The Antichrist is a man who will rule the world just prior to the 2nd coming of Christ. He will be possessed by Satan and claim that he is God (2 Thess. 2:1-10). Jesus will destroy him when He returns at the 2nd coming (2 Thess 2:9, Rev. 19:20).
Although this man is never actually called "the antichrist", he is referred to by many different names in the Bible. We use the term "the Antichrist" as a collective term to cover all the names.
Different Names for the Antichrist
- "the little horn"--Dan. 7:8
- "the prince that shall come"--Dan. 9:26
- "the willful king"--Dan. 11:36
- "the abomination of desolation" (Matt. 24:25) referring to the "desolator" (Dan. 9:27)
- "the man of sin"--2 Thess. 2:3
- "the son of perdition"--2 Thess. 2:3
- "the lawless one"--2 Thess. 2:8
- "the beast"--Dan. 7:11, Rev. 11:7, 19:19-20, 20:10
- "the beast out of the sea"--Rev. 13:1-8
Will the Antichrist be a Jew or Gentile?
Some people believe that he will be a Gentile. He is the "beast out of the sea" (Rev 13:1) and the sea depicts the Gentile nations (Rev 17:15). He rises from the Roman Empire, since he is a prince of the people who destroyed Jerusalem (Dan 9:26). In Dan 7:7-8, we find that the "little horn" arises among the 10 horns, which are the 10 kings of the revived Roman Empire (Dan 2:40-43, 7:23-24, Rev 13:1, 17:12-17). Some believe that he will also come from Greece based upon Dan 8:23-26. Daniel 8 was fulfilled by Antiochus Epiphanes, but some Bible scholars find a future reference to the Antichrist in the last verses of the chapter.
Others believe he must be a Jew because he makes a covenant with Israel for 7 years (Dan 9:27). Daniel 11:36 says, "And he will show no regard for the gods of his fathers…" The Hebrew word for "gods" is "Elohim," which can also be translated "God." If you translate it "gods," he would be a Gentile. If you translate it "God," he would be a Jew. Bible scholars are divided in their opinions as to which is the correct translation.
What the Antichrist will do
In order to come to power, he will subdue 3 of the 10 kings in the future revived Roman Empire (Dan. 7:8,24). He will speak out against the Most High (God) and will wear down the saints of God (Dan. 7:25, Rev. 13:7). Daniel 7:25 tells us that he will try to make alterations in time and in law, indicating world-wide influence. Just prior to the 2nd Coming of Christ, he will confirm a 7 year covenant with Israel (Dan. 9:27). In the middle of the 7 years, he will stop the sacrifices in the Jewish temple, which will be rebuilt.
The Antichrist (beast out of the sea) will have a right-hand man called "the false prophet" (Rev. 19:20) who is called "the beast out of the earth." (Rev. 13:11). This false prophet will cause people all over the world to worship the Antichrist and will perform great signs, even making fire come down out of heaven to the earth (Rev. 13:12-13). Revelation 13:16-18 tells us he will cause everyone to receive a mark on their right hand or on their forehead and that no one will be able to buy or sell without the mark, the name of the beast or the number of his name. Those who take this mark will be cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 14:9-11). The Antichrist and the false prophet will be destroyed at the 2nd coming by Jesus and cast into the lake of fire (2 Thess. 2:8, Rev. 19:20).