|José Luis de Jesús Miranda|
Many people, even nonbelievers are familiar with the term antichrist. But various people may have different ideas of what that means. According to Matthew Henry, an English Puritan pastor who lived in the late seventeenth century and wrote a commentary on the Bible that is still popular today: “It is a mysterious portion of providence that antichrists should be permitted; but, when they have come, it is good and safe that the disciples should be informed of them; ministers should be watchmen to the house of Israel.” So what does the word of God say? How does the Bible define an antichrist, and is there only one? Let’s see.
Basic Characteristics of Antichrist
The most obvious place to begin is with the epistles of the apostle John, who spoke about antichrists.
Many antichrists had already appeared during the first century, yet the antichrist is coming: "Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour." (1Jo 2:18)
The antichrist is a liar who denies that Jesus is the Christ: "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." (1Jo 2:22)
Every spirit that does not confess Jesus is the spirit of the antichrist: "And every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world." (1Jo 4:3)
Those who do not acknowledge that Jesus Christ came in the flesh are antichrists: "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." (2Jo 1:7)
So from John’s epistles, we learn the following:
· Many antichrists have already appeared, yet the antichrist is coming
· The antichrist is a liar who denies that Jesus is the Christ
· Every spirit that does not confess Jesus is the spirit of the antichrist
· Those who do not acknowledge that Jesus Christ came in the flesh are antichrists
Composite Sketch of Antichrist
For further definition of the characteristics of an antichrist, you can read Daniel and Revelation, as well as Paul’s second epistle to the Thessalonians. In those passages, we find the following composite description of the final antichrist that John referred to, who will be a global ruler:
· He opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship,
· He will exalt and magnify himself above every god
· He will oppose the Prince of Princes, Jesus Christ.
· He takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.
· He will be a boastful narcissist who behaves with overweening pride and will claim equality with Jesus Christ, the Commander of the host
· He will speak monstrous things against the God of gods
· He will be insultingly contemptuous in his speech and conduct
· His coming will happen according to satanic activity
· He will perform false signs and wonders
· He will have no regard for truth, and will fling it to the ground as worthless rubbish. This means he will say whatever he wants in order to benefit himself in any given situation and he will easily deceive people. Deceit will succeed under his leadership, so people in mass will fall for his lies.
· He will deceive the masses
· He will wield power over people through deception
· He will use smooth words, eloquence, and flattery
· He will speak like a dragon
· He will exercise global authority
· He will have anyone who refuses to worship the image executed.
· Demonic power will be given to him from Satan
· Since he operates in the presence of the first beast, we know he will rule for 3.5 yrs concurrently with the first beast, which represents the final worldly empire/kingdom and its ruler.
· He will turn people to godlessness
· He will encourage people to act wickedly toward God’s covenant people
· He will use his power to destroy mighty men and God’s holy people
· He will do as he pleases
· He will do whatever he wants and get away with it.
· He will prosper in his endeavors.
· He will prosper until the indignation (wrath of God) is finished
· His beginnings will be insignificant
· He will grow to be exceedingly great in power
· While his power will be mighty, it will not be his own power, but from another source than himself
· He will be overbearing
· He will exert influence over Israel/Palestine (the Beautiful Land)
· He will exert influence in the East and have ambitions there.
· He may even have influence among the Saudi’s and Egypt
· He will eventually commit a transgression concerning the temple sacrifices. This will occur on a regular basis, causing horror and causing the holy place to be trampled.
· These things will occur throughout this period: A change will be made to the regular sacrifice, a transgression that causes horror will occur, so as to allow both the holy place (the sanctuary) and the host (God’s people) to be trampled.
· The transgression that causes horror is when he will take his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.
· In the end, he will be taken down, but not by a human being.
So the Lord ensured that those who read His Word would have an excellent description of the final antichrist ruler, so God’s people could easily identify him, and so that His people would not be deceived. We know what his character is like and when he is revealed publicly, it will be clear to us. However, since we know there are many antichrists, one does not need to exhibit all of these characteristics found in Scripture in order to be an antichrist.
