|The Three D's|
|One of the casualties of
the Modernist revolution has been Catholic education in this country and throughout the
world. As we know this is a part of the strategy the Modernists have used to further their
agenda of creating a church within the Church. One of the aspects of the ignorance of most
Roman Catholics today is their inability to distinguish between 3 essential elements of
the Faith. These 3 elements are discipline, doctrine and dogma. They are related to each
other but separate in terms of importance and effect within the structure of the Church.
In regards to the importance of distinguishing between these 3 elements it was never more
evident than in the recent visit of Pope John Paul II to the Eastern United States. As
they are fond of doing, the various news service agencies began to take polls of what
Catholics think in this country about such issues as, Artificial Birth Control, Women
Priests, Married Priests, Abortion and Euthanasia to name a few. It is notable that they
always take these polls around the time the Pope is visiting and they tend to be based on
a merely democratic view of reality. Nevertheless, no matter how skewed and inaccurate
these polls may be where there is smoke there is fire and they do indicate a deplorable
amount of ignorance among the "Catholic" population of America about what they
can and cannot believe as a Roman Catholic and still remain one.
Knowledge about the 3 D's is essential to understanding what can change and what is unchangeable, what we must believe and what we do not necessarily have to believe in order to remain Roman Catholic. We will begin with Dogma.
Dogma: "The deposit of faith" (1 Tim. 6:20; 2 Tim. 1:14) is made up of the entire revelation of Jesus Christ to the Church both in Doctrine and Morals.
A dogma is a truth revealed by God, and as such is proposed by the Magisterium of the Church as necessary for belief. A person remains a Catholic in good standing only if he accepts in its entirety the full revelation of the Faith in its integrity. Dogmas because they are divinely revealed cannot change.
Dogmas are essential to the Faith. They cannot change. If any one dogma is denied by an individual or group of individuals the truth is not diminished by their denial, however, they remove themselves from the Body of Christ, the Church. The deliberate denial of a dogma of the Faith is called heresy. Heretics are the branches Jesus speaks of when he says:
"I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. If a man does not abide in me, he is cast forth as a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned." (John 15:5-6)
Dogmas are those truths revealed by Christ which have been explicitly defined by the Church through her teaching authority called the Magisterium. It is very important to remember that because these truths are essential to the Faith and have been revealed by Christ Himself they precede any Church clarification. Dogmatic pronouncements by the Church are simply clarifications of those revealed truths which have in some way been denied or challenged to the point that the Church must step forward to protect the deposit of faith from error and dilution. For instance, the dogma of Christ's Divinity, called the Hypostatic Union, was not defined by a General Ecumenical Council of the Church until the 4th Century. Nonetheless, it was always necessary for a Christian, in order to remain Christian, to believe that Jesus was not merely the Christ but was, in fact, God Himself who became a man for man's salvation. The meaning of each dogmatic truth remains the same throughout the ages and cannot change. The Modernists claim that dogmas "evolve" and actually change their meaning as man himself evolves and understands these truths in a completely different way. The Modernist does not believe in the fact that truth is absolute and immutable, for him all truth is relative and fluctuating with circumstances. The Catholic Church on the other hand recognizes the eternal immutability of the truth because it comes from God who is infinitely perfect and who does not change.
Doctrine: is the compilation of all the teaches of the Catholic Church. That includes those teachings which are necessary as well as those which are not essential to the complete integrity of the Faith. Also included in this category of revelation is the concept that there are dogmas which have yet to be defined, i.e., clarified, officially by the Church.
Doctrine differs from dogma in that it can be disputed and speculated upon until such time that it is officially defined by the Magisterium of the Church. For instance, the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception (When Mary was conceived without the stain of original sin in the womb of her mother Saint Ann) was speculated about and discussed for many centuries before Pope Pius IX explicitly defined it as a dogma for belief by all the faithful. St. Thomas Aquinas had, in fact, argued both for and against the possibility of the Immaculate Conception in his own writings. It was not until the Franciscan scholar Dun Scotus proposed the solution that the Blessed Virgin Mary was saved from sin by Jesus her Son in anticipation of His death on the Cross because it was an eternal act of redemption. Therefore, before Pope Pius IX defined the dogma of the Immaculate Conception any Catholic could have chosen not to believe it if they so desired. Belief was not necessary to one's integrity of the Faith until the Vicar of Christ clarified that it was.
