What does the Bible say about the Antichrist?

proposed image of the antichrist

Say the word ‘Antichrist’ and an image pops into the mind of Christians (and many non-Christians) of an ominous figure.  A figure that represents evil in every form. But what does the Bible say about the antichrist?

We know he’s a formidable war tactician, an intellectual genius, and a cunning orator who is a master of persuasion.  Sound a bit supernatural? You bet!  We also know he starts off slow. Charming and cunning, he wins the hearts and minds of people throughout the entire world gathering a multitude of fervent followers. And once he’s got millions hooked, we will be beyond the point of no return, and it’ll be a little too late by then!

Frankly, there isn’t anything we could do about it anyway.  The outcome has been written for centuries.  All you can do, as they say in the classics, is save yourself and anybody you can.

What does the Bible say about the antichrist?

He only really makes an appearance in the end times.

Henry Kissinger and Barrack ObamaMany will be labeled ‘The Antichrist‘. We have seen many contenders already.  Henry Kissinger had a turn, Mikhail Gorbachev, a couple of popes, and even Barrack Obama have been nominated.

Many will claim the title, too. Imagine that, claiming the title of the antichrist! It beggars belief!  But “do not be deceived“.

There is absolutely no reason to thrust the title on every nefarious politician.  Why? Because 2 Thessalonians 2:3,4 warns us:

“Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.”

So we know:

(These bullet points are links to further down this page)

We will know it is the End Times

The Bible tells us he’s only going to make an appearance in the end times.  Yeah… we have been told it’s the end times for the past 2000 years, so how will we really know it’s the end times?!

That’s what this page is for, to tell you how we will know.  Lots of stuff has to fall into place first, and we are given loads of clues that make up a veritable check list!

Man preparing a wall to paintThink about it, for one man to suddenly pop up and rule the world, there will have had to be a heck of a lot of priming beforehand!  Before you paint a wall you need to scrape off any old coats of paint, sand all the bit off, plaster it so it’s smooth, so by the time you come to paint it, it’s all ready and waiting and the paint goes on smooth and stays on.  It’s a bit like that with the antichrist.

Things are going to fall apart so badly that by the time he appears, we will believe him to be a knight in shining armor, who has come to rescue us.  And for a short time it will look to be true. Until it isn’t.

There will be a ‘falling away’

people fightingThe Bible is very clear that, before he makes his appearance, there will be a “falling away” of faith that must take place in the world first. The Greek word it is derived from is apostasies, which describes a mutiny or revolt. The implication is this revolt is specifically the world’s attitude toward God. 

The words ‘mutiny’ and ‘revolt’ go beyond ‘disinterest’ or ‘disregard’, which we see a lot of.  By implication, it’s a lot more emphatic.

1 Timothy 4:1 warns, “Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from the true faith; they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons.”

For the entire world to recognize the antichrist, this person who suddenly appears on the scene, as a leader and for many to worship him, will take some priming! The falling away from God is the sanding off of Godly residue so the world will welcome who Paul calls “the man of sin” with open arms. He will promise to lead the world to peace and prosperity – and for a short time, it will appear that way. But very soon after he brings doom and destruction.

🤓 Nerd Alert!
And I said this person “suddenly appears” because the original Greek word that Paul used is apokalupto;  apo means away and kalupto is veiled.

So apokalupto is unveiled or revealed.  Therefore, he will have an inconspicuous beginning.

He may be on the earth right now!  All we know is at the appointed time, he will be revealed, and then the shit hits the fan!

The antichrist is an intellectual genius

Biblical Daniel is the guy who has, and interprets, strange dreams full of symbolism and weird characters. In Daniel 7:20, the antichrist is represented as “A horn that had eyes”. It is a double symbol. The “horn” represents strength; “eyes” represent intelligence.

Goats and eyesEyes, goats, wings, oil, horns… how do we know what the symbols mean?  I found a useful site, Keys to Bible Symbols, and I clear explanation of why symbols are used in How to Understand Symbolism in the Bible.

The way I see it, Biblical students and historians have done all the hard work interpreting the symbols in the Bible.  Symbols with consistent meanings throughout the Bible, and the time in history. So I am happy to go with their interpretations.

So back to the clever antichrist…

In Daniel 8:23, the antichrist is referred to as “A King of fierce countenance” who shall “understand dark sentences“. Stuff that baffles others will be simple to him. The Hebrew word here translated “dark sentences” is the same as the word used for “hard questions” in 1 Kings 10:1, the story of the Queen of Sheba coming to Solomon with her “hard questions” to test his wisdom.