As for the rise of the final antichrist dictator, it is my opinion that he will be recognized by the elect, and then the rapture will occur soon afterward, according to 2 Thessalonians 2. In fact, I believe the Lord has clearly revealed him to the Church (Please see my article on The Antichrist). I believe in a pre-Tribulation rapture, as I have explained in my articles, The Timing of the Rapture and Sequence of Signs Preceding the Coming of Christ.
Other Ways to Identify an Antichrist
John in his epistles gave some examples of antichrist traits, but he did not say those are the only ways one can be an antichrist. There are other ways we can identify an antichrist as well.
Our Lord spoke of these many antichrists that mislead many when he said, "For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will mislead many.” (Mat 24:5). He also said, "For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.” (Mat 24:24). Anyone who calls evil good and good evil or who calls darkness light and light darkness is antichrist. It doesn’t matter if these people perform great signs and wonders or have amazing visions and revelations. As we saw in the expanded list of antichrist characteristics above, demonic power can be given to them from satan to perform false signs and wonders, so don’t be deceived. Such antichrists deceive the masses, wield power over people through deception, and thus they speak like a dragon. They use smooth words, eloquence, and flattery. They have no regard for truth, and fling it to the ground as worthless rubbish.
As we saw in that expanded list of characteristics I developed, an antichrist is also anyone who turns people to godlessness. This may even be a Christian, who tells their brother or sister “It is not a sin,” when it is a sin. As long as the Christian also says “It is not a sin” when it is sin, they make themselves defenders of the devil. And the devil will make sure he finds a way to prove it is not sin. Matthew Henry in his commentary on the temptation of Christ says, “For those are our worst enemies, that entice us to sin, and are satan's agents, are doing his work, and carrying on his designs.”
For example, the Lord told brother Olugbenga Oladejo with respect to His Warning for Married Christian Couples that any pastor who says masturbation is not a sin is a false prophet and an antichrist, and is not working for the Lord. I believe the same applies to any pastor who claims that homosexuality is not a sin, such as pope Francis. He is a false prophet and an antichrist (see Pope Frances Supports Homosexuality).
As it is written in the epistle of James: "You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God." (Jas 4:4). Any minister who becomes a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
It’s also written in the prophet Isaiah: “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” (Isa 5:20)
And the apostle Peter warned us of false teachers when he wrote: "But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep...They count it a pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are stains and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions, as they carouse with you, having eyes full of adultery that never cease from sin, enticing unstable souls, having a heart trained in greed, accursed children; forsaking the right way, they have gone astray, having followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;" (2Pe 2:1-3,13b-15)
And in his epistle, Jude wrote: "Woe to them! For they have gone the way of Cain, and for pay they have rushed headlong into the error of Balaam, and perished in the rebellion of Korah. These are the men who are hidden reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you without fear, caring for themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn trees without fruit, doubly dead, uprooted; wild waves of the sea, casting up their own shame like foam; wandering stars, for whom the black darkness has been reserved forever." (Jud 1:11-13)
The International Conference of the Kingdom of Darkness
As I wrote in my article about James Agboola's Revelation of Heaven and Hell, the Lord revealed to him some things about the kingdom of darkness.
James was shown that the devil actually holds conferences with his demons, as well as false prophets, who are so called “pastors” that are getting powers from the kingdom of darkness. He also has different departments in his kingdom, including the musical department that he has sent to go to the world. The devil is furious. He is seriously angry and annoyed, because he knows that his time is so short. He has no time, so he is putting great pressure on his demons to capture souls to hell. They have no time to rest. He has ordered his demons to step up their efforts. He has ordered them to follow the Christians bumper to bumper. He has determined to increase their power.
