10 Sinister Fictional Tales Of The Antichrist
While Christian end-time novels may be amusing fantasy to most of us, almost cartoonish and comedic for their absurdity, fundamentalists take their scenarios quite seriously. The Antichrists in the following stories may be fictional, but there are people who fully expect someone pretty much like them to arise soon on the world stage. As such, these novels and movies give us an insight as to how fundamentalists view today’s news as they scan personalities for any hint of Antichrist tendencies.
10Lord Of The World
Robert Hugh Benson, 1907
Robert Hugh Benson’s Lord of the World is a dystopian fantasy set in the 21st century. A Roman Catholic monsignor, Benson was concerned about the creeping materialism and secularism in his time, and he foresaw a future in which these forces would reign supreme, with religion thrust aside.
In his vision of our century, Benson describes a world gripped in fear by the threat of war between East and West. The only religious people are a few Catholics—the rest of the world is mesmerized by secularism, whose victory owes much to Freemasons and Marxists. Esperanto is the lingua franca of the planet. A Release Act legalizing euthanasia passed in 1998, and the practice is now routine.
Into this stage steps a charismatic young politician from the American Midwest named Julian Felsenburgh. Strangely hypnotic, and able to make crowds sob and faint with his speeches, Felsenburgh eases tensions and eliminates the threat of war. He persuades nations to make him president of the world and sets up a socialist-humanist one-world government.
Felsenburgh proposes a world religion based on benevolence, eradication of poverty, humanism, and pantheism. While Jesus proclaimed that he came to bring not peace but a sword, Felsenburgh, as Lord and Savior of the world, brings “not a sword but peace.” Westminster Abbey is converted into a shrine to Man, and Felsenburgh’s religion proclaims that “Man is God.” Only Christianity, which Benson equates with his own Catholicism, stands in the way of Felsenburgh’s total domination.
Casting aside all pretense of pacifism and revealing his true colors as the Antichrist, Felsenburgh destroys Rome by aerial bombardment. He makes opposition to his religion of Humanity a crime. Those who confess a higher transcendent reality than Man—those who believe in God—are judged guilty of treason and put to death.
The Church is ravaged, and only Pope Sylvester III and a dozen bishops remain. They escape to the Holy Land, and in the final scene, the Pope holds aloft the Sacred Host as Felsenburgh approaches Armageddon and the final battle.
Many Catholics see in today’s trends the ominous fulfillment of Benson’s vision. In 1992, the future Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Ratzinger, warned against utopianism, referring to Felsenburgh when he said, “The anti-Christ is represented as the great carrier of peace in a similar new world order.” Lord of the World is reportedly one of Pope Francis’s favorite books, and he referred to it in a homily about the danger of “globalized uniformity” brought about by secular worldliness.
9Titan, Son Of Saturn
Joseph Birbeck Burroughs, 1905
Antiochus is actually a real historical person. He was the Seleucid tyrant who destroyed Jerusalem in 167 B.C. and defiled its Temple by sacrificing a pig within its sacred precincts. Regarded as the enemy of God by the persecuted Jews, Antiochus is a natural in the role of Antichrist. Under his rule, Jews who chose to obey the Torah rather than his decrees were martyred. Daniel predicted that the death of Antiochus would be followed by the establishment of the Kingdom of God. But it didn’t happen. It seems there is going to be a Round 2.
In Titan, Son of Saturn, Satan appears in Babylon and uncovers the long-lost tomb of Antiochus. Antiochus is resurrected by Satan. It turns out that Satan was God’s initial choice for Messiah but was stripped of the title for his rebellion. Now, Satan promises Antiochus that his ancient kingdom will be restored.
Antiochus recruits his followers from discontented Russian masses, who rise in a socialist revolution. The unrest spreads to Western Europe, where the socialist takeover results in a Confederation of Ten States—a United States of Europe, hostile to Britain and America. Antiochus has his clergy deny the divinity of Christ, man’s sinfulness, and the need for forgiveness. Instead, he promotes the “Universal Brotherhood of Man.”
