Item printed from The Restored Church of God (rcg.org)
A final, great antichrist IS coming. You must understand what this means—and how the Bible makes plain that the last antichrist is far from the only one to avoid.
Prophecy watchers, popular preachers and authors, and other so-called experts butcher the truth about the coming antichrist. Some reduce this prophecy, others badly twist it, still others declare it already fulfilled, and another group dismisses it entirely. On top of this, many so-called Bible authorities speak with competing, disagreeing voices about the subject, and thus add to the confusion.
The appalling ignorance of these voices—all of them—is painful to hear.
Satan counterfeits every doctrine of the Bible. The antichrist would hardly be an exception. While generally understood to be a figure of horrific evil and a threat to all mankind, the antichrist is today seen by most to be largely focused against the Jewish people. Based on a completely wrong understanding of Daniel 9:27, tens of millions believe that this world-deceiver will make a “7-year covenant” with the modern nation of Israel, before breaking the agreement halfway through, thus introducing the Great Tribulation for the last 3½ years of his “reign.” It is commonly believed that at this point he will throw off his cloak and reveal his true colors.
This entire belief is wrong! We will later learn how. Daniel 9:27 simply does not say this. But this thinking is having an effect on great numbers of people who have come, largely over the last 150 years, to believe this idea.
Here is the great irony. Due to misunderstanding, one school of rapturists is even eagerly awaiting the antichrist’s arrival—practically salivating over it in anticipation because of what they have been told it means for them. Tragically, these are completely unprepared for his coming—in fact, for their coming, because there will be in effect two final antichrists, called the Beast and the False Prophet. A religious arch-deceiver will point to and underscore the Beast’s authority with powerful, spell-binding miracles. In almost all of the modern scenarios, however, most confuse the antichrist—the Beast—with verses talking about the False Prophet, such as II Thessalonians 2:9 and Daniel 7:8.
Understand. Most who write about the Bible do not realize that this book interprets itself, that if a symbol is mentioned within a prophecy—any prophecy!—and many prophecies involve symbols—the Bible’s Author—GOD!—would never leave the most crucial questions, those involving all humanity, open to interpretation.
Some preachers do get an occasional stray fact right, but none are able to put all the facts—all the scriptures on a subject—together. This is because none knows how to use—or even that there are—vital KEYS to unlocking climactic Bible prophecies—describing events that will soon affect every human being on Earth!
Sadly, most Bible readers remain in near complete ignorance of the speed, sequence and seriousness—as well as the AWESOME MAGNITUDE!—of certain oncoming prophecies. And this is on top of not truly comprehending what any of them actually means! So many just cannot untangle the maze of what happens when, and why, as well as where and to whom.
In regard to the Beast and False Prophet, almost all have no idea where to look—for what system—in fact, the only system—that could spawn these final deceivers. This is in part because they are not looking, and do not really care. They are busy trusting in a fictional rapture, nowhere taught in God’s Word. They expect to be snatched away—so why worry? Many others unnecessarily fear that they will be “left behind” after the supposed coming rapture.
Hollywood has added to the interest in prophecy and the rapture fiction through imaginative graphics, coupled with actors depicting popular ideas. Silly artwork and bad actors have only hindered correct understanding.
The most basic prophetic understanding reveals that the final antichrist must be alive today—so must the False Prophet—simply because of the obvious shortness of remaining time in this age. (To prove whether we are in the last days, read our booklet Are These the Last Days?) This monstrous final deceiver is not an historical figure, such as Nero, Saladin, George III, Napoleon, Saddam Hussein or Hitler—who, it could be said, was certainly a type of the antichrist. Neither is he Putin, Ahmadinejad or any one of several American presidents who have been suggested.
In all of this, everyone is looking in all the wrong places!
If you cannot understand what is an antichrist—what they are, and what they do—and that they are all around you now!—you will never recognize the final antichrist. You must know what to look for—and avoid. You must be able to understand the setting—and gravity—of what is now being spawned in Europe.
After reading this booklet, you will come to both understand the terms “antichrist,” and “final antichrist.” You will have also learned all of the most essential knowledge about this subject—and much more.
What comes to mind when you hear the word “antichrist”? Webster’s New World College Dictionary defines “antichrist” as “the great antagonist of Christ, expected to spread universal evil before the end of the world, but finally to be conquered at Christ’s second coming.”
Hollywood has produced countless films, most of them ridiculous, promoting this thinking. The entertainment industry consistently ignores, blurs—and even erases—the line between truth and fiction. When it comes to the Bible, filmmakers distort and reshape the facts of history to promote preconceived ideas—and their own agendas.
