1 John 2:18 – Little children, it is the last hour; and since you have heard that the antichrist is coming

Published On: 20 de August de 2023Categories: Bible Study

Bible Study: The Antichrist – Who He Is and How He Works

The Antichrist is a theme that arouses curiosity and restlessness. He is a mysterious figure mentioned in the Bible, associated with the end times and the confrontation between good and evil. The word “Antichrist” appears in the Epistles of John, specifically in 1 John 2:18 “ Little children, it is the last hour; and just as you have heard that antichrist is coming, even now many have become antichrists; by which we know that it is the last hour.” and 1 John 4:3 3 “And every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not from God; and such is the spirit of antichrist, of which you have heard that it is to come, and even now it is in the world.” John uses this term to refer to those who oppose Christ and His message of love and salvation.

However, Antichrist is not only mentioned by John. The book of Revelation, written by John, also presents the figure of Antichrist in a symbolic way, often referring to him as “the beast” (Revelation 13:1-10 ). This indicates that Antichrist is a highly influential political and spiritual figure who will rise to challenge God’s sovereignty and deceive the nations.

The Antichrist figure is no mere empty threat. Jesus warned of the coming of false prophets and deceivers in the last days (Matthew 24:24). The apostle Paul also mentioned a “man of lawlessness” who would oppose God and exalt himself. “Let no one in any way deceive you; for it will not come to pass unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above everything that is called God or worshipped. so that he will sit, like God, in the temple of God, pretending to be God.” (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4). This indicates that Antichrist is a figure who has the ability to deceive many and establish himself as a world leader.

Understanding the Antichrist is important for believers as it helps us to discern the signs of the times and be prepared to face the spiritual challenges to come. The Bible exhorts us to be vigilant and not be deceived by false doctrines and charismatic leaders (Matthew 24:4-5, 23-25). As we study Antichrist, we are reminded of the need to cling to God’s truth and trust in his protection.

Identifying the Antichrist

To better understand the Antichrist, it is essential that we examine the biblical passages that shed light on his identity and characteristics. Although the Bible does not give us a complete picture, it does offer valuable clues that help us understand who the Antichrist is.

The term “Antichrist” is found in the epistles of John, in which the apostle warns us about those who oppose Christ and His message of love and salvation (1 John 2:18, 1 John 4:3). John tells us that many “antichrists” have already arisen, indicating that this opposition to Christ is not a single, distinct figure, but a spirit that pervades those who reject divine truth.

Furthermore, the book of Revelation presents symbols and images that can help us identify the Antichrist. Chapter 13 of Revelation describes a “beast” that emerges from the sea, which has similarities with the Antichrist figure. This beast receives worship and authority, which indicates its political and religious influence (Revelation 13:4-8).

To identify Antichrist, we must be on the lookout for any political or religious leader who rises up to challenge God’s authority and deceive people with false promises and teachings. He may present himself as a charismatic leader, promoting peace and solving global problems, but his message will be in opposition to God’s truth.

Antichrist is identified as one who opposes Christ and His message. It can be understood as a spirit of opposition that permeates those who reject divine truth. Throughout the scriptures, such as the epistles of John and the book of Revelation, we are alerted to this figure and encouraged to discern between the true teachings of God and the false promises of Antichrist.

The Antichrist’s Mode of Operation

As we examine the Bible for insights into how the Antichrist operates, we can discern his deceptive tactics and the impact he will have on the world. His strategies are cleverly designed to divert attention from divine truths and lure followers into his own evil domain.

Antichrist works primarily through deception. He will present himself as a charismatic and persuasive leader, offering seemingly beneficial solutions to global problems. However, his intentions are not genuine; he seeks to consolidate power and control over nations. As we saw above, the Apostle Paul warns us about the “man of lawlessness” who will exalt himself above all that is called God (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4). He will use his eloquence to captivate the masses and gain a following, but his message will be a perversion of divine truths.

One of the Antichrist’s most effective strategies is the performance of false signs and wonders. Paul warns us of the “deceiving power of unrighteousness” that will accompany the coming of Antichrist. “Now the appearance of this antichrist is according to the working of Satan, with all power, with signs and with delusional wonders,” 2 Thessalonians 2:9 These impressive signs can include seemingly supernatural miracles, designed to deceive even the elect, if possible. It is important to remember that the authenticity of a leader or teaching is not determined by signs and wonders alone, but by consistency with God’s Word.

