The meaning of the term antichrist is simply “against Christ.” As the apostle John records in First and Second John, an antichrist denies the Father and the Son (1 John 2:22), does not acknowledge Jesus (1 John 4:3), and denies that Jesus came in the flesh (2 John 1:7). There have been many “antichrists,” as 1 John 2:18 states. But there is also coming the Antichrist.
Most Bible prophecy/eschatology experts believe the Antichrist will be the ultimate embodiment of what it means to be against Christ. In the end times/last hour, a man will arise to oppose Christ and His followers more than anyone else in history. Likely claiming to be the true Messiah, the Antichrist will seek world domination and will attempt to destroy all followers of Jesus Christ and the nation of Israel.
Other biblical references to the Antichrist include the following:
The imposing, boastful king of Daniel 7 who oppresses the Jews and tries to “change the set times and the laws” (verse 25).
The leader who establishes a 7-year covenant with Israel and then breaks it in Daniel 9.
The man of lawlessness in 2 Thessalonians 2:1–12.
The rider on a white horse (representing his claim to be a man of peace) in Revelation 6:2.
The first beast—the one from the sea—in Revelation 13. This beast receives power from the dragon (Satan) and speaks “proud words and blasphemies” (verse 5) and wages war against the saints (verse 7).
What is the Antichrist? In summary, the Antichrist is the end-times false messiah who seeks, and likely achieves, world domination so that he can destroy Israel and all followers of Jesus Christ.
“Who is the antichrist?”
We don’t know specifically and shouldn’t name names. There is much speculation about the identity of the Antichrist. Some of the more popular targets today are Vladimir Putin, Prince William, and Pope Francis I. In the United States, former Presidents Barack Obama, Donald Trump, and his son-in-law Jared Kushner (because of his role in the Middle East peace deals) are the most frequent targets. So, who is the Antichrist, and how will we recognize him?
The Bible really does not say anything specific about where the Antichrist will come from. Many Bible scholars speculate that he will come from a confederacy of ten nations and/or a reborn Roman empire (Daniel 7:24-25; Revelation 17:7). Others see him as having to be a Jew in order to claim to be the Messiah. It is all just speculation since the Bible does not specifically say where the Antichrist will come from or what ethnicity he will be. One day, the Antichrist will be revealed. Second Thessalonians 2:3-4 tells us how we will recognize the Antichrist: “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.”
It is likely that most people who are alive when the Antichrist is revealed will be very surprised at his identity. The Antichrist may or may not be alive today. Martin Luther was convinced that the pope in his time was the Antichrist. During the 1940s, many believed Adolph Hitler was the Antichrist. Others who have lived in the past few hundred years have been equally sure as to the identity of the Antichrist. So far, they have all been incorrect. We should put the speculations behind us and focus on what the Bible actually says about the Antichrist. Revelation 13:5-8 declares, “The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise his authority for forty-two months. He opened his mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven. 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. 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.”
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