Where is that 'antichrist' the Futurist teachers keep telling us about? The many speculations about his origin and identity have intrigued Christian people for almost a century, since C.I. Scofield published his commentary notes on the same pages as the sacred text in 1909. A popular view during the 1960's was that the 'antichrist' was a Syrian while others taught that he was a child prodigy from India. The Futurist prophecy experts told us that this child was currently being trained to rule the world, but they never told us who was training him.
One interesting fact a college professor shared with us students were the speculations concerning this mysterious illusive character that have been going on for a very long time. The prophecy gurus during the 1930's proclaimed that Benito Mussolini of Italy was 'the antichrist' until the people hung him and his mistress by their heels in Milan. Other experts were sure they had their 'man" in Adolph Hitler, but he spoiled their theory when he put a bullet through the brain of his consort, Eva Braun and then ended his life by the same means. Other 'antichrist' hunters found their perfect fulfillment in Franklin D. Roosevelt, but were disappointed when he died of a cerebral hemorrhage.
ATHEIST, CATHOLIC OR JEWISH
After the deaths of these three potential candidates in 1945, the prognosticators soon began to look to the USSR for a living 'boogeyman.' They soon found one in Joseph Stalin, but again their search was forced to continue after Stalin died of a paralytic stroke in 1953. The ruthless plans of the Russian Premier Nikita Khrushchev during the Cold War, especially after his emotional "we will bury you" speech before the United Nations General Assembly, made him first choice among most prophecy experts. Among his closest competitors for that most hated position was the Irish Catholic president, John F. Kennedy. Many sermons proclaimed him as the perfect puppet ruler, through which the Pope would rule America and the free world. But again, the choice for the position of 'antichrist' had to be altered due to that fatal rifle sot in Dallas on November 22, 1963.
By this time, after these disappointments of all the major and many minor choices, the experts then decided that 'the antichrist' had to be a Jew. Finally they found their man in Henry Kissinger, a foreign born Jew who had become an advisor to U.S. presidents. But Henry has failed to meet the expectations of the Futurists. One very prominent evangelist published his description of 'the antichrist' as being the world's biggest party man, an intellectual genius in all areas of science and government, a world traveler and an atheist, yet worships at the altar of every religion while flaunting his bisexual lifestyle. At least this evangelist played it safe by not calling any names.
THE LATEST ONE
But here of late some prophecy gurus are at it again. They have pinpointed their latest man of personified evil in the American president, Barak Obama. He has characteristics that no previous choice possessed: both a Caucasian/ Negro ancestry, added to the fact of his Muslin/Christian religion. Surely, he must be their man. But again, time and events will prove the prophecy experts wrong. All of these and many more predictions are a direct result of a false prophetic premise known as Dispensationalism and Futurism. Couple these two false theories with an emotional hype of end time signs that dazzle the uninformed christian public and the prophecy experts reap a large following and an increase of donations.
There have been many attempts to make the "he" of Daniel 9:27, the "little horn" of Daniel 7:8, the "idol shepherd" of Zechariah 11:17, the "man of sin" of II Thess. 2:3 and several other Biblical characters to refer to a one man future 'antichrist' that is to rule the world for seven years. Here of late, some teachers believe that the extent of the reign this end-time 'superman' will be limited only to the land mass of the old Roman Revived Empire. Therefore, he will not exercise any authority in the Western Hemisphere. All of this inconsistency is the result of misinformed teachers attempting to create a human devil incarnate which is nothing more than a theological fathom.
Nowhere in Scripture does any writer refer to a "one –man antichrist." The term 'antichrist' occurs only five times in Scripture which all are found in the Epistles of John. "Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us" (I John 2:18-19).
In the above two references where the Apostle mentions the word antichrist, there is no implication that it is one individual person. In fact, he says that there are many antichrists. These were people who were once identified with John and the other believers, but discontinued their fellowship with them. There is a possibility these were Judaizers that undermined the ministry of John, then departed fellowship to go elsewhere to continue their devious work of perverting the faith of the saints.
"Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also" (I John 2:22-23).
The Apostle John is very emphatic to whom he identifies as being antichrist. From John's statement it is those such as the Pharisees, Sadducees and Jews who were adherents to Judaism that denied the deity of Jesus Christ. The main criterion as to who qualifies as antichrist are those who deny that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. The Jews and other skeptics denying that Jesus is the Christ (Messiah) are not only antichrist, but liars according to John's declaration.
"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world" (I John 4:1-3).
No statement of Scripture could be more clear to any honest reader than is found in the above statement of John. Any person, group or creed that denies Jesus is God incarnate in flesh is under the influence of the 'spirit' of antichrist. It is a Godly spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. It is an ungodly and an antichrist spirit that denies that truth. Antichrist is a 'spirit.' The Apostle Paul made it clear when he said; "Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost" (I Cor. 12:3).
"For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist" (II John 7). Again, John declares that anyone who denies that Jesus is not the Messiah (Christ sent from God) is both a deceiver and an antichrist.
Never once in the above five references to antichrist did John refer to: 1) "The" Antichrist; 2) one individual man; 3) or a future appearance of an "antichrist."
John did refer to antichrist as:
- a spirit (I John 4:3);
- a denial of the incarnation of God in Christ (I John 4:2);
- already present in his day (I John 2:18; 4:3)
- liars who denied that Jesus is the Christ (I John 2:22);
- deceivers (II John 7);
- there were many who were antichrist (I John 2:18);
- false believers who left the fellowship (I John 2:19).