7 occurrences in 7 dictionaries

Reference: Antichrist

American

Strictly means one opposed to Christ. In this sense, John says were already in his time many antichrists, many having the spirit of an antichrist; unbelievers, heretics, and persecutors, 1Jo 2:18; 4:3. They were characterized by the denial of the Father and the Son, and of Christ's coming in the flesh, 1Jo 2:22; 4:3. But the apostles and early Christians seem to have looked forward to some one great antichrist, who should precede the second coming of our Lord, and whom Paul calls "the man of sin, the son of perdition," 2Th 2:3. To this passage John alludes, 1Jo 2:18. Able interpreters agree that antichrist denotes an organized body of men, perpetuated from age to age, opposed to Christ, and which he will destroy, Re 11; 13; 17.

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Easton

against Christ, or an opposition Christ, a rival Christ. The word is used only by the apostle John. Referring to false teachers, he says (1Jo 2:18,22; 4:3; 2Jo 1:7), "Even now are there many antichrists."

(1.) This name has been applied to the "little horn" of the "king of fierce countenance" (Da 7:24-25; 8:23-25).

(2.) It has been applied also to the "false Christs" spoken of by our Lord (Mt 24:5,23-24).

(3.) To the "man of sin" described by Paul (2Th 2:3-4,8-10).

(4.) And to the "beast from the sea" (Re 13:1; 17).

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Fausets

There are seven sets of passages noteworthy.

Summary.

(I.) Christ's predictions of false Christs and false prophets (Mt 21:3-31).

(II.) John's prophecy of "Antichrist" (this name occurs only with him) (1Jo 2:18-23; 4:1-3; 2Jo 1:5,7).

(III.) Paul's "adversary" (Greek antikeimenos, in sound and sense answering to Antichrist) (2Th 2:1-12; 2Ti 3:1-5), "in the last days, perilous times," characterized by heady high mindedness, with the form but without the power of godliness, the love of pleasure supplanting the love of God, contrasted with the earlier "latter times," marked by seducing spirits, doctrines of demons, celibacy, and abstinence from meats (1Ti 4:1-5).

(IV.) Daniel's "little horn" from among the ten horns of the fourth beast, or Roman empire (Da 7:7-27).

(V.) Daniel's "little horn" from one of the four notable horns of the third beast, or Graeco Macedonia divided into four at Alexander's death, the willful king (Da 8:8-25; 11:36-39).

(VI.) The beast from the sea (Re 13:1-8), ridden by the whore (Re 17:1-7).

(VII.) The beast from the earth and the bottomless pit, or the false prophet (Re 11:7; 13:11-18; 17:8-18; 19:11-21).

Detail.

(I.) The false Christs and false prophets (Matthew 24) point to the pretenders to Messiahship before the fall of Jerusalem, the foreshadowing of the future impostors about to deceive all but; the elect. They are the spirits of demons which prepare the false prophet's way, but they are not the false prophet himself (Re 16:13-14).

(II.) John's Antichrist is stated to have been a subject of his oral teaching first (1Jo 2:18; 4:3), so Paul (2Th 2:5), and is therefore alluded to, not described. All who deny Jesus's Messiahship and Sonship (as Cerinthus and the Gnostics of John's days) forerun the Antichrist "to come" (the same Greek verb is used as of Christ's" coming".)

(III.) Paul's antikeimenos, "who opposeth all that is called God," is the "Antichrist" of John. He is not to come until "he who now letteth (hinders) and that which withholdeth" (hinders; the same Greek verb as before, only neuter instead of masculine) be taken out of the way; i.e., the curbing power of human law (neuter) and the curber (masculine), namely, the Roman emperor and whoever may be representative of the fourth world kingdom's power just before Antichrist. The unanimous consent of the early Christians that the Roman empire is "what withholdeth" was so unlikely to suggest itself to them, inasmuch as regarding it as idolatrous and often persecuting, that this explanation seems to have been preserved from Paul's oral teaching. Another less probable view is that the Holy Spirit is "He who now letteth," and the elect church the thing "that withholdeth," and that is to be taken out of the way on the eve of Antichrist's coming.

