Adventist Online

Will you recognize the antichrist when he shows up?

Whenever the subject of antichrist comes up, I think about that old joke because the antichrist is the ultimate counterfeit.

And there’s only one counterfeiter with enough skill and experience to pull off the ultimate counterfeit. OF course, I’m speaking of the devil, the consummate counterfeiter. Not only did he invent counterfeiting and deception, he’s been perfecting it for thousands of years. The antichrist will be the devil’s ultimate work of deception, his masterpiece. This counterfeit will be the best ever – so good, in fact, that it will “ ‘deceive the elect – if that were possible’ “ (Mark 13:22).

And that’s the problem I have with so many portrayals of the antichrist. They tend to emphasize the “anti” part to the exclusion of the “Christ” part. Popular portrayals of the antichrist usually depict him as sinister and evil. For example, Nikolae Carpathia, the antichrist character in the Left Behind* books and videos, is a scheming, murdering politician – and from Romania, no less, so that he speaks with the same type of accent we usually associate with Dracula. Is that really anybody’s idea of what Christ is like? Not exactly subtle, and not likely to be mistaken for Christ Himself.

Angel of Light


Yet that’s the whole point of the antichrist. He isn’t merely the adversary of Christ, but a usurper, an imposter, a pretender to the throne, one who wants what Christ has and what Christ is. He especially wants worship. To get what he wants, to persuade people to worship him, he has to convince them that he is the Christ. The counterfeit has to look like the genuine article.

Of course, different people have different ideas of what Jesus might look like, but no one really knows. Scripture warns us, however, that “Satan…masquerades as an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14). The expression “angel of light” sounds about right for deception. Impressive, but vague.

Appeal to our highest aspirations

The Bible doesn’t give us any information about what the antichrist will look like physically, but it does tell us what his actions will look like, because we know the kinds of things Jesus said and did. And so it’s safe to say that the antichrist will speak beautiful and soothing words. He no doubt will speak of love, peace, justice, and universal brotherhood, because that’s what people expect. Indeed, it will be this appeal to our highest ideals and aspirations that will make his lies so irresistible.

Lucifer’s original desire, which led to his fall from heaven, was to become “like the Most High” (see Isaiah 14:14), to be like God Himself. And he used that same temptation with Eve. He told her that when she ate of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, her eyes would be opened, ad she would be like God (see Genesis 3:5). Being like God sounds like a really good thing. The great deceiver often cloaks his temptations in apparent goodness

We see this demonstrated in the 2003 film Luther, in which an idealistic young man named Aleander comes to Rome. In the Vatican, a cardinal asks him, “What do you want most?”

Aleander replies, “To serve God with all my heart.”

The cardinal warns him, “Then that is how you will be tempted.”

As the film progresses, we see how Aleander’s desire to serve God leads him to urge treachery, kidnapping, and murder. That’s how the devil works: he offers us the best to get us to do the worst.

In the wilderness, the devil offered Jesus good things, blessings even. He told Jesus he would give Him bread to sustain life, an opportunity to demonstrate the fulfillment of God’s promise of angelic deliverance, and lordship over all the kingdoms of the earth. In themselves, all these things are good. Some were even part of Christ’s mission and purpose. The evil lay in what the devil asked Jesus to do in order to achieve them. And he says the same thing to us: “Just do this one little thing, and all these good things can be yours as well.” That’s a trick known to every charlatan and con man.

And the devil is the father of all charlatans, the original con man. So as the antichrist, he will know all the right words to say, all the right emotional buttons to push, to make us feel uncertain that his every intention is purely benevolent, that following him will result only in joy. There will be enough truth in his words to make his lies believable, plenty of sugar to conceal and the poison. But lies they will be. As Jesus said unto him, “ ‘When he lies, he speaks his native language’”. (John 8.44).

Signs and wonders


Words, however, will not be enough. The Bible tells us that the antichrist will divert our attention from his lies with” ‘signs and miracles’” (Mark 13:22). Revelation 13 depicts such a miracle-working false prophet, who has Lamblike (that is, Christlike) characteristics, but he “spoke like a dragon,” who is Satan (Revelation 13:11; 12:9). And to conceal his lies, he “performed great and miraculous signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to earth in full view of men. Because of the signs he was given power to do on behalf of the first beast, he deceived the inhabitants of the earth” (Revelation 13:13, 14).

However, there are things the devil won’t be able to fake, and one of them is Christ’s second coming in majesty and glory. Revelation describes Jesus’ return: “Look, he is coming with the clouds, / and every eye will see him” (Revelation 1:7; italics added). Every human being on planet Earth will see Jesus when He returns.