Antichrist will also seek to undermine genuine faith and draw believers under his influence. Jesus warned that, in later times, false prophets would arise to deceive many (Matthew 24:24). Antichrist may try to twist the Scriptures, manipulating them to suit his purposes. Therefore, a deep understanding of God’s Word is a vital defense against his wiles.

The Antichrist’s operations will be carried out through deception, using tactics such as offering seemingly beneficial solutions, performing false signs and wonders, and undermining the genuine faith of believers. His strategies are aimed at attracting followers to his evil domain, presenting himself as a persuasive and charismatic leader. Believers are exhorted to stand firm on the Word of God, discerning the true teachings of those who seek to lead us astray from the path of truth.

Fooling the Masses

A crucial aspect of the Antichrist’s mode of operation is his ability to deceive the masses through subtle and deceptive means. The Bible warns us about this tactic, calling us to vigilance and spiritual discernment so as not to be carried away by its tricks.

Antichrist will use false signs and wonders to impress and deceive people. Jesus warned us about the coming of false prophets who would perform great signs to deceive, if possible, even the elect “For false Christs and false prophets will appear and will perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.” (Matthew 24:24). These signs may seem extraordinary, but they are designed to distract from fundamental truths of the faith. Therefore, we must not get carried away solely by supernatural events, but carefully examine the message and the fruits they produce.

Furthermore, Antichrist will prey on human weaknesses by offering seemingly attractive solutions to the world’s problems. It can promote global peace, economic prosperity and unity among nations. However, his real intention is to create a false sense of security and gain unconditional support from the masses. In Revelation 13:4, the beast receives worship and acclaim, demonstrating how he will be able to deceive many.

One way the Antichrist will deceive the masses is through the twisting of the Scriptures. He may quote biblical passages out of context or reinterpret them to support his deceptive agendas. It is critical for believers to be well grounded in the Scriptures and have keen spiritual discernment to identify when God’s Word is being distorted.

The message for us is clear: we must be vigilant and examine everything in the light of the Scriptures. In 1 John 4:1, John exhorts us to test the spirits to determine whether they are of God. We must not be naive or easily deceived, but seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit and knowledge of the Word to protect us against the wiles of the Antichrist.

The Persecution of Believers

One of the inevitable consequences of the Antichrist’s reign will be the persecution of true believers. The Bible warns us about this reality, preparing us to face challenges and remain firm in faith, even in the face of adversity.

Antichrist will seek to establish his global authority by suppressing any form of worship that is not directed at him. In Revelation 13:7, it is prophesied that the beast will make war with the saints and temporarily prevail over them. “Power was given him to make war against the saints and to overcome them. Authority was given him over every tribe, people, language, and nation.” This means that believers will face intense pressure to renounce their faith and submit to the Antichrist.

Persecution of believers will take place in many ways. It may involve religious restrictions, bans on worship, and physical harassment. Jesus warned of the hatred believers would face because of his name. “Then they will hand you over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.” (Matthew 24:9). This means that our faith in Christ will bring us into conflict with the Antichrist and his agenda.

Despite the imminent threat of persecution, believers are exhorted to remain faithful to the end. In Revelation 14:12, the patience of the saints who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus is emphasized. “Here is the perseverance of the saints who obey the commandments of God and remain faithful to Jesus.” The perseverance of believers, even in the face of persecution, is a powerful witness to the transforming power of Christ and the strength of our faith.

Persecution will also serve to separate true believers from those who only superficially profess faith. Those who genuinely belong to Christ will not bow to Antichrist, even under threat of death. This separation of the wheat from the tares is illustrated in Jesus’ parables, such as Matthew 13:24-30.

Therefore, believers must be prepared to face persecution and stand firm in the faith. The Bible assures us that, although we may face difficulties, the reward of eternal faithfulness far outweighs any temporary suffering “I consider that our sufferings today are not worthy to be compared with the glory that will be revealed in us.” (Romans 8:18). Persecution is also an opportunity to glorify God through our courageous and faithful response to his name.

The End of Antichrist

Despite the Antichrist’s evil influence, the Bible assures us that his reign will come to a definite end. The final fate of Antichrist is a testament to God’s supreme power over evil and His final victory.