(IV.) Daniel's "little horn" (Da 7:7-27) of the fourth kingdom is the papacy as a temporal power, rising on the ruins of the Roman empire, and plucking up three of its ten horns.

(V.) Distinct from the" little horn" of Daniel 8, which is connected with the third, not the fourth, kingdom; ANTIOCHUS Epiphanes, of the Syrian fourth part of the divided Graeco-Macedonian or third kingdom, who persecuted the Jews, prohibited circumcision, and substituted the worship of Jupiter Olympius, with whom he identified himself as if God, instead of that of Jehovah, in the templeat Jerusalem. But this Old Testament Antichrist has a worse antitype in the New Testament, namely, the Antichrist of the last days. The language of Da 8:8-25 and Da 11:36-39, partially fulfilled by Antiochus, is exhaustively fulfilled only in the last Antichrist.

(VI.) As the beast from the sea has ten horns, comprising both E. and W., and power is given to it for forty-two months (Re 13:1,5), so the little horn (Da 7:3,7) absorbs the power of the ten-horned fourth beast out of the sea (the Roman empire) and wears out the saints for three and a half times (3 1/2 years, i.e. 42 months, or 1260 years, a year for a day). Both have "a mouth speaking great things" (Da 7:8,11-20,25); both blaspheme against the Most High (Re 13:6-7); both make war with the saints, and prevail; both persecute the saints (Re 13:7-10; 17:6), the beast being under the guidance of the harlot "drunken with their blood." The little horn of Daniel 7 therefore is the first beast of Revelation 13. Neither the little horn nor the first beast is Antichrist, who is an individual; it is a polity.

(VII.) The beast from the earth (Re 13:11), or as he soon reveals himself (Re 11:7; 17:8), from the bottomless pit, the false prophet (Re 16:13; 19:20; 20:10), appears only when the harlot is unseated from the first beast. The harlot, the once pure woman (Revelation 12) corrupted, the apostate church, is distinct from the beast which it rides. The church, though corrupted, retains the human form, i.e. God's image, in which man was originally formed. The beast is the world estranged from God and under Satan, and so, however powerful, intellectual, and refined, essentially bestial. The faithful city (Isa 1:21) having become Babylon, the whore (Rome on the seven hills, Re 17:9) is punished in righteous retribution by that world upon which she rode, and for which she abandoned her faithful witness for God (Revelation 17).

Then after her judgment follows Antichrist's development. The "falling away" of 2Th 2:3 answers to the first beast of Revelation 13, also to the departure from the faith, in enforced celibacy, asceticism, doctrines of demons, etc., of 1Ti 4:1-3. In the second Council of Nice, A.D. 787, image worship was sanctioned. In 754 the temporal power of the popes began by Pepin's grant to Pope Stephen III. of the three territories (answering to the three horns plucked up before the little horn, Da 7:8): Rome, the kingdom of the Lombards, and the exarchate of Ravenna; 1260 years from this date would end in 2014. Others date from A.D. 533, Justinian's edict acknowledging Pope John II: head of the church. The wounding to death and then the healing of the beast's deadly wound answers to the revival of idolatry and the setting up of a virtually pagan kingdom again at Rome in the eighth century (Re 13:3).

Again, in the case of the second beast or the false prophet, the wound given at the Reformation is healed, and he appears again as "the beast that was, and is not, yet is," a resurrection man, the embodiment of a resurrection empire, a mock Christ; as the true Christ saith, "I am He that liveth, and was dead, and behold I am alive for evermore" (Re 1:18; 17:8). As Christ is the second Person in the Trinity, so Antichrist is the second in the anti-trinity, composed of the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet (who bears witness to the first beast, as the Holy Spirit witnesseth of the Son).

