How the Person of the Antichrist Reveals the Beauty of Jesus

God has designed redemptive history so that the nature of ultimate good and ultimate evil is revealed in the leadership of two different men. God has done this because He chose to reveal His own nature to us as personally as possible by revealing Himself to us as a man. Just as He revealed His person to us as intimately as possible, He has also chosen to reveal the depths of evil to us in a very personal way by putting it on display in a man. Just as we could reach out and touch the glory of God in the person of Jesus, so too God will give men a chance to see and touch the full manifestation of evil in a man who is evil incarnate. Because of this, it is important to notice how the life of Jesus and the life of the Antichrist differ. Both men are given a unique opportunity to demonstrate their character and their leadership and by comparing these two men and what they do, it gives us deeper revelation into the person of Jesus and just how different and glorious He is.

Why even study the person of the Antichrist at all?

First of all, there are a lot of verses that describe him. The book of Daniel in particular is especially focused on the person of the Antichrist and describes his person and his actions in intricate detail (Daniel 7, 8, 11). These verses are given to us for a reason and we should understand them. There are a lot of things that God has chosen not to reveal. Therefore, we should pay careful attention to all that He has chosen to reveal. There is a reason Daniel trembled when he received revelation about the Antichrist and had to be given a vision of the Son of Man to steady his heart (Daniel 7). The revelation Daniel was given about the Antichrist was a significant revelation that caused Daniel to tremble and God expects us to take it as seriously as Daniel did.

Secondly, the Antichrist is a backdrop on which God has chosen to display His glory. Therefore we study and understand the Antichrist because the horror of His person makes the Son of Man even more glorious and beautiful to us. He reveals to us just how dark darkness truly is. We never study the Antichrist because we are fascinated with darkness. The point of understanding His person it to understand how dark evil is and how glorious Jesus is.

Thirdly, the conflict between the leadership of the Son of Man and the Antichrist is the conflict that runs throughout history. Ultimately, men must choose the leadership of one or the other. By better understanding the characteristics of each man we can better understand righteousness and wickedness in every generation. We can discern between how to lead in righteousness and what it means to lead in wickedness. The evil character that reaches a peak in the person of the Antichrist is the full expression of the wickedness that men choose every day. By understanding the end of evil it helps us avoid the deception of the age that seeks to minimize the darkness of evil.

God in His wisdom chose to reveal the Son of Man first. He revealed Him first so that men could have a chance to see the beauty of God’s ways and make a choice related to Him. Evil is open enough now that it can be seen but also hidden enough that men can be emboldened to make their choices. At the end of the age God will reveal how dark evil truly is. God also revealed the Son of Man first so that the Antichrist is seen in comparison to the beauty and glory of His Son.

The age ends in the final and full display of two mysteries. The mystery of godliness, put on display in the person of Jesus, is fully revealed to the nations at His return. This is why the events of the end of the age are called the revelation of Jesus Christ (Revelation 1:1). At the same time, it is also the time of the full revelation of the mystery of lawlessness or evil when God forces satan to take center stage and reveal his personality in the body of the Antichrist (2 Thessalonians 2:7-9).

By looking at the Scripture, we can see there are remarkable parallels in the lives of the Son of Man and the Antichrist in the 3 ½ years that each are given to demonstrate their right to rule. What each of them do in that time reveals what ultimate righteousness and ultimate sin look like. These parallels end up demonstrating the remarkable beauty of Jesus and the nature of His leadership.

Both Begin with Small, Humble Beginnings

Both Jesus and the Antichrist initially appear small in human strength. They are not notable by birth or position. They are easily overlooked and neither are expected to become a global leader. Jesus was not notable in His features or birth. He was born to a poor, common family.

2… He has no form or comeliness; And when we see Him, There is no beauty that we should desire Him. (Isaiah 53:2b NKJV)

7And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. (Luke 2:7 NKJV)

66From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. 67Then Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?” (John 6:66–67 NKJV)

29We know that God spoke to Moses; as for this fellow, we do not know where He is from.” (John 9:29 NKJV)

5Then Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said to them, “Behold the Man!” (John 19:5 NKJV)

15But they cried out, “Away with Him, away with Him! Crucify Him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar!” (John 19:15 NKJV)

No one anticipates that Jesus will one day be a global ruler. In His death He is not given the honor of royalty but mocked instead. He only begins with a small group of 12 followers. In the same way, the Antichrist is not initially considered a strong king.