The novel is remarkably prescient in predicting a Russian revolution that actually took place in 1917. Burroughs could already see the parameters of the coming Cold War in the conflict between Russia and the US. He blames immigration for America’s lack of cohesion and unity, which allows her to be invaded by the army of the United States of Europe. Meanwhile, Britain is overrun by Muslim hordes from Asia and Africa.
8 The Seven Last Years
Carol Balizet, 1978
Carol Balizet’s book chronicles events before the Rapture all through the next seven years of Tribulation.
A giant meteor crashes on Cyprus and creates a chain reaction of earthquakes and tsunamis around the world. At the height of the natural disasters, people begin to disappear, some leaving while surrounded by a white glow. It is the Rapture, but with so much of Earth’s population dying or going missing, the strange disappearances get lost in the midst of general chaos.
A radical American theologian and bishop named Uriah Leonard sets up an international food distribution program called “Feed My Lambs,” making him wealthy and influential. In the wake of the disasters and the resulting collapse of the US government, Bishop Leonard’s agency takes on the responsibility of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to rebuild America. But Leonard has greater ambitions.
The Catholic Church is by this time a failing institution morally and theologically. Leonard takes advantage of the Church’s troubles and ultimately becomes the first American pope. But as Sixtus VI (the number of the Beast is 666, remember), he turns out to be the Antichrist. And he is now the de facto ruler of Western Europe.
Balizet takes the trouble to work out the logistics of enforcing the mark of the Beast on the world’s inhabitants. Unlike other end-time authors, she knows this would not be easy to do in real life. In the novel, many do not comply, and the deadline has to be extended again and again. Landowners set up black market farm colonies as refuges for those who disobey.
Pope Sixtus is also later revealed as a Satanist and a Jew. He is assassinated and miraculously comes back to life, but now his body is a host to Satan himself. The reader gets the impression that his destiny is predetermined. On the eve of Armageddon, one of his minions asks him, “Do you feel any fear? Any doubts?” Sixtus replies, “I have spent too many years, too many centuries of effort to be stricken now with doubts. I must do what it is my nature to do.”
Dan Betzer, 1985
The brilliant and suave head of the European Economic Community, Jacque Catroux has a dark secret beneath his celebrity good looks and dashing persona. He was fathered by Satan himself at the exact instant of Adolf Hitler’s death. He literally takes on the heart and eyes of Hitler and styles himself as Friedrich Nietzsche’s Ubermensch. Satan reveals himself to Catroux like Darth Vader, saying “I am your father.” He tells Catroux that he will succeed where his other son, Hitler, failed.
Catroux, with irresistible charm, can place his victims in a catatonic or paralytic state with a mere glance. He is bisexual, with a penchant for tight, Italian-made boots and Remy Martin brandy, which he serves in his suite at New York’s Helmsley Palace. Only once in a while is he betrayed by a dreadful stench and a strange mark on his forehead caused by an obstetrician’s forceps.
The US president and vice president reveal much about how religious conservatives look at politics. President John Forman, himself a religious conservative, advocates an arms buildup and a big defense budget. Vice President Barry Cane is an agnostic and liberal who pursues disarmament and detente. Forman is taken up in the Rapture, while Cane is left behind. Cane becomes president and makes a pact with Catroux to merge the economies of Europe and America together, a “Europamerica” with Catroux as sole leader. Satan himself appears at the Oval Office to seal the deal and meet his new “family.”
Cane, as the Beast’s sidekick and the False Prophet, implements the Antichrist’s rules. He uses the Internal Revenue Service to impose a “shopping permit” and a number that people have to show to engage in business. The book ends with Catroux’s accession to power, and Betzer must have meant to follow up with a sequel to tell what happened next.
Salem Kirban, 1970
At 6:00 PM on June 6, an Iraqi child is born in a manger in Babylon. His mother therefore names him, rather implausibly, 666.
