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A false prophet and evil being who will set himself up against Christ and the people of God in the last days before the SECOND COMING. The term is used only in the writings of John in the New Testament. It refers to one who stands in opposition to all that Jesus Christ represents (1 John 2:18,22; 4:3; 2 John 7). John wrote that several antichrists existed already in his day-false teachers who denied the deity and the incarnation of Christ-but that the supreme Antichrist of history would appear at some future time.

The Antichrist’s primary work is deception, which also characterizes SATAN in his attempts to undermine the work of God in the world. Satan’s deception began in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3) and will continue until the end of time. The DRAGON (or serpent) of Revelation 12 is Satan, the Serpent mentioned in Genesis 3. Thus the thread of Satan’s deceptive work may be traced from Genesis through Revelation. That work reaches its climax in the Antichrist, who receives his authority and power from the dragon, Satan (Revelation 13:4).

The work of Satan through the Antichrist is clearly rooted in the prophecies of Daniel. Daniel spoke of a dreadful beast with ten horns and one little horn (Daniel 7:7-8). The Ancient of Days will kill the beast and throw it in the fire (Daniel 7:11). Then, according to Daniel, one like the Son of Man will receive the everlasting kingdom (Daniel 7:13-14).

The Antichrist will be the sum total of the beasts referred to in Daniel 7 (Revelation 13:1-4). He will speak arrogant, boastful words; and he will be aided by a FALSE PROPHET, who will make the entire earth worship him (Revelation 13:11-12) and receive his mark (Revelation 13:16-17). The number of the beast, says John, is 666-a mysterious code name.

Those who worship the Antichrist will experience certain doom through the wrath of God (Revelation 14:9-11). The Antichrist makes war against Christ and His army, but he is captured and is “cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone” (Revelation 19:20). He is later joined by the DEVIL; together they “will be tormented day and night forever and ever” (Revelation 20:10). The devil, the BEAST (or Antichrist), and the false prophet form a kind of unholy trinity, counterfeiting Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. After much wickedness and suffering has been loosed against Christ and His people, the satanic rebellion will be crushed by the power of God.

Although the apostle Paul does not use the term Antichrist, he surely had the Antichrist in mind when he wrote of the great apostasy, or falling away, that would occur before the return of Christ (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12). The Antichrist is also called the lawless one (v. 9) who, empowered and inspired by Satan, will lead the final rebellion against God (v. 3, NEB), but will be destroyed at the coming of the Lord. Paul urges believers to stand firm in the faith and not be deceived by the Antichrist who will display “all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders” (2 Thessalonians 2:9, NIV).

The main reason the Bible discusses the Antichrist is not to encourage idle speculation, but to warn believers not to be misled by his deceit (Matthew 24:4-5,23-24). The times when the Antichrist will appear will be very hard for the faithful. They need to be prepared with special instructions on how to deal with this unsettling event.

(from Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Copyright ©1986, Thomas Nelson Publishers)


“Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is Antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son” (1 John 2:22). This name introduces to us one of the most solemn and foreboding subjects in the Word of God. It brings before us one of the persons in the Trinity of Evil. At every point he is the antithesis of Christ. The word “Antichrist” has a double significance. Its primary meaning is one who is opposed to Christ; but its secondary meaning is one who is instead of Christ. Let not this be thought strange, for it accords with the two stages in his career. At first he will pose as the true Christ, masquerading in the livery of religion. But, later, he will throw off his disguise, stand forth in his true character, and set himself up as one who is against God and His Christ.

Not only does anti-christ denote the antagonist of Christ, but it tells of one who is instead of Christ. The word signifies another Christ, a pro-Christ, an alter christus, a pretender to the name of Christ. He will seem to be and will set himself up as the true Christ. He will be the Devil’s counterfeit. Just as the Devil is an Anti-theos - not only the adversary of God, but the usurper of the place and prerogatives of God, demanding worship; so the Son of Perdition will be anti-christ - not only the antagonist and opponent of Christ, but His reval: assuming the very position and prerogatives of Christ; passing himself off as the rightful claimant to all the rights and honors of the Son of God.


“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that Man of Sin be revealed, the Son of Perdition” (2 Thessalonians 2:3). This double appellation is probably the most awful, the most important, and the most revealing title given to the Antichrist in all the Bible. It diagnoses his personality and exposes his awful character. It tells us he will be possessed of a twofold nature: he will be a man, and yet more than a man. He will be Satan’s parody of the God-Man. He will be an incarnation of the Devil. The world today is talking of and looking for the Super-man. This is exactly what the Antichrist will be. He will be the Serpent’s masterpiece.

“That Man of Sin”. What a frightful name! The sin of man will culminate in the Man of Sin. The Christ of God was sinless; the Christ of Satan will not only be sinful, but the Man of Sin. “Man of Sin” intimates that he will be the living and active embodiment of every form and character of evil. “Man of Sin” signifies that he will be sin itself personified. “Man of Sin” denotes there will be no lengths of wickedness to which he will not go, no forms of evil to which he will be a stranger, no depths of corruption that he will not bottom.

