ANTICHRIST: MAN OF SIN, SON OF DESTRUCTION
by PJ Salas
“Let no one deceive you…for that day will not come until there comes a falling away (turning from truth), and the man of sin is revealed, the son of destruction who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, and all that is worshiped; and he sits himself as God in the temple of God, showing himself as God.” 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4.
Now no one can be God but God Himself; however, satan has cleverly hoodwinked individuals and whole civilizations for centuries. Through antichrist he receives worship and exalts himself above God. satan wants to be God, and he stops at nothing to position himself in our lives and to posture himself in nations as God.
Know and Understand the Truth
There are varying opinions and theories about antichrist; but what does the Bible say? It is important to know and understand the truth, so we are not deceived. God in His Word warns us about being misled, and He identifies antichrist so we will not be deceived.
Jesus said, watch and pray, and the apostle Peter alerts us to be vigilant and sober minded, pay attention (Mark 13:33; Luke 21:36; 1 Peter 4:7; 5:8).
According to the Bible, during the time of the apostle John, there were many antichrists in the world, and they were in the fellowship of Christians. The Bible also tells us that the antichrist is already in the world, and has been in the world since the early days of Christianity; and we are told that antichrist is in the community of believers (1 John 2:18,19; 1 John 4:3).
So, there are antichrists who have come into the world, and there is a specific antichrist who is already in the world. This man of sin who is antichrist comes from within a church that professes to be of God. We can see why we should watch and pray, why we need to be vigilant, serious, and clearheaded.
“every spirit (person, πνεῦμα) that does not confess (agree, submit to ὁμολογέω) Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.” 1 John 4:3.
“…as you have heard antichrist is coming, and even now many antichrists have come…they went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us … .” 1 John 2:18, 19.
Antichrist is someone in an established church who claims to be of God, but in reality, is contrary to God. This man of sin is rebellious against the Bible; he is against God’s true people, who do all God’s will, follow all His Word, and keep all His commandments.
Antichrist is an individual, and or a group of individuals, who are contrary to God’s will, and who want to be in God’s place. Antichrist is familiar; and even though he is not of Christ, he is in a religious institution professing to represent God.
Antichrist Power and Characteristics
The Bible says that antichrist receives his power from satan, that this man of sin is in rebellion to God’s expressed will, His Word. The Bible also reveals certain attributes that expose the antichrist, son of destruction (Revelation 13:2; 1 John 2:18,19; Daniel 7:8,21,25; 2 Thessalonians 2:4,7; Revelation13:1-8).
Daniel 7:8, 21, 25; 2 Thessalonians 2:4, 7; Revelation 13:1-8
1) takes authority over nations backed by civil authority.
2) takes authority over genuine Christians and persecutes them.
3) thinks/intends to change times and law, God’s law.
4) seeks to be worshiped and exalted above God.
5) his name (character, ὄνομα) is blasphemous; he speaks pompous blasphemy against God’s truth and true followers.
History is Key to Understanding
Knowing history helps in understanding what is current, as well as the future.
Since antichrist was already in the world during the time of the apostle John that means the man of sin has been active against God and His people in the past. History tells us who the son of destruction is.
Antichrist claims to be God’s representative, yet he persecutes true followers of God’s Word.
In the past there has been one dominate religious power that voraciously persecuted, tortured, and slaughtered God’s people, backed by the power of civil authorities. This dominate religion has its beginnings in the early centuries A.D., and still exists today; it is the Roman church, and it will again rear its ugly head as a persecuting power.
Recognizing the man of sin is important; but it is also important to remember that there have been individuals who refuse God’s express will in His Word, the Bible, which makes them against God.
This is a solemn warning to each one of us. Being careful to not walk contrary to God and His Word, to not oppose God and resist His truth is vitally important. Let us be true followers of Jesus who do all He teaches in His Word.
The Bible says there is one way, one life, and one truth. God’s Word also tells us there is only one way to heaven, which is through Jesus Christ; and that through Jesus we are to do all of God’s will. Christ empowers us to live as God would have us live (Ephesians 4:4-6; John 14;6; Mark 3:35; Colossians 4:12; 1 Peter 4:2; 1 John 2:17; Philippians 4:13).
Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life…” He also said, “whoever does the will of God is My brother and My sister…” John 14:6; Mark 3:35.
There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. Ephesians 4:4-6.
Follow the Truth
While we want to identify antichrist, we also want to be careful to not be like antichrist. Follow the truth, do all God’s will revealed in His written Word, the Bible. Trust Jesus, have faith in Him, and let Him help you live and do all that God teaches in His Word.
“Let no one deceive you…for that day will not come until there comes a falling away (turning from truth), and the man of sin is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, and all that is worshiped; and he sits himself as God in the temple of God, showing himself as God.” 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4.
For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus 1 Timothy 2:5.