Across the varied scenes depicted by prophecy there falls the
shadow of a figure at once commanding and ominous. Under many different
names like the aliases of a criminal, his character and movements are
set before us. It is our intention to write a series of papers
concerning this one who will be the full embodiment of human wickedness
and the final manifestation of satanic blasphemy. Many others have made
reference to this mysterious personage in their general expositions of
prophecy, but so far as our examination of the literature on this
subject has carried us (and we have endeavored to make it as thorough as
possible) there seem to have been very few attempts made to furnish a
delineation of this Prince of Darkness. We do not know of
any exhaustive treatment of the subject, and for this reason, and also
because there is no little confusion in the minds of many concerning the
character and career of the coming Man of Sin, these papers are not
submitted to the attention of Bible students.
For upwards of twelve years we have studied diligently and
prayerfully what the Scriptures teach about the Pseudo-Christ. The
deeper we have carried these studies, the more surprised we are at the
prominent place which is given in the Bible to this Son of Perdition.
There is an amazing wealth of detail which, when carefully collected and
arranged, supplies a vivid biography of the one who is shortly to appear
and take the government of the world upon his shoulders. The very fact
that the Holy Spirit has caused so much to be written upon the subject
at once denotes its great importance. The prominence
Antichrist in the prophetic Scriptures will at once appear by a glance
at the references that follow.
The very first prophecy of the Bible takes note of him, for in Gen.
3:15 direct reference is made to the Serpent's "Seed". In exodus a
striking type of him is furnished in Pharaoh, the defier of God; the one
who cruelly treated His people; the one who by ordering the destruction
of all the male children, sought to cut off Israel from being a nation;
the one who met with such a drastic end at the hands of the Lord. In the
prophecy of Balaam, the Antichrist is referred to under the name of "Asshur"
(Num. 24:22), - in future chapters evidence will be given to prove that
"Asshur" and the Antichrist are one and the same person. There are many
other remarkable types of the Man of Sin to be found in the historical
books of the Old Testament, but these we pass by now, as we shall devote
a separate chapter to their consideration.
In the book of Job he is referred to as "the Crooked Serpent" (Job
26:13): with this should be compared Isa. 27:1 where, as "the Crooked
Serpent", he is connected with the Dragon, though distinguished from
him. In the Psalms we find quite a number of references to him; as "the
Bloody and Deceitful Man" (5:6); "the Wicked (One)" (9:17); "the Man of
the Earth" (10:18); the "Mighty Man" (52:1); "the Adversary" (74:10);
"the Head over many countries" (110:6); "the Evil Man" and "the Violent
Man" (140:1), etc., etc. Let the student give special attention to
Psalms 10, 52, and 55.
When we turn to the Prophets there the references to this Monster
of Iniquity are so numerous that were we to cite all of them, even
without comment, it would take us quite beyond the proper bounds of this
introductory chapter. Only a few of the more prominent ones can,
therefore, be noticed.
Isaiah mentions him: first as the "Assyrian", "the Rod" of God's
anger (10:5); then as "the Wicked" (11:4); then as "the King of Babylon"
(14:11-20 and cf 30:31-33); and also as the "Spoiler" - Destroyer
(16:4). Jeremiah calls him "the Destroyer of the Gentiles" (4:7); the
"Enemy", the "Cruel One" and "the Wicked" (30:14 and 23). Ezekiel refers
to him as the "Profane Wicked Prince of Israel" (21:25), and again under
the figure of the "Prince of Tyre" (28:2-10), and also as "the chief
Prince of Meshech and Tubal" (38:2). Daniel gives a full delineation of
his character and furnished a complete outline of his career. Hosea
speaks of him as "the King of Princes" (8:10), and as the "Merchant" in
whose hand are "the balances of deceit" and who "loveth to oppress"
(12:7). Joel describes him as the Head of the Northern Army, who shall
be overthrown because he "magnified himself to do great things" (2:20).
Amos terms him the "Adversary" who shall break Israel's strength and
spoil her palaces (3:11). Micah makes mention of him in the fifth
chapter of his prophecy (see v. 6). Nahum refers to him under the name
of "Belial (Heb.) and tells of his destruction (1:15). Habakkuk speaks
of him as "the Proud Man" who "enlarged his desires as hell, and is as
death, and cannot be satisfied, but gathereth unto him all nations, and
heapeth unto him all peoples" (2:5). Zechariah describes him as "the
Idol Shepherd" upon whom is pronounced God's "woe", and upon whom
descends His judgment (11:17).
Nor is it only in the Old Testament that we meet with this fearful
character. Our Lord Himself spoke of him as the one who should "come in
his own name", and who would be "received" by Israel (John 5:43). The
apostle Paul gives us a full length picture of him in 2 Thess. 2, where
he is denominated "that Man of Sin, the Son of Perdition", who coming
shall be "after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying
wonders". The apostle John mentions him by name, and declares that he
will deny both the Father and the Son (1 John 2:22). While in the
Apocalypse, the last book in the Bible, all these lines of prophecy are
found to converge in "the Beast" who shall ultimately be cast, together
with the False Prophet, into the lake of fire, there to be joined a
thousand years later by the Devil himself, to suffer for ever and ever
in that fire specially "prepared" by God.
The appearing of the Antichrist is a most appalling and momentous
subject, and in the past, many well-meaning writers have deprived this
impending event of much of its terror and meaning, by confusing some of
the antichrists that have already appeared at various intervals on the
stage of human history, with that mysterious being who will tower high
above all the sons of Belial, being no less than Satan's counterfeit and
opposer of the Christ of God, who is infinitely exalted above all the
sons of God. It promotes the interests of Satan to keep the world in
ignorance of the coming Super-man, and there can be no doubt that he is
the one who is responsible for the general neglect in the study of this
subject, and the author, too, of the conflicting testimony which is
being given out by those who speak and write concerning it.
There have been three principal schools among the interpreters of
the prophecies pertaining to the Antichrist. The first have applied
these prophecies to persons of the past, to men who have been in their
graves for many centuries. The second have given these prophecies a
present application, finding their fulfilment in the Papacy which still
exists. While the third give them a future application, and look for
their fulfilment in a terrible being who is yet to be manifested. Now,
widely divergent as are these several views, the writer is assured there
is an element of truth in each of them. Many, if not the great majority
of the prophecies - not only those pertaining to the Antichrist, but to
other prominent objects of prediction - have at least a twofold, and
frequently a threefold fulfilment. They have a local and immediate
fulfilment: they have a continual and gradual fulfilment: and they have
a final and exhaustive fulfilment.
In the second chapter of his first epistle the apostle John
declares, "Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard
that Antichrist shall come, even now
are there many antichrists;
whereby we know that it is the last time" (v. 18). In strict harmony
with this, the apostle Paul affirmed that the "mystery of iniquity" was
at work in his day (2 Thess. 2:7). This need not
surprise us, for many centuries before the apostles, the wise man
declared, "The thing that hath been,
is that which shall be;
and that which is
done is that which shall be
and there is no new thing under the sun" (Ecc. 1:9). History works in
cycles, but as each cycle is completed we are carried nearer the goal
and consummation of history. There have been, then, and there exist
today, many antichrists, but these are only so many forecasts and
foreshadowings of the one who is yet to appear. But it is of first
importance that we should distinguish clearly between an antichrist and
Antichrist. As we have said, there have already been many
antichrists, but the appearing of the Antichrist is yet future.
The first school of interpreters referred to above, have lighted
upon Antiochus Epiphanes as the one who fulfills the prophecies
respecting the Antichrist. As far back as the days of Josephus (see his
"Antiquities") this view found ardent advocates. Appeal was made to the
title he assumed (Epiphanes signifying "Illustrious"
); to his
opposition against the worship of Jehovah; to his remarkable military
achievements; to his diplomatic intrigues; to his defiling of the
Temple; to his sacrificing of a pig in the holy of holies; to his
setting up of an image; and to his cruel treatment of the Jews. But
there are many conclusive reasons to prove that Antiochus Epiphanes
could not possibly be the Antichrist, though undoubtedly he was, in
several respects, a striking type of him, inasmuch as he foreshadowed
many of the very things which this coming Monster will do. It is
sufficient to point out that Antiochus Epiphanes had been in his grave
for more than a hundred years when the apostle wrote 2 Thess. 2.
Another striking character who has been singled out by those who
believe that the Antichrist has already appeared and finished his
course, is Nero. And here again there are, admittedly, many striking
resemblances between the type and the antitype. In his office of emperor
of the Romans; in his awful impiety; in his consuming egotism, in his
bloodthirsty nature; and in his ferocious and fiendish persecution of
the people of God, we discover some of the very lineaments which will be
characteristic of the Wicked One. But again it will be found that this
man of infamous memory, Nero, did nothing more than foreshadow that one
who shall far exceed him in satanic malignity. Positive proof that Nero
was not the Antichrist is to be found in the fact that he was in his
grave before John wrote the thirteenth chapter of the Revelation.
The second school of interpreters, to whom reference has been made
above, apply the prophecies concerning the Antichrist to the papal
system, and see in the succession of the popes the fac-simile of the Man
of Sin. Attention is called to Rome's hatred of the Gospel of God'
grace; to her mongrel combination of political and ecclesiastical rule;
to her arrogant claims and tyrannical anathemas upon all who dare to
oppose them; to her subtlety, her intrigues, her broken pledges; and
last, but not least, to her unspeakable martyrdom of those who have
withstood her. The pope, we are reminded, has usurped the place and
prerogatives of the Son of God, and his arrogance, his impiety, his
claims to infallibility, his demand for personal worship, all tally
exactly with what is postulated of the Son of Perdition. Antichristian,
Roman Catholicism unquestionably is, yet, even this monstrous system of
evil falls short of that which shall yet be headed by the Beast. We
shall devote a separate chapter to a careful comparison of the papacy
with the prophecies which describe the character and career of the
The third school of interpreters believe that the prophecies
relating to the Lawless One have not yet received their fulfilment, and
cannot do so until this present Day of Salvation has run its course. The
Holy Spirit of God, whose presence here now prevents the final
outworking of the Mystery of Iniquity, must be removed from these scenes
before Satan can bring forth his Masterpiece of deception and opposition
to God. Many are the scriptures which teach plainly that the
manifestation of the Antichrist is yet future, and these will come
before us in our future studies. For the moment we must continue urging
upon our readers the importance of this subject and the timeliness of
our present inquiry.
The study of Antichrist is not merely one of interest to those who
love the sensational, but it is of vital importance to a right
understanding of dispensational truth. A true conception of the
predictions which regard the Man of Sin is imperatively necessary for an
adequate examination of that vast territory of unfulfilled prophecy. A
single passage of scripture will establish this. If the reader will turn
to the beginning of 2 Thess. 2 he will find that the saints in
Thessalonica had been waiting for the coming of God's Son from heaven,
because they had been taught to expect their gathering together unto Him
before God launches His judgments upon the world, which will distinguish
the "Day of the Lord". But their faith had been shaken and their hope
disturbed. Certain ones had erroneously informed them that "that day"
had arrived, and therefore, their expectation of being caught up to meet
the Lord in the air had been disappointed. It was to relieve the
distress of these believers, and to repudiate the errors of those who
had disturbed them, that, moved by the Holy Spirit, the apostle wrote
his second epistle to the Thessalonian church.
"Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus
Christ, and by our gathering together unto Him, That ye be not soon
shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by
letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man
deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come
a falling away first, and that Man of Sin be revealed, the Son of
Perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called
God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of
God, showing himself that he is God. Remember ye not, that, when I was
yet with you I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth
that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth
already work: only He who now letteth (hindereth) will let, until He be
taken our of the way. And then shall that Wicked One be revealed, whom
the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy
with the brightness of his coming: Even him whose coming is after the
working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with
all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they
received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for
this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they might believe
a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had
pleasure in unrighteousness" (2 Thess. 2:1-12).
We have quoted this passage at length to show that the Day of the
Lord cannot come until after the Rapture (v. 1), after the Apostasy (v.
3), and after the appearing of the Man of Sin (v. 3), whose character
and career here briefly but graphically sketched. The Antichrist is to
run his career of unparalleled wickedness after all Christians have been
removed from these scenes, for it it under him, as their leader, that
all the hosts of ungodliness shall muster to meet their doom by the
summary judgment of God. Has then, the Wicked One been revealed? or must
we still say, as the apostle said in his day, that while the "mystery of
iniquity" is even now working, there is something "withholding"
(restraining), that he should be revealed "in his time"? The vital
importance of the answer which is given to these questions will further
appear when we connect with this description of the Antichrist given in
2 Thess. 2 the other prophecies which reveal the exact length of time
within which his course must be accomplished. Our reason for saying this
is because the majority of the prophecies yet unfulfilled are to be
fulfilled during the time that the Antichrist is the central figure upon
earth. Moreover, the destruction of the Antichrist and his forces will
be the grand finale in the age-long conflict between the Serpent and the
woman's Seed, as He returns to set up His kingdom.
The dominant view which has been held by Protestants since the time
of the Reformation is that the many predictions relating to the
Antichrist describe, instead, the rise, progress, and doom of the
papacy. This mistake has led to others, and given rise to the scheme of
prophetic interpretation which has prevailed throughout Christendom.
When the predictions concerning the Man of Sin were allegorized,
consistency required that all associated and collateral predictions
should also be allegorized, and especially those which relate to his
doom, and the kingdom which is to be established on the overthrow of his
power. When the period of his predicted course was made to measure the
whole duration of the papal system, it naturally followed that the
predictions of the associated events
should be applied to the
history of Europe from the time that the Bishop of Rome became
recognized as the head of the Western Churches.
It was, really, this mistake of Luther and his contemporaries in
applying to Rome the prophecies concerning the Antichrist which is
responsible, we believe, for the whole modern system of
post-millennialism. The Reformers were satisfied that the Papacy had
received its death blow, and though it lingered on, the Protestants of
the sixteenth century were confident it could never recover. Believing
that the doom of the Roman hierarchy was sealed, that the kingdom of
Satan was rocking on its foundations, and that a brief interval would
witness a complete overthrow, they at once seized upon the prophecies
which announced the setting up of the kingdom of Christ as immediately
following the destruction of the Antichrist, and applied them to
Protestantism. It is true that some of them did not seem to fit very
well, but human ingenuity soon found a way to overcome these
difficulties. The obstacle presented by those prophecies that announced
the immediate setting up of Christ's kingdom, following the overthrow
and destruction of Satan's, was surmounted by an appeal to the analogy
furnished in the overthrow of Satan's kingdom - if this was a tedious
process, a gradual thing which required time to complete, why not so
with the other? If the rapidly waning power of the papacy was sufficient
to guarantee its ultimate extermination, why should not the progress of
the Reformation presage the ultimate conquering of the world for Christ!
If, as it seemed clear to the Reformers, the papacy was the Man of
Sin, and St. Peter's was the "temple" in which he usurped the place and
prerogatives of Christ, then, this premise established, all the other
conclusions connected with their scheme of prophetic interpretation must
logically follow. To establish the premise was the first thing to be
done, and once the theory became a settled conviction it was no
difficult thing to find scriptures which appeared to confirm their view.
The principal difficulty in the way was to dispose of the predictions
which limited the final stage of Antichrist's career to forty-two
months, or twelve hundred sixty days. This was accomplished by what is
known as the "year-day" theory, which regards each of the 1260 days as
"prophetic days", that is, as 1260 years, and thus sufficient room was
afforded to allow for the protracted history of Roman Catholicism.
Without entering into further details, it is evident at once that,
if this allegorical interpretation of the prophecies regarding
Antichrist can be proven erroneous, then the whole post-millennial
and "historical" schemes of interpretation fall to the ground, and
thousands of the voluminous expositions of prophecy which have been
issued during the past three hundred and fifty years are set aside as
ingenious but baseless speculations. This, of itself, is sufficient to
demonstrate the importance of our present inquiry.
Not only is the importance
of our subject denoted by the
prominent place given to it in the Word of God, and not only is its
value established by the fact that a correct understanding of the person
of Antichrist is one of the chief keys to the right interpretation of
the many prophecies which yet await their fulfilment, but the timeliness
of this inquiry is discovered by noting that the Holy Spirit has
connected the appearing of the Antichrist with the Apostasy: "Let no man
deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come
a falling away (the Apostasy) first, and that Man of Sin be revealed,
the Son of Perdition" (2 Thess. 2:3). These two things are here joined
together, and if it can be shown that the Apostasy is already far
advanced, then we may be certain that the manifestation of the Man of
Sin cannot be far distant.
