- ABOUT US
- Calendar and News
- READING PLAN
- The Chosen
End Times Doctrine
Before we begin, the majority of the Scriptures used in determining the person and work of the Antichrist is found in Matthew chapter 24, Daniel chapter 9, 2 Thessalonians chapter 2, 1 John chapters 2 and 4, and chapters 6; 13; and 19 of the Book of Revelation.
Further, as a qualifier, this is in no way a complete study, it is merely an overview to give you a basic understanding. There are others who have gone much deeper into this topic, as I have teaching studies through the books of Revelation and Daniel, and if I could give one piece of counsel, be careful to make sure you stick to the Scriptures, and not base your study off of current events, or based upon our own or other people’s opinions.
Now, throughout the ages, people have become absolutely fixated and obsessed in finding out just who the Antichrist is, and the attempts have been numerous. In the early church they saw it as possibly as one of the Roman emperors, and the names Nero and Domitian were bandied about. Martin Luther saw it as the papacy of the Roman church, or the Pope. In WWII, people were sure it was Hitler, and more recently names such as Kennedy, Kissinger, Nixon, Gorbachov, and Clinton have been mentioned.
They come up with these names generally by either their actions, or by adding up the numeric value of their names, and if they add up to the magical number of 666, which the Bible refers to as the number of the Beast, or the Antichrist, then they’re the guy. (I’ll deal with this in a future study.)
Today with the new coronavirus pandemic, the racial violence, and the economic devastation that is happening around the world, the world is ready for someone, anyone who will come and bring some sort of order and peace out of the mess, which is prime material for Satan and the Antichrist to work with.
In speaking of the end times and how Jesus will come as thief in the night, which is what we looked at last week in our Wednesday’s Word on the Rapture, it says something that fits this scenario.
“For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape.” (1 Thessalonians 5:3)
This is exactly how the prophet Daniel describes the coming Antichrist, and how he will make a covenant with many for a 7-year period, but then renege on this agreement half way through.
And so, in wanting peace at any cost, the world will accept this man of sin, this man of lawlessness, and will be so caught in his web of lies that they will have no escape from the ultimate destruction he is bringing, that is, the destruction of their souls.
Now, the term “antichrist” is a similar expression as the term “false christ.” In the majority of these cases it is used it refers to individuals who present themselves throughout the church age, and will deceive many with false teachings about God and Jesus Christ, along with deceptive signs and wonders.
This is seen in what Jesus said in Matthew 24:24 about these signs of the end.
“For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.” (Matthew 24:24)
I love that it says if possible, and this I believe matches what Paul tells us in his first letter to the church in Thessalonica saying, “But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.” (1 Thessalonians 5:4-6)
The Apostle John indicates that the spirit that pervades these individuals, that is, these antichrists is one that denies that Jesus is the Christ, or Lord.
“But every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.” (1 John 4:2)
But while there are many antichrists, there is only one Antichrist, which is seen in the definite article that is use describing him in John’s first letter.
“It is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour.” (1 John 2:18)
Now, the Bible has various names and titles for the Antichrist. He is called the little horn, in Daniel 7:7, the prince that is to come in Daniel 9:26, and the one who makes desolate in Daniel 9:27. Paul describes him as the man of sin and the son of perdition (lawlessness) in 2 Thessalonians 2:3, the lawless one in 2 Thessalonians 2:8, and in Revelation 6:2 he is called the Beast.
But what is the best way to describe The Antichrist, and the spirit of the antichrist that is already in the world?
The best way I know how is through the word “anti” that precedes the word, “Christ.” Its original meaning is that of being “opposite” of whatever it is attached to, and in its figurative usage it means “instead of,” or “in place of.”
Therefore, The Antichrist, and the spirit of antichrist is one who is against Christ, or the one that wants to take the place of Jesus Christ. And if we combine the two together what we see is that the Antichrist is the one who assumes the guise of Christ, not only to oppose Him, but also to oppose all that Christ stands for.
This is probably best seen In 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4.
“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.” (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4)
Within this passage the first word is “opposes, “ which literally means, “one who is setting themselves against.” The second word is “exalts, which means “to be puffed up with pride.” Further we see this as he seats himself in God’s holy temple presenting himself to be God.
Now, through out the Bible there are a lot of similarities that Satan uses to make this deception work. Here are a few from Revelation chapters 6 and 13, and Daniel 9.
• In Revelation 6:2 he comes riding on a white horse, carrying a bow (ie. weapon), wearing a victors crown, and he goes out conquering. And what we see of Jesus’s return in Revelation 19 is how He returns riding on a white horse, having a weapon as well, a sword that proceeds from his mouth that he strikes the nations with, and He is wearing many kingly crowns.
• In Daniel 9:27 he comes as a prince who make a covenant with the Jewish people for one week, or for the seven years of Tribulation. Jesus, however, in Daniel 9:25 comes as the Messiah the Prince, and sacrifices Himself for the New Covenant, for the sake of all humanity, which is why the writer of Hebrews says that He is the mediator of a better covenant.
• In Revelation 13:3, we are told that he will be mortally wounded, but will be healed, and the whole world marveled. And what we see is that the Antichrist is mimicking the resurrection of Jesus, with the one difference, while the wound was mortal, it was healed. Jesus however, died, and three days later rose from the dead. Yet, in this attempt to mimic or counterfeit the resurrection, look at how the beast is described in Revelation 17:8.
