The signs of the times indicate that we are on the threshold of the Tribulation — a time of unparalleled carnage that will befall the earth. The earth will plunge into a period that the Bible describes will be the most horrific in all of human history.
Is the Antichrist alive today?
For the answers to these questions and many others concerning the Tribulation, Dr. David Reagan and Nathan E. Jones address these important end times questions. The full discussion can be found on a special television episode of Christ in Prophecy.
A Ready Candidate
Nathan Jones: Dr. Reagan, you give 50 reasons why we are living in the end times. There are so many signs the Bible has given us that point that we are indeed coming up on the soon return of Jesus Christ. This is the season of the Rapture! If that’s truly the case, and I believe it is, then we are also nearly to the rise of the Antichrist.
One of the major signs Jesus gave that points to His soon return, and so points to the coming Tribulation, is that Israel as the metaphorical fig tree has rebudded. After almost 1,900 years, the Jewish people are back in the land God forever promised them. We’re the generation that has seen this miraculous event happen!
I firmly believe the Antichrist is out there already. I’m not saying that he’s already in power. People are quick to identify potential antichrists, such as saying he’s the president of the United States, either President Obama or President Trump. Usually the Antichrist is whomever they don’t like.
Right now the Antichrist is probably low key. He likely doesn’t even know that he will be the Antichrist one day. The Antichrist is destined to end up being possessed by Satan, at the latest by the midpoint of the Tribulation. He might now even be possessed by Satan. Satan knows Bible prophecy, and he knows his time is short. The Antichrist of the Tribulation is Satan’s final antichrist, one or more pulled from every generation as the Devil plots and conspires to take over the world.
Dr. Reagan: The book of Revelation says that right in the middle of the Tribulation Satan will attempt to take God’s throne one last time, but he fails and is cast down to the earth. Satan comes down in great anger because he knows his time is short. Satan therefore knows Bible prophecy, but he doesn’t know God’s timing. He doesn’t know exactly when God is going to implement all of these end times events. And so, I believe that throughout human history Satan has always had an Antichrist candidate, somebody he has ready to groom and move onto the scene. As soon as God makes his move, Satan will make his move.
Certainly Satan has a candidate right now, somewhere, some person, whom he could move very quickly and put into the highest position of global power. We know from Scriptures that the Antichrist is going to be possessed by Satan. How very interesting that Satan always has a candidate ready, and he most likely has one ready right now.
Nathan Jones: If the Tribulation is pretty much Satan finally getting what he wants, that is rulership of the earth, but he knows Bible prophecy, one has to wonder why Satan even tries. Satan must know that he’s going to be defeated. Why does he go so uselessly ahead by fulfilling Bible prophecy knowing that he is going to be defeated?
Dr. Reagan: I think he’s self-deceived. Self-deception is the greatest deception of all. I think Satan truly believes that somehow he is going to be victorious in the end.Self-deception is the greatest #deception of all. #Satan truly believes he's going to win. Click To Tweet
Throughout much of Church history, Christian theologians have taught that the Antichrist will be a Jew. They’ve emphasized this because the view has long been part of the Antisemitic attitude of the Church which has prevailed throughout most of Church history, and even is predominate in Replacement Theology today.
Nathan Jones: You often hear that the Antichrist will be a Jew, especially by those who follow the Muslim Antichrist view. They agree with the Muslim’s view of the Antichrist — the Dajjal — that he’s supposed to be a Jew with only one eye and the word “Infidel” tattooed on his forehead. As if Islamic eschatology was genuine Bible prophecy; it’s not! Mohammed came on the scene some 600 years after Jesus was born.
To learn the Antichrist’s ethnic origins, we must leave pagan books behind and stick with the Bible. Revelation 13 describes the Antichrist and the False Prophet. The Antichrist is described as the beast that rises out of the sea. The sea is biblically symbolic. The sea acts as a pointer, separating the origins from Israel. The Antichrist doesn’t arise from the land, meaning Israel, but the sea, meaning the Gentile nations. The False Prophet, on the other hand, arises out of the land, and so should most likely be a Jew.
Throughout Church history, the Pope has often been accused of being the Antichrist. The way the current Pope acts, he’d be a better candidate for the False Prophet. The False Prophet, though, most likely will be a Jewish person who serves as a sort of public relations man for the Antichrist. He performs the miracles that Satan allows him to do in order to bolster the Antichrist’s claim to deity.
Dr. Reagan: Naming the Antichrist is futile. For people to speculate today who the Antichrist might be, whether this person or that person, is a total waste of time. Christians are going to be raptured before the Antichrist is revealed. We’re going to be taken off this world before the Tribulation begins. We will not know who the Antichrist will be until we return with Jesus Christ.Naming the #Antichrist is futile. #Christians are going to be #raptured beforehand. Click To Tweet
I also don’t think the Antichrist will be revealed immediately after the Rapture. There will be a gap in time between the Rapture and the beginning of the Tribulation, though likely a short time. The world won’t know who the Antichrist is until he makes a treaty with Israel, and then only those who are left behind but get saved will be able to recognize the Antichrist for who he truly is.
We must remember that it is not necessary for anyone to have to live through the Tribulation, if only they’d reach out to Jesus Christ in faith.
Nathan Jones: So true! Revelation 3:10 gives us that promise: “Because you have kept my command to persevere, I will also keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world.” We have that promise.
Dr. Reagan: Yes, Christians are guaranteed protection from the wrath of God. We then don’t ever have to worry about identifying the Antichrist.