Some doctrines are non-essential to the Faith but are nonetheless, important to it cohesion as a unified whole. These doctrines can be see as the threads that hold the whole fabric of the Faith together. They are not as developed and are more interesting to the theologian who's trying to understand the deeper significance a particular dogma must play within the realm of salvation history and personal salvation.
Some doctrines are essential not to the Faith but rather to the Moral Law of Christ. These moral precepts of Christ and the precepts of the Natural Law are subject to direct interpretation and clarification by the Teaching Authority of the Church. Things such as, the Churchís prohibition against artificial birth control, abortion, divorce and remarriage, premarital sex, drug and alcohol abuse, etc. all come under this category. In most cases these things have been defined within the Ordinary Magisterium of the Church and must be recognized and given intellectual ascent.
Discipline: Any rule, regulation, law and direction set down by the authority of the Church for guiding the faithful toward the perfection of the Gospel in their own lives and the life of the Church as a whole.
The discipline of the Church is the one area that has most effective power over the faithful. This is the place where we feel it the most because this area is subject to change and is the most visible reflection of our every day faith. Examples of disciplinary customs and regulations would be; abstaining from meat on Friday, married clergy, communion in the hand, altar-girls, saying the Mass in Latin or the vernacular, the obligation to go to Mass on designated Holy Days, etc. These things can change due to circumstances within a particular diocese or throughout the entire Church. In matters of discipline the Church is not infallible. The duty of the Magisterium in these matters is to create the most conducive atmosphere toward our salvation. The Church has the right and necessary obligation to place whatever strictures and sanctions it sees fit in order to coerce those who do not have the strength on their own to do those actions which are ultimately to their own benefit. For instance, before the modernist revolution there was a strict prohibition not to eat meat (from any air-breathing animal) on all Fridays of the year with special exceptions made if a holiday fell on a Friday. The sanction was strict; "on pain of mortal sin" and the only exception made was if the person ate meat without realizing it was Friday. When the revolution swept the Church it threw away this wonderful practice saying, as all liberals do, that we had matured as a People and we didn't need to be directed toward sacrifice even for our own good. In the new Code of Canon Law the following laws are promulgated regarding this traditional prohibition. Read these canons carefully and then see whether or not the law has really changed.
Days of Penance
Can.1249--All members of the Christian faithful in their own way are bound to do penance in virtue of divine law; in order that all may be joined in a common observance of penance, penitential days are prescribed in which the Christian faithful in a special way pray, exercise works of piety and charity, and deny themselves by fulfilling their responsibilities more faithfully and especially by observing fast and abstinence according to the norm of the following canons.
Can.1250--All Fridays through the year and the time of Lent are penitential days and times throughout the universal Church.
Can.1251--Abstinence from eating meat or another food according to the prescriptions of the conference of bishops is to be observed on Fridays throughout the year unless they are solemnities; abstinence and fast are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and on the Friday of the Passion and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Can.1252--All persons who have completed their fourteenth year are bound by the law of abstinence; all adults are bound by the law of fast up to the beginning of their sixtieth year. Nevertheless, pastors and parents are to see to it that minors who are not bound by the law of fast and abstinence are educated in an authentic sense of penance.
Can.1253--It is for the conference of bishops to determine more precisely the observance of fast and abstinence and to substitute in whole or in part for fast and abstinence other forms of penance, especially works of charity and exercises of piety.
The new Code of Canon Law has the full body of laws, rules and regulations based on the Faith. Every organization must have laws and regulations in order to bring it to its ultimate goal. The ultimate goal of the Church is the salvation of souls these laws are supposed to be designed to take us in that direction. However, we must have leadership. How many of you knew that we are all obligated to abstain from eating meat on Fridays throughout the year? Just because there is no longer a sanction of mortal sin does not mean we are not seriously obligated to practice penance. It is typical of today's poor leadership that we the faithful remain ignorant of those things instituted by the Church in order to lead us on the tried and true path toward salvation. Nevertheless, just because our leaders fail to inform the faithful it does not let us off the hook. We remain accountable, as individuals, to discover our obligations and to act upon them.
By understanding the differences between dogma, doctrine and discipline we have the ability to inform our family and friends, as well as anyone with whom the subject arises, about their confusion over what is necessary and what is not. I have met innumerable people who are well educated in many areas but have no idea about the essential differences between dogma, doctrine and discipline. I donít know how many times I have been in a discussion with someone who confused dogma with discipline not knowing that discipline can change and having their faith shaken when it does. Iím sure youíve heard the same thing.
