Antichrist – office or person?

Is each pope (like Pope Francis or John Paul) individually the Antichrist or is it just the office?

As previous questions have addressed this topic, allow me to pass along one of the responses:

“We believe that understanding the Antichrist as an institution (the papacy) rather than merely individual representatives of that institution (individual popes) best fits the descriptions given in Scripture and is quite compatible with similar prophecies elsewhere in the Bible.

“Under the picture of the ‘man of lawlessness’ in 2 Thessalonians 2, various anti-Christian characteristics are given. Among them is the phenomenon that his workings were already beginning to take form at the time of the apostles and yet would continue to exist until exposed and condemned by the Lord Jesus at Christ’s second coming (2 Thessalonians 2:7-8). That kind of description best fits an enduring institution.

“Also, in similar as well as parallel apocalyptic prophecies, the pictures of individual animals (beasts) and people are used to denote empires or political as well as religious systems. Examples can be found in Daniel chapters 7 and 8, and Revelation 13.”

You can read our church body’s full statement on this subject via this link.