Who *REALLY* is the Antichrist?

Ever since John wrote the Book of Revelation (given to him by Jesus Christ himself) there has been speculation, argument, discussion and endless theories as to “who is the Antichrist”? Is that really the most important thing we need to get from Revelation? But let’s proceed:

God’s Promise of Protection

If you fall into the category of ‘Pre-Trib Rapture’ then such speculation is merely academic because you will never have to encounter this being. If, however, you are not Pre-Trib and believe Christians will go through some or all of the events mentioned in Revelation, you might have more reason to worry about who the final “beast ruler” will be.

However, since God has promised to protect all his true children from error, and also has pledged to open our eyes to all that might lead us away from the truth, we can believe we will NOT be left in ignorance. Paul in his description of this last days deceptions says it will befall those who refused the truth in the first place:

2 Thess 2:10 With every unrighteous deception among those who are perishing. They perish because they did not accept the love of the truth in order to be saved. Source: https://bible.knowing-jesus.com/2-Thessalonians/2

We will either see the latter day “books opened” that will reveal prophetic truth fully and completely, or we will see plainly for ourselves who is this final ungodly being, from his words and deeds!

First Things First

Before ever getting into the unending debate over “who” is the Antichrist, let’s start by saying the one fact that Christians seem to miss. The word Antichrist NEVER appears in the Book of Revelation!

Why then is John’s description of a final evil ruler given this name? The term Antichrist (which means basically “Another Messiah”, as well as being “Against the True Messiah”) appears only in the letters of John in both singular and plural forms. There it refers to a RELIGIOUS error, a belief system opposed to (or wrongly mimicking) the truth of Christianity.

The Greek word ANTI means the opposite, instead of, a substitution. It can of course imply therefore opposition, but opposition by being opposite to the truth. For instance, when the Greek word Anti is used in 1 Corinthians 11:15 speaking of a woman’s long hair, it is given to her FOR (anti), that is INSTEAD OF a covering.

Anti means something in the place of another. So it follows that an anti-christ is someone or something that is putting itself forward as another or different kind of christ, an alternative to the genuine Saviour.

This indeed is how the letters of John speak of antichrists.

The bible does not (unlike many teachers today) portray the Antichrist as a sort of mimic of Jesus Christ, posing as a Saviour or as the Second Coming. The bible says that Antichrist “denies the Father and the Son.“ He will not commend or exalt the Father, nor pose as Jesus, but DENY them both and present HIMSELF as “ALL that is God or is called ‘god’.”  (2 Thess 2)

He will present himself as the ultimate being worthy of worship by all mankind. But my question in this post is: will he be a political beast, akin to a Roman Emperor, the leader of a ten-nation kingdom, (that is, the ten-horned Beast rising from the sea) OR will he be a RELIGIOUS deceiver? Let’s see:

1 John 2:18 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time…

1 John 2:22 Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son.

1 John 4:3 Every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.

2 John 1:7 For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.

During his letter, John also explains that these antichrists are people who were false Christians, posing as believers or even those who have fallen away from the truth. He says “they went out FROM US” from the true CHURCH.

1 John 2:19 They went out from us, but they did not belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us. But their departure made it clear that none of them belonged to us.

These biblical descriptions of “anti-christ” are NOT political rulers or worldly deceivers, idols or false gods, but they are pseudo christians, false teachers and heretics.

The Beast From the Sea

For some reason, the seven-headed Beast ruler of the last days, who sets up a ten-kingdom world government, is called the Antichrist by almost all people today. I would say there is no reason for that title. Certainly it is never given in the Book of Revelation.

The Beast, in Revelation 17, is a type of Roman Emperor, a military and political ruler. John may have believed that Emperor Nero himself would rise from the dead (he sees the beast system rising from the sea, the abyss) and the angel later describes this seven-headed Beast as a composite of Roman rule. As many are aware, the mysterious “number of his name” 666 is John’s hint at the name NERO.

While “Nero” in Greek totalled the number 1,005, the reader of John’s letter familiar with the Hebrew language could recognize that the Greek spelling of “Nero Caesar” transliterated into Hebrew equals 666. Moreover, the presence in some ancient manuscripts of a variation in which 666 is rendered 616 lends further credence to Nero as the intended referent. The Hebrew transliteration of the Latin spelling of “Nero Caesar” totals 616, just as the Hebrew transliteration of the Greek, which includes an additional letter (Greek: “n”=50, English transliteration: “n”=50), renders 666. Thus, two seemingly unrelated numbers lead you to the same doorstep—that of a beast named Nero Caesar.

Please know that I am NOT saying there is to be no future Beast, for another may very well arise as a type of Caesar, in the style of the Roman Emperor. Nero may turn out to be just a foreshadowing of a cruel, evil, narcissistic  leader who persecutes the Church and overthrows every other kingdom on earth. (Or, maybe one will actually rise from the dead.)

The Role of the Harlot

The Harlot, who is “riding” the Beast in Revelation 17, that is, holding the reins and steering it – a metaphor for guidance, empowerment and leadership – is no doubt a RELIGIOUS entity, Babylon, a false bride who has forsaken God and hooked up with the Beast as her Mentor and Lover. (However, the Beast ultimately turns on her and destroys her, which is the just punishment of God.)

