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Originally published in "The Lord's Coming Herald & Wesleyan Bible Prophecy Advocate," Winter Edition 1995

Will The Real Antichrist Please Stand Up!

The word "Antichrist" is never found— not even a single time!--in any of the prophetic portions of the Holy Bible. The term is used only in the New Testament epistles of John, where it is clearly equated with any and every person who opposes the biblical revelation concerning Jesus Christ (see John 2:18, 22; 4:3; and II John 7).

    Given the lack of hard evidence for the usage of the term Antichrist in the apocalyptic portions of the Bible, the disclosure of the career of some one future personal so-called "end -time Antichrist" must not be the central focal point of true end-time Bible prophecy.

    Neither is the "beast" of Daniel and the book of Revelation the same as we moderns' popular Antichrist assumption. The beast in those apocalyptic materials is foremost an evil empire, not some one selected single human being, who can be distinguished from all others as "the Antichrist."

    Now the person who best answers to the personification of the beast motif in the book of Revelation is none other than Satan himself, the"god of this world," and the master mind and moving soul behind all seven historical manifestations of those successive evil empires called "Babylon" (Rev. 17:10-11).

    Satan, not some human antichrist figure, for example, is most certainly the beast of Revelation chapter seventeen, who "was, and is not, and yet is, and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition " (verse 8). He is the beast that "was" in the sense that he was once undisputed king of the Gentile nations. He is the beast that "is not" in the sense of his present judicial binding (II Peter 2:4; Jude 6), being wholly dethroned and led captivity in the cross (John 12:31; Hebrews 2:14), and in the messianic exaltation of Jesus that followed in the resurrection (Ephesians 1:19-22; I Peter 3:22).

    The "yet is" clause of the beast in Revelation 17:8 indicates, further, that, although Satan was indeed bound by the triumph of Jesus at His first advent, wherever that victory goes yet unappropriated, he yet continues his activities of devouring and deceit. Such an interpretation both glorifies the gospel and highlights the responsibility of human free will. Now is that good Wesleyan-Arminian theology, or what?

    For more detailed insight on the biblical teaching concerning the concepts of antichrist, the mark of the beast, and other important issues, please see our published works,  now available at the "products"  menu included in this website.

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