Is Obama the Antichrist?

Do you think Barack Obama is the Antichrist?

The short answer is, “No.”

The more detailed answer involves examining the assumptions behind the question. The question assumes a particular eschatology, that is to say, a particular view of Bible prophecy and the end times—a view which I think is fundamentally in error.

The common view, popularized by men like Hal Lindsey and Tim LaHaye (in his Left Behind series) is that there is coming a world ruler who will be a kind of counterfeit Christ. They take the prefix anti to mean “in the place of,” so that the antichrist is a pseudo-Christ, a false Christ, a counterfeit Christ.

They teach that he will be the leader of a revived Roman Empire, or at least over a confederation of nations that currently take up the territory of the old Roman Empire. Supposedly this figure will suffer a mortal wound but will miraculously recover; or that he will die and be resurrected, mimicking the resurrection of Christ. He will have the power to perform signs and wonders. He will exercise a world-wide tyranny, by requiring people to worship him, or to worship an image of his likeness. This will consist in part of having a computer chip imbedded under the skin with the number of his name, the dreaded 666. Although initially making peace with Israel, he will end up breaking his treaty and seek to annihilate the Jews. This will lead to the battle of Armageddon when Christ returns to save Israel.

There are a number of problems with all of this, however. In the first place, the Bible doesn’t speak of “the antichrist,” as if there is just one. Rather, it speaks of antichrists…in the plural. There is not one, but many antichrists.
“You have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come” (1 Jn. 2:18).

Notice two things: the use of the plural (antichrists); and the time frame (they had already come in John’s day).

Who is he talking about? He tells us in the following verses.
Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son” (1 Jn. 2:22)

He is talking about those who teach what is false about Jesus Christ, specifically those who deny that he is the Christ, as he makes clear in 4:3.
“Every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard was coming and now is in the world already” (1 Jn. 4:3)

Then 2 John 7 he says,
“Many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist.”

He is speaking about those (and there were many) who denied that Jesus was the promised Messiah, and those who denied his divinity. These, he says, are antichrists.

So the first problem with the commonly accepted view is that the Bible doesn’t speak of just one, but of many antichrists.

Second, the view takes elements from several different passages, speaking of several different individuals and rolls them all into one. The view takes passages from the book of Daniel, which prophetically speak of Antiochus Epiphanes, a Syrian ruler who persecuted the Jews nearly two centuries before Christ; and passages from the book of Revelation, which speak of the Roman Emperor Nero, who persecuted the early church in the first century; and then these passages from John’s epistles that speak of religious leaders who denied Jesus’ deity and his office as the Messiah—and puts them all together to form one composite figure. But the passages don’t go together. They’re not speaking of the same person.

The third problem with the common view is the time element. The passages are not speaking about figures who are yet to appear, but about those who have already come and gone.

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