Antichrist: Is it Obama… or Barney?

The Beast of RevelationA Democratic Party consulting group charges that a McCain campaign video entitled “The One” is rife with image after image foisting presidential candidate Barack Obama as the Antichrist of the Bible.

The ad opens with an announcer saying, “It should be known, in 2008, the world will be blessed. They will call him: The One,” then later adds, “…he has anointed himself ready to carry the burden of The One.” Then the announcer asks, “Can you see the light?” and the video then show a clip of Obama saying, “A light will shine down from somewhere. It will light upon you. You will experience an epiphany. And you will say to yourself, ‘I have to vote for Barack.'” Later, the video shows a clip of Moses from “Exodus” parting the Red Sea.

Throughout church history, Christians, no thanks to mostly premillennial dispensationalists, have speculated who this Antichrist might be: Nero, the Roman Pope, Islam, Mussolini, Stalin, Hitler, JFK, Anwar el-Sadat, Henry Kissinger, Juan Carlos of Spain, Ronald Wilson Reagan (6 letters in 3 names), Mikhail Gorbachev (has an uncanny birthmark on his forehead), Bill Gates, and most recently, Saddam Hussein. Like the heretic Montanus who predicted Christ’s return about 150 A.D., today’s dispensationalist false prophets who speculate about the identity of the Antichrist, such as Lindsey, Lahaye, Hunt, Kirban, Whisenant, etc., are also habitual date-setters.

A lot of speculation centers around the number 666 [1] mentioned as the “number of the beast,” Antichrist, in Revelation 13:18. The name of the Roman Emperor Nero Caesar (Aramaic NRON KSR) was associated with this number:

N R O N K S R Total
50 200 6 50 100 60 200 666

Let’s see if BARACK HVSSEIN OVBAMA (that’s how the Romans would spell it) passes the 666 test:

Totals
B=2 A=1 R=18 A=1 C=3 K=11 36
H=8 V=22 S=19 S=19 E=5 1=9 N=14 96
O=15 V=22 B=2 A=1 M=13 A=1 54
All the totals – 36, 96, 54 – are divisible by 6 → 666. Barack Obama is the Antichrist!

Well, if you think my calculations are wacky, maybe this will be more acceptable:

C V T E P V R P L E D I N O S A V R Total
100 5 5 50 500 1 5 666
Barney, the Cute Purple Dinosaur, is the Antichrist!

But Kim Riddlebarger has a sobering word to all those who are obsessed with “end-time” scenarios:

It is a shame that so many Christians can quite readily dialogue about the latest theory as to the Antichrist’s identity, when at the same time they are often unable to defend the deity and humanity of Christ from the pages of Holy Scripture… But if anything is clear from John’s use of Antichrist terminology, it is that his focus is certainly on the present danger facing the church from heretical false teaching and not on the rise of a nebulous future tyrant. And so while this series of Antichrists that John describes may indeed culminate in an Antichrist, the biblical evidence demonstrates that the primary thrust is doctrinal (the Antichrist is primarily a false teacher) and only incidentally political and economic (i.e., people being prevented from buying and selling).

For a more serious consideration of what the Bible says about the Antichrist, read:
“The New Millennium” by Michael Horton
“The Antichrist” by Kim Riddlebarger
“The Mark of the Beast” by Kim Riddlebarger
“Left Behind?” by Iain D. Campbell
“Prophecy Makes Strange Bedfellows: On the History of Identifying the Antichrist” by Stephen J. Nichols

[1] Regarding the calculations: Nero’s number was well-known from early church history; Barney’s circulated from the 1990s; Obama’s was my original (it was quick and easy). Other fun calculations are Bill Gates’ number and David Hasselhoff’s number:

D A V I D Total H A S S E L H O F F Total
4 1 22 9 4 40 8 1 19 19 5 12 8 15 6 6 99
40 X 99 = 3960 ð 3960 = 660 X 6 ð 660 + 6 = 666. David Hasselhoff is the Antichrist!

____________________

My Favorite Eschatology Books
Beale, G. K. 1-2 Thessalonians. IVP New Testament Commentary Series. Downers Grove, IL: IVPress, 2003.
_________. The Book of Revelation: A Commentary on the Greek Text (New International Greek Testament Commentary. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1998.
Demar, Gary. Last Days Madness: Obsession of the Modern Church. Atlanta: American Vision, 1999.
Johnson, Dennis E. Triumph of the Lamb. Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R, 2001.
Hoekema, Anthony. The Bible and the Future. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1994.
Koester, Craig R. Revelation and the End of All Things. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2001.
Mathison, Keith. From Age to Age: The Unfolding of Biblical Eschatology. Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R, 2009.
Poythress, Vern S. The Returning King. Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R, 2000. (This book is published online by permission of publisher.)
Riddlebarger, Kim. The Man of Sin: Uncovering the Truth About the Antichrist. Grand Rapids: Baker, June 2006.
Venema, Cornelis. The Promise of the Future. Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 2000.

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