"When I was growing up it was a mortal sin to eat meat on Friday now itís okay to eat meat on Friday. Thatís a perfect example of how the Church always changes its doctrines." If you should ever hear someone say this or have similar objections just hand them a copy of this article.
|Of all the events of the
20th Century that have affected the lives of millions and actually changed the course of
history the Second Vatican Council stands out as one of the most significant. When Pope
John XXIII called the Council there was an immediate response by several important
cardinals who opposed the idea on principle. Until 1963 no Council had ever been called
unless there was an extreme crisis in the Church which demanded a response by the whole
hierarchy. The cardinals who opposed Pope John XXIII's calling of a council claimed that
he was testing the Holy Spirit because there was at that time no crisis in the Church. In
fact the Church seemed healthier than it had ever been. The majority of people were going
to Mass. The priests and bishops were faithful. Modernism seemed to have been crushed by
Pope Pius X. The people were obedient to their pastors and a great sense of stability and
calm had permeated the faith of millions. There was no need for a council. So went their
argument. (Refer to "Ottaviani Intervention") Nonetheless, Pope John XXIII
believed that he had been inspired to call a council. Despite the objections of these good
cardinals, one of whom ran the Holy Office, (the Congregation whose task it was to protect
the faith from error) John XXIII went forward with his decision and he refused to be
swayed. According to the speech he gave at the opening session of the Council his
intention for calling the Council was to end an atmosphere of animosity that seemed to
have existed in the Church for at least the last 450 years. This atmosphere, according to
his way of thinking, seemed to set the Church up as "an embattled citadel"
causing the Church to be opposed to the world in such a way that Pope John XXIII believed
it to be counterproductive. Thus, that by "throwing open the doors and windows of the
Church" it would, according to him, allow the Holy Spirit to bring about a "new
Pentecost". He hoped for a new spring time in the Church where the Church rather than
fleeing the world would come out from behind its walls and "embrace" the world.
For Pope John XXIII the duty of the Church was not to oppose the world but to reach out to
the world and transform it by love. "To teach the truth through love" was his
quest and the inspiration that led him to call the Second Vatican Council.
From this new atmosphere sprang the ecumenical movement which was so highly regarded during the Council. Pope John also made certain compromises in order to make his Council as Ecumenical as possible. He invited both Orthodox and Protestant observers who would have some influence in the Council. So desperate was he to make this Council truly representative of the whole Christian world that in order for the Russian Orthodox Patriarch and Bishops to be able to attend he promised the Soviet government leaders that there would be no explicit condemnation of communism by the Council. This frightened many prelates who saw in this compromise the subversion of the only valid reason for a council to be called in the first place. In other words, if there was a need for a council to be called it was at least for the purpose of officially condemning forever the errors of socialism and atheistic communism. This had already been done by Pope Pius XI but a council called to condemn the errors of the modern world would be the only rational reason for the drastic action of calling a council. However, with his promise to the Soviets, Pope John XXIII had made this impossible. It was quite perplexing and disturbing to those supremely orthodox Roman Catholic cardinals and bishops who understood the ramifications of Pope John's actions. At the same time he came out with beautiful documents that expressed clearing and precisely the truths of the Catholic faith. It may even surprise many of my readers that he wrote an excellent document praising and extolling the perpetual use of Latin in the liturgy and Church documents. In fact, in this letter he reiterates the necessity of a universal language for the Church in order to maintain unity and continuity throughout the Church.
For Pope John XXIII the Second Vatican Council was designed to correct outdated practices in monasteries and convents as well as to give a breath of fresh air to the whole Church. The question is what have been the fruits of this Council? For 35 years we have been living under its effects. Is the Church better off than it was before the Council? Has there been an increase in converts in proportion to world population? Have the Religious Orders grown in numbers? Have vocations to the priesthood increased? Has Mass attendance increased over the last 35 years? The obvious answer to all these questions is a NO! In fact, just the opposite of what was promised at the convening of the Council has taken place. It seems that all the dire predictions made by those wise cardinals and bishops before the Council began have come to pass.
A Pastoral Council?
After the Council was called a commission was set up to set out a structure for the Council by which it could formally address certain issues and make its pronouncements. Every major Church Council that preceded Vatican II was a DOGMATIC COUNCIL. In other words, it was convened to address important challenges to the Faith and to clarify the Church's position in a definitive manner. Therefore, each council not only defined clearly and precisely what the Church has always taught but it pronounces, declares and defines what must be believed by all Christians in order for them to be Christian. For instance in the 2 great councils held before Vatican II the Church defined as dogma certain beliefs that up til then had been held as a matter of Faith but which had been challenged. Thus the Council of Trent defined precisely the revelation of Jesus concerning; justification by faith, the Eucharist, the number of canonical books in the Holy Scriptures, the sacraments in general and specifically, and basically all those beliefs that the Church had held from the Apostles up until the end of the 16th Century. The First Vatican Council defined the dogma of Papal Infallibility.
