Ever since the Old Testament first spoke of him, Christians and Jews have been looking for the advent of the Antichrist. Daniel described him as the most evil man who ever will live. He will charm the Jews into submission then turn against them. This “man of sin” will briefly become the most powerful man on earth.
Many Christians have tried to name the Antichrist from among the men of their day. Some have made good assumptions, while others were very much off base in their observations. Of course, no one has been able to name the true Antichrist. Listed below are several world figures that have been tagged as the Antichrist. Most of these men are dead and presumably off the hook, but a number of them are still active on the world stage.
Antiochus Epiphanes He was one of only a few pre-Christ candidates and is described by scholars as being a type of Antichrist. Epiphanes was predicted by Daniel the prophet, and he fulfilled many of the prophecies that the real Antichrist will repeat.
Roman Emperor Nero He was one of the first and one of the greatest persons to fit the role of Antichrist. He put many Christians to death, and even killed members of his own family. Nero’s actions actually helped the Church to multiply faster. When he learned the Roman Senate was plotting against him, he died by poisoning himself.
The Pope Just about every pope has been given the title of Antichrist. The pontiff is a favorite among evangelicals. During the Middle Ages, when the power of the pope was more pronounced, the title was more plausible. Today, the political power of the Pope has long since waned. It’s more likely the pope would play the role of the False Prophet.
Charlemagne He lived from 742-814 AD and controlled much of Central Europe. Charlemagne put himself into the shoes of the Antichrist by trying to rebuild the Roman Empire, a task that only the real Antichrist will accomplish. He died before achieving his goal.
Napoleon The self-crowned French Emperor was not particularly a depraved man: He did not persecute the Church, and he lacked a number of the qualities needed for the role. His downfall was that he loved war too much. Napoleon, like Charlemagne, worked at reviving the Roman Empire.
Aleister Crowley He was a male witch who lived in England from 1875 to 1947, and who was so evil that his nicknames were “the Beast” and “666.” A number of rock and roll groups such as The Beatles, The Doors and Ozzy Osbourne featured references to him on their albums.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt The numerical value of FDR’s name was reported to add up to 666. Because of the Great Depression, FDR was the most autocratic US President of the 20th century. Roosevelt was in office for 12 years.
Benito Mussolini Because Mussolini became the dictator of Italy, the original capital of the Roman Empire, he was the subject of a great deal of commentary during his rule from 1922 to 1943. His extreme arrogance fit the role of Antichrist, but his military capabilities were laughable. Italy needed help from Germany all throughout World War II.
Adolf Hitler Most people would describe this man as the most villainous man who ever lived. He remains a demonic forewarning of what the real Antichrist will be like.
Joseph Stalin This Russian dictator is believed to be the greatest mass murderer of all time, having killed 30 million people. Most of history’s tyrants killed foreigners; Stalin specialized in killing his own citizens.
Francisco Franco He was the dictator of Spain from 1936 until his death in 1975. Franco was called the Antichrist not because of his actions, but more because of a genealogical connection. Upon his death, the dubious honor of being called the Antichrist passed to Prince Juan Carlos.
John F. Kennedy As the nation’s first Roman Catholic President, John F. Kennedy was believed to do the pope’s bidding. At the 1956 Democratic convention, he received 666 votes. When Kennedy was shot dead in Dallas, several people waited for this deadly wound to heal. It never happened.
Henry Kissinger Because of Mr. Kissinger’s activity in the Middle East, he was labeled the Antichrist. I’ve always thought his raspy voice would be the first thing to disqualify him.
King Juan Carlos of Spain The late prophecy teacher Charles Taylor was a big proponent of the idea that Juan Carlos is the Antichrist because of his bloodline and because he’s the king of the tenth nation to join the European Union.
Ayatollah Khomeini One of the grumpiest men to ever live, he bedeviled the US for a number of years.
Ronald Wilson Reagan Say it isn’t so, Ron. During the 80s when he was President, there was talk going around about the fact that he had six letters in all three of his names.
