The "Battle of Armageddon", the number "666" and the "Antichrist" send a chill up the spine by the very mention of the words. For many, these words conjure up a dramatic image of some end of the world holocaust. With images that include fire, mass destruction, and the Devil himself taking political control of the world through the United Nations etc. etc.
Speculations about who the "antichrist" is have included about every US president and any "evil" world leader. I remember a speculation that the "antichrist" would be a demon possessed super-human that was a genetically engineered clone. Recent favorites include Sadam Hussin of the Gulf war. I personally know of several individuals who believed the Gulf war was the beginning of the end of the world. In fact, many were absolutely terrified by the Gulf war, fearing what the outcome would be. TV evangelists love to talk about the "antichrist", but in the end it is all nothing more than idle speculation designed more to keep a TV audience sending in their donations.
Now don't get me wrong. The word "antichrist" is found in the Bible. But that is were the Bible parts ways with modern speculationists. The rhetoric regarding the "antichrist" is so loud, that the average person has been misled to believe that the book of Revelation talks about nothing else but the "antichrist". In fact, the word "antichrist" is not found even once in the book of Revelation. That in itself should send warning bells off. In fact, the word "antichrist" is only found in 4 passages. All were penned by Apostle John within the books of first and second John.
So exactly what does the Bible have to say about the "antichrist"? Here is an exhaustive study on the word. I, personally, have such a high regard for the Bible, that by reading the scriptures for yourself without my comment is all you need to have a clear understanding of the "antichrist".
THE 4 BIBLE PASSAGES:
1 John 2:18-19 "Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have arisen; from this we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, in order that it might be shown that they all are not of us."
1 John 2:22-23 "Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also."
1 John 4:2-3 "By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; and this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world."
2 John 1:7 "For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist."
From the Bible we can clearly see 3 things. First, the "antichrist" is defined as anyone who doesn't believe Jesus is the divine son of God. Second, "antichrists" appear to actively teach against Christ. Third, there were many "antichrists" in the world when John wrote the book. This directly contradicts the teaching of modern speculationists who say that one antichrist will arise at some still future time.
The Greek word from which our English word "antichrist" is translated is very simple to understand. It is a simple compound word and means "anti" + "Christ" = "antichrist". We use the same compound word every day. We have people who are "anti-smoking" or "anti-gay" or "anti-hunting" or "anti-Semitic" or "anti-abortion". There really is no big mystery as to what the word means. "Anti-Christ" is anyone who opposes Christ.
Take this test to see if you are an "antichrist": 1. Do you actively teach or simply believe that Jesus Christ never walked the earth, but was a mythological figure? 2. Do you actively teach or simply believe there was a man named Jesus Christ, but he did not actually raise from the dead? 3. Do you actively speak out against or simply believe Christianity is a false religion? 4. Jesus said, "He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters" Matthew 12:30. Are you an atheist or agnostic who is indifferent and non-religious? Then you too are an "antichrist"! The Bible term "antichrist" could be simply understood to be equivalent to being a "non-believer."
The "antichrist" then, has no horns or red glowing eyes. Neither is the "antichrist" some demon possessed super-intelligent human clone. Rather, the "antichrist" is that sweet elderly lady named "Mrs. Jones" living next door who openly teaches the neighborhood kids that Jesus just was a myth.