Antichrist [Greek: αντίχριστός antikhristos] is a term used to designate an essence or spirit of evil in the New Testament scriptures 1 John and 2 John. Though some of the figures in the Book of Revelation, especially those identified as "the beast", have often become referred to as "antichrists" or "the antichrist" the term does not actually occur in that work. The word has also often been used to refer to various persons said to represent extreme or supreme evil, and historically has been employed in sectarian disputes between Christians, as well as against leaders of those who embrace other forms of faith. Jesus, in the gospels of Mark and Matthew uses the word "pseudochrist" (pseudokhristos, "false-messiah") in warning against those who would lead even well-intentioned and virtuous people astray into paths of evil. In Islamic traditions such a figure of evil deception is referred to as Masih ad-Dajjal, and later Judaic traditions refer to such a false messiah as Armilus.
- To articulate the past historically does not mean to recognize it ‘the way it really was’ (Ranke). It means to seize hold of a memory as it flashes up at a moment of danger. Historical materialism wishes to retain that image of the past which unexpectedly appears to man singled out by history at a moment of danger. The danger affects both the content of the tradition and its receivers. The same threat hangs over both: that of becoming a tool of the ruling classes. In every era the attempt must be made anew to wrest tradition away from a conformism that is about to overpower it. The Messiah comes not only as the redeemer, he comes as the subduer of Antichrist. Only that historian will have the gift of fanning the spark of hope in the past who is firmly convinced that even the dead will not be safe from the enemy if he wins. And this enemy has not ceased to be victorious.
- Walter Benjamin, in Theses on the Philosophy of History (1940), § VI, as translated by Harry Zohn, published in Illuminations (1973) edited by Hannah Arendt
- To articulate what is past does not mean to recognize “how it really was.” It means to take control of a memory, as it flashes in a moment of danger. For historical materialism it is a question of holding fast to a picture of the past, just as if it had unexpectedly thrust itself, in a moment of danger, on the historical subject. The danger threatens the stock of tradition as much as its recipients. For both it is one and the same: handing itself over as the tool of the ruling classes. In every epoch, the attempt must be made to deliver tradition anew from the conformism which is on the point of overwhelming it. For the Messiah arrives not merely as the Redeemer; he also arrives as the vanquisher of the Anti-christ. The only writer of history with the gift of setting alight the sparks of hope in the past, is the one who is convinced of this: that not even the dead will be safe from the enemy, if he is victorious. And this enemy has not ceased to be victorious.
- As translated by Dennis Redmond (2001)
- The vision of Christ that thou dost see
Is my vision's greatest enemy.
Thine has a great hook nose like thine;
Mine has a snub nose like to mine.
Thine is the Friend of all Mankind;
Mine speaks in parables to the blind.
Thine loves the same world that mine hates;
Thy heaven doors are my hell gates.
- William Blake, in The Everlasting Gospel (c. 1818)
- If He had been Antichrist, Creeping Jesus,
He’d have done anything to please us;
Gone sneaking into synagogues,
And not us’d the Elders and Priests like dogs;
But humble as a lamb or ass
Obey’d Himself to Caiaphas.
- William Blake, in The Everlasting Gospel (c. 1818)
- Antichrist is the adversary of Christ; an adversary really, a friend pretendedly: So then, Antichrist is one that is against Christ; one that is for Christ, and one that is contrary to him: (And this is that mystery of iniquity (2 Thess 2:7). Against him in deed; for him in word, and contrary to him in practice. Antichrist is so proud as to go before Christ; so humble as to pretend to come after him, and so audacious as to say that himself is he. Antichrist will cry up Christ; Antichrist will cry down Christ: Antichrist will proclaim that himself is one above Christ. Antichrist is the man of sin, the son of perdition; a beast, hath two horns like a lamb, but speaks as a dragon (Rev 13:11).
Christ is the Son of God; Antichrist is the son of Hell.
Christ is holy, meek, and forbearing: Antichrist is wicked, outrageous, and exacting.
Christ seeketh the good of the soul: Antichrist seeks his own avarice and revenge.
Christ is content to rule by his word: Antichrist saith, The word is not sufficient.
Christ preferreth his Father's will above heaven and earth: Antichrist preferreth himself and his traditions above all that is written, or that is called God, or worshiped.
Christ has given us such laws and rules as are helpful and healthful to the soul: Antichrist seeketh to abuse those rules to our hurt and destruction.
- Some persons think us too severe and censorious when we call the Roman pontiff Antichrist. But those who are of this opinion do not consider that they bring the same charge of presumption against Paul himself, after whom we speak and whose language we adopt... I shall briefly show that (Paul's words in II Thess. 2) are not capable of any other interpretation than that which applies them to the Papacy."
