Ten Characteristics of the Anti-Christ According to the Bible

by Jack Wellman on July 16, 2012 · Print Print · Email Email

What are the characteristics of the anti-Christ?  Are there some people alive that have these characteristics already?  How can we identify the anti-Christ by his attributes?

What is an Anti-Christ?

The word “anti” means to be opposed to or to be the opposite of.  You could say that anything that has the prefix “anti” on it is against what it is attached to.  The word “anti” literally means to be opposed too.  Like the word antibacterial means that the substance attacks bacteria or is against bacteria.  So the anti-Christ attacks anything about Christ; His message, His person, His character.  There are many anti-Christ’s out there today and there always have been since the time of Christ on earth.  This is nothing new today.  The fact that there are anti-Christ’s, lower-case “a”, has nothing to do with the Anti-Christ, upper-case “A.”  There are many anti-Christs but there is only one Anti-Christ.

ten characteristics of the antichristThe Differences between the Anti-Christ and an anti-Christ

The apostle John, among other writers in the New Testament, mentions certain characteristics of the anti-Christ.  In the first place, there is the Anti-Christ with a capital “A.”  There were also many anti-Christ’s in the world at the time of the New Testament church with a lower-case “a.”  What is the difference between these two?  Did the writers of the New Testament make a mistake in their choosing between a lower-case “a” and an upper-case “A?”  No, they were simply pointing out that anyone that opposes, for example, the divinity of Christ is an anti-Christ.  There are many out there today who are anti-Christ’s in that they deny the deity of Jesus Christ who is God (John 1).  Unbelievably, many who graduate from seminary deny that Jesus was fully God and fully man.  These, by definition, are anti-Christ’s.  Atheists could be said to be anti-Christ because they do not believe in God and thus Jesus Christ as God and so they stand condemned (John 3:18).  The anti-Christ is not one person but a spirit of anti-Christ and so we know that there are many anti-Christ’s but it is the spirit of anti-Christ that lives within humans and not a specific person (2 John 4:3).

In 1 John 2:18 John makes a distinction regarding the anti-Christ as he wrote, “Children it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour.”  Here John states that there are many anti-Christ’s and that “you have heard that anti-Christ is coming.”  John continues in verse 22, Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist-denying the Father and the Son.”  Here again the identity of the lower-cast anti-Christ is anyone who denies that Jesus is the Christ.  The Christ means the “anointed One of God.”  As John says, whoever denies Jesus as the Christ, or as the Messiah, denies the Father and the Son and this person and these people are the anti-Christ’s.”  There are many anti-Christ’s out there today just as there were in John’s day.  But the anti-Christ is not the same as the Anti-Christ, upper-case “A.”

The characteristics of anti-Christ’s are whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ, that He is the Messiah or that He is fully God.  The world has no shortage of anti-Christ’s.  Their characteristics are that they also deny His virgin birth, His resurrection, His living a sinless life, and that He will return again to judge the world.  For the believer, He will come as their King.  For those who reject His gospel, He will come as their Judge (Rev 20).  Either way, everyone will bow the knee and acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord.as a condemned sinner or a resurrected or glorified saint (Rom 14:11, Phil 2:10).

The Characteristics of the Anti-Christ

Paul spoke of one man as being the man of lawlessness (2 Thes 2:3-4).  Since we know the difference between the many anti-Christs and the Anti-Christ, let’s look at Scripture to identify ten characteristics of the Anti-Christ.  Some theologians say that there are up to 37 characteristics of the Anti-Christ’s so we know that there are more than ten but we will only look at the most obvious of these ten, although you may think of different ones other than those mentioned here.

He Will Blaspheme God

Many of these same characteristics of the one Anti-Christ are also held by the many anti-Christ’s.  One of the greatest of these characteristics is that he will blaspheme the holy name of God.  In Revelation 13:6 it says, And he opened his mouth in blasphemies against God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, that is, those who dwell in heaven.”  Many who are unbelievers blaspheme God too when they use God’s name as a swear word. This includes the vain use of Jesus’ name as it is written in Exodus 20:7 (and several other places), You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.” In fact Jesus warned that every idle word that men and women speak they will have to give an account for in the Day of Judgment.  Let that sink in.every idle word!  That includes every word that is used with God’s name in useless, vain or even casual speaking like “Oh my God!”

