The Qualities of the Antichrist

By Merrill Olson

No one can fully comprehend what the world will be like under Satan’s future CEO who will rule the entire world (Dan. 7:23-25). Even though the Bible gives different titles to him, the most common understanding is “the Antichrist” (1 John 2:18).

Nevertheless, Scripture associates various character qualities to him that helps in a comprehension of him as a person and world leader. Bible Scholar A.W. Pink said, “Across the varied scenes depicted by Bible prophecy there falls the shadow of a figure at once commanding and ominous. Under many different names, like the aliases of a criminal, his character and movements are set before us.” For instance:

(1) He is not Jewish but Gentile. Even though he makes a covenant with Israel for seven years (Dan. 9:27), he will break it after three and a half years and turn against Israel by desecrating the rebuilt Jewish Temple (Dan. 9:27; 2 Thess. 2:4). If he were Jewish, he would not turn against his own people. Besides, Gentiles have always led the way in being the persecutors of Jews. Neither is he Muslim for people will worship him (Rev. 13:4, 8) as he considers himself to be God (Dan. 11:37; 2 Thess. 2:4). His OT prototype was the evil and vile Seleucid King Antiochus Epiphanes IV (Dan. 11:21-35).

(2 He is a person of great intellect and power. In order to rule the world as other leaders submit to his authority (Rev. 17:13) means that he has to have great intellectual ability. He has to have a commanding personality for Satan is the one who energizes him and gives him his power and authority (Rev. 13:2, 7).

(3) He will rise from obscurity in steps with great political knowledge. He is seen as just a “little horn” but emerges among the ten (Dan. 7:7b, 8, 23-25). He comes out of what is considered the European Union (EU) that many view today as the reuniting, or reviving of the Roman Empire.

(4) He will not only have political abilities but also governmental. Therefore, he will rule a global economy. Everyone in the world will be forced to take his mark or they will not be able to “buy or sell” (Rev. 13:16-17). Anyone who refuses in allegiance to Jesus Christ will be subject to death (Rev. 20:4).

(5) He will rule by deception. Daniel 8:23-25 describes Antiochus Epiphanes lV, the Old Testament Antichrist, but it looks beyond to the Antichrist. It says that “His power shall be mighty…And shall prosper and thrive…He shall cause deceit to prosper…and he shall magnify himself in his heart.” As Satan is the great deceiver (Rev. 12:9), so will be the one that he empowers to rule the world (Rev. 13:2).

(6) He will have charisma and speak with eloquence (Dan. 7:8; 11:36; Rev. 13:5). The world will be mesmerized by him. When he speaks, they will listen.

For the redeemed in Christ, we are to “look up and lift up [our] heads, because [our] redemption draws near” (Luke 21:28). Our future is bright! Are you looking up?

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