Let me begin by saying that this study is NOT an attempt to lay that title on any specific person, simply because the Anti-Christ has not, in accordance with Scripture, been revealed. We will, however, use several people currently on the world stage to show similarities between their public lives and what scripture says about the AC.
Since the first century, that particular question has been on the minds of Christians, and even to a certain extent, the world. While a lot of people through the centuries, and even today, proclaim that there is no such person, that it is nothing more than a spirit, or attitude, or even a system, the Word of God says differently. Such an erroneous belief is bolstered, in part, by what John said when he wrote "...and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world." (1 Jn.4:3). John, in writing to a group of believers, pointed out that there is an attitude that exists, not just in the world, but within the professing Church, concerning Jesus Christ. During the first century, there arose a group of believers who followed the belief that Jesus did not come in the flesh, since only a spirit can be pure, and flesh is inherently evil. These "Docetics" were roundly condemned by John and others, but by the second century had also given rise to gnosticism and Marcionism. Unfortunately, this particular heresy has remained embedded in many writings and teachings up to the present time. As a counter to these beliefs, I'll just refer to John 1, where he says "....and the Word became flesh...", and again in 1 John 4:2 where he says ...and every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God".
Over the years, I've read many articles and studies purporting to "reveal" where the AC will come from. Some state emphatically that the AC will be an Italian, others that he will come from one of the countries that comprise the "revived" roman empire. Some state that he has to be a Syrian, or Turkish, or from Iran. Some even say he will be Jewish and from the tribe of Dan! And of course, a huge majority today say that he will be from the United States. Unfortunately for all of these prognosticators, there is little to NO scriptural evidence to support the contentions.
There are, however, a number of scriptures that will tell us about him...his personality, his attitudes, his way of "doing business", and these are the things we will look at.
The best descriptors of the antichrist are found in Daniel, chapter 11. In verse 21, he is described as a "vile" person, one who has not been given honor, but is a flatterer, and through such flatteries will be able to rise to a position of power over a "kingdom". In verse 23, he is described as one who will effect a "league" with the people. It is generally considered that this "league" will in actually be a peace treaty made with Israel. In Dan. 9:27, this "treaty" is given a specific time length of 7 years, and he breaks the treaty in the middle, or at 3.5 years. Dan 11:23 also says that he will be strong, even though he doesn't have a lot of "people" in his consortium. It would stand to reason that the strength is a combination of military and economic power.
Dan. 11:24 gives us a few more clues. After his rise to power, and the execution of the treaty, he is able to roam freely throughout Israel. This verse also gives rise to the possibility that he will be of Jewish descent, because he "...scatters among them the prey, and spoil, and riches:...", which is something "....he shall do that which his fathers have not done, nor his fathers' fathers;...". Certainly throughout history, the invaders and conquerors of Israel never passed out any of the goodies they had gathered from the conquered nations. The last part of vs. 24 also says that he will "forecast his devices against the strongholds...", which is another way of saying that he will plot against the defenders (of Judaism). This apparently goes on for a year ("even for a time"), using the Jeremiah/Daniel formula for a time (one year), times (2 years) and a half a time (6 months).
Verse 32 tells us that during his time of power, he will be profane (speak wickedly) about any who come against the treaty that he has made, and will work hard at either corrupting them, or making them of no regard. In spite of his evil machinations, though, those who are strong in their faith in God will do some mighty deeds.
Dan. 11:37 tells us that he will not have any regard or thought about "the God of his fathers", nor will he be subject to seduction and sexual temptation. As a matter of fact, he will not have any regard for ANY "god", whether pagan or imagined, and will be a supreme narcissist with absolute delusions of grandeur, considering himself to be above all.
So what do we have? We have a cunning, deceitful, two-faced deceiver who appears to be one thing while sneakily being another, a sociopathic narcissist who puts himself and what he wants above anyone or anything else.
Throughout history, there have been a number of people who have certainly fit the bill, and true to form, most of them have been called the antichrist. Among them are Nero, Stalin, Pol Pot, Hitler, Gaddafi and Saddam Hussein. Even Churchill, Tony Blair, George Bush and Barack Obama have been given the title! However, none of them were ever able to accomplish the one singular task given in Scripture that marks them as THE AC.
That task is given in Daniel, and mentioned above. It is the making of a peace treaty (league, or covenant) with Israel that "guarantees" their peace and safety for a period of 7 years. Not 6 years, not 3 years, not 8 years, or any other period of time. SEVEN years. The importance of that specific item cannot be overstated, for it is the hingepin for the beginning of the most important, and most horrible period of time in the history of humanity. While there have been a number of "peace" treaties, or accords, made with Israel over the past 25 years or so, none of them have been "all-inclusive" or for that specific period of time.
