by Grant Swart
Speculation regarding antichrist, different antichrists and the Antichrist has always been rife. Discussion regarding the identity of the Antichrist has certainly not been limited to Christian circles, but is also the topic of countless conversations among non-believers throughout much of the world. A plethora of movies, books and even TV and computer games have been produced, which have portrayed the Antichrist in many different guises. It is a topic which has been the catalyst for many to employ overly-dramatized imagery, much poetic license and vivid imaginations.
The virtual or internet realm has brought an added dimension to the world’s fascination with Antichrist, some even believing that it will be through the medium of the internet that Antichrist will gain eventual control of our armies, finances, natural resources and the minds of people. Much of this has served, in large degree, to add even more speculation and undeserved mystery to the prophesied events surrounding the coming Antichrist. Even to the extent that the personality of Antichrist has been glorified and portrayed as being “an interesting and not really such a bad guy”, or simply someone who will be unfairly persecuted or demonized by Christians for their own ideals.
More often than not, popular secular adaptation of perceived coming events, portrays Antichrist as a perfect-lookingbaby, born to a human mother, with either Satan in human form or a demonic spirit as the father. In other words, it presents an alternative and opposing picture to the events surrounding the birth of Christ, sometimes even portraying a virgin birth due to the ‘supernatural’ involvement of Satan as opposed to that of the Holy Spirit. The ‘evil’ child develops and as he matures, he begins to display super-human physical abilities, remarkable intelligence and growing ‘supernatural’ powers, until eventually on reaching adulthood, he is perfectly positioned to take over control of the entire world with the help of some gun-wielding double-agents and influential henchmen.
At that point, it is up to some unlikely hero clad in black leather, to save the damsel in distress and the rest of the world from annihilation, by defeating Antichrist in one spectacular final nuclear showdown. After some consideration, I found it to be quite insulting to the average intelligence, and a not just a little comical, that the hero who eventually saves the world is often a famous Hollywood actor! Who would have thought that the saviour of the world could have trained for that conspicuous task, in an acting school somewhere in industrial California! I have searched the Scriptures to see if this could be so, and I have yet to find anything to … only in the movies, sigh!
The writings of the Apostle John, the only biblical author to use the name “antichrist”, indicate that many antichrists will appear between the time of Christ’s first and second Coming, but there will be one great antichrist who will rise to power during the end times, or “last hour,” as 1 John phrases it. He will deny that Jesus is the Christ. He will deny both God the Father and God the Son. He will be a liar and a deceiver.
Since John defines antichrist very well in his letters, why does he not mention a political connection? Why didn’t the Lord Jesus ever mention this ‘antichrist’ figure? One would think that such an important teaching surely would not be left out by the Lord. In 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, the antichrist is described as the “man of sin,” or “son of perdition.” Here Paul also warns believers about the antichrist’s ability to deceive. According to futurists, the words “the beast” is used for antichrist several times in Revelation, while preterists and partial preterists make no such association. So, does that describe a beast who brought destruction to the 1st century, or is it a prediction of that which has yet to happen?
The Bible does not say anything specific about where Antichrist will come from, although there is no lack of speculative thinking about when, where and if the Antichrist will appear. Some believe that the Antichrist will not be a person at all, but is rather an anti-Christian spirit which has and will continue to affect millions of unbelievers and followers of false religions. Others believe that the Antichrist was a person in history and that the biblical accounts of him describe events which have already taken place.
It seems that every generation has produced certain infamous and influential characters, of whom some were convinced at the time, was certain to be the antichrist. Martin Luther was convinced that the Roman Catholic pope at the time was the Antichrist. It is said that many alive in Europe at the turn of the 20th century were certain that Adolf Hitler was the Antichrist, quite understandably so and for obvious reasons. There are also many others who, throughout history, have been identified as the Antichrist, while there are many theories which speculate who the future Antichrist will be.
Depending on one’s eschatological position (how one understands the end times), what one person believes to be true about Antichrist, or the antichrist, can differ vastly from another.
I have included in this poll, a list of 25 names and descriptions which are commonly mentioned in identifying the Antichrist. I know there are hundreds more, and maybe I have unintentionally excluded a name which should have been an obvious inclusion on this list. If so, please leave a comment beneath this poll to include that which I have omitted.
Please let us know who you think the antichrist is, was, or will be by partaking in our poll below. As some of the names and descriptions might overlap each other, or you might think that two answers are correct, I have enabled 2 choices per participant, if required.
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