by Matt Slick
The term antichrist is only found in the Epistles of John (1 John 2:18, 22; 4:3; 2 John 1:7). The antichrist is the one who opposes Christ and thus God. The antichrist is an eschatological (end times) person who will appear and deceive countless people near the time of Christ's return. The antichrist is associated with Satan and will be aided by demonic forces in his unholy movement against God and in his attempt to rule the nations of the world. Most scholars agree that the antichrist will claim to be God and will rule many nations in Europe and bring the world to the brink of destruction.
Paul does not use the term "antichrist." Instead, he uses the term "man of lawlessness" in 2 Thess. 2:3 to describe an evil person who will stand in great opposition to God and His people. Paul speaks regarding the Day of the Lord . . .
"Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 4who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God," (2 Thess. 2:3-4).
There are Old Testament references to the antichrist though the terms "antichrist" and "man of lawlessness" are not used. Instead, "the little horn" and "worthless shepherd" are used as they prophesy his arrival.
- Dan.7:8,21, "While I was contemplating the horns, behold, another horn, a little one, came up among them, and three of the first horns were pulled out by the roots before it; and behold, this horn possessed eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth uttering great boasts . . . 21 I kept looking, and that horn was waging war with the saints and overpowering them."
- Zech. 11:17, "Woe to the worthless shepherd who leaves the flock! A sword will be on his arm and on his right eye! His arm will be totally withered, and his right eye will be blind."
From the Zechariah passage and the one found in Rev. 13:2, 3, some theologians believe that the antichrist will suffer a head wound that will be fatal.
"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 And 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," (Rev. 13:2-3).
But, like the devil who imitates the truth in order to deceive, the antichrist will rise from the dead. His resurrection will be assisted by Satan. However, he will retain his wounds. His right arm will be withered, and he will be blind in his right eye.
"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 And 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," (Rev. 13:2, 3).
The Spirit of Antichrist
The term "antichrist" is also used to describe a spiritual condition. In other words, it is descriptive of those people who oppose the true God.
"Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have arisen; from this we know that it is the last hour . . . 22 Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son," (1 John 2:18, 22).
In 1 John 4:3 John says that all who do not confess Jesus are of the spirit of the antichrist, "and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; and this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world."