You might be as surprised as I was to learn that
the three great world religions all contain
prophecies of a towering, sinister world ruler
in the end times. They are all looking for a man of
unparalleled evil, an ultimate enemy, to emerge in the
end times and take over the world.
In Islam, the person is called the Dajjal, which in
Arabic means "deceiver." According to Islamic teaching,
he will be a young man with one eye who will
possess supernatural powers. He will be the incarnation
He will also claim to be God. He will gather seventy
thousand Jewish followers, make a whirlwind
tour of deception and destruction, set himself up as
ruler in Jerusalem, and finally be slain by Jesus at the
Lydda Gate when Jesus returns from heaven. The
Dajjal's emergence on the world scene is one of Islam's
ten key signs of the end times.
Judaism teaches that a Roman ruler named
Armilus will be a miracle worker who will lead his
armies against Jerusalem. In the end, Armilus will be
killed by Messiah ben David, or Messiah the Son of
David, the true Messiah.
For Christians, the evil, end-time world ruler is
known by many different names and titles. As A. W.
Pink, the great theologian, notes, "Across the varied
scenes depicted by prophecy there falls the shadow of
a figure at once commanding and ominous. Under
many different names, like the aliases of a criminal, his
character and movements are set before us."
Here are the top-ten aliases for the coming world
ruler predicted in the Bible.
1. The little horn (see Daniel 7:8)
2. A king, insolent and skilled in intrigue (see
3. The prince who is to come (see Daniel 9:26)
4. The one who makes desolate (see Daniel 9:27)
5. The king who does as he pleases (see Daniel
6. A foolish shepherd (see Zechariah 11:15-17)
7. The man of lawlessness (see 2 Thessalonians 2:3)
8. The son of destruction (see 2 Thessalonians 2:3)
9. The rider on the white horse (see Revelation
10. The Beast (see Revelation 13:1-9; 17:3, 8)
Without any doubt, the most commonly used and
most familiar title in Christianity for the sinister end-time
world ruler is
. Most people in America
have heard this term and probably have at least some
idea of what it means.
But to make doubly sure that we know who we are
talking about, before we go any further let's pull over
and park and define the word
is found only five
times in the New Testament, all in the epistles of John
(1 John 2:18, 22; 4:3; 2 John 7). In John's letters he is
primarily concerned with the doctrinal error of denying
the person of Jesus Christ. John states that even in his
own day many "antichrists" (false teachers) had arisen
who were denying the true Christ and deceiving many
(see 1 John 2:18).
The emphasis in John's epistles is on the immediate
doctrinal error of his own day. However, the antichrists
in John's day were only the initial "human embodiments"
of the antichrist philosophy of Satan that was
already working (1 John 4:3; 2 Thessalonians 2:7).
John seems to look beyond his own day, and the many
), to the one supreme Antichrist
) who will appear as the ultimate manifestation
of the lawless system that denies Christ and
1 John 2:18 says, "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." John's readers knew
about the predicted advent of the future, final
Antichrist. They had heard that Antichrist was coming;
in fact, John himself had probably taught them
about the Antichrist, and they had certainly read
about his coming in the Old Testament, in books
such as Daniel. John's purpose was to warn his fellow
believers about present-day false teachers who came in
the spirit of Antichrist, displaying hostility toward the
antican mean "against/opposed to" or
"instead of/in place of." So the issue is, will the future
Antichrist be "against" Christ or "in place of" Christ?
That is, does
antimean "opposition" or "exchange"?
Will he be a false, counterfeit Messiah, or will he simply
"work against" Christ Himself?
Both of these meanings are undoubtedly included
in the term
. He will be the archenemy and
the ultimate opponent of the Lord Jesus. The origin,
nature, and purpose of Christ and Antichrist are diametrically
opposed. This list of titles reveals the gaping
chasm between Christ and His adversary.