He Claims to be God and is Worshiped

A strong characteristic is that the Anti-Christ will seek to be worshpped like God is as Paul writes, 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 (2 Thes 2:3-4).  This Anti-Christ is identified as the “man of lawlessness” and will not appear until the “rebellion” occurs (Rev 17).  This man is supposed to come to power during the Tribulation and he will set in the temple of God to proclaim himself as God.

He Will Display Miraculous Powers

Paul knew that this man of lawlessness would dazzle those who are deceived and that is why many will worship him.  In 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 Paul writes that  The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, and all the ways that wickedness 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.”  The sad fact is that people will be so far removed from knowing Jesus Christ that they won’t recognize the true God from the false one.  These powers are also mentioned in Revelation 13:13 as he “performed great signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven, to the earth in full view of the people.”  The difference is Jesus never performed miracles to draw attention to Himself but to glorify God.  The Anti-Christ will try and draw glory to himself with miracles (John 4:48).

The Anti-Christ Comes Back to Life

Just like Jesus Christ died on the cross and was resurrected, the Anti-Christ will recover from what was considered a mortal wound.  After this happened heordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived (Rev 13:14).  What a feat that will cause many to be motivated by the sight of this “fatal wound [that] had been healed“; so much so that many will worship him (Rev 13:12).  This is imitating Jesus Christ again for even the disciple Thomas doubted that Jesus could recover from the death at His crucifixion but when he saw the resurrected Christ he confirmed that Jesus was Lord and God (John 20:28).

The Anti-Christ Rules in Full Authority

The Anti-Christ, again mimicking Jesus sovereignty, will rule for 42 months over the earth.  For three and a half years he “was given authority to continue [literally "make war"] for forty-two months” (Rev 13:5).  In fact the Anti-Christ was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation (Rev 13:7).  Christians know who actually reigns supreme for Jesus is Lord of all and has been given all authority in heaven and on earth.  The Anti-Christ thinks he has power but he is given only as much power as God allows him to have.  All this mans power is within the sovereign plan of God as God can even use evil for good.

The Anti-Christ Will Control the World’s Economy

Whoever rules the world’s goods rules the unsaved world.  This man will have forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name (Rev 13:16-17).  When people start getting hungry, they will do almost anything to keep from starving.  Even submit to an ungodly ruler.  He causes everyone to receive a mark so that they can’t even buy food or any goods at all unless they have his mark upon them.  This is also mimicking the sovereign God who gives to all, great and small, the sustenance to survive.  The Anti-Christ makes everyone receive his mark but this mark comes with a great price.

The Anti-Christ Desecrates God’s Temple

Daniel 11:31 mentions this abomination of desolation as his armed forces will rise up to desecrate the temple fortress and will abolish the daily sacrifice. Then they will set up the abomination that causes desolation.” The “daily sacrifice is abolished (Dan 12:11).  He can not be trusted because He will invade the kingdom when its people feel secure, and he will seize it through intrigue.  Then an overwhelming army will be swept away before him; both it and a prince of the covenant will be destroyed. After coming to an agreement with him, he will act deceitfully, and with only a few people he will rise to power.  When the richest provinces feel secure, he will invade them and will achieve what neither his fathers nor his forefathers did. He will distribute plunder, loot and wealth among his followers. He will plot the overthrow of fortresses-but only for a time (Dan 11:21-24).  He is a liar and a thief of thieves.  He makes an agreement and promises peace but then breaks his promise and deceives many.

Jesus spoke about this saying, Therefore, when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place’ (whoever reads, let him understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. And let him who is in the field not to back to get his clothes. “But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath, For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no nor ever shall be (Matt 24:15-21)

The Anti-Christ’s Attempted Destruction of Israel

Satan and all of those under his rule have always sought the destruction of the Jews.  The end times see this brought to fruition.  In Daniel 11:40-41 is says, And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over. He shall enter also into the glorious land [Jerusalem], and many [countries] shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, [even] Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon.” This happens after another treaty is broken.  At first he promises to help be Jerusalem’s savior but he, as always, is a liar and the truth is not in him (Dan 9:27).  He breaks one treaty after another and makes one promise after another, breaking them all.  It is obvious that his power comes from the father of lies, the Devil.

Causes Earth’s Armies to Fight Against Christ

The Anti-Christ makes an unwise decision, showing that pride comes before the fall.and what a great fall this is. John records that he “saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to wage war against the rider on the horse and his army (Rev 19:19). He is so deluded by power and by pride that he actually believes that he can even defeat Jesus Christ but he sorely miscalculates (Rev 19:20-21).  Power not only corrupts but it also blinds a person to logic and common sense.  What makes this man think that he can destroy God Almighty in the Person of Jesus Christ!?

