The question has lingered since the days of the Old Testament prophets: When will the Antichrist make himself known in the world?
Tens of thousands of words have been written about the individual often referred to as the “Beast,” and about the difficulties and horrors for mankind that will accompany his arrival.
In truth, all of those words must be traced back to the earliest warnings by Old Testament prophets, including Daniel, Isaiah and Ezekiel.
The subject “antichrist” is mentioned only in the first and second epistles of John: 1 John 2:18; 4:3; and 2 John 7. Interestingly, the apostle’s phraseology in the second and third verses describes “that spirit of antichrist” and that “many deceivers are entered into the world … this is a deceiver and an antichrist,” rather than a single entity.
There are those who broaden the reach of the definition of “antichrist” to include methods or systems in opposition to the Lord Jesus Christ – anyone, as one observer wrote, who deceives men by professing to serve God while at the same time denying the divine/human nature of Christ.
While that broader denotation is questioned by some, it can be traced directly back to the warning Jesus gave his disciples in the 24th chapter of Matthew: “For 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.”
Jesus cautioned about multiple charlatans, and His apostle wrote about the spirit in opposition to the Lord that would drive “many deceivers.”
As becomes more obvious with the passage of time, people are easily seduced. Of that there can be no legitimate question. A mere listing of humans and their fallacies proves that self-evident truth.
There are sports “heroes” who have behaved badly – sometimes exhibiting extreme evil. Or movie “stars” who not only embrace but advocate sinful behavior. There are “teachers” at “divinity” schools who openly promote ideas which do not agree with the Bible, the gospel of Christ, and the apostles He sent out into the world to continue His teaching. Yet all those figures, and many more, are held in giddy esteem by much of society, and elevated by media – general and social – which seems determined to undermine any moral standing remaining in our society.
Following the belief and dedication of J.R. Church, founder of Prophecy in the News,
the magazine does not adhere to or promote manmade dogma. Rather, it strives to be “originalist” – Sola Scriptura, which means the Scriptures are the primary and absolute source for doctrine – hence the consistent reliance on the King James Version of the Bible, which has for centuries been the standard, as most loyal followers of Christ agree. J.R. Church and many other learned teachers agree that nothing could be more foolish than to follow the interpretations of man. The Scriptures say so, quite clearly.
The Bible is roughly one-third prophecy if, again, one considers only the strictest definition. Yet, from the biblical perspective, no one knows, or can know the precise moment of arrival of the Antichrist. What is knowable, and evident, is that the world is already rife with deceivers – some so successful in duplicity that they are deceiving many who might be considered “the very elect.”
In his DVD presentation on the Russian Invasion of Ukraine in Bible Prophecy, Dr. Rob Lindsted, superintendent of Sunrise Christian Academy in Kansas, says he believes the stage is set for the emergence of the Antichrist.
“I’m not trying to predict who the Antichrist is, but the Bible says he is the one who will make peace with Israel. I’m just saying that there are players on the stage right now who want to fulfill that role.”
Like so many Americans, Lindsted is watching international news closely these days. Bible scholars are increasingly fascinated and anticipatory – since these wars and rumors of war could be that “beginning of sorrows” Jesus described, the “prequel” to the Tribulation.
Dr. Larry Spargimino, host of The Watchman on the Wall broadcast of Southwest Radio Church, says “there are so many individuals people have chosen, all of which seem to be likely candidates for the Antichrist. The list is growing by the day. But, whatever answer to this question we give, we need to remember these two fundamental truths: We are in the midst of spiritual warfare (Ephesians 6:12), and we are to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19-20). This is to be our focus,” Spargimino said.
Dr. Carl Baugh, founder and director of the Creation Evidence Museum in Texas, agrees. “Of course, I don’t know who the Antichrist is, but I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that he is alive now, somewhere on Earth, awaiting his time to emerge. The prophesied signs are there, and we see that more and more as the days progress. We know what the Bible says, and what to expect.”
Alan Franklin, who operates an online publication in the United Kingdom, also sees the signs of our times pointing toward a lining up of antichrist methods, and perhaps the unveiling of the individual.
“The end times world is being constructed before our eyes,” he says. “The antichrist system doesn’t appear overnight. It’s been planned since Satan deceived Eve in the garden.
“Today it is aided by bad preaching in most churches. Where are the dire warnings against ungodliness in our schools and society? The deception the Lord warned about in Matthew 24 wastes the time of believers and prevents the lost getting saved,” Franklin says.
Franklin points to popular online technology as methods of distraction potentially used as weapons by Satan, whose desire is to corrupt humanity. “He continues to follow the same strategy he used in the Garden of Eden. Satan’s goal is to distract. The first step in Satan’s nefarious bid to steal the Earth from mankind began by distracting God’s children and sowing doubt in their minds about God’s truth,” Franklin says.
“A distracted generation can’t easily think critically. …This ever-connected generation is losing in-person human relationships causing … increasingly homebound, jobless, lonely, lethargic, physically weakened and depressed” people who are much more likely to be taking painkillers and even contemplating suicide, Franklin says.