As a result, the demons are possessing the Church, taking over the youth activities, giving them new systems, new fashions, and making them to go out of the way of God. They have possessed the gospel musicians of the earth, so that their music is no longer having meaning in the spiritual realms. They have possessed their gospel music so that it becomes worldly music. The people now think they are singing gospel music, but it is worldly. The demons are giving them some tunes, some pieces, some dancing steps which are not of God, which are of the demons. These will be sung inside the congregations. At the end of the day this music is taking them out of the will of God.
The devil has charged the so-called pastors. He gave them power to work wonders and miracles. He gave them various power in various ways with conditions. They can preach anything they like in their church. They can do any program they like in their church, but they must not talk about salvation. They must not talk about heaven. They must not say anything about the rapture. They can do altar calls, call people forward, pray for them, bless them, and let them go. But they cannot go into details about the Kingdom of God or the salvation of their souls.
There is actually something known as the drum of covenants with fire under it. It keeps burning twenty-four hours. Devils are constantly bringing blood from the four corners of the earth into that drum that is on the fire. Whatsoever blood enters into that drum is from the blood of covenants. And from that drum the demons fetch blood and give to manufacturers, those who manufacturer jewelry, perfumes, and other worldly things that people put on their bodies. The oil they are spraying on their body -- the oil they are spraying as perfumes -- it’s taking away the glory of God in them. And the spirit of lust begins to dominate them. They will not have time for God again. They won’t have time to read the Bible.
The demons have possessed all these material things that people love – all these worldly things. Therefore, it has come to the time in this world that even if you buy ordinary Vaseline, you need to sanctify it. You don’t know what, where, or who manufactured it. Maybe it’s a demon. Sanctify everything you get from the marketplace.
The devil does not believe that there is anybody he cannot catch. He still believes that there is nobody he will not get. He is providing interesting and very good programs on the TV twenty-four hours, so that these will occupy people’s time, and so that they’ll have no time to read the Bible, they’ll have no time to go to church activities.
The devil knows that when God destroyed the earth with a flood, it pained Him to his heart, because He had destroyed His own handiwork. Therefore, the devil intends to pack at least, not less than ninety-five percent of God’s people to hell, with the end goal of causing pain in God’s heart. If he cannot get all, if he can succeed to pack ninety-five percent of God’s creation to hell, that it is still going to pain God in His heart, that God will weep. And his happiness is to see tears in the face of God. If the demons even think there is the slightest chance they might lose someone, they have orders to cut them off and kill them, rather than wait until they get beyond the gate.
So Christians, we must be careful. We must watch the type of church we go to, the type of pastor or minister of God we follow. Ones they are not preaching the true Word of God, once any pastor is not preaching repentance, is not preaching the kingdom of God, is not preaching salvation, the salvation of your soul, you must watch. Christians, we have to be extra careful. We have to mind what we wear, what we use. Whatever we buy in the market at this time, we pray over it even if it is clothes, we sanctify it and we cover it in the Blood of Jesus. And the protections of God will continue to be upon us in Jesus’ Name. (please see the full testimony in his own words at James Agboola's Revelation of Heaven and Hell).
Actual Example of an Antichrist
There have been and still are too many antichrists to possibly list them all here. But one example is José Luis de Jesús Miranda (April 22, 1946 - August 8, 2013), pictured above. According to Wikipedia, Miranda "was the leader of the Creciendo en Gracia [Growing in Grace] sect, based in Miami, Florida. He claimed to be both the returned phase of Jesus Christ and the Antichrist...He claimed to have two million followers in 30 countries by 2008."
Miranda gained international notoriety by declaring himself to be Jesus Christ in 2004, then later claiming to be the Antichrist, after which he tattooed his arm with the symbol ''666'' (see his interviews with CNN and CBS). During a packed worship service at the church, Miranda removed his coat and revealed the tattoo on his forearm. He taught that there was no such thing as sin, that prayer is a waste of time, and the elect are free to do whatever they want, because there is no condemnation. He taught that there is no hell and no more devil, because the devil has been destroyed. He lived a very sinful life, spent money extravagantly and used church funds to maintain his lifestyle, paying personal expenses with donations to his tax-exempt church. His slogan was "Salvo siempre salvo," or "Saved always saved," which he abbreviated by the letters "SSS" (i.e., "once saved always saved," or "eternal security").