8I was considering the horns, and there was another horn, a little one, coming up among them… (Daniel 7:8a NKJV)

9And out of one of them came a little horn which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the Glorious Land. (Daniel 8:9 NKJV)

21And in his place shall arise a vile person, to whom they will not give the honor of royalty… (Daniel 11:21a NKJV)

23And after the league is made with him he shall act deceitfully, for he shall come up and become strong with a small number of people. (Daniel 11:23 NKJV)

At most, he is considered a “little horn” and is not taken seriously as a global ruler. He is not given the honor of royalty, and he also has to begin with a small people.

Both Are Given 3 1/2 Years

The historical events in Jesus’ life indicate that His ministry is 3 ½ years, and the reign of the Antichrist is specifically described as 3 ½ years. Both Jesus and the Antichrist are given 3 ½ years on the stage of history to demonstrate their character and what the effects of their leadership.

25He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, Shall persecute the saints of the Most High, And shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand For a time and times and half a time. (Daniel 7:25 NKJV)

7Then I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand to heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever, that it shall be for a time, times, and half a time; and when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered, all these things shall be finished. (Daniel 12:7 NKJV)

Both Begin their 3 1/2 Year Season With an Unusual Anointing

Both Jesus and the Antichrist receive an unusual anointing that empowers them to demonstrate their leadership for 3 ½ years. Jesus was powerfully anointed with the Holy Spirit and this empowering thrust Him into a ministry of power.

21When all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also was baptized; and while He prayed, the heaven was opened. 22And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.” (Luke 3:21–22 NKJV)

38how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. (Acts 10:38 NKJV)

The Antichrist is empowered by satan at the beginning of the 3 ½ years just before the abomination. This empowering is a significant part of what transitions him from a “little horn” among 10 kings to the cruelest, most powerful evil ruler that has ever been and it happens when Satan is cast down from heaven and forced into the person of the Antichrist.

9So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth…12…Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.” (Revelation 12:9a, 12b NKJV)

1Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea… 2Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority. (Revelation 13:1–2 NKJV)

Both Claim to be God

Both Jesus and the Antichrist will make a clear claim to being God. The earth must choose which one it will accept as the true God. Jesus, confident in His identity, did not shrink away from declaring Himself to be God and receiving worship.

1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1 NKJV)

58Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.” (John 8:58 NKJV)

38Then he said, “Lord, I believe!” And he worshiped Him. (John 9:38 NKJV)

5And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was. (John 17:5 NKJV)

28And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28 NKJV)

The Antichrist will challenge YHWH by making himself out to be God and demanding worship.

4who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. (2 Thessalonians 2:4 NKJV)

Both are Given the Authority of their Father and Perform their Father’s Will

Both Jesus and the Antichrist receive the full authority of their respective fathers and use that authority to demonstrate the nature and character of their fathers. God gives all judgment over to Jesus and Jesus is careful to do the works that please the Father in the authority of the Father.

19Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. (John 5:19 NKJV)

22For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son…27and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man. (John 5:22, 27 NKJV)

30I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me. (John 5:30 NKJV)

9Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. (John 14:9–10 NKJV)

The Antichrist is given all the authority of the dragon to do the will of satan on the earth.

2Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority. (Revelation 13:2 NKJV)

Both are Given a Voice to Speak and Reveal their Character in their Words

Both Jesus and the Antichrist demonstrate their natures in the words that they speak. One speaks words of life that magnify another. The others speaks pompous words that magnify himself. Jesus is the very Word of God, speaking God’s word to man. His words do not glorify Himself, but instead glorify the Father.

1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1 NKJV)

31He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all. 32And what He has seen and heard, that He testifies; and no one receives His testimony. (John 3:31–32 NKJV)

1Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You…4I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. (John 17:1, 4 NKJV)

The Antichrist is given a mouth to speak and he uses it for boastful and arrogant words.

