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The AntiChrist

Who is the AntiChrist?  Many people over the last 2,000 years have been suggested for this supervillain, from the Pope to Hitler.  The Book Of Signs points out how many people of the time thought Hitler was this mysterious figure because he had many of the assumed characteristics of this tyrant.  The Book Of Signs does not try to identify who will be the Antichrist, but it does follow the standard dispensationalist idea that the AntiChrist is a terrible, anti-God future world leader.  

There are over one hundred passages of Scripture that describe the Antichrist, and yet the word antichrist itself is mentioned in only four verses in the New Testament—each time by the apostle John (1 John 2:18, 22; 4:3; 2 John v. 7).  Jeremiah, David . The Book of Signs (p. 247). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition. 

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Over one hundred passages are assumed to be talking about this supervillain, but he is actually only specifically mentioned four times.  This title is not used in the Book of Daniel, the Book of Revelation, any of the writings of Paul or in the Gospels.  Before we look at some of the Bible passages which are assumed to be referring to the AntiChrist, let’s see what the Bible actually teaches where it deliberately talks about him.

AntiChrist Or AntiChrists?

The shadowy image of the AntiChrist haunts the imagination of many Christians.  Is he real?

Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour.  They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.  1 John 2:18-19, NKJV

Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son.  1 John 2:22, NKJV

By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.  1 John 4:2-3, NKJV

For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.  2 John v. 7, NKJV

Read these four verses very carefully.  What do we learn about the AntiChrist?

1.  We learn there are many antichrists.  In 1 John 2:18 it appears to talk about ‘the’ Antichrist; however, the word ‘the’ is not in all Bible versions, including the KJV and NASB.  Anyone who fits a well-defined description is considered to be ‘an antichrist’ or ‘the antichrist.’  

2.  While anyone who opposes Jesus can be considered antichrist in a general sense, the only way the Bible uses the word is to define those who either deny the divinity of Christ or His humanity.  It does not say that he will pretend to be Christ but that he will deny Christ.

3.  Notice very carefully what John said.  “It is the last hour.”  He did not say, “When you see the AntiChrist supervillain, you will know it is the last hour.”  No, he told his 1st-century readers: “It is the last hour.”  In case there was any doubt, he also said, “…and is now already in the world.”  Don’t take my word for it; read it for yourself.  [We dealt with the terms ‘last days” and “latter days” in a previous article.  The same principle applies here.].

The AntiChrist Of Daniel

“After that, in my vision at night I looked, and there before me was a fourth beast—terrifying and frightening and very powerful. It had large iron teeth; it crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. It was different from all the former beasts, and it had ten horns.

“While I was thinking about the horns, there before me was another horn, a little one, which came up among them; and three of the first horns were uprooted before it. This horn had eyes like the eyes of a human being and a mouth that spoke boastfully…He will speak against the Most High and oppress his holy people and try to change the set times and the laws. The holy people will be delivered into his hands for a time, times and half a time.  Dan. 7:7-8, 25 [NIV]

In these passages Daniel gives us one of the characteristics of the coming world ruler—his charismatic personality enhanced by his speaking ability, which he will use to sway the masses with spellbinding words of power and promise. Jeremiah, David . The Book of Signs (p. 248). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition. 

I am not sure how being boastful and oppressive translates into a charismatic personality enhanced by his speaking ability, even if it is talking about a future ruler.

When looking at prophecy predicting future events [at least to the prophet], we need to ask questions and look for clues that will anchor the prophecy to a specific time or place.  It should go without saying that we need to take the prophecy as a whole and not just pick out miscellaneous verses.

Are there any clues in Daniel 7 to help us find out to what time the prophecy is referring?

Yes, there is in Daniel 7:13-14:

“In my vision at night, I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence.  He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed. [NIV]

Who does this describe?

But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “Get up, take your mat and go home.”  Matt. 9:6, NIV

“I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”  Mark 14:62, NIV  [Note:  This is something Jesus said the High Priest would witness himself.]

