Seeking to plumb the unknown without direct revelation from God, many Christians have published wild-eyed speculations concerning the Antichrist; who he is or might be, and fictional writings of what he might do in their day and time. These fanciful speculations about the antichrist have been pandered about since the early days of the church, in the 2nd century AD. I prefer to believe the writings of Irenaeus on the subject, who was Bishop of the church in Asia Minor, and a longtime disciple of the noted Bishop of the church, Polycarp.
Polycarp was a longtime disciple of the Apostle John and was taught directly by a number of other of the twelve apostles. Irenaeus then, was one of the last to be taught all aspects of the faith by those who learned at the feet of the twelve apostles of Jesus. In his treatise, Against Heresies, Irenaeus wrote that the teaching of the apostles was that the exact name of the antichrist is a secret kept by God until the man of sin arrives on the earth. Also taught was the statement that the antichrist is not worthy to be heralded ahead of time, but only when we must know it. The conclusion is that God will reveal the name and person of the antichrist to the church through corroborated prophecy, dreams, and visions, only when the antichrist is about to step onto the world platform for the last act in the play of good versus evil.
Let me begin with a more basic explanation of the antichrist, since many likely to read this article may not have even the foggiest notion of who or what an antichrist is supposed to be. The antichrist is called the beast in some texts, the man of sin, the little horn, the son of perdition, the king of Babylon, and the antichrist. He is a man who will be given authority to act in the earth for 1260 days or 42 months or 3.5 years. His initial confirming revealing takes place at the soon to be built Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, in the exact middle of the end-times 7 year period, when he sits down in the most holy place of the Temple and falsely declares to the entire world that he is God. We know he will deceive the whole world with great charisma, charm, and deceiving miracles, and will demand worship. After he heads the coalition of nations which defeats the northern armies, which invade Israel right after the abomination of desolation in the Temple, he will establish a short reign of unprecedented economic power over the entire world. At the end of his allotted time of authority, he will be crushed by the power of Messiah and the angels, and thrown into the lake of fire forever and ever.
This text above follows the description of three previous beasts which Daniel witnessed. The first beast was like a lion and had the wings of an eagle; this beast represents the Babylonian empire of Nebuchadnezzar. The second beast resembled a bear; this beast represents the Medo-Persian empire which later overthrew the Babylonian empire. The third beast was like a leopard with four wings and four heads; this beast represents the Greek empire of Alexander the Great which overthrew the Medo-Persian empire and broke into four parts after his death. The fourth beast in our text above represents the Roman empire which overthrew all parts of the Greek empire. From this and a number of other texts, we know that the antichrist, the little horn, comes out of a revived Roman empire. It's likely that the current frenzy to make Europe into one nation through the Maastricht treaty process will be the fulfillment of the expected revived Roman empire.
Notice that the little horn represents a man, and three of the first ten horns were pulled out before the little horn. The ten horns represent a coalition of 10 leaders in the revived Roman empire, and the antichrist will be known by his taking over three of the ten countries. Daniel was given an explanation of the vision by an angel in the last part of chapter 7.
A time, times, and half a time means a time (one year), a times (2 years), and half a time (one-half a year). We know this is true because Revelation 12:6 says 1260 days, and Revelation 13:5 says that the time of authority allotted to the antichrist is 42 months. All of these are equal lengths of time and speak about the same things. Notice that the angel said that the 10 kings would arise before the little horn arises and he is different from those ten. Therefore if we are right about the European Community developing into the Revived Roman empire of prophecy, we ought to recognize that the antichrist will not be one of the 10 initial leaders. He will gain power after the 10 are already in power for a while, and will subdue 3 kings or countries. This may occur before the abomination of desolation and may itself be the certain identifier of the antichrist.
Another bit of truth concerning the antichrist is revealed in the text above, namely, that he will intend to make alterations in times and law, and this will fall under his authority for 42 months. In Revelation 13, we are told that the antichrist will institute the mark of the beast system, where no one will be able to buy or sell unless they have the mark. So we know that the antichrist will have economic control, and control of the law and courts. Sounds like the ultimate dictator to me.