In each major Council of the Church there were lists of what are called Canons. These are the specific dogmatic statements that have been defined with a sanction against those who refuse to accept the definition. For example one of the canons of the Council of Trent states:
"If anyone denies that, in the sacrament of the most holy Eucharist are contained truly, really and substantially, the body and blood together with the soul and divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and consequently the whole Christ; but saith that He is only therein as in a sign, or figure, or virtue; let him be anathema." ("Anathema" means "accursed", as in those who are damned. St. Paul uses this term to describe those who are heretics). The definition of truth and the clarification of an article of the Faith along with the condemnation of the error and those who proclaim the heretical idea has always been the trademark of every legitimate major Council in the Church's history.
When Pope John formed the commission that would set up the Council's agenda they followed the same principles to organize the Council that every other Council had followed. When the Council was ready to begin several northern European bishops, especially from Germany, swayed the Council to throw out the preparatory commission's schema and they replaced it with a much looser and more pliable format. The result was the first "Pastoral" Council. In essence this means that there was no definitive pronouncements of dogma or condemnation of errors with subsequent sanctions. Instead we had a Council that was primarily disciplinary. It was established to create a new way of thinking. Consequently, everything in Church discipline changed. The problem with this is that anyone with any sense of human nature can tell you that the disciplinary matters of any institution are the outward manifestation of the institutions deep convictions. Change the outward signs and symbols and you ultimately change the institution.
2 Important Considerations
Now there are two observations to be made concerning the fact that the Second Vatican Council only changed discipline and, therefore, was only pastoral in nature. First, we must consider whether or not the "movers and shakers" of the Council were aware of the consequences of what they were doing or if they were ignorant of human nature to such a degree that they really didn't understand what they were doing. And secondly, we must finally ask the question that has begged to be answered for many years: Since the restructuring of discipline inspired by the Second Vatican Council has been, for all intents and purposes , a total failure and spiritual disaster should we consider scrapping the whole affair and return to the tried and true disciplines of the past?
A Malicious Conspiracy
Let me address the first concern mentioned above. I believe that given all the evidence that has been and can be gathered from the last 35 years a substantial case can be made to show that the present turmoil in the Church was a deliberately and maliciously enacted strategy bent on the destruction of the Roman Catholic Church as it had developed over the centuries. If one reads the writings of the late archbishop Annibale Bugnini one will discover an obvious conspiracy to literally change the whole structure of the Roman Catholic Church to reflect more of a democracy than a theocracy. The Liturgy being the most visible manifestation of Roman Catholic Faith became the primary object of attack. It was in the changes to the liturgy that this hard core faction of infidels, who had infiltrated into the highest ranks of the Church, began to work their ultimate plan. It is because of this that the foundations of the faith of many souls was destabilized. I believe these men were actually planted within the Church as subversives with an agenda and if you look at the evidence you will find that there is enough to convict a massive group of individuals; cardinals, bishops, priests, religious and lay people all of whom were and are leaders, pawns or dupes of a conspiracy to destroy the Roman Catholic Church. They used as their launching pad the Second Vatican Council which they subverted to their own ends from the beginning and basically made the revolutionary changes in discipline obsolete before the documents of the Council were even promulgated.
A Failed Experiment
In regards to the second concern mentioned above, it is obvious that the disciplinary changes put forth by the Second Vatican Council have failed miserably to do what they set out to do. By the grace of God and the protection of the Holy Spirit this Council was not dogmatic and therefore did not proclaim any "dogmas " in the name of the Church that would have been contrary to the Catholic Faith. There are statements in the documents of the Council that border on the heretical but these statements are so vague and ambiguous that they can be interpreted in such a way as to fit into orthodoxy. However, the majority of the documents either reiterate the dogmas proclaimed and defined in past councils or they strictly apply to changes in discipline. DISCIPLINE CAN CHANGE!!!! If the disciplinary changes recommended by the Second Vatican Council have failed to produce the intended fruit that good, conservative, orthodox bishops in good faith intended then it is time to cut down the tree because the fruit is rotten. Jesus taught constantly about those trees that bear bad fruit. In Luke 13:6-9 He tells the story about a fig tree that bore no fruit for 3 years. The master of the garden told the gardener to cut it down but the gardener asked for one more season to till the soil, fertilize it and cultivate around it. If the tree did not produce fruit after that he would cut it down for fire wood. God has given Pope John Paul II a season. The tree of Vatican II is rotten. It is time to cut it down and restore to the Church the stability that has been lost.
