Amazon, Bezos and Antichrist

Question

Revelation 13 speaks about a one-world government and one-world currency. Since Jeff Bezos (Amazon) is already in so many countries it appears to be a nation all its own. You can buy almost anything with an account in almost any currency you desire. Is Jeff Bezos the Beast/Antichrist?

Answer

Thanks for your question. I’ll first answer with some Amazon and Bezos facts and follow with a few biblical facts.

A Few Amazon Facts

Jeff Bezos used to own Amazon which is a huge multi-national business having a global reach of over two hundred counties and territories and over two hundred million paid Amazon members worldwide. [1] But Elon Musk, not Jeff Bezos, is presently the richest man on the globe. [2] However, that is subject to change at any given time.

Amazon has an A to Z smile because they offer almost anything to anyone. They sell many things:

Amazon product lines include (books, DVDs, music CDs, videotapes, and software), apparel, baby products, consumer electronics, beauty products, gourmet food, groceries, health and personal-care items, industrial & scientific supplies, kitchen items, jewelry and watches, lawn and garden items, musical instruments, sporting goods, tools, automotive items and toys/games. [3]

There are so many Amazon services that it would most likely take a multi-volume book collection to fully explore them. And they are just getting started. Besides having its own delivery services, Amazon even has a pharmacy and sells cars and tiny homes. Then there is Amazon Fresh for grocery service, Kindle for reading, Amazon Music for streaming music, and Amazon Studios which develops television shows, movies and comics from an Amazon worldview. Yes, Amazon is influencing our culture in various ways from preaching social justice and, at the same time, supplying more of the "the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life" (1 John 2:16) for the entire world to consume.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, Amazon isn’t a monopoly [4]. Indeed, it’s everything but one. It's a dominant buyer with the power to control prices in any direction they desire. That's called monopsony. And this, in my opinion, is dangerous to society.

A Few Biblical Facts

The book of Revelation does not use terms such as "one-world government" or "one-world currency." However, some have drawn the conclusion from Revelation 13 (and other texts) that such may exist seeing that the beast will have authority over "every tribe, people, language and nation" (Rev. 13:7). Revelation 13:16-17 does speak about the "mark of the beast" without which no one will be able to buy or sell anything. So, numerous teachers of biblical prophecy claim we are headed for a one-world government and religion under a singular antichrist very soon.

If the seconding coming were today, Amazon does seem in many respects to be an entity that matches such an interpretation of the book of Revelation. [5] However, the Bible only uses the word "antichrist" in 1 John 2:18; 2:22; 4:3; 2 John 1:7. And a plurality of antichrists, not a singularity seems to be in view. As Ra McLaughlin of Thirdmill comments:

John mentions "the" antichrist in 1 John 2:22; 4:3 and 2 John 7. However, all of these texts describe "the" antichrist in terms that can be applied to many different people simultaneously:

  • "The" antichrist denies that Jesus is the Christ, and denies the Father and the Son (1 John 2:22).
  • The spirit of "the" antichrist does not confess that Jesus is from God (1 John 4:3).
  • "The" antichrist denies that Jesus came in the flesh (2 John 7).

Moreover, in every verse which mentions "antichrist," the numerically singular idea "antichrist" relates directly to a multiplicity of individuals, not just to one person:

  • "Many" antichrists have arisen (1 John 2:18), to whom John refers as "they" (1 John 2:19).
  • The antichrist is anyone who denies that Jesus is the Christ, or who denies the Father and the Son (1 John 2:22). John makes this clear by referring to these people with the Greek word pas (all) in 1 John 2:23. Most translations render this with "no one" or "whoever." In so doing they are attempting to capture the flavor of the language in English. But a more literal translation of the opening words of 1 John 2:23 would be "everyone who denies."
  • "Every" (pas) spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is "the spirit of the antichrist" (1 John 4:3).
  • The antichrist includes "many" deceivers (2 John 7).

The fact that each verse refers to a multiplicity of persons who may be called "antichrist" indicates to me that the textual variants are not terribly significant. Even if 1 John 2:18 should be translated "the antichrist is coming," the idea of "antichrist" still refers to "many" even in that verse.

While this doesn’t necessarily mean there isn’t one main antichrist, I contend that there is an antichrist world system. It doesn’t just consist of one person, company, or nation. Indeed, it’s an interwoven system of several people, companies and nations. Could Jeff Bezos be part of this system? Though still the major shareholder, Jeff Bezos stepped down as CEO of Amazon on July 5, 2021. But do I personally think he and Amazon are part of this system? I'm inclined to say yes.

One thing for sure is that the antichrist world system is already at work as John wrote, "now many antichrists have come" ( 1 John 2:18) … "and now [the antichrist ] is in the world already" (1 John 4:3). Notice the past and present tense in the texts. In other words, the antichrists were there in John’s day and those to whom John was writing had already heard of them, and so many antichrists are already here today as well. Amazon wouldn't be the only player.

Footnotes

[1] Amazon, Global Selling. (https://sell.amazon.in/grow-your-business/amazon-global-selling). Last Accessed, 14 May 2022.

[2] Elon Musk has an estimated net worth of $219 billion — Musk’s businesses are Tesla and SpaceX. Jeff Bezos has an estimated net worth of $171 billion — Bezos’s main wealth source is Amazon which he began building in 1994 [and no longer is CEO]. Market Watch. "Who is the richest person in the world? Jeff Bezos no longer owns the top spot." (https://www.marketwatch.com/story/elon-musk-overtakes-jeff-bezos-on-forbes-richest-billionaires-list-11649175907 ). Last accessed, 14 May 2022.

[3] Wiki. List of Amazon products and services. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Amazon_products_and_services ). Last Accessed 14 May 2022.

[4] Loyola University Chicago School of Law. "Monopoly Defined: Amazon Can Pass Go." (http://blogs.luc.edu/compliance/?p=3997). Last Accessed 16 May 2022.

[5] There are several people who contend that Jeff Bezos, or someone like him, is the antichrist. One author believes Amazon is a type of Rome seen in Scripture. See "Amazon and Revelation 18" by Andrew Van Tiem (https://ojs.st-andrews.ac.uk/index.php/BCW/article/download/2364/1770). Last accessed 16 May 2022.

Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (Thirdmill).