The antichrist is the epitome of all things evil. Over the years, the antichrist has been portrayed in many ways in books and in movies in both Christian and secular writings. Turns out, there is a lot to sift through to try to get to the facts about the antichrist!
Unfortunately, there has been way too much speculation, opinion, and assumption. The good news is that we have Scripture and it is sufficient with all we need to know about the antichrist. So, what does the Bible say about the antichrist?
Who is the antichrist?
Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us…This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also. 1 John 2|18–23
“…every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.” 1 John 4|3
The antichrist was in the past, is here, and is coming. RC Sproul correctly notes, “We can conclude from this (1 John 2|18 and 1 John 4|3) that during the period between the apostolic age (when the New Testament was being written) and the return of Christ (when Christ returns in his second coming) there are to be many manifestations of the antichrist, at least in spirit and power.”
Some scholars believe that after looking at Jesus’ words in the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24) and the events that took place with the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD, that Nero (Roman Emperor who ruled from AD 54-68) was a type of the antichrist. There are some theologians who say he was the final fulfillment of the antichrist as well.
Where will the antichrist come from?
Scripture gives us evidence of what to look for when the antichrist will come but there is not much in the way of where the antichrist will come from. Below we discuss the signs to look for about when the antichrist will come.
Other names for the antichrist
The Beast, the man of lawlessness, and the son of destruction are all names used in Scripture in reference to the antichrist.
When will the antichrist come?
Like we discussed, the spirit of the antichrist is already here. But, a more literal fulfillment of an individual antichrist seems to still be to come.
In 1 John 2|18, we see John speaks of many antichrists as already being present in the world but he also speaks of an antichrist in the singular form as one that is still coming in the future.
L. Berkhof says, “The more general opinion in the Church, however, is that in the last analysis the term “Antichrist” denotes an eschatological person, who will be the incarnation of all wickedness and therefore represents a spirit which is always more or less present in the world, and who has several precursors or types in history.” L. Berkhof, Systematic Theology (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans publishing co., 1938), 702–703.
Then in Scripture we read…
Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him … For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God….The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.
2 Thessalonians 2|1–12.
This Scripture tells us rebellion must come first along with false signs and wonders and deception before the final manifestation of the antichrist.
Will the antichrist win?
No. In the end, Christ wins. None of his children will be lost to the antichrist. Many things about the coming of Jesus and the antichrist are unknown but we can rest assured that Christ wins.
Then comes the end, when he (Jesus) delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.
The last enemy to be destroyed is death. (1 Corinthians 15|24–26)
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