Does "the Antichrist" exist as a figure in Scripture?

Status
Not open for further replies.

Afterthought

Puritan Board Senior
The Scriptures speak of "the man of sin" and say "that antichrist shall come," but where do we get the idea that there is "the" Antichrist in Scripture? Does it just come from looking at the contrast between "that antichrist shall come" and "even now are there many antichrists"? Does it come from the beasts of Revelation (in which case, if one took a purely "ideal" view of the beasts, then I would think this could not support the concept of a "the Antichrist"?)? Is some connection made that "the man of sin" is "the Antichrist?

So in short, does "the Antichrist" exist as a figure in Scripture? And if so, where is this figure being found? I suppose it might depend a bit on what one means by "the Antichrist" e.g., it would seem to me that "the Antichrist" in the popular Christian culture/dispensationalist view is not the same as whatever "the Antichrist" is in Scripture? Confessionally, it would seem the only thing mentioned is "that Antichrist, the man of sin," not "the Antichrist."
 

whirlingmerc

Puritan Board Sophomore
1 John 2:18 Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour.

I tend to think that there were many people termed 'anointed' but one ultimate anointed
There could be many 'anti-anointed' in the world but one final anti-annointed

It seems the hearers would take 'The man (singular) of lawlessness shall be revealed' 2 Thess 2:3 as an individual and an event having to happen before Jesus return
And 1 John 2:18 speaks of both and individual anti-Christ and individuals in the spirit of the anti-Christ
The spirit of anti-Christ is in the many false Christs of the age

An antichrist figure is also in Daniel 8:25 where he opposes the 'Prince of Princes' (my favorite name for the Messiah, since in that book Princes referred to both angels and kings )
 

Afterthought

Puritan Board Senior
Bumping. Any other thoughts? Also, if one is deriving "the Antichrist" from the man of sin, how does one prove that the man of sin is "the" Antichrist?
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
It's worth reading biblical theologian, Patrick Fairbairn on this in his excellent, "The Interpretation of Prophecy" (Banner of Truth).

It also may still be online somewhere. The relevant section in the book is "The prophetical future of the church and kingdom of Christ, in their relation to the character, working, and fate of the antichristian apostacy."

The Apostle John speaks of many antichrists i.e. false conceptions of Christ set up as idols in the Church, and their acolytes are also indicated by the term. He was dealing in particular with the antichrist of "Christian" Gnosticism which set up a false Christ that had not come in the flesh and yet maintained a veneer of Christian language to deceive.

Then he speaks of a coming particular antichrist or "the Antichrist" we might call him. The man of sin and son of perdition in II Thessalonians is such a one. If he is not "the Antichrist" spoken of by John, then we have two major "Antichrists" on our hands, when John speaks of only one, and the Apostle of only one.

I believe the language of the Apocalypse admits of much broader generalisation, which the symbols are intended to lend themselves to.

Although the Beast from the Sea firstly refers to Nero and the Roman Empire, this beast continues well into the future wherever godless civil government and society are found, particularly where they break out into open persecution of the saints.

The above beast doesn't' strictly represent antichristianity. The antichristian forces are represented by the second Beast from the Earth (False Prophet), which would include any advocating idolatrous compromise with the Roman Empire, the Papacy, Liberal Christianity, the "Christian" cults, etc, etc.

The Beast and False Prophet represent the twin dangers of persecution and false teaching which continue to this day.

The essence of an antichrist is a system that maintains the veneer of Christianity while substituting an idol for Christ at its heart.

If people call Communism, Islam, Nazism, future persecution by Western governments, "antichrist" , then the word is evacuated of all meaning and any opposition can be called "antichrist".

This is just my tentative penny's worth on this quite difficult area of eschatology.

Sent from my HTC Wildfire using Tapatalk 2
 
Last edited:
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top