Updated: Jan 2
By Luke Lancaster
The Anti-Christ is the man who appears in the Scriptures as somebody who is “anti” or “against” Christ. He is tied in with the tribulational period near the end of time, and is probably the same man who Revelation 11,13, and 17 call, “the beast,” who has ten horns and seven heads (Rev. 13:1). St. Paul calls him the “man of lawlessness” or “son of perdition” (2 Thess. 2:3). He is somebody who proclaims “himself to be God” (2 Thess. 2:4). He will be under the influence of Satan and do wonders on the earth (2 Thess. 2:9). After he ravages the earth, Jesus will come and slay him in the end of the world (2 Thess. 2:8). 1 John speaks of how he and those receiving his letter are living in the “last hour” (2:18) and how the antichrist is the “liar…[the man who] denies the Father and the Son” (2:22). In fact, John says that “many antichrists have come” (2:18), meaning that many people have claimed that God is not God and that Jesus is not the Messiah.
Jesus himself says that “many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray” (Mt. 24:5). Many people have come to believe that the Roman Emperor Nero was the man of lawlessness, the antichrist, the beast, which are the codenames Christians used for him so they didn’t get killed! Nero was literally a man of lawlessness, killing his own family members. He was against Christ (anti-Christ) by murdering Christians, lighting them on fire, and commanding worship to himself. He was actually nicknamed popularly “the beast” according to Apollonius due to his atrocious actions.
According to the Roman historian, Suetonius, the emperor Nero clothed himself in animal skin and attacked the private parts of men and women who were restrained to a stake as a game. He really was a beast. The name of the beast is 666, which is what “Nero Caesar” totals to in Hebrew. Some Scriptural manuscripts of the book of revelation say the number is 616, which makes sense cause that’s what “Nero Caesar” totals to numerically in Greek. It was a deliberate decision to write 616 so that people knew exactly who they were referring too.
Nevertheless, many people have held the “honor” of being called the Antichrist throughout Christian history. For example, Paul Thigpen lists a few in his book, “The Rapture Trap”: King George III of England during the Revolutionary War, the German Kaiser in the First World War, Saddam Hessein in the Gulf War, the Muslim Sultan, the Emperor Frederick, the Pope, Napoleon Bonaparte, Bismark, Adolf Hitler, Mussolini, Josef Stalin, Gorbachev, Yeltsin, and even former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger (p. 194).