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dstebbins

Vague antichrist traits?

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So I've been reading a touch on the traits that the antichrist is supposed to have. These traits were supposedly predicted in the Bible so we could recognize the man when he comes.

 

But in all fairness, even with all these biblical scholars having interpreted the passages and put them in as best "laymens terms" as they possibly can, the traits the antichrist is supposed to have are still ridiculously vague. Except maybe for the parts about denying God and/or Christ or claiming to be god himself, nearly each and every one of these supposed traits can be attributed, in at least some way, to nearly every major western political leader in the world.

 

It would be like if you were asked "Whose your favorite celebrity? Gilbert Godfried, Jeff Foxworthy, David Copperfield, Frank Senatra, or Rosie O'Donnel?" and then you reply with "I'd prefer the male in that list." You're only narrowing it down by about one choice!

 

Here, let me go down the list of supposed traits the antichrist would have. Here's a convenient list for you:

 

http://www.texasfred.net/archives/2403

 

Let's go down the list, shall we?

 

"He comes from among ten kings in the restored Roman Empire; his authority will have similarities to the ancient Babylonians, Persians, and Greeks."

Ok, first of all, what exactly do they mean by the "restored Roman Empire?" What does it mean to "restore" an empire that's been dead for over 1 1/2 millenia? Does it follow the official lineage of the old Roman Empire? Would the new Emperor crowned be considered to directly succeed Augustulus, the last Roman Emperor? Or could the modern European Union technically meet this requirement?

 

And what does it mean to "come from among" some people? If this new Roman Empire is divided into ten provinces, and each of these are given a governor, what does it mean to "come among" these governors?

 

Also, his system of government will be a cross between Babylon, Persia, ad Greece. Well, couldn't nearly every modern government be considered to have ever so slight traits of all three of those? Nearly every modern government is some mix of every ancient government that's come before it. The USA is a democracy like Athens; does that count? Again, nearly every western political leader could fit this criteria.

 

"He will subdue three kings"

What the heck does that even mean? Seeing as how some interpret the Bible as also predicting that the antichrist is gay, does "subdue" mean a little bit of the old bow chicka wow wow, just on a royal scale? For that matter, maybe he just "screws the pooch" (figuratively speaking, of course; not bestiality. See Urban Dictionary for details) on three occasions. Since "screwing the pooch" is slang for "to mess up royally" (emphasis on that "R" word, right there), could that be considered analagous to "subduing a king?"

 

And if you think I'm stretching to make that connection ... well then ... what do you have to say to all those theorists who hypothesize that the giant locusts that John saw during his Revelations vision were really just airplanes and fighter jets that he had no better description for? That's stretching if I've ever heard it!

 

"He is different from the other kings"

Ok, this is just the laziest of all the prophecies! Different how?! If the color of his hair is different from the "other kings," does that fit this criterion? If the number of pubic hairs on his nutsack is different than the rest, does that count?!

 

"He will rise from obscurity ... a little horn."

Ok, this one is a little bit more specific than the rest. I have to admit ... I have very few complaints on this one. In fact, on this one alone, we can at least take solace in knowing that Donald Trump is NOT the antichrist, since he was already a rich celebrity magnate before becoming president.

 

"He will speak boastfully"

So basically ... he's a politician? Right?

 

Right?!

 

"He will oppress the saints and be successful for 3 ½ years"

Technically, what counts as oppressing the "saints?" By saints, do you mean Christians? Because I'm pretty sure that the Catholic Church (and yes, I understand that this is a protestant website, but let's face it; all the apostles were writing for the Catholic Church when they wrote the New Testament) considers sainthood to be a very elite class that must be bestowed upon you by only the highest ranking clergymen. So in that case, Christians and Saints are not one in the same.

 

Second, what counts as oppressing them? If a new President decides to reinstate the 18th Amendment and re-ban alcohol, and his forces start rounding up a bunch of people in possession of lichor, and a majority of those people just happen to consider themselves "Christian" when asked for their religion ... does that count as oppressing Christians? Or do you have to persecute Christians on account of their religion (a la the current Egyptian Islamic state) for it to count?

 

"He will try to change the calendar, perhaps to define a new era, related to himself"

Just how direct must this change be? When Christ was born, the calendar switched from BC to AD. It was two completely different calendars, and all historical events before the birth of Christ were retroactively assigned a new year, based on BC. For example, Homer wasn't thinking to himself "the year is 785 BC, and I'm now publishing the Iliad." No, that year was retroactively tacked on centuries later.

 

Does it have to be something as direct as that? Or can it just be a President promising a light at the end of the tunnel?

 

For example, let's assume that a new President gets elected on the promise that he will end street crime, class warfare and make everybody all equal. He says during his inaguration speech "We're entering a new era ... one where gun violence, poverty, and inequality are a thing of the past!" Does that fit the criteria? If so, then what President in the past century HASN'T said something like that?

 

"He will try to change the laws."

So .. he's a politician? He's basically doing the very thing we expected him to do when we voted for him ... and somehow, THAT makes him evil?

 

"He will not be succeeded by another earthly ruler, but by Christ"

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought the purpose for these prophecies was so we could identify the antichrist! How are we supposed to use this to determine if he's the antichrist? By the time we're able to confirm this trait, won't it be too late?

