The Bible’s answer
The antichrist is not merely one individual person or entity, for the Bible says that there are “many antichrists.” (1 John 2:18) Rather, the term “antichrist,” which comes from a Greek word meaning “against (or instead of) Christ,” refers to anyone who does the following:
Pretends to be the Christ.—Matthew 24:24.
Persecutes the followers of Christ, since Jesus views what is done to them as being done to him.—Acts 9:5.
Besides speaking of individuals who take such actions as being antichrists, the Bible also refers to them collectively as “the antichrist.” (2 John 7) The antichrist first appeared in the time of the apostles and has been active ever since. Bible prophecy foretold just such a development.—1 John 4:3.
How to identify antichrists
They promote false ideas related to Jesus. (Matthew 24:9, 11) For example, those who teach the Trinity or that Jesus is Almighty God actually oppose the teachings of Jesus, who said: “The Father is greater than I am.”—John 14:28.
Antichrists reject what Jesus said about how God’s Kingdom operates. For instance, some religious leaders say that Christ works through human governments. Yet, this teaching contradicts Jesus, who said: “My Kingdom is no part of this world.”—John 18:36.