There is little need for us to make a lengthy digression here and
give a selection from the abundance of evidence to hand, which shows
that the Apostasy is already far advanced. The great majority of those
whom we are addressing have already had their eyes opened by God to
discern the Christ-dishonouring conditions which exist on almost every
side. It will be enough to barely mention the gathering of the "tares"
into bundles, which is taking place before our eyes; the rapid spread of
Spiritism, with its "seducing spirits and doctrines of demons", and the
significant and solemn fact that thousands of those who are ensnared by
it are those who have departed from the formal profession of the faith
(1 Tim. 4:1); the "form of godliness" which still exists, but which
alas! in the vast majority of instances "denies its power "; the
alarming development and growth of Roman Catholicism in this land, and
the lethargic indifference to this by most of those who bear the name of
Christ; the denial of every cardinal doctrine of the faith once
delivered to the saints, which is now heard in countless pulpits of
every denomination; the "scoffing" which is invariably met with by those
who teach the imminent return of the Lord Jesus; and the Lacodicean
spirit which is now the very atmosphere of Christendom, and from which
few, if any, of the Lord's own people are entirely free - these, and a
dozen others which might be mentioned, are the proofs which convince us
that the time must be very near at hand when the Divine Hinderer shall
be removed, and when Satan shall bring forth his Son to head the final
revolt against God, ere the Lord Jesus returns to this earth and sets up
His kingdom. This then, shows the need of a prayerful examination of
what God has revealed of those things "which must shortly come to pass".
The very fact that the time when Satan's Masterpiece shall appear is
rapidly drawing nearer, supplies further evidence of the importance and
timeliness of our present inquiry.
The practical value of these preliminary considerations should at
once be apparent. What we have written in connection with this
incarnation of Satan who is shortly to appear, is not the product of a
disordered imagination but the subject of Divine revelation. The warning
given that the appearing of the Antichrist cannot be far distant springs
not from the fears of an alarmist, but is required by the Signs of the
Times which, in the light of Scripture, are fraught with significant
meaning to all whose senses are exercised to discern both good and evil.
The many proofs that the manifestation of the Man of Sin is an event of
the near future are so many calls to God's own children to be ready for
the Return of the Saviour, for before the Son of Perdition can be
revealed the Lord Himself must first descend into the air and catch away
from these scenes, unto Himself, His own blood-bought people. Therefore,
it behoves each one of us to make "our calling and election sure", and
to heed that urgent admonition of the Saviour "Let your loins be girded
about, and your lights burning; and ye yourselves like unto men that
wait for their Lord" (Luke 12:35, 36).
"I am come in My Father's name, and ye receive Me not: if another
shall come in his own name, him ye will receive" (John 5:43). These
words were spoken by the Lord Jesus Christ, and the occasion on which
they were uttered and the connection in which they are found, invest
them with peculiar solemnity. The chapter opens by depicting the Saviour
healing the impotent man who lay by the pool of Bethesda. This occurred
on the Sabbath day, and the enemies of Christ made it the occasion for a
vicious attack upon Him: "Therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and
sought to slay Him, because He had done these things on the Sabbath day"
(v. 16). In vindicating His performance of this miracle on the Sabbath,
the Lord Jesus began by saying, "My Father worketh hitherto, and I work"
(v. 17). But this only served to intensify their enmity against Him, for
we read, "Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill Him, because He not
only had broken the Sabbath, but said also that God was His Father,
making Himself equal with God" (v. 18). In response, Christ then made a
detailed declaration of His divine glories. In conclusion He appealed to
the varied witnesses which bore testimony to His Deity: - the Father
Himself (v. 32); John the Baptist (v. 33); His own works (v. 36); and
the Scriptures (v. 39). Then He turned to those who were opposing Him
and said, "And ye will not come to Me, that ye might have life. But I
know you, that ye have not the love of God in you. I am come in My
Father's name, and ye receive Me not: if another shall come in his own
name, him ye will receive" (vv. 40, 42, 43). And this was immediately
followed by this searching question - "How can ye believe which receive
honour (glory) one of another, and seek not the honor (glory) that
cometh from God only?" (v. 44).
Here is the key to the solemn statement which begins this article.
These Jews received glory from one another; they did not seek it from
God, for they had not the love of God in them. Therefore it was that the
One who had come to them in the Father's name, and who "received not
glory from men" (v. 41) was rejected by them. And just as eve's
rejection of the word of God's truth laid her open to accept the
serpent's lie, so Israel's rejection of the true Messiah, has prepared
them, morally, to receive the false Messiah, for he will come in his own
name, doing his own pleasure, and will "receive glory from men". Thus
will he thoroughly appeal to the corrupt heart of the natural man.
The future appearing of this one who shall "come in his own name"
was announced, then, by the Lord Himself. The Antichrist will be
"received", not only by the Jews, but also by the whole world; received
as their acknowledged Head and Ruler; and all the modern pleas for and
movements to bring about a federation of the churches and a union of
Christendom, together with the present-day efforts to establish a League
of Nations - a great United States of the World - are but preparing the
way for just such a character as is portrayed both in the Old and New
There will be many remarkable correspondences between the true and
the false Christ, but more numerous and more striking will be the
contrasts between the Son of God and the Son of perdition. The Lord
Jesus came down from Heaven, whereas the Antichrist shall ascent from
the bottomless Pit (Rev. 11:7). The Lord Jesus came in His Father's
name, emptied Himself of His glory, lived in absolute dependence upon
God, and refused to receive honour from men; but the Man of Sin will
come in his own name, embodying all the pride of the Devil, opposing and
exalting himself not only against the true God, but against everything
that bears His name, and his deepest craving will be to receive honour
and homage from men.
Now since this parallel, with its pointed contrasts, was drawn by
our Lord Himself in John 5:43, how conclusive is the proof which it
affords that the Antichrist will be a single individual being as surely
as Christ was! In further proof of this 1 John 2:18 may be cited:
"Little children, it is the last hour: and as ye heard that Antichrist
cometh, even now hath there arisen many antichrists; whereby we know
that it is the last hour" (R.V.). Here the Antichrist is plainly
distinguished from the many who prepare his way. The verb "cometh" here
is a remarkable one, for it is the very same that is used of the Lord
Jesus Christ in reference to His first and second Advents. The
Antichrist, therefore, is also "the coming one", or "he that cometh".
This defines his relation to the world, - which has long been expecting
some Conquering Hero - as "the Coming One" defines the relation of the
Christ of God to His Churches, whose Divinely-inspired hope is
the return of the Lord from Heaven.
Nor does this by any means exhaust the proof that the coming
Antichrist will be a single individual being. The expressions used by
the apostle Paul in 2 Thess. 2 - "that Man of Sin", "The Son of
Perdition", "he that opposeth and exalteth himself", "the Wicked One
whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth", "he whose
coming is after the working of Satan" - all these point as distinctly to
a single individual as did the Messianic predictions of the Old
Testament point to the person of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Now, in accordance with these texts, and many others which might be
quoted, we find that all the Christian writers of the first six
centuries (that is all who make reference to the subject) regarded the
Antichrist as a real person, a specific individual. We might fill many
pages by giving extracts from their works, but three must suffice. The
first is taken from a very ancient document, entitled "The Teaching of
the Apostles", which probably dates back to the beginning of the second
"For in the last days the false prophets and the destroyers shall
be multiplied, and the sheep shall be turned into wolves, and love shall
be turned into hate. For when lawlessness increases, they shall hate and
persecute and deliver up one another; and then shall appear the
world-deceiver as Son of God, who shall do signs and wonders, and the
earth shall be delivered into his hands, and he shall do lawless deeds
such as have never yet been done since the beginning of the world. Then
shall the race of men come into the fire of trial, and many shall be
offended and shall perish, but they who have endured in their faith
shall be saved under the very curse itself".
Our second quotation is taken from the writings of Cyril, who was
Bishop of Jerusalem in the fourth century:
"This aforementioned Antichrist comes when the times of the
sovereignty of the Romans shall be fulfilled, and the concluding events
of the world draw nigh. Ten kings of the Romans arise at the same time
in different places, perhaps; but reigning at the same period. But after
these, the antichrist is the eleventh, having, by his magic and evil
skill, violently possessed himself of the Roman power. Three of those
who have reigned before him, he will subdue; the other seven he will
hold in subjection to himself. At first he assumes a character of
gentleness (as if a wise and understanding person), pretending both to
moderation and philanthropy; deceiving, both by lying miracles and
prodigies which come from his magical deceptions, the Jews, as if he
were the expected Messiah. Afterwards he will addict himself to every
kind of evil, cruelty, and excess, so as to surpass all who have been
unjust and impious before him; having a bloody and relentless and
pitiless mind, and full of wily devices against all, and especially
against believers. But having dared such things three years and six
months, he will be destroyed by the second glorious coming from heaven
of the truly begotten Son of God, who is our Lord and Saviour, Jesus the
true Messiah; who, having destroyed Antichrist by the Spirit of His
mouth, will deliver him to the fire Gehenna".
Our last quotation is made from the writings of Gregory of Tours,
who wrote at the end of the sixth century A.D.: -
"Concerning the end of the world, I believe what I have learnt from
those who have gone before me. Antichrist will assume circumcision,
asserting himself to be the Christ. He will then place a statue to be
worshipped in the Temple at Jerusalem, as we read that the Lord has
said, `Ye shall see the abomination of desolation standing in the holy
Our purpose in making these quotations is not because we regard the
voice of antiquity as being in any degree authoritative: far from it;
the only authority for us is "What saith the Scriptures?". Nor
have we presented these views as curious relics of antiquity - though it
is interesting to discover the thoughts which occupied some of the
leading minds of past ages. No: our purpose has been simply to show that
the early Christian writers uniformly held that the Antichrist would be
a real person, a Jew, one who should both simulate and oppose the true
Christ. Such continued to be the generally received doctrine until what
is known as the Dark Ages were far advanced.
It is not until we reach the fourteenth century (so far as the
writer is aware) that we find the first marked deviation from the
uniform belief of the early Christians. It was the Waldenses, - so
remarkably sound in the faith on almost all point of doctrine - who,
thoroughly worn out by centuries of the most relentless and merciless
persecutions, published about the year 1350 a treatise designed to prove
that the system of Popery was the Antichrist. It should however be said
in honour of this people, whose memory is blessed, that in one of their
earliest books entitled "The Noble Lesson", published about 1100 A.D.,
they taught that the Antichrist was an individual rather than a system.
Following the new view espoused by the Waldenses it was not long
before the Hussites, the Wycliffites and the Lollards - other companies
of Christians who were fiercely persecuted by Rome - eagerly caught up
the idea, and proclaimed that the Pope was the Man of Sin and the papacy
the Beast. From them it was handed on to the leaders of the Reformation
who soon made an earnest attempt to systematize this new scheme of
eschatology. But rarely has there been a more forceable example of the
tendency of men's belief to be mouled by the events and signs of their
own lifetime. In order to adapt the prophecies of the Antichrist to the
Papal hierarchy, or the line of the Popes, they had to be so wrested
that scarcely anything was left of their original meaning.
"The coming Man of Sin had to be changed into a long succession of
men. The time of his continuance, which God had stated with precision
and clearness as forty-two months (Rev. 13:5), or three years and a
half, being far too short for the line of Popes, had to be lengthened by
an ingenious, but most unwarrantable, process of first resolving it into
days, and then turning these days into years.
"The fact that, in the 13th chapter of the Apocalypse, the first
Beast or secular power, is supreme while the second Beast or
ecclesiastical power is subordinate, had to be ignored; since such an
arrangement is opposed to all the traditions of the Roman system. Also
the circumstances that the second Beast is a prophet and not a priest,
had to be kept in the background; for the Roman church exalts the
priest, and has little care for the prophet. Then, again, the awful
words pronouncing sentence of death upon every one who worshipped the
Beast and his image, and receives his mark in his forehead or in his
hand (Rev. 13), seemed - and no wonder - too terrible to be applied to
every Roman Catholic, and, therefore, had to be explained away or
suppressed" (G. H. Pember).
Nevertheless, by common consent the Reformers applied the
prophecies which treat of the character, career, and doom of the
Antichrist, to Popery, and regarded those of his titles which referred
to him as "that Man of Sin, the Son of Perdition", the "King of Babylon"
and "the Beast", as only so many names for the head of the Roman
hierarchy. But this view, which was upheld by most of the Puritans too,
must be brought to the test of the one infallible standard of Truth
which our gracious God has placed in our hands. We must search the
Scriptures to see whether these things be so or not.
Now we shall hold no brief for the pope, nor have we anything good
to say of that pernicious system of which he is the head. On the
contrary, we have no hesitation in denouncing as rank blasphemy the
blatant assumption of the pope as being the infallible vicar of Christ.
Nor do we hesitate to declare that the Papacy has been marked, all
through its long history, by impious arrogance, awful idolatry, and
unspeakable cruelty. But, nevertheless, there are many scriptures which
prevent us from believing that the Papacy and the Antichrist are
identical. The Son of Perdition will eclipse any monstrosities that have
sprung from the waves of the Tiber. The Bible plainly teaches us to look
for a more terrible personage than any Hildebrand or Leo.
Undoubtedly there are many points of analogy between Antichrist and
the popes, and without doubt the Papal system has foreshadowed to a
remarkable degree the character and career of the coming Man of Sin.
Some of the parallelisms between them were pointed out by us in the
previous chapter, and to these many more might be added. Not only is it
evident that Roman Catholicism is a most striking type and harbinger of
that one yet to come, but the cause of truth requires us to affirm that
the Papacy is an antichrist, doubtless, the most devilish of them
all. Yet, we say again, that Romanism is not the Antichrist. As it is
likely that many of our readers have been educated in the belief that
the pope and the Antichrist are identical, we shall proceed to produce
some of the numerous proofs which go to show that such is not the case.
That the Papacy cannot possibly be the Antichrist appears from the
following considerations: =
1. The term "Antichrist" whether employed in the singular or the
plural, denotes a person or persons, and never a system. We may
speak correctly of an anti-Christian system, just as we may refer to a
Christian organization; but it is just as inadmissible and erroneous to
refer to any system or organization as "the Antichrist" or "an
antichrist", as it would be to denominate any Christian system or
organization "the Christ", or "a Christ". Just as truly as the Christ is
the title of a single person the Son of God, so the Antichrist will be a
single person, the son of Satan.
2. The Antichrist will be a lineal descendant of Abraham, a Jew. We
shall not stop to submit the proof for this, as that will be given in
our next chapter; suffice it now to say that none but a full-blooded Jew
could ever expect to palm himself off on the Jewish people as their
long-expected Messiah. Here is an argument that has never been met by
those who believe that the pope is the Man of Sin. So far as we are
aware no Israelite has ever occupied the Papal See - certainly none has
done so since the seventh century.
3. In line with the last argument, we read in Zech. 11:16,17, "For,
lo, I will raise up a Shepherd in the land which shall not visit those
that be cut off, neither shall seek the young ones, nor heal that that
is broken, nor feed that that standeth still: but he shall eat the flesh
of the fat, and tear their claws in pieces. Woe to the Idol Shepherd
that leaveth the flock! The sword (of Divine judgment) shall be upon his
arm (his power), and upon his right eye (intelligence): his arm shall be
clean dried up, and his right eye shall be utterly darkened". "The land"
here is, of course, Palestine, as is ever the case in Scripture with
this expression. This could not possibly apply to the line of the Popes.
4. In 2 Thess. 2:4 we learn that the Man of Sin shall sit "in the
Temple of God", and St. Peter's at Rome cannot possibly be called that.
The "Temple" in which the Antichrist shall sit will be the rebuilt
temple of the Jews, and that will be located not in Italy but in
Jerusalem. In later chapters it will be shown that he Mosque of Omar
shall yet be replaced by a Jewish Temple before our Lord returns to
5. The Antichrist will be received by the Jews. This is
clear from the passage which heads the first paragraph of this chapter.
"I am come in My Father's name, and ye receive me not; if another shall
come in his own name, him ye will receive"; but the Jews have never yet
owned allegiance to any pope.
6. The Antichrist will make a Covenant with the Jews. In Dan. 9:27
we read, "And he shall confirm the covenant with many for a week". The
one referred to here as making this seven-year Covenant is "the Prince
that shall come" of the previous verse, namely, the Antichrist, who will
be the Head of the ten-kingdomed Empire. The nation with whom the Prince
will make this covenant is the people of Daniel, as is clear from the
context - see v. 24. But we know of no record upon the scroll of history
of any pope having ever made a seven-year Covenant with the Jews!
7. In Dan. 11:45 we read, "And he shall plant the tabernacles of
his palace between the seas, in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall
come to his end, and none shall help him". The person referred to here
is, again, the Antichrist, as will be seen by going back to v. 36 where
this section of the chapter begins. There we are told, "The king shall
do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify
himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against he
God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished; for
that that is determined shall be done". This is more than sufficient to
identify with certainty the one spoken of in the last verse of Dan. 11.
The Antichrist, then, will plant the tabernacles of his palace "between
the seas", that is, between the Mediterranean and the Red Sea. By no
species of ingenuity can this be made to apply to the pope, for his
palace, the Vatican, is located in the capital city of Italy.
