We often hear the word "antichrist" from the lips of end-time preachers. There are many suggestions as to who this "man" is and where he will come from. Some have even named individuals whom they believe will be this great end-time deceiver.
John referred to false teachers as "antichrists" in 1 John 2:18-22, saying that it was the last days and that many antichrists had arisen. These antichrist false teachers had once been among John and the others, but not having true faith in Christ had left. John told the faithful: "And ye have an anointing from the Holy One, and ye know all things." True believers and all true teachers have the Holy Spirit. They know the Truth, and they speak only Truth. John wanted his "little children" to understand how the antichrist "liars" were denying [Greek: rejecting]1 both the Father and Jesus the Messiah.
John again referred to antichrist in Second John 7: "For many deceivers are gone forth into the world, even they that confess not that Jesus Christ cometh in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist." The antichrist "teachers" will never teach the real reason Jesus came. Today, there are those who have become apostate preachers. They name the Name of Christ but do not truly know Him—and are spreading their antichrist “gospel” to the masses who have itching ears.
The afore-mentioned verses from First and Second John are the only places where the word "antichrist" can be found. The book of Revelation speaks of a "beast" as well as a "false prophet,"2 and the book of Daniel uses the term "abomination that desolates."3 Paul the Apostle spoke of the "son of perdition." Even though there is no direct reference stating that antichrist is also the "beast," the "abomination of desolation" and the "son of perdition," it is often assumed that such is the case.
"Abomination of desolation" is a term Jesus used in Matthew 24:15 and Mark 13:14. Matthew recorded Jesus' words: "And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. Therefore when you see the 'abomination of desolation,' spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (whoever reads, let him understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains." (Matthew 24:14-16 NKJV). According to the Hebrew language, the "abomination of desolation" means the "idolatrousness that stupefies."4
Using Hollywood-style theatrics, man of flesh has portrayed an "antichrist" as a powerful, evil man using man-made weapons in his bid to bring people under his control. There WILL be a beast and, without question, his greatest control will be through lying signs and wonders with power from Satan. Revelation 13:18 tells us to "count the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man."
The word "beast" could well have been used to describe (human) creatures of flesh in two places in the New Testament. The first passage was where Peter was speaking of false prophets in the last days: "But these, as creatures without reason, born mere animals to be taken and destroyed, railing in matters whereof they are ignorant, shall in their destroying surely be destroyed." (2 Peter 2:12). In the second passage, and using similar strong words, Jude is speaking of the same false prophets who would come: "But these rail at whatsoever things they know not: and what they understand naturally, like the creatures without reason, in these things they are destroyed." (Jude 10).
False prophets are "religious impostors" according to the Greek dictionary. Any person preaching or teaching a gospel other than the true Gospel of Jesus Christ is a religious impostor.5 He understands according to the flesh (naturally), and will be destroyed like any other "creature without reason."
Religious impostors will also include those who are yet flesh, and have allowed other anti-Christ spirits to operate through them. These anti-Christ spirits may be the Jezebel spirit, and religious and controlling spirits--a mere sampling of all that the devil has equipped to do his bidding.
Son of perdition - the lawless one
Paul told the Thessalonians that they should not let any man deceive them, for Jesus will not return until after the falling away [Greek: defection from truth, apostasy]6 and the man of sin is revealed. Paul tells how this "son of perdition" "opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God." (2 Thessalonians 2:4 NKJV).
There is a direct link between the earthly, apostate man and the man of sin--the son of perdition--who is full of that anti-Christ spirit. The word "antichrist" means "opponent of Messiah."7 Because Messiah came to free man from the flesh, it should be obvious that antichrist would promote bondage to flesh. I believe this spirit of antichrist has set himself up in man's spirit--the temple intended for the Spirit of God--and has caused men and women, young and old, to oppose Messiah through the efforts of flesh and self (some call it "serving God"). How many are there today who have antichrist's spirit, but because they are yet flesh, "feel" they have Christ's Spirit?
The day of which Paul spoke is coming soon when the "lawless one" will be revealed for what he is. He will be powerless in the presence of Jesus, the One whose very breath will consume His opponent and destroy him with the brightness of His coming. Second Thessalonians 2:9 tells us that the lawless one is coming "according to the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders." The lawless one—a flesh-driven man--has received power from Satan to manifest deceitful signs and wonders that mislead those who did not love the truth. "And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure [approved of]8 in unrighteousness." (2 Thessalonians 2:11-12 NKJV).
How many "anointed" signs in the apostate church are "the working of Satan?" How many Christians "approve of the way of unrighteousness" out of ignorance? Has God already sent the "strong delusion," causing them to believe the lie so that they would be condemned?
We are living in extremely dangerous times, when counterfeit anointing is rampant. Unless we daily deny self in complete and humble surrender to the Holy Spirit, we most surely will be deceived. The danger we face is not some man, but a deceiving anti-Christ spirit that will stupefy us into submission to the working of Satan, the father of lies and power behind the antichrist.
Will we take up our cross [Greek: exposure to death, self-denial]9 and follow the true Christ? Jesus said, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it." (Luke 9:23-24 NKJV).
1. Greek #720
2. Revelation 20:10
3. Daniel 11:31
4. Hebrews #8251, 8074
5. Greek #5578
6. Greek #646
7. Greek #500
8. Greek #2106
9. Greek #4716