What is antichristian?

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Quite some Christians are aware of the antichrist. This is seen in connection with satan, the core of evil, and some image the antichrist as a person. Many are afraid of it. It is however remarkable that for most Christians antichristianity is not an issue or has hardly any urgency. What is mentioned about it in the Bible?

A ‘christ’ means an anointed one, someone which is supposedly that or acts like it. The Greek word ‘christos’[1] represents the Biblical[2] concept which in Hebrew is named ‘masjieach’: anointed one (root: masjach – anoint), that which is expressed in English as Messiah.

Messianism[3] is a central element in the religion of the Bible. Christians almost always understand that in the sense of the Person the Lord Jesus[4]. However, in the Bible this is always a human being[5]. Also, it is in the Biblical sense logical that there are two kinds messiah’s; positive and negative ones. The antichrist is the negative[6] messiah. The definition of antichristian has however become more broader, because what is seen as ‘Christian’[7] is also not limited to the Messiah.

But the antichrist and what is antichristian thus logically has also messianic characteristics (2 Cor 11:14). This makes it so traitorous and dangerous. It requires a sharp capability to distinguish what is positive or negative messianic and what is not[8]. According to the Bible the difference between the two will blur more and more the closer we get to the end of days. Until the point when only the Holy Spirit can give[9] clarity[10].

Word study
Only the apostle John uses the word antichristos (1 Jh 2:18, 22; 4:3; 2 Jh 1:7). This weakens this term ‘antichristos’[11], since its meaning then depends on one author and two Bible books. However, this word does have equivalents in other Bible books.

The word antichristos is a word combination of two words: anti (against/due to) and Christos (anointed). A Greek word combination connected with it is antikeimai (being opposite to), which is mentioned by the apostle Paul (2 Th 2:4). He also uses the words ho eks enantias (who is set opposite; Tit 2:8), what seems to mean antichrist or what is antichristian. The apostle Simon, also known as Peter, uses the word antidikos (opposing party in a court case; 1 Pe 5:8), which also has a connection with that which represents what is antichristian.

The most evident, neutral translation of the Greek word combination ‘antichristos’ is ‘opposing[12] messiah’. The meaning which most commonly is given to it is: opponent of the Lord Jesus. However, this popular translation is wrong[13] and is based on christocentrism[14]. Not everything concerning God, the Father, is logically connected to the Lord Jesus. Also, the Biblical antichrist is a human being and antichristian(inty) is a movement in the society.

Furthermore, the Greek words antitupos (counterpart), antitassomai (act hostile against/resist; Acts 18:6; Rm 13:2), antistrateuomai (fight against (God); Rm 7:23), antipipto (strive against/fight against (God); Acts 7:51), antilogia (recalcitrant; Jds 1:11), antilego (argue against/deny; Lc 20:27; Acts 13:45; Rm 10:21), antithesis (objections; 1 Tim 6:20), antidiatithemai (opponents; 2 Tim 2:25), anteipo (object; Lc 21:15), antapokrinomai (denials; Rm 9:20), antapodidomi (revenge), antosios (unholy; 2 Tim 3:2), anomia (without Torah/Torah offenders; Mt 23:28; 24:12; Rm 2:12), anthistemi (being rebellious; 2 Tim 3:8), aneleemon (unmerciful; Rm 1:31), arneomai (renounce; 1 Jh 2:22) en anhupotaktos (not obedient; 1 Tim 1:9).

All these words express elements of what is antichristian. Elements that everyone[15] seem to have inherited as characteristic since their birth.

Messianic characteristics
In order to determine what the opposite of a messiah (antichrist) is, what a messiah (christ) is needs to be determined in Biblical sense. The following important characteristics become clear:
1. Redeeming God’s people from an enemy or enemies
2. Bringing God’s people to its (final) destination
3. Recovering/keeping the Biblical religion

Antichristian characteristics
The antichrist and that which is antichristian are aimed against the three points of messianic responsibility mentioned above. On top of this it has to be made explicit that in Biblical sense (that which is) (the) antichrist(ian) is in principle rebellious against God[16]. So, it’s about hindering, going against and undermining that which is God’s, by:

1. Submitting and binding God’s people to an enemy or enemies
2. Keeping God’s people from their (final) destination and trying to destroy that
3. Undermining the Biblical religion and making it corrupt

Ad.1 It therefore is not surprising that the antichrist is presented in the Bible as the one who makes believers into slaves (andrapodistes; 1 Tim 1:10). It then becomes logical that believers see the antichrist as satan (Jh 8:44).