8. The Antichrist cannot be revealed until the mystic Body of
Christ and the Holy Spirit have been removed from the earth. This is
made clear by what we read in 2 Thess. 2. In verse three of that chapter
the apostle refers to the revelation of the Man of Sin. In verse four he
describes his awful impiety. In verse five he reminds the Thessalonians
how that he had taught them these things by word of mouth when he was
with them. And then, in verse six he declares "And now ye know what
withhold that he might be revealed in his time". And again he said, "For
the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only He who now letteth (hindereth)
will let until He be taken out of the way". There are two agencies,
then, which are hindering, or preventing the manifestation of the
Antichrist, until "his time" shall have come. The former agency is
covered by the pronoun "what", the latter by the word "He". The former,
we are satisfied, is the mystical Body of Christ; the latter being the
Holy Spirit of God. At the Rapture both shall be "taken out of the way",
and then shall the Man of Sin be revealed. If, then, the Antichrist
cannot appear before the Rapture of the saints and the taking away of
the Holy Spirit, then, here is proof positive that the Antichrist has
not yet appeared.
9. Closely akin to the last argument is the fact that quite a
number of definite scriptures place the appearing of the Antichrist at
that season known as the End-Time. Dan. 7 and 8 make it plain that the
Antichrist will run his career at the very end of this age (we do not
say this "dispensation" for that will end at the Rapture), that is,
during the great Tribulation, the time of "Jacob's trouble". Dan.
7:21-23 declares, "I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints,
and prevailed against them; Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment
was given to the saints of the Most High; and the time came that the
saints possessed the kingdom". Dan. 8:19 places his course (see 8:23-25)
at "the last end of the indignation", i.e. of God's wrath against Israel
and the Gentiles. Dan. 9 shows that he will make his seven-years'
Covenant with the Jews at the beginning of the last of the seventy
"weeks" which is to bring in "the end" of Israel's sins and "finish the
transgression" (9: 24). If the time of the Antichrist's manifestation is
yet future then it necessarily follows that Rome cannot be the
10. The Antichrist will deny both the Father and the Son: "He is
Antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son" (1 John 2:22). This
scripture does not speak of virtual, but of actual and formal denial.
But Rome has always maintained in her councils and creeds, her symbols
of faith and worship, that there are three persons in the Godhead.
Numerous and grievous have been her departures from the teaching of Holy
Scripture, yet since the time of the Council of Trent (1563 A.D.) every
Roman Catholic has had to confess "I believe in God the Father...and in
the Lord Jesus Christ....and in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of
life, which proceedeth from the Father and the Son".
As a system Romanism is a go-between. The "priest" stands between
the sinner and God; the `confessional' between him and the throne of
grace; `penance' between him and godly sorrow; the `mass' between him
and Christ; and `purgatory' between him and Heaven. The pope
acknowledges both the Father and the Son: he confesses himself to be
both the servant of God and His worshipper; he blesses the people not in
his own name, but in that of the Holy Trinity.
11. The Antichrist is described as the one "who opposeth and
exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so
that he as God sitteth in the Temple of God, showing himself that he is
God" (2 Thess. 2:4). This is what the popes have never done. Not even
Leo ventured to deify himself or supersede God. The popes have made many
false and impious claims for themselves; nevertheless, their decrees
have been sent forth as from the "vice-gerent" of God, the "vicar" of
Christ - thus acknowledging a Divine power above himself.
12. In Rev. 13:2,4 we read, "And the beast which I saw was like
unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth
as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and
his seat, and great authority...and they worshipped the dragon
which gave power unto the beast". By comparing these verses with Rev.
12:9 we learn that the Dragon is none other than Satan himself. Now by
almost common consent this first beast of Rev. 13 is the Antichrist. If,
then, Romanism be the Antichrist, where, we may ask, shall we turn to
find anything answering to what we read of here in Rev. 13:4 - "And they
worshipped the dragon, which gave power unto the beast".
13. This same 13th chapter of Revelation informs us that the
Antichrist (the first Beast) shall be aided by a second Beast who is
denominated "the False Prophet" (Rev. 19:20). The False Prophet, we are
told "exerciseth all the power of the First Beast before him, and
causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the First
Beast" (Rev. 13:12). If the First Beast be the Papacy, then who is the
False Prophet who "causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to
14. Again; we are told that this False Prophet shall say to them
that dwell on the earth "that they should make an image to the Beast,
which had the wound by a sword and did live" (Rev. 13:14). Further, we
are told, "And he had power to give life unto the image of the Beast,
that the image of the Beast should both speak, and cause that as many as
would not worship the image of the Beast should be killed" (Rev 13:15).
Where do we find anything in Popery which in anywise resembles this?
15. In Dan. 9:27 we are told that the Antichrist "shall cause the
sacrifice and the oblation to cease". And again in 8:11 we read, "Yea,
he magnified himself even against the Prince of the host, and by him the
daily sacrifice was taken away". If Romanism is the Antichrist how can
these scriptures be made to square with the oft repeated "Sacrifice of
16. The dominion of the Antichrist shall be world-wide. The
coming Man of Sin will assert a supremacy which shall be unchallenged
and universal. "And all the world wondered after the Beast" (Rev. 13:3).
"And power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations"
(13:7). It hardly needs to be pointed out that half of Christendom, to
say nothing of Heathendom, is outside the pale of Rome, and is
antagonistic to the claims of the Papacy. Again; in 13:17 we read "No
man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the
Beast, or the number of his name": and when, we ask, has any pope
exercised such commercial supremacy that none could buy or sell without
17. The duration of Antichrist's career, after he comes out in his
true character, will be limited to forty-two months. There are no less
than six scriptures which, with a variety of expression, affirm this
time restriction. In Dan. 7:25 we learn that this one who shall "think
to change times and laws", will have these "given into his hand until a
time, and times, and the dividing of time": that is, for three years and
a half - cf. Rev. 12:14 with 12:6. And again in Rev. 13:5 we are told,
"And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and
blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two
months" (Rev. 13:5). Now it is utterly impossible to make this harmonize
with the protracted history of Romanism by any honest method of
18. In Rev. 13:7,8 we read, "And it was given unto him to make war
with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all
kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the face of
the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of
life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world". Here we are
expressly told that the only ones who will not "worship the Beast", i.e.
the Antichrist, are they whose names are written in the Lamb's book of
life. If then the pope is the Antichrist, all who do not worship him
must have their names written in the Lamb's book of life - an absurdity
on the face of it, for this world be tantamount to saying that all the
infidels, atheists, and unbelievers of the last thousand years who were
outside of the pale of Roman Catholicism are saved.
19. In 2 Thess. 2:11,12 we are told, "For this cause God shall end
them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all
might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in
unrighteousness". The context here shows that "believing a lie" means
accepting the claims of the Antichrist. Those who believe his claims
will "receive him (John 5:43), and not only so, they will "worship" him
(Rev. 13:8); and 2 Thess. 2:12 declares that all who do this will be
damned". If, then,the pope is the Antichrist, then it necessarily
follows that all who have believed his lying claims, that all who have
received him s the vicar of Christ, that all who have worshipped him,
will be eternally lost. But the writer would not for a moment make any
such sweeping assertion. He, together with thousands of others, believes
firmly that during the centuries there have been many Roman Catholics
who, despite much ignorance and superstition, have been among that
number that have exercised faith in the blood of Christ, and that lived
and died resting on the finished work of Christ as the alone ground of
their acceptance before God, and who because of this shall be forever
with the Lord.
20. That the Antichrist and the Papacy are totally distinct is
unequivocally established by the teaching of Rev. 17. Here we learn that
there shall be ten kings who will reign "with the Beast" (v. 12), and
act in concert with him (vv. 13,16). Then we are told "these shall hate
the Whore (the papacy), and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall
eat her flesh, and burn her with fire" (v. 16). Instead of the
Antichrist and the Papacy being identical, the former shall destroy the
latter; whereas, the Antichrist shall be destroyed by Christ Himself,
see 2 Thess. 2:8.
Perhaps a word of explanation is called for as to why we have
entered into such lengthy details in presenting some of the many proofs
that the Papacy is not the Antichrist. Our chief reason for doing so was
because we expect that many who will read this paper are among the
number who have been brought up in the belief which was commonly taught
by the Reformers and which has prevailed generally since their day. For
those readers who had already been established on this point, we would
ask them to please bear with us for having sought to help those less
fortunate. Our next chapter will be one of more general interest, for in
it we shall discuss the person of the Antichrist - who he will be, from
whence he will spring, and what marks will serve to identify him.
In our last chapter we pointed out how that the Antichrist is not a
system of evil, nor an anit-Christian organization, but instead, a
single individual being, a person yet to appear. In support of this we
appealed to the declaration of our Lord recorded in John 5:43; "I am
come in My Father's name, and ye receive Me not: if another shall come
in his own name, him ye will receive". Here the Saviour both compares
and contrasts the Man of Sin with Himself. The point of comparison is
that, like the Saviour, he shall offer himself to Israel; the contrast
is, that unlike Christ who was rejected by the Jews, the false messiah
shall be "received" by them. If, then, the Antichrist may be compared
and contrasted with the Christ of God, he, too, must be a person, an
Again; we called attention to the expression used by the apostle
Paul in 2 Thess. 2: - "That Man of Sin", "the Son of Perdition", he that
opposeth and exalteth himself", "the Wicked One whom the Lord shall
consume with the spirit of His mouth", "he whose coming is after the
working of Satan" - all these point as distinctly to a single individual
as did the Messianic predictions of the Old Testament point to the
person of our Lord Jesus Christ. Assured, then, that "the Antichrist"
signifies a specific individual, our next concern is to turn to the
Scriptures and learn what God has been pleased to reveal concerning this
Personification of Evil.
I. THE ANTICHRIST WILL BE A JEW.
The Antichrist will be a Jew, though his connections, his
governmental position, his sphere of dominion, will by no means confine
him to the Israelitish people. It should, however, be pointed out that
there is no express declaration of Scripture which says in so many words
that this daring Rebel will be "a Jew"; nevertheless, the hints given
are so plain, the conclusions which must be drawn from certain
statements of Holy Writ are so obvious, and the requirements of the case
are so inevitable, that we are forced to believe he must be a Jew. To
these `hints', `conclusions' and `requirements' we now turn.
1. In Ezek. 21:25-27 we read: "and thou, profane wicked prince of
Israel, whose day is come, when iniquity shall have an end, Thus saith
the Lord God; Remove the diadem, and take off the crown: this shall not
be the same: exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high. I will
overturn, overturn, overturn it: and it shall be no more until he comes
whose right it is, and I will give it him". The dispensational place and
scope of this passage, is not hard to determine. The time-mark is given
in v. 25: it is "when iniquity shall have an end". It is the End-Time
which is in view, then, the End of the Age, when "the transgressors are
come to the full" (Dan. 8:23 and cf. 11:36 - "Till the indignation be
accomplished"). At that time Israel shall have a Prince, a Prince who is
crowned (v. 26), and a Prince whose day is said to be come when iniquity
shall have an end". Now, as to who this Prince is, there is surely no
room for doubt. The only Prince whom Israel will have in that day, is
the Son of Perdition, here termed their Prince because he will be
masquerading as Messiah the Prince (see Dan. 9:25)! Another unmistakable
mark of identification is here given, in that he is expressly
denominated "thou, profane wicked Prince" - assuredly, it is the
Man of Sin who is here in view, that impious one who shall "oppose and
exalt himself above all that is called God". But what should be noted
particularly, is, that this profane and wicked character is here named
"Prince of Israel". He must, therefore, be of the Abrahamic stock, a
2. In Ezek. 28:2-10 a remarkable description is given us of the
Antichrist under the figure of "the Prince of Tyrus", just as in
vv.12-19 we have another most striking delineation of Satan under the
figure of "the king of Tyrus". In a later chapter we hope to show that,
beyond a doubt, it is the Antichrist who is in view in the first section
of this chapter. There is only one thing that we would now point out
from this passage: in v.10 it is said of him "Thou shalt die the deaths
of the uncircumcised", which is a very strong hint that he ought not to
die the deaths of the "uncircumcised" because he belonged to the
Circumcision! Should it be said that this verse cannot apply to the
Antichrist because he will be destroyed by Christ Himself at His coming,
the objection is very easily disposed of by a reference to Rev. 13:14,
which tells of the Antichrist being wounded to death by a sword and
rising from the dead - which is prior to his ultimate destruction at the
hands of the Saviour.
3. In Dan. 11:36,37 we are told, "And the king shall do according
to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every
god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and
shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is
determined shall be done. Neither shall he regard the God of his
fathers". This passage, it is evident, refers to and describes none
other than the coming Antichrist. But what we wish to call special
attention to is the last sentence quoted - "The God of his fathers".
What are we to understand by this expression? Why, surely, that he is a
Jew, an Israelite, and that his fathers after the flesh were
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob - for such is the invariable meaning of "the
fathers" throughout the Old Testament Scriptures.
4. In Matt. 12:43-45 we have another remarkable scripture which
will be considered briefly, in a later section of this chapter, when we
shall endeavour to show that "The Unclean Spirit" here is none other
than the Son of Perdition, and that the "house' from which he goes out
and into which he returns, is the Nation of Israel. If this can be
established, then we have another proof that he will be a Jew,
for this "house", which is Israel, is here termed by Antichrist "my
house". Just as Solomon was of "the House of David", so Antichrist shall
be of the House of Israel.
5. In John 5:43 we have a further word which helps us to fix the
nationality of this coming One. In speaking of the false messiah, the
Lord Jesus referred to him as follows, "Another shall come in his
own name". In the Greek there are four different words all translated
"Another" in our English versions. One of them is employed but once, and
a second but five times, so these need not detain us now. The remaining
two are used frequently, and with a clear distinction between them. The
first "allos" signifies "another" of the same kind or genus - see
Matt. 10:23; 13:24; 26:71, etc. The second, "heteros", means "another"
of a totally different kind, - see Mark 16:12; Luke 14:31; Acts
7:18; Rom. 7:23. Now the striking thing is that the word used by our
Lord in John 5:43 is "allos", another of the same genus, not "heteros",
another of a different order. Christ, the Son of Abraham, the Son of
David, had presented Himself to Israel, and they rejected Him; but
"another" of the same Abrahamic stock should come to them, and him they
would "receive". If the coming Antichrist were to be a Gentile, the Lord
would have employed the word "heteros"; the fact that He used "allos"
shows that he will be a Jew.
6. The very name "Antichrist" argues strongly his Jewish
nationality. This title "Antichrist" has a double significance. It means
that he will be one who shall be "opposed" to Christ, one who
will be His enemy. But it also purports that he will be a mock
Christ, an imitation Christ, a pro-Christ, a pseudo
Christ. It intimates that he will ape Christ. He will pose as the real
Messiah of Israel. In such case he must be a Jew.
7. This mock Christ will be "received" by Israel. The Jews will be
deceived by Him. They will believe that he is indeed their long-expected
Messiah. They will accept him as such. Proofs of this will be furnished
in a later chapter. But if this pseudo Christ succeeds in palming
himself off on the Jews as their true Messiah he must be a Jew, for it
is unthinkable that they would be deceived by any Gentile.
Ere passing to the next point, we may add, that it was the common
belief among Christians during the first four centuries A.D., that the
Antichrist would come from the tribe of Dan. Whether this will be the
case or no, we do not know. Gen. 49:17,18 may have ultimate reference to
this Son of Perdition. Certainly Dan is the most mysterious of all the
II. THE ANTICHRIST WILL BE THE SON OF SATAN.
That Satan will have a son ought not to surprise us. The Devil is a
consummate imitator and much of his success in deceiving men is
due to his marvellous skill in counterfeiting the things of God. Below
we give a list of some of his imitations: -
Do we read of Christ going forth to sow the "good seed" (Matt.
13:24), then we also read of the enemy going forth to sow his "tares" -
an imitation wheat (Matt. 13:25). Do we read of "the children of God",
then we also read of "the children of the wicked one" (Matt. 13:38). Do
we read of God working in His children "both to will and to do of
His good pleasure" (Phil. 2:13), then we are also told that the Prince
of the power of the air is "the spirit that now woreth in the
children of disobedience" (Eph. 2:2). Do we read of the Gospel of God,
then we also read that Satan has a gospel - "Another gospel, which is
not another" (Gal. 1:6,7). Did Christ appoint "apostles", then Satan has
his apostles too (2 Cor. 11:13). Are we told that "the Spirit searcheth
all things, yea, the deep things of God" (1 Cor. 2:10), then Satan also
provides his "deep things" (see Greek of Rev. 2:24). Are we told that
God, by His angel, will "seal" His servants in their foreheads (Rev.
&;3), so also we read that Satan, by his angels, will set a mark in the
foreheads of his devotees (Re. 13:16). Does the Father seek
"worshippers" (John 4:23), so also does Satan (Rev. 13:4). Did Christ
quote scripture, so also did Satan (Matt. 4:6). Is Christ the Light of
the world, then Satan also is transformed as an "angel of light" (2 Cor.