That will be the last decision that Anti-Christ makes and it will be a fatal one for he is cast alive into the lake of fire where he can deceive the nations no more.

All Anti-Christ’s Final Destiny

All of the little “a” anti-Christ’s and the Anti-Christ are ultimately headed to one place; the lake of fire.  If you are denying Jesus Christ is God and that He came in the flesh and lived a perfect, sinless life, that He died for sinners, and was raised again and today sits at the right hand of God, and that He is coming again to judge the world in righteousness, then you are also an anti-Christ (little “a”).  There is nothing that is not forgivable except not believing in Jesus Christ as the Son of God (1 John 1:9).  If you do not believe in Jesus Christ then you are an anti-Christ and you stand condemned unless you repent (John 3:18).

There is still time to repent if you are reading this. If not, I hate to tell you the bad news of your and the Anti-Christ’s final destination.  It is found in Revelation 20:19-20, And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army.  Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone.” Notice that they were cast into the lake of fire alive!  Now, the good news means nothing unless we tell you the bad news first.  So now the good news (Rom 10:9-13).  You don’t have to go there (Acts 4:12).  Since Christ has not yet returned, He is still waiting for some to repent.  He is not willing that any perish apart from His saving grace (Acts 16:30-31).  I beg you to come to Him and place your trust in the Savior, but if not you will face Him as Judge.  My prayer is that you trust Him today with your eternal destiny and place your faith in the only one Who can save you.  Jesus Christ who died for you.

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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

Ben Cunningham July 16, 2012 at 11:30 am

I always wondered what is going to happen to us (USA) during all of this. We never seem to be mentioned. I know some say that we will no longer be a superpower during this time but I’ve never read anything about it. What are your thoughts?

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Jack Wellman July 16, 2012 at 2:34 pm

Thank you Ben. Great question. We actually have written an article about this called “Are There Prophecies of America in the Bible?” at:

http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/are-there-prophecies-of-america-in-the-bible/

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Eliakim Ademo Musee July 24, 2012 at 2:37 am

Praise the Lord servant of God? thank you very much servant of God for this powerful message about characteristics of AntiChrist,thank you for alarting me.

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Robert July 16, 2012 at 3:05 pm

Jack,
You have done a fine job here laying out much of the dispensational view of the end times. Quite a huge topic and you’ve handled it admirably. Very nice.

Yours in Christ,
Robert

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Jack Wellman July 16, 2012 at 3:31 pm

Thank you brother. What have I learned that I did not receive from the Lord? The answer is in Greek for zero: “Zilch!.” LOL

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Derek Hill July 16, 2012 at 4:33 pm

Well done Jack. This was very informative and easy to understand. I always get excited when I read about this topic because once the Anti-christ is thrown into the lake of fire and Satan as well, no one will EVER have to worry about them again. Heaven is really going to be so AWESOME!! It is worth everthing you lose here on earth to gain your reward in heaven.

In His Glorious Name,
Derek

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Jack Wellman July 16, 2012 at 4:47 pm

Thank you Derek. I appreciate your words. Truly, our God is an awesome God in that Jesus had a living hell on earth at Calvary just because He loved us. I pray this article will make people think about placing their trust in Jesus Christ and then have no concern or need to worry about an Anti-Christ because if the True and Living Christ.

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Jeff July 17, 2012 at 11:22 am

I appreciate your writing Jack and the emphasis in this article on the “spirt of anti-Christ,” – lower case “a.” There is much that can be said about the small “a” spirit, an influence that is so prevalent. Often, we become so focused on “the” Anti-Christ, a person that is yet to be revealed, that we tend to forget the current and active influence of the small “a” – a spirit that we fight against everyday. Your writing again on the topic is well balanced and finishes strong with the answer to all who are looking for an escape from the judgement to come. Repent and believe. Christ desires none to perish, and there’s nothing anti about that!
Jeff

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Jack Wellman July 17, 2012 at 3:00 pm

Thank you Jeff. You are so right and I wish I had made the delineation of the “spirit” of anti-Christ in this article so I appreciate your keen insight. Truly you are so right. This is our desire too that none perish. Sadly, only 1 in 20 Christians will lead at least one other person to faith in Christ in their entire lifetime! I believe that you must have a broken heart for the lost too because I see you noticed that, at least I try, to have an evangelistic call to have those who read the article place their trust in Jesus Christ and to believe in Him as Lord and Savior, because as you so rightly said, God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked…and I get a strong sense sir, that neither do you and I thank God for you for that Jeff.

