This word is self-explanatory but it is not as simple or as easy to interpret as it may appear. Antichrist obviously means against Christ. In various ways it has been interpreted to mean against Christianity and so on and so forth. It has also variously referred to all kinds of dictators of modern history from Napoleon to Hitler.
Conventionally, it refers to any powerful individual or ruler who opposes the Christian way of life and who probably would bring about the apocalypse. It is interpreted to refer to some individual who would come in the future and wage a great apocalyptic war. Perhaps an individual who would lead the great majority of people astray, away from the Christian teaching.
In 1John 2:18 we read “Children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come; therefore we know that it is the last hour.” And in verse 22 “…who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son.” From this it can be seen that these statements actually refer to anyone, no matter who he is as long as he denies Jesus and His Teaching. This can be any number of individuals either appearing at the same time or sequentially in history.
However, the word and the concept of antichrist should be seen not only in a broader light but also more specifically as referring perhaps to one individual. An individual who through history hates Christ and what He stands for. The antichrists in the plural would then be people who have allowed themselves to be used as tools of this great single Antichrist. So we can have a million antichrists as long as they do not believe in the Message of Jesus and the Truth He represents and furthermore if they actively oppose it.
The important point here is the fact of their actively opposing the teaching as expounded by Jesus, not necessarily Christianity because this and the Message of Jesus have often been shown to be quite different. The great Adversary who uses these people as tools, who stands behind these people and gives them the strength to carry out their activities against those who believe in Jesus is that same Adversary who has always been, Lucifer. Only he can have the power to be the Antichrist. Only he can have the strength to dare to oppose the Message of God and the redemption of human beings through this Message.
Any human being we find on earth who opposes the Word of Christ and actively works against It can be regarded as nothing but a tool, a lieutenant whether he or she knows it or not of this great Adversary. Obviously this Adversary is not going to appear during the last days but as we all know he is here already. In fact he has been here almost since the beginning. This makes his influence all the more sinister and dangerous because his influence has not been suspected and as such he has been able to insinuate himself into the lives of many people without themselves knowing anything about it.
It is not a question of his opposing the Christian Church that matters since this cannot really be equated with God or the Truth that He represents. It is a question of his opposition to the Truth of God in the truest sense. What this last sentence means is left to the individual to contemplate.
The question is, how does he use human beings as tools? It is really quite simple. He stands behind the intellect. All those who regard their intellect as of paramount importance are generally as a matter of course unable to exercise their intuitions in the direction of the Light of God. Being cut off from the Light, it is then much easier for these people to be used as tools.
The connection to the Creator can only be achieved through the activity of our spirits. The lack of this completely exposes us to the danger of being pawns of the Antichrist. We must watch out and begin to pay attention to our spirits.