11:14). Is Christ denominated "the Lion of the tribe of Judah"
(Rev. 5:5), then the Devil is also referred to as "a roaring lion" (1
Peter 5:6). Do we read of Christ and "His angels" (Matt. 24:31), then we
also read of the Devil and "his angels" (Matt. 25:41). Did Christ work
miracles, so also will Satan (2 Thess. 2:9). Is Christ seated upon a
"Throne", so also will Satan be (Rev. 2:13, Gk.). Has Christ a Church,
then Satan has his "synagogue" (Rev. 2:9). Has Christ a "bride", then
Satan has his "whore" (Rev. 17:16). Has God His "Vine", so has Satan
(Rev. 14:19). Does God have a city, the new Jerusalem, then Satan has a
city, Babylon (Rev. 17:5; 18:2). Is there a "mystery of godliness" (1
Tim 3:16), so also there is a "mystery of iniquity" (2 Thess. 2:7). Does
God have an only-begotten Son, so we read of "the Son of Perdition" (2
Thess. 2:3). Is Christ called "the Seed of the woman", then the
Antichrist will be "the seed of the serpent" (Gen. 3:15). Is the Son of
God also the Son of Man, then the son of Satan will also be the "Man of
Sin" (2 Thess. 2:3).
Is there a Holy Trinity, then there is also an Evil Trinity (Rev.
20:10). In this Trinity of Evil Satan himself is supreme, just as in the
Blessed Trinity the Father is (governmentally) supreme: note that Satan
is several times referred to as a father (John 8:44, etc.). Unto
his son, the Antichrist, Satan gives his authority and power to
represent and act for him (Rev. 13:4) just as God the Son received "all
power in heaven and earth" from His Father, and uses it for His glory.
The Dragon (Satan) and the Beast (Antichrist) are accompanied by a
third, the False Prophet, and just as the third person in the Holy
Trinity, the Spirit, bears witness to the person and work of Christ and
glorifies Him, so shall the third person in the Evil Trinity bear
witness to the person and work of the Antichrist and glorify him (see
Now the Antichrist will be a man, and yet more than man, just as
Christ was Man and yet more than man. The Antichrist will be the
`Superman' of whom the world, even now, is talking, and for whom it is
looking. The Wicked One who is to be revealed shortly, will be a
supernatural character, he will be the Son of Satan. His twofold nature
is plainly declared in 2 Thess. 2:3 - "That man of Sin, the Son of
Perdition". In proof of these assertions we ask for a careful attention
to what follows.
1. "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between
thy Seed and her Seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt
bruise his heel" (Gen. 3:15). It is to be noted that there is here a
double "enmity" spoken of: God says, "I will put enmity between thee
and the woman", that is, between Satan and Israel, for Israel was the
woman that bore Christ (Rev. 12); "And between thy seed and her seed".
Observe particularly that two "seeds" are here spoken of; "Thy seed"
(the antecedent is plainly the Serpent) and "her seed", the woman's
Seed. The woman's Seed was Christ, the Serpent's seed will be the
Antichrist. The Antichrist then, will be more than a man, he will be the
actual and literal Seed of that old Serpent, the Devil; as Christ was,
according to the flesh, the actual and literal Seed of the woman. "Thy
seed", Satan's seed, refers to a s specific individual, just as "her
seed" refers to a specific Individual.
2. "In that day the Lord with His sore and great and strong sword
shall punish Leviathan the piercing Serpent, even Leviathan that crooked
Serpent; and he shall slay the Dragon that is in the sea (Isa. 27:1). To
appreciate the force of this we need to attend to the context, which is
unfortunately broken by the chapter division. In the closing verses of
Isa. 26 we hear God saying, "Come, My people, enter thou into thy
chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a
little moment, until the indignation be over past" (26:20). These words
are addressed to the elect remnant of Israel. Their ultimate application
will be to those on earth at the end of this Age, for it is the time of
God's "indignation" (cf. Dan. 8:19 and 11:36). It is the time when "the
Lord cometh out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth, for
their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no
more cover her slain" (26:21) - notice "iniquity", singular number, not
"iniquities". It is their worshipping of Satan's Man which is
specifically referred to. Then, immediately following we read, "In
that day the Lord...shall punish Leviathan the piercing Serpent".
The connection, then, makes it plain that it is just before the
Millennium when God shall punish the Crooked Serpent, the Antichrist.
Now the very fact that the Wicked One is here denominated "the piercing
and crooked Serpent" hints strongly that he will be the son of
"that old Serpent, the Devil".
3. In the first two sections of Ezek. 28 two remarkable characters
are brought before us. The second who is described in vv. 12-19 has
received considerable attention from Bible students of the last two
generations, and since the late Mr. G. H. Pember pointed out that what
is there said of "the king of Tyrus" could be true of no earthly king or
mere human being, and must outline a character that none but Satan
himself (before his fall) could fill this view has been
adopted by most of the leading Bible teachers. But little attention has
been paid to the character described in the first ten verses of this
Now just as what is said in Ezek. 28 of "the king of Tyrus" can
only apply fully to Satan himself, so, what is said of "the prince of
Tyrus" manifestly has reference to the Antichrist. The parallelisms
between what is said here and what we find in other scriptures which
describe the Son of Perdition are so numerous and so evident, that we
are obliged to conclude that it is the same person which is here
contemplated. We cannot now attempt anything like a complete exposition
of the whole passage (though we hope to give one later) but will just
call attention to some of the outstanding marks of identification:
First, the Lord God says to this personage, "Because thine heart is
lifted up, and thou hast said I am a god, I sit in the seat of God" -
cf. 2 Thess. 2:4. Second, "Behold thou art wiser than Daniel" - cf. Dan
8:23, and 7:8, "Behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of men, and
a mouth speaking great things", which intimates that the Antichrist will
be possessed of extraordinary intelligence. Third, it is said of this
character, "With thy wisdom and with thine understanding thou hast
gotten thee riches, and hast gotten gold and silver into thy treasures"
9v. 4- cf. Psa. 52:7; Dan. 11:38).
Sufficient has been said, we trust, to show that under the figure
of this "prince of Tyrus" we may discern clearly the unmistakable
features of the coming Antichrist. But the particular point we would
make here, is this, that as Satan is termed "the king of Tyre", in the
second section of this chapter the Antichrist is referred to as "the
prince of Tyre". Antichrist, then, is related to Satan as "prince" is to
"king", that is, as son is to the father.
4. In Matt. 12:43 the Antichrist is called "The Unclean Spirit",
not merely an unclean spirit, but "the Unclean Spirit". We cannot
now stop and submit the evidence that it is the Antichrist who is here
in view, for this is another passage which we will consider carefully in
a later chapter. But in the writer's mind there is no doubt whatever
that none other than the Beast is here in view. If this be the case,
then we have further evidence that the coming One will be no mere man
indwelt by Satan, but a fallen angel, an evil spirit, the incarnation of
5. "Ye are of your father the Devil, and the lusts of your father
ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the
truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he
speaketh of this own; for he is a liar, and the father of it" (John
8:44). Here is still another proof that the Antichrist will be
superhuman, the offspring of Satan. In the Greek there is the definite
article before the word "lie" - the lie, "the Lie". There is another
passage in the New Testament where "the Lie" is mentioned, namely in 2
Thess. 2:11, where again the definite article is found in the Greek, and
there the reference is unmistakable.
A threefold reason may be suggested as to why the Antichrist should
be termed "the Lie". First, because his fraudulent claim to be the real
Christ will be the greatest falsehood palmed off upon humanity. Second,
because he is the direct antithesis of the real Christ, who is "the
Truth" (John 14:6). Third, because he is the son of Satan who is the
arch liar. But to return to John 8:44; "When he (the Devil) speaketh
(concerning) the Lie, he speaketh of his own". His "own" what? His "own"
son - the remainder of the verse makes this very plain - "for he (the
Devil) is a liar and the father of it", i.e. of "the Lie". The Lie then,
is Satan's Son"!
6. "That day shall not come, except there come a falling away (the
Apostasy) first, and that Man of Sin be revealed, the Son of
Perdition" (2 Thess. 2:3). Nothing could be plainer than this. Here
the Antichrist is expressly declared to be superhuman - "the Son of
Perdition". Just as the Christ if the Son of God, so Antichrist will be
the son of Satan. Just as the Christ dwelt all the fulness of the
Godhead bodily, and just as Christ could say "He that hath seen Me, hath
seen the Father", so the Antichrist will be the full and final
embodiment of the Devil. He will not only be the incarnation of the
Devil, but the consummation of his wickedness and power.
7. In Rev. 13:1 (R. V.) we read, "And he (the Dragon - see context)
stood upon the sand of the sea" - symbolic of taking possession of the
Nations: "And I saw a Beast coming up out of the sea, having ten
diadems, and upon his heads names of blasphemy". It is deeply
significant to mark how these things are here linked together as
cause and effect. The coming forth of the Beast (the Antichrist) is
immediately connected with the Dragon! But this is not all. Notice the
description that is here given of him: he has ten horns (fullness of
power) and seven heads (complete wisdom)" and this is exactly how Satan
himself is described in Rev. 12:3 - "And behold, a great red Dragon,
having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his heads names of
blasphemy"! Does not a linking of these scriptures prove beyond all
doubt that the Antichrist will be an exact replica of Satan
But one other thing, even more startling, remains to be considered,
and that is,
III. THE ANTICHRIST WILL BE JUDAS REINCARNATED.
1. In Psalm 55 much is said of the Antichrist in his relation to
Israel. Among other things we read there, "The words of his mouth were
smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer
than oil, yet were they drawn swords" (v. 21). The occasion for this sad
plaint is given in the previous verse - "He had put forth his hands
against such as be at peace with him: he hath broken his covenant".
The reference is to Antichrist breaking his seven-year Covenant with the
Jews (see Dan. 9:27; 11:21-24). Now if the entire Psalm be read through
with these things in mind, it will be seen that it sets forth the
sorrows of Israel and the sighings of the godly remnant during the
End-Time. But the remarkable thing is that when we come to vv. 11-14 we
find that which has a double application and fulfilment - "wickedness is
in the midst thereof: deceit and guile depart not from her streets. For
it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could have borne it:
neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me;
then I would have hid myself from him: But it was thou, a man mine
equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance. We took sweet counsel together,
and walked unto the house of God in company". These verses describe not
only the base treachery of Judas toward Christ, but they also announce
how he shall yet, when reincarnated in the Antichrist, betray and
desert Israel. The relation of Antichrist to Israel will be
precisely the same as that of Judas to Christ of old. He will pose as
the friend of the Jews, but later he will come out in his true
character. In the Tribulation period, the Nation of Israel shall taste
the bitterness of betrayal and desertion by one who masqueraded as a
"familiar friend". Hence, we have here the first hint that the
Antichrist will be Judas reincarnated.
2. "And your covenant with Death shall be disannulled, and your
agreement with Hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall
pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it" (Isa. 28:18). The
"Covenant" referred to is that seven-year one which is mentioned in Dan.
9:27. But here the one with whom this Covenant is made is termed "Death
and Hell". This is a title of the Antichrist, as "the Resurrection and
the Life" is of the true Christ. Nor is this verse in Isa. 28 the only
one where the Son of Perdition is so denominated. In Rev. 6 a four-fold
picture of him is given - the antithesis of the four-fold portrayal of
the Lord Jesus in the Gospels. Here he is seen as the rider on
differently colored horses, which bring before us four stages in his
awful career, and when we come to the last of them the Holy Spirit
exposes his true identity by telling us, "and his name that sat on him
was Death and Hell followed with him" (Rev. 6:8). Now "Hell" or "hades"
is the place which receives the souls of the dead, and the fact that
this awful name is here applied to Antichrist intimates that he has come
3. Above, we referred to Matt. 12:41-43 to prove that Antichrist
will be a super-human being, a fallen and unclean spirit; we turn to it
again in order to show that this coming incarnation of Satan has
previously been upon earth. The history of this "Unclean Spirit" is
divided into three stages. First, as having dwelt in "a man"; second, as
having gone out of a man, and walking through dry places, seeking rest
and finding none - this has reference to his present condition during
the interval between his two appearances on earth. Third, he says, "I
will return to my house". This Unclean Spirit, then, who has already
been here, who is now away in a place where rest is not to be found, is
to come back again!
4. In John 17:12 we have a word which, more plainly still, shows
that the Antichrist will be Judas reincarnated, for here he is termed by
Christ "The Son of Perdition". But first, let us consider the teaching
of Scripture concerning Judas Iscariot. Who was he? He was a "man"
(Matt. 26:24). But was he more than a man? Let Scripture make answer. In
John 6:70 we read, "Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a
Devil?" It is hardly necessary to say that in the Greek there are two
different words for "Devil" and "demon". There are many demons, but only
one Devil. Further, in no other passage is the word "devil" applied to
any one but to Satan himself. Judas then was the Devil incarnate, just
as the Lord Jesus was God incarnate. Christ Himself said so, and we dare
not doubt His word.
As we have seen, in John 17:12 Christ termed Judas "the Son of
Perdition", and 2 Thess. 2:3 we find that the Antichrist is similarly
designated - "That Man of Sin be revealed, the Son of Perdition". These
are the only two places in all the Bible where his name occurs, and the
fact that Judas was termed by Christ not a "son of perdition", but "the
Son of Perdition", and the fact that the Man of Sin is so named prove
that they are one and the same person. What other conclusion can a
simple and unprejudiced reader of the Bible come to?
5. In Rev. 11:7 we have the first reference to "the Beast" in the
Apocalypse: "The Beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit". Here
the Antichrist is seen issuing forth from the Abyss. What is the Abyss?
It is the abode of lost spirits, the place of their incarceration and
torment - see Rev. 20:1-3, and Luke 8:31, "deep" is the "abyss" and cf.
Matt. 9:28. The question naturally arises, How did he get there? and
when was he sent there? We answer, When Judas Iscariot died! The
Antichrist will be Judas Iscariot reincarnated. In proof of this we
appeal to Acts 1:25 where we are told, "that he may take part of this
ministry and apostleship from which Judas by transgression fell, that he
might go to his own place". Of no one else in all the Bible is it said
that at death he went "to his own place". Put these two scriptures
together: Judas went "to his own place", the Beast ascends out of the
6. In Rev. 17:8 we read, "The Beast that thou sawest was, and is
not; and shall ascend out of the Bottomless Pit, and go into perdition".
This verse is generally understood to refer to the revived Roman
Empire,and while allowing that such an application is warrantable, yet
we are persuaded it is a mistake to limit it to this. In the Apocalypse,
the Roman Empire and its final and satanic Head are very closely
connected, so much so, that at times it is difficult to distinguish
between them. But in Rev. 17 they are distinguishable.
In v. 8 we are told that the Beast "shall ascend out of the
Bottomless Pit", and that he shall go into perdition". In v. 11 we are
told, "And the Beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is
of the seventh, and goeth into perdition". Now nearly all expositors are
agreed that the Beast of v. 11 - the "eighth" (head, and form of
government of the Roman Empire) - is the Antichrist himself; then why
not admit the same of v.8? In both, the designation is the same - "the
Beast"; and in both, we are told he "goeth into perdition".
We take it, then, that what is predicted of "the Beast" in 17:8 is
true of both the Roman Empire and its last head, the Antichrist: of the
former, in the sense that it is infernal in its character. Viewing it
now as a declaration of the Antichrist, what does it tell us about him?
Four things. First, he "was". Second, he "is not". Third, he shall
"ascend out of the Bottomless Pit". Fourth, he shall "go into
perdition". The various time-marks here concern the Beast in his
relation to the earth. First, he "was", i.e. on the earth. Second, he
"is not", i.e. now on the earth (cf. Gen. 5:24, "Enoch was not for God
took him"; that is, "was not" any longer on earth). Third, he shall
"ascend out of the Bottomless Bit", where he is now, which agrees with
11:7. Fourth, he shall "go into perdition". We learn then from this
scripture that at the time the Apocalypse was written the Beast "was
not" then on the earth, but that he had been on it formerly.
Further, we learn that in John's day the Beast was then in the
Bottomless Pit but should yet ascend out of it. Here then is further
evidence that the Antichrist who is yet to appear has been on earth
7. "And the Beast was taken, and with him the False Prophet that
wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had
received the mark of the Beast, and them that worshipped his image.
