The Church will be able to identify the Antichrist
This study on the Antichrist is lengthy, so it has been divided up into three blogs. As the blog is aimed at covering the scriptures related to the Antichrist and enabling believers to be able to identify the Antichrist on his rise to power, not completing all three blogs will severely limit the individual’s knowledge on the subject and their ability to identify the “man of sin.”
The index below will assist the reader in identifying the topics covered in the three separate blogs:
Part 1 The Church will be able to identify the Antichrist
- Mystery Religion
- The identity of the Antichrist
- Putting the pieces together
- The Antichrist must be Jewish
- The Antichrist will worship the Queen of Heaven
- His name will have significance
Part 2 The Church will be able to identify the Antichrist continued
- The Antichrist will be of African descent
- The Queen of Sheba
- How did Judaism come to Ethiopia?
- Other criteria required by the Jews for their Messiah
- The significance of the Ark for the Jews
- The nationality of the Antichrist
- The Antichrist will be the Muslim Mahdi
Part 3 The Church will be able to identify the Antichrist Continued
- The links between Catholics and Islam
- The spirit of Nimrod is the spirit of the Antichrist
- Biblical types of the Antichrist
- The number of his name is 666
- Summary of the Antichrist – A checklist
The hand of God in the restoration of the land of Israel in 1948 is undeniable. A look at history sees God’s direction and control over people, groups and nations in moving to the ultimate conclusion of the Promised Land being restored to the Jews (Isaiah 66:8). Added to the miracle of the formation of the nation of Israel after 1900 years there is the restoration of Jerusalem, the City of God (Psalm 102:16) to Israel, the return of Jews from all over the world to Israel (Ezekiel 39:27-29), and the land that was barren once more blossoming under the agricultural hand of the Jew (Ezekiel 36:35-36). Many churches remain unmoved by the miraculous fulfilments of these prophecies, and their blindness is appalling. At the other extreme the fulfilment of prophecies has convinced many people that the end times are very near, and they are turning to the prophetic scriptures in an eschatological zeal to determine the signs of the times.
One area of great speculation, which has caused error and confusion is the identity of the Antichrist. The accurate interpretation of scripture regarding the Antichrist is essential, as the prophecies concerning him have great evangelical value. With this in mind, this document will be focusing on those Scriptures that would allow the Church to identify the man prior to the rapture. The importance of being able to identify the Antichrist is that this knowledge would enable believers to warn family, friends, work colleagues and acquaintances of the impending judgement that God will bring with the rise of this false Messiah, giving them the knowledge they need to decide to accept Jesus as their Lord.
The existence in scripture of a future Antichrist is a very contentious issue in eschatology, so it is important to answer two questions:
- Does the Bible refer to an individual called the ‘Antichrist’?
- Before starting a discussion of the scriptures that help identify the Antichrist, time must be taken to give evidence that confirms his existence in scripture. Does the Bible record the existence of a man, popularly called the Antichrist, who will rise to world-dominating power in rebellion against God?
Some deny that there will be a sinister individual called the Antichrist, who will ascend to be the world governing power in the future. The letters of John are used by these disclaimers as evidence of their belief, “Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come” (1 John 2:18) and “Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is a deceiver and the antichrist” (2 John 7). They believe there will rather be “many false Christs” and that there was evidence of their existence in the first century at the time of John’s writing of his two letters.
The term “antichrist”, they reason, is a general term used to suggest a spirit of unbelief that is directed against the teachings of Jesus. According to them, there is no identification in scripture of a single individual who would be considered “the Antichrist.”
A close study of John’s letter is required to clarify the issue: John reminds his readers that they had heard that “the antichrist is coming” (1 John 2:18), but then goes on to warn that there will be many antichrists in the future and that even at the time of his writing the letter there existed those that had the spirit of the antichrist. John is the Biblical author who coined the name “Antichrist” in his letters, which were thought to be written between 90-95AD. With John then being one of the last contributors to the scriptures, it is only logical that no other author of scripture would have used a term John coined. That does not mean they did not write and warn us about the Antichrist. A close look at scripture shows that a number of Biblical authors write in detail about the Antichrist, only they each give him a name fitting to their own description of him. Examples would be:
- Daniel has several names for the Antichrist in his detailed prophecies of the end times. In two of Daniel’s visions, he is called the Little Horn (Daniel 7:8 and 8:9); he is called a contemptible person in 11:21; and a wilful king in chapter 11:36. Then in 9:26, Daniel refers to him as the prince that shall come (KJV).