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Truth July 18, 2012 at 6:35 am

Nice Article.I love the way that you distinguished the Spirit of the Antichrist from the Antichrist’s.However,I would want you to note that the Bible never called the Beast of revelation the Antichrist.The Antichrist and the Beast of revelation are different personalities:truth.co.vu/antiidentity

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Rbn July 18, 2012 at 10:37 pm

good day sir
i find this email circulating and im starting to think that poeple might think it is mandatory in your country
your insight and comment would be appreciated as i also want to give your answer to my friend and family here in S.A

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Rbn July 18, 2012 at 10:39 pm

my appologies here with the mail :
there is a link attached which i am not sure may be posted here or not

Subject: THE PROPHESY HAS COME TO PASS

US Senate has passed the ‘Obama Health Care’ bill into law & the implementation would commence on 23/03/2013.
This bill would require all Americans to be implanted with a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chip in order to access medical care.
The device will be implanted on the forehead or on the arm.

This is to fulfill the prophesy in the Book of Revelation 13:15-18 concerning the MARK OF THE BEAST!
Are you still in doubt concerning the ENDTIME?

Live a good life, pray more, preach the GOSPEL to others and save souls.
Revelations 13 is being played out right before us. Many are still unaware…

(1) Why is the chip being implanted exactly where the Bible says it would be? Why on the hand and forehead. Why not anywhere else?

(2) Why is it being connected to your bank account?

Remember the Bible says you won’t be able to buy or sell without the mark.
And guess what!
The chip is connected to your financial details…
What breaks my heart the most is that many people in the church will not make it if Jesus comes now!
Many are unaware that the end is near…
Don’t tell me that it’s a developed world process, technology or something fancy.
If any area of your life is not in sync with God’s word, it’s time to make a quick u-turn NOW…
Hell is not a pretty place…the worst part is that it is for eternity…please rather than post and forward Boko haram’s devilish accomplishments, join me and sound the alarm.
Send to everyone you know…
PLEASE play your part in this!!!

Check it for your self http://www.dailypaul.com/223261/obamacare-mandates-rfid-chips-to-be-implanted-in-all-americans-by-march-23rd-2013

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Ben Cunningham July 19, 2012 at 12:23 am

That part of the bill never passed. They threw that out when they first started reviewing it.

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Dennis May 17, 2013 at 8:36 pm

Ben,
That is not true; it is still there. I downloaded the H.R. 3200 on pps 1000-1005 and the latest one is H.R. 3962 pg 1502. Also called 111_ahcaa housedocs from housedotgov page. H.R. stands for House of Representatives and obviously the S. B. is the senate. There is too much going on to tell in a simple blog, but people get ready . . . it is a song.

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Jack Wellman July 19, 2012 at 2:25 pm

RBN, I see the urgency about telling others about their eternal fate in hell for those who reject to place their trust in Jesus. I myself am not worried as in 1 John chapter 4 says that we can know we are safe and secure in Christ and God has no appointed us to wrath. For those who are concerned about any end times, we know that none who are Christ’s own have to worry about end time events (John 6:37, John 10:28-29). Thank you sir.

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jikat July 24, 2012 at 10:04 am

very informative, thank you for your reseach work, you sheda more light on the antichrist issue.
the happening of today are the end of end time, l there for call on all that are persecuting the body of christ to repent, the end will catch them unaware and there final destination is hell. may God touches the heart of BOKO HARAM men and their sponsors to accept jesus to avart being let to hell.
thank you

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Ernest July 30, 2012 at 12:00 pm

PASTOR, THANK YOU, THANK YOU AND THANK YOU!!! PLS PRAY FOR MY WIFE WHO IS A JEHOVAH’S WITNESS AND HER FAMILY MEMBERS WHO DO NOT BELIEVE IN THE DIETYSHIP OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST AND ALSO FOR MY FRIEND WHO TURNED TO A MOSLEM DAT THEY DO NOT GO TO HELL. I ALSO PRAY AND BELIEVE GOD DAT I WILL BE PART OF THE FIRST RESURECTION SO DAT THIS TRIBULATION WILL NOT MEET ME AT ALL. THE TIME IS NEAR AND VERY SHORT, LET HIM WHO HAVE EARS HEAR WHAT THE SPIRIT OF GOD IS SAYING!!!

