Church of Azazel > Beliefs & principles > The Antichrist
by Diane Vera
Copyright © 2006, 2013 by the Church of Azazel. All rights reserved.
- Preliminary thoughts, June 2006
- Addendum, January 2013
- The "Antichrist" and the Church of Azazel paradigm
- Preliminary thoughts, June 2006
There is no reason to believe in the infallible truth of Christian prophecies. But some prophecies may be self-fulfilling, by sheer force of so many people believing in them.
Christian predictions about the "Antichrist" have already inspired many people, e.g. Aleister Crowley and quite a few teenage Satanists, to try to take on that role. Perhaps, someday, one of these people may actually succeed. Alternatively, a world leader might emerge who didn't intend to be the Antichrist, but who is almost unanimously identified as such by the more conservative Christians.
Anyhow, an "Antichrist" may be just what the world needs. That is, the Antichrist as expected by a great many of today's evangelical Christians, not the Antichrist as portrayed in the Omen movies.
In the Book of Revelation/Apocalypse (chapters 6, 8, 9, 11, 14, 15, 16), Jehovah - not Satan or the Antichrist - is the one predicted to inflict nearly all the more severe calamities and eventually to destroy the entire Earth. He is predicted to do this mainly out of fury that not everyone in the world bows down to him; he is a fierce, self-described "jealous god" (Exodus 20:5 and Exodus 34:14). And, given their belief in the Rapture, the more fanatical evangelical Christian worshipers of Jehovah could indeed end up destroying the entire Earth. A lot of them seem to get off on the prospect of big wars in the Middle East, because those wars speed up the end-times clock.  We've seen also, as of September 11, 2001, how destructive the more fanatical Muslims can be too.
On the other hand, many evangelical, fundamentalist, and traditionalist Christians believe that the Antichrist will bring world peace, at least for a short time, via a "one-world government" which will emerge from the United Nations. In fact, a one-world government would be the only conceivable way to end the threat of nuclear war once and for all. And that, to almost anyone except a hardcore fundamentalist Christian, would be a very good thing indeed.
It is also commonly believed that the Antichrist will persecute "true Christians." Then again, many fundamentalist/traditionlist Christians feel "persecuted" already, merely because most people don't like their attempts to force their religion on everyone else. 
According to many evangelical Christians, the Antichrist will be a world political leader who will also preside over a new world religion.  The predicted new "religion" will essentially be a broad coalition of all the world's already-existing religions, except for "true Christianity," i.e. theocratic-minded fundamentalist/traditionalist Christianity, and possibly also excluding Judaism according to some evangelical Christian writers, although others say thet the Antichrist will be a Jew.  Such a coalition wouldn't really be a single new religion, but it would be seen as a "religion" by many Christian religious right wingers, who insist, for example, that "secular humanism" is a religion. 
If, in addition to religiously intolerant fundamentalist/traditionalist Christians, the coalition were also to exclude religiously intolerant fundamentalist/traditionalist Muslims and possibly also religiously intolerant ultra-orthodox Jews/Noahides, then, yes, the entire rest of the world could indeed benefit from a politically powerful coalition of all the world's other religions against the Abrahamic would-be monopoly. What the coalition would oppose is the imperialistic theocratic mindset that has gotten more and more common amongst the more fundamentalist/traditionalist Christians and Muslims and in the small but growing Noahide movement - a very scary movement if it gets much bigger. (Noahides are halfway converts to Judaism. One of the seven laws of Noah is to set up courts of justice to enforce the other six laws, which include prohibitions on "idolatry" and "blasphemy," punishable by death - at least according to an ultra-Orthodox interpretation which seems to be growing in popularity. )
A worldwide coalition against Abrahamic theocracy could be rather fractious, though. It would have to include everyone from Western gay nudist Wiccans to fundamentalist/traditionalist Hindus, who typically hate Western gay nudist Wiccans every bit as much as fundamentalist/traditionalist Christians do. To be maximally effective - and maximally consistent with the Antichrist prophecies as commonly understood by most evangelical Christians, who say that the Antichrist will be a "false Christ" - the movement would also have to include the more liberal kinds of Christians, Muslims, and Jews.
