There are so many people who have tried to explain the antichrist that this utterly simple phenomenon has managed to slither into the realm of the very complicated. No longer so.
Antichrist is obviously the opposite of Christ, and although the word "Christ" is mostly recognized as being the surname of Jesus of Nazareth, it's really an ordinary word which means anointed (see the word study below). Someone would be called an anointed when that person had a rank that had no earthly superior, namely that of king, prophet or high priest.
The epithet Christ or Messiah (same word but in Hebrew) was never meant to be used exclusively for Jesus (the word משיח, mashiah, occurs forty times in the Old Testament). A follower of Jesus is someone who operates according to the principle of being anointed, that is: having no earthly superior.
A follower of Jesus Christ does not simply follow like an admirer or loyal drone; he or she partakes in the state of being anointed (2 Corinthians 1:21, 1 John 2:20). The word Christian is really a misnomer; we are Christs, we are anointed ones, we are kings, prophets and high priests and we have no earthly superiors (1 Corinthians 4:8, Hebrews 12:28, James 2:5, and particularly 1 Peter 2:9). We talk directly to God and God talks directly to us. There's nothing and no one that can stand between us and Him (Romans 8:38-39). It's therefore the purpose of Christ to put an end to all rule and all authority and power (1 Corinthians 15:24).
The antichrist is anyone or anything that wiggles in between a human being and God, someone who professes to know God better, or who speaks in God's name, or who rules people "according to God's will". All that is nonsense. Since the resurrection of Jesus Christ, humanity has direct access to the deity (John 14:6-7) and nobody needs anybody else to talk with God or to know what God wants (John 10:27-28, Romans 2:15, Hebrews 4:12, 10:16). The Lord has shown very clearly what is good and what He requires of us (Micah 6:8), and His divine nature can clearly be seen through what has been made (Romans 1:20). Anybody who places himself in between a human person and the Lord, blocks that person from accessing the Lord and is an antichrist.
Antichrist — definition
The antichrist is the opposite of Christ, and Christ is anyone who has no earthly superior. Antichrist is that which brings a person under human authority, and does not allow that person to obey the voice of the Creator, which all people hear in their own heart.
🔼Christ and antichrist; life and unlife
The Living God is the Lord of Life, and anything that is from God looks like life. The spirit of antichrist will try to organize people into structures that are obviously not like life, usually in the name of order and regularity: from kids gridlocked in classrooms reciting lessons blindly, to employees wasting their lives operating like dead marionettes, to patrons lined up in a church's rigid rows, listening to a salaried person preaching a pre-written message or singing pre-selected songs.
Whenever you feel you're part of a machine, you feel the spirit of antichrist. Whenever you can't say what's in your heart, or jump up and express gladness or grief; whenever anything you do, except sitting there and biting your tongue, is deemed inappropriate, you're experiencing the spirit of antichrist (1 Corinthians 14:26-32). Whenever your simple daily life seems entangled in procedures and rules, and you can never find one single caring person who's responsible and who can actually make a decision, you're experiencing the spirit of antichrist (Ephesians 6:12).
The spirit of Christ makes you a living thing in a living world. You'll grow into whichever direction the Lord leads you. You'll feel, sing, praise, weep and love wherever the Lord moves you. The spirit of antichrist will make you feel subdued, misunderstood, misappropriated, disrespected, suffocated and insufficient. Antichrist excels at making you feel guilty, and of maneuvering you into endorsing and supporting its lifeless institutions. Christ makes you grow like a tree, with branches in the most unexpected places sticking out in the weirdest directions. Antichrist will make you stand there like a telephone pole, amidst other telephone poles, sorted on a rigid grid like marble headstones in a memorial grave yard.
🔼The name Antichrist in the Bible
Antichrist is not a personal name, nor does it refer to one specific person. Like the word Christ, it denotes a modus operandi; a doing, a way of operating. If anointing inaugurates someone into a highest earthly rank, "disanointing" places a person below someone else.
The word αντιχριστος (antichristos), literally meaning disanointed, occurs only in the epistles of John:
John writes that God is light and we can not walk in the darkness and simultaneously have fellowship with Him (1 John 1:5-6) or other humans (1:7), and explains: "Kids, it's getting dark. You have heard that the disanointer would come, and now many have become disanointed; that's how we know it's getting dark" (2:28). These disanointed all engaged some kind of system in which they forfeited their direct link to God, and subsequently their ability to obey whatever God was telling them, or to go wherever God was trying to steer them.
John's "kids", however, had an anointing from the Holy One, and therefore had no earthly superior (1 John 2:20). The disanointer is the one who denies the Father and the Son (2:22), namely by stating that between the Father and the Son (or the kids) there has to be someone who's had special training or has a special permit from the government; someone who keeps the kids scared of and disconnected from the Lord and tied up in a grid. What a horrendous crime! It's the same person who uses words like brotherhood and fatherland and honor and glory, and rouses up men into armies and sends them off to fight for profit while believing that only they are serving some holy and invisible God.
