Does Antichrist Claim to be God?

A common question is will the Antichrist claim to be God himself. Many believe he will. Is this belief accurate?

Does Antichrist claim to be God?

This belief is based on Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonians.

The man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God. (2 Thess. 2:3-4)

This passage is a further explanation of Daniel’s prophecy about the Antichrist:

He will show no regard for the gods (literally “God”) of his fathers or for the desire of women, nor will he show regard for any other god; for he will magnify himself above them all. But instead he will honor a god of fortresses, a god whom his fathers did not know; he will honor him with gold, silver, costly stones and treasures.  He will take action against the strongest of fortresses with the help of a foreign god. (Dan. 11:37-39)

These two interrelated passages are the basis of our understanding of what exactly Antichrist will or will not do in this regard. Let’s look at each passage individually and see what it really says. We will start with Daniel since the passage in 2 Thessalonians references Daniel.

God and other “gods”

The passage in Daniel is clear that Antichrist will “magnify himself above them all” (other gods). That should end the discussion but it doesn’t. Immediately after this statement it says he honors a “god of fortresses” and later receives help from a “foreign god.” This  certainly doesn’t seem like he magnifies himself above every god, rather it seems there is one god that he honors.

In order to understand Dan. 11:37-39, we need to better understand the words translated “god” and “gods.” First the word “gods” in the phrase “gods of his fathers” is the Hebrew word ELOHE and it is singular not plural. It should read “God of his fathers.”  In the other phrases “any other god,” “a god of fortresses,” and “a foreign god,”  a slightly different Hebrew word ELOWAH is used.  This is a complex use of words as both ELOHE and ELOWAH are both singular and both refer to a title of a divine being of power.

ELOHIM (meaning heavenly being) is the plural form of ELOHE. Angels are ELOHIM (plural), God the Father and Jesus are the supreme ELOHIM, and the “Sons of God” or God’s Divine Counsel are Elohim as well. Those who have read Dr. Michael Heiser’s “The Unseen Realm” (see THIS BOOK REVIEW) will quickly recognize this term. The plural term ELOHIM can be God (God is a trinity) or it can be other divine beings. The singular form, however, ELOHE, most often it refers to the true God, but not always. Yes, confusing, I know.

ELOWAH can also refer to the one true God, but more often it refers to false gods of the nations in a general sense . So our working theory is that ELOHE is YHWH and ELOWAH means a false god in the passage in Dan. 11.

So if we examine the phrase “gods (ELOHE) of his fathers,” it is actually the God of his fathers; most likely YHWH. So if the Antichrist is Muslim, how would this be possible that YHWH was God of his fathers? The “fathers” of the Muslim people are Ishmael and Esau, both of whom worshiped YHWH initially during their lives. So this makes complete sense.

Next, we find a very unusual and confusing statement: the Antichrist will show no regard for the “desire of women.” This has led many to believe he will be a homosexual (and he may be). However, it is very unlikely that this phrase carries that meaning here. This entire passage is about the religion and spirituality of Antichrist NOT his sexuality.  This phrase then should be referring to a God who was the “desire of women.”

In the days prior to the birth of Jesus, Jewish women desired to give birth to Messiah. The “desire of women” therefore was giving birth to the coming Messiah, who we now know is Jesus.

If we assemble this entire phrase together we get the following statement of whom the Antichrist will and will not honor. He will not honor God the Father, Jesus, or any false god worshiped by other nations:

He will show no regard for the gods (ELOHE, meaning YHWH) of his fathers or for the desire of women (Jesus), nor will he show regard for any other god (ELOWAH); for he will magnify himself above them all. But instead he will honor a god (ELOWAH) of fortresses, a god  (ELOWAH) whom his fathers did not know. 

So the Antichrist will not honor God the Father or the Son or any of the gods of the nations, but rather he will honor a false god, an ELOWAH. This is very clear and very obvious. Antichrist will not declare himself the god, but will worship an ELOWAH.

Who Does Antichrist Worship?

We are given a couple clues as to the identity of the ELOWAH. We are told his is an ELOWAH of “fortresses” (Heb: MAUZZIM). This word actually means “stronghold,” so Antichrist worships a god of strongholds. This word occurs 36 times in the Old Testament and when referring to YHWH usually it is used positively to mean strength or protection. In this passage, of course, it is used negatively of an ELOWAH or false god. So spiritually this would mean a demonic power that has a hold on people who worship this god.

