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The Antichrist is Not in the World Today

1. Introduction

This article will examine the teaching of some of the Saints and Blesseds about the timing of the arrival of the Antichrist, in order to explain the reasons why the Antichrist cannot possibly be in the world today.

One of the most common claims of false private revelation is that the Antichrist is in the world today. They claim that he is hidden, but will soon be revealed. They claim that he is making plans, or that he is actively working behind the scenes. Some false visionaries even claim to have seen him alive today. All such claims are false.

Now it is certain that there will eventually be an Antichrist. The Fathers of the Church taught that there would eventually be one evil human person who is properly called Antichrist. They understood this teaching from Sacred Scripture. There are also numerous Saints and Blesseds who wrote about the Antichrist and the events leading up to his arrival, and their understanding is based mainly on Sacred Scripture.

2. The Antichrist's reign will occur shortly before the Return of Christ

Saint Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons, and Father of the Church, wrote about Saint Paul's teachings on the Antichrist, as found in Paul's Epistles in the Bible:
And again, in the Second to the Thessalonians, speaking of Antichrist, he says, “And then shall that wicked be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus Christ shall slay with the Spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy him with the presence of his coming; [even him] whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power, and signs, and lying wonders.”
(Saint Irenaeus, Against Heresies, Book III, Chapter VII)
Saint Irenaeus understood and taught this truth of Scripture: that the Antichrist's reign occurs shortly before the Return of Jesus Christ.

3. The kingdom of the Ten Kings must occur well before the Antichrist's Reign

Saint Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons, and Father of the Church, interpreted the Book of the Prophet Daniel as referring to the Antichrist's reign, and to the reign of the ten kings, which must occur before the Antichrist's reign.
Daniel too, looking forward to the end of the last kingdom, i.e., the ten last kings, amongst whom the kingdom of those men shall be partitioned, and upon whom the son of perdition shall come, declares that ten horns shall spring from the beast, and that another little horn shall arise in the midst of them, and that three of the former shall be rooted up before his face. He says: “And, behold, eyes were in this horn as the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things, and his look was more stout than his fellows. I was looking, and this horn made war against the saints, and prevailed against them, until the Ancient of days came and gave judgment to the saints of the most high God, and the time came, and the saints obtained the kingdom.” Then, further on, in the interpretation of the vision, there was said to him: “The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall excel all other kingdoms, and devour the whole earth, and tread it down, and cut it in pieces. And its ten horns are ten kings which shall arise; and after them shall arise another, who shall surpass in evil deeds all that were before him, and shall overthrow three kings; and he shall speak words against the most high God, and wear out the saints of the most high God, and shall purpose to change times and laws; and [everything] shall be given into his hand until a time of times and a half time,” that is, for three years and six months, during which time, when he comes, he shall reign over the earth.
(Saint Irenaeus, Against Heresies, Book V, Chapter XXV, n. 3)
Notice that in this quoted passage above, the kingdom of the Antichrist occurs after the kingdom of the ten kings. Thus after the kingdom of the ten kings has continued for some length of time, the Antichrist will take the place of one of the ten kings, and then he will defeat three kings. And only after that can the Antichrist obtain power over the whole world, and power to afflict the saints of the most high God. Therefore, the Antichrist cannot arrive or take power prior to the kingdom of the ten kings.

Later in the same Book, Saint Irenaeus clarifies that the ten kings will reign for some length of time, prior to the arrival of the Antichrist. In other words, the Antichrist does not arrive at the beginning of the kingdom of the ten kings, but only after it is firmly established and has continued for some time.
“... in the first place, the division of the kingdom into ten; then, in the next place, when these kings are reigning, and beginning to set their affairs in order, and advance their kingdom, [let them learn] to acknowledge that he who shall come claiming the kingdom for himself....” (Saint Irenaeus, Against Heresies, Book V, Chapter XXX, n. 2).
The Antichrist will arrive after the kingdom of the ten kings has been established, and put in order, and has advanced in wickedness over some length of time. The Book of Daniel also makes this point clear, by giving a brief description of the various events that occur during that length of time (Dan 11:6-20). The description includes a number of different wars and changes in leadership. Therefore, the kingdom of the ten kings will continue for the space of at least a few generations, before the Antichrist takes power (Dan 11:21).