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Jack Wellman July 30, 2012 at 2:27 pm

Amen Ernest. I pray others will read your comments and place their trust in Christ today. Thank you sir.

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james November 29, 2012 at 12:05 am

can u still be saved atfter the rapture ?????

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Jack Wellman November 29, 2012 at 1:45 pm

James, thank you for your question. There is Scripture that says that God will send them strong delusion and so we can not presume or make an assumption that a person can be saved after the rapture. The Bible says that today is the day of salvation, not today is A day but today is THE day for no one knows if they will live tomorrow (2 Cor 6:2). Many Bible teachers & scholars do not believe in the rapture & I believe it is unwise for anyone to wait to be saved. To be sure, we should put our trust in Christ today to be sure. I wouldn’t want to gamble with telling someone this or gamble with my eternity.

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Mike Reeder December 20, 2012 at 12:52 pm

The AntiChrist is not going to be one man at one point in time in the future who will sit in a rebuilt temple in Jeruselem barking out stuff against Christ. Instead, this “man” is not a man at all. He is an ongoing religious institution who deceives the whole world into believing a false religious system as being from God, Making people believe AntiChrist is Future from this day, so that they look for him in the future while the real antichrist has free riegn on earth at this time to deceive unopposed. He does this my making himself christ in the “temple” of God, which can not be a “building” rebuilt only after 3 days! Even if there is someday to be a rebuilt temple in Jeruselem, and some man sits there, it won’t be the antichrist. It will just be a way that satan will and does use to blind people’s mind from the true antichrist which is already here, and has been for a long time.

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Maurine January 9, 2013 at 12:07 am

Could it be the USA ??

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Jack Wellman January 9, 2013 at 11:27 am

Thank you Maurine. From my understanding of Scripture, it is a person, not a national identity but we will know eventually though in time. He could be living in the U.S. however.

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Linda Watts January 17, 2013 at 7:25 am

I don’t think I ever really thought about the difference between the ‘little a’ anti Christ and the ‘capital A’ Anti Christ. Now after reading read your article I see I need to change how I speak to the young minds I teach regarding the anti Christs and the Anti Christ. Thank you so much for clarifying this very important fact.

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DAMILARE June 14, 2013 at 5:00 am

Man of GOD thank you very much for this message about ANTI-CHRIST am loss befor becuse i did so many thing bad that can need to hell fire, but now i will ajust myself am pray for me for helped stand in word of GOD, And what i will do keep my mind

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patrick July 12, 2013 at 7:29 am

Thank you man of God for sheddin more light on d anti christ saga my prayers are for our muslim brothers nd sisters who are antichrist by blushing the words of our lord jesus christ that God would change their mindset and make them realize jesus as the messiah and the son of God

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Karen Snyder November 26, 2013 at 9:47 am

Jack, do I have your permission to repost your article on my FB page? I would like to post it daily, in segments.

Have you read the book, the Muslim Anti-Christ? I think he is right on in his assessment.
Thanks,
Karen

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Jack Wellman November 26, 2013 at 6:24 pm

Hello Mrs. Snyder. Thank you for your offering to post this…yes, by all means you can put the link to this article on your Facebook. I have not read the Muslim Anti-Christ but I would not be shocked to think a Muslim could be the Anti-Christ. Thanks.

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Colleen January 24, 2014 at 11:04 pm

I am a teacher and the mentality of our youth frightens me. I feel that these celebrities are sent to prepare the masses for the tribulation. We have rappers who are referred to as hova and yeezus. Speaking against sexual immorality and the likes is almost legally the wrong thing to do. The kids love money. .. want to be celebrities. .. despise community workers. I have seen boys and girls as young as first grade be allowed by their parents to transform themselves because they don’t feel they were born with the right parts. It may be trivial to some but if they are already rejecting God and worshipping man and his everchanging whims .. how will they be in the future?

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Jack Wellman January 25, 2014 at 9:32 am

Thank you Colleen. I agree about the youth today and it is not going to get any better. Their future or anyone’s future who is separated from Christ is bleak indeed. All we can do is pray for God to send revival that some might be saved before Christ returns to be either their Judge or their Savior.

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Hanbeey April 21, 2014 at 11:07 pm

While I’m reading this article, the first thing that got in mind is that the real anti-christ is their popes

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