Salem Kirban’s 666 charts the course of the boy’s life as Brother Bartholomew, as he is known to the world. Bartholomew hides his Muslim background and champions the popular sentiments against the political power of international capitalism. He rises to prominence and gains more acclaim and influence by bringing peace to the Middle East. As a man of peace and reconciliation with a masterful grasp of Scripture, Bartholomew also becomes head of a united World Church.
Kirban projects the problems of 1960s America—the sex-and-drugs counterculture, campus violence, rampant crime and pollution—to the future. He has America crying out for a “strong man” to rid her of “sex filth,” someone like Brother Bartholomew, who “can speak one word, and the bullets would cease.” Bartholomew thus becomes president and ends America’s war with China.
The regime compels pregnant women without “Birth Coupons” to have abortions, and 666 is the code number for “Birth Eradication.” It is also Bartholomew’s branding mark, a tattooed substitute for all the different numbers people must remember today. Those who refuse it are guillotined. The Antichrist holds public executions at the Colosseum in Rome.
Besides threats of death, Bartholomew is a manipulative genius who uses modern media technology for his propaganda. He has a well-equipped TV studio, where he performs before 666 members of a live audience seated in six tiers. Thus the Antichrist wins support even for his most wretched policies, like the 10-day week, a ban on private cars, and grinding human corpses into protein cakes to relieve world hunger.
The Antichrist has an arsenal of sophisticated murder-ware like the “ruby laser ring,” the “Q Fever,” and the “Miracle I Powder.” He plans to repel an invasion by 200 million Chinese by zapping them (and some excess population while he’s at it) with the Sound Syndrome, a device whose noise causes madness and heart failure.
From his command post on the Mount of Olives, the Antichrist launches an attack on Jerusalem with an army flying on jet packs and armed with virus sprays. He calls his force “Abaddon”—Hebrew for “Destroyer.” The anti-Semitic Russian premier also attacks Israel, but the Russians are obliterated when God causes Mount Tabor to erupt. This divine intervention convinces many Jews to convert to Christianity and disrupts Bartholomew’s plans to conquer Israel. In the end, the Antichrist’s dazzling weaponry cannot defend him against the returning Jesus Christ.
5The Christ Clone Trilogy
James BeauSeigneur, 1998
The Christ Clone Trilogy by James BeauSeigneur recounts actual events in 1978 when a team of American scientists investigated the Shroud of Turin. Enter the fictional scientist Professor Harold Goodman, who discovers a cluster of dermal cells on the Shroud, still alive after two millennia. Convinced that the man on the Shroud is actually an alien, Goodman sets out to prove his theory and ends up secretly cloning Jesus Christ. Christopher Goodman, the child-clone, is brought into a world seriously in trouble.
Professor Goodman dies in a plane crash brought about by “The Disaster”—the mysterious sudden deaths of millions of people around the world, which is how BeauSeigneur envisions the Rapture. Little Christopher is adopted by the reporter Decker Hawthorne.
Christopher becomes aware that he has unusual powers: He can miraculously heal, travels through space, has visions, and remembers his life as Jesus in the first century. Christopher says that he was not intended then to be crucified but was saved instead by an army of angels. He also insists that Decker is actually a reincarnation of his betrayer Judas.
Like Jesus, Christopher grows to maturity as a loving, gentle, and intelligent young man. Like Jesus, too, he is reluctant to use his superpowers until the right time comes.
Christopher rises within the UN. But he is also being increasingly influenced by the Lucius Trust, a group of twisted mystics. Around the world, chaos accelerates: Israel is invaded by Russia, India and Pakistan start a nuclear war that also involves China, and droughts kill millions across the Middle East and Asia.
The disasters force Christopher into a 40-day sojourn in the wilderness for some introspection and to understand his true identity and mission. He becomes convinced that he is actually Jesus Christ destined to save the world. Christopher returns to the UN with a sense of purpose and becomes secretary-general. But his former humility is gone as the Lucius Trust gains a hold over him.
A man claiming to be the apostle John and a companion named Cohen send three asteroids on a collision course with Earth. These Two Witnesses of Revelation obtain a following of 144,000 Messianic Jews in Israel.
