The Antichrist And The Rapture
The Bible mainly discusses the Antichrist or Man of Lawlessness in the context of the last days. The last days are when evil is unleashed on earth. They will be characterized by an intense and horrifying battle between God and his enemy . The Bible consistently affirms that God will completely win this battle and that those who trust in Christ are rescued from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son, . .
Past Popes Have Been Accused
As the English religious radical John Wycliffe put it,
the Pope may obviously be the Antichrist, and yet not just that sole single individual but rather the multitude of popes holding that position along with the cardinals and bishops of the church.
This was the position on the Antichrist adopted by Protestants at the time of the 16th century Reformation. was convinced that he was living in the last days. For him, the Pope fitted all the criteria for the Antichrist. The Pope, he declared, is the true end times Antichrist who has raised himself over and set himself against Christ.
What Will Happen To The Antichrist As He Leads The Battle Of Armageddon
During the Battle of Armageddon, the world will become increasingly discontented with the leadership of this global dictator who will have gone back on every promise he made. Major segments of the world will begin to assemble their own military forces and rebel against him.
The king of the South and his armies will be the first to come after the Antichrist, followed by the armies of the North. At the time of the end the king of the South shall attack him: and the king of the North shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, horsemen, and with many ships .
During the Battle of Armageddon, the world will become increasingly discontented with the leadership of this global dictator who will have gone back on every promise he made.
The Antichrist will put down some of these first attempts at rebellion against him. But before he can move toward his goal of destroying Israel and Jerusalem, something happens: But news from the east and the north shall trouble him therefore he shall go out with great fury to destroy and annihilate many . The Bible leaves no doubt as to the source of the news that so enrages the Antichrist: Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, so that the way of the kings from the east might be prepared .
With the disappearance of the Euphrates, the Antichrist will be vulnerable to attack by the kings of the east. Their arrival will mark the beginning of the greatest war of all history.
Also Check: How Long Has The Bible Been Around
Who Or What Is Antichrist
The Bible uses the term antichrist in several ways. It can refer to a general attitude of rejection and disregard for God, to those who teach deceitful lies about Christ and the true way of life or it can refer to a prophetic personality who will arise in the end time and lead a false religious system.
Who Or What Is The Antichrist A Reflection On The Biblical Teaching
Oct 24, 2019By Msgr. Charles Pope
There is much lore about the antichrist that is out of proportion to the attention Scripture pays to the concept, and more importantly is at possible variance from what is certainly taught. It easily becomes fodder for movies and novels: the antichrist figure steps on the scene, deceiving many, and mesmerizing the whole world with apparent miracles and a message of false peace.
But is this really what or whom the Scriptures call the antichrist? I would argue not, for in order to create such a picture one would have to splice in images from the Book of Revelation and the Letter to the Thessalonians that do not likely apply to antichrists.
In fact, the use of the term antichrist occurs only in the Johannine epistles. It does not occur in the Book of Revelation at all, though many have the mistaken idea that it does. There are plenty of beasts, dragons, harlots, demons, and satanic legions in Revelation, but no mention of antichrists.
Many also stitch the teaching about antichrists together with St. Pauls teaching on the man of lawlessness who is to appear just before the end. The lawless one may well be the stuff of movies, but calling him the antichrist may be to borrow too much from a concept that is more specific. While it is not inauthentic to make a connection between them , it is not necessarily correct to do so.
Note the following crucial differences between antichrists and the lawless one:
You May Like: Who Were The 12 Disciples In The Bible
The Spirit Of Antichrist
John states, Every spirit that does not confess Jesus, is not from God this is the spirit of the antichrist . The phrase spirit of Antichrist implies that one arch-Antichrists spirit influences others across the world and time to carry out his grand deceptive purposes. The Antichrist sponsors these false teachings, and though his schemes remain yet hidden, the devil is waiting for the right time to perch Antichrist on top of the world governments.
Proponents of false teachings operate by a false spirit from Satan, influencing them to varying degrees. Therefore, the presence of many antichrists does not preclude the existence of an Antichrist but instead proves his reality.
We can think of a similar situation when the Spirit of God came upon Old Testament prophets. Gods existence can be detected by the way He inspired His prophets. Satan, contrastingly, inspires the spirit of Antichrist which equally stirs up false teachers and antichrists through their easily observed deceptive and untrue character.