Antichrist's characteristics (2 Thessalonians 2; 1Jo 2:18-22; 4:3) shall be open opposition to God and religion, a claim to God's exclusive prerogatives, lawlessness, power of lying miracles and of beguiling souls under Satan's energizing, having a lamb's horns, i.e., outwardly resembling Christ or Messiah (Re 13:11); sitting in God's temple as God, apparently restored Israel's persecutor, whence the sacred Hebrew is the language of Daniel 8-12, wherein the little horn from the East is a leading subject, whereas the world's language, Chaldee, is that of Daniel 7 wherein the Romish little horn is described. At first hailed by Israel with hosannahs as her Messiah (Joh 5:43), and making a covenant with the Jews, then breaking it (Daniel 9; 11; 12; Zechariah 11; 12; 13; 14).

Antichrist, as the second beast or false prophet, will be personally an avowed atheist (1Jo 2:22), yet represent himself as the decaying church's vindicator, compel men to reverence her, breathe new life into her by using the secular arm in her behalf (Re 13:12-17), concentrating in himself the infidel lawless spirit working in the world from Paul's days (2Th 2:7). Heretofore infidelity and superstition have been on opposite sides, but when these shall combine against law, liberty, and Christianity, a period mercifully brief shall ensue, unparalleled in horrors by any that has gone before (Da 12:1-3). The two witnesses (Revelation 11) are variously explaine

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Hastings

The great opponent and counterpart of Christ, by whom he is finally to be conquered. The word appears only in the NT (1Jo 2:18-22; 4:3; 2Jo 1:7), but the idea was present in Judaism and developed with the growth of the Messianic hope.

1. The origin of the conception.

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Morish

The name ??????????? signifies an opposer of Christ. It is used only by John in his first and second epistles, though those opposed to Christ are referred to by others under different names. It is important to distinguish between an antichrist and the antichrist. John says, "as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists;" whereas "he is the antichrist that denieth the Father and the Son." 1Jo 2:18,22. He is the consummation of the many antichrists. To deny Jesus Christ come in the flesh is the spirit or power of the antichrist, but it eventuates in a departure from the special revelation of Christianity: 'they went out from us.' 1Jo 2:19; 4:3; 2Jo 1:7. Now this clears the ground at once of much that has obscured the subject. For instance, many have concluded that Popery is the antichrist, and have searched no farther into the question, whereas the above passage refutes this conclusion, for Popery does not deny the Father and the Son; and, in Re 17:1; 18:1, Popery is pointed out as quite distinct from 'the false prophet,' which is another name for the antichrist. It is fully granted that Popery is anti-christian, and a Christ-dishonouring and soul-deceiving system ; but where God has made a distinction we must also do so. Besides Popery there were and there are many antichrists, which, whatever their pretensions, are the enemies of Christ, opposers of the truth, and deceivers of man.

As to the Antichrist, it should be noticed that John makes another distinction between this one and the many. He speaks of the many as being already there, whereas the one was to come; and if we turn to 2Th 2:3-12 we read of something or some one that hinders that wicked or lawless one being revealed, although the mystery of iniquity was already at work. Now there has been no change of dispensation since this epistle was written, and John wrote much later, from which we learn that the revelation of the antichrist is still future, though doubtless the mystery of iniquity is getting ripe for his appearing; that which hindered and still hinders the manifestation of the antichrist is doubtless the presence of the Holy Spirit on earth. He will leave the earth at the rapture of the saints.

This passage in Thessalonians gives us further particulars as to this MAN OF SIN. His coming is after the working of Satan, that is, he will be a confederate of Satan, and be able to work signs and lying wonders with all deceit of unrighteousness in them that perish. Those that have refused the truth will then receive the lie of this wicked one. We get further particulars in Re 13:11-18, where the anti-christian power or kingdom is described as a beast rising out of the earth, having two horns as a lamb, but speaking as a dragon. Here again we read that he will do great wonders, making fire come down from heaven, with other signs or miracles.

