One of the most intriguing questions of each generation: “Who is the Antichrist?”
- Ronald Reagan: Reagan has 6 letters in each of his names. Survived a mortal wound as some believe the antichrist is prophesied to endure. His first lady wore a lot of red. Upon his retirement, he moved to a house at 666 St. Cloud Street.
- Pope Benedict XVI: Pope Benedict was German. Many believe the antichrist will rise from the old Roman empire. Germany apparently qualifies.
As you can see, the prediction of an Antichrist is not really based on logic or a correct understanding of the book of Revelation.
Not in Revelation
In fact, (prepare to have your mind blown) the book of Revelation does not mention the “Antichrist.” Nowhere in the entire book is this term mentioned. The only place in the Bible the Antichrist is mentioned is in the letters of the Apostle John. In these passages, John makes no reference to a world leader who will one day lead the world astray and usher the coming Armageddon. On the contrary, he says the Antichrist had already arrived two thousand years ago.
But every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus, is not from God. This is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming and even now is in the world. 1 John 4:3
People run with this reference, and directly connect it with the beasts in Revelation 13. This is a significant jump. Consider the fact that John wrote both 1 John and Revelation. Don’t you think he would make the connection if there was one to be made?
When these two references are correctly unlinked, we realize we know next to nothing about the “Antichrist” and seriously have to question if this character even exists.
Ominous Character Real?
The most legitimate passage that talks about a figure who will lead people astray doesn’t come from Revelation and never uses the word “Antichrist.” 2 Thessalonians 2 describes a figure who must be “revealed” before the return of Jesus.
“And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming.” 2 Thessalonians 2:8
We don’t know much about the man of lawlessness (some translate this sin) We don’t know when or where this person will come from. We don’t have any insight into his nationality. The numerical value of his name is not …. well its not even a thing. Contrary to popular belief he is most likely not a political leader and more of a religious leader.
Don’t miss the warning
As with all scriptures referring to the end of time, the warning of this passage is to hold firmly to your faith in Jesus. Not to start believing in conspiracy theories. The spirit of deception is already at work. Read this passage slowly.
The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing.They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason, God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.”
2 Thessalonians 2:9-12
Did you catch that? God allows there to be a delusion, so that people who don’t choose to believe in him will believe the lie. Put your faith in Jesus. Be faithful, don’t fall for the lie. Paul wraps up 2 Thessalonians 2 with this commission.
So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you,whether by word of mouth or by letter. 2 Thessalonians 2:15
Here are the keys that you must hold to, firmly, to avoid being caught up in any delusion. Whether it be the delusion of the “one who is to be revealed” or simply the every day delusion that is typically living on planet earth.
- The conditions of God’s grace never change. Believe in Jesus, turn from sin and hold firmly to the teachings in scripture. If someone is teaching another way, they are misleading you.
- Never get caught up in the charisma of a leader or deceived by signs or wonders. God works in incredible ways here on earth, but it is always in accordance with the sound teaching of scripture. Even if you see an undeniable miracle it must line up with the teaching of the New Testament or it is not from God.
- Don’t be led into sin. I mean, the guys name is the “the man of sin,” it seems pretty obvious where he is trying to lead you. If someone is teaching the Bible but never teaches you to turn from sin, that’s a huge red flag. If you’re getting the impression you can follow God without turning from sin, you’re listening to a false teacher.