Antichrist may seem powerful and invincible in his prime, but he will not escape divine judgment. In Revelation 19:20 , it is written that the beast and the false prophet (associated with the Antichrist) will be cast alive into the lake of fire. “But the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet who had performed the miraculous signs in his name, with which he had deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped his image. The two of them were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with brimstone.” This symbolizes the definitive end of the Antichrist’s rule and his final defeat at the hands of God.

Antichrist’s defeat is a testament to God’s justice prevailing over evil. God is the supreme judge who will bring about perfect justice in his time. The Antichrist may have deceived many, but his pride and rebellion will be annihilated before the glory and majesty of God.

The final victory over Antichrist is also a reminder of God’s sovereignty over all creation. In Revelation 17:14, it is proclaimed that the Lamb (Jesus Christ) will conquer all adversaries. This confirms Christ’s supremacy over Antichrist and all evil forces. Christ’s victory is the culmination of history, where good triumphs over evil and justice is established. “These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings; those who are with him are called, chosen, and faithful.” Revelation 17:14.

While Antichrist may cause temporary turmoil and suffering, his final defeat is assured by God’s unfailing promise. This gives us the certainty that evil will not prevail and that God’s justice will prevail at the end of time. As we face the uncertainties and challenges of the present, we can find hope and confidence in Christ’s final victory over Antichrist and all forms of evil.

The Importance of Surveillance

Amidst the complexities of the world and spiritual challenges, the Bible calls us to be watchful and wise, especially when it comes to the Antichrist and his wiles. The importance of watchfulness is an essential lesson we can draw from the scriptures.

Jesus, in His teaching about the end times, repeatedly emphasized the need for vigilance. He warned his disciples not to be deceived by false prophets and to be prepared for his coming Matthew 24:4-5 “Jesus replied , “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ!’ and will deceive many.” Those words echo today, reminding us of the importance of not being swayed by deception and false doctrine.

Spiritual vigilance involves discerning the influences that surround us. In a world full of varied information and ideologies, we must be able to distinguish between truth and lies. Paul exhorts believers to test the spirits to discern whether they are from God 1 John 4:1 “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world” This implies not only examining the teachings, but also seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit, who will guide us into all truth (John 16:13).

Surveillance also reminds us of the brevity of life and the unpredictability of future events. Jesus compared His second coming to the sudden return of a thief in the night (Matthew 24:43). Just as a prudent homeowner is always prepared for a thief, we must always be vigilant, ready to face any spiritual situation.

The importance of vigilance is clear: it protects us against deception, helps us discern the truth, and keeps us alert to spiritual developments. God’s Word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path (Psalm 119:105) “Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.” It guides and guides us as we seek to be vigilant in our spiritual journey.

The Hope of Believers

Amidst the uncertainties and challenges presented by the figure of the Antichrist, the hope of believers remains an unshakable anchor. The Bible offers us an inspiring vision of the hope we have in Christ, enabling us to face any circumstance with confidence and peace.

Believers’ hope is rooted in the promise of God’s constant presence. In Hebrews 13:5 “Let your life be free from greed, being content with what you have; because he himself said: I will not leave you nor forsake you.” God assures us that he will never leave us nor forsake us. This means that even in the midst of the difficult times of the Antichrist’s reign, God is with us, sustaining and strengthening us.

Believers’ hope is also based on the assurance of eternal life in Christ. Antichrist may cause temporary turmoil, but in 1 John 5:4-5, we are reminded that those who believe in Jesus overcome the world. “ What is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that overcomes the world: our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.”

Christ’s victory over sin and death gives us hope that, in the end, justice will prevail and we will enjoy eternity with Him.

The hope of believers is a source of encouragement and perseverance. The apostle Paul writes about how present sufferings are not comparable to the future glory that will be revealed in us (Romans 8:18). This motivates us to remain firm, even in the midst of the adversities brought by the Antichrist.

Furthermore, the hope of believers directs us to our true home. The book of Hebrews talks about how we are pilgrims and strangers on this earth, seeking a heavenly homeland (Hebrews 11:13-16) “These all died in faith, not having obtained the promises; but having seen and greeted them from afar, they confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on earth. Now those who say such things show that they are looking for a country. And if, in fact, they remembered the one from which they had left, they would have the opportunity to return. But now they want a better country, that is, the heavenly one. Wherefore also God is not ashamed of them, to be called their God, for he has already prepared a city for them.”This perspective helps us keep our eyes fixed on eternity instead of being consumed by the concerns of the present world.

