Will Christians See the Antichrist?

antichrist

A while back, I sat in my church’s balcony listening to a sermon related to Bible prophecy. The speaker (who was not the pastor) discussed 2 Thessalonians 2 in his message. This chapter is important because it refers to Christ’s coming and the Antichrist.

The speaker briefly suggested as he discussed the chapter:

  • Christians might only see the early stages of the Antichrist’s career.
  • Christians will not see the Antichrist serving in the role as the Antichrist.

I found the speaker’s assertion regarding Christians and the Antichrist highly debatable to say the least, but I kept my silence.

Instead of debating the speaker, I will share my thoughts on the issue of whether Christians will see the Antichrist in this article.

The Apostle Paul wrote about the coming of Christ in 2 Thessalonians 2. Paul indicated that Christ would not come until:

  • The “falling away” (apostasy) comes first.
  • The “man of sin” (the Antichrist) is revealed (discloses his true identity).

“(1) Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, (2) 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. (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 2:1-4)

The speaker at my church argued that the apostasy is underway today with declining moral values and declining regard for the Bible’s teachings.

  • I will not argue this point because there seems to be a decline in moral values and fewer churches and individuals are teaching from the Bible as time goes on.

Recall that the Apostle Paul indicated that the Antichrist’s true nature would be revealed before Christ comes. He gave us an indication of what to look for when this happens. Verse 4 suggests the Antichrist wants people to view him as God when he reveals his true identity:

“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 2:4)

This detail is significant because we can use it to pinpoint when Antichrist will reveal his true identity as the man of sin.

When Antichrist Will Reveal His True Identity

The Rise of the Antichrist

Daniel 7 provides an overview of four beasts emerging from the sea. Each beast represents a different kingdom in history. The fourth beast is the most notable kingdom because it is a kingdom that has not yet come.

Daniel 7:7-8 introduces the fourth beast:

“(7) 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 brake 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. (8) 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.” (Daniel 7:7-8)

Daniel 7:23-25 gives us more detail about the fourth beast:

“(23) Thus he said, 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. (24) And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. (25) And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.” (Daniel 7:23-25)

The fourth beast represents the kingdom of the Antichrist. The “little horn” represents the Antichrist in verse 8:

“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.” (Daniel 7:8)

The portrayal of the Antichrist as a “little horn” may mean that he will not be as powerful as the other ten kings (the ten horns) when he begins his career. This will change as the Antichrist gains power and overthrows leaders. However, the Antichrist’s true nature will remain hidden as he begins his career and begins to amass power.

The Reign of the Antichrist Begins

Daniel 7:25 describes a phase in Antichrist’s career when he will utter blasphemies against God as described in 2 Thessalonians 2 and wage war with the saints for “a time and times and the dividing of time” or 3.5 years:

“And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time” (Daniel 7:25)

Revelation 13 covers this phase of Antichrist’s career. The chapter also describes a beast from the sea.

  • The beast from the sea of Revelation 13 represents the empire of the Antichrist described in Daniel 7 at a mature stage of its development as the dragon, Satan, gives his power to the beast (Revelation 13:3).
  • The actions of the beast from the sea (the empire of the Antichrist) and the actions of the Antichrist are synonymous since the Antichrist is the ruler of his empire.

Here is Revelation 13:1-10 with a few key verses highlighted:

“(1) 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. (2) 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. (3) 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. (4) 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? (5) 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. (6) And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. (7) 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. (8) And all that dwell upon 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. (9) If any man have an ear, let him hear. (10) He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.” (Revelation 13:1-10)

Revelation 13:4-6 states that the beast from the sea will speak blasphemies against God and will be an object of the world’s worship. This passage parallels other passages about the Antichrist like 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4. The table below shows the similarities between these passages:


The Antichrist Will Speak Blasphemies Against God and Persecute

  • The Antichrist
  • Blasphemy God
  • 42 Month War with the Saints

Revelation 13:4-6: (4) 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? (5) 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. (6) And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. (7) 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.

Daniel 7:24-25: “(24) And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. (25) And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time”.

2 Thessalonians 2:3-4: (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.


The reason for the overview of the fourth beast of Daniel 7 and the beast from the sea of Revelation 13 is that these chapters taken together suggest:

  • The Antichrist will begin to demand worship of the world and speak blasphemies against God at the start of a 42 month war with the saints (especially when you compare Daniel 7:25 and Revelation 13:4-7).