To pull all these many very different kinds of people together worldwide, it would surely be helpful to have a very charismatic world leader, such as the Antichrist.
The Church of Azazel does not claim to know who the Antichrist will be, and we certainly would not be so pretentious as to claim to be the Antichrist. Nor do we even know for sure that there will be an Antichrist. But we can encourage at least some of our members to start building the beginnings of the needed religious and sociopolitical movement, and we can encourage other people to do so as well.
How can we help lay the groundwork? By doing the following:
- Alerting people to the dangers posed by Abrahamic would-be theocrats. A lot of people are still unaware or in denial about this.
- Exposing the manipulative techniques of Christian (and Islamic) evangelists, and encouraging people to study counterarguments.
- Political activism to defend the rights of nonmainstream religions and other nonmainstream subcultures that are under attack by religious bigots.
- As part of all three of the above, opposing any revival of "Satanic" panic. (See Against Satanic Panics.)
- Talking to and making friends with people of a variety of nonmainstream religions, rather than looking down our noses at them as all too many Satanists have done.
The Church of Azazel encourages its members each to do at least one of the above, at least on a small scale - especially the last one, making friends with people of nonmainstream religions, since doing so can be very beneficial to the development of one's own religious thinking, as well as helping to promote religious tolerance in a small way.
Numerous young theistic Satanists have fancied themselves to be the Antichrist. If you are such a Satanist and you want us to take you at all seriously, well, you'll need to prove it through your accomplishments. Among other things, you had better excel at doing all five things listed above, plus you had better be a darned good political organizer on an international scale. Otherwise, well, perhaps you might still be "chosen by Satan" for some purpose, but certainly not as the Antichrist.
- Addendum, January 2013
The above was written back in June 2006, in the wake of a silly mass media frenzy over the date "06-06-06." I'm now considering more seriously whether the idea of "the Antichrist," at least as a symbol, can be incorporated in a positive way into the Church of Azazel paradigm. To that end, some further observations:
Historically, Christian leaders have commonly equated "the Antichrist" with some major institutional rival, either of Christianity itself or of their own branch of Christianity. For example, back in the days of the Council of Nicea, Athanasius referred to the Arian heresy as "harbinger of Antichrist." During the Middle Ages, various factions within the Church saw their opponents as the Antichrist. For a few centuries after the Protestant Reformation, Protestants commonly saw the Catholic Papacy as the Antichrist. .
More recently, during the Cold War, there was speculation that the Antichrist would be a Soviet leader, or that the Soviet Union itself was the "Great Dragon." Back then, many Christians were terrified of Communism due to the persecution of Christians, especially the more informally organized evangelical Christians, in various Communist countries.
On the other hand, quite a few U.S. Presidents have been accused of being the Antichrist too.  In the 1970's Hal Lindsay, in the evangelical best-seller The Late Great Planet Earth, claimed that the European Common Market (which later became the European Community) was destined to become a revived Roman Empire led by the Antichrist.  In Tim Lahaye's Left Behind series, the Antichrist was a former Secretary-General of the United Nations -- most likely because of Tim LaHaye's involvement in the John Birch Society, which has long regarded the U.N. as a threat to U.S. sovereignty. Tim LaHaye's Antichrist was also said to be the founder of a "One World Religion," portrayed as a New Agey syncretic mix.
Since September 11, 2001, there has been speculation about the Antichrist being a Muslim leader, perhaps of a revived Caliphate.
Often the Antichrist has been associated with powerful social movements that the evangelical Christian subculture has felt threatened by. For example, thanks to recent successes of the gay rights movement, there has been a lot of recent speculation about the Antichrist being gay. 
