Before we look at the antichrist, I want to look at the real Christ. Who is He? Let us go to the scriptures to find out what and Who He claimed to be.
Mathew 12:6 But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple...
The temple, the priesthood, and the religious system including all the ceremonies, the sacrifices, and the law of the Jewish nation go hand in hand. It was the mainstay and focal point of the life of Israel. Yet Jesus claimed to be greater. Greater even than the very High priest who no doubt would take great interest in hearing a report of these words. Greater even than the law itself, because He was the lawgiver.
….38 ¶ Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee.
39 But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:
40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
41 The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here…
Jonah was the most powerful and successful of all OT prophets. In all 40 odd chapters of Jeremiah, there is no record of anyone at anytime taking the slightest bit of notice of anything Jeremiah said. Yet Jonah, on the strength of just one or two sermons, converted the entire city of Nineveh of the children of Ishmael totaling maybe 60,000 people. By any standards, that has got to be recorded as a very successful evangelistic campaign. Yet Jesus claimed to be greater than Jonah.
…42 The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.
Solomon was the wisest and wealthiest and most successful of any ruler of the ancient world. Yet Jesus claimed to be greater even than Solomon.
He claimed to be a greater priest than the current high priest of Israel, He claimed to be a greater prophet than Jonah, and He claimed to be a greater King than Solomon. In these three startling claims, we have before us the threefold ministry of Jesus. Priest, prophet, and King.
It has been said, and I think wisely, that the Bible must be understood grammatically before it can be understood theologically. Anti– as in antichrist, according to Strong’s concordance, and like other words having the prefix ‘anti’, means at it’s most basic form “in the room of”, “instead of”, or “in the place of”.
In other words, ‘antichrist’ stands as a substitute. We all know that Satan works by deception. Yet many claim the ‘antichrist’ will be one who will charge in on a black horse guns blazing with fury and hatred directed at all things Christian and opposing with great force the church. Pray tell me, how will the world be deceived by such a tactic as this?
In 2 Thess. 2:1 we are told that there was to be a falling away first, which will reveal the antichrist, or as Paul describes him, the man of sin or son of perdition. Now falling away in this instance is a falling into apostasy; divorce.
Any divorce necessitates a prior favourable relationship. The only other example of a ‘son of perdition’ is Judas Iscariot. Did Judas openly and with force oppose Christ? Did he attack His teachings and disagree with Jesus claims to divinity? Did he argue and debate everything Jesus stood for and seek the destruction of His followers? No. Not by any means. Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss. He betrayed Him with an act of apparent love, fellowship, and friendship. He undermined and betayed Jesus at the same time as claiming Him to be his friend!! This squares perfectly with the meaning of antichrist. He is not an opposer, but a subtle impostor. A counterfeit. An impostor of Jesus Christ. A false copy, or forgery of the true.
Antichrist is therefore a person or power who impersonates the offices of Priesthood, the Prophet or spokesmanship, and the Kingly rule of Christ. The office that ministers for God, speaks for God, and rules for God.
The falling away that Paul spoke indeed did take place just as he said. Jesus’ letter to the church of Ephesus (Revelation 2) reveals the beginning of this process. During the ensuing centuries, political instability within the Roman Empire resulted in Germanic barbarian tribes taking over the former territories of the western portion of the empire. Constantine moved the capital to the east, and Rome was left without a leader. This void was filled by the bishops of Rome, many of whom were more politically minded than religious. Power corrupted them, and by the 6th century the apostasy was well under way, the formation of a church/state union which was the vehicle for the introduction of many pagan superstitions and practices entering the church.
Satan has many counterfeits. Now counterfeits are almost identical to the true. You do not get counterfeit 99$ notes. You get counterfeit 100$ notes. And unless you get trained and disciplined to know intimately the true 100$ note, you will not recognise the false. It has been estimated that every person in America who has regularly handled 100$ notes, has had pass through their hands a counterfeit at least 4 times a year! And not known it!!!! Unless you are intimately acquainted with the true Jesus, how will you recognise the counterfeit?
In Revelation 14:6-12 God has the final message of warning that His people must deliver before He comes. It is shown as being preached by 3 angels. This is figurative, for it is the responsibility of the church to preach the gospel. It however can be understood that angels are directing and overseeing the preaching. Satan however has a counterfeit message. We see this in Revelation 16:13,14. “And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.
