have heard was coming and is already in the world.
In II Thessalonians 2:1-4 Paul speaks of an evil, end-time world ruler whom he calls “the man of sin.” This individual whom Paul says, opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, is obviously the same person that John refers to as “the Beast” in Revelation 13 and “the Antichrist” in I John 2:18; 4:3.
In I John 2:18, John says, You have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now there are many antichrists in the world. John seems to be saying that this evil, controlling ruler at the end of the age will be preceded by many of the same character and spirit. He confirms this later by saying that the spirit of Antichrist, is now already in the world (I John 4:3).
Vladimir Putin is not the Antichrist, but his desire for dominance and control are certainly in the spirit of the Antichrist; and he is not the only one exuding that spirit in the world today.
Both the “man of sin” and “the Beast” are described as putting themselves in the place of God over people’s lives. This fits perfectly with the meaning of “Antichrist,” for according to Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon, the word anti in Greek means “instead of” or “in place of.” In other words, this individual is not just “against” Christ; he has a messianic complex and seeks to take the place of Christ as the one destined to rule the earth.
Remember, the word “Christ” is the Greek word for the Hebrew “Messiah.” In Scripture, the Messiah is God’s appointed king and ruler over Israel, and the entire cosmos. Various O.T. prophecies, such as II Samuel 7:12-13, Psalm 2:6, Daniel 7:13-14, and Micah 5:2, speak of the coming Messiah as God’s appointed king and ruler. The messianic prophecy of Isaiah 9:6-7, says,
For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder . . . of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end.
The Antichrist has a messianic complex and projects himself as the one who has the right, the intelligence, and the ability to rule the world and save the planet. He is, however, the antichristos, the one who puts himself in that place that belongs only to Jesus Christ. John says his spirit is now already in the world (I John 4:3).
This Antichrist spirit has shown itself throughout history in the Caesars of Rome, the medieval Catholic popes, Islamic movements seeking world domination, and European monarchs and their official state churches. It is seen in modern political leaders with visions of world domination such as Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, Adolph Hitler, Xi Jinping, and Vladimir Putin.
It is to be seen in the so-called "progressive" movement in America and the emerging "cancel culture" which seek to control our thoughts, words, and actions. It is to be seen in Big Tech companies who control the flow of information and ban any person and any message they deem to be unacceptable.
We have seen this same spirit raising its ugly head through political leaders in the United States, Canada, and other Western nations with their harsh Covid-19 lockdowns and mandates. Justin Trudeau, prime minister of Canada, just forcefully ended a peaceful Freedom Convoy, arrested many of the protestors, confiscated their vehicles, froze their bank accounts, and threatened to take their pets and children.
A March 30, 2020 interview with British Supreme Court Judge, Lord Sumpton, now sounds prophetic. He warned that the Covid-19 mandates were paving the way for despotism--the exercise of power in a cruel and oppressive manner (Hyatt, To Comply or Not Comply, 59).
This spirit of Antichrist showed itself in the Democrat National Committee (DNC) announcing they did not need God. In 2019 this committee unanimously passed a resolution in which they affirmed atheism and declared that neither Christianity nor any religion was necessary for patriotism and morality. In doing so, they rejected America's national motto of "In God We Trust" and declared that they would govern without (or "in place of") God.
In Revelation 14:18 John says that the number of the Beast is the number of a “man” and his number is 666. Since, however, there is no indefinite article in Greek and because John left off the definite article, the passage literally says that the number of the Beast, is the number of man and his number is 666. This, therefore, probably refers to mankind in general, as well as the evil, end-time ruler.
This would coincide with the fact that the number 6 is first mentioned in Genesis 1:31 where God created mankind on the 6th day of creation. Whereas the number 7 normally refers to completion and perfection, the number 6 is one shy of that.
The number 6, therefore, could well be the number of mankind and his incompleteness apart from God. Since, however, the number of the Beast is a trinity of 666, it probably refers to him as a mere man asserting himself into the place of God over people’s lives—a man acting as if he were God. That is the spirit of Antichrist.
America’s founders and their parents and grandparents had lived under the Antichrist spirit, which is why they were so adamant about individual liberty. It is why in Article I, Section 9 of the U.S. Constitution, the Founders banned aristocracy and the handing out of honorific titles by the U.S. government. It is why the Constitution opens with, “We the people . . .”
In this new land, there would be no “Lord so and so” or “Lady so and so.” There would be no royal aristocracy to which the masses must curtsy, doff their hats, and bow the knee. When some wondered how they would manage without a monarchy, Thomas Paine, in his book, Common Sense, wrote, “But where says some is the King of America? I'll tell you Friend, He reigns above.”
We must resist the antichrist spirit in both the church and the world, and we do this by proclaiming Jesus Christ as God’s appointed Messiah/King who alone has the right and wisdom to govern our lives. This happened in Colonial America through the influence of the Great Awakening, for when a British-appointed official reported on the state of things to his superiors in England, he wrote,
If you ask an American who is his master, he will tell you he has none, nor any governor but Jesus Christ (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 81).
When a society recognizes Jesus as God’s Messiah/King and commit themselves to be governed by his moral values, there will be peace, prosperity, and safety. It is what Jesus and the New Testament writers called “the Gospel of the Kingdom.”
As we see the end nearing, our focus should be on understanding and proclaiming this Gospel of the Kingdom, for in Matthew 24:14 Jesus said,
And this Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.