The term “antichrist” is sometimes used in religion, books, and movies to describe a demonic or satanic figure that will one-day wage war against the church or even Christ Himself. However, the term is used only five times in the Bible, and while dangerous and damaging to Christianity, it describes something much less dramatic than many people realize.
First, John warns the early church about the “antichrist” and “many antichrists” who have already “appeared” (1 John 2:18). As John writes his letter, several antichrists are already active. He then writes that “they went out from among us,” which means they were previously part of the early church (1 John 2:19).
Next, John explains that the antichrist is “the liar…who denies that Jesus is the Christ” and “denies the Father” (1 John 2:22). He knows who Christ and the Father are but denies them both. The antichrist denies the deity of the Son and the Father.
Finally, John describes the antichrist as the “the deceiver” who “does not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh” (2 John 7). He deceives others by teaching things about Christ that are not true.
After considering everything the Bible teaches about the antichrist, we know that he is not some mysterious demonic figure who will wage war against Christ in the future. Instead, “antichrist” describes those who have left the church, who oppose Christ and the truth, and who actively teach others to do the same.