One thing I’ve learned from watching online conversations is that a lot of people are hungry for some kind of awakening to a new consciousness. They are disillusioned with the world’s leaders and long for someone to step up and fix things. They want to believe, but in someone or anyone but God.
Many who are familiar with Bible prophecy at least have some vague idea of a coming Antichrist and spend a lot of time and effort trying to identify his name, nationality, personality, etc. They look for someone obviously evil and devious, or a prominent international leader bent on conquest. They expect the AC to be someone with a sinister appearance and menacing demeanor.
But do you know what I think? I think the AC will look like everyone’s idea of Jesus.
Think about it: the word “antichrist” means an impostor of the real Christ. So the devil will pick someone whose appearance is what will convince people he is Christ, someone whose demeanor is gentle, whose business appears honest and legitimate, who has been working for world peace, and who has not been seeking the limelight. In the most cunning way, this person will be “Christ-like”. Why else would Jesus have said that even “the elect” could be fooled (Mat. 24:24)?
World leaders have long been in the habit of using “doubles” to appear on various occasions, as a matter of security. Of course there is speculation that these “doubles” might be more than just people who bear an uncanny resemblance to the “real” person, but I’m not going to get into all the theories about that. The point is that we all understand the concept of a convincing copy or substitute, and it is this level of quality that will be required of anyone expecting to fool the world into thinking he is the Christ. It is the nature of the devil to lie (John 8:44), and an effective lie must be extremely well-played.
Above all, we also know from scripture that this AC will present the most convincing proof of all: an apprent resurrection from the dead (Rev. 13:3). Though most of the Christian world seems to have forgotten it, the central evidence for our faith is the risen Jesus. So to be a convincing impostor the AC must be able to convince the world that he has risen from the dead. Having accomplished that, he will then be able to “correct” all the beliefs he chooses and “re-imagine” or rewrite history. He will say that all religions really do worship the same God, and that it is those despicable “fundies” and Jews who are raining on his parade. World peace will only be achieved, he’ll tell them, when all those unenlightened and resistant ones are hunted down and eliminated. Then he will promise to lead the world to “the next stage of evolution”, accompanied by “signs and wonders” that will fool even the sophisticated who know about Project Blue Beam and other “secret” technologies, who were raised on the science fiction doctrine that says “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”. They will all believe he is the Christ.
It’s the ultimate setup, the perfect bait-and-switch. But in spite of this, God will see to it that anyone who chooses to open their eyes will not buy what the AC is selling. That is just one of the purposes of the terrible judgments to come upon the earth: to leave no doubt as to the existence of the real God and His opposition to the kingdom of the devil. There will be no atheists then, because we are told that many will curse the God who they know is causing their suffering (Rev. 16:9-21). It will at last be an obvious and simple choice: God or Satan. While one theory holds that they will believe God is just a bad space alien, the point is that they will recongnize the God of the Bible and hate him. The wrath of God, in stark contrast to the “sweetness and light” of the AC (except of course to those pesky followers of God), will make the lie all the more convincing.
To be sure, those who are saved now will not be here for any of this. But there will be conversions after the Rapture (Rev. 7:14), so the warnings about not being fooled apply to those people. Yet at the same time, we must not be lured into obsessing over which international personality might be the AC, but simply to note “signs of the times” and be all the more eager to spread the gospel so that more can escape the coming wrath of God against the unbelieving world and apostate Jews. It is my hope that anyone reading this when the AC rises to prominence after the Rapture will remember it and finally choose the real Christ. Knowing that there will be a great deception (2 Thes. 2:11) is probably the best defense against it.