The Antichrist



John Hoole – September 2, 2012





In our last lesson, we noted that the Bible says Satan will counterfeit a number of God’s programs during the Tribulation.  One of those counterfeits will be an “unholy” trinity.  Satan is a master at imitating the things of God.  His “unholy” trinity is a counterfeit, made up of Satan, the Antichrist and the False Prophet, and it will mimic the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.


Also in our last lesson we saw that there were two passages where all three individuals are mentioned in the same verses ---  Revelation 16:13;  20:10


There is another place where all three are also mentioned in one chapter – Revelation , chapter 13.  As we begin our lesson today, let’s read all 18 verses.  In this chapter we find one of the most descriptive accounts of the Antichrist’s activities.


Revelation 13 NIV


1       And the dragon stood on the shore of the sea. And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. He had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on his horns, and on each head a blasphemous name.  [We will come back, in our next lesson, and discuss what these weird symbols represent.]

2       The beast I saw resembled a leopard, but had feet like those of a bear and a mouth like that of a lion. The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority.

3       One of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a fatal wound, but the fatal wound had been healed. The whole world was astonished and followed the beast.

4       Men worshiped the dragon because he had given authority to the beast, and they also worshiped the beast and asked, "Who is like the beast? Who can make war against him?"

5       The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise his authority for forty-two months.

6       He opened his mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven.

7       He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them. And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation.

8       All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast-all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world. 

9       He who has an ear, let him hear.

10     If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity he will go. If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword he will be killed. This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints.

11     Then I saw another beast [False Prophet], coming out of the earth. He had two horns like a lamb, but he spoke like a dragon.

12     He exercised all the authority of the first beast on his behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed.

13     And he performed great and miraculous signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to earth in full view of men.

14     Because of the signs he was given power to do on behalf of the first beast, he deceived the inhabitants of the earth. He ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived.

15     He was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that it could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed.

16     He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead,

17     so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name.

18     This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man's number. His number is 666.


Scriptures relating to end-time prophecy, and especially the book of Revelation, use figurative images to help relay their messages.  We need to decipher their meaning and most of the time that is easily discerned.  For instance, take the first symbol in this chapter – Dragon.




          It is Satan.




We actually answered this in our last lesson, but let’s look at it again.  The word “dragon” is used 13 times in the book of Revelation.  Each time, it is a reference to the Devil.  Twice we are told specifically that this dragon is the Devil.  Of the 13 references to the dragon in the Book of Revelation, 8 of them are found in the 12th chapter.  See what verse 9 tells us.


Revelation 12:9 NIV


9       The great dragon was hurled down-that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.


         There should be no doubt as to who the dragon is – it is the devil himself.


Revelation 20:2 NIV corroborates this fact.


2       He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years.


Now let’s turn our attention to the 2nd member of this unholy trinity.




                 The first beast mentioned in Revelation 13 is the Antichrist.


The Antichrist


As soon as the word antichrist is mentioned, all kinds of questions come to mind.  Could the antichrist be alive somewhere in the world today?  Could he be a child, or perhaps a teenager, a college student, or even an adult waiting in the wings to emerge as a world leader?


Could one of today’s well-known political leaders be the antichrist?


And if he is in world today, is he indwelt by Satan even now, or does that take place in the future?


Will he be a Muslim?  Will he be a Jew?


Is he the mysterious person named Gog in the book of Ezekiel?


Do any prophecies need to be fulfilled before the antichrist emerges on the world scene?  If so, which ones?


Can we calculate with precision when the antichrist might emerge?


Will the antichrist have some king of supernatural birth?


Will he be half human and half demon?


Will he actually claim to be God on earth one day?


Will he really suffer a fatal head wound and then be resurrected from the dead, and, thus, inspire awe and wonder around the world?


For whatever reason, interest in the emergence of the Antichrist is always of interest in some circles.  This week I searched through Google’s internal records and found, that nearly one million searches for “the antichrist” were made worldwide through Google in the last month.