For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, (2 Cor. 10:4)

In the physical world, this word MAUZZIM refers to castles or strong defensive structures. So another nuance of the word is that this god is one of military might or strength.

Allah, the ELOWAH of the Muslims, fits both of these descriptions. He is a demon god of military might, spreading the “religion” by conquest and violence. He is also holds onto people in demonic strongholds.

Seated on the Throne

The passage in 2 Thessalonians indicates that the Antichrist will display himself as if he is God (YHWH). It does not say he proclaims himself God only that he displays himself as God. He does this by sitting in the Temple of God.  The Greek word translated “display” is APODEIKNUMI meaning to show or demonstrate. This implies he will make decisions and weld authority as if he were a god. Additionally, sitting on the throne of God in the Temple is a great blasphemy to the one true God.

A Resurrected Antichrist

You may be asking, “Doesn’t the world worship the Antichrist?” It certainly appears that it does.

Rev. 13 gives us more information about the career of the Antichrist than any other chapter of the Bible. One of the first things we see is that the “Beast” appears to suffer a fatal head wound, but recovers:

I saw one of his heads as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed. And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast. (Rev. 13:3)

This verse has been interpreted by many to mean that the man, the Antichrist, will suffer a fatal head wound. He might. I’m not sure. Notice this verse speaks of “one of his (the Beast’s) heads.” Does the Antichrist, the man, have 7 heads? No, the demon and the empire have seven heads. If we look at this verse in close context we see that the heads are listed for us:

And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority. I saw one of his heads as if it had been slain. (Rev. 13: 2-3)

The verse is telling us that the Beast is part leopard, bear, and lion; that the seven heads are found within these ancient empires described by Daniel in Daniel 7 (we will discuss this further in the next article).  So the fatal head wound most properly refers to the “empire” aspect of the Beast. (Remember the Beast has 3 aspects: empire, demon, and man (the Antichrist) see THIS ARTICLE).  The world witnessed this fatal head wound in 1924 when the Allied powers of WWI defeated the Islamic Caliphate (Ottoman Empire) and broke it into constituent nations that we observe today. The reformation of this Empire will be the healing of the head wound. We are probably about to witness this in the next few months or years. Or perhaps we have already witnessed it in the formation of ISIS in June, 2014.

Might the man, the Antichrist, also appear to receive a fatal head wound and survive? He might. As I stated before, I’m not sure. If he does this would certainly give support to his status among the people of the world as a divine or semi-divine being. The passage in Rev. 13 continues and does discuss worship:

And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast; they worshiped the dragon because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?” There was given to him a mouth speaking  arrogant words and blasphemies, and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him. (Rev. 13:3-5)

Notice, it says the people across the whole earth will worship the dragon (Satan) because he will give his authority to the beast.  And they will worship the beast because of his ability to wage war (jihad). What does this mean? To me it means that by worshiping the Beast, the world is actually worshiping Satan who is the power behind the Beast. Worship here is the Greek word (PROSKUNEO) which means to bow one’s head to the ground; literally to “kiss the ground.” This gesture does not always represent worship as a god, but also submission. The very meaning of Islam is “submission.” Bowing and kissing the ground in Persian is “making Salam” (showing submission.)

Again, the war-like and violent nature of the Beast is obvious in this verse as it is the initial reason that the inhabitants of the world “make Salam” to the Beast. Now is the world making Salam to the demon or the man (Antichrist) or both?  Probably both, but it is unclear. Notice the very next verse states that a “mouth” was given to him. This almost assuredly must mean the demon aspect of the Beast. Obviously the man, Antichrist, will already have a mouth; he can’t be “given a mouth.” The Antichrist is the mouth that is given to the demonic aspect of the Beast. The Antichrist will speak the thoughts of the demon.

This word PROSKUNEO is found a number of other times in Rev. 13:

All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain. (Rev. 13:8)

He (the false prophet) makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed. (Rev. 13:12)

The image of the beast would even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed. (Rev. 13:15)

In combination, these three other uses of PROSKUNEO may be worship of the Antichrist and may be worship of the demonic aspect of the Beast (this may be Allah).  Or it may be worship of both. This is not completely clear.

Summary

The question this article attempts to answer is will the Antichrist claim to be God or at least claim to be the one and only god (false god.) I think the answer to this is clearly “no” as the Antichrist will honor a “foreign god” who will outrank him.

