Here’s What We Know About the Antichrist

By: Lauren Fokas | Last updated: Oct 26, 2023

The idea of the Antichrist has been around for millennia, but very few understand exactly how this conception came to be and what it means.

The Antichrist is essentially the idea that there will be someone who many believe to be the second messiah or another of God’s prophets, but in fact, they will be leading humankind astray.

How the Bible Explains the Antichrist

It’s important to understand that the Antichrist only appears in the Bible four times; each of those times is in the Gospel of John.


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However, John doesn’t speak about just one Antichrist, but several of them who he explains are simply people who don’t believe in Jesus.

John’s Explanation of the “Antichrist”

John 4:3 states, “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.”


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But unfortunately, this text has been wildly expanded upon and convoluted over the years, and now, the idea of the Antichrist is nothing like John said it was.

The Antichrist as it Is Known Today Only Became “Real” in the First Century

What’s especially interesting about the concept of the Antichrist is that it was only really developed in 950 CE.


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At that time, the Queen Gerberga of France apparently asked the monk Adso of Montier-en-Der to explain what John meant by the “Antichrist,” and what he came up with was quite interesting.

The New Details of the Antichrist

Adso of Montier-en-Der then wrote that the Antichrist would be a Jew who was born in Babylon that would arrive at the end of the Holy Roman Empire. He also said that the Antichrist would look like the second coming of Jesus Christ, and that Jesus would come to Earth three and a half years later and reveal the truth.


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And though none of these details were actually found in the Bible, the monk’s words somehow became true for Christians at the time.

Joachim of Fiore Weighs in on the Antichrist

Then, about 200 years after Adso of Montier-en-Der described his version of the Antichrist, theologist from Italy Joachim of Fiore decided to weigh in on the subject.

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In the 1100s CE, he said that there were several Antichrists, some of whom had already lived, but that there was one ultimate Antichrist named Gog who would arrive during the apocalypse.


Martin Luther Finalized the Idea of the One Antichrist

A short 400 years later in 1517, Martin Luther famously wrote the “95 Thesis” and established Protestantism.

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Within his writings, Luther stated clearly that the true and real Antichrist was the Catholic Pope as he was essentially trying to take the place of Jesus as head of the church.


Since Luther’s Claim, Many Believe the Pope is the Antichrist

In the 500 years since Luther warned the world against the papacy, many Protestants and Christians around the world have argued that each and every Pope were all Antichrists.

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However, when German philosopher Friedrich Nietzche published his book “The Antichrist” around 1900, the idea changed once again and by the end of the 1900s, most people believed that the one true Antichrist still hadn’t arrived on earth.


Christianity Isn’t the Only Religion Worried About an Antichrist

Interestingly, because Christ is a prophet in the religion of Islam, Muslims also believe in an Antichrist.

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His name is Al-Masih ad-Dajjal, or Dajjal for short, and he is “a plump, one-eyed man with a ruddy face and curling hair” who essentially could arrive at any time.


The Idea of the Antichrist Has Led to Widespread Anti-Semitism

Sadly, because the Antichrist is apparently an evil version of Jesus, many people assume that the person who fulfills this prophecy will be Jewish.

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That belief has unfortunately led to widespread anti-Semitism, and strangely, even homophobia.


The Strange Belief that the Antichrist Will Be Gay

One Christian broadcaster, Rick Wiles, has made quite a name for himself by claiming that the Antichrist will be a “Man of Perdition.”

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Wiles quotes the books of Daniel in the Bible that says one evil king of Babylon, “will show no regard for the gods of his fathers or for the desire of women.” He explains that this means the Antichrist will absolutely be a “homosexual Jew.”


Antichrist Confusion

Essentially, while some people believe that political leaders, the Pope, or even their Jewish neighbors could be the one true “Antichrist,” very few people actually understand where this concept came from.

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So it’s important to understand that each and every different idea of the Antichrist has been created by error-prone human beings, not by God himself.