“The beast that you saw was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to perdition. And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.” (Revelation 17:8)
Yet, Jesus is the real King and the one who was and is and is to come, the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, as He proclaimed “‘I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,’ says the Lord, ‘who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.’” (Revelation 1:8)
This leads me to another similarity that Satan tries to perpetrate upon unsuspecting humanity. And that is that it would seem that the Antichrist is Satan in the flesh.
This is another similarity with Jesus that isn’t mentioned as much, but is seen in the Antichrist. And that is just as Jesus was God incarnate, that is, God come down in human flesh as pointed out in John’s gospel saying, how in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God, and how the Word became flesh and dwelt among us as the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:1,14).
As it refers to the Antichrist, it will look like he is Satan come in the flesh, in that he will be completely and utterly controlled by Satan, that is, he will be possessed to the max.
This is seen in several places, like when he is called the son of perdition in 2 Thessalonians 2:3. The son of perdition is only used one time prior to this and that describing Judas Iscariot. It says that Satan came and filled Judas in order to betray Jesus, which is what Satan, the dragon does to the Antichrist, the Beast in Revelation 13:2 saying, “The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority.”
It would seem that Satan didn’t want to trust anyone else to carry out these two monumental tasks, the betrayal of Jesus resulting in His crucifixion, and the attempted annihilation of the Jews and to prevent Jesus’s return.
But we see other similarities between the Antichrist and Satan that would support this hypothesis.
• In Revelation 12:3 we see Satan as a great fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, with seven crowns upon his head, and then in Revelation 13:1 we see the Antichrist as the Beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns were ten crowns.
• In Revelation 12:9 we see Satan again as the great dragon, who deceives the whole world, and then in 2 Thessalonians 2:9-10 the Antichrist is described as the coming lawless one with all unrighteous deception.
• In Ezekiel 28:2, and Isaiah 14:13-14, it says that Satan not only calls himself god, and how he wants to sit in the seat of God, and how he will exalt his throne above God. And then in 2 Thessalonians 2:4, it says that the Antichrist will exalt himself above all that is called God and worshiped as God and sits as God in the temple of God, showing the world that he is God.
When Will the Antichrist Come?
Both Daniel chapter 9, and Revelation 6, we see that the Antichrist will come at the beginning of the Great Tribulation. In fact, it is his coming that ushers it in.
However, what we are told is that the spirit of the antichrist is already here, and it would seem the spirit came shortly after Jesus’s death, resurrection, and ascension. This is seen in what John said in chapter 4:3 saying, “And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.” (1 John 4:3) And this spirit is preparing the hearts of humanity for the coming man of sin, and the son of perdition, the Antichrist.
The purpose of this preparation is to slowly and surely turn the hearts of humanity away from God and towards ungodliness in all it various forms so that when the Antichrist shows up on the scene and through his lies and deceptions, no one will be shocked. In fact, he will seem more like a kindred spirit than an opposing one.
Further, the covenant he will bring in Daniel 9:27, will center around the Jewish people and the nation of Israel, which is at the heart of Daniel’s prophecy of Seventy Sevens. Therefore it will most likely be both political and religious in nature. Political in that it will bring peace to the Middle East, which the world has yet to accomplish, since forever.
But it will also be religious in nature, allowing the Jews to rebuild the Temple so that the Antichrist can sit upon the throne to proclaim himself as God, and to once again begin the sacrifices and offerings that Daniel brings out in this verse in how that the Antichrist will abolish these sacrifices to God after the first 3 ½ years.
Also, being both political and religious is seen in that there must be peace between Islam and Judaism for this to take place, no easy task.
But remember what it says in 1 Thessalonians 5:3 that when they say, “Peace and safety!” that is when sudden destruction will come, which Daniel states in this verse at the time the Antichrist will stop the sacrifices and will make desolate.
Now, last week we saw one more aspect to the coming of the Antichrist, and that is the restrainer, which is the one that is restraining his arrival will be taken out of the way. What I have found interesting is that the restrainer, as described by Paul is both a who and a what.
“And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.” (2 Thessalonians 2:6-8 NKJV)
Notice the wording, “He who now restrains,” and “you know what is restraining.”
The “who” is the Holy Spirit, the “what” is the vehicle of grace the Holy Spirit works through, which would be the church. (I delved into this last week when we looked at the doctrine of the Rapture, which you can watch on our YouTube channel.
The Antichrist’s End
The final outcome of the Antichrist is quite dramatic. Both he and the false prophet are destroyed and tossed alive into the Lake of fire.
In Revelation 19:20 it says, “Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone.” (Revelation 19:20)
To conclude I’d like to go back to what Paul said in 2 Thessalonians 2 in how the Antichrist 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.
Now, the temple of God has not yet been rebuilt, but there is a temple, that is, the temple that resides within the hearts, soul, and spirit of every human being. The Bible says that God has put eternity in all of our hearts, and so the question becomes, who’s sitting upon the throne of our hearts, because knowing what Paul said about the Antichrist exalting himself sitting upon the throne of God in His temple, so who is sitting upon the throne of the human heart? It is either the spirit of antichrist right now until the Antichrist is revealed, or it is Jesus Christ.
Paul said that all those who believe in Jesus Christ, that they are the temple of God, and thus the place where Jesus sits upon His throne and dwells in our midst.
Wednesday Evening Bible Study