The Antichrist (about the Antichrist)
About The Antichrist
The “man of lawlessness” noted in 2 Thessalonians 2, above, bears the name “Antichrist” in First and Second John. Antichrist is one of the most key players on Earth during the Great Tribulation, playing an important role as an agent of Satan. And, although Antichrist is a being of satanic origins and purpose, he is also used of God to bring judgment to the Earth and to unfold God’s foretold plans among the nations.
As his name indicates, the Antichrist will appear as a divine entity, doing miraculous things, even being resurrected. He is of Satan, not God, and is not divine, but he is a great deceiver and will proclaim himself to be Divine and will exalt himself as God. While some people have difficulty with the idea of a being having supernatural powers, biblical theology teaches that Satan and the angelic realm are created on a higher order than that of man. As such, they have powers beyond those of man, yet are not divine. They are created beings, lower than the creator himself.
To that end, Antichrist is a false Christ in every way, all the way down to his supernatural incarnation (which we will get to later), and will make his life word the deception of as many as possible.
An early biblical description of Antichrist’s campaign is seen in the book of Daniel. In chapter 9, which will be studied later, a picture is given of Antichrist’s role in the Tribulation.
Daniel 9:24-27 (NIV) 24 “Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy.
25 “Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’ It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble. 26 After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed. 27 He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing [of the temple] he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him”.
The term “sevens” is likened to the term “dozen.” It means a “seven” of something, as “dozen” means twelve of something. And like using the term “dozen,” the only way to determine what the “seven” is of, is the context from which one speaks. In the context of Daniel’s writing, he has been speaking in terms of years. Thus a “seven” in this context is a seven of years.
Daniel begins in verse 25 with “seven sevens,” or 49 years. 49 years, or the first seven sevens, was described as the time taken to rebuild Jerusalem after the decree was issued to do so.
Daniel follows with “sixty two sevens,” or 434 years in verse 25 as the time from the completion of the rebuilding of Jerusalem until the Messiah would come.
Following the sixty two sevens a break is observed in the text:
26 After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed.
At this point, the “Anointed One,” Jesus, is “cut off,” which refers to his crucifixion. It is at this time that the first reference to Antichrist is observed:
The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary.
This phrase bears two important notices concerning Antichrist. First, it speaks of a ruler “who will come” at this future point in history. This ruler does not come immediately, but after a break, which is described next. This ruler is understood from a systematic study of scripture to be the Antichrist. As this work continues, it will be seen that this ruler fits the description of Antichrist in New Testament references.
Secondly, this phrase notes that Antichrist is of the same people as those whom will destroy the city, or Jerusalem. Jerusalem was destroyed in AD 70, 434 years after it was rebuilt, by Rome. Therefore, Rome is the people of “the ruler who will come,” which demands that the Antichrist will be of Roman descent. While it is increasingly difficult to determine Roman descent in modern times, still this clue to Antichrist’s heritage is given and should be considered when attempting to reveal Antichrist’s identity.
Verse 26 then states “War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed.”
This sentence stands alone in the series of sevens. It is not part of the former seven, but refers to a period which connects the sixty two sevens from the last seven. It is a break in the timeline determining the state of Israel between the last two groupings of sevens. Consequently, Israel has not had peace from the time of the destruction of the city to this very day. Fighting in the Gaza strip is a normal condition of life. Attacks by Hezbollah and other terrorist groups are continual; so much so that life in Israel will hardly give pause after a suicide bombing or direct military attack.
War continuing until “the end” refers, of course, to the end of the story, or the end of times, when “desolations have been decreed” and God is ready to put the end time wheels into motion and begin the last seven of the series.
With the ending of the break and the beginning of the final seven, the last seven years of life in this age begin with Antichrist playing his very important role.
Verse 27 describes the final seven:
“He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing [of the temple] he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him”.
“He,” or Antichrist, is one and the same as the “beast” of the book of Revelation, and the final seven is the final seven years of life on Earth prior to the Millennial Reign of Christ. Daniel only shows a glimpse of Antichrist’s program in this text, yet it is clear that he is a key player, having the authority to halt temple worship and exalt himself as God in the temple. These actions will be demonstrated in detail later in this work, but for now, as an introduction to Antichrist it should be observed that his is a person of great political and religious relevance in the Great Tribulation. He will exalt himself to the highest possible positions in both realms. Politically, he will essentially be the king of the world, while religiously he will exalt and proclaim himself to be the very God of Heaven. His title of Antichrist, indeed, is very fitting; for he is everything which is opposed to the legitimate Christ, all the while imitating Christ’s program through counterfeit measures in an attempt to gain the trust and worship of the Earth.