Nevertheless, the devil will try. Jesus warned us that “ ‘if anyone tells you, “There he is, out in the desert,” do not go out; or, “Here he is, in the inner rooms,” do not believe it. For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man’ “. (Matthew 24:26,27). We learn two things from these verses. First, the antichrist apparently will try to fake Jesus’ return by appearing in different ports of the earth. But – and this is the second point – Christ’s return will command global attention. Jesus will appear in the sky, visible from one end of the earth to the other. Paul gave us another very important description of Christ’s second coming. He said, “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God” (1 Thessalonians 4:16, italics added).

Thus, in addition to being visible all over the world, Christ’s second coming will be very audible. You will hear the noise!

When Jesus returns to this earth, you’ll know it!

Avoiding deception


So how can you and I avoid being deceived by the antichrist when he appears?

Bankers and others who face the threat of counterfeiting know that the best way to detect a counterfeit is to be thoroughly familiar with the genuine article. So bank tellers don’t spend their time analyzing counterfeit currency. On the contrary, they concentrate on familiarizing themselves with the real thing.

The same method will work for us. It’s extremely important that we understand all that the Bible says about Christ’s genuine second coming, for only by its testimony will we understand the truth clearly enough to discern the antichrist’s false second coming. When we understand that Jesus will return in the clouds of heaven with power and glory and a great noise like a trumpet, we can easily recognize an imposter who shows up in different parts of the world masquerading as Christ.

While it’s important to know what the antichrist will look like and sound like, it’s much more important to know the real Christ. Jesus assures us, “ ‘My sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.’ “ (John 10:27,28). Those who know the real Jesus need not fear the false one. They know the genuine article. They talk to Him and listen to Him everyday. They know His voice. And no one, neither the antichrist nor anyone else, can snatch them our of His hand.

If you know what the Bible says about Christ’s second coming, and if you know Christ personally, you needn’t fear being deceived by the antichrist when he shows up.

Views: 74

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Hi ronie 27,

Before we can effectively be ready for the antichrist it is helpful to understand exactly what the term antichrist means as it is used in the Bible. A practical place to start with a study about the term antichrist and what/who is the Antichrist starts with the identification of the Antichrist by analyzing the original Greek text.

Thoughts on the Biblical Term Antichrist

In I John 2:18, 2:22, 4:3, and II John 7 we find the term antichrist used, which has generally been
understood to mean opposed to Christ, or against Christ, with the assumption that the Greek prefix anti
means essentially what the English anti means. In English anti-war would rightfully be understood to
mean against war, or opposed to war. However, the question must be asked, What is the primary
meaning of the Greek word anti, and how does this amplify our understanding of the biblical term
antichrist?

Fortunately, there are numerous examples of the Greek term anti found in the Scripture, and an
examination of them will prove helpful. There are at least 16 occurrence of the term anti found in the New
Testament, with 15 of them being translated for in the King James Bible, while one time it is translated by
the phrase in the room of. Let us look at the usage first of all, which is found in Matt.2:22. "But when he
heard that Archelaus did reign in Judea in the room of his father Herod, he was afraid to go thither:
notwithstanding, being warned of God in a dream, he turned aside into parts of Galilee". One of the many
times anti is translated for is Matt.20:28, a passage which reads "Even as the Son of man came not to be
ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many."

Another is the familiar Luke 2:2: "If a son shall ask bread of you that is a father, will he give him a stone?
or if he asks for a fish will he give him a serpent?" One more example is Heb.12:16, speaking of Esau
who traded his birthright: "Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel
of meat sold his birthright."*

It is clear from these usages of anti the primary meaning of the term is instead of, or in place of,
consistent with the word for. If one attempts to read any of the foregoing text and in the place of for
substitute against, or opposed to, the logic is lost. The Son of man did give His life against many, but as
a substitute for many, or in the place of many.

Without argument, many times one who takes the place of another does so as an antagonist, or in
opposition to him, and so these words which employ the prefix anti which have the meaning of opponent
as their primary meaning. An example of this would be the word antidikos [adversary] in texts such as I
Peter 5:8: "Be sober, vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking
whom he may devour."**

But, because the bare term anti clearly utilizes the concept of substitution, it would be a mistake to
examine the word antichrist without this in mind. Taking this approach, the antichrist is first of all one who
seeks to take the place of Christ, to exercise authority instead of Christ. This is a concept with which the
rest of the New Testament is entirely familiar, demonstrated by texts such as II Thess. 2:3,4: "Let no man
deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that
man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called
God, or that is worshiped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God."