These both were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with
brimstone". (Rev. 19:20). This gives the last word concerning the
Antichrist. It makes known the terrible fate which awaits him. He,
together with his ally, will be cast alive into the Lake of Fire. This
is very striking, and confirms what has been said above, namely, that
the Antichrist will be one who has already appeared on earth, and has
been in "the Abyss" during the interval which precedes his return to the
earth. And how remarkable Rev. 19:20 corroborates this. The Antichrist
will not be cast, eventually into the Abyss, as Satan will be at the end
of the Millennium (Rev. 20:1-3), but into the Lake of Fire which is the
final abode of the damned. Why is it that he shall not be cast into the
Abyss at the return of Christ? It must be because he has already been
there. Hence, the judgment meted out to him is final and irrevocable, as
will be that of the Devil a thousand years later, see Rev. 20:10.
Our next chapter will be devoted to an examination and
consideration of the many Names and Titles which are given to the
Antichrist in the Word of God, and we would urge the student to
diligently search the Scriptures for himself to see how many of these he
can find - there are over twenty.
There is a distinct science of nomenclature, a system of names, in
the Word of God. Probably every name in Scripture has either a historic,
a symbolic, or a spiritual significance. The names are inseparably bound
up with the narrative, and it frequently happens that the meaning of a
proper noun is a key to an important passage. Names are not employed by
the Holy Spirit in a loose and careless manner - of course not! - but
with definite design. A variety of names for the same individual are not
given in order to prevent monotonous repetition, but because the
significance of each separate appellation is best fitted to express what
is recorded in any given instance. "Devil" and "Satan" are not synonyms,
nor are they used at haphazard, but with Divine discrimination. Upon the
meaning of names found in Holy Writ rests a whole scheme of
interpretation; even the order in which names occur is not fortuitous
but designed, and constitutes a part of each lesson taught, or each
There is here a wide field opened for study, a field which few have
made serious effort to explore. It is strange that it has been so
neglected, for again and again the Holy Spirit calls attention to the
importane and meaning of names. In the first book of the Bible we find
that children and places were given meaningful names, which called to
remembrance incidents, experiences, characteristics of interest and
importance. Examples are given where names changed to harmonize with a
change in the person, place, experience, or situation where it occurred.
Abram and Sarai will at once occur to mind. For a place, take Luz, which
was changed to Bethel! - "House of God" - because by reason of a vision
he received there it became that to Jacob. Jacob's name is changed to
Israel; and in the New Testament an example is furnished in Simeon being
re-named Peter. In Heb. 7:1,2 the Holy Spirit calls attention to the
significance of the names Melchizedik and Salem (Jerusalem). These are
sufficient to show the importance of this line of study.
Names are used in Scripture with marvelous discrimination, and it
was this fact which first demonstrated to the writer, the verbal
inspiration of Scripture. The precision with which names are used in the
Bible is especially noticeable in connection with the Divine titles. The
names Elohim and Jehovah are found on the pages of the Old Testament
several thousand times, but they are never used loosely or
interchangeably. Over three hundred names and titles are given to the
Lord Jesus Christ, and each has its own distinctive significance and to
substitute any other for the one used would destroy the beauty and
perfections of every passage where they are found.
Names are employed to express character; titles are used to denote
relationships. It is only as we make a careful study of the various and
numerous names and titles of the Lord Jesus Christ, that we are in a
position to appreciate His infinite excellencies and the manifold
relationships which He sustains. From an opposite standpoint the same is
equally true of the Antichrist. As we pay careful attention to the
different names and titles which are given to him, we then discover what
a marvelously complete delineation the Holy Spirit has furnished us with
of the person, the character, and career of this monster of wickedness.
It is unfortunate that the great variety of names bestowed upon him has
led some brethren to the conclusion that they must belong to separate
persons, and has caused them to apportion these out to different
individuals; only confusion can result from this. There is almost as
much ground to make the Devil and Satan different persons, as there is
to regard (as some do) the Beast and the Antichrist as separate
entities. That the Devil and Satan are names belonging to the same
person, and that the Beast and the Antichrist is the selfsame
individual, is proven by the fact that identically the same
characteristics under each is found belonging to the one as to the
other. Instead of apportioning these names to different persons, we must
see that they denominate the same individual, only in different
relationships, or as giving us various phases of his character.
An old writer has said the name Devil is most suggestive of his
character. If "d" is taken away, evil is left. If "e" is taken
away vile is left. If "v" is taken away ill is left. And
if "i" is taken away and the next letter be aspirated, it tells of
hell. It is equally true of the Antichrist: his names reveal his
character, expose his vileness, and forecast his career and doom.
The names and titles given to the Antichrist are far more numerous
than is commonly supposed. We propose to give as complete a list as
possible, and offer a few comments on their significations. We shall not
expatiate on them at equal length, for that is not necessary; instead,
we shall say the most on those cognomens which are of the greater
importance, or, which because of their ambiguity call for a more
1. THE ANTICHRIST
"Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is
Antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son" (1 John 2:22).
This name introduces to us one of the most solemn and foreboding
subjects in the Word of God. It brings before us one of the persons in
the Trinity of Evil. At every point he is the antithesis of Christ. The
word "Antichrist" has a double significance. Its primary meaning is one
who is opposed to Christ; but its secondary meaning is one who is
instead of Christ. Let not this be thought strange, for it accords
with the two stages in his career. At first he will pose as the true
Christ, masquerading in the livery of religion. But, later, he will
throw off his disguise, stand forth in his true character, and set
himself up as one who is against God and His Christ.
Not only does antichrist denote the antagonist of Christ,
but it tells of one who is instead of Christ. The word signifies another
Christ, a pro-Christ, an alter christus, a pretender to the name
of Christ. He will seem to be and will set himself up as the true
Christ. He will be the Devil's counterfeit. Just as the Devil is an
Anti-theos - not only the adversary of God, but the usurper
of the place and prerogatives of God, demanding worship; so the Son of
Perdition will be anti-christ - not only the antagonist and
opponent of Christ, but His reval: assuming the very position and
prerogatives of Christ; passing himself off as the rightful claimant to
all the rights and honors of the Son of God.
2. THE MAN OF SIN, THE SON OF PERDITION.
"Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come,
except there come a falling away first, and that Man of Sin be
revealed, the Son of Perdition" (2 Thess. 2:3). This double
appellation is probably the most awful, the most important, and the most
revealing title given to the Antichrist in all the Bible. It diagnoses
his personality and exposes his awful character. It tells us he will be
possessed of a twofold nature: he will be a man, and yet more than a
man. He will be Satan's parody of the God-Man. He will be an incarnation
of the Devil. The world today is talking of and looking for the
Super-man. This is exactly what the Antichrist will be. He will be the
"That Man of Sin". What a frightful name! The sin of man will
culminate in the Man of Sin. The Christ of God was sinless; the Christ
of Satan will not only be sinful, but the Man of Sin. "Man of Sin"
intimates that he will be the living and active embodiment of every form
and character of evil. "Man of Sin" signifies that he will be sin itself
personified. "Man of Sin" denotes there will be no lengths of wickedness
to which he will not go, no forms of evil to which he will be a
stranger, no depths of corruption that he will not bottom.
"The Son of Perdition". And again we are forced to exclaim, what a
frightful name! Not only a human degenerate, but the offspring of the
Dragon. Not only the worst of human kind, but the incarnation of the
Devil. Not only the most depraved of all sinners, but an emanation from
the Pit itself. "Son of Perdition" denotes that he will be the
culmination and consummation of satanic craft and power. All the evil,
malignity, cunning, and power of the Serpent will be embodied in this
3. THE LAWLESS ONE.
"And then shall be revealed the Lawless One, whom the Lord
Jesus shall slay with the breath of His mouth, and bring to nought by
the manifestation of His coming" (2 Thess. 2:8 R. V.). This is another
name of the Antichrist which makes manifest his awful character. Each of
his names exhibits him as the antithesis of the true Christ. The Lord
Jesus was the Righteous One; the Man of Sin will be the Lawless One. The
Lord Jesus was "made under the law" (Gal. 4:4); the Antichrist will
oppose all law, being a law unto himself. When the Saviour entered this
world, He came saying, "Lo I come to do Thy will, O God" (Heb. 10:9);
but of the Antichrist it is written "And the king shall do according to
his will" (Dan. 11:36). The Antichrist will set himself up in
direct opposition to all authority, both Divine and human.
4. THE BEAST.
"And when they shall have finished their testimony the Beast
that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them,
and shall overcome them, and kill them" (Rev. 11:7). This is another
name which reveals the terrible nature and character of the Antichrist
and which places him in sharp antithesis from the true Christ. "The
Beast" is the title by which he is most frequently designated in the
Revelation: there are at least thirty references to him under this name
in the last book of the Bible. The Greek word signifies a wild beast.
This name "the Beast" contrasts the Antichrist from the true Christ as
"the Lamb"; and it is a significant fact that by far the great majority
of passages where the Lord Jesus is so designated are also found here in
the Apocalypse. The "Lamb" is the Saviour of sinners; the "Beast" is the
persecutor and slayer of the saints. The "Lamb" calls attention to the
gentleness of Christ; the "Beast" tells of the ferocity of the
Antichrist. The "Lamb" reveals Christ as the "harmless" One (Heb. 7:26);
the "Beast" manifests the Antichrist as the cruel and heartless one.
Under the Law lambs were ceremonially clean and used in sacrifice, but
beasts were unclean and unfit for sacrifices.
It is a point of interest to note that there is one other very
striking contrast between the persons in the Holy Trinity, and the
persons in the trinity of evil. At our Lord's baptism the Holy Spirit
descended upon Him in the form of a dove, and the first mention of the
Holy Spirit in Scripture represents Him as "brooding" like a dove over
the waters which covered the pre-Adamic earth (Gen. 1:2). How remarkable
are those symbols - a "Lamb" and a "Dove"! A Dove, not a hawk or an
eagle. The gentle, harmless, cooing "dove". Over against this the Devil
is termed "the Dragon". What a contrast - the Dove and the Lamb, the
Dragon and the Beast!
5. THE BLOODY AND DECEITFUL MAN.
"Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the Lord will abhor
the Bloody and Deceitful Man" (Psa. 5:6). The Psalm from which
this verse is quoted contains a prayer of the godly Jewish remnant,
offered during the Tribulation period. In proof of this assertion
observe that in v. 2 God is owned and addressed as "King". In v. 7
intimation is given that the Temple has been rebuild in Jerusalem, for
turning away from it when it has been defiled by "the Abomination of
Desolation", the remnant say, "But as for me I will come into Thy
house in the multitude of Thy mercy: and in Thy fear will I worship
toward Thy Holy Temple". While in v. 10 we find them praying for
the destruction of their enemies, which is parallel with Rev. 6:10. It
is during that time the faithful remnant will exclaim, "Thou shalt
destroy them that speak leasing: the Lord will abhor the Bloody and
The Bloody and Deceitful Man views the Antichrist in relation to
the Jews. In the earlier stages of his public career he poses as their
friend and benefactor. He recognizes their rights as a separate State
and appears anxious to protect their autonomy. He makes a formal
covenant with them (Dan. 9:27) and their peace and security seem
assured. But a few years later he comes out in his true character. His
fair speeches and professions of friendship are seen to be false. He
breaks his covenant (Psa. 55:20) and turns upon the Jews in fury. Their
benefactor is now their worst enemy. The protector of their interests
now aims to cut them off from being a nation in the earth (Psa. 83:4).
Thus is he rightfully denominated by them "the Bloody and Deceitful
6. THE WICKED ONE.
"The Wicked (One) in his pride doth persecute the poor: the Wicked
(One), through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God" (Psa.
10:2,4). This entire Psalm is about the Wicked One. The opening verse
gives the key to its dispensational scope. It contains the cry of the
Jewish remnant during the Tribulation period, here denominated "Times of
Trouble" (cf. Jer. 30:7). So desperate is the situation of the true
Israel, it seems as though Jehovah must have deserted them - "Why
standeth Thou afar off, O Lord? Why hidest Thou Thyself in times of
trouble? (v. 1). Then follows a remarkably full description of their
arch-enemy, the Wicked One. His pride (v. 2), his depravity: "He
abhorreth the Lord" (v. 3 margin); his blasphemy: "All his thoughts are,
There is no God" (v. 4 margin); his grievous ways, (v. 5); his consuming
egotism, (v. 6); his deceitfulness, (v. 7); his treachery, (v. 8); his
cruelty, (vv. 9,10); his complacent pride, (v. 11), is each described.
Then the Remnant cry, "Arise, O Lord; O God, lift up Thine hand: forget
not the humble. Break Thou the arm of the Wicked and Evil One" (vv. 12
and 15). The whole Psalm should be carefully studied.
7. THE MAN OF THE EARTH.
"To judge the fatherless and the oppressed, that the Man of the
Earth may no more oppress" (Psa. 10:18). The "Wicked One" describes
his character; the "Man of the Earth" defines his position. The one
speaks of his awful depths of depravity; the other of his vast
dominions. The sphere of his operations will be no mere local one, He
will become World-emperor. He will be a king of kings and lord of lords,
(Rev. 13:7). When the true Christ appeared on earth Satan offered Him
"all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them" if He would fall
down and worship him. When the false Christ appears, this offer will be
repeated, the conditions will be met, and the tempting gift will be
bestowed (Rev. 13:2). In consequence of this he shall be "the Man of the
Earth"; just as later, Christ shall be "King over all the earth" (Zech.
8. THE MIGHTY MAN.
"Why boasteth thou thyself in mischief, O Mighty Man" (Psa.
52:1). This is another Psalm which is devoted to a description of this
fearful character. Here again we have mention of his boastfulness (v.
1), his deceitfulness (v. 2), his depravity (v. 3), his egotism (v. 4),
his riches (v. 7). His doom is also announced (v. 5). This title, the
Mighty Man, refers to his immense wealth and possessions, and the power
which they confer upon their possessor. It also points a striking
contrast: Christ was the Lowly Man, not having where to lay His head;
the Antichrist will be the Mighty Man, of whom it is said, "Lo, this is
the man that made not God his strength; but trusted in the abundance of
his riches, and strengthened himself in his substance" (:sa. 52:7).
9. THE ENEMY.
"Because of the voice of the Enemy, because of the
oppression of the Wicked: for they cast iniquity upon me, and in wrath
they hate me" (Psa. 55:3). This is another title used of the Antichrist
in connection with Israel, a title which recurs several times both in
the Psalms and the Prophets. It points a designed contrast from that
Friend that "sticketh closer than a brother". This Enemy of Israel
oppresses them sorely. His duplicity and treachery are here referred to.
Concerning him Israel shall exclaim, "The words of his mouth were
smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer
than oil, yet were they drawn swords" (Psa. 52:21). Let the student be
on the lookout for passages in the Old Testament which make mention of
10. THE ADVERSARY.
"They said in their hearts, Let us destroy them together: they have
burned up all the synagogues of God in the land. We see not our signs:
there is no more any profit: neither is there any among us that knoweth
how long. O God, how long shall the Adversary reproach? Shall the
Enemy blaspheme Thy name forever?" (Psa. 74:8-10). This title occurs in
several important passages. In Isa. 59:19 we read, "So shall they fear
the name of the Lord from the west, and His glory from the rising of the
sun. When the Adversary shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the
Lord shall lift up a standard against him". Lam. 4:11,12 is another
scripture which obviously speaks of the End-time. "The Lord hath
accomplished His fury; He hath poured out His fierce anger, and hath
kindled a fire in Zion, and it hath devoured the foundations thereof.
The kings of the earth, and all the inhabitants of the world, would not
have believed that the Adversary and the Enemy should have entered into
the gates of Jerusalem". In Amos 3:11 we read, "Therefore thus saith the
Lord God; an Adversary there shall be even round about the land; and he
shall bring down thy strength from thee, and thy palaces shall be
spoiled". This is a title which intimates his satanic origin, for the
Greek word for Devil means adversary.
11. THE HEAD OVER MANY COUNTRIES.
"He shall judge among the heathen, he shall fill the places with
the dead bodies; he shall wound the Head over many countries" (Psa.
110:6). The context here shows that it must be the Antichrist which is
in view. The Psalm opens by the Father inviting the Son to sit at His
right hand until His enemies shall be made His footstool. Then follows
the affirmation that Jehovah will display His strength out of Jerusalem,
and make His people Israel willing in the day of His power. Then,
following Jehovah's oath that Christ is a Priest forever after the order
of Melchizedek (which contemplates the exercise of His millennial and
royal priesthood), we read, "The Lord at thy right hand shall strike
through kings in the day of His wrath. He shall judge among the heathen,
He shall fill the places with the dead bodies; He shall wound the Head
over many countries". The "Day of His wrath" is the closing portion of
the Tribulation period, and in the Day of His wrath. He wounds this Head
over many countries. The Head over many countries refers to the Man of
Sin as the Caesar of the last world-empire, prior to the establishment
of the Messianic Kingdom.
