Before I discuss specifics of the end-times Antichrist let’s start out by clarifying that ‘anti’ means ‘opposed to’. Therefore, anything or anyone opposed to Jesus Christ is an antichrist. In 1 John 2:18 the scripture says, “… many antichrists have come”. Additionally, in 2 John 7, John writes “Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist.”
Throughout history the world has survived numerous antichrists. These people, some under the guise of religion while others represented governments scoffed at the legitimacy of Jesus Christ being the Son of God. A number of antichrists persecuted individuals who held differing religious beliefs. All were unsuccessful in trying to stamp out Christianity, terminate the Land of Israel or annihilate the Jewish race altogether. For example: Christians were used as human torches to light the pathway to Rome; thirty-eight years after the crucifixion of Christ the Roman Empire destroyed the city of Jerusalem and the Holy Temple; later the term Palestine was applied to the land of Israel for the purpose of wiping out any memory of the Holy land; after that there was a massacre of the largest Protestant group in France known as the Huguenots. In the modern world, Hitler, the Nazis, and the Holocaust were the symbol of evil as they slaughtered Jews and confiscated their property.
It is hard to imagine that any creature could be more beastly, vile, or evil than some of those listed above. Revelation 13 cites two forces of unparalleled evil that will surface during the end-times. It is important to know that John, the human author of Revelation actually saw two beasts. One coming out of the sea and the other coming out of the earth. The first Beast, the one coming out of the sea will be a government power (which I discussed in an earlier blog). He will collaborate with a religious figure, who will be The Beast coming out of the earth. His disguise as a religious leader will be vital since his intention will be to deceive the world and eventually proclaim himself to be God. (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4).
This end-times duo will be allies and wreak havoc on the inhabitants of our planet. Matthew 24:21 says, “For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now – and never to be equaled again.” This coalition of government and religion will be the most evil force the world has ever known with the Antichrist himself being the son of Satan (Isaiah 27:1, Ezekiel 28:12-19).
The only time John refers to this second creature, this person, the one coming out of the earth as a Beast is found in Revelation 13:11-14 where he writes “…he had two horns like a lamb, but he spoke like a dragon.” In John’s description, the imagery of a lamb gives the appearance of innocence, but don’t be fooled. This creature coming out of the earth will be abominable. The last part of verse 11 says, “… he spoke like a dragon” and Revelation 12:9 defines the dragon as the Devil. What we see here is the deceiver. John clarifies in Revelation 13:14 that this beast out of the earth deceived the inhabitants of the earth by performing miraculous signs.
- To be continued –