 

"He will confirm a covenant with 'many'"

Oh my god! (pun intended) A head-of-state making treaties with other nations, just like they've done for the past five millennia?! APOCALYPSE!

 

"He will put an end to Jewish sacrifice and offerings after 3 ½ years"

So, if the President decides to get involved in some war between Iran and Isreal and come to Isreal's aid because Iran is just being a bully and wanting to kill Isreal just for the crime of being not-Muslim, that makes the President a servant of Satan? Because frankly, I would assume the complete opposite.

 

"He will not answer to a higher earthly authority"

What counts as a "higher authority?" Technically, the President already is the highest authority in the USA. Sure, he has the system of checks and balances in place, but Congress - who has the power to impeach him - is still not technically considered "higher" than the President, in the strictest sense of the word.

 

So again, this criterion basically applies to ... heads of state in general.

 

"He will have 'no regard for the desire of women'"

This is often interpreted to mean he will have no interest in women. Aka he's gay. But what if ... he swears off women, not because he isn't interested, but because he doesn't want his loved ones to suffer at the hands of his enemies? Does that make him evil? Because again, I would assume the opposite.

 

"He will be worshiped by many people."

In all fairness, is it really his fault if he has legions of adoring fans? Is that something that's within his control?

 

"He will appear to survive a fatal injury"

Due to modern medicine, there are millions of people out there who can say they have survived gunshots or stabbings that, just thee decades ago, would have claimed their lives. Again, how are we supposed to predict or identify diddly squat from this?

 

"He will be empowered by the devil himself"

Ok, seriously ... how in God's holy name (pun intended) are we supposed to tell whether that's happening or not?!

 

Somebody, please tell me ... is there more to it than this? Because frankly, these prophecies SUCK!

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You have an excellent point, prophecy is really vague about him. But i think there's a good reason for that. Imagine if people could -- and worse yet did -- manage to guess correctly who he is. Naturally some people would try to play the hero and kill the guy, but there also would be people who would want to get on his good side. It's one of those things where we just have to trust in Jesus Christ and keep our focus on Him. Prophecy will be fulfilled, and when it is, things are going to get even weirder than they already are. The best thing we can do is be in the best working relationship with the Lord we can be, so we can be sure of His guidance when we need it most. I hope that helps you in some way.

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Imagine if people could -- and worse yet did -- manage to guess correctly who he is. Naturally some people would try to play the hero and kill the guy, but there also would be people who would want to get on his good side. It's one of those things where we just have to trust in Jesus Christ and keep our focus on Him.

 

In that case, why have a prophecy at all? I thought the whole point of these prophecies was so we could be aware of the antichrist so we could mentally prepare ourselves to disregard anything he says ... kind of like what the Tribulation Force did against Carpathia in the Left Behind franchise.

 

If we aren't suppose to know who the antichrist is ... what other purpose could giving us these prophecies possibly serve?

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In that case, why have a prophecy at all? I thought the whole point of these prophecies was so we could be aware of the antichrist so we could mentally prepare ourselves to disregard anything he says ... kind of like what the Tribulation Force did against Carpathia in the Left Behind franchise.

 

If we aren't suppose to know who the antichrist is ... what other purpose could giving us these prophecies possibly serve?

 

To let us know that God knows the beginning from the end, and is in control. The Lord knows who the AC is, yet it doesn't frighten Him, impress Him or ruin His plans.

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To let us know that God knows the beginning from the end, and is in control.

 

We need antichrist prophecies for THAT?! I'm pretty sure there are scores of other passages in the Bible that hammer that point into our heads, and are much less vague about that point. Matthew 6:8 comes immediately to mind.

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We need antichrist prophecies for THAT?! I'm pretty sure there are scores of other passages in the Bible that hammer that point into our heads, and are much less vague about that point. Matthew 6:8 comes immediately to mind.

 

If the reason for these prophecies "was so we could be aware of the antichrist so we could mentally prepare ourselves to disregard anything he says", then that info comes a bit late in our walk. I think we should already be doing that with anything we see or hear that does not line up with Scripture, not just during the time a dictator is saying such things.

 

Scripture tells us:

 

"“Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, ‘My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure’" (Isaiah 46:9-10, NASB)

 

I think the thing we need to keep in mind is that if the Lord doesn't give us all the information we would like on something, then He has a very good reason for it. And while it's not a sin to ask about it, the best we can do when no answers are forthcoming is to trust the Lord on it and let Him reveal it when He's ready.

 

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We need antichrist prophecies for THAT?! I'm pretty sure there are scores of other passages in the Bible that hammer that point into our heads, and are much less vague about that point. Matthew 6:8 comes immediately to mind.

 

I'm reading this thread, and thinking about your very legitimate questions, dstebbins, and something occurred to me. God did not reveal these things just to play games with us, so there must be a good reason. I think that reason most likely involves people who will find themselves living in the time when the AC is active and rising to power. I think the prophecies are there to help some people make sense of the times in which they find themselves, when they need it most. That's the only explanation that makes sense, and that explanation also fits the prophecies about Jesus Christ when He came the first time. Nothing prophecied about Him made any sense to anyone until He came, then it fell into place.

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