4. The three other kingdoms, before the kingdom of the Ten Kings

Notice, in the second quote above from Saint Irenaeus (Chapter XXV, n. 3), that the fourth beast, i.e. the fourth kingdom, is the same as the kingdom of the ten kings. So before the Antichrist arrives, this fourth kingdom, must first occur, consisting of ten kings ruling over ten areas of the world. And even before this fourth kingdom (called the kingdom of the ten kings) occurs, those three other kingdoms must each have had their rise and fall.

[Daniel 7]
{7:3} And four great beasts, different from one another, ascended from the sea.
{7:4} The first was like a lioness and had the wings of an eagle. I watched as its wings were plucked off, and it was raised from the earth and stood on its feet like a man, and the heart of a man was given to it.
{7:5} And behold, another beast, like a bear, stood to one side, and there were three rows in its mouth and in its teeth, and they spoke to it in this way: “Arise, devour much flesh.”
{7:6} After this, I watched, and behold, another like a leopard, and it had wings like a bird, four upon it, and four heads were on the beast, and power was given to it.
{7:7} After this, I watched in the vision of the night, and behold, a fourth beast, terrible yet wondrous, and exceedingly strong; it had great iron teeth, eating yet crushing, and trampling down the remainder with his feet, but it was unlike the other beasts, which I had seen before it, and it had ten horns.

Saint Irenaeus was interpreting the Book of Daniel when he taught that the fourth kingdom would be the same as the kingdom of the ten kings. But notice that the three kingdoms before it do not occur at the same time; they occur one after the other. The first beast turns into a man because that kingdom becomes a kingdom of faith and reason: the kingdom of the great monarch. Some length of time after that first kingdom (of the great monarch), a second kingdom arises; it is compared to a devouring bear, and it causes much harm. Some length of time after that second kingdom (the bear), a third kingdom rises up, which is compared to a leopard. Then only after that third kingdom rises and falls can the fourth and worst kingdom, the kingdom of the ten kings, rise up. And all this must occur before the Antichrist can arrive.

Now all these kingdoms could not rise and fall in the space of only a few years, nor even a few decades, but only over the course of many generations. And we have not yet seen the rise of the first kingdom, that of the great Catholic monarch. Then after that two more kingdoms must rise and fall. And then the kingdom of the ten kings must become established and advance in sinfulness. Only thereafter can the reign of the Antichrist occur. Therefore the arrival of the Antichrist must be in the distant future, not in the present time, and not even in the near future.

5. The last week of years in Daniel's seventy weeks of years is the reign of the Antichrist.

The prophecy given to the Prophet Daniel describes a time period of 70 weeks of years.

{9:24} Seventy weeks of years are concentrated on your people and on your holy city, so that transgression shall be finished, and sin shall reach an end, and iniquity shall be wiped away, and so that everlasting justice shall be brought in, and vision and prophecy shall be fulfilled, and the Saint of saints shall be anointed.
{9:25} Therefore, know and take heed: from the going forth of the word to build up Jerusalem again, until the Christ leader, there will be seven weeks of years, and sixty-two weeks of years; and the wide path will be built again, and the walls, in a time of anguish.
{9:26} And after sixty-two weeks of years, the Christ leader will be slain. And the people who have denied him will not be his. And the people, when their leader arrives, will destroy the city and the sanctuary. And its end will be devastation, and, after the end of the war, the desolation will be set up.
{9:27} But he will confirm a covenant with many for one week of years; and for half of the week of years, victim and sacrifice will nearly cease; but there will be in the temple the abomination of desolation. And the desolation will continue even to the consummation and the end.

