End-Time Man: Personal Characteristics

By Joseph R. Chambers

From the moment Satan entered the Garden of Eden and deceived Adam and Eve, he had to have a man to be his representative of his Antichrist. Apparently, Cain was ready to accept the role of the first false worshiper, and he actually made an effort to worship the true God with a false expression of faith. His worship was rejected, he was judged and, like all false worshipers, he was angry with his brother, Abel, whose worship was accepted. This accurate Genesis account establishes the pattern of the Antichrist character. These characteristics have never changed, and the final Antichrist will reflect them in an ultimate display of consummate evil.

Several characteristics are revealed in this biblical account. First, we must always remember that every antichrist spirit is a religious spirit. Secular activities are certainly evident, but they are a means to an end, not the basic character. Satan himself is first an extremely religious being, and he accomplishes his goals with religious activity. Through the centuries, his antichrists have created a multitude of religious organizations and promoted as many religious philosophies. Often we hear our enemies talk about the many religious wars and label all religion as an enemy because of those wars. This is the design of antichrists, to cast doubt and shadow over the truth of God. If the world of believers is going to have any idea of Satan's final antichrist, it must understand his deeply religious character and expression.

Second, antichrists always offer religious expressions that have departed from the plain and literal truths of Scripture. Cain did not refuse to worship; he even appeared to worship in great enthusiasm, but he was visibly shaken when his false worship was rejected. It is impossible to find a more perfect picture than this in describing the present development of the antichrist spirit. All religions are being elevated to an equal footing, and anyone who dares claim exclusiveness receives a sound rebuke. In fact, the only religions unacceptable in today's general mindset are fundamental Christianity and fundamental Judaism. The religious attitude being promoted on a worldwide basis is tolerance and respect for all religions and absolute hatred for the narrow way. This religious tolerance will be one of the most striking of the final antichrist's characteristics.

The Scripture then records a statement that the Creator made to Cain that reveals the mysterious spirit of the antichrist he would face the rest of his life. Of course, we know that the world has faced that spirit right up to the present and will face it in its darkest form at the end. Look at these words as stated in the Masoretic Hebrew: "And why has fallen your face? Is there not if do you well, exaltation, and if not you do well, at the door sin is crouching and toward you its desire, but you should rule over it" (Genesis 4:6,7, literal English from Hebrew). Sin is actually personified and revealed here as the antichrist that would be like a crouched animal constantly badgering every human being. The only people who have defeated this spirit, and certainly the only people who will defeat it in the future darkness, are those who can identify this spirit and resist it by the Word of God.

It's amazing how this picture is in perfect accord with the words of the apostle Paul to the Thessalonians: "For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming" (2 Thessalonians 2:7,8).

In these two companion passages, we see the same characteristic of the "mystery of iniquity" or "the antichrist" revealed in the beginning at the fall of man in the garden and the explosion of that spirit at the end. We must learn from the history of Scripture the true picture of this spirit of iniquity. The church is full of good people trying to identify the future antichrist, but they cannot see his captivating spirit at their very doors. We must get into our minds the simple statement included in the last Scripture passage: "The mystery of iniquity doth already work." How can we see the future antichrist if we cannot recognize the present mystery of iniquity? Therefore, the third characteristic of this person is that he operates as a mystery hidden from the eyes of everyone but the most discerning. (I must add that the only possible means of discerning this mystery is the infallible Word of God.)

A fourth clear characteristic of this "man of sin" is his viciousness. We are not dealing with human anger or simple rebellion; we are dealing with a spirit of anger-a furious anger that will not be satisfied until the true expression of faith is wiped off the earth. Cain did not just hate his brother. He martyred Abel for his faith. This was the first act of the antichrist spirit to try to rid the earth of true faith. It was the seed of the serpent in an all-out effort to destroy the seed of woman.

