The Antichrist

The meaning of the term 'antichrist'.

Anti has two senses here: to oppose Christ (2 Thessalonians 2:4; Revelation 19:19). It also means to be a substitute Christ, a false Christ (Matthew 24:5, 24; 2 Thessalonians 2:4).

The antichrist will appear as a messiah figure, a saviour to the world (2 Corinthians 11:13-15; 2 Thessalonians 2:9-11). In his letters John talks about the spirit of antichrist and what it means to be antichrist (1 John 2:18, 22; 4:3; 2 John 7). Jesus taught that many would come claiming to be Christ (Matthew 24:5, 24) and Paul tells us about the character and appearance of antichrist (2 Thessalonians 2:3-12) and we get a full presentation in the book of Revelation.

The Old Testament

Just as the stage is set in Genesis for the coming of Christ (the seed of the woman) the antichrist is anticipated as the seed of the serpent (Genesis 3:15). I believe that the Psalms are prophetic of the thoughts and emotions of Jesus during his earthly life, ministry and death. He is the blessed and righteous man (Psalm 1:1) and he contrasts another, the ungodly man (Psalm 1:4). There is a man who is of the earth and has no place for God (Psalm 10:4, 18). In Isaiah Jesus is clearly prophesied (Isaiah 7:14; 9:6-7; 11:1-5) and so is the antichrist. He is the future king of Babylon, energised by Lucifer (Isaiah 14:1ff). The antichrist appears throughout the book of Daniel: he is the 'little horn' (Daniel 7:8,19;8:23, 25; 9:26-27; 11:36, 45).

The New Testament

The antichrist is known by other names and titles throughout the New Testament. Jesus refers to him using a very strong phrase - the abomination of desolation (Matthew 24:15). Abomination has the sense of a stench, the smell of breaking wind. Desolation means to empty the place. So we get the picture that this figure is to God like the horrible stench of breaking wind which empties a room! He is a false Christ (Matthew 24:24) and he is probably the one who comes to the Jews in his own name (John 5:43). Paul calls him the 'man of sin' or lawless one. The son of perdition (2 Thessalonians 2:3). John describes him as the 'beast' (Revelation 11:7; 13:2).


This man will be seen by the world as the greatest man to have ever been born. He will be a genius and a superman (Revelation 13:4; Daniel 7:7, 19, 23, 24). He will be viewed as miraculous and supernatural (Revelation 13:3-4). His intelligence will set him apart (Daniel 7:8). 'Eyes refer to intelligence) and he will be an almost perfect human (6 is the number of man and 666 is just short of 7 - perfection). He will rise to power out of politics (Revelation 13:1-2) and become a world leader (Revelation 17:13) being promoted and aided by a religious figure called the 'false prophet' (Revelation 13:11-17). Just as was seen with Hitler in Germany this man will be a great speaker and draw the crowds (Daniel 7:8; Revelation 13:2, 5). He will have a deep understanding of things (Daniel 8:23).

How will antichrist achieve this power and position? Paul says that there will be civil, moral and spiritual rebellion before he appears which will centre upon a rejection of God and all things supernatural. In the place of theism will emerge a pantheism which sees evolution as the creative force and humanity as its pinnicle. From this it will be quite easy to deify the antichrist in the void caused by atheism (2 Thessalonians 2:4). But the world will remain ignorant of his dealings with the spiritual world (Revelation 16:13).

The Bible presents antichrist as being attractive and a strong personality (Daniel 7:20, 8:23). He will be quite a performer and a showman (2 Thessalonians 2:4) and people will follow him fanatically (Revelation 13:3-4; 17:8).


Antichrist will be an extremely good politician (Daniel 8:25) and publicly religious (Revelation 17:3, 7) but will later turn against and destroy organised religion (Revelation 17:16-17). He begins as a minor political figure among ten world leaders but will work his way to the top and become their head (Revelation 17:12-13). These same leaders will eventually follow him into the battle of Armageddon (Revelation 19:19-21). Ultimately, he will become the ruler of the world (Revelation 13:3, 7).


He will be a great military strategist and overpower other leaders (Dan 7:8, 24). Like Hitler, he will be expansionist and successful (Revelation 6:1-2), in fact much more successful because he will achieve world domination (Revelation 13:4).

The whole world will be awestruck at him. He will appear so different to all other military and world leaders - a messiah figure (Revelation 13:3-4). Yet beneath the facade will be a beast and an anarchist bent on self aggrandisement and the submission of all and everything (Revelation 13:1; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4).