Saint Irenaeus understands this last week of years to refer to the Antichrist. Speaking about the Prophet Daniel and the tyranny of the Antichrist, he writes:
And then he points out the time that his tyranny shall last, during which the saints shall be put to flight, they who offer a pure sacrifice unto God: “And in the midst of the week,” he says, “the sacrifice and the libation shall be taken away, and the abomination of desolation [shall be brought] into the temple: even unto the consummation of the time shall the desolation be complete.” Now three years and six months constitute the half-week.
(Saint Irenaeus, Against Heresies, Book V, Chapter XXV, n. 4)
Notice that the “half of the week of years” is understood by Saint Irenaeus as three and one half years (3.5 years). Therefore, one full week of years is 7 years. The Antichrist reigns for one week of years (7 years) by confirming a covenant with many (Daniel 9:27); but only during the last half of that week of years does he make a concerted attempt to destroy the Church. Now since one week of years is 7 years (1 x 7), 70 weeks of years must be 490 years (70 x 7). This time period described by Daniel is a time period lasting 490 years; it is not a brief time with very many events compressed into only a few years. Rather, these many events are spread out over a long period of time.

6. The Kingdom of the Great Catholic Monarch according to the Saints

The Great Catholic Monarch (GCM) has been mentioned in the writings of numerous Saints and Blesseds.
Saint Cataldus of Tarentino (c. 500): “The Great Monarch will be in war until he is 40 years of age; a King of the House of Lily, he will assemble great armies and expel tyrants from his empire...the Turk and barbarians he will subdue and have all men worship the Crucified One. He will at length lay down his crown in Jerusalem.”
Notice that Saint Cataldus refers to the war of the great Catholic monarch, who will free a vast territory by means of this war, and then he will be chosen to rule over that territory. Then, after reigning for some length of time, for as long as he wishes, he will voluntarily lay down his crown in Jerusalem. So there is a time of peace and prosperity after the GCM wins his war and he begins to reign.
Saint Caeser of Arles (469-543): “When the entire world, and in a special manner France, and in France more particularly the provinces of the north, and of the east, and above all, that of Lorraine and Champagne shall have been a prey to the greatest miseries and trials, then the provinces shall be succored by a prince who had been exiled in his youth, and who shall recover the crown of the lilies.”
Here Saint Caeser explains that a time of great suffering for the world, particularly for parts of Europe, will precede the rise to power of the GCM. So there will be a time of suffering and of wars, then after the GCM wins his war, and after the sufferings reach their completion, then he reigns for a time in peace and prosperity.
Saint Caeser of Arles (469-543): “At the same time there will be a great Pope, who will be most eminent in sanctity and most perfect in every quality. This Pope shall have with him, the Great Monarch, a most virtuous man, who shall be a scion of the holy race of the French kings. This Great Monarch will assist the Pope in the reformation of the whole earth. Many princes and nations that are living in error shall be converted, and an admirable peace shall reign among men during many years, because the wrath of God shall be appeased through their repentance, penance, and good works. There will be one common law, one only faith, one baptism, one religion. All nations shall recognize the Holy See of Rome and shall pay homage to the Pope. But after some considerable time, fervor shall cool, iniquity shall abound, and moral corruption shall become worse than ever....”
Now during that time of peace, there will be a relative increase in holiness on earth. The Church will be led by a holy Pope, and together the GCM and the Pope (often called the Angelic Shepherd) will teach and reform the whole world. Many nations living in errors will be converted, and all nations will recognize the authority of the Holy See and will honor the Pope. (Certainly, this has not happened yet.)