The Abomination of Desolation

This 42 month war with the saints relates to the midpoint of the tribulation (or the 70th week of Daniel) when Antichrist will cease temple sacrifice and set up an abomination of desolation:

“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 midpoint of the tribulation is a logical point in time for the Antichrist to reveal his true identity to the world.

  • At that time, he will halt religious practices and set up something that is affront to God in the temple of God. This reminds us of how 2 Thessalonians 2:4 states that Antichrist will sit in the temple of God showing himself to be God when he reveals his true identity to the world.
  • The great tribulation will begin as soon as the abomination of desolation is set up. This is a time of extreme persecution that relates to the war with the saints:

“(15) When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) (16) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: (17) Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: (18) Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. (19) And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! (20) But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: (21) For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. (22) And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.” (Matthew 24:15-22)

The war with the saints will begin as the Antichrist starts to demand worship from the world and starts to speak blasphemies against God. Meanwhile, the great tribulation will begin as the Antichrist sets up something affront to God.

  • It’s no coincidence that both events begin when the Antichrist starts to do things that are an affront to God.

Conclusion

Therefore, Antichrist will not reveal his true nature to the world until the midpoint of the tribulation. This implies that Christ may not come until at least after the midpoint of the tribulation. Remember, 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 suggests that Christ’s coming will not occur until first the falling away and the unveiling of the man of sin:

“(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)

This means that Christians are not only going to see the Antichrist, but will likely see a lot of the Antichrist, including his entire rise to power.

I expect many who believe in the Pre-Trib Rapture to disagree with this article. Anyone who disagrees is welcome to express their views in the comments below.

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If you liked the insights found in this article, I encourage you to check out my book: Prophecy Proof Insights of the End Times. It’s truly a comprehensive book about the end times that contains biblical insights that you’re unlikely to find anywhere else.

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Mary Ann Carrasquillo
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Mary Ann Carrasquillo

As a new Christian I was raised with the teaching of the protein rapture and certainly wanted to believe it but it finally dawned on me one day to follow along with scripture as one pastor after another taught this. I was very disturbed to see something completely different as I read the text before and after the particular scriptures being used in the sermon and as I questioned them I was greeted with alarm and even accusations so fir a very long time I kept my opinions to myself and sad to say my children are now questioning why… Read more »

Ray
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Ray

In revelation 13:18 states that those with wisdom and understanding will be able to divine the true identity of the AC. I believe that what God is telling us that in the end days a select few will have that wisdom. I believe I have that wisdom but will not state his name here. And no it is not Trump, Macron, Price Charles or any of the other frequently mentioned names. He is very active behind the scenes and his true identity will take everyone by surprise.

LAURENCE WEBB
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LAURENCE WEBB

In the context of the rapture First Thessalonians 5:3 reads: “For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden (unexpected) destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” Once the tribulation is up and going any destruction would not be sudden or unexpected. It would be the norm. People would not be saying “peace and safety.” A mid, late or post tribulation rapture then could not be the prelude to the “sudden destruction.” The “destruction” would need to be around the start of the tribulation or earlier. Who then are the… Read more »

Ken S.
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Ken S.

There is one thing I believe you may be getting wrong. In 2 Thessalonians 2, you may be mistaken on what it is talking about. I made this same mistake and learned later I was wrong. Most versions of the Bible will say “as that the day of the Lord is at hand” and not “day of Christ”. The versions that use “Christ” are KJV and Youngs, and thats what got me because those two versions are usually so trust worthy. However, in this one case, they are getting it wrong I believe. The reason I believe this is because… Read more »

Mike
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Mike

I would hope that true Christians would be speaking of the sin of man and the redemption through Our Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord will reveal these things to his children as necessary
He will not leave us in the dark

Mike
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Mike

I would hope that true Christians would be speaking of the sin of man and the redemption through the Our Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord will reveal these things to his children as necessary
He will not leave us in the dark

LAURENCE WEBB
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LAURENCE WEBB

If the church goes into the great tribulation would that not mean the seven years of the tribulation are not the same seven years of Daniel’s seventieth week? If the gap between the 69th and 70th weeks began with the commencement of the church logically it would finish with the departure of the church. After the departure of the church Israel’s 70 week “commission” of Daniel 9:24 would then re-commence and operate for the next seven years.

