"I am come in My Father's name, and ye receive Me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive" (John 5:43). These words were spoken by the Lord Jesus Christ, and the occasion on which they were uttered and the connection in which they are found, invest them with peculiar solemnity. The chapter opens by depicting the Saviour healing the impotent man who lay by the pool of Bethesda. This occurred on the Sabbath day, and the enemies of Christ made it the occasion for a vicious attack upon Him: "Therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay Him, because He had done these things on the Sabbath day" (v. 16). In vindicating His performance of this miracle on the Sabbath, the Lord Jesus began by saying, "My Father worketh hitherto, and I work" (v. 17). But this only served to intensify their enmity against Him, for we read, "Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill Him, because He not only had broken the Sabbath, but said also that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God" (v. 18). In response, Christ then made a detailed declaration of His divine glories. In conclusion He appealed to the varied witnesses which bore testimony to His Deity: - the Father Himself (v. 32); John the Baptist (v. 33); His own works (v. 36); and the Scriptures (v. 39). Then He turned to those who were opposing Him and said, "And ye will not come to Me, that ye might have life. But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you. I am come in My Father's name, and ye receive Me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive" (vv. 40,42,43). And this was immediately followed by this searching question - "How can ye believe which receive honor (glory) one of another, and seek not the honor (glory) that cometh from God only?" (v. 44).


John 5:43

43 I have come in My Father's name and with His power, and you do not receive Me [your hearts are not open to Me, you give Me no welcome]; but if another comes in his own name and his own power and with no other authority but himself, you will receive him and give him your approval. AMP

John 5:16

16 For this reason the Jews began to persecute (annoy, torment) Jesusand sought to kill Him, because He was doing these things on the Sabbath. AMP

John 5:17

17 But Jesus answered them, My Father has worked [even] until now, [He has never ceased working; He is still working] and I, too, must be at [divine] work. AMP

John 5:18

18 This made the Jews more determined than ever to kill Him [to do away with Him]; because He not only was breaking (weakening, violating) the Sabbath, but He actually was speaking of God as being [in a special sense] His own Father, making Himself equal [putting Himself on a level] with God. AMP

John 5:32

32 There is Another Who testifies concerning Me, and I know and am certain that His evidence on My behalf is true and valid. AMP

John 5:33

33 You yourselves have sent [an inquiry] to John and he has been a witness to the truth. AMP

John 5:36

36 But I have as My witness something greater (weightier, higher, better) than that of John; for the works that the Father has appointed Me to accomplish and finish, the very same works that I am now doing, are a witness and proof that the Father has sent Me. AMP

John 5:39

39 You search and investigate and pore over the Scriptures diligently, because you suppose and trust that you have eternal life through them. And these [very Scriptures] testify about Me! AMP

John 5:40-43

40 And still you are not willing [but refuse] to come to Me, so that you might have life.

41 I receive not glory from men [I crave no human honor, I look for no mortal fame],

42 But I know you and recognize and understand that you have not the love of God in you.

43 I have come in My Father's name and with His power, and you do not receive Me [your hearts are not open to Me, you give Me no welcome]; but if another comes in his own name and his own power and with no other authority but himself, you will receive him and give him your approval. AMP

John 5:44

44 How is it possible for you to believe [how can you learn to believe], you who [are content to seek and] receive praise and honor and glory from one another, and yet do not seek the praise and honor and glory which come from Him Who alone is God? AMP


Here is the key to the solemn statement which begins this article. These Jews received glory from one another; they did not seek it from God, for they had not the love of God in them. Therefore it was that the One who had come to them in the Father's name, and who "received not glory from men" (v. 41) was rejected by them. And just as eve's rejection of the word of God's truth laid her open to accept the serpent's lie, so Israel's rejection of the true Messiah, has prepared them, morally, to receive the false Messiah, for he will come in his own name, doing his own pleasure, and will "receive glory from men". Thus will he thoroughly appeal to the corrupt heart of the natural man.


John 5:41

41 I receive not glory from men [I crave no human honor, I look for no mortal fame], AMP


The future appearing of this one who shall "come in his own name" was announced, then, by the Lord Himself. The Antichrist will be "received", not only by the Jews, but also by the whole world; received as their acknowledged Head and Ruler; and all the modern pleas for and movements to bring about a federation of the churches and a union of Christendom, together with the present-day efforts to establish a League of Nations - a great United States of the World - are but preparing the way for just such a character as is portrayed both in the Old and New Testaments.


There will be many remarkable correspondences between the true and the false Christ, but more numerous and more striking will be the contrasts between the Son of God and the Son of perdition. The Lord Jesus came down from Heaven, whereas the Antichrist shall ascent from the bottomless Pit (Revelation 11:7). The Lord Jesus came in His Father's name, emptied Himself of His glory, lived in absolute dependence upon God, and refused to receive honor from men; but the Man of Sin will come in his own name, embodying all the pride of the Devil, opposing and exalting himself not only against the true God, but against everything that bears His name, and his deepest craving will be to receive honor and homage from men.