The Old Testament Teachings On Antichrist
In the form of the serpent, Satan shows up early in the Garden of Eden to charmingly deceive and steal mankinds allegiance for himself. They fell for his trick and listened to this deceiver rather than to their Maker.
The Antichrist seeks to become the King-Priest to counter Jesus Christ as the genuine King-Priest. So throughout the Old Testament, we see a large scattering of many, in and out of Judaism, world leaders who dominate the world governments and religions.
The Book of Daniel speaks of the demonic forces behind the world powers like Babylon and Persia, but later, starting in chapter 7, Daniel introduces a little horn possessed eyes like the eyes of man and a mouth uttering great boasts .
After clear prophecies of Christs coming are made , the theme of Antichrist becomes further described.
So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks .
Right on the heals of this prophecy of Christ the Messiah comes the Antichrist. Note his descriptive work bringing desolation.
And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate .
Read Also: How To Repent Bible Verses
The Revelation Of The Antichrist
All of this is paving the way for the Antichrist himself to appear and get rid of any pretence of religion. He will do away with God altogether. He will perform signs and wonders to prove to the world once and for all that mankind is self-sufficient.
Mankind is ready to embrace just such a person. Someone who does not interfere with their comfortable lives who will be a force outside themselves to realize their thoughts and dreams of peace and harmony on earth a world of tolerance, love, and goodwill, without any personal cost to themselves. And the Antichrist will be able to accomplish this.
The name of Antichrist has been synonymous with evil down through the ages, but the truth is that when he is finally revealed, the majority of people will not recognize him as the Antichrist. He will not appear repellent on the contrary, he will be someone who is talented, and ambitious to solve the worlds problems. He will advance what is already in the process of becoming a reality that the world can become a paradise of mans own making, without God. The world will believe that with the Antichrist at the helm, mankind can accomplish anything.
Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. Revelation 13:6.
When that happens then Satan will finally have what he has always wanted. He will be seen as equal to God. He will have control of a world that has no need for God.
The Tribulation And The Antichrist
The Tribulation and Antichrist are two separate but interrelated concepts. Tribulation refers to any times of trouble or distress experienced by Gods people, but it also refers to future intense period of Great Tribulation that will occur just prior to the return of Christ. The Antichrist refers to one who is satanically inspired and sets himself up as God. This spirit of the antichrist is a work an any false teaching that denies the deity of Christ or claims to be Christ, but also refers to a future Satanic earthly leader who will demand to be worshipped and will persecute Gods people.
Eschatology is an all-encompassing term for cosmic and spiritual realties brought about by the person and work of Jesus the Messiah and looks ahead to the ultimate fulfillment of his enthronement on earth in the New Jerusalem so it speaks of realities that are both now and not yet. There are eschatological realities we experience, but these will come to completion with the return of Christ. Two such eschatological realities that are both now and not yet are tribulation and the presence of the antichrist. Although they may be present realities they will intensive and climax as this age draws to a close prior to the return of Christ. This article examines the biblical teachings on both the now and future tribulation and antichrist.
Read Also: What Are The List Of Sins In The Bible
John And The Revelation
Then I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names. 2 And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority. 3 I saw one of his heads as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed. And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast 4 they worshiped the dragon because he gave his authority to the beast and they worshiped the beast, saying, Who is like the beast?
The seven churches in Revelation 2 and 3 look like what Peter, Paul, and John wrote of the early church. The Book of Revelation, however, steps into the last moments of the church on earth. The many false teachers retreat behind the scenes and join the other worshipers of the Beastno doubt the Antichrist. The dragon stands on the seashore, evidently, instrumental in raising the Beast from the sea with all the power of the earth, wearing ten crowns and matched with great, unsurpassed earthly powers. The dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority.
Regardless of ones eschatological bent, we ought to agree that a world figure, empowered by the devil, will have a voracious appetite for our devoted worship. The believers reluctance to worship will be the reason for him to make them his prey.
What You Might Not Know About The Antichrist
The concept of the Antichrist has been around for a very long time. But is the Antichrist actually a man? Is he the false messiah who performs miracles, just like Jesus did, in order to lure people in before unleashing hell on Earth? Or is the whole Antichrist thing just a concept?
