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We hear so much about an "Antichrist" ruling the world one day, and so many ideas about whether he is a "religious" leader, or a "political" leader. What is your take?
First of all, the title "Antichrist" is only by the Apostle John, in his First and Second Epistles:
- 1 John 2:18-22, THE ANTICHRIST shall come, even now are many ANTICHRISTS, whereby we know that it is the last time. And, in verse 22, anyone who denies that Jesus is the Christ is "an ANTICHRIST".
- 1 John 4:3, Every spirit that does not confess that Jesus is come in the flesh is the "spirit of ANTICHRIST" - which is already (during the Apostle John's lifetime) in the world.
- 2 John 7, Deceivers denying Jesus are "An ANTICHRIST".
In 1 John 2:18, the Greek word "antichristos" has the article "the", which is referring to THE ANTICHRIST that shall come. "Antichristos" without the article "the" just means "against Christ".
Next, we must understand that the term "Antichrist" means ANTI - "against" CHRISTOS - "Christ" and not a "false christ". Many Christians expect the "Antichrist" to arrive on the scene saying that he is Christ, but that is a "false christ". The Scriptures say there will be many "false christs" throughout history, as Jesus spoke of in Matt. 24:5 and 24, but that is the Greek phrase "pseudo christos".
There is only one man in the Scripture who rules the whole world for 7 years after the completion of the Church Age. Only the Apostle John calls this man "THE ANTICHRIST", and he is a "POLITICAL" leader and not a "religious" leader.
This man, who will be asked by the whole world to be their "World President" or ruler, and preside over a glorious "New World Order" with a global economic system and in a time of maximum worldwide prosperity, has many other names in Scripture.
When he arrives, he will use his own name. In John 5:43, Jesus states that the Jews would not receive Him, but they will, in the future, receive "Another in his own name". So, this man will not be a "False Christ", but he will be "against Christ" and he will be called by his own name.
I find at least thirteen other names in the Scriptures for this man John calls "THE ANTICHRIST", and each is a further description of his characteristics:
- 2 Thess 2:3 and 8, "The Man of Sin". The Apostle Paul calls this World Ruler of the Tribulation three different titles in this context, "the Man of sin" (In Greek, "The Lawless One"), "son of perdition", and "that wicked".
- Isa 14:4-24, "King of Babylon" (a type)
- Dan 7:8, the "Little Horn"
- Dan 9:26&27, "The prince that shall come"
- Dan 11:21, "The vile person"
- Dan 11:22, "The prince of the covenant", referring to the 7 year peace pact between Israel and her Arab neighbors.
- Dan 11:36, "The willful king"
- Zech 11:16&17, "The idol shepherd"
- Rev 9:11, "The angel of the bottomless pit", and "Apollyon", meaning "destroyer".
- Rev 11:7, "The Beast"
HIS PERSONALITY AND CHARACTERISTICS:
- Dan 7:8, Eyes (compare with Eze 1:18 & Rev 4:6) and mouth speaking great things.
- Dan 8:23, Understands dark sentences.
- Dan 7:20 and 25, Speaking great words.
- Rev 13:2, Mouth like a lion, regal, respected authority.
- Can be "calculated" to be "666", Rev 13:18. This represents "human perfection", a satanic "trinity", and will be more apparent when he is ready to appear on the world scene.
- All things "universal", and "global" are are leading to this man and his "world system". Interestingly, someone noticed that the "VISA" card name = 666 ("VI" = Roman numeral 6, "S" = the Greek number 6, and "A" = the ancient Babylonian number 6).
- He has a Fierce countenance: Dan 8:23
- His look is stouter than his fellows: Dan 7:20 ("Fellows" is a modern "secret society" and "Think tank" term.)
A clever and persistent politician:
- Dan 8:25 A policy maker.
- Dan 7:20 Mouth speaking great things.
Known as a peacemaker:
- Dan 8:25 By peace destroys many!
- Dan 9:27 Confirms a 7 year peace pact between many.
- Dan 11:21 Comes in peaceably with flatteries.
- Dan 11:23 The peace pact again.
- Dan 11:24 Enters peaceably on the "oiliest" places. (Makes middle east oil a factor in the tribulation).
A little horn among 10 big horns (kings):
- Dan 7:8,20,21,23-25. Little Horn.
- Rev 17:12-13: 10 kings GIVE him power.
Backed by a false religious system:
Rev chap 17: False religion is promoted by the "Antichrist" at first, then after 3 1/2 years, he delares himself to be GOD. In Rev 17:16-17, this false religious system is destroyed after it has been used to Antichrist's advantage for the first half of the Tribulation.
Backed by a group of evil and powerful men:
- Dan 8:24 Not by his own power.
- Rev 17:13 the 10 kings GIVE their power to him.
He gains the support of the small nations (third world):
- Dan 11:23 Strong with a small people.
- Dan 11:42-43 Ethiopia and Libya at his steps.
Comes in with flatteries and deceptions:
- Dan 11:21 Flatteries
- Dan 11:32 Corrupts by flatteries.
- Psa 55 Very likely the thoughts of Israel at Mid Trib (Abomination of Desolation, Matt 24:15 and Dan. 9:27 and 11:31)
Even with all this Biblical information about the future world dictator, we are never told in Scripture to look for the "Antichrist", but only to "Look for Jesus":
- 1 Thess 1:10: WAIT for his Son from heaven.
- Jude 21: LOOKING for Jesus, his mercy and eternal life.
- 1 Cor 1:7: WAITING for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
- 1 Thess 5:6: Not sleeping, but WATCHING for Christ. This is in the context of the rapture of the Church.
- 2 Pet 3:12: LOOKING for and hasting to the coming day of God.
- Phil 3:20 & 21: LOOKING for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will change our vile body to be fashioned like unto his glorious body.
- 2 Cor 5:2: Earnestly DESIRING our heavenly body.
- 2 Thess 3:5: WAITING for Christ with patience.
- Titus 2:13: LOOKING for that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of the great God and our savior Jesus Christ.
- 2 Tim 4:8: A special crown for those having LOVED HIS APPEARING.
- Heb 9:28: Unto THEM THAT LOOK FOR HIM he shall appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
We are "looking for Jesus", but, I believe that all this information about the "Antichrist" is for our JOY, because the "day" that the "Antichrist" is fully revealed to the world, is the "day" of the Rapture for us!