The man of sin is described as usurping authority not rightfully belonging to him, attempting to
masquerade as God, sitting in the seat of God. It is interesting to note that the word translated oppose in
verse 4 is again a compound word, antikeima, meaning one who lies in the place of, or one who lies
against. In Rev. 13, the beast power seeks to take the place of God by exhorting worship, something
which rightfully belongs only to God, fulfilling the age-old designs of the arch-enemy, whose ambitious
aspirations are recorded by the prophet Isaiah "Thou (Lucifer) hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into
heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation,
in the sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High."(Isaiah
14:13,14)

Since Seventh-day Adventists have generally found the fulfillment of these prophetic symbols in the
historical papacy, it is interesting to see how this understanding impacts our interpretation. Without
question, the papal power has attempted to take the place of Christ by title, by pronouncement, and by
practice. The term vicar of Christ is instructive to compare the context. Vicar is of Latin origin, and means
one who takes the place of, or one who acts instead of. We use the adjective vicarious to describe
Christ's substitutionary sacrifice. Thus, when the pope identifies himself as the vicar of Christ, to operate
in His stead, as His substitute, take note of this strange irony, then. Since both anti and vicar mean the same thing, namely substitute or one who takes the place of, the one from Greek and the other from the
Latin, when the pope accepts the title vicar of Christ, he is thereby also accepting the title of anti Christ.
Unfortunately, since most assume that the anti of antichrist means only against, or in opposition to, they
are looking for a fulfillment of this prophetic symbol outside the church, while the Bible clearly identifies
this power as coming from within. He sits "in the temple of God (II Thess.2:4)."

Paul warned the Ephesian elders "of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw
away disciples after them (Acts 20:30)." John saw in vision Babylon typified as a woman (a church) which
sat on a beast.

There is no question that the antichrist of the New Testament is an opponent of the true Christ, whose
work is against that of Christ. But it would be a mistake of large proportions, when discussing the term
antichrist to not include the concept of substitution, which the prefix anti clearly employs, which clarifies
and amplifies the mission and identity of this important prophetic symbol.

*The other usages of anti in the New Testament are as follows:
Matt. 5:38 "an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth
Matt. 17:27 "take, and give unto them for me and thee
Mark 10:45 "and to give His life a ransom for many
John 1:16 "have all received, and grace for grace
Rom. 12:17 "recompense to man evil for evil
I Cor. 11:15 "for (her) hair is given her for a covering
I Thess. 5:15 "See that none render evil for evil
Heb. 12:2 "Who for the joy that was set before Him
James 4:15" for that ye ought to say, If the Lord
I Peter 3:9 "Not rendering evil for evil

** Other compound words which employ anti as a prefix include antilambano (see Luke 1:54 and Acts
20:35) translated helped and antilempsis in I Cor. 12:28 translated helpful deeds, and antileptor in
Psalm 18:2 translated deliver. While there are other compound words using anti as a prefix in which the
notion of against predominates, it is difficult to discern that flavor in the foregoing compound words.

Your brother in Christ,
Doc
Thanks Doc for sharing this info here...Hope you'll keep on sharing...;-)..Anyway, 27 is my age...;-)

Yes, indeed they truly antagonist people. But up to what level? Are they those that always contradicts all the time or are they those seemed like they are in favor?
"When the pope accepts the title vicar of Christ, he is thereby also accepting the title of anti Christ...." is so clear cut...Is there any reason that....DON'T BE DECEIVED OF THE ANTI-CHRIST?
The papacy is just one form of the many antichrists.

2 John 7

"For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist."

Seventh-Day Adventists are aware that the papacy is antichrist. So this won't be very deceptive to most of us. But something is coming that will be so very deceptive that we better pray that we'll be ready.

Matthew 24:24

"For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect."

For the most part, SDA's know that whatever the papacy says is hogwash. This really isn't going to be a matter of deception. As long as you know your basic Bible doctrines you'll be able to see that the papacy is totally unbiblical. But we need to watch and pray. A power is about to arise that will shake every one of us. We need to pray that our foundation is sure!!

Ephesians 4:14

"That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;"

Though, with a basic understanding of the SDA beliefs, we aren't fooled by the papacy. If we aren't grounded in the scriptures, and have a love for them, we will be decieved when the true antichrist (Satan himself) appears.

