Jesus Christ is loving, holy, kind, perfect, and merciful. The son of God, He saves, loves, and guides us in every second we inhale and exhale. He is part of the Trinity; the God who listens, remembers, cares, and forgives. Jesus is the only One who grants us freedom from sin and death (Romans 6:23). Now, think about a person who is the complete and the ultimate opposite of Jesus’ characteristics. This man is evil, terrible, blasphemous, deceitful, and a liar. He brings chaos to our lives, tricks, and tempts God’s followers into sin. This evil man will come on the Day of Judgment. He is the Antichrist. As much as we want to deny his presence in this world, he is prophesied to come and he will come. So, who is the Antichrist and how do we recognize him and his lies? What should we look out for?
A Biblical Background On The Antichrist
Who is the Antichrist in the Bible? The word “Antichrist” has only been mentioned four times throughout the entire Bible. These are all in the epistles of John. A prevalent characteristic John emphasizes about the Antichrist is how he “denies” Jesus Christ (1 John 2:22, 2 John 1:7). John also describes him as a “deceiver” which will later be connected to the Bible’s other accounts for the Antichrist.
But if the Antichrist’s identity is crucial and a matter that demands immense caution, why is it only mentioned four times in the Bible? To clarify, only John used the exact word “Antichrist” in the Scripture. However, his identity was already predicted as early as the Old Testament, specifically in the Book of Daniel. In Daniel’s accounts, he writes that the beast is someone with eyes similar to a man and a mouth who speaks great things (Daniel 7:8). In Daniel 7:25, he also warns using the pronoun “he”, to be someone who speaks words against the Highest. And that he will think to change the times and the law.
Aside from Daniel, The Second Epistle to the Thessalonians gives the Antichrist another quality which is “lawless”. It says that the lawless one is bound to be revealed. Connecting this to Jesus Christ who fulfilled the law (Matthew 5:17), the Antichrist opposes it. Lastly, the Book of Revelation also has accounts pointing to the Antichrist. This is where we can see when the Antichrist will come which is at the beginning of the End. The Revelation describes him as a “beast”.
Although II Thessalonians nor The Revelation did not directly say “Antichrist”, they are clearly referring to the same person. The Bible actually speaks more about how we can conquer the Antichrist than the Antichrist himself.
Antichrist And “The Antichrist”
“Anti” is a noun, adjective, or preposition that we add to express how we are against something. Words like “anti-abuse” or “antibiotic” make use of how something opposes something. But if you notice, “the” is added before Antichrist and that the word “Antichrist” without “the” in the beginning also exists. It’s more than just a matter of grammatical concept but a Biblical one. Although they use the same words, they vary a lot in meaning.
“The” Antichrist is someone in the Bible who is predicted to appear when the End is coming to trick and manipulate the believers of God. “The” refers to how he is one person, this version of “Antichrist” is not an adjective but an actual name. An alarming characteristic of the Antichrist is how he has a “spirit”. Here’s what the Book of John tells us:
- 1 John 4:3 “And 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.”
Here’s where Antichrist (without “the”) appears. Antichrist is someone who is against Christ. We can easily grasp the concept behind this using grammatical rules. This time, the word “Antichrist” is not just a person but anyone who denies Jesus Christ (i.e. pagans, atheists, etc.). Keep note that John speaks of the spirit the Antichrist possesses that can enter people who are enticed to go against Jesus. The moment they do this, they now become an Antichrist. It’s like how Christians serve God, Antichrists oppose Christ. If we have the Holy Spirit, those who are an Antichrist have the spirit of the lawless man within them.
The Characteristics Of The Antichrist
The Antichrist is real. His corrupt spirit lurks day and night alongside people who chose to reject Jesus. His evil presence imposes a very threatening reality for those who are loyal to God. When the End Time arrives, he is expected to come with a face that mimics and mocks God. Answering who is the Antichrist calls for great attention to details in these characteristics the lawless one has:
He will attempt to remove religion.
2 Thessalonians 2:4 warns us of how the Antichrist is going to be someone of great influence who will seek to remove the concept of worshipping a higher God. In the Bible verse, it says that “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.” Taking note of “exalts himself against every object of worship”, this is not limited only to Christianity.
When the Antichrist arrives, he is going to attempt to eradicate religions, including Christianity. Just like any form of evil mentioned in the Bible, he is very deceitful and manipulative. Unlike Jesus who strengthens the weak, he is going to take advantage of them. Do not expect the enemy to look evil. He does not need a horn and a fuming red aura to measure his wickedness. He might look holy as he “takes his seat in the temple of God” but, he will always remain as the Antichrist.
This quality alone raises a fearful warning to God’s followers. Many theologists interpret these descriptions about the Antichrist as someone who is going to gain so much popularity and influence enough to convince people that he has divine power. He will capture the ears of many and gain the trust of the weak. The Antichrist is an impostor faking holiness and purity. This is something we believers should keep in mind.
People will follow him.
The Bible tells us in 1 John 2:18 that the Antichrist is coming along his many followers who are also an Antichrist. This verse is actually an indication that the End is coming. When the time arrives, we are going to see many people turn their back against God with the Antichrist. He will convince many people that he is God. For our part, we can determine what’s holy and what’s evil by praying and supplementing our souls with the Word of God. See, the Antichrist is like fake news on the Internet, if one is educated about the topic, he won’t be fazed by incorrect information. We cannot fight with our bodies but with our spirits.