In their book Antichrist and the Final Solution, Dr. Thomas Horn and Terry James echo Jesus’ warning, and that of the Apostle Peter about the reality of the power of evil, noting that, when the time comes, “Satan and his fallen angels can manipulate natural matter to produce phenomena that mankind perceives to be miraculous activity.”
When all the players are arrayed, Lindsted says the Antichrist will want a “great reset. We are set up for the New World Order because most of the world leadership is weak. Even though, we have a person like Putin who seems strong, he is a madman. He wants power and he wants money. You might say he already has power and money, but he wants more. The Antichrist will use someone like this to facilitate his plans.”
In their book, Horn and James draw a comparison to a similar figure, the former corporal – a decorated soldier in World War 1 – who rose to a position of unequaled power in the postwar years.
“German führer Adolf Hitler had his close associate, chief propagandist Joseph Goebbels. The Third Reich and the Final Solution flowed as much from the demon-directed mind of Goebbels as from the satanic evil that infected his earthly master’s brain and soul. Together they set off on their hellish mission to enslave the world within the Nazi dictatorship. …This time it will be worse than Hitler’s Holocaust. Much, much worse,” they wrote.
Nearly a century has passed since Hitler commenced his political rise, reaching the position of chancellor – second only to then-President Paul von Hindenburg, the greatly respected former field marshal who was the best known German soldier – and then becoming dictator after Hindenburg’s death.
It is reasonable that people living and watching in 1943 would have wondered if Hitler could have been the Antichrist. Yet he was surpassed on the world stage by Stalin and Mao, who were even more formidable murderers in the Soviet Union and Communist China respectively, based on the staggering number of their own people they killed.
Horn and James wrote that “future despots will captivate a world with their blasphemous rhetoric. They will be supernaturally endowed with the ability to seduce most of the world’s population. Their powers will come from their father, the devil.
“The man who will be the world’s last and most vicious tyrant is perhaps even now waiting in the shadows just beyond the spotlight’s circle,” they wrote.
In the seventh chapter, the prophet Daniel famously gave an early foretelling of the arrival of the beasts, and what would occur during the hideous, but brief reign of Satan and his evil minions upon the Earth.
But perhaps the most sobering description of all was the Revelation of Jesus Christ, given to the venerable Apostle John, late in his life, which had been filled with learning from and experiences with the Savior:
And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.
2 And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.
3 And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.
4 And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?
5 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.
6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.
7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
Spargimino points out the importance of comprehending symbolism in prophesy.
“The original-language word for ‘Beast’ is therion – a word that can be used to describe a wild animal, or even a savage and dangerous man. We need to remember that during the Tribulation people will be terrorized by calamitous events – war, famine, pandemics and earthquakes. It is hard to imagine that people will follow the leadership of an individual who fits the description of a ‘beast.’
“At the point of the Antichrist’s emergence his work, initially, will be much more effectively done if he looks like a ‘routine’ human. The word ‘Beast’ more aptly describes his character and the end result of his ministry, but not his personal appearance. Upon his emergence he will operate by deceit and convince the Jews that he is a friend. I believe he will even allow the Jews to re-establish their temple and its ceremonies. Revelation 11:1-2 describes the Tribulation Temple. As in Daniel 9:27, I doubt if the Jews will sign a ‘covenant’ with a hideous beast,” Spargimino says.
Years earlier, Church said “The beast that comes out of the sea becomes a world power, he takes over the entire world. The Antichrist is head of this one-world government and he is given power to make war with the saints. I think this refers to the tribulation saints, to the Jews in particular.”
Horn and James believe “we are currently in a lull God has graciously granted just before the prophesied end-of-time storm that will devastate a wrath-deserving generation. Even so, a brisk wind is already snapping the flag of warning that apocalypse approaches.”
Spargimino says, amidst the uncertainty and apprehension about the future, there is a consolation for the faithful. “I don’t believe that Christians living today will have to deal with the Antichrist. However, after the rapture of the Church, ‘Tribulation saints’ – Christians who are converted to Christ and are on Earth during the Tribulation (Revelation 7:9-10) – will indeed face great persecution instigated by the Antichrist.
“During this seven-year Tribulation period conditions will deteriorate. Indeed, the last three and a half years will be ‘hell on Earth.’ People will be terrified by unusual signs in the sky, ‘and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear…’ (Luke 21:25-26).
“People will be desperate and will look for a ‘Savior.’
The Antichrist will have enough ‘lying wonders’ so that people will believe literally ‘the lie,’ – as Paul wrote in 2 Thessalonians 2:9-11– that the Antichrist is the true ‘Savior,’ ” Spargimino said.
For all believers, Bible-based teaching remains of the utmost importance, along with the growing concern that it can, and will be heard.
“Noah preached judgment for 120 years, but no one listened. Is anyone listening now?” Lindsted asks.
“God has given us all these headlines because something is going on. What we are watching is a setup for an Antichrist to come. I don’t think Mr. Putin is the Antichrist. I think the Antichrist will use Mr. Putin, because Mr. Putin thinks he is the smartest man on the Earth, but there is going to be one smarter than him and Satan is going to indwell him,” Lindsted said.
Baugh sums up the situation succinctly: “Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus,” he says, quoting the Apostle John at the close of the Revelation. “Nothing is more important than that we be ready.”