So how do we identify what or who the Anti-Christ is? Are you among those who think anyone who is against Jesus qualifies as Anti-Christ? I think that it's time we begin to realize a broader application ... perhaps someone who will be identified as Christ "instead of" Jesus. Remember, Jesus had told the Disciples about His coming death and that He would return at sometime in the future. When the Disciples asked Him when those things would happen and what would be the signs that His return was approaching and the end was coming, He responded, See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my Name, saying, 'I am the Christ' and they will lead many astray. (Matthew 24:4-5)
Because Jesus declared this prophesy even before His crucifixion and resurrection, we can understand that "the end times" actually began at His First Coming. And if we are wise, we can see that the Bible also tells us that the signs and events He gave for His Second Coming will rapidly escalate as we get closer to His return. But it's not only the events that we need to be looking at; one of the clearest signs is someone claiming to be the Christ, a false Messiah. And although there have been false Christs throughout history, there will be one so convincing that even the Elect will be fooled... For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, even the elect. (Matthew 24:24)
Just think how easy it will be with the advancements we are seeing in technology. With the emergence of Artificial Intelligence, convincing an unbelieving populace that a savior has arrived to deliver them from the chaos, lawlessness, and evil will be easy to do. But even more frightening to me is the thought that even some of the believing elect will fall for the delusion! If you don't believe ALL the Bible reveals to us, you could be one of the fooled. It is important to know who Jesus Christ, the Messiah of the world, truly is.
There's an excellent article on harbingersdaily.com that provides the distinctions between the true Christ and the substitute Christ [or Anti-Christ] that will deceive the world ... the Anti-Christ is called "the man of sin" (2 Thessalonians 2:3) and Jesus is the sinless man; in Zechariah 11:17, Anti-Christ is called "the idol shepherd" and Jesus is "the good shepherd" in John 10:11; the Anti-Christ is seen as a beast in Revelation 13:1, and Jesus is the Lamb. Everyone MUST choose Jesus when that time of strong delusion comes ... and it is not far off! If anyone refuses to believe in the real Christ, or the truth of God's Holy world, God will give them over to their own ideas and false christs, which have no power to save. It's only Christ who can deliver you from the chaos that is here now and will be increasing.
By now, you should be able to discern how easy it will be for people to turn to a person and/or system that promises relief from the pressures, fear, death, distress and oppression of the world. Those pressures are beginning to mount and as life becomes more difficult to navigate, the peoples of the earth will fall for the deceptive promises that will, at first, seem harmless. But we must develop our spiritual discernment to recognize that the words that proceed out of his mouth are filled with the spirit of Satan, Himself.
It's not difficult to see that the monetary systems of the world are teetering, and the promise of a one-world monetary system to replace our failing ones will look inviting to a world that has lost millions in their buying power. But behind that false mask will be a system that will take control and authority over every financial decision and transaction made. So it will be with a one-world religion as well. The world will, at first, worship the Beast figure because again, of its false promises, but they will soon be manipulated and forced into bowing down to it. It should be apparent that the Anti-Christ's goal is to control the whole world and keep it in bondage to him.
Furthermore, the Bible tells us that the "spirit of the Anti-Christ, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already" (1 John 4:3). That spirit is here and it is growing stronger by the day. But our response is in the very next verse: "Little children [believers, dear ones], you are of God and you belong to Him, and have already overcome them [the agents of the anti-christ]; because He who is in you is greater than he [Satan] who is in the world [of sinful mankind]". By becoming knowledgable in the Bible, we will be able to discern the lies and deception of the Anti-Christ and his agents, and be able to identify his deceptive schemes, and turn our focus towards the true Christ and His divine truth.
As believers, we must remain true to our Lord and stand firm in our faith, refusing to compromise, even when faced with the worst of trials and persecutions. That means our discernment radar must always be turned up loud and clear. We must not fall victim to the distorted and corrupted doctrines of the false christs that lead only to the perverted and depraved systems of Satan's Beast. Let us cling to Jesus until He returns; remaining obedient and steadfast in His Truth. The future looks shrouded in darkness, but we must hope in the Light of Heaven; our Savior and the Messiah Jesus Christ. He said we will suffer for His Name, but He will return for us and deliver us into everlasting Life with Him. There is no person or system on earth [or in the heavenly realms] that can promise us anything superior to that glorious future. So, yes, I'm afraid there is more bad news coming, but, Oh, the hope that we possess!
Revelation 14:12 Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.