Everybody knows about the biblical account of an end-times anti-christ, but few today realize that that anti-christ is already here -- in the Vatican -- the Pope of Rome, "Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God." (2 Thessalonians 2:4). Historic Protestant Christianity has proclaimed the dynasty of the Papacy, and the succession of the Popes, to be the Anti-Christ prophesied about in Holy Scripture.
While the title Pope is simply the English for the word "Papa," which means "Father of fathers," Jesus explicitly says "and call no man your father upon the earth, for one is your Father, which is in Heaven." (Matthew 23:9). The Latin equivalent of the Greek word 'anti' is 'vicarius', from which comes 'Vicar,' so the Pope's title 'Vicar of Christ,' by translation is actually 'Anti-Christ!' (1)
The word 'Anti' in New Testament Greek, along with its Latin equivalent 'Vicarius', doesn't just mean 'against,' but 'in the place of,' or 'substitute,' and the Pope of Rome is not only AGAINST Christ by his foul doctrine and immoral living, but assumes the PLACE OF Christ, presuming himself the head of the church -- a position Scripture proclaims is the Lord Jesus Christ's ALONE! (2).
And this is no minority view, but is part of historic, orthodox, Christian doctrine. The Westminster Confession of Faith (1646) which has served for over 350 years as a Presbyterian Confession states "There is no other head of the church but the Lord Jesus Christ, nor can the Pope of Rome in any sense be head thereof, but is that antichrist, that man of sin, and son of perdition, that exalteth himself in the church against Christ, and all that is called God." (3). Both Baptist and Congregational confessions carried the same view.
John Wesley, founder of Methodist Church, said "the Pope is the son of perdition, as he has caused the death of numberless multitudes, both of his opposers and followers, destroyed innumerable souls, and will himself perish everlastingly." (4). And the translators of the 1611 King James Version wrote in their preface that the work had "given such a blow unto that Man of Sin as will not be healed," referring to the Roman Pontiff.
Let's hear from the Pope's themselves;
Pope Pius the 10th "The Pope is not simply the representative of Christ, on the contrary, he is Jesus Christ Himself, under the veil of the flesh. Does the Pope speak? It is Jesus Christ who is speaking, hence, when anyone speaks of the Pope, it is not necessary to examine but to obey." (5).
More recently, in 1984 Pope John Paul II said "don't go to God for forgiveness, come to me," contradicting the Bible which says we are to confess our sins to God alone. (6).
And the current Pope Francis has this year declared "Jesus is my teacher and my pastor, but God, the Father, Abba, is the light and the Creator. This is my Being. Do you think we are very far apart?" (7).
The Pope is NOT a great Christian leader, he is NOT a pious follower of Jesus, he is NOT father of fathers, but as Martin Luther said, "the Pope IS the masked and incarnate devil, because he is the Anti-Christ."