Who Is The Antichrist?

by Dr. Ken Matto

I remember when I was a new Christian and the Bible was something new and exciting. I followed the advice of Bible teachers that I should purchase some books which would help me gain a better understanding of Scripture. Being a new Christian I latched onto the prophecy craze which is still going strong today. I purchased books by many different authors.

One thing they all had in common was their desire to identify the Antichrist. I remember being in Oklahoma City in 1983 for a prophecy meeting and a preacher gave a multi-media presentation on how he believed the Antichrist would appear.

These pretribulational theologians look everywhere for the revealing of the Antichrist, except in the Bible. When God first accepted me by His sovereign will, I too fell into the trap of trying to identify the Antichrist. In 1981, we were looking at the possibility of David Rockefeller being the Antichrist. Then we thought it was Ronald Wilson Reagan (3 names of six letters each 666), then Gorbachev came on the scene and we thought it might be him (some even thought his patch of discolored skin on his head might be the mark of the beast.) In July of 1994 a new candidate for Antichrist came on the scene from Russia, his name was Zhirinovsky.

Every time some world leader makes some anti-Christian statement, instantly they become a candidate for the Antichrist. When these theologians continue to be proven wrong, they never make an apology or retraction, they just continue to publish new books and sell them to the naive Christian public who have forgotten and ignored the biblical principle for true and proper hermeneutic which is found in 1 Corinthians 2:13:

(1 Cor 2:13) Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

Let us look closely at what this verse is teaching us.

Phrase 1, "not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth,...."

This phrase teaches us that we need to speak the words of the Bible which are totally inspired by God and is void of human additions in the original. Man’s wisdom is found in philosophy and other sciences.  Christians cannot expect the wisdom of the world to add anything to them. We are children of the book, PERIOD. All the wisdom and systems of this world are diametrically opposed to the purity of Scripture.

Phrase 2, "but which the Holy Ghost teacheth..."

This phrase cannot be contradicted because it teaches us that we are to bask in the teachings of the Holy Spirit. Where are the teaching of the Holy Spirit found? In the Bible, not in newspapers, not in theology books, not in prophecy magazines or books, not in politics, not in messianic Publications or the Jerusalem Post, but only in the Bible. The only inspired material contained in these publications are quoted Bible passages and that is it!

Phrase 3, "comparing spiritual things with spiritual."

This phrase tells us that we are to compare spiritual things with spiritual. In other words, it is the comparison of Scripture with Scripture as the only way to extract truth from Scripture. As we already stated, man’s publications are not spiritual and cannot be used to interpret or compare with Scripture. Whenever we go outside the Bible to try to gain understanding of the Bible we will always hit a dead end. This is precisely why theologians have an "Antichrist of the Month club." The Bible tells us who the Antichrist is and to look further is to violate Revelation 22:18-19 by taking away from Scripture. To hold to an incorrect doctrine we have held for many years after learning the truth is simply a case of "suppressing the truth in unrighteousness" as Romans 1:18 warns us.

To hold on to an incorrect doctrine just to maintain a good job in a church or seminary constitutes a teacher of false doctrine and should be removed from that office. The role of the Bible teacher is to search out truth in the Bible (not newspapers or other periodicals) and deliver that truth to those whom God has placed in his charge.

Let us now attend to the subject at hand and we use only the KJV Bible to gain the identity of the Antichrist.

2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 & 7-9
(2 Th 2:3-4) 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; {4} 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, showing himself that he is God

(2 Th 2:7-9) For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. {8} 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: {9} Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,

Within the context of these verses , we will have a clear understanding of who the Antichrist is. Verse 3 is closely linked with another passage of Scripture which opens up the identity of Antichrist. Incidentally, this passage is used as a proof text that there will be a physical Antichrist on this earth. Yet, this passage nowhere uses the description for the man of sin as Antichrist. Since God uses this moniker in other areas of the New Testament, it would seem appropriate that God would use the title of Antichrist here also.