- Institutes by John Calvin
- [W]e must know and be out of all doubt, that the Pope hath but a devilish Synagogue, and that all his Clergy is but filth & stench, all these varlets that have cast aside the Church of God, are but vermin. Although the Pope, who is Antichrist, be set in God’s sanctuary, (as we have seen before [2 Thes. 2.4]) yet notwithstanding, he is not worthy to be taken and accounted for a minister of the Church, nor all his mates.
- There is a tremendous misunderstanding about the anti-Christ, certainly among Christian groups... The anti-Christ is not a man, as Christians believe, who will come out before the Christ, and could even be mistaken for the Christ. The idea comes from the Revelation of St. John: the beast, 666, is unchained for a time, and then chained down for a time and half a time. This refers to the release of the energy we call the anti-Christ. It is not a man but an energy, a destructive force which is deliberately released to break down the old order, the old civilization. It was released in John's own day, through the Emperor Nero, to bring about the end of the Roman dispensation, to prepare the way for Christendom. It was released again in our time through Hitler, a group of equally evil men around him in Nazi Germany, together with a group of militarists in Japan and a further group around Mussolini in Italy. These three groups, the Axis powers in the war from 1939 to 1945, embodied the energy we call the anti-Christ. That destructive force was released to prepare the way for the return of the Christ to the world now...
- There is not an individual who is the devil. You could say the opposite of good is the devil, and that is in every one of us. It is just the selfish, greedy personality expression of individuals.
- Then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened. Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. 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. Behold, I have told you before.
- Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.
- Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also. Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father. And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.
- 1 John 2:22 - 25 (KJV)
- Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
- 1 John 4:1-4 (KJV)
- I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father. And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it. 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. Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.
- Our blight is ideologies — they are the long-expected Antichrist!
- Carl Jung The Tibetan Book of the Great Liberation (1954)
- That tyranny which the pope himself has for so many ages exercised over the church.
- The very antichrist, and son of perdition, of whom Paul speaks.
- John Knox The Zurich Letters, pg. 199
- We here are of the conviction that the papacy is the seat of the true and real Antichrist...personally I declare that I owe the Pope no other obedience than that to Antichrist.
- Martin Luther (Aug. 18, 1520) The Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers, Vol. 2., pg. 121 by Froom
- I despise and attack it, as impious, false... It is Christ Himself who is condemned therein... I rejoice in having to bear such ills for the best of causes. Already I feel greater liberty in my heart; for at last I know that the pope is antichrist, and that his throne is that of Satan himself.
- Martin Luther D'Aubigné, b.6, ch. 9.
- I am entirely of the opinion that the papacy is the Antichrist. But if anyone wants to add the Turk, then the Pope is the spirit of the Antichrist, and the Turk is the flesh of the Antichrist. They help each other in their murderous work. The latter slaughters bodily and by the sword, the former spiritually and by doctrine.
- Martin Luther Table Talk (1569) 330.
- The oracles of God foretold the rising of an Antichrist in the Christian Church: and in the Pope of Rome, all the characteristics of that Antichrist are so marvelously answered that if any who read the Scriptures do not see it, there is a marvelous blindness upon them.
- Cotton Mather The Fall of Babylon in The Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers by Froom, Vol. 3, pg. 113
- The medieval ecclesiastics, either through ignorance or bigotry, painted Muhammadanism in the darkest colours. They were in fact trained both to hate the man Muhammad and his religion. To them Muhammad was Anti-Christ. I have studied him — the wonderful man, and in my opinion far from being an Anti-Christ he must be called the Saviour of Humanity. I believe that if a man like him were to assume the dictatorship of the modern world he would succeed in solving its problems in a way that would bring it the much-needed peace and happiness.
- George Bernard Shaw, as quoted in The Genuine Islam, Singapore, Vol. 1, No. 8, 1936
- He is in an emphatical sense, the Man of Sin, as he increases all manner of sin above measure. And he is, too, properly styled the Son of Perdition, as he has caused the death of numberless multitudes, both of his opposers and followers... He it is...that exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped...claiming the highest power, and highest honour...claiming the prerogatives which belong to God alone."
- John Wesley Antichrist and His Ten Kingdoms, pg. 110.
- Encyclopædia Britannica: Antichrist—full article
- Catholic Encyclopedia: Antichrist
- Acacia John Bunyan Online Library: Of Antichrist and His Ruin
- Irenaeus, Trans. by Alexander Roberts and William Rambaut. Against Heresies: Book V: Chapter 25. Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 1.. Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight.
- Jewish Encyclopedia: Antichrist
- Lutheran Scholarly Works on the Antichrist
- OrthodoxWiki: Antichrist