According to a recent poll, some 13% of Americans believe that President Obama is the anti-Christ. I read about it in USA Today.
It’s official: Americans love their conspiracy theories. Public Policy Polling asked voters to weigh in on 20 more infamous ones, and the results show that a not-insignificant number of people believe that President Obama is the anti-Christ (13%), Big Foot exists (14%), and the planet is secretly ruled by the New World Order (28%). Four percent think our societies are actually ruled by “lizard people.”
- 21% believe the government covered up a UFO crash in Roswell; 29% believe in aliens
- 6% believe Osama bin Laden is alive
- 5% think Paul McCartney has been dead for decades
- 15% think there’s mind-control technology hidden in TV signals
- 37% think global warming is a hoax
- 7% think the moon landing was faked
- 15% think Big Pharma develops new diseases as a way to make money
- 14% see the CIA’s hand in the 1980s crack epidemic
I think that the idea that 13% of the American people believe that Barack Obama is the anti-Christ is simply ridiculous. Whatever I might happen to think of the President’s policies, I could hardly believe that he is some sort of end-times figure of ultimate evil, opposed to God and whatever is good.
Well, maybe he is the Anti-Christ.
There seems to be a whole system of beliefs that have grown up over the years regarding the Anti-Christ which do not necessarily correspond to what the Bible teaches. The Anti-Christ is mentioned only in the first and second letters of John.
18 Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.
20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth. 21 I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth. 22 Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist—denying the Father and the Son. 23 No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also. (1 John 2:18-23)
7 I say this because many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist. 8 Watch out that you do not lose what we have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully. 9 Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take them into your house or welcome them. 11 Anyone who welcomes them shares in their wicked work. (2 John 7-11)
The Greek prefix “anti-” means “against” or “opposed to”. An antichrist, then, is someone or something opposed to, or against Christ. In the context of the verses I quoted, it would seem that rather than a mystical figure of evil, John is referring to one or more persons who are denying the divinity of Christ, or perhaps heretical teachers. Given the probable date of composition of these letters (AD 90-100), he may also be referring to the persecuting Emperor Domitian or to the Roman government generally.
The Anti-Christ is often identified with the Beast of Revelation.
And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. It had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on its horns, and on each head a blasphemous name. 2 The beast I saw resembled a leopard, but had feet like those of a bear and a mouth like that of a lion. The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority. 3 One of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a fatal wound, but the fatal wound had been healed. The whole world was filled with wonder and followed the beast. 4 People worshiped the dragon because he had given authority to the beast, and they also worshiped the beast and asked, “Who is like the beast? Who can wage war against it?”
5 The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise its authority for forty-two months. 6 It opened its mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven. 7 It was given power to wage war against God’s holy people and to conquer them. And it was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. 8 All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the Lamb’s book of life, the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world. (Rev 13:1-8)
It is this Beast that is represented by a number that everyone must be marked with.
11 Then I saw a second beast, coming out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb, but it spoke like a dragon. 12 It exercised all the authority of the first beast on its behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed. 13 And it performed great signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to the earth in full view of the people. 14 Because of the signs it was given power to perform on behalf of the first beast, it deceived the inhabitants of the earth. It ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived. 15 The second beast was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that the image could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. 16 It also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, 17 so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name.
18 This calls for wisdom. Let the person who has insight calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man.That number is 666. (Rev 13:11-18)
Again, this seems to be a representation of the Roman Empire and its requirement, so odious to Christians, that everyone must worship the Emperor. Thus the Beast could be seen as an Anti-Christ, perhaps the ultimate Anti-Christ, a person so evil and corrupt as to be under the direct influence of the Dragon or Satan. The author of Revelation could have had Domitian in mind, or Nero, or the Roman Empire generally.
Paul wrote of a “Man of Lawlessness” in Second Thessalonians.
2 Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers and sisters, 2 not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by the teaching allegedly from us—whether by a prophecy or by word of mouth or by letter—asserting that the day of the Lord has already come. 3 Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. 4 He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.
5 Don’t you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things? 6 And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. 7 For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, 10 and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie 12 and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness. (2 Thess 2:2-11)
The identity of the Man of Lawlessness is not clear. Paul didn’t often write on eschatology and perhaps thought less about the subject than John. He could have had an end times figure of ultimate evil in mind, of he could have been anticipating the coming persecution of the Christians under Nero.
So, is Obama the Anti-Christ? If you consider the seeming contempt he has for Christian values and institutions and his apparent indifference to the idea of religious freedom, both here in the US and abroad, he could well be considered an Anti-Christ, that is someone opposed to Christ, if not the Anti-Christ.