John Bunyan on the antichrist

According to an online source, John Bunyan’s Of Antichrist and his ruin was first published four years after his death. The following are a few excerpts:

==Antichrist is the adversary of Christ; an adversary really, a friend pretendedly: So then, Antichrist is one that is against Christ; one that is for Christ, and one that is contrary to him: (And this is that mystery of iniquity (2 Thess 2:7). Against him in deed; for him in word, and contrary to him in practice. Antichrist is so proud as to go before Christ; so humble as to pretend to come after him, and so audacious as to say that himself is he. Antichrist will cry up Christ; Antichrist will cry down Christ: Antichrist will proclaim that himself is one above Christ. Antichrist is the man of sin, the son of perdition; a beast, [that] hath two horns like a lamb, but speaks as a dragon (Rev 13:11).==

John Bunyan (who was a universal atonement advocate) ironically describes himself, Arminians, and most who call themselves Calvinists as adversaries of Jesus Christ really and His friends pretendedly. The label of “antichrist” fits the multitudinous versions of salvation conditioned on the sinner, which of course are in direct opposition to the Christ-exalting view of salvation conditioned on the work of Jesus Christ alone.

==Antichrist may be considered either more particularly, or more generally. 1. More particularly: And so there are many Antichrists (1 John 2:18). 2. More generally: And so the many maketh but one great Antichrist, one man of sin, one enemy, one great whore, one son of perdition (2 Thess 2:3; Rev 19:2).

Again, Antichrist must be distinguished, with respect to his more internal and external parts; and so there is the spirit, soul, or life (1 John 4:3); and also the body and flesh of Antichrist (2 Thess 2:7). The spirit, or soul, or life of Antichrist, is that spirit of error, that wicked, that mystery of iniquity, that under colour and pretence of verity, draweth men from truth to falsehood. The body or flesh of Antichrist, is that heap of men, that assembly of the wicked, that synagogue of Satan that is acted and governed by that spirit.==

One “great Antichrist” who puts himself in the place of Jesus Christ as the person who makes the ultimate difference between salvation and damnation. One “great whore” (Revelation 17:5) whose adulterous experiences trump the biblical doctrine (cf. Romans 7:1-6, 10:1-4). The great whore, the great adulteress desires a relationship with God based on religious experience rather than based on the law-fulfilling work of Jesus Christ. The aforementioned conditionalists have NOT been made dead to the law through the body of Christ that they may be married to Another (Romans 7:4); Instead, they are seeking to establish their own righteousness in the room and stead of Christ’s which is to bear fruit unto death in ignorant zeal (Romans 10:2).

The conditionalists believe — or speak peace to those who do believe — that Jesus Christ “satisfied” the demands of God’s law and justice on behalf of everyone without exception. In acknowledging this they necessarily acknowledge that they are NOT “made dead to the law through the body of Christ, for [them] to become Another’s” (Romans 7:4). And thus they are shown to be spiritual adulteresses who place their ignorant and zealous experience above the law-fulfilling work of Jesus Christ. And of course, the spirit of antichrist governs and animates the heap of men throughout professing Christendom who cast up the mire and filth of their abominations in their respective Satanically-inspired synagogues.

==Antichrist therefore is a mystical man, so made, or begotten of the devil, and sent into the world, himself being the chief and highest of him. Three things therefore go to the making up of Antichrist, the head, body, and soul. The devil he is the head; the synagogue of Satan, that is the body; that wicked spirit of iniquity, that is the soul of Antichrist. Christ then is the head of his church; the devil is the head of Antichrist; the elect are the body of Christ; the reprobate professors are the body of Antichrist; the Holy Ghost is the spirit of life that actuateth Christ’s body; that wicked spirit of iniquity, is that which actuateth the body of Antichrist. Thus therefore are the two great mighties set forth before us, who are the heads of those two bodies; and thus are these two bodies set before us, who are to be actuated by these two spirits.==

The Holy Spirit “actuateth” Christ’s body and One thing He necessarily does in so actuating is glorify Jesus Christ (John 16:14). On the other hand, the spirit of antichrist gives glory to the sinner. Though the idolatrous sinner will of course sacrifice to his “god” who enabled him to usurp Christ as sole condition-meeter for salvation.

==The reason why Christ came into the world, was, That he might destroy all the works of the head of Antichrist, and they which he endeavoureth to complete by his wicked spirit working in his body (1 John 3:8). And the reason why Antichrist came into the world, was, That the church, which is the body of Christ, might be tried, and made white by suffering under his tyranny, and by bearing witness against his falsehoods. For, for the trial of the faithful, and for the punishment of the world, Antichrist was admitted to come==

Those who believe that Jesus Christ died for everyone without exception — including those tolerant Calvinists who speak peace to them — DENY that Christ is of Himself able to destroy and undo the works of the devil (1 John 3:8). The reason they believe this Christ-dishonoring blasphemy is that they are still in the devil’s clutches, they are still under his power. They have not yet been regenerated and given a knowledge of the True One; for if they had they could easily discern the True, Omnipotent, and Saving One from a false impotent one who not only CANNOT save sinners, but needs to be saved by sinners (1 John 5:19-21; Isaiah 45:20). These self-righteous wicked idolatrous river-rafters must needs rescue their little fig tree log from going over the waterfall of failure.

==Again, This man of sin, when he came into the world, had the art of metamorphosing, and could change himself, both in form and shape, into the likeness of a beast, a man, or woman; and the kings of the earth, with the inhabitants of the world, began then to love such women dearly; wherefore they went to her into the bed of love, and defiled themselves with the filthiness of her fornications, gave her their troth, and became her husbands, and beloved sons; took up helmet and shield, and stood to defend her; yea, though Christ himself, and some of the chief of his followers, cried out of her shame, and of the evil of their doings; yet would she be audacious.==

Think of some tolerant Calvinists who may seem to be uncompromising defenders of the truth. But when “push-comes-to-shove” or “when-the-rubber-meets-the-road” what do they defend? In speaking against their Whore we see how quickly and zealously they take up helmet and shield and stand to defend her against our accusations. Out of godly zeal for the redemptive glory and honor of our Lord Jesus Christ we accuse this filthy Whore of defiling the earth with her abominations. The tolerant Calvinists (along with their Arminian brothers in Satan) do not appreciate this and so seek to defend the “honor” of the one with whom they fornicate (Revelation 18:3).