12. THE VIOLENT MAN.
"Deliver me, O Lord, from the Evil Man: preserve me from the
Violent Man" (Ps. 140:1). This is another Psalm which expresses the
plaintive supplications of the godly remnant in the "time of Jacob's
trouble". Three times over the Antichrist is denominated the Violent
Man. In v. 1 the remnant pray to be delivered from him. In v. 4 the
petition is repeated. In v. 11 his doom is foretold. Cry is made for God
to take vengeance upon this bloody persecutor: "Let the burning coals
fall upon them: let them be cast into the fire; into deep pits, that
they rise not up again. Let not an evil speaker be established in the
earth: evil shall hunt the Violent Man to overthrow him" (Psa.
140:10,11). The Violent Man is a name which fully accords with his
Beast-like character. It tells of his ferocity and rapacity.
13. THE ASSYRIAN.
"O Assyrian, the rod of Mine anger, and the staff in their
hand in Mine indignation...Wherefore it shall come to pass, that when
the Lord hath performed His whole work upon mount Zion and on Jerusalem,
I will punish the fruit of the stout heart of the King of Assyria,
and the glory of his high looks" (Isa. 10:5,12). We cannot here attempt
an exposition of the important passage in which these verses occur -
that, in subsequent chapters, we shall treat in detail of the Antichrist
in the Psalms, and the Antichrist in the Prophets - suffice it now to
point out that it treats of the End-time (see vv. 12,20), and that the
leading characteristics of the Man of Sin can be clearly discerned in
what is here said of the Assyrian. Almost all pre-millennial students of
prophecy are agreed that "the King of Isa. 30:33 is the Antichrist, and
yet in the two verses which precede, this "King" is identified with "the
14. THE KING OF BABYLON.
"Thou shalt take up this proverb against the King of Babylon,
and say, How hath the oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased!" (Isa.
14:4). We do not wish to anticipate what we shall discuss at length in
our future studies, enough now to state it is our firm conviction that
Scripture plainly teaches that there will be another Babylon which will
eclipse the importance and glories of the one of the past, and that
Babylon will be one of the headquarters of the Antichrist. He will have
three: Jerusalem will be his religious headquarters, Rome his
political, and Babylon his commercial. For those who desire
to anticipate our future expositions, we recommend them to make a minute
study of Isa. 10,11,13,14; Jer. 49:51; Zech. 5, and Rev. 18.
15. SON OF THE MORNING.
"How art thou fallen from heaven O Lucifer, son of the Morning!
How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations"
(Isa. 14:12). "Lucifer is a Latin word which signifies the "morning
star". "All the ancient versions and all the Rabbins make the word a
noun denoting the bright one, or, more specifically, bright
star, or according to the ancients more specifically still, the
Morning Star or harbinger of daylight" (Dr. J. A. Alexander). This
term "Lucifer" has been commonly regarded as one of the names of Satan,
and what is here said of the Morning Star is viewed as describing his
apostasy. Against this interpretation we have nothing to say, except to
remark that we are satisfied it does not exhaust this remarkable
scripture. A detailed exposition must be reserved for a later chapter.
Sufficient now to point out that however Isa. 14 may look back to the
distant past when, through pride, Satan fell from his original estate,
it most evidently looks forward to a coming day and gives another
picture of the Antichrist. In this same passage "Lucifer" is termed "the
Man that did make the earth to tremble" (v. 16), and in his blasphemous
boast "I will be like the Most High" (v. 14), we have no difficulty in
identifying him with the Man of Sin of 2 Thess. 2:3,4. The force of this
particular title "Morning Star" is seen by comparing it with Rev. 22:16,
where we learn that this is one of the titles of the God-man. The
"Morning Star" speaks of Christ coming to usher in the great Day of rest
for the earth. In blasphemous travesty of this Satan will send forth the
mock messiah to usher in a false millennium.
16. THE SPOILER.
"Let mine outcasts dwell with thee, Moab; be thou a covert to them
from the face of the Spoiler: for the Extortioner is at an end,
the Spoiler ceaseth, the oppressors are consumed out of the land.
And in mercy shall the throne be established: and He shall sit upon it
in truth in the tabernacle of David, judging, and seeking judgment, and
hasting righteousness" (Isa. 16:4,5). It will be observed that the verse
in which the Antichrist is spoken of as the Spoiler comes immediately
before the one where we read of the throne being established, a
reference, of course, to the setting up of the Messianic Kingdom. These
two things synchronize: the destruction of Antichrist, and the beginning
of the real Messiah's reign; hence we read here "the Spoiler ceaseth". A
further reference to the Man of Sin under this title of the Spoiler is
found in Jer. 6:26: "O daughter of My people, gird thee with sackcloth,
and wallow thyself in ashes: make thee mournings, as for an only son,
most bitter lamentation: for the Spoiler shall suddenly come upon
thee". This is another title which views the Antichrist in connection
with Israel. After the return of many of the Jews to Palestine, and
after their rights have been owned by the Powers, and their security and
success seem assured; their enemy, filled with satanic malice, will seek
their extermination. "The Spoiler" contrasts him with the Lord Jesus who
is the great Restorer (see Psa. 69:4).
17. THE NAIL.
"In that day, saith the Lord of hosts, shall the Nail that
is fastened in the sure place be removed, and be cut down, and fall; and
the burden that was upon it shall be cut off: for the Lord hath spoken
it" (Isa. 22:25). The last ten verses of this chapter should be read
carefully. They furnish a striking foreshadowment of the End-time.
Shebna was holding some office over (note "government" in v. 21) Israel.
Apparently he was a usurper. God announced that he should be set aside
in shame, and the man of His choice - Eliakim - should take his place.
These historical figures merge into prophetic characters. In v. 22 we
read that God says, "And the key of the house of David will lay upon His
shoulder, so He shall open, and none shall shut; and He shall shut, and
none shall open". As we know from Rev. 3:7 this refers to none other
than the Lord Jesus, and of Him it is here said, "And I will fasten Him
as a Nail in a sure place; and He shall be for a glorious throne to His
father's house" (v. 23). Then, in the closing verse of the chapter we
read, "In that day, saith the Lord of hosts, shall the Nail that is
fastened in a sure place be removed, and be cut down, and fall". Just as
Eliakim foreshadowed Christ, so Shebna pointed forward to the
Antichrist; and just as in v.23 we have a prophecy announcing the
establishment of Messiah's Kingdom, so in v. 25 we have foretold the
overthrow of the false messiah's kingdom.
18. THE BRANCH OF THE TERRIBLE ONES.
"Thou shalt bring down the noise of strangers, as the heat in a dry
place; even the heat with the shadow of a cloud; the Branch of the
terrible ones shall be brought low" (Isa. 25:5). The first five
verses of this chapter contemplate the Enemy's stronghold - Babylon -
and the remainder of the chapter pictures the blessedness of the
millennial era. In the fifth verse the Antichrist's overthrow is
announced: "The Branch of the terrible ones shall be brought low". With
this should be compared Isa. 14:19, where of Lucifer it is said, "Thou
art cast out of thy grave like an abominable Branch". This points
another contrast. The "Branch" is one of the Messianic names: "Behold, I
will bring forth My Servant, the Branch" (Zech. 3:8); "Behold the man
whose name is the Branch" (Zech. 6:12). By placing together Isa. 4:2 and
Isa. 14:19 the antithesis will be more evident. Of Christ it is said,
"The Branch of the Lord shall be beautiful and glorious".
Antichrist is called "an abominable Branch": Christ is "the
Branch of the Lord"; Antichrist is "the Branch of the terrible
19. THE PROFANE AND WICKED PRINCE OF ISRAEL.
"And thou, profane wicked Prince of Israel, whose day is
come, when iniquity shall have an end, thus saith the Lord God; remove
the diadem, and take off the crown; this shall not be the same; exalt
him that is low, and abase him that is high. I will overturn, overturn,
overturn it: and it shall be no more, until He come whose right it is;
and I will give it Him" (Ezek. 21:25-27). The Profane and Wicked Prince
of Israel here can be none other than the Antichrist, for we are
expressly told that his day shall be when iniquity shall have an end".
The reference is, of course, to Israel's "iniquity", and their iniquity
shall end at the appearing of the Messiah (see Dan. 9:24) when "He shall
be a priest upon His throne" (Zech. 6:13). "Here in Ezekiel we see how
the Son of Perdition shall ape the Christ of God, for he, too, will be a
priest-king: "Remove the diadem" refers to the insignia of his
priesthood (in every other place in the O. T. where this occurs the
Hebrew word here translated "diadem" it is rendered "mitre" - worn only
by the high priest of Israel); "take off the crown" is the symbol of his
20. THE LITTLE HORN.
"I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them
another Little Horn, before whom there were three of the first
horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this Horn were eyes like
the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things" (Dan. 7:8). For a
full description of the Antichrist under this title see Dan. 7:8-11,
21-26; 8:9-12, 23-25. We must reserve our comments on these verses till
a later chapter. "Little Horn" refers to the lowly political
origin of the Antichrist, and describes him as he is before he attains
21. THE PRINCE THAT SHALL COME.
"And after three score and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but
not for Himself: and the people of the Prince that shall come
shall destroy the city and the sanctuary" (Dan. 9:26). This title
connects the Antichrist with the Roman Empire in its final form, and
presents him as the last of the Ceasars.
22. THE VILE PERSON.
"And in his estate shall stand up a Vile Person, to whom
they shall not give the honor of the kingdom: but he shall come in
peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries" (Dan. 11:21). This
contrasts the Antichrist from "the Holy One of Israel". His identity is
established by noting what is predicted of him.
23. THE WILFUL KING.
"And the King shall do according to his will; and he shall
exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak
marvelous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the
indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done"
(Dan. 11:36). The Antichrist will not only be the High Priest of the
world's religion, but he will be King supreme at the head of its
24. THE IDOL SHEPHERD.
"For, lo, I will raise up a Shepherd in the land, which shall not
visit those that be cut off, neither shall seek the young ones, nor heal
that that is broken, nor feed that that standeth still: but he shall eat
the flesh of the fat, and tear their claws in pieces. Woe to the Idol
Shepherd that leaveth the flock! The sword shall be upon his arm,
and upon his right eye: his arm shall be clean dried up, and his right
eye shall be utterly darkened" (Zech. 11:16,17). This is in evident
contrast from the Good Shepherd who gave His life for His sheep. The
Idol Shepherd of deluded Israel will prove himself the monster
Desolator, who shall bring upon that people the severest tribulations
ever experiences by that race.
25. THE ANGEL OF THE BOTTOMLESS PIT.
"And they had a king over them, which is the Angel of the
bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in
the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon" (Rev. 9:11). "Abaddon" and "Apollyon"
mean Destroyer. It is the "Spoiler" of Isa. 16:4 rendered
"Destroyer" in Jer. 4:7. That his name is here given in the Hebrew and
the Greek shows that he will be connected with both the Jews and the
Other names of the Antichrist which the student may look up are,
"The Rod of God's anger" (Isa. 10:12); "The Unclean Spirit" (Matt.
12:43); "The Lie" (2 Thess. 2:11); "A Star" (Rev. 8:10 and 9:1); and
"The Vine of the Earth" (Rev. 14:18).
In our next chapter we shall deal with the genius of the
Antichrist, and point out the many striking comparisons and contrasts
between him and the Christ of God. Let the student see how many points
of resemblance and opposition he can find.
For six thousand years Satan has had full opportunity afforded him
to study fallen human nature to discover its weakest points and to learn
how best to make men do his bidding. The Devil knows full well how to
dazzle men by the attraction of power, and how to make them quail before
its terrors. He knows how to gratify the craving for knowledge and how
to satisfy the taste for refinement and culture, he can delight the ear
with melodious music and the eye with entrancing beauty. If he could
transport the Saviour from the wilderness to a mountain, in a moment of
time, and show Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory, he is
no novice in the art of presenting alluring objects before his victims
today. He knows how to stimulate energy and direct inquiry, and how to
appease the craving for the occult. He knows how to exalt men to dizzy
heights of worldly greatness and fame, and how to control that greatness
when attained, so that it may be employed against God and his people.
It is true that up to now Satan's power has been restrained, and
his activities have been checked and often counteracted by the Spirit of
God. The brightest fires of the Devil's kindling can burn but dimly
whilever God sheds around them the power of heavenly light. They require
the full darkness of night in order to shine in the full strength
of their deceiving brightness; and that time is coming. The Word of God
reveals the fact that a day is not far distant when Divine restraint
will be removed; the light of God will be withdrawn; and then shall
"darkness cover the earth and gross darkness the people" (Isa. 60:2).
Not only will that which has hindered the full development of the
Mystery of Iniquity be removed, but God will "send them strong delusion
that they should believe the Lie" (2 Thess. 2:13), and Satan will take
advantage of this; he will then make full use of all the knowledge which
he has acquired during the last six thousand years.
Satan will become incarnate and appear on earth in human form. As
we have shown in previous chapters, the Antichrist will not only be the
Man of Sin, but also "the Son of Perdition", the Seed of the Serpent.
The Antichrist will be the Devil's masterpiece. In him shall dwell all
the fulness of the Devil bodily. He will be the culmination and
consummation of Satan's workings. The world is now talking of and
looking for the Superman; and the Devil is soon to supply him. The
Antichrist will be no ordinary person, but one possessed of
extraordinary talents. He will be endowed with superhuman powers. With
the one exception of the God-man he will be the most remarkable
personage who has ever appeared upon the stage of human history. But to
1. He will be an intellectual genius.
He will be possessed of extraordinary intelligence. He will be the
Devil's imitation of that blessed One "in whom are hid all the treasures
of wisdom and knowledge" (Col. 2:3). This Son of Perdition will surpass
Solomon in wisdom. In Dan. 7:20 he is represented as "A horn that had
eyes". It is a double symbol. The "horn" prefigures strength; "eyes"
speak of intelligence. Again, in Dan. 8:23 he is referred to as "A King
of fierce countenance". who shall "understand dark sentences". That
which baffles others shall be simple to him. The Hebrew word here
translated "dark sentences" is the same as the one rendered "hard
questions" in 1 Kings 10:1, where we read of the Queen of Sheba coming
to Solomon with her "hard questions" in order to test his wisdom. It is
also the word that is used in Samson's riddle in Judges 14. It indicates
that the Antichrist will be master of all the secrets of occult science.
Ezek. 28:3 declares of him "Beholding, thou art wiser than Daniel; there
is no secret that they can hide from thee". This will be one of his most
alluring attractions. His master mind will captivate the educated world.
His marvelous store of knowledge, his acquaintance with the secrets of
nature, his superhuman powers of perception, will stamp him as an
intellectual genius of the first magnitude.
2. He will be an oratorical genius.
In Dan. 7:20 we are told that he has "a mouth that spake very great
things". As a wizard of words he will surpass Demosthenes. Here also
will the Devil imitate that One "who spake as never man spake". The
people were "astonished" at Christ's doctrine (Matt. 7:28), and said
"Whence hath this man this wisdom?" (Matt. 13:54). So will it be with
this daring counterfeiter: he will have a mouth speaking very great
things. He will have a perfect command and flow of language. His oratory
will not only gain attention but command respect. Rev. 13:2 declares
that his mouth is "as the mouth of a lion" which is a symbolic
expression telling of the majesty and awe producing effects of his
voice. The voice of the lion excels that of any other beast. So the
Antichrist will out rival orators ancient and modern.
3. He will be a political genius.
He will emerge from obscurity, but by dint of his diplomatic skill
he will win the admiration and compel the cooperation of the political
world. In the early stages of his career he appears as "a little horn"
(or power), but it is not long before he climbs the ladder of fame, and
by means of brilliant statesmanship, ascends its topmost rung. Like the
majority of politicians, he will not scruple to employ questionable
methods; in fact it will be by diplomatic chicanery and intrigue that he
will win his early successes. Dan. 11:21 tells us that at first they
will not give to him the honor of the kingdom, but "he shall come in
peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries". Once he gains the
ascendancy none will dare to challenge his authority. Kings will be his
pawns and princes his playthings.
4. He will be a commercial genius.
"And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his
hand" (Dan. 8:25). Under his regime everything will be nationalized, and
none will be able to buy or sell without his permission (Rev. 13:17).
All commerce will be under his personal control, and this will be used
for his own aggrandizement. The wealth of the world will be at his
disposal. There are several scriptures which call attention to this. For
example in Psa. 52:7 we read, "Lo, this is the man that made not God his
strength; but trusted in the abundance of his riches; and
strengthened himself in his substance". Again, in Dan. 11:38 we are
told, "But in his estate shall he honor the god of forces (Satan): and a
god whom his fathers knew not shall be honor with gold, and silver, and
with precious stones, and pleasant things". Even plainer is Dan. 11:43,
"But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and silver,
and over all the precious things of Egypt". In the last verse of
Dan. 11 mention is made of his "palace". He will be wealthier than
Croesus. Ezak. 28:4,5 speaks of him thus, "With thy wisdom and with
thine understanding thou hast gotten thee riches, and hast gotten gold
and silver into thy treasures: By thy great wisdom and by thy traffic
hast thou increased thy riches, and thine heart is lifted up because of
thy riches". Thus will he be able to wield the sceptre of financial
power and outdo Solomon in all his glory.
