Few topics have provoked as much thought and speculation through the centuries like the Antichrist. People have searched for the identity of the Antichrist throughout history. Several people have been identified as the Antichrist. Recently George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Pope Francis have all been mentioned as a possibility of being the Antichrist. Antiochus Epiphanes, Nero, Mussolini, Franklin Roosevelt, Stalin and Hitler were all considered candidates to be the Antichrist. The Bible never identifies who the Antichrist will be. I am going to share a few blogs on the subject of the Antichrist. You need to understand I believe in a pre-tribulation rapture of the church. I believe the church will be taken from the earth before the tribulation period begins. This tribulation period will be marked by the rule of the Antichrist over the earth. Consider a few things about the Antichrist.
1. He is considered the seed of Satan.
Following the fall of man in the Garden God makes a prophecy concerning the future of Satan. God says to the serpent (Satan) in Genesis 3:15 “I will put hostility between you and the woman and between your seed and her seed. He will strike your head and you will strike his heel.” Genesis 3:15 is known as the “protoevangelium,” which is Latin for the “First Gospel.” In this verse it is prophesied that Satan will bruise the seed of Eve. This is an unusual statement for women do not have a seed. In procreation men plant a seed not women. The seed of woman is a reference to the virgin birth of Jesus. Jesus was born of a woman but not a man for God was His Father. Satan bruised Jesus’ heel at the crucifixion but with the resurrection Jesus crushed Satan’s head. So we see in this verse the first presentation of the Gospel.
In this “protoevangelium” we are introduced to Satan’s seed. Satan has always tried to counterfeit everything God does. Satan will produce a counterfeit messiah that the world will follow during the tribulation period. This counterfeit messiah, the Antichrist, is the seed of Satan.
2. He has several names in the Bible.
He is called the Antichrist but not much. John is the only writer to use the name Antichrist. One verse where John uses this name is I John 2:18 “Children, it is the last hour and as you have heard “Antichrist is coming.”
He is called the “little horn” in Daniel 7:8 and 8:9. He is called “the king” in Daniel 11:36-45. II Thessalonians 2:3-8 calls him “that man of sin,” “the son of perdition” and “that wicked one.” Revelation 13:1 calls him “the beast out of the sea.”
3. The Antichrist is already working in this world.
I John 4:3 says “And every spirit that confesses not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is the spirit of Antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and now already is it in the world.”
John teaches us that the Antichrist will come. This is making reference to the tribulation when the Antichrist comes and rules the world. However, John says the Antichrist is already working in the world. This evil one no doubt is busy working all kinds of evil in the world. However, the primary goal of his current work is to lead others to deny Christ has come.
4. We have the comfort that the Antichrist is being restrained at this moment.
The thought of Satan’s seed, the Antichrist, already working in the world can be intimidating. The Bible is clear that he is being restrained by the Holy Spirit of God. Read II Thessalonians 2:6, 7, “And you know what currently restrains him so that he will be revealed in his time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; but the one now restraining will do so until he is out of the way.”
These verses teach that the Holy Spirit is restraining the Antichrist at this moment and will do so until the Holy Spirit is taken away and then the Antichrist will be free to exalt himself as ruler of the world. In my opinion, this removal of the Holy Spirit from the world takes place with the rapture of the church as described in I Thessalonians 4:13-18. When this happens the Antichrist will be free to work all of his evil plans.
Soon I will share more of what the Bible says about the Antichrist.