35 Question 3

By definition, the very word, Antichrist, shows that this person is against Christ.  While he is spoken of in various places in the scriptures, we only have the word ‘Antichrist’ in the first and second epistles of John.  John makes it clear that there are antichrists and there is the Antichrist.  Let’s read 1 John 2:18, “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.”  So, while there is an Antichrist to come, there are already antichrists among us; those who deny and oppose the Christ, the Lord Jesus.  How do we recognize antichrists among us?  1 John 2:22 tells us, “Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.”  One that denies that Jesus is the Christ and denies the Father and the Son; he is an antichrist.

There is one that is called the Antichrist that is yet to come.  Let’s read about him in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-12, “Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction.  He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.  Don’t you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things?  And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time.  For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way.  And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming.  The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.  For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.”  This antichrist, the man of lawlessness, the one that opposes and exalts himself above God is the one yet to come.  There is one that holds back the antichrist until the proper time for him to be revealed.  The Holy Spirit is the one that does that work.  Notice here that the antichrist is not Satan, but he works “in accordance with the work of Satan.”  The antichrist will perform counterfeit miracles and people will accept him as the Messiah, even as the Lord Jesus, Himself, foretold in John 5:43 where He said, “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.”

In Revelation, chapter 13, we read of two beasts.  The first one is described in verses 1-10.  The second beast in described in Revelation 13:11-18, “And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying 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. 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.  And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:  And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.”  We can see by his great wonders and deception, this is the antichrist that is spoken of in 2 Thessalonians, chapter 2.  He is called the false prophet in Revelation 19:20, “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 a lake of fire burning with brimstone.”  Even as there is a Holy Trinity that is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; there is also an unholy trinity that is the beast, the false prophet, and Satan.

Just as there were two people in the Bible that were taken to Heaven without dying, there will be two cast into Hell without dying.  Enoch and Elijah did not see death, but were taken straight to Heaven.  The beast and the false prophet will be cast alive into the lake of fire.  Later, Satan will be cast into that same lake of fire as we read in Revelation 20:10, “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”