Now we're going to take a look at some of the current crop of major "players" on the world stage. We'll examine their rise to power, and whether or not they have the "clout" both militarily and economically to be the AC.
First up is....drum roll....BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA. As president of the United States of America, he certainly has the clout. The United States has the most awesome military machine in the world, and can go anywhere at anytime and deliver a devastating blow that would be next to impossible to recover from, and every nation in the world is aware of it. Barack Obama is a virtual non-entity, rising to his position in a matter of several years. As a "neighborhood organizer" in Chicago, he was an unknown, but he managed to make friends with one Andrew Rezko, who had a surprising amount of clout in the political arena mainly due to his extensive financial and real estate holdings. Rezko put his backing into Obama, first on a small stage, that of running for a state office. While he failed to win, Rezko doubled down, and began pushing Obama for the US Senate. To no one's surprise, Obamas opponents were pushed out of the arena due to a series of devastating "personal crisis" revelations. After taking his senate seat, Obama was called on to deliver the keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention in 2005, and proceeded to orate his way to a highly favorable standing with the Dems. He then was groomed to run for the presidency in 2008, and won, taking office in Jan., 2009. Throughout his run, he delivered speeches and "policy papers" that were soothing, tickled ears, and promised much.
Imagine....from nowhere (neighborhood organizer) to President of the most powerful nation in the world in just 10 short years. It is easy to see how many of the attributes given by Scripture to the antichrist are evident in Obama. He came in peaceably, flattered millions, and has since dealt deceitfully with the Congress of the United States, the people of the United States, and most other nations. He also has gone out of his way to "scatter among" the people "spoil and riches", while strongly condemning and making fun of any and all who oppose him.
I'm not too sure Obama, under any circumstances, would be able to successfully conclude a peace treaty with Israel simply because of the enormous distrust of him currently being held by the Israelis. It is no secret that Obama dislikes Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, and the feeling is mutual. I think that should the US try to strike any accord with Israel, that Israel would not consider it to be worth the paper it was written on.
Next up, Vladimir Putin, President of the Soviet Union. Putin was a lifelong political hack, rising slowly through the ranks of the former KGB, or Russian secret service. When detente hit the scene, Boris Yeltsin pulled Putin out of the FSB (KGB's successor) and made him prime minister. When Yeltsin suddenly resigned in Aug. of 1999, Putin became president. Playing heavily on the Russian sense of nationalism (shades of Hitler/Germany), Putin won re-election twice, Prohibited by the constitution from a successive third presidency, Putin backed Alexander Medvedev, who won, and promptly appointed Putin as Prime Minister. Running again, Putin won a landslide, and then appointed Medvedev as PM. Since becoming Pres. again, Putin has continued his push to reclaim lands and power once wielded by the old USSR. He has poured billions of dollars into modernizing and strengthening the military. While the economy has not fared particularly well, it is still a force to be reckoned with on the world stage. Putin and Russia definitely have the military strength to enforce a peace treaty, but is questionable in the economic arena. I personally don't think that Russia has the economy to sustain a drawn out military campaign such as will be seen during the tribulation period, and just before it. However, things can change in an instant!
Next, but not least on the agenda is a name mostly unknown. Alexios Tsipras, PM of Greece. A low grade political hack of the far left party in Greece, his party won the elections and he was elevated to the office of Prime Minister. What is telling about him are the words he used to take office. Prior to his swearing in ceremony, all previous swearing in's had been conducted by the Archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Church, and the oath of office was given on a Bible. However, Tsipras, an avowed atheist, deigned to use either the Archbishop or a Bible, and instead used these words; "I declare IN MY NAME, honor and consicence to uphold the Constitution and its laws." John 5:43 records what Jesus said to the Jews about the future Antichrist: "I have come in My Father�s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive."
Tsipras resigned on August 21, 2015, but was then re-elected on Sept. 21, 2015.
Remember that Greece, although a small nation (and people) is a member of the European Economic Community, considered by many to be the modern incarnation of the old Roman Empire. Of interesting note is that the EEC has, just this year, decided to form a special armed force capable of responding "anywhere" within just a few hours with a massive exhibition of deadly force. Supposedly, this military group is to be used for the "protection" of facilities and buildings "important" to the functioning of the EEC.
While these are not the only people alive who could fill the bill, they are prime examples of how a "nobody", or one "without honor" can manage to rise to a position of power through the use of flatteries, deceit and tickling itching ears. All three have at their disposal military and economic clout.