Do we have a problem? No, we do not! The passage that 2 Thess. 2:3 is linked to is Isaiah 14:12-17. We will focus on only 3 verses but you read the entire passage to gain the understanding of this group of verses.

(Isa 14:12, 16-17) How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! {16} They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; {17} That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?

Did you notice the vital link in these verses to 2 Thess. 2:3? In verse 16, Lucifer, a.k.a., Satan is called "the man." Now we know that Satan is an angel not a physical human being. (The NIV omits "Lucifer" in verse 12 and calls him the morningstar which is the name for Christ in Revelation 2:28 and 22:16.. Isn’t it heresy to equate Christ with Satan? The Mormons do this.)

Here God refers to Satan as the man which caused havoc on the earth. It is interesting to note that in Luke 4:18, the Lord Jesus Christ speaks of preaching deliverance to the captives. Isaiah 14:17 speaks of Satan not opening his house of the prisoners. The whole complicated doctrine need not be complicated.

Let us transfer the title "The Man" to 2 Thess. 2:3 and see if we are on the right track. There we read about the "Man of Sin" which is Satan himself. We saw the passage in Isaiah speaking directly about and to Satan and we see this passage speaking directly about Satan, as the man of sin. The man of sin is not a human being, for what human being can wage the war Satan has been waging against Christ from the time of creation, right in the Garden of Eden.

The Antichrist is therefore Satan and by this understanding of who he is, it fulfills the requirement for the end time prophecy in verse 3, "and that man of sin be revealed,..." The man of sin has been revealed and it is Satan.

In verse 4, we see Satan sitting in the temple of God. The temple in view here is not the physical temple but the temple which is the body of believers. (1 Cor. 3:16-17, 6:19; 2 Cor. 6:16; Eph. 2:21; Rev. 3:12, 11:19) God is warning us that Satan is sitting in the churches and bringing false gospels. The people will think they are worshipping God when in essence they will be worshipping the false gospels of Satan.

This deception is most prevalent in the charismatic churches where they still believe God is bringing new revelation through tongues, signs, and wonders.

In verse 7 we are told of the mystery of iniquity which is already in the world and the Holy Spirit is hindering him until the Holy Spirit removes His restraints. As the Holy Spirit begins to remove restraints evil will begin to multiply and intensify. Who can argue that we are not at that point in history now? Never has there been so much blatant evil in any contemporary generation as in ours.

Verses 8 & 9 yields some precious truths about the destruction of Satan at the second coming of Christ. Verse 8 tells us that when the Holy Spirit restrains His activity, then the wicked one will be revealed. As we have plainly seen, Satan is that wicked one. Verse 9 gives us insight into the final destruction of Satan. The words "even him" are in italics which means they are not in the original. The word "after" should have been translated "against" which gives the verse a clearer understanding. Let’s look at the clarification.

(2 Th 2:8-9) 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: {9} whose coming is against the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,

Now do you see the clarity. The way verse 9 reads in the text, it seems that when Christ returns, He will destroy a human who has the power of Satan in his life. When we look at the way the passage should read, we see that the Lord Jesus will come in brightness and his coming is against the workings of Satan, which will spell destruction for Him. This is in perfect harmony with Rev. 19:19-20 and 20:7-11. Let us look at some Scripture verses which help us in our search for the identity of Antichrist.

(1 John 2:22) Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.

There is no way that a single human being can be Antichrist since this verse tells us that anyone who denies the Father and the Son is Antichrist. This is a definite identification. There have always been those who deny the faith since the time of Christ. There is no human being that can live for 2000 years in this present earth. There have been many Antichrists throughout history but there is only one behind those who can motivate a person to deny the Father and The Son, and that is Satan. He is the ultimate Antichrist.

(1 John 4:3) 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.