Notice also that Saint Caeser tells us that after a considerable length of time, i.e. after a time of peace and holiness established by the GCM, sins will increase on earth, bringing conflicts and moral corruption. This decline in the holiness of the world also brings about a decline in the peace of the world. Only then do the other kingdoms arise, each in their own time period, leading eventually to the kingdom of the ten kings. And only then, after the kingdom of the ten kings has advanced in its offenses against God, will the preparations be complete for the arrival of the Antichrist. Therefore, there are many events which take place over a long period of time, and which must occur before the Antichrist arrives and takes power.
Blessed Maurus Magnentius Rabanus (d. 856): “... one of the descendents of the kings of France shall reign over all the Roman Empire; and that he shall be the greatest of the Empire: and that he shall be the greatest of the French monarchs, and the last of his lineage. After having most happily governed his kingdom, he will go to Jerusalem, and depose on Mount Olivet his scepter and crown.”
Again, someone the Church has recognized as holy and wise asserts that the great monarch will rise to power, rule over a kingdom in peace and prosperity, and then lay down his crown and scepter in Jerusalem. These events must occur many generations before the Antichrist comes to power, and yet these events have not happened yet.
Saint Methodius (d. 885): “In the last period, Christians will not appreciate the great grace of God who provided a Great Monarch, a long duration of peace, a splendid fertility of the earth. They will be very ungrateful, lead a sinful life, in pride, vanity, unchastity, frivolity, hatred, avarice, gluttony, and many other vices, so that the sins of men will stink more than a pestilence before God. Many will doubt whether the Catholic faith is the true and only saving one and whether the Jews are correct when they still expect the Messiah.”
Here Saint Methodius describes his understanding that the reign of the Great Monarch will coincide with a long period of peace and blessings from God upon the earth. This reign of the Great Monarch is not brief, but long; and the peace and fertility continues even after his reign. He also understood that the Great Monarch will be a blessing from God. Then, some length of time after his reign will have ended, people will fall back into their previous sins, and they will commit even worse sins than before. But during the Great Monarch's reign, the world will be taught, and many will accept this teaching: that the Catholic faith is the true and only saving faith. But in the sinful time that follows, some number of generations after the Great Catholic Monarch, the people of that future time will have fallen away from the Catholic Faith. All this has not yet happened, and all this must precede the arrival of the Antichrist by many generations.

7. The Kingdom of the Great Catholic Monarch according to Sacred Scripture

These Saints and Blesseds did not invent this figure of the great Catholic monarch in their own minds. It is based on various passages in Sacred Scripture. Some of the clearest mentions in Scripture are in the Book of Daniel.

In Daniel, it is written: “from the going forth of the word to build up Jerusalem again, until the Christ leader, there will be seven weeks of years....” (Dan 9:25). This Christian leader, who had his beginning (his conception and birth) after the seven weeks of years, is the great monarch.

The GCM is also mentioned in chapter 8 of Daniel, where he is represented under the figure of a he-goat. The two horns of the ram are the leaders of Media (Iraq) and Persia (Iran). Two wars are described: one where the ram conquers and occupies a vast territory; the second in which the he-goat (GCM) frees the occupied territories from the invading forces (the Arab/Muslim nations led by Iraq and Iran).

[Daniel 8]
{8:3} And I lifted up my eyes and saw, and behold, a single ram stood before the marsh, having two high horns, and one was higher than the other and growing higher still.
{8:4} After this, I saw the ram brandishing his horns against the West, and against the North, and against the Meridian, and all the beasts could not withstand him, nor be freed from his hand, and he did according to his own will, and he became great.
{8:5} And I understood, and behold, a he-goat among she-goats came from the West above the face of the entire earth, and he did not touch the ground. Furthermore, the he-goat had a preeminent horn between his eyes.
{8:6} And he went all the way to the ram that had the horns, which I had seen standing before the gate, and he ran towards him in the force of his strength.
{8:7} And when he approached near to the ram, he was enraged against him, and he struck the ram, and broke his two horns, and the ram could not withstand him, and when he had cast him down on the ground, he trampled him, and no one was able to free the ram from his hand.
{8:8} But the he-goat among she-goats became exceedingly great, and when he had prospered, the great horn was shattered, and four horns were rising up beneath it by means of the four winds of heaven.

{8:20} The ram, which you saw to have horns, is the king of the Medes and Persians.
{8:21} Furthermore, the he-goat among she-goats is the king of the Greeks, and the great horn, which was between his eyes, is the same one, the first king.
{8:22} And since, having been shattered, there grew four in its place, four kings will rise up from his people, but not in his strength.

Notice that the he-goat conquers the ram, and then becomes exceedingly great, for he will rule in prosperity over that vast kingdom formerly held by the ram. But afterwards, his kingdom will be divided, and the greatness of the kingdom will decrease substantially.

