One of the most popular indoor sports of theologians is to attempt to identify who the Antichrist is. The Bible tells us about the Antichrist in the book of Daniel and the book of Revelation, but his actual identity is never mentioned. But let me share with you some of the ideas people have had over the years as to who they believed the Antichrist was.
The Edinburgh Encyclopedia
The Edinburgh Encyclopedia lists 14 different people who might qualify as the Antichrist throughout history.
During the early 1940’s a popular booklet was circulated amongst Christians identifying Adolph Hitler as the Antichrist. This booklet was entitled, The Beast, The False Prophet and Hitler. It was published in January 1941. It was a very serious suggestion that Hitler was the Antichrist.
Here is how this booklet verified that Hitler was the Antichrist. In Revelation 13:18 we are told that the number of the Antichrist is 666. Since this is a three-digit number we are forced to deal with three-digit numbers to demonstrate the reality of who this person is. The first three-digit number in mathematics is the number 100. If we numeralize that alphabet… A equals 100, B equals 101, C equals 102, etc. There are 26 letters in the alphabet which means that we have 100 through 125, each letter equaling a three-digit number. Now, here is the interesting part. H equals 107, I equals 108, T equals 119, L equals 111, E equals 104, and R equals 117. If you add all those numbers up they equal 666. Obviously, Hitler is the Antichrist!
If you use this numbering system just the right way YOU can be the Antichrist. This numbering system is known as the Science of Gematria. It is the science of equating a man’s name with numbers. Let me give you 3 rules of the Science of Gematria that must always be followed if you want the outcome you desire. 1. If the proper name doesn’t work, add a title. 2. If it doesn’t work in English, try Hebrew, Greek, or Latin. 3. If none of the previous work, cheat on the spelling.
As I studied all this I could not believe how many people have been labeled as the Antichrist by using a numbering system similar the one I just told you about. In fact, I am convinced that the number 666 is the number of different interpretations that exist about who the Antichrist is. Listen, nobody on this earth knows what the number 666 really means. We will never know what that number means until God wants us to know what that number means. And when God desires for that number to be understood, everybody will clearly know exactly what that number means.
During the Six Day War when the nation of Israel won a miraculous victory, some Christian teachers said that Moshe Dayan was the Antichrist because of the patch over his eye, denoting a head wound and stuff like that.
There are many, even today, who believe that Judas Iscariot is the Antichrist and that he will be resurrected in the end times. Men like M. R. De Haan (founder of Radio Bible Class Ministries – Our Daily Bread) taught this view. Let me give you De Haan’s reasons why he believed Judas is the Antichrist. First, Jesus called Judas a devil in John 6:70. This is the only place in the Bible that a human is called the devil. Second, in John 17:12 Jesus called Judas “the son of destruction/perdition.” And that very same phrase was used by Paul to describe the Antichrist in 2 Thessalonians 2:3. De Haan believed that was a strong indicator that Judas and Antichrist are the same person. Third, De Haan believed that Revelation 17:8 teaches that Antichrist’s arrival will be a return trip to the earth. This is because the Antichrist is the beast that was, that is not, and that is. Since Judas has already been on the earth and has died. When he returns he will meet the requirement of Revelation 17:8. Fourth, Revelation 13:3 tells us that Antichrist receives a head wound that takes his life and the wound is healed. Judas died by hanging and the book of Acts tells us that the rope broke and his body tumbled down a cliff. This is in keeping with the description of Antichrist. For these reasons M.R. De Haan believed that Judas Iscariot is the Antichrist.
John F. Kennedy
In 1956 a popular Bible teacher identified John F. Kennedy as the Antichrist. Here are the reasons: First, Kennedy went through death and resurrection as a PT Boat Commander in the South Pacific during World War II. Many of you know the miraculous story of how Kennedy survived in World War II. Second, a requiem mass was said for Kennedy when he was voted into the democratic presidential convention. He received the democratic approval with 666 votes. Third, he was shot through the head. His brother was assassinated the very same way. And there were people all over the world that very much expected the body of John F. Kennedy to rise up out of the coffin as it lay in state in Washington. They were convinced he would be the resurrected Antichrist who would rule the world. Obviously, that never happened.
Henry Kissinger has been a candidate for Antichrist. The number system has been used on this man as well. Kissinger was a miracle worker in this world as it related to diplomacy. He was an incredible diplomat. As negotiators gathered in Geneva for the very first peace talks between the Arab leaders and the Jewish leaders, the ABC Morning News of January 5, 1974 quoted an Israeli officer as saying these words, “The hope for peace does not lie in Geneva. It lies wherever Henry Kissinger is.” Over the years many were convinced Henry Kissinger was the Antichrist. He has come and gone. We never hear a word about him today.
This article is not being written to satisfy your idol curiosity or to gratify your love for the sensational. I want to tell you, right up front, that we have no idea whatsoever who the Antichrist is. But we do know what he is. We know the Bible says that he is much more than an insignificant person who will climb to the top of world power in the future. The Bible gives us a good deal of information about the Antichrist. The 7th chapter of Daniel provides the foundation for our understanding of this evil servant of Satan. The 7th chapter once again reminds us that our sovereign God is in control.
Are you interested in learning what the Bible actually teaches about the Antichrist? The link will take you to a teaching on the Biblical description of the Antichrist’s personality…