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Articles

The Antichrist

“The time is ripe and getting riper for the Great Dictator, the one we call the ‘Future Fuehrer.’ This is the one who is predicted in the Scriptures very clearly and called the ‘Antichrist’” (Hal Lindsey, The Late Great Planet Earth 92).

The dictator’s agenda is summarized by John Walvoord in Armageddon, Oil and the Middle East Crisis: “A new world dictator will first reveal himself in the role of a peacemaker in the Middle East. . . This event will take place during the first stage of the revived Roman Empire, the fourth world empire described by Daniel. . . .

The leaders of the ten nations will consolidate the power lost by the fall of Rome. The future Mediterranean leader will await the right moment to . . . seize control of the Ten-Nation Confederacy. For three-and-a-half years he will masquerade as a prince of peace, the saviour of the world. For the next three-and-a-half years he will use satanic wonders and power to declare himself god and ruth-lessly crush all opposition. Near the end of the period the nations of the world will field armies to challenge him. Gripped in a dramatic world war, the armies will converge to begin the suicidal battle of Armageddon. . .” (138, 142).

That is what premillennialists claim. What does the Bible actually say?

Revived Roman Empire?
Not once does Daniel or any other prophet refer to a “Revived Roman Empire.” Not one verse refers to ancient Rome “disappearing to emerge again just before Christ returns to establish the kingdom of God” (Lindsey 81).

Daniel 2:44 identifies the days of ancient Rome, the fourth empire in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, as the time when God’s kingdom would be established. That is when Christ came, and that is when He took His place on His throne at God’s right hand, establishing His kingdom (Acts 2:33-36; Revelation 3:21; Colossians 1:13-14). Only the presupposition of an earthly kingdom requires revamping the prophets’ time frame.

Twenty-first Century Dictator?
Premillennialists insist that the beast out of the sea in Revelation 13 is the Antichrist, this “Future Fuerher” who will bring on the great tribulation. But John, the author of the book, said he was describing “the things which must shortly take place” (1:1), “for the time is near” (1:3; 22:10). He said he was a “fellow-partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and perseverance which are in Jesus” (1:9). What he was describing, ancient  Rome’s opposition to Christianity, was already underway nearly 2,000 years ago!

Premillennialists insist that the “man of lawlessness” in 2 Thessalonians 2 is the Antichrist. Paul, the author, said “the mystery of lawlessness is already at work” (v. 7). What he was describing was also already underway nearly 2,000 years ago!

The Antichrist?
The Bible nowhere mentions a specific character named Antichrist. It does identify an attitude as antichrist.

“Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour” (1 John 2:18).

“Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son” (1 John 2:22).

“And every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world” (1 John 4:3).

“For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist” (2 John 7).

Do these descriptions sound like a world dictator 2,000 years removed from John’s day or false teachers already active in the first century? Countless men in recent years have been thought by some to be the Antichrist: Hitler, Mussolini (he was Italian!), Khomeini, Kissinger, Gorbachev, Hussein—the list goes on and on. Each has come and gone. Some of them may well be antichrist in the Biblical sense of denying Jesus. None is, nor shall any other be, the “Future Fuerher” of Bible prophecy. There is no such prophecy.

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