The Antichrist

Questions & Answers

Part 1


John Hoole – Sept. 16 & 23, 2012




Down through human history, several questions have been asked by every generation.  Among them are:


                   •  Where have we come from?


                   •  Why are we here?


                   •  Where are we going?


When it comes to a study of what the Bible says about the end times, many other questions arise.  And as soon as the word antichrist is mentioned, all kinds of questions come to mind.  I mentioned some of them in our introductory lesson on the Antichrist.  Let me reiterate them and maybe add a few more.


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 the 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 kind 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.


I could add several more questions, like:


         •  Will the Antichrist know he is the antichrist as he is growing up?

         •  How old will the Antichrist be when he comes into power?

         •  Will the Antichrist be able to read a person’s mind?

         •  Could the Antichrist come from the United States?

         •  Will believers know who the Antichrist is before the rapture?


In our previous lessons on the Antichrist, we have already addressed some questions about this person.


         •  Is the Antichrist a real human being?

         •  What the does the term, “Antichrist,” mean?

         •  Where in the Bible do we find information about the Antichrist?

         •  What are some of the name ascribed to the Antichrist in the Bible?

         •  When the Antichrist come to power, what kind of person will people think he is?

         •  Will the Antichrist emerge onto the world scene as a political or religious leader?

         •  What will be the fate of the Antichrist?

         •  From where does the Antichrist derive his power and authority?


                   You can find the answers to these questions in our earlier lessons on the Antichrist.


I want to begin with:


1.      Will the Antichrist experience a supernatural birth?


Some people have wondered whether the antichrist will experience some kind of supernatural birth, perhaps mimicking the supernatural birth of Jesus Christ.  The Antichrist is pictured in Scripture as a complete parody or counterfeit of the true Christ.  Is it possible that he also is the product of a counterfeit “virgin birth” and that he will be the son of Satan?


Some studetns of Bible prophecy contend that just as the Holy Spirit overshadowed Mary to bring about the virgin birth, so might the Unholy spirit (Satan) overshadow a human mother to create a supernatural antichrist?


You might be surprised to learn that this was essentially the viewpoint of Jerome,  Jerome (A.D. 331-420) was an 4th century Bible scholar, most noted for translating the Bible into Latin a translation that is called the Latin Vulgate.  The fact that such a weighty voice held such a view is significant.


Hollywood has actually latched onto this idea in such movies as “Rosemary’s Baby” and “The Omen.”  The “Rosemary’s Baby” movie came to the theaters in 1968.  I did not see the movie, but I understand that in it a Roman Catholic couple played by Mia Farrow and John Cassavetes make a deal with the devil.  As a result, the wife eventually gives birth to Satan incarnate.


Genesis 3:15 is sometimes cited as biblical support for this view.  In this verse, God speaks curse against the serpent – the devil.


Genesis 3:15 NKJV


15     And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel."


In this, the very first prophecy in the Bible, the woman’s seed is clearly the Messiah, Jesus Christ.  The offspring of the serpent would become the archenemy of the Messiah.  This future seed of the serpent, Satan, is the Antichrist.  Genesis 3:15 is seen as the first prophecy about the coming Messiah  as well as the first prophecy about the coming Antichrist.


Such a view is not impossible, but Scripture seems to consistently indicate that the Antichrist is just a human being who will be heavily influenced by Satan.  The beast is portrayed as a man who is born from the people who destroyed Jerusalem (Daniel 9:26).  But he will be given the power and authority of Satan.


Revelation 13:4 NKJV


4       So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, "Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?"


The theory that suggests the devil entering the antichrist’s mother’s womb may conflict with what we understand are the limitation of Satan.


Let me explain by asking a question first.




Of course not – he, like us humans, is a created being.  Only God is omniscient, knowing everything.  That leads me to another question.






I don’t think Satan, at this time, knows when these events are going to occur.  He does not know the sovereign timing of end-time events with pinpoint precision.  He has to engage in eschatological guesswork.  How can the Antichrist have a supernatural birth as the seed of Satan if he does not know the precise time when he would need to impregnate a woman?