Most people assume that the entire Bible teaching about antichrist is summarized in the belief that an end-time Hitler-like super dictator—“the antichrist”—in league with the devil, will arise to rule the world. While Webster’s definition is partly correct, nowhere does the Bible refer to “THE antichrist.” Most do not know this—including professing Christians! Ministers and theologians are little better.
Did you know it?
The subject of the antichrist cannot be understood until first recognizing the difference between the Beast and the False Prophet. Again, the final False Prophet, along with the Beast, is often confused with the antichrist. He is certainly an antichrist, but he is not the antichrist. The misunderstanding that the Beast is synonymous with the human antichrist partly comes from the knowledge that the Beast is also the number of a man (Rev. 13:17-18). Although the Beast of Revelation 13 is obviously not a human being, the one who leads the final resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire—the coming union of church and state centered in Europe—will plainly represent the system that is the Beast. The embodiment—its representative—of the Revelation 13 Beast will be a single charismatic figure who arrives on the world scene shortly before Christ’s Return. This will of course be a human being.
We will later look more deeply into fascinating knowledge about different forms of antichrist. You will learn that the Bible defines several different ways that antichrist or the spirit of antichrist are manifested. But let’s first examine a little of what the Bible records about the Beast and the False Prophet. You will see that these different forms/ways set up how to know exactly where they come from—and this will prepare you to understand the rest of the booklet. You will not be ready to grasp what you will read without at least a rudimentary understanding of these two figures.
Chapter 13 of Revelation opens with a symbolic description of a “beast”—and a description of a second beast with “two horns.” Notice: “And I [the apostle John] stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority…” (vs. 1-2). And also, “I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spoke as a dragon. And he exercises all the power of the first beast before him, and causes the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast…” (vs. 11-12).
John’s description of the first Beast’s appearance leaves many questions. Perhaps the three biggest are: (1) Is his description that of a literal creature? (2) Does it represent a single individual—a kind of antichrist, superman, world dictator? (3) Or does it picture something else?
First, what creature on Earth could it be describing? And how could three known animals (a leopard, a bear and a lion) come together in the worship of a dragon, when there are no real dragons? Obviously, it must represent something other than a literal creature.
Second, regarding whether it is some kind of human being—superman or otherwise—similar questions arise. What kind of person looks like this? What man looks like a leopard, has feet like a bear and the mouth of a lion?—and has 7 heads, 10 horns and 10 crowns on the horns?—and comes out of the ocean? Again, the obvious answer is no one. This depiction cannot possibly refer to either a literal man or creature.
There is only one other possible explanation for the Beast. It must be symbolic. Many recognize this, so it has produced an endless stream of human interpretations for what the Beast, and many other descriptions in Revelation, represent. But it is useless to try to assign an arbitrary meaning to such graphic symbolism.
In summary, for now, the first beast of Revelation 13 represents the Roman Empire—a political kingdom.
Now what about the “two-horned beast”? Again, for now, understand that this second beast represents the headquarters of a large, influential, false “woman” church—called a “great whore”—that rides and controls the first beast. Notice Revelation 17: “I will show unto you [John] the judgment of the great whore that sits upon many waters: with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication…and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet colored beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns…And the woman which you saw is that great city, which reigns over the kings of the earth” (vs. 1-3, 18).
The Revelation 17 woman is a large, powerful false church that rides the Beast with 7 heads and 10 horns. The Beast she is riding is the powerful Holy Roman Empire. Like one who rides a horse, camel or elephant, the “woman” directs, controls and guides the animal to go where she wants it to go and to do what she wants it to do.
For now, understand that this will be the seventh, and last, short-lived resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire—the Roman Empire under the “woman’s” direction—arising right now in the heart of Europe. It is crucial you understand that a United States of Europe is coming—and in fact it now lies just ahead. When it appears, the entire world will stand in shocked amazement! The Beast will be the civil leader of the political-religious-military-economic 10-nation (or groups of nations) power bloc (Dan. 2:42-44; Rev. 17:12).
The Revelation 17 Beast represents a political, not an ecclesiastical (or religious), system. The same with its leader. The False Prophet will be the civil leader’s religious counterpart. These two individuals will lead this religious-governmental system. Revelation 16:13-14 describes demons as having the power to “work miracles” through their system. The False Prophet will come from the universal system described as the “great whore” who rides the Beast.
Also, the charismatic, seductive False Prophet will lead the world to worship the Beast (read Revelation 13:12; 16:2 and 19:20)! Now notice II Thessalonians 2:3-4. These verses refer to one called “the man of sin” and “the son of perdition; who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” Recognize that the False Prophet will profess that he is God.