Christ’s Final Victory

At the heart of all study of Antichrist is the undeniable truth of Christ’s ultimate victory over all forces of evil. The Bible assures us that despite the presence of Antichrist and the difficulties he brings, the final triumph belongs to Christ and his justice.

Christ’s ultimate victory is vividly revealed in Revelation. In chapter 19, we see a glorious vision of Jesus riding a white horse, coming to defeat the beast (Antichrist) and the kings of the earth. His garment is covered with the title “King of kings and Lord of lords” (Revelation 19:16), emphasizing His supremacy over all things.

The cross of Christ is already a testimony of His victory over sin and death. Through His death and resurrection, He conquered the Antichrist’s main weapon: sin. Colossians 2:15 declares that Jesus spoiled principalities and powers, triumphing over them on the cross. This victory is the basis for our hope that, regardless of the obstacles imposed by the Antichrist, we are more than conquerors in Christ.

Furthermore, Christ’s final victory is a confirmation of God’s plan of redemption and restoration. Antichrist can temporarily deceive and cause suffering, but God is in sovereign control of all things. He is working to fulfill His eternal purpose to bring complete restoration and renewal to the world.

Christ’s final victory also invites us to keep our eyes fixed on our eternal destiny. The book of Revelation presents us with a vision of the new heaven and new earth, where there will be no more pain, suffering or influence of the Antichrist (Revelation 21:1-4)“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth. Because the first heaven and the first earth are gone, and the sea is no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride prepared for her bridegroom. And I heard a great voice from the throne saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes; and death shall be no more, neither shall mourning nor lamentation nor pain be any more; for the first things are passed away.” It reminds us that Christ’s final victory awaits us, and all temporary struggles will be eclipsed by the glory of eternity.

In short, Christ’s final victory over Antichrist is a central theme in Scripture. Through His death, resurrection, and future return, Christ will triumph over all evil forces. His victory is the basis for our hope and encourages us to stand firm amidst the adversities brought about by the Antichrist. As we await the consummation of all things, we can trust Christ’s promise of final victory and find peace and security in his mighty name.

Conclusion:

The study of Antichrist reveals a complex and challenging picture of final events and the conflict between good and evil. This mysterious figure, who will rise to challenge God and deceive the nations, requires believers to be spiritually prepared and vigilant. While facing the Antichrist can be intimidating, God’s Word offers us guidance, hope, and confidence to face this challenge with courage.

As we investigate the identity of Antichrist, we learn to discern between truth and deception. The importance of staying rooted in the Scriptures and seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit becomes evident. Identifying the Antichrist’s tactics prepares us to resist his wiles and remain faithful to the teachings of Christ.

Understanding the Antichrist’s mode of operation alerts us to the subtlety of deception and the lure of false promises. We must be aware of how it operates so we don’t fall into its traps. Remaining vigilant and committed to the truth is essential if we are not to be led astray by its distorted teachings.

As we consider the possibility of being deceived by the Antichrist’s tactics, the importance of vigilance becomes even clearer. The Bible exhorts us to test the spirits, discern the truth, and remain ready for future events. Vigilance helps us face uncertainty with confidence and be prepared for Christ’s return.

Though Antichrist may persecute believers, hope remains a bright light. The promise of God’s constant presence, Christ’s victory over the world and the guarantee of eternal life sustain us in the midst of adversity. Hope reminds us that despite current challenges, the final triumph belongs to Christ.

Finally, Christ’s final victory enables us to meet the Antichrist’s challenge with courage and determination. We know that despite temporary appearances, God is in control and his justice will prevail. Christ’s victory is the guarantee of our own victory over all forms of evil.

Therefore, as we face the challenge of confronting the Antichrist, we are called to remain steadfast in the faith, vigilant in the pursuit of truth, and full of hope in Christ’s final victory. Through the Word of God, the power of the Holy Spirit, and trust in our Savior, we can meet this challenge confident that God will enable us to overcome all adversity and stand firm to the end.

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Written by : Ministério Veredas Do IDE

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