It is also the word that is used in Samson’s riddle in Judges 14. It indicates that the antichrist will be a master of all the secrets of the occult.

Ezekial 28:3 declares of him “You regard yourself as wiser than Daniel and you think no secret is hidden from you. With your wisdom and understanding you have amassed great wealth – gold and silver for your treasures.”

This will be one of his most alluring attractions. His intellect will beguile the academics and the educated. His astounding knowledge, familiarity with the ways of nature, superhuman powers of perception, and ability to perform miracles showcase him as an intellectual genius of immense proportions.

The antichrist has the gift of the gab

a man talking to a crowd of peopleEver been to a lecture, or sat through a speech that was presented in monotone? No matter how riveting the topic you just wanted to get out of there, didn’t you?

Eloquence, accompanied by a commanding vocabulary, not only demands respect but also captivates attention.  

The Bible has a few things to say about “his mouth”. Revelation 13:2his mouth is as the mouth of a lion” and Revelation 13:7 says he will have authority “over every tribe, tongue and nation“.  Daniel 7:20 says (from the King James Bible) “a mouth that spake very great things.” 

The antichrist is a political prodigy

Man with a veil covering his faceHe will “be unveiled“, meaning he will appear on the scene from obscurity, and in no time at all, he will gain respect and seduce the cooperation of politicians the world over. Using the Bible’s typical symbolism, the antichrist starts off his nefarious career as a “little horn”. But he won’t be little for long!

Daniel 11:21 tells us he will have to employ all of his skills and cunning and work to earn the top job, “he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries“.

His diplomatic shenanigans quickly has him rising in the ranks to rule every government of the world.  Sounds terrifying but I must admit, I’m darn curious to see how that happens!

Remember what is destined to happen here. This man will lead the world; he will have dominion over all governments and the world economy. The ten kings of the (new) Roman empire will “give their kingdoms unto him“. You have to acknowledge the wizardry, the demon forces, required to achieve that!

In short, he’s your average unscrupulous, self-serving politician but this guy’s got the edge.  With wizardry skills and Satan as his chief sponsor, what can go wrong?

The antichrist’s tumultuous reign is 312 years

His signing of the peace treaty with Israel is what kicks off the 7 years of Tribulation. So he’s around from the start of the Tribulation, but it’s the halfway point of the Tribulation period that seems to be when the verse in Revelation 13:5 comes into play. “The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise its authority for forty-two months“.

People running for the hillsIt is at the start of these forty-two months that he takes his seat in the Temple of God and proclaim himself to be God.  It is this act that begins the Great Tribulation (the second half of the seven years of tribulation) and when he wreaks havoc on the earth “because he knows his time is short”. Revelation 12:12.

God warns the Jews to run for the hills when this happens!  Literally. This is what he says: “those in Judea must flee to the hills. A person out on the deck of a roof must not go down into the house to pack… For there will be greater anguish than at any time since the world began“.

He is given authority to wage a war against the Tribulation Saints and to conquer them (a physical death, not all who die will suffer a spiritual one).  It will be the longest forty-two months the world has ever felt, but in the end the antichrist will be defeated.  Some good news, hey!

The antichrist is an economics expert

Does power bring riches or do riches bring power? Who knows, but this man will be loaded! There are many scriptures supporting this claim.  

Daniel 8:25He will cause deceit to prosper, and he will consider himself superior. When they feel secure, he will destroy many and take his stand against the Prince of princes.

Psalms 52:7Here now is the man who did not make God his stronghold but trusted in his great wealth and grew strong by destroying others!

Daniel 11:43But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt“.

Ezekiel 28:4,5By your wisdom and understanding you have gained wealth for yourself and amassed gold and silver in your treasuries. By your great skill in trading you have increased your wealth, and because of your wealth your heart has grown proud“.

When he has nationalized all commerce and industry and has it controlled under the “mark of the beast“, allowing nobody without the mark to buy or sell anything, the world’s finances will be under his control.emoji-of-dismay | circuskitchen

The antichrist is a military master

Scene of warBoth the old and the New Testaments warn of his extraordinary military power.

Daniel 8:24He will become very strong, but not by his own power. He will cause a shocking amount of destruction and succeed in everything he does. He will destroy powerful leaders and devastate the holy people”.