Michael Rubio
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Michael Rubio

Does this mean the Christians will suffer with the rest of the world beginning from the sixth seal to say, the seventh trumpet? That’s a lot of deaths, and if the Christians don’t die as part of the 1/4 and the 1/3, then the survivors would be predominantly Christian. Then the Rapture happens, the remaining population must be slim. I have no aggressive arguments I’m just seriously contemplating 🙂 I personally subscribed to the pre-trib doctrine very recently and that’s just because I found it inconsistent with God’s promises that we suffer His wrath (earthquakes and the scorpion thingos that… Read more »

Michael Ling
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Michael Ling

Regarding the last days scripture does say to pray that you are accounted worthy to escape all these things. The great tribulation is the wrath of the Father which we are not appointed to. The tribulation is the time of Jacob’s trouble, the purifying of Israel when their old stony heart is replaced, the very admonition Apostle Paul had for gentile believers who thought the Father was done with Israel. Apart from the remnant of Israel at Christ’s first coming who saw Christ as the Messiah Redeemer, the remainder were blinded for the gentiles sake and until our time is… Read more »

Connie
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Connie

Chapter and verse for where it says that the great tribulation is God’s wrath, please. I only see verses that say it is Satan’s wrath. I see many verses that say that God’s wrath is after the great tribulation.

Michael Ling
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Michael Ling

The seal, bowl and trumpet judgements are the Father’s wrath poured out on the unregenerate. The Father, not Satan, brings those events upon the world. Once unrestrained by the Father and consequently knowing his time is short, Satan’s wrath is his murderous desire to destroy all, especially those who do not worship him and take the mark and specifically those who are heirs by the flesh, Israel. Roman’s 11 is emphatically clear regarding the future of the house of Israel and of the gentiles and explicitly defines and contrasts Israel, gentiles and the Body of Christ. Paul is amplifying here… Read more »

Connie
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Connie

Nowhere are the seal judgments indicated to be the wrath of God by Scripture. Just because people desire that they be, does not make it a fact, nor does Scripture uphold that theory. It is an assumption that was arrived at by trying to fit a theory into Scripture, not the reverse of starting with Scripture to develop a doctrine. In fact, the only ones suffering in the 5th seal are Christians, (no unbeliever suffering) who are not supposed to suffer the wrath of God. So how do you explain that since Christians are not appointed to God’s wrath. NO… Read more »

Michael Ling
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Michael Ling

Rev 6:17 14:10 15:1,7 16:1,19

Jonathan Faas
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Jonathan Faas

Hello, I stumbled across your writing this morning, and I must say it’s pretty well thought out but; It is written… “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.” ‭‭Revelation‬ ‭1:3 (The Church) “John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne; And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and… Read more »

Laurence Webb
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Laurence Webb

An obstacle to believing in a mid,late or post trib rapture is that at the opening of the 6th seal “every bondman, and every free man hid themselves” and told the rocks to hide them “from the wrath of the Lamb.” “Free” and “bond” covers everyone, including Christians. (1Cor 7:21-22) Why would any Christians on earth feel the need to do so? Similarly at the 6th trumpet, all those not killed refused to repent. They do not sound like rapture material. Finally if “as many” as refuse to worship the beast are killed, who will there be left to rapture… Read more »

Mark
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Mark

See him? I’d not be surprised if most non-elect ‘Christians’ vote him in to power! If recent history governs.

Craig C. White
Guest

Nice job Wayne. I have also considered many of the things that you talk about in your article. I agree. The Church will see quite a lot of the Antichrist. As a matter of fact I’m pretty certain that Turkish President Erdogan is the Antichrist. But back to your article. The falling away describes the fall of Satan from heaven. Satan must be cast out of heaven before he can empower the Antichrist on earth. Israel’s tribulation will start after those two things happen. God bless you, Craig C. White

Barry
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Barry

Agree with you 100% But have a question that has racked me brain and maybe you can help. If we are here to preach the truth and preach against the Antichrist, then why are the 144000 and the 2 witnesses needed? If we are the saints mention in Rev 13 then we should be the voice of God. Thoughts?