To an extent, so many people have been tagged with the title, “AntiChrist”. There have been a number of futile attempts to identify him: Was it Emperor Nero? Napoleon Bonarpate? Adolf Hitler? Josef Stalin? Pope Francis? Henry Kissinger? Mikhail Gorbachev?
Again, politicians such as George W. Bush, Tony Blair, Barack Obama, the EU’s José Manuel Barroso, Vladimir Putin, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Osama Bin Laden, from Pope John Paul II to Pope Francis Benedict and even royal family members such as Prince Charles and Prince William have not been spared as the possible AntiChrist.
All kinds of ideas and permutations have been proposed, but the world is yet to see all the criteria fulfilled.
A friend once wrote: “But the principles of Obama and his administration is speeding up the stage for the revelation of the final and true human anti-christ leader if he is not the one himself. Talking about the one that will declare himself as God from Jerusalem before Armageddon after the second coming of Christ. …. The rare impact of the super natural in many ways on the earth in our days relates closely to the days of Adam, Job and Jesus.”
ALL of these suggested names are just speculations. In fact, as arrogant, lawless, merciless, vengeful, inhumane and wicked as some of these people may have been, you would have to check if they fit exactly as the Bible describes who the antichrist would be.
There is so much anticipation in the air and many people are doing their best to predict what is going to happen next. We have already had the 9/11 World Trade Center collapse, the MH370 Missing plane, the MH17 Shot down plane, ISIS, Boko-Haram Attacks, Israeli–Palestinian Conflict, Unknown Virus attacks, Ebola Plague; then there are Internal Security Threats, etc.
The Expectation of Christ
What is all these about? Chaos? More than chaos. All the world religions look at all these events and following their religious books and beliefs, there is anticipation; The Jews are expecting their Messiah as foretold in their Book, the Christians are expecting to see the appearance of the Anti-Christ and the Muslims are expecting to see the Mahdi.
The whole picture may look as simple as identifying a person, but it is certainly as complex as being able to be very certain that you got your man, I mean the very man!
In this article, I will not bother going in depth as to the identity of the Christ, there is no doubt about that for most religions of the world except the Jewish religion, that Jesus is the Christ. The main subject here is “Who is the AntiChrist”?
There is no better place for us to discover the true identity of the AntiChrist than the Holy Bible. Why the Bible? It is the place where we were first informed of this person or character. The truth of the matter is that many people think the identity of this character is completely hidden and mysterious, but that is not true, God has revealed him.
You must be aware that the Bible clearly defines him as the Beast as well. In fact, we get a better picture of him as the beast than just by the title, “AnitChrist”. The beast is the spirit and the antichrist is the man. The beast in a man makes the man the antichrist.
Before we can define or discover the true identity of the AntiChrist, we must describe or know the identity of the Christ. You and I must recognize that Christ is a Spirit, and He is the Spirit of God, the same Spirit that moved upon the face of the deep in Genesis. It was this Spirit that rested upon the Person of Jesus.
It was this Spirit who walked and worked in Him so that everywhere Jesus went He was doing good and delivering those who were oppressed of the devil.
This Spirit of God that indwelt in Jesus has often come upon or rested upon the saints of old. When you mention someone like Samson, “And the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him, and he rent him (lion) as he would have rent a kid, and he had nothing in his hand: but he told not his father or his mother what he had done.” [Judges 14:6]
Even towards the end of his life, David said, “The Spirit of the LORD spake by me, and his word was in my tongue.” [2 Samuel 23:2] He was aware of the fact that the Spirit of the Lord was always upon him because he was always knew he was walking with God.
I would like to make a specific reference to something that happened at the time of Moses. It is important to this understanding. “And the LORD said unto Moses, Gather unto me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom thou knowest to be the elders of the people, and officers over them; and bring them unto the tabernacle of the congregation, that they may stand there with thee. And I will come down and talk with thee there: and I will take of the spirit which is upon thee, and will put it upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with thee, that thou bear it not thyself alone.” [Numbers 11:16-17 Emphasis mine]
The Spirit was always UPON them and not really WITHIN them. That is highly significant.
God promised that He would put His Spirit within his people, “And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.” [Ezekiel 36:27 Emphasis mine]
What major difference do we see between these types of the presence of the Spirit? Luke 1:35 answers this, “And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” The Spirit being upon will cause the power of the Highest to overshadow or cocoon you and birth something WITHIN you.
When this Spirit of God begins to reside within the believer, where exactly does He live? Which part or place? Jesus gave us a clue by informing us that the believer is the Temple of God (John 2:21). This was confirmed by Paul (1 Corinthians 6:19).
Going back to Moses’ Tabernacle in the wilderness, where was the Glory of God usually seen in the Temple? The Holy of Holies.
After this, we find Jesus to be the only One filled with the Spirit of God (Luke 4:1, Acts 10:38). Then, God repeated what He did with Moses with Jesus. He took that same Spirit that filled Jesus Christ and distributed on the disciples to fill them, too.
Acts 2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
Acts 2:2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
Acts 2:3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
Acts 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
As Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit, what were the significant things the Spirit helped him do? Or should I say what manner of people did the disciples become after they were filled with the Spirit?
Luke 7:22 tells us, “Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached.”
He met the blind and opened their eyes, made the lame to walk, forgive the sin-sick folks, turned mourning into singing, brought light into darkness and so on and ultimately, the Spirit made Him experience resurrection. He was the epitome of goodness!
