Although there is no one by this name in the bible, this infamous individual has become known as “The Antichrist”. The term “anti” in Greek means “instead of” or “against”. This prefix denotes substitution. It indicates this person will be an impersonator – an individual attempting to take the place of Jesus Christ. However, he will not only portray himself as messianic: he will directly oppose Christ.
The Word of God depicts Satan as active in the world until evil is absolutely and eternally destroyed. It is logical that the ultimate personification of evil – incarnate in a human body – is ultimately decimated by Christ. The Antichrist is neither a mythological personage nor is he merely representative of a generic system of world evil. He is the living epitome of wickedness. Although he is not Satan, he is certainly possessed and directed by him. He is first referenced in Revelation 11:7, but is a prominent figure throughout the book. He is the “First Beast” described in Revelation 13:1-10 and shares many characteristics of the False Prophet referred to in 13:11. Interestingly, Antichrist, Satan, and the False Prophet seem to form a sort of unholy trinity – a counterfeit godhead.
John the Beloved wrote the Gospel of John, First, Second and Third John, and Revelation. He makes reference to many individuals who are “antichrists” in that they are diametrically opposed to God’s will (I Jn. 2:18). The primary characteristic of this ‘antichrist attitude’ is deception. Satanic tactics can be traced from his appearance as the snake in the Garden of Eden to “that old serpent…Satan” in Revelation 12:9. It is revealed to John on the isle of Patmos that the Lord Jesus Christ is the One who will cast Lucifer into the bottomless pit forever.
For two millennia, hundreds of authors have sought to identify the Antichrist. Infamous persons throughout Church history have been named as having the necessary qualifications to fulfill this role. In the first century it was Nero. In the Middle Ages, Muhammad became a prime candidate. During the Reformation, the Catholic Church dared to claim Martin Luther was the culprit. During World War II, many believed this tyrant had to be Hitler. However, God will not allow the true identity of the Antichrist to be known until very near “The Day of the Lord” (II Thess. 2:3). The reason for this is clear: God’s people should always be prepared for the Rapture. This condition of readiness is what God expects, for He always portrays His arrival as sudden and imminent.
Although the Church will not be present to endure the Tribulation, those who miss the Rapture will come directly under the Antichrist’s power and dominance. Here are some of his characteristics that can be deduced from Scripture.
He will claim to be God.
He will blaspheme the true God.
He will demand – and receive – worship.
His will answer to no one: his rule is totalitarianism.
He will assume dominate global authoritarianism (II Jn. 1:7).
He will be an arrogant egotist, a bigot, a narcissist, a braggart, and a liar (Dan. 8:25 & 11:36).
He will be deceptive and seductive (Rev. 20:7 & II Jn. 7).
He will have a reputation as “The Man of Sin” (I Thess. 2).
He will either be a Jew or a Gentile: it is not certain which.
He will be indwelt by Satan (Rev. 13).
He will possess satanic powers and perform miracles (II Thess. 2).
He will be the supporter of the False Prophet (Rev. 13:11).
He will survive a fatal injury (Rev. 13).
He will have both natural charisma and a dynamic personality (Dan. 8:23).
He will grow into his dictatorship slowly – like a horn grows on the head of an animal (Dan. 7).
(This may indicate he rises to his position from obscurity.)
He will make a covenant with Israel – but later break it.
He will destroy at least three kingdoms. (Dan 7 & 13).
He will be asexual – having no desire for either sex (Dan. 11:37).
He will persecute God’s people (Dan. 7:25 & Rev. 13:9-10).
He will set up His throne in the Temple of God (Dan. 8:13).
He will in some manner desecrate the Temple in Jerusalem.
He will be tied to the number 666 in some manner.
He will appear to be religious.
He will deny the Incarnation of Jesus (I Jn. 4:3).
He will deny the deity of Jesus (I Jn. 2:2).
He will deny Jesus is the Messiah.
He will deny both the Father and His Son (I Jn. 2:22).
He will change all laws on earth to suit himself (Dan. 7).
He will establish all laws – yet follow none himself (I Thess. 2).
He will control world economy.
He will have a short-lived reign – about 42 months.
He will direct the world’s armies.
He will order his global military forces to fight Jesus Christ: his fatal mistake (Rev. 19).
He will have a decisive defeat – proving evil is neither eternal nor immortal.
He will be destroyed by Christ when He comes to establish His millennial kingdom.
No one will ever again rule the world after the Antichrist….except the Lord Jesus Christ.