Revelation 11:7

7 But when they have finished their testimony and their evidence is all in, the beast (monster) that comes up out of the Abyss (bottomless pit) will wage war on them, and conquer them and kill them. [Daniel 7:3,7,21.] AMP


Now since this parallel, with its pointed contrasts, was drawn by our Lord Himself in John 5:43, how conclusive is the proof which it affords that the Antichrist will be a single individual being as surely as Christ was! In further proof of this 1 John 2:18 may be cited: "Little children, it is the last hour: and as ye heard that Antichrist cometh, even now hath there arisen many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last hour" (R.V.). Here the Antichrist is plainly distinguished from the many who prepare his way. The verb "cometh" here is a remarkable one, for it is the very same that is used of the Lord Jesus Christ in reference to His first and second Advents. The Antichrist, therefore, is also "the coming one", or "he that cometh". This defines his relation to the world, - which has long been expecting some Conquering Hero - as "the Coming One" defines the relation of the Christ of God to His Churches, whose Divinely-inspired hope is the return of the Lord from Heaven.


John 5:43

43 I have come in My Father's name and with His power, and you do not receive Me [your hearts are not open to Me, you give Me no welcome]; but if another comes in his own name and his own power and with no other authority but himself, you will receive him and give him your approval. AMP

1 John 2:18

18 Boys (lads), it is the last time (hour, the end of this age). And as you have heard that the antichrist [he who will oppose Christ in the guise of Christ] is coming, even now many antichrists have arisen, which confirms our belief that it is the final (the end) time. AMP


Nor does this by any means exhaust the proof that the coming Antichrist will be a single individual being. The expressions used by the apostle Paul in 2 Thessalonians 2 - "that Man of Sin", "The Son of Perdition", "he that opposeth and exalteth himself", "the Wicked One whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth", "he whose coming is after the working of Satan" - all these point as distinctly to a single individual as did the Messianic predictions of the Old Testament point to the person of our Lord Jesus Christ.


2 Thessalonians 2

2:1 BUT RELATIVE to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) and our gathering together to [meet] Him, we beg you, brethren,

2 Not to allow your minds to be quickly unsettled or disturbed or kept excited or alarmed, whether it be by some [pretended] revelation of [the] Spirit or by word or by letter [alleged to be] from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has [already] arrived and is here.

3 Let no one deceive or beguile you in any way, for that day will not come except the apostasy comes first [unless the predicted great falling away of those who have professed to be Christians has come], and the man of lawlessness (sin) is revealed, who is the son of doom (of perdition), [Daniel 7:25; 8:25; 1 Timothy 4:1.]

4 Who opposes and exalts himself so proudly and insolently against and over all that is called God or that is worshiped, [even to his actually] taking his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming that he himself is God. [Ezekiel 28:2; Daniel 11:36,37.]

5 Do you not recollect that when I was still with you, I told you these things?

6 And now you know what is restraining him [from being revealed at this time]; it is so that he may be manifested (revealed) in his own [appointed] time.

7 For the mystery of lawlessness (that hidden principle of rebellion against constituted authority) is already at work in the world, [but it is] restrained only until he who restrains is taken out of the way.

8 And then the lawless one (the antichrist) will be revealed and the Lord Jesus will slay him with the breath of His mouth and bring him to an end by His appearing at His coming. [Isaiah 11:4.]

9 The coming [of the lawless one, the antichrist] is through the activity and working of Satan and will be attended by great power and with all sorts of [pretended] miracles and signs and delusive marvels [all of them] lying wonders

10 And by unlimited seduction to evil and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing (going to perdition) because they did not welcome the Truth but refused to love it that they might be saved.

11 Therefore God sends upon them a misleading influence, a working of error and a strong delusion to make them believe what is false,

12 In order that all may be judged and condemned who did not believe in [who refused to adhere to, trust in, and rely on] the Truth, but [instead] took pleasure in unrighteousness.

13 But we, brethren beloved by the Lord, ought and are obligated [as those who are in debt] to give thanks always to God for you, because God chose you from the beginningas His firstfruits (first converts) for salvation through the sanctifying work of the [Holy] Spirit and [your] belief in (adherence to, trust in, and reliance on) the Truth.

14[It was] to this end that He called you through our Gospel, so that you may obtain and share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah).

15 So then, brethren, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions and instructions which you were taught by us, whether by our word of mouth or by letter.

16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, Who loved us and gave us everlasting consolation and encouragement and well-founded hope through [His] grace (unmerited favor),

17 Comfort and encourage your hearts and strengthen them [make them steadfast and keep them unswerving] in every good work and word. AMP


Now, in accordance with these texts, and many others which might be quoted, we find that all the Christian writers of the first six centuries (that is all who make reference to the subject) regarded the Antichrist as a real person, a specific individual. We might fill many pages by giving extracts from their works, but three must suffice. The first is taken from a very ancient document, entitled "The Teaching of the Apostles", which probably dates back to the beginning of the second century: -