- Zechariah calls the Antichrist the idol shepherd (Zech. 11:16-17), which is in strong contrast to Jesus, the Good Shepherd who cares for His sheep.
- In the Apostle Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonians, he calls the Antichrist the man of sin and the son of perdition (2 Thess. 2:3 [KJV]), and that wicked one (2 Thess. 2:8 [KJV]). All these adjectives that Paul uses to describe the Antichrist point to his rebellion against God.
- In a vision that the Apostle John is given by God, John sees the Antichrist as the Beast (Rev. 13:1). This is in stark contrast to his earlier referring to Jesus as a Lamb (Rev. 5:6). Jesus is The Lamb of God who died for the sins of others in an act of agape love and selflessness. The Antichrist is the Beast who will destroy others through acts of hatred and selfishness. A look at the context of the scripture confirms that the beast of Revelation is the Antichrist. John identifies the Dragon as Satan in Rev. 12:7, then in Rev. 13:2 he writes that the Dragon gives “his power and his throne and great authority to the beast.” John clearly identifies the beast as Satan’s messiah, through whom he will work in the end times.
Early Christian writers such as Irenaeus and Jerome both saw that Daniel 9:24-27 was referring to a tyrant who comes to power in the last seven years of history. Many of the great Protestant theologians such as John Calvin, Martin Luther, Ulrich Zwingli, John Knox and John and Charles Wesley recognised that the Antichrist was recorded under various synonyms in scripture. Just as God and Jesus are referred to by many names in scripture, so, too, does the Bible give Satan and the Antichrist various titles.
Examples of the many synonyms Satan has been given in scripture are: Dragon (Rev. 12:9), Lucifer (Isa. 14:12 [KJV]), Belial (2 Cor. 6:15 [KJV]), Deceiver (Rev. 12:9 [KJV]), Father of lies (John 8:44), and the evil one (John 17:15).
It cannot, then, be seen to be strange that Satan’s messiah has been given many synonyms in scripture. To discount that there will be a man of incredible evil called the Antichrist, simply because John is the only author of scripture who uses the phrase the Antichrist, is not sound exegesis. When we read the Bible we must not be put off by the adjectives used to describe the Antichrist. We must recognise the context of the scripture and that the author of the scripture is warning of the characteristics of a man, the like who has never been seen before.
Cognisance must be made of three distinctions in scripture regarding the term antichrist. There have been many false Christs through history, men rising up in positions of power in rebellion against God. There is also the rebellious spirit that Paul refers to as “the mystery of iniquity” (2 Thess. 2:7 [KJV]), that has always been in the world. Finally, there is the man the Antichrist.
The term “antichrist” literally means in place of Christ. The Antichrist is more than, as some would suggest, “anti” or against Christ; the Antichrist also seeks to displace Jesus. The Antichrist is Satan’s counterfeit messiah, whom Satan will empower in an attempt to bring all mankind into rebellion against God.
Because of the rebellion against His will in the Garden of Eden, God pronounces a series of curses on the serpent, the man, and the woman. There is a very important clarification that needs to be made regarding the interpretation of the curse God speaks over the serpent:
“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel” (Genesis 3:15).
Genesis 3:15 is known as the protoevangelium, a word that is derived from two Greek words, protos meaning “first” and evangelion meaning “good news” (gospel), and reveals to all that God always had the plan of salvation in mind, and informed mankind of His plan as soon as sin entered the world. The seed of the woman is a direct pointer to Jesus and the virgin birth. The seed of the woman represents the will of God for mankind. So, just as the seed of the woman is a man, who is responsible for carrying out the plans and purposes of God, the seed of the serpent is a direct pointer to a man – the Antichrist, the counterfeit messiah, who represents the plans and purposes of Satan. From the moment God pronounces the curse on the serpent, the earth becomes a battleground between two wills and an ongoing conflict that will take place for the souls of mankind: “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work” (1 John 3:8). Satan’s work is directed at replacing God in the hearts of mankind, and the Antichrist is the pinnacle of this goal. The Kingdom can only be established when the Seed of the Woman achieves victory over the seed of the serpent (Rev. 19:11-21). The Antichrist will be the enemy of Jesus, and he will come to power opposing all that is of God.