Of course, interest in the antichrist has been significant for a long time.  It has been a topic of interest and fascination throughout the many centuries of church history.  I have a book that documents what two early church leaders – Irenaeus & Hippolytus, in the 2nd and early 3rd centuries, wrote on the topic of the antichrist.  Irenaeus, a disciple of Polycarp, who was a disciple of the apostle John, wrote a voluminous document called ADVERSUS HAERESES.  In it he has much to say about the Antichrist.


Hippolytus was a disciple of Irenaeus, and the first church leader to write a Bible commentary.  One volume he wrote was titled, On Christ and Antichrist,” written about A.D. 200.  Tertullian, one of the early Christian apologists who lived approximately AD 160-235, wrote a volume titled Against Marcion, an early heretic in which he discusses  the antichrist.


Newspaper headlines throughout the world document the rise and fall of leaders, alliances, and nations.  With them comes new names, new promises and new hopes for these areas.  Each day we read of national and international tensions, turmoil, and uncertainty.  Changes is world leadership can change overnight.  Throughout history there have been many important rulers and leaders.  Some have been conquerors, others were master diplomats, still others were financial giants controlling vast economic resources.


The Bible clearly prophesies and warns of a future political leader whose actions and power will cause international chaos.  Under his rule, democracy will give way to dictatorship.  And prosperity will give way to persecution.


Down through the ages, scholars and scoffers, saints and sinners, poets and prophets have studied and written about this man.  Although his name is never given to us in the Bible, his title has been uttered by Bible students and prophets throughout the centuries.  He is the Antichrist!!  This individual will be the embodiment of all that is anti-God and anti-Christian.


In an earlier lesson, we noted that several of the counterfeits Satan offers to the world centers around this person known as the Antichrist.  He is one of the dominant figures on earth during the Tribulation.  The Antichrist will be a counterfeit of Jesus Christ.  Whereas, Christ is God the Antichrist will claim to be God  (2 Thess 2:4).




On the basis of the original Greek text, there are two possible interpretations of the word “antichrist.”  The prefix anti means “against.”  This emphasizes Satan’s program to oppose Christ.  He is out to destroy, deceive and discredit all the plans of God.


The second meaning is more intriguing.  It can also mean “in place of”  or “instead of.”  -- this speaks of one who comes as a substitute for Christ.


Both of these definitions apply in the case of the Antichrist.  Satan and his unholy conspirators are both against God and are seeking to take the place of God.  Satan not only opposes the programs of God, but also provides a substitute for it.


At first, the Antichrist won’t come out blatantly and say that he opposes Christ.  He will, in fact, seem to be, and will set himself up as, the true Christ.  He will be the devil’s counterfeit.  He will want the world to think he is in fact Christ.  More than any other, he will position himself as instead of Christ, against Christ, an opposed to Christ.


He will set himself up against Christ and against the people of God in the last days before Christ’s second coming.  More than 100 passage in Scripture speak of this diabolical being.




The actual word “antichrist” is found only five time in only two books of the Bible.  Do you know which ones?  1 John 2:18, 22; 4:3;  2 John 7


1 John 2:18 NIV


18     Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour.


Unlike the many men who have been labeled down through history as the antichrist, Scripture reveals there is a single individual known as THE antichrist who is yet to come.  He will emerge into power during the future Tribulation period.


While John is the only writer who pins the name “antichrist” on him, there are a number of other Passages which speak of this person.


Glimpses of the person and work of the Antichrist are found in numerous places in both the Old and New Testaments.  Although there are many allusions and references to him, two major sections of Scripture focus on the Antichrist.


Daniel 7 – 9 (especially 7:8, 24-27 and 9:26, 27)


Revelation 10 – 13 (especially 13:1-10).


He is also mentioned in 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4, 8… and Matthew 24There are over a dozen references to the Antichrist in the book of Revelation.  If there are many references to this person, but John is the only writer who refers to him as the “antichrist”, then the other writers must refer to him by different names.