With much of the planet now in ruins, Christopher’s time has come to reveal his powers. He offers the world peace and an end to sickness and disease, and he shows mankind the secrets of eternal youth. Christopher appears as the Messiah bringing the Millennium. But religious zealots recognize Christopher’s utopia as a New Age counterfeit and denounce him as the Antichrist. They resist him, leading the world to Armageddon.
4The Omega Code
In The Omega Code, a movie released by the Trinity Broadcasting Network in 1999, media mogul Stone Alexander is a philanthropist and humanitarian who uses his empire to work for world peace. A war between Arabs and Israel then destroys the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem.
As European Union Chairman, Stone recruits New Age ”human potential” motivational speaker Dr. Gillen Lane to his cause, and they together succeed in uniting the world. Europe, as the revived Roman Empire under Stone, signs a seven-year peace treaty with Israel, which also agrees to peace with the Arabs. The Israelis rebuild the Temple on the ruins of the Dome of the Rock.
Stone gets hold of a secret code buried in the Bible, revealing that whoever controls Jerusalem controls the world. It is based on the “Bible Code” theory popularized by Michael Drosnin, which proposes hidden messages in the Bible that can be uncovered through equidistant Hebrew letter sequencing. It is a computerized acrostic word game.
This Omega Code gives more prophetic detail than the regular prophecies of the Bible. It guides Stone to finally fulfill his destiny as the Antichrist. But he does not have the final piece of the code that predicts his downfall, which was taken away by the Two Witnesses. When Stone is accidentally shot dead, he resurrects in his hospital room, and his body is possessed by Satan.
From this point on, midway through the last seven years, Stone is revealed for what he really is: the Antichrist. He proclaims himself God in the Temple at Jerusalem. He goes after Dr. Lane, who has discovered his secret agenda and is now allied with the Two Witnesses. In the end, Dr. Lane is converted back to Jesus, while the Second Coming of Christ forces out the devil from Stone’s body after he orders a nuclear strike on Rome.
3The End Of The Age
Pat Robertson, 1995
After a meteor strike and a series of natural disasters obliterates the West Coast, the Bill Clintonesque president of the US commits suicide on national TV. The vice president succeeds him, but he cracks under the strain. He is eventually murdered by Tauriq Haddad, a Shiva-worshiping financier from the Middle East, who gets to see his protege, an obscure congressman named Mark Beaulieu, become the next president. Beaulieu becomes the Antichrist.
Author Pat Robertson bares his hostility to the Hindu religion by slandering it in this novel. Robertson has a penchant for demonizing things he doesn’t understand, and this faith, centuries older than Christianity, is one of them.
In his early years, Beaulieu is a Peace Corps volunteer in India who falls under the spell of the destroyer god Shiva and the consort Kali, the goddess of death. Shiva promises Beaulieu wisdom and power. He comes to know his destiny—to “destroy all the corrupt nations of the world—including America and all its greedy capitalists.” Through his guru Raj Baba, Beaulieu is taught the secrets of the “ascended masters” and is thus gripped by a demonic spirit.
Now president, Beaulieu is the stereotypical liberal whom fundamentalists and evangelicals love to hate. He expands big government. As an “ex–campus radical,” he advocates drugs and orgies. Beaulieu names a black feminist as attorney general, whose causes include abolishing the death penalty and closing down prisons. A Lebanese Shiite Muslim and ex-member of Hezbollah who owns a filling station in Dearborn, Michigan becomes Secretary of Energy. A Buddhist monk is Secretary of Education. Haddad is named chairman of the Federal Reserve Board. Beaulieu is destroying the US government from within.
Beaulieu exploits the worldwide turmoil to make himself supreme. He is assassinated but is miraculously resurrected by Haddad on live TV. This convinces the world, except for a few Christians and a small band of Orthodox Jews, that Beaulieu is indeed the Messiah. With overwhelming approbation, the president takes over a New World Order government, its capital built on the site of ancient Babylon. A Union for Peace replaces the UN, but Israel refuses to join. Beaulieu has a giant animatronic statue of himself set up on the site of the Temple in Jerusalem and commands people to convert to Shiva-worship and take on a barcode tattoo. The little force of Christians and Jews form an underground resistance.
