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The bible dictionary defines Antichrist as:

"A word used by John to describe one who would assume the guise of Christ but in reality would be opposed to Christ. In a broader sense it is anyone or anything that counterfeits the true gospel or plan of salvation and that openly or secretly is set up in opposition to Christ. The great antichrist is Lucifer, but he has many assistants both as spirit beings and as mortals."

There isn't a definition given in the bible dictionary for what an Apostate is. but the guide to the scriptures describes Apostasy as:

"A turning away from the truth by individuals, the Church, or entire nations."

So it would appear that we have two different definitions, one pretends to be, but secretly isn't, the other simply turns away. But then there'e this scripture in the Doctrine and Covenants:

"And after they have fallen asleep the great persecutor of the church, the apostate, the whore, even Babylon, that maketh all nations to drink of her cup, in whose hearts the enemy, even Satan, sitteth to reign—behold he soweth the tares; wherefore, the tares choke the wheat and drive the church into the wilderness." (D&C 86:3)

So now we've got two words describing one person. Lucifer is apparently both and apostate and and antichrist.

My question is, what is the significant difference? Can you be one without being the other?

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    Yes? An apostate is someone who has departed from the church, and an antichrist is one who rejects or counterfeits Jesus or His Gospel. One can leave the church without being antichrist... – Matt Feb 27 '15 at 0:15
  • One is heresy while the other is the spirit of heresy. That's always been the way I look at the use of the words. Being found to believe in heretical things is not quite as bad as intentionally spreading heresy with the intention to deceive and hurt the Church. This is probably a Catholic influenced interpretation of usages. – 3961 Feb 27 '15 at 0:51
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The Greek ἀντίχριστος, meaning 'antichrist', is used in 1 John and 2 John to refer specifically to an opponent of Christ. On the other hand, an apostate is someone who has voluntarily left his or her former religion. The apostate need not be in opposition to the former religion and, depending on circumstances, could even be on good terms with those who remain behind. The secularisation of many Western countries, particularly in Europe, means that a large proportion of the populations could be regarded as apostates.

The LDS Teachings, Chapter 12, states:

Apostasy is turning away from the Church and ultimately denying the faith.

This usage of the term 'apostate' does not imply any opposition to Christ.

On the other hand, the Latter Day Saints Doctrine and Covenants, Section 86, refers to:

3 And after they have fallen asleep the great persecutor of the church, the apostate, the whore, even Babylon, that maketh all nations to drink of her cup, in whose hearts the enemy, even Satan, sitteth to reign—behold he soweth the tares; wherefore, the tares choke the wheat and drive the church into the wilderness.

This usage of the term 'apostate' is unusual. In normal usage, you can be an apostate without being the other.

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In Satan's case, it's not a matter of "either/or," but "both/and."

Among us mortals, you're either an apostate or an antichrist, but it's highly unlikely you're both at the same time (though I suppose an apostate could then become an antichrist as a way--for example--of getting back at a local fellowship by feigning repentance for his apostate ways only to sow seeds of anti-Christian teachings).

Satan, however, is not a mere mortal, nor is he, like mortals "either an apostate or an antichrist." The truth is, Satan is both. He had been give the privilege and had experienced the pleasure of worshiping God in the "beauty of holiness" (Psalm 29:2) in heaven. His pride, however, led to his downfall. His pride was at the heart of his apostasy.

Once he had become an apostate (so to speak), he determined in his heart to exact revenge on God by becoming an antichrist (or the Antichrist), doing everything in his power to subvert and pervert the truth and work of God in the world God loves. Jesus likened him to a

"thief [who] comes only to steal and kill and destroy" (John 10:10a).

In Satan, then, we have an example par excellence, of someone who is both an apostate who left his former estate, and an antichrist who is dedicated to subverting God's kingdom work on earth by any and all means at his disposal.

  • Is this an LDS answer? – curiousdannii Mar 3 '15 at 21:18
  • @curiousdannii Seems compatible to me. – Matt Mar 3 '15 at 21:22

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