5. He will be a military genius.
He will be endowed with the most extraordinary powers, so that "he
shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practice, and shall
destroy the mighty and the holy people" (Dan. 8:24). Before his exploits
the fame of Alexander and Napoleon will be forgotten. None will be able
to stand before him. He will go "forth conquering and to conquer" (Rev.
6:2). He will sweep everything before him so that the world will
exclaim, "Who is like unto the Beast? who is able to make war with him?"
(Rev. 13:4). His military exploits will not be confined to a corner, but
carried out on a vast scale. He is spoken of as the man who will "shake
kingdoms" and "make the earth to tremble" (Isa. 14:16).
6. He will be a governmental genius.
He will weld together opposing forces. He will unify conflicting
agencies. Under the compelling power of his skill the world Powers will
be united. The dream of a League of Nations will then be realized. The
Orient and the Occident shall no longer be divided. A marvelous symbolic
picture of this is given us in Rev. 13:1,2: "And I stood upon the sand
of the sea, and saw a Beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads
and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the
name of blasphemy. And the Beast which I saw was like unto a leopard,
and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a
lion: and the Dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great
authority". Here we find the forces of the Roman, the Grecian, the Medo-Persian,
and the Babylonian empires coalesced. He will be the personal embodiment
of the world's political authority in its final form. So completely will
the world be swayed by the hypnotic spell cast over it by the Beast that
the ten kings of the Roman empire in its ultimate form shall "give their
kingdoms unto him" (Rev. 17:17). He will be the last great Caesar.
7. He will be a religious genius.
He will proclaim himself God, demanding that Divine honors should
be rendered to him and sitting in the Temple shall show himself forth
that he is God (2 Thess. 2:4). Such wonders will he perform, such
prodigious marvels will he work, the very elect would be deceived by him
did not God directly protect them. The Man of Sin will combine in
himself all the varied genius of the human race, and what is more, he
will be invested with all the wisdom and power of Satan. He will be a
master of science, acquainted with all of nature's forces, compelling
her to give up for him her long held secrets. "In this master-piece of
Satan", says one, "will be concentrated intellectual greatness,
sovereign power and human glory, combined with every species of
iniquity, pride, tyranny, wilfulness, deceit, and blasphemy, such as
Antiochus Epiphanes, Mohammed, the whole line of popes, atheists, and
deists of every age of the world have failed to unite in any individual
"All the world wondered after the Beast" (Rev. 13:3). His final
triumph shall be that, wounded by a sword, he shall live again (Rev.
13:3). He shall raise himself from the dead, and so wonder-struck will
men be at this stupendous marvel they will readily pay him Divine
homage, yea, so great will be his dazzling power over men, they will
worship his very image (Rev. 13:14,15).
Having contemplated something of the genius of Satan's prodigy, let
us now consider his character. In doing so we shall view him in the
light of the Character of the Lord Jesus. Christ is the Divine
plumb-line and standard of measurement by which all character must be
In our last chapter we pointed out how that the distinguishing
title of the coming Super-man - the Antichrist - has a double
significance, inasmuch as it points to him as the imitator of Christ and
the opponent of Christ. Hence, in studying his character, we find a
series of comparisons and a series of contrasts drawn between the false
christ and the true Christ; and these we now propose to set before the
Comparisons between Christ and the Antichrist.
Satan is the master-counterfeiter, and in nothing will this appear
more conspicuously than in his next great move. He is now preparing the
stage for his climactic production, which will issue in a blasphemous
imitation of the Divine incarnation. When the Son of Perdition appears
he will pose as the Christ of God, and so perfect will be his disguise,
the very elect would be deceived, were it not that God will grant them
special illumination. It is this disguise, this simulation of the true
Christ which we shall now examine, pointing out the various parallelisms
which Scripture furnishes:
1. Christ was the subject of Old Testament prophecy: so also is the
Antichrist; many are the predictions which describe this coming one, see
especially Dan. 11:21-45.
2. The Lord Jesus was typified by many Old Testament characters
such as Abel, Joseph, Moses, David, etc. So also will the Antichrist be:
such characters as Cain, Pharaoh, Absolom, Saul, etc., foreshadow the
Man of Sin. We shall devote a separate chapter to this most fascinating
and totally neglected branch of our subject.
3. Christ was revealed only at God's appointed time: such will also
be the case with the Antichrist. Of the one we read, "But when the
fulness of time was come, God sent forth His Son" (Gal. 4:4); of the
other it is said, "And now we know what withholdeth that he might be
revealed in his time" (2 Thess. 2:6).
4. Christ was a Man, a real Man, "the Man Christ Jesus" (1 Tim.
2:5); so also will the Antichrist be - "that Man of Sin" (2 Thess. 2:3).
5. But Christ was more than a man; He was the God-Man; so also will
the Antichrist be more than a man: the Super-man.
6. Christ was, according to the flesh, a Jew (Rom. 1:3); so also
will the Antichrist be - for proofs see chapter three, section one.
7. Christ will make a covenant with Israel (Heb. 8:8); so also will
the Antichrist (Dan. 9:27).
8. Christ is our "Great High Priest"; so Antichrist will yet be
Israel's great high priest (Ezek. 21:26).
9. Christ was and will be the King of the Jews (Matt. 2:1); so also
will the Antichrist be (Dan. 11:36).
10. Christ will be the King of kings (Rev. 17:14); so also will the
Antichrist be (Rev. 17:12,13).
11. Christ wrought miracles: of Him it is said "approved of God
among you by miracles and wonders and signs" (Acts 2:22); so also will
the Antichrist, concerning whom it is written, "whose coming is after
the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders" (2
12. Christ's public ministry was limited to three years and a half;
so also will the Antichrist's final ministry be (Rev. 13:5).
13. Christ is shown to us riding a "white horse" (Rev. 19:11); so
also is the Antichrist (Rev. 6:2).
14. Christ will return to the earth as Prince of Peace (Isa.
9:6,7); so also will the Antichrist introduce an era of peace (Dan.
11:21); it is to this that 1 Thess. 5:3 directly refers.
15. Christ is entitled "the Morning Star" (Rev. 22:16); so also is
the Antichrist (Isa. 14:12).
16. Christ is referred to as Him "which was, and is, and is to
come" (Rev. 4:8); the Antichrist is referred to as him that "was, and is
not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit" (Rev. 17:8).
17. Christ died and rose again; so also will the Antichrist (Rev.
18. Christ will be the object of universal worship (Phil. 2:10); so
also will the Antichrist (Rev. 13:4).
19. The followers of the Lamb will be sealed in their foreheads
(Rev. 7:3; 14:1); so also will the followers of the Beast (Rev.
20. Christ has been followed by the Holy Spirit who causes men to
worship Him; so the Antichrist will be followed by the Anti-spirit - the
False Prophet - who will cause men to worship the Beast (Rev. 13:12).
There is no need for us to make any comments on these striking
correspondences: they speak for themselves. They show the incredible
lengths to which God will permit Satan to go in mimicking the Lord
Jesus. We turn now to consider:
Contrasts between Christ and the Antichrist.
I. In their respective Designations.
1. One is called the Christ (Matt. 16:16); the other the Antichrist
(1 John 4:3).
2. One is called the Man of Sorrows (Isa. 53:3); the other the Man
of Sin (2 Thess. 2:3).
3. One is called the Son of God (John 1:34); the other the Son of
Perdition (2 Thess. 2:3).
4. One is called the Seed of woman (Gen. 3:15); the other the seed
of the Serpent (Gen. 3:15).
5. One is called the Lamb (Isa. 53:7); the other the Beast (Rev.
6. One is called the Holy One (Mark 1:24); the other the Wicked One
(2 Thess. 2:8).
7. One is called the Truth (John 14:6); the other the Lie (John
8. One is called the Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6); the other the
wicked, profane Prince (Ezek. 21:25).
9. One is called the glorious Branch (Isa. 4:2); the other the
abominable Branch (Isa. 14:19).
10. One is called the Mighty Angel (Rev. 10:1); the other is called
the Angel of the Bottomless Pit (Rev. 9:11).
11. One is called the Good Shepherd (John 10:11); the other is
called the Idol Shepherd (Zech. 11:17).
12. One has for the number of His name (the gematria of "Jesus")
888; the other has for the number of his name 666 (Rev. 13:18).
II. In their respective Careers.
1. Christ came down from heaven (John 3:13); Antichrist comes up
out of the bottomless pit (Rev. 11:7).
2. Christ came in Another's Name (John 5:43); Antichrist will come
in his own name (John 5:43).
3. Christ came to do the Father's will (John 6:38); Antichrist will
do his own will (Dan. 11:36).
4. Christ was energized by the Holy Spirit (Luke 4:14); Antichrist
will be energized by Satan (Rev. 13:4).
5. Christ submitted Himself to God (John 5:30); Antichrist defies
God (2 Thess. 2:4).
6. Christ humbled Himself (Phil. 2:8); Antichrist exalts himself
7. Christ honored the God of His fathers (Luke 4:16); Antichrist
refuses to (Dan 11:37).
8. Christ cleansed the temple (John 2:14,16); the Antichrist
defiles the temple (Matt. 24:15).
9. Christ ministered to the needy (Isa. 53:7); Antichrist robs the
poor (Psa. 10:8,9).
10. Christ was rejected of men (Isa. 53:7); Antichrist will be
accepted by men (Rev. 13:4).
11. Christ leadeth the flock (John 10:3); Antichrist leaveth the
flock (Zech. 11:17).
12. Christ was slain for the people (John 11:51); Antichrist slays
the people (Isa. 14:20).
13. Christ glorified God on earth (John 17:4), Antichrist
blasphemes the name of God in heaven (Rev. 13:6).
14. Christ was received up into heaven (Luke 24:51); Antichrist
goes down into the Lake of Fire (Rev. 19:20).
We now come to the most interesting and yet the most difficult part
of our subject. When will the Antichrist be manifested? where will he
appear? what will he do? are questions which readily occur to all who
have given any thought to the matter. It is not our purpose to seek to
satisfy the idly curious, still less is it to gratify those who love the
sensational. We are well aware that our present theme is one that
appeals strongly to the curiously inclined, and were it not for the
importance of our inquiry we would leave it alone. But without due
regard to the person and place of the coming Superman, it is impossible
to understand the eschatology of either the Old or New Testaments.
The chief difficulty is to arrange in chronological sequence the
many passages which treat of the Antichrist. It is by no means easy to
discover the precise order in which the prophecies which deal with the
Man of Sin will receive their fulfillment. There is great need for much
prayerful study along this line. We can only write according to the
light we now have, and our readers must examine for themselves what we
say in the light of the Scriptures. It ill becomes any one to be
dogmatic where the Word itself does not plainly state the exact time
when certain prophecies are to be fulfilled.
In this chapter we are placed somewhat at a disadvantage, because
we shall be obliged to give brief expositions of many scriptures where
it will be impossible for us to pause and furnish proofs or reasons for
each interpretation. For example, it is our firm conviction that the
Assyrian of Isa. 10, the king of Babylon of Isa. 14, the Little Horn of
Dan. 7, the Little Horn of Dan. 8, and the first Beast of Rev. 13, each
and all view the Antichrist himself in different relationships. There
are some Bible students who may take issue with us on these points, and
complain because that in this chapter we make assertions without
endeavoring to prove them. We regret this, but would ask all to bear
with us patiently. In the later chapters of this book we shall devote
separate studies to the Antichrist in the Psalms, in the Prophets, in
the Gospels and Epistles, and in the Apocalypse; when we shall endeavor
to examine each passage separately and attempt to give scriptural proofs
for every interpretation adopted.
While it is admittedly difficult, and perhaps impossible, to fit
each prophecy concerning the Antichrist into its proper chronological
place, we are able to determine the relative position of most of them.
The career of the Antichrist is divided into two distinct parts, and
there is a clearly defined dividing line between them. In previous
chapters we have pointed out how that the name "Antichrist" has a double
meaning, signifying one who imitates Christ, and one who is opposed to
Christ. This double meaning to his name corresponds exactly with the two
chief parts in his career. In the first, he poses as the true Christ,
claiming to be indeed the Messiah of Israel. This claim will be backed
up with the most imposing credentials, and all excepting God's elect
will be deceived. He will sit in the Temple (a rebuilt temple in
Jerusalem) showing himself forth to be God, and Divine honors will be
paid him. But at a later stage he will throw off his mask, and appear in
his true character as the opponent of Christ and the defier of God.
Then, instead of befriending the Jews, he will turn against them and
seek to exterminate them from the earth. Thus, with many of the
scriptures which describe the person and career of the Antichrist it is
a comparatively easy matter to decide whether they belong to the first
or to the second stage of his history. But beyond this it is difficult,
with some scriptures at least to go.
We shall now consider, first the time of Antichrist's appearing. It
is hardly necessary for us to enter into a lengthy argument to show that
the Antichrist (as such) has not already appeared. Many antichrists have
already come and gone, and some are in the world even now; the same is
equally true of the many false prophets foretold in Scripture; but all
of these are but the forecasts and foreshadowings of the Antichrist and
the False Prophet, who are yet to be revealed, and who will receive
their final overthrow by the Lord Jesus at His return to the earth.
Before the Antichrist can appear the Holy Spirit must be "taken out of
the way" (2 Thess. 2:7); the old Roman Empire must be revived and assume
its final form - divided under ten kings" - before the "Little Horn"
comes into prominence (Dan. 7:24 - he rises "after them"): Israel must
be restored to their land and the Temple be rebuilt, etc., etc.
At the present time the ultimate development of "the Mystery of
Iniquity" is being hindered. God's people are the salt of the earth, and
their presence here stays the corruption of the "carcass" (Matt. 24:28 -
The "Carcass" is the antithesis of the "Body" of Christ). The saints are
the light of the world, and while they remain in it is impossible for
darkness to cover the earth and gross darkness the people (Isa. 60:2).
The Spirit of God is here, indwelling believers, and His holy presence
checks the final outworking of Satan's plans. But when all believers of
this dispensation have been "caught up to meet the Lord in the air" (1
Thess. 4:16), and the Holy Spirit has departed from the earth, all
restraint will be removed, and Satan will be allowed to bring forth his
false christ, who will be "revealed in his time" (2 Thess. 2:6), and it
would seem that even now signs are not wanting to show that God has
already given permission to Satan to prepare the stage of action for the
ghastly consummation of his evil efforts. There can be no doubt but that
the Devil has desired to reveal the Son of Perdition long before this,
so that by means of him he may reduce the whole world to submission. But
the restraining hand of God, now so soon to be removed, has held him
The time, then, when the Antichrist will be revealed is after this
present Dispensation of Grace has run its course; after the Mystical
Body of Christ has been completed; after the whole company of God's
people have been caught up to meet the Lord in the air; after the Holy
Spirit has departed from the world. How soon after we cannot say for
certain. The majority of prophetic students seems to think that the last
great Caesar will come into prominence almost immediately after the
rapture of the saints. Personally, we believe there will be an interval,
long or short, between the two. As there was a period of thirty years
after the birth of the Lord Jesus - a period of silence - before His
public ministry commenced, so there may be a similar interval between
the Rapture and the Revelation of Antichrist.
The Antichrist will enter the arena of public affairs before the
beginning of Daniel's seventieth week, for at the beginning of it he
makes a seven-years covenant with the Jews, then in their land. But at
that point he will be the Dictator of the world's policies, and as he
begins in comparative obscurity (at least from a governmental
standpoint), some time - probably years - must be allowed for his
gradual rise to political supremacy. His meteoric course will not be
terminated until the Lord Himself descends to earth to usher in the
Millennium. Just as the reign of Saul preceded that of David, so shall
that of Antichrist antedate that of the true Christ.
We turn now to consider the place of Antichrist's appearing. So far
as the writer is aware there are only two scriptures which give direct
information upon this point, and they are each found in the prophecy of
Daniel. We refer to the passages which speak of "the Little Horn". In
Dan. 7:7,8 we read, "After this I saw in the night visions, and, behold,
a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it
had great iron teeth: it devoured and break in pieces, and stamped the
residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that
were before it; and it had ten horns. I considered the horns, and,
behold, there came up among them another little horn". This fourth Beast
is the last world-empire, prior to the setting up of the Messianic
kingdom. This empire will, at first, be ruled over by ten kings - the
"ten horns" of v.7 and defined as ten kings in v. 24. After them arises
another, the "Little Horn", which signifies another "king', see v. 24.
He is termed "little" because at that stage his kingdom is but small
compared with that of the others, and the power he then wields is
insignificant when contrasted from the ten kings. But not for long will
he remain weak and insignificant. Soon the ten kings will themselves own
allegiance to this eleventh - see Rev. 17: 12,13. We reserve for a later
chapter the proofs that this "Little Horn' is the Antichrist, asking our
readers to study carefully the description furnished of him in Dan. 7:8,
20-27; 8:9-12, 23-25.
