Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Obama and the Antichrist?

I saw an article on the Christian Newswire site where there has been some comparison between the John McCain ad about the celebrity power of Barack Obama and the Anti-Christ character in the Left Behind series. Here is an excerpt from the article (found here):

(Tim) LaHaye and (Jerry) Jenkins (authors of the Left Behind series) take a literal interpretation of prophecies found in the Book of Revelation. They believe the antichrist will surface on the world stage at some point, but neither see Obama in that role. "I've gotten a lot of questions the last few weeks asking if Obama is the antichrist," says novelist Jenkins. "I tell everyone that I don't think the antichrist will come out of politics, especially American politics."

"I can see by the language he uses why people think he could be the antichrist," adds LaHaye, "but from my reading of scripture, he doesn't meet the criteria. There is no indication in the Bible that the antichrist will be an American."

There are so many things wrong with the above statements. First off, to Mr. LaHaye, of course there is no indication in the Bible that the antichrist will be an American, there is NO mention whatsoever of America in the Bible! What would a mention of America or any Americans mean to a first century Christian from Asia Minor? How confusing would that have been? No matter how you interpret Revelation, you have to keep in mind that this book was written to a specific group of people for a specific purpose that suited their occasion at the time. If you fail to keep that in the back of your mind, then you will seriously misinterpret the meaning and purpose of the book of Revelation.

Second, nowhere in the New Testament is the term antichrist used to describe a literal singular human being. The book of 1 John 2.18 describes, “antichrist is coming, even now many antichrist have arisen; from this we know that it is the last hour.” He later goes on to describe this antichrist as one who denies that Jesus is the Christ (messiah)? “This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son.” No mention of a singular world figure who will usher in a final conflict of the world armies at Armeggedon. The antichrist is an attitude that denies that Jesus is the messiah or savior. The fact that it is not just a final “end times” person is implied in that the author (writing in the first century) says that there were already many antichrists in the world at the time. Anyone who denies that Jesus is the Christ (messiah) is antichrist.

In 2 John 7, the writer there adds a new dimension to our understanding of antichrist: “For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist.” Thus, if you deny that Jesus is the messiah and/or deny that Jesus came in the flesh (but only appeared to be human but was actually a spirit), you may be antichrist. If you are a deceiver of any kind when it comes to the person and work of Christ, you may be the antichrist.

Now, if we want to talk about “the man of lawlessness” (2 Thessalonians 2.1-12) or “the beast coming out of the sea” or in Revelation 13.1-10 or the “beast coming up out of the earth” in Revelation 13.11-18 (the one associated with the number 666), then that is a different story. However, before we search the headlines and campaign promises, realize that every generation for the last two thousand years has attempted to identify the beast or the man of lawlessness in their own time. Every pope since the Reformation has been identified as the beast, as has infamous world figures such as Adolf Hitler. Even American president Ronald[6] Wilson[6] Reagan[6] has been identified as the beast. Recently, Prince Charles of Great Britain has been identified as the beast because he changed the duties of the Prince of Wales from being the “defender of the Faith” to being the “defender of the faiths.”

So, tread lightly when trying to identify the beast or the man of lawlessness and realize (like the writer of 1 and 2 John) that the spirit of the antichrist has been with us for two thousand years.


Patricia Burns said...

The beasts/kings of Daniel/Revelation ALL come out of the bottomless pit, hell.

Their identities will not be known until they ascend out of the bottomless pit at the Fifth Trumpet (Re.9:1-2).

Patricia © Bible Prophecy on the Web
Author of the self-study aid, The Book of Revelation Explained © 1982

The MAN Fan Club said...

1. I'm being turned off by a heavy pro Republican slant coming from the pulpit at our church. I've researched a bit about being a Christian and a Democrat which many Christians seem to think can't be.

Also, Will you post something biblically about public schools and the teaching of evolution?

Listen in at about the 13 minute mark of the sermon we heard this Sunday and let me know what you think. Only listen for about 2 minutes.


Navigating Life's Storms.

I do have a meeting with him on Saturday about it.

Call me.