I am not a reactionary nut nor am I a schismatic. The Second Vatican Council is not a dogmatic Council and the disciplinary changes and ideas that were promulgated in the Council can and should be changed. They have failed to bring about what they have promised and it's time to recognize the failure. Please understand that I am not saying that everything in Vatican II is wrong or damaging to the Church. Many parts of the documents are beautiful and inspiring. I believe that it is our duty to proclaim the truth through love and we should reach out to our separated brethren to give them the One True Faith. But we must not subjugate truth to human affection nor should we compromise the truth for the sake of a false unity. If you read the Second Vatican Council document on the Sacred Liturgy it says nothing about changing the structure or content of the Traditional Latin Mass. In fact, what seemed like major revolutionary changes to the liturgy at the time would seem like minor adjustments compared to what we have in the Mass of Paul VI. If we could only go back to the proposed changes to the liturgy of the Second Vatican Council it would be a million times better than what we have now. The Traditional Latin Mass is the perfection of a liturgical development of over 1700 years. It contains within itself a continual expression of the Roman Catholic Faith handed down from the Apostles. The "invented" Mass of Paul VI is watered down and Protestantized. In fact, a commission containing at least 5 prominent Protestant "theologians" was consulted in the composition of the Mass of Paul VI. Why? Simply, to conform the Church to the Masonic agenda of a new world order and to prepare the way for the Catholic Church to move closer to a one world religion in which its dogmas and doctrines will be compromised, homogenized and diluted to make them "inoffensive" to the majority of the world's population. If you think I am way off base please challenge what I have said. I will be more than happy to answer any challenge with the facts. It is time to reevaluate the results of the Second Vatican Council and not be afraid to recognize that its publicly stated goals have failed miserably to be achieved. In fact, it has been a total success in regard to the goals of the modernist heretics and infidels who have used it effectively to subvert and destroy the Catholic Faith in the hearts and minds of millions of individuals who still think they are Catholic when in reality they are only modernist dupes.
|"Here is wisdom. He who has understanding, let him calculate
the number of the beast, for it is the number of The Man; and its number is six hundred
and sixty-six." (Apocalypse 13:18)
"Let no one deceive you in any way, for the day of the Lord will not come until the apostasy comes first, and The Man of Sin is revealed, The Son of Perdition who opposes and is exalted above all that is called God, or that is worshipped, so that he sits in the temple of God and gives himself out as if he were God. ...you know what restrains him, that he may be revealed in his proper time. For the mystery of iniquity is already at work.... And when the wicked one is revealed, whom Jesus will slay with the breath of His mouth and will destroy with the brightness of His coming. The Antichrist comes, by the working of Satan, with all power and signs and lying wonders and with all wicked deception to those who are perishing. For they refused to accept the love of truth by which they could be saved. Therefore, God sends them a misleading influence that they may believe falsehood, that they may be judged who have not believed the truth, but have preferred wickedness." (Thessalonians 2:3-12)
There have been many Antichrists who have come throughout history and by their actions have opposed Christ. But toward the end of time there will be a man who, by deception, shall lead astray almost the entire world. (Mark 13:6;21-23) All the other Antichrists have had followers because being possessed by powerful devils they had influence over those who were filled with sin and error. But there were always those who saw the evil and resisted them. These Antichrists were eventually defeated either by force or by death. But at the End of the Age a man, born in obscurity, will bring solutions to all those things that have plagued man since the fall of Adam and Eve. He will be comely in appearance, handsome and attractive. His forked tongue will have the eloquence of angels, his honeyed words will pierce to the very heart those who hear him. His arguments and positions will be so well presented that even those who recognize him will be hard pressed to resist what he has to say. He will "heal" the sick, raise the dead to life, walk on water, call down fire from the sky in what seems to be in a miraculous manner. In short, he will ape Christ. His kindness will be so renowned and his generosity to those who follow him so unmatched that the whole world will run after him. The ignorant will believe that this is Christ come in the flesh again. They will actually believe that this is the second coming which Jesus predicted. Not having studied the scriptures or knowing that Jesus will not be born again but that in His Second Coming He will come in the glory of the angels on the clouds of heaven, they will worship this False Christ, (Apocalypse 13:4). He will promise his followers Utopia; a thousand year reign of glory, power, health and prosperity. After he convinces everyone in the middle east that he is truly the long awaited Messiah he will consolidate his power and authority and will cause revolutions in the nations where the governments still oppose him. He will quickly and decisively defeat his enemies because of their weakened internal divisions and eventually he will rule the world. Because of his kindness and non-retribution toward his defeated enemies even they will come to pay him homage.