8…And there, in this horn, were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking pompous words. (Daniel 7:8b NKJV)

11“I watched then because of the sound of the pompous words which the horn was speaking… (Daniel 7:11a NKJV)

20and the ten horns that were on its head, and the other horn which came up, before which three fell, namely, that horn which had eyes and a mouth which spoke pompous words, whose appearance was greater than his fellows. (Daniel 7:20 NKJV)

25He shall speak pompous words against the Most High… (Daniel 7:25a NKJV)

5And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. 6Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. (Revelation 13:5–6 NKJV)

One Stops a Sacrifice and the Other Becomes a Sacrifice

Jesus does not stop the physical sacrifice, but He becomes the final sacrifice for the sake of others.

26“And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself… (Daniel 9:26 NKJV)

12But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, (Hebrews 10:12 NKJV)

The Antichrist physically removes the sacrifice in Jerusalem in an attempt to destroy YHWH worship and establish himself as the one to be worshiped. He ends the sacrifice for the sake of his own glory, seeking to magnify himself above all others.

12Because of transgression, an army was given over to the horn to oppose the daily sacrifices; and he cast truth down to the ground. He did all this and prospered. (Daniel 8:12 NKJV)

27Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation, which is determined, Is poured out on the desolate.” (Daniel 9:27 NKJV)

31And forces shall be mustered by him, and they shall defile the sanctuary fortress; then they shall take away the daily sacrifices, and place there the abomination of desolation. (Daniel 11:31 NKJV)

11“And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days. (Daniel 12:11 NKJV)

Both Face Opposition to their Leadership

Both Jesus and the Antichrist face opposition to their leadership and a challenge to their authority. The two respond dramatically differently and the pressure of opposition demonstrates their character. Jesus is very clear in His position as King. However, He chooses not to defend Himself and instead entrusts His reputation and life to the Father. He gives mercy towards His enemies. He refuses to break even a “bruised reed” and instead offers mercy as he dies for those who are His enemies.

20A bruised reed He will not break, and smoking flax He will not quench, till He sends forth justice to victory; (Matthew 12:20 NKJV)

10Then Pilate said to Him, “Are You not speaking to me? Do You not know that I have power to crucify You, and power to release You?” 11Jesus answered, “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above. Therefore the one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.” (John 19:10–11 NKJV)

34Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” And they divided His garments and cast lots. (Luke 23:34 NKJV)

8But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8 NKJV)

16By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. (1 John 3:16 NKJV)

The Antichrist is driven by fury and rage towards all who challenge him. His kingdom is described as “crushing, trampling, and devouring” because this is how he response to opposition.

7“After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, exceedingly strong. It had huge iron teeth; it was devouring, breaking in pieces, and trampling the residue with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns. (Daniel 7:7 NKJV)

28While returning to his land with great riches, his heart shall be moved against the holy covenant; so he shall do damage and return to his own land. (Daniel 11:28 NKJV)

30For ships from Cyprus shall come against him; therefore he shall be grieved, and return in rage against the holy covenant, and do damage… (Daniel 11:30a NKJV)

44But news from the east and the north shall trouble him; therefore he shall go out with great fury to destroy and annihilate many. (Daniel 11:44 NKJV)

Both are Cut off at the End of 3 1/2 Years

God preserves Jesus for 3 ½ years and at the end of that time period, His 3 ½ year ministry ends with His sacrificial death.

26“And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself… (Daniel 9:26a NKJV)

God allows the Antichrist 3 ½ years and then God cuts off the life of the Antichrist.

25He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, Shall persecute the saints of the Most High, And shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand For a time and times and half a time. 26‘But the court shall be seated, And they shall take away his dominion, To consume and destroy it forever. (Daniel 7:25–26 NKJV)

45And he shall plant the tents of his palace between the seas and the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and no one will help him. (Daniel 11:45 NKJV)

Both are Resurrected from the Dead

Jesus is resurrected from the dead as the One who has conquered death and has the power to liberate others from the grip of death. All men live because He was resurrected.

4and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead. (Romans 1:4 NKJV)

14Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. (Hebrews 2:14–15 NKJV)

The Antichrist also experiences a resurrection, but he comes up from the dead bringing death with him – so much so that Jesus says that if his reign of terror were not limited to 3 ½ years no one would survive. Millions, probably billions, of men die because he came up from the dead.