The important point here, for theistic Satanists, is that the Antichrist is almost always associated with something already big, powerful, and respectable. To whatever extent the Antichrist is associated with any specific religion, the religion in question is almost invariably what most Satanists would call a "right-hand path" religion, seen by some Christians as "Satanic" only insofar as all rival religions are seen as "Satanic." The Antichrist is not seen as arising from some tiny fringe group such as the Satanist scene -- or, at least, not from the real-life Satanist scene, as distinct from "the Illuminati" (who are alleged to be the secret Satanist masterminds behind all the more-popular non-Christian or heretical Christian religions out there).
Hence, if you happen to desire any role in building the armies of the Antichrist, you absolutely must be able to form alliances with large groups and subcultures, including the more tolerant branches of various "right hand path" religions.
- The "Antichrist" and the Church of Azazel paradigm
The Church of Azazel does not encourage belief in "the Antichrist" as a literal anti-Messiah whom we as theistic Satanists must wait for. It is up to each of us to fight for our own freedom and to look out for our own interests, to be our own Antichrist.
However, it may also be useful to think of "the Antichrist" as symbolizing those aspects of modern society that are regarded, by many fundamentalists, as harbingers of the Antichrist. These things include: women's rights, biological theories of evolution, stem cell research, birth control technology, the growing acceptance of sexual variety, and the growing acceptance of religious variety. All these things are considered desirable by most well-educated non-fundamentalists.
In the Church of Azazel paradigm, these aspects of modern society are associated with the five Rising Gods. Thus, by helping to build separate, independent groups devoted to each of the Rising Gods -- groups that welcome not just Satanists but people of all Pagan, polytheistic, and occult paths who are drawn to a particular Rising God -- we are doing our part to help build the armies of the Antichrist.
Will there ever be a single powerful human leader of some vast, diverse but unified, worldwide organized movement to defend all the more desirable aspects of modernity against fundamentalist would-be theocrats of every stripe? We don't know, but we'll do our part to build the movement, at least on a spiritual/religious level if not on a political level. The groups devoted to the Rising Gods can be thought of, by the Church of Azazel members within those groups, as a budding means of spiritual communion within the very diverse armies of the Antichrist.
To many Satanists, the above will seem like beating a dead horse. To many Satanists in today's world, especially those who live in coastal cities like New York, and all the more so to many European Satanists, the victory of the secular modern world over fundamentalist theocrats is simply taken for granted as a long-ago done deal. Therefore, many Satanists talk a lot more about the things they dislike about the modern world than they talk about those aspects of the modern world that need to be defended against fundamentalist theocrats.
However, as I've argued elsewhere, fundamentalist enclaves have much more political clout than is immediately apparent to the rest of us. And their numbers are growing, not shrinking, even while the total number of Christians in the West has shrunk. The possibility of an eventual "Armageddon"-like showdown between fanatical fundamentalists and "secular humanists" is by no means out of the question. We can always hope that the more fanatical theocratic movements, of all stripes, will eventually lose nearly all their adherents and thereby die a peaceful death, but that's not happening anytime soon.
Note that the "armies of the Antichrist," in the sense described above, should not be thought of as the armies of Satan. Within the Church of Azazel paradigm, there cannot be an army of Satan, at least not in the human realm, because Satan invites us to explore all things hidden and forbidden, freeing us to think, as individuals, in ways that might be considered "politically incorrect" even within the armies of the Antichrist. If there is one thing the history of the Satanist scene has made abundantly clear, it is that Satan has no use for an army of Satanists. (If you think otherwise, try organizing one and see how far you get.)
On the other hand, what we may think of as "the armies of the Antichrist" include a lot of people who are not Satanists and have no need or desire to become Satanists -- a fact we must recognize and respect if we are to be effective allies. (It should also be noted that, whereas the Pagan/polytheist/occult scene is small here in New York City, it is much bigger, as a fraction of the total population, in many other pats of the U.S.A.)
- On common evangelical Christian attitudes toward the Middle East in light of end-times prophecy:
See, for example, the following articles about the massively popular "Left Behind" novels by Tim LaHaye, a major religious right wing leader: Fundamentally unsound by Michelle Goldberg, Reverend Doomsday: According to Tim LaHaye, the Apocalypse is now by Robert Dreyfuss in Rolling Stone, the Time Magazine article The Bible & the Apocalypse, and a review, by Gershom Gorenberg, of Tim LaHaye's "Left Behind" series.
