There are many antichrists pictured throughout the New Testament, because an antichrist is just that—someone who is anti-Christ. But among the antichrists there is also the coming antichrist of antichrists. This person is pictured as powerful both in status and in signs and wonders, drawing many to themselves. There’s a certain mimicking of Jesus in those signs and wonders that will likely even cause some Christians to think of that person as prophet of God. This wouldn’t be anything new—this happened throughout the first century of the Bible, too.
It’s for this reason that Christians must always be paying attention to the messages of the people they’re hearing. Is Jesus found in their message? Hear me right here: I don’t mean “is the name of Jesus used in their message”—I mean, is the fruit, power and messaging of Jesus in their life?—for many take God’s name in vain by adding the name of Jesus to their false messages.
Christians are often quick to give themselves over to anything that claims to be of Jesus so long as it carries power and authority with it, as seen in the many movements of Christian nationalism over the years, but Jesus didn’t run in those circles on earth and his messaging is not in them. If we don’t pay attention, we’ll give our hearts to the wrong movements.
Despite how powerful the “antichrist of antichrists” might be, both Paul and Revelation picture Jesus defeating him with the breath/sword of his mouth—that is, his words. Just as Jesus spoke everything into existence through his words, so he can speak it out. He may come in the form of lowly lamb (when so many want a lion), but that lamb is not without ultimate power. Though he may appear small and his coat may be stained with his own blood, no weapon in the world is more powerful than his words.
My liturgical devotion today is based off of the themes of 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12, found at CommonPrayer.net.