The word “ANTICHRIST”(Greek:“antichristos” – Strong’s #500 = opponent of the Messiah) is only used four times in the singular and once in the plural in the bible. All are in the New Testament. Apostle John wrote in AD 60-61 that Antichrist was coming, and was even already in the world at that time. (1 John 2:18; 1 John 4:3). This revealed to those first century saints that it was the last hour before Christ’s second coming in AD 66-70.
It is important for us to look at this term “antichrist,” and look to dispel the hype and myths of the modern pundits of some future world leader, as well as to show that this term is not some single entity synonymous with “The Beast” of Revelation, nor “The Man of Sin” of 2 Thess.
Antichrist is a term that has become very familiar to Christians. It is a somewhat ominous word that carries with it certain apocalyptic visions. John is the only New Testament writer to use this word, and it only occurs five times in four verses. Let’s look at all of them:
1 John 2:18, “Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour.” (ESV)
In this verse, it is both singular and plural. Both usages do “not” have the article “the.” Some English translations have added the word “the” to the first appearing, and then have capitalized the “a” to make it read, “The Antichrist,” as if some singular person à and subsequently built an entire erroneous doctrine misleading multitudes.
Moulton and Milligan cite examples to show that the Greek prefix, “anti” – when added to some person’s name or title can mean either (i) the claim to be that person, or (ii) opposition to, equivalence to, or substitution for that person. “Antichrists” are those who oppose Yeshua and His teachings. Nothing mysterious here à simply “any” false teacher opposed to Yeshua and His teachings.
1 John 2:22, “Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son.” (ESV)
Clearly antichrist is “anyone” who openly and overtly denies that Yeshua is the Christ. That is to say, he speaks lies concerning Christ. He denies that Yeshua is the Christ which is fundamentally a denial of the nature, identity, and work of Yeshua.
1 John 4:3, “and every spirit that does not confess Yeshua is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.” (ESV)
“Confess” in this verse is the Greek word homologeo which means; “to say the same thing.” Confessing Yeshua, therefore, means saying about Him what God says about Him—He was literally manifested in the flesh and is equal to the Father in every way:
- “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1 ESV)
- “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14 ESV)
- “I and the Father are one.” (John 10:30 ESV)
- Yeshua said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?” (John 14:9 ESV)
So, anyone who doesn’t say the same thing about Yeshua as God does possesses the antichrist spirit.
2 John 1:7, “For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Yeshua the Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist.” (ESV)
Anyone who has an aberrant view of the nature of Christ, of the deity of Christ, and of the humanity of Christ is an antichrist. He is anyone who attacks Christ. Any person who is against Christ, any person who attacks the deity of Yeshua, and any person who is hostile to the true work of Christ and the true nature of Christ (i.e. His deity and His humanity) possesses the spirit of antichrist.
It is in this category that John sees the opponents of which he is writing with their innovative but false Christology. This is all clearly reaffirmed in 2 John 7 where the author explicitly labels the opponents as “the deceiver and the antichrist,” and in 1 John 2:26 where the author says, “these things I have written to you about those who are trying to deceive you.”
**As a concluding note it must also be stated that nowhere in the entire book of Revelation is there any mention or reference to the term or an entity called antichrist. Nowhere!
Related full “Study Series” (available upon request if not hyperlinked):
[For a more in-depth study see eschatology “Study Series 16 Lesson 4 Rev. Chapters 13 thru 20 on The Beast”]