by Pastor Mike Stine
Lists compiled from a sermon by Robert Conway
The antichrist is a name that is given to a figure in the end times who during the tribulation will make a treaty with Israel and break it halfway through. He will set up an “abomination that causes desolation” in place of the sacrifices that the Jews were previously making. He is a leader who will operate through deception but will have a great following.
While the antichrist is the name that is often given to this figure, he has many other names in scripture. He is actually only referred to as “the antichrist” once in scripture. Other references to antichrists speak of people who deny Christ. In a broad sense there are many antichrists and several people throughout history have been portraits of the coming antichrist. There is only one figure who is yet future who will fulfill all of the criteria of the man who is known most commonly as the antichrist however.
2 Thessalonians 2:3-10
Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God. Don’t you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things? And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way.
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. The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.
2 Thessalonians speaks of a man of lawlessness who will appear on the earth in the end times. Who is this man of lawlessness? He is given many names in the Bible, but the one most commonly associated with him is the Antichrist. However, there are numerous references to him from the beginning of the Bible until the end. He is referred to as all of the following:
- The Serpent’s Seed – Genesis3:15
- The Wicked Man – Psalm 10
- The Assyrian – Isaiah 10:5, 12
- The King of Babylon – Isaiah 14:4
- The Oppressor and Aggressor – Isaiah 16:4
- The Little Horn – Daniel 7:8
- The Profane King – Daniel 7:25-27
- The Stern-faced King – Daniel 8:23-25
- The Coming Prince – Daniel 9:26-27
- The Worthless Shepherd – Zechariah 11:11-16
- The One Who Comes in His Own Name – John 5:43
- The Man of Lawlessness – 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, 8
- The Antichrist – 1 John 2:18
- The Beast – Revelation 13:18, 17:12-17, 19:19-21
There are many who think that we are living in the end times today and that Jesus Christ could come at any time to take His church away to be with Him. If this is true, then the Antichrist would be alive and on the earth today. However, we should not be quick to name the Antichrist if he is alive on earth today for it would be foolish. The Antichrist will rise suddenly and out of obscurity.
Daniel 7:7-8 – “After that, in my vision at night I looked, and there before me was a fourth beast–terrifying and frightening and very powerful. It had large iron teeth; it crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. It was different from all the former beasts, and it had ten horns. “While I was thinking about the horns, there before me was another horn, a little one, which came up among them; and three of the first horns were uprooted before it. This horn had eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth that spoke boastfully.”
It is my belief that the church will not discover the identity of the Antichrist as we will be raptured before he is revealed (this is the pre-tribulation rapture view). However, when a seven year covenant of peace is confirmed with Israel, those on earth may know who he is. If the rapture occurs later, it would be apparent that while the church may recognize the antichrist for who he is, others will not listen or heed the warnings.
Take note that the Antichrist is not necessarily the man who initially establishes the peace treaty, but rather he is the one who confirms it. As part of the peace treaty, Israel will be able to rebuild the temple and begin sacrificing once again.
(A note about the temple: The Muslim mosque, the Dome of the Rock, currently sits atop the temple mount. Either this will be destroyed or through an amazing treaty, this mosque will be removed. For a better understanding of how this may occur, see the article on Gog and Magog.)
What do we know about the Antichrist? He will appear to be the best the world has to offer in speech, military genius, economics, and philosophy. A sinful world will be extremely welcome to his ideas and his leadership. Of his personality we know he will be:
- A great orator and demagogue – Daniel 7:8
- A speaker with regal authority – Revelation 13:2
- A philosopher of distinction who traffics in deception – Daniel 8:23
- A clever and persistent politician – Daniel 8:25
- A deceiver who will use the false religious system to gain power – Revelation 13:1-18
- A military genius – Daniel 7:8, 24 Revelation 6:1-2
- A man different from other men – Revelation 13:4, Daniel 7:7,19,23
- A highly intelligent man – Daniel 7:8
- A perfection of unholiness “666” – Revelation 13:18
- A man who will look more imposing that other rulers – Daniel 7:20 Revelation 13:3-4, 17:8
- A last wonder of the world – Revelation 13:3-4
Of the Antichrist’s moral character, it is safe to assume that he will be extremely ungodly. Just like Judas Iscariot, the man will be directly influenced by Satan. He will be:
- A materialist – Daniel 11:38
- A blasphemer extraordinaire – Revelation 13:1, 5-6, 2 Thessalonians 2:4
- The greatest antinomian (against the law) – 2 Thessalonians 2:7-8, Daniel11:36
- The exhibition of selfish ambition – Daniel 11:36-37
Where does the Antichrist come from? While he is just another man, he has many ties to history and Satan.
- His economic origin is from social chaos – Revelation 17:5 with 13:1
- His political origin is from the Revived Roman Empire – Daniel chapters 2, 7, & 8
- His national origin is Roman – Daniel 9:26
- His spiritual origin is of Satan – Genesis 3:15, Revelation 13:2, 16:3
- His providential origin is of God – Daniel 8:2, 8; Revelation 6:1-8
What must happen for the Antichrist to come to power? How can the world be so blind to a man under the direct influence of Satan? The reasons are as follow.
- He will be the product of iniquity – 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 7-8
- He will have an inconspicuous beginning – Daniel 7:8; Revelation 6:1-2
- He will enter into a covenant with many – Daniel 9:27
- He will strengthen the Ten Nation Confederacy – Revelation 7:8, 20, 24
- He will be the world power by the middle of the covenant – Revelation 17:12-13
- He will destroy the false religious system – Revelation 17:3, 16-17
- He will slay the Two Witnesses of God – Revelation 11:3-13
- He will persecute Israel and Tribulation saints – Revelation 7:9
On top of these things that he will do, he will be aided by several things:
- Chaotic world conditions, “Beginning of Birth Pains” – Mark 13:5-13
- False religion – Revelation 17:1-5
- Satanic deception – 2 Thessalonians 2:9-10; Revelation 13:2
- Divine permission and help – Psalm 75:6-7; Revelation 6:1-2; 2 Thessalonians 2:11
- Economic and military sanctions – Revelation 13:15-17
- Men who worship him and blaspheme God – Revelation 13:8, 16:10-11
- Military might – Revelation 13:4
Rest assured that even though the Antichrist may have dominion over the world for a short time, God is still ultimately in control and He will triumph over the Antichrist. At the end of the tribulation, the Antichrist will fail.
- His campaign against the Lamb of God ends with the Battle of Armageddon – Revelation 16:12-16, 17:4, 19:17-19
- His capture takes place along with the False Prophet – Revelation 19:20
- His spirit is cast into the lowest Sheol and his body will have no grave – Isaiah 14:9-10
- His body is cast into the Lake of Fire – Revelation 19:20
- His continuous and conscious torment will go on forever – Revelation 20:10
Regardless whether the Antichrist is present today or if he is still many years future, he will not be recognizable until the time that he begins to fulfill the prophecy about him. He will look like many evil leaders of the past but he will also be more powerful and charismatic than those who came before him. Ultimately though, he will be defeated and punished for his deeds.