Is the Antichrist the Beast, The Man of Sin, etc.?

Does the antichrist fit the profile of all these people? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Sometimes when I argue with dispensationalists, I notice a theme of the antichrist and his identity. It is said that the antichrist is the beast and he’s the man of lawlessness or sin in 2 Thess. and he’s the prince who will come in Daniel 9 and most any other figure you can think of that seems to have an evil description in the text. Every single time, I ask them to demonstrate this claim.

Usually, it’s demonstrated just by listing the Scriptures about each of these people, but it’s important to note that nowhere does the book of Revelation say the Beast is the antichrist. Nowhere does Paul say the man of sin is the antichrist. These are assumptions that are brought to the text.

Now does the Bible talk about the antichrist? Yes it does, and it’s interesting that this only shows up in the epistles of John. This is in 1 John and 2 John only. You can easily look up the references on a site like Bible Gateway. They’re very short. Let’s look now.

1 John 2:18 Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour.

1 John 2:22 Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son.

1 John 4:3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.

2 John 7
For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist.

This really isn’t a lot to go on to make a whole doctrine of the antichrist, but yet dispensationalists keep asserting that this figure is the same as all these other figures. Now I am not saying that that absolutely isn’t the case, but I am saying that that case hasn’t been made.

If you are a dispensationalist and you are making this case, then it is up to you to demonstrate it. It is not enough to assert it. It is not enough to assume that there is one great evil figure coming in the future. That would be just begging the question on your end. You need to demonstrate it.

So for dispensationalist friends and readers, that ball is in your court. Can you demonstrate your case? If not, then keep in mind your case could still be right, but it could also be wrong and what that could mean for your system.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

What the Bible says about the Antichrist

What does Scripture say about this figure? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

My wife and I have been reading 1 John at night lately. She’s a futurist, though not one who believes in a rapture, and I’m an orthodox Preterist. We don’t really debate it at all. If she comes to Preterism, I want it to be because she studied the Scripture and not because I pressured her. Anyway, reading the Johannine epistles leads to talk about the antichrist at times.

So what do the epistles say about this figure?

Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour. 1 John 2:18

Something to note is that it says antichrist is coming and not THE antichrist is coming. That might seem like a small distinction, but it is still something. There is no speaking of one figure in all of this as the antichrist. In fact, many have come and because they are here, we know it is the last hour. John says this twice. He doesn’t want you to miss it. The last hour is here now because many antichrists have come.

Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. 1 John 2:22

At this point, we do have the antichrist, but what does it say about the antichrist? The antichrist is he who denies the Father and the Son. In other words, anyone who denies Jesus is the Christ is the antichrist. This fits in with what Jesus said. You are either for Him or against Him. You are either pro-Christ or antichrist. There is no middle ground.

and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. 1 John 4:3

And now antichrist is referred to as a spirit. The antichrist spirit is the spirit that does not confess that Jesus is from God. Note also that once again, this is in the world already. That which is opposed to Christ is already lined up in opposition against Him.

For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist. 2 John 1:7

And here we have more of the same. Anyone who denies that Jesus Christ came in the flesh is the antichrist and deceiver. This would be the way to see the Gnostic and docetic heresies of the time that denied the bodily incarnation of Jesus.

But I know some already have objections.

What about the beast in the book of Revelation?! What about the Man of Lawlessness in 2 Thessalonians 2? What about Daniel 9:24-27? What about the abomination that causes desolation?

Good questions. Here’s why we don’t look at those.

Nowhere are these figures described as “The antichrist.” Now they could possibly be a figure known as the antichrist, but someone who thinks that needs to show it. You don’t just jump over to 2 Thess. 2 and assume this is the same figure talked about in the Johannine epistles. If you think it is, then you need to demonstrate that.

Ultimately, something that bothers me so much about people caught up in end times paranoia is that they spend so much time focusing on the antichrist that they seem to lose sight of Christ. Too many are so busy trying to figure out who the antichrist is that they don’t take the time to think about who Jesus is. What the Bible says about who Jesus is blows out of the water anything said about who the antichrist is. Which one should our focus be?

Which one is your focus?

In Christ,
Nick Peters