“The Son of Perdition”. And again we are forced to exclaim, what a frightful name! Not only a human degenerate, but the offspring of the Dragon. Not only the worst of human kind, but the incarnation of the Devil. Not only the most depraved of all sinners, but an emanation from the Pit itself. “Son of Perdition” denotes that he will be the culmination and consummation of satanic craft and power. All the evil, malignity, cunning, and power of the Serpent will be embodied in this terrible monster.


“And then shall be revealed the Lawless One, whom the Lord Jesus shall slay with the breath of His mouth, and bring to nought by the manifestation of His coming” (2 Thessalonians 2:8 R. V.). This is another name of the Antichrist which makes manifest his awful character. Each of his names exhibits him as the antithesis of the true Christ. The Lord Jesus was the Righteous One; the Man of Sin will be the Lawless One. The Lord Jesus was “made under the law” (Galatians 4:4); the Antichrist will oppose all law, being a law unto himself. When the Saviour entered this world, He came saying, “Lo I come to do Thy will, O God” (Hebrews 10:9); but of the Antichrist it is written “And the king shall do according to his will” (Daniel 11:36). The Antichrist will set himself up in direct opposition to all authority, both Divine and human.


“And when they shall have finished their testimony the Beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them” (Revelation 11:7). This is another name which reveals the terrible nature and character of the Antichrist and which places him in sharp antithesis from the true Christ. “The Beast” is the title by which he is most frequently designated in the Revelation: there are at least thirty references to him under this name in the last book of the Bible. The Greek word signifies a wild beast. This name “the Beast” contrasts the Antichrist from the true Christ as “the Lamb”; and it is a significant fact that by far the great majority of passages where the Lord Jesus is so designated are also found here in the Apocalypse. The “Lamb” is the Saviour of sinners; the “Beast” is the persecutor and slayer of the saints. The “Lamb” calls attention to the gentleness of Christ; the “Beast” tells of the ferocity of the Antichrist. The “Lamb” reveals Christ as the “harmless” One (Hebrews 7:26); the “Beast” manifests the Antichrist as the cruel and heartless one. Under the Law lambs were ceremonially clean and used in sacrifice, but beasts were unclean and unfit for sacrifices.

It is a point of interest to note that there is one other very striking contrast between the persons in the Holy Trinity, and the persons in the trinity of evil. At our Lord’s baptism the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in the form of a dove, and the first mention of the Holy Spirit in Scripture represents Him as “brooding” like a dove over the waters which covered the pre-Adamic earth (Genesis 1:2). How remarkable are those symbols - a “Lamb” and a “Dove”! A Dove, not a hawk or an eagle. The gentle, harmless, cooing “dove”. Over against this the Devil is termed “the Dragon”. What a contrast - the Dove and the Lamb, the Dragon and the Beast!


“Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the Lord will abhor the Bloody and Deceitful Man” (Psalms 5:6). The Psalm from which this verse is quoted contains a prayer of the godly Jewish remnant, offered during the Tribulation period. In proof of this assertion observe that in v. 2 God is owned and addressed as “King”. In v. 7 intimation is given that the Temple has been rebuild in Jerusalem, for turning away from it when it has been defiled by “the Abomination of Desolation”, the remnant say, “But as for me I will come into Thy house in the multitude of Thy mercy: and in Thy fear will I worship toward Thy Holy Temple”. While in v. 10 we find them praying for the destruction of their enemies, which is parallel with Revelation 6:10. It is during that time the faithful remnant will exclaim, “Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the Lord will abhor the Bloody and Deceitful Man”.

The Bloody and Deceitful Man views the Antichrist in relation to the Jews. In the earlier stages of his public career he poses as their friend and benefactor. He recognizes their rights as a separate State and appears anxious to protect their autonomy. He makes a formal covenant with them (Daniel 9:27) and their peace and security seem assured. But a few years later he comes out in his true character. His fair speeches and professions of friendship are seen to be false. He breaks his covenant (Psalms 55:20) and turns upon the Jews in fury. Their benefactor is now their worst enemy. The protector of their interests now aims to cut them off from being a nation in the earth (Psalms 83:4). Thus is he rightfully denominated by them “the Bloody and Deceitful Man”.


“The Wicked (One) in his pride doth persecute the poor: the Wicked (One), through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God” (Psalms 10:2,4). This entire Psalm is about the Wicked One. The opening verse gives the key to its dispensational scope. It contains the cry of the Jewish remnant during the Tribulation period, here denominated “Times of Trouble” (cf. Jeremiah 30:7). So desperate is the situation of the true Israel, it seems as though Jehovah must have deserted them - “Why standeth Thou afar off, O Lord? Why hidest Thou Thyself in times of trouble? (v. 1). Then follows a remarkably full description of their arch-enemy, the Wicked One. His pride (v. 2), his depravity: “He abhorreth the Lord” (v. 3 margin); his blasphemy: “All his thoughts are, There is no God” (v. 4 margin); his grievous ways, (v. 5); his consuming egotism, (v. 6); his deceitfulness, (v. 7); his treachery, (v. 8); his cruelty, (vv. 9,10); his complacent pride, (v. 11), is each described. Then the Remnant cry, “Arise, O Lord; O God, lift up Thine hand: forget not the humble. Break Thou the arm of the Wicked and Evil One” (vv. 12 and 15). The whole Psalm should be carefully studied.


