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by David DePriest
Isn't it just as likely that the prediction of Theophilus and the letter of Barnabas, which says "in six thousand years —all things will be finished" is an allusion to the beginning of the thousand year reign of Christ on earth? Is it not also more likely that the Anti-Christ talked of in the Revelation is the emperor of Rome? The evil and persecution of the Christians at the hands of Roman emperors was far worse than anything from the worst Pope. Think of this. The seat of worldly power was in Rome. It was also the seat of evil, known as Babylon by the earliest Christians. (Peter says he writes from Babylon). This worldly Power is supplanted by Christ, consistent with Daniel's prophecy: the mountain thrown into the statue. Then on the ruins of this earthly kingdom is planted the center of the Church that is regocnized the world over to this day. Even through 1,500 years of dark ages, war, pestilence, evil leaders, scientific discovery, and etc it remains to this day. The Pope is not the anti Christ, nor has he ever been. Has every Pope been good? I think history would say no. But just like if a local church were to elect a pastor who was later found to be evil, corrupt, and a false teacher that would not mean that the office of pastor was synonmous with a false teacher. Neither does a bad pope make his office synonymous with anti-Christ.
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