†he Burros of Berea

Will the Real Antichrist Please Stand Up?

Copyright © Robert E. Cruickshank, Jr (May 20, 2023)

Karen Rogers (Editor)

All Rights Reserved


While speculation about the Antichrist is nothing new, current conjecture regarding who or what he might be is. In ages past, the Pope of Rome was the leading candidate for this diabolical deceiver of the end times. In fact, the original version of the Westminster Confession of Faith named names: “the Pope of Rome…is the Antichrist, that man of sin and son of perdition that exalteth himself in the Church against Christ, and all that is called God.”[1]  Today, very few would agree with this sentiment. This even includes the hyper-creedalists who elevate the Westminster Confession to the level of the Bible 2.0. Yesterday’s Antichrist is not today’s Antichrist, and neither is the Biblical Antichrist.


In the world of modern internet buzz, it seems the head of the Church of Rome has been tossed aside in favor of the head of the Church of England[2] as the number one contender for the position of the Antichrist.  The Daily Star reports that “Charles III was crowned six months, six weeks, and six days after the funeral of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II – 666.”[3] But this is just the tip of the iceberg. The speculation regarding Charles started long before he was crowned king.


Hebrew Gematria and Old Computers


In a Media Monarchy article, entitled “Prince Charles of Wales Equals 666,”[4] we are told: “Prince Charles of Wales in actual Hebrew is pronounced ‘Nasich Charles Mem Wales’. The Hebrew pronunciation itself equals 666 in Gematria. Is it coincidence that Prince Charles official title ‘Prince Charles of Wales’ equates to 666 in its English form and corresponding Hebrew and Greek forms. And then even when translated form [sic] English into Hebrew and then compared to Gematria it still equals 666. The statistical odds are astronomical making this absolutely impossible and a complete modern miracle.”[5] If this is the case, the bar has surely been lowered for what passes as a “miracle” in modern times.


Monte Judah, of Lamb and Lion Ministries, claims to have made this miracle discovery decades ago–making the positive identification as far back as 1981.[6] According to Judah, he and a friend wrote a computer program using Hebrew Gematria to decipher the meaning of 666. He claims “this gematria program is used throughout the world,” and he and his friend “simply adapted that system to the English alphabet.” He then says he “used that program to punch in all world leaders’ names.” According to Judah: “In 1981, the one name that kicked up equaling 666 was Prince Charles of Wales.” While the word Antichrist only appears in four verses in the entire Bible (confined to the epistles of John), Judah claims “there are 40 different prophecies” that “are all about the Antichrist,” and “Prince Charles matches them.” Since making the discovery in 1981, Judah says he’s “watched this with great interest over the years.”


To be precise, he’s been watching this “with great interest” for over 42 years now, and one wonders what computer program Judah could have possibly been using in 1981. The “all new Commodore 64”[7] wasn’t even introduced until 1982.[8]  Nonetheless, the irony here is fitting. The interpretive methods of today’s prophecy pundits are to Biblical exegesis what the Commodore 64 is to modern technology. In other words, their approach is inadequate and irrelevant to what the Bible is actually saying.


The Antichrist is not the Beast


Aside from the obvious nonsense of equating King Charles with a Biblical figure spoken of 2,000 years before Charles existed, the real underlying error is that of equating the Antichrist with the Beast (666) of Revelation 13 in the first place. In an article on Chrstianity.com entitled “What Does the Bible Say About the Antichrist?”, Clarence L. Haynes Jr. informs the reader that the Bible “refers to the person of the Antichrist in Revelation 13. Revelation 13:1-4 describes the Antichrist as the beast that comes out of the sea.”[9] He encourages the reader to “read Revelation 13:1-10 for full details on the Antichrist.”[10]


This is just inaccurate. There is no mention of the Antichrist in Revelation 13.  While Revelation 13 does speak of “the beast that comes out of the sea,” it simply does not use the word “Antichrist.”  Within the pages of Scripture itself, John is the Biblical writer who coined the phrase “Antichrist”[11] (1 John 2:18, 22; 4: 3; 2 John 7), and the term is exclusive to him. If John had intended to say “Antichrist” in Revelation 13, he was quite capable of doing so. Yet, he didn’t.