For they are the spirits of devils, 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.”
This is a threefold message of demons opposing and deceiving the world at the time of the end.
The following is not intended as evidence for the concept of a ‘Christian trinity’, however, the following does make for very interesting comparisons.
- His place in heaven (Rev 12:3,7,8.)
- He has a throne. (Rev 13:2, 2:13)
- Gives throne, power, and authority to sea-beast. (13:2,4.)
- He is worshipped. (13:4a)
- Destroyed forever. (20:9,10)
God the Father
- Dwelling in heaven (Rev 4,5)
- He has a throne. (4:5; 7:9-15; 19:4)
- Gives throne, power and authority to Jesus. (Math 28:18 Rev 2:27; 3:21; chapters 4,5.)
- Is worshipped. (Rev 4:10; 15:4)
- Lives and reign forever. (4:9; 5:13; 11:15)
The Land-beast or false prophet.
- Called the false prophet because he decieves people with regards to religious matters. (16:13; 19:20; 20:10)
- Lamb-like. (13:11)
- Exercises all authority of sea-beast. (13:12a)
- Directs worship to sea-beast. (13:12b,15)
- Performs signs. (13:13; 19:20)
- Brings fire down from heaven (13:13)
- Gives breath/life to beasts image (13:15)
- Applies mark of beast. (13:16)
The Holy Spirit
- Called the Spirit of truth guiding people. (Jn 16:13 Rev 22:17)
- Christ-like. (Jn 1426; 16:14)
- Exercises authority of Christ (Jn 16:13,14)
- Directs peoples attention to Christ (Acts 5:29-32)
- Grants gifts..gift of miracles eg.(1 Cor. 12:8-11)
- Fire from heaven at Pentecost (Acts 2)
- Instills life to us, the image of Christ, ‘Christ in us the hope of glory’… (Romans8:8-11,29)
- Applies seal of God. (2 Cor 1:22 Eph 1:13 4:30 Rev 7:3,4.)
The sea-beast or antichrist.
- Comes from water to begin activity. (13:1)
- Resembles dragon. (12:13 13:1)
- Ten diadems. (13:1)
- Ten horns (13:1)
- Receives power throne and authority from dragon/Satan. (13:2,4)
- 42 months of activity in first phase. (13:5)
- Was slain (13:3)
- Resurrected (13:3)
- Receives worship after healing (13:3,4,8)
- Comes from water to begin ministry (Luke 3:21-23)
- Resembles Father (Jn 14:19)
- Many diadems (Rev 19:12)
- Lamb has 7 horns (5:6)
- Receives power throne and authority from His Father (Math 28:18 Rev 2:27 Chapters 4,5)
- 42 months of ministry in initial phase. (Gospel of John)
- Was slain (Rev 5:6)
- Was resurrected (Rev1:18)
- Received worship after resurrection (Math 28:17)
Note how very similar the prophetic characteristics of antichrist are to Jesus.
So do the above attributes of the sea beast match any entity or individual in the world today? How does the above sea-beast or antichrist counterfeit the threefold ministry of the true Christ, as Priest, Prophet and King? Is there an entity in the world today who claims to do just this? Is there one like Judas who is betraying the Master with a kiss, all the while claiming to be a friend? Is there in the world today a religious system or religious ruler who claims to be the earthly representative of Christ as His priest, claiming to be a mediator between God and man? Claiming to forgive sin even, which is the sole prerogative of God, and Biblically and in particular applying to Jesus?
Does this entity also claim the prerogatives of a prophet? Does it claim to speak for God in spiritual matters? Does it claim to stand as God’s spokesman on earth and claim that only through it’s authority can salvation be found, and that when speaking officially is considered on a par with scripture, that is infallible?
And finally, does this entity also claim to be a king? Does it claim authority as a secular power? Does it exercise authority and power within the auspices of a church/state relationship?
The answer my friends to all the above questions is a firm yes.There is an entity in the world today who claims all the above Godly prerogatives which belong only to Jesus Christ. Priest, prophet and king.This entity has set itself up as counterfeit and thus can be affirmatively identified as the Antichrist, the impostor and impersonator of the true. And this entity can be found only in the Roman Catholic church system.
More detail on how the RCC meets all the criteria as Antichrist go to my category https://brakelite.wordpress.com/category/characteristics-of-the-little-horn-power-of-daniel-7/