light” (2 Cor 2:14), and will perform signs
and lying wonders (2 Thess. 2:9). But this does not eclipse the plain Biblical fact that the
previous succession of Popes filled the seat of Antichrist. Satan’s wonder-working power
simply brings the drama to a close. After all, he is represented as the Dragon who gave the
Beast (Antichrist) it’s “power, and his seat, and great authority” (Rev. 2). The Biblical
evidence is quite convincing that Satan will impersonate Christ and deceive millions of
people after he musters his crowning act in the great drama of deception. He will be sure to
deceive the masses as the coming Christ to usher in the dawning of a new age. He may even
seat himself in the Vatican, and the papacy may crown him king, or embrace him as their
Messiah. So, while the Antichrist “system” is fulfilled in the Papacy covering many
centuries, this Antichrist system will finally manifest itself with a single man…that being
Satan himself who may even take the Seat of St. Peter himself, impersonating an Angel of
Light (or a Messenger of Light as the Christ, but the false one at that. This of course would
be after the wound that was received in 1798 has fully healed!
This is clearly NOT Futurism. If you think about it, these future elements of prophecy do
not in any way destroy the sound principles of Historicism for which ALL our Protestant
Reformers subscribed to. These future events are simply prophetic events that transpire at
the end of a long chain of fulfilled prophecy throughout history. Said in other words,
Historicism finally reaches its “climax” on its future side.

In concluding, I wish to emphasize that Historicism is nearly a dead and forgotten breed
among the modern evangelical world. This hermeneutic of prophetic interpretation is
founded on the principles of Revelation 1:4, 8, 19; 22:16 which state:
"John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from
him which IS, AND WHICH WAS, AND WHICH IS TO COME; and from the
seven Spirits which are before his throne." (1:4)
"I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which IS,
AND WHICH WAS, AND WHICH IS TO COME, the Almighty." (1:8 )
"Write the things which thou HAST SEEN, and the THINGS WHICH ARE, and
the THINGS WHICH SHALL BE HEREAFTER." (1:19)
In essence, I fully believe that the Historicist hermeneutic is congruous with the nature of
God. The application takes serious note to the "Past", "Present", and "Future" applications
of Bible prophecy, by avoiding the pitfall of stuffing too much to the future, or too much to
the past--but rather gives careful attention to the "continuous" fulfillment of Bible prophecy
throughout human history stretching out over an unbroken chain of sequential events
leading all the way up to the consummation of all things—that Blessed Hope and Second
Advent of our Lord Jesus Christ in the clouds of glory. I believe that Historicism is not only
well-backed by scripture, but is also supported by volumes of exegetical Historicist works
from some of the greatest Bible minds of the past which have been largely forgotten by the
popular evangelical world of today, especially beginning around the mid 19th century and
on.
In closing, I will conclude this article with some salient points concerning Preterism. In no
possible way can Historicism be “essentially” categorized with Preterism as Futurists would
like it to be. The past fulfillments of prophetic events are not what define Preterism. What
defines Preterism is the placement of the Apocalyptic events relating to the Beast, its Mark,
the great tribulation, the seven seals, seven churches, and seven trumpets as all
transpiring before the Papacy was firmly established, and as being fulfilled during the time
of Pagan Rome. This is what “makes” the preterist interpretation. Adventist-Historicists
are just as much or more valiantly opposed to this perfidious teaching as are Futurists.
While the Preterist school of prophetic interpretation was founded by Catholic Jesuits,
Johannis Hentenius and Louis de Alcazar in the 16th century, the Futurist teaching was
sprouting up about the very same time by other Catholic Jesuits, namely Francisco Ribera
and Robert Bellarmino. All this was a ploy stemming from the Council of Trent to uproot
the God-ordained reformation teachings that pin-pointed the Man of Sin seated on the
Papal Throne.
Historicism sees the apocalyptic events as commencing in the days of the Apostles and
stretching all the way to the very end of time. It recognizes a total of three tribulation
periods upon God's people---Pagan Rome (Antiquity), Papal Rome (Dark Ages), and Revived
Papal Rome (yet future). What remains is the full healing of the deadly wound that was
inflicted in 1798.