Compare this with Ezekiel 28:2 and the reference there to the “prince of Tyrus”—a man. Ezekiel wrote that this “prince” says, “I am a God, I sit in the seat of God.” Second Thessalonians 2:8 also describes this “man of sin” as the “wicked [one]” who would “be revealed” for what he is when Christ returns and destroys him with the Beast in a lake of fire (see Revelation 19:20). Isaiah 14:4 refers to the False Prophet as the “king of Babylon.” This is the same man as the “prince of Tyrus,” in Ezekiel 28.
Continuing in II Thessalonians 2, verse 9 makes a startling statement about the False Prophet. It says that his “coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders.” Verse 10 shows that he is able to deceive everyone who does not “love the truth.” Verse 11 reveals that God shall send “strong delusion” to all who willingly believe his lies. These miracles are so extraordinary—so mesmerizing—that they allow him to deceive the whole earth!
Of course, all of this describes a man who would truly be antichrist!
The leaders of this dominating false system will be directly possessed by the devil! This will give the False Prophet tremendous power to deceive and perform miracles. Satan, having always wanted to replace God with himself (Isa. 14:12-14), will speak through this human religious leader and declare to the whole world that he is, in fact, GOD!
This Bible warning is unmistakable. The miracles he performs will deceive the vast majority!
The work of the False Prophet will continue all the way to Armageddon. Now read Revelation 16:13: “And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon [Satan], and out of the mouth of the beast [civil end-time ruler], and out of the mouth of the false prophet [religious leader guiding the Beast].”
Verse 14 states, “For they are the spirits of devils [demons], working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.” These “spirits of devils” are the fallen angels who followed Lucifer (now Satan) in his insurrection against the Creator. What many call the “Battle of Armageddon”—which is merely the location (the valley of Har-Megiddo) where the armies “gather”—the Bible declares is actually called, “The battle of that great day of God Almighty” (approximately 65 miles north of Jerusalem).
Here is how the Bible describes the Beast and False Prophet working together: “And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him [Christ] that sat on the horse, and against His army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshiped his image…” (Rev. 19:19-20).
Now let’s read the full description of how the False Prophet works. It is crucial to see the reach of his power, influence and ability, through miracles and lying wonders, to bring the whole world to worship the Beast—the final civil Roman/European ruler.
This following longer passage in Revelation 13:11-17 removes all doubt that the two-horned beast is the woman of Revelation 17 (and is the same as the “little horn” of Daniel 7:8), and the final False Prophet represents this woman church, working in concert with the Beast: “And I beheld another beast [the second beast] coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spoke as a dragon. And he exercises all the power of the first beast before him, and causes the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he does great wonders, so that he makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, and deceives them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast [first beast], which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast [first beast], that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”
The False Prophet embodies all that counterfeit Christianity has represented through the centuries. In the near future, when the modern-day descendants of Israel are taken into captivity, many will see the awful, bitter reality of this system’s killing machine firsthand.
Understand that when the peoples of the earth witness these miracles, they will be deceived into thinking that this false system is of God, and that they are able to successfully fight what they will perceive as supernatural invaders! Again, these two men—both final antichrists—will no doubt be possessed by demons or even the devil himself, who personally drives this religious-political-military-economic system toward the final battle.
While more could be said about the Beast and False Prophet, this is sufficient for the purpose here. For more detail about this subject, answering virtually every conceivable question that could be on your mind, read our thorough booklets Who or What Is the Beast of Revelation? and Revelation Explained at Last!
Now is the time to stop assuming about the antichrist—and to prove (I Thes. 5:21) the truth of this truly colossal issue. Open your Bible. Come to know what God says about antichrist—and permit the Bible to interpret itself!
The word “antichrist” is found only five times in the Bible, and in only four scriptures, all written by the apostle John. Originally written in Greek as antichristos, the word means “an adversary or opponent of the Messiah”—in other words, against Christ. Remember this.
In the first passage, notice how John warned: “It is the [a] last time: and as you have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists…” (I John 2:18).
It says, “MANY antichrists”—plural, more than one. So then—and this is central in importance—the term is not limited to one person. You have probably never heard this before.
John continues by explaining that antichrists can come from within God’s Church: “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest [obvious] that they were not all of us” (I John 2:19).
Here is the point not to miss. Sooner or later, antichrists always become obvious to God’s people.
Some history. John wrote these verses near the close of the first century and the end of his 60-plus-year ministry. Of Jesus’ apostles, he lived the longest by far after Christ’s crucifixion, and was the only one still living at the end of the first century. John had witnessed the birth of the true Church on Pentecost, A.D. 31. He saw it grow like the proverbial mustard seed as it spread across the Roman Empire—and he saw it come under vicious attacks, as well as suffer religious deception. The apostle John was very familiar with antichrists.