“To judge the fatherless and the oppressed, that the Man of the Earth may no more oppress” (Psalms 10:18). The “Wicked One” describes his character; the “Man of the Earth” defines his position. The one speaks of his awful depths of depravity; the other of his vast dominions. The sphere of his operations will be no mere local one, He will become World-emperor. He will be a king of kings and lord of lords, (Revelation 13:7). When the true Christ appeared on earth Satan offered Him “all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them” if He would fall down and worship him. When the false Christ appears, this offer will be repeated, the conditions will be met, and the tempting gift will be bestowed (Revelation 13:2). In consequence of this he shall be “the Man of the Earth”; just as later, Christ shall be “King over all the earth” (Zechariah 14:7).


“Why boasteth thou thyself in mischief, O Mighty Man” (Psalms 52:1). This is another Psalm which is devoted to a description of this fearful character. Here again we have mention of his boastfulness (v. 1), his deceitfulness (v. 2), his depravity (v. 3), his egotism (v. 4), his riches (v. 7). His doom is also announced (v. 5). This title, the Mighty Man, refers to his immense wealth and possessions, and the power which they confer upon their possessor. It also points a striking contrast: Christ was the Lowly Man, not having where to lay His head; the Antichrist will be the Mighty Man, of whom it is said, “Lo, this is the man that made not God his strength; but trusted in the abundance of his riches, and strengthened himself in his substance” (Psalms 52:7).


“Because of the voice of the Enemy, because of the oppression of the Wicked: for they cast iniquity upon me, and in wrath they hate me” (Psalms 55:3). This is another title used of the Antichrist in connection with Israel, a title which recurs several times both in the Psalms and the Prophets. It points a designed contrast from that Friend that “sticketh closer than a brother”. This Enemy of Israel oppresses them sorely. His duplicity and treachery are here referred to. Concerning him Israel shall exclaim, “The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords” (Psalms 52:21). Let the student be on the lookout for passages in the Old Testament which make mention of the Enemy.


“They said in their hearts, Let us destroy them together: they have burned up all the synagogues of God in the land. We see not our signs: there is no more any profit: neither is there any among us that knoweth how long. O God, how long shall the Adversary reproach? Shall the Enemy blaspheme Thy name forever?” (Psalms 74:8-10). This title occurs in several important passages. In Isaiah 59:19 we read, “So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, and His glory from the rising of the sun. When the Adversary shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him”. Lamentations 4:11,12 is another scripture which obviously speaks of the End-time. “The Lord hath accomplished His fury; He hath poured out His fierce anger, and hath kindled a fire in Zion, and it hath devoured the foundations thereof. The kings of the earth, and all the inhabitants of the world, would not have believed that the Adversary and the Enemy should have entered into the gates of Jerusalem”. In Amos 3:11 we read, “Therefore thus saith the Lord God; an Adversary there shall be even round about the land; and he shall bring down thy strength from thee, and thy palaces shall be spoiled”. This is a title which intimates his satanic origin, for the Greek word for Devil means adversary.


“He shall judge among the heathen, he shall fill the places with the dead bodies; he shall wound the Head over many countries” (Psalms 110:6). The context here shows that it must be the Antichrist which is in view. The Psalm opens by the Father inviting the Son to sit at His right hand until His enemies shall be made His footstool. Then follows the affirmation that Jehovah will display His strength out of Jerusalem, and make His people Israel willing in the day of His power. Then, following Jehovah’s oath that Christ is a Priest forever after the order of Melchizedek (which contemplates the exercise of His millennial and royal priesthood), we read, “The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of His wrath. He shall judge among the heathen, He shall fill the places with the dead bodies; He shall wound the Head over many countries”. The “Day of His wrath” is the closing portion of the Tribulation period, and in the Day of His wrath. He wounds this Head over many countries. The Head over many countries refers to the Man of Sin as the Caesar of the last world-empire, prior to the establishment of the Messianic Kingdom.


“Deliver me, O Lord, from the Evil Man: preserve me from the Violent Man” (Psalms 140:1). This is another Psalm which expresses the plaintive supplications of the godly remnant in the “time of Jacob’s trouble”. Three times over the Antichrist is denominated the Violent Man. In v. 1 the remnant pray to be delivered from him. In v. 4 the petition is repeated. In v. 11 his doom is foretold. Cry is made for God to take vengeance upon this bloody persecutor: “Let the burning coals fall upon them: let them be cast into the fire; into deep pits, that they rise not up again. Let not an