The Truth The Lie
The Holy One The Lawless One
The Man of Sorrows The Man of Sin
The Son of God The Son of Destruction
The Mystery of Godliness The Mystery of Iniquity
The Lamb The Beast
The total opposition of Antichrist to Christ is seen
in these contrasting descriptions.
Feature Christ Antichrist
Origin Heaven Bottomless pit
Nature The Good Shepherd The foolish shepherd
Destiny To be exalted on high To be cast down into hell
Goal To do His Father's will To do his own will
Purpose To save the lost To destroy the holy people
Authority His Father's name His own name
Attitude Humbled himself Exalts himself
Fruit The true vine The vine of the earth
Response Despised Admired
In every area that can be imagined, Christ and
Antichrist will be fundamentally opposed. But the
Antichrist will also be "in place of" Christ. He will be
an amazing parody or counterfeit of the true Christ.
He will be a substitute Christ, a mock Christ, a pseudo
Christ, an imitation Christ.
In John 5:43, Jesus said, "I have come in My
Father's name, and you do not receive Me; if another
comes in his own name, you will receive him." The
one coming in his own name will be the world's final
false messiah, the Antichrist. He will attempt to be the
"alter ego" of the true Christ.
As has often been pointed out, Satan has never
originated anything except sin. He has always counterfeited
the works of God. Antichrist is no exception.
He is Satan's ultimate masterpiece-a false Christ and
a forged replica of Jesus, the true Christ and Son of
Here are twenty ways that Antichrist will mimic
the ministry of the true Son of God.
Miracles, signs, and wonders Miracles, signs, and wonders
(see Matthew 9:32-33; (see Matthew 24:24; Mark 6:2) 2 Thessalonians 2:9)
Appears in the millennial temple Sits in the tribulation temple
(see Ezekiel 43:6-7) (see 2 Thessalonians 2:4)
Is God (see John 1:1-2; 10:36) Claims to be God (see 2 Thessalonians
Is the Lion from Judah Has a mouth like a lion
(see Revelation 5:5) (see Revelation 13:2)
Makes a peace covenant with Makes a peace covenant with Israel
Israel (see Ezekiel 37:26) (see Daniel 9:27)
Causes men to worship God Causes men to worship Satan
(see Revelation 1:6) (see Revelation 13:3-4)
Followers sealed on their forehead Followers sealed on their forehead
(see Revelation 7:4; 14:1) or right hand (see Revelation 13:16-18
Worthy name Blasphemous names
(see Revelation 19:16) (see Revelation 13:1)
Married to a virtuous bride Married to a vile prostitute
(see Revelation 19:7-9) (see Revelation 17:3-5)
Crowned with many crowns Crowned with ten crowns
(see Revelation 19:12) (see Revelation 13:1)
Is the King of kings- Is called "the king"
(see Revelation 19:16) (see Daniel 11:36)
Sits on a throne- Sits on a throne
(see Revelation 3:21; 12:5; 20:11) (see Revelation 13:2; 16:10)
Sharp sword from his mouth Bow in his hand
(see Revelation 19:15) (see Revelation 6:2)
Rides a white horse (see Rides a white horse
Revelation 19:11) (see Revelation 6:2)
Has an army Has an army
(see Revelation 19:14) (see Revelation 19:19)
Violent death Violent death
(see Revelation 5:6; 13:8) (see Revelation 13:3)
(see Matthew 28:6) (see Revelation 13:3, 14)
Second coming Second coming
(see Revelation 19:11-21) (see Revelation 17:8)
One-thousand-year worldwide Three-and-a-half-year worldwide
kingdom (see Revelation 20:1-6) kingdom (see Revelation 13:5-8)
Part of the Holy Trinity- Part of an unholy trinity-Satan, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit Antichrist, and False Prophet
(see 2 Corinthians 13:14) (see Revelation 13)
J. Dwight Pentecost aptly summarizes the meaning
of the word
. "Satan is seeking to give the
world a ruler in place of Christ who will also be in
opposition to Christ so that he can rule over the
world, instead of Christ."
