Who is the Antichrist? He’s best described as the coming man of sin or lawlessness, and the Bible tells us he will come in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power, signs and false wonder and with the deception of wickedness.
“For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.”
– 2 John 1:7
The Greek word for antichrist is antichristos, from anti- and Christos, meaning an opponent of Christ or the Messiah. By definition, anyone that opposes Christ would be an antichrist. However, the Bible speaks of one particular antichrist, a coming man of sin or lawlessness.
“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.”
–1 John 2:18
As Christ is the son of God, some early Christians believed that the Antichrist is the son of Satan. However, there is no biblical text that explicitly states this.
There have been numerous figures throughout history who have been antichrists, but not the Antichrist.
Throughout history, certain individuals have been identified with the antichrist such as Caligula, Nero, and others. Outside of the Bible, seer Nostradamus believed Napoleon and Hitler were the first two of three coming antichrists.
In the Hebrew Bible, or Old Testament, in the book of Daniel, chapter 7, the prophet speaks of the end times, where he told of a coming antichrist.
“He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, Shall persecute the saints of the Most High, And shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand For a time and times and half a time.”
– Daniel 7: 25
In the New Testament, 2 Thessalonians 2, shows us how the stage will be set for the coming of antichrist. First, there will be a great falling away from religion. From there, God will remove His restraint, which now holds back Antichrist.
Things will become challenging, and this verse encourages Christians to stay strong in their belief in the truth, the gospel, and of the son Jesus Christ and God the father.
There is a passage in the Bible that speaks of “the mystery of lawlessness” (“mystery of iniquity” in some translations). In short, what these verses are saying is that God has restrained the powers of darkness from certain activities. But there will come a time when God removes His restraint, and the evil will not be held back and the Antichrist will be revealed.
“5Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? 6And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. 7For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. 8And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. 9The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”
– 1 Thessalonians 2:5-12
These verses tell us: (6) restraint will be removed from the antichrist; (7) the preparation for the Antichrist’s coming is already at work; (8) the antichrist will be revealed, but will be destroyed by Jesus Christ; (9) the power behind the Antichrist is that of Satan, and he will have great power, beyond that of human beings; (10) those who have rejected Christ make themselves subject to deception; (11) they don’t want to believe, so God will make it even easier for them to believe lies of Antichrist; (12) those who enjoyed and embraced sin and rejected the truth will be condemned.