Now, none of these events has happened yet (as I write this in 2006). First there must be a consolidation of power in the hands of the leaders of Iraq and Iran (Media and Persia). Then a war follows in which they conquer and occupy a vast territory. Then there is a space of time before the next war. Then, in the next war, the great Catholic monarch frees the occupied territories. Then the remainder of the sufferings occur. And then the GCM establishes his kingdom and rules for a time in peace and prosperity.

Furthermore, the kingdom of the great monarch is merely the first in the series of four successive kingdoms, the fourth of which is the kingdom of the ten kings. Only after all these events and kingdoms can the Antichrist take power and establish his brief reign. Clearly, the reign of the Antichrist is many generations in the future. Therefore, it cannot be true that the Antichrist is about to take power, nor can it be true that he has even been conceived or born yet. The Antichrist's birth and his rise to power are many generations away.

8. The Words of the Virgin Mary at La Salette

At La Salette, the Virgin Mary appeared to two children, Melanie and Maximin. The Virgin Mary gave Melanie messages about the future, which she later was allowed to publish ( This message tells of a time of great suffering for the world, then a respite from the sufferings during the peaceful reign of the great monarch, then, at a much later time, the reign of the ten kings, followed by the reign of the Antichrist and an even worse set of sufferings.
20. “At the first stroke of His lightning sword, the mountains and the whole of nature will tremble with terror, because the disorders and the crimes of men pierce the vault of the heavens. Paris will be burned and Marseilles engulfed; several great cities will be shaken and engulfed by earthquakes: it will be believed that all is lost: only homicides will be seen, only the noise of weapons and blasphemies will be heard. The just will suffer much; their prayers, their penances and their tears will climb even up to heaven and all the people of God will ask for forgiveness and mercy, and will ask for my help and my intercession. Then Jesus Christ by an act of His justice and of His great mercy for the just, will command to His angels that all His enemies be put to death. All at once the persecutors of the Church of Jesus Christ and all men devoted to sin will perish, and the earth will become like a desert. Then peace, the reconciliation of God with men will be made; Jesus Christ will be served, adored and glorified; charity will flower everywhere. The new kings will be the right arm of the holy Church, which will be strong, humble, pious, poor, zealous and imitator of the virtues of Jesus Christ. The Gospel will be preached everywhere and men will make great progress in the faith, because there will be unity among the workers of Jesus Christ and because men will live in the fear of God.”
(Conte, The Bible and the Future of the World, chapter 11; translating and quoting Le Secret de Melanie by Fr. Combe, published in Lyons, France in 1904).
Notice the severity of the events which the Virgin Mary describes. These events have not yet occurred. In particular, there is an event described whereby Jesus commands the holy Angels that “all His enemies be put to death.” This event certainly has not yet occurred; it is the event called the Three Days of Darkness, and it occurs at the end of a long series of severe sufferings for the world.

Now consider that after this event, whereby the enemies of God are put to death by Angels (not by men), there is a time of peace and holiness. This time of peace and holiness is the reign of the great Catholic monarch. He and the other leaders of the world will act as the right arm of the holy Catholic Church, putting the teachings of the Church on morals into the laws and practices of the nations of the world. Again, this has not yet happened.
21. “This peace among men will not be long; 25 years of abundant harvests will make them forget that the sins of men are the cause of all the pains which come upon the earth.”
Here again, we are told that this time of peace is limited and that it is followed by an increase in the sins of men and of the pains which come from those sins. This quote describes the peace during and shortly after the reign of the great Catholic monarch. Then the world will gradually fall into ever-increasing sinfulness, which will, of course, bring the fruits of sin, including all kinds of afflictions for the world.
23. “The earth will be struck all kinds of plagues; there will be wars until the last war, which will then be made by the ten kings of the antichrist, which kings will have all one same design and will be the only ones who will rule the world. Before these arrive, there will be a type of false peace in the world; one will think only about amusing oneself; the wicked will deliver themselves over to all kinds of sin, but the children of the holy Church, the children of the faith, my true imitators, will grow in the love of God and in the virtues which are dear to me. Happy the humble souls guided by the Holy Spirit! I will fight with them until they arrive at the fullness of the age.”
Now this later time of suffering follows long after the great Catholic monarch's reign. After the time of peace and prosperity during his reign, the world first has to fall gradually into ever-increasing sinfulness, and only then can these sufferings caused by sin resume (and, still later, become worse than ever before). Then there will be a series of wars (and the rise and fall of kingdoms), followed by the last in that series of wars, the war by which ten kings establish their kingdom. This kingdom of the ten kings is not initially of the Antichrist. Rather, it paves the way for his eventual arrival. Once the Antichrist arrives and, through a series of steps, gains control of the kingdom of the ten kings, only then can the Antichrist take power over the whole world and begin his reign.