The most powerful scripture for those who doubt the existence of a future Antichrist must be the warning Jesus gives, “I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him” (John 5:43). Jesus is prophesying of his rejection by the Jews and warning that a man will rise up and make a claim to the title of Messiah, and he will be accepted by the Jews. This man will be the Antichrist.
Does the Bible refer to an individual called the Antichrist? The answer to that question is an unequivocal yes! Scripture, as we have observed, makes many references to him. There have been many men of sin, but there will be only one “man of sin”, there have been many lawless men, but only one “man of lawlessness”, and there have been many antichrist figures in history, but there will only be one “Antichrist.”
Are we able to identify the Antichrist?
With the Antichrist being such an important figure in eschatology and so much written about him, is it not possible to piece the clues together to get a good, clear picture of the Antichrist, a picture that will enable us to identify him before his rise to power?
The idea of identifying the Antichrist has stirred up much debate and controversy over the centuries, with many characters being labelled as the Antichrist, from ancient Roman Emperors such as Nero and Caligula to authoritarian rulers such as Napoleon, Mussolini and Hitler, to the modern examples of Henry Kissinger, Bill Gates and Barak Obama. The problem with these examples is that the evidence used to label them with the title Antichrist is flimsy and does not meet all the criteria set out in scripture.
God gives us clear guidelines in prophecy for a reason. The discerning Christian will recognise him in his rise to power and be able to sound a warning. A warning that will give sufficient knowledge to people after the rapture to recognise the truth of scripture and accept Jesus as their Lord, thus becoming Tribulation saints. Christian groups will also be able to fervently direct prayer, knowing that the time of the end is near.
This is not something that Satan wants, so he will continually muddy the waters with false predictions that ignore sound scriptural exegesis, to ensure that people will pay no attention to the true identity of the Antichrist because of the many past failures.
God so loves mankind that he gave us Jesus, His only Son, for our salvation. Satan is going to use a counterfeit messiah to turn mankind against their Creator, and so lose out on their salvation. The Antichrist is the tool that the age-old enemy of God will use to bring world rebellion against God. The man will be the embodiment of Satan, leading mankind in opposition and rebellion against God. It is the responsibility of the Church to interpret the scriptures that enable us to identify Satan’s counterfeit and sound a warning to the world.
An extremely important clue that will enable us to identify the Antichrist is the one-world religion that he will use to consolidate people under his authority and allow him to be propelled to world dominance. Here again, Satan has muddied the waters, and the identity of the End-Time one-world religion has been a topic of much conjecture with many and varied theories.
The key scripture that unravels the true identity of the end-time false religion is given in Revelation 17. Within this passage, the false religion that the Antichrist will use to assist him in his rise to power is described in detail and given the title “MYSTERY BABYLON THE GREAT THE MOTHER OF PROSTITUTES AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” The origin of the end-time false religion is obviously Babylon. The religion that was used to consolidate the people of Babylon in their rebellion against God and resulted in their building of the tower of Babel in defiance of God, will be the religion the Antichrist will use to unite people under him. There is no other possible explanation!
While man looks at history as being linear, God’s view of history is circular. History perambulates through time around a course ordained by God, resulting in a climatic end as the history of the world returns to the great spiritual conflict between the Mystery Babylonian religion and God. The Prophecy of Genesis 3:15 comes to fruition in the last days, with the seed of the serpent rising up on the fertile ground of the Mystery Babylon religion, to confront the seed of the woman – Yeshua.
The religion that was formed by the early Babylonian’s was to become the mother of all false religions. To unravel the “mystery” of the great prostitute’s identity we need to take time to study the characters that were behind her genesis. They are Nimrod and Semiramis, the Emperor and Empress of the Babylonian empire at that time.
The identity of the Antichrist
Jewish sages from the time of Jesus have made reference to an evil king at the time of the appearance of the Messiah. The Talmud, in Sanhedrin 97a, warns that God will allow the Antichrist, an evil tyrant “as cruel as Haman,” to rule over Israel for a time to bring the Jews to repentance so that the Messiah can appear.