In any event, the important thing to remember is that the Antichrist will be a human being who will be energized by Satan.  He will be endowed with seemingly supernatural abilities.  Of this we can be certain.


2.      Will the antichrist know that he is the antichrist as he is growing up?


I don’t know of a single verse in Scripture that even remotely addresses this issue.  Based on my general knowledge of biblical prophecy, however, my answer to this question is NO.


The point I made above in the answer to the first question is also relevant to this issue.  Satan is not omniscient, so he does not know God’s sovereign timing of end-time event with pinpoint precision.  He would have to guess about the timing, including the timing of the initial emergence of a full-grown adult antichrist.


Satan’s inability to pinpoint prophetic events even a few decades down the road would seem to make impossible the idea of a child growing up who knows he is the antichrist.  With this limitation of the abilities of Satan, it is difficult to fathom how a child growing up knows he is the antichrist and then three or four decades later emerge as an adult political leader in perfect synchronization with God’s overall plan.  This is especially difficult for Satan when he doesn’t know the timing of events that must precede the revealing of the Antichrist to the world.


To end our discussion of this question, let me present something for you to think about.  Down through the last 2,000 years of history – i.e., since the beginning of the Church, many have identified people during their lifetime that they were sure was the Antichrist.  This caused me to ask myself a question – and now I pose it to you.  Since Satan does not know the precise timing of the end time events, is it possible he has selected someone in each generation just to be readySomething to ponder.


3.      How old will the antichrist be when he comes into power?


This is another question the Scriptures shed no light on.  Jesus was apparently about 30 when He began His public ministry.  Evidence for this includes the fact that he sought “to fulfill all righteousness” in obedience to Jewish law.  This would have included meeting the Jewish legal requirements for His role as a priest.  One priestly requirement is a minimum age of 30 (Numbers 4:3),


Some might argue that if the antichrist is a true counterfeit who is to parallel to Jesus Christ, perhaps he too will be at least 30 when he rises to power.  But this is pure speculation – for Scripture reveals nothing on this issue.  Politically leaders today usually are at least 40 when they attain the highest position in their country.


4.      Will the antichrist be able to read other people’s minds?


I do not think so.  Scripture indicates that only God has the ability to “know the hearts of all the children of mankind” (1 Kings 8:39).  God alone is omniscient and certainly knows our thoughts.


Psalms 139:4 NKJV


4       For there is not a word on my tongue, But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.


The Antichrist, by contrast, is just a man.  He will be empowered by Satan, but no passage in the Bible indicates Satan can read our minds.  Satan is a created being, with creaturely limitations.  But Satan was created “full of wisdom” (Ezekiel 28:12) and has had thousands of years of experience dealing with human beings, and thus may give the appearance of knowing people’s thoughts.  Again, Satan is a creature with limitations.  And Satan cannot give to the Antichrist what he himself does not possess.


5.      Will the antichrist and false prophet be punished with much greater severity in the lake of fire than other unredeemed sinners?


We will address this more fully when we get to lessons on “Judgment” and “Hell.”  To give a brief answer, I would say their punishment will be greater.  Scripture indicates that there will be degrees of punishment in hell.  Here are a couple such passages from the Bible.


Matthew 10:15 NKJV


15     Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city!


Luke 12:48 tells us that “to whom much is given, much is required.”


6.      Is the antichrist alive today?


This is a valid question because the events of the world, as they relate to the fulfillment of prophecy, should cause every believer to keep watch.  It is true that there has never been a time in history in which the world was as ready as it is now to usher in the end.


The world today is looking for a leader.  With the unrest, especially in the Middle East – with the growing uncertainty of the global economy, people everywhere are looking for, and are hungry for, leadership and direction.  The world’s prospects for the future are gloomy and getting worse.


Arnold Toynbee wisely noted:


“The nations are ready to give the kingdoms of the world to any one man who will offer us a solution to our world’s problems.”


In FORBES magazine, Paul Johnson, an eminent British historian, said:


“There’s one lesson to be learned above all others: There is no substitute for prudent, strong and courageous leadership.  This is what the civilized world currently lacks and must find – soon!”


And the Bible predicts that just such a leader is coming.  In fact, he may already be here.  In a 1999 Newsweek poll, 19% of all Americans said they believed the Antichrist is alive today.