1 John 2:26-27
I'm writing you because of the people who are trying to dupe you. Let me make one thing clear: the anointing you received from Him stays with you. You don't need anyone teaching you because His anointing teaches you about everything.
Furthermore, John states that every spirit that confesses that Jesus the Anointed has come in the flesh is from God, whereas every spirit that does not confess Jesus is the spirit of the disanointer (1 John 4:3 and 2 John 1:7). This reflects what John the Evangelist says in John 1:1-18, which roughly states that since the coming of Jesus of Nazareth, the elusive Law of God — via which the universe was created and via which the universe and everything in it, including life, still operates today — is fully known by every human being. But much to the possible disappointment of many, there is nothing intrinsically holy about the name Jesus; in fact, it was a common back then as the name Bobbie is today.
Nazareth, from which Jesus ostensibly hailed, was a proverbial hick-ville and Jesus' male parent was a craftsman (more likely a mason and probably not a carpenter, which would also explain Jesus' many masonic metaphors). To us the name Jesus of Nazareth may evoke due reverence, but in the first century AD, the name Jesus of Nazareth was obviously specifically designed to reflect commonness and lack of formal education.
The Christ was not the son of a famous statesman or educated by a famous rabbi in an important town. Before He became itinerant, the Christ had spent His life doing manual labor, and it was a miracle that He could even read! Jesus of Nazareth means Bobbie from the Block: that is your Christ; the quintessential ordinary guy, John Doe. The Ordinary Guy is the Lord's anointed; anyone who denies the Ordinary Guy the right to obey the voice of the Lord is antichrist.
🔼The man of lawlessness
Only John the Epistler uses the word antichristos, but the idea this word describes was obviously universal in early Christian theology. In 2 Thessalonians 2:3, the apostle Paul speaks of a "man of lawlessness" (or rather "man of sin"; the lawlessness is inferred from verse 7) who would come, along with "the apostasy" and just prior to the "day of the Lord". This man of lawlessness is also called the "son of destruction," and he was expected to exalt himself above everything worshipped or called God, and take his seat in the temple of God as God and exhibiting himself as being God.
All these little flattering epithets are commonly understood to describe the same entity John referred to as the disanointed. It may take some mental gymnastics to link disanointment to lawlessness, but it becomes obvious that these two terms indeed describe the same vice when we realize that all of creation operates according to so-called natural laws, which are God's laws. When a human being issues decrees that have nothing to do with God's natural laws, these human decrees aren't laws, they are un-laws, or even anti-laws, no matter what people call them. Calling an un-law a law is like calling a red circle a green square; it doesn't make it so.
A rule that elevates one person above all other persons (which according to most constitutions would be a king or president) violates God's natural laws, and is an un-law. Any human, or cluster or humans, that in any way or form obstructs a human being from following the instructions of the Lord of Life in that person's heart, is a Man of Lawlessness. Any group of people that proclaims to be a governing body and limits people in their freedoms, usurps the personal throne of every human subject and usurps the throne of the Lord of Life, which is not a very clever thing to do.
🔼Bosses and leaders
In our modern day and age we are so used to having our own personal thrones usurped that we forget how fantastically stupid our world is arranged. Our ancestral western world prior to the rise of the Roman Empire was largely self-governed (as the phrase goes; it means: without formal government). The Celtic world which Julius Caesar destroyed had no central rule and was wonderfully successful and prosperous. When he subsequently crippled the Roman Republican senate and declared himself Dictator for Life, his opposition and finally assassins gathered under the name The Liberators. These Liberators were aiming to liberate Rome from Totalitarianism, but their resistance ended at the Battle of Philippi.
Under Julius' adopted son Octavian, the Republic breathed its last and the monstrous Roman Empire emerged as Octavian became the divine Emperor Augustus. Half a century later (around the time that the boy Jesus marveled the scholars in Jerusalem), Arminius the Germanian mustered the local tribes and stopped the Roman legions at the Battle of Teutoburg Forest. It was a defeat that nearly destroyed the Empire. But when he subsequently tried to become king, he was swiftly killed by the Germanians who despised central rule. At the same time, the Illyrians in the Balkans tried their revolt but were defeated as well. Half a century after that, the Jewish uprising was quelled and Jerusalem was destroyed, and that ushered in a period of peaceful demise towards the death and blubber of the European dark ages.