Early Christians such as Irenaeus (AD 130-200) and Jerome (AD 347-420) saw that Daniel 9:17-24 was referring to a tyrant who comes to power in the last seven years. Hippolytus (AD 170-236), a second century writer, also recorded his belief in the rise of the Antichrist, “who shall be shameless, a war-maker, and a despot, who, exalting himself above all kings and above every god…” However, with the rise of philosophical thought influencing the interpretation of scripture, men such as Augustine (AD 354-430) had a huge influence on the abandonment of the literal interpretation of prophecy. Only during the Reformation, with the shackles of Rome broken, when people were able to study the Bible in their own language, was there a rebirth of the literal interpretation of prophecy. This resulted in renowned theologians from the 1500s to the present, such as Knox, Cramer, Isaac Newton, Mather, Bunyan, Huss, Wycliffe Spurgeon, Finney, Guinness, Hudson Taylor and Tyndale, all agreeing that there will be a literal Antichrist.
The Antichrist is not a new idea that has sprung up in recent eschatological debate. The understanding of his existence in scripture predates the time of our Lord Jesus. There are many scriptures that speak about the Antichrist. Will these passages in the Bible allow us to identify him before the church is raptured? Prophetic scripture acts as a radar that gives us an early warning, so we will be able to shout a warning to the world. There have been many individuals through history that have been identified as the Antichrist, but they did not meet all the requirements of scripture.
As has already been pointed out a large number of prophets make reference to the Antichrist and a considerable amount of scripture is devoted to the man. One must consider that if God gives guidance on how to identify the Antichrist, He considers it important that we are able to identify him. So, what are the scriptures that shine a spotlight on the Antichrist and give us a preview of the man, his character, and his actions? What should we be looking for in the man who will raise himself up as the world’s saviour, the false Messiah?
As has already been stated, the seed of the serpent is the Antichrist. Just as Jesus is the “seed” of the woman – Mary. The Antichrist will be the “seed” of Satan, who will use all of Satan’s powers to achieve his goals. The Antichrist will, therefore, be a skilled practitioner of the occult, performing signs and wonders using powers that Satan has given him. “The coming of the lawless one (the Antichrist) will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders.” (2 Thess. 2:9). Daniel warns of the arising of a wicked king “who understands sinister schemes.” (Dan. 8:23-24 [NKJV]). This implies that the king will have an intimate knowledge of occult powers. The Antichrist will be adept at satanic schemes and methods, which he will use to manipulate mankind to his will.
The Antichrist will be the pinnacle of Satan’s evil schemes, the very embodiment of evil. As “the son of perdition”, he will display all the traits of a man possessed by Satan. As a man without integrity, in his rise to world dominance, the Antichrist will manipulate man’s sinful nature by utilising man’s greed and lust for power to promote his will. As a master manipulator he will know man’s weaknesses, using flattery, corruption, bribery, fraud, extortion, and deception to control and manipulate them (Dan. 11:32; 2 Thess. 2:10; 2 John 7).
Daniel 2:1–45; Revelation 13:1–10:
When Daniel interprets Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of a large statue of a man, he reveals how successive nations will have control over the nation of Israel. That authority, which is given by God, will pass from the Babylonians, to the Medes and Persians, then to the Greeks and finally to the Romans. The Roman Empire is depicted by the legs of iron, which extend into feet of iron and clay. The feet are destroyed by a rock that becomes a great mountain and fills the earth. The rock is Jesus and the mountain that fills the earth is the Millennium Kingdom of Jesus.
A mountain in scripture is one of the Biblical symbols for a kingdom (Isa. 2:2). The 10 toes of the statue link to the 10 horns of the beast in Rev. 13:1. Ten in scripture is symbolic of law, order and government, indicating a worldly political authority. The number 10 does not necessarily mean 10 nations, but rather a political authority through which the Antichrist will rise to power. However, some writers on eschatology believe that the number 10 links to an organisation called the Club of Rome. The organisation, which was founded in Rome in 1968, is a powerful group of men, including high-level politicians and leaders in fields such as economics, business, and science. These men analyse the crucial problems facing humanity and come up with solutions to deal with those problems. In 1972, this group of men proposed that the world be divided into 10 zones or regions. These regions would co-operate with their member nations very much in the same manner as the European Union does today. With the 10 divisions of the Club of Rome including all the nations of the world, there is a strong indicator that these 10 regions are the fulfilment of Daniel’s 10 toes.
