[The Classic Christian Network] The Biblical Christian Network: "Anti-Ch…

Posted: March 31, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Prophecy Topical

“Anti-Christ”

(1 of 666)

One

Wikipedia

The term or title antichrist, in Christian theology, is a leader who fulfills Biblical prophecies concerning an adversary of Christ, while resembling him in a deceptive manner. The antichrist will seemingly provide for the needs of the people but deny the ultimate salvation.

The term “antichrist” appears five times in 1 John and 2 John of the New Testament — once in plural form and four times in the singular.[1] The Apostle Paul’s Second Epistle to the Thessalonians, in particular the 2nd chapter, summarizes the nature, work, coming, and revelation of the “Man of Sin” – a passage often regarded as referring to same person as the antichrist of 1 and 2 John.

Etymology

“Antichrist” is the English translation of the original Koine Greek ἀντίχριστος, pronounced än-tē’-khrē-stos. It is made up of two root words, αντί + Χριστός (anti + Christos). “Αντί” can mean not only “against” and “opposite of”, but also “in place of”,[2] “Χριστός”, translated “Christ“, is Greek for the Hebrew “Messiah” meaning “anointed,” and refers to Jesus of Nazareth[3]within Christian theology.

[edit]New Testament

The words antichrist and antichrists appear four times in the First and Second Epistle of John.[4][5][6][7] The word is not capitalized in most English translations of the Bible, including the original King James Version. 1 John chapter 2 refers to many antichrists present at the time while warning of one Antichrist that is coming.[8] The “many antichrists” belong to the same spirit as that of the one Antichrist.[6][8] John wrote that such antichrists deny “that Jesus is the Christ”, “the Father and the Son”, and would “not confess Jesus came in the flesh.”: a probable reference to the Gnostic claim that Jesus was not human, but only a spirit.

Terms

Some commentators, both ancient and modern, identify the Man of Sin in 2 Thessalonians chapter 2 as the Antichrist, even though they vary greatly in who they view the Antichrist to be.[9] They argue that Paul uses the term “Man of Sin” (sometimes translated son of perdition or man of lawlessness) to describe what John identifies as the Antichrist.[10]

Paul writes that this Man of Sin will possess a number of characteristics. These include “sitting in the temple”, opposing himself against anything that is worshiped, claiming divine authority,[11] working all kinds of counterfeit miracles and signs,[12] and doing all kinds of evil.[13] Paul notes that “the mystery of lawlessness”[14] (though not the Man of Sin himself) was working in secret already during his day and will continue to function until being destroyed on the Last Day.[15] His identity is to be revealed after that which is restraining him is removed.[16][15]

The term is also sometimes applied to prophecies regarding a “Little horn” power in Daniel 7.[17] Daniel 9:27 mentions an “abomination that causes desolations” setting itself up in a “wing” or a “pinnacle” of the temple.[18] Some scholars interpret this as referring to the Antichrist.[19] Some commentators also view the verses prior to this as referring to the Antichrist.[20] Jesus references the abomination from Daniel 9:27, 11:31,[21] and 12:11[22] in Matthew 24:15[23] and Mark 13:14[24] when he warns about the destruction of Jerusalem. Daniel 11:36-37[25] speaks of a self exalting king, considered by some to be the Antichrist.[26]

[edit]Other entities

Bernard McGinn described multiple traditions detailing the relationship between the Antichrist and Satan. In the dualist approach, Satan will become incarnate in the Antichrist, just as God became incarnate in Jesus. However, in orthodox Christian thought, this view was problematic because it was too similar to Christ’s incarnation. Instead, the “indwelling” view became more accepted. It stipulates that the Antichrist is a human figure inhabited by Satan, since the latter’s power is not to be seen as equivalent to God’s.[27]

Several American evangelical and fundamentalist theologians, including Cyrus Scofield, have identified the Antichrist as being in league with (or the same as) several figures in the Book of Revelation including the Dragon, the Beast, the False Prophet, and the Whore of Babylon.[28] Others, for example, Rob Bell, reject the identification of the Antichrist with any one person or group. They believe a loving Christ would not view anyone as an enemy.[29] Technically seen the antichrist is John’s prophecy of an other religion that would spring up out of the old one, exactly and explicitly negating what Christ in the perception of christians is. As John said: He who does not believe Christ came into the flesh as Son of God, is the antichrist.

[edit]Jewish antecedents

Anti-messiahs are referred to in some Jewish writings in the period 500 BC–50 AD, and this is thought to be the precursor of the concept of the Antichrist in Christian writing. Bernard McGinn conjectures that the concept may have been generated by the frustration of Jews subject to often-capricious Seleucid or Roman rule, who found the idea of Satan insufficiently humanised and personalised to be a satisfactory incarnation of evil and threat.[27]

Armilus is an anti-messiah figure from late period Jewish eschatology. He is described as bald, partially maimed, and partially deaf.[30]

[edit]Protestant reformers

Many Protestant reformers, including Martin LutherJohn CalvinThomas CranmerJohn Knox, and Cotton Mather, identified the Roman Papacy as the Antichrist.[31] The Centuriators ofMagdeburg, a group of Lutheran scholars in Magdeburg headed by Matthias Flacius, wrote the 12-volume “Magdeburg Centuries” to discredit the papacy and identify the pope as the Antichrist. The fifth round of talks in the Lutheran-Roman Catholic dialogue notes,

In calling the pope the “antichrist,” the early Lutherans stood in a tradition that reached back into the eleventh century. Not only dissidents and heretics but even saints had called the bishop of Rome the “antichrist” when they wished to castigate his abuse of power.[32]

William Tyndale, an English Protestant reformer, held that while the Roman Catholic realms of that age were the empire of Antichrist, any religious organization that distorted the doctrine of the Old and New Testaments also showed the work of Antichrist. In his treatise The Parable of the Wicked Mammon, he expressly rejected the established Church teaching that looked to the future for an Antichrist to rise up, and he taught that Antichrist is a present spiritual force that will be with us until the end of the age under different religious disguises from time to time.[33] Tyndale’s translation of 2 Thessalonians, chapter 2, concerning the “man of sin” reflected his understanding, but was significantly amended by later revisers, including the

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