I. Antichrist will be a trial for the good (Apoc., XIII, 7), and a chastisement for the impious and the apostates (II Thess., II, 9-11).
II. Antichrist will be a man, a human person.
“Antichrist is not a myth or a fiction, as Renan, in his silly fashion, tried to show. Neither must he be confused with a sect, a collection of impious men, an atheistic environment, or a period of persecution, as certain pious persons have imagined. Antichrist will be a human person, appearing in an epoch of atheism and of wicked sectaries.”
III. Antichrist will not be Satan in human form, but a man and only a man.
IV. Antichrist will have great powers of seduction, owing to certain personal qualities.
“Whose coming is according to the working of Satan, in all power, and signs, and lying wonders, and in all seduction of iniquity to them that perish.” (II. Thess., II, 9, 10).
V. The beginnings of Antichrist’s career will be lowly and obscure.
VI. Antichrist will increase in power and make conquests.
VII. The rule of Antichrist will be world-wide.
“With the help which will be furnished him by the anti-Christian societies, this enemy of our Lord Jesus Christ will be able to form a gigantic empire in a short time.”
VIII. Antichrist will wage a terrible war against God and the Church.
Father Lémann indicates some of the measures which, to judge by the experience of past persecutions, Antichrist will enforce more thoroughly and more cruelly than ever before. Two of them are: Proscription of Christian teaching and obligatory teaching of error. We can see them already in force in the countries behind the Iron Curtain. Father Lémann adds that “the schools without God or rather against God are a preparation for the second measure.” In that he is perfectly correct, for the Declaration of the Rights of Man of the French Revolution, in the name of which these schools function in France, signified repudiation of membership of Christ, and was thus a declaration of war on the divine plan for order.
IX. Antichrist will claim to be God and will demand exclusive adoration.
X. By means of diabolical prodigies, Antichrist will seek to prove that he is God.
“Whose coming is according to the working of Satan, in all power, and signs, and lying wonders.” (II. Thess., II, 9).
“The question is often asked,” writes St. Augustine, “whether these expressions ‘signs and lying wonders’ are to be understood in the sense that the prodigies wrought by Antichrist will be only apparent, not real; or as signifying that the really extraordinary feats performed by him will draw on to error and falsehood those who accept them as proofs of a divine mission? The great Doctor replies: “This will be known later.”
“This hesitation has given rise to two currents of opinion. Some think that the prodigies wrought by Antichrist will be real prodigies and that they will lead to the acceptance of falsehood, that is, to belief in the divinity of Antichrist. Others hold that all the miracles of Antichrist will be false and unreal and that they will be accepted as true thanks to the action of the demon on the senses of his followers.”
XI. The domination and persecution of Antichrist will be merely temporary. The man of sin will be destroyed (Dan., VII, 26; Apoc., XIX, 20; II Thess., II, 8).