It is easy to dismiss as irrelevant questions about the Antichrist’s various characteristics because the Church will not be around when the Antichrist comes to power anyway. However, these are useful questions to consider because we will be around for the birth pangs of the Tribulation…
It helps us to better understand our times when we see the world’s geopolitical environment becoming aligned with what the Bible tells us about the Tribulation. And this helps the representatives of God to know what we should be doing as, “the children of Issachar who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do” (1 Chronicles 12:32, NKJ).
Many have thought that the Antichrist would be a Jew because Jesus said, “I have come in My Father's name, and you do not receive Me; if another shall come in his own name, you will receive him” (John 5:43). It is hard to imagine the Jews accepting anyone but Jews as their Messiah. But Scripture does not say the Jews will think the Antichrist to be the Messiah. They will put their trust in him as a great political leader until he reveals who he is to them by desecrating the yet-to-be-built Jewish Temple (Daniel 9:27).
The Bible in fact represents the Antichrist as a Gentile. Revelation 13:1 illustrates him as a “beast coming up out of the sea.” The sea is a consistent symbol of the Gentile nations in the prophetic Scriptures; some good examples are Daniel 7:3, Luke 21:25, and Revelation 17:1.
However, Scripture does describe the Antichrist's chief promoter, the False Prophet, as a Jew. Revelation 13:11 says the Apostle John saw, “another beast coming up out of the earth.” The earth is the land which is associated with Israel. I actually expect the False Prophet to claim to be a specific Jew: Jesus Christ. Jesus warned that, “many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many” (Matthew 24:5).
The idea that the Antichrist would be a Jew also conflicts with other indications in Scripture that he would be a Muslim. It is interesting to note that this line of thinking is consistent with the Muslim belief that Jesus would return to convince “Christians” to worship the Islamic messiah, al-Mahdi. The False Prophet will claim to be Jesus Christ and thus will have to be a Jew to support that claim.
Among the major Tribulation stage setting developments we see taking shape today are the world community of nations ostracizing Israel and moving closer to a global government. These trends are consistent with what the Bible says we can expect in the lineage of the Antichrist. Details matter and the more we see the peaces fit together, the closer we know we are to Jesus returning for us because “knowledge shall increase” at “the time of the end” (Daniel 12:4).