In Christian (and non-Christian) circles, there is much discussion about a person called "The Antichrist." He is a really "terrible guy" it seems, that will control the world and fight with God, as well as issue "The Mark of the Beast." These are rather naive views, and also a bit misleading and inaccurate. In this study, we'll take a look at just who this character is, and what he'll be up to.
II. Names of the Antichrist
III. The Satanic Trinity
IV. Origin of the Antichrist
V. Recognizing the Antichrist
VI. Career of the Antichrist
VII. Destiny of the Antichrist
It is our position that the Church will not need to recognize The Antichrist at all. We believe that the Church will be with Jesus Christ when The Antichrist appears on the scene. So for the church, the reason to study The Antichrist is to gain a fuller understanding of prophecy.
In this study, we will seek to do just that. We will look at what the Bible has to say about this guy, as opposed to what you may have seen and heard through the secular media.
NAMES OF THE ANTICHRIST
"The Greek preposition, 'anti', in composition, sometimes denotes substitution, 'taking the place of another;' hence, 'false Christ.' The connection in which the word is used appears to import opposition, covert rather than avowed, with a professed friendliness." (Unger's Bible Dictionary)
The word is used only by the Apostle John (1John 2:22 and 2John 7) and literally means "against Christ" or "instead of Christ."
There are two contexts in which the word is used. One context is "the spirit of antichrist" in which "many antichrists have gone into the world." In this context, anyone who opposes or attempts to substitute anything for Christ is an antichrist. In this sense, cults would be considered to be antichrists. This is not the context we seek to look into here. Instead, we wish to look at a very specific antichrist.
To be precise, this "Antichrist" is called a whole lot of other names:
The Seed of Satan (Genesis 3:15)
The Little Horn (Daniel 7:8)
The King of Fierce Countenance (Daniel 8:23)
The Prince That Shall Come (Daniel 9:26)
The Desolator (Daniel 9:27)
The Willful King (Daniel 11:36)
The Man of Sin (2Thessalonians 2:3)
The Son of Perdition (2Thessalonians 2:3)
The Lawless One (2Thessalonians 2:8)
The Antichrist (1John 2:22)
The Beast (Revelation 11:7)
The Assyrian (Isaiah 14)
The First Horseman (Revelation 5)
The Wicked One (2Thessalonians 2:3-8)
The Idol Shepherd (Zechariah 11:17)
The Vile Person (Daniel 11)
The One Who Comes In His Own Name (John 5:43)
THE SATANIC TRINITY
Some Bible Scholars find it amusing to see a Satanic Trinity in prophecy. While this is useful, it is important to understand that while this "Satanic Trinity" really is an attempt to copy God, we should be careful to remember that it is in no way equal to God. Satan could be squished by God in a hot flat second if God so desired.
The Satanic Trinity," then, in prophecy includes Satan, The Beast, and The False Prophet. They are not the same person with different names. The Beast and The False Prophet are men. Revelation 13 describes them, showing the difference between them. The Beast is a political leader who is eventually worshiped by the world. The False Prophet causes the world to worship The Beast, and issues "The Mark of the Beast." In Revelation 20, The Beast and The False Prophet are thrown alive into a lake of fire. Satan is bound and thrown into the bottomless pit for 1000 years. From that point on, The Beast and False Prophet are never heard from again. Satan is released for a time at the end of the 1000 years.
ORIGIN OF THE ANTICHRIST
The Beast (or Antichrist) will probably be a Gentile political figure. We say "probably Gentile" because of Revelation 13:1, where he "rises up out of the sea", as opposed to the False Prophet who comes up "out of the earth". The sea is sometimes used in the Bible as a picture of the world at large, while the term "the land" or "the earth" is used primarily of Israel.
Along with that, The Antichrist is the final leader of the "times of the Gentiles". This would tend to indicate a Gentile leader, as opposed to a Jewish leader.
In Daniel 9:26-27, The Antichrist is called "the prince that shall come". In this case, we see "the people" of the prince prophesied to destroy Jerusalem. This being fulfilled in 70 A.D. by the Romans also indicates that The Antichrist is a Gentile, and somehow associated with the Romans (Italians), or with that future kingdom (European).
The Antichrist is also shown to be of super-natural origin. If we look at Genesis 3:15, we see the Antichrist being called "the seed of Satan". This implies that The Antichrist will be a "demon baby". Now don't get all upset over this. It isn't the first me for this to happen. God sent the flood in Genesis 6 because all flesh was corrupt. We've also actually heard of cases of real "Rosemary's Baby" incidents. In 2Thessalonians 2:9, we see further evidence of the supernatural origin of The Antichrist. In the passage, the word "working" is the word "energeo", meaning "to energize". Thus, we have a counterfeit of The Virgin Birth of Christ.