Revelation 6:4… Its rider was given a mighty sword and the authority to take peace from the earth. And there was war and slaughter everywhere”.

His military acumen “shook the earth and made the kingdoms of the world tremble”. Isaiah 14:16. And there we were thinking Napolean, Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan were to be feared in battle!

The antichrist is as a dynamic personality

He will have to be!  The antichrist is rich, successful, intelligent and capable. He can deliver a splendid speech and strategise a winning army. Pretty compelling stuff for a world in need of even a half decent leader!

He’s a leader of the most charismatic kind that will fool an ailing world into believing he’s there to save it.  As I understand it (and bear in mind, there are many theories) he will be quite a sweety-pie for the first 3½ years of The Tribulation period.  We will be well and truly committed to him by the time the Great Tribulation kicks in and his true reign begins.

The antichrist will rise from the dead

I’ll start by saying that whether this is symbolism, or whether the antichrist actually dies and is resurrected is a contentious issue.

The argument against is that only God can give life and we’re giving Satan equal power to God. The argument for is that God permits Satan this one time.  A good explanation I found is in this piece by The John Ankerberg Show called Does the antichrist actually die and come back to life?

I believe his to be an actual death and resurrection and the False Prophet will use this convincing show to persuade the multitude that the antichrist is God.

The timing of this will be the midpoint of the Tribulation; that is 312 years in.

A second opinion

A different theory on this wounded beast, is that it’s the antichrist’s empire – the revived Roman Empire – which is wounded and “rises from the dead” and not the beast that is the antichrist.

Read it yourself in Revelation 3:13.

John, you could have helped us out a bit here, dude!  There are enough synonyms for the word ‘beast‘, to have picked a different word for each beast!

The antichrist will perform ‘signs and wonders’

a man on a stage, laughingThe original Greek word used is teras, which translates as miracles.

When the antichrist starts to use the supernatural powers, given to him by Satan, and declares himself to be God, that’s when people will really be deceived!  I mean, miracles are hard to deny!  2 Thessalonians 2:9 tells us Satan will give the antichrist power to work “lying wonders“.

God told us that the ability to perform miracles does not denote God’s approval.  Did you get that?  Performing miracles does not make it from God, or good.

In Deuteronomy 13:1-4, God tells us that if a prophet arises and “gives you a sign or a wonder” but his teachings are contrary to God’s, “you shall not listen to the words of that prophet“.

Matthew 24:24 in the Amplified Bible “For false Christs and false prophets will appear and they will provide great signs and wonders, so as to deceive, if possible, even the elect (God’s chosen ones).”  So there will be lots of them!

The false prophet

From the prophets of Baal who tested Elijah to Marshall Applewhite and his Heaven’s Gate cult, the world has seen hundreds of false prophets, and the Bible tells us there will be more!

The antichrist orders fire from heavenThe false prophet who will be the antichrist’s side-kick, however, will also be able to perform miracles, even “making fire come down from heaven” (Revelation 13:13-14).  He will enforce acceptance of the antichrist by controlling peoples’ ability to buy and sell.  The mark of the beast is usually seen as the antichrist’s personal project, but it’s the false prophet who will be the driving force behind it. 

Where the antichrist will focus on politics, the false prophet will focus on religion.   

The antichrist, false prophet and Satan will form an unholy trinity that will control every aspect of society.  The false prophet will project manage the construction of an idol for worshipping the antichrist.  Whether it’s by ventriloquism, Ai or some other trickery, the idol will speak. Imagine how that will convince the gullible! 

As with the antichrist, who starts off slow and is humble and likeable, he will “bear the meekness of a lamb” but inwards is a “ravenous wolf”. He will “cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed“. Revelation 13:15.

The mark of the beast

man's face with a black mark on itFamous misquotes include:

  • Casablanca’s “Play it again, Sam” – Actual quote: “Play it, Sam. Play ‘As time goes by’, and
  • Appolo 13’s “Houston, we have a problem” – Actual quote: “Ah, Houston; we’ve had a problem”.


The mark of the beast’s 666 is possibly another one. The number may not refer to the antichrist.  It may refer to the false prophet. It could be his number which, somehow (we don’t yet know how) calculates to 666.

It’s in this Passage ~ Revelation 13:11-18
11 Then I saw another beast rising out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb and it spoke like a dragon.

12 It exercises all the authority of the first beast in its presence, and makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose mortal wound was healed.

