apocalypse!
find the antichrist(s): a quiz
apocalypticism explained
home
the book of revelation
the antichrist
pictorial chronology
a roundtable
primary sources
join the discussion
antichrist

Signorelli's depiction of the antichrist as jesus' demonic twin
The word "antichrist" appears in just three passages in the Bible (in the New Testament letters known as 1 John and 2 John); it does not appear at all in the Book of Revelation. Nevertheless, the idea of an Antichrist is central to the apocalyptic world view that sees human history as a struggle between God and Satan for the fate of mankind.

According to most Christian prophesies of the End Time, the Antichrist will act as Satan's chief agent on earth during this period. The Antichrist -- a sort of evil twin of Jesus in many ways -- will forge a one-world government through promises of peace. But when Jesus returns, he will expose the Antichrist as an impostor, defeat him in the battle of Armageddon, and reign with the Christian martyrs for a thousand years on earth.

Robert Fuller, in his book Naming the Antichrist, notes that modern apocalypticists believe the Book of Revelation "contains much information about the Antichrist--who will emerge as a 'beast from the sea' to be Satan's ally in a last, desperate assault on Christ and his church." This "parody and mirror opposite of Christ" will be identifiable in a number of ways:

· Promising peace to those who follow him, he will rise to a position of great power.

· With the help of his own false prophet, the Antichrist will gain control of the world economy, by forcing each person "to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name . . . six hundred and sixty-six"

· One of the heads of the beast also "seemed to have a mortal wound, but its mortal wound was healed, and the whole earth followed the beast with wonder."

A  QUIZ:

For nearly 2000 years, believers have spent considerable energy trying to identify potential Antichrists in their midst using scripture, particularly Revelation, as their guide.

Using the Antichrist characteristics described above, test your knowledge. In the following list, who have been labeled as an arch-deceiver and false messiah of the Last Days?

Don FranciscoNero Caesar
Yasser ArafatRegis Philbin
"The Beast"Pope John Paul II
Jimmy CarterBob Dylan
Bill GatesRonald Reagan
Billy GrahamPat Robertson
Mikhail GorbachevDonald Trump
John F. KennedyDavid Rockefeller
Michael EisnerTheodore Roosevelt
Henry KissingerAnwar el-Sadat
Bill ClintonLarry Flynt
Martin LutherSaddam Hussein
Benito Mussolini


home · apocalypticism · book of revelation · antichrist · chronology · roundtable · primary sources · discussion
readings · video · glossary · links · synopsis

web site copyright 1995-2014 WGBH educational foundation

SUPPORT PROVIDED BY

FRONTLINE on

ShopPBS