I grew up in the rapture-me-outta-here end times movement, and have spilled no shortage of ink critiquing it– even poking a bit of fun at it. As a theologian I fall into a category of belief that sees biblical prophecies about “the end” as being events that have mostly been fulfilled in the past, but I try to hold that belief gently and recognize I could be wrong.
Many of my fellow Christians in America have warned me over the years of exactly that, often telling me: “I feel sorry for you, because when the Antichrist comes you’re not even going to recognize him!”
To honor those who have given me such warning, I decided to spend the past week studying the most significant biblical prophecies and descriptions typically believed by my conservative friends to refer the Antichrist. If my evangelical friends are correct, and if it’s entirely possible that the Antichrist is on the global scene today, I certainly wouldn’t want to be the only person in the room who didn’t recognize the Antichrist when I saw him.
In case you too are a bit rusty in the area of biblical predictions about the coming Antichrist and don’t want to be oblivious if such a person were to arise, consider me your chief antichristologist who is more than happy to help you out.
Here are the no-kidding-not-satire-prophecies and signs of the antichrist the Bible tells us to watch out for… and that blew my mind by the time I was done:
The Antichrist will be the leader of a nation that is a military superpower with the ability to trample and crush the entire earth.
“The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.”
This verse helps us start by narrowing down the nations and times the Antichrist could come from. The passage directly states he is from a nation that was different from times before, in that it was powerful enough to crush and destroy the entire earth– likely a nuclear superpower. Revelation also speaks of the Antichrist and his prophet having the power to “call down fire from the sky,” which further supports this notion.
Thus, when considering the prophecy in light of the modern world, it most likely leaves Russia or the United States, as both have over 6,000 warheads with remaining nuclear nations having under a few hundred. Furthermore, Revelation 17:15 describes the Antichrist coming from a place where there are “multitudes of peoples, nations, and languages” which would most accurately depict a “melting pot” nation like the United States.
The Antichrist will be a man who is exceptionally arrogant and will be known for giving boastful speeches.
“I could hear his boastful speech…”
Daniel 7:8, Revelation 13:5
So, as you keep your eyes peeled for the Antichrist, be sure to keep in mind that it won’t be a quiet leader who is deceitfully humble and flies under the radar– The Bible says it will be someone who loves to give speeches where he boasts about himself.
The Antichrist will be someone known for making a lot of public threats against people.
“…had a mouth like that of a lion.”
Revelation 13:2, Daniel. 7:4
As we begin to assemble the biblical prophecies, Christians on guard should be looking for a king-like figure who loves to boast about himself, but who also loves to go around roaring like a lion– things like threats to his enemies and a constant verbal flexing of muscle.
The Antichrist will be someone obsessed with winning.
“…and he was bent on conquering.”
In addition to your king-like figure who likes to run his mouth, the Bible tells us to be on the lookout for someone obsessed with winning. Of course, most people like to win, but this figure will be different– he will be so obsessed with it that he’ll probably talk about it all the time. He might even fantasize about winning so much that one gets tired of winning.
The Antichrist will come from among 7 tall “hills” that each act as a “head.”
“And I saw a beast coming out of the sea with ten horns and seven heads, which stood for seven hills”
Revelation 13:1, Ch. 17
John described the Antichrist (beast) “rising up from the sea” as he looked out from the Island of Patmos in a supernatural vision. The Bible describes the beast as having 7 heads, which symbolized 7 “hills” that stood up high. Hills also are metaphorical for places of power in the Bible.
So, if the Antichrist were to come in the present age, we’d be most likely looking for an American president known for being exceptionally arrogant, boastful, and threatening others, but who also came from 7 tall “hills” or places of power… one of which would need to be somewhere in the vicinity of where John was looking out into the ocean where the vision occurred.
Huh… well this is a super weird coincidence:
Seven heads? Maybe like potential head-quarters?
