Category: Who is Satan?


  First John 2:18 speaks of the Antichrist: “Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour.” The specific term antichrist is used seven times in Scripture, twice here in 1 John 2:18 and also in 1 John 2:22; 4:3; and twice 2 John 7. So, what is this Antichrist that the apostle John refers to?

The meaning of the term antichrist is simply “against Christ.” As the apostle John records in First and Second John, an antichrist denies the Father and the Son (1 John 2:22), does not acknowledge Jesus (1 John 4:3), and denies that Jesus came in the flesh (2 John 1:7). There have been many “antichrists,” as 1 John 2:18 states. But there is also coming the Antichrist.

Most Bible prophecy/eschatology experts believe the Antichrist will be the ultimate embodiment of what it means to be against Christ. In the end times/last hour, a man will arise to oppose Christ and His followers more than anyone else in history. Likely claiming to be the true Messiah, the Antichrist will seek world domination and will attempt to destroy all followers of Jesus Christ and the nation of Israel.

Other biblical references to the Antichrist include the following:

The imposing, boastful king of Daniel 7 who oppresses the Jews and tries to “change the set times and the laws” (verse 25).

The leader who establishes a 7-year covenant with Israel and then breaks it in Daniel 9.

The king who sets up the abomination of desolation in Mark 13:14 (cf. Daniel 9:27).

The man of lawlessness in 2 Thessalonians 2:1–12.

The rider on a white horse (representing his claim to be a man of peace) in Revelation 6:2.

The first beast—the one from the sea—in Revelation 13. This beast receives power from the dragon (Satan) and speaks “proud words and blasphemies” (verse 5) and wages war against the saints (verse 7).

Thankfully, the Antichrist/beast, along with his false prophet, will be thrown into the lake of fire, where they will spend all eternity in torment (Revelation 19:20; 20:10).

What is the Antichrist? In summary, the Antichrist is the end-times false messiah who seeks, and likely achieves, world domination so that he can destroy Israel and all followers of Jesus Christ.

Advertisements

There is much speculation about the identity of the Antichrist. Some of the more popular targets are Vladimir Putin, Prince William, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and Pope Francis I. In the United States, former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, and current President Barack Obama, are the most frequent candidates. So, who is the Antichrist, and how will we recognize him?

The Bible really does not say anything specific about where the Antichrist will come from. Many Bible scholars speculate that he will come from a confederacy of ten nations and/or a reborn Roman empire (Daniel 7:24-25; Revelation 17:7). Others see him as having to be a Jew in order to claim to be the Messiah. It is all just speculation since the Bible does not specifically say where the Antichrist will come from or what race he will be. One day, the Antichrist will be revealed. Second Thessalonians 2:3-4 tells us how we will recognize the Antichrist: “Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.”

It is likely that most people who are alive when the Antichrist is revealed will be very surprised at his identity. The Antichrist may or may not be alive today. Martin Luther was convinced that the pope in his time was the Antichrist. During the 1940’s, many believed Adolph Hitler was the Antichrist. Others who have lived in the past few hundred years have been equally sure as to the identity of the Antichrist. So far, they have all been incorrect. We should put the speculations behind us and focus on what the Bible actually says about the Antichrist. Revelation 13:5-8 declares, “The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise his authority for forty-two months. He opened his mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven. He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them. And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world.”

 People’s beliefs concerning Satan range from the silly to the  abstract—from a little red guy with horns who sits on your shoulder urging you  to sin, to an expression used to describe the personification of evil. The  Bible, however, gives us a clear portrait of who Satan is and how he affects our  lives. Put simply, the Bible defines Satan as an angelic being who fell from his  position in heaven due to sin and is now completely opposed to God, doing all in  his power to thwart God’s purposes.

Satan was created as a holy angel.  Isaiah 14:12 possibly gives  Satan’s pre-fall name as Lucifer. Ezekiel  28:12-14 describes Satan as having been created a cherubim, apparently the  highest created angel. He became arrogant in his beauty and status and decided  he wanted to sit on a throne above that of God (Isaiah  14:13-14; Ezekiel  28:15; 1 Timothy  3:6). Satan’s pride led to his fall. Notice the many “I will” statements in  Isaiah  14:12-15. Because of his sin, God barred Satan from heaven.

Satan  became the ruler of this world and the prince of the power of the air (John 12:31; 2  Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians  2:2). He is an accuser (Revelation  12:10), a tempter (Matthew 4:31  Thessalonians 3:5), and a deceiver (Genesis 3; 2  Corinthians 4:4; Revelation  20:3). His very name means “adversary” or “one who opposes.” Another of his  titles, the devil, means “slanderer.”

Even though he was cast out of  heaven, he still seeks to elevate his throne above God. He counterfeits all that  God does, hoping to gain the worship of the world and encourage opposition to  God’s kingdom. Satan is the ultimate source behind every false cult and world  religion. Satan will do anything and everything in his power to oppose God and  those who follow God. However, Satan’s destiny is sealed—an eternity in the lake  of fire (Revelation  20:10).