even now are there many antichrists, whereby we know that it is the last time. 1 John 2:18
At least two important ideas are in this partial verse. The term "last time" causes arguments, depending upon one's principle of interpretation. Reform people use it to prove that, since the "last time" was said to exist, almost two thousand years ago, then Antichrist has come and gone. Almost certainly, they say, he was one of the Caesars.
Many things in Revelation fail to be fulfilled in this grotesque misinterpretation. Reform people have as much ability to interpret prophecy as I have to pilot a Boeing 747. I don't fly, and they should not interpret with their present knowledge and mindset. While these horribly mistaken people attempt to show that Antichrist has already come by citing historical evidence, they leave out powerful scriptures that just plain flatten their point of view.
And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming. 2Thessalonians 2:8
Has this occurred in the past?
So what is the "last time"? It is the last period of a series of events that occur before the return of Christ. If you believe in the immanency of His return, then you believe we are in the last time.
What I am very concerned about is the increasing use of the title Antichrist in connection with someone whose doctrine and actions are similar to those of the coming Antichrist. It would be as if a soldier in a battle with the troops of an evil emperor were to describe each of his foes as the emperor. The troops fight for the emperor and share his values, but each is not the top man.
It is common to refer to popes as the Antichrist. Sir Isaac Newton thought the pope of his day was the Antichrist. The pope returned the charge against Sir Isaac. A Reform Baptist preacher, whom I admire, has leveled the charge against a former pope.
There are many--some good Christians--who throw this title around without study to support it. He will not be just a bad man. He will be the most evil man who has ever, or will ever, live.