Jumping over to chapter 11 in the book of Daniel, we are given further information about the antichrist. The first part of chapter 11 is prophecy that has already been fulfilled, up to verse 32, with verses 33-35 providing a transition through recorded history to the end-times period. What follows verse 35 is of great interest to us.
The antichrist will magnify himself above all gods by falsely declaring himself to be God at the rebuilt Jewish Temple in Jerusalem in the middle of the end-times 7 year period. We call this the abomination of desolation. Notice that many have tried to say that the antichrist will be a homosexual, because the verse says he will show no regard for the desire of women, from the text above. Taking things out of context, they forget that the subject of the sentence is that the antichrist will show no regard for any gods, but magnify himself above them all. Actually, the sentence means that the antichrist will show no regard for the matriarchal religion passed down from ancient Babylon, where many women have worshipped a false queen of heaven under many names such as Diana, Astarte, Mother Earth, Ishtar, Eostre, etc. In our study of the antichrist, the last part of the text above is very revealing. Like many politicians today, he will help those who help him, he will put in power over countries and regions those who worship him as god, and he will fatten his coffers by selling land that he has wrongfully seized for bribes and quote "contributions." Going on.
The text states what will happen in the middle of the 7 year end-times period, right after the abomination of desolation in the Temple. The king of the South (Egypt) leads an Arab coalition which starts world war 3. They will attack Israel where the antichrist is at, from the southwest, from the Mediterranean on the west, from the north through Lebanon, and from the northeast over the Golan Heights. Egypt leads the start of this war which quickly will escalate into world war 3, but Egypt goes into the war knowing that the Russian-led coalition (king of the North) has given them firm assurances of joining the war. You can read the articles on world war 3 for the proofs, but WW3 will not be a long-lasting war, however, it will be brutal with the use of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons used. Edom, Moab, and Ammon all comprise present day Jordan, which will attempt neutrality during the war by letting coalition forces from both sides pass through their territory. It is this victory in world war 3 which will allow the antichrist to grasp firm control over the entire world as people say, give us peace and safety and we will do anything, even declare that you are god. Ezekiel 32 is about the combatants in world war 3, and calls the antichrist the king of Babylon.
The 6th Seal signs are signposts scattered throughout scripture to identify the time frame of many prophetic passages. The sixth seal signs happen at the end of the Great Tribulation period, before the start of the Day of the Lord. What we know from many prophetic passages, is that world war 3 will be over long before the end of the Great Tribulation period, it really will not last for a great length of time. Jumping back to Ezekiel 32, we see who fights against Egypt.
The king of Babylon is the antichrist and just
like in Daniel 11:40-43, where Egypt is called the king of the South, the
nation of Egypt and their allies shall be destroyed by the antichrist-led
coalition. Read the articles on world war 3 for many more details on the
This passage refers to the antichrist abolishing the daily sacrifices in the soon to be built Jewish Temple in Jerusalem and performing the abomination of desolation, where he falsely declares that he is God. That is the start of the Great Tribulation period. The 1290 days, from the abomination of desolation, is the timing of Jesus' return as conquering Messiah, when He will take control over all the nations of the earth. The 1335 days from the abomination of desolation is the fulfillment of the prophetic plan on Yom Kippur, when Israel is judged and their sins forgiven. The house of Judah and the house of Israel will be made into one nation again and Messiah will spread the Tabernacle of peace over the whole earth. Nations will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks, and nations will not learn war anymore!
What about the discrepancy between the 1260 days
of authority given to the antichrist and the 1290 days when Jesus returns?
Antichrist's authority is removed at the end of 1260 days, he will still
be here on earth for a short while, but his empire will be badly crumbling.
Coincidentally, the 1260 days of authority for the antichrist ends when
the 1260 days of the ministry of the two witnesses ends and they are taken
up into heaven. There is much more to be learned about the days of the antichrist;
to be covered in part 2.