The world is waiting for a leader to rise and put an end to the wars and armed conflicts, religious squabbles, and political and economic instability. And according to the Bible, just such a superman will soon appear on the world scene–a man whom the Bible calls the beast and the Antichrist. Numerous Bible passages describe some of the Antichrist’s characteristics. Pieced together like the criminologist’s composite sketch of a suspect, they can help us to visualize this man.
1. The Antichrist will be intrinsically evil, yet appear as a savior.
He is variously described in the Bible as “a vile person,” “the man of sin,” “the son of perdition [hell],” and “the wicked one.”
[There] shall stand up a vile person … he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries.—Daniel 11:21 KJV [Some versions of the Bible use the word “intrigue” here, in place of or in addition to flattery.]
Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day [the Second Coming of Jesus Christ] shall not come, except … that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition. Then shall that wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall … destroy with the brightness of His coming.—2 Thessalonians 2:3, 8 KJV
Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers [such as the Antichrist] also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their [evil] works.—2 Corinthians 11:14-15 KJV
2. The Antichrist will be outspoken and have great speaking ability.
He shall speak great [pompous] words against the Most High.—Daniel 7:25 KJV
He was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies.—Revelation 13:5
3. The Antichrist will have a fierce countenance.
In the latter time [the Endtime, just prior to Jesus’ return] … when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up.—Daniel 8:23 KJV
The prophet Daniel also describes him as a man “whose appearance was greater than his fellows” (Daniel 7:20). Other translations render this phrase “more stout than his fellows,” or “more imposing than his fellows.”
4. The Antichrist will be filled with pride.
The king [the Antichrist] shall do according to his own will: he shall exalt and magnify himself above every god, shall speak blasphemies against the God of gods, and shall prosper—Daniel 11:36-37
He is going to be so lifted up in pride, in fact, that he will eventually claim to be God Himself. “Who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God” (2 Thessalonians 2:4).
5. The Antichrist will be a military genius.
The prophet Daniel describes several major wars that the Antichrist fights against those who oppose him during the last three and a half years of his reign.
He will be a master of deception, defeating many by catching them off guard as they bask in false security. Without warning he will destroy them.”—Daniel 8:25 TLB
They worshiped the Beast, saying, ‘Who is like the Beast? Who is able to make war with him?’—Revelation 13:4
6. The Antichrist will not desire women.
“He shall regard neither the God of his fathers nor the desire of women, nor regard any god; for he shall exalt himself above them all” (Daniel 11:37). This verse could mean that the Antichrist will be either celibate or homosexual.
7. The Antichrist will have satanic powers.
The Bible tells us that "His power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper" (Daniel 8:24 KJV). The Antichrist will be a man of such force and perverse ways that throughout the book of Revelation he is referred to as “the beast.” And by whose power will he prosper? Not by his own, and definitely not by God’s power:
The dragon [devil] gave him his power, his throne, and great authority.—Revelation 13:2
Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders.—2 Thessalonians 2:9 KJV
He will astonish the world with his devices. “I saw [the Antichrist] as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast” (Revelation 13:3 KJV).
For a short time, through the Antichrist, Satan is finally going to get what he’s been after all the time–kingship of the entire world–and he’s going to rule the world with tremendous power. “Power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb [Jesus]” (Revelation 13:7-8 KJV).
God put these descriptions of the Antichrist and his reign in the Bible not to cause us to be fearful, but to help us to recognize him when the time comes and be prepared. “You are all children of the light and of the day. … So be on your guard, not asleep like the others. Watch for His [Jesus’] return and stay sober” (1 Thessalonians 5:5-6 TLB). Knowing that the appearance of the Antichrist signals Jesus’ return to rescue His own will encourage His followers to persevere until the very End.