Who or what is the Antichrist?

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Who or what is the Antichrist?

Post by Admin on Fri Jul 01, 2016 9:33 pm

While we don’t know specifically who the Antichrist will be, the Bible does give us a good bit of information about what kind of person he will be. The apostle John gives an ominous overview of this person in his first letter when he says, This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world—I John 4:2-3. We see that now in our world in the constant, ongoing attempts to denigrate and diminish Jesus Christ—through dispute of the historical record, the denial of His mission, or the denial of His person. But the Bible gives additional thought to the character of this sometimes mystery person:
(1) He will be a brilliant person, being able to come to power through his intellectual gifts and his powers of persuasion. As an example, he will be able to answer the world regarding the disappearance of Christians in the Rapture, aided of course by the demonic power of Satan. As Paul said, For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie—Paul, II Thessalonians 2:11.
(2) He will be a blasphemer:
(a) The king will do as he pleases. He will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will say unheard-of things against the God of gods. He will be successful until the time of wrath is completed, for what has been determined must take place—Daniel 11:36.
(b) He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God—Paul, II Thessalonians 2:4
(c) The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise its authority for forty-two months. He opened his mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven—Revelation 13:5-6
(3) He will be a political genius: In the latter part of their reign, when rebels have become completely wicked, a stern-faced king, a master of intrigue, will arise. He will become very strong, but not by his own power. He will cause astounding devastation and will succeed in whatever he does. He will destroy the mighty men and the holy people. He will cause deceit to prosper, and he will consider himself superior. When they feel secure, he will destroy many and take his stand against the Prince of princes. Yet he will be destroyed, but not by human power—Daniel 8:23-25
(4) He will be extremely wealthy: He will gain control of the treasures of gold and silver and all the riches of Egypt, with the Libyans and Nubians in submission—Daniel 11:43
(5) He will be a military mastermind:
(a) 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—Revelation 6:2
(b) The beast I saw resembled a leopard, but had feet like those of a bear and a mouth like that of a lion. The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority—Revelation 13:2
(6) He will be able to perform special signs and wonders:
(a) For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect—if that were possible—Jesus Christ, Matthew 24:24
(b) The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders—Paul, II Thessalonians 2:9
(7) He will be possessed by Satan: The beast I saw resembled a leopard, but had feet like those of a bear and a mouth like that of a lion. The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority. One of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a fatal wound, but the fatal wound had been healed. The whole world was astonished and followed the beast. Men worshiped the dragon because he had given authority to the beast, and they also worshiped the beast and asked, “Who is like the beast? Who can make war against him?” The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise its authority for forty-two months—Revelation 13:2-5
(Cool He will arise from the reunited Roman Empire. The Bible seems to indicate that the Antichrist will be a Gentile. The prophet Daniel gives us some interesting information: After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed—Daniel 9:26. Daniel wrote this about 600 years before the event of which he spoke took place but, in 70 AD, the “city and the sanctuary” were destroyed—by the armies and people of the Roman Empire. Therefore, the logical assumption has been that the Antichrist will be of the same nationality as those who conquered Jerusalem in that (for Daniel) future battle, meaning that the Antichrist is thought to be, if not of Roman ancestry, at least of western European ancestry (which sprang from the area of the ancient Roman Empire). In addition, it is thought that the Antichrist will be a Gentile due both to his rule of the Gentile world in the last days as well as his violence against the people of Israel—one means of displaying his opposition to God Himself.
The Antichrist will be an extraordinary figure in the final days of the history of the world, actually accomplishing amazing things to the point that the world will worship and obey him, thinking they have found their “Messiah.” However, he will not rise to power until the Last Days, not arriving on the world scene until after the Rapture. Eventually, he will rule the entire world, doing so by international consent. Imagine that the most pompous, arrogant, power-hungry leaders in the world today, or the maniacal leaders such as ISIS, voluntarily, even gladly, giving over their rule to this individual—that is the picture we have of his power and charisma. Prophesy scholar Dr. Harold Wilmington described him this way, using the context of U.S. presidents: “The leadership of a Washington and Lincoln, the eloquence of a Franklin Roosevelt, the charm of a Teddy Roosevelt, the charisma of a Kennedy, the popularity of an Eisenhower, the political savvy of a (Lyndon B.) Johnson, and the intellect of a Jefferson.” But the fact is that, for Christians, we will never face him, as we will be safely removed from the judgments reserved for the end of the world because of our relationship with Jesus Christ. In fact, our attitude should be one of not looking for the Antichrist but looking instead for our Savior. As Paul said so well, But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ—Paul, Philippians 3:20. And the final fact is, as is true of all those opposed to the one true God, his final destiny is eternity in the lake of fire—the hell of final punishment for all outside the Book of Life.

COURTNEY—II Corinthians 5:10 talks about how we must all appear before the judgment seat and we each will receive recompense for what we did in the flesh whether good or evil. Is this just referring to separating believers from unbelievers (heaven and hell)? Or is there going to also be a judgement of believers where we will each receive reward in heaven in proportion to what we accomplished (for God's kingdom) while on earth?
Paul wrote to the church at Corinth and said, For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad—Paul, II Corinthians 5:10. So what was he saying?
The good news for Christians is that judgment has already been faced; when a person surrenders to Jesus Christ, they claim His substitutionary death—which also means they make claim to the substitutionary judgment He received from God. All our sins were “bundled together” and placed on Christ; when Christ was on the cross, God was judging Him for all the sins He saw. Those were our sins God saw, but Jesus took our place in their consequence. So, as believers, judgment in the context of punishment for our sins is in the “rear-view mirror;” that is already a past-tense, done deal. As Paul said so wonderfully to the church at Rome, Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus—Paul, Romans 8:1. So, that being said, the “judgment seat of Christ” which Paul writes about refers to the judgment of believers, which will occur immediately following the Rapture of the church out of this world—an event which happens prior to all the events of the Tribulation. This being written to the church at Corinth, Paul cleverly used an analogy that his audience would have readily understood. The Greek word for “judgment seat” here is bema, which was an elevated platform where victorious athletes (such as during the Olympics) went to receive their crowns. Interestingly, Corinth had such a platform where both athletic rewards and legal justice were dispensed, so the Corinthian believers would have immediately understood Paul’s reference. This judgment has nothing to do with sin—already done—but instead has to do with evaluating our lives in the context of our lives lived on earth as Christians. In other words, what did we do for the Kingdom? How did we present Christ to the world around us? This judgment is about rewards, about both our deeds and our stewardship of God-given responsibilities. It is an evaluation of what we have done for the Master—and every Christian will be there. As Paul explained, For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. It is written: “‘AS SURELY AS I LIVE,’ SAYS THE LORD, ‘EVERY KNEE WILL BOW BEFORE ME; EVERY TONGUE WILL CONFESS TO GOD.’” So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God—Paul, Romans 14:10b-12 (quoting Isaiah 45:23). So, at this point in the process, we are in heaven; our eternity is secure. So what should this mean for us? It means that, as Christians, our lives should be reflections of the love, joy and peace that are ours to know in Jesus Christ. It means our lives should be lived in response to the love that has been shown us in Christ, in everything He has done for us. It will be an incredibly graphic reminder, as Paul wrote to the Colossian church, that [i]t is the Lord Christ you are serving—Paul, Colossians 3:24b. As Paul wrote, For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building. By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames—Paul, I Corinthians 3:9-15.

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