                  1.      The prince who will come - Daniel 9:26-27


                   2.      The man of sin (lawlessness) - 2 Thessalonians 2:3


                   3.      The son of perdition (destruction) - 2 Thessalonians 2:3


                   4.      The beast - Revelation 11:7, 13:1, 14:9, 15:2


                   5.      That wicked one - 2 Thessalonians 2:8


                   6.      The abomination of desolation - Daniel 9:27,  Matthew 24:15


                   7.      The little horn - Daniel 7:8, 24


                   8.      the strong-willed king - Daniel 11:36


                   9.      The worthless shepherd - Zechariah 11:16-17


This certainly is not a complete list, but each of these titles give an indication of the true nature of this person’s character.


When addressing the subject of the antichrist, I have often been asked:  Is the name “antichrist,” and the other names which are used, speaking of a literal human being, or merely of an anti-Christian principle or philosophy?  Is it sort of an evil influence that is to pervade the world prior to the return of Christ?”




Those who hold the term antichrist as a metaphor for a broad view of the principle of evil today, can be illustrated this way: “Just as Uncle Sam is the personification of all that is American, so the Antichrist will be the personification of all that is evil.”  Seen in this way, Antichrist is a broad term inclusive of a variety of forms of evil in the world today.  It is the personification of  “some evil principle, power(s), or idea(s) in opposition to the kingdom of God.”


In reminding ourselves of what the word “antichrist” means, it is certainly true that there exists an evil influence in the world today which opposes Christ on all fronts.  This philosophy continually, and sometimes quite successfully, tries to replace the True Savior with a false one.


1 John 4:3 speaks of a “spirit of antichrist” which is even now already in the world.”  Both in this verse and again in 2 John 7, John speaks of those who do not believe Jesus, as God, has come in the flesh, and refers to such people as “antichrist.”


So, in one sense, any system or program that opposes Christ, or attempts to take his place can be referred to as “Antichrist.”  This could include such systems like Communism, humanism, and even atheism.


But the Bible also speaks of one person who will be the embodiment of all that is represented by that name.  This will be a single individual who tries to usurp the place of Christ.  I am sure you have surmised that this is my personal view.  This is also the view of most Christians who interpret end time prophecies literally.


Earlier, we mentioned that one of the names ascribed to the Antichrist is the title “man of sin.”  The Greek word translated “man” is ANTHROPOS.”  This word is not used anywhere else in the Bible for anything other than a human being.


The phrase “man of sin” is used in the same sense that Isaiah 53:3 uses the phrase, “the man of sorrows.”  We know that the “man of sorrows” is the man Christ.  Similarly, the “man of sin” is an individual human being.


Then too, the use of the personal pronouns “himself” and “he” indicates a person  (2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4, 8).  Paul gives this “man of sins” names, or descriptors, which could only be given to an individual human being.


Also, Daniel speaks of him as a person, when he refers to him as the “king” who raises his voice against the Most High.  Daniel also pictures him opposing real people called “saints” (Daniel 7:24-26).


This person is described as doing whatever he desires, and will declare war on all who oppose him.  The Bible also speaks of his ultimate defeat.  None of this would make sense if the Antichrist was anything other than a human being.


And one last Scripture.  Christ said in John 5:43 NIV


43     I have come in my Father's name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him.


I have no doubt the Antichrist is more than a symbol of evil or an impersonal force.  He will definitely be a real live individual person who will manipulate and destroy many real people.  To reiterate, personal names and titles are consistently ascribed to him in the Bible.  He engages in personal relationships with other persons.  He performs personal actions, talks like a person, is consistently address with personal nouns and pronouns.   


During the future Tribulation, this evil person will stand against Jesus Christ and all that is holy.  He will force the entire world to submit to him.  His defeat will come only at the hands of the Messiah Himself, Jesus Christ.  Christ will then cast this diabolical person into the lake of fire, where he will spend all eternity.