It is one of man's innate desires to be lead by someone in who he can believe. He is always impressed by those who have power and authority and can exercise that authority with what appears to be justice and mercy. Antichrist will be a leader par excellence. In fact, all other charismatic leaders of the past will be but shadow images of this man and his influence over the peoples of the world. The hysteria of the German people that Hitler inspired will be nothing to the madness that will infect at least 90% of the world's population.
Antichrist will be born of Israelite parents who are most probably from the tribe of Dan (Genesis 49:17) (Jer. 8:16) (Apocalypse Chap. 7). He may be born in Rome or Iraq (Daniel 11) but it is certain from Sacred Scripture and Holy Tradition that he will be a child of Israel. There are two references that indicate that the Israelites will see in him their long awaited messiah.
" I have come in the name of my Father and you do not receive Me. If another comes in his own name him you will receive."
(John 5:43) And (Thess. 2:3-12)
This of course could never happen if he himself were not an Israelite. He will not be the product of witchcraft, in the sense that he will be born of a jackal as is portrayed in the movie "The Omen" but rather will have a natural birth. However, it is most likely that Satanic rituals will surround the conception and birth of the child and it will be certain that from the very beginning his life will be surrounded by those who will teach him the ways of the evil one. As soon as he is capable in reason and will he will submit his will entirely to Lucifer. He will embrace him as his father and Lucifer will possess him entirely. This will be Satan's greatest opportunity to mock the Blessed Trinity and to attempt to undo all that the redemption of Jesus accomplished. He will instruct his adopted "son" in all the ways of evil and Satan shall give to him all his power and authority (Apocalypse 13:2) in imitation of all that God the Father gave to Jesus as Son of Man.
Antichrist will imitate his "father" perfectly. In fact, Satan himself will infuse his own knowledge into Antichrist, giving him an almost angelic intelligence. Now as we know Satan is "...a murderer from the beginning, and has not stood in the truth because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie he speaks from his very nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies." (John 8:44).
Antichrist's deception of the whole human race will be complete. (Matt. 24:24). He will outwardly pretend to live entirely by the Mosaic laws. An Israelite of Israelites he will come as Jesus did but unlike Jesus who disappointed the Israelites by allowing Himself to be crucified Antichrist will take possession of Israel and then quickly and decisively he will conquer all the nations of the middle east. During this time he will be incredibly generous to his followers. Prosperity and affluence will surround him and all those who follow him. Satan will reveal to him all the hidden treasures of the earth and before he comes to power he will take possession of this wealth giving him great influence and power (Daniel 11:43). He will be despised at first as he presents himself to his people but then through deception and stealth he will assume the reigns of power in Israel (Daniel 11:21). Once in power he will demonstrate his power through signs and wonders which will only be more deception. They will be "preternatural" wonders wrought by the demons that are constantly surrounding Antichrist and with whom he has been in complete communion since birth.
The Israelites Will Believe He is the Messiah
Once he has convinced everyone that he is the Messiah sent by God he will set up his seat of power in Jerusalem. He will conquer all remaining enemies and make the leaders of their individual nations governors under himself. The conquest of his enemies will come very quickly. The majority of the world's population will welcome his governing of the world. They will have all longed for a leader with such a charismatic presence and one who seemingly has brought peace, prosperity and security to every corner of the earth. They will remember the Great Monarch (Apocalypse 12) who had united the world under the standard of Christ the great golden age of the Church and they will believe this is Christ come again. In fact, Antichrist will "prove" himself to be "the Christ". By the power of his outward "miracles" he will convince even his worst critics that he is who he claims to be. Where the Jews rejected Jesus, despite the true miracles he performed for all to see, they will accept Antichrist because he will fulfill their long awaited hopes for a messiah who will conquer their enemies and bring the reign of peace.
