Where will the Antichrist come from? Are there clues in the Bible to help us? What does the Bible say about where the Antichrist comes from?
What Antichrist Means
Anti as in antichrist means to be opposed to or set against. For example, someone who is anti-war is against war, opposes war, and is dead set against the idea, so the antichrist is against Jesus Christ and is opposed to and contrary to Christ. The antichrist person is against Jesus and opposed to Christianity because it is associated with Christ. There are many who believe that the Antichrist will be a false Christ and will deceive many as Christ prophesied in Matthew 24:5 where Jesus warned, “For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.” These “false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect–if that were possible” (Matthew 24:24). The problem with that is Jesus said that there will be “many” and we are looking for one man. The Antichrist could also be said to be in place of Christ as we will read when we get to the section called “The Antichrist.”
The Antichrist vs. Anti-Christ’s
There is a difference between the Antichrist (capital “A”) and the antichrist’s. John stated that “Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour” (1 John 2:18). Notice that John said in 1 John 2:18 that “many” antichrists had already come. John tells us just who these “antichrist‘s” are by writing that “every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world” (1 John 4:3). The fact is that there are already many antichrists in the world and many antichrist religions because all of the other religions of the world besides Christianity deny the deity or divinity of Christ and they “acknowledge Jesus is not from God.” The “spirit” is any person who believes that Jesus is not God, whether they are affiliated with a religion or not. This qualifies them as being an antichrist. This means agnostics, atheists, Islamists, Buddhists, and any other religion where Jesus is not declared to be God Himself. There are already “Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist” (2 John 1:7). The many antichrists are not the same as the Antichrist as we shall see from Scripture.
There are many who deny Jesus’ divinity and therefore there are many antichrist’s in the world today as there were in the Apostle John’s day but there is coming a time in history where a man of sin who is the one and unique Antichrist will be revealed. He is one person and not many. This Antichrist is a specific person who arrives in a particular time in history and his arrival precedes the coming of Jesus Christ.
Many believe that the Catholic Church or the Pope is the Antichrist. It is interesting that from their own church historians they have said, “The Pope is not only the representative of Jesus Christ, but he is Jesus Christ, Himself, hidden under the veil of human flesh“(Catholic National Magazine, 1895). Pope Pius V was quoted as saying “The Pope and God are the same, so he has all power in Heaven and earth” (quoted in Barclay, Chapter XXVII, p. 218, Cities Petrus Bertanous). Can the Pope forgive sins? Consider this written record from Alphonsus de Liguori, in Dignity and Duties of the Priest, “To pardon a single sin requires all the omnipotence of God…The Jews justly said: ‘Who can forgive sins but God alone?’ But what only GOD can do by His omnipotence, the PRIEST can ALSO do by saying ‘Ego te absolvo a peccatis tuis’ [I absolve you from your sin] (pages 34-35). The Jewish religious leaders considered it blaspheme when Jesus verbally said He forgave their sins. They were outraged and said, “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone” (Mark 2:7)? They are right of course but does this mean that a pope who will be in power just before Christ’s return and that he will be the Antichrist?
The Great Apostasy
Was Paul writing to the Thessalonians about the Antichrist in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-9? Let’s read what Paul wrote there.
“Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. 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 that he is God. Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders.”
Paul writes about this man of sin being revealed who is the son of perdition. Who is the son of perdition? That was the name given to Judas who betrayed Jesus Christ, so we see that there must be similarities. This “son of perdition” will seek to betray Christ but may do it through Christians since he can not touch Christ presently. We can see that the “son of perdition” will rise up and appear prior to Christ’s return. Calling him “that man of sin” signifies that it is a specific person and a unique individual and not just many who are anti (set against) Christ. The “lawless one” is going to be revealed but exactly when, no one knows. Apparently this “mystery of lawlessness is already at work.”
Where the Antichrist Comes From
Here again we can only speculate for the Bible does not give specific places like a nation or a city. Daniel chapter seven may be talking about such a man and there is speculation that he will come from within the Catholic Church (the Pope?) or the European Union said to represent the “ten horns“ in Revelation. The “ten toes” of the image that Daniel saw seems to show a union in the end times. It is an economic, political, and military alliance much like that of the ancient Roman Empire. Revelation chapter 13 also gives the imagery that this man will be a dominant force and will control all buying and selling.
Today we can only speculate exactly where the Antichrist will come from. We just do not have enough information. There is so much speculation out there and so I will not add to that speculation. I will simply say that it will be “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. 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” (Revelation 13:7-8). Notice that those whose names are written in the book of life are immune from this horrible time in human history. For those who have put their trust in Christ, they have no need to fear what the Enemy can do. If you have not yet been born again, I strongly urge you today, while there is yet time, to believe in the only name by which you can possibly be saved…Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12). Tomorrow may be too late (Hebrews 3:7, 15). You will either pay for your own sins for all eternity or you can have all of your sins placed today on the Lamb of God (2 Corinthians 5:21). So if you are asking, “what must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30b), the answer is “you must believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). That is my prayer for you.
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