He will show miracles.
Connecting this to the first and second characteristics, you might ask how the Antichrist is going to turn believers against God. Well, the Antichrist is capable of displaying miraculous power and strength that is going to entice people. In Revelation 13:11-17, it says that he can make fire “come down from heaven to earth”. Imagine how convincing that can be for people. If he can make it seem like he is getting something “from heaven”, it would be easy for people to think he is also from heaven.
From the same verse, the Antichrist can slay or punish those who do not worship the image of the beast. His wound is going to be healed right in front of us and he is going to breathe life into the beast. The Antichrist being able to breed miracles and punish people for not believing in him really makes it sound so convincing that he is God. But he will never be God. As loyal followers of the Lord, the Bible warns us that the Antichrist is going to be one of the hardest force of evil we are going to have to conquer. Remember that the Antichrist can hurt us with his violent hands but, God is here to save, love, and restore us. He will keep us safe from evil. The miracles of the Antichrist is nowhere near the power of God.
He will control the economy.
The Quote “money is the root of all evil” will make more sense when the Antichrist arrives. Revelation 13:16-17 says that the Antichrist is going to place a mark on the rich and the poor, the free and the slaves. No one can buy or sell without the mark of the beast thus, him controlling the world’s economy. This means those who deny his wickedness is bound to be deprived of business, income, or even food. Extreme as it may sound, this is what the Antichrist is able to do. When the day arrives, people are going to bargain their faith for comfort and put the mark of the Antichrist in their skin. Now, what if you have the mark? What’s going to happen to you?
Revelation 20:2-5 tells us that those who do not have the mark in their hands or foreheads will reign and live with Jesus Christ. When the beast is captured and after the triumph of Jesus against the Antichrist, Revelation 19:20 states that those with the mark is going to be thrown alive in the lake of fire that burns with sulfur or hell.
Here’s what we can take from this. As believers, it is assured that we are going to suffer when he arrives. But, this pain and discomfort are temporary for only God is permanent. Who is the Antichrist? He is someone we deny no matter what he takes away from us because after he’s gone, eternity with Jesus awaits us.
He will have authority for more than three years.
Revelation 13:5 says that the beast is going to be able to spit blasphemous words for forty-two months or three years and five months. In connection with him being able to control the flow of the world’s money, he is also going to take dominion over every tribe, people, language, and nation (Revelation 13:7). His presence is a sign that the End is bound to come anytime. But, as you can see, the road to life eternal with God is far from smooth.
For three and a half years, the believers of God are going to be shamed, starved, and punished. Answering who is the Antichrist is like describing how we are bound to suffer when his wickedness touches the soil of God’s Creation. Since people are going to follow him, we can expect to lose many people for choosing God’s Words. But, this is the way to the Lord. The battle we are going to face is big but, the Lord that will accompany us bigger. Three and a half years is just a second to an eternity with God – we should keep that in mind and spirit.
He is blasphemous.
Blasphemy is tricky. If someone is not familiar with God’s Word, they become more prone to blasphemy. They won’t know what’s blasphemous or not. Blasphemy develops with ignorance of the Word and the enemy is very familiar with attacking people in this area. Revelation 13:6 describes how the Antichrist will utter blasphemies against God. Connecting this to the ones mentioned before, the people will not know they are tolerating blasphemy against God because they are going to be convinced that the enemy is God.
The Bible is more than just a Book, it’s more than a set of laws, stories, and miracles. With the presence of the Antichrist, the Bible is the only physical weapon we have. It is the only tangible and concrete item we have to remind ourselves of God’s promises. We cannot turn to our friends or our wealth when the lawless will arrive. We can only turn to God’s true and Holy Words when the whole world is convinced by evil and blasphemy.
He will have armies.
When the End arrives, the Antichrist will not be alone. Revelation 19:19 describes that the Antichrist is going to appear with armies pointing against the Lord. We know that the Antichrist is someone who can persuade those who are weak in heart. But in this Bible verse, we need to take notice of the description “I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies”. From this, we can assume that war is going to take place with the Antichrist. Matthew also reminds us of this war, stating that “there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the
the world until this time, no nor ever shall be”.
Defeating The Enemy
Knowing who the enemy is, the question now is, can we ever defeat him? Unexpectedly, there have been so many events where we are faced against the spirit of the Antichrist. This is what we refer to as the “spiritual warfare” stated in Ephesians 6:12. Since the spirit of the Antichrist lives within those who live and identify as an Antichrist, we’re closer to them than we actually think. These people can come as our peers, relatives, or even ourselves. We go against the spirit of the lawless by clothing ourselves with the Armor of God every day.
But, if you’re asking how we can defeat “The” Antichrist, the answer is, sadly, we can’t. We are too weak for that. We are mere mortals with fragile bodies. No matter how hard we try, we cannot defeat the Antichrist because only God alone can defeat Him. And here’s good news- He will defeat the Antichrist as it is already written in Revelation 19:16. The suffering and confusion he and his armies will place upon God’s followers is nothing compared to the triumph of the Lord. Do not be afraid of the enemy’s desperate attempts to weaken you. Although you might fear asking “who is the Antichrist?”, never forget the One who will fight and win for you.