According to Halley’s Bible Handbook, the antichrist “…is commonly identified with the Man of Sin (of II Thessalonians 2), and the Beast of Revelation 13. But the Bible itself does not make the identification. The language implies that John’s readers had been taught to expect an Anti-Christ in connection with the closing days of the Christian era. However, John applies the word, not to One Person, but to the whole group of Anti-Christian Teachers. The New Testament idea seems to be that the Spirit of Antichrist would arise in Christendom, manifesting itself in many ways, both Within the Church and Without, finally culminating in One Person, or an Institution, or Both.”
Make no mistake. Antichrists have continued throughout the 2,000-year history of God’s Church—and into our time. In fact, the greatest number of them—and the worst ones—are at work today. And these deceivers operate in and around all of the groups and organizations of professing Christianity.
Here is John’s second reference: “For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist” (II John 7). So antichrists are deceivers, plain and simple.
The apostle Paul also warned of “false apostles” and “deceitful workers,” disguised as “ministers of righteousness” (II Cor. 11:13-15), who went about seducing and deceiving even some true Christians into believing “another gospel”—following “another Jesus”—and bringing “another spirit”—not the Spirit of God (vs. 3-4).
False ministers and teachers, and false brethren, are the “tares” among the “wheat” that Jesus referred to in His Matthew 13 parable. All of these function to some degree as antichrists. They sound sincere—seem godly—but are far from real Christianity. These tares (false ministers and Christians) are hard to discern from the wheat (real Christians—those who obey God and are led by His Spirit of truth). The confusion of distinguishing tares from wheat made it easy for false Christians to rise into leadership positions and then infect the Church with false doctrines—thus deceiving the many.
Among the worst deceivers in the late first century were the Gnostics, who claimed to possess “special knowledge,” which they considered higher than Scripture. (Gnosticism derives from the Greek word meaning “knowledge.”) They used this inside “knowledge”—that transgressing God’s Law carried no moral consequence—to lead many brethren back into sin, meaning disobedience to God’s Law (I John 3:4).
According to The MacArthur Study Bible, “…Gnosticism was the most dangerous heresy that threatened the early church during the first 3 centuries.” This is what John was dealing with.
Again, antichrists are deceivers. They deceive by denying Christ—and in a variety of ways.
Now John’s third reference: “Who is a liar but he that denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denies the Father and the Son” (I John 2:22). Obviously, antichrists in John’s time would not have openly declared, “I deny Christ,” or they could not have blended among God’s people.
So then, what did John mean by “deny Christ?” Vital explanation is required. Follow carefully. Fascinating, powerful and deeply sobering points appear from now on. Here are four distinct teachings of antichrist.
Think. The problem of denying Christ must be other than the obvious—which is merely stating, “I deny Christ.” Notice how Jesus had long before warned His disciples, including John: “Take heed that no man deceive you [true Christians]. For many shall come in My name, saying, I AM Christ [no denial here] and [still] shall deceive many” (Matt. 24:4-5). This deceit would have to do then with other truths in God’s Word—including how God defines antichrist. The devil—the “god of this world” (II Cor. 4:4)—does not want civilization—including you—to prepare for what is coming. He wants the truth about antichrist suppressed.
So then, again, how does one deny Christ?
The Gnostics taught that flesh is entirely evil and that spirit is entirely good. Except for demons, this is true. But the famous Gnostic leader Cerinthus, who lived in Ephesus (modern southwest Turkey), denied that God, who is Spirit, could become flesh. He taught that this was impossible. Thus, some believed that when Jesus walked the earth, He did not have a real body—it only seemed real. He was a kind of phantom.
Others believed that a divine Christ (who is spirit) joined with the human Jesus (who was flesh) at baptism, but left Him just before He died. Since the divine Christ did not die, they next reasoned that He did not need to be resurrected from the dead.
Both ideas are false. They deny that Jesus was once a flesh-and-blood human being—that He was tempted like all men, and capable of sinning, but did not. This belief centers around the idea, therefore, that His death was not actual. However, were this true, mankind would have no Savior. This certainly denies Christ—and is thus ANTIchrist.
But this goes further—in fact, much further: If Jesus was not flesh, then He was not tempted to sin. If He was never tempted, He was not capable of sinning. If He was incapable of sinning, then He did not overcome sin—and therefore could not set a perfect example for us to follow.
John also recorded that Jesus Christ did become flesh: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God…and the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us” (John 1:1-2, 14). That’s plain! Jesus Christ was God and came to Earth in the flesh.
Matthew 4 describes Jesus’ 40-day temptation in the wilderness by Satan: “Then was Jesus led up of the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil” (vs. 1). Again, if Christ was not flesh, temptation was no worry. Also consider. There would have been no need for Jesus to fast during the 40 days to remain spiritually strong so He could resist what would not have been, in fact, temptation. False teaching is always illogical in the end.
