There has been a lot of speculation recently, about the AntiChrist, and people love to nominate individuals who might be the AntiChrist. Simply based what we know about the AntiChrist from the Catholic Church, it is easy to eliminate many of the popular choices. It is also advised by the Church not to try to identify specific individuals, lest you be mis-led, when he actually appears. However, we do know some specific details and characteristics.
In the Church Approved Book:"AntiChrist"
By Saint Robert Bellarmine, S. J.
Saint Robert Bellamine states that there are two certain facts about the AntiChrist. That he is a man, an individual, and that he comes from the Jewish tradition, and will be taken as the Messiah, by the Jews.
Our Lord said: "You have rejected me, but another will come, in his own name, and you will not reject him."
Saint Robert is certain that the AntiChrist will be born of Jewish stock, he will be circumcised, and observe the Sabath, at least initially. And there is fearful simetry: He will be received readily by those that expect to see him. He will be the temporal, messianic King that the Jews expect to find.
In a similar fashion, Jesus was promised and expected by the Jews, but later gathered in the Gentiles, to himself, and so too, the AntiChrist; who will gain a toehold with the Jews, but eventually, will absorb the Gentiles to himself, one by one.
Oddly enough, it may be easier for the AntiChrist to gather in the Gentiles, than it was for Jesus! The Muslims, who do not believe that Jesus died on the cross, are expecting Him to return to break the cross!
The Budists, and oddly enough, the New Agers, are expecting the Return of the Last Budah.
The Dispensational Protestants are expecting the return of the Lord, who will rule from Jerusalem.
Saint Robert reminds us that the AntiChrist is not the Devil Incarnate, because only God can take on another Nature, because the AntiChrist is angelic in Nature, but ... to quote Saint Robert Bellamine:
"He will be the most perfect instrument of the Devil, so that, in him is the bodily expression of all possible Diobolical Malice, just as in Christ Our Lord was the bodily expression of Devine Goodness."
We are all familiar with the number of the AntiChrist's name, but we must not try to discern his name, so as not to eventually be misled, and Heaven will not honor him, by revealing his name. Just as John the Baptist was the fore-runner prophet of Jesus, just before Jesus began his His ministry, it is expected that the AntiChrist will have a fore-runner, also.
The AntiChrist will be well versed in magic, the black arts, sorcery, chicanery, and illusions. He will be very smart, clever, and likely, quite rich.
To paraphrase the great theologian, P. Cornelius A. Lapide:
The state of things at the end of the world, when the AntiChrist, the king of the Jews, shall fix his empire in Jerusalem, (see also Rev 11:8), then shall Enoch and Elias resist the AntiChrist, and convert many of the Jews to Christ. After the AntiChrist is slain, all the Jews shall be brought to Christ by the deciples of Enoch and Elias, and they shall worship Christ in Jerusalem. (see also Rev. 20:8).
(Webmaster's comment: In a perverse sort of way, the first appearance of Jesus is reverse mirrored vs. the second coming of Jesus, at the end of the world. In 32 AD, Jesus was crucified by the Jews, who initially fortold his coming for centuries, and accepted Him until the very end, while the Gentiles had to be slowly convinced thru the centuries. At the End of the World, the Jews will accept and worship Jesus, but the Gentiles will largely turn against Jesus, at the very end, largely thru the Great Apostasy of the Roman Catholic Church, and Satan's 100 years of Extraordinary Powers, granted by God, and foretold by Pope Leo Xiii, in 1884.
666 is the 'Mark of the Beast', Right?
"Then I saw a second beast, coming out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb, but it spoke like a dragon. It exercised all the authority of the first beast on its behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed. And it performed great signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to the earth in full view of the people. Because of the signs it was given power to perform on behalf of the first beast, it deceived the inhabitants of the earth. It ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived. The second beast was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that the image could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. It also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name. This calls for wisdom. Let the person who has insight calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. That number is 666." Rev 13:11-18 (NIV)
The 'Mark of the Beast' is well known, and accepted almost universally as the number 666. Some have wondered whether all who took the mark, would have the 3 digits tattooed on their foreheads. More recently, some wondered if it would be the UPC (product price code) bars, or perhaps an RFID Tag (Radio Frequency Identification Tag), embedded under our skin. Some have even wondered whether the real number is really '616".
I'd like to turn your attention to another possibility. The fragment of parchment where we find the original '666' digits is quite small, and fragmented. This is a picture of that fragment, and the '666' is underlined in red, in the upper section:
You can see that we are dealing with a very fragile and incomplete scrap of writing to use, in order to answer this question. The Revelations Chapter of the Bible was written by the Apostle John, when he was about 90 years old, and living a live of exile, of the Greek Island of Patmos. Using Greek, it has always been translated as '666'. Before his exile, John lived in Rome, and was a learned man who knew Arabic. The Arabs gave the world the base 10 number system that the world still uses today.
Suppose John used Arabic to write that word. We would then translate it from right to left, since all languages east of Jerusalem read (backwards?), from right to left. In that case, those letters '666' in Greek, would read "In the name of Allah', with the bonus of the crossed swords symbol of Islamic fighters:
ISIS fighters are already using "In the Name of Allah" on their foreheads, and theirright arms:
Oh, by the way, there are 144 Chapters, and 6,666 Verses in the Koran!