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Just what do you mean "Antichrist"

Few religious topics are as misunderstood as this.
Read here an eye-opening explanation of the real meaning of "Antichrist."


YOU HAVE heard their names: Nero. Mohammed. Emperor Frederick II. Pope John XXII. Martin Luther. Hitler. Stalin. Mussolini.

All these individuals have had one thing in common.

In their days, they were all branded with the odious, fear-inspiring title ANTICHRIST! Dozens of others throughout the past two millennia have equally shared this dubious distinction.

Obviously they cannot all be the Antichrist. Or can they?

Who — or what — is "the Antichrist"? Why do so many ministers today warn of Antichrist, yet misunderstand who or what this personage is? What does the Bible say about this mysterious figure?


Confusion in Film

Nowhere is the widespread contemporary confusion over these questions more blatantly in evidence than in the recent motion picture titled The Final Conflict.

The Final Conflict is the third and final installment of the Omen trilogy. This is a series of three motion pictures purporting to trace the birth, childhood and rise to power of the Antichrist. The events in these films appear to the public in the guise of Bible prophecy.

In the Omen story, the Antichrist is named Damien Thorn. Thorn has a bizarre genealogy — he is the offspring of Satan. Etched on his scalp is the so-called birthmark of the devil: 666.

A problem child, Damien spent his younger years plotting the violent demises of his parents, assorted relatives, tutors, household servants, priests, newspaper reporters and the like.

' As an adult, Thorn has become politically ambitious. As The Final Conflict opens, we find Thorn at the head of the biggest multinational corporation in the world. His ultimate goal is world rulership.

Thorn is fully aware of his satanic identity.”I stand before you in the name of the one true god, Lord of the Lower Empire," he tells his disciples, "who was cast out of heaven but is alive in me."

Thorn seems on his way to the top. But one obstacle stands in his way. That obstacle is described in the book of Hebron, which we are told is "one of the obscure books of the Apocrypha" (so obscure it doesn't exist — editor). This ancient volume is said to reveal that Jesus Christ is to be reborn as a human child somewhere in England!

Thorn must kill this returned Christ Child — or be destroyed by Him.”Slay the Nazarene and I reign forever. Fail and I perish," he declares.

The exact hour of Jesus' 20th-century rebirth is supposedly revealed by an astrological source, an alignment of three stars (called the Trinity Alignment) in the constellation of Cassiopeia.

In the role of a modern Herod, Thorn proceeds to have his evil agents round up all birth certificates for that day. Male children born at the revealed time are then systematically exterminated, to be absolutely certain the reborn Jesus is eliminated. (But the baby Jesus is born among gypsies, and he has no birth certificate!)

Meanwhile, the fate of the world depends on a priest and six monks. They alone, we are told, can foil the evil plans of Thorn. The Holy Child will not be totally safe and secure until the Antichrist is dead.

There is only one way the Antichrist can be killed. He must be stabbed with one of the seven ancient daggers of Megiddo. One by one, however, the monks die in their attempts to skewer Thorn.

In the end, the "final conflict" of Good and Evil takes place in a lonely Celtic chapel. Damien Thorn is killed by a woman BBC correspondent, who stabs him in the back with one of the seven magical daggers.

The Holy Child is now safe. Good triumphs over Evil. A new era dawns.


Fiction not Fact!

How much, do you suppose, of the above scenario is actually found in Bible prophecy? All of it? Half of it? None of it?

Do you know?

It is to be hoped that even the most biblically illiterate moviegoers are perceptive enough not to mistake the imaginative concoctions of Hollywood for literal biblical truth. Filmmakers have a well-known and well-deserved reputation for bizarre renderings of Scripture.

And, it seems, most preachers are equally confused.

Do you know what the Bible really says about the Antichrist? You may be surprised!

To begin with, the Bible never once speaks of the Antichrist! However, the word antichrist does appear in Scripture. This word — meaning, from the Greek, "against the Messiah" — is found only in the New Testament, where it is used exclusively by the apostle John in his epistles.


What Scripture Reveals

Let's notice the four scriptures where the word is found:

I John 2:18 — " . . . as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now there are many antichrists. . ."

I John 2:22 — "Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son."

I John 4:3 — "And 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."

II John 7 — "For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist."

These scriptures were written toward the end of the 1st century A.D. Even at that time, John writes, there were "many antichrists." Some 1,900 years ago, he could say that the spirit of antichrist "even now already is in the world."

In Bible usage, therefore, the term antichrist does not refer exclusively to a single political or religious leader yet to arise in our day.

The four scriptures cited above clearly show that an antichrist is a deceiver and one who in some way denies that Jesus is the Christ. How does one deny Christ?

By evil works!

Jesus prophesied that many would come saying He is the Christ (Matthew 24:5). These, as Paul wrote to Titus, "profess that they know God; but in works they deny him. . . ." They outwardly claim to be Christians, but they refuse to obey Him. The works of their lives are evil.

This is antichrist!

Further, John notes, an antichrist denies that Jesus Christ, through His Spirit, comes into the flesh of His people, living His life in them and enabling them to obey the law of God (I John 3:24; Galatians 2:20). This is the spirit of antichrist — a spirit of lawlessness, standing in opposition to God's law and way of life.

There is yet another, even more subtle way that many today deny Christ — and yield to the spirit of antichrist!


Alternative to Christ?

The Bible reveals that Jesus, the Messiah or Christ, must return to this earth with ,authority to establish a 1,000-year reign of peace — the Millennium. Were He not to return, "no flesh would be saved alive" (Matthew 24:22). Global extinction would be inevitable!

The Gospel or message of the Bible is clear: Jesus Christ is the only hope for this earth!

Yet man has devised his own counterfeits — philosophies, religions, systems of government — purporting to offer alternative solutions to global survival. Man believes that by channeling his resources, his technology, his intellectual energies into solving the problems he faces, he will be able to find his own solutions to the world's ills.

This is also the spirit of antichrist — a denial of the necessity of the Messiah and His mission! Man will discover that his go-it-alone approach will utterly fail him in the end!

We now see that in its true biblical sense, antichrist has a wide application. It can refer to persons and powers, attitudes and behaviors. The spirit of antichrist is found in individuals, in institutions, in religions, in societies and in governments.

In fact, there has been little in this world over the past 19 centuries since the days of Jesus that has not fallen within the broad spirit of antichrist! Little wonder, for the Bible reveals that Satan is yet "the god of this world" (II Corinthians 4:4). The world is under Satan's rule, not God's government.

But Satan's days are numbered!

Yet what of all the talk by prophecy hobbyists about a coming Antichrist? What of all the nefarious deeds attributed to him?

Many use the term Antichrist to designate an end-time personality who will embody the spirit of opposition to Christ. This unbiblical usage is unfortunate.

The Bible nowhere speaks of an end-time Antichrist.

But the spirit of antichrist will blanket the earth, holding nations and kingdoms in its grip in this generation! Various individuals will personify that spirit in a powerful way. In national distress, men will turn to other men who appear to offer solutions.

The Bible specifically mentions two such individuals who will come to be virtually deified by mankind. One is called the "Beast"; the other the "False Prophet."

The term Antichrist is often applied to one or the other of these prophesied personalities. Often, preachers and prophecy buffs confuse the two and impute to one some of the attributes of the other. Some even blend, falsely, the two into one.