Antichrist

1 John 2:18,22; 1 John 2:19; 1 John 4:3; John 1:7; Revelation 17-18; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-12; Revelation 13:11-18; John 5:43; Revelation 13:1; Revelation 16:13-16; Revelation 19:20; Revelation 20:10; Daniel 11:36-39; Genesis 49:17; Zechariah 11:15-17; 1 John 4:1
The name ἀντἰχριστος signifies an opposer of Christ. It is used only by John in his first and second epistles, though those opposed to Christ are referred to by others under different names. It is important to distinguish between an antichrist and the antichrist. John says, “as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists”; whereas “he is the antichrist that denieth the Father and the Son” (1 John 2:18,2218Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. (1 John 2:18)
22Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. (1 John 2:22)
). He is the consummation of the many antichrists. To deny Jesus Christ come in the flesh is the spirit or power of the antichrist, but it eventuates in a departure from the special revelation of Christianity: “they went out from us” (1 John 2:1919They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. (1 John 2:19); 1 John 4:33And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. (1 John 4:3); John 1:77The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. (John 1:7)). Now this clears the ground at once of much that has obscured the subject. For instance, many have concluded that Popery is the antichrist, and have searched no farther into the question, whereas the above passage refutes this conclusion, for Popery does not deny the Father and the Son; and, in Revelation 17-18, Popery is pointed out as quite distinct from “the false prophet,” which is another name for the antichrist. It is fully granted that Popery is antichristian, and a Christ dishonouring and soul-deceiving system; but where God has made a distinction we must also do so. Besides Popery there were and there are many antichrists, which, whatever their pretensions, are the enemies of Christ, opposers of the truth, and deceivers of man.
As to the Antichrist, it should be noticed that John makes another distinction between this one and the many. He speaks of the many as being already there, whereas the one was to come; and if we turn to 2 Thessalonians 2:3-123Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 4Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. 5Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? 6And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. 7For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. 8And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: 9Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2 Thessalonians 2:3‑12) we read of something or someone that hinders that wicked or lawless one being revealed, although the mystery of iniquity was already at work. Now there has been no change of dispensation since this epistle was written, and John wrote much later, from which we learn that the revelation of the antichrist is still future, though doubtless the mystery of iniquity is getting ripe for his appearing; that which hindered and still hinders the manifestation of the antichrist is doubtless the presence of the Holy Spirit on earth. He will leave the earth at the rapture of the saints.
This passage in Thessalonians gives us further particulars as to this MAN OF SIN. His coming is after the working of Satan, that is, he will be a confederate of Satan, and be able to work signs and lying wonders with all deceit of unrighteousness in them that perish. Those that have refused the truth will then receive the lie of this wicked one. We get further particulars in Revelation 13:11-1811And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. 12And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. 13And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, 14And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. 15And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. 16And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: 17And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. 18Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six. (Revelation 13:11‑18), where the antichristian power or kingdom is described as a beast rising out of the earth, having two horns as a lamb, but speaking as a dragon. Here again we read that he will do great wonders, making fire come down from heaven, with other signs or miracles.
In the description in Thessalonians he opposeth himself against all that is called God or that is worshipped, and sits down in the temple of God, and sets forth himself as God. The Jews will receive him as their Messiah, as we read in John 5:4343I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive. (John 5:43). In the above passage in the Revelation this counterfeit of Christ’s kingdom is openly idolatrous. He directs the dwellers on the earth to make an image of the beast (named in Revelation 13:11And 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. (Revelation 13:1), the future head of the resuscitated Roman empire) to which image he gives breath, that it should speak, and persecutes those who will not worship the image. He also causes all to receive a mark on their hand or their forehead that they may be known to be his followers; and that none else should be able to buy or sell. We thus see that in the Revelation the antichristian power called also “the false prophet” will work with the political head, and with Satan — a trinity of evil — not only in deceiving mankind, but also, in Revelation 16:13-1613And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. 14For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. 15Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. 16And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon. (Revelation 16:13‑16), gathering together by their influence the kings of the earth to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. The three are cast into the lake of fire. (Rev. 19:2020And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. (Revelation 19:20); Rev. 20:1010And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. (Revelation 20:10)).
In the Old Testament we get still another character of this wicked one. In Daniel 11:36-3936And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done. 37Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all. 38But in his estate shall he honor the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honor with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things. 39Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain. (Daniel 11:36‑39) he is called “king.” Here he exalts himself and speaks marvelous things against the God of gods. He will not regard the God of his fathers (pointing out that he will be a descendant of Israel, probably from the tribe of Dan, compare Gen. 49:1717Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that biteth the horse heels, so that his rider shall fall backward. (Genesis 49:17)), nor “the desire of women” (That is the Messiah, of whom every Jewess hoped to be the mother): he exalts himself above all. Here again he is an idolater, honoring a god that his fathers knew not. In Zechariah 11:15-1715And the Lord said unto me, Take unto thee yet the instruments of a foolish shepherd. 16For, lo, I will raise up a shepherd in the land, which shall not visit those that be cut off, neither shall seek the young one, nor heal that that is broken, nor feed that that standeth still: but he shall eat the flesh of the fat, and tear their claws in pieces. 17Woe to the idol shepherd that leaveth the flock! the sword shall be upon his arm, and upon his right eye: his arm shall be clean dried up, and his right eye shall be utterly darkened. (Zechariah 11:15‑17) he is referred to as the foolish and idol shepherd, who cares not for the flock, in opposition to the Lord Jesus the good Shepherd.
This man of sin will “do according to his own will” — just what the natural man ever seeks to do. In contrast to this the blessed Lord was obedient, and came not to do His own will. May His saints be ever on the watch against the many false prophets in the world, 1 John 4:11Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. (1 John 4:1), and be loyal to their absent Lord, behold His beauty in the sanctuary, and reproduce Him more down here in their earthen vessels.