The same can be said of the disciples who got filled with His Spirit. They did exactly the same things as Jesus did.
Common Characteristics of The AntiChrist
In the same vein, the antichrist spirit will take hold of a man and he will replicate or do all the things that Satan would have done had he been able to physically manifest himself.
There are some common references quoted from the Bible to identify the antichrist. These descriptions are helpful in knowing or identifying this person, such as:
- The serpent’s seed [Genesis 3:15, 2 Thessalonians 2:3].
- Ignore all the religions of his ancestors [Daniel 11:37]. “Neither shall he regard the gods of his ancestors… nor regard any god; for he shall magnify himself above all”.
- His kingdom will be “partly strong, and partly broken” [Daniel 2:42].
- His kingdom will be “mingled with the seed of men, but shall not cleave to one another” even as iron and clay don’t mix [Daniel 2:43].
- He must have a mouth that “speaks very great things” [Daniel 7:20].
- He must be a king [Daniel 7:24; Revelation 17:10-12].
- Must be a king of fierce countenance [Daniel 8:23].
- Must come from within the territory of the former Roman Empire [Daniel 7:23-27].
- He will magnify himself, even to the army of heaven [Daniel 8:11,25; 11:26].
- He must ascend out of the bottomless pit [Revelation 11:7]
- A warfare mastermind [Revelation 13:4].
- A man [Revelation 13:18]
- Believe himself to be God [Daniel 11:36-38; 2 Thessalonians 2:4].
- Must be someone who already lived, died, and rises from the dead during the tribulation [Revelation 11:7; 17:8].
- Must be one of the “seven kings” mentioned in Revelation 17:10, but also an “eighth king”.
- Must be “like a leopard” [Revelation 13:2].
- He has an image to be worshipped [Revelation 14:9].
- He gives a mark to his followers [Revelation 14:9].
All these are just a part of who the antichrist is, but there is more from the intricacies of the Bible. While it is right before our eyes, it is also hidden; it is an open secret. The most important criteria of the antichrist have often been the one that is overlooked among all the clues that identify him.
The AntiChrist’s Most Important Criteria
The AntiChrist will be the opposite of all that is said or seen about the Person of Christ. This was why Paul wrote, “Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” [2 Thessalonians 2:4]
John the Apostle also wrote in 1 John 4:3, “And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.”
We can easily infer from these Scriptures that the AntiChrist is a spirit. As a spirit that opposes Christ, he will seek to reside in the place where the Christ is supposed to reside – in the Holy of Holies, right in the Temple.
From this place, it will rule, control, influence and make the host to do everything and anything that is contrary to the nature of Christ. Christ went everywhere doing good, the AntiChrist will go about doing evil.
Just as we see with Jesus, this spirit will take possession of a person, but there is also a very strong trait about this person. His nature is ANTI-Christ.
“All my inward friends abhorred me: and they whom I loved are turned against me.” [Job 19:19]
“Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.” [Psalm 41:9 Emphasis mine]
The question is, “Who is His familiar friend?”
He describes the qualification of His friend in John 15:15 – “Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.”
It means this person would have been a follower of Christ at some point. That is, an ex-disciple! This is a person who once had a relationship with Christ, but got offended and turned himself into an enemy.
So, let us go back to the original question, “Who Is The Antichrist?”
Any believer is a potential antichrist!
Remember the #14 from the list above? “Must be someone who already lived, died, and rises from the dead during the tribulation” [Revelation 11:7; 17:8]. What does this mean? He must be someone who was once born again (John 3:3).
A born again person was someone who used to live as a sinner, but died to sin and came alive in Christ before turning against Him – “who was, is not …. and shall go into perdition” (Revelation 17:8).
“Not me,” you say? Good. Jesus once warned Peter of how the Satan has desired to sift him like wheat.
“And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: …” [Luke 22:31]
Judas Iscariot must have heard the warning given to Peter and ignored or dismissed it, thinking he was not Peter. This was because he, Judas, was given to the love of this world (1 John 2:15-17). Then he gave place to Satan’s lies and he did not just influence him, he possessed and used him.
The Beast is The Spirit of the AntiChrist
“And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.” [John 13:27]
Judas was the only person in the Bible that Satan entered! He was the only person described as the son of perdition. The antichrist would equally be possessed by the spirit of the devil.
Revelation 17 verses 8 and 11 describes the antichrist to be a man who shall go into perdition. Paul the apostle had earlier described him as someone who would be drawn into perdition (Hebrews 10:39).
Just as the Satan entered into Judas Iscariot, so also shall the beast, the spirit, will enter into a man and make him the antichrist.
He would be someone who would choose to pay the ultimate price of destruction because he would sell himself to do evil (2Kings 17:17).
We get more insight with 2Thessalonians 2:3-4, “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.”
Many are still referring to this temple as the one in Jerusalem, making them to miss the understanding by miles! Jesus said the temple is YOU (John 2:21).
The sitting and declaration of being a god is in the body of the man, that is within the soul, who is given completely to the service of the devil. When the beast enters and takes possession of the soul of this man, he will become the antichrist and proudly declare himself as God.
In conclusion, I would like to encourage you to watch and pray, as Jesus counselled, that you do not find yourself becoming offended at the dealings of God in your life and turning against him (John 6:66, Matthew 26:14-17).
Most importantly, we should not be looking out for the arrival of the antichrist, we should be looking forward to the arrival of Christ among His people!
How do you do this? John the apostle wrote, “And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” [1John3:3]
NEXT ARTICLE: MARK OF THE BEAST?