Ask The Apostle: Who (Or What) Is The Antichrist?

Please note: The purpose in sharing this is NOT to debate about political matters.  I fully acknowledge different people have different feelings about President Obama.  This likewise is NOT a statement of criticism, nor of support, on his presidency – so please do not come on here and respond with debates.  Debating will be deleted because it distracts from the issue at hand.  The purpose in answering this question is to correct the church’s misconceptions about the antichrist, and truly see what the Word says on the topic so we can correctly IDENTIFY the antichrist.

From: Power For Today Magazine, Vol. 11, No. 4, July/August 2012 edition; (c) 2012 Apostolic Fellowship International Ministries, Inc.  All rights reserved.  Duplication in whole or in part is prohibited without the permission of the publisher.

Q: Who (or what) is the antichrist?  I have heard people say that Barak Obama is the antichrist.  Is this Biblical?

A: Over the past fifty or so years, there have been specific groups of people and “think tanks” that have declared nearly every major world leader the antichrist.  In fact, I have a book in my possession that declared Sadaam Hussein to be the antichrist.  In hindsight, this is kind of funny – and scary at the same time.  It is funny because the prophecy was so obviously false, you could have driven a bus through it.  The scary side of it is that the author of this book had enough support and convinced enough people of its veracity to have it published by a major publishing house.  This means countless numbers of people read his words and believed Sadaam Hussein to be the antichrist – when, in fact, Sadaam Hussein does not fit the Biblical criteria.

Until modern times, all of the Protestant world stood in unanimous agreement about who the antichrist was.  From Martin Luther, to John Calvin, to more recent figures in reformation history, all of them believed the beast of Revelation was the Roman Catholic Church, and the office of the papacy was the antichrist.  They understood the role of the antichrist to operate as a power, an office, rather than as a singular person.  They also identified certain key facets about the antichrist.

The term “antichrist” is only found in the Bible a total of four times.  Two references are found in 1 John 2, one in 1 John 4, and one in 2 John.  The term itself is actually found nowhere in the book of Revelation, which is often considered the prime source for end times doctrine and symbolism.  This is relevant because we often confuse the role of the beast of Revelation with that of the antichrist.  If we carefully study the prophecies of the antichrist and the beast, we learn that the antichrist and beast are two separate entities.  The beast is a reference in Daniel’s prophecy to the king of the south.  Who exactly this is a reference to has yet to be clearly revealed, as anything “south” of somewhere can apply.  It can also, by extension, be a reference to Satan, the enemy.  Having established the antichrist as a separate figure, this means the role of the antichrist has its own criteria.

Let’s look at the Word’s perspective on this matter.  1 John 2:18-22 gives us the following information on the antichrist:

1)  The antichrist arises in the “last time.”  It is obvious that even in the era of this writing, the believers believed it was the “last time.”  The reason they believed it was the “last time” was simple: they were warned that the antichrist would come, and many have thus come, thereby making it the final hour.   There is something important to note, however, in this verse.  1 John 2:18 makes it clear that there is more than one “antichrist.”  Because the word “antichrist” is actually a play on two concepts – someone who is literally against Christ, but also, someone who is against the anointing of Christ’s people – there is more than one person in history who meets this criteria.  1 John 2:18 sets the stage for the antichrist as a power operated by a spirit, and manifest through an office.

2) 1 John 2:19 establishes that those who are of this power come forth from the church.  They were with the church, but not actually of the church.  1 John 2:20 confirms the unction, or anointing of the true saints – and that this anointing helps us tell who is true from who is false.

3) The antichrist is a liar, one who denies both the Father and the Son, as we can see from 1 John 2:20-22.  1 John 4:3 continues this parallel, and makes it clear that the antichrist also denies Jesus Christ has come in the flesh.  This is most likely a reference to an early church heresy known as docetism, which denied that spirit could come in flesh.  This means docetists did not believe Jesus could be the Son of God and also manifest physically – they believed Jesus as a human person was only an illusion; He only seemed to be human.  There are a lot of theological implications on this, but an obvious one is that if a docetist denied Jesus’ power and anointing in the flesh, they also denied the power of God’s people to be anointed.  Thus the antichrist denies the anointing, both present on Jesus and His followers – thus making the antichrist spirit, power, and office, “anti-christ.”

4) We also learn in 1 John 4:3 that the antichrist is a deceiver.

Based on the four foundational facts about the antichrist I have posted above, it is not possible for the antichrist to be a secular, or governmental, power.  The antichrist is a religious or spiritual figure that seemingly comes forth from true Christianity, but comes forth as a deceiver – one who breathes lies and proclaims false doctrine.  The purpose of the antichrist is not just to destroy the image of Christ, but to also erode and disrupt the anointing, the unction of the Holy Spirit, at work in God’s people here on earth.  Obviously, this is a monumental task from the enemy and would take an office – a power – a spirit – working throughout the ages to try and destroy God’s Kingdom.

Is Barak Obama the antichrist?  No, because he doesn’t fit the criteria.  Was Sadaam Hussein the antichrist?  No, because he didn’t fit the criteria.  This also means a host of other people throughout history and a whole lot of people looking for a Muslim antichrist are sorely looking and predicting in the wrong place.  If we are to recognize the antichrist, we have to recognize those who are in the church, operating against those whom God has anointed.  Who is shutting down the five-fold ministry as valid for today?  Who denies the gifts of the Spirit and the activity of the Spirit today?  Who tells women they can’t be ministers or preachers, because they are women?  Who shuts down this person or that one for whatever reason they see fit?  Who persecutes the people of God or makes life difficult for them?  Therein you will find the power – spirit – and office of the antichrist, busily at work…but failing to break the true anointing from those duly chosen by God.

(Do you have a question you want to ask Apostle Dr. Lee Ann?  Send it to us at questions@powerfortoday.org.)

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