In this gallery, we delve into the history of the Antichrist throughout the centuries and bring you some information that might surprise you. Click on.
Recommended Reading: How Many Laws Are In The Bible
Many Deceivers And Antichrists
In addition to the Antichrist, Jesus and the apostles warned that there would be many false prophets who would arise to deceive humans at the end of this age . John later identified anyone who would function as a false prophet as a deceiver and an antichrist .
Antichristian movements are already at work in our world today. In the United States, atheists want to remove the name of God and Christ from national monuments and the nations currency. Such efforts are disrespectful of God and are perhaps some of the most obvious efforts directed against God.
As John explained, Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son .
The Forms Of Eschatology
Historical eschatology appears in one of three distinct forms messianism, millennialism, or apocalypticism. Messianic hopes are directed toward a single redemptive figure who, it is believed, will lead the people of God, now suffering and oppressed, into a better historical future. Messianism sometimes promotes visions of the vengeance and justice that befall tyrannical political and religious leaders. In these instances, local historical expectations shape the belief in the fulfillment of history before its end. Apocalypticism, on the other hand, promises a sudden, cataclysmic intervention by God on the side of a faithful minority. According to this view, “this world,” unable to bear the “justice of God,” will be destroyed and replaced by a new world founded on Gods righteousness. Millenarian, or chiliastic, hope is directed toward the 1,000-year earthly kingdom of peace, fellowship, and prosperity over which Christ and his saints will reign following the destruction of the forces of evil and before the final end of history.
Read Also: When Were The Books Of The Bible Chosen
Where Is The Antichrist From
The first thing we are going to ask is where does the antichrist come from? The Bible does actually give us this information in a very clear way.
5 O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation.
23 For the Lord God of hosts shall make a consumption, even determined, in the midst of all the land. 24 Therefore thus saith the Lord God of hosts, O my people that dwellest in Zion, be not afraid of the Assyrian: he shall smite thee with a rod, and shall lift up his staff against thee, after the manner of Egypt. 25 For yet a very little while, and the indignation shall cease, and mine anger in their destruction.
25 That I will break the Assyrian in my land, and upon my mountains tread him under foot: then shall his yoke depart from off them, and his burden depart from off their shoulders. 26 This is the purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth: and this is the hand that is stretched out upon all the nations.
30 And the Lord shall cause his glorious voice to be heard, and shall shew the lighting down of his arm, with the indignation of his anger, and with the flame of a devouring fire, with scattering, and tempest, and hailstones. 31 For through the voice of the Lord shall the Assyrian be beaten down, which smote with a rod.
He Claims To Be God And Is Worshiped
A strong characteristic is that the Anti-Christ will seek to be worshpped like God is as Paul writes, Dont 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 Gods temple, proclaiming himself to be God . This Anti-Christ is identified as the man of lawlessness and will not appear until the rebellion occurs . This man is supposed to come to power during the Tribulation and he will set in the temple of God to proclaim himself as God.
Recommended Reading: What Is Considered Adultery In The Bible
Johns Lessons About Antichrists
John teaches us that believers always ought to be on guard against the many antichrists that rise up to deceive they are real, numerous in number, and pernicious: even now many antichrists have appeared . Note how he teaches that these antichrists have been around since the early church .
Believers can detect these antichrists, as John reveals, through their deceptive teaching. Though their teaching has some resemblance to the truth, it sufficiently perverts the Gospel to keep us from saving faith.
These many deceivers are aptly named antichrists because they do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh . The early church faced the Gospel-denying cult called Gnostics because of their assumptions from Greek philosophy , denying God could take on flesh. They denied Jesus Christ was God, became human, suffered, and died for mankind. Gnosticism took on various forms, but though they still claimed Christ as the Redeemer, they distorted the Gospel by teaching that the Spirit came upon a man named Jesus but left him before the cross.
The Gnostics denied the incarnation of God in Jesus. John very clearly warned that the developing cult would spread false thought and belief. The Gospel requires faith in Gods Son, His Servant , to die for our sins. So this cult, though seemingly respectful of Gods holinessunattached to human fleshwas false and deceptive.