Antichrist Rebuilds the Temple in Jerusalem
After consolidating his power and setting up his government in Jerusalem Antichrist will rebuild the Temple of Solomon upon the original sight of the ancient Temple. This will be completed within about two years into his reign. He will re-institute the Sabbath laws and will begin the ancient sacrifices of the Mosaic laws. Though the genealogies of the Israelites have been lost and knowledge of who is of the tribe of Levi, Antichrist will provide a faked genealogy that will be accepted by the Israelites. Antichrist will, through great eloquence and argumentation convince the majority of the world's people that Jesus the True Messiah and Christ was merely a magician and sorcerer who deceived millions. Incredibly but just as all the servants of Satan have done he will accuse his Enemy of the very crime of which he himself is guilty and the people will believe him. Thus the great Apostasy will begin. Millions will turn away from the Church. Millions will blaspheme the one true Christ and will instead worship the Antichrist. (Apocalypse 13)
The Man of Sin
All the while as the people are convinced by this man's lies he will be living not according to the laws of Moses as he pretends but rather he will be corrupt and lascivious, a libertine from the beginning. He will be filled with demonic pride and lust. All of the deadly sins will find their perfection in him. Yet all the while his propaganda machine will convince the people that he is truly holy and pure.
After the great apostasy of the majority of Catholics from the One True Faith, Antichrist will begin the most fierce persecution of the Church ever perpetrated by any man or government in all of human history. Using the false prophet as his instrument to incite the people he will systematically hunt down and kill any Roman Catholic who can be found. He will institute an economic system based upon credit and technology where an image (that is, the name or number of Antichrist , 666) will be stamped on the back of a person's right hand or on their forehead. This mark will identify a person as a follower of the Antichrist and an active citizen of his world government (Apocalypse 13:16). Without this mark it will be impossible for anyone to purchase anything or to sell anything. This economic system will end the use of money. It will be a part of the "utopia" that Antichrist sets up. A cashless society. The people who refuse to have the mark placed on their bodies will be automatically excluded from this utopian society. They will have to hide and use black markets to get food and the mere necessities of life.
Under the pretext of righting the wrongs of anti-Semitism which according to the Antichrist will have its origins in the Catholic Church he and the False Prophet will execute hundreds of thousands of Catholics. They will attempt to outdo Hitler's "Final Solution" and attempt to exterminate all those Catholics left on earth who refuse to bow down in worship of the Antichrist. Our best example of this can be found in Hitler and his propaganda minister Paul Goebbles, or Hermann Goring, his Reichsmarschall. Antichrist will also have such men surrounding him but the False Prophet will be a thousand times more powerful and effective than were these predecessors.
A Place of Refuge
God will protect His People. He will not allow Antichrist to destroy the Church or to completely overcome her. (Matthew 16:18) She will be taken into the desert and protected from the full blows of the persecution. (Apocalypse 12:6). The gates of Hell will not prevail against the Church not now and not in the future. This, of course will be a great irritation to Antichrist. His pride will demand that he have no opposition from anyone especially the Catholics whom he knows will know who and what he really is. His hatred for them will grow daily.
The Conversion of the Jews
In his demonic pride, having made himself the true ruler of the world, he will finally change the names of the month and the seasons. He will change the times of the years and make the first year of his reign the first year of the new calendar. He will believe that his reign will last for 1000 years and Satan will convince him that he has nothing to fear from God because in his pride Lucifer will actually believe that he can defeat the forces of Christ once and for all.
Finally, Antichrist will set up a new religion. He will make the False Prophet his "Pope" and will enter the Temple he has rebuilt. There he will set up a throne within the Holy of Holies and there he will sit and proclaim himself God.
By this time Antichrist will not be able to continue to seduce the majority of Israelites. The pretence of holiness will fade and they will realize they have been duped. It is at this point that the prophecies will be fulfilled and Israel will convert to the Catholic faith completely and entirely, especially through the preaching of Elijah and Enoch (Malachi 4:5; Ecclesiasticus 48:10; Romans 11:25-27; 2 Corinthians 3:16; Apoc. 7:5).
Elijah and Enoch
Both of these men have been preserved from death in order to appear at the end of time to give testimony to the truth which will have been suppressed by Antichrist and the False Prophet (Genesis 5:22-24; Ecclesiasticus 44:16; Hebrews 11:5; 2 Kings 2:11; Ecclesiasticus 48:9; 1 Maccabees 2:58; Matthew 17:11).
These two men are the two prophets spoken about in the Apocalypse 11:3-12. They will come to proclaim Jesus as Lord and will demonstrate the truth of the gospel to the Israelites. It is because of their preaching and miracles that the Israelites will ultimately be converted to the Faith. Antichrist will oppose them and attempt many times to kill them but he will be prevented from doing so. He will call down fire from heaven to consume them but with a wave of their hands they shall disperse the fire and it shall not come near them. This will be a great frustration to Antichrist and he will kill thousands of people to get to Elijah and Enoch.
