2.1 – Definition of Antichrist in Christianity
Let’s begin our first chapter by learning what the term “Antichrist” means in Christianity. The following is from various sources (in blue).
According to christianity.about.com;
Although the Bible does not specifically name who the antichrist will be, it does give us some clues as to what he will be like.
The name “antichrist” is only found in 1 John 2:18, 2:22, 4:3, and 2 John 7. The Apostle John was the only Bible writer to use the name antichrist. Studying these verses, we learn that many antichrists (false teachers) 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.
1 John 4:1-3 says, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.” (NKJV)
By the end times, many will easily be deceived and embrace the antichrist because his spirit will already dwell within the world.
Man of Sin
In 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, the antichrist is described as the “man of sin,” or “son of perdition.” Here Paul, like John, is also warning believers about the antichrist’s ability to deceive:
“Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” (NKJV)
The NIV makes it clearer that a time of rebellion will come prior to Christ’s return and then the “man of lawlessness, the man doomed to destruction” will be revealed. The antichrist eventually will exalt himself above God to be worshiped in the Lord’s Temple, proclaiming himself to be God. Verses 9 and 10 say that the antichrist will do counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, to gain a following and deceive many.
In Revelation 13:5-8, the antichrist is referred to as “the beast.”
According to bibledatabase.org;
Easton’s Bible Dictionary
against Christ, or an opposition Christ, a rival Christ. The word is used only by the apostle John. Referring to false teachers, he says (1 John 2:18, 22; 4:3; 2 John 1:7), “Even now are there many antichrists.” (1.) This name has been applied to the “little horn” of the “king of fierce countenance” (Dan. 7:24, 25; 8:23-25). (2.) It has been applied also to the “false Christs” spoken of by our Lord (Matt. 24:5, 23, 24). (3.) To the “man of sin” described by Paul (2 Thess. 2:3, 4, 8-10). (4.) And to the “beast from the sea” (Rev. 13:1; 17:1-18).
Other definitions of Antichrist on the Web:
- (Christianity) the adversary of Christ (or Christianity) mentioned in the New Testament; the Antichrist will rule the world until overthrown by the Second Coming of Christ
- The Antichrist according to Christianity, is one who fulfills Biblical prophecies concerning an adversary of Christ while resembling him in a deceptive manner. The Antichrist is directly comparable to the figures of the Dajjal and Armilus in Islamic and Jewish eschatology, respectively.
- One under the direct control of the Devil, who will lead the abomination in the end times
- One who works against the teachings of Christ
- A false Christ who is supposed to rise to power during the Tribulation.
- Against Christ, or an opposition Christ, a rival Christ. The word is used only by the apostle John. Referring to false teachers, he says (Jo1 2:18, Jo1 2:22; Jo1 4:3; Jo2 1:7), “Even now are there many antichrists.” (1. …
- A figure who opposes God. The word is used to describe a spirit of rebellion against God, “…the spirit of the Antichrist…” (1 John 4:3) and of a specific future person identified as the man of lawlessness (2 Thess. 2:3). He actively opposes Christ (2 Thess. …
So it seems there are several references and contexts that could be used for the term – Antichrist. In context with the main topic, he is mainly referred to as; someone in “opposition” to, or “against Christ“, hence the name “AntiChrist”; even to the extent as a being described as one of the “false Christs” (meaning; ‘more than one‘).
Interestingly, the last section (4.) mentions of a “beast from the sea“. It’s interesting because in the Islamic Hadiths it also mentions of some respected companions of the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) who had an encounter with a “beast” type of being (often referred to as “Dajjal“) on an island, after being washed about by big tides in the sea (see “What Does Islam Say About The Antichrist?“). This verse is in direct relation to the Antichrist.
What else does the Gospel say about this “false teaching liar and deceptive little horn” who is supposed to be in direct ‘opposition against Christ‘?
… that’s in the next chapter: 2.2 — Physical & Characteristic Nature of the Antichrist
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