One important thing (in my opinion) is how Israel would react to any of these three...or any other in terms of a willingness to accept a peace treaty pushed by them. It is no secret that there is absolutely no love lost between Obama and Israel, and Putin is not far behind. With Russia currently doing their best to prop up one of Israel's avowed enemies (Assad/Syria), and on-going business and military activities with Iran, I believe that Israel is casting a jaundiced eye upon the Bear. Keep in mind that Ezekiel prophesied about a war (the battle of Gog/Magog) that would be an attack of Israel led by the nation most believe to be Russia (Gog), and a consortium of other nations including Persia (Iran), Turkey, and possibly Germany. As far as Tsipras is concerned...he is a complete unknown.
Israel, according to many writings and interpretations of her historical scholars, and recorded in many writings, considers their expected messiah to be a human (certainly not God), and to be able to accomplish certain quantifiable facts. Among these facts are (1) facilitating a rebuilt Temple on the Temple Mount; (2) restoring Israel to a place of pre-eminence among the nations; (3) insuring the peace and safety of Israel against all enemies. Any person, no matter where they are from or what they believe, is thus eligible for being "anointed" messiah in the eyes of the Jews, as long as they can accomplish those tasks. Historically, the Jews even considered Nebuchadnezzar and Artaxerxes to be "messiahs".
I am fully convinced that the anti-christ, whoever he may be, is alive and well on the planet earth today, toiling quietly in the background and waiting for his opportunity to leap to the forefront and seize what he believes is his rightful place on the world stage. I am also fully convinced that all of the technology and appparatus necessary to facilitate his imposition of draconian laws and edicts is already developed, from embedded microchips to the ability to have a cashless society.
Let's look at one other thing that comes along with the rise of anti-christ, and that is his rooting section, led by none other than the false prophet, or as John described him in Rev. 13:11, "another beast". The false prophet, exercising all the power of the first beast, causes "all the earth" to worship the A/C, calls down fire from heaven, and performs signs and miracles that cause so many to beieve that the A/C is the real messiah. It is through the false prophet that the mark of the beast is applied to people.
Most believe that the false prophet is going to be the leader, or head, or a "one world religion", an amalgam of all the existing religions, and dedicated to one singular task...the worship of the A/C. It seems, on the face, that it would be nigh on to impossible for all of the religions of the world to come together as one, and especially for any one person to be recognized by all as the leader of such a "church". However, keep this in mind...as has been true throughout history, any governmental agency has within its power to declare any group of people as "illegal", or "subversive". Constantine did exactly that by declaring Christianity as the official religion of the Roman Empire, and making all other belief systems illegal.
In today's religious climate, we find serious inroads into religion being made by several major groups. Among them are the World Council of Churches, which has steadfastly and ardently worked to bring all religions under one umbrella, and the Roman Catholic Church which has recently begun a major offensive to re-unite the Catholic and Protestant faiths, along witth making overtures to both Islam and the Jews. Beginning in 1985, then Pope John Paul first visited a Muslim country, then in 2001 entered a Mosque, where he kissed the quran, and declared "Your God and ours is the same God, and we are brothers and sisters in the faith of Abraham." The current Pope, Francis, has affirmed that Islam is a religion of peace, and has even quoted a Muslim mystic in his encyclical on climate change. Coupled with a recent visit to Turkey, it appears that Francis is doing his part to try to bring about a unification of religions. In conjunction with these moves toward Islam, Francis recently played host to several darlings of the Protestant world, Rick Warren, Kenneth Copeland and Joel Osteen. Both Osteen and Warren participated in the sacrament of Confession with Francis. Both subsequently said (summarized) that the experience was liberating.
Warren in particular said that the protestant and catholic curches need to "re-unite", and constantly referred to the pope as "holy father". In step with this move, Warren has been busy since 2009 in promoting "Chrislam", a melding of Islamic and Christian beliefs. Warren has been actively meeting with the leaders of mosques in California and promoting a set of "guiding principles" that declares that the god of Islam and the God of Christianity are the same! While Warren categorically denies that he promotes Chrislam, it still remains that (1) he addressed a Muslim convention in which he expressed that statement, (2) he is a signer of the Yale Covenant, which expresses that exact statement, and (3) he is actively involved with Muslim clerics in drawing up a set of "common" principles and beliefs, which has that same exact statement as it's core.
On a final note about pope Francis, a prophecy from the 1100's by St. Malachy says that there would be only 112 more popes to come before the "end of the world". Francis is the 112th.