In today's Christian religions there are diverse views about the Antichrist. The division of opinion comes in two basic colors; 1) those who see the issue as spiritual, and 2) those who interpret it as political/spiritual.
In the first group are those (including Seventh-day Adventists) who recognize the existence of a cosmic war between Christ and Satan; between the forces of good and the forces of evil. They/we also understand that this war began in heaven with the rebellion of Satan (nee, Lucifer), who garnered the sympathy of one-third of the angels. Lucifer and his lot lost the war in heaven but have been winning here on earth to the extent that since the war began, billions of souls have been lost to Christ; souls for whom He died.
Those in the second group believe that Antichrist comes onto the world scene as a charismatic person who at first seems to be benign and but later turns sinister. This is the basis of the plot in the wildly successful Left Behind series of religious novels.
Novels or not, these books capture much of the essence and highlight the polarization of the spiritual vs. political perspective in the continuum of beliefs regarding Antichrist.
If one bothers to read the Bible rather than novels loosely based on fabrications from Biblical truths, they will find that both John and Paul wrote about the Antichrist. Paul uses the phrase son of perdition in the second chapter of his second letter to the Thessalonians. John, recording the prayer of Jesus in chapter seventeen of his book, also speaks of the son of perdition. Clearly, they cannot be the same person because Jesus is speaking of Judas Iscariot who was long dead when Paul was writing. So what is the connection?
The phrase, son of perdition is code for Satan's plan for the Christ (to kill Him) and for the church (to kill it). Satan failed to murder Jesus because He gave up His life for all mankind [John 6:51].
Here is the most significant and important point of this post: Judas Iscariot was not an outsider. Judas dwelt among the chosen of Christ; he was one of the twelve disciples. Antichrist dwells in the church as an apparent chosen because it is within the church that Antichrist is able to accomplish the following; 1) persecute and kill the saints, 2) think to change times and laws, 3) blaspheme God by claiming to be God's representative on earth, 4) claim to forgive sins, 5) nullify the daily ministration of Christ as it is carefully outlined in the book of Hebrews (a book written well after the death and resurrection of Jesus), 6 divert worship from Jesus Christ to mere humans (Mary) and institute the veneration of pagan symbols and pagan days of worship [Ishtar (Easter), Dies Natalis Solus Invictus...Birthday of the Invincible Sun (Christmas)].
No, the Antichrist is not some man [Henry Kissinger, Obama, or some bloke in Spain]. He sits in Rome in splendor misleading the world's billions of believers into offering him worship and veneration.
One more thing; Antichrist is not a single person because as John writes [1st John 2:8] there were many Antichrists. Antichrist is two things; a principle that works to counteract the true Christ and, this deadly work always has been and always will be carried out through the hands of men willingly in league with the original Antichrist; Satan.
Here is a need to know so that each of us can explain this important issue to those who do not know; those who (as I have said) get their theology from novels written by men who pervert the Truth of the Word for pecuniary gain (read, money) and who themselves have swallowed either Futurism or Preterism in one continuous gulp.
Think on these things. God Bless.
p.s. Steve Wohlberg has written about the history of Futurism and Preterism. It is worth knowing. You need to know. I will say only this; the roots spring from followers of Ignatius Loyola.