The totality of the antichrist that we are presently witnessing in mystery form, which I believe will soon develop in manifest form, will make an all-out effort to rid the earth of the biblical faith. Everything the final antichrist will represent will be embodied in his hatred for the true God and his effort to set up a system of religions that enthrones him in the Father's place. The present religious deception is the heartthrob of Satan's preparation for his one-world kingdom.

The final characteristic of the Antichrist is the curse always visible in his activities. When the Father spoke to Cain after he had slain Abel, His words revealed this absolute principle:

And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper? And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground. And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand; when thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth" (Genesis 4:9-12).

Study any aspect of history from the Garden of Eden until the present and you will find prosperity and happiness in the wake of every true expression of faith. The opposite is always true of the mystery of iniquity. Where this antichrist spirit has touched the earth, the result is wilderness and calamity. I'm not talking about false prosperity and stealing from others by means of words of divination. I'm talking about health, happiness, prosperous labor and blessings that follow the labor of the righteous. The Bible is full of the stories of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David and Solomon, along with countless others who received the blessings of God because they were discerning of the seed of woman and rejected the offers of God's enemies. The opposite is true of Eli, Saul, Ahab, Jezebel and Judas. These people were deceived by the seed of the serpent and the mystery of the antichrist. They inherited a wilderness for their labors. This fifth clear characteristic of an antichrist is his destructive spirit and the clear judgment that is always present in his activities. The book of Revelation gives the final picture of carnage on this earth as a result of his last hurrah of evil.

This background picture from the development of the mysteries of iniquity in Genesis can now help us as we try to identify how the Antichrist will deceive the entire world and receive the worship of the whole earth. Satan, by means of this Antichrist person, will actually become the "god" of this earth and turn it into a wilderness. The world is about to see the grandest picture of this deceiver that he is capable of producing. He will use paranormal powers to produce a religious kingdom full of worldly pomp and glory that will captivate the multitudes.

The Seed of the Serpent; The Seed of Woman

Having started this chapter in the book of Genesis, let's make the transition to the New Testament by a tracing of the seed of the serpent versus the seed of woman. This struggle that the Father Himself prophesied has never ceased even until the present. The Father stated, "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel" (Genesis 3:15).

The Father has always had a seed in the earth, a remnant, if you please, of holy saints who would not bow to the deceiver or depart from the truth in the smallest of details. These men and women have clung to the truth with no thought of their own lives. Out of this remnant God preserved a seed from which Jesus Christ was born. It is breathtaking to study about Rahab, who was saved out of Jericho to become a part of the seed of the Son of Man. With Rahab, there is Jesse, the father of David, and Ruth, the wife of Boaz. God preserved the seed of woman and the Christ was born Son of man, Son of God.

Satan has maintained his seed of the wicked and had his myriad antichrist persons from the fall in the garden. Wicked men like Nimrod have yielded to his design and wrought destruction to each generation. The history of man during both Testaments is filled with this "mystery of wickedness." These dark figures have been the seed of the serpent, and his evil design has never failed to produce a harvest of destruction. Since the nineteenth century we have witnessed Darwin, Marx, Stalin, Hitler and an endless list of other individuals who have delighted in being the seed of the serpent. Every one of them has been religious and vile beyond description.

The Final Seed of Woman

Jesus Christ was born of Mary, conceived by the Holy Ghost and without the sin nature of Adam. Jesus was the ultimate seed of woman that the Father promised. The Son of God even now has a body, the blood-washed saints who are born of the Holy Spirit by new birth. This seed is the final expression of the seed of woman. Satan hates this seed and, is producing his own final seed to counterfeit the pure, blood-washed bride. The seed of the serpent will continue to bruise the seed of the woman even as we see religions of the masses lampoon the straight and narrow way of truth. The seed of woman, the blood-washed, will witness the bruising of the head of the seed of the serpent. The bride of Christ will triumph. God's Word has guaranteed the triumphant march of truth.

