The "anti-Christ" is not mentioned in Revelation, only in 1 and 2 John - in which context it is stated that many such ones had already arrived [i.e., "... even now is already in the world", AND "... even now many antichrists have come. … They went out from us]. The thrust of the texts compares and associates this antichrist with in-house deceivers, the infamous “man of lawlessness” spoken of in Peter and Paul's epistles. The man of lawlessness has already been, and continues to be, revealed - can you not recognize "him" [e.g., of "him" it says, by their fruits you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit].
The texts foretold that there would be an institutional apostasy, a deviation, a general falling away from true worship until Christ's return, when true worship would be restored before God's day of destruction of this system of things.
Regarding that "day," Paul wrote: "It will not come unless the apostasy comes first and the “man of lawlessness” gets revealed." (2 Thessalonians 2:3, 7) Later, he foretold: "When I have gone fierce wolves will invade you and will have no mercy on the flock. Even from your own ranks there will be men coming forward with a travesty of the truth on their lips to induce the disciples to follow them." (Acts 20:29, 30, JB) Other disciples of Jesus also wrote of this apostasy with its 'lawless' clergy class. — See, for example, 2 Peter 2:1; 1 John 4:1-3; Jude 3, 4.
Even Jesus himself offered a parable related to this apostasy.
The "anti-Christ" and "man of lawlessness" is not depicted as something from outside of Christianity, but rather inside of Christianity itself - and one which presented itself shortly before the last apostle died - enough so, that even they already recognized it, and wrote about it. An apostasy which would become so deeply rooted eventually, and so institutionalized, that a restoration would eventually be required - and that a difference would become clearly visible at maturity between the two groups - much like Jesus comparison between darnel, and wheat - indistinguishable until fully grown.
Most OnlineNewest Member