"Don't call anyone your father," said Jesus, "because one is your Father, namely He who is in heaven. And don't be called leaders, because one is your leader, namely Christ" (Matthew 23:9-10, see 1 Samuel 8:7 and Nehemiah 9:17). People could barely wait for Jesus to be dead, and eagerly created leaders and began calling them father and gave them lofty offices in elaborate buildings. Even today, people go to special schools to become "leaders" as if that's such a noble pursuit, or as if anybody knows where we're supposed to be going. And after two thousand years of being led to absolutely nowhere, and that via horrendous plagues and famines, crimes and wars, we're so used to having leaders that we're barely able to think for ourselves, or hear the Voice that the rest of creation is tuned into. We do as we're told, by bosses, rulers and even entertainers, who can not other than lead us astray because of the simple fact that they also do as they're told.
🔼How the emperor picks his vassal kings
Imagine you're the emperor of a vast empire, and you want to appoint leaders who rule your districts and the kingdoms you overran. Would you want your vassals to be men of strong character: noble, just and beloved by the people? Of course not! You would have an insurrection on your hands in no time. You want your vassal kings to be weaklings: self-centered perverts, power-mongers, cruel and hated by the subjects. Guys like that will make sure they'll surround themselves with an inner circle of more of those weaklings, who install their police and armed forces solely to protect themselves and their interests (and not the people, obviously), and they all will make sure that they stay on the emperor's good side, by forking over sufficient taxes, in case the extorted people revolt and the nobility needs to be rescued by the imperial army.
The rule is simple: the higher up the food chain of power, the more cowardly and spineless and self-serving our leaders are. Men of true character don't separate from the general population to live in ivory towers. They blend in and partake in everyday life. And with their small deeds of heroism and gallantry, they raise the quality of life in entire cities. Anyone eager to advance to a position of formal power, lacks natural stamina. The guy on the street; the nameless and titleless person who commands the highest dignity simply by being just and by not partaking in any system that gives him power and thus takes it away from the next guy, that guy is Christ. The emperor and all his weakling minions down to the cowardly gym teacher who terrifies pupils, or the clerk who won't stamp your form; they're antichrist.
🔼On the clouds of the sky
The damage done to humanity by the Romans can barely be estimated. In the few centuries before Christ, the Greeks and Phoenicians operated their realms by means of highly advanced forms of democracy, while the Celts enjoyed a complicated economy that was based entirely on common decency and neighborly respect. Advances in mathematics were bordering magic. Cosmology was far more advanced than was believed or held possible until very recently. Scholars were working on atomic theory and engineers were experimenting with steam engines. And don't underestimate or over-spiritualize the incredible intellectual achievement of Christology (that's Theology centered on the concept of anointing, or the personal kinghood of the ordinary man). Read the Sermon on the Mount; it's two thousand years ahead of its time (Matthew 5-7).
If academics had clung to Aristotle's scientific method in stead of giving in to the allures of Plato's speculative philosophizing, and if the Romans hadn't hooked the world on the addictions to kings, premiers and CEOs, the industrial revolution would have happened long ago. In stead, the spirit of antichrist lavishly added 1,500 years to our journey, and this sickening spirit still manages to have its followers lull the masses into believing that good is bad and bad is good; that God's order is one of straight lines and rigid grids, and following and obeying and falling into synch with the rest of the zombies. No longer so.
Recognize the signs of the times. People all over the world are re-assuming the responsibility and right to self-determination that our ancestors squandered (Exodus 32:1, 1 Samuel 8:7). Kings and premiers are losing their absurd rights to gather wealth while their subjects are starving. Societies are detaching themselves from their thorny spines of steel and slowly but surely begin to cluster around the inklings of free individuals, like living colonies or like clouds that form where they will in the air, with power and great glory.
🔼Etymology of the name Antichrist
The name, or rather: term or phrase, antichrist consists of two elements. The first element is the familiar prefix anti-, which expresses an opposition, antagonism or substitution:
The second part of our name comes from the Greek verb χριω (chrio), meaning to smear or anoint:
The name or term antichrist means Opposed To The Anointed, or rather Opposed To The Individual's Autonomy.
Note that this term is wholly misapplied in popular culture. Sex Pistol's Johnny Rotten thought that saying "I am an antichrist" would mean that he was an anarchist, but in fact he stated that he was an enthusiast supporter of his government's oppressive rules.
Likewise Marilyn Manson, who thought that the phrase Antichrist Superstar would denote someone who opposes religious fascism, but no, it denotes a Stalin-like totalitarian who sabers down every form of individualism.
Likewise Lars von Trier, who imagined that a movie called Antichrist would have to be a sexually themed horror flick, but no, it would have been something akin Das Leben der Anderen.
But the most vicious culprits are obviously not these sligthly misinformed artists — if only every bomb-dropping president and environment-killing CEO would become a sligthly misinformed artist! — but rather the religious experts who for centuries have misrepresented the nature of both Christ and antichrist, in order to preserve the institutions that paid their salaries and gave them their lofty positions in society.
Thank God those days are long behind us, and the religious landscape is becoming more and more peopled by trans-denominationals who don't care what people think of them or the scientific and Scriptural truths they are drawn to discuss.