7When they finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them. (Revelation 11:7 NKJV)

3And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast. (Revelation 13:3 NKJV)

8The beast that you saw was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to perdition. And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet is. (Revelation 17:8 NKJV)

22And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened. (Matthew 24:22 NKJV)

Both Die without any Offspring with Dramatically Different Results

God gives both Jesus and the Antichrist a chance to produce offspring and a result. The difference in what the two produce in 3 ½ years is staggering. Jesus’ death brings life to millions and His “offspring” expand for generations after Him. The Antichrist dies alone with no one to help him. Jesus’ sacrificial life and death is for the sake of others and therefore He is able to bring many sons to glory and become the firstborn among many. He will be preserved forever and live to see His “seed” or those who are given to Him as a result of His faithful obedience.

10Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, And the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand. (Isaiah 53:10 NKJV)

28just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:28 NKJV)

29For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. (Romans 8:29 NKJV)

10For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings…

“Here am I and the children whom God has given Me.” (Hebrews 2:10, 13 NKJV)

The Antichrist’s life is entirely self absorbed and so he dies alone with no one to help him and no offspring. He is so self obsessed that, if allowed to continue, no one would survive his reign.

26‘But the court shall be seated, And they shall take away his dominion, To consume and destroy it forever. (Daniel 7:26 NKJV)

25…He shall even rise against the Prince of princes; But he shall be broken without human means. (Daniel 8:25b NKJV)

45…he shall come to his end, and no one will help him. (Daniel 11:45b NKJV)

22And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened. (Matthew 24:22 NKJV)

Both Receive a Kingdom – One is Given an Eternal Kingdom while the Kingdom of the Other One is Destroyed

The leadership of Jesus and the Antichrist is very apparent in what happens to their respective kingdoms. The Antichrist receives a kingdom for just 3 ½ years while Jesus inherits an eternal kingdom that He shares with the saints. There will never be an end to the increase of His government or His rule.

7Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this. (Isaiah 9:7 NKJV)

44And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever. (Daniel 2:44 NKJV)

14Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, Which shall not pass away, And His kingdom the one Which shall not be destroyed. (Daniel 7:14 NKJV)

27Then the kingdom and dominion, And the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, Shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, And all dominions shall serve and obey Him.’ (Daniel 7:27 NKJV)

The Antichrist kingdom is taken away from him. His leadership is so bad that His own kingdom is turning against him at the end of the just 3 ½ years. Kings that were previously allies are striking him just before his kingdom is destroyed.

11I watched till the beast was slain, and its body destroyed and given to the burning flame. (Daniel 7:11 NKJV)

26‘But the court shall be seated, And they shall take away his dominion, To consume and destroy it forever. (Daniel 7:26 NKJV)

25…But he shall be broken without human means. (Daniel 8:25 NKJV)

40“At the time of the end the king of the South shall attack him; and the king of the North shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, horsemen, and with many ships… (Daniel 11:40a NKJV)

44But news from the east and the north shall trouble him…45And he shall plant the tents of his palace between the seas and the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and no one will help him. (Daniel 11:44–45 NKJV)

Both Reveal a Mystery

By looking at the similarities and the differences between the Son of Man and the Antichrist it becomes clear that God has created a context where two men are allowed to do all that is in their heart in order to demonstrate their leadership. All the earth has to choose the leadership of one man over the other.

Both men reveal a mystery. There is a mystery of Godliness, meaning the mystery of what God is like. This is revealed to us in the person of Jesus. His leadership and character show us what God is like. There is also the mystery of lawlessness, which is the mystery of sin and rebellion. It is fully revealed to us in the person of the Antichrist. There are two men and two flesh and blood revelations – one of God and one of His enemy. When we better understand the mystery of these two men we better see the beauty of Jesus’ person and the horror of evil.

Each of us must follow one leader. What they are in fullness, we will be in part either by the work of the Holy Spirit confirming us to the image of the Son of Man or the work of sin making us more and more like the man of lawlessness.

15And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 24:15 NKJV)

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