This essay asserts that the Christian church has been an “antichrist” since the fourth century if we take our definition of that word from the tribal indigenous Hebrew bible and not the doctrines and mythology of the Gentile church itself.
Let me say at the beginning, I totally reject the Christian church’s traditional interpretation of the book of Revelation as a yet to come apocalyptic end of time event catalyzed by monstrous spiritual entities such as the anti-christ, beast and all manner of demonic personalities. This narrative is just superstitious fear-mongering and has nothing to do with the bible or the world view of its writers. I note that the word “antichrist” does not appear anywhere in the book of revelation.
To cut a long story short for I do not want to make it the focus of this essay, the book of Revelation was written as a commentary on current affairs of the time infused into a shamanic hallucination framed around the confluence of geo-political and astronomical events. I note that this is a very different cosmology than Gentile astrology where the stars and planets are sky-gods that determine geopolitical events. The god of the bible created the planets. The “Beast” of Revelation is the Roman empire, the brutal butcher of Israel that extinguished the Hebrew ancestral connection to their land in the time of the writing of the new testament. Similarly, Jesus’ foretelling of the “end times” and instructions what to do when it happens is talking about the Roman smashing of Judea and is not the futuristic fantasy the church has made it.
Of more significance to this essay is what the bible actually does say about “antichrist”, the biblical greek word – “antichristos” which is the antonym of “christos” the annointed one . The biblical antichrist is the adversary of the anointed one.
The non-biblical classical Greek meaning of “the anointed one” comes from the Hellenic (Gentile) cosmology of astrological Gods and their spiritual authorisation of particular men. The Christos was the political power, such as Caesar, whose power is anointed by priests of the god-planets. However biblical Greek must be understood as a Greek linguistic and cultural translation from Hebrew language and world view. In this case “Christos” must be understood as the old testament notion of annointed “messiah” (Hebrew – “mashiyach”) which specifically refers to the indigenous king and saviour of the tribes of Israel, saving them from domination by foreign imperial powers. The “Messiah” is a tribal nationalist hero. The anti-messiah is the foreign imperial force and their collaborators that dominate the tribal lands of the covenant of Abraham. The anti messiah is an agent for the military, political and economic repression of the the anointed king and his tribal indigenous kingdom – the Kingdom of God.
Antichristos is mentioned four times in the new testament – all in the epistles of John.
1 John 2:18 “Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour.
19 They went out from us, but they were not of us;…..
22 Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. 23 Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also.”
1 John 4:1 “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess that[a] Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.”
2 John 1:7 “For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. 8 Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward.
9 Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; 11 for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.”
The first observation to make is that in these passages, 2000 years ago, the antichrists were already active. The second is that the antichrists came out from amongst the congregations of believers. The third observation is that which makes them an antichrist is what they preach in relation to the doctrine of the anointed one, in particular whether or not the messiah has manifested in historical material reality, in the flesh – or not.
In the fourth century the Roman emperor Caesar Constantine instituted a “Christian” church as an agency of his empire and he marched his troops into battle under the banner of the Christ. In the centuries before this Christians were ruthlessly repressed and exterminated by Roman troops as Christians were engaged in anti-imperial activism across the empire. Hebrew Christians exiled from their homeland after the Roman re-occupation of the Holy Land after 70 AD were at the centre of of anti-empire agitation from Egypt, where Christianity united the indigenous tribes against the empire, to England where first century Hebrew exiles joined with Druids in Britain to form the first British Christian church that joined the Druids in their resistance to Roman invasion of their Island. Christians were enemies of the Roman empire across the empire.
The imperial repression of Hebrew Christianity was complete by the fourth century. By the end of the second century the hebrew Christians had all been exterminated and the now internationalist religion was lead by people of all ethnicities and cultural backgrounds throughout the empire. However the non-Hebrew Christian movement remained as an anti-imperial movement into the fourth century, especially in North Africa.
In the year 325 the Roman emperor Caesar Constantine, whose mother had become a Christian, convened the Council of Nicaea to institute an official religious institution of his empire and to determine the doctrinal parameters of this institution. There were a number of conflicts amongst the Christians who gathered from around the empire to meet at Nicaea. One conflict was the church’s relationship to the Roman state and many, especially in North Africa, were opposed to collaborating with the same empire that only years before had been so ruthlessly persecuting them. The conflict that has been most reported in history was the theological debate about who or what Jesus was or is. Many, especially in North Africa, asserted that Jesus was created by God. Others, including the European factions supported by Caesar Constantine, argued that Jesus was completely God, one and the same as God and not created by God. The issue was resolved in the councils adoption of the doctrine of “homoousious” – the one and the sameness of God and Jesus as represented in the Nicaean Creed, the foundation document of Caesar’s church. The doctrine of the holy spirit and the trinity was not invented at this stage and debate focussed on the nature of Jesus’ fleshly incarnation.
The original Nicaean Creed contains a clause that is not recited in churches today. The original creed stated – “And whosoever shall say that there was a time when the Son of God was not, or that before he was begotten he was not, or that he was made of things that were not, or that he is of a different substance or essence [from the Father] or that he is a creature, or subject to change or conversion — all that so say, the Catholic and Apostolic Church anathematizes them.”
“Anathematization” meant being executed, exiled or imprisoned. Congregations in North Africa now deemed heretical were cut off from Caesar’s new church. Unfortunately there is no record of the theology of those declared heretics as all their writings were burnt, the only knowledge of their arguments we have is that gleaned from the Roman church’s condemnation of them.
The story gets complicated from here as, despite the bloodshed in enforcing the original doctrine, the church changed its mind over and again on the issue, un-anathematizing and re-anathematizing various perspectives. By the end of the fourth century the original doctrine of homoousious was reaffirmed, the holy spirit was added into it and the Doctrine of the Trinity was institutionalised. Despite the previous polarised debate and indecision previously existed, the foundation doctrine has remained unchanged until today.
Also by the end of the fourth century Christianity had become the exclusive religion of the empire and all other religions were brutally repressed as were the indigenous spiritualities of the colonised tribes throughout the empire. The exiled Hebrews, now known as “Jews”, the term given them by Julius Caesar, were also ruthlessly persecuted. The Roman religion now had nothing at all to do with the biblical prophesies of the restoration of Abraham’s land covenant. The continued Roman occupation of the Holy land was indeed antithetical to the bible’s messianic prophesies.
I ask the simple question, does the Nicaean Creed, the doctrine of the trinity and all the rest of the dogma extrapolated from these foundation doctrines, represent the biblical representation of Jesus the Christ, the Messiah, the King and saviour of the tribes of Abraham restoring their ancient land covenant from imperial domination? That is of course a rhetorical question for which this essay is my answer but I urge Christians to honestly ask and answer this question themselves.
Though not directly related to the notion of anti-christ, I will finish this essay with a comment about devil worship. Matthew 4: 8 “Again, the devil took him (Jesus) to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendour. 9″All this I will give you,” he said, “If you will bow down and worship me.” I ask, also rhetorically, how did the Roman empire acquire the kingdoms of the world and their splendour?
Index and links to other essays – here