The Wikipedia article goes on to say, "Followers showed their support by getting '666' tattoos on their bodies. One of Miranda's followers in Havana, Cuba tattooed the symbol on her three year old son. A YouTube video of the mother holding the child as he was tattooed was widely circulated in January 2013. '666', [Miranda] said, is not a sign of the Devil (he preaches that the Devil was destroyed) but instead is the number of the Antichrist and that the number is 'a number of wisdom and it displays who is really following the truthful words of Jesus Christ.'" In the photo above from Wikipedia that I've used in this article, Miranda is shown with the number 666 on his vest, which he falsely taught is not necessarily an evil symbol, but rather a Christian one (see The Mark of the Beast - 666). He ultimately died of cirrhosis of the liver on August 8, 2013.
In summary, he was the leader of "Growing in Grace," where grace was assumed as a license to sin. He taught, "once saved always saved" and led many souls to hell. Now that he has died, he has surely discovered for himself that the fiery torment of hell he once denied is indeed real.
Let them Alone
If you have come to realize that the spiritual leaders you are following are actually antichrists, then you should stop following them. As Jesus said of the Pharisees, "Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit." (Mat 15:14). The Greek for for "let them alone" is "aphiēmi," meaning "forsake, lay aside, leave, let alone, let be, let go, put away." The Lord instructed his disciples to leave the Pharisees alone, since they were blind guides.
The application of this for us today is clear. If your spiritual leaders are antichrists, then they are blind guides of the blind. In the end, they will fall into the pit of hell, and so will all who follow them. Therefore you need to let them alone, forsake them, leave them, escape from them, and put them away.
Putting it All Together
In conclusion, the three examples of antichrist characteristics that John gave in his epistles were: 1) The one who denies that Jesus is the Christ, who actually denies both the Father and the Son. 2) The one who does not confess Jesus, and 3) Those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh.
And in addition to the three examples that the apostle John gave, we know that any there are many other ways in Scripture to identify an antichrist. One of them is any pastor who says masturbation is not a sin. Do not listen to those pastors. Like José Luis de Jesús Miranda, they are false prophets and antichrists, and there presence is a sign of the times. By this we know it is the last hour.
Beware of any pastor who is not preaching the true Word of God, who is not preaching repentance, who is not preaching the kingdom of God, is not preaching salvation, who does not talk about heaven or the rapture. Be careful, brethren! Watch the type of church you go to, the type of pastor or minister you listen to. Avoid the antichrists, and God will help us in Jesus’ Name.
Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. Photograph of Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda, taken inside of the building of TV Azteca. Wikimedia Commons photo from Anonymous User.
Author's note: You must take responsibility for your own actions. Nobody knows the day or the hour, and in no way am I date setting. This is only to provide you with information, so that you can make your own decisions, for which you will be accountable to God.
I recommend reading The Antichrist, The Seven Seals Being Opened in Real Time, James Agboola Revelation of Heaven and Hell, Warning for Married Christian Couples, Godly Attire and Adornment -- Seven Divine Revelations, Eternal Security, and Carrying Your Cross or Cross Dressing? I also encourage you to read Pope Frances Supports Homosexuality, The 311 Moment, Exposing Heresy, Exposing the JMS Cult, The Mark of the Beast - 666, The Day of Our Lord’s Wedding is at Hand, Rapture Revelation to Ayodelle Sawyerr, and Rapture Revelation to Angelica Zambrano. You may also visit our Signs of the Times Directory. You may access my complete blog directory at Writing for the Master.
Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus. Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?
“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15). He preached that we must repent and believe.
Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International. He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.