Of Antichrist

Author: John Bunyan

Second Sign

Secondly, Another sign of the approach of the ruin of Antichrist, is this: towards the end of her reign, the nations will be made to see her baseness, and to abhor her and her ways. They will, I say, be made to see these things, in order to her ruin: also, when they shall be made to see, her ruin will not be far off. For so long as the nations and their rulers shall continue in that dead sleep that she hath bewitched them into, by their drinking of the wine of her fornication; so long we have no ground to think that her ruin is at the door: but when God shall lay her before kings, and shall discover her nakedness to the nations, then be sure her destruction is at hand. Hence you read, that precedent to her downfall: An angel comes down from heaven, and enlightens the earth with his glory (Revelation 10:1). [The earth;] that is, the kingdoms, countries, and nations where the woman sitteth, or they that border thereupon. [Enlightened;] to let them see the filthiness of the whore. [With his glory;] with the doctrine that he had commission to preach against her, for the discovering of her lewdness to the earth. This also was the way that God took with backsliding Israel of old, (and she was a type of our religious Babel) when he intended to bring her to judgment for her sins (Ezekiel 16:37); and this is the way that God will take to destroy our religious Antichrist, when he comes to deliver his people out of her hand.

For though the people that suffer at her hand, can do nothing against her, but lay, in prayers and tears against her before the God of heaven, and bear their witness against her before the gods of the earth; yet when kings shall come to be concerned, and they will count themselves concerned when they shall see how they have been deceived by her; then let her look to it.

’Behold, I am against thee, saith the Lord of Hosts; and I will discover thy skirts upon thy face, and I will shew the nations thy nakedness, and the kingdoms thy shame. And I will cast abominable filth upon thee, and make thee vile, and will set thee as a gazing-stock.’ And what follows? ’And it shall come to pass, that all they that look upon thee, shall flee from thee, and say, Nineveh is laid waste: who will bemoan her? whence shall I seek comforters for thee?’ (Nahum 3:5-7).

Wherefore, there wants nothing but that she be discovered to the nations and their kings; for did they but see her, though they lay yet in her bosom, they would rise up against her, that she must die: wherefore it is written again, I will

’bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee’ (Ezekiel 28:18).

The chief of the wisdom of Antichrist this day is laid out, if perhaps by it she may cover her nakedness, and keep it from the eyes of kings and their people. But God has said it shall not avail:

’Thy nakedness shall be uncovered, yea, thy shame shall be seen: I will take vengeance, and I will not meet thee as a man’ (Isaiah 47:3).

But how will he make her naked? Verily, by kings. But how shall kings do it? Why, by virtue of the glory of the angel: yea, they

’shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh,

and burn her with fire’ (Revelation 17:16).

Let this, I pray, be considered, That Antichrist shall not down, but by the hand of kings. The preacher then kills her soul, and the king kills her body. And why should not the kings have it granted unto them, that she should fall by their hand? the kings are those that she has abused, that she has in the grossest manner abused, and has served herself of them: but the time of the end of Antichrist, mystery Babylon is coming,

’and then many nations and great kings shall

serve themselves of him’ (Jeremiah 27:7).12

Nor shall all the tricks, lies, and deceit under which formerly she used to shroud herself, be able to prove a balm to her any longer: No, ’in vain shalt thou use many medicines’; for no cure shall be unto thee;

’the nations have heard of thy shame’ (Jeremiah 46:11,12).

Babylon has for a long time been ’a lady of kingdoms,’ and ’a golden cup in the Lord’s hand’: the nations also have largely drank of her cup, and the kings have committed fornication with her (Revelation 18:3). But now the angel is come down, and hath enlightened the earth with his glory. Wherefore now it follows immediately, ’Babylon is fallen! is fallen!’ That is, in the eyes and esteem of the nations, as well as otherwise.

True, some of the kings will bewail her fall, and will cry, Alas! Alas! when they see that they cannot help her; for that they shall see, as is evident, because they stand afar off to lament her, ’afar off for the fear of her torment.’ The kings therefore into whose hands God shall deliver her, and who shall execute his judgments upon her, shall be more mighty and powerful to bring her down, than shall be the whole world besides to uphold her.


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Chicago: John Bunyan, "Second Sign," Of Antichrist, ed. George Offor in Of Antichrist, the Works of John Bunyan (London: Blackie and Son, 1856), Original Sources, accessed June 2, 2023, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=KQQV9L5X5HYZC6I.

MLA: Bunyan, John. "Second Sign." Of Antichrist, edited by George Offor, in Of Antichrist, the Works of John Bunyan, London, Blackie and Son, 1856, Original Sources. 2 Jun. 2023. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=KQQV9L5X5HYZC6I.

Harvard: Bunyan, J, 'Second Sign' in Of Antichrist, ed. . cited in 1856, Of Antichrist, the Works of John Bunyan, Blackie and Son, London. Original Sources, retrieved 2 June 2023, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=KQQV9L5X5HYZC6I.