Let’s understand. James 1:13 states, “God [as a spirit—John 4:24] cannot be tempted with evil.” This is also plain. But Hebrews 4:15 states, “But [Jesus] was in all points tempted like as we are…” And this is just as plain.
The point is that ALL flesh is subject to temptation.
Jesus declared plainly, “I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). And, “To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with me in My throne, even as I also overcame” (Rev. 3:21). How was this possible if He was never tempted and therefore never capable of sinning? Again, this means He did not overcome sin, as He said, and He could not have set an example for Christians to do the same, as the apostle Peter wrote. Notice: “For even hereunto were you called: because Christ also suffered for us [via crucifixion, but also in overcoming and defeating sin. How do we know this? Notice.], leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: Who did no sin…” (I Pet. 2:21-22).
So then—and let’s continue to be plain—teaching that Christians do not have to overcome sin in their own personal lives—the breaking of God’s 10 Commandments (read I John 3:4)—and we should add, this includes the fourth one about the seventh-day Sabbath that almost all reject—is the doctrine of antichrist.
You must comprehend this entire statement. Read and reread it until you do.
Let’s make this even stronger. Let’s directly connect antichrists to evil works. So many do not understand John’s warnings—actually God’s through him—against those who “confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh” (I John 4:3 and II John 7). The Williams translation (among others) renders “is come” more clearly as “continues to come,” meaning Christ “is still coming” in flesh today.
Although Jesus came in the flesh 2,000 years ago, He is also coming in the flesh right now—in the lives of true Christians. He is actively working in them, living His perfect, sin-free life through them daily (Gal. 2:20). He is guiding them to become perfect (Matt. 5:48)—spiritually mature—just like Him (I John 3:1-3). You must grasp this.
Acts 5:32 explains that God only gives His Spirit to those who obey Him—who keep His commandments. This permits Christ to live His perfect life through them. Notice this: “And whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him, because we keep His commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight” (I John 3:22). Followed by, “He that keeps His commandments dwells in Him [Jesus], and He [again, Jesus] in him [the individual]. And hereby we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit which He has given us” (vs. 24).
Antichrists deny Christ by their evil works. These preachers claim (and the masses tragically believe them) that Jesus “kept the law for Christians.” Therefore, one need not obey those “harsh commandments”—they were “nailed to the cross.”
This thinking is antichrist! And you should now see why. So many forget (or never knew, because preachers never speak about it) that Paul wrote how God’s Law is “holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good” and “spiritual” (Rom. 7:12, 14).
The Bible states, “They profess that they know God [and millions do]; but in works they deny Him [did you see how people deny Christ?], being abominable, and disobedient [this can only be to God’s Law], and unto every good work reprobate [Greek: unapproved]” (Tit. 1:16).
So then, antichrists are against God’s laws, and they are against the idea of any kind of qualifying for (not earning) eternal life through good works. In this way they deny the power of Christ at work in His servants.
Many technical attempts are made to explain away this truth. I have read them—and the ignorance and confusion they reflect are almost breathtaking. But these efforts should be transparent to you.
Understand. Jesus came in the flesh! And, since His Resurrection, He is sending His Spirit into Christians, to relive His righteous life through them. Properly understanding these things is vital to discerning any spirit not of God!
Our book The Ten Commandments – “Nailed to the Cross” or Required for Salvation? covers everything discussed here in detail.
Now for a second way to deny Christ—and it will absolutely shock you! Again, read carefully—and without bias. What follows is very serious—and to YOU! The popular trinity doctrine, taught to and believed by billions for centuries, promotes that God is “one Being, in three Persons, with one Nature,” and that Jesus is “one Person, with two Natures.” As referenced earlier, supposedly one “nature” of Jesus came to Earth and died at the crucifixion, while the other remained alive, still in heaven.
Let’s stop and consider—let’s “reason together” (Isa. 1:18), using the central question: How can one half of one third of one Being die? Are you confused? You should be! This IS doctrinal confusion—and “God is not the author of confusion” (I Cor. 14:33).
Here is what the New Catholic Encyclopedia openly admits about the trinity. Read carefully: “…one should not speak of Trinitarianism in the New Testament without serious qualification…when one does speak of an unqualified Trinitarianism, one has moved from the period of Christian origins to, say, the last quadrant of the 4th century. It was only then that what might be called the definitive Trinitarian dogma ‘one God in three Persons’ became thoroughly assimilated into Christian life and thought.
“Herein lies the difficulty. On the one hand, it was the dogmatic formula ‘one God in three Persons’ that would henceforth for more than 15 centuries structure and guide the Trinitarian essence of the Christian message…On the other hand, the formula itself does not reflect the immediate consciousness of the period of origins; it was the product of three centuries of doctrinal development.”