Ad.2 The antichrist is continuously focused on distracting the people of God and on blinding them and keeping them involved with other things so they will not reach their (final) destination. In the Bible satan is called the murderer of people (Greek anthropoktonos/androphonos; Jh 8:44; 1 Tim 1:9), but murdering specifically the people of God has his highest priority. Logically this is connected with the antichrist. Unbelievers and evildoers are not the target group the antichrist is turned against, since they already are involved with antichristianity.

Ad.3 Religion of the Bible is the ‘Way’ God has given in order to come to Him and the means that believers maintain their bond with Him. So, this religion is involved with 1. Redemption of their enemies and 2. reaching their (final) destination. The antichrist is heavily involved in making that religion into a cult[17]. The religion of God then becomes overgrown and suffocates. Ultimately lawlessness (anomos; 2 Th 2:8) will get the upper hand. It loses the focus on its goal.

Antichristianity
According to the Bible the coming of God’s Messiah will be preceded by a growing movement and disposition of antichristianity. All kinds of antichristian ideas will more and more become normality. This has begun in a very subtle and hidden way. Therefore, most Christians are not aware of it.

Movements and organizations will force themselves into national governments through politics. Slowly antichristianity will become more and more visible and noticeable in the law (of the land). Leaders, but typically kings and especially emperors (rulers over empires), show in a human form how satan and its demons want to rule over the earth. (Worldwide) organizations[18] and countries prepare themselves (unintentionally) for the coming of the antichrist.

Differences
There is a difference between the antichrist and antichristianity. The antichrist is bound to time and place, since it’s a person, whilst antichristianity[19] is a timeless development within society (a movement) that clears the way for the antichrist.

Antichristianity is aimed against what is Christian (i.e., that which is Biblical). However, according to the Bible antichristian things and antichristians will at first come forth from the people of God[20]. The antichrist and that which is antichristian thus is spiritually inspired[21].

Satan in the flesh?
The must ultimate form of antichristianity is the coming of the antichrist. In the Bible the antichrist is described as the human being that presents himself unjustly as the messiah, since he doesn’t meet the requirements of God’s messias. The antichrist will disturb, confuse and hinder the coming of God’s Messiah[22]. Many believers connect the antichrist with satan in the flesh. But it is more accurate to state that it is a human being which is possessed by satan[23] (Rev 13:2).

According to the Bible however firstly several antichrists will come. They existed in the first century AD[24]. Also, in the book of Revelations it is written that two animals[25] will come. One from the sea (from the nations (i.e., Christianity; 13:1)) followed by one from the land (the religious amongst Israel; verse 11). What does that mean? How do they relate to the antichrist? There seems to be a plan behind that which is antichristian. That plan seems to run parallel to God’s plan of salvation.

What is made clear is that the second antichristian animal, the one from the Land (of Israel), facilitates that His people will worship the first animal (verse 12). So, the two animals work closely together, but in the end it’s all about the one antichristian animal from the sea (of nations). That one will act as if it came forth from the abyss (11:7), because through him the people will ultimately worship the dragon (satan) (13:4). But the other animal (from Israel) indeed has the characteristics that come closest to those of God’s Messiah. Maybe this animal is he which is later called ‘the false prophet’ (16:13; 19:20; 20:10).

The animal from the sea seems to be the same as the scarlet-colored animal which is ridden by a whore (17:3). This is a depiction of the world system which carries the name Babylon as counterpart of the Messianic Kingdom[26]. The name Babylon refers back to the first exile of Israel; that what seemed to be the end of the people God and the start of the total rule of paganism on earth.