- About fundamentalist/traditionalist Christian persecution paranoia:
See various articles listed in the section on Christian persecution paranoia in my article Promoting religious tolerance on my Against Satanic Panics website.
- About the "one world religion":
In addition to the articles about Tim LaHaye I've referenced elsewhere, see also the following pages by various kinds of fundamentalist/traditionalist Christians: New Age Bible Versions on the website of Jack Chick (publisher of the infamous Chick tracts), One-world religion and One World Government / Religion on websites by followers of the ultra-traditionalist Catholic visionary Veronica Leuken, and One-world religion on its way? on WorldNetDaily.com. See also the following less well-known sources which voice fairly typical views and have a high Internet profile: One world religion now officially born! on a fundamentalist Baptist website, The New World Order and New Age Religion by fundamentalist pastor Ron Graff, Mystery Babylon: One World Religion by Joseph R. Chambers, The New Age Movement: What Christians Should Know by Dr. Dale A. Robbins, and The New Age Religion: brought to us by the Ascended Masters.
- About the Antichrist being a Jew, according to some though by no means all evangelical Christians:
See I, Antichrist? by Jeffrey Goldberg, interviewing Jerry Falwell (another copy here).
- About "secular humanism" as an alleged "religion":
Regarding Tim LaHaye's views, see: The World According to Tim LaHaye: Chapter Four - Secular Humanism as False Religion by Chip Berlet, Another Assault From the Religious Right by Paul Kurtz, and If Best-Selling End-Times Author Tim LaHaye Has His Way, Church-State Separation Will Be... Left Behind by Bob Boston. For one of Tim LaHaye's own diatribes about "secular humanism," see Anti-Christ Philosophy Already Controls America and Europe from the September 1999 issue of Tim LaHaye's newslatter Pre-Trib Perspectives. See also Chip Berlet's comments in The World According to Tim LaHaye: Chapter Two - Pre-Trib Perspectives and The World According to Tim LaHaye: Chapter Eight - The Age Old Conspiracy.
- About Noahides and "courts of justice" with death penalty for "idolatry" and "blasphemy":
See The Seven Laws of the Descendents of Noah, The Seven Laws of the covenant of Noah, and The Concept of Noahine Courts on Noahide websites. See also the following relevant ultra-Orthodox Jewish sites: RaMBaN on VaYishlach on Gates to Jewish Heritage and Courts of Law by Chaim Clorfene and Yakov Rogalsky. But note that not all Jews traditionally agree - see The Obligation of Jews to Seek Observance of Noachide Laws by Gentiles: A Theoretical Review by Rabbi Michael J. Broyde.
- About historical Christian views of the Antichrist:
For a good general summary, see the Wikipedia article on the Antichrist. For Athanasius's reference to the Arian heresy as "harbinger of Antichrist," see Athanasius's Four Discourses Against the Arians. For a Roman Catholic response to Tim LaHaye, see False Profit: Money, Prejudice, and Bad Theology in Tim LaHaye’s Left Behind Series by Jimmy Akin.
- See How Many Presidents Have Been Accused of Being the Antichrist? by Forrest Wickman, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2011.
- About Hal Lindsay, see Hal Lindsay biography and notes on Biblio.com and The Antichrist of the moment by James L. Evans.
- About the idea of a gay Antichrist:
See Pastor Hagee: The Antichrist Is Gay, "Partially Jewish, As Was Adolph Hitler" (Paging Joe Lieberman!) by Max Blumenthal, June 2, 2008; Dwight McKissic: The anti-Christ is gay; Obama’s support for marriage equality worse than Katrina, Dallas Voice, 21 Jun 2012; Is The Antichrist Gay? Stretching Scripture At The ‘Values VoterSummit’, Church and State, November 2006; and The Antichrist is gay by an anonymous ex-fundamentalist, January 29, 2011.