Standing Against Christ
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“Antichrist” is shown as appearing before the second coming of Christ. But there’s more to the story and the term “antichrist” than just one man.
The meaning of the term antichrist encompasses more than just the end time. It literally means “against Christ” and is variously defined as “adversary of Christ” or “opponent of Christ,” and as a designation for a specific individual who rises on the world scene to defy Christ and His work. In fact, such an enemy will arise, but there have been and are many antichrists who oppose Jesus and His message (1 John 2:18).
The Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament Based on Semantic Domains by Louw and Nida offers a more comprehensive definition: “The term . . . appears to have become increasingly equivalent to a proper name as the personification of all that was opposed to and contrary to the role and ministry of Christ.”
According to the apostle John’s writing, there is a spirit of antichrist, which is a spirit of opposition to the identity and nature of Christ and His ongoing work in His people. Specifically, John was writing to warn of the heresy that denied Christ’s coming in the flesh (1 John 4:3; 2 John 6-7). To deny such central biblical truth is to be against Christ and His message.
Like a lamb but speaking as a dragon
In 2 Thessalonians 2, Paul prophesied of a “man of sin,” a liar and deceiver supernaturally empowered by Satan the devil to confuse people in the end time.
Christ inspired John to write of a “false prophet” to come at the end time (Revelation 13:11-18; Revelation 16:13; Revelation 19:20). The prophecy describes a great religious leader: “He had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon” (Revelation 13:11). That is to say, he takes on the semblance of (or imitates) Jesus Christ (the Lamb of God) but is empowered by Satan (see Revelation 12:9). Historically, a counterfeit version of Christianity fulfills what is described in the prophecies of Revelation.