The ten horns are most often interpreted as representing ten leaders’ rule over ten territories, but as the number ten signifies government, law and order, it is possible that the number represent a United Nations coalition, which will work to bring about a one world government, not necessarily just ten regions. However, the fact that the Antichrist subdues three kings does point to three individual leaders, rather than 30% of a global coalition.
The 10 horns of the beast in Rev. 13 are symbols of power, and the 10 crowns are symbols of the authority the beast will have. The fact that Daniel shows the iron and clay feet are connected to the iron legs of the statue indicates that a union of states from within the old Roman Empire will be the political base through which the Antichrist will rise to power. The iron and clay symbolise that the confederation of nations will be a mixture of strong and weak nations. Many point to the European Union as the fulfilment of this prophecy, and it seems that it will be the future political power base of the Antichrist. Italy, however, is the key nation, with Rome as the capital. Mystery Babylon of Revelation 17 has its roots in Rome. Rome will be the Antichrist’s capital, until he is recognised by the Jews as their messiah and is able to move Jerusalem.
The beast of Revelation 13 is a combination of the beasts of Daniel 7, which represent the ancient world empires that dominated Israel from the time of Daniel (Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome). The beast of Revelation 13 is the continuation of these powers, in that the Antichrist will have authority over the land of Israel. The beast arises out of the sea, which is symbolic for people, so the Antichrist will rise to power through a hierarchy of people. He will rise up the ranks of power rapidly because of his leadership abilities and his great oratory skills (Rev. 13:5).
In this way he will be very similar to Hitler, in that Hitler’s fanaticism and drive, along with his leadership abilities, were recognised and saw him rapidly rise through the ranks of power of the Nazi party. Hitler’s speeches held the crowds spellbound and his power of persuasion drew them to follow his doctrine of hatred. In similar manner, the Antichrist will rise up through the ranks of the Catholic Church due to his leadership skills, power of persuasion, and fanatical devotion to Catholicism and the apostate Mary, to eventually become Pope.
He will also have the power to sway people with his oratory skill in his sermons and public speeches. These skills will see him become involved not only in the goals of the Catholic Church, but also in the political arena. He will become an expert in both world religion and diplomacy (Dan. 7:8; Rev. 13:7b).
Revelation 5 reveals that only Jesus (the Lamb) is worthy to break the seals and reveal the content of the scroll, and the sixth chapter reveals the content of the scroll. The opening of the first seal reveals a rider on a white horse. “I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, ‘Come!’ I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.”
The unnamed rider of the white horse in this scripture is the Antichrist. The opening of the first seal is the release of the Antichrist. He is the catalyst that sets everything else in motion. Note his appearance is very similar to that of Jesus in Revelation 19:11-21. He is the counterfeit messiah, and he will appear on the scene to convince the Jews that it is he who has come to set up the kingdom. The Antichrist is given a crown, and in scripture a crown is a symbol of authority. This authority is given by God to the Antichrist, so he has the authority he needs to deceive the world and to carry out his persecution of the saints of God (Rev. 13:7).
He is the first judgement released on the world by God. The Antichrist also carries a bow but the arrows are sheathed. He initially comes to power through peaceful means, and only after elevating himself to the position of God in the middle of the Tribulation does he resort to violence and war. The bow symbolises the potential for military power, but the fact there is no arrow on the bow is a sign of the intent of peace, not war. The depiction of the Antichrist in Revelation 6, describes a messianic figure who comes to power through peaceful means. The Antichrist holds a bow, indicating that he has military capability, but because the arrows are sheathed, he reveals that his intent is peace.
Anyone who brings peace to the Middle East will have to be a leader with a strong military power base. With Arab nations and Israel being in continual conflict, a peace treaty will have to require a certain amount of disarmament of those nations as recognition of the new era of peace. The only way that disarmament will take place in the Middle East is if the mediator is able to guarantee that he has the military power to sustain that peace. Any nation breaking the peace treaty will incur the wrath of the Antichrist’s forces. The disarmament of Israel to a limited military force will be a goal of the Antichrist, as Israel is a formidable military power. This will enable the Antichrist to take over the nation in the middle of the Tribulation period with swift efficiency.