However, it is not clear that the Antichrist doesn’t claim to be a divine being himself or demand worship himself. If the Antichrist appears to have recovered from a fatal head wound, he may appear then to be a divine being; and appear worthy of worship.

Rev. 13 exhibits four mentions of PROSKUNEO which can be translated as “worship” or as “honor.” This can be applied solely to the demonic aspect of the Beast or to both the demonic aspect and the man, the Antichrist. This is complex and not completely clear.

What is my personal belief? I personally think that the man, the Antichrist, will deceive the world by appearing to recover from a fatal head wound. At that point, I personally believe he will claim to be an historic figure come back to life. Most likely this may be Mohammed, and as such he would demand honor and worship. In the next article we will discuss this return of an historic figure in more detail.

You may wonder how Muslims will be willing to worship anyone but Allah. Islam permits prophets to change the religion! I fully expect the Antichrist to change the religion to permit the world to worship him as a lower level of divine being. He will demand the world worship Allah, and may demand they worship him as well.

This is my personal belief based on scripture, but it is not certain. Scripture is not clear enough from my reading to be completely 100% clear on this matter.

This is why we watch and pray.

 

 

17 thoughts on “Does Antichrist Claim to be God?”

  1. Many prophecy already fulfilled but not all.

    Rev 19 mentioned only one beast not two. the false prophet referring to mohamed not second beast the caliph, mohamed is not caliph.

    one of head wounded that’s when 8th attacking 7th during first fitnah (first internal islam conflict) and 8th wins, this is also mentioned in Dan 7 as little horn subdue 3 horns.

    Actually your statement is a bit confusing. You said the beast is not a person but then you still waiting him as a man that wounded head heal. for the sake of argument just say that man exist then he come then you need to answer one question: will he bigger than allah?—cause no muslim will worship a man

    1. The Second Beast in Rev. 13 IS the False prophet. Notice Rev. 19 says he performs signs in the presence of the Beast. This is a quote of Rev. 13:14. This direct quote leaves no doubt.

      The Beast of Revelation has 3 components: DEMON, EMPIRE and MAN (the Antichrist) and yes, this is confusing. Check out THIS ARTICLE

  2. Joel Richardson has pointed out that the words “world” (Rev 13:3) and “earth” (Rev 13:8) both translate the Greek word “gē”, which has the primary meaning of “region” rather than “world” (Gk. kosmos). So it could be that the Middle Eastern region is primarily in view here.

    Bear in mind also that the Middle Eastern mind set is prone to exaggerated expressions such as “the whole earth” even when a limited area (such as the Greek empire) is actually in view (see Daniel 2:39, where the Greek empire referred to obviously did not cover “the whole earth”).

    Therefore, when the fourth beast is described as trampling down “the whole earth” (Daniel 7:23), a more limited Middle Eastern area may actually be in view, despite the apparent language of Revelation.

  3. The sea/water represent many nations/tribes or many people while the earth is the opposite means less nation/tribe or few people.

    As we know that allah is chief of all arab deities worshiped by many tribes (referring the sea) but origin of islam (muhamad) is come from specific tribe that is quraish not all quraish but from one clan that is banu hashim clan (referring the earth).

    Rev 13 1st beast is not destroyed yet but 2nd beast already defeated during world war 1 that is the last caliphate ottoman. isis didn’t counted as they didn’t received any recognition from sovereign nation.

    1. donal, Rev. 19:20-21 shows that the first and second beast are seized AFTER the return of Jesus and thrown into the lake of fire. This is not historic. I recommend stopping trying to view every event as historical when in fact, nearly all the prophecies are yet to be fulfilled.

      1. Nelson,

        It appears donal is a preterist or at least a partial preterist and this is futile to try and reason with someone like this. He obviously has no intention on being open-minded to your position. Perhaps it is time to just move on.

        Blessings!

  4. Fascinating article, Nelson! You give a lot of information to reflect on and to watch as events unfold as to this future “man” who would be antichrist. Watching Joel last night on PTL Network live stream talking about “Mahdi” has shades of your article was brought to mind. It is amazing how the muslim world and Turkey in particular is becoming more Islamist in feeling more bold to return to what they feel is their “divine right” as the supreme world system that should be theirs and prosper. Antichrist in the future, at God’s timing, will step in to do as the biblical prophets have foretold until God’s Son intervenes to save his people from extinction.

    Blessings!

