“Little children, these are the end times, and as you heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have arisen. By this we know that it is the final hour.” 1 John 2:18
Do you think you can spot an antichrist spirit? If you know the real Jesus Christ, you should be able to discern the counterfeit!
That being said, here’s a compilation of the passages many scholars believe give insight into an antichrist type.
There have been and there are many “antichrists” who may exhibit all or some of these traits to varying degrees. Certainly, they are all deceivers! (A guy living near Houston claimed to be the second coming of Christ and had a following of over a million duped souls!) However, I reckon THE final Antichrist, the one who comes on the scene just prior to Christ’s return, will have ALL the traits listed.
from Daniel 7:25
- “He shall speak pompous words against the Most High” (blasphemous)
- “shall wear out the saints of the Most High” (persistent persecution from every side?)
- “he shall think to change the times and the law” (Maybe he’ll want to get rid of the “year of Our Lord” or “AD” ref?)
- will persecute the saints: “and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and half a time.”
GOOD NEWS: his power will be taken away (v 26)
Antiochus IV Epiphanes
Jesus Christ used Daniel’s reference to the “abomination of desolations” (Daniel 11:31) in Matthew 24:15 , indicating that the prophecy would have an ultimate fulfillment other than the now obvious, partial fulfillment in the historical personage of Antiochus IV Epiphanes. While Jesus’ particular “abomination” prophecy also had a verifying and specific fulfillment in 70 AD, it was only partial in that the latter part of the prophecy, Christ’s return, has not yet been fulfilled. The “abomination” is one of the signs that will indicate Christ’s soon return. The two are linked in the Matthew passage and also in 2 Thessalonians 2:4. Obviously, Christ hasn’t come back yet, therefore expect another “abomination of desolations” prior to His Coming as well as signs in the heavens.
- he opposes the daily sacrifice (historically, offerings in the temple but spititually, since the Church is now the temple, could this mean prayer? or the atonement of Christ? or all of the above?)
- “a king of fierce face” OR “stern-faced”
- “understanding dark sentences” OR “master of intrigue” OR “sinister schemes” (various translations )
- “His power shall be mighty, but not by his own power” (By whose power, then? Satan’s! )
- “he shall destroy astoundingly”
- “and shall prosper and do his pleasure” (as opposed to praying, “Our Father..Thy will be done.”)
- “he shall destroy the mighty ones and the holy people.” (being Anti-Christ, He is both anti-Christian and anti-Jew)
- “Through his policy he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand” (“craft” could include fraud, deceit, witchcraft, etc.)
- “and he shall magnify himself in his heart” Arrogance!
- “in their security shall he destroy many” (“Peace, peace… then sudden destruction. See 1 Thessalonians 5:3 )
- “he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.”
Historically, Antiochus IV Epiphanes took his power illegally – he was not heir to the throne. He was a usurper. He had people call him the Greek equivalent to “God Manifest”! These, therefore, may also be indications of THE Antichrist:
- by deception or illegal means, he comes to power
- he is a usurper (illegally gains position)
- he’ll claim to be “God” (Do not the New Age thinkers think themselves gods? Do not the Mormons aspire to become gods? Do not atheist make themselves their own god when they deny the Creator King? Have not many ceasars and emperors claimed deity?)
Antiochus also wanted the Jews to be Hellenized and forget their holy traditions. Therefore, it seems that
- the Antichrist will most likely want Christians and Jews to be secularized and forget their Godly heritage.
- “a contemptible” or “vile person” (at least to the Godly)
- “to whom they had not given the honor of the kingdom” (again, he got his power illegally)
- “but he shall come in time of security, and shall obtain the kingdom by flatteries.” (quite the charmer?)
- “After the treaty made with him he shall work deceitfully; for he shall come up, and shall become strong, with a small people.” (not to be trusted)
- “In time of security shall he come even on the fattest [richest]places of the province; and he shall do that which his fathers have not done, nor his fathers’ fathers;
- he shall scatter among them prey, and spoil, and substance: yes, he shall devise his devices against the strongholds, even for a time. (He’ll redistribute the plundered wealth among his supporters.)
- “he shall devise his devices against the strongholds, even for a time.”
- “they shall speak lies at one table: but it shall not prosper; for yet the end shall be at the time appointed.”
- “his heart shall be against the holy covenant”
- “he shall do his pleasure”
- “have regard to those who forsake the holy covenant”
- His army “shall take away the continual burnt offering” (Thought: A Christian’s “offering” or “sweet-smeling sacrifice” is prayer/praise.)
- and they will “set up the abomination that makes desolate” (defiles the temple which causes it to become desolate – without the Presence of God)
- He will pervert by flatteries those who will violate the covenant
Let me interject the GOOD NEWS here: “but the people who know their God shall be strong, and do exploits . Those who are wise among the people shall instruct many; yet they shall fall by the sword and by flame, by captivity and by spoil, many days. Now when they shall fall, they shall be helped with a little help; but many shall join themselves to them with flatteries. Some of those who are wise shall fall, to refine them, and to purify, and to make them white, even to the time of the end; because it is yet for the time appointed.”
meanwhile, the Antichrist…
- shall do according to his will (v. 36)
- and he shall exalt himself,
- and magnify himself above every god,
- and shall speak marvelous things against the God of gods;
- and he shall prosper until the indignation be accomplished
- neither shall he regard the gods of his fathers
- nor [have/regard] the desire of women (There’s debate about just what this means. Will he be a homosexual? Will he limit childbearing – a great desire of women?)
- nor regard any god; for he shall magnify himself above all. (What arrogance!)
- But in his place shall he honor the god of fortresses (He worships power?)
- and a god whom his fathers didn’t know shall he honor with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things.
- He shall deal with the strongest fortresses by the help of a foreign god: (supernatural, satanic power)
- whoever acknowledges him he will increase with glory; and he shall cause them to rule over many,
- and shall divide the land (Israel?) for a price.
- “One of his heads looked like it had been wounded fatally. His fatal wound was healed, and the whole earth marveled at the beast.”
THE MAN OF SIN
2 Thessalonians 2:3-9
- the man of sin, the son of destruction
- opposes and exalts himself against all that is called God or that is worshiped
- so that he sits as God in the temple of God, setting himself up as God.
- has “the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders”
- “with all deception of wickedness for those who are being lost, because they didn’t receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.”
- will make appearances
- show great signs and wonders
Other relevant Scriptures
- Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the Antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son.
- and every spirit who doesn’t confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God, and this is the spirit of the Antichrist, of whom you have heard that it comes. Now it is in the world already.
- For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who don’t confess that Jesus Christ came in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the Antichrist.