Revelation 13:4 gives us an understanding of the Antichrist as a brilliant military strategist who will not hesitate to use all the military means at his disposal to force nations to comply with his totalitarian New World Order, “Who is like the beast? Who can make war with him?” The Antichrist may be required to use limited military action as a show of force in establishing the seven-year peace treaty, but the violent, murderous nature of the Antichrist will only truly be revealed during the Great Tribulation. Daniel 11:44 is evidence of these future hostilities and atrocities by the Antichrist, “but reports from the east and the north will alarm him (the Antichrist), and he will set out in a great rage to destroy and annihilate many.”
This is one of the most important prophecies regarding the Antichrist, which links to the rider on the white horse in Revelation 6:1-2. Daniel warns of a ruler who will “confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven’” (a heptad, a week of seven years). In the middle of the ‘seven’, he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of the Temple, he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, “until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.” (Dan. 9:27).
In this prophecy, Daniel warns of a ruler of great standing who will initiate a covenant with Israel. It will apparently be a peace treaty for a duration of seven years. However, in the middle of the seven-year period the ruler will break the covenant, ending the temple sacrifices and placing a statue of himself in the Temple as an object of worship (Dan. 9:27b; Matt. 24:15; Rev. 13:14-15). The “ruler” Daniel refers to in his prophecy must, therefore, be the Beast of Rev. 13, the Antichrist. The erection of the idol in the temple is an abomination to the Jews and will signal the end of the covenant they have with, him, and the Great Tribulation (Matt. 24:21) will commence. Because of the focus on the Jews during this time, it is also referred to as “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jer. 30:7).
A very important factor in identifying the Antichrist, then, is that he initially comes to prominence as a man of peace. He performs what previously so many politicians had failed to do and attains the political “Holy Grail” by bringing peace to the Middle East. The Antichrist performs the impossible by brokering peace between the Arabs and the Jews. Israel, after years of conflict, will have peace with her neighbours. Unfortunately, it will be a very temporary peace, lasting only three and a half years. Then the Antichrist will betray them and erect a statue of himself in the Temple (Dan. 9:27b; Matt. 24:15; Rev. 13:14-15), and once more Israel will be in conflict.
Daniel 7:20 & 25:
In Daniel’s dream of the four beasts he saw the fourth beast (depicting the future Roman Empire), which was “different from all the others and most terrifying” (Dan. 7:19). Daniel wondered about the beast, “and of the ten horns that were in its head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spoke very great things, whose look was more stout than its fellows” (7:20 [KJV]).” The “other horn that came up” is the Antichrist’s, and it refers to the oratory ability of the man by saying he has a “mouth that spoke very great things.” This also emphasises that the Antichrist will not only be charismatic but also proud and arrogant. The second part of verse 20 calls him “stout,” which refers to the fact that he will be above others in his field. This very likely applies to the fields of world religion, diplomacy, etc.
Daniel emphasises the blasphemous nature of the Antichrist when he writes “and he shall speak great words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and think to change the times and the laws.” (7:25 [KJV]). The Antichrist will be identified by his opposition to “The Most High and His saints.” The man of sin will oppose the things of God (2 Thess. 2:4). He will be a blasphemer of the true God, Jesus and the Church (Rev. 13:5-6; Dan. 7:25), and he will call good evil and evil good. In his development of the New World Order the Antichrist will “change times and laws,” (7:25), to suit his own designs. His major thrust to establish a one-world-government will include attacks against Judea-Christian morality.
Putting the pieces together
The information that scripture provides enables us to put enough pieces of the puzzle together to be able to have a clear recognition of the Antichrist on his rise to power, and not be swayed into believing that someone is the Antichrist just because they match a few of the Bible characteristics attributed to him. Let us look at some of the other pieces of the puzzle that make up his identity:
The Antichrist must be Jewish
Most of the people labelled in the past as being the Antichrist were Gentiles. This cannot be. The Jews will not recognise a man as their Messiah unless he is Jewish. To be more specific he must be from the tribe of Judah, a direct descendant of King David. These criteria are clear and evident in the scriptures:
- Genesis 12:3: God promises Abraham that through him “all peoples on earth will be blessed.” This promise can only be possible if the “Messiah” who will bring world peace comes from the line of Abraham, the father of the Jews.