In other words, the idea of “three persons in one God” did not originate in the Bible. Neither Christ nor the original apostles taught it. Nor did Paul. Instead, the trinity doctrine simmered in the minds of false Christians for three centuries. It originated with the Roman Catholic Church. By the fourth century, it became the official doctrine of the universal church.
It was never the teaching of God’s Church. This “god” is manmade—a human invention.
Grasp this. The trinity denies and limits the nature of God. It falsely teaches that God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit, which denies God is a Family, and that He is reproducing Himself, expanding His Family with many sons (Rom. 8:29; Heb. 2:10). These sons are Holy-Spirit-begotten, which empowers them to develop righteous godly character. At Christ’s Return, they will be changed from mortal to immortal, from physical to spirit, from the human kind to the God kind. The trinity doctrine both limits God and denies His Master Plan of Salvation for mankind.
Plainly then, and for many reasons, the doctrine of the trinity is antichrist!
To understand much more about this false view of God, and why—how—it completely overthrows the entire Purpose of the true God, read our thorough book, The Trinity – Is God Three-In-One? To learn how God’s Master Plan involves you, read our book The Awesome Potential of Man.
A third, and somewhat related, doctrine of antichrist is the idea that God is just one Person. This derives from a misunderstanding, in fact, mistranslation, of the Old Testament passage, “Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God is one Lord” (Deut. 6:4). Referred to by Jews as the “Shema,” the proper rendering of the Hebrew into English yields a completely different meaning. It is “Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, and Him only.” Merely recognizing that Israel had a long history of turning to other gods makes God’s intent even plainer. He wanted Israel worshipping and listening to Him only. Of course, she never did.
Here is the problem. The false view of this verse forces the belief that Jesus is not God, but merely His Son, meaning He holds a lesser status than actual God.
This ignores Jesus’ own plain words: “I and My Father are one” (John 10:30)—two beings in one Godhead. When confronted on another occasion by the Jews, Jesus also stated this: “Many good works have I shown you from My Father; for which of those works do you stone Me? The Jews answered Him, saying, For a good work we stone You not; but for blasphemy; and because that You, being a man, make Yourself God” (John 10:32-33).
Read the entire chapter. Jesus did not say, “You misunderstood Me” or “You did not listen carefully.” This is because He knew that He is God, just like the Father IS God.
Recall that John recorded how Christ was God from the very beginning. All contrary teaching then is antichrist!
Now for the fourth way of being antichrist. Remember, the word means “an adversary or opponent of Christ,” or against Christ. Interestingly, Jesus Himself adds more than anyone else in Scripture to comprehending who and what is antichrist. Let’s read what He said to the accusative Pharisees near the end of an important exchange with them. It was regarding the difference between Satan’s spirit (and his kingdom) and the Spirit of God—and the danger of the unpardonable sin: “He that is not with Me is against Me; and he that gathers not with Me scatters abroad” (Matt. 12:30).
This next statement is absolutely crucial to grasp, and it explains why John and Paul warned of many antichrists in the first century who infiltrated and harassed the true Church. Get this.
Jesus Christ built a Church—His Church—the TRUE Church. His people are part of that one, undivided Church—and none other. Anyone working AGAINST that Church—who is not with it, and therefore not “with” Christ—or is in any way attempting to “scatter” Christ’s flock, rather than “gather” it to where He is leading—is obviously AGAINST Christ.
All such then would be ANTIchrist! Is that clear?
The fourth and final passage containing “antichrist” warns, “Believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know you the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: and every spirit that confesses not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof you have heard IT should come; and even now already is IT in the world” (I John 4:1-3).
This passage is of colossal importance. False prophets—and these are all throughout the world today—are tied in this passage to the spirit of antichrist. This would certainly include those who teach falsely regarding the very truth about antichrists. It also includes those who teach falsely about all other aspects of prophecy—as well as the many additional plain truths of God’s Word.
This passage makes these modern thought-to-be prophecy experts antichrists themselves!
Believe God on this. Stop listening to preachers who are not teaching you to obey God’s Law—including the Fourth Commandment—and to overcome sin, but who do talk a lot about prophecy—even though they have no idea what they are talking about. You must disregard who they are—how well-known they are—how popular they are—how charismatic they are—how many people read their books—or watch their programs. Stop listening to them! They may be sincere, but they are sincerely wrong. They will only confuse you.
They are AGAINST CHRIST!
Also notice that I John 4:3 uses the word “IT”—not he—“should come,” and that “IT”—not he—“is already in the world.” An antichrist is more than just a person or group of people. It is an attitude, an idea, a teaching—a spirit!—and these all flow from a spirit that is alien to God.
