The antichrist is not a man, as Christians believe, who will come out before the Christ, and could even be mistaken for the Christ. The idea comes from the Revelation of St John: the beast, 666, is unchained for a time, and then chained down for a time and half a time. This refers to the release of the energy we call the antichrist. It is not a man but an energy, a destructive force which is deliberately released to break down the old order, the old civilization. It was released in John’s own day, through the Emperor Nero, to bring about the end of the Roman dispensation, to prepare the way for Christendom. It was released again in our time through Hitler, a group of equally evil men around him in Nazi Germany, together with a group of militarists in Japan and a further group around Mussolini in Italy. These three groups, the Axis powers in the war from 1939 to 1945, embodied the energy we call the antichrist.
The antichrist is behind us; it has been, it has done its destructive work, it has gone. Now it has to be “chained down for a time and half a time”. This means sealed off to its own domain for the age of Aquarius – that is “the time” – and half the following age, the age of Capricorn, when it will be released again. In the middle of the age of Capricorn the ‘beast’ will be released once more, there will be another great war, this time fought out on the mental planes.