13 It performs great signs, even making fire come down from heaven to earth in front of people,

14 and by the signs that it is allowed to work in the presence of the beast it deceives those who dwell on earth, telling them to make an image for the beast that was wounded by the sword and yet lived.

15 And it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might even speak and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain.

16 Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead,

17 so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name.

18 This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666.”

What do you think?

Another curved ball is a proposition on Wikipedia that the number is a translation error, and is not 666 at all, but 616.  Read it here.

Microchip in an armThe mark, Greek word “charagma”, is the word used for the seal used by the emperor, which denotes official status. This mark will visibly identify everybody who is loyal to him.  Did you get that?  The mark will be VISIBLE to the human eye.  

It won’t be injected surreptitiously, masquerading as a vaccine.  It won’t be snuck into our snickers bar, disguised as a nightclub stamp or double-up as an ID microchip implant.

It will knowingly be taken by CHOICE. Ok granted, ‘choice’ is a bit of a misnomer when the alternative is living on the street and starving to death, but you get my meaning.

Bear in mind, too, that although these injections, stamps and chips won’t be the Biblical mark of the beast, they are normalising our acceptance of them. You see that, right?  By the time the actual mark of the beast is presented to us, millions will view it as yet another digital, readily available, form of identification or revenue.

The mark of the beast will be on the right hand or the forehead.  Revelation 13:15

Speculation here is solidarity with the antichrist’s withered right arm and blind right eye.

The antichrist will have a withered arm and blind right eye

Zechariah 11:17What sorrow awaits this worthless shepherd who abandons the flock! The sword will cut his arm and pierce his right eye. His arm will become useless, and his right eye completely blind“.

It’s not clear whether that will be from the beginning or whether it happens during his term in power.  Possibly caused by the fatal head wound, that he recovered from. So don’t go eyeing all the half-blind people with one hand in their pocket who you pass in the street!

The antichrist will come from the Roman people

Roman soldierDaniel 9:26,27A ruler will arise whose armies will destroy the city and the Temple”. The Temple Daniel is talking about is the one that was destroyed in AD70 by Titus and the Roman legions. And the ruler he is speaking of is the one who “will make a treaty with the people for a period of one set of seven”. 

So we can be pretty certain that the antichrist will come from the Roman people but that only means he must come from among the people who were part of the Roman Empire in those days. And in those days, the Roman Empire was pretty immense! 

But Daniel 8:21-24 narrows it down a bit. This part is a dream about Gabriel and is all in symbol-speak. But, in a claim verified by history, Gabriel said that following the death of Alexander, the Empire will be divided into four parts and the antichrist will arise from one of those four parts.

The Bible is a bit of a puzzle, all the clues are there.  

Daniel 11 gives us a detailed look at the history of the breakup of Alexander’s empire. He describes the events that go down as being between the King of the North and the King of the South. Further down in the chapter, Daniel describes the antichrist, identifying him with other historical men who held the title, King of the North. Seleucus, one of Alexander’s generals, ruled the northern area comprising Syria, Mesopotamia and Persia (Syria, Iraq and Iran). 

Daniel 8 mentions a king of Assyria, who sounds a lot like the antichrist. He is also proud, arrogant, boastful and blasphemes God.  I think it’s pretty likely he will come from the Middle East. 

The antichrist will lose in the end

Good news at last, we always love the bit when good conquers evil!

God will drag the earth through horrendous plagues, disasters, and tragedies that are too ghastly to comprehend.   But in the end, the antichrist is conquered.  

The Battle of Armageddon

Demon battle of ArmageddonAt the end of the seven years of Tribulation, the antichrist will launch a final attack on Jerusalem, culminating in the demon battle of Armageddon. Revelation 16:13,14 tells us that evil spirits will be involved!

Armageddon is the name of the great battle, (the final war between God and governments). It is not a general name for the end times, as is often misunderstood.

Jesus will return in The Second Coming (technically, it’s the third. The second one is when he returns “with a shout” to meet His Church in the clouds at the Rapture, but I digress) … destroy the antichrist and his armies, and “cast them into the lake of fire“. Revelation 19:11-21. That’s the end of the antichrist, but not the end of Satan.

Christ will bind Satan in the Abyss for 1,000 years and He “will rule His earthly kingdom for a thousand years“. Revelation 20:1-6. At the end of Christ’s Millennial reign on earth, Satan will be loosed on earth for a “short time”

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