First John 2:18 speaks of the Antichrist: “Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour.” The specific term antichrist is used seven times in Scripture, twice here in 1 John 2:18 and also in 1 John 2:22; 4:3; and twice in 2 John 7. So, what is this Antichrist that the apostle John refers to?
The meaning of the term antichrist is simply “against Christ.” As the apostle John records in First and Second John, an antichrist denies the Father and the Son (1 John 2:22), does not acknowledge Jesus (1 John 4:3), and denies that Jesus came in the flesh (2 John 1:7). There have been many “antichrists,” as 1 John 2:18 states. But there is also coming the Antichrist.
Most Bible prophecy/eschatology experts believe the Antichrist will be the ultimate embodiment of what it means to be against Christ. In the end times/last hour, a man will arise to oppose Christ and His followers more than anyone else in history. Likely claiming to be the true Messiah, the Antichrist will seek world domination and will attempt to destroy all followers of Jesus Christ and the nation of Israel.
Other biblical references to the Antichrist include the following:
The imposing, boastful king of Daniel 7 who oppresses the Jews and tries to “change the set times and the laws” (verse 25).
The leader who establishes a 7-year covenant with Israel and then breaks it in Daniel 9.
The king who sets up the abomination of desolation in Mark 13:14 (cf. Daniel 9:27).
The man of lawlessness in 2 Thessalonians 2:1–12.
The rider on a white horse (representing his claim to be a man of peace) in Revelation 6:2.
The first beast—the one from the sea—in Revelation 13. This beast receives power from the dragon (Satan) and speaks “proud words and blasphemies” (verse 5) and wages war against the saints (verse 7).
Thankfully, the Antichrist/beast, along with his false prophet, will be thrown into the lake of fire, where they will spend all eternity in torment (Revelation 19:20; 20:10).
What is the Antichrist? In summary, the Antichrist is the end-times false messiah who seeks, and likely achieves, world domination so that he can destroy Israel and all followers of Jesus Christ.