Present Characteristics of Antichrist

The Scripture has painted an unreal picture of this final expression of antichrist. While there have been many antichrists, this man is the ultimate and final deceiver and has been chosen by Satan from among the greatest. In my book A Palace for the Antichrist, these words best describe this coming genius:

The consummate evil. A man so vile that he is called a beast and has for a name "blasphemy." He is seen on earth hurling blasphemies against God who is seated on His heavenly throne and he is angrily hurling the same at the saints already among the raptured. He receives his power (inherent ability), his seat (political religions), and his great authority (permission) from the dragon or Satan. Everything that he is, Satan equips him to be. The Bible describes only one type of person who can withstand his design, blinding deception or convincing leadership. John the Revelator said, "And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the World" (Revelation 13:8).

This man is not an ordinary man. The Scripture calls him a composite of several beasts, each having represented a previous world empire. He will be terrible beyond description. Daniel had the following to say of him: "After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns" (Daniel 7:7).

John the Revelator expanded on Daniel's vision and spoke of the beast: "And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast" (Revelation 13:2,3). He captivates the world. How does he do it?

The Antichrist Will Be a Religious Personage

The first, most deceiving, characteristic of the final Antichrist will be his deep commitment to the religious world. With his false prophet-whom I identify as a leader of the false anointing that is sweeping the world-he will prepare the world for a religious consensus. He will be a champion of this new tolerant religious consensus, and the world will call it the greatest revival of human history-even greater than the New Testament church of Acts. This revival will explode around the world because of paranormal miracles and great emotional religious meetings. First, let's notice how Daniel breathtakingly described this deceiver 2,600 years ago:

And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done. Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all. But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things. Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain (Daniel 11:36-39).

Everything about this picture of the Antichrist shows how totally religious he will be. Yet Daniel describes this new god as clearly not the God of his fathers. The new god will be a "god of forces," a "strange god" whom the Antichrist will "increase with glory," and then he will cause that new god to "rule over many."

Even Daniel seems to be intrigued by this new god. He is clearly not just one of the pantheon of pagan gods, but a "strange god," an evil creation of a new god never before worshiped by man. The second characteristic is part of the first and very subtle. I believe the picture would show that the future deception will be to worship a god so generic and common that he can be called by any name you desire to call him. (The Alcoholics Anonymous program has just such a god already accepted by a good part of today's church.) Today's religious leaders are falling over each other to bury their differences and champion a tolerance for each other's beliefs.

The new theologies of our generation are so mushy that they can be supported by a revelation, a vision, a personal prophecy (fortune-telling), a miracle or any source that is religious. Much of what is called preaching has been so integrated with human philosophies that the Bible content is little more than a launching pad-and sometimes not even that. The perfect setting for a generic god is flooding our world.

John the Revelator shows us the development of this religious spirit to the point that Satan himself hides behind the god concept being accepted today. Of course, Satan does not receive the worship of the world by exposing himself but by hiding himself. This text in Revelation shows how Satan uses his antichrist and his antispirit to conceal his own identity, and the world worships the devil and does not recognize it:

And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven (Revelation 13:3-6).

This has always been a great mystery to me that the world en masse would worship the devil. I believe the truth is being opened so that men and women will learn that the only way not to be deceived in this last day is by total abandonment to the Holy Scripture and careful commitment to the minute details of godly living. Plainly, the Antichrist will be extremely religious, and he will certainly lead the world in departing from true biblical faith. These were the first two characteristics of Cain, who was the first representative of the antichrist. The man of sin will be the final expression of false religion.

The Third Characteristic of the Antichrist

Let's look at the third characteristic I established in the beginning of this chapter. The future antichrist is the finished expression of the mystery of iniquity. Satan and his representative are identified throughout the Bible as a crouched animal (see Genesis 4:7) or a "roaring lion ... seeking whom he may devour" (1 Peter 5:8). Individuals who look for the antichrist in some person on the political scene do great damage to the church. His entire scheme is to conceal himself and manifest his evil in unsuspected places. There will be absolutely no way anyone will identify the antichrist until the church of Jesus Christ has been raptured. He will operate as a "mystery" or as the "mystery of iniquity" until the "Restrainer" is removed. The apostle Paul makes that extremely clear:

And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness (2 Thessalonians 2:6-12).

