Who is an antichrist? Between the book of Daniel and John’s writings, we get a good indication. More than that, we also get a glimpse of THE Antichrist.
When King Nebuchadnezzar took Daniel and his three friends to Babylon, because of their faithfulness to God, He honored and blessed them. The key to this blessing was how they responded to the food that was given to them. The reason Daniel believed it would defile them was because it had been offered to the pagan gods of the Babylonians. Note what Paul said in this regard in 1 Corinthians 8:7:
However, not all possess this knowledge. But some, through former association with idols, eat food as really offered to an idol, and their conscience, being weak, is defiled.
The ancient Israelites continually sought after other gods. In so doing, they emulated the ways of the surrounding pagan nations. To honor and appease their gods, they sacrificed meat and drink to them. The Jews doing this were exceptionally weak in faith toward Yahweh and did likewise. Thus they defiled themselves. Daniel wanted nothing to do with this practice; even the hint of potentially eating food offered to any god but Yahweh was anathema to him. For Daniel’s faithfulness – his believing loyalty – the Lord rewarded him. As Daniel 1:17 says:
As for these four youths, God gave them learning and skill in all literature and wisdom, and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.
Moreover, Daniel 1:20 tells us:
And in every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters that were in all his kingdom.
When the king had his astounding dream of the kingdoms in the world that were to come, the “wise” men in Nebuchadnezzar’s service were helpless in responding to the demand that they first describe the dream before giving its interpretation. But as Daniel prayed and glorified God in Daniel 2:23, he shows us what the Lord did for him:
“To you, O God of my fathers,
I give thanks and praise,
for you have given me wisdom and might,
and have now made known to me what we asked of you,
for you have made known to us the king’s matter.”
In simple terms, God anointed Daniel with wisdom and the ability to interpret dreams and visions. The enchanters and sorcerers had no such anointing because they were not of God. As we’ll see in a moment, they were antichrists.
When someone comes to the Father in Spirit and in Truth and keeps his commandments, he is blessed as 1 John 2:5-6 describes:
… but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.
This walk comes from acknowledging Jesus Christ as the Son of God and as Savior and Lord. Upon giving God glory by placing our faith and trust in Him, He transforms us and makes us different from those in the world who refuse to rely on Him. The difference is pointed out in 1 John 2:26-27:
I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you. But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him.
By our turning to God, He gives us His anointing. It’s different for everyone, but just as Daniel received the anointing of the gifts to enable him to gain favor with Nebuchadnezzar, we likewise as followers of Jesus receive the fruit and the gifts of the Spirit to enable us to walk in holiness, righteousness, and in the fullness of God. All this results because we love God and do what He says.
In contrast are those of a different mindset that the apostle warns of in 1 John 2:15:
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
The distinction is clear. If we truly love God, we won’t love the world. If someone loves the world, he has nothing to do with the Father. Lovers of God have the blessing noted in 1 John 2:20:
But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge.
God provides us with this special anointing and protection because of the darkness that will soon be upon us. It is coming because, as 1 John 2:18-19 declares:
Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.
There are those in the world – even coming from the church – who should know God and give Him their lives. However, they have chosen not to. These men and women are false prophets and teachers. They are antichrists, having no real difference from the Chaldeans of Daniel’s day who practiced magic arts and deceived those around them. Antichrists are deceivers and liars because they don’t know the Father. As Jesus said to and of such men in John 8:44:
“You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
And so we see a glimpse of the man who will be the son of perdition, the man of lawlessness (John 17:12; 2 Thessalonians 2:3). The Antichrist will lie and deceive beyond what we can imagine. His anointing – if we wish to call it that – will be from his father the devil. Satan will impart to Antichrist all his power and the wiles by which he has deceived mankind since the Garden. The antichrists in the time of Daniel and those around us today are mere shadows of what this man of sin will be. The whole world will fall for what he says and does – to the destruction of many.
Yet, there will be those who resist. The love of Christ will enter them and the Holy Spirit will fall upon them to give them truth. But the price they’ll pay for coming to the Lord during this time is great. They will suffer persecution and death as the cost of faith in Christ. Despite that, these believers during the Tribulation when Antichrist reigns will save their souls. All who follow Antichrist will lose them.
How much easier is it today, before Antichrist is revealed to the world, for us to choose Christ and to live for Him! Since we know this, shouldn’t we do all that we can to snatch as many around us as possible from the fire to come?