The Joshua Stone
Many connect the Antichrist of Revelation with the "son of destruction" of 2Th 2 as if it is common sense these two are the same, this does not appear to be so.
We know many false prophets will arise in the "last hour", whether we are talking about just before 70CE or in our future, but is this Antichrist as mentioned in Rev the same as the son of destruction of 2Th 2?
“For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will perform great signs and wonders so as to mislead, if possible, even the chosen ones.” Mth 24:24
I believe many associate these "great signs" back to the Antichrist mentioned in Rev 13 and the signs it is permitted to preform.
“And it performs great signs, even making fire come down out of heaven to the earth in the sight of mankind.” Rev 13:13
Is it the case that since many false prophets will perform great signs just as the Antichrist is described mean they are the same? Besides, does not the prophecy say many false prophets and not just a singular man? Can it not be said that this is in fact an idea of denying the Christ and not just one man and that it takes on many forms? What about the teaching of Evolution, does it not deny Christ? What about all those religions that do so, people, atheists, do they not all deny Christ originates from God?
False prophets brought in sects and diversions into the early congregations such as what John was speaking of;
“For first of all, I hear that when you come together in a congregation, divisions exist among you; and to an extent I believe it. For there will certainly also be sects among you, so that those of you who are approved may also become evident.” 1Cor 11:18,19
These sects are allowed so that those who are approved will be made manifest, but still, do those who cause divisions and sects as false prophets qualify them as the Antichrist of Rev 13, or are we talking about an idea here, a cancer within the truth and not a singular person?
“I know that after my going away oppressive wolves will enter in among you and will not treat the flock with tenderness, and from among you yourselves men will rise and speak twisted things to draw away the disciples after themselves.” Acts 20:29,30
Again above, an idea has penetrated the early congregations, a cancer.
Now let's look at Johns words here;
“Young children, it is the last hour, and just as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared, from which fact we know that it is the last hour.” 1Jhn 2:18
John connects the word "Antichrist" to these ones in the first century who were causing division, but was this a singular person? No, in fact John says there were many, at least in his day. But again, does that mean there would be a singular man in the last hour whom this represents, whether that be in Johns last hour, or ours? John certainly didn't mean a singular man in his last hour.
So, how did John define the "Antichrist"?
“But every inspired statement that does not acknowledge Jesus does not originate with God. Furthermore, this is the antichrist’s inspired statement that you have heard was coming,and now it is already in the world.” 1Jhn 4:3
"For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those not acknowledging Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist." 2Jhn 1:7
Many do this today, just as I've mentioned, the teaching of evolution, atheists, etc... Even the trinity itself can be seen as the Antichrist. If you deny Jesus, or say Jesus came as a God, not as a man, you could say the trinity denies Jesus came in the flesh.
In like manner, this denying Jesus can take many forms, and this is the identifying factor of the Antichrist, of which there were many, going back to Johns day.
Now how about the "son of destruction" in 2Th 2?
“because it will not come unless the apostasy comes first and the man of lawlessness gets revealed, the son of destruction.” 2Th 2:3
This "man of lawlessness" is described as "the son of destruction". This term is found only one other place in scripture;
“When I was with them, I used to watch over them on account of your own name, which you have given me; and I have protected them, and not one of them is destroyed except the son of destruction, so that the scripture might be fulfilled.” Jhn 17:12
Now Judas was a close associate of Christ Jesus and his brothers, being one of the original twelve, but does 2Th 2 say the son of destruction denies Jesus originates with God? No, it says he is part of the "lawlessness". Does this connect him to the Antichrist? I don't think so, it's at that point you have to connect the "signs" mentioned and then you are two steps out from a true connection. I don't believe the word "sign" is enough to connect these two, let alone lawlessness vs denying Christ originates with God.
Yes the false prophets had begun to creep in, and the lawlessness had already begun to show itself in the first century;
“True, the mystery of this lawlessness is already at work,” 2Th 2:7
But there is one thing that is very important to remember about Rev 13. The beasts in that chapter take us directly to Dan 7 and the beasts in that book. It can be very strongly argued that these two chapters are 1:1 with the second beast in Rev 13 representing the fierce beast and little horn of Dan 7. Therefore we are talking about governments, not individual men. Yes men run these governments, but the Antichrist is a government. We know this Antichrist will shout blasphemous words toward God's people, just as shown in Rev 13 but of those in Dan 7, 8 and 11.
But does this make the Antichrist a singular individual, or a government that as a collective denies Christ, not only by its internal beliefs but also by it's coming against Gods people and blaspheming his name?
To deny Christ, and to deny he came in the flesh could be any number of things, and in my opinion does not need a singular man, for it is a government that comes against Gods people.
This verifies that the little horn in that of the Holy See is the Antichrist that comes against Gods people blaspheming his name, and they are the culmination of the definition of denying Christ originates with God, because the trinity teaches Christ is God and had no beginning, and that Christ came as a God, not flesh, therefore could not sin.