The last-day appearance of the antichrist will be seen only in mystery form until the Holy Ghost in His church has been removed. When you grasp this, then you understand that there is no safety in trying to identify the Antichrist in physical form. Our only hope is to hide in the truth of God's Word and quit looking for some bogus man to attack. He will be revealed after the rapture and during the early part of the seven years of God's wrath. His work until that point is to deceive while he hides under his many cloaks of religious deception. He loves it when we look for him in some human form instead of immersing ourselves into the holiness of Holy Scripture. The apostle Paul was no doubt considering this very truth when he spoke the following words to the believers at Ephesus:

Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked (Ephesians 6:11-16). The Antichrist will not be flesh and blood until the bride of Jesus Christ has been removed to the presence of our Eternal Redeemer.

The Fourth Characteristic of the Antichrist

The Antichrist will be the most vicious human being who has ever existed. Every expression of evil, every evil characteristic, every scheme of death and destruction will be manifest in this dark demon of a man. He will be Satan incarnate in the perfect opposite of the Son of God incarnate. Everything that Jesus Christ was in the exact image of His Father, the Antichrist will be in the exact image of Satan, his father. Remember how vicious Cain became when his new religion was exposed in the Father's rejection and Abet's acceptance.

As we have already discovered, before the antichrist is manifest in human form, the bride of Jesus Christ will be caught up to the Father's presence. This will cause Satan and his antichrist to explode in anger against the bride of Jesus Christ in heaven as well as against Christ Himself. Of course, the bride will be gone, but these dark beasts will blaspheme toward heaven:

And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and 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 slain from the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:6-8).

One of the dark facts about the seven years of God's wrath will be the slaughter of believers that will occur on the earth. Satan's antichrist will begin to kill the element in the church that missed the rapture. Notice these words I just quoted: "And it was given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them." These were evidently unconverted or lukewarm believers who missed the rapture and now become the object of the wrath of the Antichrist. Revelation 6 gives a picture also of these weary souls that the Antichrist beast will slay as Cain slew Abel:

And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, 0 Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled (Revelation 6:9-11).

The carnage created by the Antichrist from hell will eclipse his destruction of all of human history. He will certainly live up to the prophetic picture painted in Holy Scripture. He will be the ultimate beast.

The Final Characteristic of the Antichrist

The Antichrist will be recognized by the wake of destruction that follows him. History is full of people that couldn't discern evil until they witnessed the wilderness. The Scripture informs the believer under certain circumstances to turn a person over to the devil that they may learn not to blaspheme.

The world is about to get its final lesson in Satan's destruction as it witnesses his final Antichrist. Satan's antitrinity will unleash a baptism of dark spirits, destructive wars, vile acts of carnage and even catastrophes in the realm of nature. He will turn the world into a wilderness. John stated, "So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns" (Revelation 17:3). This is a picture of the Antichrist and his false bride and the wilderness they have created for themselves.

Notice that even before the false bride, the "whore," of the Antichrist (the scarlet-colored woman) is destroyed by the ten kings the Antichrist has temporarily enthroned, she is dwelling in a wilderness. This beast and his false spirit, along with the "whore" has made the earth almost uninhabitable. I believe this is why these ten ruling horns destroy the false bride: "And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire" (Revelation 17:16). They have witnessed the false religionists destroying our world and creating a worldwide crisis. Members of Satan's crowd always make fools out of themselves.

The "Mystery of Iniquity"

The Antichrist will be the consummate evil. Every vileness of his historic rampage will be represented in his final form. His actions have been as a crouched beast, always attacking, but never truly visible. Our spiritual war has never been with flesh, but with invisible spirits and dark demons. The seven years of the great tribulation will be different. The mystery of iniquity will take human form and the world will see the darkest side of hell.