Through the decades we have heard of many different men who were labeled as "The Anti-Christ"--Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Kissinger, Reagan, etc.
We also have the the anti-Catholic propaganda of the number "666" being engraved on the inside of the pope's crown. This is another 'proof' of the existence of the antichrist.
Books have been written. Movies have been made. Sermons have been preached. Speculations have been made.
And we continue to wait....(No, I do not have a book to sell you at the end of this article)
- The word "antichrist" only appears five times in four verses, and one of those is in the plural. You can prove this for yourself with any online translation or study help. Type in the word and check out the results.
- John, the apostle is the only Bible writer to use the word. Jesus did not use the word. Paul did not use the word, and the word does not appear in any of the prophets of the Old Testament including Daniel.
- Even though John wrote his gospel and the Book of Revelation, the word "antichrist" does not appear in either of those books. It only appears in his first and second letter.
Simple. The human condition loves a mystery around which tales can be spun to scare people. (Think urban legends like the man with the hook in lovers lane.) People like to be scared so much that they are willing to pay to have someone do it to them. (So, in the realm of the antichrist, maybe I should re-think my idea about not having a book to sell you.)
Again, let us leave any speculation at this point and just take a look at the few verses that speak specifically about the antichrist. In order to avoid any accusation of twisting to suit an agenda, I will present them in the order in which they are written.
Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour. (1 John 2:18)
The remaining three verses each tell us what it takes to be the antichrist. Notice that there is nothing said about his appearance. There is no number, brand, mark, or any such thing mentioned. It is simply not confessing--not believing the reality of Jesus as having come in the flesh.
This is all it takes to qualify one for the office of antichrist.
QUESTION: Are there any who fit this description in the world today? YES!! Many!! Not just one, but thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands.
Of course, I'm not making this up. John already told us this truth in the first verse we considered. (Does sort of make one wonder if people have ever actually read their Bible without their doctrinal filter in place, doesn't it?)
There is one other verse that probably needs to be considered before we move on to the more abstract concepts surrounding this "person," and that is found in Matthew 24:24--"For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect." I point out for your benefit that it is written in the plural, and not in the singular. So, once again, we are dealing with something other than this singular individual with whom the world is so enamored.
My point is this: if you are looking only for this particular, singular individual to fulfill scripture, then you have already been deceived.
In the next article, I will begin to show how the deception works. In the meantime, how do you boil a frog?