Antichrist in John’s Epistles

In John’s day, when he wrote his epistles, the Church was dealing with heretics who denied the divinity of Christ. “Who is the liar, if it is not the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, who denies the Father and the Son.”

They specifically denied that Jesus Christ had “come in the FLESH”. This is the heresy of docetism.

The term docetism is derived from the Greek verb dokeo, which means “seem” or “appear”; thus, the name of the heresy points to its teaching that Jesus did not have a real physical body. Instead, He only SEEMED to possess physicality. His body was an illusion, something that looked real but in fact was not a part of the physical order at all.

 So when we skip over to Revelation, the term “antichrist” could more easily be applied (1) to the Harlot (once God’s ‘wife’ but now having given herself to others) or more especially (2) to the False Prophet who is preaching a heretical doctrine and backing it up with false miracles, signs and wonders.

Indeed, staying with Revelation for a moment, we do see that it is, in fact, the False Prophet (not the Beast Ruler) who is given all the power on earth to deceive so he has more claim to the term Antichrist than another of the evil threesome in the last days (The Dragon, the Beast and the False Prophet). The Beast “rises from the sea, the abyss” but the False Prophet, the Deceiver, arises “from the earth” from which I conclude he will be a prominent religious leader/prophet akin to the false apostles we see today.

The second beast described in Revelation 11 is a two-horned, deceptively benign creature that shares authority with the first beast.

This False Prophet will:

  • Be a Deceiver (13:11).
  • Speak the Words of Satan (13:11).
  • Promote False Worship of the Beast (13:12).
  • Use Miracles to Deceive the World (13:13-14).
  • Persecute Those Who Follow the Lamb (13:15).
  • Mark Those Who Worship the Beast (13:16-17).
  • Lead the World to Worship a Mere Man (13:18).

It is the False Prophet who causes all those who worship the Beast to receive his mark. It is this False Prophet who places a living statue of the Beast in the Temple and empowers it to speak.

When the disciples asked Jesus about the latter days, the very first warning Jesus gave was “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.”

Does this not ALL point to an Antichrist who is first and foremost a religious deceiver, a lying ‘saviour’, a miracle-worker – indeed quite possibly a man posing as a genuine Christian? (ANTI = another-christ) Remember that this beast from the earth is described as having “two horns LIKE A LAMB” (Rev 13:11)- the Lamb being a direct reference to the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ!

He also is the one who “exercises ALL authority of the Beast” (Rev 13:12) and causes everyone to worship the Beast ruler. Let us therefore now compare him with Paul’s description of the Man of Sin.

The Man of Sin

2 Thess 2: 3-12 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God….(9) The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous DECEPTION among those who perish.

Here we see the anti = (other/false) christ or man of lawlessness causing the world to worship Satan. Above we saw that it is the “lamb” beast, the False Prophet who is the one given power and authority by satan to do signs and wonders. So is HE – the False Prophet – the Man of Sin?

At the very least the two-horned “lamb” is the one who promotes the worship of a satanic ‘god’ whether himself or the Beast whose image he has caused to be placed in the Temple. (Revelation 13:12-14)

The Man with the Power

We have already seen that Satan, the Dragon, hands over all his power and authority to an earthly “lamb” who performs the lying signs and wonders and causes everyone to worship the Beast. So is this lamb-beast (a mimic of the risen christ or a man posing as christ) the real Man of Sin (as opposed to the Son of God)?

Jesus in Matthew 24:15 referred to this statue of the Beast as the “abomination that desolates” as in Daniel 11:31 (fulfilled as a forerunner). But who – in the latter day abomination – sets up the image of the Beast? It is the False Prophet. Who is it that commands worship of Satan? The False Prophet. Who causes the unwary to be deceived with lying signs and wonders? The False Prophet. Who is it that causes those who worship the Beast to receive his mark? The False Prophet.

It’s Only a Name

Ever since seeing the truths I have laid out here, I rebel against using the term “antichrist” to refer to the coming emperor/ruler of the fallen world system in the last days. I prefer to call him the BEAST, which is how he is described in Revelation.

However, since almost the entire Christian world seems determined to use the term Antichrist, I have to go along with it most of the time and not attempt to correct those who say it.

At the end of the day it’s just a name, it’s just terminology – and nothing changes in terms of the endtimes because of a misplaced title – but I do long for the day to come when more and more Christians take heed of the bible terminology itself, instead of the traditions.

Should we not aim to use biblical terms correctly, and refer to the three beasts of the endtimes with their titles as in the Word of God, and not follow along in the steps of theologians just because they have used the term Antichrist for one of those beasts?

One thought on “Who *REALLY* is the Antichrist?

  1. Antichrist is not one specific person but everyone that does not hear and obey the Father in the same way as Jesus.
    Because Jesus was annointed with the “Christ”, which is hearing.

    There is only two things in this world, hearing and obeying the Father which is Christ or not which is the antichrist.
    That is why it says that the sign of the end of times is that there are “many” antichrist.

    It started with one and does end with many.


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