Identifying the Antichrist: Some Characteristics to Look For

The identity of the Antichrist will not be a mystery at the midpoint of the tribulation. The Antichrist will reveal his true identity when he sits in the temple of God and claims that he is God:

“(3) 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; (4) 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, shewing himself that he is God.” (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4)

Although the Antichrist will reveal his identity in the future, there are many people who would like to monitor his activities beforehand.

Some of you reading this article may wonder if there’s anyone today who will serve as the Antichrist in the future. I imagine that many of you look for certain qualities when you try to identify him.

I will share with you some of the qualities I look for when attempting to identify the Antichrist in this article.

Antichrist’s Charisma

I expect the Antichrist to be a very charismatic leader. I expect the Antichrist to be capable of

  • Exciting large crowds.
  • Persuading many people to become fanatical followers of his.
  • Persuading world leaders to support his ideas.

More specifically, I believe the level of charisma that the Antichrist will possess could rival or even exceed the level of charisma that Adolf Hitler had at his peak.

Hitler attracted millions with his charisma. The OSS, a World War 2 intelligence agency, described the impact his charisma had on Germans:

“Unquestionably, as a speaker, he has had a powerful influence on the common run of German people. His meetings were always crowded and by the time he got through speaking he had completely numbed the critical faculties of his listeners to the point where they were willing to believe almost anything he said… And somehow he always managed to say what the majority of the audience were already secretly thinking but could not verbalize. When the audience began to respond, it affected him in return. Before long, due to this reciprocal relationship, he and his audience became intoxicated with the emotional appeal of his oratory.[1]

Unlike Hitler, I expect the Antichrist to be fluent in at least a few widely-spoken languages, including the English language.

  • This ability would enable the Antichrist to persuade people from a variety of countries to follow him.
  • Also, being multilingual would enable the Antichrist to use his charisma to persuade leaders of different countries to agree to his ideas, requests, and demands.

Antichrist: The Problem Solver

I expect the Antichrist to begin his rise to power as a person who deals with some of the world’s major problems through diplomacy. Revelation 6:2 indicates that the Antichrist may be seen as a messianic type as he represents the rider of the white horse:

“And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.” (Revelation 6:2)

Antichrist & Mideast Issues

The Mideast is one of the top issues the Antichrist is likely to address. He will likely work to shape relations between Israel and its neighbors.

The main reason for this expectation is that Daniel 9:27 tells us that the Antichrist will be able to confirm a “covenant with many” for “one week” (seven years) at the start of the tribulation:

“And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” (Daniel 9:27)

The “covenant with many” will involve Israel & its neighbors and relate to Mideast peace in some way. We see in Daniel 9:27 that temple sacrifice will transpire during the first half of the tribulation.

It is possible that the covenant will be an all-encompassing Mideast peace deal that allows temple sacrifice to begin in the future Third Temple in Jerusalem.

Antichrist as a Military Leader

The Antichrist will likely be a successful military leader (if he isn’t already a decorated military leader before his rise) in the latter part of his rise. Daniel 11:39 suggests that he will be able to take on the strongest opponents and win:

“(38) But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things. (39) Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain.” (Daniel 11:38-39)

I wouldn’t rule out the possibility for the Antichrist to lull many leaders into a false sense of security so he can later launch surprise attacks against them. Daniel 8:25 mentions that the Antichrist will “by peace shall destroy many”:

“And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand. (Daniel 8:25)

Antichrist’s Arrogance

It’s obvious that the Antichrist will have a huge ego since he will have the audacity to claim that he is God and will demand the world to worship him (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4). Daniel 11:36 and Daniel 8:25 also confirm that Antichrist will be the most arrogant person of all time:

“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.” (Daniel 11:36)

“And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.” (Daniel 8:25)

Antichrist’s Ruthlessness

I expect the Antichrist to not be benevolent towards others behind the scenes. Daniel 8:23 indicates that the Antichrist will be a “king of fierce countenance” which suggests that he will rule in a very harsh manner:

“And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up.” (Daniel 8:23)

Antichrist & Women

I don’t believe the Antichrist will be a womanizer as Daniel 11:37 suggest that the Antichrist will not regard the desire of women:

“Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.” (Daniel 11:37)

This does not mean that the Antichrist won’t marry or have a girlfriend (I can see him being married to aid his public image). However, you probably won’t see the Antichrist’s name in the tabloids for being around a bunch of different women.

Antichrist’s Religion

I do not expect the Antichrist to be a follower of any of the world’s five major religions. Instead, I expect the Antichrist to be an occult practitioner.

Daniel 8:23 mentions that the Antichrist will understand “dark sentences”. Some believe “dark sentences” implies that the Antichrist is into some sort of magic:

“And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up.” (Daniel 8:23)

Antichrist’s Ethnicity

I am not 100% sure what ethnicity the Antichrist will be. Some say that the Antichrist will be Assyrian.

  • Proponents of this theory point to how end time chapters Isaiah 10, Isaiah 30, and Micah 5 mention the “Assyrian” in a role that arguably fits the Antichrist. Here are verses from each of the chapters mentioned:

“Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD of hosts, O my people that dwellest in Zion, be not afraid of the Assyrian: he shall smite thee with a rod, and shall lift up his staff against thee, after the manner of Egypt.” (Isaiah 10:24)

“And the LORD shall cause his glorious voice to be heard, and shall shew the lighting down of his arm, with the indignation of his anger, and with the flame of a devouring fire, with scattering, and tempest, and hailstones. (31) For through the voice of the LORD shall the Assyrian be beaten down, which smote with a rod.” (Isaiah 30:30-31)

“And this man shall be the peace, when the Assyrian shall come into our land: and when he shall tread in our palaces, then shall we raise against him seven shepherds, and eight principal men.” (Micah 5:5)

Others think that Antichrist will be Syrian as Antiochus Epiphanes IV, a man who some people think was a forerunner of the Antichrist, ruled from Syria.

  • Many similarities between Antiochus Epiphanes IV and the Antichrist exist. Compare Daniel 8 and Daniel 11 to learn more.

Other theories about the Antichrist’s ethnicity exist. However, I cannot mention them all for sake of brevity.

I am much more focused on looking at the set of qualities I mentioned above than I am on the ethnicity of the Antichrist. I don’t know for sure what ethnicity the Antichrist will be, so it is not something I think about much in the search for the Antichrist.

Final Thoughts

I haven’t listed all the characteristics that describe the Antichrist, but I hope the characteristics I mentioned in this article are helpful for anyone curious about what to look for when attempting to identify the Antichrist.

Read “Is Donald Trump the Antichrist”  if you’re curious about my answer to this controversial question.

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  1. Langer, Walter C. The Mind of Adolf Hitler; the Secret Wartime Report. New York: Basic Books, 1972. 48
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Wayne Croley
Wayne Croley

Hi! I’ve studied and written about Bible prophecy since I was a teenager. My goal is to make Bible prophecy easy for you to understand while avoiding the sensationalism seen elsewhere. I am the author of several end time books, including Prophecy Proof Insights on the End Times, a comprehensive book about the end times. I hold an M.B.A. and degrees in Managerial Economics and Political Science.