- Genesis 49:10: Jacob prophesies over his sons and says to Judah that “the sceptre will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet.” The clear implication of this prophecy is that the Messiah will come from the tribe of Judah.
- Jeremiah 23:5: This scripture gives the clearest prophecy as to the lineage of the Messiah, by pointing directly at David: “‘The days are coming’ declares the Lord. ‘When I will raise up to David a righteous branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land… he will be called: the Lord Our Righteousness.’” He, the Messiah, must come from the line of David. Isa. 11:1-2 confirms this and it is the scripture Jesus refers to in Rev. 22:16 when he says “I am the Root and the Offspring of David.”
- Jeremiah 30:9 and Hosea 3:5: These two scriptures prophesy that the Jews will serve “David their King.” As David had long since passed on when these scriptures were written, they could only be referring to the future Messiah, who must be from the line of David.
Satan, to give credibility to his false messiah, will use a man who matches the requirements of the prophetic scriptures that point to the Messiah.
The Antichrist will worship the Queen of Heaven
The Antichrist it seems will be the first Pope with a Jewish heritage, and as Pope he will be the head of the apostate church, using the Catholic Mary to unite the world religions (with the exception of true Christianity). The whore of Revelation, the queen of heaven, is the unifying factor in all false religions. Once the unification of world religions has been achieved the Antichrist, as head of the new world religion, will receive adulation from mankind. This success will ultimately lead to the False Prophet proclaiming that the Antichrist is God, and requiring all to worship him. Just as in the time of Solomon the Temple Mount, and the surrounding heights including the Mount of Olives will have places of worship for foreign deities. So, the queen of heaven will still hold a place in the pantheon of gods in Jerusalem, but all the gods will be considered inferior to the Antichrist. As it was in the time of the Roman Emperors, so it will be again, citizens will be able to worship any god they please as long as their worship includes the Antichrist, as “Pontifex Maximus” he will bethe head of the pantheon of gods. Failure to include the Antichrist as part of the religious practices – as will be the case with true Christians – will make that faith an illegal religion (Religio illicita) resulting in the death penalty for those concerned (Rev. 13:15).
An interesting prophecy that links the Antichrist to the queen of heaven is recorded in Daniel 11:36-38. The prophecy initially looks at the Antichrist during the Great Tribulation, before going back in time to reveal the connection the Antichrist will have with the queen of heaven. The beginning of the prophecy refers to a man who will “exalt and magnify himself above every god and say unheard-of things against the God of gods.” This is a prophecy about the Antichrist during the Great Tribulation, having elevated himself to be worshipped as God.
Daniel goes on to explain that the Antichrist will not “regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god; for he shall magnify himself above all.” (11:37 [KJV]). This scripture is pointing to the Antichrist three and a half years into the Tribulation, when he exalts himself as God and places himself above all religions. The reference to the “God of his fathers” identifies him as being Jewish and rejecting Jehovah, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Daniel then points out that he will reject the true Messiah, Jesus, when he says that the Antichrist will not show regard to the “desire of women.” The great desire of all Jewish women was to be the mother of the Messiah, so not regarding the “desire of women,” is not showing regard to the true Messiah, Jesus. The scripture could have a duel meaning in that the Antichrist will not only show no regard to Jesus as Lord, but being the Pope, he will be celibate and therefore will not “desire woman.”
Daniel finishes by saying that he will not even show regard to any false god, for he will “magnify himself.” Daniel is revealing the Antichrist in his Great Tribulation period, having proclaimed himself to be God. So, the Antichrist will not worship Jehovah, Jesus, or even any false god, but rather he will put himself up to be worshipped. However, he would have used the queen of heaven as a stepping-stone to elevate himself into a position of religious power and authority.