Great Controversy page 624

"As the crowning act in the great drama of deception, Satan himself will personate Christ. The church has long professed to look to the Saviour's advent as the consummation of her hopes. Now the great deceiver will make it appear that Christ has come. In different parts of the earth, Satan will manifest himself among men as a majestic being of dazzling brightness, resembling the description of the Son of God given by John in the Revelation. Revelation 1:13-15. The glory that surrounds him is unsurpassed by anything that mortal eyes have yet beheld. The shout of triumph rings out upon the air: "Christ has come! Christ has come!" The people prostrate themselves in adoration before him, while he lifts up his hands and pronounces a blessing upon them, as Christ blessed His disciples when He was upon the earth. His voice is soft and subdued, yet full of melody. In gentle, compassionate tones he presents some of the same gracious, heavenly truths which the Saviour uttered; he heals the diseases of the people, and then, in his assumed character of Christ, he claims to have changed the Sabbath to Sunday, and commands all to hallow the day which he has blessed. He declares that those who persist in keeping holy the seventh day are blaspheming his name by refusing to listen to his angels sent to them with light and truth. This is the strong, almost overmastering delusion. Like the Samaritans who were deceived by Simon Magus, the multitudes, from the least to the greatest, give heed to these sorceries, saying: This is "the great power of God." Acts 8:10."

If you are God's child, and you've made it this far, there is no need to fear.

Ibib.

"But the people of God will not be misled. The teachings of this false christ are not in accordance with the Scriptures. His blessing is pronounced upon the worshipers of the beast and his image, the very class upon whom the Bible declares that God's unmingled wrath shall be poured out.

And, furthermore, Satan is not permitted to counterfeit the manner of Christ's advent. The Saviour has warned His people against deception upon this point, and has clearly foretold the manner of His second coming. "There shall arise false christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. . . . Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, He is in the desert; go not forth; behold, He is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." Matthew 24:24-27, 31; 25:31; Revelation 1:7; 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17. This coming there is no possibility of counterfeiting. It will be universally known--witnessed by the whole world.

Only those who have been diligent students of the Scriptures and who have received the love of the truth will be shielded from the powerful delusion that takes the world captive. By the Bible testimony these will detect the deceiver in his disguise. To all the testing time will come. By the sifting of temptation the genuine Christian will be revealed. Are the people of God now so firmly established upon His word that they would not yield to the evidence of their senses? Would they, in such a crisis, cling to the Bible and the Bible only? Satan will, if possible, prevent them from obtaining a preparation to stand in that day. He will so arrange affairs as to hedge up their way, entangle them with earthly treasures, cause them to carry a heavy, wearisome burden, that their hearts may be overcharged with the cares of this life and the day of trial may come upon them as a thief."


If we are dilligent students of the Word, who love the truth, then we don't need to worry about the great deceiver. Our only concerns should be: Am I right with God at this moment? Do I love the Truth (Christ and His teachings)? Do I have a knowledge of the manner of Christ's advent? Do I have the Holy Spirit?
Yes, I agree with this post. Thanks for posting this in here. It's my fervent prayer that GOD will give us eyes to truly see Anti-Christ so that we'll not be deceived...;-)
Do you really want "eyes to truly see Anti-Christ"? I can show you something that will shock you?
And what is it that you would like to share with us in here that will shock me and others?...
Well, its quite controvercial, but its probably worth it. I'm expecting some negative responses, but here goes.

Have you heard of the Maitreya? Well I'll give you the opportunity to get to know who he is? He is the so-called "Christ" that represents all religions. He is Satan's counterfit, and he's already come!!!!

His first and most famous appearance was on June 11, 1988.
http://www.share-international.org/maitreya/Ma_wwa.htm

So who is this Maitreya and what is his mission?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvytE8vnIbA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RX2oAgpIofE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yEcfL1u04fU

Some people are aware that this is not good.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_r69C4jYN5I
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9b8eViqd1Q

sandly many people are being deceived
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YiI5gXbB5o

Signs and Wonders
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gD2qkFV6PhA
I just thought of this: Do we have silent Anti-Christ in the SDA?

Do we have silent Anti-Christ in the SDA? Don't know...
Satan's appearance as Christ will be the last act in the drama just before probation closes in an attempt to bring Christ's true disciples on his side.

sky
Correctamendo there Sky, and it will be this appearing of Satan that will almost be overpowering to even the very elect ! Only by the power of Jesus will any make it through the time of trouble that the world has never seen before !

RSS

Site Sponsors

 

Adventist Single?
Meet other Single
Adventists here:
Join Free


USA members:

Support AO by
using this link:
Amazon.com

 

© 2018   Created by Clark P.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service