“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.” [1 John 2:18]
Antichrist is coming. His satanic spirit is alive and at work in the world. But who is he? Can we know and should we even try? Does the Bible give us a clear picture of this evil, enigmatic enemy of God and His people? Are there enough descriptions in Scripture to harmonize into an accurate profile of the antichrist? I aim to find out.
For starters, it is important to understand the Biblical definition of antichrist. This particular title is used five times in the New Testament, and every reference is made by the Apostle John. The word antichrist can be defined as … “one who puts himself in the place of, or the enemy (opponent) of the Messiah.” So in the most general sense, an antichrist is anyone who deliberately attempts to take the place of Jesus Christ or who works against Jesus Christ. John says that “many antichrists have come,” speaking of the wicked kings and ruthless dictators throughout history who prefigure or typify the evil one who is to be revealed in the last days.
In the same way that there have been many Old Testament characters who were a type or shadow of Jesus Christ [i.e. Isaac, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, David, Jeremiah], there have been many historical antichrists who have prefigured the Antichrist to come. There is only one true Christ, and likewise there will only be one ultimate Antichrist. He will be the very personification of evil and incarnation of the satan himself, and his coming will coincide with the last “hour” of human history just before the glorious return of our Lord Jesus .
In order to build an accurate profile of the Antichrist, one must take a deep dive into the Word of God and also take a long look at Biblical history. The Bible provides both specific descriptions and general representations of antichrist. Profiling antichrist requires a close examination the prophetic word and a responsible harmonization of the evidence. A Biblical profile of the antichrist will help believers determine what he will be like, what he will do, from where he will come, when he will be revealed, how he will proceed to unleash hell on earth, and ultimately how he will be destroyed in the end.
By way of introduction, I would like to share some of the titles and historical types of antichrist, and then I will attempt to build a Biblical profile in subsequent posts.
The Many Types and Titles of Antichrist
First let’s look into some obvious types of antichrist from history. One would expect antichrist to be a powerful political or military figure who is deceptive, persuasive, sadistic, arrogant, slanderous, ruthlessly evil, and blasphemous. More specifically, the spirit of antichrist will always seek to persecute, murder and destroy God’s people — both Jews and Christians. Historical antichrist figures could include but aren’t limited to the following.
- Nimrod (Genesis 10-11)
- Pharaoh (Exodus 1-15)
- Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 1-4)
- King Ahab and Queen Jezebel (1 Kings 18-19)
- Haman (Book of Esther)
- Antiochus Epiphanes (Daniel 11:21-35, 1 & 2 Maccabees)
- King Herod the Great (Matthew 2)
- Judas Iscariot (John 6:70, 17:12)
- Roman Caesars Nero, Domitian, Trajan [Late 1st, early 2nd Century]
- Roman General Titus
- Joseph Stalin
- Adolf Hitler
Furthermore, these are the Biblical titles associated with antichrist.
- The little horn (Daniel 7-8)
- The prince who is to come (Daniel 9:26-27)
- The King of the North (Daniel 11)
- King of Babylon (Isaiah 14:3-23)
- King of Tyre (Ezekiel 28:1-19)
- Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal (Ezekiel 38-39)
- The Assyrian (Micah 5)
- The Abomination of Desolation (Daniel 9:27, Daniel 12:11, Matthew 24:15)
- Man of lawlessness (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12)
- Son of Destruction (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12)
- The Dragon (Revelation 12)
- The Beast (Revelation 13)
By using these types and biblical titles, I will begin building a profile of the coming antichrist. And my first character study will be … Nimrod.