How does antichristianity end?
Although it seems that with the coming of the antichrist, antichristianity ultimately will have complete dominion on earth[27] the achievement of this end goal in itself represents a great risk. Since through this openness of the antichristian rebellion against God, evilness and blasphemies and all kinds of other sins become full and this allows God to act righteously against that.

God will ultimately[28] reveal the Christos (Hebrew: Messiah; 19:11), what immediately will attract the attention of His adversaries: the antichrist (verse 19) and its company. This will lead to a world war, in which the antichristian power and its antichrist are defeated and thrown into the lake of fire. After that also satan is bound by God[29]. With that act the Messianic reign has begun. If finally, the acts of the Messiah of God are completed then the office of Christos will be definitely ended. Then antichristianity will lose its purpose and function[30].

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[1] Christ is the Latin adaptation of the Greek word christos.
[2] In ancient Greek culture a christos was an official, hero or champion (someone who makes extraordinary achievements). Someone with great physical talents. The term ‘christ’ in Biblical sense is something different, since that represents spiritual, religious talents.
[3] Focus on a messiah and the redemption that this person brings.
[4] Despite He did not meet the Biblical requirements for it.
[5] The Christian interpretation of the messianic office in which the person holding that office is seen as God Himself is nowhere mentioned in the Bible and incorrect.
[6] The enemy of God’s messiah and what He will do.
[7] Christian (traditional) has wrongly become synonymous with that which is Biblical, because Christianity is a human construct. This has a much larger scope then just only messianism. In this article the label Christian is only used as contrast to what in the Biblical sense is antichristian, but not as a reference to what is Christian according to its tradition.
[8] Messiah’s often do what people regard as evil or obscure.
[9] Who does not have the Spirit of God is spiritually blind. Even if that person is a believer.
[10] Then it becomes evidentially clear that life as God has intended it to be is only possible when one is fulfilled by the Spirit of God and honors and serves Him.
[11] In hermeneutical sense (rules of explanation).
[12] This is the position of enmity and not the position of being opposite in neutral sense to create for example a balance. The opposers need however to be ‘matching’ towards each other. Being able to ‘hit’ one another.
[13] The Lord Jesus is no messiah and has no equal in creation. In the Bible messiahs and antimessiahs are defined as persons inspired by God’s Spirit to fulfill that functionality. But the two functionalities are opposing, without requiring them to be equals on a personal level.
[14] Funnel vision on the Lord Jesus, which is regrettable epidemic amongst Christians.
[15] The antichrist of course has a ‘meta-human’ (spiritual) given, but that is outside of the scope of this article.
[16] Although the antichrist is aimed against the christ, both have God as their target.
[17] An institutionalizes form of religion, in which the teachings and forms are invented by humans. That which is secondary (the institution and the system) pushes aside that what is primary in the Bible. It makes believing (that which is dynamic) into tradition (that which is passive).
[18] The United Nations is and the former Soviet-Union was without a president. Their highest official was/is a secretary-general. This is a hint that the antichrist has not yet arrived, but it does show the desire for and the certainty of his coming.
[19] Being against traditional Christianity or being critical about the thinking, behavior and actions of Christians is not antichristian.
[20] So it is a mistake to view paganism as the source of antichristianity or the antichrist. Since heathens do not know nor recognize God.
[21] From the occult and the demonic.
[22] Thus, the coming of the antichrist will have to precede the coming of God’s Messiah.
[23] Judas Iscariot is an example of that (Lc 22:3).
[24] Antichrists are not bound by the New Covenant era, likewise christs (messiahs) are not bound to it either. They already existed before that time. For example, some kings of Israel qualify as antichrists.
[25] Antichristian giants. The most evil rulers ever lived, but still humans.
[26] Which today already exists, but not yet in its fullness. Thus, likewise that which is antichristian hasn’t reached its fullness.
[27] The ultimate goal of satan, since he was exiled out of heaven by God and was thrown on earth.
[28] This is therefore the reason why the coming of the Messiah has been delayed for so long.
[29] This proves that the antichrist is not satan itself.
[30] What then follows is that which is anti-God. The last phase of the revelation of satan.