So, we have determined the following origin of The Antichrist: 1. He is a Gentile 2. He is of at least European background 3. He has a supernatural origin
RECOGNIZING THE ANTICHRIST
It seems that every so often someone comes up with a new way of pointing a finger at someone and calling him the Antichrist, be it Henry Kissinger, Adolf Hitler, Napoleon, Nixon or computers. Every new president of the United States gets called that at one time or another by some nitwit organization who's figured out a way to play games with the number 666. And so far, they've all been wrong.
Scripturally, the identity of the Antichrist will not be revealed until the Holy Spirit in the Church be "taken out of the way." (2Thessalonians 2:3-8)
We understand from Daniel 7 and 8, and Revelation 13 that The Antichrist is a European multi-national ruler. You will find in other studies available on the Manna System, that the Bible teaches that there will be a future one-world government, which will break into ten pieces (Daniel 2). During this ten kingdom stage, The Antichrist rises to power. Perhaps violently, he uproots three of these kingdoms, while the other seven submit to his rule. (Daniel 2 and 7)
Daniel 8:23 says that he will be able to understand "dark sentences", like Daniel and Solomon did.
Daniel 9:27 gives another conclusive identifying feature of the Antichrist. That is, he will "confirm covenant" with "the many", meaning Israel, for seven years. What does it mean to "confirm covenant"? We don't know for sure much more than that this is some kind of treaty. We infer from the successive text that he may be authorizing animal sacrifice in Israel. By this time, the church will not be on earth. This seven year treaty with Israel marks the beginning of the 70th Week of Daniel, or The Tribulation.So then, a candidate for The Antichrist must have the following credentials before the beginning of the 70th Week of Daniel. 1. Gentile Origin (most likely European) 2. Supernatural Birth 3. Ten Kingdom World Ruler (after a one-world government) 4. Understands Dark Sentences 5. Makes a seven year treaty with Israel
It must also be remembered that just because some person in the future happens to do all five of these things does not conclusively mean he is the Antichrist. 2Thessalonians says that he will not be revealed until the rapture of the church, which occurs before the 70th Week of Daniel.
CAREER OF THE ANTICHRIST
The Antichrist is always shown speaking great things, magnifying himself over God, and blaspheming Him. (Daniel 7:8, 7:25, 8:11, 11:36, 2Thessalonians 2:4, Revelation 13:5-6).
He will apparently be assassinated, then resurrected from the dead. Whether or not he really dies is another issue. Satan does not hold the key to life, but will attempt a counterfeit resurrection, which, even if it was really a resurrection, is incomplete since The Antichrist will have a darkened right eye and a dried up arm. (Zechariah 11:17, Revelation 13:3)
He will break his covenant with Israel in the midst of the week, or after 3 and a half years. (Daniel 9:27, 11:21-31)
He will commit the Abomination of Desolation. (Daniel 11:31, Matthew 24:15)
He will kill the Two Witnesses. (Revelation 11:7)
He will be worshiped by all non-believers. There will be no "neutral people". They will either worship the Beast, or they will worship God. (Revelation 13:8)
He will make war with the saints and decapitate those who will not take the Mark of the Beast. (Revelation 13:7, 20:4)
DESTINY OF THE ANTICHRIST
Revelation 19:19 tells us that The Antichrist leads a number of armies to Armageddon to make war with Jesus Christ.
In Revelation 19:20, The Antichrist is taken, and with him The False Prophet. They are cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone, becoming the first residents of this place. On Judgment Day (Revelation 20:7-15), first Satan, then all unbelievers join them (Revelation 20:10, 15).
Scofield, C.I. New Scofield Reference Bible. New York: Oxford University Press, 1967
Beshore, F. Kenton, ed. The Open Bible: Prophecy Edition. Los Angeles: World Bible Society, 1980
Fruchtenbaum, Arnold G. Footsteps of the Messiah. Tustin: Ariel Ministries, 1982
Barnhouse, Donald G. Revelation: "God's Last Word". Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1971
Barnhouse, Donald G. The Invisible War. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1965
Talbot, Louis T. God's Plan of the Ages. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1936
DeHaan, M.R. Coming Events in Prophecy. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1962
Stedman, Ray C. What's This World Coming To? Ventura: Regal Books, 1970
Walvoord, John F. Daniel: The Key to Prophetic Revelation. Chicago: Moody Press, 1971
Missler, Chuck. Revelation Study (21 tape set). Available from The Manna System
Missler, Chuck. Daniel Study (12 tape set). Available from The Manna System
Missler, Chuck. Zechariah Study (13 tape set). Available from The Manna System
Missler, Chuck. The Ultimate Issue (single tape). Available from The Manna System
Smith, Chuck. To The Open Minded (single tape). Available from The Manna System
SCRIPTURES REFERENCED OR CITED
Genesis 3:15; 6
Daniel 2; 7, 7:8, 25; 8:11, 23; 9:26, 27; 11, 11:21-31,36
Zechariah 11:17Matthew 24:15
2Thessalonians 2:3-8, 9
Revelation 5; 11:7; 13, 13:1-8; 19:19, 20; 20, 20:4, 7-15
prophecy eschatology tribulation antichrist