The next three verses in the context of John’s warning (vs. 4-6) are absolutely crucial to understand. They become vital instruction for you. “You are of God, little children [true Christians], and have overcome them [all false prophets and false ministers]: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world. They [the antichrists] are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world hears them [yes, but not true Christians]. We are of God: he that knows God hears us [God’s faithful ministers]; he that is not of God hears not us. Hereby know we the Spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.”
Let’s continue being plain: God’s people overcome the spirit of antichrist. They listen only to God’s ministers. This spirit applies to people, authorities, attitudes and actions. And it permeates all cultures of the world—because this world is led and deceived by the devil (II Cor. 4:4; Eph. 2:2; Rev. 12:9).
Can you now see how the mixed-up “Jesus” of the trinity is truly another Jesus, brought by another spirit (II Cor. 11:4)—that of antichrist?
With the Bible teaching about antichrist made clear, let’s return to the idea that the phrase “one week” in Daniel 9:27 refers to the final seven years, or seven “prophetic days,” before Christ returns. The prophetic understanding of rapture theorists is false! Let’s first examine the verse: “And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate…”
This verse actually refers to the “abomination of desolation” (Dan. 12:11), when occupying armies end the Jews’ daily sacrifice at the Temple. It also addresses the final week of the 70 weeks prophecy and shows Christ would be cut off in the middle of the week, after the 3½ “days”—actually 3½ years—of His earthly ministry and mission. The antichrist—and therefore any supposed 7-year reign by him—is not the subject of this verse! Such thinking is as fictional as the rapture! There is simply no prophesied “7-year reign” of the antichrist that supposedly begins when he signs a “treaty” with the nation of Israel. The Beast (or final antichrist) will not suddenly throw off his cloak to reveal his true colors halfway through his “reign,” thus ushering in the 3½ year Great Tribulation and Day of the Lord (which indeed are biblical periods totaling 3½ years).
Consider. It should not be surprising that those who teach the doctrines of antichrist cannot even correctly discern when Jesus Christ is the subject of a passage!
Daniel’s amazing prophecy in chapter 9 in fact reveals the exact year that the Messiah would begin His ministry, and how long it would last. It points to one major event that He would fulfill—His sacrifice!—as the beginning step in God’s Plan of Salvation. It further shows that the final segment of this prophecy is yet to be fulfilled! While somewhat technical, this series of events, when studied carefully, can be understood for the inspiring—and truly fascinating—fulfillment of prophecy that it is! For those who wish to understand the truth of Daniel 9:27, including the context of the verses leading up to it—which do talk about both antichrist and Jesus Christ—we offer an article, “What Is the ‘Seventy Weeks’ Prophecy?”
You should also read another related article, “What Is the ‘Abomination of Desolation’?” As with the “Seventy Weeks” prophecy, the prophesied coming abomination of desolation is much bigger—and much more crucial to understand—than you think.
According to a large segment of people within professing Christianity, a secret rapture is coming. Only those who are “saved,” “born again,” and have “accepted Jesus in their hearts” will be secretly whisked away without warning—regardless of where they are or what they are doing—to the safety of heaven. This supposed event, signaled by the sudden vanishing of millions “whooshed off to heaven,” it is said, will “shock the world.”
All “unbelievers” remain to suffer the Great Tribulation. The antichrist will rule over those who are “left behind,” who missed out on their chance to be “vacuumed” into heaven, at Christ’s so-called secret second coming. All believers are thought to escape the antichrist by going to heaven. (It is true that during the Tribulation, war, disease, famine and religious deception will proliferate throughout the world.) The rapture theory also states that the antichrist will allow the Jews to build a temple in Jerusalem, which, 3½ years into this tribulation, he will turn on and destroy.
At the end of this period of turmoil, Christ will return—supposedly in effect now His third coming—but this time He will bring final defeat to the antichrist and his forces.
Many have become so consumed by this doctrine that there have developed a series of movies, a host of best-selling books and even board games about the aftermath of such a worldwide vanishing act!
So then, naturally following this is the most central, all-important question that should be on the minds of all who care about these impending prophecies—“Can I escape what is coming, and if so how?”
God promises in His Word to protect His people from the terrible suffering that will be unleashed on the world during the Great Tribulation. His statements are real, and many. Will you take them to heart?
Consider this admonition: “Watch you therefore, and pray always, that you may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man” (Luke 21:36). The phrase “accounted worthy to escape all these things” pertains to the entire sequence of end-time events—all those that occur just prior to Christ’s Return. Verse 35 states, “For as a snare shall it [the entire period of terrible worldwide calamity] come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.” This passage shows it is God’s purpose that some will be spared from—can ESCAPE—the global punishment lying just ahead. They will be protected from the period when the Beast and False Prophet rule the earth.
Matthew 24:21-22 shows the unprecedented worldwide turbulence of this future time: “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved [alive]: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.”