That same poll asked this question: “Do you accept biblical prophecy as trustworthy?”  All who answered yes were presented with the question: “Do you believe the Antichrist is alive?”  Almost 50% of the respondents answered “YES.”  Could they be right?


Is he alive today?  I cannot say that I am absolutely sure he is alive today.  But, if the question was, “Could the Antichrist be alive already” I would have answered “absolutely.”


Some of you who are old enough may remember a pseudo-prophet named Jeane Dixon.  One of her prophesies was that a child was born in the Middle East at 7:17 am on February 5, 1962 who will, in time, lead the entire world.


Writing late in the first century A.D., the apostle John said that the spirit of Antichrist was already at work undermining and opposing the work of God (1 John 2:18; 4:3).  If that is true, and I believe it is, then we can be certain that the spirit of Antichrist is alive and well today and has been in every generation.


But, is the final world dictator alive today?  You have already heard my short answer, but I want to take a longer view.  There are some statements made by Jesus that I want to reemphasize today.


Many of the prophetic signs of the times seem to be coming to pass in our own day, or at least the stage is being set for the fulfillment of some of these signs.  Consequently, many believe the antichrist may be alive in our world today.


A sign of the times is an event of prophetic significance that points to the end times.  In a way, signs might be considered God’s advanced intelligence report.  Today, powerful nations have their own intelligence agencies that provide intel. to their respective governments.  For instance, the United States has the CIA and OSI.


We might say that the signs of the times found in the pages of prophetic Scripture constitute God’s intel regarding what the world will look like as we enter the end times.  And many of the prophetic signs recorded in the pages of Scripture relate directly to the future seven-year tribulation period.  Remember the question asked Jesus by the disciples in Matthew 24:3.  The disciples asked Jesus, “What will be the sign of your coming and of the close of the age?”  Jesus proceeded to reveal a number of signs of the times that will predominate the years just prior to the Second Coming.  Jesus want His followers to be aware of the signs.

Jesus instructed His followers to pay attention.


         Matthew 24:32-33 reads:


From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near.  So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates.”


Jesus indicates in this passage that God has revealed certain things in prophecy that ought to cause people who know the Bible to understand that a fulfillment of prophecy is taking place.  Or perhaps, in our present day, understand that the stage is being set for a prophecy to be fulfilled.


We are living at a time when prophetic signs are casting their shadows before them.  We are even now experiencing the foreshocks of some of these prophetic signs.  The stage is now being set for the future 7-year tribulation period.  Consequently, we can logically infer that the antichrist may be alive somewhere in the world today.  He may right now be waiting in the wings to step onto center stage of the world.  Has he actually been born?  Is he a youngster, a teenager, a twenty- or thirty-something?  We do not know – indeed we cannot know, but it is entirely possible that he may be alive in our days.


Perhaps it would be good to repeat something mentioned earlier in this lesson.  Satan is not omniscient – and does not know the sovereign timing of end-time events.  According to Matthew 24:36, the angels in heaven don’t know the “day or hour” of the end time events.  Satan is a fallen angel and he does not know the providential and sovereign plans of God.


Does that mean that for Satan to be ready at any moment in history, he has had a possible candidate that would become the Antichrist in every generation?  Satan has always had a Nimrod, a Pharaoh, a Nebuchadnezzar, an Alexander the Great, an Antiochus Epiphanes, a Caesar, a Napoleon, a Hitler, a Stalin.  And I would think he has a possible candidate somewhere in the world today.  But even if he does, it may not prove to be the correct time.


When you think about it, if Jesus really is coming back in the next 40 or 50 years, the Antichrist is likely to be alive right now.  I am not saying that I am absolutely certain Jesus will come in the next 50 years.  No one can set a time for His coming except Him.




The most important thing is that you have placed your trust in Jesus Christ, alone.  He will reveal to you everything that you need to know in His timing.  If you are not a Christian, you will face horrible things unless you place your hope and trust in Jesus Christ.  You can do that today by saying a simple prayer asking Jesus to forgive you for your sins and ask Him to come into your life and be your Savior.