In the description in Thessalonians he opposeth himself against all that is called God or that is worshipped, and sits down in the temple of God, and sets forth himself as God. The Jews will receive him as their Messiah, as we read in Joh 5:43. In the above passage in the Revelation this counterfeit of Christ's kingdom is openly idolatrous. He directs the dwellers on the earth to make an image of the beast (named in ver. 1, the future head of the resuscitated Roman empire) to which image he gives breath, that it should speak, and persecutes those who will not worship the image. He also causes all to receive a mark on their hand or their forehead that they may be known to be his followers; and that none else should be able to buy or sell. We thus see that in the Revelation the anti-christian power called also 'the false prophet' will work with the political head, and with Satan

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Smith

An'tichrist.

This term is employed by the apostle John alone, and is defined by him in a manner which leaves no doubt as to its intrinsic meaning. With regard to its application there is less certainty. In the first passage--

1Jo 2:18

--in which it occurs, the apostle makes direct reference to the false Christs whose coming, it had been fore-told, should mark the last days. In v. 22 we find, "he is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son;" and still more positively, "every spir

2Jo 1:7

From these emphatic and repeated definitions it has been supposed that the object of the apostle in his first epistle was to combat the errors of Cerinthus, the Docetae and the Gnostics on the subject of the Incarnation. (They denied the union of the divine and human in Christ.) The coming of Antichrist was (believed to be foretold in the "vile person" of Daniel's prophecy,

Da 11:21

which received its first accomplishment in Antiochus Epiphanes but of which the complete fulfillment was reserved for the last times. He is identified with "the man of sin, the son of perdition."

2Th 2:3

This interpretation brings Antichrist into close connection with the gigantic power of evil, symbolized by the "beast,"

Re 13:1

... who received his power from the dragon (i.e. the devil, the serpent of Genesis), continued for forty and two months, and was invested with the kingdom of the ten kings who destroyed the harlot Babylon,

17/12/type/leb'>Re 17:12,17

the city of seven hills. The destruction of Babylon is to be followed by the rule of Antichrist for a short period,

Re 17:10

to be in his turn overthrown in "the battle of that great day of God Almighty,"

Re 16:14

with the false prophet and all his followers. Rev. 19. The personality of Antichrist is to be inferred as well from the personality of his historical precursor as from that of him to whom he stands opposed. Such an interpretation is to be preferred to that which regards Antichrist as the embodiment and personification of all powers and agencies inimical to Christ, or of the Antichristian might of the world.