The Origins of the Antichrist and the Beast


Even the respective origins of the Antichrist and the Beast should tip the reader off to the fact that the two figures cannot be conflated. As noted, the first beast of Revelation 13 “comes out of the sea.” Haynes himself correctly states, “The sea represents a place of evil, wickedness, chaos, and resisting God. It also represents the Gentiles.”[12] The Antichrists whom John spoke of arose from within the Church itself (1 John 2:19), and it is almost universally recognized that the Johannine Community consisted of Jewish converts to Christianity.  The Beast from the Sea (Rev. 13) and the Antichrist (1 John 2:18, 22; 4: 3; 2 John 7) emerge from two separate spheres, indicating that they are two separate and distinct personages in the New Testament apocalyptic scenario.


In an article entitled “Five Things to Know About the Antichrist,” Phillip C. Almond takes the speculation of the Antichrist’s origin far beyond anything even remotely hinted at in either the epistles of John or the book of Revelation. According to Almond: “He is the Son of Satan…the Antichrist would be born of a woman who was apparently a virgin, but was really a whore. Where Christ was God in the flesh, the Antichrist was Satan in the flesh.”[13]  There is simply nothing in the Bible to the effect of the Antichrist being born of a virgin, a whore, or being the incarnation of Satan. Zero. It’s not there.


Not a Blogger in the Basement


Lest the reader think these are the ramblings of an amateur young blogger in his mother’s basement, Almond is the Emeritus Professor in the History of Religious Thought at the University of Queensland, Australia. The article appears in The Conversation, which purports to be an online magazine of “academic rigor” and “journalistic flair.”[14]  Its founding partners and members include some of the world’s most prestigious universities, and its strategic partner is the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.[15] With this in mind, the intuitive mind must ask the question: Is there a reason that the elitists in the establishment want God’s People buying into the doomsday apocalyptic scenarios of the fundamentalist prophecy pundits? These seem like strange bedfellows, if there ever were such a thing. It doesn’t seem to make sense. Or does it?


Actually, it makes perfect sense. Since the mid-1800s, Dispensationalists have been telling us that these are the last days, and things are supposed to get worse in the last days. So, why fight the evils in society and attempt to counter cultural decay? Why polish brass on a sinking ship? The liberals can push their agenda on our children, and the conservatives don’t do anything to fight it. After all, the liberal agenda is exactly how things are supposed to play out in the grand apocalyptic scheme of things. A perfect arrangement. Don’t fight it. Embrace it. The end is coming. In fact, in the article itself, Almond even states that the Bible passages about the Antichrist “…suggest the end of the world should be expected at any moment.”[16]


The End that was Coming


To be sure, John was expecting an “end” when he spoke of the Antichrist, but it wasn’t the end of the world he had in mind. It was the end of the world as it was before Jesus came and changed everything. It was the end of the old order. It was the “end” that was to come before their own generation passed away (Matt. 24:3, 34). His death on the cross (AD 33) set the whole thing in motion, and His coming in judgment on Jerusalem (AD 70) was cleanup work—changing everything forever.  John’s epistles were written in the time between these two events.


John and his readers were living in the middle of these two great epochs in redemptive history. John’s letters were composed in the early to mid-60s and were among the last New Testament books to be written.[17] He and his readers were less than a decade away from the grand finale. “Little children,” he tells them, “it is the last hour” (1 John 2:18). It was all about to go down within their own generation just as Jesus had predicted (Matt. 24:34), and the fact that “many Antichrists” had “arisen” was proof of this (1 John 2:18).


Identifying the Antichrists of John’s Day


Since the primary identifying mark of an Antichrist was the denial that Jesus the Messiah had come in the flesh (2 John 7), it is common for interpreters to identify the Antichrist phenomenon with Gnosticism. While it is certainly applicable to Gnosticism in a secondary way, this isn’t the most likely choice for what John actually had in mind when he penned his letters. As a full-blown system, Gnosticism didn’t really hit the scene until much later, around 115 AD.[18]  While this is, of course, much closer in time proximity than Charles III or the current Pope, it’s still about a half century away from the time of John’s writing.