Daniel 12:1 adds, “…and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time…” Jeremiah 30:4-5 describes more about this time of extreme worldwide troubles. Notice verse 7: “Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.”
Only a remnant—a tenth!—of Jacob (the modern nations that descended from Israel, Jacob’s later name) will survive (Ezek. 6:8; Isa. 6:11-13; Amos 5:1-3). These will live on over into the wonderful world to follow, administered by Jesus Christ and the saints.
Most today do not—and will not!—understand the shocking crush of events soon to smash into civilization. Here is why. God’s servants obey Him (recall Acts 5:32). The Bible shows that understanding flows directly from obedience to God. Notice: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do His commandments” (Psa. 111:10).
All who yield themselves in obedience to God, striving to be His servants, striving to grow and overcome in every way, will understand these great prophecies (Rev. 1:1-3) and escape this worst time of trouble ever!
The masses of professing Christianity reject God’s authority, they refuse to obey Him—and remain blind as a result. No amount of trying to understand will unlock God’s Purpose to those who will not keep His Law. Stuck in confusion, they mangle and misunderstand the prophecies concerning virtually all of the terrible, civilization-shattering events to soon impact every human being on this planet!
The scriptures about protection from end-time calamities will only be understood by God’s true people. An example is in Isaiah, where it speaks of those whom God will protect from Satan’s army: “Let My outcasts dwell with you, Moab; be you a covert to them from the face of the spoiler” (16:4).
While the “last days” certainly are “perilous”—or dangerous (II Tim. 3:1)—this is just the run-up period prior to the infinitely worse final 3½ years to follow before the good news of the gospel is fulfilled in Christ’s Coming. I repeat: the Bible promises that those who are faithful and obedient will be protected through the worst calamities that could fall upon an unsuspecting world.
You need not fear the future—any part of it. Nor should you listen to people who do not understand either events that are playing out now, or how God will protect His people from this greatest time of world trouble.
The serious Bible student will want to learn more details about the so-called rapture, as well as the details about the truth of how God promises a place of protection for His Church. Since scores of millions of people have fallen for the false “7-year reign” version of the antichrist, with the accompanying rapture idea, the truth of how God protects His servants requires its own thorough booklet—Promised Protection – Secret Rapture or Place of Safety? Also read the book Where Is the True Church? – and Its Incredible History! to learn more about the Church that God will protect.
The spirit of antichrist already blankets the world as mankind continues to rely on itself to bring world peace, justice and prosperity—denying the power of Christ and rejecting His help and rule in their lives. Paul wrote that in the perilous last days many would have “a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof” (II Tim. 3:1, 5).
As the end of Satan’s reign draws near, the power of his spirit will culminate in two men. Neither will be the antichrist, but both will embody and represent the ultimate spirit or attitude of antichrist!
Jesus warned that the horrific conditions just preceding His Return would be “as the days of Noah were” (Matt. 24:36-39). People will rely on themselves instead of looking toward God. They will continue to follow their own ideas. Genesis 6 records that in Noah’s time, in the context of “all flesh [not just some or even most] had corrupted His way” (vs. 12), “the wickedness of man was great in the earth and that every imagination of the thoughts of his [man’s] heart was only evil continually” (vs. 5). One look around thunders that this rotten, awful, degenerate, disobedient time has almost come to the full!
More religious deceivers will arrive throughout Christendom. Some will perform miracles. We saw how one, the final mesmerizing False Prophet, will use great miracles (Rev. 13:13-14) to lead the world to worship the Beast as god (recall II Thes. 2:3; Rev. 16:13; 19:20)! The deception of the Beast and the False Prophet will be so seductive, so persuasive, so widespread, and so great, that this evil duo will even deceive mankind into fighting Jesus Christ at His Second Coming. (So say Revelation 13:4; 16:9, 13-16 and 17:13-14.)
The seventh plague (or vial) of the book of Revelation is commonly referred to as the Battle of Armageddon. We saw this is a misnomer. Revelation 16:16 records that opposing armies gather at Armageddon. At this time, the Beast and False Prophet are feverishly working their final miracles to delude the masses. The “battle” will be one-sided. Christ and the resurrected, spirit-born saints will destroy this army right where it stands, before it can even think about fighting. Read Zechariah 14:1-3.
There is no coming “clash between good and evil,” as so many envision about what lies ahead. The WHOLE WORLD is foretold in Revelation 16:14 to sell out to the antichrist, and only Christ’s “little flock”—His true Church—the one you have come in contact with—will not be deceived, and will be protected. I repeat yet again: There is a way of escape for those who diligently seek Him (Rev. 12:7-9, 13-16).
Like players on a stage, personalities are quietly moving into position. The seeds of events that will stagger all nations have been planted. They will soon sprout!
Will you act on what you know?