Characteristics of the Antichrist
We can summarise from the Holy Scriptures and literature some characteristics of a coming Antichrist without claiming to be complete or to be absolutely certain.
The Antichrist or the “the lost One” (2 Thess 2,3) will appear as the world ruler. In contrast to the past, where corresponding Antichrists exposed themselves relatively quickly as violent dictators, the coming Antichrist is described as a kind of global peace bringer, who is equipped with a special charisma and corresponding political powers to achieve his goals. He comes at a time of great human need, at a time when development in the world makes a global form of rule possible. Outwardly he can appear as a virtuous and spiritual person, but his deepest inspiration is of demonic origin.
As the name suggests, the Antichrist will appear as an imitation of the Saviour and will try to keep his enmity towards Christ hidden. He may even quote from the Gospel and especially emphasize those passages that turn to man in his need, thus giving the impression that he is acting out of Christian charity, as a representative of justice and mercy. He offers a kind of inner-worldly gospel which, however, denies both the transcendence of God and man’s need for redemption. He hides his real “satanic mission”: the achievement of world domination and the intrusion into the temple of God to take the place of God (cf. Mt 24,15)!
The Antichrist will try to influence the church and claim her for his services, thus trying to pervert it in her mission. He will succeed in drawing a large number of Christians to his side and in creating a lot of confusion in times of great apostasy.
Quite a few suspect that the Antichrist will have a kind of false prophet at his side (cf. Rev 19,20) who already prepares his coming before. Unfortunately, it cannot be ruled out that this “false prophet” will come from the Christians, as will the Antichrist himself. Let us remember the word: “Children, this is the final hour; you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, and now many Antichrists have already come; from this we know that it is the final hour. They have gone from among us, but they never really belonged to us; if they had belonged to us, they would have stayed with us. But this was to prove that not one of them belonged to us.” (1. Jn 2,18-19)
The exposed humanity of the Antichrist is then unmasked – for those who want to see – when he is met with resistance, which is primarily likely to come from believing Christians. Then he shows his real hidden face and will increasingly cruelly persecute those who hold to the commandments of God.
Some voices – also from the prophetic realm – suspect that there will be a “false church” under the influence of the Antichrist, which will bloodily persecute the true church of Christ!
Perhaps one can put it like this: a secularised church into which error has entered will not be able to resist the Antichrist, because she is already infiltrated and weakened by the spirit of the Antichrist and is taken by him into the service of his reprehensible plans. The “faithful flock of the Lamb” (cf. Rev 7,9.14), however, will resist in the grace of God and go into the desert for a time (cf. Rev 12,6).
The “disciples of the Antichrist” have already managed to turn their influence into the political mainstream in many countries and through politics and the media are setting up a kind of dictatorship of relativism, which does not want to tolerate people believing in absolute values and being committed to them!
The undermining of God’s commandments, the orientation of the meaning of life towards this world, moral disorientation, the great loss of faith, the alienation of faith in public, the increasing immorality, the manipulation by the media and social networks, the globalisation of Western decadence with its “culture of death” are clear signs that we are not heading for a golden age. Instead, it increasingly looks as if forms that a rule is being prepared which want to make use of this decadence in order to establish a rule other than that of God. The blindness that comes through sin and also ignorance of the true meaning of existence will lead to falling victim to the great deception of the Antichrist!
The “religion” or worldview of the Antichrist will not demand that man repents and improves, but will want to give people the freedom to pursue their inclinations and desires as long as they do not harm other people! Every reference to God and the responsibility before him will be faded out! The religion of the Antichrist will be a kind of worldly religion, because every form of true transcendence reminds of the rule of God. Therefore, values such as peace, welfare, ecology, education, combating hunger and poverty, health care, etc. will come to the fore without referring to the actual author of all good works, namely God.
Man takes over the place of God.
Before we name some forms of spiritual resistance, it is still necessary – and this is crucially important for us Catholics – whether we can identify the spirit of the Antichrist in the world and in the church. I recall my five reflections on the deceptions of Lucifer, which I gave on 18-22 August. This should be followed up with some examples of how the spirit of deception can pave the way for a coming antichristian form of rule.