Noting that the Gnostics came along far too late to fit the bill, Gary DeMar identifies the Antichrists as first-century Jews “who denied that Jesus Christ was the savoir, the promised Messiah who had come in the flesh.”[19] DeMar observes that these Jews would have specifically denied Jesus’ claim that He and the Father were one (John 10:30; cf. 1 John 2:22). Accordingly, in his ground-breaking monograph, They Went Out from Us: The Identity of the Opponents in First John, Daniel Streett clearly and convincingly demonstrates that John’s first-century Antichrists were former Jewish-Christians who had left the Christian community to return to the synagogue after renouncing their belief that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah.[20]


Moving Forward in Our Day      


Along with the rest of the dusty remnants of first-century Judaism, John’s Antichrists are now nothing more than ghosts of the far-distant past. Yet these ghosts continue to haunt the pages of modern prophecy speculation nearly 2,000 years later.  Their continued presence has hampered and hindered the Church from getting on with its God-ordained business for too long now. This is much to the delight of God’s current-day enemies, who continue to push their agenda with little to no real resistance from His People. The evils that plague our present day have nothing to do with the Antichrists of the past, and Jesus isn’t coming to rescue us from the Antichrist. He’s expecting us to do our job and rescue the culture from these prevailing evils, which are very anti-Christian. We need to shake off the dust of the past, focus on the present, and look to the future.


Charles III might have been crowned king six months, six weeks, and six days after his mother passed away, but Jesus Christ was crowned the Ruler of the Kings of the Earth 2,000 years ago (Rev. 1:5). For the sake of our children, our grandchildren, and all the generations to follow, let’s get the memo out. Let’s start echoing the Psalmist: “Now therefore, O kings, show discernment; Take warning O judges of the earth…Kiss the Son, lest He become angry, and you perish in the way” (Psalm 2:10, 12). Let’s stop focusing on the Antichrist and start focusing on Jesus Christ.

[1] Quoted in Gary DeMar, Last Days Madness: Obsession of the Modern Church (Powder Springs, GA: American Vision, 2019), p. 16.

[2] As the King of England, Charles III is technically the head of the Church of England https://theconversation.com/king-charles-defender-of-faith-what-the-monarchys-long-relationship-with-religion-may-look-like-under-the-new-sovereign-190766#:~:text=The%20monarch%20has%20been%20supreme%20head%20of%20the,Scotland%20means%20the%20King%20has%20no%20similar%20relationship.

[3] https://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/exclusive/living-nostradamus-says-king-charles-29977362

[4] https://mediamonarchy.com/prince-charles-of-wales-equals-666/

[5] Ibid.

[6] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fx3BHg9jOQ0

[7] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nd_yiMhu1DM

[8] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commodore_64 While there were mainframes as early as 1977, these were mostly confined to large universities and other such venues or locations. Perhaps a state university allowed Judah to access one of these in order to determine who the Antichrist is? Doubtful.

[9] https://www.christianity.com/wiki/christian-terms/what-does-the-bible-say-about-the-antichrist.html

[10] Ibid.

[11] According to Sara Nair James: “The term seems to have been coined by a member or members of the Johannine school and was intended as a distinctive, yet negative, “quality” notion in the style of a christological title…” (Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception 2 [Walter de Gruyter, Berlin/New York 2009]), p. 169.

[12] Ibid.

[13] https://theconversation.com/five-things-to-know-about-the-antichrist-148172

[14] Ibid.

[15] https://theconversation.com/us

[16] Ibid.

[17] “So, 1, 2 and 3rd John were written after the Fourth Gospel and most believe before the Revelation, which was also written before AD 70. Robinson’s date for the epistles of 1, 2 and 3rd John are AD 60-65. I think that all these epistles were written from Jerusalem and sent out to the province of Asia. This was a circular letter and was intended to be passed around to various churches is Asia” (Pastor David B. Curtis, “An Introduction to 1 John,” sermon delivered on March 24, 2019) https://www.bereanbiblechurch.org/transcripts/john-epistles/1john_intro-01.htm

See Also: Edward E. Stevens, “New Testament Canon Complete by A.D. 70” (A Thesis Submitted to the Master’s Program Sunset International Bible Institute In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree MASTER OF BIBLICAL STUDIES [M.B.S.], April 9, 2019), pp. 55-63).

[18] See: Smith, I. I., and B. Carl. No Longer Jews: The Search for Gnostic Origins. Hendrickson Publ., 2004. https://www.amazon.com/No-Longer-Jews-Gnostic-Origins/dp/1565639448

[19] https://garydemar.libsyn.com/the-rise-of-antichrist time mark 13:30ff

[20] Streett, Daniel R. They Went Out from Us. De Gruyter, 2011. https://www.amazon.com/They-Beihefte-Zeitschrift-Neutestamentliche-Wissenschaft/dp/3110247704