As Moses and Aaron did in Egypt so will Elijah and Enoch do in Israel. They shall strike the Mediterranean sea and turn the waters to blood. They shall shut up heaven and it shall not rain while they are in Jerusalem and Israel. They will have the power to bring about plagues upon the followers of Antichrist. The plague of boils will be especially severe. (Apoc. 16:10) Antichrist will do everything in his power to heal these boils but will be unable to do so. (Apocalypse 11:3-6) Finally, the time of their prophecy will end and they will suffer the fate of their Lord. Their is a pious legend that says Antichrist will crucify them. This makes sense since they will be proclaiming Christ and Him crucified. Then their bodies will be thrown in the middle of the city square where they will lie as an example of Antichrist's power. All the followers of Antichrist will rejoice when they see their dead bodies lying in the street.. No one will be allowed to bury them and there will be great rejoicing over their death. (Apocalypse 11:7-10)
3 1/2 days later God will resurrect the bodies of Elijah and Enoch before a great number of people. His voice will be heard in the heavens bidding them to come to Him and they shall rise into heaven upon a cloud. At that moment the followers of Antichrist will be struck with terror and a massive earthquake will rock Jerusalem. 7000 people will perish and a tenth of the city will be in ruins. (Apoc. 11:12-13)
The Death of Antichrist
In order to undo the damage that the resurrection and assumption of Elijah and Enoch have done to Antichrist's reputation within the minds of his followers he will proclaim the assumption of the two prophets a trick of his enemies and will boast that he himself can ascend into heaven by his own power. (Daniel 11:45) He will stand upon Olivet in imitation of Jesus and with the whole world watching he will ascend into the firmament just as Elijah and Enoch had done. Remember he has been given angelic powers. It will be at that point that Christ will slay him in the air by a simple puff of this breath. (2 The. 2:8) The earth will open and will receive the Antichrist and the False Prophet and they will be cast into hell. (Apoc.19:20)
The Time Line
As you must realize this brief article cannot describe every event that will take place before the death of Antichrist and before the end of the world. But I will give you my opinion as to the scenario of events that will take place between now and the end of the world. This is not prophecy but educated conjecture using all that the Sacred Scripture, Holy Tradition, the Fathers, the Doctors and the Saints have to say. I do not make any claims here and leave everything to the judgment of the Roman Catholic Church but in my humble opinion we will not see The Antichrist in our life time.
First will come the three days of darkness around the year 2000. This will be a "minor Judgment" where all men will be shown the extent to which they have offended God. 3/4 to 5/6 of the world's population will be destroyed during the chastisement and those who are left through a special revelation will become Catholic if they are not Catholic already. The first 3 years after the chastisement will be very difficult but then because the earth has been cleansed and purified and the people have been formed into God's holy people a great era of peace will be granted to the world. This will be the reign of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and will be the fulfillment of the prophecies of Isaiah 11. This Golden age of the Church will last nearly 1000 years. It is a time in which Satan will be chained and will no longer seduce the nations. After this time men will have forgotten the great and terrible things the Lord did to save His people. They will know about it but will have no feeling for it and the fallen nature of man will no longer be suppressed by love or fear. Men will grow violent again and evil will fill the earth. It will be during this time that Antichrist will appear and at the same time so will Elijah and Enoch.
The reign of Antichrist will last 1290 days, 31/2 years (Daniel 12:11).. The preaching of the two prophets will last 1260 days (Apoc. 11:3). Antichrist will reign 30 days after the death and resurrection of the prophets then he will be slain as he mocks God and His Christ. After his death God will give the peoples of the world 45 more days in which to repent. (Daniel 12:12) Then Jesus will come upon the clouds of heaven. He will destroy the heavens and the earth with fire. He will then raise the dead to life and he will judge all the peoples of all the nations according to their works.
The Spirit of Antichrist
Let it suffice to say that there have always been the followers and imitators of Antichrist. As St. John says anyone who denies that Jesus is Lord is Antichrist. We must , therefore, always be on guard for those around us, in government and even within the Church who have embraced the spirit of Antichrist and have chosen to fight against Christ. Recognize their spirit and reject their seductions. Remember there will be false christs and false prophets who will come with lying tongues to deceive, if possible, even the Elect.
To Be Continued