The World’s Religious System Slain by the Word of God

I am benefiting from reading John Bunyan’s Of Antichrist, and His Ruin. In it he addresses antichristian statism as follows:

The lying legends, and false miracles that Antichrist cries up: These by the means of which such as dwell upon the earth are deceived, and made to adore and worship the beast: these have their life and soul (as had those menionted before) from the spirit of wickedness; and must be destroyed as they, namely, by Christ, the spirit of his mouth, and the brightness of his coming: for these are not the body of Antichrist, but rather such implements, or whatever you call them, by which the spirit and soul of antichrist is conveyed into, and kept also alive in the body of Antichrist, which is the church and synagogue of Satan; you may call them organs and means by which the wicked worketh in the mysteries of iniquity, for begetting of, and maintaining a lying and false belief of religion of the best: nor can it be thought, but that, as the antichristian statists of Antichrist, mentioned before, do put dread and fear upon men that are worshippers of the beast, and his image, to the holding of them to his service; so these legends and miracles do, on the other hand, abridge and bind their consciences to that worship; but all because of that spirit of Antichrist that is in them.

So then, here is the spirit of Antichrist diffusing itself into all the things pertaining to the kingdom of the beast; for it dwells in the body of Antichrist; it dwells in the matters and things of worship of Antichrist; it dwells in titles and names that are antichristian; and it dwells in the laws, legends and miracles of Antichrist. And as it is the spirit of Antichrist, so it must be destroyed; not by sword, nor by bow, but by Christ, as fighting against it with the spirit of his mouth, and as conquering of it by the brightness of his coming.

He says later that the body of the Antichrist called Babylon must fall, but in stages:

Which of the ten parts must fall first, or whether indeed a tenth part is already fallen, I will leave to those that are wiser to myself to determine.

This is a hopeful view of the future—evil does not win, good conquers and is conquering by the Word. Evil may lift its ugly face, but God’s Word from the mouth of our Lord will destroy the body and soul of Antichrist. Bunyan does not get into some things that others like John Owen do, but like Owen, I believe many learned ones are glad to sit at the feet of Bunyan’s preaching!

The glory of his forest and his fruitful land the LORD will destroy, both soul and body, and it will be as when a sick man wastes away. The remnant of the trees of his forest will be so few that a child can write them down. ~Isaiah 10:18–19

with righteousness he will judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips, he shall kill the wicked. Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist, and the faithfulness the belt of his loins. ~Isaiah 10:4–5

Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. ~Ephesians 6:14–15