Taking it for granted (at the moment) that the Little Horn of Dan.
7 is the Antichrist let us see how what is there said of him helps us to
determine the quarter from which he will arise. In Dan. 7:7 the "fourth
Beast" is described, and in 7:23 we are told, "the fourth beast shall be
the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms,
and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it
in pieces". This Kingdom will be divided into ten parts, over which will
be the ten kings (7:24). This kingdom will be, we believe, the old Roman
Empire revived in its final form, and divided into two great halves -
the Eastern and the Western. This fourth kingdom will include within
itself all the territory and will perpetuate all the dominant
characteristics of the other three which have preceded it, i.e. the
Babylonian, the Medo-Persian, and Grecian. Turning now to Dan. 7:8 we
are told, "I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them
another little horn". The Antichrist, then, will have his rise within
the limits of the old Roman Empire. This narrows considerably our circle
of inquiry. The next question is, Can we determine from which part of
the empire he will arise - the Eastern or the Western? Dan. 8 furnishes
light upon this point.
In Dan. 8:8,9 we read, "Therefore the he-goat waxed very great: and
when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and for it came up four
notable ones toward the four winds of heaven. And out of one of them
came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south,
and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land". Now v. 21 of this
same chapter tells us, "The rough goat is the king (kingdom) of Grecia",
and v. 22 informs us "and the great horn that is between his eyes is the
first king. Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four
kingdoms (or kings) shall stand up out of the nation". This, of course,
refers to the act of Alexander the Great who divided his kingdom into
four parts - Greece, Egypt, Syria, and the rest of the domains of Turkey
- under his four great generals: Ptolemy, Cassander, Lysimachus, and
Seleucus. This, again, very appreciably narrows our circle of inquiry.
Dan. 7 tells us the Little Horn is to arise in a part of the territory
covered by the old Roman Empire, which Empire gradually included within
its domains that the the preceding empires. Now here in Dan. 8 we learn
that the Little Horn will spring from that part of the revived Roman
Empire which was included in the Grecian Empire. But this is not all
that Dan. 8 tells us. The Grecian Empire is here viewed as disintegrated
into four parts or kingdoms, from which of these parts, then, may we
expect him to issue - Macedonia, Egypt, Syria, or Thrace? This question,
we believe, receives answer in Dan. 8:( where we are told, that the
Little Horn "waxed exceeding great toward the south, and toward the
east, and toward the pleasant land". Practically all students are agreed
that "the south" here refers to Egypt, the "east" to Persia and Greece
and "the pleasant land' to Palestine, hence it would seem that the
country from which Antichrist will first be manifested is Syria. It will
be noted that nothing is said in Dan. 8:9 about the Little Horn "waxing
great" toward the north, and we believe the reason for this is because
that is the quarter from whence he shall arise. This is confirmed by the
fact that "the king of Assyria" in Isa. 10:12 is clearly none other than
the Antichrist. We may say this was the current view of Christian
writers on prophecy through the first ten centuries A.D. The late Mr. W.
B. Newton in his splendid "Aids to the Study of Prophetic Inquiry" has
succinctly summarized the various arguments of the ancients in the
following language: -
"In the first place, as Nimrod - the founder of Babel, that is, the
Tower of Babylon - a savage tyrant and cruel oppressor of men, was the
first person who declared open war against God; so it is meet that there
should arise from the selfsame Babylon, the last and most atrocious
persecutor of the saints - the Antichrist. Moreover, seeing that
Nebuchadnezzar and Antiochus Epiphanes - two monsters who bore down upon
the people of God with an overwhelming power of destruction, and who
were the antichrists of the old Testament and remarkable types of the
Antichrist which is to come; seeing, I say, that these monarchs reigned
in Babylon, it is fitting that the true Antichrist of the New Testament
should arise from the same Babylon.
"Besides, no place can be pointed out more meet for the nativity of
Antichrist than Babylon, for it is the City of the Devil - always
diametrically opposed to Jerusalem, which is deemed the City of God; the
former city, that is, Babylon, being the mother and disseminator of
every kind of confusion, idolatry, impiety - a vast sink of every foul
pollution, crime, and iniquity - the first city in the world which cut
itself off from the worship of the true God - which reared the city of
universal vice, - which perpetually (according to the record of Holy
Writ) carries on the mystery of iniquity, and bears imprinted on her
brow the inscription of blasphemy against the name of God. The
consummation, therefore, of impiety, which is to have its recapitulation
in Antichrist, could not break forth from a more fitting place than
Having dwelt at some length on the time and the place of the
Antichrist's appearing, we shall attempt to give now a brief outline of
the leading events in his career. We have seen that the scriptures which
help us to determine the direction from which he will arise, speak of
him under the title of the Little Horn. Now the first thing this title
denotes is that he is a king, king of Assyria. Some, no doubt, will
wonder how a Jew will succeed in obtaining the throne of Syria. Several
answers might be suggested, such, for example, as heading a successful
rebellion - the spectacle of an obscure plebeian speedily rising to the
rank of national Dictator, has been forcibly exhibited before our own
eyes in Russia. But on this point we are not left to speculation. Dan.
11:21 tells us that the "Vile Person" will come in peaceably, and obtain
the kingdom by flatteries. With this agrees Rev. 6:2, where the
Antichrist is seen riding a white war-horse, and with bow in hand, but
with no arrow fitted to it. The symbol suggests bloodless victories.
As soon as this Jew acquires the crown of Syria he will speedily
enlarge his dominions. As Rev. 6:2 tells us, he will go forth
"conquering and to conquer", and as we are told further in Hab. 2:5, "He
is a proud man, neither keepeth at home, who enlarged his desire as
hell, and is as death, and cannot be satisfied, but gathereth unto him
all nations, and heapeth unto him all people". The first thing which is
predicted of him (as "the Little Horn") is that "he shall subdue three
kings" (Dan. 7:24). As to what kings these may be, appears to be
intimated in Dan. 8:9 where we are told, "And out of one of them came
forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great toward the south, and
toward the east, and toward the pleasant land". He waxes great first
toward the south, that is, most probably, by a victorious expedition
into Egypt. Next, he is seen moving toward the east, reducing, to what
extent we are not told, the dominions of Persia and Greece; finally he
turns his face toward the pleasant land, which is Palestine. Without
being dogmatic, we would suggest that the three kings he subdues are
those of Egypt, Persia, and Greece.
Having subdued the three kings by his military prowess a "league"
is made with him (see Dan. 11:23). Probably it is the remaining seven
kings of the revived Roman Empire, plus the three vassals of the
Antichrist who take the place of the kings he had deposed, that enter
into this League with the Little horn, or king of Assyria; but he shall
work deceitfully, and shall become strong with a small people (Dan.
11:23). So strong does he become that in a short time he rises to
political supremacy, and the whole of the ten kings shall "give their
kingdom unto the Beast". (Rev. 17:17), and he will then be recognized as
the imperial Emperor. Thus as King of kings he will dictate the policies
of Europe and Asia.
"The Little Horn will revive in himself all the personified glory
of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome. And let not this be regarded
as an event incredible. We are to remember that Antichrist will be
Satan's masterpiece; furnished with every auxiliary of influence and
wealth, for wresting the sceptre from the hands of Him who won it by His
humiliation of the Cross. Thus it is said he will `resist the God of
gods'. The accumulated and restored honors of each royal successor are
thus to crown the brow of this last and greatest of Gentile monarchs.
And so shall he stand in his unrivalled magnificence till the Stone
shall smite him and his power, and grind all to powder" (Mrs. G.
After the Antichrist has acquired the political sovereignty of the
prophetic earth he will then enter upon his religious role, claiming to
be the Christ of God and demanding Divine honors. At first sight it
appears strange, if not incongruous, that a military despot should be
found filling the character of a religious impostor. But history shows
that there is a point at which one character readily merges into the
other. Political ambition, intoxicated by success, finds it an easy step
from self-glorification to self-deification, and the popular infatuation
as easily passes from the abject adulation of the tyrant to the
adoration of the god. Or again; a religious impostor, encouraged by the
ascendancy he has acquired over the minds of men, grasps the sceptre of
secular power and becomes the most arbitrary of despots. Rev. 13:4 makes
it plain that the military prowess of the Antichrist first induces men
to render him Divine homage: "And they worshipped the Dragon which gave
power unto the Beast: and they worshipped the Beast, saying, Who is like
unto the Beast? who is able to make war with him?" But no ordinary
honors will suffice him. His religious ambitions are as insatiable as
his political, for he will "oppose and exalt himself above all that is
called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the
temple of God, showing himself that he is God" (2 Thess. 2:4). This
claim to be God Himself, incarnate, will be backed up by imposing
credentials, for his coming will be, "after the working of Satan, with
all power and signs and lying wonders" (2 Thess. 2:9). These miracles
will be no mere pretenses, but prodigies of power.
The Jews, previously returned to Palestine, and with temple in
Jerusalem rebuilt, will receive this Son of Perdition as their
long-promised Messiah" (John 5:43). In imitation of the true Christ who
will, at His return to the earth, "make a new covenant with the House of
Israel and with the House of Judah" (Heb. 8:8, compare Jer. 31 and Ezek.
36), the Antichrist will make a covenant with the Jews (see Dan. 9:27
and 11:22). Under a seven years' treaty, and in the guise of friendship,
he will gain ascendancy in Jerusalem, only later to throw off the mask
and break the covenant.
About seven months after the Antichrist, the "Prince" (i.e. of the
Roman Empire) of Dan 9:27 has made the Covenant with the Jews he will
begin to "practice" in Jerusalem (Dan. 8:24). This we believe is the
explanation of the two thousand three hundred days of Dan. 8:14 which
has puzzled so many of the commentators. This two thousand three hundred
days is the whole period during which the false messiah will practice in
Jerusalem and have power over the "sanctuary": two thousand three
hundred days is seven years less seven months and ten days.
There, in Jerusalem, he will pose as the Christ of God, the Prince
of Peace. The world will suppose that the long looked- for Millennium
has arrived. There will be every indication that the eagerly desired
Golden Age has, at last, dawned. The great Powers of Europe and Asia
will have been united under the ten-kingdomed Empire. It will be
expected that the League of Nations guarantees the peace of the earth.
For a season quietness and amity will prevail. None will dare to oppose
the mighty Emperor. But not for long will the hideous war-spectre hide
himself. Soon will the "white horse" of Rev. 6 be found to change his
hue. A "red horse" will go forth, and then "peace shall be taken from
the earth" (Rev. 6). At the very time the world is congratulating itself
that all is well, and the slogan of the hour is "Peace and Safety", then
"sudden destruction cometh upon them" (1 Thess. 5:3).
In the midst of the seven years the Antichrist will throw off his
mask, break his covenant with Israel, and stand forth as the most daring
idolater who has ever trodden this earth. After he has "practiced" in
Jerusalem for two years and five months, he will take away the daily
sacrifice (Dan. 8:11; 9:27) from the Temple, and in its place rear an
image to himself in the holy place, which is the "abomination of
desolation" referred to by Christ (see Matt. 24:15).
This brings us to the great dividing line in his career, to which
reference was made near the beginning of this chapter. It is a point not
only of interest but of considerable importance to ascertain what it is
that causes this startling change of front, from posing as the true
Christ to that of the open defier of God. There are several scriptures
which throw light on this point. Satan will cause the Man of Sin to
crown his daring imitation of the Christ of God by being slain and
rising again from the dead.
Both the Old and the New Testaments refer to the death of the
Antichrist, and attribute it to the sword. In Rev. 13:14 we read that
the false Prophet shall say to them that dwell on the earth that they
should make an image to the Beast, which had the wound by the sword and
did live. In harmony with this we read in Zech. 11:17, "Woe to the Idol
Shepherd that leaveth the flock! The sword shall be upon his arm, and
upon his right eye". It is to be noted that before we read that "the
sword shall be" upon him, we are told that he "leaveth the flock", and
the previous verse tells us that he was raised up "in the land", which
can only mean that he was ruling in Palestine. Hence it is clear that he
leaves the Land before he receives his death wound by the sword. In
perfect accord with this is what we read in Isa. 37:6,7 (in a later
chapter we shall treat at length of the future Babylon, restored; the
connection of Antichrist with it, and the typical and prophetical
significance of Isa. 37 and 38); "Behold, I will send a blast upon him,
and he shall hear a rumour, and return to his own land; and I will cause
him to fall by the sword in his own land".
Leaving Palestine, the Antichrist will "return to his own land",
that is, the land of his nativity - Assyria - which confirms what we
have said previously about Assyria being the country where Antichrist
will first be manifested. There, in his own land, he will fall by the
sword. Most probably he will be slain there by his political enemies,
envious of his power and chafing under his haughty autocracy. In death
he will be hated and dishonored, and burial will be refused him. It is
to this that Isa. 14 (speaking of the King of Babylon, see v.4) refers:
"But thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch, and as
the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that
go down to the stones of the pit. As a carcass trodden under feed, thou
shalt not be joined with them in burial, because thou hast destroyed thy
land, and slain thy people" (vv. 19,20). But his enemies will suddenly
be filled with consternation and then admiration for to their amazement
this one slain by the sword shall rise from the dead, and his deadly
wound will be healed - note how this is implied in Isa. 14, for v. 25
shows him once more in the land of the living, only to meet his final
doom at the hands of the Lord Himself. It is to this amazing
resurrection of the Antichrist that Rev. 13:3,4 refers: "And I saw one
of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was
healed: and all the world wondered after the Beast. And they worshipped
the Dragon which gave power unto the Beast: saying, Who is like unto the
Beast? who is able to make war with him?" Details of his resurrection
are supplied in Rev. 9, from which we gather that just as Christ was
raised from the dead by God the Father, so the Antichrist will be raised
from the dead by his father the Devil, see v. 1 where the fallen "Star",
which refers to Satan, is given the "key to the bottomless pit", and
when this is happened there comes out of it the mysterious "locusts"
whose king is the Destroyer (v. 11), the Antichrist.
A further reference to the resurrection of the Antichrist, his
coming forth from the Bottomless Pit, is found in Rev. 17:8: "The Beast
that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the Bottomless
Pit, and go into Perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall
wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the
foundation of the world, when they behold the Beast that was, and is
not, and yet is". It is to be noted that the earth-dwellers wonder when
they behold the Beast that was (alive), and is not (now alive), and yet
is (raised again). The world will then be presented with the spectacle
of a man raised from the dead. All know him, for his career and amazing
progress were eagerly watched; his wonderful achievements and military
campaigns were the subject of daily interest; his transcendent genius
elicited their admiration. They had witnessed his death. They stood
awe-struck, no doubt, at the downfall of this King of kings. And now he
is made alive; his wound of death is healed; and the whole world
wonders, and worships him.
It is about this time, apparently, that the "False Prophet" (Rev.
13:11-16), the third person in the Trinity of Evil will appear on the
scene. From a number of scriptures it is evident that the Antichrist
will not spend all his time in Palestine during the last three and a
half years of his career. It seems that shortly after the middle of the
"week" the Beast will turn his face again toward Babylon, leaving the
False Prophet to act as his vicegerent, compelling all in Jerusalem to
worship the image of the Beast under pain of death (Rev. 13:15). It is
to be noted that Hab. 2:5 tells us that the Antichrist is "a proud man,
neither keepeth at home, who enlarged his desire as hell, and is
as death, and cannot be satisfied, but gathereth unto him all nations,
and heapeth unto him all people".
The reason for the Antichrist's return to Babylon is not far to
seek. Having thrown off his mask of religious pretension, he now stands
forth as the Defier of God. His first move now will be to blot out from
the earth everything that bears His name. To accomplish this the Jewish
race must be utterly exterminated, and to this end he will put forth all
his power to banish Israel from the earth. He will make war with the
saints (the Jewish saints) and prevail against them (Dan. 7:21; 8:24):
this is the going forth of the "red horse" of Rev. 6:4.
Those of the godly remnant who are left will "flee to the
mountains" (Matt. 24:16), and there they will be hunted like partridges.
It is then they will cry, "Keep not Thou silence, O God: hold not Thy
peace, and be not still, O God. For, lo, Thine enemies make a tumult:
and they that hate Thee have lifted up the head. They have taken crafty
counsel against Thy people, and consulted against Thy hidden ones. They
have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation;
that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance" (Psa. 83:1-4).
Then, because many of the Jews will be found in that day dwelling in
Babylon (see Jer. 50:8; 51:6, 45; Rev. 18:4) the Antichrist will go
thither to wreak his vengeance upon them. But not for long will he be
suffered to continue his blasphemous and bloody course. Soon will heaven
respond to the cries of the faithful remnant of Israel, and terrible
shall be the punishment meted out on their last enemy. This, however,
must be left for consideration in our next chapter, when we shall treat
of the last days and doom of the Antichrist.