Spurgeon, Edwards, Wesley, Calvin, Tyndale, Luther and Wycliffe pointing fingers at LEFT BEHIND

The Antichrist

The Antichrist is not a future leader like Left Behind's Nicolae Carpathia; rather, the Antichrist came to power long ago when the Roman Empire, which was restraining it, got out of the way.

Calvin and Luther saw the Antichrist as both the papacy and Islam: The papacy was the Western Antichrist and Islam the Eastern Antichrist. Calvin refered to them as the two "horns" and Luther called them the two "legs" of the Antichrist. (Luther's Works, Weimer ed., 53, 394f)
"Lyke as Mahomet saith ty his Alcoran is ye soveraine wisdome, so saith the Pope of his owne decrees: For they be the two hornes of Antichrist."
—John Calvin
The Sermons of M. John Calvin upon the Fifth Booke of Moses called Deuteronomie, translated by Arthur Golding, first published in London, 1583, from a facsimile reprint by Banner of Truth Trust, 1987.

Mahomet and Pope are two horns of Antichrist
Title page from Calvin's Sermons on Deuteronomy, in which Calvin referred to Islam and the papacy as the two horns of antichrist

"the Pope is the spirit of antichrist, and the Turk is the flesh of antichrist. They help each other in their murderous work. The latter slaughters bodily by the sword; and the former spiritually by doctrine."
—Martin Luther, Tischreden, Weimer ed., 1, No. 330

"what is the Pope doing? He is sitting not in the natural temple or God's house, but in the spiritual, in the new and living temple of which Paul says: 'If any man destroyeth the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are,' I Cor. 3, 16-17. ... Thus you see whether the Pope is not the greatest arch-abomination of all abominations, to whom Christ and Daniel refer; and the true Antichrist, of whom it is written that he sitteth in the temple of God, among the people, where Christ is named and where his kingdom, spirit, baptism, Word and faith should be...."
—Martin Luther, "Sermon for the Twenty-Fifth Sunday after Trinity; Matthew 24:15-28"
from his Church Postil, first published in 1525
available online at http://www.orlutheran.com/mlsemt2415.html
Temple Mount in Jerusalem occupied by the Muslim Dome of the Rock The Islamic
Dome of the Rock
sits in God's place
on Temple Mount
Islamic Dome of the Rock occupies God's place on Temple Mount The pope sits in the spiritual Temple — the Church — and Islam occupies God's place on Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
Commentators today distinguish between "radical" Islam and the Islamic movement in general. Likewise, the papacy has polished its image since the Inquisition when it routinely tortured and killed Bible-readers. But, if the fictional Nicolae Carpathia could hide his evil nature in the novels, how much more can the real Antichrist woo the world with sweet talk and false appearances?

If Calvin and Luther are correct in identifying Islam and the papacy as the Antichrist, then it may be dangerous to ignore them and look instead for a future Nicolae Carpathia character, as Left Behind teaches.

Daniel's 70th week
came right after the 69 weeks, not 2000 years later as an end-times tribulation as Left Behind teaches.
"Christ confirmed the covenant with many during the last week..."
- John Calvin

The Tribulation Jesus spoke of
was a tribulation on "this people," the Jews, beginning when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem — not a 7-year period in the end times as Left Behind teaches.
"'for then shall be great tribulation, such as had not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, nor ever shall be.' All this pertains still to the Jewish nation."
- Martin Luther

The Antichrist is not
a future leader like Left Behind's Nicolae Carpathia, but came to power when the Roman Empire, which was restraining it, got out of the way.
The papacy and Islam are "the two horns of Antichrist."
- John Calvin

The Temple in Jerusalem
does not need to be rebuilt, with its priesthood and sacrifices, to fulfill prophecy.
"He will make to cease the sacrifice and offering ... Christ ... offered himself up as a victim, then all the rites of the law came to a close."
- John Calvin

The Abomination of Desolation
was fulfilled by the Romans at the desolation of Jerusalem.
"But the abomination of which Daniel writes is that the Emperor Cajus, as history tells, had put his image in the temple at Jerusalem as an idol, for the people to worship, after everything there had been destroyed."
- Martin Luther

No 7-year "second chance"
for unbelievers after the Rapture. Christ is coming once, not twice as Left Behind claims.
'the Lord himself shall descend from heaven ... Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up ... to meet the Lord in the air ... then sudden destruction cometh upon them ... and they shall not escape.'
- Paul