The Spirit of Antichrist

Since the beginning of recorded history, there has been constant war in the earth. The annals of history are filled with the accounts of kingdom after kingdom striving to dominate all the nations of the earth with the quest to rule the kingdom of man. It’s not a nation, however, that decides to go forth and conquer the world. It’s the man ruling that nation, and he is driven by a lust to rule and to dominate. He is hellbent on achieving his goal and will do whatever it takes to succeed.

He sees himself as above all, and there’s not a law or a man that he will allow to get in his way. He’s a liar and a manipulator. He is capable of unimaginable cruelty and egregious acts against humanity. He views mercy and kindness as weaknesses, not strengths. He rules with an iron fist, dominating his subjects through paralyzing fear achieved through terrorism. He is a cruel despot responsible for untold deaths, poverty, and famine.

And last but not least, he is delusional and has grandiose visions of power and omnipotence. He is imbued with megalomaniacal pride. The longer he rules, the greater his pride escalates. Eventually, he will see himself as god and will demand to be worshiped as such. Despots of this nature have existed since the beginning of recorded history. These are men who have fallen under the influence of what the apostle John called the “spirit of Antichrist.” The spirit of Antichrist plays a key part in the unfolding of end time events. To fully understand the end time scriptures in Daniel and Revelation, you must know about and understand the spirit of Antichrist. And that’s the subject of our new series.

The Spirit of Antichrist

First in a Four-Part Series
by Karen Thompson

The spirit of Antichrist is a term the apostle John uses in both 1st and 2nd John, and it is the reason for the depraved condition of the world. John says, “The whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one” (1 John 5:19 NKJV). Who is this wicked one that is responsible for the spirit of Antichrist? Second Corinthians 4:4 identifies this wicked one as “the god of this world” that has “blinded the minds of them which believe not….” Ephesians 2:2 identifies this wicked one as “the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience….”  

Who is this being that is described as the evil one, the god of this world, and the prince of the power of the air? Who is responsible for the spirit of Antichrist being present in the earth? Of course, it is none other than Satan, the enemy of God. Some people are surprised that Satan is described in the Bible as the “god of this world” (that’s god with a little “g”). And as god of this world, it is Satan that has the world in such a mess. It is Satan that is behind the constant state of war among the nations. And it is Satan that influences men to take the inevitable path that will lead them toward becoming evil and maniacal despots.

But how does Satan know which men to influence to become a crazed tyrant hellbent on ruling the world? Does he look for men with personalities strong enough to rule over others? Does he look for men with a particular set of skills and talents? Or does he simply zero in on someone and begin working on him to become a puppet in his hands?

It is none of those things. In fact, though Satan is the god of this world, he cannot force a man to do anything against his will. God created man as a free moral agent, having the ability to choose to live his life however he wants to live it. Even God Himself does not violate a man’s volition to make his own choices. So then how does Satan know which men he can influence, which men that will follow him down that evil path? We find the answer in the book of James: “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death” (James 1:13–15).

Satan knows which men he can influence by looking for those who continually yield to their carnal natures. He looks for men who are power hungry and full of pride. These are the traits that will open the door for Satan to enter into the man’s life. First Peter 5:8 is an apt description of Satan’s continual search for the person who will open the door to him: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour….”

Satan walks about as a roaring lion seeking whom he “may” devour. The key word in this verse is “may.” It’s worth repeating: Though Satan is called the “god of this world,” he does not have the ability to touch our lives unless we’ve opened the door to him. And we open the door when we yield ourselves to the lust of the flesh and to the evil influence that is in this world.

Three Aspects of Antichrist

In order to understand end time scriptures, we must understand what the spirit of Antichrist is, how it entered the earth, and what its manifestation looks like. Let’s begin by looking at how the apostle John used this term. He used three different aspects of the term “Antichrist.” First, in 1st John 4:3, John used the phrase “spirit of antichrist”: “And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.”

The term “spirit of Antichrist” is used in this passage to describe what we’ve already been talking about as an evil influence that covers the earth. It’s not something that “will come” to earth. He says it’s already present in the earth. This evil influence is behind all the evil that happens across the earth. What opened the door for the spirit of Antichrist to be loosed upon the earth is the fall of mankind.

Then in 1st John 2:18, John used the term “Antichrist” to describe two more aspects of the evil influence that covers the earth: “Little children … and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists….”

Here John used the phrase, “ye have heard that antichrist shall come.” In this instance, he’s referring to a particular man connected to end time events, the man known as “little horn” in the book of Daniel and the “beast” in the book of Revelation. This is the man that will persecute the Jews during the end time tribulation. He will be the man that will fulfill the events in what is called “Daniel’s 70th week.” He will lead his nation to war and will conquer other nations. Israel will not escape his grasp. He will enter a seven-year covenant and in the middle of the seven years, he will break the covenant and will commit “the abomination of desolation.” He will declare himself to be god and will have an image created in his likeness and demand everyone to worship the image. Those who fail to submit will be killed. He will establish some sort of system where all in his kingdom must take a mark, either on their foreheads or their hands. Without this mark, no one can buy or sell. His number will be 666. This is Antichrist—an earthly man who will yield himself to the spirit of Antichrist.

Then lastly, John used the phrase “even now are there many antichrists.…” John pointed out that many Antichrists already live in the earth. They are people who have yielded themselves to the evil influence that covers the earth. They are those that take on the characteristics of Satan himself, whose goal it is to dominate and rule over the kingdom of men and who want to be seen and worshiped as god. They are the despots of the world.

In our next post, we’ll talk about how the spirit of Antichrist entered the world.

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