Here John builds on the former verse in that Antichrist was already in the world at the time of the writing of the epistles which was 2000 years ago. Since only spirit can survive without reference to time, it is only possible that Satan is the Antichrist, since he was in the world at that time in addition to today. The word "spirit" is italics because it does not appear in the original. When the word is taken out, it clarifies the verse a little better. He is showing us that Antichrist is definitely a spirit essence and not corporeal.

(2 John 1:7) 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.

Here John gives another example of who an Antichrist is. It is one who denies the incarnation of Jesus Christ. It seems that John gives us good understanding of the Antichrist. The Bible’s definitions seem to center on the fact that antichrists deny essential doctrine and biblical truth. Let us look at the last two words of this verse, "an antichrist." The word "an" is the Greek article "o" which in this case is pronounced "ho." This article is placed before the word which means the word can be either definite or representing a general class. In this case, the position indicates a definite relation and may also be translated "the," which could allow these two words to be translated "the antichrist." This latter definition would place a new understanding on this verse, stating that anyone who denies the incarnation of Christ is the Antichrist. A definite moniker attached to those who oppose Christ.

At this point I was going to give the epilogue when the Holy Spirit brought to mind one more verse which is Daniel 7:25:

(Dan 7:25) And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.

This verse is most revealing about the identity of the Antichrist. This verse speaks of wearing out the saints. Are there any Christians you know of who are battling some sin on the front lines and it seems we are losing on all fronts. Most Christians I know are almost always tired. Here are some battles we face today: abortion, education, pornography, false modern translations of the Bible, false gospels going into the churches, and there are many others. Satan, who is behind this escalation of sin, is literally wearing out the saints. This sin will continue to multiply since he was loosed as Rev. 20:7 tells us:

(Rev 20:7) And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,

Daniel 7:25 continues in speaking of the changing of times and laws. Down through church history, the standard belief is that Christ would return on the last day and that would be the end. If you read my study "THE LITERAL 1000 YEAR REIGN OF CHRIST - FACT OR FICTION?" you will read where I quote many passages of Scripture which contain the words "last days" or "last time or times." If these are the last days, how can there be others after these? Throughout church history, there have always been a group existing called "Chiliasts" which believed there was going to be a literal 1000 year reign of Christ. They were in extreme minority.

It wasn’t until 1830, when Margaret MacDonald trance channeled the two stage appearance of Christ in the Glasgow, Scotland prophecy conferences. If one is familiar with the New Age Movement, one will instantly identify channeling as a satanic instrument. How does this affect the changing of laws and times? In this manner, whereas the church held to the biblical teaching of a last day when Christ would return which would be the culmination of earth’s history and then we would enter the new heaven and the new earth.

The trance channeling of Margaret Mac Donald was passed down to us by J.N. Darby, then Edward Irving, then C.I. Scofield. (Incidentally, if you look at the Scofield reference Bible, you will see a D.D. after his name. There is not one seminary which can claim they gave it to him. If they did, wouldn’t it be a bragging rite? (Something is wrong isn’t it?)

With MacDonald being a trance channeler, she now enforced the heretical belief of the Chiliasts which now give people an extra 1007 years to turn to Christ for salvation. So Satan changed the time of the end of the world and judgment day to 1007 years in the future giving the false notion of having plenty of time to turn to Christ. This teaching has spread like wildfire since 1830, and now the true teaching of the Scriptures on the subject of eschatology is deemed as heretical and impossible because Satan has changed times and laws.

It must be thoroughly understood that just because Satan has falsified the times through these channelers and the theologians who accept anything so readily, does not mean God has changed them. God’s timetable for the end is written in Scripture and no amount of satanic intervention can ever alter the Bible. He may cause false doctrines to look good and believed en masse, but that has no effect on the truth which is written in God’s Word. It is a shame with all the degrees our modern learned men have from universities and seminaries, they have forgotten one major element. They forgot to study their Bible.

In closing, let the Bible be your guide, not these theology and prophecy books which do nothing more than increase confusion and build their foundations on sand ad nauseum.

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