Society will have become atheistic, amoral, paganistic and anti-Christian. Because of an evolutionary worldview most will abandon faith in God and focus upon nature and the earth. In this environment we are our own gods dictating our own destiny and the fate of the world. Into this scenario Antichrist will emerge. He will be a materialist denying the existence of God (Daniel 11:38) and he will be a pantheist - nature is divine and he as the pinnacle of evolution is God (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4). He will speak out against all forms of belief in God (Revelation 13:1, 5-6; Daniel 11:36) and promote himself in godlike terms. He will deny the truth about God (1 John 2:22; 4:3; 2 John 7).

Antichrist will be the ultimate anarchist. He is described as 'the lawless one', the 'man of sin' and that 'wicked one' (2 Thessalonians 2:3, 8). He will be his own lawgiver, doing his own thing (Daniel 11:36; 2 Thessalonians 2:7; 1 John 3:4).

He will promote himself as God and Messiah (Daniel 11:36-37) and he will:

persistantly oppose God and everything to do with him.
set himself up in place of God.
perform powerful acts to prove his position.
demand worship on pain of death.

Matthew 24:15; 2 Thessalonians 2:4, 9-11; Revelation 13:14-17.

His origin

He will emerge from a chaotic situation in the world (Revelation 13:1; Matthew 24:6-7; Luke 21:25-26; Revelation 6:3-8) promising to solve all the problems (Revelation 17:15; Luke 21:25-26).

It seems that antichrist will come out of Europe (Daniel 9:26). The people of the prince to come (antichrist) were the Romans who destroyed Jerusalem in 70 AD. He will become the leader of a revived Roman Empire (Daniel 7:7-8) and swallow up all other world powers (Revelation 13:7).

It would seem that antichrist will be a Jew because of the reference to the God of his fathers and the desire of women - the Messiah (Daniel 11:37) and Jesus' response to the Jewish religious leaders (John 5:43). He will be able to get Israel to enter into a political agreement and restore some sort of temple worship (Daniel 9:27).

Spiritually, he is Satan's counterfeit messiah forming part of the satanic trinity (Revelation 16:13). It is Satan who empowers and possesses him (2 Thessalonians 2:9; Revelation 11:7; 13:2; 17:8) because unlike Jesus, he freely gives his life over to the Devil in return for power (Matthew 4:8-9; Luke 4:6-8).

Just as Jesus is the 'seed of the woman' so this man is the 'seed of the serpent' (Genesis 3:15) and he will emerge in the world at a time when people will be believing the lie - no God, no purpose only evolution and chance (2 Thessalonians 2:11). He will be the outcome of this lie.

His rise to power

he will be revealed at the time believers are evacuated (raptured) from Earth (2 Thessalonians 2:6-8)
he will at first be inconspicuous (Daniel 7:8)
he will solve the Middle East/Israel problem (Daniel 9:27)
he will slowly build his power and rule (Psalm 110:6; Isaiah 14:5-6, 16-17; Daniel 7:8, 20, 24)
he will become world ruler (Revelation 13:7) as the final king of Babylon (Isaiah 14:1-15; Revelation 17:1ff; 18:1ff)
he will be helped by and then destroy a world-wide ecumenical religious system (Revelation 17:3, 16-17)
he will turn against the Jews and any who have faith in Christ (Revelation 11:2-13; 7:9, 14)

Possible chronology

Rapture then antichrist revealed (2 Thessalonians 2:7)
Middle East/Israel peace treaty (Daniel 9:27; John 5:43)
Ruler of the world (Revelation 13:5, 7)
He will break the peace treaty (Revelation 11:1-7; 12:6, 14; 13:7)
He will set up his capital in Jerusalem and proclaim himself God (2 Thessalonians 2:4; Revelation 13:14-15; Matthew 24:15; Daniel 12:11)
Persecution of the Jews (Matthew 24:15, 21-22)
Judgement upon the antichrist and his kingdom (Revelation 16:10-11; Daniel 7:25-26)
Return of Christ with angels and glorified believers (2 Thessalonians 2:8; Revelation 16:12-16; 17:14; 19:15-21; 20:10; Daniel 11:45).

This age will be brought to a close and Christ will rule on Earth for a thousand years (Revelation 20:1-3, 6) before the final rebellion and the creation of a new universe (Revelation 20:7-10; 21:1).