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Does Revelation Prove that Obama is the Anti-Christ?
It's a question that won't go away. Did the Apostle John see Obama as a world leader thousands of years ago and write Revelation to warn us? Did we miss the warnings? What do we really know about the book of Revelation?
The Title of this Article
I admit it, I used a deliberately provocative title to get your attention.
There's a lot in the Book of Revelation that people find fascinating. It is primarily a symbolic book. If you ask 10 biblical scholars to interpret the symbols, you'll likely get 20 different answers. Because it's symbolic, people can interpret it to mean a lot of things.
One of the popular interpretations these days is that Obama is the anti-christ. Now, I'm not a fan of Obama, and I think he's doing most everything wrong. And he may even be the antichrist for all I know. But to "prove" it would require leaps of reasoning I'm not willing to put into a single article. And if he his, so what?
So, rather than address "the future" or "end times", or if Obama is the Antichrist I'd like to examine the Book of Revelation more like I examine any other book of the Bible, using three principles:
1. Understand the complex things in light of the simple things.
Since the book of Revelation is fairly complex, it's best to start with a few easy things and discover how much "good stuff" is in even the simple parts.
2. Christocentric Hermeneutics
Basically this is the principle that says the entire bible is about Jesus, so when we read the bible, the question we ask is, "What is this saying about Jesus?"
3. Guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus told us He would send the Holy Spirit to "Guide us in all truth" (John 16:13). A relationship with God is just that, a relationship, although many religions and denominations have rites and ceremonies regarding "the right way" to hear the Holy Spirit, what is required most of all is the willingness and desire to learn about more Jesus.
So, before trying to use the book of Revelation to determine what the end of the universe will be like, or trying to decode the name of the Anti-Christ, or identify "The Beast" as Obama ... there are three things that Jesus reveals about Himself in the book through his words, actions and images that are very clear and should serve as the foundation to understanding the other parts of the book.
Lion of the Tribe of Judah
The Lamb that was Slain
First: Jesus is King
The imagery of Christ in the book is powerful and dramaticly majestic.
From the beginning of the book:
Revelation 1:5:..Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth.
And throughout the book:
Revelation 17:14: He is Lord of lords and King of kings;
Revelation 19:16: And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.
If one is to believe that the Book of Revelation is true, regardless of any symbols or prophesies, one must see that Jesus authority is absolute and his right to rule over all people has been established.
Observe John's description reaction to seeing Him.
Revelation 1:14-16: 14 His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; 15 His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; 16 He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength.
Revelation 1:17 And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead.
He is not "just as good" as Buddah or Mohamed. These men may have or may not have been great humans. But the absolute superiority of Jesus is clear.
All of creation is standing before the Throne of God and there is something wonderful, something awesome something that will shatter the cosmos in a scroll ...
Observe John's reaction to the scroll in Revelation 5:4:
So I wept much, because no one was found worthy to open and read the scroll, or to look at it.
No one was found worthy. Not Buddah. Not Mohamed. Not any king. Not any president. No saint. No martyr. No soldier. No pacifist. No pastor, priest or holy man or holy woman. There is a scroll that contains God's will for humanity and no one who ever lived is worthy of even looking at it.... except ...
... as John is weeping ....
Revelation 5:5-6: But one of the elders said to me, "Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to lose its seven seals.6 And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain,
11-12: 11 Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, 12 saying with a loud voice: "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain To receive power and riches and wisdom, And strength and honor and glory and blessing!"
Jesus alone is King because Jesus alone is worthy.
Ah ... but what was in the scroll that only a worthy King can open? More of that in the third point. That's the really, really cool part.
Second: The Grace and Truth of The King
John, the author of Revelation observed this about Jesus when he wrote His biography in the Gospel of John: (John 1:1,14):
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God...
14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
Grace and Truth ... Why is that important?
Grace without truth leads to over-indulgence and injustice. Anyone can do anything without consequence.
Truth without grace leads to legalism and rules. Every action must have a consequence. Every injustice must be punished.
The simplest example of Grace and Truth can be found in John 8:10-11 where the religious leaders brought him a woman caught in adultery:
John 8:10-11: 10 When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, "Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?" 11 She said, "No one, Lord." And Jesus said to her, "Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more."
When He said: "Neither do I condemn you;" - That was grace.
When He said: "go and sin no more." - That was truth.
He loves us enough to take us just as we are. And he loves us too much to leave us there.
In Revelation his Grace and Truth is revealed to the seven churches in Revelation Chapters 2-3, He shows his style of Grace and Truth:
First he observes what is good ... "I know your good works" He will say. That's His Grace.
Then He says. "Yet, I have this against you ..." and then explains the problem. That's His Truth.
Then He says, "Here's how to correct it." ... That's His Grace.
Then He says, "If you don't ... here's what will happen. That's His Truth.
Jesus is a King with the perfect balance of Truth and Grace ... Justice and Mercy.
The Bride Was Arrayed in Bright Linen
Third: The King and His Bride
In the book of Genesis we saw that God intended for mankind to rule the earth in perfect relationship with God. But, the relationship with God was broken and mankind's authority on earth was usurped.
Man, God's own image was stolen from Him by deception and mis-trust. And yet ...
In Revelation 19:7-8 we read: 7 Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready." 8 And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.
Jesus is claiming all who claim Him as His bride. All of creation is rejoicing, every angel and every creature of God, is called to rejoice at the reunification of God and His creation.
We are shown the image of a beautiful woman at her wedding feast dressed in the finest gown.Look at the bride's dress. in the last part of verse 8: for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.
With all of creation looking at us, Jesus chooses to focus the attention of the reunification of God and man on WHAT WE DID RIGHT!!
So often we focus on what we have done wrong! But Jesus is holding us up and telling everybody in the universe what we did RIGHT!
And what about the scroll? What of the piece of vellum with writing all over it and seven seals that only the Lion of Judah and the Lamb Who Was Slain could even look at, much less open? What was in it?
As soon as the Lamb is handed the scoll, before He even opens it, all of humanity begins to sing...
Revelation 5:9-10: And they sang a new song, saying: "You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, 10 And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth."
The Lion of Judah, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, the Lamb who was slain - The Bridegroom of all whom he as chosen and who have also chosen Him - has returned the authority of humanity over the earth that God always intended for us to have.
This is not the domination of tyranny and violence we normally think of when we think of authority. This is the authority of the Grace and Truth, the mercy and Justice of the King of Kings.
Look at the reaction of all of creation to the restoration of humanity's authority under the King of Kings:
Revelation 5;13: And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying: "Blessing and honor and glory and power Be to Him who sits on the throne, And to the Lamb, forever and ever!"
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. (Revelation 22:21)