There are three main places in the Bible that provide
most of what we know about the coming world ruler:
Daniel 7-12; 2 Thessalonians 2; and Revelation 13.
Of these three passages, the one that sheds the most
light on Antichrist is Revelation 13. In fact, we might
call this the "Antichrist chapter" in the Bible.
Revelation 13:1-10 contains five key words that
provide a quick, concise, yet comprehensive look at
the Antichrist. All five of these words begin with the
Let's take a quick look at these five words as a summary
of our introduction to the Antichrist.
Wound(Revelation 13:3a, 12,14; 17:8)
Several passages in the book of Revelation clearly
speak of the Antichrist's receiving a violent, fatal
wound and then coming back to life.
I saw one of his heads as if it had been slain, and
his fatal wound was healed. Revelation 13:3a
And he makes the earth and those who dwell
in it to worship the first beast, whose fatal
wound was healed. Revelation 13:12
And he deceives ., telling those who dwell on
the earth to make an image to the beast who
had the wound of the sword and has come to
life. Revelation 13:14
The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is
about to come up out of the abyss and go to
destruction. And those who dwell on the
earth, whose name has not been written in the
book of life from the foundation of the world, will wonder when they see the beast, that he
was and is not and will come." Revelation 17:8
I believe this means that the Antichrist will be violently
killed (probably assassinated) and will miraculously
rise from the dead during the coming
tribulation period. But any discussion of this issue
always raises another question. Does Satan have the
power to raise a dead person back to life?
Many maintain that he does not. They think that
the Antichrist will only appear to die and will then
fake a resurrection to deceive the world. However, the
words used to describe the "death" of the Antichrist
are used in other places to describe a violent death. In
Revelation 5:6, for instance, the same word is used of
the death of Jesus Christ. Moreover, Revelation 17:8
says that, after the Antichrist is killed, he goes to the
bottomless pit, or abyss, for a time before reappearing
on earth. This doesn't seem to be describing someone
who is faking his death.
I cannot explain every detail of how this death and
resurrection will occur, but I believe that these passages
lead us to a startling conclusion: God will permit
Satan to perform this marvelous feat to advance his
nefarious parody of Christ and further deceive the
For once, at least, Satan will have the power to
raise someone from the dead.
Wonder(Revelation 13:3b; 17:8)
You can just imagine the overwhelming impact this
event will have on the world. At the climax of history a
great ruler will experience a healing that closely approximates
the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Revelation 13:3-4 and 17:8 record the worldwide
amazement and wonder at the death and resurrection
of the Antichrist.
And all the world wondered after the beast.
(Revelation 13:3b, KJV)
The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is
about to come up out of the abyss and go to
destruction. And those who dwell on the earth, whose name has not been written in the book
of life from the foundation of the world, will
wonder when they see the beast, that he was
and is not and will come. (Revelation 17:8)
This will be the greatest event in the history of the
world as far as the people of earth are concerned.
Imagine the assassination, the violent death, of the
most charismatic, most effective politician the world
has ever seen. The whole world will be in mourning.
The collective angst will be profound.
It will be similar to the death of JFK in 1963 or of
Lady Di in 1997. Everyone watches the funeral procession
on television. Networks show nothing else. But
suddenly, as the decorated hearse arrives at the cemetery
and the coffin is removed, the most incredible
thing the world has ever seen transpires in front of the
eyes of billions of people: The body rises up out of the
coffin, the pallbearers recoil in terror and drop the casket,
and the Antichrist walks calmly to the nearest
microphone and begins to speak to a totally dumbfounded
One cannot even begin to imagine the scene. Can't
you just picture the world news networks reporting
this story! And the whole world will be filled with
Worship(Revelation 13:4, 8)
Wonder will quickly turn to worship. Satan will
use this great event to exalt the Antichrist and himself
to worldwide worship.