Is Donald Trump the Antichrist?

One day last week one of my coworkers asked me if it is possible that Donald Trump is the Antichrist. Her question was no idle jest. She knows that I have theological training, and she is concerned seeing Trump attracting such great fervor in so many people. She wanted seriously to know if there is any danger that the man, Donald Trump, who could become President of the United States next January may be the Antichrist.

I gave her a short answer, but I will expand here upon what I told her. To know whether or not Donald Trump is the Antichrist, we must compare Trump to the description of the Antichrist in the New Testament. Jesus, for example, calls the Antichrist “the abomination of desolation” (Matthew 24:15). Paul calls him “the man of lawlessness… who opposed and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the Temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God” (II Thessalonians 2:3-4). John wrote, “Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that Antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us…” (I John 2: 18-19), and, “every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already” (I John 4:3). In the book of Revelation John describes the Antichrist as a beast that rises out of the sea, is given power by the dragon (Satan), is worshiped by the world, makes war on the saints, and speaks blasphemies against God and against all who dwell with God in heaven (Revelation 13:1-10).

Although it is tempting to try to match these descriptions of the Antichrist to Donald Trump, a bit more research makes the connection unlikely. The “abomination of desolation” is more than a powerful insult; it is a technical phrase from the book of Daniel that refers to false religion being imported into God’s Temple. Some of the kings of Judah brought false gods into the Temple, with the final result of the Babylon siege to Jerusalem which brought about the destruction of the first Temple. Antiochus IV, who called himself Epiphanes (implying that he was a god in human form), placed his statue in the Temple in Jerusalem; but Antiochus himself was humbled and destroyed, and the Temple was cleansed and rededicated. The trial and condemnation of Jesus in the Temple might be considered abomination of desolation; other crimes were committed in the Temple in the following years, and that Temple was destroyed by the Romans forty years after the death and resurrection of Jesus.

Since that time the Temple has not been rebuilt. Some Christians believe that the Antichrist cannot do all that is said of him until another Temple has been built. They overlook the fact that Paul—who said that the Antichrist would take his seat in the Temple of God—also wrote, “Do you not know that you (plural) are God’s Temple (singular) and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” (I Corinthians 3:16), and , “we are the Temple of the living God” II Corinthians 6:16), and also, “You are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy Temple in the Lord” (Ephesians 2:19-21).

The Temple, then, is the entire body of believers in Jesus Christ, the Holy Christian Church. In this Temple the Antichrist will arise and claim authority. (“They went out from us, but they were not of us.”) In this Temple the Antichrist will claim the authority that belongs only to God, demanding the worship of all people and making war on the true believers in Christ. After all, in Greek, the prefix “anti-“ means not just “opposed to” but also “in the place of.” The Antichrist is a phony Christ, a replacement Christ, one who tries to remove Jesus from the lives of Christians and tries to take the place of Jesus in their lives.

Even as John wrote, there were many antichrists. Since that time many more have arisen, deceiving people by the dozens and sometimes by the hundreds. Jim Jones and David Koresh are antichrists of recent memory. The Antichrist, Paul’s man of lawlessness and the beast of Revelation, will deceive people by the millions. That spirit of deceit, rising from within the Church but denying Christ, was in the world when John wrote and is still in the world today.

Donald Trump claims no special authority from the Church. He might appear to want to be worshiped—his opponents might even say that he thinks that he is God—but his focus is on political power, not on spiritual power. He seeks to live in the White House; he would not say, as Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world.”

I can think of reasons not to vote for Donald Trump, but fear that he will become the Antichrist is not among those reasons. Should he prevail in the Republican primaries and then be elected President in November, it will mean changes and adjustments for some people—probably for a lot of people—but it won’t be the end of the world. That end is coming, but not because of Donald Trump. J.

 

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17 thoughts on “Is Donald Trump the Antichrist?

  1. After every election, we keep decrying the elected president as the anti Christ. Can we not learn a lesson from this? I liked your take on it and it makes sense. GOD doesn’t reside in temples made out of stone. The new temples are living and breathing. When we desecrate that temple and allow for high places, that would be the advent of the anti Christ. I don’t think its a person, it’s an ideology that explains all our sins away…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Apparently this thread began in March 2016, but I just learned of it through a comment posted to my blog @ mjthompsons.WordPress.com. While the idea of a modern time Antichrist is widely popular thanks to the propagation of 19th century Dispensational Eschatology among several denominations of Christendom, it is NOT consistent with scripture when studied in light of Historical / Systematic Theology. The acceptance of Dispensational views and interpretations must be compared with scripture and corresponding historical FACT that contradict much of its doctrine on prophecy. Many articles related to eschatology are posted on my blog that provide a valid criticism of Dispensational Dogma for the sincere and objective seeker of truth. Pray, asking and trusting the Holy Spirit to be your guide as the truth can be revealed from these insights. Peace!

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  3. You might find this interesting:

    The New Testament predicts that the church throughout its history will witness many antichrists (Matt. 24:5, 23-24; Mark 13:6, 21-22; Luke 21:8; 1 John 2:18, 22, 4:3; 2 John 7). All false teachers who teach contrary to Christ’s Word are opponents of Christ and, insofar as they do so, are anti-Christ.

    However, the Scriptures also teach that there is one climactic “Anti-Christ” (Dan. 7:8, 11, 20-21, 24-25, 11:36-45; 2 Thess. 2; 1 John 2:18, 4:3; Rev. 17-18) … Concerning the historical identity of the Antichrist, we affirm the Lutheran Confessions’ identification of the Antichrist with the office of the papacy whose official claims continue to correspond to the Scriptural marks listed above. It is important, however, that we observe the distinction which the Lutheran Confessors made between the office of the pope (papacy) and the individual men who fill that office. The latter could be Christians themselves. We do not presume to judge any person’s heart. Also, we acknowledge the possibility that the historical form of the Antichrist could change. Of course, in that case another identified by these marks would rise.

    Under this definition, Trump *could* be an antichrist but doesn’t meet the definition for THE antichrist.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I agree with what you wrote…with one small exception. I do not know of a case in which Donald Trump has claimed authority in the Church. Perhaps he has taught a Bible class for a Presbyterian congregation. In that case, he had the opportunity to be an antichrist to that group of people. To be antichrist, one must mislead from within the Church. But the concept of Trump being elected pope is far less possible than him being elected American president. (The image of Pope Donald makes the mind whirl.) Thank you for your comment. J.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Donald Trump is not the Anti-Christ. In the past people have tried to make Anti-Christ out of Hitler, Stalin, Reagan, Bush, FDR, — a lot of people. It is a knee-jerk reaction by a bunch of low information religious hysterics and it means absolutely nothing in reality.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. You are very knowledgeable regarding this subject, and it is enlightening to read. There is no way that Donald Trump is trying to take the place of a religious leader, nor does he indicate he has any propensity to worship any other than the Christian’s God. I believe he is concerned about the persecution that takes place against Christians both here and in other countries. I don’t think he will look with blinders on as Christians are murdered by the hundreds. He might be the man who can do something about that. I certainly hope so.

    Liked by 2 people

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