It was Nero.
Okay? Everybody clear on this? The Emperor Nero. He persecuted a cartload of Christians, and after he died there were all these rumors he was coming back with an army from the east to stomp on the righteous. Nero was the guy I was writing about. And he's gone now, so... find yourselves someone else to go balls crazy over.
I left hints, people. The seven heads of the beast were the seven hills of Rome. And there was a whole "cheating death" thing with that wound that healed. Plus the name NERO CAESAR in Hebrew characters has a numerical value of 666. Smart folks have already looked into it. Nero, Nero, Bo-Bero, Banana, Fanna, Fo-Fero... Mee, Mi, Mo-Mero, NERO!
Here's who the Antichrist isn't. He isn't Barack Obama, or the pope, or the UN with its black helicopters coming to steal your guns and fluoridate your water, so your kids'll grow up to get gay married and practice New Age pagan rituals with Oprah, or any other crazy crap you're thinking up with your little militia group meeting in basements and trading gas masks you bought off eBay. No one's going to put a microchip in your ass that makes you worship the devil, okay? I had a whole bunch of absolutely batshit hallucinations living in that cave, but black helicopters and butt microchips weren't in any of them.
Have you ever noticed that when anyone has a prophecy they make all the real action happen right in their own time? Wow, all those thousand year-old predictions just happen to be popping off next week, right before that trip to grandma's. Guess we don't have to kennel the dog after all. What a weird coincidence.
Or, conversely, maybe you're just doing what every other person on the planet does... which is looking at your own life and trying to fit it into some great, big cosmic pattern, because no one can stand the thought that they aren't right at the center of everything important. Which is why countless apocalyptic writers - like me, for instance - always seem to say the antichrist has just appeared. Or is just about to appear. Antiochus, Frederick II, Peter the Great, and a pile of other people have been named and accused and everyone held their breath, and whoever the boogeyman was just made his way through life, then croaked, and somehow the world didn't end.
Now there are a whole group of people who believe the Great Firecracker is going to start with a massive war in Israel that will soak the region in blood... and they're actually happy about it. Because long before it happens they'll all be miracled up to a cloud to dance around with Jesus and the big-tittied angels and watch the rest of humanity go through this horror, as if the whole thing were some kind of reality show.
I spent a huge portion of my life eating bugs and crapping in bushes, and I still think that's the most messed up thing I've ever heard of. How can these people have the vote?
Here's my advice. Maybe don't live your whole life like everything's going to end in the next twenty minutes. I'm not saying it won't. Hell, even Richard Dawkins won't place bets on that. But it's not healthy, okay? Hug your kids, volunteer at an animal shelter. Try to support political candidates who don't have armageddon as part of their political platform.
Terrible stuff will get to you all by itself. And don't think Anyone up there will yank you out of it at the last minute. Trust me on that one - most of my associates got roughed up pretty bad.
Belief is kind of my thing, but even I know you shouldn't believe everything you read.