Daniel, however, gives the important link that the Antichrist has with the queen of heaven in the next verse, when he says that the Antichrist will “honour the god of fortresses” (11:38). The god of fortresses was one of the titles of the queen of heaven, so a more correct title would be the “goddess of fortresses.” Many of the ancient cultures’ great mother goddesses, such as the Greek Artemis, the Ephesian Diana and the Roman Cybele, were depicted with turret crowns. The ancients believed that Semiramis, the original mother goddess, was responsible for the building of the magnificent walls of Babylon, and because of that she was worshipped both as the great mother goddess and the goddess of fortresses. The Antichrist will worship the modern variation of the queen of heaven who is, therefore, also linked to the goddess of fortresses: the Catholic Mary. She is a goddess that the Jewish forefathers of the Antichrist would not have known, as she was not in the disguise of the Catholic Mary, in her cloak of Christianity, but rather the pagan queen of heaven and goddess of fortresses.
The Antichrist will honour the apostate Mary during the first three and a half years of the Tribulation in the true Catholic tradition, by dressing her with “gold and silver, and with precious stones” and he will give her costly gifts (Dan. 11:38).
His name will have significance
Satan is the great deceiver, and he continually counterfeits that which is of God. The Antichrist will be Satan’s counterfeit messiah. He will appear to the Jews to be fulfilling all the prophecies recorded by the Old Testament prophets which point to the promised Messiah. This will include the Old Testament symbols and titles used to refer to the Messiah.
So, just as the Hebrew name Yeshua, which means “God is salvation,” defined the character and actions of the true Messiah so, too, will the Antichrist take a name that will deceptively link him to the Old Testament predictions of the Messiah. As the false messiah, however, his true nature and actions will be the opposite to those of Jesus.
The significance of a messianic claimant’s name linking to messianic scripture was not lost on Rabbi Akiba when he linked Simon Bar Kokhba (meaning “the Star”) to the messianic promise in Numbers 24:17 “a star will come out of Jacob; a sceptre will rise out of Israel.” The backing of a well-respected rabbi and a name linking Simon Bar Kokhba to the promise of a Messiah in the Torah, convinced many Jews to recognise Bar Kokhba as the Messiah and join his AD 132 rebellion against the Romans.
When elected to the position of Pope, the new Pope takes a regal name as head of the Catholic Church. This name is often symbolic of the intent that Pope has for his reign. Taking the name of a saint would, for example, imply that the new Pope would want to emulate the character or achievements of that saint. This is, therefore, an ideal opportunity for the Antichrist to link his name to the Messiah.
For example, a number of scriptures refer to the Messiah as the Olive tree or righteous branch. A sly move by the Antichrist would be to take the name Oliver when he is elected Pope, because the name will tie him so perfectly to the promise of the Messiah. In Latin the meaning of the name Oliver is “peaceful.” The English and French meaning of Oliver is “the Olive tree.” “The biblical olive tree symbolises fruitfulness and beauty and dignity. ‘Extending an olive branch’ signifies an offer of peace.” The name Oliver is also, therefore, connected to the olive tree, which symbolises both the Messiah and peace. The Messiah is the anointed one, and olive oil was the oil used for anointing.
Jesus was strongly tied to the symbolism of the olive tree. He came from Nazareth, which means “olive branch,” and one of His names is “Jesus (saviour) of Nazareth (olive branch).” Also, Jesus is a descendent of David, which connects Jesus to Jeremiah 23:5, “I will raise up to David a righteous Branch.” It is therefore logical that the Antichrist will also link himself to Jeremiah 23:5 by having a title that means olive tree or olive branch. It would not be a bad move to have a name that is associated with peace when you are looking to be the key negotiator who brings about peace in the Middle East.
There are a number of scriptures that use the term Branch in the Old Testament when referring to the Messiah:
- “‘The days are coming’, declares the Lord. ‘When I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land… he will be called: the Lord Our Righteousness (Jeremiah 23:5-6).'”
- “A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit (Isaiah 11:1).”
- “I am going to bring my servant the Branch (Zechariah 3:8).”
- “Here is the man whose name is the Branch, and he will branch out from his place and build the temple of the Lord (Zechariah 6:12).”
- Note that Zechariah uses the definite article, as a direct indicator to the Messiah.
For the Antichrist to imply that he is the “righteous branch” of the olive tree that links him to King David, would give him the title of The Lord Our Righteousness. The Catholic Church loves titles, and this is a name that the charismatic, arrogant false messiah would love to have in order to give himself greater credibility and prestige. For the Pope to have the Latin title of the Pope of peace, when he is the Pontifex Maximus, the head of the worship of the queen of heaven, is indeed extremely ominous.