Well, funny thing again: while Donald Trump owns at least ten skyscrapers that I’m aware of, apparently only seven of them are formally named Trump Towers:
Trump Tower, NYC
Trump International Hotel and Tower, Chicago
Trump Towers, Istanbul
Trump International Hotel and Tower, Toronto
Trump World Tower, New York
Trump Towers, Sunny Isles Beach
Trump Tower, Manila
And this is a little bizarre, but in John’s vision he said that the 7 heads had horns on them– some had just one, some had two… kinda like those antennas on top.
Wow, and you know what? John’s vision also said that the seven heads all had someone’s name written across them. Interesting!
And let’s not even open the can of worms regarding the building on 5th ave… Yeah, the same deal that was bailed out by Justice Kennedy’s son before Kennedy surprised everyone and retired– giving Trump what had been a swing vote on the Supreme Court. #PowerMove
Bummer of an address Jared! Glad you were able to offload that.
The Antichrist will cause people all over the globe to be filled with wonder and “follow” him.
“The whole world was filled with wonder and followed the beast.”
This verse also speaks to the likelihood the coming of the Antichrist is more likely to be in the modern world instead of the ancient one. 2,000 years ago it would not have been possible for people all over the globe to become fascinated by a political leader, let alone “follow” them.
Okay, I get it…
Some predictions and prophecies can be like horoscopes: they can appear to apply to anyone.
And I’m with you… when you get into stuff like numerology and interpreting seven-headed beasts, it’s hard to know if something is an eerie coincidence, or just plain silly.
I’d honestly started this post intending to be silly, and during my research began to find the coincidences and certain numbers happening to match a bit amusing the first few times. But at a certain point the coincidences added up or got too specific, and it wasn’t funny anymore– it was deeply unsettling.
And by the end? Well, stick with me as the prophecies grow more specific, and you’ll see why my mind was a bit blown– and why as a Christian my spirit was deeply unsettled by the the end of it:
The Antichrist will be a political outsider with despicable character and a contemptuous personality who wins an election that no one expects him to win.
“… a despicable person will arise… a man of contempt… to whom the royal honor has not been rightfully conferred. He will slip in when least expected and will seize the kingdom through flattery and intrigue.”
When looking to identify the Antichrist, the Bible starts to help us with some really specific prophecies. Based on what the Bible predicts, a most likely scenario for the arrival of the Antichrist would be a candidate for president who came from the private sector (not of ‘royal’ background) being found with despicable morality along with a contemptuous personality, who campaigned on flattery and lies– but somehow went on to win an election no one expected him to win… leaving the country stunned.
The Antichrist will give speeches where he speaks “great things” and then about things that are even “greater.”
“He had a mouth that spoke great things, and that seemed greater than its companions…”
Starting to get weird now, isn’t it? This is about the point I got goosebumps and a little freaked out also.
Yes, in warning us of the Antichrist the Bible predicts in both Daniel and Revelation that when the Antichrist comes, he’ll not only be the contemptuous and arrogant political outsider who pulls an upset in the election– but warns us that he’ll specifically be speaking of “great” and “greater” things along the way.
The Antichrist comes to power through collusion with a secret alliance who uses disinformation to help him win– even though he has a minority number of supporters.
“After an alliance is made with him he will practice deception, and he will go up and gain power with a small force of people.”
So, you know… according to God’s holy and infallible word and all, one of the other major signs to warn us of the arrival of the Antichrist would be an election where someone won with fewer supporters, and where it was also proven that an evil outside power meddled with the process to specifically put that person in office.
But I can’t imagine the country would turn a blind eye if that ever happened, especially for my evangelical friends who tell me we need to always be on guard for the arrival of the Antichrist.
The Antichrist’s rise to power will seem like a miracle that God performed, tricking people into following Satan instead of God without even noticing.
“The arise in power of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie.”
2 Thess. 2:9
Evil is evil, but evil is not stupid… or at least, Satan isn’t. When the time comes to make his power move in the human story, he’ll find a way to not only make evil palatable– he’ll try the ultimate bait and switch by making God himself seem responsible for this evil. What better way to get a hit in, than to do it and make it look like God actually did it?
When the Antichrist comes, be sure to look for powerful religious folk claiming it was a miracle from God: