I am so glad you asked this question, for there is a lot of confusion on this subject. As we shall see, the Antichrist MUST be a Jew, or he would never be received by the nation of Israel. In John 5:43 Jesus foretold the coming of the Antichrist and his reception by the Jews: “I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive” (NKJV). The Jews should have accepted Jesus as their long-awaited Messiah, for He came just as the Old Testament prophets had predicted. He was born in Bethlehem from the tribe of Judah, just as Micah the prophet had predicted (see Micah 5:2). He performed the miracles that Isaiah had said He would (see Isaiah 35:5-6; 42:7; etc.). He spoke God’s truth as the Prophet which Moses had foretold in Deuteronomy 18:17. A few people did accept Jesus as their Messiah and God’s Prophet (see John 1:35-49), but the masses in Israel rejected Him (John 1:11) as the prophet Isaiah predicted they would (Isaiah 53:1-3). Yet a day is coming when another Jew will proclaim himself as the Christ and God’s Prophet and the vast majority in Israel will receive him. He will NOT be born in Bethlehem, and he may not come from the tribe of Judah; he will NOT perform the miracles that Isaiah foretold; and he will NOT be a true prophet of God (he will be the “False Prophet,” as we shall see). He will be a Jew though, for the Jews would never receive a Gentile as their King.

I would now like to give some references which speak of the Antichrist, and we will see that he is indeed a Jew who will come from the land of Israel, but we will also see that he is a self-deceived man who will be controlled by Satan and deceive most of the people living in the world at that time.

1) 1st John 2:18: “Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour.” This is the only reference where he is actually called THE ANTICHRIST. The word implies that he “PRETENDS to be Christ” and that he “OPPOSES Christ.” There were others living in John’s Day that were guilty of this very thing, but they were all a mere foreshadowing of the real Antichrist who will appear in a future day.

2) 2nd Thessalonians 2:3-4, 9-10: “Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the MAN OF SIN is revealed, the SON OF PERDITION, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself to be God….The coming of the LAWLESS ONE is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” The world will marvel at this man because of the miracles he is able to perform, and they will indeed worship him as if he were God, but as we see in this passage his power to perform “signs and lying wonders” is through Satan. They will not be done to bless mankind, but to deceive them! Thus, he is called the “man of sin” and the “lawless one” and also the “son of perdition” because he will be “devoted to destruction.”

3) Revelation 13:11-14a, b: “Then I saw ANOTHER BEAST coming up OUT OF THE EARTH (or “land”) and he had two horns LIKE A LAMB and spoke LIKE A DRAGON. And he exercises all the authority of the FIRST BEAST in his presence, and causes the earth those who dwell in it to WORSHIP THE FIRST BEAST…He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire to come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of all men. And HE DECEIVES THOSE WHO DWELL ON THE EARTH BY THOSE SIGNS which he was grant to do in the sight of the beast.” Here the Antichrist is called a BEAST who pretends to be a LAMB (for as we saw earlier, he will “pretend to be Christ”). Yet his goal is to DECEIVE the world and to force them to worship the FIRST BEAST (which will be a political leader ruling over the Revived Roman Empire). These “two beasts,” along with Satan, will be the “unholy trinity” who are opposed to the “holy Trinity” (God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit).

4) Daniel 11:36-38: “Then THE KING shall do according to his own will: he shall exalt and magnify himself above every god, he shall speak blasphemies against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the wrath has been accomplished; for what has been determined shall be done. He shall not regard neither the God of his fathers nor the desire of women, nor regard any god; for he shall exalt himself above them all. But in their place HE SHALL HONOR THE GOD OF FORTRESSES; and a god which his fathers did not know he shall honor.” If you compare this with what we have seen, you will see this is indeed the FALSE KING (the Antichrist) who will be received by the Jews and demand worship for himself. And as we saw he will also demand worship for the “god of fortresses,” the Head of the Revived Roman Empire (who is spoken of at length in the prophecies of Daniel), who is guaranteeing Israel military protection against their enemies. Notice, he does not regard “the God of his fathers” (the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob), proving beyond doubt that he is indeed a Jew.

5) Revelation 19:20: “Then THE BEAST was captured, and with him THE FALSE PROPHET who worked signs in his presence…these two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone.” We have seen where the Antichrist ORIGINATES FROM; here we see HIS END! When Christ returns to establish His kingdom the TWO BEASTS (the Roman Prince and the Antichrist) are the first two occupants of the lake of fire.  (DO)  (495.1)