  5. Regarding the phrase “no regard for the desire of women”. IMO this explanation can be found in the words of God at Eden. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you” (Genesis 3:16). This was the punishment for Eve after the sin of disobedience to God. She will now have to obey her husband.
    The anti-christ will not be a husband yet women will want him to be the husband, and rule over them. He shows himself as god, so women will desire to be his wife, aka his queen, and bear him children. As far as any sexual deviance such as homosexuality, it is not specified or implied in scripture.
    Maybe a better argument could be made that he will be celibate. After all if he is the “son of satan”, he needs no offspring. Jesus was celibate, the Son of God, with no reason for offspring.

    Regarding the antichrist being muslim. I agree that Yahweh is the God of his fathers, but not because of his being of muslim faith. IMO, YHWH will be the God of his fathers but Nimrod’s belief system plays a role, not muslim. Nimrod is the prototype of a rebellious people, his name being interpreted as “he who made all the people rebellious against God”. He was the rival of Abraham. He built the foundation for the Assyrian empire in the land of Shinar. He cursed God for destroying the world and his ancestors by the flood. He was a mighty hunter and greater than all others. (Rev 13:4.. “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war against him?”) And he built the tower to the heavens with the idea that water will never surpass it’s height. Even God came down to earth to see the tower being built.

    Some non biblical historians suggest:
    Nimrod worshipped Moloch, the sun god. Some researchers say the prey he hunted was the souls of men or even sacrifice. He married, his mother, so the son became husband. In effect creating a “trinity” union. From his mother and wife, the first belief system of worship began, astrology/polytheism. The secular epic of Gilgamesh is said to be about Nimrod.

    IMO The AC may as you say, suffer a head wound and come back to life, but not as Mohammad. Nimrod would be a better candidate for Satan to chose. But that’s just me. Gilgamesh is not scripture, neither is the Quran.

  6. Rev 13 and Daniel 11 that’s two different prophecies.

    Revelation 13 talking about allah 666 as first beast and caliphate system as second beast ( 2 horns are shia and sunni). sunni and shia also represents 2 legs Daniel 2.

    list of antichrist:
    – allah aka 666 aka man of lawless/ apoleias aka apollyon/abaddon
    – mohamed aka the false prophet
    – muawiya aka little horn Dan 7 aka assyrian antichrist aka gog
    – muslim aka fake jew, synagoge of satan aka al aqsa mosque
    – sunni aka 8th kingdom

    1. The first beast of Rev. 13 comes from the sea (gentile nations) but the second beast comes from the Land (Israel). I don’t have this completely figured out yet, Sunni and Shia is a good guess, but it doesn’t fit with the second Beast arising out of Israel.

      1. If you research the Founding Fathers of America you’ll find some of those didn’t believed in the Virgin Birth. Christians would ask them if they were Christian and they would side step the question. An ugly truth, but on the bright side Christians have been in office.

        Revelation 13:11 And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.

        In Revelation 13:11 beast is a kingdom or nation which we see a new one, with lamb-like, or Christian features, rising out of a sparsely inhabited area, led by a crownless government without a king. The President of the USA needs Congress to rule.

        New York’s Wall Street is the financial hub of the world. It is the center of American and multi-national finance, marketing, and the location of the headquarters of the United Nations. There have been rumors of Obama and Clinton creating ISIS.

        America became a Super Power after WWII because of the collapse in Europe and helped with Israel to become a Nation in 1948 and Israel regained Jerusalem in 1967. God will destroy any Nation that will divide Israel. Every time the White House has tried to work out a peace treaty with Israel and Palestine the USA has had a national disaster.
        __________________________________

        Revelation 17:11 And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.

        Revelation 13:3 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.

        Babylon is the only Kingdom mentioned in Revelation. Daniel 4:11, 4:15 and 4:22 gets over looked. The war in Iraq (Babylon) has stirred up a hornet’s nest.
        ___________________________________

        Revelation 13:12 And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.

        Government Leaders are saying Islam is a religion of peace and tolerant.

        Just some thoughts.

  7. As usual, excellent commentary. In retrospect I should have focused even more on the Islamic Caliphate in “Antichrist 2016-2019” because
    events in Turkey with this month’s coup and purge could be very relevant to the Antichrist and the end times. Books like “Islamic Antichrist” are excellent primers on these topics too, but I don’t think I have ever read that the Antichrist might claim to be Mohammad reincarnated. (or indwelt by his spirit) And I am still quite worried that whoever the Antichrist proves to be, “He will take action against the strongest of fortresses (America?) with the help of a foreign (Allah?) god. (Daniel. 11:39)

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