The word “antichrist” occurs in the Bible only in 1 and 2 John. Who is this antichrist? Is it a historical figure who is already dead? Is it someone who is living on earth today? Or is it someone who is yet to be born? Or, is it possible that there is more than one? Let us examine the Bible to find out.
“It is the last hour. And as you have heard, ‘Antichrist is coming,’ even now many antichrists have come.” (1 John 2:18 CSB, emphasis added)
John said that even in the first century, there had already been many antichrists.
“Who is the liar, if not one who denies that Jesus is the Messiah? This one is the antichrist: the one who denies the Father and the Son.” (1 John 2:22 CSB)
Many, many people deny the Father and the Son – not just one person.
“Every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.” (1 John 4:3 NIV, emphasis added)
“Every spirit” here obviously is talking about all who deny Jesus, so many are included here as being antichrists.
“Many deceivers who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist.” (2 John 7 NIV, emphasis added)
“Any such person… is the antichrist.” Clearly, this points to many different people.
These are the only verses in the Bible where the antichrist is named or mentioned. The Bible clearly and vividly tells us that many individuals have been, in the Apostle John’s day, and continuing until our day, antichrists. We are warned not only to beware of them, but also not to become one ourselves.
NIV – New International Version, 2011 edition
CSB – Christian Standard Bible, 2013 edition