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Matt. 28:18, NIV. [Spoken after the Resurrection]

Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power.  For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.  1 Cor. 15:24-25, NIV. [Note:  At the Second Coming, Jesus hands the kingdom over to the Father, which means He has it now and is currently destroying all opposition.]

“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.  Luke 12:32, NIV

I don’t think there can be much legitimate doubt that Daniel 7:13-14 is talking about Christ’s resurrection and ascension.  Jesus currently has all authority and power and is worshipped all over the world.  And, as predicted in Daniel 2, His kingdom will never be destroyed but is growing to fill the entire earth.

With that in mind, the other parts of this vision must be referring to events leading up to or perhaps during the First Coming of Christ.  That being the case, they cannot be talking about an imagined future ruler or AntiChrist.

The Antichrist will be a political genius, a masterful diplomat, and a clever leader.  Jeremiah, David . The Book of Signs (p. 250). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition. 

Dr. Jeremiah is accurate in his description of the character of this little horn; the problem is he applies to a supposed future ruler called the AntiChrist.  As we saw above, the Daniel 7 prophecy does not allow that interpretation.  Although there is much controversy on this passage, I think one of the most creditable explanations is that the little horn represents Herod the Great.  He was the ‘face’ of Rome [fourth beast] to the Jews and was made king over several districts [other horns including Judea].  Although he pretended attachment to the Jewish religion [built the Temple], his real god was power [put a Roman eagle at the entrance to the Temple].  He was viciously antiChrist [he killed all the infants in Bethlehem]. 

Just as a side note: Dr. Jeremiah quotes A.W. Pink, a respected Bible expositor.  A.W. Pink began his study and writings as a dispensationalist, but his study of Covenants led him to abandon the dispensational point of view.  [We also have a detailed course on Covenants.]

A Study of Dispensationalism can be seen as Pink's own account of his experience within Dispensationalist Christian groups. As he began to understand Reformed theology more, he started to question the teachings of Dispensationalism. Pink's main indictment against Dispensationalism was that it set an unnecessary contradiction between God's Law and Grace: "a modern and pernicious error."  Book promotion page on Amazon.ca

In the section talking about the alleged AntiChrist being Gentile and not Jewish, no single Scripture is used for or against the idea.

The Book Of Signs again brings up the idea that the AntiChrist will make a covenant with Israel and then break it.  We have dwelt with this terrible idea of taking the beautiful work of Christ and throwing it at the feet of AntiChrist here.

The Antichrist will actually be killed, but to the astonishment of all the world, he will be raised back to life by the power of Satan in a grotesque counterfeit of the resurrection of Jesus Christ (Rev. 13:3–4).  Jeremiah, David . The Book of Signs (p. 256). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition. 

To think all this time, I thought Jesus had the power of life and death.

I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.  Rev. 1:18, NIV

Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.  Heb. 2:14-15, NIV

We will deal with the Revelation 12 & 13 references in a later chapter.

I realize that the picture of the future I’ve presented in this chapter is not a pretty one. Yet Christians need to know what is going on in the world concerning this dreaded person.  Jeremiah, David. The Book of Signs (p. 257). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition. 

Again I could ask ‘Why?’ since Dr. Jeremiah believes Christians are going to be raptured out of the world before the AntiChrist is revealed.  His picture of the future certainly does not do any credit to the power and ability of the Holy Spirit.

I have not seen anything in this chapter to convince me that a one-world leader called the AntiChrist is coming.  And certainly, with all the controversy surrounding this topic, I don't see how anybody could honestly consider it an "undeniable prophecy of the Apocalypse."

[I am indebted for some of the insights on this page to the writings of Phillip Mauro and Rev. James Jordan.]

Return To The Book Of Signs.

For more information about Glenn Davis, see our About Glenn page or visit Glenn Davis Books.

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