Who Is the Antichrist?
by Pastor Lee Roberson, D.D.
"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; 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." — II THESSALONIANS 2:3, 4
The word "Antichrist" is given to us in 1st John 2:18, "Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heart that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time."
"Anti" means against. There is coming one who is against Christ. The Word tells us that this person will reveal himself after the Holy Spirit has been taken out of the way.
"For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved." -- II Thessalonians 2:7-10
The Antichrist will be a man of great power and authority, and will be the personal agent of Satan himself. The Antichrist will be revealed in all his wonder-working power after the rapture of the saints and the taking away of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, the Antichrist will have his great period in the seven years between the rapture of the saints and the revelation of Christ, this period which is known as the Great Tribulation.
Someone might ask, "What is the purpose back of all of this?" The answer is simple but terribly tragic. It is the work of Satan who has always sought to destroy Him and His work. Satan wants to rule over this earth; therefore, he will take a man out of this world and clothe him with great power and set him on high. Satan is powerful but he is not all-powerful. Because of this, he is forced to use some human being and enter him just as he entered into Judas and used him to betray Christ.
Now, may we see a few things the Scriptures tell us about this man.
I. His Names
In 2nd Thessalonians 2 he is called 'man of sin and the son of perdition.' Because of this name, "the son of perdition," some people think that the Antichrist will be Judas reincarnated. Judas was also called the son of perdition. We cannot be sure of this, but it is certainly something to think about. He is called also "the prince that shall come" in Daniel 9:26, and in Daniel 11:36 he is referred to as 'the king that shall do according to his will.' In Revelation 13:1 he is referred to as a beast rising up out of the sea. These are some of the names given to this Man of Sin, the Antichrist.
II. His Characteristics and Work
It is evident from the Scriptures that he will possess unlimited power. For a picture of this we have only to think of the power of demon-possessed men of history, such as Nebuchadnezzar, Alexander, Caesar, Napoleon, Nero, Rasputin, and the power of recent dictators, Hitler, Mussolini, and Stalin.
This coming world dictator will have all the power of the past dictators and more, too. He will work along the same lines and will abolish personal liberty, free speech, freedom of the press, the right of assembly; he will reject the authority of God, and will persecute the Jews. The Antichrist will be energized by Satan, and Satan will give to him power to perform signs, wonders, and miracles.
Notice also that he will oppose God and Christ. He will be against all that is called God -- not only against the true God, but against heathen gods as well. He will tread all religion under his feet, and will set himself up as the only object of adoration. He will try to prove to himself and to the world that he is God. "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" (2nd Thessalonians 2:4)
The Antichrist will be a man of war. "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" (Revelation 13:7). War will be the natural element of the beast, for remember that Satan has chosen this man to head the armies of the earth, and to bring them together at Armageddon.
The Antichrist will rule the whole world for a time.
"And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the GOD of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done." -- Daniel 11:36
"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 13:8
A few years ago it would have been impossible for one person to rule the earth, but now after what we have seen, we know that it is possible. It has already been demonstrated that one man, assisted by a small minority, can take over a whole nation of millions of people. This was done in Germany, in Italy, and in Russia. Now, with the atomic bomb, we can easily see how one person, with control of the atomic bomb, could rule the entire world. When all this is going to take place, we do not know, except that it will be after the rapture. The rapture might come at any time. There is nothing to hinder the coming of Christ for His saints.
Again, let us be reminded that we are to look for our Saviour. He is coming as a thief in the night to take away His redeemed ones. We are going to be snatched away and caught up into His presence. Therefore, live just one day at a time. Do your best for Christ moment by moment. The rapture may occur at any time.
Do not give your allegiance or love or support to anything that is against Christ. John says that there are many antichrists, and all of these are pointing to the Antichrist who is coming.
Tonight you are either serving Christ or Satan. You are either on the road to Heaven or to Hell. If you have never accepted Christ, I pray that you might see that your life even now is counting on the side of the evil one who opposes our Christ, and who is known as a Man of Sin, a vile person, the son of perdition. This is the time to put yourself on the side of Christ.
SOURCE: Chapter 5 from the excellent book, Some Golden Daybreak, by Dr. Lee Roberson, D.D. (copyright 1957)
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