To make the Jews submit, Beaulieu assembles an invading force at Megiddo composed of, among others, Libyans, Ethiopians, and Sudanese to surround and capture Jerusalem. But God finally intervenes and sends the archangel Michael to crush the Antichrist.
In April 2014, Robertson predicted that the asteroid that will trigger his end-of-the-age scenario might strike soon. “It could be next week.”
2The Omen Trilogy
The Omen Trilogy seriously departs from biblical prophecy in major points, but its Antichrist, Damien Thorn, is no less demonic than the others on this list. First off, he was born of a jackal, in a blasphemous parody of Jesus’s virgin birth. A birthmark in the form of 666 on his scalp identifies him as the son of Satan, much like medieval witches were said to have the devil’s mark.
Adopted by the American ambassador to Britain, the child Damien is surrounded by sinister deaths. He is educated by witches and sorcerers and so grows up unusually bright beyond his age but also malevolent. He gradually comes to the realization that he is the Antichrist.
Growing up in a political environment, Damien also becomes politically ambitious. He becomes head of the largest multinational corporation in the world, and this is just a step toward his goal of world rule. Fully cognizant of his true identity, Damien tells his disciples, “I stand before you in the name of the one true god, Lord of the Lower Empire, who was cast out of heaven but is alive in me.”
The only threat to Damien comes from a prophecy from the apocryphal (actually non-existent) Book of Hebron, which foretells that Jesus will be reborn once again as a human somewhere in England. An alignment of three stars in the constellation of Cassiopeia, the Trinity Alignment, signals the exact date of Christ’s rebirth.
What follows is a bizarre interpretation of Revelation 12:1–6. Damien plays Herod and collects all male birth certificates for that day. He orders his disciples to kill all babies. But Jesus is born among the gypsies and has no birth certificate, thus escaping Damien’s plot.
But the Antichrist will continue to scheme unless he is eliminated for good. Damien can only be killed by one of the seven daggers of Megiddo, but the monks who make the attempts on his life are killed. The final conflict takes place in an ancient Celtic chapel, where a female BBC correspondent finally skewers Thorn with one of the daggers.
Jerry Jenkins & Tim LaHaye, 1995–2007
Nicolae Carpathia’s very name suggests evil. It reminds us of the brutal Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, and Carpathia hints of the mountain abode of the bloodsucker Vlad, Dracula. Indeed, Nicolae Carpathia first appears in the series as the president of Romania. This is a twist on the ancient tradition that the Antichrist will come from Rome.
For some implausible reason, the world believes Carpathia’s explanation for the Rapture as due to people being vaporized by accumulated radiation in the atmosphere. He gains a reputation as a savvy and charismatic PR man.
As with every Antichrist in fictional history, Carpathia has a sincere desire for a unified and peaceful world, a reflection of the Christian Right’s suspicion and paranoia of peace initiatives, especially in the Middle East. As Secretary-General of the UN, Carpathia does precisely that, establishing a new Pax Romana. He signs a treaty with Israel and relocates UN headquarters to Babylon. All religions are combined into one world religion called Enigma Babylon One World Faith. A former Catholic cardinal, who believes the Bible should not be taken literally, is pope. The US president is demoted into a lowly puppet enforcing global disarmament for Carpathia. To control world population, Carpathia turns to abortions and assisted suicides.
Three and a half years into his New World Order, Carpathia is assassinated, yet he comes back to life before scores of witnesses and on video. Satan thereafter takes hold of his body, and he gains more power than ever. There is opposition to his rule, led by Christians of the “Tribulation Force,” 144,000 Jews, and the Two Witnesses, Moishe and Eli (i.e., Moses and Elijah). Carpathia incinerates much of the world in nuclear fire to stop the rebellion.
Larry is a former Christian fundamentalist who retains an interest in early Church history.