Mikhail Gorbachev The first Russian leader to support the rights of the people has been and remains a candidate for the job of Antichrist. Until Gorby dies, prophecy watchers will keep an eye on him. I guess being born with that mark on his head was too obvious for some.
Maitreya A camera-shy New Age personage, who is said to be on this earth somewhere, is waiting for his opportunity to save the world.
Sun Myung Moon This leader of the Unification Church openly claims to be the Messiah. Moon recently was sent to jail for tax evasion. Jesus, by having a tax collector on His staff, didn’t suffer from tax problems. You pick which one was the smarter Messiah.
PLO leader Yassir Arafat When Arafat signed the peace treaty with Israel in 1993, some thought that he was bringing to pass the prophecy regarding the Antichrist signing a seven-year peace treaty with Israel. In order for this to be the case, we would be well into the tribulation period.
Louis Farrakhan Farrakhan has worked hard to earn the title of Antichrist: He has met with every Islamic dictator there is, and he’s called the Jewish faith “a gutter religion.” Farrakhan has said that Jesus was “just a prophet” and that he, Louis Farrakhan, is the true Jesus.
Karl Hapsburg Just like Juan Carlos, Karl Hapsburg has a good shot at being the Antichrist simply because of who he is. His family holds the title of ruler over Jerusalem. The Hapsburg family also reigned over the Holy Roman Empire at one time. The European Union will be a revival of the Roman Empire.
William Jefferson Clinton A number of folks have e-mailed me saying, “Clinton is Satan’s pet.” I came across information posted in newsgroups and websites that add up William Jefferson Clinton numerologically to total 666.
Barney the Dinosaur Because John, the writer of Revelation, would never have known what a dinosaur looked like, it’s logical to assume he would have identified any vision of Barney as one of a dragon. Taking this into consideration, you might find the following Scriptures quite revealing: Revelation 12:3, “And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon.”
Revelation 13:4, “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?”
Revelation 20:2, “And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years.”
Bill Gates If the beast needs to be computer literate and financially well-off, then Bill Gates is a good candidate.
Prince Charles of Wales I’m told that “old big ears” Prince Charles could be the beast. Charles has had the familiar numerology claims made about him–ones that equate his name with 666. Further, he is believed to have ancestral links to the Roman Empire. It was also reported to me that he’s a vegetarian, which could explain why the Antichrist will stop the daily animal sacrifices in the Jewish Temple.
Jacques Chirac French President Jacques Chirac has been involved in a flurry of diplomatic activity. His high profile has caught the attention of several prophecy watchers.
Barack Obama Our 44th President generated a great deal of interest in what possible connections he may have to Bible prophecy. I’ve received dozens of emails pointing out the odd fact that the day after the election, the daily pick-three lottery number in Obama’s home state of Illinois was “6-6-6.”
I have some observations of my own to make about the Antichrist. First of all, I have no idea who he is. When you examine history, people who become well known on the world stage often have been largely unknown before they became famous. Hitler was a good example. Before he ruled much of Europe, at one low point, he was living in a flophouse. If you had walked by him, you never would have guessed he would someday threaten to take over the world. When the time for the Antichrist comes, he will achieve great power, but right now he could be out pumping gas at some service station.
In recent years, the word “Antichrist” has lost much of its meaning. In the past, calling someone “Antichrist” was on the same level as cursing. Now, attaching that name to someone or something brings up mythological connections. The same thing applies to calling someone a devil. Examples like Barney the Dinosaur or Bill Gates only blur the real meaning of the name of Antichrist. Someday, he will rise to power and destroy more human beings than anyone who has ever lived.
We should take care not to focus too much on the Antichrist. Our hope lies in the true Christ. Any news about the “man of sin” should only prepare us for the Man of Salvation. As a pre-Tribulationist, I personally have no plans to meet this “son of perdition.” Only those who have not repented of their sins and are not living pure lives should expect to meet him personally, or more likely, see him on CNN or Fox News.