Who is the Antichrist?--by Timothy A. Southall
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Who do you think the antichrist is?  Some think the antichrist  will come in the end of the age and rule the earth before Jesus Christ returns.  One ought not confuse the antichrist in 1 John and 2 John with the beast in the book of Revelation.  Contrary to popular belief, the antichrist is not mentioned in Revelation.

What most people often refer to as “the antichrist” is actually termed “the beast” in the Bible.  The antichrist is mentioned in the Bible four times.  The beast is mentioned in the book of Revelation 39 times (Revelation 11:7; Revelation 13:1-18; Revelation 14:9-11; Revelation 15:2; Revelation 16:2-13; Revelation 17:3-17; Revelation 19:19-20; Revelation 20:4-10).  Naturally, the beast is an antichrist.  But as the apostle John teaches us, the antichrist is already here.  And we should not ignore that fact, or else we are placing ourselves in spiritual danger.

The beast is to come, but the antichrist is already here.  The word “antichrist” is translated from the Greek word “antichristos,” and it means literally “against Christ” or “instead of Christ.”

Where is the antichrist mentioned in the Bible?  All four of the scriptures which mention the antichrist were written by the apostle John.  They are found in 1 John and 2 John.  Two of the scriptures assure us that, even though some may say the antichrist is yet to come, it is already here:

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 NIV)

This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.  (1 John 4:2-3 NIV)

The two remaining scriptures which mention the antichrist identify it for us:
Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist--he denies the Father and the Son.  (1 John 2:22 NIV)
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.  (2 John 7 NIV)
The antichrist is simply anyone who doesn't acknowledge Jesus to be the Christ. The antichrist is already here.  It has been around since the first century A.D., and it will be here until the end.  How can you be on your guard watching for the antichrist to come, when it is already here?  You probably know the antichrist.  The antichrist is  the grandmother down the street, neighbors, relatives, politicians, etc. who don't believe Jesus is the Christ.  This is what the Bible tells us.

Just like the early church, we are still being told the antichrist is to come, but it is already here.  The apostle John was the author of the books of John, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, and Revelation.  If there were two different authors for the books of John and Revelation, then we might think that the two different authors were simply calling the same thing by different names.  However, this cannot be the case, since the same John authored the books of John and the book of Revelation.  Therefore, we can conclude that there must be a difference between the "antichrist" and the "beast."   We must stay watchful at all times for not only the beast who is to come but also for the antichrist who is already here.

Copyright © 1998 Timothy A. Southall.  All rights reserved.
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