There shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. (Matthew 24:24; see also Mark 13:22.)
The apostle John wrote in his first epistle about antichrists:
Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. … 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 2:18,22; compare 2 John 1:7.)
Here John tells us that an “antichrist shall come” but also that there are many antichrists. According to the Bible Dictionary, an antichrist is “one who would assume the guise of Christ but in reality would be opposed to Christ . . . [or] anyone or anything that counterfeits the true gospel or plan of salvation and that openly or secretly is set up in opposition to Christ.”
It’s hard to imagine a worse kind of dishonesty. I mean, what kind of people dream these kinds of schemes up? Maybe that’s why there’s an outer darkness. No one can deal with such folks so you have to send them off to deal with themselves. The ultimate time out.
John also wrote:
And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. (1 John 4:3.)
So, if someone won’t confess that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is that the spirit of antichrist? Yes, I think it is.
While there may be many antichrists, it also appears that there will be one in particular who will get a lot of attention. Though Satan is the great antichrist, he will also promote a prominent mortal imposter.
Paul wrote to the Thessalonians of a “man of sin” who will appear sometime before the Second Coming of the Son of Man. This character is considered by many as the Antichrist.
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; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. (2 Thessalonians 2:3–4,8–10.)
In the Book of Revelation, John writes of a beast who:
Doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, and deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. (Revelation 13:11–15).
I won’t attempt here to untangle the details around this beast, or the “first beast” (v. 12), or the “false prophet” who is in partnership with the beast to deceive the world (see Revelation 16:13 and 20:10). But I will mention that the beast here spoken of is also the beast who will impose a mark of commerce (“the mark of the beast”) that I have written about earlier.
Suffice it to say that in the last days:
- There will be many who will deny Christ and the Father.
- There will also be those who pretend to be Christ or prophets.
- Among the imposters will be those who show great and deceptive signs.
- One particular double-dealer, the man of sin or, popularly, the Antichrist, will be prominent and troublesome.
- He will be in cahoots with others to deceive the world and bring them into subservience, even killing those who do not worship the image of the beast.
- This antichrist, and those who support his craft, will be consumed at Christ’s coming.
I am not asking you—not here or in any of my posts on the Second Coming—to take my word on the subject. I do encourage you, however, to be well-informed, to study the scriptures linked here, among others, and to draw your own conclusions. I don’t ever try to overinterpret the events leading up to Christ’s second advent, but I do want to know about them and understand them as best I can so that I will be ready to face them. That’s my hope for you too.