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Watsons

ANTICHRIST, compounded of ????, contra, against, and ???????, Christ, in a general sense, denotes an adversary of Christ, or one who denies that the Messiah is come. In this sense, Jews, infidels, &c, may be said to be antichrists. The epithet, in the general sense of it, is also applicable to any power or person acting in direct opposition to Christ or his doctrine. Its particular meaning is to be collected from those passages of Scripture in which it occurs. Accordingly, it may either signify one who assumes the place and office of Christ, or one who maintains a direct enmity and opposition to him. The Fathers all speak of antichrist as a single man; though they also assure us, that he is to have divers precursors, or forerunners. Yet many Protestant writers apply to the Romish church, and the pope who is at the head of it, the several marks and signatures of antichrist enumerated in the Apocalypse, which would imply antichrist to be, not a single person, but a corrupt society, or a long series of persecuting pontiffs, or rather, a certain power and government, that may be held for many generations, by a number of individuals succeeding one another. The antichrist mentioned by the Apostle John, 1Jo 2:18, and more particularly described in the book of Revelation, seems evidently to be the same with the man of sin, &c, characterized by St. Paul in his Second Epistle to the Thessalonians, chap. 2; and the whole description literally applies to the Papal power. A late writer, after collecting the principal prophecies relating to antichrist, infers from them that a power, sometimes represented as the little horn, the man of sin, the antichrist, the beast, the harlot, the star falling from heaven, the false prophet, the dragon, or as the operation of false teachers, was to be expected to arise in the Christian world to persecute and oppress, and delude the disciples of Christ, corrupt the doctrine of the primitive church, enact new laws, and establish its dominion over the minds of mankind. He then proceeds to show, from the application of prophecy to history, and to the remarkable train of events that are now passing in the world, how exactly Popery, Mohammedanism, and Infidelity, correspond with the character given in Scripture of the power of antichrist, which was to prevail a certain time for the especial trial and punishment of the corrupted church of Christ. Upon this system, the different opinions of the Protestants and Papists, concerning the power of antichrist, derived from partial views of the subject, are not wholly incompatible with each other. With respect to the commonly received opinion, that the church of Rome is antichrist, Mede and Newton, Daubuz and Clarke, Lowman and Hurd, Jurieu, Vitringa, and many other members of the Protestant churches who have written upon the subject, concur in maintaining, that the prophecies of Daniel, St. Paul, and St. John, point directly to this church. This was likewise the opinion of the first reformers; and it was the prevalent opinion of Christians, in the earliest ages, that antichrist would appear soon after the fall of the Roman empire. Gregory the Great, in the sixth century, applied the prophecies concerning the beast in the Revelation, the man of sin, and the apostasy from the faith mentioned by St. Paul, to him who should presume to claim the title of universal priest, or universal bishop, in the Christian church; and yet his immediate successor, Boniface III, received from the tyrant Phocas the precise title which Gregory had thus censured. At the synod of Rheims, held in the tenth century, Arnulphus, bishop of Orleans, appealed to the whole council, whether the bishop of Rome was not the antichrist of St. Paul, "sitting in the temple of God," and perfectly corresponding with the description of him given by St. Paul. In the eleventh century, all the characters of antichrist seemed to be so united in the person of Pope Hildebrand, who took the name of Gregory VII, that Johannes Aventinus, a Romish historian, speaks of it as a subject in which the generality of fair, candid, and ingenuous writers agreed, that at that time began the reign of antichrist. And the Albigenses and Waldenses, who may be called the Protestants of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, expressly asserted in their declarations of faith, that the church of Rome was the whore of Babylon. The Papists imagine they view in the prophetical picture of antichrist, imperial Rome, elated by her victories, exulting in her sensuality and her spoils, polluted by idolatry, persecuting the people of God, and finally falling like the first Babylon; whilst a new and holy city, represented by their own communion, filled with the spotless votaries of the Christian faith, rises out of its ruins, and the victory of the cross is completed over the temples of Paganism. This scheme has had its able advocates, at the head of whom may be placed Bossuet, bishop of Meaux, Grotius, and Hammond. Some writers have maintained, that Caligula was antichrist; and others have asserted the same of Nero. But in order to establish the resemblance, they violate the order of time, disregard the opinions of the primitive Christians, and overlook the appropriate descriptions of the Apostles. After the point had been maturely debated at the council of Gap, held in 1603, a resolution was taken thereupon to insert an article in the confession of faith, whereby the Pope is formally declared to be antichrist. Pope Clement VIII was stung with this decision; and even king Henry IV, of France, was not a little mortified, to be thus declared, as he said, an imp of antichrist.

In the book of Daniel it is foretold, that this power should exercise dominion until a time and times, and the dividing of time, Da 7:25. This expression is generally admitted to denote 1260 years. The papal power was completely established in the year 755, when it obtained the exarchate of Ravenna. Some, however, date the rise of antichrist in the year of Christ 606; and Mede places it in 456. If the rise of antichrist be not reckoned till he was possessed of secular authority, his fall will happen when this power shall be taken away. If his rise began, according to Mede in 456, he must have fallen in 1716; if in 606, it must be in 1866; if in 755, in 2015. If, however, we use prophetical years, consisting of three hundred and sixty days, and date the rise of antichrist in the year 755, his fall will happen in the year of Christ 2000. Every thing however in the state of the world betokens a speedy overthrow of the Papal and Mohammedan powers, both of which have indeed been already greatly weakened.

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