Notice, too, that even before the ten kings arrive, there will be a kind of false peace in the world. And though some have tried to claim that there is a false peace in the world today, such is not the case; the world today is constantly racked by wars and conflicts, by crimes and various acts of violence. Therefore, none of these events, not even the time of false peace, has yet occurred.

9. The Sequence of Events
  • The war by which Iran and Iraq lead the other Arab/Muslim nations to conquer Europe and other nations.
  • The occupation
  • The war by which the great Catholic monarch frees the occupied territories
  • The remainder of the sufferings, through which the world must pass
  • The reign of the great Catholic monarch (which is the first of the four kingdoms of Daniel 7:3-4)
  • After the reign of the great Catholic monarch, a long slow decline in faith and morals in the world
  • The rise and fall of the second of the four kingdoms (Daniel 7:5)
  • The rise and fall of the third of the four kingdoms (Daniel 7:6)
  • The establishment of the fourth of the four kingdoms (Daniel 7:7), i.e. the kingdom of the Ten Kings
  • The continuation of the kingdom of the Ten Kings over at least a few generation (Daniel 11:6-20).
  • The Antichrist takes the place of one of the ten kings (Daniel 11:21)
  • The Antichrist defeats three kings, first one king, and then two more (Daniel 7:8, 20, 24; 11:25-27)
  • The Antichrist makes a covenant with the six remaining kings, so as to rule the whole world
  • Halfway through his reign of nearly seven years (Daniel 9:27), the Antichrist tries to destroy the Church through the abomination of desolation.
  • After the Antichrist's reign has ended, Jesus the true Christ returns
10. Conclusion - Refuting False Claims

As is clear from Sacred Scripture, and the writings of the Saints and Blesseds, and the words of the Virgin Mary at La Salette, there are very many events which must occur, one after another, over a long period of time, before the Antichrist can arrive and take power. As of the year 2006, these events have not yet even begun. (For a more detailed timeline of future events, see my other writings!)

So it is not possible that the Antichrist is in the world today. Therefore, any prophet, or visionary, or seer, or locutionist, or messenger, or any other person, who claims to have received a private revelation from Heaven saying that the Antichrist is in the world today, is a false prophet, or false visionary, or false seer, or false locutionist, or false messenger, who has not received any revelation from Heaven. Such persons are receiving falsehoods and deceptions from fallen angels, or they themselves are lying and being deceitful.

Such claimed private revelations cannot possibly be from God. These messages cannot be from Jesus, or from Mary, or from anyone in Heaven. For God and all who are with Him in Heaven are incapable of lying, of being deceived, or of uttering any falsehood whatsoever.

Now many persons on earth have been fooled into believing in various false private revelations, partly because there are false signs and wonders associated with those false private revelations. The conclusion that signs and wonders verify a claimed private revelation is a false conclusion. For Christ himself warned us about such false signs and wonders:
“And many false prophets will arise, and they will lead many astray.... For there will arise false Christs and false prophets. And they will produce great signs and wonders, so much so as to lead into error even the elect (if this could be). Behold, I have warned you beforehand.” (Matthew 24:11, 24-25)

“For false Christs and false prophets will rise up, and they will present signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if it were possible, even the elect.” (Mark 13:22)
Therefore, do not be fooled by those false prophets who claim that the Antichrist is in the world today, even if they show you wondrous signs and apparent miracles. For the time of the Antichrist is in the distant future, but one of the times of false prophets and false signs and wonders is the present time.

by Ronald L. Conte Jr.
August 10, 2006

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